a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Oct, 2011

Ottawa Giveaway alert: design help from Moneca Kaiser Design Build

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons|Giveaways and product reviews

We have a winner! Thanks for your entries!

When you are very close to something it’s sometimes hard to see the warts. Or perhaps it’s just easy to pretend that they’re not there. I think this is especially true about our living spaces. We arrange the furniture in a certain way, organize things in a certain way, and are pretty much blind to the options until (1) someone points it out or (2) we hit a breaking point.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to this past year – during the writing and research of many home reno type articles – who have reaped big dividends out of making fairly small changes in their homes. There’s so much we can do with our space that does not involve major renovations, and a well-designed living space can actually make our lives easier and less stressful.

If you’re a busy mom (like me) it’s hard to take the DIY route. The best thing is to get a fresh and informed point of view of a professional. And this is your chance! This giveaway is for one free Big Picture Consultation from Fishbowl patron Moneca Kaiser Design Build. I’ve had this service, and trust me when I say that it’s totally eye-opening. I’m so thrilled to be able to give someone this opportunity too. It’s design help for when you need it most! Like right now. :)

Here’s a recent email from a young Ottawa family that had Moneca do a Big Picture consult recently:

Hi Moneca,
Thanks for all the great advice. We realized after you left that many of our immediate problems could be solved just by moving furniture around, you were right:) We brought the cushions downstairs to create a low seating area (as you had suggested) and have created a study space upstairs where the cushions used to be. We looked at TV benches at ikea, but decided to first get rid of the furniture we didn’t need. This has made things so much more comfortable that we can wait on the renovations till we feel a little more financially secure as you also suggested.
Thanks again for all the tips.

Here’s how the Big Picture Consultation works:

We show up with a tape measure, tracing paper, and a calculator.

You give us the grand tour and your vision of how you want to live, what your needs are, what’s working and what just isn’t.

We need to kick around all the ideas to discover the really brilliant ones and we will!

We leave you with, the big picture of options for what your home can be when it grows up. Possibly some brilliant ideas, some sobering advice, a few messy drawings, and some budget estimating will come out of it.

Guaranteed, we will listen and share our most inspired ideas and best advice and expertise with you. This will give you the big picture and allow you to make decisions with confidence.

Eeep! Don’t you love it? The regular price of a Big Picture consultation is $300.00.

Want to win? Read on.

  • This giveaway is open to anyone residing in the Ottawa area, but it is void where prohibited in Quebec.
  • For your entry to qualify, use the comments below to tell us why you’d like to win this giveaway. What room(s) in your home need help? I would love to hear about it.
  • One entry per family please! We want lots of people to have the opportunity to win.
  • If you can’t post your comment here for whatever reason, you can email it to me for posting. Send it to andrea at quietfish dot com … however I cannot be responsible if your entry is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.
  • Good karma goes to those who tweet or post about this on Facebook. I bet you didn’t know this but it actually increases your odds of winning! Really. Do you know someone who could use this service? Forward this post to them!
  • I will do a random draw of all qualifying entries using Random.org at noon on Friday November 4, 2011.
  • BONUS: everyone who enters this giveaway before the draw is eligible for a Big Picture design consultation at a reduced price of only $150. You’ll have to book it before Jan 1, 2012 though!

Sound good? Now over to you! Good luck!!

74 Responses to "Ottawa Giveaway alert: design help from Moneca Kaiser Design Build"

1 | Jen_nifer

October 28th, 2011 at 12:07 pm


Awesome! I would love this, as in the four years we have been living at our house, I have not figured out a good furniture arrangement in our family room. I am perplexed with three focal points: television, three-door sliding-door with great view of the backyard and a wood-burning fireplace we don’t use.

I would also love to plan a crafting corner, but am overwhelmed with options and can’t seem to figure out what would work best for me.

Frankly it sounds so good, if I don’t win I will likely be asking for the reduced price consultation as a Christmas gift!

2 | Dave A.

October 28th, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Ugh. Where to start ? Would love to have someone come in and talk about all the things we seem to be forever putting off!

3 | elsewise

October 28th, 2011 at 12:36 pm


I’d love to win in hopes of fixing the awful space allocation of our master bedroom. We have a teeny tiny ensuite and two poorly functional closets, leaving a vast sea of nothingness where we only have a bed and some dressers. The bedroom doesn’t feel particularly cozy or welcoming, and the ensuite always feels cramped (even with just one person in it). I’d love to expand the ensuite and redistribute the space a little, but I am woefully ill equipped to figure out how that would work, or IF that would work. Some brainstorming and number crunching with an expert is just what I need.

4 | Allison

October 28th, 2011 at 12:37 pm


Would love this! We just did a kitchen reno but other areas need help – especially our living room which has both the tv and computer and our basement which I would love ideas of how to finish it in the future.

5 | Hellcat13

October 28th, 2011 at 12:51 pm


We’re looking at doing a full kitchen gut and remodel, but I don’t know where to start. While my kitchen looks roomy, I have very little wall space to work with and my existing cupboards contain a LOT of wasted space. I literally have to contort like a Cirque de Soleil performer to get into the backs of most of my cupboards. Because most of my time at home is spent in the kitchen, it needs to be super functional and user-friendly. I’d love to have to opportunity to work with someone to see what some of my options are.

6 | Mark in Ottawa

October 28th, 2011 at 1:07 pm


I would love to win this with an eye to re-doing the mid-level family room into a very cozy library. The room, as it stands, is barely ever used despite the fact that it houses our books (on college-era billy bookcases) and a nice wood-burning fireplace. I have dreams of turning this into a wrap-around library befitting our books and spending a nice a cozy evening curled up reading, in front of the fire.

7 | Andrew

October 28th, 2011 at 1:08 pm


Our family bathroom is one ginormous, constraining wart. 2 adults, 1 five year old and 2 Tweens fight over the single toilet and shower every morning. My wife hung a second mirror beside the vanity, over the toilette, as her temporary way to accommodate 2 people in the tight space. It aint working. We need one serious design advice. Help Mk design.

8 | Krista R

October 28th, 2011 at 1:09 pm


I would love to win this! Our home projects for 2012 include doing something with our front entryway which has remained basically empty for the last 10 years because we don’t know what to do with it, as well as our den. We spend a huge amount of time in it and it isn’t terribly user-friendly nor aesthetically pleasing. We would love some guidance!

9 | Sarah

October 28th, 2011 at 1:14 pm


Our living room/dining room is a mess with toys everywhere and our collections of vinyl, books, etc. I would love to have some ideas for hiding it!

10 | Sonya

October 28th, 2011 at 1:21 pm


With a toddler at home and a baby on the way, we’re currently in search of any extra space our home can provide! In particular, we’re now loosing our guest room (to the new baby) and need to find a comfortable place for people to stay. Feels like the house just keeps getting smaller! Would love to win this contest.

11 | Capital Mom

October 28th, 2011 at 1:28 pm


Awesome giveaway!

The kitchen/ sunroom where we spend most of our time (or at least where I spend most of my time) drives me crazy. The layout is awful. I keep drawing out new designs in my head. I would love some help with this!

12 | Carolyn

October 28th, 2011 at 1:30 pm


This is what I’ve been waiting for! We just moved into an older house and have done some quick changes to make it liveable for our 4 children and big dog but there are so many things we are still wanting for like a proper office, how to partition off the basement to make it functional, the list could go on! We agreed to live in the space for awhile before we did any more changes but this would give us an experts’ opinion.

13 | binki

October 28th, 2011 at 1:31 pm


I want this! We are starting a reno of kitchen, family room, bathroom and two bedrooms. We need help! Thanks.

14 | Janice

October 28th, 2011 at 1:31 pm


This is exactly what I could use right now. We have been living in our home for over seven years and I definitely have the
“seven year itch.” I’m ready for a change. Our great room is in need of some updating and I have my eye on some new furniture that I like but I’m not sure how to arrange it and I’m wondering if it really suits the space. Our kitchen could also use some tweaking and I have some ideas of how to make some small changes for what I think would be a dramatic effect but would it? I need help.

15 | sara gordier

October 28th, 2011 at 1:34 pm


Our priorities right now are reworking the kitchen (we need a dishwasher!!!), and renovating a poorly insulated “shed-room” off the kitchen into a laundry room. Would also love help with the master bedroom, coat & shoe storage ideas, and just a fresh set of eyes all-round. Perfect contest! Thanks:)

16 | Misty

October 28th, 2011 at 1:39 pm


Ummm…I should win because I’m so bad at “big picture” that I don’t even notice when my hubby has painted a wall or taken down a picture. I suck, pure and simple, at designing spaces. Help me!

17 | Lolo R

October 28th, 2011 at 1:43 pm


Having moved in our house over a year and a half ago, we have been stuck in a rut. Our previous space didn’t have a dining room area and frankly we didn’t have the need for it. We found now however that being a new home owner also means frequent visits.  We loath this because of the constant embarrassment of showing our guests our empty dining room area; a fresh canvas so to speak but that excuse can only go so far. We desperately need the help of a consultant to give is guidance and hope to be able to entertain in the near future. 

18 | Lee

October 28th, 2011 at 1:48 pm


I love my home … and I love all the DIY projects I’ve done over the 9 years we’ve been here. But there’s a big one I can’t do. Since day 1, I’ve wanted to take down or reduce the wall between the kitchen and dining room. But is it possible? What are my options? (I think it may be load bearing.) Then what to do with my dining table … don’t have room for an island AND the dining table. Do I need the dining table if I have an island counter? So many questions … would love to hear Moneca’s answers.

19 | Stephanie Wolff

October 28th, 2011 at 1:54 pm


I would love to know how to place furniturein our son’s room, our living room and our newly renovated den.

Good luck to everyone!

20 | Shannon H

October 28th, 2011 at 2:04 pm


Wow..this sounds amazing! The first area where I need some help is our great room. It has frustrated me for 10 years. I would love some help with functional furniture placement. The second area is the office. I know the potential is there to make it more organized, but I can’t figure it out!

21 | Moneca Kaiser

October 28th, 2011 at 2:16 pm


oh this so exciting, thanks Andrea!! I want to dive right in on all of your puzzels cause it’s what I love and happen to do really well. Can’t wait to see who wins, hope it’s a really hard one and if they don’t mind I will blog about it on Where the Heart is.

Having a home that really works can take a lot of pressure off with kids in a home and it feels so great to help make peoples lives a little easier.

22 | Kaitlin

October 28th, 2011 at 2:33 pm


We’re moving in a month, and I have no idea what our new place will be like. What I do know is that it took me FOUR years to figure out how to best run my kitchen and I really don’t want it to take that long in our new apartment.

23 | Natalie

October 28th, 2011 at 2:34 pm


While we love our little house in the city, with a growing family of five and big fluffy Golden, a few of our living spaces could use some fine tuning for maximum efficiency. Moneca’s help would be great! Thank you for entering us.

24 | Natalie

October 28th, 2011 at 2:37 pm


I should have mentioned which living spaces specifically. Namely kids’ rooms and the area off the kitchen that doesn’t quite qualify as a living/ family room but which contains a couch and a piano and a couple of lamps :).

25 | Sheila D.

October 28th, 2011 at 3:31 pm


Oh, I would love to win a consultation with MK. Lots of trouble spots that have been bugging me for years. Master bedroom closet and replacement closet doors. Basement. Front hall. Outdoors overhead protection from weather between back door of house and garage. I noticed on her website that she did an outdoor project for Master Chan, a man who definitely has good taste: now that’s a great recommendation.

26 | Chantal

October 28th, 2011 at 3:33 pm


This is so awesome! I could use this for my kitchen (whole main level actully ;) ).

27 | Lucie

October 28th, 2011 at 3:37 pm


We’re considering converting our duplex (currently two apartments) into one big house… but maybe we could better use the space we already have? Guidance on modifying our existing space vs taking over the whole building would be much appreciated!

28 | Cathy

October 28th, 2011 at 3:49 pm


I have no idea what colour to paint our kitchen. So it’s been white for the past 5 years. Same goes for the decor in the second bedroom that is now called the cat’s room. Any advice is welcomed :)

29 | Jen

October 28th, 2011 at 4:00 pm


this is fabulous! what a great giveaway. we struggle with how to create organized, clean, pretty space for our very narrow downstairs – place for baby, homeschooling, work, eating – living…. we’d love this! thanks.

30 | Mary V.

October 28th, 2011 at 4:22 pm


At our home, we have too much storage in some areas and not enough in others. Some stuff is stored so well we forget we have it (maybe that means we don’t need it?) and other things always seem to be in the way (uhm, hello, Lego!). Help us find the balance!

31 | Sarah G

October 28th, 2011 at 4:39 pm


Hmmmm…where to begin?? I’d love for someone to figure out what to do in my family room because it’s an odd shape, and has massive windows. I’d also love some help with my master bedroom. As a mom of 2 little ones with another on the way, I’d really just like a nice space of my own (seeing as my craftroom is no longer to make room for #3).

32 | Lynn

October 28th, 2011 at 5:04 pm


Oh man, I would love this. We are having a major house crisis right now – not enough work space for homework and for me (my “office” is a red easy chair in the TV room with a side table), not enough space for playing. We have one room that we don’t use at all (the front “living” room), one room that we fight about all the time (the “dining” room, currently used as a giant toy closet), and one room that is expected to be all things to everyone, yet tidy all the time (the TV room). Help us!

33 | Stephanie Shirley

October 28th, 2011 at 5:51 pm


Wow! This is an answer to my prayers!

We moved in over 5 years ago and have never gotten around to decorating. We spend most of our time in our family room/kitchen area and I have to admit it is very boring! All I did is copy the arrangement of furniture that was in the model home, pretty much exactly! No pictures on the wall yet either…

I would love to get ideas for it to be more homey and inviting for my family and friends.

34 | julie

October 28th, 2011 at 5:53 pm


oh what a dream come true winning this would be! we are thinking of doing some renos to the main level and would love some advice. and any tips to help us get more organized in our tiny spaces would be AWESOME! totally going to facebook this for a better chance! thanks andrea!

35 | Giulia

October 28th, 2011 at 6:47 pm


Uhhhhh…my son’s itsy bitsy tiny room, our living/ dining room and ideas how to improve the family bath layout…

36 | Heather

October 28th, 2011 at 7:32 pm


I just bought my first house. It has a basement which they claim has a fourth bedroom …yeah, maybe if your filming Silence of the Lambs. Would live to know how they would lay everything out when we completely renovate it.

37 | Claire

October 28th, 2011 at 8:11 pm


I definitely need to know what my home is going to be when it grows up. At the moment we’re so paralyzed by indecision we can’t even buy a new furnace for fear of installing it in the wrong spot for a future reno. We’ve kinda just thrown our hands up in the air — it’s time to get in the pros for some context and sober second thought. My fingers and toes are crossed!

38 | Peggie

October 28th, 2011 at 8:19 pm


Our house is old and our bathroom is actually a small room, so is huge. After 35 years we are finally redoing it, but want to do it right. We have a clawfoot tub, that’s it so far. I don’t even know what to do with the walls, let alone anything else.

39 | Judy

October 28th, 2011 at 8:25 pm


I would love some ideas on storage and keeping an open floor plan to make it safe for our son with gross motor delays. HE falls alot so conventional storage doesn’t work and he needs lots of floor space.

Also, some ideas of what to do with kitchen. It will need to be redone at some point but we want to maximize the space and the floor plan to make it more effcient

40 | Laura

October 29th, 2011 at 10:17 am


This is amazing! We have an old piano we can’t figure out where to squeeze it in. We also have a basement that needs finishing but we have no clue how to divide the area. As our kids are getting older we could really use the extra living space. Great contest. :)

41 | coffeewithjulie

October 29th, 2011 at 12:31 pm


Wow, what a giveaway! My biggest house challenge right now is the entry way and lack of “mudroom.” We had a mudroom in our old house, and I loved how all the snowsuits and whatnot could be stored easily and NOT seen from the front door. One of the main sticking points we had with our new house was that it didn’t have a mudroom. But we absolutely loved everything else about the house. Now, with winter right around the corner, I need some creative design flare to help come up with a solution!

42 | Dee

October 29th, 2011 at 1:08 pm


What a FUN idea. I love that we all get 50% off, so everyone is a winner!

We are house-hunting (I didn’t realize it’d be so difficult, but our budget is…erm…restrictive) and finding that all houses within our budget need some work: windows, basement rehaul, dark rooms because of a wall, bathroom, and so on. Neither of us is skilled at seeing past the warts, so we’d LOVE to have a pro help us out. Then we can tally the costs, and go from there.

I’m off to tweet and FB this…gotta increase my odds!

43 | Jen

October 29th, 2011 at 5:37 pm


We bought this house for its location, certainly not for the layout. No regrets but ideas to make the space more user friendly would be welcomed. We have a large foyer but no closets so it is a mess of shoes and backpacks. The living room is small and we’d like to add seating but are not quite sure how.
Great giveaway and I too like the fact that everyone is a winner!

44 | Jay Wei

October 29th, 2011 at 8:14 pm


Sometimes it is hard to envision your house working with a different flow or function, especially after you have lived in it for many years.
Would love advice or the consultation.

45 | Maria

October 29th, 2011 at 9:10 pm


We have a great old house with a lot of charm, but we have no idea how to best accentuate this charm but also have a home that works for a young family. We definitely have a few challenges that I cannot seem to solve no matter how many design mags I read or TV shows I watch.

46 | Pam

October 29th, 2011 at 10:03 pm


After moving into our first home, our house became a place where furniture from many family members and friends was sent to… spend it’s final days. To that end, we have a lot of mismatched furniture for which we have little vision. We would appreciate help in laying out and visualizing what we can do with the furniture until the $500 dinner table chairs are affordable. (Ha! Like, never?!) Also, we have spent a number of years living abroad and are not quite sure how to integrate the art and decorative pieces from overseas. Is it possible to create a Turkish/Chinese inspired house for a Canadian and Kiwi family? I’d love to set the challenge to MKDB. Thanks!

47 | Mary @ Parenthood

October 29th, 2011 at 10:52 pm


Ha! We have one of the oldest finished basements in the Glebe (really!), but while we’ve improved much of the rest of the house the basement is decidedly worse off after our improvements (took down ceiling for wiring, walls for plumbing etc etc)

For years the basement has been catch all storage and we’ve finished other areas saying that whatever other functions we dreamt of doing (eg sewing area) will be in our “new” basement. Now that it’s time to actually design said basement, there are a lot of conflicting goals. I’d be interested to see what suggestions a third party might have!

48 | Anne

October 29th, 2011 at 11:03 pm


What a terrific contest! I would soooo love to have some expert advice about our open concept living room and dining room area. It’s the heart of our sunny, small house but it’s filled with toys (for kids and grown-ups), books, art projects and a cat tree. I need some serious storage advice! Please send help… :-)

49 | Anu

October 29th, 2011 at 11:26 pm


We will either renovate or move sometime soon (? after we get our collective minds in right gear). I have been planning for 6 years and it would be nice finally to run some of the ideas by someone professional. I even have option 1, 2 and 3 regarding the extent of the renovations (which will include fix roof insulation, add a bedroom, renovate kitchen and oh, a sauna!) – but no idea re the cost and feasibility.

50 | Alison p-h

October 30th, 2011 at 12:24 pm


What a wonderful giveaway! Win-win.

We are now just over two years into our new home and feel settled. Our kitchen is great but needs another set of eyes to figure out how to maximize space. I don’t think we are using is as efficiently as we could. I love reading design magazines for ideas but I think a professional is really going to be the next step.



51 | Cindy W

October 30th, 2011 at 6:47 pm


We bought our 2 bedroom house when we didn’t think we’d have children. Now we have a 15-month old boy and a girl on the way in 4 months. Can you say chaos?

I’d love to have this help, MK Design!

52 | Moneca Kaiser

October 30th, 2011 at 7:16 pm


that’s funny Cindy, even with planning a house goes crazy when you bring babies in and I kinda love it. I can imagine your’s is even more challenging when you weren’t buying with them in mind.

I’m really enjoying hearing about all of your homes and experiences and hope I will be able to help some of you out with my experience and talents. I not much good with accounting but give me a space to make over and it all comes together and it always feels so good to make a difference in peoples lives.

I’m working on a post all about mudrooms on my blog which will be up tuesday at the latest cause it seems to be a recurring theme on your wish lists. I have a few tips coming soon! Am just gathering a few photos cause they are not as sexy so I don’t have as many shots of them as the kitchens and things I get into remodelling.

53 | Christy

October 30th, 2011 at 9:47 pm


What a FANTASTIC giveaway! We moved into our new house in the spring and have alot of ideas floating around, but having trouble deciding what would actually make the most sense! Also, we have a few odd spots that we want to put to good use but don’t know how. Thanks for giving us all the chance to enter!

54 | Jyoti

October 31st, 2011 at 7:17 am


This is a wonderful opportunity! Thank you! We have been in our home for about 4 years and now that we have a family, we’re contemplating moving or staying. Part of our frustration may just be that our house is not working the way we want? Anyhow this would really help us figure out if we want to move or stay.

55 | Kathleen

November 1st, 2011 at 12:46 am


What a great idea. My personal design solution is always to get rid of clutter. At a certain point, like in the winter, this is not a solution for hats and mitts and coats. We have a back entrance way that gets easily cluttered and several places in our kitchen where everything gets hung and stored. But as the weather gets colder, this gets messier.

We’ve come up with using old CD racks to store mitts and hats, but could certainly do with some mudroom/kitchen clutter Big Picture advice.

Thanks Andrea!

56 | Stephanie

November 1st, 2011 at 1:12 pm


What a terrific giveaway! We moved into our house just over a year ago and with the arrival of babies 2 and 3 shortly thereafter we’ve simply been surviving. I would love some suggestions on how to make our house a home.

57 | Ruth Bristow

November 1st, 2011 at 2:11 pm


I need HELP!
I moved to my new Condo two years ago and I have yet to see the floor in my second bedroom. I am not an organized person and know I have way too much stuff!
Moving from a three story house into a smaller space means you have to make choices. Well I am stuck!!
I thought I made enough choices before the move, but once I arrived my “stuff” seemed to be everywhere!!
My sister who lives in the same condo, and moved from the same house has been organized for two years.
I can’t go it alone, but I am loath to admit that to my older sister. What I need is some fresh “eye’s” to see what I can’t see and to help me redesign my living space.

58 | Jennifer

November 1st, 2011 at 3:55 pm


My living room is in need of some help a well! It’s small and leaves no room for furniture placement!

59 | Heather

November 2nd, 2011 at 7:44 am


My basement family room is now doing triple-duty as a play room, music room and a guest room. We need help making this work for everyone in the family.

60 | Mel

November 2nd, 2011 at 9:51 pm


We have a high-energy three-year-old and a baby on the way and would love some help figuring out how to best configure our main floor family room. Located directly off the kitchen, the space currently is used as a play room for our toddler as well as our main entertaining space. With an anticipated influx of baby gear in the coming months, we’re looking for clever storage ideas that will help tame the clutter.

61 | Susan

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:30 am


I am unhappy with how my living/dining room is set up and have been thinking of getting a professional in sometime to help me out. The basement is also in dire need of a update. Then there’s the mudroom and shed that we plan on rebuilding in 2 years time. Etc, etc, etc…

62 | Lou

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:48 am


Ahhh, professional eyes looking over our space – what a grand idea. Where to start? Definitely the dining room, which is a forlorn space filled with awkward, mismatched furniture. TV room and laundry room could use serious intervention, too!

63 | Kelly

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:53 am


We have been meaning to do a “life plan” for our home since we moved in 4 years ago!! My kitchen does not work for us, and we have yet to deal with the hassle of shoes, boots, coats and JUNK that end up in our front entry. We have several ideas, just need some expert eyes!!
Pick me! Pick me!

64 | Kerry

November 3rd, 2011 at 12:09 pm


Oh boy…very timely! Hubby and I have been talking about reworking our kitchen space and would love some help. Desperately.

65 | andrea

November 3rd, 2011 at 12:15 pm


This entry is being posted on behalf of Pam Dillon, who couldn’t enter for technical reasons. :)

“We’d like to win the giveaway because our main living space – kitchen/dining room/family room – has issues. Due to an awkward layout, the current kitchen is not conducive to family peace or cooking (As if I needed another excuse not to crack a cook book.)
We want to – possibly – take out a wall to the dining room, expand the kitchen space into the adjacent family room, just a little, and reconfigure it all so it’s more functional, esthetically pleasing, cohesive living space. But we don’t know how to do that.”

66 | meg

November 3rd, 2011 at 1:06 pm


I would love to win this! We have a very odd room above the kitchen. It has it’s own set of stairs and then a joint bathroom that joins it to the rest of the upstairs (the bathroom acts like a hallway from the room to the upstairs hall -very weird!).
Currently this room is our guest room, tv room, & office all rolled into one. Our house is over 100 years old and this room was an addition. It has the floor space and lots of potential, but I can not seem to find a way to organize it in a way that makes sense.

67 | kev

November 4th, 2011 at 10:48 am


We’d love to have a chance at this, too. We have a sun room that’s serving as a dining room, and a dining room/kitchen that has… layout issues. An overview of the living space would be awesome, so sign us up for a shot! :)

68 | andrea

November 4th, 2011 at 11:18 am


This entry is posted on behalf of Vivian Cheng, who added it to the wrong post. :)

“I’d be ecstatic to win this!
Our house was built in 1958 and has pretty much maintained its original “charm” (read: very little has changed about the house) since then.
I’d love to have some help on how to plan our basement. It was “finished” sometime in the late 60s, which means they didn’t add any insulation but did put up some faux-wood-panelled walls. Since the house is a bungalow, there’s plenty of square footage to divide up, and then add to that, we’d like to make the basement a walk-out eventually.
So yeah, help needed!”

69 | Elizabeth

November 4th, 2011 at 11:34 am


We would love to win this!

We would really like some help organizing our sunroom. It is a beautiful room in an old 1920 house with three sides of windows. We in the process of having the windows be replaced. Now we would like to know how to use the room as a playroom for the girls but also as a hang out spot. It is our favourite room in the whole house.

Please help us.

70 | deanna

November 4th, 2011 at 12:00 pm


As a Realtor, the old saying applies… the cobbler shoes are never shorn. I seem to spend time helping Clients improve their homes but never get around to fixing up my own. I would love the benefit of many fresh ideas as we all get used to our environments without the objectivity of fresh eyes.



71 | andrea

November 4th, 2011 at 12:02 pm


This contest is officially closed to new entries! Stay tuned for the winner! :)

72 | andrea

November 4th, 2011 at 12:14 pm


We have a winnerrrrrr. Random.org has spoken! And it’s commenter # 67 – kev – who wrote:

“We’d love to have a chance at this, too. We have a sun room that’s serving as a dining room, and a dining room/kitchen that has… layout issues. An overview of the living space would be awesome, so sign us up for a shot! :)”

Congratulations Kev! Your and your family will really benefit from Moneca’s ideas. I want to hear all about it later. :)

Don’t forget, everyone who entered this giveaway can book a Big Picture Consultation with Moneca at half price before January 1, 2010.

Thank you Moneca for providing such a great giveaway!

73 | Moneca Kaiser

May 16th, 2014 at 9:19 am


Hey Andrea and Fishbowl friends,

We are giving away another BIG PICTURE consultation and you can read about it here. http://goo.gl/jILbCU Hope everyone is well and your homes are meeting your needs!

74 | A Mud Room Confession - MKDB

January 6th, 2023 at 2:37 pm


[…] It’s ok for today cause I’m feeling kinda passionate about mud rooms since Andrea at A Peak Inside the Fish Bowl has been promoting my business as I am one of her patrons has asked what people need and so many […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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