Ask Our Designer – Our Winner!

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A couple of weeks ago we asked you all to write to us about a room in your house that is making you crazy. We received many great entries, thank you all very much for participating! We will continue this feature on a quarterly basis so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss your next chance! One lucky reader will be chosen to receive a custom Henhouse e-design to help them with their design dilemma, a $500 value!

We can only choose one reader, and it was a tough choice! This time we chose April MacKinnon who has a front foyer that needs organization and brightening up.

April’s New Brunswick farmhouse holds a lot of history. The original owners built the home around 1850, and operated a grocery store and a blacksmith shop on the property. Business was successful, and afforded them the opportunity to expand the home in 1910, including the front foyer. The foyer features beautiful woodwork, high ceilings and a stained glass window.

desktop36Today this beautiful old farmhouse is home to April, her husband, and their three kids. It is also functions as head office and production for Anointment, April’s line of natural skin care products.

Here’s what April told us about her design dilemma:

“The foyer is the first thing everyone sees when they come in our house. It’s often cluttered and it took a good deal of work to get it presentable enough to photograph! The double doors to the parlour and the door to the second kitchen are usually left open for heat flow. I work in the second kitchen and you can see there are wooden shelves holding stock to the left of the door. The front hall is often full of boxes incoming and outgoing for the courier in addition to the coats, shoes, boots, mitts, toys etc.”


April’s main concerns were storage and updating the look without compromising the historical features. We came up with a plan to breathe new life into the foyer, create storage, and add some personal touches while respecting the heritage of this beautiful home.


To create more storage, I suggested turning the living room into the main workspace and storage area for April’s business. This would free up the hallway closet under the stairs, allowing a space for shoes, coats etc. Since this home is large with many rooms, they can still use their parlour for family use.

A double row of hooks for coats would be a great place for coats, back packs and purses – the daily use items that often end up scattered allover.


The baskets in the console would hold mitts, hats, in and out mail and other odds and sods. I chose an outdoor rug that will be durable enough for heavy traffic, yet attractive enough to feel welcoming and offer a nice boost of colour.

A statement light fixture for the main hall and track lighting for the centre and back hallway would offer better lighting, and help brighten the space and show off the lovely rustic charm of this old home.

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-6-51-28-pmA soft cream on the walls with soft grey stencilling would be so pretty. The design on the stencil was inspired by April’s logo for Anointment. It reminds me of a lotus, which symbolizes strength and rebirth, a beautiful homage April’s immense efforts as a mom and business owner.

As per April’s husband’s request, the plan is to keep most of the beautiful woodwork as it is.  I suggested to stain or paint the tread of the stairs to match the newel post and trim. The risers could be painted the same grey as the stencil, or a colour that ties in with the rug, or with the stained glass. Finally, refinishing the floors in light in colour will freshen up the space, and keep it feeling bright and modern.


Our e-design packages are a great way to kick start a decorating project, and make an excellent Christmas gift! Choose from either a $150 one hour long in home consult to discuss and offer advice for all your design dilemmas or a $500 e-design package which includes a mood board, colour selection, a sourced list of items like furnishings lighting etc. and a floor plan. We work with your budget and style to come up with something that will work for you! Once the plan is in your hands you can choose execute it on your own, or hire the Henhouse team to complete it. HST is extra. 

Print the certificate below to present as a gift and get in touch with us to get started!