Monterra Kitchen & Principal Ensuite

The Home Edit


I first met Ken and Frances when we both moved into the same neighbourhood 14 years ago. We became friends and over time, as the need for an interior designer arose, Room Service Interiors helped them decorate and refresh many areas of their home. As their children graduated, it came as no shock when they decided to downsize (a bit) into a more rural area and asked that I help them tackle some minor remodeling and get it ready to list by decorating/staging it with an eye to using as many of their own possessions as possible.


The homeowners were looking to update and refresh their pretty transitional kitchen and ensuite bathroom. The cabinetry was well made and worked for them in the kitchen, but all that brown…oy! It screamed “built in 2007!” Our design challenge was ensuring that these spaces kept their tether to the remainder of the home to avoid delineating between new and old. With the uncertainty of COVID newly looming, they understood that to secure a quick sale for their home, those two spaces were crucial for a great first impression and everything had to be in tip-top shape.



  • We brightened up the kitchen by respraying the perimeter cabinets, but left the island in the same warm mocha colour to connect it to the adjoining living space.

  • We removed the busy countertops, replacing them with a subtly veined quartz with a less fussy edge profile.

  • We removed the overly small pendants, replacing them with larger elegant pendants in keeping with the scale of the room.

  • We removed the brown mosaic decorative inlay over the range and brought in a marble floral tile mosaic that pulled the existing travertine backsplash and lighter countertop together.

  • Finally, we replaced the hardware and the dining light and topped it all off with new counter stools that mimicked the criss-cross of the pendant grillwork.

Principal Ensuite (updated shortly before the kitchen)

  • A makeup desk flanked by two very narrow vanities created a space where Frances and Ken were almost guaranteed to bang their elbows on the daily just to wash their faces and brush their teeth. Not a great way to start the day! It also meant that there was a complete lack of practical drawer storage.

  • We recommended they remove the existing vanity in its entirety and replace them with a more reasonable sized 36” vanity each, leaving plenty of room for elbows plus a good-sized bank of drawers in between.

  • The countertops were replaced with a brighter quartz for a clean, spa-like feel and topped off with a countertop cabinet that extended to the ceiling, adding another 60” of valuable storage.

  • The adjoining closet door was replaced with a barn door to allow more wall space for custom closet cabinetry.

  • We added a beautiful iron farmhouse ceiling pendant to replace the existing under-sized light and added new larger round mirrors and brass and matte black vanity lights.

Decorating/staging throughout the home

  • We selected a fresher paint palette for the majority of the home, using soft warm neutrals to allow the home to shine.

  • We designed custom window treatments for many of the windows, replacing others that were either sized poorly or didn’t hang well, and purchased ready-made drapes in a couple of the kids rooms.

  • Up-cycled some of their existing furniture and purchased a few case goods such as the chaise we used to create that cozy book nook in the loft.

  • Purchased many budget-friendly accessories and a few pieces of art where others had been edited out. Even though Frances is a talented painter, in some cases (like the Great Room) the scale of the wall was daunting.

  • Pulled adjoining rooms together through repeating our chosen palette with toss cushions and throws.

  • I placed each piece myself to ensure it aligned with the vision we had discussed.


I love that we were able to use many of the client’s existing cabinets and the majority of their furnishings by using careful editing. Unlike what many might assume about an interior designer, I am an advocate for repurposing and reusing where feasible. It can be a challenge to integrate existing pieces, but Room Service Interiors is always up for a challenge!


3.5 months