Home Office Inspiration

cushandnooks - home office inspirationI have been dreaming about a beautiful home office for awhile now. And with Pinterest and so many amazing blogs out there for inspiration, my dreams of the perfect space seem more attainable than ever. Especially since Ryan and I blew out the wall between the two tiny bedrooms in the basement. We saw the possibilities in this new and improved room immediately! After months of slow and steady renos, we are finally getting close to having a complete home office and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Now it’s about really finishing off the space with those details and added touches. I can’t wait to show you all! But first, I thought I would share some of the images that sparked my home office inspiration and my own design scheme.

Scandinavian Home Office Inspiration My Scandinavian Home Office Inspiration alaina-kaczmarski- home office inspiration

Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3

Great home offices are both organized AND beautiful. Everything needs a place and the space needs to function well – but for me, it also needs to be inspiring. A place I want to be.

ssprintshop - home office inspiration

Details matter! How can you not absolutely love the desk of Stephanie Sterjovskihome office inspirationFound some great tips for a chic and tidy workspace here.

And now for my design.

home office inspiration-DesignChandelier | Office Chair | Parsons Desk | Area Rug | Task Lamp | Typography Art

Home Office Inspiration-Accessories

The Inspired Home | Notepad and Weekly Planner | Candle | Organizing Ceramic Jars | Acrylic Pieces 

What do you think of my inspiration? Is a beautiful home office important for you? Thanks for sharing!

The Wedding Chronicles: Our Top Edmonton Wedding Venues

So where did we leave off last in the wedding chronicles…oh yeah! We realized mountain weddings are ridiculously expensive LOL! So, a couple of months ago, we started to look at possible wedding venues here in Edmonton and were pleasantly surprised by the unique options. Yes there are some great hotel choices like Hotel MacDonald, the Matrix Hotel, Union Bank Inn or even somewhere like the Oasis Centre. But we wanted to search for something a bit more intimate, interesting and reflective of us as a couple. After all, the venue often sets the tone for the whole wedding and the people running everything behind the scenes can really make or break the big day. So we did some research, we visited some places and came up with our top Edmonton Wedding Venues! Here they are in no particular order…

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues1. Blatchford Hangar at Fort Edmonton Park

Why we love it: We felt like we stepped back in time! How wonderful to get married with a bit of history surrounding you and your guests. It’s open and airy, with an adorable loft space perfect for a photo booth or games area. We could very well see ourselves getting married right there in front of the big hangar doors or even in the small, intimate 1910 St. Michaels Church. For the reception, the open ceiling looked stunning and when I asked about hanging lights or other decorative options, they were really supportive. Ryan’s favourite part was that guests could visit some of the park on the day as well!

Something to consider: It is massive! Perfect for large weddings but may feel a tad empty for smaller parties. Also, there is a large mural on the main wall…easily covered by beautiful white fabric but you would have to consider that in your budget.

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues2. The Trans Alta Arts Barns

Why we love it: A bit theatrical like me? The people at the Barns are like family because of all the shows that we have put on there from Scona and because of how much I love and cherish the performing arts in Edmonton. They are very supportive and willing to make your day beautiful. It is basically a blank canvas! My mind was racing with ideas of how we could decorate. Basically getting married here would almost guarantee a day that no one else in Edmonton would ever have. I mean look at the two photos above! It doesn’t even look like the same place! Also, you can bring in whatever caterer you want. One wedding I attended at this space had Marble Slab come in for desert instead of the traditional cake. It was amazing!

Something to consider: The Arts Barns has loads of events going on throughout the year including the Fringe, which you may have heard of! That event alone basically knocks out the majority of the availability in summer. Book far in advance or think about a less hectic time of the year. Also, remember that because it is a theatre, no natural lighting!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues3. The Yellowhead Brewery

We we love it: Ummm fresh microbrews? Need I say more?? But really, this venue boasts more than awesome beer. Located downtown, it offers a hip loft space in what is basically a restored warehouse. Exposed brick throughout speaks to my heart and the delicate hanging lights are magical. The owner Ido, met us with a cold glass of beer immediately and was very down to earth. All the catering and alcohol is taken care of in house…making planning a cinch! And did I mention the brick?

Something to consider: The space is intimate…small wedding parties only!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues4. The Old Timer’s Cabin

Why we love it: If you can’t afford a mountain wedding like us, this may just be the next best thing! A beautiful log cabin, not nestled in the mountains, but rather in the heart of the river valley. The views from the cabin are gorgeous and inside is not half bad either with its rustic charm and large stone fireplace.

Something to consider: The secret is out on this little place. Booking may be difficult if you are looking at high season. Make sure to read the additional costs that come along with this venue!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues5. La Cité Francophone

Why we love it: Yes, it may seem like just a hall. And it is. But what we love about this venue is the access to the beautiful rotunda and patio & terrace. La Cité is located in the adorable French Quarter in Bonnie Doon and when you see the large windows of the venue its hard not to love it. And having La Café Bicyclette cater your event is sure to be delicious. Ryan and I often ride our bikes there for Sunday brunch.Top Edmonton Wedding Venues

Something to consider: Decor will be important here to make the hall itself look unique!

So I know you are all wondering….WHICH ONE DID WE CHOOSE FOR OUR BIG DAY?!?!


With the size of our wedding, we opted for intimacy. Though we loved some of the other venues, this one worked the best for us. It matched our style, it was easy to communicate with the manager and we knew that this space would set the best tone for us and our guests. We want no time in between the ceremony and reception and this venue allows us to get married in the evening and then flow right into the party! Ido is also allowing us to customize our menu which will be served in a more cocktail fashion…no formal sit down here! And, best of all, it fit our budget!

Oh and did I mention the brick? :)

Just a Glimpse

BikerideSummer vacation is off to a great start and I wanted to share just a glimpse of the week in IPhone photos! After the craziness of the flip, I now have some downtime and have been getting into a lovely summer routine. We have had unbelievable weather in Edmonton, so Ryan and I have taken every opportunity to get out on our bikes. We discovered the main trail around our house is basically slightly downhill all one direction which makes for a harder trip back!Just a GlimpseWatermelon shakes have become a staple because I loooooooove watermelon in the summer. Just mix water/coconut water with some ice, watermelon and fresh mint. Instant refreshing drink!Watermelon shake

Took poor Shya to the vet this week…not impressed…To the vetShopping trip made me fall in love with this skirt from Anthropologie!! How can I justify this one…Engagement photo outfit?!Anthropologie SkirtSummer hours means a bit more sleep…and Ava always makes sure to join me. No puppies on the bed has slowly changed to “ok, jump up for just a quick cuddle.”

afterlight6My quick trip down to Calgary for Stampede and some much needed girl time was amazing. CalgaryCoupBreakfast at Coup was delicious! I have never had king oyster mushroom bacon and I must say, it had really good flavour. Best friends

Love these girls!

And to finish off the week, we relaxed and watched the final world cup game!FinalsHappy Monday everyone!






Super Summer Green Soup

Super Green SoupEven though it is summer and the weather is warm, a good green soup can be a great lunch or supper option. Especially when it is chalk full of healthy green ingredients! This soup is a great base to customize depending on your nutritional requirements, hankerings and pantry. We keep it dairy free in our house but you can top with crème fraiche for a creamier soup. We top ours with shredded organic chicken breast and avocado to push this from a simple soup to a belly busting meal. Here is how to make our super green soup…
Super Green Soup
What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2” piece of ginger (if you use organic, there is no need to peel the ginger just
  • wash thoroughly), minced
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
  • 4 cups broccoli (feel free to use the stalk too but make sure you peel it well first)
  • 1 medium celeriac root (peeled and diced)
  • ½ lb spinach leaves
  • 1 large handful parsley (leaves and tender stalks), roughly chopped
  • 1 large handful basil (leaves and tender stalks), roughly chopped
  • Filtered water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Fresh lemon juice

Optional toppings:
Shredded organic chicken, green onions, avocado, cilantro, steamed rice, and/or crème

Tip: For those that have seen me cook, you will know that my food processor is used on a daily basis as a shortcut to create a fine chop. In a recipe such as this where knife skills are not critical to the final dish I go to my food processor to cut food prep times down substantially.

Finely chop garlic, ginger, onion and celery in a food processor (alternately, finely mince with a knife).Super Green SoupIn a medium to large sized dutch oven heat the coconut oil over medium heat and cook garlic, ginger, onion and celery mixture for 5 minutes (until onion is softened but not browned). Add broccoli, celeriac root and basil stalks. Add two to three cups of water. Put the cover on the dutch oven to steam the vegetables.Super Green Soup Cook 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender. Add spinach, parsley and basil leaves and cover. Cook until spinach is wilted (approximately 4-5 minutes). Add coconut milk and more water. (Note: Adding two additional cups of water will create a thick soup;add more water if you like your soup thinner.) Bring to a simmer being careful not to boil hard (this may cause the coconut milk to split). Puree using an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper, and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste.

XO Jacqui

Super Green Soup

Home Renovation Before and After

It’s the big reveal!!!! Our flip of the Forest Heights home is ready to show and (hopefully) sell! After all the hard work (see other posts here, here and here) and seeing the amazing finished product, it will actually be hard to part with; but, I am so excited for the lucky family, couple or whoever that gets to live here. This past week has been so intense to get it finished on time and I am so incredibly proud of Ryan for all the late nights and battling through the hiccups. He is without a doubt the best at what he does. This home flip journey was the first time we got to design and execute a whole home renovation from start to finish and it really was our dream project. Definitely more to come in the future (I already have designs running through my head!). So without further ado, here is the Forest Heights home renovation before and after photos!

Home Renovations Before and After

The exterior got a complete overhaul. New sod, siding, steps, deck, plants, mulch, front door…I could keep going! It has much better curb appeal and better yet, no more pink!

Home Renovations Before and After

The first thing you see when you walk in the front door is this gorgeous living room. It used to be a dark, orange, oak filled space. And now it is a show stopper. The fireplace got new marble tile and slate grey porcelain on the hearth, which instantly gives it a crisp, contemporary look. But the biggest change is the walls. Simply painting the existing wall panelling a white semi-gloss makes the space elegant and modern. It is my absolute favourite place in the whole house.

Home Renovations Before and AfterHome Renovations Before and After

Using my own furniture from home and a few new purchases, I was able to stage the living room somewhat. The minute I put furniture in the space, I realized just how spacious it was. I imagine how perfect it would be for entertaining friends and family and then how cozy it could be at night with the fireplace on.

Home Renovations Before and After

P.S. I loved the little pop of navy from these pillows on clearance at Target.

Home Renovations Before and AfterAnd now for the amazing kitchen…

Home Renovations Before and AfterHome Renovations Before and AfterHome Renovations Before and AfterLuckily, the layout worked really well before, so we didn’t need to change much in terms of placement of appliances and cabinetry. We did, however, change some of the styles of cabinetry, adding a slide out pantry for instance next to the fridge and glass fronts beside the window. The white cabinets lighten up the whole space and contrast well with the darker hardwood floors. New soft grey Quartz countertops are practical and beautiful at the same time and tie in nicely with the marble hexagonal backsplash. And of course, having new stainless steel appliances helps update the whole kitchen too (though you can’t see the dishwasher!)

Home Renovations Before and After

I love this large farmhouse sink. How easy it would be to wash dishes here!

Home Renovations Before and AfterHome Renovations Before and AfterI am obsessed with the three new pendant lights hanging above the sink. When we initially talked about what to do with the space over the window, I knew we didn’t need anymore cabinetry or shelving and I also knew I wanted something that wouldn’t take away from the view of the outdoors. These pendants work well because the glass is unobtrusive and they give off great task light. No washing dishes in the dark here!

Home Renovations Before and After Home Renovations Before and AfterLittle additions to the kitchen pull it all together.

Home Renovations Before and AfterHere is the eat-in kitchen area with a view of the front entry.

Home Renovations Before and AfterThe master bedroom got a facelift with new floors, closet doors and paint. The windows and sliding door were in great shape, they just needed a massive clean. Thank god for our family…they helped me scrub them until they sparkled!

Home Renovations Before and After

A comfy and cozy bedroom with great closet space!

Home Renovations Before and After

The main bath is completely transformed. I can’t believe it is the same space. Ryan completely gutted it and started by putting in A LOT of new tile. Home Renovations Before and After

Inspired by some of the classic bathroom designs, we did subway tiles in the shower and then continued them halfway up the walls. We also chose to run some Moroccan inspired accent tile down the shower wall and behind the vanity. It’s always great to try and add different shapes in a space to create more interest and variety. The porcelain floor tile was laid in a herringbone pattern, which I love. Having the vanity float shows off the floor, opening up the space even more.

Home Renovations Before and After

Before: excited to start! After: so happy but exhausted lol!

Home Renovations Before and After

Thanks to Axiom Electrical, we have a bright and light basement. These new pot lights were the best decision we could have made down here. New carpet, paint and trim are all important details too. Ryan smartly took out the beam in the middle of the living room opening and changed the hallway’s structure. A new door leads into the first bedroom and the hallway is much more open.

Home Renovations Before and After

Before, I barely stepped inside this bathroom to get a photo, I was so grossed out. And now it is completed revived. Even though it is a small 3 piece bathroom, it is super functional and, best of all, clean!

Home Renovations Before and After

The nanny suite is ready to go! We kept it simple and open, ready for someone to put their finishing touches. There’s lots of space here for additional shelving and an eating area.

So??! What do you think?! Love it as much as I do?? In Edmonton and want to come see it in person??! Sunday July 6th from 1-4 we will be having an open house (followed by more next weekend). Stop in and say hi! 7603 99 Ave. Posting will be available on Comfree soon!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this flip happen: Adam Eustace for being a great support, our families for their help cleaning, Axiom Electrical for being awesome, and all of our hard workers!


| All renos and landscaping done by Revive Contracting | Benjamin Moore Paint – Paper White in Bathrooms and Grey Owl in main spaces | Tile from Lowe’s | Countertops by World Stone | Couch from Ikea | Navy Pillows, Poof & White Mirror from Target |

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