To all my friends, family, and readers– Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday!
To all my friends, family, and readers– Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday!
Spotted: Chinese Chippendale chairs sitting outside my favourite antique shop.
Four chairs at $60 apiece (prices always negotiable), so I probably could have had the set for $200. I was THIS CLOSE to snapping them up to bring them home for a fresh coat of paint and new seat cushions à la Jonathan Addler–
The Jonathan Addler chairs retail for $550 each. Versus $60 each for my vintage find. I’m kinda regretting leaving them there on the sidewalk….
I hope all my American friends had a great Turkey Day! Thanks to your holiday yesterday, I was able to take the day off work to visit the One of a Kind Christmas Show. This year I received a Media invitation to a preview breakfast and the show. Media?! So cool.
There SO MUCH great stuff to see so in case you are planning on attending I’m going to give you a run-down of my favourites, which I’ve broken down into four overall categories: 1. Canadiana, 2. Textiles, 3. Art, 4. Kid Stuff. If you aren’t in the Toronto area, I’ve provided links to all the artisans websites and/or Etsy shops so be sure to check them out!
All the artisans at the One of a Kind show are Canadians, but some really take their national pride to heart and the result are some unique pieces–identity apparel co.(website)
Identity’s brand is based on the ideals of the Canadian identity. Designed for the sophisticated male, they have an awesome collection of wool pillows, tees, bags, and hats bearing images of the queen, antlers, moose, beavers, geese, etc. If I was decorating a man cave, a few of their plaid wool pillows would be on the top of my list.
Nicole is a graphic designer and screen-printer whose work I first spotted at IDS 2011 (review here). Her pillows and textiles feature Canadian airport codes and images such as the Great Lakes. I’ve had my eye on a YYZ pillow for more than a year and I finally got one!
freshly printed (website)
Freshly Printed is a Toronto-based company producing household textiles, with a focus on environmentally conscious materials and production methods. Their hand drawn then screen-printed products feature nostalgic images of flora, fauna, cottage life, and icons like Canadian geese. This was just one of several booths who crafted lovely tea towels and napkins, it was hard to walk away empty handed.
vicki carruthers (website)
Vicki’s acrylic works are bright, energetic, and feature idyllic Canadian landscapes. Reminiscent of the Group of Seven, her stylized work drew me in and made me smile
I don’t know if it was just me, but there were a LOT of tea towels this year. I’m not complaining, I love them, but it took a lot of self-control not to buy them all up!
avril loreti – modern home (website)
Taking inspiration from antique market excursions, art and design history, icons and concepts cherished in our collective experience, Avril’s collection features playful patterns, and bright bold colours, perfect for the modern home. I desperately wanted one of her 72″ graphic table runners but sadly my dining table is a smidge too long.
tissage magély weaving (facebook)
The gorgeous muted colours and timeless stripes of the handwoven blankets made by Tisasage Magély Weaving were a real hit for me. Made in Drummond, NB., this family run business creates blankets, placemats and tea towels using traditional looms. For my friends in Ottawa, they will also be at the Originals Ottawa Christmans Craft sale from December 6 to December 16, 2012.
Bookhu has a shopfront on Dundas St. West in Toronto which is filled with multidisciplinary works in wood, ceramics, and textile. The booth at the show mostly showcased their bags, fold-over clutches, and tea towels, all of natural handmade materials. The designs and colours are just so laid-back chic.
kailey hawthorn (Etsy shop)
Kailey Hawthorn is a super sweet girl hailing from Kitchener. Her colourful and fun booth was packed with pillow, stockings, clocks, and upholstered benches in vibrant, bold, and trendy fabrics. Kailey sells all her work on Etsy so be sure to check out her affordable home decor items. What really piqued my interest were the upholstered ottomans and benches (crafted jointly be Kailey and her father) at really reasonable prices. If I had hadn’t been carrying five bags already I would have left with the black and white hounds tooth ottoman (above, bottom right)!
Ok, that’s it for my picks – part 1.
The show runs from today to December 2nd, so you have ten more days to pop in for a visit. Give yourself at least 3-4 hours to browse the booths of all 800 artisans. It took me about 3 hours to get through the show and to be honest I skipped almost all of the jewelry, clothing, and food vendors.
This bedroom, from Domino, is one of my all-time favourite children’s rooms.
White walls provide the perfect backdrop to display kiddy art, the classic Jenny Lind beds are gender neutral and inject a sense of nostalgia, and the bold and bright bedding and pillows create such a fun and inspiring space!
When I started planning my little man’s new room, this image was my jumping off point. My first challenge was to find a vintage Jenny Lind bed (also known as a spool bed). I did the usual search for a couple weeks on Craigslist and Kijiji but couldn’t find any twin beds for sale. The Land of Nod has a Jenny Lind collection but I’m not a hug fan of the raspberry and teal colours. I considered the white (classic of course) but wasn’t keen on spending almost $600 for a reproduction when I knew a vintage one could be found…with patience.
So the hunt began. This time I hit up Ottawa St. in Hamilton, a street chock-full of antique and consignment stores and my go-to spot for unique finds. And can you guess what I found in a very dark basement corner ?
The shop owner estimated that the bed to be more than 100 years old (not sure I believe that because these beds are an American best seller and have been produced for decades) but nevertheless it was solid wood, soundly made and less than $200. She also said it would be a tragedy to paint it…..yeah, sigh….I get that antiques will diminish in value if painted, but what’s the point of preserving a piece in it’s original state if you would love it even more painted. I’m not an antique collector, I’m living (and decorating) for today.
That said, I did set up the bed in it’s natural wood state to consider whether I really should take the plunge and paint it. While I have seen some lovely spaces where a dark wood Jenny Lind bed looks great (like this), I ultimately decided painting was the way to go. Off it went to Paint It Like New for a spray. As for the colour, I debated doing a timeless white but ultimately decided on a boyish blue (Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay Blue CC-810) for a custom look.
Before I show you the nice “After” photos, let me warn you about the construction of a vintage Jenny Lind bed, in case you are in the market for one. Unlike most of newer beds that require a box spring and mattress, these older beds weren’t constructed to require both. When we initially plopped on the box spring and mattress but looked what happened:
Firstly, the bed was way too high for the little man to safely climb up. And secondly, because the height of the mattress was so high you could no longer see the foot board. And come on, the foot board is half the cuteness of the bed. So off came the box spring and in went wooden slats (IKEA style) under the mattress. Once that change was made, the bed was perfect!
1. CB2 knit pouf (CB2 now ships to Canada and has a brick and mortar store in Toronto!)
4. Duvet made from IKEA EVALOTTA fabric (thanks MIL!)
5. Vintage Jenny Lind spindle bed, painted by Paint It Like New in Burlington, Ontario
6. Sierra Paddle rug from RugsUSA
So now we have a dresser and a bed….time to finish off the rest of the room!
I’m nowhere near finished decorating our living room, but I think I’ve finally got the bones.
English roll arm sofa? Check. Interesting occasional tables? Check.
Clean lined coffee table? Check. Wool area rug? Check.
So what else is needed to complete this room? Oh just a few things:
- floor lamp (thinking of this one)
- 1 or 2 chairs (already got one of these)
- upholstered bench
- antique dresser OR piano (both have been offered but not sure which one we’ll take)
- linen drapes with grosgrain trim OR hand blocked print on linen
- baskets for organizing magazines, blankets, etc
So many decisions to make but I’m in no rush. To avoid looking like a furniture showroom by buying everything all at once from the same store (don’t do it!), this will be a labour of love and I will add pieces to the living room gradually as I find them. A home should be a reflection of yourself, your family, and your life, so it should take time to collect things that hold significance for you and fit your style and functional needs.
For us, our living room is intended to be our “grown-up space” but it still needs to be kiddo-friendly. For that reason I am trying to mix high and low and balance style and functionality. The roll-arm sofa for example, is a quality piece from Lee Industries and is a classic style that will last for many many years. On the other hand, the wool rug was a steal of a deal at less than $200 (60% off plus free shipping) from Rugs USA, so I don’t need to stress over toddler spills and doggy messes. As for the rest of the room….I’ll keep you updated on the progress…
It’s Fall, my favourite season. Chilly air makes for the best sleeps. Changing leaves makes for the prettiest walks. And an abundance of squash makes for the yummiest of meals.
We’re taking a break from the regularly scheduled décor programming, so I can share our household’s very favourite Fall recipe.
What you need:
1 large butternut squash
1 medium onion
1 leek, white portion only
2 tbsp. butter
8 cups chicken stock, preferably home made
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. white sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 oz. (250 g) Brie cheese – this is the key ingredient!
bottle of wine – this is a key accompaniment!
1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut -side down on pan and bake at 350 F. until tender (about 45 minutes)
2. Chop carrot, onion and leek into 1″ pieces and place in large pot. Gently sauté in butter. Do not brown.
3. Scrape out cooked squash and add to vegetables. Add stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add apple, bay leaf and sugar to stock mixture. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
5. Remove bay leaf and puree soup in batches.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Don’t skip this step! – - Slice Brie and into 3/4″ pieces (cut off skin if you’re not into that). Place cheese in bottom of soup bowls and fill with hot soup.
8. Garnish with chives (optional).
9. Serve with sliced baguette and a glass of wine!
(Based on recipe from The Best of Bridge, vol.2…….The Best of Bridge really is the best, every recipe is a guaranteed favourite)
Here are two other Fall /comfort food recipes I plan on trying this weekend:
What’s your favourite Fall recipe? Have a link? Do share…
I’ve got a project to share with you today! I am no DIY’er but this one was fairly easy and I love the results. I started with an old dresser that hadn’t been painted or updated since yours truly was an infant and gave it an ombre paint makeover. Not exactly an original idea (just Google “ombre dresser”) but super duper cute for a toddler!
But first, for those not in the know — What is ombre?
om·bré (adjective \ˈäm-ˌbrā\) : having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark
Cool? Let’s move on.
Let’s start with the original “Before”:
How 80′s is that room?! I love that my Mom was channeling Candice Olsen thirty years ago and hung a pendant lamp over a side table.
The dresser wasn’t in bad shape. When my Mom painted it years ago she used a melamine and it really held up to years of usage by both my sister and I. That said, the white was yellowed. You can’t really see the discolouration in the photo below, but in our son’s room next to white trim and a white IKEA bookcase there was definitely a yellow hue.
Since it was melamine paint, I gave the whole thing a light sanding prior to priming with a product intended to be used on top of glossy surfaces. I used a water-based BEHR Primer & Sealer and it did the trick. Another light sanding, then the entire frame and door received two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint in Cloud White. It was my first time using BM’s Advance line and I have to say it is was nice to work with. It has a self-leveling property so paint strokes melt away as the paint sets and it has a nice hard finish. I waited a whole week in between coats, only because I ran out of time the weekend I started the project, but 24 hours should have been fine.
My colour gradient was based on another key element in our son’s room -his bed- which is painted BM’s Hudson Bay (CC-810). [His bed will also be revealed shortly!] I simply took the colour strip containing Hudson Bay (bottom drawer) and asked for the next two colours on the strip: Blue Nose (CC-800) and Polar Sky (CC-790). There is a pretty big difference between the latter two so I mixed my own in-between colour to be sandwiched between them. Each drawer received two coats of regular BM paint. Because I didn’t want a whole can of each colour, I purchased 3 sample tins at $7.50 each. Way less $$ than buying a new dresser, right?
A new pull from Home Depot and ta-da! a fresh blue and white ombre dresser for my little man.
So what do you think? Would you dare to go ombre in your home?
Or go ombre with your hair?!
I told you we bought a house and moved, right? I fully intended on giving you the grand tour of what the house looked like before we moved in and things got really messy, but disaster has struck. I cannot find the pictures! How will I ever impress you with Before and After shots? Ack. So while I continue searching through a gazillion files on my computer and all the camera chip cards, with the vain hope of finding those “before” shots, I will share the one complete room in the new house. The main bath.
First, let me set expectations with a Before shot I snagged off You Tube, from the previous sale of our house. (excuse the grainy photo)
Ummmm….are those floor tiles on the walls? The orange, brown, and beige colour scheme is really hard to stomach. Blech. And what’s with the styling? That shelving unit completely blocks entry to the tub, which BTW, in such a small space only makes the room look smaller!
Enter previous homeowners, who thankfully had great taste and renovated the bathroom to match style and age of the home (approximately 50-60 years old). So no, I cannot take credit for designing this space but I still wanted to share it because it’s so pretty!
A world of difference, right?!
Love the deep soaker tub. I haven’t tried it myself, but our toddler sure loves it! A long hot bath with bubbles, candles, and a book is on my to do list.
I should have smoothed out that towel before taking a picture. Oh well. In reality our towels are usually wrinkly. Since I’m keeping it real, I’ll also admit that I decided to use the exact same shower curtain as the previous homeowners. Weird? Maybe, but we already owned it. In our condo this shower curtain from IKEA hung in our son’s bathroom and when I saw the same one hanging when we toured the Open House I thought – check! – keeping it. Fits the vintage style of the bathroom and keeps it fresh with a splash of colour.
We’re so lucky to have three mature hydrangea bushes in the backyard. Next year I need to learn how to prune and fertilize them properly to encourage optimal growth, but in the meantime they are still lovely.
The console sink is really cute and enhances the old school style of the bathroom. But as you can see there is minimal counter space. Well….none actually. Our solution? One wire basket for each member of the family, kept in the linen closet right outside the bathroom door. Did I mention this is our main bath? It is. Small but functional and as our family grows we’ll have to get creative on how we’ll make this space work for us.
I had to take a close up of these delightful LUCIA hand soaps we received as a housewarming gift. Each fragrant soap comes in a beautiful paper wrapper and the scents are amazing!
Here is a closeup of the marble tiled floor. Pretty? Absolutely. I love the mosaic tile border that trims the whole bathroom. But practical? No. So much white grout in the main bath is not a good idea! It isn’t white anymore. I am still trying to figure out the best method to clean the grout. Any ideas? I may look into re-grouting in a light grey to mask the inevitable dirt.
Our retro TTC Summerhill print found it’s new home in our bathroom. Our Toronto roots. We love seeing it everyday.
Hope you enjoyed this first installment of [around the house]. Cross your fingers I can find the other photos!
As summer winds down and all the busyness of the past few months become a blurred memory, I realize I’ve been neglecting the blog. Things have been mighty busy so I have not had much chance to check in. That said, I do have a couple upcoming posts in mind, including a tour of our new house and a sneak peak of the one room that is actually decorated and “done”. The rest of the house has a long, long way to go!
But for now, I thought I’d pop in and share a few non-decor-related photos with you. Just a little something my man and I got up to two weeks ago in Northern California. Anyone recognize this place? Hint – a recent movie with Emily Blunt and Jason Segel had a few scenes filmed here. The movie was meh but let me tell you, the location was just stunning. The Beltane Ranch is in Glen Ellen, CA (a couple minutes outside Sonoma) and it was gorgeous! So relaxing and serene.
And this is where we eloped!
If you’d like to see photos of the actual event, hop on over to our photographer’s site Megan Clouse Photography. We’re so happy with the results!
The day after our wee wedding was spent visiting a few wineries and shops in the Sonoma Valley. We used this one-day itinerary had had a great time!
Until next time,
First off – hello!
I came across these whimsical fairytale prints a while ago and decided to share them with you today. Because they are so cute. And so cool. And I want one.
These prints are designed by Christian Jackson and are available at very reasonable prices via Image Kind in a variety of sizes.
I love how simple each print is, yet so perfectly representative of each fairytale.
In my mind, these posters are perfect for adults who are young at heart and appreciative of good design. Personally, I really want the Princess and the Pea poster. I love how the graphic stripes in muted colours draw your eyes down to the final pea and then you seen the title of the print and you think ” Aha! Clever.”
I also think any one of these prints (or more than one!) would be perfect in a nursery. Timeless. And will grow with your child.
For that reason I chose to include The Princess and the Pea print in a contest I just entered.
And here’s where I need your help: I need you to go Comment on my mood board because I would LOVE to win a $2,000 gift certificate from EQ3. The concept behind the contest was to design a mood board around your favourite EQ3 piece of furniture. I chose the modern Karbon Swivel Chair whose style and function lend itself to an easy transition from nursing chair to living room chair. A good, stylish investment.
Soft, organic, and modern – yes? Yes. So please link over to Pinterest and leave a “Comment” (you need to have a Pinterest account – but who doesn’t these days?!) Pretty please. Our new house is looking empty and I could make very good use of a $2,000 gift certificate.
Go on now. Click here and leave a Comment.