Perfectly Pastel

Hello, beautiful people! We are officially in full-blown Spring mode over here! I blinked and it was suddenly May. How is 2017 just whizzing by? This is not OK.

As the temps are rising, I’m finding myself gravitating towards lighter, more feminine tones in both my wardrobe & home decor. There’s something to be said when you can finally put away all of your black sweaters & cozy blankets that you’ve been using all Winter long. Enter: Pastels. I absolutely love the brightness of pastels – they instantly put you in a better mood, no matter what the shade.

Here are a few of my current favorite pastel items in Home Decor and some very inspiring spaces that rocked these soft, subtle hues!

1. Leda Peony Fabric    2. Bubbles Fabric    3. Corkcicle Tumbler    4. Hand-knotted Wool Rug    5. Mid-Century Sofa
6. Retro Style Fridge

Can we all just have a moment for this gorgeous custom lavender vanity? Tara Fingold is one of my favorite local Designers and this space really sparked my attention when I first saw it in Style At Home.  This lovely shade pairs so beautifully with the white marble counters & brass hardware.

 I can always depend on Benjamin Moore to have on-trend, cheerful colours that add vibrancy to any space. Colours such as Lemon Twist, Spring Lilac, Scenic View & Pink Pansy all lend themselves to the perfect pastel palette that is sure to please the eye.


In my personal opinion, no one does pastels quite like the lovely Sarah Gunn. Her design aesthetic is very bright & cheerful, yet still remains incredibly stylish. As the former Canadian Living magazine Home & Garden Director, Sarah understands pretty. She is currently one of many Designers partaking in the One Room Challenge and I have so been enjoying her updates on her Dining Room makeover. You can see more pastel goodness HERE!

I have been a huge fan-girl of Jillian Harris for as long as I can remember. Most recently, I’ve been following her adventures as a new mom and her latest challenges as she and her family embark on a massive home reno. I am absolutely loving everything she’s selecting so far! From the soft, subtle hues in the Foyer (this blue = all the heart eyes 😍), her choices in lighting, to the fun graphic patterns in her son’s Bedroom…I just can’t get enough. This home is going to be stunning! The colour she chose for her Front Entry door is ‘Athabasca’ by Benjamin Moore and I’m pretty sure it’s what dreams are made of!

Are you a fan of pastels? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!


Podcasts I Can’t Live Without

Anyone else completely obsessed with podcasts these days? I don’t know about you, but I listen to podcasts in the car, while I’m cooking, on the treadmill, while I’m working and even just before bed when I’m winding down. It’s becoming a little bit of an issue 🤔 I just cannot get enough! I absolutely love listening to peoples’ stories, learning new things and often having a good laugh throughout my day. It’s an easy way to keep my mind occupied, especially when I’m stuck in crawling traffic.

Listed below are my top 3 podcasts that are on high rotation these days!

A Well Designed Business with LuAnn Nigara
If you work in the Design industry, this podcast is for you. LuAnn Nigara interviews the most successful Design professionals where they share their best Interior Design business practices. LuAnn & guests speak of their business successes and even failures to ensure that you have a profitable business. They provide tips on how to deal with complicated clients, marketing your business through Social Media & so much more.

Business Of Design with Kimberley Seldon
This is another great podcast for all of my fellow Design colleagues. Kimberley Seldon has now expanded her infamous Business of Design coaching community into podcast form. She covers everything that we didn’t learn in Design school. Everything from billing systems to styling tips – Kimberley discusses good, the bad and the often ugly sides of this industry. A must listen if you are an independant business owner who wants to flourish both financially and creatively! Catch up on all of the episodes HERE.

How I Built This (NPR) with Guy Raz
How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists – and their stories behind the empires they’ve built. Guy Raz has interviewed everyone from Spanx creator Sara Blakely, to the brains behind Crate & Barrel, Gordon Segal. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs & failures told by the founders and creators of some of the world’s largest most profitable companies. This podcast is sure to inspire you whatever your goals may be!

Tell me, are you a fan of podcasts? Which ones are your favourite? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and join the conversation!

Thanks for reading!



Happy 3 days after St. Patrick’s Day! That’s a thing, right? Ok, ok – so perhaps this post would have been more appropriate on St. Patrick’s Day but #WorkHasBeenCray lately! Nevertheless, let’s talk about the many glorious shades of Green. Green has been one of my favourite shades for a long time. For a period of time, I was actually quite obsessed with incorporating all things Green in my own home decor. For those who remember our tiny loft apartment in Walkerville (Windsor), they’ll remember my love affair with this glorious hue. I’ve since grown to appreciate it even more and use it often in various furnishings for my clients. I just love the freshness it provides to any space – whether it’s in a fabric or a living plant.

Today I’ve rounded up some of my favourite green items in both Design & Home Decor!

1. ‘Mornings Away’ Painting    2. Botanical Print Curtains    3. Enamel Warehouse Pendant    4. Agate Bookends    5. Lux Velvet Pillow    6. Easton Sofa 

And can we talk about these stunning shades of green by Benjamin Moore? Buffett Green, Salamander, Vintage Vogue and Storm Cloud Gray all provide the right amount of intensity and drama for whatever the application. All of these colours are both timeless & elegant, while offering a rich saturated quality to any space.

Here are some more notable interiors where Green rocked the space!

Clockwise: H2 Design Build Office Renovation, Studio McGee Claybourne Project, Style Me Pretty

And if you’re looking to add some more vibrancy into your own personal style or home decor, here are three more pieces I just adore:

Clockwise:  Le Creuset Round French Oven, Banana Republic Flutter Sleeve Top, Kate Spade Beekman Table Lamp

Do you love Green as much as I do? It truly is such a versatile colour in that every shade offers something new depending how it is used. Whether bold & dramatic or light & airy – green can transform any space. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! I promise you won’t regret it!

Make sure to tweet me @EMontillaDesign to share some of your favourite green spaces!

Thanks for reading!


In The Details: AutoCAD

Every good design starts with a plan. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised with how many Designers can get ahead of themselves at the beginning of a project. I’ve worked in this industry for 10 years and I cannot stress enough of the importance of having a good plan set in place, prior to any project. Proper Planning & Design can make or break your designs right from the start. Without it, you run the risk of constantly going back and forth & wasting your clients’ time. And as we know in this industry, time is money.

Love it or hate it, AutoCAD is a wonderful tool used by many design professionals to prepare proper plans and execute your design vision. My background in Millwork design has taught me a thing or two about the details that should be included in a full set of drawings. Below are some examples where having the right details in place made for a successful end product.

Starting with a clean slate, we were able to create custom designed Television millwork for this large Family Room in Klein’s Ridge. Warm, rich tones were used for the millwork, contrasting beautifully against the freshness of the walls & ceiling. Designed by Jessica Kelly Design 

When there are a lot of moving parts & multiple finishes in one design, it is crucial to indicate what goes where to avoid confusion. With clear & precise drawings, your millwork installer should have little to no questions when bringing your vision to life. This was a playful Guest Bedroom I worked on for LH Decor & Design

This was a very simple reception desk I helped design for LH Decor & Design. Although we showed the Installer an inspiration photo, we still had to prepare a basic elevation to show the scale & proportion of all materials. Photo Cred: Workplace One 

While some design elements were changed during installation, I was able to indicate every important detail in the original drawings. It’s always tricky working with stock-cabinet sizes, but with a little creative thinking and a few custom pieces, this Kitchen was the perfect fit for our clients newly renovated home. Design by Rebecca Hay Designs

I contributed to this exhibit for Metrie Interior Mouldings & Doors which was on display at KBIS in 2015. By creating a detailed drawing package, this display was perfectly executed on a tight deadline, just in time for the show. Design by Amanda Forrest Design

Listed below 3 tips on how to achieve an organized, well-thought out design from start to finish.

Initial Site Measure – Learn the space. Get a feel for the layout, how it’s being used and what you intend to do with it. Take note of all of the plumbing & electrical, as well as any other feature that could impact your Design. Get yourself a good quality laser measuring tape (I use THIS one) as well as a manual tape to get the most accurate dimensions. It doesn’t hurt to double or triple check your measurements if you’re ever unsure of something. Better safe than sorry!

Design, design, design – This is the process that often takes the longest. Prior to presenting to the client, a design can go through many transitions before landing on the one. Be patient. While doing revision after revision may seem annoying and often a bit redundant, it’s simply part of the process. Inspiration may sway your initial plan and you may have to start from scratch – it’s all trial and error.

Note the Details – My motto is the more information you include, the better. You’d be surprised how quickly contractors will play to blame game, if information is incorrect or missing from drawings. Make sure to note every tile specification, every paint colour, every piece of trim. Look over your drawings multiple times before sending them off for approval. The devil is in the details!

So, are you a Designer who uses AutoCAD? What are some of your tips on how to execute a successful design? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and let me know!

Thanks for reading!



Brunch With Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of touring the showroom of Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry. I have been stalking following Bloomsbury Kitchens on Instagram for quite some time now, so when I saw they were hosting  a brunch I knew it was a good opportunity to finally visit their showroom. It’s always important to get out and see new vendors whose work you’ve admired but actually haven’t yet worked with. It’s a chance to see what they have to offer, feel their products and meet the faces of the company. This industry thrives on the relationships you build with your suppliers, so it’s imperative you put in the effort to pay them a visit. 


Bloomsbury is one of perhaps a handful of companies left in the city that practice the true art of luxury Millwork Craftmanship. They specialize in English-style framed style cabinetry that is built in the style of fine furniture. There is absolutely nothing standard about this company. Their level of service is custom-tailored to each individual project, allowing a truly one of a kind experience for their clients. They stand out from competitors by offering the utmost highest level of quality materials & finishes, and their impeccable attention to detail. Each unique project is given a dedicated Designer who oversees the project throughout the entire process, providing expert advice & creating beautiful functioning spaces custom designed for the clients’ needs.


Little details such as this false door / touch latch drawers elevate the design of this Kitchen display in their Newmarket showroom.

To say Bloomsbury takes quality seriously would be a huge understatement. There are inspirational quotes from notable figures posted throughout their warehouse, which goes to prove just how much they instill quality into their workmanship. 

Some seriously gorgeous corbels ready for installation! 

This walnut counter surface is certainly a showstopper. 

One aspect I truly love about Bloomsbury’s designs is their ability to seamlessly conceal appliances within the cabinetry. 

These custom built serving trays makes coffee delivery a breeze! Photo Cred: Bloomsbury Design Instagram

This gorgeous exhibit is currently on display at the Toronto’s National Home Show. Go check it out from March 10th-19th!

Bloomsbury caters to the higher-end clientele and are passionate about creating elegant , functional, timeless cabinetry for their clients’ homes. They service homes all over the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, offering their highest level of service to every project they take on. If you are in the beginning stages of designing your Kitchen, have a look at the Bloomsbury website & see the Bloomsbury difference for yourself. They have 2 beautiful showrooms within Toronto.

Thanks for reading!