I’m Magazine Ready, I swear.

They called, I cleaned, they came.

Oh yeah.  And I swore.  The story wouldn’t be completely accurate without mentioning the swearing.  Not a lot.  Just enough to make me feel better.

Knowing a magazine is going to come and take pictures of your house is a great catalyst in fact for discovering new swear words and combinations of swear words you didn’t even think you knew.

The colourful language all started with the list.  You may remember  the list I made of all the things I needed to do in the 2 week period before  Style at Home magazine came to shoot my house for their September issue.

As I was sitting down with a coffee and a sedative to compile the massive list of everything I had to get done, I heard a tiny commotion outside.   Not enough to alarm me.  Just enough to make me think Hmm.  There goes a bump in the night.  (it was actually daytime, but I feel like “bump in the night” adds dramatic flair to my story)

But then I put down the panic inducing, ever growing, list of things I had to do in the next 2 weeks to look out my front door.  And discovered this.

It was at this exact moment that I rediscovered a swear word that had been hiding in my frontal lobe ever since that time I stepped on a rusty nail with bare feet.

Neighbour’s car, meet fence.  Fence … neighbour’s car.  Probably need to add that to the list.

The swearing continued through the painting,

The crouching,

The supervising of painting,

The caulking,

The cleaning,


The stick down tiling under the sink, (I have NO idea why I thought this was imperative, but I did, and there was gonna be HELL to pay if anyone got in the way of me laying stick down tile on the inside of my kitchen sink cupboard.  HELL to pay, I say).

And the quick hiding of junk in the spare bedroom,

Now you may have noticed that the majority of the work was done in the kitchen. Exactly 4 days before the shoot, Brett Walther of Style at Home emailed me and non-chalantly mentioned …  my kitchen wasn’t going to be in the shoot.

Brett was thusly introduced to my newly expanded lexicon of prison talk.  I’m not sure but I may have threatened to shank him.

My kitchen can be seen on page 105 of Style at Home’s September issue.

Tomorrow’s post …  a behind the scenes look at the magazine shoot!


  1. teebarnes says:

    Karen, just discovered your blog. I love, love your home. I can’t put this issue down because of your home. Kept showing my husband your foyer, saying this is exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish with new bookshelves. I want to curl up in that chair and not leave. The entire spread is stunning. Also, love the living,dining & bed rooms. You did an outstanding job!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks! Yup. Bookcases are pretty life changing. I’m still excited about mine (Ikea Billy bookcases) and it’s over a year later. – karen

  2. Kelly says:

    Karen, all that in 2 weeks. You rule! Definitely post the article when it comes out!


  3. Brett Walther says:

    For the record, I always wanted the kitchen. I just sensed an undercurrent of panic and thought I’d do the gentlemanly thing and let you off the hook… ;) I’ll be relentlessly uncompromising when we do your garden next spring. YAY!!!

  4. Melly says:

    This is the best thing I’ve ready all week!

  5. infernalmachine says:

    just saw it in the magazine – holy crapsticks it’s so awesome! (ok, i wouldn’t have painted the kitchen green myself but it looks right). especially (still) in love with the Mongolian Warlord Chair.

  6. Tickled Red says:

    Hahahaa Oh dear lord!! Shank him! hahahahahha Oh to be a fly.

    I can’t wait to see photos of the wisely included, much deserved kitchen :) Which by the way I love the color, the windows are to die for as well as the exposed brick.I would never leave.

  7. Lori says:

    Thank GOD for spare bedrooms. If they have no other use, it’s to hold crap and (animals?) that just seem to pile up – crap and (animals?) that we don’t wish to throw out.

    Can’t wait to see more.

  8. Jenn says:

    Hilarious! My house is on the market, and I had a similar, Class 5 meltdown before Open House #1…and Broker’s Open…and Open House #2. During my tirades of organizing and cleaning to superhuman standards which no one, and I mean no one, could talk me out of I honestly thought my own head might spin around Exorcist-style. At least you know you’re not alone. Thanks for sharing!

  9. DesignTies says:

    Love the story behind the Style At Home article :-)

    I find I do my best swearing when I’m driving, especially when I’m behind a slow driver in the left lane who refuses to move to the right lane :-)


  10. Heather says:

    I read the article in Style at Home and loved your house. I like this magazine but find their prices a little outrageous sometimes. Me (and my kids) loved the lambswood throw on your chair. We too have chairs which both us and our cats love. Any ideas on where to get a similar throw reasonably?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather – Thanks! Let me know if you’re talking about the huge Mongolian lamb throw over the foyer (with the bookshelves) chair, or the sheepskin over the wire chair and arm of the couch.

  11. Jaime says:

    Can’t wait to see!

  12. Gina Newberry says:

    Oh, that is so funny. I am so glad to know I am not the only one who finds a new vocabulary when under pressure to get the house done. And I have never had a magazine come visit. I am thinking that would open me up to a whole new world of colorful words. Great job getting him to see the light and include your lovely kitchen. I can’t wait to see it in the magazine.

  13. Ok, that was a brilliant story, I will now FOREVER admire your kitchen! xx

  14. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. The neighbors car meeting the fence would have been enough for me throw up my hands and say “F**k it!”

  15. Ana says:

    Is that TWO gumball machines? Excellent.

  16. Beth says:

    Looking at you standing on your countertop in that crouched position made MY back hurt! I did see the rewarding after shots – you were definitely magazine ready!
    btw, I finally made my Karen inspired bird bath…

    • Karen says:

      Beth – I saw your birdbath! It’s beautiful! And I’m not just saying that to be polite. It truly is. I wish we had Target in Canada. :( I love the wooden bowl

      • Beth says:

        Thanks Karen (and Langela too)! No Target in Canada – gasp! I did not know that.

      • Anj says:

        I actually called Target headquarters 2 years ago to ask them when they were coming to Canada alas they told me they did not have any plans in the works.
        2 Weeks ago I read an article in the Globe that they are now thinking about expanding to Canada since our market is ticking along better than the States. Fingers Crossed.
        Beth I love your blog. The Mid Century Modern Furniture and houses you show are the type of stuff my sister and I email each other all the time. I am still searching for a vintage Kidney table for my Family Room.

    • Langela says:

      Very pretty birdbath. I love that bowl!

  17. Langela says:

    Oh yeah? Well yesterday I….. I meant to do…. What I mean to say is…. FINE! You got me beat. It’s more work looking at pictures of what you got done than I normally accomplish in a day. I just homeschool 3 kids, cook, and do enough cleaning to keep us from sticking to things. And a few other things. I guess when I write it out it seems like I might do something after all. But I have no pictures to prove it. Must get camera out and prove I do more than write on blogs all day.

    • Karen says:

      Langela – I would rather build my own house from the ground up using only cat hair and elastic bands in a thunderstorm than homeschool 3 kids. Kudos! Phew. What a thought.

      • Langela says:

        Karen, we covered building an entire house from the ground up using only cat hair and elastic bands in a thunderstorm just last week in our studies. If only I had known you wanted the practice… Next week we cover how to build a barn using only superglue and eyelashes while braving a tornado. So let me know if you’re interested.

  18. mimi says:

    I love, love, love the window in your kitchen.
    Oh, and the chandelier!
    I would look at that and ignore the junk room , but the junk room is no more.

  19. nantia says:

    Hi Karen , i loved what you did to your home.
    i saw the pictures on the digital issue :)(i don’t think it’s available in Greece)
    great job:)
    you are an inspiration

  20. Zina says:

    BTW, did your neighbor have insurance?

  21. Zina says:

    Wow. But it does look like the end product was amazing! I regret to say that the sight of your now beautifully clean cabinet handles only reminded me that one of the first things I need to do when I finish getting moved in is to clean all of the kitchen handles. Aargh.

    I’ve always wondered…do they take things like your toaster and other counter cluttering objects off your counters when they shoot the kitchen? Kitchens in magazines always make me feel like I’ve sinned terribly by leaving my onions and garlic in a bowl on top of the microwave.

  22. Shauna Wobeser says:

    Ha Ha that’s awesome!! You know…the fence…the “what do you mean not my kitchen?” But I think we are all looking at your ‘junk’ in the spare room to see what kind of ‘junk’ you have….. So…the Dollarama bags..contest perhaps? Oh and I think most people don’t find it uncommon for rolling pins to be in the kitchen, or screens to be on the windows…But I get it, I have screens in a shop where the pigeons poop!! Can’t wait to see the magazine!!

    • Karen says:

      Shauna – I have, mmm … “several” rolling pins. Wooden rolling pins, stainless steel rolling pins, marble rolling pins. I stack them on top of one another in the cupboard and they often threaten to smash me on the head. Thought removing a few of them would be the safe and conscientious thing to do. I”m good like that.

  23. Pam'a says:

    Well, even if it doesn’t *all* make it into in the shoot, I just know you love what you did in your kitchen (those drawer pulls alone!).

    And, it sure was nice of you to post the junk room picture so we know you’re still human. (I notice this is the room the cats prefer.)


    • Karen says:

      Pam’a – the cats prefer whichever room is the hottest. The room is back to normal now but still 140 degrees. So the cat’s have stayed. Stupid fur covered cats.

  24. I’m exhausted just reading about this.

    Wanna do my place next? ;)

    • Karen says:

      HAH!!! OH MY GOD. Just about popped an eyeball out reading that. Um … I will be ready to do your place in precisely 17 1/2 decades. Give or take a decade. :)

      • Jan says:

        Karen, what I really need to know is, did you keep the junk room locked when the photographers came? Did you put a sign on the door, like, “Do not open. TB Ward.” Or “Entrance prohibited. Just sprayed for bedbugs.” ? Please tell me you have that room, that the junk hiding room really exists, and I will be able to sleep.

        I come from a long line of junk hiders. Laundry hampers, washing machine, oven (not recommended). You are so up-scale–a whole ROOM!

        I dream of owning a house with a junk chute. Right into one of those big metal things they park behind the mall. Dream big, I say.

      • Karen says:

        That’s my spare bedroom where my “junk” went for the day. The big black box is where I keep my extra blanket under the bed, but they shot the bedroom and would be able to see the box under bed. Ugly fireplace tools got shoved up there. Shampoo and crap that usually rests between the tub and the wall, a big round ball thing like Michael has in The Office was shoved in there as I recall. Anything I didn’t want to be photographed for whatever reason. Although one of the cats, does make an appearance in the issue! Everything is back where it belongs now. When I did the great house redecorating/purge of 2008 I made sure everything had a place and there would be NO MORE shoving things under the couch, under the buffet, in the laundry hamper etc. It’s a much easier way to live. Sorry. No junk room. The room doesn’t actually have a door on it so it was all on display for everyone to see if that makes you feel any better. Hope so. Now go pop that Ambien and toodle off to bed.

      • den says:

        cats = junk room? :)

      • Jan says:

        Well, fine. No junk room. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” This is why your house is in a magazine and mine is not. Yes, I will sleep, but by the way, not putting a door on the spare room is a sure way to keep guests away. Another clever move.

      • Karen says:

        And when they do come … I can keep my eye on them. >:}0

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