A business trip took me to Montreal this past summer. It just so happened to coincide with my birthday so I spent some extra days there exploring the city with Mr.Sinzheimer. 
Oh. And I fell in love.

I had heard that Montreal was like a "mini-Paris" but it wasn't until I visited for a week and walked 25 miles all over the city that I became a believer. 

I went to Paris in 2000 and remember very little. It is sad really but on the first day of our arrival, my now husband proposed to me on the epicenter of Paris. Ile de la Cite.  
View from Pont Neuf in Paris (the exact spot where he proposed)
The rest of our trip was a whirlwind of romantic strolls through the streets of Paris, enjoying restaurants, touring museums and soaking in the architecture.  THAT is what I DO remember.  The architecture. Swoon.  
So when I ventured out into the heart of Old Montreal I was transported back 14 years.
My love affair of gorgeous stone, intricate iron work, and unexpected details excited and mesmerized me for a solid week.  I walked, and walked, and walked the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal until I couldn't walk anymore.  In this post I share with you some of my favorite discoveries.
Flowers in the Italian Market
Random Door. I just love the history seen here.

This picture doesn't show the true greatness of these buildings. 

1894 – Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde

Seriously joyful dwellings.

Neighborhood eatery.

Another shot of 1894 – Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde


Random Alleyway. The light was incredible.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal


Christ Church Cathedral of Montreal

The beauty of this roof is out of control.


The two photos above show the inside of

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal


Adventures await.

Street Art Installation

Montreal City Hall

Stunning.

You could live here.



My Favorite Spot for lunch. Olive + Gourmando

Great shopping!
Love the doors in this city.

Palais des congrès de Montréal

Hotel Le St James


Random Men. Guess which one I am married to?



Finally, No pictures are allowed at Bota Bota. It is a spa on a barge where I spent my birthday morning
being pampered. The place is unforgettable.
This photo is courtesy of  Corinne Fortier

If you have thought about going to Montreal. You should stop thinking and go. You will not regret it. I didn't even go into detail about the food.  I was there for a week and did not have one.bad.meal. Seriously. It was a great getaway.

Go. See. Do.

It started as a very innocent conversation. A very stylish friend was having a few couples over for happy hour.  I was swooning over a recent project she had completed and then listened as she began describing her next design dilemma.  Without much thought, I said, “you should expand your island and lose the kitchen table. Consider switching up your family room, dining room, reading room, etc.” 
She hesitated and asked me a few questions about
resale and functionality of what I had proposed.
Sometimes I have to explain things in great detail to a client to help them visualize my ideas.  Not with her.  A spark ignited. She was a girl on fire. Within a few months, plans were underway to transform their living and entertaining spaces. 
This is an entertaining family.  They open their doors wide to friends and family everyday.  Whether you want to borrow a book, brainstorm about a school project, shoot hoops in the driveway, or toast to something special, their doors are open. 
We all know the kitchen is at the heart of so many get-togethers.  This kitchen is a dream for social hour(s).  The new extended, raised island allows for 8 people to sit comfortably and still interact easily  within the dining space and kitchen prep. 

 
The new dining area is sooooooooooo beautiful.  The Anthropologie curtains look like creamy, buttery, frosting perfectly framing the windows.  They are decadent.  The fireplace was handpainted from its original red brick to a distressed warm gray.  I adore a round dining table and my friend found this one at a local furniture store. She selected the finish and size and VOILA!

 


 
The new TV room is the former “formal living room”. No one needs a formal living room anymore. Do they? The previously wasted space is now a favorite spot to watch TV or curl up in the reading settee.  Gwendolyn (the family dog) loves the shaggy gray rug.
 
Adjacent to the front hall is the former dining room.  It is now a cozy little overflow of the kitchen with a big leather sofa and some occasional chairs.  Family pictures adorn the walls and my favorite cowhide rug brings it all together. 
 
I love this place and those that dwell in it.
I recognize that many of you are not pleased with the title of this post.  Believe me, I have spent the last 9 years in our home trying to get rid of the brass.  Some of my girlfriends have been very successful “kicking brass” as they call it. From quick fixes of Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint to expensive hardware and lighting overhauls.  It was THE finish when many homes in the early 1990s were being built and/or renovated. 
Now the trend is obviously oil rubbed bronze, polished chrome, or satin nickel.  I’m there. I get it. I have them.  A mix of them actually. I am not one to say you should have all the same finish throughout your house.  I like to see finishes complement each other.   When someone told me that gray was trending upwards several years ago I was NOT pleased.  I live in a region of the country where gray skies are prevalent for more than half the year.  Now, I have three shades of gray in my home and am considering another. 

This brings me to the return of brass.
I have seen it creeping back into jewelry through beautiful gold necklaces, bracelets & rings. 
Selection above is Jewel Kade and Anthropologie
 
 
It started as a gold/silver trend where both metals would blend into one piece.  Now, I see more gold holding it’s own flying solo.  It’s beautiful…right?
Well, as many know, home trends typically follow fashion trends so it was bound to happen.

  When I was part of the Color Marketing Group, we discussed in many circles how colors evolve and cycle in 20 year periods.  Guess how long it's been since the early 90s?  Yes.  20.  Thankfully, the new brass has new beauty.  It’s not as yellow as its predecessors.  It lends itself to the more palatable yellows that increasingly intrigue us.  It has a patina and depth that you can embrace.
It pairs lovely with so many new neutrals and the modern vintage trend. 
Take a look:
white subway tile, white vintage hex tile, dark grout, brass fixtures #bathroom #bath
Courtesy of Decorpad


Gray paint and gold hardware with colour swatches
Design seeds

(If I lived alone I would totally do this to all my first floor doors. Unfortunately, my husband has a strong opinion about design and practicality)

SMITTEN BY: WARM GRAY + BRASS | BluLabel Bungalow | Interior Design Advice and Inspiration    Love this bed!
 

 
Found on blulabelbungalow.com
 

Two-Toned + Textured Living Room brass accessories
Found at West Elm

You can see more brass inspiration on my pinboard at:
http://www.pinterest.com/styledliving/brass-making-a-comeback/
 

 What do you think? Could you like it again? Maybe a few perfectly golden accessories??
Maybe in 20 more years?
 
 
Last year, a friend called me and asked if I would take her on as a client.  
She wanted a master plan to renovate and update her family room and kitchen.  

With magazine clippings in hand, we talked through her dream of a creamy white, light filled kitchen where she and her family could entertain, do homework, enjoy dinner, and most importantly....create CAKE POPS!  This woman is a MASTER cake pop creator.  I will not call her a baker.  I will not call her a cake decorator.  She possesses an unbelievable talent to create ridiculously delicious cake pop treats.  I have given them to people and they are unable to eat just one.  
She must put a very special secret ingredient in them. 
It might also be the hot pink mixer that has it's own special place on the kitchen counter.
A few examples of her talent

I digress...

An interesting aspect of this project was the kitchen cabinet portion. The owners had fallen in love with Thomasville cabinets that they had seen in Southern Illinois.  The cabinets had a beautiful creamy white finish with a soft caramel glaze.  The problem was the speed at which the cabinets came into availability.  

So we decided to start with the family room.  
The couple had honeymooned in France and still had a love affair with aspects of the french country style.  
They also wanted a large sectional that the whole family could curl up. 







We ordered several new pieces and re purposed some existing pieces from other areas of the house. 
I love stealing something from one room to use in another.  
The pillows and window treatments were custom made to work with our long term plan in the kitchen. 
New paint, new light fixture, new accessories, and new carpet gave the room a completely fresh new feel.

After the family room was complete we waited for the cabinet pieces to fall into place.  The homeowners worked with a contractor to fit the new cabinets into their existing floor plan.  There were challenges and decisions that were thought through and reconsidered.  There was a garage full of cabinets and like a giant puzzle, it all came together.  

See that special mixer??


wine storage detail
Lovely filler shelves
This display of sprinkles makes me smile
Love the undermount granite sink with the Cambria quartz countertop
My insanely talented, cake pop creating, always smiling, sweet friend and 
her family now have a wonderful place to enjoy each other and their friends.


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