Design Inspiration - Powder Rooms


While small in size, the powder room is the perfect space to add drama. The small scale allows you to incorporate dramatic items like wallpaper and unique lighting while not breaking the bank. Here are a few of our favourite powder rooms from over the years.


By hanging the pendant in front of the mirror the reflection doubles the sparkle in this bath. The clean lines of the vanity contrast with the sheepskin rug, unexpected in a powder room.


Drama comes in the form of texture & contemporary details in this space. Moody wallpaper is balanced with the sleek geometry of the floating vanity & sink. 


A reclaimed bowl & faucet add loads character to this space. The leather mirror frame was made by a family friend and adds even more personality.


This room is like a jewel box. From the mosaic glass tile to the agate waterfall countertop, this space absolutely glows.


You can never go wrong with wallpaper in a powder room and this large scale pattern is a perfect match to the furniture style vanity.


We incorporated a vestibule into this powder room which was coined the "ladies lounge". The perfect place to touch up your make-up during a dinner party. Textural wallpaper and jewel-like sconces at the perfect amount of femininity.

Traditional damask wallpaper and a furniture style vanity take this powder room next level.

We took the tile up the walls in this space creating a quiet backdrop for this supersleek Duravit vanity.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Rustic Revisited - A Canmore Mountain Home

Sometimes a project presents itself that seems like a no brainer. But then you take a second look and the concept can be taken in an unexpected direction. We recently worked on this Canmore mountain home for a repeat client. Of course, the first idea was for a rustic mountain lodge – but that seemed too easy and really didn’t fit with the clients’ style.


Our goal was to bring mountain rustic style up to date, and create a clean and contemporary mountain home, but respect the setting.

One major element that helped create this feeling was the ceiling beams. 25 years prior, the client and his father had cut down some trees on the family farm. They saved the lumber with the intention of building a house on the property. Unfortunately that house was never built, so these beams remained stored in a Quonset hut for over two decades. When it was time for the clients to build their mountain home, they knew those timbers needed to be used somehow. That bit of history really adds to the character of the home.

The timbers were all rough-hewn Douglas Fir, but we had the builder process them and plane them down to uniform sizes. Some were larger, but we used that size difference to an advantage to create depth and relief. All of the brackets were custom forged into a clean, modern shape. What could be a large expanse of drywall ceiling instead has warmth, character & history.

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The view is definitely the star of the show, but the copper range hood and leather finish granite counters hold their own. Rustic elements used in a clean, contemporary way bring the focus onto the nature of the material.

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Walnut slab cabinetry warms up the stainless steel and wrought iron.

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A nod to the old farm with a rolling ladder.          


The Master ensuite is a private spa in the mountains. Lots of mirrors around the vanity reflect light. Natural materials and clean lines allow the landscape to be rustic and wild.


Again, the view! Every window is a like a landscape painting framed in walnut. After all, what better model is there than Mother Nature?

Photography by Dustin Mifflin