The Pinnacle

Recently I had the opportunity to do more work for people who have been clients of mine for the past 7 years. I helped them with their first condo at Maple Leaf Square in Toronto:

and then was contracted to do their second one at The Pinnacle:

This time I was asked to repaint the main living area and master bedroom/closet since it had been 7 years and it was time for a change. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Quicksand for the main are and Castke Gate for the bedroom.

The next part of the project involved removing the wall to wall carpet in the master bedroom and closet which was badly worn. We discussed buying more of the hardwood that was throughout the rest of the unit and carrying that into the bedroom and closet.

In the discussion, the idea of tiling the area came up, which they seemed to really like. I agreed to doing the tile as long as we picked a tile that would be elegant and warm and not look like bathroom tile. I had never tiled a bedroom before, so I was a bit apprehensive, but thought, hey, why not? We chose a beautiful gloss 12X24 tile which would be laid in an offset “brick” pattern.

It was a fairly big job as we had to move out all the furniture out and disassemble the closet organizing units so they could also be moved out. Then once the tiling was all done, everything had to be moved back in and re-assemled.

A lot of work but in the end, I love how it all turned out:


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Wood and Pipe Bar Table

Furniture pieces made from wood and gas pipes has become a huge trend as people gravitate towards a more casual, rustic and vintage decor style.

I’ve seen tables, islands, book cases, beds, all made from wood and pipes.

I’ve worked with wood and pipes in the past and always loved the look, style and simplicity. The ability to easilly cutomize the piece to fit your needs and wants is a big advantage. It’s also a very cost effective way to make furniture.

Here’s a couple of things I’ve made in the past:

I decided to make a counter height “bar” table for myself.

In sourcing the materials, I knew I wanted solid oak and I found that if I put 3 oak stair risers together, it gave me almost the exact dimensions I wanted for the table and at $17.99 each, how could I go wrong.

So 3 stair risers side by side, a piece of oak 1X3 on each end and a piece of oak 1X2 all around the bottom edge to give a “chunky” look was all I needed. After the top was together and sanded, I took my Rockwell Sonicrafter and gouged the edges and top to give it a distressed look. Then I stained it in Jacobean from MinWax.

The pipes, which come in galvanized or black and are available in many sizes, came from Lowes and Home Depot. I chose 1″ black pipes to achieve the right scale and not have the legs and frame too thin or too thick.

The result is a vintage distressed bar table that fits the space perfectly. Now to find stools……….


Posted in Space Saving Furniture, Woodworking | Leave a comment

Aspen Springs Kitchen Reno

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….Ikea gets a bad rap which simply, isn’t fair.

I recently did an Ikea kitchen install and I can tell you first hand, that the quality of their kitchen cabinetry rivals and in some ways exceeds many of Ikea’s competitors kitchens.

Easy to plan online, easy to assemble, easy to insall, easy to customize.

With a wide range of finishes and sizes available, it is also easy to find exactly what you like and need.

Here are some photos of the old original outdated kitchen:

When we arrived, the clients had already removed all of the old cabinetry ( a great way to save time and money):

And here is the new, modern kitchen – new cabinetry, new farmhouse sink and faucet, a new stainless range hood, a new white subway tile backsplash and a fresh coat of paint:

This dark, outdated kitchen is now bright, clean and modern!



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Mid Town Basement Reno

Here’s another basement renovation completed a while back.

This one was a lot of work as we needed to relocate and change a 2 piece bath to a 3, relocate the laundry and add a bedroom.  This meant gutting the existing finished basement except for a couple of walls, digging trenches to lay the new drains and running miles (seemed like it anyway) of new plumbing and electrical.


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Richmond Hill Basement Reno

Here is a basement reno we completed. It was not without it’s challenges, but these renos rarely are.

Under staircase storage with door (complete with a cat door), a cedar lined built in bench, a roughed in 3 piece bathroom with a pocket door and a laundry closet that houses stackable laundry machines and a laundry tub.

The built in bench saved us the expense of moving the furnace drain while enabling us to move the adjoining wall back almost 2 feet, opening up the staircase.


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1940s fireplace makeover

I spent my summer doing a massive renovation of a 1940s mid Toronto semi detached home; basement renovation, all new hardwood flooring, new stairs, new lighting, all new baseboards and trim and painting.

Here is the first of a few posts about this project. This one deals with the living room fireplace.

I hated this fireplace from the day I walked in, I found it heavy, tacky and outdated and I new that once the new hardwood flooring was installed, it would look even worse and completely detract from the beauty of the new space.

The clients let me “go to town” and do whatever I felt was needed to bring the fireplace up to date while still giving it a classic look.

We added a new surround, new mantle, new tile, some decorative trim and a fresh coat of paint and the result is stunning (if I do say so myself haha)

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Building custom storage

It seems as though storage is always an issue whether in a condo or a house. This is especially true of older homes built at a time when people had very few possessions and closets were small and scarce.

Older homes are amazing in terms of character and charm but typically don’t meet the storage needs of most people these days.

Recently, we designed and built some custom storage cabinets for some clients I had done work for in the past. They needed storage in a future nursery and storage in their family room for books and toys.

The challenge in designing storage solutions is making use of every available inch which very often means that store bought ready made solutions won’t work and custom built is the only way to make use of all the available space.

In this case, each wall unit design had it’s own challenges to deal with; 2 old radiators (one that was staying requiring a removable rad cover and one that was being removed), a high vaulted ceiling and a window that was off centre.

These wall units were all built pretty much the same way. On site, using IKEA upper kitchen wall cabinets, melamine shelving and lots of trim.

Have a look at the process below:

Posted in Closets and Storage Solutions, Custom Desks and Wall Units, Wallpaper, Woodworking | Leave a comment