How to Make a Man Love Pink (Carriage House Tour)

mymomMy mom, Hellen

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might know that my love of colour comes from my mother. One of the big reasons I moved out to the country (from Vancouver) is to live closer to her. She is one of my best friends, and I will do pretty much anything for her.

Once in a while, I get an email asking to see some more of my mom’s carriage house. Here’s what it looked like when the first coat of paint went up four years ago, and since Mothers’ Day is coming up, I thought this would be the perfect time for you to see what her house looks like now.

Two years ago, when I ripped out my front and backyard and worked with my landscape architect, MaryAnne White (long distance, all the way from New York!), she was big on curvy garden beds. Everything had to have a curve. She did not draw circles around big trees for beds, but instead included the tree in the garden bed.

So one day, my mom decided she needed a real, professional-looking garden bed, too! So we had the gardener come by and carve one out for her:

momsgardenSo much better! I’m sure MaryAnne would approve!

I had left-over green paint from my front door so my Mom painted her’s the same colour!

When we were choosing the colour scheme for her house, she saw this photo of Windsor Smith’s living room on my blog one day and said, “That’s the pink I want!”

Pink living roomWindsor Smith

And here’s the pink we chose when we decorated her living room, which is located upstairs:


Walls: BM 2011-40 Old World 

My mom had a ceramic kick a few years ago where she painted the 7 dwarves. She has them all over her living room. Above, one is having a rest on some of the pink and yellow books I brought over to style her coffee table for the photo.

Everyone (including men) loves spending time in this room. There’s something really wonderful about the feeling in my mom’s pink living room. I bet you can feel it right through the screen. So the trick to getting your Man to agree to introduce more pink into your decor is have him sit in a pink room!

Because this is a carriage house, the garage is located on one side and there’s a kitchen, dining area, and sitting room on the main floor on the other side:


I tried in vain to convince my mom to buy a more attractive pair of recliners, but she would not go for it. The off-the-shelf colours were not that great, so this caramel, brown shade is what we chose.

Hey, when I’m in my late 60s, maybe I’ll break down and get one too, haha. And let’s be clear, everyone fights to be the first to get the seat beside my Mom when they visit! I have had many wonderful 5:00 am talks with coffee on this recliner!

We opened her French doors for this photo. It was a gorgeous sunny, Sunday! Those crayons and books are for when my nephews come over from next door:


At the last minute, I had the builder include a built-in bookcase, and am I ever glad I did. This corner of the house is also my mom’s office (it didn’t look this styled when I arrived this morning), and an off-the-shelf bookcase would never have looked as good:


He also wanted to install the fireplace in the corner! I nixed that idea ASAP. Builders always like to install them in corners because it’s easier to vent them but furniture arrangement around a corner fireplace is mostly very difficult.

I chose this colourful polka-dot drapery so that we could change the colour in this room. The existing blue-green feels a bit cool (especially in the kitchen, which you’ll see in a moment), and my mom wants to change it:



Art from my late uncle’s home. Notice I chose lamps that coordinated with the height of the paintings:


You can tell this artwork was purchased in the 80s because the frames are pink! Since that’s one of my mom’s favourite colours, this does not bother her in the least. ; )  )

She also has doilies everywhere. I did leave one here underneath the angel for the photos!


Here’s her kitchen:


My mom was definitely on a budget when she built this carriage house, so I chose a light grey laminate counter that would go with any happy colour!  The 4″ kick here doesn’t bother me because half of it is right underneath the window. And you need it if you’re not going to install backsplash tile.

If you already have a kick and can’t remove it, I would not install backsplash tile unless it was an almost perfect colour match to the countertop (which is impossible if you have granite). If you do, just paint it the wall colour.

One day, her builder arrived with this laminate floor (for a good price), which I approved and my mom absolutely loves it. She says it always looks clean. (I don’t have the source information, unfortunately).

This is an IKEA kitchen with an off-the-shelf island from IKEA as well. So far, it’s held up quite well.

My mom definitely needs to replace the builder lights. I was thinking about something like these. The pendant light is small, but Mom doesn’t want a big light fixture above her island:


Surface Mount / Pendant Light

My mom is a healer and massage therapist. She has given many a client a horsetail bath because of its many healing properties. You can see it in a vase below:


I spoke to someone recently who said she has made green juice every day since I posted the last recipe from my sister Elizabeth. When I mentioned this to my mom, she said, “You should remind your readers that it’s important to rotate your greens.” Here’s the reason.

The greens are all from my Mother’s greenhouse (below). The Swiss Chard is in the vase in the second image:


This is the dining area, all ready for a puzzle the next time my nephews pop over. This was my late uncle’s dining table and chairs, so my mom is attached to it even though it’s a little big for the space:


So that’s how far we’ve come with my mom’s carriage house. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

xoxo  Maria



leave aREPLY

  1. Maria, thank you for sharing some of your personal life…your mom’s home and your love for her. Our past is part of our future to become who we were meant to be. Nicely done as always!

  2. Sheila Kazmierczak

    This is my first visit to your blog and I’ve spent over an hour and a half already just browsing and clicking on one link then another. I came across your blog when searching for rod widths for the windows in my new senior housing villa style home. I’m not sure what I want to do as far as window treatments go but I like the idea of scarves trailing across decorative rods. My daughter-in-law is more than willing to help me out with this project.
    Your love for your mother is so obvious it just seems to leap off the pages as I’m reading. What a lucky lady she is and what a fabulous home the two of you have created for her.