Category Archives: design

2011 Princess Margaret showhome

Yesterday my Mom and I drove out to Oakville to attend a “Design and Decorating” talk with Lynda Reeves of Canadian House and Home. Sadly, because I was traveling with my Mom, we were late and we missed it (sorry Mom, gotta tell it like it is). It wasn’t time wasted though, since we were still able to tour an absolutely stunning 3.9 million dollar home – the grand prize in this year’s Princess Margaret Welcome Home Sweepstakes. (fyi – Princess Margaret Hospital is one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, located here in Toronto)

Inspired by wine country and European-style villas, this 6,800 sq/ft home was exquisite top-to-bottom. I was a little snap-happy so let me take you through…..

Left (above) – a stucco facade with so many windows. You know it is going to be flooded with light inside.

Right (above) – a mature,tree-filled backyard. The patio is simple and understated. Light the lanterns, bring out a bottle of wine and a blanket, and you’re set for the evening.

Left (above) - not just a wine cellar, but a whole wine room! Not featured in these pics: 4 wishbone chairs around a wine-tasting table.

Right (above) - the laundry room is to die for. Laundry on one side, this expansive desk on the other, and a HUGE island in the middle. I would not mind doing any chores in here.

Left (above) - herringbone floors in a natural finish. Yum Yum. I also love the leather butterfly chairs. I can imagine a huge chunky thick rug moving into this living room in the winter.

Right (above) - I love this print by Toronto-based artisit Daniel Schneider. (you can purchase other prints in his Chandelier Series from Art Interiors – I think I saw this or a similar piece hung on a condo wall next to a dining table where there was no wiring for a real chandelier….great idea)

Left (above) - mustard cabinets, dark honed counter tops, travertine floors, ultra-high end appliances, and a French-country feel makes this kitchen a winner. Not with everyone though – as I was taking in every inch a number of other visitors came through and exclaimed, “Ugh! How 1920′s”…”I hate this colour”….”No, no, no”. Well, to each his own I guess. I bet they had no idea how much this kitchen cost.

Right (above) – a little breakfast work area – room for the espresso machine, toaster, a quick zap in the microwave, and open shelving to display your kitchen pretties.

Left (above) – one of the main things I liked about this house was the blend of traditional and modern. A prime example, this Bauhaus bench and modern art in the foyer, seen as you pass by into the traditional dining room and kitchen.

Right (above) – another fine example of the marriage of traditional and modern- the framed display cabinets (hardware showing which is a traditional design feature) and a modern sectional.

Left (above) – here you can see how much light floods into the home. Beautiful sconces flank the windows and I really really liked the iron work on the stairs.

Right (above) – an elegant little nook. I believe this would be the storage location for coats, as it was around the corner from the entryway. With 6,800 square feet you can afford to waste this kind of space.

Left (above) – an elegant bed and the linens were gorgeous.

Right (above) – the window treatments throughout the home were lovely. Many of the room use these seagrass Romans with decorative panels. This room had burlap drapes which was interesting.

Left (above) – this was the Master bedroom which, to be honest, I found under-whelming. By the time I reached this bedroom I was feeling like I over-dosed on Restoration Hardware. So much unfinished wood, linen, and burlap which really emphasized the rustic feel, but overall it was a bit too much. I really liked the rug though, it was so cozy on my bare toes and I was pleasantly surprised to see it was from West Elm. Seriously considering this rug for my living room now.

Right (above) – another blend of traditional and modern in the Master ensuite. The shower-made-for-two featured was a sleek glass walk-in (no doors). And look at that deep soaker tub. Oh yes.

Left (above) – this was the second kitchen. Kidding. This was the garage!

Right (above) – look at that organization! This special grooved paneling allows you to hang hooks and baskets where ever you need them. Ingenious.

That concludes your personal tour of the 2011 Showhome. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! If you’d like to see more, hop on over to the Canadian House and Home website where you can see a bunch of video tours and more photos.


Today, cancer affects us all. Current estimates indicate that 40 percent of women and 45 percent of men will face some kind of cancer diagnosis, so we must accelerate our mission to: CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME.

To support Princess Margaret Hospital and to help conquer cancer, click HERE.



(images: d.simpson)

now on facebook

Hello blog friends! Just in case you missed it last week, I wanted to let you know that I’ve set up a Facebook page for my business DAYNA SIMPSON INTERIORS.  But that’s it folks, no Twitter account.  As my son loves to say (in a high-pitched voice) “no, no, no!”. Not going there.

So hop on over to Facebook to LIKE me. I’ll be posting more thoughts on design, decor tips, and inspirational photos over there and you don’t want to miss out!

table and chairs for the little man

The time has come. Our little man has graduated from playing on his foam mat, to wanting to sit at the table like a big boy. Sigh…at 18 months he’s so grown up.  So I’ve started thinking about the next addition to his bedroom – a table and chair set for him to play at and get all creative.  I’ve done a fair bit of web browsing and have concluded that there is quite the range in terms of what you can spend. Luckily, the furniture is cute at all price points!

This first set has fun and modern lines, is handmade, and customizable:

[Available on Etsy for $270.00 USD by Jesse Dirk. You can choose the colours and stain!]

I love the colour and shape of the next table + chair set, but unfortunately the price is not as attractive:

[by notNeutral, $499.00 CDN at Modern Karibou]

The next is a modern little bench set with chalkboard-top and the one I’m leaning towards:

[P’Kolino chalk table with reversible top. Available in Canada at Ella & Elliott for $119.00 and in the US, at for $79.99]

Then of course, there is always IKEA:

[LATT table + 2 chairs for only $24.99]

There is no need for this ultra-affordable set look so plain and IKEA’ish – -check out this great DIY’d version from the The Happy Home:

So which set would you choose for your little one?


Last weekend while in Montreal, I came across a store with the coolest concept for indoor plants:

How it works: Flowerbox Gallery offers a selection of cardboard, ceramic, and stainless steel boxes, as well as specially sized plants and flowers to insert into the flowerboxes.  Then you hang it on your wall. Cool, eh?  Such a modern way to bring plants into your home! I can see this is a kitchen, a bathroom, a sunroom,…really the possibilities are endless.  I think a Flowerbox is especially brilliant  for apartment and condo dwellers where horizontal surfaces  space can be limited.

Every Flowerbox is totally customizable, from the box itself, to the plants you choose.  From succulents and moss, to mini orchids and peace lilies, they have just about anything you could imagine.  Depending on the plant(s) you choose, you would simply take the box off the wall to water, then re-hang.

Flowerbox Gallery is located at 440 rue St-Denis, Montreal. All other locations are in France.  Ok – so who will open a Toronto location for me?


(images: all by moi)

masculine inspired home decor

Reminder!  Tune in to CityLine this Thursday to see the ‘Home Day’ show I attended (it airs at 9:00am & 2:00pm on CityTV). I probably didn’t make it on camera based on where we were sitting but you should watch anyways for some masculine inspired home decor tips. It was/is a good episode!


Following the theme of the CityLine episode and in recognition of Father’s Day this coming weekend, today’s post is geared towards Dad.  By ‘Dad’ I mean a young hip ‘Dad’. Or maybe just a male. Probably a single male who wants a hip place. Like this:

With a bedroom like this:

And a bathroom like this:

Admittedly, ‘Dad’ probably isn’t going to live in one of these super stylin’ places. Because there are kids. And a significant other who controls all the decorating in the home. And most likely ‘Dad’ has been relegated to a basement man-cave (if he’s lucky).  So this was really a post for all the single guys out there.

To re-cap, a bachelor pad requires:

(1) leather, preferably distressed lived-in leather, (2) wood and chrome, (3) black accents or walls, (4) art


(images: 1-cityline, 2-b&b italia, 3-the brick house, 4-pinterest, 5-four hands, 6-elle decor, 7-apartment therapy, 8-design*sponge)


lust object: marble top coffee table

I have had my eye on a certain round marble top coffee table for some time now.  And after seeing these two images in the latest copy of Lonny Mag, I can’t seem to get this style of table off my mind:

Now, if money was not a factor, Design Within Reach offers up two iconic tables that would definitely be welcome in my home.  On the left, the Rubik and on the right the Saarinen (starting at $900USD and $2,100 USD respectively).

Ouch, indeed!

But have no fear. There is glimmer of hope for those of us who don’t want to break the bank to achieve the same modern look – CB2 to the rescue!  For a mere $349CAD (yes, they ship to Canada!) I could own this beauty:

Sadly, my living room simply isn’t wide enough to accommodate this coffee table between our sofa and the media unit.  Rats to a narrow condo!   I’ll have to keep this one in the inspiration files until we get our house.

(images: 1&2-lonny mag)


Welcome friends!  I’m glad you found your way over to my new web address.

I’ll be back later this week with some long overdue inspiration but for now, just a quick reminder to get you set up:

If you were already a follower, or want to be a new follower, make sure to click on the SUBSCRIBE ME! button in the top right-hand corner (or the RSS button if you prefer blog readers).   Even if you don’t visit my blog on a regular basis, this will ensure the latest posts are delivered right to you.


(image: via butterfly photography)