It's not every day I can say this, but I helped design a booth for one of Toronto's biggest design shows, The 2019 Interior Design Show. I was so excited when Amanda Forrest contacted me back in October to begin the planning stages of the booth, which was for a wholesale Bath distributor Dezign Market here in Toronto. Initially, I thought I would be supplying basic concept drawings but as time went on, I was able to see the entire design unfold right before my screen.


The Designer


All of the design elements were carefully chosen by the incredibly talented Amanda Forrest. I have been collaborating on a few projects with Amanda for a few years now, and there is no doubt that she has her own style. I would call it, "more is more". It's so funny how the world of freelancing works, as this was the first time Amanda and I have actually met in person! I do feel a connection with her as she is a fellow twin mom. I also love watching her segments on the Marilyn Denis show, as I feed my babies during the day. She is such a nice person, open to ideas and has an amazing personal style!

Elizabeth Montilla Design // Amanda Forrest Design

The Floor Plan

It was so interesting to see the development of the booth, and the many logistics that go into the planning of it all. With some minor limitations and challenges from the venue, we were able to collectively come up with a layout that had a good movement while still featuring Dezign Market's beautiful products.


The booth was divided into two rooms, an Ensuite & a Powder Room. You can see how we were able to divide the spaces without compromising flow:

Drawing by Elizabeth Montilla Design

The Powder Room Design


The Powder Room design was so unique and was definitely a showstopper. It seemed like every time I would open my Instagram I'd see someone sharing a photo of this side of the exhibit. Amanda's signature style and love of wallpaper was apparent - the booth made a statement among the other booths in the show. Below is her inspiration, along with the concept boards for the Powder Room side:

Image via Dezign Market Instagram

The minute I finalized this mood board for Amanda, I knew this was going to be a special booth.

Designed by Amanda Forrest Design // Mood Board by Elizabeth Montilla Design

Elevation detail of the mural wall. I absolutely loved how the gold birds added another dimension to the space!

Drawings by Elizabeth Montilla Design


Dezign Market 36" Floating Vanity custom finish in Benjamin Moore 'Grenadier Pond'. Hardware by Shayne Fox Hardware.


Image via Dezign Market Instagram


The Ensuite Design


The Ensuite side of the booth was bright, spacious and showcased even more beautiful products by Dezign Market. Amanda tied it all together using a dark double vanity, warm metals and of course this gorgeous wallpaper by DropItMod.

Image via Dezign Market Instagram

Drawings by Elizabeth Montilla Design

Here's the mood board I put together for the Ensuite Design:

Designed by Amanda Forrest Design // Mood Board by Elizabeth Montilla Design

This wallpaper by DropIt Modern made such an impact behind the bathtub!


Rendering by Elizabeth Montilla Design

Image via Dezign Market Instagram

Although the vanity millwork was simple, this print from Bettencourt Manor gave it some much needed style.

Rendering by Elizabeth Montilla Design

Here's a view of the Ensuite & Powder Room vanities. While both vanities were very different, the booth still felt so cohesive and the styles blended seamlessly. The wall colour, ceiling & flooring were the same throughout.

Rendering by Elizabeth Montilla Design

So there it is! Check that achievement off the old bucket list! What an absolute pleasure it was to see this booth come to life.


Make sure to check out more photos on my Instagram and let me know what your favourite element of the booth was! And don't forget to give Amanda Forrest & Dezign Market a follow!


Thanks for reading!


-Liz





As many of you know, my husband I moved from a condo to a semi-detached home earlier this past year. I absolutely loved condo living but with twin babies on the way, space was getting pretty tight.

So with that, some of our condo-friendly furniture had to go. Our dining table was perfect for 2 people, but we knew as the babies became older we would need something larger. We also hold family gatherings so it would now have to accommodate 6-8 people at a time. Along with the high-top glass table, I had to let go of our sideboard/bar. No more cocktails being made here! Here are some before shots:


They looked out of place in such a large area, so I wasn't too sad to let these pieces go. As a Designer, I'm always excited to refresh my home and introduce new pieces!


The Table

First, we began plotting & scheming new ideas for Kitchen tables. My husband has always loved live-edge tables, where I like more of a cleaner look. But I was willing to explore our options. Marriage is all about compromise after all ;)

We went to Exotic Woods in Burlington, and found this gorgeous piece of Maple. It didn't take long to decide this would be our new table top. While technically we could have just purchased a ready-made table, it felt more special to make our own.

Our twins wanted to be part of the selection process.

With some very sound advice from the salespeople, we opted to go with a natural finish and not stain the top darker as we had originally planned. I'm so happy we kept it natural! I'm really looking forward to seeing it naturally age over time.


Here is a shot of the top in all of its raw, unfinished state:

Since the table top was already joined, constructing the rest of the table was fairly easy. We purchased THESE legs from The Home Depot. They came unfinished so my husband sprayed them matte black. I couldn't be happier with how smooth the paint went on.

We knew going in that this would be an investment piece for our family so we didn't want to skimp out on the details. As soon as my husband finished screwing in the legs, we were in love. We couldn't stop staring at it and every time we walked by it, we'd say "this is a sexy table."


The finished product!


After it was all said and done, the table took about 4 days to complete. This included sanding & finishing, spraying the legs and drying/curing time. If you'd like more details on the construction, check out my husband's blog post HERE!

Light fixture High Chairs Frames

Even Elmo is impressed!

We are both so pleased with it, and look forward to many family dinners and game nights here with our girls.


Seating After the biggest piece was finished (the table), I was able to complete the look with THESE simple chairs. While upholstered chairs would have been my first choice, I know down the line these Eiffel chairs will be easy to clean once the girls get older.


The Ikea bench hack is nothing new. I've seen this done many times on social media, and I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate it into our space for not only additional seating but for some smart hidden storage as well. Basically all we did was take the Kallax bookshelf and turned it on its side. My friends at Tonic Living caught onto this amazing hack and now offer THIS bench cushion in the exact size of the Kallax, so there is no guess work involved!


Penelope is obviously excited about our new bench cushion!

Baskets linked HERE.

Fabrics & Drapery

I went back and forth with the scheme as I didn't know if I wanted much colour. Ultimately I'm glad I went with muted tones and soft blues, as I'm sure this space will get cluttered with colourful toys/plates/crafts in the near future!


The Designer in me cringed at the fact that I purchased ready-made drapes. But the cost of going custom just wasn't in the budget and I was pleasantly surprised with these sheers from Ikea. They were very similar to my original choice, but a quarter of the price. When going with ready-made drapery, the key is the double or triple up the panels so they look fuller. I purchased 3 packs and it was more than enough to cover our patio door.





Pillows: Vigdis Cushion Cover, Passagio Batik Cover

Drapes: Birtine Curtains















Accessories & Artwork

I just love the contrast of woods between the table and our Stinson Studios Ebonized Oak fruit bowl. We picked this bowl up at the One Of A Kind Show in Toronto a few years back, but you can still purchase it online!


I always love changing out my florals and/or greenery based on the seasons, so this was a quick arrangement I put together using leftover greens from our Christmas decor.


Lastly, I framed our family portraits from Jennifer Black Photography in simple black frames with large mats.


Overall we're so pleased with how everything turned out. We use the space way more than we ever expected, it's the perfect family hangout.


Thanks so much for reading and make sure to join the conversation over on my Instagram!


-Liz



My girls are now 6 months old (how is that even possible?!), and have been eating solids for nearly two months. It's been a fun, messy and fascinating experience so far. I have made all of their food to date, which has been so fun for me. I love trying out different combinations of flavors, and it allows them to try a little bit of everything every day. Watching them explore the world of food has been such a pleasure!


Prior to all of this, I did a lot of research on high chairs. I knew going in that since we needed two (#twinlife), that they had to be streamlined and easy to move around. One high chair that kept popping up was the Tuo Convertible High Chair by SkipHop. SkipHop is a trusted brand in our home, we absolutely love their products. The girls have lots of their toys, including the 3 Stage Activity Center. The thing I love most about SkipHop is the flexibility and longevity of their products. I like how an activity center will eventually turn into a basic table down the line, saving us from purchasing new items in a few years. So when I saw that the Tuo Convertible High Chair also converted to a regular toddler chair, I was sold. Longevity in products is very important to me, as I hate constantly buying and donating items.



Not to mention it is so stylish! The sleek lines and beech wood legs instantly look good in our newly designed Kitchen area.


Installation was an absolute breeze, I assembled both chairs as my babies napped! All of the pieces came clearly labelled, and the legs screwed into the base very easily. The grey feet are adjustable to ensure stability. I also love how the seat pad is reversible, allowing you to chose between white or grey.

7am and ready for breakfast!

While the legs splay out for a mid-century look, these chairs are still very easy to maneuver around the Kitchen. I love pulling them up to our island and have the girls watch me cook dinner. When not in use, they tuck away nicely on either side of our Ikea bench.


The SkipHop Tuo High Chairs seamlessly tie in with our Kitchen furniture. As a Designer, I'm always looking for ways to keep my home looking & feeling cohesive and these chairs are not an eye sore like some high chairs on the market. There are no crazy prints or animals on them, they are simple & beautiful on their own.


Getting my girls in and out of these chairs is so easy. The tray slides out smoothly and has a built in leg separator for added safety. One of my favourite features of these chairs is the removable tray that clicks in and out. After the girls are eating, I simply pop off the trays and throw them in the dishwasher. Easy peezy!


Here are a few more shots of the Tuo High Chairs seamlessly blending into our newly designed Kitchen!






If you're in the market for a new high chair, definitely consider visiting your local SnuggleBugz store as the sales associates are super knowledgeable and friendly. As a first time mom, I had a lot of questions (some of which I thought were too silly to ask) and they addressed all of my concerns.


Thank you so much for reading and happy feeding!

-Liz


While SnuggleBugz were gracious enough to gift me these high chairs, all thoughts & opinions are my own.




Edit: After this blog post was written, SkipHop released a recall on the Tuo Convertable High Chair. Click HERE for more information.