accessories Archive


Get Your Reno On

, Get Your Reno On

All summer you’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen or restyling your master bedroom and now it’s time to get your reno on! As exciting as it sounds, often getting started is the hardest step to take and if you don’t have the right team and a solid plan in place that dream makeover can become your worst nightmare.

Cheryll Gillespie, Get Your Reno OnStart with a solid vision and doable plan. Collect pictures, create a wish list, visit supply houses such as plumbing, heating, and electrical showrooms to scout available products and gather information. If the scope of the project is over your head (if you are not qualified trades people) hire the right team of professionals to help you with your project. Honestly, the finished product (your room) will not only look better but you’ll complete the renovation in a more timely fashion and you will save your self aggravation and potentially lots of money, as the cost of doing something twice because it was done incorrectly the first time has to be factored in. I strongly feel that home makeover and renovation television shows have given us a false sense of security with respect to renovations. It looks so easy and it only takes an hour.

At the very least, pay for a professional opinion at the onset of your project. If you don’t want to hire a designer to work with you on the project, then at least hire a really talented one for an hour or two to review your plan with you. Designers (yes this is a shameless plug) have seen numerous completed projects, been told the costs spent and have thought to ourselves “it’s too bad they didn’t hire us as we sure could have given them more bang for their buck”. Not only have we spent two to six years at school studying the science of design but we’ve got years of experience under our belts that we love to share with you, not to mention all the creativity and secret resources that we have up our designer sleeves.

With a rock solid plan in place, it’s time to start selecting your materials- don’t start with the paint in fact paint is one of the last finishes we select. A basic guide line is to start with the flooring and work your way up from there.

Have fun with the project, you’ll live with these new rooms for the next ten to fifteen years, so select the expensive and difficult finishes with care as you can’t change these easily. Throw caution to the wind and be creative and daring with accessories, art, wallpapers and even paint. It’s that touch of whimsy and a well-planned risk that will give your space its creativity and personality. Live fabulously and get your Reno on!

Creatively Yours,


It’s The Small Things

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, It's The Small Things

There’s not a lot of small talk in the design world about accessories. This I don’t understand, since these small but critical components of the perfect space are the adjectives of a room’s story- they describe who we are, where we have been, who and how we love. They make us smile, they spur memories, they can intrigue and even seduce.

Where do we get our accessories? The answer is simple: from every where! I never know where or even when I will pick up a new accessory item. It could be on a quick stop into a local decor store, a visit to my mom’s basement, while on holidays, at a flea market or an estate sale, an auction, during a nature hike or while traveling for business or on holidays. Literally, every where, as fabulous accessories are just about in all places. Near and far away from home offers the potential and opportunity to find the perfect accessory.

What constitutes as an accessory? A gorgeous photo frame, a glass bowl, a piece of art, antique bowling pins, vintage store front signs and letters, coffee table books, candles, clocks, even a piece of drift wood or a shell you picked up on a walk along the beach can be just the piece your room needs

How many accessories do I need? Good question and we often address the notion that less is more and educate how we can free ourselves from clutter in a room but accessories should always be evolving, changing and moving around as we do. We are continually switching pieces around the house, repositioning and repurposing as we find new items. You can think of it as upgrading so pieces that you tire of can be boxed and stored for future use, relocated to a summer home, sold in a garage sale, or donated to charity. Don’t over accessorize but employ enough to create a mood in the room.

How do I know what to buy? Buy what you love, follow your ‘designer gut instinct’. If it’s not perfect, leave it and wait for something that interests you and yes, accessories can and should,at times, whimsical or quirky with a sense of humor. At my home, we have a life size piece of wax sculpture that looks like a real male butler. “Curly”, never fails to give folks reason to pause. Accessorizing a space is my favorite part of the design process, if we have done our job correctly and created ‘good bones’, a solid foundation and a harmonized palette, then the accessories, just like the icing on a cupcake, are the best part of this delicious space. Now that’s living fabulously!’


Gambling on Good Looks

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Gambling on Good Looks

Photo Credits: Sam Shakura, Rock House of Design

Great rooms don’t happen because you got lucky, they are carefully planned and curated installations of fabulous furniture pieces, art, accessories, lighting and odds and sods. It takes a creative eye and some courage to pull together an eclectic mix of interesting pieces and then the conviction to push a look to its limit, creating rooms that exude passion, personality and stylish flair. It is a bit of a gamble but the payoff is huge. Great designers know that you have to be good at both math and art to create a fabulous space, yes you need to employ both the right and the left brain and you need to know where to go, or rather where your best sources are for both inspiration and acquisitions.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Gambling on Good LooksLast week we did get lucky, lucky enough to attend the Las Vegas Furniture and Gift Show to check out the hottest trends in the home fashion industry and to update our designer resources. Overwhelmingly, the show was all about reclaimed, repurposed, distressed and industrial looks. This look is huge and for good reason: it looks great, it’s comfortable and it’s very easy to live with. Tables, whose tops are made from reclaimed wood, cabinets that are styled to look worn and perfectly weathered. Chairs that look like you found them in Grandmas attic, assuming that your grandma had impeccable taste. We love this look and use reclaimed pieces often in our Rock House spaces but we are also Magpies and enjoy a little bling so we like to mix it up with a touch of glamour, too much of any one thing is always too much and great designers also know how to edit their pieces.

Textile of the show was definitely denim, just as denim is making news and resurgence on the runway it’s looking fabulous on the floor of home fashion design showrooms: denim furniture, toss cushions and occasional pieces such as bar stools and ottomans. Distressed, adorned with copper, stainless and iron details, baseball stitching, patches and pockets, and of course a little bit of British flair. This season you’ll update your rooms with a casual favorite that won’t leave you feeling blue.Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Gambling on Good Looks

Just as denim was the textile sweetheart of the show, the muse for many of the best designers was organic. Driftwood tables, burled side boards, amazing preserved wood floral art. Other standouts were the use of organic materials to create wall art and sculptural pieces. Twelve by twelve panels of roughed sawed wood, twigs, oxidized metals to be used as wall art, headboards, floor inlays or table tops, imagine the possibilities? There were lots of great tables, vases, bureaus and chairs woven from water hyacinth and hemp fibers and vases with a raku ware look or a vintage glass feel.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Gambling on Good LooksThere was no shortage of creativity at this show, we ouhhhhed and ahhed over fabulous buffets adorned with bottle caps and armoires made from old drawers or window shutters. This years show generously displayed a plethora of great pieces that we can all comfortably and stylishly bring home, we have to break the rules here because with a show that looks this good there is no way we can maintain the creed “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. We need to tell and show everyone what we saw in Vegas to help us create amazing rooms and to live fabulously! Viva Las Vegas baby.

Don’t throw away those jeans with the worn out knees or the hole in the bottom up cycle them and create an on trend toss cushion for the sofa or reupholster the set of your desk chair.


Light Fixtures

Light Fixture 1

New light fixtures change the entire mood of a room. My husband and I spent the weekend hanging light fixtures at home, fabulous new chandeliers and fixtures that I’ve been waiting for a while and boy oh boy was it worth the wait. Lighting is the most often overlooked and neglected element of design. We buy new furniture, we gather and collect new accessories, we change up the throws and toss cushions but we forget to properly light the room.

Light Fixture 2I shop everywhere for fixtures, lighting stores, antique and second hand shops and of course online. Today we are blessed with a lot of choices and this is what makes lighting so exciting. I love to not only have great fixtures in the expected places but also in the unexpected. For example, try hanging a fabulous dining chandelier in the powder room, the laundry room, over the bed or above your tub in the ensuite. A chandelier can look stunning hanging above an end table next to your favorite reading chair, thereby eliminating the expected table lamp.

What do you think of my milk bottle fixture that is hanging in the pantry? Personally I love it and it makes me smile every time I enter to grab the sugar or a salad bowl. In my coat closet I have a great set of bowler hats that are actually light fixtures, in my library/office I have a fabulous chandelier fixture that is actually nine giant light bulbs hanging on thick black cord, it has a very industrial glam feel to it and instead of hanging it the traditional 30” above the desk or table top we choice to let some of the hanging arms/bulbs reach below the desk and hang a foot from the floor while others rested at various heights so as not to disrupt working space. In the dining room, I have one fixture that actually has tails of chain that rest on the table-very chic if you ask me. We like to shake it up and be creative even when hanging fixtures. In the kitchen I found an amazing spoon chandelier with crystal balls attached to the tip of each spoon to hang above my kitchen table-by far more stylish than the typical bowl shaped kitchen table light and in the walk in closet I hung an all white chandelier that is made from white ceramic stiletto shoes omg- amazzzzzing!!!!.

Light Fixture 3When we travel we often shop lighting stores and even if the voltage is wrong I can always have it rewired very inexpensively when I return home-not to worry! Look for interesting shapes and motifs and even if the colour is wrong you can always have the light painted. So look up, are any of your fixtures less than exciting? If you answered yes, then let’s go light shopping. Fixture by fixture you can change the entire feel and vamp up the style voltage in every room. Post your most fabulous ‘light’ picture on our facebook page.

Plant flowers that you will want to use for cuttings in containers for the home. I love white roses for my all white bedrooms so I planted a container with a fabulous white rose bush so that I will have great blooms to cut for my room. Sam, whose bedrooms is purple, grey and black planted a dark purple rose bush.