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Ask Our Designer – Our April Winner!

A couple of weeks ago we asked you all to write to us about a room in your house that is making you crazy. This month we chose Terra Jamieson from Halifax whose master bedroom is in need of better storage and a just a bit more personality!

Don’t forget that we will continue this feature on a quarterly basis so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss your next chance!
Terra’s lovely Halifax home was recently renovated by MRB Contracting, and the addition and renovations were designed by Chad Jamieson. MRB is a local company that does incredible work including renovations, architectural design, new builds and more – check out their portfolio here!

Part of Terra’s renovation included adding a bit more space onto the master bedroom. Above, you can see the plan for the addition and photos of the space after the reno. With the renovation complete, Terra feels a bit unsure of how to best organize the space, and how to pull the look together.

Terra loves to sew and knit and has created a small area in the addition where she can work. She told us that she would like to have a more effective work area and better storage solutions for her supplies. Another concern for Terra is clothing storage. She would like to replace their current antique dresser with something more functional that offers more storage.

Terra has an eclectic taste, with a mix of modern and vintage pieces through the rest of the home. She loves funky fabrics and mid-century modern accents – sounds right up our ally!

Here’s what we came up with:

Sconces, end tables & Starburst Wall Mirror from, honeycomb lumbar pillow cover & honeycomb pillow cover from, Hemnes dresser from Ikea, Klippan throws available at The Independent Mercantile Co. 

We are keeping Terra’s beautiful paisley duvet cover (shown above), and adding a few accents to jazz things up. By adding some solid but textured toss cushions, and a throw in a complimenting colour we can create a more layered and interesting look for the bedding. Turning down the sheets a bit and propping up the pillows will add even more visual appeal.

We found this great starburst mirror that will add lots of character, and ties right into the mid-century modern style. For the dresser, we chose something that was more simple in style, but that offers a nice pop of colour, and more effective storage for clothing.

We decided to replace Terra’s current end table with this round, mid-century mod style. It’s more compact and has a light appearance, so it can tuck in right next to the bed. There’s not much space for lighting around the bed, so we thought installing sconces directly into the headboard would work well.

Dots and Rows fabric from, Hektar Work Lamp and baskets from, Ludivine Writing Desk from

For the sewing area, we think that a nice long desk running along the large window would make the best use of that space. We found a desk that has some open storage, and Terra could use baskets on the shelving to keep her craft supplies tidy. This funky fabric would be great for roman shades (perhaps a sewing project for Terra!), it adds personality and the colour ties in with the bedding.

Overall our bedroom makeover cost came to around $2200, just under Terra’s maximum budget of $3000. Thank you Terra for sending us your design dilemma!

Having a solid plan is always the key to success! A design solution like Terra’s starts at $500 and includes a floor plan/layout, a complete shopping list including what to buy and where to get it, and a colour palette selection. If you have a design dilemma that you need help with get in touch with us!

Ask Our Designer Contest!

With the arrival of Spring many of us are feeling ready for change and freshening things up around the house. We want to help! We are running our second Ask Our Designer Contest this month! You could be the winner of a custom Henhouse design package valued at $500 – just the thing to get you started on your home decor project! Full details are at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

Our other big news is that my family and I have decided to list our house this Spring and are ready to move into a home that is better suited to our growing family. We’ve been in our current home in Bedford for about 16 years and have put a lot of work and love into it. We’ve made a lot of memories here, and it’s going to be a big change. In short, our beloved 1890’s 3 bedroom home has been feeling a bit cramped over the last few years and we’ve realized that we could all use a bit more breathing space.

We’ll be putting our house on the market in the coming weeks, and I’ll share the listing here soon. You can see some recent photos here if you’d like to take a peek!

In addition to having more space, I’m also excited about getting to decorate our new home! My tastes have evolved over time, and I’d like to take things in a new direction. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the work of designer Peter Dunham.

English born and now based in California since 1998, Peter Dunham designs beautiful interiors and textiles. I love how he mixes many textures and finishes, and the way he layers pattern on top of pattern on top of pattern!

The look is layered, casual, travelled, and refined. It’s an eclectic and textured mix that has a worldly, collected feeling that I love. It’s so cozy, yet fresh feeling. This look is a nice fit for me as I have many treasured antiques that I want to incorporate into the new home, and I’ll get to indulge my love of fabrics by adopting Peter’s layered pattern approach.

Speaking of fabric love – Peter’s line of hand blocked fabrics is drool worthy! The designs are influenced by Islamic and Indian culture and I cannot get enough of the rich patterns and interesting colorways. His shop Hollywood at Home in LA is filled with his stunning textiles and other incredible decor items.
Another thing that I’m very excited about is getting the opportunity to design a custom Henhouse kitchen for my family! Although I design kitchens all the time for my clients, I haven’t yet had the chance to create one of my own from the ground up. I’m looking forward to tailoring a space for our family’s needs and having the kitchen I’ve always wanted.

We’ll be sure to share updates about our new home here on the blog so stay tuned!

Hopefully Peter’s work has inspired you because now it’s time for you to send us your design dilemmas. It’s time to Ask Our Designer! Find out all the details below.

Design Dilemma? Ask Our Designer!

Here’s your chance to get a free design solution from Henhouse’s designer Sappho Griffin! Every quarter we run an Ask Our Designer feature here on the blog. All of our readers have the chance to participate, and one reader will be chosen to receive a free custom design solution for one room in their home, a $500 value!

How to Participate

E-mail us at to tell us about the one room in your house that’s making you crazy! Please note that kitchens and baths are not applicable. The deadline to submit is Sunday April 9th!

Here’s what we need from you:

• Send us FIVE e-mail addresses of friends or family who would be interested in learning more about     Henhouse.
• Tell us how you would like the room to be used, your personal style, colour preferences, likes and      dislikes, any existing furniture or decor items that you want to keep.
• If you have inspiration photos, or certain online shops that represent your style please send! Some of   our favourites include Attica, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Wayfair, & Ikea
• Room dimensions, include height, width, depth and any curves nooks or crannies.
• A few photos of the space
• A rough idea of your budget
• A phone number where you can be reached during the day

Submission Tips

To help your chances of being selected for our feature, please be sure to send along all of the above info, and make sure your photos are as clear and in focus as possible. In order to create a custom design we need a pretty clear idea of your space! Here’s a few tips:

• Stand back and get as much of the room in the shots as possible
• Take your photos in natural daylight for the best results
• Clear away any clutter so that we can see your existing furniture and decor, and don’t include people or pets
• Avoid pointing the camera lens directly at windows – the light will overtake the photo and make the interior look very dark. Try angling slightly away from windows to focus on the interior.

The lucky participant may be contacted during the day for any extra details we might need to complete their custom design. The design plan will be featured on the blog on April 16th!


Henhouse Featured in East Coast Living!

We are thrilled to be featured in East Coast Living Magazine’s Spring 2017 issue! Our North End Halifax Transformation made the cover page this month, and is also featured on the East Coast Living Blog.

Check out the full blog post below:

Say it with colour

Creative ways of choosing the best colours for your space.

By Janice Hudson | March 24, 2017

The cover story of our new spring magazine showcases a home in Halifax that was revamped recently by interior consultant Sappho Griffin of Henhouse.

I love that Griffin forgoes strict methods of picking a colour scheme. Her colour choices in this house change from room to room—carrying through some colours and picking up new ones along the way, all while avoiding the tendency to match everything perfectly.

In the family room, a pea-soup yellow paint colour was the starting point. Griffin tied in a blue accent colour to bring in a softer, more feminine look. “I wanted an accent colour that steered away from the yellow walls and tied in the other softer colours from the TV room and kitchen,” she says.

Artwork can invigorate your colour scheme. Pick pieces that have your main colour(s), but that add in one “out-there” colour. “This gives a shot of distraction,” Griffin says. “You need something to break your eye.”

Abstract paintings in TV room from Teichert Gallery (clockwise from right) by Boutiliers Point artist Paulette Melanson, Ottawa artist Lorena Ziraldo, and Wolfville artist Jeanne Aisthorpe-Smith)

In the TV room, the artwork echoes the blue accent colour of the family room (and pink and grey from the kitchen), but adds in orange for something different.

In the kitchen, Griffin started with the floral, painterly window treatments, which tie in the pea-soup yellow of the living room and add in pinky hues. The fun retro fabric of the reupholstered vintage chairs introduces a fresh green to the palette.

She plucked even more new colours—hits of red and blue—from vintage china dishes, which are now displayed on the kitchen wall. “It doesn’t match, but it goes and is off beat,” she says.

Griffin plucked hits of red and blue from vintage china (left), which is displayed on the kitchen wall. Reupholstered vintage chairs (right) introduce a fresh green to the palette. Chair fabric by Bellissimo. Photos by Bruce Murray, VisionFire.

On the other side of the kitchen, Griffin created a dramatic feature wall that showcases several colours used in the house. It ties in the yellow from the family room, blue from the vintage plates, grey from the countertops, and green from the window fabric. “I did a scaled drawing of it on paper, taped it out, and then had it painted on the wall,” she says.

The family room (left, photo by Bruce Murray, VisionFire), and Sappho Griffin (right) with the feature wall she created in the kitchen. It showcases colours from across the home.

Ultimately for Griffin, colour not only helps link the main rooms of the house, but it’s also a way to express individuality. “I love how nothing exactly matches but it works well together and reflects the [homeowners’] personalities,” she says.

Thank you East Coast Living!


Why You Should Hire a Professional Designer for Your Kitchen Renovation

Over the past ten years Henhouse has completed many successful custom kitchen renovations. We’ve been lucky to work with great clients who have told us that having a professional team on their side is well worth the investment. In the face of a kitchen reno, we helped them navigate the process from start to finish, and they tell us that the results were better than they could have dreamed of!

A kitchen renovation is a big project and it’s probably one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your home. Along with photos of our top Henhouse kitchens, here are some reasons why hiring a professional team is the way to go.

Save Money

Yes it’s true! In many cases hiring a professional team can save you money and time. Kitchen renovations can be complex – from making a plan, to finding and managing the right tradespeople, purchasing finishes, appliances, fixtures and much more. Mistakes and delays can be very costly and stressful.

Let us help you! When it comes to kitchens it’s worth investing in a quality job. The Henhouse team can take your renovation from concept to completion and create something that you’ll be happy with for many years to come.

Professional Assessment

Our designer can assess your needs and come up with a plan that makes the best use of your space and budget. We know what needs to change, what can stay the same, and how to make the best use of your space and budget. We want to make sure that you get the most value possible.

Navigating Costs

We hear clients say “I really want my dream kitchen, and I want it to fit in with the rest of the home. How much will this cost me?”.

There’s not one answer for everyone. It depends on what makes sense for your home and your budget. It’s important to outline what you can spend and how that budget aligns with the value of your home, and your list of wants and needs.

When you hire Henhouse for a kitchen renovation, we work with you to create a plan that accounts for all of these details and costs.

Creating a Plan (and sticking to it!)

Speaking of plans, a solid plan is the key to success. Creating a design plan involves devising solutions for the space (how it will look and function), choosing and sourcing finishes, appliances, furnishings (and more!), scheduling tradespeople, overseeing their work, all the while sticking to the budget. It’s a lot of time and work, and having a designer ensures the job will go smoothly and be completed on time.

Before beginning a renovation, our clients receive detailed illustrated concepts, floor plans, elevation sketches, material, finish and fixture suggestions, and a lighting plan. We also include cost estimates for the entire project. We want you to understand the full scope of the project, how money will be spent and what the outcome will be.


A homeowner managing a project on their own runs the risk of choosing tradespeople who are not up the job. This can undermine the entire project, from quality, and cost to the aesthetic and timeline. The homeowner also assumes all the risk and the responsibility to sort out problems and have them resolved.

Working with Henhouse means your renovation will be in the hands of our trusted and highly skilled team. We have been working with excellent tradespeople for many years, and have built strong relationships with them. Your new kitchen will be of great, long-lasting quality, and the process will be efficient and smooth.

Access to Resources

A professional designer has industry connections that you may not have access to. This can save some money and time. Oftentimes designers are offered discounts on certain materials or products, or they know where to get the best products for the best price. Sourcing and purchasing all of the finishes, furnishings, appliances etc. means a lot of decision making and running around! At Henhouse we know where to source the best options for your new kitchen, and we’ll narrow down the choices so it’s much less overwhelming.

Wow Factor

The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s where we spend most of our time. It’s where the family gathers to prepare and share meals, entertain guests, prepare for the day, and unwind at the end of the day. Having a space that functions well and feels great makes a difference. A professional designer takes care of all of the detailed elements that make a kitchen special, and tailor it to your life and taste. You will have a kitchen that suits your taste, fits in with your home, and that will become a selling feature down the road.

Resale Value

At Henhouse it’s important to us that your new kitchen is an investment that will add value to your life and your home. We know what choices makes sense, and we specialize in creating designs that fit seamlessly into the rest of the home. A beautiful and well designed kitchen can boost the market value of your home and increase buyer appeal for when you are ready to sell.

A kitchen renovation is a big project, and it’s worth investing in. We can help make the process easier, make sure that you end up with the best result possible, and ensure that you’ll see a return on your investment!

If you’re getting ready for a kitchen renovation, we’d love to hear from you, get in touch!

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