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Get Me Out of the Office!

Sometimes you just need to grab your laptop, a cozy sweater and a bottle of wine, and get the heck out of dodge!

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That’s just what we’ve done. My lovely ladies and I spent a few days last week at a cottage out on Lake Winnipeg, taking time away from the office to…well honestly…get some work done! Some things just don’t seem to accomplished when you’re sitting at your desk downtown where the ‘dings’ of your email and phone are never ending. So we decided to pack our bags and get out into nature for a few days.

 

Road Trip!

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We so often talk about how we can improve our clients’ spaces by integrating more daylight, by bringing that natural environment into their living or working spaces, and by really just connecting them to nature. Honestly, these past few days have been a testament to these intentions. The moment we arrived at our cozy little cottage, and stepped out onto the dock, we were greeted with the most beautiful view of the lake and forest. We took a deep breath of fresh, crisp, November air and all of a sudden, we were one with nature.

So why do we as humans want…no, CRAVE this connection to the outdoors? Well, essentially we’re biologically pre-programmed to seek connections with the outdoors and other forms of life. It’s intuitive. It’s how we started out on this planet and it’s how we were meant to live. Here are a few benefits from connecting with nature…

  1. people are healthier, happier and perhaps even smarter and more creative
  2. children with ADD, asthma, obesity and stress feel positive effects
  3. adults in workplaces connected to nature are more productive, healthy and creative
  4. patients in hospitals that have a view to the outdoors have faster healing times

These few days away, sitting on the edge of the water, surrounded by the beauty of nature, has sure made us a lot more relaxed, focused, creative and seriously productive!

Other than work, we had loads of fun just getting away from our daily grind. Took walks in the woods (I totally thought Tracy was taking us out there to … maybe… streamline the company…). Tried to make a fire…with wet logs…and an old issue of Cottage Life from 2004. It did not go well. Don’t ask Carrie. Or ask where the bottle of paint thinner ended up.

Here are some of the highlights of the 1st Annual S3 Retreat!

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Get outdoors people, it’s good for the soul!

Until the next S3 Retreat!

Elaina

Elaina S3

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Peace. Rejuvenation. Relaxation.

When you think about your home, what areas can function as a space for a personal retreat? I personally would love to have an ensuite were I can run a hot steamy bath and melt away from day-to-day stresses. I’ve had the pleasure of working on a few ensuite projects in 2014 and the results were pretty awesome. The one project that I’d like to highlight is a gem in the heart of East St. Paul. Here, the goal was to create an in-home spa that was eye catching & glamorous.

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Design Requirements

  • Design a spa-like retreat that incorporates a new steam shower, vanity with adequate storage, as well as a free standing tub
  • Implement layers of lighting for all differenct day-to-day tasks (bright for getting ready in the morning, dim for relaxation & meditation & a soft glow for wayfinding)
  • Incorporate soft colours & textures for impact and luminescence

Project Limitations

  • Work within the existing space & maintain the existing location of the plumbing
  • Work with the clients budget & timeline

The Concept

The concept was derived from the client’s inspiration of existing spas and hotels. The client also loved soft colors from the ocean & the sparkle of the sand, which we wanted to incorporate throughout the space.

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Since we were working within the existing envelope it was important to keep clean lines & uncluttered flow. The goal was to also blend the style with the rest of the house, so we applied a timeless look to the vanity & the flooring.

Development and Implementing the Design

Our design process always starts with measuring & photographing the existing space.

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The existing steam shower was not working properly & the existing tile was dated so we needed to completely gut the existing space and start fresh. The next step was to come up with some alternative floor plans.

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Once the floor plan was finalized, we moved on to finish and fixture selection, as well as generating the elevations for the project. We used a large format 12” x 24” anthracite tile to ground the floor with a baroque shaped tile for a decorative inlay to add some drama to the space. We used white millwork to keep the space feeling light & spacious. An iridescent glass mosaic tile, luminous wall covering & sparkly quartz countertop gave the space the glamour the client was looking for.

Finishes

The end result can only be described as stunning! The renovation process went smoothly with only a few hiccups along the way. Any time you are renovating an existing space, there is a good chance that you’ll have a few surprises thrown at you. This client was smart and took a vacation while her ensuite was being transformed into the oasis that it is now. I’m thrilled that the client could come back and continue to relax & rejuvenate in peace.

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Hope you enjoyed seeing this space as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Peace,

Carrie

Carrie Signature Photo