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Our House: June Issue Has Arrived!

April 29, 2011 by admin

The moment we’ve all be waiting for – the teasing is over, the befores are in the past – our house is published in the June 2011 issue of House & Home Magazine!!  Run, don’t walk to your nearest news stand and pick up a copy!


  1. Congrats to you and Sara on a job well done! It is quite the transformation and I’m loving all the patterns and textures. I’m a big fan of Hollyhock and D&A rugs and love the F&B wallpaper in the powder room. Question – how has the wallpaper held up with faucet splashes?

    Oh, and I think the photo with the hutch and plates should have made the cover – it’s that good!

    • Thank you Vanessa! That’s so kind! I’m so glad you like it, and yes, I guess it does have a lot of pattern and colour – especially compared to lots of usual H&H houses. I’m not a big neutral on neutral guy I guess! The wallpaper in the powder room is totally fine actually – the water doesn’t seem to spash too much so maybe that’s why and maybe because it’s sort of an occasional use type place. But I’ve always, always loved that pattern in that colour and I thought it was the perfect quirky place to use it.

      Well, I’m so happy it’s out in the world now and people can get a peek! Thanks Vanessa.


      • Thanks for answering my question! I tend to advise clients to do wainscoting a few inches higher than the sink in a powder room so as not to damage the wallpaper above. Good to hear it hasn’t been a problem.

        • That’s a good rule of thumb Vanessa. And if it were a washroom used by a busy family, I’m sure that would be wise. Plus a good way to save some $$ on that pricey paper!! Haha!


  2. Lisa Mackay says:

    Hi Michael, I have been lurking on your blog since you started and just had to leave you a comment to congratulate you on your incredible home transformation! I just devoured the latest House and Home and your home is definitely a highlight. I love how you broke up the dining set with paint – I would never have guessed it all came together (which is a good thing). And I think your entry hall may actually push my husband and I to finally paint our very similar wood trim white to lighten up the house. While I enjoyed the story about that amazing home in NY, yours spoke so clearly to our financial reality, and I think looked every bit as chic! Anyway, enough gushing – hooray for you and Sara! :)

    • That is SO nice Lisa! I’m really happy you’ve enjoyed the blog and I really appreciate that you feel a connection with our house and the scale and budget of what we did. There are so many people who want to make a beautiful home but don’t have endless funds to do so. But that does’t mean they should be stumped – there are so many things people can do with creativity, imagination and some elbow-grease. And I’m happy our house could demonstrate that a little.

      Keep reading – more ideas to come!


  3. Oh, no fair. My magazine hasn’t come in the mail yet. Hurry up Canada Post! I am looking forward to a budget savvy issue though. Nice for us thrifty folks to have a budget guru like yourself give us inspiration for our homes!

  4. OH I can’t wait to see it! Congrats MP!

  5. Julie Cloutier says:

    Congrats Michael and Sara it looks great – your hard work definitely paid off! I have similar dining room chairs (from Craigslist as well!) I was planning on painting white. Can you give me some details on how you did it? And what white you used?

    • Hi Julie, thanks for that! Painting chairs isn’t too difficult, but give yourself lots of time. First lightly sand the chairs so they are a little roughed up and not so shiny and slippery. Then use a high adhesion primer coat. Next apply two coats of latex interior paint in a semi-gloss finish. Oil paint is my favourite for trim and furniture, but it’s been discontinued by most (if not all) brands in Canada. You can also add a top coat of clear polyurethane to make the finish even more hard and permanent. To be honest though, with painted furniture you have to expect some chips and wear, so sometimes I like to sand down the very edges a tiny amount with steel wool or sandpaper so that as chips occur it just adds to the look and doesn’t drive me crazy. A light distressing is quite elegant and takes the shiny new edge off the painted furniture.

      Hope that helps!


  6. Kristy says:

    MICHAEL!!!!! I am freaking out up here in northern Ontario. I just got my June issue this morning and immediately sat down to have a look at your house. Where do I even begin….the kitchen, I can’t even handle the pale blue cupboards. This is the kind of stuff I love seeing in magazines because I never would have thought to do this – it’s so inspirational and beautiful. Also I love the Martha-esque aspect of the kitchen.
    Things I love (in no particular order):
    -the hex tiles and marble in the kitchen juxtaposed with the 50s-ish vibe of the cabinets (so glad you didn’t rip these out and replace with big box)
    -the exterior….what!!! was this garden already there? Love the vine and the garage/front door colour. This has totally made me rethink the plain black door I wanted to do on our house
    -wing back chair as office chair, I had been thinking about this for my office but wasn’t sure of practicality – do you like it? It looks amazing in a wild pattern like that
    -the twin beds and the layering of fabrics… the pillow cases
    -the flag in the bathroom I think is my fav, love that juxtaposition with the wallpaper
    -did you do the styling? Love all the flowers that were used, the veg in the kitchen, the little towel in the bathroom over the sink, stack of books in the guest room…..good work whoever did it.
    -the slip cover for your couch (it was dark brown before right?) also looks amazing, I would never know that was slipcovered

    I want more! I’m dying to see this pink bathroom you referenced. You’ve done so much I can’t even believe it. We moved into our house in May 2009 and haven’t even managed to paint it, let alone decorate. Although we have done the kitchen and the dining room is almost done. Right now we’re on the nursery – we have a little girl arriving in 2 weeks. I love seeing what you do (in your own home but also what you style for H&H) because your style is quite different from mine but I really appreciate what you bring – there’s always something really innovative, quirky, traditional yet not about your work. It really is inspirational. Congrats Michael (and Sara), it’s awesome!!!
    Old-Art History-Prof Kristy

    • Oh Kristy settle, settle! I’m so happy you like our place so much! I’m totally flattered. You and my other pros at Queen’s can take some credit for my decorating point-of-view nowadays because the historical decorative motifs have definitely made an impact on me.

      So glad you like the kitchen (esp the cabinets). I did NOT want to chuck them – I loved their vintage charm and they were totally sturdy. You’ll see on some houseandhome web tv videos that they have tons of storage (cabinets go all the way up to the 9 ft ceilings) and cool little storage features and built-in cutting boards etc. So paint it was and I’m glad I experimented with fresh colour.

      The garden – the shurbs were in place yes, but all of the perennials, the hydrangeas and planters etc were all us. The vines were an amazing story – they’re morning glories (which mysteriously didn’t bloom) and I planted them in the spring, attached to kitchen string and they covered the entrance in ONE season! I wanted the vines to soften the arch and create a romantic and mysterious English garden vibe. I think they worked well!

      Wing back – that was an amazing deal and came exactly like that from an antique shop in Maine last summer. It’s kind of low for a desk chair, so keep that in mind. But then I don’t write papers or mark all night long like you!

      Twin beds – I love twin beds and those sham covers from Urban Outfitters were the jumping off point. I feel like they’re a fashion re-interpretation of a 50’s kind of print and are funky enough to keep the room from being too cute. Can you believe they have an Urban Outfitters in downtown Kingston now?!

      Flag in the bathroom – it’s an old Canadian flag I bought for $1 again in a sketchy antique hovel in Kingston! Yay Kingston!

      Of course I did the styling!!! I’m a Style Editor at House & Home, what are you thinking?!?! Haha! Now that you know my styling style, you’ll notice it in many of the houses we feature in the magazine. I love lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in a kitchen and flowers and ferns in just about every other room. I’m always drawn to mags that tell a ‘lifestyle’ story and so I try to add this layer to our magazine shoots. It really makes you feel like you want to live there, and live that life when you flip through the magazine.

      And congratulations on your pregnancy! That is SO exciting!!!! Can’t wait to see what you do with your house some day. In the mean time, I’m happy to inspire!

      Thanks Kristy!


  7. Kristy says:

    ps-where did you get that giant jute/sisal area rug that’s in the living room (p.110), I need something quite big to layer with a cowhide for our living room. It’s tricky with that material because you never know if it will shed, smell weirdo, feel terrible, etc. and because of our location I have to order pretty much everything online – it’s hard when you can’t see/feel things.

    • It’s the PB something from Pottery Barn – totally affordable at $299 (I think) for an 8×10′ rug. I love the fringe it comes with an no it’s not stenchy, yes its totally soft and it is the perfect warm colour. I would highly recommend it! I’m pretty sure they’ll ship!


  8. Dayna says:

    Hi Michael! My June copy came in the mail on Friday and I read it cover to cover this past weekend. Your feature was the first thing I flipped to though :) Congratulations, your house looks A-mazing!! So much work but it totally paid off. I love that you kept the original cabinetry in the kitchen but updated it with a lovely colour and went all out on the counter tops. What a great look with so much character. What a beautiful home to be truly proud of.

    • Thanks Dayna! I’m so excited about people opening and reading their June issues and seeing the fruits of our labour! Trust me, we’re really happy with it and feel like its really comfortable and perfectly ‘us’.


  9. Janet says:

    Hi Michael,

    I just picked up the June issue of H&H and LOVE the showcase of your new home! So many great ideas and fab finds. Feeling much more ready to paint out our stair risers and banister now that I’ve seen the result at your place. One question — what colour did you and Sarah use in the den? Looks similar to the office but couldn’t find a reference for it in the article or back of the mag.

    Thanks in advance.


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