Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Hi there.  Just hopping in to wish you all a very Happy Easter.

I hope you spend it well with family or friends over a delicious meal and with lots of chocolate!

via my Instagram (PS those Oreo dipped cookies from Indigo are TDF and I don’t really like Oreo cookies!)

Oh, and if you click on the website tab above, you may notice that I have given the old website a bit of a facelift. (Well, with the help of Brittany who is awesome, by the way.)  I still have to go in and change some of the wording etc. but I think it is a huge improvement over what was there before.  The next thing is to move this blog over so that everything is in one place and not so cluttered looking as it is now.   So stay tuned!

Enjoy this beautiful sunny day friends!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Meandering

Good morning and happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. I had a wonderful one as my sister and her two kids stayed with us since they both had athletic events out this way. So fun!  They only live an hour away but we hardly see them during the school year.

Here’s what caught my fancy this past week:

1) Most popular pin last week.

2) And this one as well. I sense a black and white trend. Read more about the tiles here

3) Did you miss the bathroom reno I posted last week?

4) If you can’t reno, at least paint out those floral tiles!

5) He’s simply adorable, not bossy.

6) Looking for an affordable brass sconce?

7) I loved these glamorous interior photos when they were first published.  So sad to see now.

8) If I had a few million, I would restore a crumbling chateau built in the 1700’s in the south of France as well.

That’s it for today. Have a great week!

If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis(dot)com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Client Project: Bathroom Before & After

Happy middle-of-the-week!

I finished this bathroom project last year and just realized that I never shared it on the blog.

But let’s see the Before so that you can truly appreciate the After. :)

Yes, everything had to go!

(Note: the client didn’t want to hang artwork and it looked so bare above the toilet so I brought one of my prints from home. You would probably never lean art on your toilet like this but I thought it filled in the space nicely.)


I have used the roman shade fabric on a number of projects over the last few years. Still love it! It’s from Tonic Living.

The vanity is custom and painted in Benjamin Moore’s Deep Space.

The counter is Silestone’s Lagoon, the same counter I have in my own bathroom.

And one more last look at the pretty space.

Photos: Leah Kirin

Classic and simple is always the best route to go in a small bathroom, don’t you think?

If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis(dot)com

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Meandering

Happy Monday! Hope you had an amazing weekend.

We finally had a day yesterday that seemed like Spring was actually here. I dusted off the cobwebs on my bike and took her out for a spin finally.  Felt so good. Let’s hope the temperatures stay up there.

1) Speaking of bicycles, I love this photograph found on Etsy here.   In fact, I love all of her photographs and want one of each!

(It actually looks like my daughter’s bike (which I borrow when she’s not around) as she has a large wicker basket like this on the front.)

Also, follow my Etsy page if you are looking for art, pillows or other items to freshen up your home for Spring.

2) My latest pictorial for on “10 Spots Where Persian Rugs Look Best” is up.  You can read it here

3) Designer Brooke Harris was all over the internet last week. First I spied the gorgeous Brooklyn townhouse she designed here and the dining/piano room of the townhouse here.  Then I saw more of her work here. Very talented indeed.


4) My IG friend Erica (I’m sure you have heard of her) wrote this post re her quote that went viral.  Hear hear Erica!


5) My friend Wendy is spearheading an Interior Design Master Class where people in the industry can “make key business connections and discover how to unleash your marketing magic.”  I’m attending to support Wendy and some of the sponsors/brands I have worked with including Delta Faucet, JF Fabrics, QDesign, Switch Studio and my photographer Stephani Buchman.  If you are an Interior Designer, Decorator or Stylist, you will want to attend as there will be key info on getting published.  Read the details and register here but hurry as seats are filling up fast.

6)  Speaking of getting published, this has been one of my popular pins lately and I’m happy to share that this kitchen will be featured in one of my favourite magazines this Fall. So grateful.

Have a happy week! I’ll be back on Wednesday with a Before & After of a bathroom reno.

If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Decor Inspiration: 25 Neutral Bedrooms

Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I had my besties from university over on Saturday night and because of Earth Hour (did you participate?), the house was a wonderland of glowing candles. We actually kept them on all night as they cast such a pretty glow.  Also attended my daughter’s competitive showcase yesterday – all the dancers are so talented which made the four hour show not seem like four hours.  :)

When looking at my blog post stats the other day, one of my most popular posts was this one on Upholstered Headboards that I wrote almost four years ago.  (This was before Pinterest, hence the 50 links.  What a good blogger I was!  Also, ignore the wonky spacing.  Can’t wait to move to wordpress!)

Anyway, on looking back at the post, there are very few bedrooms that appeal to me now.  (Well, I’m not even sure if they appealed to me then as I had to go searching for these photos…remember how different things were pre-Pinterest?)  

I’m meeting with a client this week regarding decorating her bedroom so that it is more “serene and less chaotic” (to quote her) so I have been pinning neutral, quiet bedrooms.  I can just send her this blog link to start the conversation when we meet – I love when blogging and work go hand in hand.

Although I personally love colour and pattern, there is something about a bedroom that is monochromatic with lots of whites/creams/neutrals.  It’s funny how our tastes/preferred style changes over the years and you can see that highlighted in what you pin (and also what you  blogged about years ago.)

Here’s some of the bedrooms I am drawn to lately. All images via my Bedroom board on Pinterest.






























What keeps the rooms from looking flat are the textures – e.g. wool, linen, velvet, seagrass (or other natural fibre rug), wood – or a hit of black. It doesn’t hurt either that some of  these rooms have great architectural details.  They all have light walls – off-white, cream, grey which is an easy fix to make your room seem more calming. In my bedroom makeover, I painted the walls Para’s Andalusian (P5241-14) which is an off white with a pink undertone. It was a blah green before and just this change alone, made a world of difference.

Are you drawn to neutral bedrooms like these or do you crave colour and pattern?

Have a great week!

If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis(dot)com.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Meandering

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend.  I’m working like a busy bee on some fun projects that I can’t wait to share.  In the meantime, here are a few links, products, events etc. to share.

1)   I love the Spring because that’s when many fabric and wallpaper houses release a new collection. I’m smitten with the new wallpapers from Osborne & Little.

I’m using the middle row right one in a basement if all goes according to plan. The bottom two are so unique – they have a pixelated effect and look almost like needlepoint.  The mint butterfly one would look great in a girl’s room or a powder room.  You can see this new collection called Verdanta here.

2) The Spring One of a Kind show starts this Wednesday, March 26th at Exhibition Place.  I don’t think I attended either show last year so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new.  You can read my past posts here to see the calibre and variety of artisans that are at the show.

3) You know I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s work.   Her current home was recently featured in Domino magazine.  Check out her blog for the before and afters of her kitchen and loft space

Just goes to show that:


4)  Kristen posted this photo of art in a kid’s room by designers Sawyer Berson.  So inexpensive and easy to do but the impact is huge.


5) I’m taking singing lessons (yes, you read that right!)  Why should my daughter have all the fun?  This is something I have always wanted to do.  The first song I chose to practice is this one but this cover is pretty cool too.  I play it over and over while working.

6) Have you ever wondered what the laser cutting process looks like?  Watch this video. A former client recently launched this manufacturing company to produce modern laser cut stainless steel tableware.  All designed and made in Canada and available at retailers like William Ashley’s and the Art Gallery of  Ontario. Congrats Craig!  The pieces are beautiful!

7) And words to live by this week:


8)  My “pin it” button on each image and the share buttons have disappeared and my blog designer can’t figure out why. Probably because I had two people working on the blog.  So, I will be finally merging my professional site and blog into one site and moving over to wordpress.  So excited about that – stay tuned.  Have you done that successfully? I’m worried that things will get lost, eg) Lauren said she lost all of her comments when she moved over from Blogger to Wordpress.

Hope you have a happy week!

Please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis(dot)com to discuss your design project.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bathroom Wallpaper Source – JF Fabrics

Good morning! Happy first day of Spring. It doesn’t quite feel like it in this part of the hemisphere yet but we are getting closer.

And what better day to share the source of the floral wallpaper I used in my bathroom makeover here.  It’s from JF Fabrics, a Canadian company that has been around for over 35 years. 

And it is Pattern #1515 in the black/white/grey colourway from their Fresco collection which you can see here.  It also comes in six other colours.

I knew I wanted to add wallpaper to the bathroom to make it more interesting and if you clicked on the post with the before, you would see why. I love florals, as I’m sure you know if you have been following along for awhile.  I must have had a dozen samples taped to the wall for weeks and finally decided on this one. I just adore it - it makes me happy! And the colourway has more of a masculine feel so hubby likes it too.  Wouldn’t it look great on a wall behind a headboard too?

Above two house photos: Leah Kirin

And this is my family room across from the sofa. The chair on the right is in a JF Fabric. I had the chair custom made 8 years ago and the fabric I chose from another supplier suddenly became discontinued. I needed something that would ship quickly and had just seen these new fabrics from JF.   I wanted something that would wear well (as it’s the most popular seat in the house) and I loved the colour. It looks as good today as it did 8 years ago. (PS the original painting is from my fave local gallery – In2art.)

That’s one of the things I love about JF Fabrics. If I needed fabric today for a project, I could order it online (or in person as their showroom is 25 minutes from my house) and drive there myself to pick it up (but of course they deliver quickly too.)

The velvet on the custom chair in my hubby’s mancave (that isn’t really a mancave) is also a JF Fabric. And the pillow is in a John Robshaw for Duralee fabric. JF is the exclusive Canadian distributor for Duralee and I love their fresh and vibrant fabrics.

Oh and let’s see, my living and dining room drapes are also in a JF Fabric.  They have linen content but aren’t 100% so they don’t have that wrinkly look.  Again, I needed something quickly when the Steven and Chris show told me they were coming to film in 2 weeks.

Vanessa Francis Design

Above two house photos: K West Images

I also have spec’d them for many clients over the years.  Not only do they supply/distribute wallpaper and fabric, but also drapery hardware, trim and rugs.

Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram to see what’s new and for inspiration.  They just released new collections and plan on doing that throughout 2014. 

JF Fabrics is open to the trade only. So, if you need help with fabric selection for a project or aren’t sure how to pull a room together, please contact me at vanessa(at)

Enjoy the 1st day of Spring!

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