A Modern European Reno

After many months of work we are so excited to share the final result of our Modern European reno! What an incredible transformation – you can take a peek at some of the before photos here.

We’ve been working with these clients for quite some time. We started out with thier master bedroom update which we completed last fall. Soon after, we began making plans to renovate the entire main floor of the home including the kitchen & dining area, the front foyer, a powder room and living room.

Here’s a look at the new custom kitchen!


The homeowners live in Halifax, and are very busy professionals who were happy to give the Henhouse team a lot of creative control and let us go in and do what we do best! We were really grateful for the opportunity to take on this project from concept through to completion.


Because we had worked with the clients before, the Henhouse team had a clear idea of their style. The look is a bit southern meets euro with contrasting cool and warm tones. Watery blues and soft greys with pops of persimmon colours, high end finishes, and a bit of sparkle are key elements of this look.


In the kitchen we went with a marble backsplash, beautiful soapstone counters, and floating marble shelves. The custom cabinetry is sleek and simple offering a bit of a modern appeal.


The space is narrow, so we chose chose a neutral palette for the wall tiles, paint and custom cabinetry to keep it feeling airy and bright. Brass light fixtures, and jewel-like hardware on the custom island add a bit of sparkle!


Our clients dreamed of having an island in their new kitchen, and although the space is narrow, we made it happen! To make her dream a reality we designed a custom island that is narrower and that has a lightweight, airy look. It’s a great spot to serve food and drinks, and it adds character and a pop of colour the space.


The dining area is bright and cozy. We found this amazing tulip style table at Attica, and these lovely bistro chairs from Serena & Lily. The chandelier is a stunning handmade piece with shimmering gold foil inside – so elegant!


The wainscotting was installed and painted by our team and it looks wonderful (you can see some of that process here). It adds a nice layer of elegance and character to this little nook.


Above is a photo of the main floor powder room that we renovated. We fell in love with this bold wallpaper the minute we saw it and were thrilled when our clients approved it! The powder room can be a great space to make a statement and we went for it. The vintage light fixture is a gem we found on Etsy and goes perfectly with the motif on the wallpaper.


The wallpaper in the front foyer was the jumping off point for the look of the whole  main floor renovation. The colours and pattern perfectly suit the clients’ tastes and the style that we envisioned. The diamond tufted ottoman was a piece we reupholstered in the matching fabric.


Our clients have a wonderful collection of art and heirloom furniture and we incorporated many of their pieces into the design. This drop leaf table is a piece that has been in their family for many years, and it fits in beautifully by the front door.


We had so much fun working with these folks. Just like with their master bedroom update, they wanted another “big reveal” moment. So, while they were away on business we completed all of the final touches on the main floor and styled each space so that they would return to a completely transformed home. They were so excited upon returning, they told us that they had walked through each room feeling totally enchanted!

We are so glad you love it, thank you for being such wonderful clients!

Peggy’s Cove Cottage Refresh

It’s been nearly one year since we began work on our Peggy’s Cove cottage project. Last summer we updated the living and dining areas, the bedrooms, and installed custom built-ins in the master bedrooms (more about that here).

We returned early this spring to complete the final stage of the project, a new custom kitchen. We’re so happy with the result, we’ve been joking that we’re ready to move in!

Blog June 124

The cottage is a rental property set on a beautiful seaside location on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. It’s 150 years old and is bursting with rustic charm.

Our goal with this project was to freshen up the outdated interior while maintaining the existing character. Here’s a peek at the before and after of the kitchen!

Blog June 125

The homeowner lives in the UK which made the design process a bit different for this project. With most interior renovation projects, we work very closely with the client and meet in person a number of times to discuss plans and to get approval.

For this project our client gave us the keys, told us what look he likes and entrusted us with creative control! We love to work collaboratively with clients, but every now and then it’s fun to have full reign over a design project.

FullSizeRender (4)

The overall look is  Scandi/modern with a nod to the incredible landscape in which the cottage resides. We kept the whole interior white with soft grey trim, and injected pops of colour that refer to the blues and greys of the ocean, the greens of seaweed, and the reds and yellows of the fishing boats.

FullSizeRender (5)

The henhouse team took on everything from concept to completion. From creating the design, to building the cabinetry to painting, installation, electrical, plumbing and decorating. We are proud to have a wonderful team of skilled people working with us to make all of this possible!

FullSizeRender (3)

Our cabinetmaker Joe did a fantastic job building and installing all of the custom cabinetry. It takes a lot of skill to install a kitchen in a 150 year structure! In an old kitchen like this nothing is level, which means taking the time to scribe a number of pieces (custom cutting to fit a straight piece to a curved surface). We are so glad to have him on our team.

FullSizeRender (6)

Home renovation projects require a lot of decision making, planning and time. Deciding on a look, coming up with a plan, sourcing materials, finishes,  and skilled and trusted labour – it’s a lot!

This project showcases the full capabilities of our team. We did it all, and with the homeowner across the ocean! The homeowner and the Henhouse team are over the moon about the outcome.

Obsessions and Inspirations: Inject Spring into your Decor!

The warmer days are arriving in Nova Scotia and suddenly everything is bursting with life! As things start to grow and renew outside, many of us get that itch to freshen things up on the inside too.


There are lots of ways to bring the energy and excitement of spring indoors and simple changes can make a big difference. Adding new artwork or using fun wall coverings or textiles are great ways to breathe new life into a space. Injecting colour with paint is a great way to add interest, or maybe even to highlight a garden view.

Here are some ideas and inspirations for bringing Spring in!

Floral Artwork


Art enlivens a space and adds lots of character. I love these floral oil paintings by local artist Briana Corr Scott. They are rich, yet light and dewey. The soft light reminds me of Maritime springs.

If you live in the area, stop by Argyle Fine Art in Halifax to see these beauties in person.

Whimsical Wallpaper


Kim Parker for Clarke & Clarke, Murals Wallpaper, Timourous Beasties

Wallpaper has made a huge comeback and is being used in many different applications. There’s a big trend towards using mural wallpapers to create a feature wall, like in the photo on the left. It’s an incredible and bold look – instant art!

The bold, bright colours in the wallpapers above evoke spring and summer vibes! If you’re not brave enough to commit to this daring look think about wallpapering the inside of a hutch or a closet instead.

Painterly Fabric


Tonic Living, Bluebellegray, Liberty London

These abstract painterly florals are very on trend right now from fashion to interiors. It’s a nice way to evoke the prettiness of florals without the fussiness of tight ornate patterns. This look is airy and bright and can be incorporated with toss cushions, window coverings, and even used for upholstery.

Bold Trim


Clean white walls have been very popular over the past few years. I love the look, but what I love even more is finding ways to inject colour to areas often overlooked.  If your windows or millwork are a special feature in your space why not have them stand out with a bold paint? It draws your attention to a focal point and frames pretty views.

I’ve seen some really beautiful approaches to this idea, from subtle greys and soft greens, to bright yellows and black. It’s easy enough to execute, and certainly worth a try!

If you’re feeling inspired to change your space but you need help choosing colours or fabrics contact me! A few simple updates can make a big difference, and I’d love to help.

North End Halifax Transformation!

Christopher and Christy have been working with the Henhouse team for about two years now. They are busy professionals and parents who needed help finding a way to blend their two individual styles and to create a sense of home.

What started out as a small storage solution project in their den has evolved to many other areas of the home including the kitchen, living, dining, den, master bedroom and basement!

Christopher and Christy were so kind to let us ask them a few questions about their experience working with Henhouse, and how they feel about the new look of their home.

FullSizeRender (5)

What brought you to the decision to hire a designer? Why Henhouse?

We live in an older home in the North End. Many of our friends have been buying newer homes in areas of the city we weren’t interested in. I thought maybe we should spruce this place up!

FullSizeRender (1) copy

We both love older homes and we are so happy in our neighbourhood.  With work, we’ve had no time to try to design things ourselves – and we probably wouldn’t know what we were doing even if we’d tried.  Hiring Sappho seemed like a natural choice – I loved the Henhouse retail store when it was in the Hydrostone (one of the best in Halifax – so sad to see it close!), so asking Sappho to come by to see our house was exciting for me.

FullSizeRender (9) copy

Can you tell us a bit about what the design process was like? Were there any conflicts that you needed help to solve?

Sappho is fabulous! Working with her has been such a fun, happy experience.

Our first project was relatively small; built-in shelving for our dysfunctional den. The shelving is exactly what we needed. It totally changed the look of the room, and tidied it up (which I like) and made room for all of our DVDs and video games (which Christopher and our son Finn like).  Even for this small project, Sappho gave us a sketch of her idea for the shelving then gave us samples of the wood so we could choose the one we liked best.

FullSizeRender (4) copy

When we decided to tackle more (it’s so addictive!), Sappho came in to our home, walked through it with us, and helped us prioritize which rooms to target first. We decided to get started on the den and the”fire room” (aptly named by our daughter, it’s the room with the wood stove!). Sappho gave us sketches, fabric samples, sourced furniture options and gave suggestions. It was such a fun experience to look at samples and sketches together – even the kids seemed to enjoy seeing the options


We had no idea about types of “design styles” that we like, but Sappho somehow performed magic! She listened to us, showed us her ideas, and next thing we knew, POOF, the house is beautiful!  She has such a keen eye for design, visual appeal and aesthetic.

As for conflicts, it took some work convincing Christopher to get rid of the old blue couches, then the kids got on board about how much they loved them too… even the dog! All it took was one look at Sappho’s sketch and at some options for a new leather couch and he was sold (thank you Sappho!).

FullSizeRender (3)

You each have individual styles that are quite different! How did henhouse help you achieve a look that represented you both?

I tend to like anything floral. I’m torn between two very different styles – “big and bold”, and “soft and romantic”.  Christopher seems to like neutrals with bold statement pieces added in.

The perfect room to exemplify Sappho’s blending of our styles is the fire room. That room has the most beautiful floral curtains and the warm leather couch that Christopher loves. Together, the look is gorgeous, and it’s a room we’re all happy with.

FullSizeRender (1)

Before the renovations, what were the biggest challenges or what bothered you the most about your home? How were those issues resolved?

We have an older home. Although we love it, the room shapes are “off”.  We couldn’t figure out how to place furniture in our den or fire room to achieve the inviting look we wanted.

Sappho did that for us!  In addition to furniture, the fabrics and window coverings have really worked to transform the space.  From the blinds in the den and fire room (…sorry Christopher, they aren’t iPhone operated…) to the fun kitchen Romans and the beautiful fire room curtains, our house now feels warm and inviting – just the way we want it.

FullSizeRender (2)

How do you feel about your home now? What’s your favourite part?

I love everything.  Really.  I don’t think I could choose a room.  I love getting home from work and walking through the kitchen, in to the fire room, then sinking in to the comfy sectional in our den.  I swear I walk though the whole main floor to get to the den, even though I could just walk straight there.

Then there’s our bedroom, with the stunning wallpaper, new headboard, and the wonderful bedding from Bellissimo. Our bedroom feels like an oasis.

I love how the house feels and looks now, and coming home to it feels so relaxing in a way it didn’t feel before.

FullSizeRender (11)

Would you recommend this experience to others? Do you have any feedback for Henhouse that would help others have a fuller experience?

I have recommended Henhouse SO many times already.  Now that we will have photos to show, I’m sure they’ll finally understand why we like her so much!

Our daughter Stella often asks “why can’t you say no to anything Sappho says?”- ha!  Well that’s what happens when you are lucky enough to hire the best and then have her and her team transform your home in a way you couldn’t accomplish without them.

Thank you Christopher and Christy! It was truly a pleasure working with you!

© 2009–2018 Henhouse

Sign up to receive our bi-weekly blog in your inbox!