Holly Jolly... Mantle!

Hello Friends!

After many of you gave me feedback on my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Clark-Design/267158539976507 - thank you!)  asking for centre piece ideas for Christmas, I thought it might also be a bonus to show you how I decked out my  mantle this year and explain why it works!  The principles and ideas will also work beautifully as your decorate your console, buffet or any other tabletop surface this holiday season!

My 'go to' scheme most years is a mix of silver and white, but always paired with more natural, rustic materials.  Things I have found outside on walks on brisk fall days.  Adding these items keeps the scheme from being too kitchy and 'big box store-ish' and gives it a more homey and personal feel.  I have wonderful memories of collecting many of the items on display.

So without further adieu:

Here's a few tips:

1.  Vary your materials.  I have a mix of clear glass, silver glass, regular greens, icicle greens, pinecones, textured feathered bird, natural wreaths, etc.  This keeps things interesting but make sure all items still relate together somehow!

2.  See that simple pinecone?  Collected on a walk with the kids 2 years ago in Sandilands!  The kids were filling bags for me!  A personal memory in a humble pine cone but its elevated to a whole new level when under glass.  That vase was $1 at the dollar store!  Try placing treasured items under glass bowls and vases to amp it up a level!

3.  Vary heights and depths.  I have a good mix of taller and shorter items, and those items are placed at different depths on the mantle.  Some are kissing the front, while others are placed as far back as possible.  This staggering creates more interest.


a humble apology...

hello all my design aficionados!  i am apologizing for my very horrible blogging skills!  i simply cannot keep up with my website, blogging, facebook page, 50 emails daily and all the other demands on my attention.  i LOVE to hear from you all, so why don't you head on over to:


'like' my page, and stay current on all my up to date musings, photographs, DIYs and project plans.  i am going to do my very best to start uploading more project photos and plans for your enjoyment. 

i will also be starting a 'free question of the week' segment where one facebook friend can upload a picture and ask for some free design advice!

see you all there!


A teaser for this month's DIY Project in My House and Home...


Please visit www.myhouseandhome.ca for full details!



DIY from December's issue of My House and Home Property Guide!

You will need:
1.  1 tree branch (can be cut to length for your area with a simple hand saw)
2.  Ornaments of your choice
3.  Spray paint if you choose to paint the branch
4.  Tea light holders 
5.  Clear fishing line
6.  White wall anchors with matching screws
7.  Scissors


1.       1.   After determining the best spot for your mobile, cut your branch to the appropriate length.  (If you choose to paint it, do so now)

2.       2.  Directly above, mark two spots in the ceiling for your anchors.  Insert the anchors, and put in the screws to approximately a ¼” from the head.  (leaving this gap is where you will tie your fishing line.)

3.       3.  Using fishing line cut to length, tie the line onto the first screw head using several knots, ensuring the knot is tight.  Repeat for the second.

4.       4.  Take your screw driver and turn until the screw is all the way in, pinching the knot in between the anchor and screw head for safety.

5.       5. Get help from a friend for this part – have your friend hold the branch steady and level while you tie the fishing line to the branch.
Now it’s the easy part – decorate it with your favourite Christmas ornaments.  If you do choose to hang tea light holders, please be sure to use additional fishing line to secure them to the branch for safety.


lisa clark design is very excited to introduce gift cards!  sold in hourly increments or dollar amounts.  email me for info or to purchase :)


What a very successful SAC Tour and Tea!  I hope many of you were inspired to begin your Christmas decorating, and inspired to see your house in a new light!  I so appreciate all the positive feedback and encouraging emails that have been coming - they really do make my day... okay week... okay, maybe even month.

I have already received many emails requesting information on the lumber store beds and table.  Please click on the latest blog page - DIY furniture for details!

Oh - and check out my new WEBSITE!  It isn't yet loaded onto my domain name quite yet, but let me know what you think of my simple, and more user friendly home!


simple office re-design
i was asked to tackle a small commercial office space.  there were just a few problems
1.  a very awkward electrical panel
2.  a small space that had to house 2 full workstations
3.  it couldn't be too masculine or too feminine considering it was a man and a woman sharing the space.
i decided to have a little bit of fun with the space - enjoy!!



bird mug
how could i leave him in the store
each cup of coffee i drink these days is a little merrier...


purple palace...
so remember how i said i have been craving colour lately?  well i met a like minded individual who gave me carte blanche in their basement.  what a treat!  they had the beige carpet, wall sconces, drop ceilings and the grey sectional.  the debate was to match to beige carpet or to match to the grey couch.  seeing the client in numerous purple shirts over a few meetings sealed the deal for me:  match to the grey and go a deep, glorious, rich, albeit scary... PURPLE!  the basement was 14 years old and showed it, what with the oak trim and fireplace and beige walls and carpet.  white trim throughout, deep purple walls, white wallpaper, a glorious chair with the infamous dwell studio fabric and we had the makings of a dramatic space.  the pictures really don't do it justice - you have got to sit in it to really enjoy the full saturated glory of it.  so you tell me... would you let me do this to your house? ;)


Wood Panel Wall Art
check out November's issue at www.myhouseandhome.ca to see the story!


Steinbach Arts Council Annual Christmas Tour and Tea Fundraiser!!

Lisa Clark is looking for an assistant for a day or Christmas shopping and setup in her home for the Annual Fundraising SAC Christmas Tour and Tea Show!  As a small thank you, you will receive 2 FREE tickets to the event on Sunday, November 27th.  Do you love the Christmas season and think you have an eye for Christmas decor?  Comment on this post or send me an email to tell me why you want to be involved.  Thanks!


a bed for my babygirl...
so i must confess: this bed was completed this spring, and its taken until NOW to brag about it.  i really need to work on my bragging skills.  this was built entirely out of lumber store wood for under $150 including rails.  if you skip the rails, and make the posts out of 2x4s put together, you could build it for under $100.  that is what i call a good deal.  just another drop of proof that my motto is true:  you really CAN have a beautiful home on a modest budget... (you may just have to sweat a bit to get it)  enjoy!


Is very pleased to announce that the house designed by Lisa Clark Design won GOLD in the Fall Parade of Homes, beating out many other reputable, fantastic home builders.  What an honour! Many thanks again to DoWalt Homes (www.dowalthomes.ca) for their complete trust!


sincerest apologies...
it has been brought to my attention that the contact form on my website was not working correctly for almost 3 weeks now.  what that means is that if any of you tried to contact me that way - I am not ignoring you!  I simply didn't receive your message.  the problem is being addressed, and in the meantime, please feel free to contact me at


I know I posted a video already, but here are some still shots of my most recent build for the Manitoba Fall Parade of Homes.


Many thanks again to www.myhouseandhome.ca to contribute to their monthly publication.  This month we make a FREE wood pallet shelf.  Visit the site for full instructions and more photos!


Such a pleasure to work with DoWalt Custom Homes on this beauty - its a rare privilege to have such trusting clients who truly give way to your creative vision.  Enjoy this gorgeous clip shot by Mark Hiebert of Paperback Films in Winnipeg.



 So I'm jumping the gun a bit on my contribution to October's issues of My House & Home but I just couldn't wait to show you the rustic wood shelves I built for FREE.  That's right!  Free! I will post the link and build details upon the issue's release, but in the meantime - Enjoy!


The Bed That Lisa Built...

So my spare room has been haunting me for over a year now.  How do I justify spending money on a rarely used, rarely seen room?  Then I had the realization that I really don't need to spend money - the thing that room needed was a bed, and I could just build it myself.  Stacked neatly in the corner of my garage was a stack of 2 x 4's for $1 a piece that were left over from my husbands work project.  Just what I needed.  I sped to the hardware store, spent $20 on 2 - 2 x 8s and a 2 x 6 and I was ready to build.  I hit up the paint store for a miss-tint paint - and voila - a bed for $25.

For the paint finish, I desperately wanted that rustic worn look so I first primed the bed, gave it two coats of that gorgeous amped up Robin's Egg blue and then gave the edges a good sanding.  I finished by dipping a rag in some leftover dark walnut stain and rubbed that on the exposed wood, and also glazed the bed faces in several places.  I couldn't be happier.

For details on this project and how I built it, email me at lisaclark@lisaclarkdesign.net!

Happy Building, painting, sanding and staining!



Fall has arrived, and with it - the chaos of Fall Parade of Homes and some big changes over here.  Please visit my NEW and IMPROVED site at

Also, be sure to visit 22 Bret Bay in Oakbank, Manitoba to see my latest work.  Over 2000 square feet of custom custom custom home.  Its a light, bright and classic home that I hope will make someone very happy for many years.  Fall Parade runs until Oct. 8th from 3-8pm daily except for Mondays when it is closed.  Hope you get a chance to check it, and other beautiful homes out.


My contribution to September's Issue of My House and Home.  Read on to get full instructions on how to build this easy and fun light fixture!

1. Start with a large beach ball.

2. Pour your fabric stiffener into a large mixing bowl.
{Note:  You can also use white glue mixed with water. I recommend adding a little bit of water at a time to prevent the mixture from becoming too thin. The end result should be similar to the consistency of paint.}

3. This next step is just like paper mache. Pick out any yarn of your choice and soak the yarn into the stiffener/ glue mixture until saturated. Wrap the yarn around the ball until you've reached your desired look. Try to wrap it randomly to give the ball a more unique look.  When you’re done, tie the thread back onto a strand to secure.

4. Hang the wrapped ball from the knot to dry. It may take a day or two for it to dry completely. Once dry, the yarn will be stiff. 

5. Try to separate the ball from the yarn by pushing the balloon with the eraser end of a pencil.  When the ball is free from the yarn, use a craft blade or sharp knife to pop it. 
6.  The last step is to install the lighting kit.  To do this, you will have to cut two holes in the yarn ball.  One on the top of the ball to install the lighting kit, and one on the side for changing out lightbulbs.  Using  your craft blade, use any circular household object as a template to cut a hole in the ball that corresponds with the lighting kit you will use.   You will need to cut one more, larger hole (large enough to change out the lightbulbs) on the side of the ball.  Again, use a circular household object to trace a hole large enough to remove lightbulbs.  Use these same holes to remove the now deflated ball.

Hang and Enjoy!!


Check out the August issue of My House & Home (www.myhouseandhome.ca) to check out an article on the bed I built for my daughter Mia!


Please note that I will be away from July 5th - July 18th and will be unable to respond to emails.  Enjoy the summer sun!


so another renovation project!  i see renovations becoming increasingly popular with the cost of new houses, building, moving and landscaping (i call my suburban neighbourhood the "barren wasteland")  - you would be lucky to find a tree with a trunk width thicker than my wrist! this former kitchen/dining room has been transformed into a larger kitchen, with the dining area moved to where a bedroom once stood.  the clients had a good idea of the look they wanted, but needed help putting it all together.  the eternal lighting question (i used my favourite new fixtures - the sphere pendants) because of how much light they cast, which allows you to save money by not putting in pot lights.  they loved sparkle so we went with a polished porcelain floor, shiny quartz countertops and my other favourite - subway tile backsplash!  the clients are loving their new 'digs' and are already busy entertaining.


Enjoy a small glimpse of a home I designed for the Fall Parade of Homes that won GOLD!  I didn't stage the interior, but picked all the interior finishings and designed the fireplace wall.


the marc atiyolil show ... part 2.
you will notice the addition of canned laughter and an imaginary crowd from the 1980s clapping away... kind of takes it up a notch,  don’t you think? :)
had a great day... enjoy!


Web Cast Debut
So here it is friends!  My webcast debut on the Marc Atiyolil show!  This is the first of 4 episodes to air in the coming weeks.


What is going ON with me?  This self-proclaimed neutral girl, who has for years surrounded herself with varying shades of beige, cream, black, brown, grey, mushroom, ivory, camel, white, taupe, greige (getting crazy with that one), charcoal, flax... you get the picture.  This very same women, is falling.in.love. with COLOUR!  **pause for effect**  That's right - the unthinkable has happened.  I find myself dreaming of a sunroom painted a gorgeous grass green, or a kitchen in a beckoning soft teal or a dining room wrapped in gorgeous acid mustard.  I dare say - I might even consider eggplant!  I either am turning a new leaf in everything I thought I loved, or its simply a passing spring fling, but I guess time will tell.  Maybe, just maybe, when the weather starts to turn, and the leaves start to fall after a long hot summer, I will pack away my baby blues with my summer shorts and return to my first love... maybe.

 Oooo la la.  Look at that happy green summer day.
 Mustard has never looked more brilliant paired with black and white!
 An entire kitchen painted teal?  I'm not sure I could navigate it off the walls, but isn't this a blue holiday in the Caribbean in your kitchen?


Lisa Clark Design is pleased to announce...

All employees of SouthEastman Health now qualify for a 10-15% discount on all design services as part of your Staff Appreciation and Recognition Program as a SEH employee!

Valid beginning May 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012!!!


Would you like some free design advice?  Now's your chance to submit your questions for you home, and have them answered by me on the Marc Atiyolil show!   I will be choosing 2 lucky homeowners whose spaces will be featured during a filming of the show, with answers to your burning design questions!

The more information you can provide me with the better:  A sketch of the current layout, and lots of pictures!  I will suggest paint colours, new furniture (if required), any changes to the layout, etc!

Visit www.canadianhometrends.ca to see the site!

Deadline for submissions is NO LATER than Wednesday, APRIL 20th and can be emailed to:
lisaclark@lisaclarkdesign.net.  Please pass this opportunity on to all your family and friends!


it's a bit unusual for me to be hired to simply decorate an existing space - especially an older space - but i had a great time taking this 'bachelor pad' space into a sparkly, welcoming family home! i designed this space using layers of texture, pattern and subtle hits of colour. we had custom furniture made and I just couldn't resist this men's pinstripe fabric for the chair: i mean, we had to keep her husband happy. another concession for the man of the house? that's right: that big black box in this picture, better known as tsn time. how much do i love this rug and painting. we choose the glass coffee table so we could hide as little of this gorgeous, plush, wool rug as possible. as many of you knew,i use very little colour, and well, even i'm kind of getting tired of it, and so voila!  i can't get enough of this glorious green - and the homeowners love it too. twin girls were moved into their own rooms, and rather than having both rooms mirror images, we decided to let each girl have their own space. they both were thrilled to pick their own little pillows and each loves having their own colour.