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Open For Business

Grapevine Furniture and Design re-opened this Monday after being closed for a few weeks due to the move.  Debbie Veronesi is our new office manager.  I think she is enjoying the new workspace as she tries to navigate the office side of this crazy business.  We have some exciting projects ahead that we are embarking on.  Ive started meeting with reps who are showing me the latest and greatest of the design and furniture industry.  I got some exciting new fabric books this week.  If you need custom drapes or upholstery – now is the time!

Hallelujah!  We are finally living here, and loving it.   It has been a whirlwind last couple of weeks.  I had a dreamy vision of what it would be like to live here, but reality is, it takes a lot of work to get there!  We are loving it though.  It has been such a learning process.  One that I am so glad I have been through, but I’ll be waiting quite a bit to do it again.  I can’t show you too many pictures, as there aren’t many rooms that are complete.  But I’ll show you what I can:

I’m thrilled with how the outside has turned out.  Just need to finish the painting, and then I can show you the whole front!

The kitchen is one of my favorites.  I chose Benjamin Moore Cloud for everything that is white.  I think that contrast – although beautiful in many settings, isn’t what I was looking for.  I wanted the background to be just that – the background.  I chose the colour to be the life of the room.  Cloud white is a very warm white.  I also like Oxford White which is nice with grey, but my pallet tended toward the more warm tones.  In this grey climate we live in, I wanted my interior to feel more warm.  Ive used a lot of grey, but again, a warmer grey.  Benjamin Moore Collingwood was the main grey paint that I used.

This is the main fabric I am using to accent in this room:

And here is the mud room:  I think it is every busy moms dream.  The chalk board on the right is my grocery list (the kitchen is on the other side).  And the chalk board wall on the left is for me to write reminders before I rush out the door!

And I leave you with these pretty pictures from my back yard today – ENJOY!

I’ll start by giving you a glimpse of my latest completed project!  One day I’ll hire my friend from Redhanded Photography to take pictures of all my completed projects.   But for know you’ll have to enjoy my photography!  Im so proud of my clients to take the leap and use this teal velvet.  The chairs come from Stylus with a custom fabric, and the coffee is table is my new supplier, Redford House.  

On to the house:

Its been an interesting week.  Things are coming together, slowly but surely.  But there has been a lot of hiccups lately.  First, my gorgeous lights!  Who knew that you can buy lights that are not CSA approved.  Now, these lights I didn’t buy from stores in Canada, but from my wholesalers is the US.  However, the same lights are being sold in stores here in Canada.  I visited one of those stores lately and asked the owner if all her lights are CSA approved.  Well apparently not.  This usually isn’t a problem in a renovation where you are not dealing with electrical permits.  But for new construction you may not get your electrician to hang something that is not CSA approved.  Which is a problem for me.  My dear husband who loves me very much spent 6 hours and $800 getting these lights CSA approved.  I have learnt my lesson.  Speaking of learning lessons, I can’t believe how much I have learned during this process.  I has been so valuable for me as a designer.  My lights are being installed, and they are stunning.  Possibly worth every penny.  The Robert Abbey lighting is all CSA approved, and definitely worth every penny.  Check it out.

It was also the week of missing packages.  First I ordered hooks for the mud room cabinet.  They didn’t come.  When I inquired as to their whereabouts, they were apparently already picked up!  Somebody now has my nice hooks.  Anyway they were re-ordered, and I am still waiting.  Then there was the extra chain for the light in the living room.  It was couriered to my warehouse.  FedEx said it was delivered and signed for, but the warehouse didn’t have it, and the person who signed for it didn’t work there!  UGH!  Fed Ex finally did find it, and I have it safe and sound.  I am not done yet….  My microwave and wall oven went missing.  Sears couldn’t find what happened to it.  It wasn’t even on my order!  My sales lady Kris came to the rescue and they are being delivered on Tuesday.  I could go on with problems we have faced this week, but I will stop there.

As a designer and retailer of furniture and lighting, I am constantly putting out fires.  Also this week, I had a buffet delivered to a client in the wrong colour.  The supplier took full responsibility, but reordering would take another 4 weeks.  Also a beautiful sofa and love seat were delivered to a client.  The fabric is full of flaws, and the die lot is completely different than on the swatch we chose from.  This problem has yet to be resolved!  I had another client who I helped with selecting their appliances.  The first cook top came smashed, weeks later another one came which was lovely until their first big party and the glass on it broke.  Third time lucky?  Not so much – it came in the wrong finish.  We rely on so many different people to do their jobs well, which doesn’t always happen.

On to happier things….  enjoy the latest pictures of our big project:

The blacktop went in today!  We love it!

Just a side note:  The yellow around the window on the second floor is not suppose to be yellow!  It is just the colour of the board they used.  It will be painted the trim colour.

Eston admiring his new hockey light!

The kids enjoying the softness of their new carpet.  It is cushy!

I was tossing the idea around of braces in the gables.  Trent, our handy… um … not sure what he is called, but he is responsible for the shingles, siding and gorgeous window trim (his idea).  Anyway, Trent banged these up for me and I love them.

My lovely new stairs.  Will be even more gorgeous with the glass railing!

These are my gorgeous $2500 Restoration Hardware lights on my deck…. NOT!  I bought them at Homesense for $150!  YAY!

Well, that is all folks.  Next time I post we will be living there.  So fun to share this experience with all of you!


We are seeing some progress in the project!  This is just a quick update to show you what is happening.  By the end of the week I’ll be able to show you a lot more!

The front of the house is coming along nicely.  I am extremely pleased with my decisions here.  Some decisions are harder than others.  The exterior was a tough one for me.  It was all worth it in the end.  Of course the blue tent doesn’t do anything for the house!  Getting trim around the front door, and the posts framed will make a huge difference.  Svea’s window seat on the top floor is not meant to be yellow.  Its just the colour of the board they used.  It will be the same as the trim.

This is one side of my mud room – where the kids will keep all their coats, backpacks instruments and ssshhoooees!  The black wall is magnetic blackboard paint for reminders and notices as I walk out the door!

The beginnings of our laundry room.  The cabinets look blue because they have a protective film over them.  They are actually grey.  I have open shelving for uppers.

Here is the kitchen!!!  Hoooray!

Beams above the great room.


This is the boys bathroom vanity.  Sort of a sideways picture.  Cool eh?

Svea’s bathroom:  She has some of my best deals.  Her vanity was from Costco.  It was a fraction of the price of custom.  It came with the sink and countertop too!

Im so excited about our ensuite vanity!  I have designed one similar for a client.  The cabinet maker (Allan Martens) had extra veneer shipped to make one for us too.  Of course hardware, countertop, mirrors and lights will make a big difference!

The rest of the bathroom:

Tile was something that there wasn’t a huge budget for.  But I don’t think that you can tell!  Most of the floor tile was around $2.50/sq ft – which is almost unheard of.  Most of the bathroom tile is subway tile which is the nicest tile for the least amount of money.  The wall tile shown above is not real stone, but no one needs to know that!


Again I apologize for my inconsistency in posting.  The project and my client’s projects are all consuming.  I look forward to revealing one of my most stunning rooms to date.  A living room in teals… Stay tuned

Our splurge!

So far we have been able to pretty much stay on budget… even though I did more than double my appliance budget (oops) – we were under budget on enough to make up for it.  Although now its the finishing details that are going to kill me!  The one big splurge, however is our pool.  Ron has grown up with a pool and had very strong opinions in this area.  We were given lots of advice from different people.  We had it drawn up a few times, but in the end changed it to be very similar to Ron’s mom’s pool.  We absolutely love his moms pool – my kids and the many families that she shares it with, have been enjoying it for years.  We hired arguably the best pool company in the lower mainland, and we are so glad that we did!  The owner themselves were there to spray the concrete in the pool last Friday.  What an interesting process that was.  The different trades in the house couldn’t help but watching in amazement.  We even came home from our vacation to see it all happen!  The owner told Ron that he was thrilled with how we designed the pool.  He thought is was very practical, unlike many of the pools they build in West Van that are mostly for looks.  I can tell you my children will not be just looking at this pool!

Here you can see our hot tub.  It is set off to the side of the pool and will overflow into the pool.  Above you can see there is going to be a ledge that will sit below the water to sit on.

Here is man land…..  The other part of Ron’s pride and joy.  His garage.  Its a 3 car garage with an extra add on for a workshop, snow mobiles…whatever Ron decides.And this is the start of my kitchen cabinets.  They are a simple shaker panel with open shelving at the top.

By this weekend I should have more pictures to show..  Have a great weekend!



The best way to meet the budget in any project is choose your budget breakers wisely, and don’t choose too many of them!  I am working on tile right now for our house.  Im having to make some of those decisions.  I think when we were putting figures into our budget we really shaved off the tile budget to make it all work.  Now Im faced with trying to make the tile I want fit into the budget!

The kitchen backsplash for instance:  I could go with $1.50 per square foot bevelled subway tile, or $35 per square foot tile like this:

We have a very large mudroom/laundry/powder room area that is going to get the most high traffic use of almost anywhere in the house.  Ive been introduced to a groutable vinyl tile.  Almost indestructable, looks almost identical to tile but is not quite as hard under foot.  Unfortunately the choices are very limited.  Also, from a design and practicality prospective it has to go into the powder room.  The powder room is the only bathroom in the house that the majority of our guests will see, and we will use regularily.  Most people pour their money into the master ensuite which is fine if that is your priority.  I had thought I would choose my budget breaker as the powder room instead.  But, if I use vinyl, the flooring needs to carry into the powder room.  That kinda put a damper on my grand plans :)   Tile and install for the vinyl is $4.50, the cheapest ceramic tile I can find – which is quite nice, plus install is $7.50 a square foot.  Here is the vinyl tile:  The colouring is good, but not perfect….

In the powder room I would love to do something like this on the floor or wall:

A less expensive way to make a statement would be to do stripes on the wall in the powder room:

So I have some decisions to make….  For now, I have decided on a beautiful mother of pearl mini brick tile to do a tile area rug in our ensuite.  The rest of the tile is only $2 a square foot – so it all evens out in the end!  Im a believer in making sacrifices where you can so you can sqeeze some “holy cows!” into the budget.  Id love to hear your th0ughts.  Your comments are appreciated :)

I’ve got a few more pictures of our house for the blog…..  I’ll post those later today.

More Reveal….

Here are the last few pictures of one of my latest projects.  There is still one piece of the puzzle to come, and it is the most exciting…..  But enjoy these pictures:

Thanks for looking!  Next I’ll give you an update on my house.  Its kinda been a boring few weeks of drywalling, but we’re about to get exciting with paint and tile!  See you soon.

Grapevine Reveal

I can finally show you a bit of the projects I have been working on for the last few months.  I have been so blessed to work with such awesome people.  I have the best clients ever.

First of all, a Surrey reno.  In this home we renovated most of the main floor.  Here is a picture of the family room.  The floor was raised so that they could extend their table in the eating area during large functions.  This also gave better  seperation to the media room beyond.

In this reno, the kitchen was the major transformation.  Unfortunately I see now that I don’t have a great “after” picture.  I will get that this week.  So, stay tuned!

The next picture is of a different client’s favorite room of their new home.  They wanted a spa like retreat, and they got it!  They added a whole new level onto their home – literally.  Here is what their bathroom looks like:

Unfortunately my photography skills are lacking, and these picture just don’t do this room justice.  It is pretty spectacular!  Here is a picture of the vanity (before it was complete) that I designed and was custom built by my talented finishing carpenter.

I’ll have more pictures later in the week.  If you subscribe, there will be an email sent to you letter you know that I have updated my blog.  See ya soon!


Quick House update

Just a picture of what the house looks like now.  Cedar shakes will start to go on soon.  We decided to shake the whole front of the house, with a bit of rock.  Rock is really expensive and lends itself to an estate-type home.  Putting shakes on the whole front of the house doesn’t help the budget, but we eliminated a bunch of rock, so it all evens out in the end.  Im very excited about the exterior and how it has come together.  It actually hasn’t come easy - but I am finally confident that the outcome is going to be perfect for us!

Insulation is done, and drywall has begun.  Im not sure how interesting these pictures will be, but so many have requested pictures – so here you go:

Grapevine Furniture & Design headquarters:

Eli’s RoomI think that if something drives you crazy in your current home, you could go overboard when building a new home.  ie my new laundry!  Its a bit big:

On our way

The last few weeks have been quiet on the house front.  Not quiet on the life front with year end school activities and trying to finish up Grapevine Projects.  I will have some fun pictures to show you of those projects soon!

I have been mostly working on lighting – Im a bit obssesed.  Through it all Ive found some very interesting things.  Some of which I have already shared.  Ive secured a new account with Robert Abbey lighting who offers amazing lighting from the famed designer Jonathan Adler.  Ive also been purchasing from Roost, a company who offers amazing accessories and lighting; most of which use filament bulbs – a trend we continue to see more of.They also have the most adorable animal head made of felt.  My husband can hardly bear me hanging an animal on the wall that he hasn’t shot!  He’ll have to deal with it – ’cause I love them, and there was no blood involved!

Now for flooring.  I’m thinking of going light.  I can’t believe it either.  Its not like the honey oak or light maple of days gone by.  This is what I am thinking:  Although you can’t see it well, the small piece left of centre is the one I am favoring.  It is white oak with a natural finish and a slight bit of white rubbed into the grain.  It is lightly wire brushed which removes the softest grains and creates a less “flat” finish which tends to hide more imperfections.  The hickory in the centre is beautiful, but I think it may be too busy and could come off as rustic.  Hickory is a very hard wood if you are looking for something to stand the test of time.  Baseball bats are made from hickory.

This is a picutre of the flooring that I am favoring in a room:  Let me know your thoughts!

More to see

Again, sorry I haven’t done this in awhile.  Truthfully, things aren’t changing as fast.  We are moving along quickly though.  Insulation next week, and by the end of the week – drywall.  Yay – walls!I love my front door!  you are only seeing the side lights, but the door is exquisite!  I love my black windows, and hopefully I’ll love the colours Ive picked for the house!  For some reason I felt so unsure of myself about the exterior.  I feel good about my decisions now though.  My husband has let me shingle the whole front of the house.  I say he “let” me because he is not a fan in cedar shakes, but he trusts me ;)   Just can’t wait to see those posts get nice and fat and in my yummy white trim.  Ive picked Benjamin Moor “Silver Fox” for the exterior, and a warm welcoming yellow for my front door.  If Ive known anything all along, its been that I’ve wanted a yellow door.This is the back of the house.  We plan to shingle the dormers and put hardy board everywhere else.  You can see where the covered deck is.  There is a gas fireplace going there, and hopefully heaters.  Our pool will be just off the deck – they family is very excited about that!


Are you seeing a trend here?  GOLD

I bought 3 of these for my entrance. This one was at Liberty in Vancouver. It was $1100. I bought all 3 of mine including shipping and taxes for under $800!


I don’t settle.  I just don’t.  I don’t for my clients, and Im not for myself.  The tilers usually expect to go to one tile supplier and pick up everything.  Not when Lisa is on the job.  On one of the jobs I am working on now, the tiles came from 3 suppliers.  It impossible for one supplier to have the absolute best option for every situation!  Gotta have the best.  Then there is the issue of price.   Some times you’ve gotta bite the bullet and just do it.  Many times there is a way around it.  Same for my lighting.  Ive poured hours into it.  But hopefully in the end I’ll have a couple of high end designer pieces, but mostly just high end looking pieces!  The budget can only go so far.

This is the kitchen, family room area – facing into the back yard.

This is Svea’s room.  She has beautiful vaulted ceilings and a window seat overlooking the front yard.  Now just gotta find a low cost lighting option to fill the big vaulted ceilings.If you follow Grapevine Furniture and Designs on Facebook, you can follow some of my great finds.  Thanks for reading.  Hope to post again soon.

Next time I should be able to reveal the Grapevine projects I have been working on!