I have a confession. I love hardware. Pulls! Knobs! Levers! I have a serious need-to-see-professional-help kind of obsession. Hardware truly is the jewelry of any space. It’s the finishing touch that can pull your final design all together. With so many beautiful finishes to chose from, it’s almost difficult to decide from the sheer variety of styles that exist today.

Here are just a few of my favourite go-to selections that I’ve been loving lately!

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1. Nanz Studio Line #8490 Pull  2. Amerock Round Knob Reflection   3. Rejuvenation Bristol Knob  4. LA Hardware Brushed Nickel Square Ring Pull    5. Anthropologie Eclipse Pull  6. Anthropologie Blocked Marble Knob 

Here are some more photos where the hardware was the star of the show!

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Photo by La Dolce Vita Blog

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Photo by Alice Lane Home Collection

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Photo by Julie Blanner

Comment below & tell me what your favourite type of hardware is!

xo.

L.

I started my career in Kitchen & Bath design, so I’ve designed my share of custom vanities. I love being able to execute a unique design, while meeting the practical needs of the client. I just adore how each vanity I’ve designed within the past 9 years has it’s own process, style & relates to the rest of the bathroom design.

Linked below are some beautiful vanity designs I’ve pinned recently, they are truly breathtaking!

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How gorgeous is this over-sized countertop? I love the drama it provides, and the symetrical layout of the drawers below. Design by Tamara Magel Interior Design

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Waterfall countertops are an easy & classic way of adding a contemporary touch to your bathroom. I love the slab walnut drawers with simple cutouts in lieu of actual hardware.
Design by StudioMcGee 

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I love this furniture-style vanity in this soft grey finish. It’s a tad traditional with its applied molding details, but the simplistic slab drawers add a bit of interest!
Design by Jodie Rosen Design

Contact me to design your custom vanity today! I’m kind of a pro 😉

xo.

L.

I’ve been fortunate enough to run my own business as a freelance Designer since 2013. Never in a million years did I think that this is what I would be doing, but I’m so glad that I am! I didn’t expect to be working for myself so quickly when I first moved to Toronto, but I instantly learned that being a freelancer is the new normal here. In just 3 short years I’ve been able to work for several talented Designers within the GTA.

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Photo by Thomas Zitnansky

I’ve created this list of my best tips on how to succeed, flourish as a small business owner and gain a slew of new clients!

  1. Create your business identity – I know it’s such a cliche thing to say, but understanding your identity before you venture off is crucial for your business. Who are you? What is your business? What do you stand for? What types of services can you provide? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself as a business owner. Once you’ve established your identity, make your presence known through the use of social media & networking to get your name out there.
  2. Charge what you’re worth – Freelancers either charge what they’re worth or they don’t. Most often, they don’t. When you’re first starting out, it’s difficult to gauge your worth. This knowledge comes with experience, talent and exposure. Once you establish yourself and are confident in your talent, re-evaluate your rates & charge accordingly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with increasing your rates every year or so, as long as you have the talent & knowledge to back it up.
  3. The Power of ‘No’ – If you are far too busy for another client at the moment, it is completely ok to tell people ‘No’. This was very hard for me to do the first couple of years. Naturally, I’m a people-pleaser. And when your name is on the line, you don’t want to disappoint your clients. However, it’s not healthy to burn yourself out. So if you have too much on your plate, take a step back and prioritize your clients & take on the jobs you feel best reflect you and your brand.
  4. Social Media Social Media Social Media! – Using social media can connect you to potential clients and partners within your community. I cannot tell you the amount of Designers who have personally messaged me on Instagram looking for assistance with miscellaneous design work. Post photos of your work, use tons of hashtags and tag your clients. Businesses, especially Interior Designers use social media every day to showcase their work, so use all platforms to get your name out there!
  5. Plan your days ahead – I spend my Monday mornings planning for the week ahead. I check all emails from the weekend, look at projects that require immediate attention and schedule any meetings throughout the week. Carving that time out every week keeps me sane, and allows me to take control of my schedule. While planning, I make sure I balance my time evenly between all of my clients so everyone is happy.

 

Following up to Part 1 of this post, I wanted to share some of the details of our wedding day.

Given that I’m a Designer, I felt mad pressure to have a gorgeous wedding. However, because  our Wedding Planners at Mastronardi Estate Winery doubled as Decorators, they made the entire process incredibly easy. I gave them an idea of which colours, types of flowers and place settings we I wanted, and they ran with the rest. We were so pleased with all of our my selections, and how everything tied together so seamlessly in the end. I joke that I made most of the decisions in terms of decor, because as most men, Kamil would sit silently in the meetings with glazed eyes, waiting for it all to be over.

Below are some photos of our beautiful day!

IMG_(492)We wanted simple chocolate and vanilla cupcakes as our cake. The topper was inspired by THIS shop on Etsy, and our cake-decorator recreated it for $15!  

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I spray painted an E and K gold for the guest signing table, picture frames were from Dollarama (Can you believe it??). Our guestbook was a cheeseboard made from a slab of applewood!  

IMG_(488)   Our seating chart was a piece of cork which I upholstered with inexpensive fabric from Designer Fabric Outlet. I popped it into a frame I found at Michaels for $11! 
IMG_(426) Kamil is a beer connoisseur, so we incorporated his love for beer with these customized bottle openers!

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I chose a mixture of white florals for the bridesmaid bouquets, and my bouquet consisted of white peonies with pops of pink and blush toned roses.

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My dress was Vera Wang, and Kamil’s suit was from Calvin Klein.

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Our gorgeous wedding party! The men wore Calvin Klein slim-fit suits in charcoal grey with classic black ties. The women wore dresses of various designers in different styles & colours, with simple nude shoes.

Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing. I think the colours, finishes & textures we chose photographed beautifully for our perfect outdoor wedding.

All photos by the talented Eddie Manuel Photography.

xo.

L.

Being condo-dwellers for a while, we have never had a proper balcony which we fully utilized and loved. Our last condo had a balcony that was approximately 40′ long, and only 2′ wide (it wrapped around the length of our condo). It was basically useless, because the space was so long and narrow.

After we moved to Etobicoke, I was so excited to see that our new balcony was a much more livable size. A cozy outdoor space where 2 people can enjoy a cocktail, or a quiet place to read.

See below how we transformed a regular condo balcony into our own little urban oasis!

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1. H&M Home Decorative Cushions   2. West Elm Wood & Lacquer Tray  3. Ikea Skurar Hanging Planters  4. H&M Home Outdoor Rug  5. Umbra Loft Patio Set 

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The trellis was constructed of 1″ x 8′ strips of wood, custom-made to size. Ready-made trellis’ were simply too small for the space. I love how these Ikea planters simply hook onto it, and are interchangeable.

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We already owned this patio set from Canadian Tire, but added the decorative cushions (H&M Home) for a pop of colour.

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Overall we are super happy with how this space turned out, and looking forward to spending many nights out here with a glass of wine (or six)!

xo.

L.