3 BATHROOMS – before + after

My recent renovation project in South Surrey, BC for my clients was for the entire house, but people always seem to enjoy seeing before + afters.  Here are the three bathrooms of the home…

main bath

Main bathroom complete.

main bathroom

All new tile, cabinets, paint, toilet, sink…

main bath before

Main bath before.

ensuite bath

En-suite bathroom complete.


Previous layout had a 3′ shower in the corner, we removed a wall and expanded the shower to a generous 6′.  My client loves his new shower.

shower detail

Shower detail.

ensuite befoe

ensuite shower before

En-suite shower and cabinet before.

powder room IMG_7662

The client’s love the new pedestal sink as much as I do.

powder before

Main floor powder room before.

My name is Sue Womersley, I am an Interior Decorator in White Rock, BC and I enjoy sharing my adventures in decorating with you.

All photos Sue Womersley

office DESIGN + new BIZ center

I just completed this office design.  My client had this wonderful 17 sq’ space behind the large boardroom that was not being utilized.


My concept was to turn the space in to a business center, for either smaller meetings removed from the open desk area or that could happen while the board room was in use.

biz center

Paint, new furniture, lighting and artwork.

before office

Before.  A great space not utilized.


The other part of my concept is to provide desks to the visitors that often stop by my client’s office.

visitor desks

I selectively carried the company’s logo colour onto one wall here and one in the board room, as well as icons were included from their website.




The central photo copier area is beside the main boardroom and required a freshen.  My client had these words etched into the boardroom glass and I suggested we wrap them onto this wall.



new desk chairs

My other big suggestion for the other area of the office was a few pieces of artwork as well as new office chairs for everyone, with the pale grey mesh backs, orange seats and chrome, to subtly carry the colours through the office… super ergonomic, hope they love them.

This was a great project, my client was awesome and I enjoyed doing it for him.

My name is Sue Womersley and I am an Interior Decorator in White Rock, BC. and I enjoy sharing my adventures in decorating with you.

All photos Sue Womersley.

A memorable evening in a 100 year old Shaughnessy Home

I attended a special event held at the Disher House, built in 1912 on Angus Drive, Vancouver, BC.  The gracious homeowners opened their home for a Vancouver Heritage Foundation evening.

Disher House

This Stately Home has had five owners, and is largely in original condition, all of the delicate plaster work and wood panelling details are intact.

central hall

Attributed to Architect Paul Phipps (1880-1953) – the only home he designed in Vancouver, at age 30. Born in New York City, he attended Eton College in Windsor, and Balliol College in Oxford in 1898-1901. He articled with Sir Edwin Lutyens, the leading Edwardian architect in England, spending three years in his office from 1901 to 1904. Phipps began his own practice in London in 1904, and arrived in Canada in early 1911.
He lived in Victoria, B.C., collaborating there with Hoult Horton, until 1913 left Canada and he went on to serve in WW1 and eventually set up an office in London, England. He married Waldorf Astor’s sister.

Interestingly, Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869 – 1944), the renowned Edwardian Arts and Craft architect that Paul Phipps trained under, designed Great Dixter House and Garden as one of his many commissions, is a stop on the Stately Home Tour of England I am hosting May 2016.  Lutyens famously collaborated with Plantswoman, Gardener and Garden Writer, Gertrude Jekyll .

sitting room

Original decorative plaster work attributed to Charles Marega, who sculpted the lions at the Lions Gate Bridge.

This evening was memorable for many reasons – Maestro Bramwell Tovey (composer, conductor and VSO Music Director since 2000) played four pieces on the grand piano (in the former billiards room below).

billiards room IMG_7822

One of several original fireplaces.  I was also very fortunate to enjoy the music of Miles Black (local jazz pianist, composer, producer) and James Danderfer, (local jazz musican),


Original library.


Original upper landing and stairwell.

original stairwell

Original stairwell off of the main entrance and amazing feature stain glass window.

dining room

Beautiful dining room where silent auction was set up… I was served a glass of Tinhorn Creek red wine at the same time as another lady, whom I said cheers to (because that is how I roll!).  I later discovered this was the homeowner, who was lovely enough to show me her stunning collection of furniture and antiques, as well as the kitchen.  The Art Nouveau furniture was gorgeous, and they installed all of the vintage light fixtures you see.  There were some wonderful glass pieces and copper as well.

Shaughnessy kitchen

Okay – the kitchen.  The home owner brought me in, and I immediately recognized the influence – do you recognize the motif?

Shaughnessy kitchenCustom built two years, it is awesome…  unique yet completely complimentary to the Historic Arts and Crafts House. stained glass feature

If you notice the level of detail, from this feature glass door to the hardware, it is a fantastic kitchen, inspired by none other than Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who I wrote about here and here from my recent trip to Glasgow – love it!carved rose chair

This is a detail of one of a set of chairs that inspired the homeowner when she designed her kitchen.

garden view

This is a view from the grand front entrance to the front garden.  The rear patio and gardens were stunning as well, but this was the last of the dusk light just as I arrived.

So wow, a special night, right?  But there was more.  The is referred to as the Disher house, who was the second family who owned it until 1971.  A man and his wife and his son were attending and it was his parents who owned the home and he lived there until approximately 20 and it was his first time back and he was visibly moved.

Also, yes there is more, the City of Vancouver just this week passed long awaited Heritage Status protection of the Shaughnessy Heights district, and that was cause for celebration and two of the Vancouver Council were in attendance.

My name is Sue Womersley and I am an Interior Decorator from White Rock and enjoy sharing my love for all things design.

rennie MACKINTOSH glasgow

Architect and Artist

Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1868 – 1928

Born in Glasgow he has become one of the most celebrated architects of his generation.  He is celebrated for his use of space, light, colour and treating the whole room as a complete work of art by also custom designing the furniture, fixtures, fireplaces for that project.  He often collaborated with his wife, artist Margaret MacDonald, whom he met at the Glasgow School of Art. He was inspired by Scottish tradition,  with Art Nouveau and Japanese simplicity at a time when ornamentation was the popular style.

My Mum is Scottish and all of her family is there.  She grew up near Glasgow and I grew up seeing Mackintosh inspired jewelry and home décor that was both my Mum’s and when I finally made it to Scotland my first time at 21, at my Aunties and Cousins. My cousin took me to see my first Mackintosh property, Hill House, and I have not been able to return since then, over 20 years ago.

My Mum and I have a lovely tradition of having afternoon tea at the Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Rooms when we have been in Scotland together.

My last visit to Scotland in May, I managed to see both the Lighthouse and the Glasgow School of Art as well as the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow (the Mackintosh House).

Glasgow School of Art

The scaffolding is where the devastating May 2014 fire was, destroying the iconic Mackintosh Art Nouveau library, although the rest of the building was saved.

Mackintosh in the details – wrought iron ornamentation.   Willow Tea Rooms – two locations – this was recreated in 1983, 55 years after the original closed.  Replicated precisely to original drawings down to the chairs, it has won awards.  This is the Buchanan Street location.

This is the Sauchiehall Street location, Glasgow’s wonderful shopping district, pedestrian only, a wonderful walking city.

willow tea room

Afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Room.

The Lighthouse.  Mackintosh’s first building, is now home to the Mackintosh Center, outlining his contribution to architecture and design.  Climb the stairs for panoramic views of Glasgow.


The Lighthouse staircase, looking up to the top… if you make the climb you are rewarded with panoramic views of Glasgow.

I still have a few more properties to visit – more reasons to visit Glasgow.

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society is an independent, non-profit charity established in 1973 on behalf of the Mackintosh Heritage.  For more information http://www.crmsociety.com

My name is Sue Womersley, Interior Decorator on the West Coast of BC.  I enjoy sharing my love of design and travel here with you.

All photos Sue Womersley.

the MACKINTOSH house

Ok, I was so excited I made the effort to see this Mackintosh House in the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow. When I heard about of this I did know that the house, owned by architect/designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) and his wife, artist/designer Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, (1864-1933) had been reassembled as it had been while they lived there from 1906-1914. What I did not know it was strategically placed to be facing the exact direction and elevation so as the feel in the house is EXACTLY as they would have experienced it. The sense of space and light was wonderful to those of us that think about such things. They had completely renovated this Victorian home to suit their liking, removed walls, added windows, partially blocked a large bay window, remove ornamentation, used mainly neutral colours, – all very ahead of their time and completely opposite to what was fashionable.

In the entrance, you can see the black panels installed on either side of the new door are at an angle and this was to visually expand the narrow space.  The transom window above the door was added, as was the window on the side.  This hammered metal mirror made by Margaret and her sister Frances, placed across from the window was to further bounce natural light in the space.  Also hard to see, but there is a ramp to the front door, which would have previously been a step.

The light fixtures and furniture are all custom made to their design.

 The dining room with dark walls that have been stencilled, is filled with more custom made furniture and lighting.  The high-back style that he became known for, first made for Miss Cranston’s tea room.

 The fireplace was a major addition to the room.

This sitting room studio and library on the second floor, was two rooms.  A wall was removed, and you see by the bay window the ceiling is dropped.  By contrast of the darker main floor, this is predominantly warm white, monochromatic.  Rennie and Margaret’s distinctive style is easily recognized in the fireplace, the cabinetry and furniture.  You may recognize this photo from my Facebook header.

The quality of light was wonderful.  The company hired by the Hunterian Museum went to great lengths to recreate this home in the exact direction and elevation as its original location so that that visitors could experience exactly what the designers had achieved. Behind me a large horizontal window was added to the South wall which floods the room with light.  Note the custom light fixture.

More custom designed and built furniture. Note the hammered metal accent that Margaret was known for.  

Built in bookcases at the other end of this room.  Added stained glass detail such as this is distinctly MacIntosh + MacDonald.

 Bedroom – on the third floor, as they had done below, two rooms were made into one. Again painted in white, the natural light is wonderful.

 Another feature custom fireplace, the third in the home, featuring more of Margaret’s hammered metal panels.


Custom built wardrobes.

 The Mackintosh House comprises the reassembled principal interiors from 78 Southpark Glasgow, the mid 19th century terraced house remodelled and lived in by Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh from 1906-1914.  The original house was demolished in the early 60s, but the fixtures were preserved and reassembled complete with contents.  Virtually the same views and effects of natural light are enjoyed as the original house stood only 100 m away.  cloakroom, kitchen, bathroom, second bedroom are not reconstructed.  Here is the exterior, with the original door and windows inset the new structure, build in 1981.

If you enjoyed this tour, which is a huge highlight of my travels, you may enjoy joining me on the Stately Homes and Architecture Tour in England May 2016.  First stop is William Morris’ Red House, one he created and lived in, much like this Mackintosh house. And we go to castles and cottages, spend two full days in Bath and attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Small group (max 16) and Blue Badge Guide for entire trip.

My name is Sue Womersley and I am an Interior Decorator on the Westcoast of Canada in White Rock BC.  Thanks for reading!

GLASGOW city chambers

Built in the 1880s in George Square, the City Chambers is the headquarters of council serving the City of Glasgow.

 Enter through a loggia and be met with a mosaic of the city’s Coat of Arms. This mosaic style referred to as Keramic, is found on other floors as well as the ceilings. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million tiles were laid by hand in the vaulted ceilings and domes.

Off the main loggia there are two impressive stairwells. To the left is a staircase of marble, to the right, freestone. The balusters are of alabaster, as are the wall panels, placed one after the other in cutting order.

We did not get a chance to take the guided tour, but the upper gallery with a beautiful ceiling and dome are visible from the main floor.

I am a cinephile, love movies, just not zombie movies, but if you are into that you may be interested to know that the Brad Pitt movie World War Z was filmed both inside the City Chambers as well as in George Square. The Staircases are regularly used in film to substitute the marble Vatican steps.

My name is Sue Womersley and I am an Interior Decorator in White Rock BC on the Westcoast of Canada.

HEATHROW airport

Well, anyone who loves to travel knows and accepts that there is a certain amount of effort required to get where you are going… John Lewis Heathrow, Decorata Design, sue womersley On this particular trip, I flew into London, headed to see my Cousins and English family on the Southcoast near Gosport. From there, I headed to Glasgow, which may seem a small journey comparatively, only 1 hour 30 min flight, but we backed of the driveway at 10 am for a flight departing Southampton Airport at noon, but by the time there were technical difficulties, a new plane, delayed departure, arriving to ripped luggage, finding where one makes a claim for such a thing, finding where to catch the bus (correct bus) and getting to the hotel I was meeting my Mum at, I did not arrive at the hotel til 5:00… Another whole day gone, of only 8 here. Cath Kidston Heathrow, Decorata Design, sue womsersley Four nights later, we leave my Scottish cousins driveway at 4:00, and start the whole process again, check in, security, getting to Gate 21 literally the furthest one away, flight delay, get to Heathrow, luggage delay, find shuttle bus to hotel , arrive in hotel 8:30. Leave hotel on shuttle bus 630 am to Heathrow Terminal 2, find and take train to Terminal 5, (Heathrow is HUGE) check in, security, make the 15 min trek to gate and it is now 9am …. Allow for small stop in excellent duty free.  So yes, love to travel, and I do try to enjoy the journey, but it is keeping your eye on the prize of the destination that gets me through all of the hassles and inconveniences that invariably are a part of the trip. Ted Baker Heathrow, Decorata Design, sue womersley Here are 3 top British retailers, at the airport, where I will gladly visit again next year with my tour group I am bringing :) Time to board! (update – 28 hours after leaving my Scottish Cousins home, touched down at YVR :) )