Respite Suites in Retirement Communities Make Short Stays Feel More Like Home

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Many retirement communities are now offering a selection of short term stay suites, otherwise known as respite suites. These rooms are equipped to feature all of the services and amenities of a long term stay suite, like meals laundry services, wellness programs, activities, phone, television, nursing and emergency response; making them suitable to meet the needs of individuals in need of additional temporary care following hospitalization or in cases where caregivers need to leave town or take a break.

In some retirement communities, respite suites are also available for use by visiting family members and friends of residents. The convenience of being able to stay overnight makes it easier for loved ones to spend quality time with elderly residents.

Whereas many retirement homes allow for long term residents to bring their own furnishings with them and to be surrounded by the familiarities of their previous residence, respite suites need to be fully furnished before they can be rented.

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Custom Home Interiors provides leading edge furniture, appliances, window coverings, home automation and fittings for respite suites in retirement communities.

Our approach to respite suite design is similar to that of corporate housing, hotel spaces or similar high-traffic, short term stay projects. We furnished our suites with a simple elegance that appeals to a broad range of tastes. Comfort, quality and durability are of paramount importance in selecting fabrics and products. Our ultimate goal is for every guest to feel at home when they stay in a suite designed by Custom Home Interiors.

 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Meet the CHI Team’s Carlie Harnish

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Carlie HarnishName: Carlie Harnish

Job title: Office Administrator

Number of years with CHI:

2.5 months

What did you study in school?

I took the Interior Decorating program at Algonquin College.

What is your favourite room in a home and why?

My favorite room in a home would have to be the family room. Whether it’s curling up with a hot cup of tea in front of the fireplace on a cold day and enjoying some time to myself, watching a movie, competing during Jeopardy with my husband, or gathering with the family and enjoying conversation and laughter, the family room is a place that always brings everyone together.

If you could only have one appliance in your kitchen, what would it be and why?

I think if I could only have one appliance, I would choose a fridge. You can get pretty creative with ways to cook without appliances in the kitchen, but without a fridge it would be challenging to keep food fresh and available whenever you need it (and keep your drinks cold!)

What is your most memorable CHI project to date?

I haven’t been with CHI for very long so I’ve just started seeing a few things come together here and there so far. My very first week, Diana Delaney was working on the model homes for Claridge Homes’ Westpointe Village, and I was able to tag along with her for a couple of days as the homes were being finished.

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It was really neat to experience the process of shopping and staging for these two beautiful homes and getting to lend a hand wherever I was needed to help pull everything together. It was a lot of fun to get to see the creative thought process that Diana has and see her designs come to life in the final stages. Although my position with CHI is administrative, my background is Interior Decorating, so it’s always fun to get to use my creative side once in a while! It was an unexpected and exciting way to start my first week with CHI and I loved every minute of it!

 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Meet the CHI Team’s Diana Delaney

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32515d1Name: Diana Delaney

Job title: Design Coordinator

Number of years working with CHI: 3 years

What did you study in school?

I studied Small and Medium Enterprise Management + Interior Decorating.

What is your favourite room in a home and why?

I think my favourite room would have to be the living room, as it’s where I like to spend the majority of my time with friends and family (when not outdoors in the warmer weather – if it’s warm, my rule is that everyone is outside! Ha!.

It is such a versatile space that you can split into different zones, space permitting (conversation, television, dancing, music) and you can make it a very comfortable, intimate space for those gatherings. I prefer my living room to be comfortable, as opposed to rigid or formal – I want my guests to be as comfortable in my space as I am. I am a big accent pillow and throw girl – the more the better – and I incorporate a lot of texture, comfortable seating, area rugs, GREAT ambient lighting and photography/artwork that means a lot to me and will hopefully inspire conversation.

If you could only have one appliance in your kitchen, what would it be and why?

I have put some thought into this, and my final answer would be a refrigerator. Unless you plan on purchasing ice several times a week, or kicking it old school and covering your perishables in salt…a refrigerator is almost a necessity. I cook all the time, so always have a fridge full of food. My theory here is that I would have a barbecue to cook it all, so would not need the oven/stove as much.

What is your most memorable CHI project to date?

My most memorable CHI project would have to be the penthouse we completed this winter at 200 Rideau Street in Ottawa. It was a very fun project with a large scope of work to complete on a tight timeline – but everyone came together to get it done and the transformation was extraordinary.

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When we gained access to the unit, there were significant repairs to be done, new flooring, appliances, kitchen backsplash, window treatments, all new furniture, artwork, accessories, lighting. I think the before and after photos speak for themselves.

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The unit will be rented through Premiere’s Corporate Housing Program and is sure to be a popular one, with its panoramic views of the city from the 23rd Floor, massive balcony with a lounge and dining area and a direct view of Parliament Hill to the west.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

Multiple Model Home Designs for Claridge Homes’ Westpointe Village

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by Diana Delaney

We recently completed the design and decorating of two model homes for Claridge Homes’ new development Westpointe Village. I put together this photo essay to show you the transition as well as the contrast between two different approaches to similar rooms in this multiple model home design approach.

My intention for each of the two homes was to create a bold design statement on each of the main levels, capturing potential buyers as soon as the enter the home. The second levels, as they were both 4-bedroom homes, was to be playful, yet slightly more “family-oriented,” having more of a transitional style aesthetic.

The first living room has a warm, masculine vibe, with leathers, woods, concrete and sheepskin; hard versus luxuriously soft surfaces. While an array of neutral tones created a solid canvas, I wanted to surprise visitors with the bold, dark teal accent wall as they round the corner from the entrance. I also painted out the fireplace surround in a deep brownish-grey colour to lessen the blow of a typically stark white molding that you see as a builder standard.

Model 41 Living Room

Unfortunately at the time of this photo, the “piece-de-resistance” had not yet been installed – a 10-armed octopus-like ceiling fixture which was suspended above the coffee table and stood out against the accent wall. As such, nothing was installed over the fireplace, as I wanted to focus to rest solely on that fixture. You’ll get a chance to see it in a before and after collage further on.

The second living room is essentially the polar opposite of the raw, masculine features of the first one; clean, feminine and a decidedly mid-century modern. Two of the walls were covered in a grey-meets-dusty-rose hue (a subtle nod to Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2016), which coordinated nicely with the greys and creams in the fireplace and window treatments. I then followed suit when selecting furniture pieces and accessories, wanting to add style and flair, while not distracting from the beautiful fireplace surround. Pops of black create subtle contract to keep the eye moving throughout the space.

Model 39 Living Room

The fourth bedroom was transformed into a kid’s playroom, which could easily double as a nursery. Fun pops of colour were injected into an otherwise neutral space and the natural sheesham wood furniture grounds the overall design.

Kids Playroom

This master bedroom is a nod to the “Modern Equestrian” trend, with bold black, gold and mirrored accents which are layered against a palette of greys and beiges. Note the modern, over-sized horse artwork on the opposing wall, reflected in the mirror. The finished product is a calm, sophisticated space.

Master Bedroom

Here are before and after pictures of the two model suite living rooms.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Meet the CHI Team’s Tyler Dren

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Tyler DrenName: Tyler Dren

Job title: Director of Operations

Number of years working with CHI:

All 11 years of the company’s history!

What did you study in school?

I studied commerce with concentration in operations.

What is your favourite room in a home and why?

My favourite room would have to be the basement/rec room. Whether it is relaxing on the sofa and watching a baseball game or having lots of room to scatter my son’s toys everywhere and play, it is a place in my home for family time and enjoyment.

If you could only have one appliance in your kitchen, what would it be and why?

A gas top range – it is the closest thing to a barbecue, which is my favourite way to cook!

What is your most memorable CHI project to date?

ICE Condo bedroomThere have been countless projects over the past 11 years that have been memorable for different reasons. My favourite project from 2015 would be the ICE condo suites. Pictured left is a bedroom we designed and installed in the ICE condo for our clients at Premiere Suites.

For this project, we delivered and set up 11 fully furnished suites in a two-week period. This project was very rewarding for our team as we completed everything from the design of the suites right through logistics and set up. Our client was very pleased with the end results, and we were very proud of how they all turned out. Pictured below is a panoramic shots of the kitchen, dining room and living room of one of the completed ICE Condo suites.

ICE Condo panorama
 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Making Eco-Friendly Choices for Your Home

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At Custom Home Interiors, we consider it our responsibility to act as responsible global citizens and do our part to ensure that we reduce the environmental impact of the work we do and products we create, and also to actively promote brands and partners that practice sustainable development and environmental protection.

EDC_logo (1)As Earth Day Canada marks its 25th this year, we are celebrating by sharing some of our favourite ways to make a home more eco-friendly.

FUN FACT: Did you know that Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world? Celebrated by more than a billion people every year, it is a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

As environmental issues become increasingly urgent, the task at hand can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. While we wait on governments to make sweeping policy changes, there are choices we make as consumers on a daily basis that on an individual scale might not seem like much, but en masse can make a substantial impact on the world we live in.

Programs like the ENERGY STAR Initiative make it easy to identify high-efficiency products on the market in Canada and the United States, including major appliances, room air conditioners and some heating and ventilating equipment. Certified products must meet strict technical specifications for energy performance, and save energy without compromising performance in any way.

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We use many ENERGY STAR certified Whirlpool and KitchenAid appliances — from dishwashers and clothing dryers, to refrigerators and microwaves — in our projects because they are superior quality products, and top of their class for energy performance. We feel good knowing our choices will save our clients money, and reduce their impact on the environment.

FUN FACT: Today’s refrigerators are designed with better door seals, improved insulation and more efficient compressors. They use at least 70 percent less energy than models produced in 1990.

While that may be true, North Americans still have the biggest refrigerators in the world. They became a status symbol of sorts in the 80’s and used to store a week’s worth of food for families of all sizes. The sad truth is that refrigerators consume more energy than any other household appliance because they run day and night. Reducing the size of everyone’s fridge alone can impact global warming. Imagine what we could do by reducing the size of all of our household appliances.

extraordinary-dimmable-led-light-bulbsEGLO is one of the global leaders in decorative lighting solutions. Their products are made using only recyclable and environmentally friendly materials and as little packaging as possible.

We choose many of their LED lighting products in our work because in addition to being beautifully designed, they save on energy and money and avoid using hazardous substances like mercury.

FUN FACT: The average Canadian home has 30 light bulbs. That provides a lot of opportunities for consumers to take advantage of the latest technologies and models available.

We believe that supporting quality Canadian furniture manufacturers is the best way to ensure that we deliver well-made, long-lasting products. The less often you have to replace your furniture, the more money you save in the long-run. It is definitely worth paying a bit more upfront and it will keep more items out of landfills.

The Canadian manufacturers we work with have great environmental initiatives:

Canadel hand-assembles and hand-finishes furniture made of locally-grown solid birch. All of their cardboard packaging is made from recycled fibers and they distill and reuse all paint residues in their production.

Bermex also uses North American birch exclusively in the manufacturing of their high quality solid wood casual and formal dining furniture, bars and stools. For every tree used in the manufacture of their products, they plant a new one. Bermex understands the crucial role of trees in their business.

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Trica uses recycled steel, aluminium and plastics to build their furniture, which require less processing and resources. The paints they use are free of lead and volatile organic compounds that have been linked to cancer and birth defects. And, all of their products can be disassembled and recycled.

For us, supporting green companies and initiatives is just good business. We believe that in doing so, we are able to offer superior products that give our business and clients a competitive advantage, while dramatically reducing our collective carbon footprint.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Fabrics for High-Traffic Commercial Spaces

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by Diana Delaney

Designers face unique challenges when choosing fabrics for commercial spaces. These high traffic areas not only tend to experience a lot of wear and tear but they also have to appeal to a broader audience while still creating a distinctive style statement.

So how do we determine the right balance between style and practicality, comfort and durability? When selecting products and material for a commercial design, there are several key considerations that I immediately take into account, as they may affect the rest of my decisions. It can be quite different from my approach to residential projects.

Commercial buildings often have special requirements in order for a project to meet building codes and various regulations. In terms of fabric selections, consideration must be given to abrasion resistance, lightfastness, fire-retardancy and antibacterial or antimicrobial requirements (most often required in healthcare settings). While we may occasionally use these standards as a guiding principle, they are not often a defining requirement in a residential setting.

_D3_9844Once we have established the general rules, objectives, and budget for the project, the next step is determining what type of furniture components are needed and how they will be used. Most clients have specific requirements for the life cycle of products they are purchasing, so my job is to ensure that the pieces we specify and fabrics we use meet the expected life expectancy, and this is notwithstanding any guarantees and warranties.  After all, once a project is installed and completed, the last thing anyone wants is the hassle of repairs or replacements.

Usage scenarios for each piece also helps us to determine how durable the fabrics need to be, whether they need to be spill and stain resistant or fade resistant. For example, consideration for things such as much natural light enters the space and whether it will be coming into direct contact with the fabric; where will window treatments be used and whether they need blackout options or adjustable shades. If we are putting an ottoman in a seating area, will people actually be sitting on it, or is it perhaps more likely food and drinks will be placed on it like a coffee table?  All of these things come into play as we move forward in the design process.

For contract furniture specifically, I like using faux and bonded leathers for sofas, then perhaps throwing in a bold or playful fabric on any accent pieces or in the accessories. Bonded leathers look great, are easy to clean and can be found at reasonable price points. Wearability is paramount here again due to the fact that they will inevitably be abused through daily wear and tear.

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For commercial bedding, I am a fan of clean, white linens. They can be washed at high heat and with bleach so it is a simple and classic option that never goes out of style and will be relatively easy to maintain. You can always update the look with various weaves and patterns that are still white-on-white. I recommend bed-ends or darker quilts to protect the linens, as one of the first things people do when they enter a new bedroom or hotel room with a freshly-made bed is jump on it and put up their shoe-clad feet!  Coming up with creative methods to meet practical requirements while maintaining the integrity of your design is sometimes a challenge, but is certainly a welcome one for both the designer as well as the clients and those who eventually end up enjoying the space.

Although the design process is often built upon inspiration, the project parameters and fabric application ultimately determine the final selections. You work backwards from the point of that inspiration; meaning, you may find a fabulous colour, piece of artwork or fabric that originally inspires you and although it is not practical to apply that fabric to a high-traffic hotel lobby chair (for example, that custom silk you fall in love with), you may still use the pattern or colour which may lead your design in a direction that is indeed suitable for that space and that project.

The universe never falls short on inspiration; it is simply keeping your eyes (and mind) open enough to receive it.

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Diana’s work with Custom Home Interiors over the past five years has largely involved creating design concepts for model homes, condos and lobbies, as well as developing corporate housing programs for our sister company Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.
 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Meet the CHI Team’s David Skinner

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David SkinnerName: David Skinner

Job title: Operations Coordinator

Number of years working with CHI:

1 year in April 2016

What did you study in school?

I am currently completing a Computer Science degree at Carleton University.

What is your favourite room in a home and why?

My favourite room would be the living room or entertainment room because I love sitting down with family or a group of friends and having a shared experience, whether it be watching a movie or playing a game.

If you could only have one appliance in your kitchen, what would it be and why?

My one appliance would have to be a dishwasher because without it my roommates would fill our kitchen with dirty dishes. I don’t mind doing dishes, but without a dishwasher it would be like a second job in our house.

What is your most memorable CHI project to date?

I have been working with CHI for a little less than a year now as the Operations Coordinator. The first large project that I was able to work on from start to finish was the Minto 185 project. I was partially in charge of the installation team, so in addition to installing the appliances, I was assisting in project management. It was a great learning experience for me, and I look forward to working on more projects from conception through to completion, then being able to step back at the end and appreciate all the hard work that went into the final product.

Minto 185

After we completed our installations at Minto 185, it was very rewarding walking through a finished suite and seeing the appliances shining in their new homes. With the addition of the window coverings, which CHI also installed at Minto 185, I believe we really helped the suites stand out.
 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Things We Love at Custom Home Interiors

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To get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked some of the team at Custom Home Interiors to share some of the things they love about their work at Custom Home Interiors, and here is what they had to say:
 
David's desk
“My desk is one of my favourite things at CHI. I can see and talk to almost everyone in the office from where I sit, but it also gives me some privacy for when I need to focus on my work. I have a view of the window from my desk and I am nice and close to the coffee machine. I also enjoy having enough space on my desk to house my laptop and a second monitor, store all of my paperwork and still have plenty of room to work with.”

David Skinner
Operations Assistant
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.

 
Diana's Colour Fan Deck
“One of my favourite things is the ambient lighting at my desk – lighting is such a necessary and crucial aspect of design. Oh, and I love my colour fan deck, of course!”

Diana Delaney
Design Coordinator
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc.

 
Andrew's Pens
“I have come to love these pens as has the rest of the team, but it comes at a cost; I no longer like using any other pen in existence. When we run low on these pens, they become a very hot commodity in the office until the replenishment shipment comes in. Even the old worn out ones have a place when stock gets low.”

Andrew Emmans 
President
Custom Home Interiors, Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.

 

Sarah's Passion Planner
“I use my Passion Planner to keep track of appointments to a degree, but I predominantly use it to plan and strategize business actions. I’m able to plan blog posts, keep track of days that my junior is with me, keep focus on daily, weekly and monthly tasks and reflect on the past month at the end of each month. It’s been really helpful in keeping me more organized but also on track of steps I need to take to achieve business goals.”

Sarah Kidder
Certified Interior Decorator, Sarah Kidder Design
& Partner, Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc.

 
Tyler's Control Centre
“I love my 3 screen ‘control centre’ because I can be working on a logistics spreadsheet on one screen, an email response on the second and putting an invoice together on the 3rd.  It has made my job so much more efficient, plus I get to have my cute son staring at me from both screen savers.”

Tyler Dren
Director of Operations
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.
 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Sarah Kidder Takes on the Ultimate Upcycling Challenge for Charity

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Our colleague Sarah Kidder, the founder and principal of the award-winning Sarah Kidder Design was invited to participate in the Ultimate Upcycling Challenge and the Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show last weekend. The Challenge involved sourcing a pre-loved door from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and ‘upcycle’ it using Rust-Oleum Consumer Brands Canada products to present a brand new piece ready for a second chance at love.

Upcylcing Challenge

The Ultimate Upcycling Challenge was clearly a perfect fit for Sarah who strongly believes in donating her time and talents to worthy causes, and is no stranger to upcycling. In fact, she identified it as one of the top new trends in a previous blog post Sarah Kidder Talks Top Trends from Ottawa Fall Home Show 2015. In it, she discusses her approach to upcycling and where the you are most likely to see it.

Sarah chose to start with a pair of golden oak cabinet doors with similar grain and only a bit of moulding detail that she estimates would be worth $10-$15 if sold ‘as is’. For the upcycled piece, her vision was to create a vintage-inspired set of coat racks that would look great in a bedroom with a vintage or country feel, or in a bright bathroom or walk-in closet, and as soon as she saw the cabinet doors, she knew they were the ones.

Her first step was to select the hardware, which she wanted to be the focal point of the pieces. Sarah sourced all of the knobs and hooks from Yardley’s, a local antique store known for unique and authentic pieces. Yardley’s gave her a great deal on the hardware, which was originally $75, because it was for charity. However, Sarah faced a dilemma in using what she described as the perfect hardware for her vision. She realized the weight of coats would be an issue, and so rather than sacrifice style, she reclassified her piece as an accessory rack for jewellery, scarves, and the like.

Antique Jewellery RacksTo evoke a Victorian-esque feel, Sarah used traditional colours ─ smoky blue, soft sage green and buttery yellow ─ in matte Rustoleum chalk paint; and then distressed the edges slightly so that the wood peeked through. They have colour and character without being too much. A matte clear-coat was applied to protect the finish while maintaining the soft milky look that chalk paint is known for.

Sarah’s accessory racks sold for $100 at auction as part of the Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show’s Ultimate Upcycling Challenge with all proceeds going to support of Habitat for Humanity. Other causes that are dear to Sarah include children’s cancer, hospice care, and guinea pig rescue. She often donates consultations to charities like Project Jenga and Ottawa Fur Kids, and she is also happy to help out others in any way she can.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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