Archive for May, 2012

Oh my gosh what a crazy day!  It all started at five something when I dragged my butt out of bed and sat in rush hour traffic to get town to 299 Queen Street West to tape a live episode of The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV.  It was a busy day at that Bell Media hub with celebrities coming and going in black SUV’s with drivers.  I’m sure you’ll see lots of that on The Marilyn Show and E Talk in the coming days.  The segment went off without a hitch and Marilyn and her producers were kind enough to feature Penney & Company , so I gave a little guided tour!  The first segment is of Penney & Company and the ‘BEFORE’ living room in need of some ‘pulling together’.  Check it out!

I decided to wear summery shorts, Sperry’s and a blue/white gingham shirt.  But I forgot gingham is a no-no on camera (it gets all fuzzy and crazy on your tv) so I had to borrow Ben Mulroney’s shirt from upstairs at E Talk!  Oh my gosh – how crazy is that?!  So a grey solid shirt it was!  Good thing it fit…

Then it was on to the commercial-length makeover and ta-da!  Check out some of the results here.

By injecting some much needed colour and some fun DIY projects, this boring basic living room was transformed and now feels fun, fresh and ready for family living.

And when it was all over?  We watched a few more celebrities from the sidelines, packed up my little car with lots of pillows, lamps and accessories and I came right back to the shop and sold a bit of vintage jewelry.  I told you it was a crazy day.

Now I want to go have a nap.

UPDATE!  They’ve added a fun behind the scenes video of me transforming the set on the commercial break.  TV is fast-paced craziness I tell ya!

Check it out here.

And here are the projects – BEFORE and AFTER!


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Wellllll?????  What’d you think?

Tonight’s premiere episode of Sarah 101 was Jennifer’s dining room – black and white with lots of accents of colour!  Designed for a young family who wanted a fun take on their traditional home.  Then there were the burned out renovators – modernists with hip, urban style.  The headboard with that amazing Celerie Kemble fabric and the glassed in hallway with the photo decal.

I’d love to know your reactions!  Be honest!


A special thank you to Sarah and Tommy for a fantastic season!

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I just love the casual nonchalance exuded by these images of John Derian and his friends from Bon Appetit Magazine (via Habitually Chic).  It’s totally my thing and just oozes summer, don’t you think?  Derian’s Provincetown home is rustic, romantic and relaxed and has that east coast vibe I’m in love with.  It’s been a sweltering day here and I’d say summer has officially begun.  Drink in this summer loveliness…


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Yes tonight’s the night!  After months and months of preparation and hard work, creativity and teamwork the show is ready for her debut!  This season of Sarah 101 promises to be full of exciting design, thrilling hunts and hilarious moments.  Sarah breaks down her trademark design approach and outlines the basics for creating a unique and personal space in your own home.  It’s going to be a wild ride, so don’t miss a moment – Sarah 101 airs tonight on HGTV at 8pm EST.

I can’t give anything away, so here’s a palette from my camera archives that was not to be…and trust me there’s plenty more where that came from!

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What a week! Sarah 101 premieres (not looking forward to seeing my mug in high definition!), I’ll be taping The Marilyn Denis Show on Thursday (still scrambling!) and House & Home has aired this fun episode featuring Penney & Company!  Check it out here!

Behind the scenes note:  On one of the first takes I walked out from behind the desk saying, “Welcome to my shop,” and crashed into the dresser sending everything flying.  Not my finest moment, but hilarious!  Hope you enjoy the video and come visit me soon!

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I can’t believe it’s finally time for Sarah 101 to premiere on HGTV!

It was quite the adventure creating the makeovers for this exciting season and working with Sarah, Tommy, Lindsay, Ali and the rest of the team.  We were like a family, working night and day to pull off this series and I can’t wait for you all to see the results.  There’s a little bit of everything in there with every type of space, colour, and design direction to teach, motivate and inspire.

Tuesday evening at 8 pm ET on HGTV, Sarah 101 Season Two begins, so pop the popcorn and grab a seat!

For an exciting preview, click here for Sarah’s site and watch the video.

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Since I was 6 I’ve lived in Whitby Ontario (with a 2 year stint in Toronto) and now I live next door in Oshawa (or Poshawa for you, my loyal readers!).  Whitby is a beautiful town full of so many wonderful places and its where I chose to set up shop and  establish Penney & Company.  My goal is to establish deep roots in this community and create a gathering place for creative types seeking to express themselves through their homes.  I can’t think of a prettier place to do it…here’s a taste of Whitby.  And if you’re not local, you should come visit!

Whitby may have a lot of new development (seems like everyone’s caught the bug!) but it is also home to some gorgeous historic homes and neighbourhoods.  Penney & Co is a short walk from most of the houses shown here.

The downtown core has some charming historic buildings, including this stretch of century homes that have been connected with a long verandah to create Pearson Lanes.  Full of boutiques, salons and a tea room or two, its a very pretty place to take a stroll.

Rousseau’s is one of Whitby’s oldest and most inspiring home decor shops.  Full of fine pieces and tons of fabrics and custom options, its definitely worth a visit.  I’ve even used Rousseau’s pieces in House & Home photo shoots in the past!

If you are making a day of it, there are lots of great local eateries, like this converted old house called Prego for amazing Italian faire.

Historic charm meets modern achievement with old churches and civic buildings alongside futuristic spaces like the beautiful Whitby Public Library (which also has a great cafe seen here).

The Nice Bistro (Nice, as in France) is the go-t0 spot for authentic french food with the most warm and friendly husband and wife team you’ll ever meet. And the crepes!?  Yum!

The downtown strip where Penney & Company, is has lots of salons and spas and interesting places to check out.  There’s a fantastic cupcake shop, a seriously skilled butcher, health food shop, I could go on…



Well I’m guessing you can see why I love my hometown, Whitby and am happy to count Penney & Company as part of the local community.  There’s lots to appreciate here and always more to discover.  Like the lakefront!  But I’ll save that for a later post…

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