Choosing Tile


Tile can be intimidating when you start mixing and matching. It’s easy to select one and roll with it everywhere. Getting creative with your tile choices will yield a much more interesting base to your kitchen or bathroom, so go on! Don’t be afraid to play with size, pattern and texture when choosing tile. Keep to a neutral palette to allow the tile to speak for itself.

In this bathroom renovation the tile is contrasted with a dark stained walnut vanity. The main floor tile was a discontinued marble that we scooped up for a deal. An offset pattern with the marble created more interest with this simple tile.


Murano glass mosaic backsplash and shower wall insert fell under the splurge category and well worth it. It sparkles and shimmers from the natural light that floods the space.


Using natural materials was the main criteria when choosing each tile for the bathroom. From there we made our selections based on size and location. The end result is calm and serene with just the right amount of interest. A perfect place to start and end your day.

Reality Check on Choosing Bedding [VIDEO]

Join design contributor Nyla Free as she shares insight on creating the perfect bedroom. It all starts with selecting the right bedding.

Choosing Wallpaper


With so many options, it’s hard to pick just one. Whether you’re aiming for bold pattern or subtle texture, interior designer Nyla Free has advice to help you choose the right wallpaper.

Read the entire article ‘Reality Check – Choosing Wallpaper’ in Issue 11 of Dabble.

Custom Area Carpet


Creating a custom area carpet need not be an expensive endeavour. Finding the perfect size, style and colour takes time and budget is typically high on the list of things to take into consideration. There are ways to achieve the perfect look while not breaking the bank.

Reality Check

Broadloom is a great source for custom area carpets. Typically 13′ in width, this gives a wide range of size options to fit any room. Wool is highly recommended and often found in quality carpets with interesting patterns and colour variations.

Whether bold and geometric, textured or traditional, broadloom has many possibilities to bring new life to a space.


A selection of graphic patterns in a subtle ivory and cream colour combination.


Go bold and geometric with classic black and white.


Look no further for colour and pattern with a combination of both in these broadloom options.


Combine wool and sisal for texture that appeals to both a modern and traditional space.


Give warmth and texture to a modern space with an area carpet that is soft in colour but high in depth and dimension.

There are several ways to edge a custom area carpet made with broadloom. Braided cord, self banding and contrast trim all help to frame and add a finishing detail to the carpet. Consider adding a banded edge in cotton canvas or leather in an array of colour options which gives higher impact with a wider finished band. Finish the width edge with a fringe instead and create a more traditional feel.


Lastly, consider asking stores about possible remnants or off-cuts from previous orders. Great deals may be available and customization is still an option at a reasonable price.


All carpets from Colin Campbell, Calgary showroom.

To read Nyla’s full step-by-step article on custom area carpets, check out Reality Check: Custom Area Carpet, Issue 4 September/October 2011.

What’s in Store at Domaine [VIDEO]

Join Kimberley for a day of industrial chic shopping at Domaine in Calgary, Alberta. Learn what’s in store with the latest trends and great finds.

Custom Millwork


Reality Check

Dabble design contributor Nyla Free takes you step-by-step through the pricey but ultimately satisfying process (hey, you end up with shelves that perfectly fit all your reading materials and extras, like lighting and photos) of building custom cabinetry.


Designer Nyla Free knows exactly where to find the book she’s looking for in her perfectly organized built-in cabinetry. ‘The key to getting started on this project,’ says Nyla, ‘is deciding what needs to be stored.’


‘Take the plunge by measuring the space,’ Nyla advises. ‘Then sketch your ideas on paper so you can visualize before you build.’

Another superb suggestion from Nyla: Consider adding lighting to the top or even front face of the bookshelves as a decorative detail.

To read Nyla’s full step-by-step article on millwork, check out Reality Check: Custom Millwork, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

Surf’s Up


Kathy Buckworth takes on another Dabble Dare. Follow her surfing adventures in Huntington Beach, California, or as it’s known locally, Surf City USA. Can Kathy conquer the nine-foot board and rise up in classic surfer pose?

Dabble Dare: Learn to Surf

Kathy practices her surfing technique and finds it’s as easy as 1-2-3 . . . on dry land. The ocean may have other ideas.

Step 1: Kathy learns to walk in a straight line with the nine-foot surfboard balanced on the top of her head (ABOVE).


Step 2: From belly-down on the board, Kathy pushes up into a yoga-like position.


Step 3: Kathy balances on folded knee, before the final pose.


Step 4: Kathy strikes the classic surfer pose. Looks good on land. Can Kathy duplicate this once she hits the waves?

To read the full article about Kathy’s surfing adventure, check out Dabble Dare: Surf’s Up, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

6 Colourful Puertorrican Expressions

Puerto Rico Expressions

A special kind of learning takes place when you see a country through the eyes of a local guide. As I toured Puerto Rico with Ana Dapena, her pride and enthusiasm were infectious. Along the way, I learned some colourful expressions that added to my travel experience (all family approved).

“Cuando Colón baje el dedo.”
When Columbus puts his finger down. Compares to: when hell freezes over.

“Ese huevo quiere sal.”
That egg wants salt. That person has a hidden agenda or is up to something.

“A lo hecho, pecho.”
If you’re going to make a mistake, at least do it with a proud chest.

“Me lo da en arroz y habichuelas.”
Tell me in rice and beans. Or, dumb it down; give it to me in layman’s terms.

“Sudando la gota gorda.”
I’m sweating a big fat drop. Compares to: sweating like a pig.

“Puse cara de cabro degollado.”
To give the face of a slaughtered animal in order to illicit pity from someone.

Come Fly with Me


On a Dabble dare, contributor Kathy Buckworth climbs into the seat of an Ultralight Savannah. With the attitude of a pro and the trembling knees of a newbie, she takes to the air courtesy of Toronto Aerosport Inc.

So, what motivated me to sign up for flying lessons? Let’s call it a Dabble dare. Knowing my tendency to over think things and growing curiosity about how far I can push the safety envelope, I accept their challenge. Still I make one last minute inspection of the plane before takeoff. Are these slender wings really strong enough to hold us aloft, I wonder.

At the controls, I bravely give the ‘thumbs up’ (Fortunately, you can’t see my hands shaking in this photo.) Alright, I’m ready to taxi the tarmac, which in this case is a runway fashioned from a bumpy farmer’s field. ‘Classroom time can come later’ , explains my instructor Steve Hall, ‘Today’s lesson includes seven typical circuits: taking off, hit-and-running, taking off again and circling.’


My reward? A stunning vista of ocean blue skies and endless squared swatches of farmland. No unsuspecting cows are in sight (just in case the unthinkable happens) and I breathe a sigh of relief. Ah, that’s why they call them the ‘friendly skies’.


The plane gently skims the treetops as Steve demonstrates the ‘hit and run’ technique where we land for about two seconds and then immediately take off again. While the plane feels like it’s made of paper-thin steel, I am proud of myself for flying sans parachute or airsickness bag.


Back on solid ground, I’m keen to start writing my story for Dabble. The flight was smoother than I thought and, you guessed it, I can hardly wait for my next Dabble dare!