A Fabulous Before/After

We all love before and after posts, right?  I have a good one for you today!  I’m not even going to build suspense with a bunch of writing and the reveal photo at the end.  I’m so excited about this result that I’m just going to hit you with it right up front!  Here we go:

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We were working with a small, dark bathroom.  The main goal was to lighten and brighten the room, plus add some much needed storage.  Here is a look at our initial plan:


Here are some of the highlights:

To brighten the space, a sealed light was installed above the tub.  What a difference!  If you have the option to do this… do it!  All of a sudden this dark room is full of light!  The walls are painted a soft grey, and white subway tile is installed all the way to the ceiling in the shower area, and half way up the other two walls.  A band of glass tile wraps all the way around the room to add some sparkle and colour.


The vanity was an all-in-one unit purchased at Home Depot.  It is small enough to fit in a standard space, but provides functional storage with the three drawers. 

IMPORTANT DETAIL ALERT!!!  Check out the floor!!!  It is a 3x6 porcelain tile with a calacatta marble look, installed in our favourite herringbone pattern!   We adore this bathroom floor, and were thrilled to have a client that loved it as much as we did!


A wall niche was built into the shower and backed with the glass tile for a little extra zing.

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Another cool storage feature to point out are the picture frame medicine cabinets.  These ones were custom made by our favourite handy man, but you can order similar ones here.  And see the cute floor vent?  It’s from Costco.

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The simple shelves above the toilet provide more storage, as well as an opportunity to display pretty things!


I want to say a big thank you to our fabulous clients for letting us design, photograph and share their bathroom!

>> Posted by Carissa <<

If you would like to work with us to make your own space more fabulous, visit our website for details!


“Wallpaper is Messy” - The Story of a Guest Room Re-Design (by Marilena)

If someone tells you wallpapering is messy (specially if that said someone is your, ahem very-okay-with-messiness-business partner) believe them. They are not saying this because they are lazy, or they are secretly jealous that you will be enjoying a beautiful newly surfaced wall. They tell you this because IT IS MESSY, and, as someone kindly posted on FB: a true test to your marriage.

I did it by myself, so my marriage is fine.

Let’s backtrack a few months… 

My sister and brother-in-law were visiting from Brazil, and I thought that would be a perfect excuse to “finish” the yet-to-be-finished guest bedroom. I won’t go in detail about how that room came to be, but to make a long story short, out of the disaster of a basement flood, I decided to add colour to my oh-so-beige house and painted the guest room room Tiffany blue. When I say Tiffany blue, that is exactly what I mean, like Tiffany & Co blue box (as in Benjamin Moore Caribe Green 2042-50). I had this whole idea that it would be this beautiful room that would keep some precious jewels… sigh…


Instead it was ‘meh’, unfinished, like so


That’s when the idea of a wallpaper headboard came about. Well, the idea was actually to upholster a headboard, but I was too lazy to go look for fabric didn’t find any fabric I feel in love with, and I had this roll of wallpaper around. I went into full blown DIY mode, went to Rona - even the part with all the lumber and stuff – ha! Got myself these Styrofoam boards.  

Will wallpaper stick to it, you might ask? Don’t know, I guess we’ll see.

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After being warned yet again that it would be messy, I tackled the project.

Guess what?  IT WAS MESSY!!!  Boy, I thought about crying a few time throughout. I don’t think it actually took very long after all, but man the process was painful.  The seams are THE.WORST.EVER.  Seriously people; don’t wallpaper by yourselves, have someone around you can yell at.

Well, after all the pain and misery, this is the finished product. I must say, I don’t hate it. It is a lot better than it was before.


And it also made me want to hang some art up on the wall…


With everything else done, I was completely unhappy with the itty bitty lamps I had in there.  I went on kiiji and found The. Most. Amazing. Lamps…



This room is so me now!

I may need to convince my husband to move into the basement with me… or not (hahaha!)

>>> Posted by Marilena <<<


Behind the Scenes– #FabulousBS

As you may have noticed over the past few weeks, the blog has been transitioning from being my personal online journal to being our official business blog.  That being said, we didn’t want to eliminate the personal journal type of posts.  So we decided it would be fun to start a ‘behind the scenes’ series, which we have cleverly dubbed ‘Fabulous BS’.   

For the first instalment, I thought we’d give you a glimpse into what our day to day ‘businessing’ looks like.  I think there are some people {husbands} that are still unsure about what we really do when we’re ‘at work’. 

At first, we spent a disproportionate amount of time planning and setting up all of our branding materials.  But it was super fun, and we’re really glad we had it all sorted out before we got too busy to do it!  I should actually devote a whole post to the long story behind our business name… maybe next week.

On an average day, we often meet at our ‘office’ -the Starbucks close to M’s house.  Which I have to say was awesome… until I stopped drinking coffee!!!  Seriously.  Who does that.  Stops drinking coffee.  Not drinking coffee really sucks.  Ordering tea at Starbucks is just not the same.  But enough about that.    

We have a favourite table tucked in a corner by the window where we can spread out our computers, sketch pads etc.  


Now that we have a full list of clients we do a lot of sourcing / shopping.  We’re getting to know the local suppliers for lighting, flooring, countertops, furniture, etc… but that deserves a whole post on its own.  Lots of stories about that.  We make sure we know what kinds of treasures are at stores like Homesense too:

So far, my favourite part of the job is the client meetings where we present ‘the plan’.  A ton of client interaction happens before this point to work out likes/dislikes/wants/needs for each project.  It’s really fun to lay out all of the pieces and see how it works together!


Once plans areapproved and work starts happening, we enjoy popping in to see the fabulousness in progress!  This bathroom turned out amazing!  Before/afters coming soon!

That pretty much sums up our ‘work days’.   We have a lot of fun… it really doesn’t seem like work!  Oh yeah… we also spend way more time than we should trying to get the right angle on our instagram selfies to avoid double chins.

Check out #fabulousBS on instagram to keep up on our day to day adventures!


#saskmomfabkitchen: Week 3

When we first started ‘businessing’ we were advised to be careful about designing for friends. What if they hated it? Would they tell you?  Could this jeopardize your friendship?  So I was a bit nervous when we took on this project for one of my bestest of friends. Especially considering I knew some of the inspiration behind the project, and it was an emotional spot for both of us.

Last week Laura shared her connection with the colour purple and its significance to her life. I too, often find myself drawn to the colour purple and thinking of Laura’s little angel.  We were bump buddies, we had all the same doctors and my baby was born only 10 short weeks after Ava Faith.  Laura was there for me even then.  While I was in the delivery room, she was keeping my first born company in the waiting room.  I too needed to honor this baby girl.

Back to the project…  Thanks to Pantone making purple a designer’s favourite this year, it's a lot more popular.  However, Carissa and I weren't too sure about how we would incorporate purple into the kitchen.  It’s just not a very traditional colour for that purpose!  With help of CAD rendering we were able to visualize it, and we must admit that without the rendering, we were shooting in the dark a bit!  Check out the video to see how the rendering convinced us:


Here’s the mood board that we presented to Laura:


Along with the mood board, we brought samples of everything over to Laura’s house to look at in person, and ‘try on’ in the space.  The most interesting turn of events was the backsplash selection.  Each one of us had our own fave (I was leaning towards the 1” square mosaic and Carissa was rooting for her signature subway tile), but Laura surprised us by gravitating towards the pencil stripe!  Laura was so sure; she just grabbed it and said that’s it!!!  So cool when that happens!

The Capiz chandys were a no brainer. We held the other option up for peace of mind, but bleah, not even a contender. Capiz it was! Everyone agreed! No questions asked.

We had a little debate about the island chalkboard. Paint would be cheap and easy, but Laura, as considerate as she is, thought that it might have been too permanent of a feature. What if she got tired of it?  What if they moved and the new owners didn’t like it?  (Seriously, who thinks like that?)  My generous friend does… #lifelessons.  No problem! These wall decals are completely removable! Score!

The new faucet was also approved by all! So nice to find good deals like that!

So all of the selections are finalized, and Laura has her source list and design plan.  I have to say that this project turned out even better than I thought it would. I love the feeling of handing over a “Fabulous Design File” to a client and seeing the smile of empowerment that we helped create (#bestjobever). But I have to say that seeing that on my friend, it just made my day. Not only she was griming from ear to ear during our visit, but I also kept getting the cutest texts saying how much she loved it, how much her hubby loved, and all their plans for implementation!

This post concludes the #saskmomfabkitchen project from our end. Stay tuned for the DIY extravaganza on Saskmom.com and our shared hashtag on Instagram #saskmomfabkitchen. We will still show the final result, of course… as per Laura’s schedule, it should be concluded sometime this Spring! My hope is that by the time Lilacs are fragrantly blooming outside, we’ll come style this beautiful kitchen and have a toast in honour of an angel whose tiny footprints still find a way to touch our hearts.

>>> Posted by Marilena <<<


#saskmomfabkitchen–Week 2

A lot happened this week on the project #saskmomfabkitchen so this one will be a doozy!  Grab a coffee and read on.

The first step in our design process was to take the ideas from the initial meeting with Laura, and sort out the design priorities with the wish list and budget in mind.  We had to be very thoughtful about which kitchen finishes we could tackle that would make a huge impact with a modest price tag.  Here’s what we came up with:
- backsplash (Colourful, modern, fun)
- paint (She has a preference for purple... Can we make it work?)
- new pendants (Something with some sparkle… Maybe a chandy effect?!?)
- new faucet (Technically not on the wish list… but we thought that they needed a more stylish one!)
- dress up the island with some chalkboard (Fun for the whole family)

With started out by scouring Pintrest for inspiration:

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* See the full Pinterest board here.

With our inspiration shots in mind, we headed out on a little sourcing excursion. 

<<< Trade secret alert!  >>> If you are working with a tight budget or timeline, shop your big box home improvement stores.  The selection of stylish items at great prices might really surprise you.  We have found that the big box stores have really kicked it up a notch over the last couple of years.  Plus, you can take items home, try them out, and easily return them if they don’t work out.  Here are some of the items we scoped out for Laura:

We found several options, and since it's a relatively small area, we can splurge with some fun mosaics! But we also grabbed simple subway tiles, thinking we could maybe work in our favourite herringbone pattern?  And we couldn’t resist the penny rounds.

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On to Lighting.  We felt like we could tackle it two ways:
- Simply swap out the frosted glass shades on the current pendants to something more modern as such stainless steel.  This is the ‘cheap + cheerful’ solution.
- Bling it up with some fab (but inexpensive!) capiz shell chandeliers.  I bet you can guess what our preferred choice is!

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To the sales adds we went… and found this brushed nickel one, it goes with their kitchen hardware and has the look we were after for 100 bucks. Score!


Island chalkboard:
The simplest and cheapest solution would be chalkboard paint. However we found these decals that might just fit the bill!

Chalkboard Kitchen Wall Decal Sign Kids Drawing Board Peel and Stick Wedding (24" x 24") 1180 on Etsy, $14.99

Stay tuned for next update, when plans are unveiled to our lovely client!

>>> Posted by Marilena <<<


Project #saskmomfabkitchen

We are super excited to introduce one of our newest projects.  We are collaborating with Laura of saskmom.com, and this will be post 1 in a series that goes into all of the behind the scenes details of her kitchen makeover.  First, I need to tell you a bit of background on how this project came about.
Laura is a dear dear friend, my very first friend I made when I moved to Canada (even though she’s from Oklahoma). We met on cyberspace through her awesome blog saskmom.com.  I stalked followed her even before I moved here!  If you live in Saskatoon and have kids you probably have heard about saskmom.com… if not you must check it out! It’s fabulous!
Laura and her family live in a cute infill in a very hip neighbourhood.  As nice as their house is, it still lacks those personal touches, which has always bothered my very cool, bright eyed, colourful friend.  She intended to imprint more of her personality onto this builder grade home, however life kept getting in her way (doesn’t it always).
Part of the challenge is that her lovely husband, probably just like most husbands, is perfectly fine with things the way they are, because seriously, it looks just fine. He cannot justify spending loads of money replacing something that is good to begin with.  So… he has given us a budget of $500, and is willing to tackle any reno work himself.  Awesome!  We like challenges! That made us even more excited for this project! Here’s our blank canvas…
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Here is Laura’s wish list for her space:
- Add colour (maybe purples or greens?)
- New lighting above the island (her very tall hubby keeps bonking his head!)
- Backsplash

And just for kicks, the cute little helpers:

P.S. Laura will be blogging about her project too, so you can look for updates on her blog as well.
P.P.S. Follow along on instagram for more behind the scenes fun… #saskmomfabkitchen
Posted by Marilena


Back at it!

I can’t believe it’s been six months since our last blog post!  Ooops.  The good news is that we’ve been busy designing!  We have a bunch of client updates to share, and we have some exciting new projects in the pipeline. 

Rendering has become one of our favourite parts of the design process.  It allows us to see spaces to scale which is great for working out furniture layouts.  We can also ‘try on’ different colours and finishes to get a feel for how the room will turn out.  For today, here’s some sneak peeks at renderings from some of our recent projects. 

1.  Cozy Living Room:

Option couch plus chair2 

2.  Contemporary Family Room:

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3.  Contemporary Living Room:


4. Family Bathroom:


5.  Fabulous Closet:



If you would like to work with us on making your own space more fabulous, contact us through our website.  We’d love to hear from you!



Fabulous Design + Architecture

Big news around here!  After about two years of thinking about turning my design hobby into a legit business, it’s actually happening!  I’ve teamed up with my friend Marilena, who is an architect and loves interior design.  We’ll do the official intro’s in another post, but as you can probably guess, she’s fabulous!

the fabulous girls-9

(Carissa on left, Marilena on right)

Speaking of Fabulous… I took a design course last year, and it cautioned against using words like ‘Fabulous’ in business names because it might alienate potential clients.  Huh???  Marilena and I agreed that if anyone is not ok with Fabulous, then we definitely want to alienate them because #1 – they probably suck and #2 – they probably won’t like us anyways!

So the official business name is:

FD A stacked

We’ve been working hard on the branding, portfolio, website, and social media stuff, and the official launch is set for September.  (We spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about our launch party!)  For now, we thought it might be fun to start documenting our business adventures on the blog. 

If want all of the details, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest too!

photo by Cynthia Hernandez


Outdoor Spaces


Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.1  However, I am heading out camping this weekend!  Wish me luck.  Although, I probably won’t really need it with my parents’ gigantic motor home and all…  

In honour of the great outdoors, I’ve collected some favourite outdoor spaces.  Enjoy!

Outdoor Decorating with Color: Vintage Lantern Hangs Over DIY Live Edge Table by Kristin of  The Hunted Interior

HM outdoors summer 2013

Black and white looks classic and beautiful! See more fabric makeovers for outdoor rooms: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/porch/outdoor-rooms/outdoor-fabrics-and-rooms/?socsrc=bhgpin052513blackandwhite=2

best outdoor room ever

Outdoor room like this? Yes please!

* image sources are all linked on my Outdoor Rooms board.


1 – for anyone that knows me well… even the above statement is a bit of a lie.  Because of my stupid bird phobia, I don’t even really enjoy drinking on patios!!!  People really need to stop feeding birds bread crumbs and french fries so that I can enjoy summer a bit more!