Category Archives: My Home / Studio

An Ode To My New *Old* Entryway

When I first moved into my home four years ago, I developed a soft spot for the front door.

Complete with a janky storm door, it was original to the home and perfectly and in tact. It had this thin strip of retro bubbled glass down the centre, a circular knob, and a silver mail slit underneath, to boot.

Inside the entry, glass tile lined the wall and “terra cotta” vinyl peel and stick flooring covered the entry pad. The ceiling light was still the an original crystal fixture and the walls were bordered with wallpaper along the ceiling.

I didn’t love much about the original home, but I did love the original door.

Even though it had a sticky close, and even though opening the door meant opening the main door one way and the storm door the opposite, I had a soft spot for it. I can still remember turning the key in the lock the first day I got possession like it was yesterday. It was literally the doorway to a new chapter. One where I lived on my own and walked my neighbour’s dog, Boo.

Then I got my own pup Piper, and a new job, and new furniture, and life chugged along.

As with almost everything in my home, I first gave the door and entryway a mini-update with paint.

And although it was cute and sentimental, two thing is was not was safe or functional. The lock was just a push button and it let in the worst winter drafts.

So once I was able to swallow replacing it altogether (which for me cost more than usual given the strange corner returns and door dimensions of all of my doors), I hesitated.

It sounds silly, but I loved the original door.

So what did I do? I basically duplicated it (minus the storm door).

Normally when people spend money on a new door, the aesthetic upgrade has a lot to do with it, but for me, it wasn’t really the case!

This new door matches almost perfectly to the original door, with a few tweaks: I had to place the order while I was in Thailand, so my partner Mike measured it out and designed it for me (and yes, he knocked it out of the park)!

He chose the Iron Ore colour–which is slightly more muted and matte than old blue–as well asa the brushed nickel lever and hardware. My only request (other than aping the design) was to get vertical reeded glass to match the window nearby and to offer privacy.

Life has this tendency to go on, and while life has changed for the better, I still love that Boo walks by with his owner like he did years ago with me. And like it did with Boo, while the door changed, in a way it still feels like the same door I had when I first got the place.

Hope you liked this happy little home update!

x, S

My Happy Holiday Home Update

Just like us, our houses are a constant work-in-progress. And as life ebbs, flows and changes, so too does the home.

I’ve gone through a few big life changes over the last while, and my house has not been immune—neither has my wallet, but who’s counting? (Technically me. I am.)

We often think of home design as a tick-box list of items, but just because you bring something into your home doesn’t mean it has to stay—or that it’s the right fit forever.

A lot of the time, when people are unhappy with their homes, its because it’s filled with stuff, but not stuff they like. So if it’s not serving you, don’t be afraid to return it, sell it or hold onto it for another space!

Don’t think of your things as precious. They’re just things. If they don’t make you happy, find the things that do.

So without further ado, I’m sharing a bunch of photos of my refreshed space, all thanks to HomeSense! And, as always, Piper has the main seat at the table.

x, S Continue reading

I Got a Central Vac—And It’s Amazing

Pals, I think I’ve officially hit peak adulting: I got central vac installed in my home.

Call me Suzy Homemaker,—or don’t—but regardless of nicknames (Suzy Homemaker not among mine, for clarity sake), there’s something very rewarding and deliberate about having a home outfitted with a BEAM Alliance central vacuum system.

In all honesty, it wasn’t something I thought about in the first few years of home-ownership. My priority was replacing the roof and windows, then renovating spaces that irked me, and then decking the place out in furniture and decor I loved.

But jump-cut to getting a dog—one with black, white and brown fur, mind you—and suddenly a good vacuum became a huge priority.

I love Piper, but holy cow-dog does she shed a ton! Add in the fact that my entryway opens into my living space so I’m battling mud in the spring, grass in the summer, leaves in the fall and salt in the winter. Compound this with a massive real wool rug which sheds (and will continue to for another year or so), and I knew it was time for an upgrade.

While it worked great, I found my old vacuum kicked back a ton of hot air, and emptying it was a pain. I also found that my variety of rug fluff always caught around the turbine, so I’d spend a good 15 minutes each session with it upside down, cutting and pulling out strings. But this BEAM beauty comes with a carpet cleaning head which has a built-in razor (see that little blue-outlined button?) that cuts any strings that jam the brush roll with the press of a toe.

Elsewhere, the regular vacuum head works just peachy on my wood floors. But better yet, it’s super lightweight, so it’s not a chore to lug it out for a quick clean-up. And it’s half as quiet as other vacuums. Piper normally barks to high heavens when I vacuum, but she isn’t bothered by this one at all.

Overall, I’m really happy with my BEAM system and if you’ve been toying with it, it’s well worth it (and the installation was fast and painless, done by Etobicoke Service Centre Ltd.)! After renovating my entire house, it’s the cherry on top of a happy home for my and Piper. 🙂

x, S


Big thanks to BEAM and their team of amazing installers for making this possible. You guys rock.

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#SabrinasBathroom: The Reveal

At long last, my bathroom renovation is complete.

And before I dive into pretty pictures, I have to give big ups to my patient sponsors: Delta Faucet, Lowe’s Canada, Creekside Tile and Unison Home. (I’ve linked to all products below). If you haven’t followed along so far, take a pause and check out the whole series here first.

If I’m being real, my bathroom has been three years in the making. Upon moving in, this is what my bathroom looked like (above). Right away, I made a mini-update which mainly included stripping the wallpaper and painting. I liked the retro wall tiles, actually—still do—which made removing them bitter-sweet. But some were cracked, some were chipping and an update was inevitable. But I digress! Back to the first update I made: Continue reading

#SabrinasBathroom: The Home Stretch

We’re just days away from having a completed bathroom.

And it’s shaping up to be even better than I anticipated. (Did I mention yet how happy I am that I contracted this job out and didn’t DIY it?! ‘Cause I am.) But however pretty, true to typical reno form, it’s taken longer than planed for. Between some upgrades I made last-minute, a few changes along the way, and the inevitable complications of a 70 year-old home, we’re only about a week over my goal—which isn’t all that bad.

I’ve also changed my mind on a few things (as I typically do during a build, for the better). So without further ado, I wanted to jump right in and share an update. [But if you haven’t checked out the first two posts on this space, click here for the intro and here for the first process post.]

Continue reading