Posts By Sappho Griffin

Teen Bedroom Makeover

We’ve just finished up a really sweet project in the home of one of our longtime clients. Every now and again we have clients who hire us to renovate one area of their home, then re-hire us again (and sometimes again and again!) for other areas.

This homeowner originally hired us to update her master bedroom. Soon after, we got to work renovating the entire main floor including the kitchen and dining area , the front foyer, the powder room and living room. Next up was their daughter’s bedroom. Here’s a look before we gave it the Henhouse treatment.
At 16, our client’s daughter was ready to ditch the pink princess look in favour of something more grown up but still fun. When we asked about her vision for the space she said “anything but pink” ! The look needed to be more sophisticated and be able to transition into a guest room in the years to come. We worked with both mother and daughter to come up with a design plan that suited them both.

Our colour palette was rich with blues, soft greys and hints of raspberry and lime. We decided to repurpose the bed by reupholstering it in a rich velvet with green piping. To keep things playful and casual we created the look of a daybed by adding in lots of toss cushions in a variety of fabrics. We also installed sweet and simple sconces on opposite ends of the bed to add to the cozy daybed feeling.

A key feature of our design was the giant cork board. Our teen is a talented athlete and we wanted to give her a way to show off her recent medals, photos, and inspirations. We had this cork board custom built and we love how it turned out.

We think this teen bedroom turned out beautifully and our clients are so happy! The layered blues and lush velvet bed elevate the look and create that sophisticated feeling that we were after, while the funky boho toss cushions and giant cork board offer a sense of fun and youthfulness. Thanks so much to our wonderful clients for inviting us back to into their home!

Decor Trends We Love for 2018

Mixing trends with classic timeless styles is a great way to keep things fresh and it’s our favourite way to decorate at Henhouse. If you’re looking to update your decor in 2018 read on! We’ve picked out some of our favourite trends and offered up some tips on how to make them work in your own home.

Bold Colour

We’ve been enjoying the white on white trend over the past few years and now we’re looking forward to seeing more colour. Choosing the right colour and finish is key – no small feat, but don’t let that stop you from trying this trend.

Consider what kind of mood you want to create – is this a cozy quiet space, a fun family-friendly space, or a more formal office or living room? The function of the room and the mood you want to evoke is a good starting point.

Create balance by mixing bold with neutral. In the photos above, bold walls are countered by light-coloured or neutral furnishings, fabrics and accessories. Adding in small touches of contrasting colours (like the yellow chair against the deep blue walls) adds interest and a lot of personality.

If going bold on the walls feels too overwhelming try starting small. Choose one wall and create a focal point, or highlight a special architectural feature. Builtins, cabinetry, wainscotting or a fireplace mantle can be great features to draw attention to with bold hues.

Fun With Pattern

Wallpaper is back and we are loving it! We’ve had the opportunity to use some gorgeous wallpapers in a few of our recent projects.

Above are images from a home in Halifax that we’ve done quite a bit of work on including a custom kitchen, master bedroom, girl’s room, and (shown above) the front foyer and powder room. The wallpapers that we chose mix traditional motifs with contemporary colour schemes and feel so fresh.

With so many options on the market there is a wallpaper for every space. It can make a room feel cozy or formal and it certainly adds character. We love it in an entryway, powder room, or in the dining area.

Similar to choosing paint, consider how the space is used and what mood you want to evoke. Think about your decor style and what would fit in best – romantic florals, bold geometrics, painterly abstraction, or maybe an interesting texture like grasscloth. 

Be sure to do your research first, as some types of wallpaper require special considerations. If you need help choosing or are on the hunt for great wallpaper get in touch with us! We have lots of wonderful choices from Kravet and Thibaut available to purchase through Henhouse.

Bring the Outdoors In

Plant life is everywhere in decor right now from potted plants big and small to leafy motifs in fabric and wallpaper.

Plants can add lots of style and are a great accent in any room. Go small with a grouping of tiny succulents or air plants, or go big with fiddle leaf figs or palms. If you’re arranging several plants in a group try mixing different shapes and variegated leaves together. You can mix and match planters for an eclectic look, or display a collection of matching planters for a clean, more uniform look.

The standing planters above are a great way to display medium to large sized plants and make them into a work of art! We found similar ones at Attica in Halifax and at Retrospekt in Dartmouth.

There’s so many interesting plants available at local nurseries and flower shops. A great shop will help you choose the right plant for your space and offer care instructions. For a great selection of plants in Halifax we love The Flower Shop. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @theflowershophfx for lots of inspiration.

 Eyes Up!

We’ve been seeing more and more interesting ceiling treatments lately. We’ve fully embraced this trend and have used it in a number of our own projects with great results!

A bold or dark colour on the ceiling adds drama, and can set off crown molding or highlight a special light fixture. Reflective wallpaper or high gloss paint is a great way to play with light, or create a glowing, ethereal atmosphere. We love this look in a dining room or bathroom to add sparkle!

Wallpapering or painting the ceiling and the tops of the walls is a fun look, and can help make a space feel cozy. The bedroom on the left feels enveloping and in the living area on the right, the super high ceilings are brought in a little closer and feel less imposing.

Mixing Metals

We certainly love a touch of sparkle in any room! Metals have been trending in lighting, furniture and accessories. To add even more character and an element of the unexpected, try mixing different metals together.

We’ve seen some beautiful examples of mixed metals in kitchens and bathrooms. The trick to pulling off this look is by being strategic about placement. In the images above, warm metals are used up top (brass and copper), while cooler metals are used below (nickel, aluminum). Keeping the types of metals together creates unity and allows each metal to stand out on its own.

In other areas of the home bringing in a metal side table or a bench or chair with a polished metal frame adds glamour without being overly fussy. Smaller accents like this planter can live anywhere in the house.

Lighting is also a great place to inject this trend. The chandelier above is available through Attica and boasts warm and cool metallics . We recently installed it in a client’s dining area and it is stunning!

We hope we’ve inspired you to try some of these great trends! Remember you can always start small with any of these trends, moving to bigger and bolder statements over time if you’d like. And as always, if you need help get in touch with us!

Henhouse Home Tour – Progress on Our New House

It’s that time of year again already!? 2017 was a big one for Henhouse and we are so grateful. This year was filled with more projects than ever (and many more to come in the new year), lots of great collaborations, and a new home for my family!

I’ve been looking forward to sharing more of our new house with you, and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have seen a few sneak peeks and progress photos. It’s been fun to start fresh in a new space, and work together as a family to make this house feel like our own.
We started work on the house right away, focusing on the kitchen and a few other upgrades to the main floor. Here’s a look at some of the before photos.


The photos above are of the kitchen and breakfast nook before the renovation. It was it good shape, and the layout was OK but I wanted to create something special and durable to suit our family. I came up with a plan to add some more counter space, maximize storage, and make the breakfast nook more usable for our family of five.

Above you can see the before shots of the dining area, the front foyer and the wall in the breakfast nook/ den before we ripped it out and rebuilt it to create more space.


After years of creating custom kitchens for my clients, I finally had the chance to create one for my own family! We are all so happy with how it turned out.

We took everything out of the kitchen, and installed new hardwood flooring, new custom cabinetry, countertops, fixtures and lighting. We also changed the layout to create more counter space for when we have multiple cooks in the kitchen!

The tile backsplash goes all the way to the ceiling in the sink area and adds a bit of texture and reflects the light. I chose a stained wood for the lower cabinets to add warmth, and white uppers that match the wall paint for an airy and continuous feel. We are loving the open shelf over the sink for everyday, high use items – it’s so easy to grab what we need and adds interest.

In the breakfast nook we opened up a wall to the kitchen, and added a column to mimic one at the opposite end of the kitchen. The wall I mentioned before was ripped out and replaced with a beautiful curved wall. You can see the progress photos above – our builder did an incredible job! This wall ties in with the front foyer, and gave us space to add more seating around the breakfast nook.

The dining area is off of one end of the kitchen and is a lovely bright space with windows that look out into the trees on our property. I decided to add some personality with wallpaper and funky lighting, and take full advantage of the bright airy feeling in this room. It feels fresh and bright in this space now, and the warm wood tones keep it cozy and inviting.

As you can see, I’ve been adding a dash of holiday decor here and there throughout the house. After purging so many things during the move, and with a fresh start in our new home, it felt right to keep things natural and simple. I pulled out a few items that I love and that fit in with the space, and sprinkled them around for a more subtle look.

The front foyer also got new wallpaper, new floors, light fixtures, and fresh paint. There’s so much beautiful natural light in the space, and lots of storage hidden in the curved wall.

We are loving our new home! We settled in right away, and it feels like we’ve lived here for so long even through it has only been a few months. We have a few more projects and details to take care of like replacing the kitchen island, toss cushions and lighting, but this place already feels like home. We’re so looking forward to the years ahead, and spending our first Christmas together here.

And on that note, we want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and all the best in the new year! Thank you for following along on our journey, and be sure to check back in soon as we head into 2018 – we have a feeling that it’s going to be an exciting year!

From a Polished South End Stunner to a Cozy Soulful Farmhouse – Lots of New Work in Progress!

After a great summer break we are back in full swing with a number of fall projects in the works! Since we have so much on the go right now, we thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek at a few of our works in progress. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to!

Lindola Place


We have been having lots of fun with this beautiful Halifax town house. Our client described it to us as having the same feel of the famous New York Brownstones. The house is elegant and stately, with a full bricked exterior, high ceilings, gorgeous tall windows and high-end finishes.

Our clients are a busy family in need of storage, furnishings, and lighting solutions for the main floor of the house. Having just completed interior renovations four years ago, we had the perfect backdrop to create a family friendly space with lots of personality.

Our clients have sophisticated taste and are world travellers with an eclectic sensibility, so we knew we could have a bit of fun with bold fabrics, furnishings and accessories that were playful but with sophisticated bones.

We started out by designing storage solutions for the living and dining rooms. The built ins in the living area designate a space for the client’s piano, book collection and existing artwork. In the dining area, the built ins help to balance out the space, and add architectural interest and of course lots of storage!

In the images above, you can see the living area coming together, and our plans for the kitchen/ dining area.  We are waiting for a few more items to be delivered and are looking forward to showing you the completed project very soon!

Oakland Street Project

This is a custom kitchen renovation that will be underway this fall/ winter. We have just completed the design phase, and came up with a plan to refresh the space with new custom cabinetry, countertops, lighting and finishes.

The images below are digital renderings of our design.

The look is updated classic with soft grey and off-white painted cabinetry, and brass hardware and fixtures. The countertops will be dark grey quartz with black faucets to add weight and presence. We can’t wait to get started!

South End Refresh

We are just getting started on this small refresh in Halifax. The client wants to update her great room and add the the finishing touches to the dining area. We will be working with some of her existing furniture and lighting and brining in some new more modern fixtures. We are also working on a fabric scheme for curtains, toss cushions and upholstery.

We’ve come up with a fun concept for the kitchen area lighting. The nickel pendants and spherical fixture above are existing fixtures that we are keeping. The two new fixtures will go over the island and in the living area. We found these simple and casual bar stools for the kitchen, a new faucet and other accessories to freshen things up.

River John Project

This is a big, big project that we started early this summer. Our client has an incredible summer home in River John, Nova Scotia that needs furnishings throughout the interior and exterior spaces. With approximately 5000 square feet of space to cover, we decided it was best to get a second designer on board! We are so happy to team up with local designer Nancie Theakston Phipps who’s cottage style is truly impeccable.
To make things more manageable we broke this project down into two stages – the main floor / outdoor porch areas and the upstairs bedrooms. We started by creating furniture layout plans, then created a list of the items needed. We sourced the major pieces first, then checked the scale of the items by taping them out on-site. This gave us a good idea of the sizes and the flow of each space.
The images above are most of the pieces we have sourced for the great room which includes the living room, dining room, casual dining area and kitchen. We also created a plan for the front and side porch with outdoor seating and dining  areas. 

We are nearing the end of phase one, and just about everything is ready to be shipped to River John in one big load! Nancie and I will join in on the fun of putting everything into place. Stay tuned for the photos!

Bessie North Project

The last project we want to share is something a little different! This fall, we were contacted by local chef Dave Smart to create and execute a design concept for a twelve seat intimate dining experience in an old farmhouse just outside of Canning, Nova Scotia. The restaurant space is an extension off Dave’s home, with accommodations above for overnight airbnb guests.

Dave and his wife Susan want a cosy space that feels simple yet enveloping. We took our cues from the mountains and fields that surround the property. We will use deep rich colours for the walls and trim and furnish the space with vintage art, rich wood patina, kilim carpets and period lighting. 

One of the most charming and unique aspects of this dining experience is that the food is cooked by the homeowner, so it’s important for Dave and Susan to be able to interact with their guests. The kitchen is partially open to the dining rooms and we felt it made sense for it to feel like an extension of a home but also a professional space.

You can follow along with their already steady business on instagram @chefdavesmart and Facebook at Bessie North House

We will be wrapping up most of these projects this fall & winter and we will be sure to share the final results with you!