dining room

Project Sweet Maple - Dining Room Makeover

I recently had the pleasure of working with a young family to redesign their dining room. The client, Laura (of

Sweet Maple

), had some great pieces to start with, but was having trouble pulling it together into a cohesive look. For me, the big challenge was making the different wood tones in the room work. The floors were quite dark, the table was a rustic pine, and the console was a mid-century modern teak.

I knew that the room needed a lovely, natural rug to neutralize the competing tones.

The room also had great ceiling details, but the walls were quite plain. We added some simple paneling to give some more architectural interest. I knew I wanted to go with white walls, so paneling is also a great way to add interest to walls rather than doing it with colour. This also allowed for us to do some very bold drapery on their huge window looking into their front yard. The drapes are my favourite feature in the room!

To add even more colour, we found an inexpensive hutch and had it sprayed the prettiest blue. It was a happy accident that the colours that I proposed for the space in the initial design meeting went perfectly with Laura's vintage china. It was a design match made in heaven.

It just goes to show you that you don't need a massive budget to have a huge design impact on a space. I love how this room turned out. It feels fresh, young, and hip - perfect for the family who lives there!

See the Before's below!

A Library in the Dining Room

Hello friends! It has been awhile. I took the summer off to really focus on getting settled into my apartment and enjoying the warm weather, as well as take a much needed rest after graduating from the Bachelor of Interior Design degree in only 33 months. Today, I'm giving a little sneak peak of my dining area which is going to double as a library with the help of a really lovely IKEA billy bookcase hack (more to come on that one I get the shelves secured to my old plaster walls). 

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a library. Before my Design Degree, I graduated with a degree in English Literature, so I guess you can say that books are my first love. But being in a small apartment in the city means having to get creative with space.

I was inspired by this library designed by Nate Berkus:
Image via Architectural Digest, November 2012

Combining the dining room with the library is such a natural choice, as the table easily doubles a surface for reading, studying, and note taking. Let's just say the grass cloth got me thinking as well!
I can't wait to show you the rest! Stay tuned for more from my apartment decorating.

I've missed you my friends!

Project Pimp my Dollhouse & Some Big News

Happy Monday everyone! Is it weird that I love Mondays? (Probably because it is my only day each week with no school or work...does it even count?)
 Today I'm so excited to be over at Kim's fabulous blog, The Green Room Interiors, participating in her fun series, 'Pimp my Dollhouse'. Basically Kim asked a few of us here in blogland to each create a design board for the living/dining room in her own place, which she calls the dollhouse. Today is my day to share what I've created! The main guideline was that we had to incorporate the following elements:
 I mean with these as starting points, you can already tell the room is going to be amazing!
To see what I designed, head on over to Kim's Blog!

 I also have some very exciting news to share with all of you!
 On Saturday I found out that I got a new part time position as a KITCHEN DESIGNER for a particular hardware store that we bloggers absolutely adore. I have worked with this company for the past 8 months in the flooring and decor department, but this new position is much more in line with my career aspirations.
I couldn't be more thrilled, it is an excellent opportunity for me while I complete my degree and I can't wait to take on some clients and start designing!

Lastly, it's time to pick a winner for the $50 Minted Giveaway!
Congratulations to another Kim, who said "If I won, I would spend the money on one of the beautiful art prints, like The Peony Bottle! :)".

Hope you all have a great week! xox

My First Floor Plan

So, this assignment was a doozy.
It was for my Fundamentals of Space Planning class. We were required to draft a living room/ dining room combo, transferring a given room outline from a 1/4" scale to a 1/2" scale.
Then we had to provide a living room area with seating for 8 (Realistically speaking...whose living room readily seats 8 at all times?) and a dining table for six.
The fun part was inventing our clients (and budget woo).

The hard part? We have not yet learned how to do floor plans in my drafting class yet. We are still on lettering...
Awkward for all of us.
I spent all of last week figuring out my way through this drafting process with no knowledge!
I'm sure there are technical errors, but my prof is aware of our lack of experience with floor plans and hopefully will go easy on us. And I really like what I did. Any space with a cowhide rug, a sputnik chandelier and an  Eames Lounge Chair is pretty sweet in my books!
Right after we submitted this one, we got assigned another one! A kitchen this time.
We also need to do elevations (which we also have not learned yet eeek).
Wish me luck guys! This program is more intense than I expected.

Design that Stands the Test of Time

 Trends are inescapable. As a social media driven society, we have consistent exposure to these fads that are pretty, fun, popular, and well received. But for me, really good design is about incorporating those trends in a timeless way... in a way that won't need to be revisited or redecorated in a few months, or even a few years.

When I was browsing the current fall decorating issue of Style at Home Magazine, I was stopped in my tracks by this home:
So beautiful, and SO current. The zebra print, the lucite and butterfly artwork, the grasscloth wall coverings, the use of the color coral, the chippendale chairs, the polka dotted seat cushions - All of it embodies the major design trends of today.

And yet, when I read the article, I couldn't believe that this room was designed 30 years ago and has been unaltered since. That is the talent of the late and iconic designer Ray Staples, who decorated this room in the eighties.

The timeless beauty of this space and the careful and imaginative forethought and talent of Staples has left me truly awe inspired.  Her legacy lives on through her works that withstand the test of time.

Favourite Furniture Fridays: Simple Dwellings

Hi, my name is Amber from the design blog Simple Dwellings.  I am so excited to be on Tiffany's blog for her favorite furniture series!  I love this idea and instantly knew what I would choose.  As I look around our house, there are many things I would love to revamp and change, but our dining room hutch has a great story attached to it and makes me smile when I see it! 
We purchased our hutch when my husband and I lived in Germany.  While we lived there for three years, my love for interior design and unique furniture grew.  I used to often walk into this one furniture store and browse around, seeing if they had anything new.  Then one day, I fell in love with this off white hutch.  It was definitely one of those had to have pieces!  Well, it was over budget, so I moved on.  I often thought about it, hoping it would go on sale.  When I went back to the shop one afternoon, it was no longer there.  I was heartbroken, figuring someone had bought it.  Then one night when my husband and I were on our way to the movies, we spotted a discount furniture store with the same name as my favorite shop.  We had some extra time, so we went inside.  It was their discount store, and there it was- 40% off!  It was truly meant to be. We paid for it that night, and the rest was history!  My husband still says it was the most expensive movie date we ever had!  :)  I smiled from ear to ear throughout the entire movie!  Some things are just meant to be.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Tiffany.  It was fun going down memory lane!

Such an amazing story Amber! I completely love the piece and am smitten with your blue and white china collection!
Be sure to visit Amber's blog Simple Dwellings!


Wednesday's Sketchbook Guest Post!

Hey my loves! Here is a little sneak peek of this week's watercolor, which was commissioned by my sweet blogging friend Charmaine.
Are you intrigued? Be sure to head on over to My Best Friend Craig to see the rest, as well as the stunning real life room that this doodle was inspired by!
And if you are interested in commissioning your own custom watercolor, feel free to e-mail me at tiffanyleighinteriordesign@gmail.com. I would love to work with you!

The Charm, The Mix and The Art.

With today's social networking sites, we are bombarded by images of beautiful homes and spaces. It's natural that some just get lost in the shuffle. But have you ever seen a space that you legit could not get off your mind? That is exactly what happened to me when I saw this post over on Little Green Notebook. Anne's space was designed via e-design by Lauren.

I saw it first thing in the morning, and spent the whole day at work dreaming of it...The second I got home, I pinned it all.

Here is what I love:

The Charm. This space oozes charm. The archway, the leaded windows, the old rad...Amazing bones.

The Mix. The room is the perfect blend of masculine and feminine. A little him in the gray suit inspired couches and the antlers. A little her in the sparkly lucite details and the floral pillow.
The Art. The gallery walls in this space are quite literally picture perfect. Each piece is interesting and conversational, nothing generic or overdone. 

I know many of you are readers of Little Green Notebook, (one of my fave daily reads), and I'm curious to know if you were as mesmerized by this home as me! If you haven't done so yet, check out more gorgeous pictures of the space HERE.  

Tiffany Leigh