Tag Archives: my work

Around the House // The Sun Room

‘Around the House’ is a little series intended to document the (slow) decorating progress in my own home . Like most people, decorating my home is an organic progress -adding and tweaking, as the need arises or inspiration strikes. No big bang reveals here…this is real life. 

When we moved into our home two years ago, there was an awkward room off the kitchen.  I say awkward because it is a very small space (only 7′ wide by 11′ long) with 4 windows and a bay window (!).  The two previous owners had used this space as a dining room but the space was way too narrow for a proper dining space.  See?

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DECORATING TIP:  Ideally, you should allow 36″ between the walls and the dining room table (or other furniture) to allow chairs to be pulled out easily. 

Here is how the space looked when we moved in.  Already a little better with all the furniture removed.

Sun room before

This was the view from the kitchen:

Sun room from kitchen

After living in the house for a while and discovering how we use the space (occasional eating, lots of colouring/crafts, some reading and relaxing), we decided to build a bench under the bay window using IKEA cabinets for built-in seating.  I won’t give you the step-by-step, but if you’re interested in DIY’ing a bench using IKEA cabinets there are plenty of tutorials online (we used this one). Oh – and that’s the royal “we”. My husband did all the construction.

Bench building

Once the bench was installed I had a firm 3″ bench cushion made in a super-durable denim coloured fabric and added several Sunbrella cushions (kids + spills/crumbs/markers/paint requires stain resistant fabric!)

Two weekends ago I decided it was finally time to get rid of the beige walls.  The honey coloured floors, in combination with the beige walls and sometimes harsh afternoon light, made the room way too yellow for me.  The beige had to go.

Inspired by this bright and airy sun room by Emily Henderson, I decided to go with a cooler palette, to give the room a fresh and breezy vibe. I selected Benjamin Moore’s Mt. Rainier Gray from their 2014 Colour Trends palette. A soft bluey-gray.

Sun room 7

Doesn’t the blue make the white trim pop?!  So refreshing.

Sun room 2

The room gets a TON of light and as a result, plants do very well in here. My fig tree has sprouted about 2 feet since I bought it. Now I’m trying my hand at succulents.

Sun room 4

Sun room 5

Sun room 3

I’m much happier with the “finished” space. I use quotes because I’m already planning on switching it up in a month or two once our littlest guy starts crawling. Since the room is right off the kitchen I think it’d be great to use as a small playroom so I can keep an eye on him while working in the next room.

And since I love a good Before + After, here you go:

Sun room before

Sun room 6

 One day of painting was totally worth it.

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RELATED POSTS:

 

Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 2

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

I am finally sharing one of my favourite projects to date!  Here is the full reveal of the bright and playful little girl’s room I mentioned last week.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

The drapery fabric was really the jumping-off point and inspiration for the rest of the room.  It is a bold, colourful, and playful floral, perfect for a young girl but will be able to transition with her over the coming years. I then paired it with several other smaller geometric fabrics, to pull the room together.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Knowing my clients appreciate artwork, especially pieces with meaning for them, I suggested a few special pieces for their daughter’s space, including: a customized ABC name print; her first bikini framed (sooo cute!); and last but not least I painted a series of canvases (inspired by the drapery fabric) for over her bed.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Toronto-based photographer Nechama Laitmandid a newborn/family session in this room. The amazing light and bright colours provided a perfect backdrop. Here are a couple photos from that shoot:

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I’m really happy with how this space turned out and I think the little resident is too!

I believe the room will grow with her over the years, with slight tweaks here and there. Maybe a bunk bed? Probably a desk.  Time will tell.  In any case, the bones of the room are solid. I love working with this family as they give me a lot of creative freedom and really welcome my expertise. Little sister’s room is in the works, stay tuned.

A few sources:

P.S. If you missed the first post about this project, click HERE to view the inspiration design board and “Before” photo.

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Image credits: 1-11 Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor, 12 & 13 Nechama Laitman Photography

Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 1

When my good friends were pregnant with their first daughter (gender unknown at the time), I designed a serene gender-neutral nursery, which suited them all perfectly (see it HERE).  But when the time came to design their daughter’s room in their new custom home, we decided to go a little more girly and fun, with the requirement that the room be able to grow with her over the years.

Here is the space mid-build (so big and bare!):

Mid-reno | Inspiration for DecorWith bright, playful, fun, and girly (but not too girly) as my direction, I sourced this vibrant and colourful fabric which became the jumping off point for the rest of the room:

Tonic Living Tempo Salsa | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Tempo Salsa fabric, Tonic Living

The bright pink, orange, purple, and green hues gave me so many options for coordinating fabrics to pull the room together using existing furniture, rug, and lighting. For the walls, I chose a soft blush pink that wasn’t too over the top.

Inspiration board for a bright and playful girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

It took me a while (too long) to photograph this project, but I finally did and am excited to share. I’ll be back later this week with the full room reveal, but in the meantime here’s a sneak peak:

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

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Images: Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor

decorating a small rental bedroom – reveal part 1

Since posting about my decorating plans for our small bedroom, I’ve received a number of requests to share some updated photos.  Though it is still a work in progress, here is a sneak preview of our bedroom thus far.

If you recall  this post from a few weeks ago, here is the inspiration board I put together:

I’m on track with the overall look, however I’ve decided to forgo the parsons desk since it’ll be a tight squeeze.  Although working from my kitchen table isn’t ideal, I do like the walking space we currently have around the bed.  Your bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary to relax and be comfortable, right? So the desk is out.  In more exciting news, the most recent addition to our room are the fab LOVE pillows from Lush Designs in Greenwich Village.  Fresh off the plane from London (thanks Mom!!)

Since you can’t see it in the shot above, here is a shot of our Moroccan-style pendant:

I’m pretty happy with the results so far.  Especially since this is what we started with:

Next up on the bedroom to-do list:

  • Rug for next to the bed
  • Lined linen drapes to cover-up the vertical blinds (we aren’t allowed to take those down)
  • Decide on art for walls

Stay tuned for a final reveal!

 

UPDATE: Today I’m participating in the ROOMSPIRATION blog link party. For more inspiring master bedrooms, click HERE!

 

nursery for a baby girl

A couple weeks ago I shared a nursery design board I made for a recent project. Today I am pleased to show you some photos of the finished room!  Initially, the design of this nursery was gender neutral. My clients didn’t know whether they were having a baby girl or baby boy, so the main elements chosen would suit either gender.  The starting point was the artwork, which I found via the nursery of a friend.

{How darling are those little babies? A wee girl AND boy!}

So with this colourful and modern piece of art chosen, we decided to keep the pale blue colour in the office (now nursery), which we had originally chosen several years back when my client moved into their home.

As for the furniture, we went with solid hardwood made by College here in Canada (though rumour has it some of their lines will soon be coming from China). Some good features of this line are (1) the dresser/changer can be used for years down the road since once the change pad is removed, it simply looks like a great modern bedroom piece, (2) the dresser has tons of storage, and (3) the crib converts to a double bed.  Tip – when selecting furniture and accessories for your nursery, consider that your newborn won’t be an infant for long! Think long-term and select pieces that can grow with your child.

Although this room started out as gender neutral, I had a few errands to run once the baby (girl!) was born.  I accessorized with a few hits of pink (rug, pillows, etc.) that can be taken into her big girl room once the nursery is needed for the ‘next one’.  No pressure guys.

Just kidding. This wasn’t their office.  But I did a very bad thing and forgot to take a “Before” shot.  You get the point – it used to be a home office  and now it is this serene nursery….

Sources:

1. Crib & dresser, Offspring by College, available at baby retailers across Canada

2. Glider, Dutalier, available at baby retailers across Canada

3. Side table, Martini by West Elm

4. Shelves, Ekby by IKEA

5. Artwork, Birds in a Tree by Dwell Studio, available at baby retailers across Canada

6. Pendant, BLVD Interiors

7. Mirrors, DeSerres

8. Rug, custom, available at baby retailers across Canada

9. Toy bag, Three Sprouts, available at baby retailers across Canada

10. Accessories, most from Home Sense

(images: 1-Short & Sweet Photography, all others by me)