Concluding the 7 Days, 7 Bloggers, 7 Moodboards – Coastal Cottage Challenge

We have come to the end of our Coastal Cottage Challenge. I hope everyone has had as much fun with this as I have. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with such talented ladies and to see each one of our unique takes on this sea side style.

For those that have followed along, I hope you were able to gather some great tips on pulling off this look. Here’s a recap on all the fantastic designs and some of my favourite elements from each moodboard.

Day 1: Lynda’s studio design is definitely a space I could lose hours in. I love the wall art made up of a variety of paint swatches. It’s such a different and fun idea for art and is particularly well suited for a studio space. The shelving units on wheels would be ideal for a studio as everything should be easy to move around to accommodate projects of all sizes. I also like the contrast created in the design by the crisp, clean white sofa paired against the more aged and worn pieces.

Day 2: I couldn’t agree more with Lindsay when she said the desk really made the design. It is such a great find. The mix of vintage and modern elements makes this space feel as if it was created over years of carefully collecting the right pieces. My favourite elements would have to be the antiqued white shelf, blue shuttered desk, three leg table lamp and painted blue glass bottle. Beautifully done Lindsay!

Day 3: What I enjoy most about Rhoda’s design is that she didn’t stick with the typical blue-green colour scheme that the Coastal Cottage is known for. Not to say I have anything against this palette (as you can see by my own design), it’s just nice to see a fresh take on the Coastal Cottage style. The bold hits of red liven up the space, while adding nice contrast to the teal accents. The beautiful rug, which I believe was the inspiration for the space, helps tie it all together. If I had to choose a favourite piece, it would be the coffee table. I love it when random items are transformed into functioning furniture. It just makes for a more interesting design, don’t you think?

Day 4: What’s not to love here. The natural materials, glass accents and colour scheme really bring the beach theme to life in this bedroom design. The show-stopping wallpaper is definitely a great choice. The fun, bold pattern helps tie in all the colours in this design for a polished, finished look. Love your work Kristi.

Day 5: The mash up of items in this moodboard is completely what makes the design. Shannon says it best ‘When putting together a dining room, my rule of thumb is, always go for a more eclectic look – one style for the table, different style for the chairs and a mismatch of different textures – jute, wood, fabric, etc.’ I completely agree. When you go with a complete set you lose the element of ‘happy surprises’. Changing up the style of table from your chairs, or incorporating multiple styles of chairs can give your dining set loads of character, and more of a personal touch. Try it yourself and let us know how it worked for you.

Day 6: I said it before and I’ll say it again. Happiness is colour and LOTS of it. Rachel’s design is the perfect example. Here is another case where teal and red go beautifully together. While the design is simple and uncluttered it still packs a punch. The white backdrop allows the bold coloured elements (in a mix of modern and vintage) to set the mood for this summery escape. Oh, and I love the addition of the rain boots. :)

Day 7: My favourite part of my kitchen design is the addition of the window seat. I’m a big fan of bold patterns and great fabrics. More often then not, they are something that gets put aside when designing a kitchen because kitchens are usually more focused on the harder surfaced items. Whether it is a tablecloth, curtains, seat covers or wall dressings, I think there is a place in the kitchen for fabrics and the more you add, the cozier your kitchen will feel. The kitchen is supposed to be the heart of the home. Make it a comfortable one.

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this challenge. We had a lot of fun creating these designs and we hope this collaboration has helped you in creating your very own sea side escape!

Coastal Cottage Kitchen


Hey everyone, by now you have seen 6 of the Coastal Cottage Challenge Designs. Big thanks to all the lovely ladies that chose to participate. Check in tomorrow at any of the seven participating blogs for a detailed follow up of the challenge.

Today I get to post my design of a coastal cottage kitchen. For any of you that have seen my designs on Olioboard, you know I’m a big fan of turquoise and cool calming colours. If I had my very own sea side escape, this is how I would picture my kitchen.

I am and always will be, a big fan of white cabinets in kitchen spaces. I love the bright, fresh look they provide. The splash of colour on the inside of the glass upper cabinets adds a cozy, personal touch. With loads of white in the space I opted to bring in some nice warm wood tones in the counter top and flooring choices. The worn down look of the floor helps infuse a bit of age and character to the space.

The pendant is definitely one of my favourite pieces. I have used it before in my moodboard designs and I will likely use it again. It’s just such a great match for a cottage, or farmhouse design, both of which are my preferred styles. Anything with a bit of age and character tends to catch my eye.

A little while back we had a challenge on Olioboard to design a kitchen space for one of our members. In that challenge I designed a space with a large window seat. I loved it so much I added one to this design. The fun fabrics and printed pillows in the moodboard are all for that window seat. It just seems like the ideal spot to sit and relax with a cup of coffee while watching the waves against the beach.

The rest of the design was pulled together with great accessories, like the beachy glass bottles, the mason jar plant pots, beautiful ceramics from Heath Ceramics, and the cottage style chairs. Hope you like it. Let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to check in tomorrow at any of the seven blogs for the final wrap up.

7 Days, 7 Bloggers, 7 Moodboards – The Coastal Cottage Challenge


Hey everyone. Starting Monday the 15th we’re collaborating with 6 of our favourite bloggers to bring you the Coastal Cottage Challenge. Each blogger picks a room in the cottage to design and a day of the week to post about it. We’re bringing you seven completely different takes on the Coastal Cottage Style. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with. Follow along to learn great tips and tricks for pulling off this sea side look.

Here’s a look at our blogging schedule:

August 15
Blog: Focal Point
Room: Library/Studio
About Lynda: Lynda has done it all. She’s choreographed and styled fashions shows for Seventeen magazine, shops in Coconut Grove and for clubs in South Beach. She’s done window design, prop construction and styled window displays. She’s an interior designer who can help you on something as small as getting organized to decorating for a season or occasion all the way up to a major renovation. Her experience and passion for interiors make her blog a must for ideas and inspiration.

August 16
Blog: Living With Lindsay
Room: Home Office
About Lindsay: Lindsay, is a DIYer and home decor crafter with a zeal for budget decorating. She’ll see a great item in a store or online and create it at a fraction of the cost. If you’re creative hands are itching for a great project, follow Lindsay. She’ll point you in the right direction and give you all kinds of tips to help you out.

August 17
Blog: Southern Hospitality
Room: Living Room
About Rhoda: Rhoda started her blog back in 2007 on a whim. A lover of old things, vintage and worn objects, her blog is one beautiful image after the next of personal projects and amazing finds. If you’re like Rhoda and love putting in the extra effort to make a house a home, look no further. This blog has you covered.

August 18
Blog: Addicted 2 Decorating
Room: Bedroom
About Kristi: Kristi is a professional interior decorator by day, and a DIY fanatic and slightly obsessed blogger by night. In her blog she shares glimpses into her projects, whether they’re for clients or for her own home. Check out her blog for new interior decorating ideas, decorating tips, helpful articles, stunning photos, and great step by step instructional guides.

August 19
Blog: What’s Up Whimsy
Room: Dining Room
About Shannon: Shannon Fitzpatrick is a lover all things design, whether it’s design in the home or event design . She describes her style as “contemporary whimsy, with a hint of vintage”. What’s Up Whimsy is an extension of those two loves and a place for you to find loads of inspiration.

August 22
Blog: Fresh Home Blog
Room: Patio/Front Porch
About Rachel: FreshHome’s design blog, is a spot where the editors of FreshHome Magazine post their favorite design ideas, products and how-tos. Rachel is the online editor of Fresh Home. She’s always got a great project up her sleeve, whether she is rehabbing a dresser found on Craigslist for less than $20, or painting (and repainting) a room until she’s found the winner out of 80 different shades of blue-gray.

August 23
Blog: Olioboard Blog
Room: Kitchen
About Sheilah: I run a small web design company with my partner creating large scale social sites and web and mobile apps for our clients. Olioboard was our first attempt at creating our very own app. They say you should start with something you love and I LOVE interior design. Olioboard was created to help others (like me) experiment with their interior design side. For everyone who enjoys spending hours browsing home decor stores, dreaming of new bathrooms and kitchens over cars and clothes… Olioboard was made for you. Enjoy!

6 Steps to Successfully Design a Space: Step 1 – Get Inspired

These next 6 blog posts will cover 6 simple steps to approach a design like a pro. The best way to take any challenge on, is to break it into bite size pieces. So lets do just that.

Step 1: Get inspired
When you are looking to start a project and you’re not sure where to begin, start with a little inspiration from your favourite magazines, blogs and decorating shows. These are always great places to go to get the creativity flowing, but don’t stop there, inspiration can come from anywhere. It could be the colour of a handbag in a shop window or an old art piece you picked up at a garage sale.

I’ve found inspiration in the smallest of things, like owl shaped coat hooks or tiny coloured spice jars. You never know what’s going to end up as a starting point for a great design, so be open to finding inspiration anywhere. Another great idea would be to browse the Olioboard library for up to date products from your favourite stores as well as browse through our members Olioboards. If you’re looking for inspiration on any style or colour palette, you will find it there.

To make collecting items an easy and fun process, try out our browser uploader. You can use it to upload items from anywhere online to your Olioboard account. It’s a simple two click process and you’re ready to go.

Here are some great locations for inspiration

Collect, collect, collect
When you see something you like, take a picture or save it and upload it to Olioboard. Don’t worry about whether or not it works with the other items. The point of this exercise is to gather things you like, be it modern, traditional, hot pink or pastel blue. Collect anything that grabs your attention. You can always weed items out later.

Group your items
Once you have a good collection of items, create a number of olioboards by grouping like minded pieces from your collection together. I sometimes like to create one olioboard with multiple design ideas within it. It helps me quickly determine which direction I like the most.

Have a good look at your olioboards and see if any patterns arise from your collection. Maybe you’re really drawn to the colour royal blue or items that are from the mid century. Do many of your items have a clean line and simple approach to them or are they a touch more ornate? By really diving into your selections, you will start to see themes building from what you have gathered. This is the first step in determining what your style really is and when you know that, the rest becomes much easier.

Design 29: Nicolek’s Black and White Bathroom


Well guys, I didn’t quite manage to get all 30 designs complete within the 30 day time frame, but it was a great challenge none the less. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to stretch out of their comfort zone and explore their interior designer side.

Today’s design is for a very sweet Olioboard member, Nicolek, who has a husband that wants black walls in their master bathroom. She’s not a 100% sold on the idea, but he definitely is and since he never really requests much when it comes to the decor of the house, she would really like to be open to this idea. Her main concern is that she can’t see black as being romantic.

Challenge accepted. :) Nicolek, this bathroom design is for you. I hope it’s a design both you and your husband can enjoy.

I think black walls can work in a bathroom and still create a romantic space as long as you add a good amount of white or another lighter colour to balance it out. If your husband likes the idea of black walls and you’re not entirely in love with it, how about a little compromise. Try dividing the wall in half. The lower portion could be paneled and painted white and the top half of the wall could be painted black or done in a black wallpaper. I personally, would recommend a black wallpaper over black paint. The pattern in the wallpaper would help break up the solid dark space.

If you choose to go with a black paint, maybe try something that isn’t pure black, like a really dark, soft charcoal. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can also add items to the dark wall to lighten it up. Try an over-sized mirror over the vanity, like the one in the design above. Aim to get a mirror that is the same width of the vanity, to create a more balanced look. Add silver towel hooks, rails and crisp white towels. You could also consider adding wall sconces to either side of the mirror to help brighten up the space.

You can use the tile choice in your bathroom to further tie the two colours together. Get a combination of grey, black and white tile in various materials (glass, porcelain etc…) to create a more interesting vignette. Finish off your design with some great accessories that fit within the style and colour scheme of the space and you’re all set.

Design 28: Soft Violet Living Room


The last few designs have been focused on poppy colours and a more modern touch, so I felt like bringing back some classic charm for this design.

The sofa was the piece that inspired this whole design. I love the colour and elegant button tufted look. Once I found the sofa, the rest just sort of fell into place. Sometimes all it takes is one item to make everything else come together.

The clean simple lines of the coffee table, paired with gorgeously detailed legs, made this piece a winner in my books. It blends perfectly with traditional or transitional decor and the distressed brown lacquer finish adds a nice antique appeal.

The mid-century console table was another great find that works itself perfectly into the colour palette and style of the space. The beautiful curves that form the base of the console table make a dramatically chic statement.

Let me know what you think.

If you had to describe your style in two words what would it be? I think mine would have to be Country Chic. Not based on this particular board, but just in general.

Design 27: Little Monsters Nursery


I’ve designed most spaces found in a house for this 30 moodboards in 30 days challenge, but had yet to design a nursery. So here it is.

I like the no frills approach to this nursery. Not to knock frills or anything. They work for others, but not for me. This more modern nursery is much more my style. I like the clean lines and neutral colours of the furniture. It allows all the fun accessories like the knitted monsters, artwork and accent pillows to take the spotlight.

I also like nursery designs that work for both boys and girls. Who’s to say that girls like pink and boys like blue. As long as the space is friendly and inviting, it’s doing it’s job.

You may recognize the lamps from the last design. They are one of my new favourites. You can create your own by mixing and matching colours to fit your colour schemes.