Hello everyone! I’m blogging from the end of my kitchen table (which feels like the end of the world haha 😫). I’ll be working from home (and shopping from home, and reading books from home, and watching She-Ra: Princesses of Power from home) for the foreseeable future, and it got me to thinking – with our showrooms basically closed and both our designers on maternity leave, how the heck am I supposed to provide you with any millwork design resources???
Well, since a lot of my job takes place online and I’m assuming that self-isolation has you online a lot more too, I thought I would collect together my favourite online resources for design inspiration and present them to you (sans the usual amounts of GIFs).
Yes, Pinterest is for more than just recipes and expensive/frustrating crafts! While Pinterest is often short on both technical information and proper credit, it is a good resource for designs and ideas that you might not have conceived of (whether they’re feasible or not). You can organize the things you like in different “boards” with subsections for categories (ie the board “Kitchen” with the subsection “Appliances” and the further subsection “Actual Practical Appliances”) (sometimes you just can’t justify that SMEG fridge). Pinterest is more for brainstorming than getting things done, but while it can’t replace a designer it can definitely show you what’s out there. Something must be clicking – literally – considering we’ve jumped from 40k monthly viewers to 90k in about a week 😳 Just beware that “browsing” on Pinterest can easily turn into an addiction that results in sub-par baked goods and paint stains on your chairs.
Houzz is a great tool for not only finding ideas and products for your projects, but also for keeping track of them in an aesthetically pleasing way. Houzz is like an uber-version of Pinterest that’s focused entirely on the home (and always credits the source 👀). Houzz users can also save designs and photos to personal ideabooks, ask professionals specific questions and advice about their projects, and use the site to identify different finishes, hardware, and appliances. Houzz is the best place to get advice from professionals and get answers for your direct questions – to compare, Pinterest is where you dream about your new place and Houzz is where you try and make your dreams a reality (or at least a little more realistic).
Colonial Countertops Kitchen Visualizer
A nice feature of both of our showrooms is that we have a large array of countertop samples in multiple materials and hues. We’re always happy to let clients take samples home if we have extra, but since our showrooms are currently closed and I’m uneasy with the idea of trying to pass stone samples to someone from over six feet away, the best tool for your countertop interests is the Colonial Countertops Kitchen Visualizer. Colonial specializes in several brands of stone and laminate, including Caesarstone, Silestone, and Formica; their Kitchen Visualizer allows you to customize a kitchen with available door finishes, hardware, appliances, countertop colours/edge profiles, and backsplash. With hundreds of options and combinations you can amuse yourself while also narrowing in on your ideal kitchen design. Win win!
Benjamin Moore Colour Finder
In the vein of a kitchen visualizer, let’s branch out and take a look at the whole house now. We match our custom lacquers to Benjamin Moore shades a lot, and I’ll be the first to admit that there are way too many colours out there 🤯. The Colour Finder allows you to search through BM’s catalogue by collection, shade, etc and try them out on random rooms and decor. Trim, accent walls, and main walls are all customizable, so you can go as wild as you want (or create a nice Dream Quarantine Scene, like the room I made above). It’s like an online adult colouring book!
Not to date myself here, but nothing beats the feel and smell of a glossy magazine (#RIP to the Sears Wishbook ). Unfortunately magazines are another one of those things that are a magnet for germs (you can usually find them in doctors’s offices and bathrooms, which . . . ugh) and they’re not readily available in the house (besides ones you’ve already read). That’s why a lot of magazines also have an online presence, including a great variety of local publications. One of these publications, which we are honoured to have been a part of multiple times, is Boulevard Magazine. Boulevard, along with a lot of their fellow home magazines, is available on the website issuu, which allows you to read some magazines in their entirety right on your devices. You can turn the pages, zoom-in, and access all available back issues (including ones we’re featured in, like the issue above).
I hope these help alleviate some of your boredom/cabin-fever. As much as I relish spending my whole life on the Internet I’m looking forward to stepping outside the house for something other than taking my dog for a pee. Hang in there, keep yourselves occupied and safe, and see you next time!