Princess Margaret Lottery Home

What type of home can you expect for a cool $4.8 million in Oakville, Ontario?  How about this beauty that is the 2019 Princess Margaret Lottery Home?!

I had the pleasure of receiving an exclusive invitation from the Lixil Group to attend the open house recently before it went public and today I want to share my experience with you.

The house is on a corner lot and the photo above shows the ‘front’ of the home, while the image below is of the side entrance with double garage.

Most of the images in my blog post are courtesy of the Princess Margaret Lottery Home, of which you can visit here to buy your ticket to conquer cancer.

Princess Margaret lottery home 2019 side entrance

In this week’s video I share both my favourite interior decorating features inside the home and the ‘Design Disappointments’.

Hey, I appreciate that not everything in a residential interior design project is going to resonate with everybody and there will always be critics.

As an Interior Design Professional who works with clients on a daily basis to redesign and redecorate their homes, I wanted to share my perspective and thoughts.  I welcome your feedback as well, please leave a comment here on my blog.

Also, what kind of Colour Expert would I be if I didn’t mention the Benjamin Moore paint colours?! Read on past the video to find out what paint colours were used in this home.

My Favourite Things

Mill Work & Trim

When you hear the expression, ‘It’s all in the details’ you cannot argue that in this home, each room has substantial elements of beautiful, detailed custom mill work.

Princess Margaret lottery home hallway and doorways with bold, contrasting trim in Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore


Walls & Wainscoting are Distant Gray OC 68 by Benjamin Moore


The tall doors with detailed moldings and striking hardware. Doors and trim are Silver Satin OC 26 by Benjamin Moore.


Partial European columns in each corner of the dining room. Be sure to look up at the ceiling trim detail too!

Wallpaper and Drapery

Interior Designer Brian Gluckstein is well known for using subtle and sophisticated wallpaper and drapery in his projects.  This Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome is no exception. Here are some of my favourite rooms with these exquisite decorative elements.

Tone on tone. Dark gray pleated draperies layered with dark gray wallpaper in the family room.


In the office, wonderful wallpaper in neutral tones with a linen look. Custom pleated draperies and area rug add more softness to this space.


Pink is everywhere in this nursery. Ceiling & trim are painted Odessa pink by Benjamin Moore.
Even the spa area had ripplefold drapery which added softenss to the space.  Walls are also wallpapered here!
Second floor bathroom with striking wallpaper in pretty blue hues.

Gallery Wall & Artwork

In terms of wall art for home decor, we have been seeing large prints either framed or on canvas for quite some time.

Here in the Princess Margaret Lottery Home, that trend was no exception. But first, you’ve got to see this gallery wall which is one of the most interesting I’ve even seen!

The main reason it’s so unique is because it wraps around a curved wall in the stairway. All photos are in black and white with black frames. Quite the statement, wouldn’t you agree?

Very cool view looking down the stairs at the wall wrapped in black and white framed prints.

Here are two more art pieces that could be found on the second level of the Princess Margaret Lottery Home.


Abstract art in upper hallway. Wall is Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore

Design Disappointments

In the video I am able to easily convey my feelings about why I feel the way that I do about some of the main areas within the home.  (This is why I always promote video for your business as the best way to share your message!)

Please watch the video if you want to hear opinions straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’. -that’s me!   I’ve made bullet points below to list elements of the design that I was deeply disappointed in for such a luxurious family home.

The Kitchen – Things that make you go ‘hmmm’

  • The bookcase murals that cover each fridge on both ends of the kitchen
  • Seating configuration at the island -are we in a hibachi restaurant?
  • Lack of counter space between the stove and the sink
  • The kitchen is open to the hallway, but not open to other rooms


The Laundry Room – Or Lack Thereof

  • No actual laundry ‘room’, but rather a walk through laundry area between the kitchen and the pathway to the garage & side door
  • No rod nor a dedicated area to hang delicate items to dry
  • Not enough space to place a laundry basket AND fold your laundry at the same time
  • Second floor laundry is in an awkward location, at top of the stairs in the middle of the main hallway (see below, second image)
  • With the ‘all in one washer & dryer’, the linen closet doesn’t leave much room for linens, pillows, or duvets
Main laundry area that is also a main walkway through to the kitchen from the garage and side door


Main linen closet at the top of the stairs, in the hallway

Custom Vanities Fall Short

I absolutely appreciate that these two vanities were likely built to look like furniture – and there is no denying they are absolutely GORGEOUS!

But why not have them custom built wall to wall?  The gaps between the walls on either side are not practical & you run the risk of having toiletries that will inevitably be placed here, likely falling to the floor.

These ‘gaps’ also become a dust trap, especially with the area underneath being open.  I mean, can you imagine how many dust bunnies would be playing under there at any given time? Hopefully the eventual owners will be able to employ a daily cleaner.

The fluted detail of the cupboard fronts are lovely, as are the black DXV faucets
While I LOVE the wallpaper on the vanity, the gaps at each end would drive me crazy -especially for what is meant to be a girls washroom!

A Basement Fit for a….a…..Spinning instructor and Masseuse

Most families I know, including my own, love to spend time playing board games, cards, darts or watching movies. Often, these activities take place in the basement -especially for us since we live in a small 3 bedroom bungalow.

Having designed a 3000 square foot basement for a past client project of which their wish list included: a movie theater, concessions area, a 400 square foot gym, a sauna, designated space to play poker and pool, PLUS a Secret Xbox room, I’m fully aware of what a daunting and detailed task designing the basement layout for the Princess Margaret Lottery Home could be.

I also understand that every year there is added pressure to come up with a design that has an incredible ‘Wow’ factor. Last year the home had this 2 lane bowling alley. Now that was fun!

From the 2018 Princess Margaret Lottery Home

This year it was all about wellness, with a Spinning room and large spa area.  There is no denying that the space is absolutely worthy of a jaw drop when you first enter, but is it the best use of space for a family basement?

In my opinion, no.  Here’s a summary of what I felt  the basement was lacking:

  • A games area with storage -where is all the storage for board games, video games, DVD’s?
  • The TV/Movie space was small with seating arranged in a way that did not look like everyone could adequately and easily view the TV
  • A wet bar…there is no bar! Nowhere to make popcorn, no mini fridge to grab a pop. Must I walk all the way upstairs to get the wine?
  • Privacy in the open tub, sauna and shower area.


As you get to the bottom of the stairs you have 2 options. Turn right for the TV or left for the spa.


This is it for the designated area to watch movies. I did love the 80’s framed movie posters though.


That piece of furniture is the only case good or storage unit in this entire side of the basement
This is referred toas the ‘Relaxation Lounge’.  I had a nice massage here, but who is massaging you after the open house event?


One cannot argue that this looks pretty darn impressive though!

Alright, so there you have it.  I told you what I thought and now it’s your turn!  Comment below to let me know what you think about this Lottery Showhome?

Regardless of whether you feel the same as me, the event the Princess Margaret Lottery Home stands for is worthy of supporting. Go get your tickets here now.   Good luck!

The Easiest Way to Create A Colour Palette

Paint Colour Palette Farrow and Ball with Ikea fabric

Today I’m sharing an easy way to create a colour palette that’s almost always guaranteed to have super satisfying results for any interior decorating project.

Sound too good to be true? I promise that this is the real deal!

Every interior design project needs to have a ‘jumping off’ point.  By this I mean either a striking piece of artwork, or an area rug with a distinctive look,  or it could even be an intricate tile design in a bathroom, kitchen or front foyer.

My favourite way to get inspiration for colour and style when decorating a clients home, tends to come from fabrics.  About 90% of the time when I’m curating a design, the fabrics are what I seek out first.

To create a beautiful colour palette for your next project, try colour matching a fabric like I show you in this video with the unlikely pairing of a new IKEA fabric with Farrow & Ball Paint colours.

Even if these colours are not your taste, there is no arguing that this is a pretty colour combination!

Watch the video here or click on the image below.

If you decorate a space by randomly choosing furnishings & fixed elements without having an actual plan in place, it’s likely not going to come together in a way that gives you the look that you desire.  You will probably also end up wasting a lot of money along the way, and that’s never a good thing.

By having a plan, you will save money and ease the stress of any renovation or decorating project.

Are you into these warmer colour tones that are coming back to interior design?   Comment below to let me know if this is a paint palette you could live with and love in your home.

farrow and ball ikea fabric palette
Farrow and ball paint palette created from IKEA LIEKNY fabric

More gorgeous colour combinations from Farrow and Ball below.

Farrow and Ball 'Fresh' Colour palette
Farrow and Ball ‘Fresh’ Colour palette


Farrow and Ball 'Camouflage' Colour palette
Farrow and Ball ‘Camouflage’ Colour palette


Farrow and ball colour palette modern
Farrow and ball Modern colour palette

Want help planning and choosing colours for your next Interior decorating project so you don’t waste time or money?  Contact me here and let’s do this!

If you liked this video, you may also like this one where I disclose my best decorating tip ever!

See you next time!

Got a question?  Ask me anything! Comment below or direct message me here on Instagram.

Choosing Paint Colours Shouldn’t Be Scary

Maria Killam Colour Course 2018 Long Island New York

I am big stickler for investing in one’s business. When you find helpful tools or attend seminars and events that can propel you forward, it allows you to enhance the skills you already have. This makes you better at what you do, thus providing clients with a better quality of service and overall experience.

Toronto Client's bathroom painted Snowfall White by BM. Photo by Stephani Buchman.
My Toronto Client’s bathroom in Snowfall White by BM. Featured in Maria Killam’s White Is Complicated Book.  Photo by Stephani Buchman.

In the business of Interior Design and Decorating, understanding colour is essential.  When I attended my college course to obtain my Interior Decorating certificate, there was a colour theory class that was mandatory to take as part of the program curriculum.

While it was helpful in explaining how to use a colour wheel and recognise various colour schemes, it wasn’t enough to give me the confidence I needed to specify paint colours for clients.

True Colour Expert Maria Killam and I in Toronto, 2012.
True Colour Expert Maria Killam and I in Toronto, 2012, at my first True Colour Expert training course.

In 2011, the year I started my Interior Decorating business, it was my very first client who introduced me to a blog that changed my life.

The blog was called Colour Me Happy.  The content provided on this blog was truly addictive, full of so much useful information pertaining to choosing colours and identifying undertones. I would binge read from post to post for hours and felt like I had struck gold!

By now, it’s highly likely that you know the True Colour Guru behind this extremely popular blog. She is (my now good friend) the one and only, Maria Killam.

Maria Killam Specify Colour with Confidence course 2018
Maria Killam Specify Colour with Confidence course 2018. How cute is she?!

Attending Maria’s course in 2012 was one of the best investments that I ever made in my business.  Almost overnight -and I’m not even kidding –  I went from having the colour consultation being one of the scariest parts of my job, to being one of my most favourite things to do for clients!

Of course, having Maria’s large painted boards also helps in a big way.  If you are either a homeowner or design professional who has her boards, you know how valuable they are when looking at and specifying paint colour, to make sure you get it right the FIRST time, EVERY time.

My colour confidence is to the point now where creating video content for my YouTube channel and on my IGTV videos on Instagram, about paint colour reviews and how to choose colour, excites me almost more than interior decorating does. To teach and share what I’ve learned is exhilarating and fun for me. I have Maria to thank for that.

IGTV Video Episode #13, Disclaimer: Paint Colour Selections. You can watch it here.

Earlier this year, I decided to attend Maria’s course for the second time while on a trip to New York.  I wanted to see how the course had changed – and to be totally transparent, I was also excited to see Maria again and many of my designer friends who were also attending the Specify Colour with Confidence Course in Long Island. 🙂

I contacted Maria ahead of time and asked her if she would be willing to sit down with me for a first ever interview of this kind with the True Colour Expert herself.

I wanted to get a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into her course and find out more about why she feels so strongly about this being ‘the course’ that people need to take in order to better understand & confidently specify colour.

Maria said yes, YAY!  I couldn’t be more excited to share this exclusive interview with you here today. Click below to see the full interview.

When people ask me if the course is worth taking, my answer without a doubt, is yes.

Maria’s 3 day course is about more than just colour. She does helpful hands on exercises on how to read undertones; shares her process for E-design; provides insight on how to style a space and much more.

Maria is a big believer that loving your home is all about ‘the look and the feel’ when you put it together. Paint alone cannot transform a space.

For the record, this is not a sponsored post.

Even if it was, there isn’t anything I’m saying here that I don’t 100% believe. This is THE NAKED TRUTH!

Specify Colour with Confidence Course 2018 Long Island, NY.
Specify Colour with Confidence Course 2018 Long Island, NY.

Have you taken Maria’s colour class yet or have you been following her blog and are still considering it?  Comment below, ask a question and Maria or I will be happy to respond.

Never miss a video where I share colour and decorating tips every other week.  Click here to subscribe to my Claire Jefford YouTube channel and hit the bell to the right of the red button to make sure you always get notified when I publish a new video.

Want Maria’s Large Painted Colour Boards?

Love my large painted colour boards and want your own set?

Click here to shop the large colour boards now!

// DISCLOSURE: Thank you for trusting me with my truthful and reliable opinion on any future purchase you may make. I always disclose affiliate or sponsored information when it is the case. If you purchase Maria’s boards, I will earn a small commission from the sale. This doesn’t affect you in any way, the price remains the same regardless.  Thank you for supporting me and entrusting me to be your go-to for all things Colour and Interior Design!

My next video is all about Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy and is released Wednesday October 10th.  Don’t miss it!

Hale Navy colour review release date: October 10th.

Perfect for Pinning!

As I love creating graphics and because they are necessary to drive people back to my site from platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, here are three that I designed specifically for this blog post. Which one is your favourite?

Follow me on Pinterest here


Pinterest graphic number 2 for testing


Hang out with me on Instagram, click here

Want to get your paint colours right the FIRST time for your next project?  Contact me here and let’s do this!

How To Create a Gallery Wall In Your Home

Wall gallery displays in Interior Decor have become a popular way to dress up the walls in your home.  To ensure you get this focal wall just right, I’m sharing a few guidelines with you that I like to follow.

You want to make sure that your hard efforts of creating a gallery wall in your own home will pay off to give you your desired look, especially before putting holes in that wall!

You’ll also see:

  • My rules to follow for creating a gallery wall in your home
  • What to consider when choosing your wall art and your frames
  • How I created a simple (& inexpensive!) gallery wall as a focal point in my own home
  • A foyer & dining room of two different client projects using their photos to personalize the space
  • 3D renderings to allow clients to visualize my ideas for these accent walls within their home

    Are you ready? LET’S DO THIS!


If you know me, you know I like to plan, so this is very important.

My rule is that there should be at least one commonality throughout the entire gallery wall, one element tying it all together. The first thing you need to do is:


For my client’s front entryway (below) in their home in Hamilton, Ontario, we decided to go with the theme of family photos. We wanted to convey through the images in the gallery, that was is tight knit family with a home full of love and fun!  The framed images were from their wedding and trips that they had taken together over the years.


Gallery Wall of personal photos
Gallery Wall of personal photos.

Similar Frames or Mat Colours

In my own living room in Burlington Ontario, I have a feature wall with IKEA frames that are all the same medium toned wood colour. I also made my own border within the mats to frame each photograph. To keep continuity and flow, I chose to paint them the same as the wall colour, Flint by Benjamin Moore.

Each of our ‘Nature’ themed photos have a little bit of yellow in the image.

Shown below is a wall design that I did in my own basement many years ago. All the mat colours are the same, but you can see that I decided to go with different frames, different in both style and in size.

Photos from our travels, before kids and before we moved back to Canada from England.

Take Your Measurements

Now wait. Don’t put your hammer to the nails just yet!

Before you put a hole in the wall, you’ll need to measure the wall space where your wall art will live. Let’s say it’s going above your sofa. You typically don’t want to exceed the width of the sofa. Also, be sure to place the bottom of the frames  within 6″ – 12″ above the top of the sofa.

As with anything, there are some exceptions to this rule. However, for the purpose of this post, let’s stick to that way of thinking.

Below in my daughter Elise’s room.  Notice how the items on the wall do not extend past her bed?


Photo of this interior decorating project by Stephani Buchman Photography.

To measure it all out, I do one of two things:

I either use my 3D program and map it all out like you can see in the rendering below. This way I can show clients exactly how I intend to set up their gallery wall display and get my client’s approval for the layout.

The other option is to map it all out on the floor. Use a measuring tape and play around with the arrangement by moving your decorative pieces around until you get the look you want.

Tip: Take photos of proposed layouts before adjusting items to try another look.  This way you don’t need to worry about remembering each possibility! (Hey, we aren’t getting any younger, right?!)

I like to start by placing the biggest piece first, unless all the photos are the same size.

You’ll also want to consider if you (or your client) is someone who likes things to be symmetrical or if you are a bit more ‘loosey goosey’ and like the quirkiness of an asymmetrical design.

Symmetrical layout of my clients framed photographs in their industrial dining room we designed.

Keep each piece of wall art close enough together so they’re relating to one another.  At the same time, allow for some breathing space so each item can be appreciated when looking at the final design, just as we did above in our clients very cool dining room

What I love about so many gallery walls, is not only are they a great way to display artwork, but these feature walls are a great opportunity to make your space more personal.  That’s really what great interior design for a home is all about.

Just like my tagline states, “Love where you live, live a better life.”

When you surround yourself with personal and sentimental items, that’s when you really make your house, a home.

Plus, you’re going to be excited to show off your beautifully decorated home with those who mean the most to you.  A win-win for sure!

If you want help designing a gallery wall, I’d be happy to help.  Contact me here.

Now it’s your turn to share your tips with us.  Comment below to let us know if you have a Gallery Wall of Art in your home.


To Design a Smart & Sexy Kitchen, You Need This

We want our kitchens to look sleek, sexy and classic right?  Of course! But it’s also imperative that they do what we need them to do in terms of functionality. It’s like when we meet someone who we are attracted to. Initially it may be their looks that entice us, but if there’s nothing between the ears and the personality is flat, then what’s the point?

Fortunately, when it comes to appliances, Thermador has very thoughtfully considered both.  

Read moreTo Design a Smart & Sexy Kitchen, You Need This

What Detail is Often Overlooked in Interior Design?

Earlier this month I headed to KBIS – Kitchen and Bath Industry Show – in Orlando for Blog Tour 2017!  It was an all expenses paid trip hosted by the lovely Veroinkia Miller of Modenus.

The purpose of the tours are to connect interior designer professionals from all across North America with vendors of the show so we can learn about their products and share them with you.

Read moreWhat Detail is Often Overlooked in Interior Design?

An Ugly Duckling Transformed!

It’s November already!?! Donald Trump is the new US President?!  Christmas is just around the corner?!!  I know, I’ve been AWOL for the last little while and so much has been happening in this world!

Let’s escape for a few minutes to see this latest transformation that I recently had photographed.  If you like a good before and after, you’re going to love this.  

Read moreAn Ugly Duckling Transformed!

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