#SalaganHome Foyer Makeover

In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing an inside look into our home – our tiny 800 square foot condo and the updates we’ve been making. I’ve recently re-done our Foyer area, by adding some much-needed style!

To say our Foyer needed some attention would be a huge understatement. As a Designer, I’m embarrassed that it even looked like this, for nearly 2 years! It was heavily under-styled, unwelcoming and the scale of this sad little table was just pathetic. The ‘artwork’ was just a custom printed canvas of an engagement photo from years ago. And it was hung painfully too high. It’s like I don’t take my own Design advice!

While this table, which was an impulse purchase from Homesense, did its job by housing a basic bowl for keys and another for our extra change – it was just way too small. This whole area was just lacking personality.
View from the other side – this photo could put me to sleep!

The Console:
I knew I had the space to do a wider console, and I wanted something that was both functional yet beautiful at the same time. While sourcing for my clients, I always kept an eye out for that special piece. While I found many options, most of them were simply out of my budget. Cue the creativity!

I found THIS console at Ikea for $40. Although it’s technically a desk, I knew I could re-purpose it into a console as the dimensions were perfect for the space. A little spray paint magic and a custom stone top would bring this basic Ikea piece to the next level. 

I used Krylon’s Stainless Steel Finish for a metalic look. What a dream this was to use! In under 10 minutes, the entire console frame was dry to the touch and ready to go. I was also very impressed with the coverage, I only needed one can!

The Top:
For the custom top, I knew I wanted something durable. I had previously used this quartz material for a client, and really loved the variations in the stone. Stone Depot is my go-to place for off cuts & remnants, so it was a no-brainer that I’d get the piece from there. The service & pricing is just amazing. This piece cut to size with polishing was $200.

The Reveal:
Here’s the finished product! I’m so happy with how it turned out!

For those who know me, know that I am a hardcore fan of Seinfeld. So when I found THIS minimalistic print from Poppermost Prints, I just HAD to have it! 

These ottomans were such a steal! I randomly walked into Sears one day (#RIP), and saw them on clearance for $20 each! It was a total ‘Start The Car’ moment. 

Thanks so much for following along on this first installment of my #SalaganHome tour! Be sure to stick around next week to see how I decorate the condo for the holidays.

Thanks for reading.


Anyone Out There?

Well, this is a bit strange. Sitting down with a coffee, writing a blog post. I feel like I haven’t done this in months. That’s because I haven’t.

Truth is, I just haven’t been inspired to blog lately. For a while there, I was really struggling with self-doubt and asking myself, ‘who cares what I have to say?’ I fell deep into the rabbit hole of comparison, constantly putting myself up against other bloggers who post more, get invited to more events and basically live a better life than I do. But then I remembered the wise words of Tiffany Pratt: “Comparision is noise”.

I realized blogging used to bring me joy, I liked the feeling after I published new content. It’s so easy to give up and let life ‘get in the way’. And I won’t deny that working full time as a Designer gets in the way of my blogging schedule – because it does. At the end of the day, I just have to put in the work. So here I am, with a body full of caffeine, an updated website (it’s not quite perfect but if I wait for perfection, it’ll never be ready) & a notebook full of ideas.

I appreciate everyone’s patience with my lack of posting, I know a few people who have asked if I just gave it up. There are going to be big changes in 2018 and I cannot wait to share them all with you!

I have a fun DIY Ikea hack coming your way, tons of holiday decorating posts & some exciting personal updates as well! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,

Work Week Recap 2

It’s been a few weeks since my last Work Week Recap because well, life happened. When I tell you this has been the busiest Summer of my life I am not lying. Here is a breakdown of all of my doings and findings for the month of August! Enjoy!

ELIZABETH MONTILLA DESIGNOn a complete whim, I popped into my local Pier 1 a few weeks ago because I had recently registered for their Trade Program. To my surprise, I found the rug I have been searching for, for the past year or so. I had been drooling over THIS one from Wayfair, but I just couldn’t swallow the price. Not only is this rug basically the exact same as the one from Wayfair, it was about half of the price. It was on sale and I got my Designer discount. It was a total ‘start the car’ moment and I am OB-SESSED. It’s soft under foot, the perfect silvery gray and adds the perfect touch of luxe to our condo. Next on the list is a custom sofa, but one step at a time 😉

I’ve had to pop into Elte several times this month for various clients, and have nearly drooled over every piece. The variety of styles offered here is truly unbelievable. Here are just a few pieces that caught my eye!

JESSICA KELLY DESIGNAlthough our #MertonSt project is now completed, here’s a little sneak peek of the transformation just before the hardware went in. Stay tuned to see what we selected from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware! The details all came together on this project and within record time. I’m so excited to show you the rest of the space!

I stopped into CB2 to pick up some accessories for a client and was absolutely smitten by this tufted round ottoman. It’s so good to see ready-made pieces that are generally in stock that look custom designed. And at 36″ in diameter. this ottoman makes for a very spacious coffee table. Shop the link HERE.

August has been one of the busiest months to date this year. It was non-stop go go go every single week and I’m pretty proud of myself that I came out on the other side. I’m looking forward to what September will bring, the cooler weather & exciting new projects! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!




Work Week Recap 1

Can someone please tell me where Summer has gone? As far as I’m concerned, July just didn’t happen. The past few weeks have been such a blur – work has been extremely busy but that’s just the way it goes in this industry!

With such a busy Summer full of exciting projects & upcoming personal activities, my blog content has been a little scarce, to say the least.

This is why I thought I’d do a weekly round up of my findings, show a little behind-the-scenes of some projects I’m working on & other general inspiration I see throughout my work weeks. So follow along as I recap the last 2 weeks of this extremely busy Summer!

JESSICA KELLY DESIGN: Our #MertonSt project is quickly starting to take shape. We’re bringing this once dark & dated Kitchen back to life with some white high-gloss Ikea cabinetry & brushed brass accents. Countertop templating was done this week and after much deliberation, we went with Frosty Carina by Caesarstone!

 JESSICA KELLY DESIGNOur #Hillsdale project is finally a wrap after a year of planning, designing & anticipating this massive addition/renovation. These clients were absolute rock stars, living through it all with their young children. Little touches like this llama in their girls’ bathroom make me smile – it complements the perfectly pastel colour palette!


ALLAN & CHANDON DESIGN: To say that my phone has been inundated with tile photos would be a huge understatement. That’s just the price you pay when looking for the perfect Powder Room floor for our #Beresford project. This Powder Room will be impactful, elegant but with a bit of a modern twist. JUST WAIT until you see what we have planned for the ceiling! #AllTheHeartEyes

ELIZABETH MONTILLA DESIGN: Recently someone asked how I manage working for multiple designers, and if I ever get their projects mixed up. While it can often be difficult for scheduling, I say it’s all about organization. I plan my week on Monday and go from there. You can find me pounding the pavement in the Castlefield Design District at least 1 to 2 days, and then I’m either on site with clients or doing pickups/drop offs of samples around the city. How do I get through it all? Caffeine.

Thanks so much for reading my first Work Week Recap! I’m excited to show you more behind the scenes of my daily grind.




Ah, Canada – how I love thee! I am so unbelievably grateful my parents immigrated to Canada back in the 70’s to call this beautiful country home. The inclusion of all people, multiculturalism & our undeniable ability to apologize for everything – Canada is truly THE best! And with the country’s 150th Birthday this weekend, I wanted to gather some of my favourite items which showcase the beauty & artistry of some very talented Canadians.

Heading to a #Canada150 party this weekend and still need a hostess gift? Check out my top picks below!

1. Justin T-Shirt – Province of Canada
Whether you’re paying homage to our extremely good looking, forward-thinking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or you’re a fangirl of the Biebs – this ‘Justin’ t-shirt is a perfect way to show your love for two Canadian gems.

2. Canadian Pins – FairGoods
I recently discovered Fairgoods after reading THIS Canadian Living article, and immediately placed an order on their Etsy page. They are a small, dedicated duo from Calgary who create everything from witty eye masks to hilarious ‘jerk balloons’ and these adorable pins which are a nod to some very Canadian staples. I purchased the poutine, the Double Double & the ‘Sorry‘ pins. They are the perfect accessory to your Canadian tuxedo!

3. Grosse & Petite Poutine Bowls – Hugo Didier
I have seen Hugo Didier at several One Of A Kind shows here in Toronto and have always admired his work. He is a Montreal-based ceramic artist who creates beautiful, everyday pieces such as mugs & dishware which inhabit our everyday lives. His ‘Not Made In China’ & ‘Cé Faitte Icitte’ collections can be seen at exclusive specialty shops across the country.  His pieces are made of Canadian porcelain – baked at high temperatures making them both dishwasher & microwave safe!

4. Terrazzo Necklace – DConstruct Jewelry
I am always on the hunt for lovely, unique jewelry that comes with an interesting story. So when I recently discovered DConstruct, a company based out of Manitoba – I was instantly intrigued. Each piece contains a minimum of 40% pre-consumer recycled material. Their jewelry can range anywhere from pieces of terrazzo, concrete & even resin. I want to order a necklace – but I’m having such a hard time deciding which one to choose!

5. Provincial Pennants – Drake General Store
How fun are these provincial pennants? Purchase as a box set or single, they are a perfect way to represent your country and brighten up any space!

6. Drip Maple Syrup – AGO Store
Ah, Maple syrup – a Canadian’s nectar of the Gods. Is there anything better than pure maple syrup drizzled over a stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning? Yeah, didn’t think so either. While there are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada, 91% of the sweet stuff is actually produced in Quebec. There’s a fun fact you can bring to a party! I absolutely love Drip Maple Syrup – as it’s as pure as it can possibly get and comes in 3 different blends. I would drink this stuff if it was socially acceptable!

7. Canadian Mountie Mug – Indigo
How adorable is this Canadian Mountie mug? Such a whimsical way of honoring our men and women in uniform. Add this to my #IndigoFaves!

8. Province of Canada Pillow Cover – Province of Canada
Why not introduce a little Canadiana into your home? These soft gray pillows from Province of Canada are a perfect addition to any cool living area that needs an extra touch of Canada.

9. Terry Fox: His Story – Indigo
Everyone has their favourite Canadian. Terry Fox is mine. I have always been fascinated by his story & have always admired his strength and perseverance. I just love going back and reading about his journey across the country, and all of the lives he touched along the way. I think we can all learn a thing or two from Terry Fox! Who is your favourite Canadian?

10. Point Multistripe Blanket– Hudson Bay Company
Did you really think I wouldn’t include the classic striped blanket from The Hudson Bay Company? This iconic piece is truly a staple in our Canadian heritage. This blanket is 100% wool – which means it’s the perfect addition to those chilly nights at the cottage!

Tell me – how will you be celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and share your plans!

Thanks so much for reading!