Stroke of Genius 2021 Year in Review

Stroke of Genius 2021 Year in Review

What a crazy, crazy year 2021 has been. In all the years I have been in this business (25 years & counting) I can honestly say, this one has been the busiest (and most challenging) year ever!!

Everyone I talk to in the industry says the same thing. They can hardly keep up with the demand. With all the restrictions on travel, people are spending their money on home improvement projects like never before.

Big projects and small projects (and everything in between).

Full home renovations, kitchen and bathroom remodels, new furniture purchases, repaints, fixing up to sell and fixing what was just purchased, have all presented themselves this year. Every project is as unique as the individuals we work for.

From timeless classics to modern, edgy types and everything in between. My approach to design is to capture the style and personality of my clients and reflect that back into their homes. I don’t have any one particular style I work within. However, I stick to the basic rules of design to create harmonious interiors that work well for my clients, bringing joy and comfort to everyday living.

The following highlights a few of the projects the team at A Stroke of Genius has worked on in 2021.

Split Level Transformation in North Vancouver

We started the renovation of this split-level home in September of 2020 and wrapped it up in July of this year. It was almost a full year in the making, but the results are evident in every room throughout this beautiful home.

This project was all about the trim package. We beefed up the baseboards, door and window casings and installed wainscot to give the home the finishing details it so deserved.
One of the highlights of the home is the large 8’ window in the kitchen that slides open to the sit up bar on the patio/entertaining area in the back yard.

You can check out the entire project on my website.

living room renovation


kitchen and bathroom renovation

Customizing with Clever Additions

Sometimes all it takes to make your new house your home is to add a few customized touches of
your own. My clients purchased this fabulous newly built home in Canyon Heights in the early part of the year. Although it had all the features anyone could want, they felt it lacked ‘personality’. So, they hired me to help them inject some style and unique finishes to make this house their home.

We wrapped the dining room and adjoining living room walls in 68” high wainscot panelling and painted it in the trim colour, then installed wallpaper on the wall above.  We created a bench seat with custom cushion in the eating area off the kitchen.

The biggest transformation was in the home office where we built custom cabinetry/books shelves then painted them in a beautiful deep blue.

fireplace mantel renovation


kitchen nook renovation


Genevieve Office Bookshelf


Moving on Up!!

Several years ago, I assisted these clients with a full renovation of their river front townhouse. You can see this project by visiting my website.

Now, a few years later, with a growing family, they needed to upsize. As luck would have it, they were able to find a larger, single-family home just down the block, on the river front as well!!

This home needed plenty of some TLC. We installed new flooring & light fixtures, gave the entire home a fresh coat of paint, then procured and furnished all the rooms. We gave the traditional fireplace surround an overhaul to reflect the ‘old world’ style the client was going for.
The best part was that I had the opportunity to design and create an oasis for the couples’ little girl.

fireplace renovation


bedroom designed with wallpaper

Up on the Ridge

I am very proud to say that most of my projects are referrals from very happy clients. And that is how this project came to be.

This wonderful couple and their young son moved from a small 650 sq ft condo into an 1800 sq ft  town home in Panorama Ridge in Port Moody.

To make their new house into their forever home, we needed to make some changes…and quick, before they moved in!! We updated the kitchen with new cabinetry and countertops, created a comfy bench seat in the breakfast area, gave the fireplace a makeover with new tile and shelving and injected some new furniture to finish it all off.

Here are some before and after shots. The clients are thrilled!!

kitchen nook remodel


condo kitchen renovation


condo fireplace renovation

Bowser Cottage

I am so lucky to have a friend that has a cute little cottage (on the beach!!) in the tiny village of Bowser on Vancouver Island. When she first acquired this cutie pie, she and her family would spend their summers, relaxing, crafting and playing in the sun. Now, she wants to make this a year-round place to stay, so it needed some updating. Over the course of this past summer, we got to it and updated the interior so it will be more enjoyable for her to spend more time there.

We were careful to maintain the ‘cottage vibe’ when selecting the fixtures and finishes. We didn’t want anything to look ‘too new’.  To highlight the beautiful logs used in the construction of this Pan Abode, we kept the paint colours in varying shades of greens and blues.

Here are a few tricks we used to keep the ‘cottage vibe’.

  • Instead of spraying the kitchen cabinets, we applied the paint with a brush and roller
  • Used laminate on the countertops (quartz or granite would be ‘too high end’ for a cottage).
  • Scoured local second hand and vintage shops for cabinet hardware and accessories
  • Replaced the combination of laminate flooring & indoor/outdoor carpeting with ‘stone like’ vinyl tile
  • Painted the brick fireplace surround to be more cohesive
  • Added a reclaimed wood fireplace mantle (beam sourced from a Tofino tear down)

This project is ongoing and most definitely a labour of love. Here are a few before & after pics of what we have accomplished so far.  Next up we will be sourcing an area carpet and slipcovered sofa & chairs.

cottage kitchen renovation


cottage fireplace renovation

St Georges

Have you seen the 1994 movie ‘The Madness of King George’? If you haven’t, you should, it is a very good watch.  At the beginning of 2021 we took on the renovation of a small studio condo that I like to call the ‘Journey of St Georges’. We are ‘mad with joy’ at how this one turned out!!

We took this tiny studio space (just under 500 sq ft) down to the studs, and gave it an overhaul with a new kitchen, bathroom, flooring and furniture, including a pull-down, queen-sized Murphy Bed. With the walls gone, the space feel much, much larger.

Here are a few befores & afters of this amazing transformation. You can see all the pics on my website.


condo living room remodel


This 1800 sq ft home is referred to the ‘Treehouse’ because of the way it sits on the lot, perched high on a bluff, surrounded by trees. My clients purchased this gorgeous home for its fantastic location, just steps from the little town of Gibson’s Landing, and the stunning views of the ocean.

The previous owners had painted the walls of the interior a variety of oranges and yellows, with the exterior trim boards in a burgundy pink! These colours clashed with the beautiful wood tones of the timbers used in the construction of the home and, made the interior of the home feel dark and cramped. To make the wood elements ‘pop’, we painted the interior walls a warm white and covered up the burgundy on the exterior trim with a glorious deep, dark navy.  Keeping with the ‘Treehouse’ theme, the home was furnished with rustic, vintage and second-hand treasures.

home renovation and remodel


master bedroom renovation


guest bedroom renovation


View more of my projects here or see what my clients have to say and if you are planning to renovate or update your home in the near future, please feel free to contact me. From full renovations to colour selection, furniture procurement and styling, I would love to hear from you.

Barb has recently completed an entire renovation of our home’s interior. She had worked with us 13 years ago,
and we are so grateful to have found her again!

Barb is very professional and detail orien… Read more

JBWest Vancouver
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