Devil in the Details

Norwood St. Halifax

At first glance this Norwood St. abode could be described as a classic Halifax home, with many houses similar in colour and style.  But once you allow yourself to really take in the many interesting pieces you realize the details are what make this home really stand out.   The mansard roof, arched and bay window and the eave brackets look like second empire style. 


The cream trim draws attention to the architectural details that make this house have a statuesque presence, especially when looking from the street below almost exaggerating the height and drawing your eye up toward the sky. 

Ironwork Norwood St.

The iron railings add a touch of the earlier American empire architecture and a splash of spooky during this time of year, just add pumpkins!


...and please do add a mailbox with some personality!

Pretty in Pink

It doesn’t happen often that pink is done so perfectly on a house exterior.  Pink can be a difficult shade to get right.  This house not only gets it right, gets it hands down!  Hard pressed to think of another pink house that is as classy.  The understated details and colour work together harmoniously for an overall effect that makes you stop and admire.  

It’s linear shape brings to mind a certain fashion staple....

if a house could be a purse....wasn’t it Coco who said “Simplicity is the key note of all true elegance”?  

If Willow St. was the prom, this house would be Molly Ringwald!

Bear on the Lake

Bear on a Lake

A new build with character and its own shoulder on the water near the Head of St. Margaret’s Bay.  This is the type of house you can curl up in for the winter.  Hot chocolate and wool socks December through May mmmmm... 

There is a zen like feeling to this landscape, rocks and life size bonsai.  The dark cladding and sunny setting made me think of a black bear basking after a long winter indoors (sound familiar dear Nova Scotians??). 

Don’t despair, Spring is just around the corner!



This ain’t OZ, but this grand abode would make me think there was no place like home!  Crusing down Oxford St. when I cast my eyes on this recently painted exterior. An enchanting transformation. 


The hydrangea green is used in just the right amount drawing attention to the front door and brightening up the covered veranda.  Do you remember what colour this house used to be?  This is the polar opposite, thumbs up!

wicked veranda

Brick Please

Throwback from last Spring! Herring Cove is home to this bricked out bungalow.  A mid-century style with a rustic outdoorsy feel.  The multi coloured brick and cranberry shingles are a textural delight.  Looks like an outfit your grandpa would wear.


The front window looks updated, it may have been a bow window originally, but I appreciate keeping things streamlined and linear.


Stack that wood! I would love to be invited inside to see the fireplace.

Hello Sailor

Marigold B&B

What a lovely surprise on a cool November day. From Norwood St. The Marigold B&B salutes!  A classic Halifax home with a colour injection that nods to the wacky nautical.  A house of history, the bed and breakfast is home to artist Joan Doherty who has continued her family’s longstanding tradition of providing a friendly atmosphere for friends and travellers .  

Marigold Front
Marigold Side View

Want to stay at the Marigold B&B?

Belmont Beau

This gentleman has a quirky tailored look that is very put together. The colourful combination of pattern and textures is bright and cheerful any time of year!

Belmont Beau

After my best impression of architectural paparazzi, I was invited inside to have a look at this dandy.  15 years hard work and detailing has gone into every surface of this home. 

There were personal custom touches everywhere, most designed and built by the owner himself, an engineer.  A beautiful handmade stain glass door opens from the entry into the main living area which was tastefully decorated with classic traditional furniture.  

Side Veiw

Defining Details:

The red roof accents the brick nicely and makes the house appear larger to the street by visually continuing the colour upward.  A black or gray roof is usually the go to colour for most people but in this case it would have made the house look smaller.  

Front Door

The Curved front door has presence!  I love that the owners opted to use masonry paint surrounding the front door tying into the colour of the peak above.  This avoids the possibility of losing a very unique door in a sea of brick.  

Haunted House

THE UNIAKE-SAWYER HOUSE 1872  (Second Empire Architecture /italinate details)


(Second Empire Architecture /italinate details)

Whenever I see this historic property in the South End, a little whisper inside me says, “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!’’  There is something hilarious about its surprised exterior and I can’t help but reminisce about that haunted house.

A lot of the controversy in the movie is directly related to the interior decorating.  Ghosts of homeowners past arrive back to find a renovated contemporary space that is dark and extreme!

The brick and sandstone façade of this Halifax home (built in 1872)  is painted a captivating contrast of black and white.  The tower and french style mansard roof are original details.  The perfectly overgrown foliage creates a feeling of old Hollywood mixed with a little spooky (good spooky).   

I can't help but wonder if there are a few ghosts floating around the halls...

For more info check out these links:


Holy! Hawthorne!

Hawthorne House Dartmouth

This eye catching home is located just around the corner from Sullivan’s pond one of the most beautiful spots in Dartmouth.  Black windows contrast with the natural shingles and give a textured minimalist look. 

Hawthorne Entrance

The raincoat yellow front door keeps the house looking happy; not overly serious, which can sometimes happen in contemporary design.  

Originally the home was a wall flower, the architectural details were just an attempt at giving some interest.  With the use of new shingles and the addition of a garage, the place is now the most the most noticeable house on the street, quickly becoming a topic of conversation for Dartmouthians!  The colour blocking approach applied to the garage is an excellent way to turn what is normally an eye sore into an interesting detail and inviting front entrance.  Curb appeal award!!!

Credit: RHAD Architects 

See more at:

Million Dollar Home

Oh when the stars align!  I’ve anxiously waited for the perfect time to snap a pic of my million dollar home.  Nestled into the soft shoulder as you climb Bayview Drive lies the one house I would spend my lottery winnings on.  I dream of the day when I can knock on the door and say “name your price”!

One of a kind, you can’t recreate this house anywhere else. Treehouse style living with a view of the basin.  

This and a pontoon boat, you know, priorities!

The Next Level

A modest mid-century ranch style home is transformed to a rambling contemporary!


Tucked away in the darling area of Flemming Heights, was a tiny gem. This atomic bungalow brought you back to a simpler time.  Popularized in the 1950 and 60’s, the ranch style of house is recognized a long, close-to-the-ground profile, and minimal use of exterior and interior decoration.  Windows were placed higher to allow for the positioning of furniture inside. 

The California flat style roof was a popular choice when homeowners were considering the possibility of an additional story in the future, and that is exactly what happened around 75 years later!

Collindale After

A good rule of thumb when updating or renovating the exterior of a home is to preserve the style or some of the original character. I like that they chose a similar paint color as a throwback. Working within the existing footprint was another great idea.  The new look doesn’t over power the yard and the house still nestles nicely in the trees. 

 Expert tip: Paint your garage door the same colour as the body of your home to help it disappear.  

Life of a House

I love being a passenger while driving! Gives me the opportunity to discover Halifax homes.   On my many trips up and down Connaught Ave. I became familiar with a certain house. A traditional beauty which has been through a couple reincarnations.   Imagine my delight when I arrived there to help choose the new exterior paint colours! 

Check out the changes over the last decade...

Originally a Plain Jane, the owners decided to add some balance and interest with a new veranda, arch detail and a spiffy paint job in 2002.  The changes gave the home a welcoming presence on the street.  

When the time came to freshen up once again in 2014, they called in backup! They were looking for the right colour and it was my pleasure to push them right out of their comfort zone.  

Fearless! They loved the idea of accenting the veranda wall with a bright pop of Benjamin Moore’s Pale Avocado.  

 The finished product may cause an accident.  Keep those eyes on the road!


Expert Tip:  Exterior Paint Colours are difficult to choose because of differences in natural light.  Always go a few shades darker than you think you may need to be on the safe side!  

Shay Interiors and GT Painting have been working together to bring customers the best in quality painting projects along with captivating décor!

Shay Interiors and GT Painting have been working together to bring customers the best in quality painting projects along with captivating décor!

Brownstoned on Birmingham


Maybe it was working on Birmingham that opened my eyes to the lovely street.  It seems that a renaissance has begun in that area.  It is hard to find a residence that is not adoringly painted or renovated.  Little row houses stand big and tall in bright colours and classic details that make for a very enjoyable walk (or parking experience).  


Brownstones are characterized by a flat roof, double hung windows and a step up to the first floor.  Most were row houses and originated in the mid to late 19th century.  Brick was less expensive than stone but had to be imported to Halifax prior to 1840, making it rare for use in residential areas.  Perhaps it was restored as a single after the Halifax Explosion in 1917?  

photo 2.JPG

It could be on a street in Chicago or New York.  Stately details give it a look that stands the test of time.  Definitely one of my favorite houses in Halifax.  

Wait a Second on Second

The red windows and nautical touches are a perfect example of our quirky colourful East Coast style.

The red windows and nautical touches are a perfect example of our quirky colourful East Coast style.

What a beautiful addition to this neighbourhood, and much deserved of a second glance.  Every square inch of this place has been thought out.  A Google map search shows an empty lot and a foundation only, so it is a new build not a reno.  I’m drawn to the simplicity and attention to detail.  

Landscaping to dream!

Landscaping to dream!

A modern take on Saltbox style of home, which originated in colonial New England and found its way to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Traditionally with two stories in the front and only one in the back.  The style got its name because it looked like the salt boxes which hung on the wall by the hearth.  During the reign of Queen Anne, taxes were applied to homes that had more than one story. The Saltbox was a clever solution to government extortion and growing families.  

Wait a Second on Second 3.JPG

Had to get all angles of this place.  Check out the sexy car in the driveway, it coordinates!  


Have you seen the major overhaul of a house on the corner of Young and Olgilvie? 

This home always reminded me of Samantha's House on Bewitched.  I love some of the first episodes when she and her mother are decorating the home with a wiggle of the nose and a flick of the wrist.  If only I had that power!

Seems I may have a recurring theme here, or maybe I was a witch in a past life.  The wicked witch of the East, wasn't she was the one who had a house dropped on her? hmmmm.....

Ok back to the renovation.  After much anticipation the house is finished.  Kudos to the new owners for keeping a whimsical vibe!  The look look is very different from the original house, yet the essence remains, and obviously with way more space and light.  The front door beckons you to knock.  I love that the very straight lines of the exterior were balanced with the wavy railings.

A good witch would be very happy here!  

A Little Fortress on Tower

I have been meaning to get around to posting some photos of my favorite homes around Halifax.  The idea came to me back in the bleak days of the never ending winter we just endured.  Now that the sky is blue you may catch me taking a picture of your house!


Now don't get me wrong I love my little house, but today I fell in love with another.  The fortress on Tower.  What a perfect blend of contemporary and traditional elements.  It has always been my dream to own a home with one of these "witches" peaks.  

Wait until you see the addition....

Fortress on Tower

Personally always conflicted by my love of every style, modern, traditonal, whimsical. This house satisfies in every way!  Choice of materials bang on. Love love love!