Family Table

One of the things our family loves to do is to entertain. This is especially important for big holiday dinners but for us happens all year around. Armed with the knowledge that our new dining room just needs to be a dining room, I was left with the want for a big solid wood dining room table to fill it up.  However, I looked everywhere. Cheap stores, expensive stores. Local stores. Shipping from Italy. I couldn’t find the mix of mid-century modern and big, bold solid wood that I had envisioned. I talked to my designer about this.  She wasn’t able to source anything that worked either. So, she contacted this amazing local furniture designer and artist Kate Duncan and asked her for guidance.  Could she marry the two things I want and still make it work in our home? Continue reading

It’s getting bright in here

The lighting fixtures are in. Let’s take a look.

We have new LED lights in the loft area. Billy has gone all out and designed an amazing alcove for the lights to sit in. I can’t wait to see it in all of its glory.

LED alcove

LED alcove

We also got to see our new dining room light fixture. Espiritu Designs has done spectacular work. They have married pottery, wood work and electrical design to a new level. The wood will match our new walnut table and the red cords will complement the red in the kitchen. All the little things are really going to pop.

Espiritu Design Light fixture

Espiritu Design Light fixture

Let’s Check in…

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today with all the big changes I saw at the condo this week. I went back to my original post and looked at my “must have” list. Wow, things have changed. Let’s take a look.

Our Must Haves:

  1. Open concept kitchen with an island √
  2. Replace the hardwood floors throughout √
  3. Expand to two full bathrooms √
  4. Have a great play area for the kids
  5. Update the design to suit us  √

We are slowly but surely ticking things off our list. We haven’t decided completely about the kids play area yet, but we are looking into a few storage options. Stay tuned for a post about their bedroom and playroom. The girls are very excited about it.

But what else has spiralled out of adding a bathroom and tearing out the kitchen?

Our new additions:

  1. Open the stairwell to let in light
  2. Change the glass to a floating glass system throughout the stairwell
  3. Change the glass on the loft balcony to match the stairwell
  4. Add new lighting throughout the house/add recessed lighting ceilings
  5. Add heated floors
  6. Add a workstation for homework and crafts and adult work at home days
  7. Add organizational systems to the closets downstairs
  8. Open up/widen the doorway between the kitchen and living room
  9. Add AV and electrical to make it a “smart home” since the walls are already open
  10. Paint everything!

I always heard that a reno is more like a living organism than a static project but now that I reflect on it, it is really clear.

And we have wood

The flooring was delivered this week as well.  Things are really starting to move at warp speed. I haven’t been able to see the actual wood yet as it is all in two large piles acclimating to our specific moisture level, temperatures etc (that’s really all I know). It appears that we don’t want actual warping of the wood, just warp speed:)

I heard that the construction boys really got a workout that day as the wood had to be hand carried up the emergency stairs. Who needs the gym when you have real weight to carry around! I don’t know how they did that, or how people on the 28th floor get their lumber, but I’m thankful that ours is now in our house and awaiting placement. We have waited so long and looked so hard for this flooring, that all of this hassle is so going to be worth it.

Only a few more steps before we actually get to see the floor in action.

  1. The flooring specialists will start levelling and prepping the concrete sub-floor.
  2. The sub-floor/underlay is completed
  3. Pick the specific colour/pieces and nosing for the stairs and edging (difficult when we have such a random mix of colours I guess)
  4. Lay the floor

Billy thinks all of this will be able to be completed with the heated flooring in the kitchen “L” or “triangle” area and the bathroom over the next week. That is as long as the cabinets get in first. So many steps but all worth while!


We need a statement piece for our dining room. We wanted something old school yet modern. Industrial but pretty. Leave it to Amber to find the perfect piece.

She was visiting a store for another client when she saw this light fixture being featured from a local artist – Espiritu Design Studio. She immediately put it in her wheelhouse to show us. She spoke to the artists and they are able to customize everything. Colour, size, wire, wood. This is going to be awesome!

Guess what colour I chose? Brad didn’t even get a vote on this one 🙂

First prototype of lighting fixture

First prototype of lighting fixture

I can’t wait to see it in person.

Now we just need to find an equally cool light fixture for the new stairwell. The rest of the house will have pot lights and table lamps. So that stuff will come from Billy and our current lights and a little more fun shopping with Amber!

The Dining Room

Since we have an open concept layout for the kitchen and dining room, the colour scheme and flow need to work here as well. I could really have included it in the kitchen post, but I think having a dining room that I love is worth a new post. It will also be a little bit larger than it looks in the above picture after demolition. With the peninsula gone, it will be a bit wider than before. It will really become part of the greater space. This has both pros and cons. All the food will stay in one place for easy transfer from kitchen to table, but the guests see all the mess while the cooking is occurring and while eating. I can see now why my mom would put dishes under the sink until it was time to clean up after the guests left. It leaves a much more serene feel while eating.

Other than the peninsula moving, there won’t be any structural changes in the dining room. The changes will be all cosmetic. We will be focusing on the table, lighting and painting.

First the table! It’s going to be great to have a table big enough to comfortably seat my whole family when they come to visit. I need at least 10 chairs to be able to fit (it doesn’t have to always be comfortable for 10). BDF54AE6-BDF1-4D84-9E67-EE64A1508D52I’m hoping to find a table long enough yet not too obtrusive to fit three chairs comfortably on each side. Right now our table only fits two and if you add a third to the corner you have to straddle a wide leg and bump into a sharp glass corner. Besides that though the table is great. It has an indestructible glass top and wide thin drawers underneath that hold our placemats and trivets. I am really going to miss that feature. It’s a table from Ikea and I can’t believe they don’t sell it anymore.  It is so functional. Especially for someone with small kids and a placemat fetish. I do wish it was just a little bigger though, then I might be able to keep it.

Instead, we are on the hunt for the perfect dining room table. I saw this really cool table on Houzz.

We already own the chairs, so I thought this would be easy peasy. The only thing is that it would have to be custom-made. I’m not sure that is realistic with our other splurges at present, but I’m going to use it as a starting point and see what I can find. I really love the mix of the natural wood and the plexiglass base.  Seems very retro yet modern. I may change it up and use a natural wooden base that is very minimal with a clear glass top. They seems to be more accessible.  I like this one at West Elm but I’m not sure it will be big enough. And it means we need to get new chairs.

Jensen Table from West Elm

If anyone has an leads on tables like these I would love to know!

We also want the room to be well-lit for entertaining and dining. While I love shopping, looking for lamps and lighting has never been easy for me.  There is so much out there that is boring or just plain ugly. I find it very time-consuming and disappointing. So when Amber showed me a sketch of a light she had seen at a local artist’s studio, I was thankful and hooked. She is able to work with this artist to make a lighting fixture for over the dining table that is going to look fantastic. It will be exactly the shape, colour, and size that we need. It will fit exactly with our midcentury feel and we are supporting local artists.  It’s a win-win. I can’t wait to see it in person.

Here is a sample photo of what one of these looks like.

Sample Pendant Light Fixture

Single Pendant Light Fixture Inspiration

Thirdly, the painting. Since the kitchen is going to have a lot going on and most of the open concept room is actually floor to ceiling windows, we don’t actually have many walls. There is one wall behind where the dining table will be. We think it would be cool to make this a feature wall since most of the rest of the area will be white. Amber found this cool picture on Flickr to use as inspiration (click the link below to see it). I can’t wait to see what she will come up with for the final paint design.

Mondrian Wall Art Inspiration