A Luxe Dartmouth Bathroom Reno & A New Kitchen in Cole Harbour

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We have two new projects to share this week! First, a luxurious bathroom reno that we completed in July, and then we’ll show you a sneak peek of a kitchen renovation that’s currently underway.

Dartmouth Bathroom Update

fullsizerender-2Back in 2015 we completed a charming kitchen renovation in this lovely Dartmouth, Nova Scotia home. When it was time to tackle the main bathroom, the homeowners got back in touch with the Henhouse team.

The bathroom was ready for an update and had a few issues that needed resolving. Our first consideration was the size of the bathroom. We thought about expanding the space by opening up into an adjacent room, but in the end that wasn’t the right solution for our budget. Instead, we decided to invest in finishes that would make this small space feel larger and luxurious.


We went with bright neutral colours, and polished high-end finishes to brighten the space. Because our goal was to create the illusion of space, we created a small dresser-like design with legs for the vanity that feels light. We added additional storage by building in a niche shelving area, and small custom cabinet for the area above the toilet.

The next issue we dealt with was an excess of moisture. The main trouble area was the bath alcove, so we tore it right down to the studs to put in new drywall, we tiled the entire area including the ceiling, then installed a better ventilation system. For comfort, and to add to the luxurious feel of the space, we installed in-floor heating.

Below you can see the before photo, and some of the design work in progress.


It was a pleasure to work with these homeowners a second time. They are really happy with their new bathroom, and we are so glad we could help!

Cole Harbour Kitchen & Dining Reno

We are currently working on a kitchen and dining room renovation in a beautiful Cape Cod style home in Cole Harbour.

Often times with renovations, the clients put most of the design decisions in the hands of the Henhouse team – and we love that kind of creative freedom! But other times, the clients want to dig into the project with us and work more collaboratively!  For this project, the homeowners were very excited to be a part of the process, and we’ve had so much fun working together.


Part of the excitement of working creatively with these homeowners is the unique dynamic they brought to the design process.  As a team, we were able to create something very personal and special. It was inspiring to see what the homeowners came up with, and to get an understanding of their lifestyle and aesthetic. They sourced and chose light fixtures and fabrics, and were closely involved with the design phase overall.


Here’s what they have to say about the process:

“My partner and I have always taken on any project with a collaborative approach. This is what we were looking for in a designer for our renovations. We came together with our ideas, fleshed them out,  sometimes changed them and arrived at a shared vision. In order to accomplish this effectively you have to be willing to have open communication, compromise and, be willing to trust in your partners’ knowing that the end result will be amazing. We could not be happier in how this is all coming together.”


We’re about half way through the renovation phase now. In the photos above, you can see the design and planning stage, before photos, and the current work in progress. Next up is flooring, painting and custom cabinetry – we can’t wait to see the final result!

Inspirations & Obsessions for Fall

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It’s that crispy, cozy time of year here in Nova Scotia. For many in this province, we enjoy the cooling air, the bounty of harvest, and snuggling into a favourite sweater!

Fall is a time when Mother Nature offers us a beautiful and dramatic change in our natural environment. These changes always inspire me and this year my eye is drawn toward quiet, neutral palettes, simple vignettes, and mixed textures.


Soft creams, warm browns, and touches of black are what I’m loving right now in interiors and in fashion. By mixing rustic textures like rough wood and iron, with feminine patterns, softer textures and hints of sparkle, this look feels luxurious yet very relaxed.


Interesting natural silhouettes add texture and an element of the unexpected. In the photo above, the incredible shed antler chandelier makes a bold statement along with the collection of antlers on the walls. The rest of the room is very neutral and soft allowing those statement pieces to shine.

henhouse-blog_oct-9161Rustic chic meets french country in the kitchens above. Monochromatic colour schemes provide a soft backdrop for statement textures, patterns, and statement furnishings and finishes.

The reflective gold surface on the island in the left photo is incredible, and adds warmth and glamour. It feels modern and classic. The photo on the top right is more rustic and has a cottage feel. The elegant furnishings and beautiful natural wood ceiling are what make this look special. The bottom right kitchen also conveys a cottage feel, but more refined, with a french country feel.

desktop30In fashion, I’ve been feeling inspired by the same neutral colour scheme and mixed textures that I’m loving in interiors at the moment.

One of my favourite new local shops, SattVa Boutique put together this lovely outfit on the left. Those boots! This combo captures the look of this season – simple lines, cozy textures, hints of natural elements. If you haven’t visited SattVa yet, you should definitely head over for your fall wardrobe update.

I’m also swooning over Vancouver based Granted Clothing. Their cozy sweaters are a classic style, with cute imagery like anchors, foxes, whales and even David Suzuki!

Speaking of changing into the Fall season, you may have noticed some changes here on the Henhouse website too! We are very excited and pleased with the updates – a bit of a refresh feels good! Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Downtown Halifax Remodel and Refresh

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We’re back! After a fantastic summer break the Henhouse team is excited to begin work on several upcoming projects.

Before we left for holiday, we finished up a kitchen reno in downtown Halifax just off the Commons. We are so excited about the result!


Our client found us through Houzz.com (we have lots of great project photos over there, take a peek!). She was looking for help with several areas of her home. As family of six plus a new puppy, this is one busy household! Over the years, their beautiful historic home had started to show the wear and tear of an active young family.


A whole home refresh is a big task that can feel overwhelming. A project like this is made up of several smaller projects, and a good option (for budget and sanity!) is to tackle one area at a time, starting with the highest priority areas. With a quick list of wants, needs and colour preferences, I set to work coming up with a plan for several spaces.


One of the top priority spaces was the kitchen. The old layout needed some re-working to maximize the use of space and create more storage. Fixtures and cabinetry needed updating, and a damaged, leaky roof needed repairing.


For the cabinetry, I gave our client the option to go with a bold blue – a colour she loves. We peppered in greens, and touches of red to compliment the antique stained glass window we installed. The existing cork flooring was in good shape and a nice warm neutral colour, so we kept it in.


The layout of the kitchen didn’t change too much, but we simplified it for better storage. The old angled countertops and cabinetry were inefficient, so we went with clean lines and maxed out the space. For the countertops, we used a mix of Quartz and walnut wood to give warmth and hard wearing function.

To give you an idea of how dramatic the transformation is, take a look at the before photos below!


During the kitchen demo we decided to think about repairing the cracked plaster walls and create a colour palette for the rest of the house. We continued the soft colours in the rest of the home to help keep the spaces feeling bright and fresh. Most of this work was carried out while I was away on vacation and I am looking forward to seeing the results!

Happy Summer!

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Summer is in full swing now and with the long winters we get here in Nova Scotia, us Maritimers know the importance of taking full advantage of this short season.


Like many folks here, our family summer activities revolve around day trips, hikes and camping. This province has so much to offer for those who love the outdoors – we never tire of it. Some of our favourites places are Blomidon, Taylor Head, Annapolis Royal and the South Shore.

Our absolute favourite summer tradition is the annual family gathering at our cottage compound in Ontario. This has been going on for many, many years and I always look forward to returning and spending time with extended family.


The compound is a sacred place to my family. The original cottage belonged to my great grandparents Mabel Mackenzie and Scott Griffin (more history and photos here). Over the years the family has added several other cottages on the property. The original cottage still stands and has changed very little over the years. It’s a truly incredible piece of family history.


Over the next little while as we enjoy time with our family, we will also be taking a break from the Henhouse blog. We will return in September in full force but in the meantime if you have any questions with regards to Fall/Winter Projects please be in touch via email.

We hope that you can also take time to enjoy your family, friends, and the bounty of this season. Happy Summer!

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