Renovation Series. Our Home Office Renovation & Design.

Ben and I are both self-employed so it was really important for us to have a functional, large home office space that could house both of us and all our work. When we were searching for our new home we had a sense of what we wanted that space to look like. We wanted a room that would let in a lot of natural light, that had windows and that would be a unique and motivating space to work in.

Our last home did not have a functional workspace and often the kids were doing their homework on top of our personal work or at the kitchen table. So another key design element we needed was to have a space that would be big enough to have a table for our boys to study at and do their homework. Our long shot goals for this room was that this space could also be used to have meetings in with business partners and clients.

When we found this house we knew right away once we walked in that the “bonus room” or loft area was going to be perfect for the office. It checked everything we wanted off our list. With a little love, this space could be unique, bright and meet all our needs and some.

Here are pictures of the loft area before and after.

Photo 2017-09-17, 7 01 26 PM_preview.jpeg


As soon as we started our office design boards on Pinterest, both Ben and I had come across some serious and similar inspiration and design that we loved.


Pinterest Inspo – Le Container Blog Spot
Pinterest Inspo – Pippa Jamenson Interiors 


These served as a guide for what we wanted to do to this space.

The gallery of windows was something we had to do! Trying to find someone in Calgary who could create this was really difficult and/or insanely costly. Luckily my husband is a great researcher. He looked high and low and that’s when I was introduced to Rodger. Rodger did a few of my husband’s reno and flips. he installs glass and mirror work. He is known in the industry and for him, this is an art. He is talented and knows how to source material. He understood the design and the feel we were going for. Although still quite expensive it was within our expected budget.


Both Ben and I felt like this was going to be a vital element of minimalist design and almost like art. When you walk into our house you are immediately greeted by this…and everyone always comments on how beautiful it is. The fact that we basically never turn on our lights is also amazing. The natural light coming from the windows upstairs just radiates right through to the main floor and lights up the whole house. The glass in a special tempered glass that is soundproof. We also added an industrial style glass door which helped keep the noise from traveling.


Something else we did add was an additional window to mirror the existing window in the office. Again, this allowed us to flood the room with natural light. These windows look onto our neighbors beautiful private quarter acre treed lot. I often pull up a chair and relax just gazing out the window and listening to podcasts.


I knew right away that I wanted to keep the original 1979 cedar ceiling. It added a lot of texture and warmth to our home and would be a key feature to making this room stand out when looking up from the main floor. The ceiling was maintained and in beautiful condition so we didn’t even need to touch it! What the room did not have was any lighting at all! We added some fun fixtures for above the homework table. I actually just picked those black lights up at Ikea. I will speak more about IKEA a little later! I also ordered two large gooseneck desk lamps for both ends of the desk area. I found these on Wayfair.


The bar sink. This loft area had a weird little bump out in the wall. We realized that this backed up against the boy’s bathroom. Ben immediately thought about putting in a small bar sink in. We had our plumber check it out and sure enough, he was able to run the water line up to this area. We had our kitchen guys design the cabinet to match our kitchen and our amazing quartz guys added a piece of black granite they had lying around at no additional cost! This works out great because we keep our Nespresso coffee machine and some cups upstairs for when we have visitors, a meeting or when we are working late and need a jolt of caffeine!


Designing the layout and furniture for the space to be functional.

I had drawn out on graph paper the exact dimensions of the room and spent hours upon hours trying to design something beautiful that would work. At first, I had bookshelves and floating shelves. However, after really reflecting on my minimalist approach to our home I really started to change directions. I wanted the room to be clean, have clean lines, minimal furniture and be pretty. Here is where Ikea comes in. I had searched on Pinterest for some inspo for office and desks. Originally we were going to have our finisher custom build the desks area and create a fifteen-foot linear workstation with custom drawers, the hidden cabinets etc…the cost for the finisher and the painter to spray the space was WAY WAY out of our budget and I am a stickler for staying on budget.


Pinterest Inspo – unknown source


Pinterest Inso – source – A house full of sunshine



Well, sure enough, Pinterest pointed me in the right direction. Ikea not only had the simple inexpensive ideas for workstations …it all fit like a if it was meant to be. In addition, I picked up the homework table at IKEA. I love this table because I can store all the boy’s pencils, scissors, erasers, markers et…in the middle tray. Which was important for me cause I like a clean space, especially if I am working there. I  purchased all the office chairs on Wayfair and guess what!? Overall the cost of the office came out under budget and turned out to be exactly what I always wanted.


IMG_0854.JPGI love coming up here to work. My children love coming up to study. Sometimes we use the space to start a puzzle, play a board game or have a meeting. It allows both Ben and I a lot of space to work, be inspired and be creative. We feel like its unique and motivating.

IMG_0866.jpgWhat do you think? What is your ideal workspace like? Any great ideas or tips to share with other readers for organizing your workspace, keeping your workspace on a budget when designing, or cool ideas for a workspace? Please share!

till the next post!







To be a mom.

What does that mean? To me? To be a mom? What about to you? With Mother’s Day fast approaching I have been thinking about this a lot lately.

At least once a day I get asked…Do you have kids? Yup. Yes. I have three. Three boys.


They usually follow that with something like, wow that’s amazing! Three boys! You must be so busy. Yup. Yes. Three boys are busy. A six-year-old, a nine-year-old and my oldest is now almost 17.


AND THIS IS WHERE it happens —-> You DO NOT have a 16-year-old at home. Yup. Yes. I do.

And right here is where I start to questions myself. WHY DO I DO THAT?


I can see the wheels turning in their heads. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t exactly look like I am approaching 40 but aside from that, depending on who I am with, someone typically takes an opportunity to jump in and clarify for me with stuff like this:

  • She’s his parent, not his mom
  • Well she didn’t birth him, it’s not her kid
  • She’s his mom just not the bio mom
  • She’s his stepmom
  • It’s her husbands’ kid

it’s her husbands’ kid? really. Yes, readers, that happens to me…OFTEN.

And It breaks my heart. Does it really matter? Does the story really matter? Sure I didn’t physically endure all that comes with birthing a child. I get that. I get it. However, I was 24. I was still a very young woman making a very big decision. A decision I took very seriously. I decided to walk into a lifelong relationship and to be a mom right away.


So I am done holding back.

I am his mom. There I said it. I am not his bio mom but I can guarantee with everything in me that I am his mom too. I share the responsibility of raising this child WITH my husband.

When I said yes to Ben in June of 2005…I also said yes to Domenic and on our wedding night, little Domenic joined us for the first dance to Better Together by Jack Johnson. From that moment forward I made the decision to do everything and anything to ensure he was healthy, safe and loved. Just like every mom does the moment they find out they are having a child.


Domenic lives full time in our home. He’s a teenager now. He’s smart, funny, witty and hormonal. He’s a bit of his dad, a bit his bio mom and a bit me.

He has a passion for music like me. He likes to work out with me. We have the same sense of fashion and style. We like to kick it back and watch cheesy TV together. We talk about girls. I drive him to house parties and I pick him up no matter what the time. I worry about him. I cry for him when someone breaks his heart. I am sometimes hard on him…because let’s face it, he’s a teen. I want only the best for him. I push him because I want him to be the best version of himself. I love him.


I have been a mom for almost a third of my life. His mom. Anthony’s mom. Stefano’s mom. And yes, I am a younger woman with a teen child. Listen…I have experienced three first day of kindergarten, pulled three first loose tooths, been to all parent-teacher meetings for three kids;  wiped tears, noses, and butts of three boys, been to every single one of their school recitals…AND on top of that…I have already experienced first dates, junior high graduation, house parties, high school drama, first jobs, prepping for university…


Why? because I am HIS mom. I have lot’s of experience to share because I have been through many firsts, so ask me about that instead of correcting me about where I stand in his life. The reality is soon my son will be 18 and we will send him off into the world on his own to travel, to work, to drive, to be independent of us and guess what? I will still be his mom. She will still be his mom. Dad will be the dad. Because that’s how OUR story goes.

Blended family or not…whatever you wanna call it. I AM a mom of three boys. Three amazing and forever little boys.


To all the mom’s out there, regardless of how it came to be, this one is for you. So share this. Spread the love. Why? Because ALL MOMS are amazing and to be a mom is not just a joy…it’s a lifelong vow you make to forever love someone unconditionally. No matter how it happened.


till the next post,


Invitations To Play. Exploring Snow…in APRIL!

Well, the snow will not let up in Calgary! It’s been one really looooooong winter. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to wake up to a snow storm. Again. It was 13 degrees over the weekend. Our new roof got done! but mother nature is a force. This morning we are getting snow and lots of it.

My little guy has also been battling another round of PFAPA a type of periodic fever syndrome. The poor little guy has been hovering around the 40-41 (103-105) range. So after getting some meds in him, we thought of some creative ways to cool down!

We came up with bringing the snow indoors and we are going to share with you!

This easy and fun snow exploration can be done at home with stuff around the house. We came up with three fun indoor snow activities your little ones can easily do at home. My nine year old would totally still be into this too!

Without even realizing it, my little man was learning through his play. Working on color mixing, fine motor, creative expression, imagination and more!

Clean up is easy. Refresh is easy too! just grab more snow!


What you will need:

  • Tray
  • Bowl or bucket of fresh snow
  • Cups
  • Watercolor paint palette
  • Paintbrush
  • Food coloring
  • Turkey Baster
  • Magnetic tiles or blocks
  • A pair of mittens or gloves


Remember to play. Meaningful play.

till the next post,