Design Inspiration - Bright & Fresh Laundry Rooms

It's simply unavoidable, the piles of laundry must be reckoned with. It doesn't need to be so bad if you have a room that's bright & cheery. Here are a few of our favourite spaces to give you a little inspiration for your next laundry day.


Oriental rugs and an antique desk add charm to this space.

This laundry is tucked into the pantry making it an easily accessible, multi-functional space. 


Cream on cream finishes keeps it feeling fresh while stacked machines free up space for storage.


We always try to incorporate a full height cabinet in our laundry designs. Perfect for luggage, broom and vacuums.


Who says laundry rooms can't be sophisticated? Sleek gray cabinets feel in tune with the rest of this contemporary home. The raised laundry machines make the work a little less back-breaking while the flush cabinets above make the storage easily reachable.

Design Inspiration - Fireplaces

Fireplaces will always be a crucial element of any home, acting as the heart of living and dining spaces alike. We've gathered up some of our favourite fireplace designs to inspire you for your next project.


Shelving flanking both sides of this contemporary fireplace is used to display art the client has accumulated from their many travels.


Slab marble surround with a simple mantle grounds this classic living room. 

Assymetry is played up with scale and texture in the marble tile surround in this contemporary family room.


Pietra grey marble and walnut wood add another layer of texture to pull together this room. 


Luxurious glass tile glitters in this cozy bedroom sitting area.

Classic at it's best. The creamy paneling and soapstone slab surround keep this traditional fireplace timeless


The clean lines of this simple fireplace are balanced with the texture of the quartz ledgestone and works perfectly with the adjacent wood millwork.


Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Lastly, one of our favourite designs: Contrasting limestone & walnut panels provide a stunning focal point in this bedroom, the ideal retreat for the end of the day.

Contemporary Family Home

We were delighted to work with this young family to design their dream home along with Grandscape Homes & Phase One Design. The open layout is perfect for a growing family while the sophisticated palette and clean details create a timeless refuge.

In the front entrance a sculptural coat hook adorns the wall in lieu of a traditional coat closet.

The central staircase just off the foyer acts as a room divider while the glass panels and floating stairs keep the space feeling open.

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The dining room with a view into the foyer and staircase beyond.

In the kitchen, high gloss grey built-in cabinetry conceals the door to the mudroom.

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The finishes were kept clean, allowing the raised eating bar to add a touch of drama.

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A glimpse from the kitchen into the nook & living room.


Playful hits of colour in the furnishings keep the home from feeling too serious.

The 2 way fireplace divides the living room and dining room.

Looking into the powder room from the "ladies lounge" - a small vestibule perfect for touching up your makeup.

A custom chandelier cascades down the centre of the stairwell. At the top of the stairs, a central homework station keeps everyone within earshot.

One of the kid's rooms. Soft pink walls are playful put still neutral. 

The master ensuite is a relaxing haven with a 2-way fireplace backing onto the master bedroom. The ideal retreat to end a busy day.


The basement with a wet bar, built in wine & sculpture wall and fitness room - the perfect for space for entertaining, lounging or re-energizing.

A Traditional Family Home

This is definitely one of our favourite projects to date. A busy family of four with a love of cape cod design and traditional detailing was looking for a cozy refuge. Designed with family in mind, every nook and cranny was thoughtfully put to use.

The front hall with full height paneled walls and coffered ceiling is grand yet light & airy.


The front parlour is a perfect escape for fireside evening cocktails.


The dining room is directly across the hall from the parlour. Wall to wall drapes, rich velvets and the traditional chandelier lend a cozy & intimate atmosphere.

Shimmery damask wallpaper and a custom furniture-like vanity add a glamorous feel to the powder room.

Detail is everything in this home. The coffer ceiling and crown details were meticulously designed to appear grand yet not overwhelming. 


The cozy living room is perfect for snuggling up by the fire.

This jewel box of a home office is tucked into the stair landing descending to the lower level. 

The library at the top of the upper level stairs is set between the kids bedrooms, perfect for homework and crafts.

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The kid's rooms are their own  private sanctuary, complete with loft & ensuite. Fun details like the daisy pattern tile detail in the daughter's bathroom add personality while remaining timeless.

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The master bedroom with more beautiful panel work and an end of bed console with pop up television.

Traditional detailing continues into the master ensuite with checkerboard marble floors.


In the basement, the bar is perfect for social gatherings. Who needs to leave the house when you have a bar like this?

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Adjacent to the bar is the media room, the essential unwind area with oversized seating and relaxed materials.


Another hidden gem - a bookcase concealing a secret playroom.

Wall to Wall Drapery

Drapery is one of the easiest ways to pull together a room and we love it when they go wall to wall. Here are some of our favourite spaces that prove how drapes can dramatically transform a room.

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We draped the whole wall in this basement home office despite the fact there is only one small window. The effect is luxe and creates the illusion of a wall of windows. 

Drapes run the whole back end of this home from the kitchen to living room. We used sheers to let in the light but still provide privacy.

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Using drapes in unexpected rooms like this ensuite make it feel even more luxurious and softens the otherwise hard surfaces.

Drapery in this stairwell adds plenty of drama and a backdrop to the sculptural pendant light.

The classic patterning on this fabric pulls the room together without overwhelming the space.

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We used sheers on 2 walls of this home office to provide privacy and soften the wall of modern windows.

Not your typical Bungalow

Forget everything you thought you knew about bungalow homes. Our client's new home, designed by Calgary architect firm Dejong Design, defies all of the typical bungalow features with it's soaring ceilings, open plan and floor to ceiling windows. Read on for some major inspiration.


The front foyer with 14' ceilings. The exterior stone wall flows into the space while the sky-high sidelights provide a view of the park across the street. 

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The dining room is the first room you see as you come up the foyer stairs. The rich colours, floor-to-ceiling drapes and crystal chandelier create a dramatic first impression of the home. The open plan allows you to catch a glimpse of the sitting room beyond.

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The colour scheme is soft and neutral - the perfect backdrop for the homeowner's amazing art collection. The walnut- clad bulkhead defines the back end of the house.   


All of the appliances except the cooktop & dishwasher are housed in the corridor connecting the kitchen and the dining room. This keeps the main living area open - perfect for entertaining.


The neutral palette in the living room is offset by the dynamic art. The Artemide light fixture appears to float in mid-air.


The luxe laundry room would make anyone want to do a load of laundry!

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The master bedroom with a glimpse into the ensuite through the master closet. 

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The master closet links the bedroom to the ensuite. 

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A crystal chandelier and silk drapes lend a glamorous feel to the open and airy master bath. 

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A peek into the dining room as you descend to the basement.

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Lastly, the wine room. Walnut clad walls create a rich backdrop for the glass room. The peg wall allows the bottles to be artfully displayed.

Lighting as Art

Decorative lighting is like your favourite piece of art. It adds personality to your home, taking a space from humdrum to wow. Here are some of our favourite spaces - all with light fixtures that add life and some serious drama.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

While sculptural in form, the Big Bang by Foscarini works with instead of against the dramatic art

Johnhnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnhnson & Associates Interior Design

Various shapes and sizes of Tom Dixon's Beat Lights softens this dining room.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

The movement in this fixture plays against the sleekness of the kitchen.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

A small Caboche pendant feels like jewelry in this powder room.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Dramatic fixtures don't always require alot of money, just a little imagination. These West Elm bell pendants were used to fashion a custom chandelier over the island.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

The organic nature of this fixture contrasts perfectly with the stone and hot rolled steel on the fireplace wall.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

These Moroccan pendants add exotic flair.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

This whimsical pendant is playful in this contemporary family home.

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Johnson & Associates Interior Design

Sometimes an oversized fixture is all that's needed to provide drama.

See more light fixtures that inspire us on our pinterest board.

Before & After: A Global Inspired Renovation

After nearly two decades of traveling and working abroad our clients were ready to move back to Calgary. The couple had purchased a bungalow several years earlier and now it was time to make it their permanent home. While situated on a prime lot on a quiet, mature street and backing on to green space, the house was in desperate need of an update. Our client dreamed of a fresh contemporary home - a clean slate where they could surround themselves with all of the treasures they had picked up over their years of traveling. After enlisting the services of Cortina Crafted Homes, the house was completely gutted and the transformation began.


This is the exterior of the home before the renovation. The surrounding landscape is stunning but the dated facade doesn't quite feel like it fits in. 

The exterior received a major overhaul.  We opened up the courtyard, changed the roof lines, enlarged the windows and completely refinished the exterior materials. The home now feels up-to-date while fitting in to the neighbourhood.

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Here are the kitchen and living room before the renovation. The wall between the rooms was removed to create a larger, more streamlined kitchen and open dining area.

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New full height windows and patio doors let in the streaming sunlight and brighten up the space ten-fold. The glossy white cabinets and backpainted glass backsplash reflect even more light while the clear walnut pantry & fridge wall adds just the right amount of warmth. The moroccan-style pendants were sourced from Egypt and add a touch of exotic flair to the space.

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Here is a before shot of the family room backing on to the kitchen.

We removed the corner fireplace and added a contemporary 2-way fireplace dividing the dining and living room spaces. The windows in the living room were also enlarged to let in that gorgeous view.

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A before & after shot of the stairwell to the basement. A niche was designed specifically for the antique door that the client brought back from Saudi Arabia. The glass railing continues with the open concept while allowing a clear view to the artwork. 

Here is another shot of the foyer. The pottery and rugs are all from the client's collection and add so much character to the space.

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The laundry room before & after. White lacquered cabinets and carrera marble contrast beautifully with antique furniture and rugs brought back from the client's travels.

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This is the ensuite before.

The new ensuite - clear walnut contrasts with the extra thick carrera marble countertop.  The mirror reflects the gorgeous glass mosaic tile inset in the shower. 

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The hall bath before.

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Here is the new hall bath. The vanity is a Johnson & Associates custom design. The whole room is tiled with a large scale glossy ceramic tile inset with a glass match stick herringbone. The effect is light, bright & luscious.


Here are a couple of shots of the basement before. It was dark, dreary & cold, not really somewhere you'd want to spend any time. There were also a multitude of bulkheads due to the usual duct work in a basement.


The basement is now completely inhabitable, complete with media area, pool table and bar (shown above). The contractor was able to get rid of most of the bulkheads to really open up the ceiling. A soft colour palette on the walls, ceiling and floor keeps the space feeling open and airy despite the fact that the ceiling is less than 8' high. 

The tiles inset into the backsplash of the bar were found by the client on a trip to Africa - a special touch that integrates their travel history into their home.

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This is the basement guest bath. Not sure about the scale of that mirror....

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And here are the after shots of the guest bathroom. Again, the soft colours and full height mirror disguise the fact the ceilings are so low, creating a space that is open and inviting.

 This is one of our favourite projects from last year. It was such fun to see the transformation of the home from 70's drab to classic contemporary but even more amazing to see it come to life with our client's collections and personality. 

Before & After: Modern Ranch Renovation

We were lucky enough to work with our client to renovate this 70's ranch bungalow inherited from her grandparents. While it was desperately in need of an update, it was our job to reinterpret the ranch style while maintaining the home's soul. 

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Here is the back entrance before. This is a working ranch with an obvious lack of storage for hats and other cowboy paraphernalia.

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The back entrance after. We created a functional mudroom with plenty of hooks and cubbies for boots & hats. The goal was to have everything open and at an arm's reach for an easy in and out. The hard wearing basalt floors look beautiful while providing a heavy duty surface that can battle the elements. The wood from the 2 barn doors beyond were salvaged from old buildings on the ranch.

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While the existing kitchen was fairly large, the layout didn't function well for the client. We flipped it to the other side of the room, allowing us to add plenty of storage and workspace

The new kitchen. The 11' island provides ample workspace and seating while the window above the cooktop frames the stunning Alberta landscape beyond like a piece of art. The light fixture was custom made using jar pendants and reclaimed wood planks.

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The original dining room. 

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The dining room after. The existing wall separating the family room and dining room was removed to create an open, family-friendly space. A custom credenza creates a division between the rooms while housing a pop-up TV. The steel pendant is hand made by John Beck and complements the space perfectly. The table was custom made for the client and will surely be in the family for generations to come. The windows were widened so the view can take centre stage. The paintings are treasured pieces inherited from the clients' grandparents.

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This is the original front entrance. Despite all of the windows, it felt quite dark and dreary.

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The front entrance now. A lighter wall colour lightens up the room dramatically while the new stair railing adds a sculptural element. The art work brings the space to life - the pieces were commissioned by the client and depict her own horses. 

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This is the back hall leading to the bedrooms before. Excuse the action shot - this was taken on site measure day!

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The new back hall. Believe it or not, the hall wasn't widened and the ceiling wasn't raised. It's amazing what paint and lighting can do!

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This is the old master bedroom - although the swag pendants had their charm, it was time they retired.

The master bedroom now. This was the only area we replaced the wood ceilings with drywall, but maintained the rustic charm with a reclaimed wood headboard wall. And did you notice that incredible view out the window again?

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Here is the original ensuite -  a pretty typical 1970's palette.

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The new ensuite is fresh and spa-like. The double vanity has lots of storage to keep the  clutter at bay.  A textural mix of neutral tiles and simple patterning is soothing.

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This is the original spiral staircase to the lower level. 

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And here it is now. Definitely one of our favourite elements of the home. The timber-like treads appear to be rotating on a single axis. A challenging design that was artfully constructed thanks to talented trades.

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Here we have the original home office. Although this photo looks like it was taken in the 70's, it was just last spring - honest.

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The new office with a custom built-in credenza and crisp paneled walls. The furnishings are classic with a rustic twist. 


Thanks for letting us share this project with you - we hope you are as inspired by it as much as we are! 

*Photography of renovated home by Dustin Mifflin