Instagramming // For Real This Time

inspirationfordecor on Instagram

I have about 5 posts in draft and lots of ideas swimming in my head.  But it’s SUMMER and its hard to spend time in front of the computer screen, you know?!  So hold tight, I do have some meatier posts coming up.

In the meantime, join me on Instagram (@inspirationfordecor) for daily doses of INSPIRATION…

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Instagramming // April & May

Whoa, it’s mid-June already! I’m a little behind schedule with this post, but oh well.  Here is a snapshot of what I got up to in April and May:

April & May snapshots via Instagram | Inspiration for Decor1/ I’ve been working on two bathrooms renos – an ensuite and main bath. This is the tile, counter top, and cabinet selection for the ensuite.  It’s all installed and looks great! Photos coming soon. Thinking of your own bathroom upgrade? Here is some inspiration.

2/ Yeah, builders can build houses but do they design for optimum flow, functionality, and aesthetics? Not necessarily.  As an interior decorator, I can help review and recommend changes to builder plans, material selections and upgrades.  This is the final plan for a home I consulted on last summer.  We changed the kitchen layout from an L configuration to a giant island filled with storage and my clients are so happy with the change.

3/ In April the family sought on sunshine in Myrtle Beach, SC. This oh-so-Deco sculpture was just one in the huge collection at Brookgreen Gardens. A lovely outing.

4/ Speaking of Art Deco, this is my favourite vintage/antique store on Ottawa St.  in Hamilton.  Local folks – if you haven’t been shopping on this street you are missing out!

April & May snapshots via Instagram | Inspiration for Decor

5/ This print by Etsy artist Clare Elsaesser  looks so good in my client’s bathroom. All her prints are done with archival pigment inks on heavy stock fine art paper and the quality is amazing!  I’ll definitely shop this artist for future projects. Check her out.

6/ I love the graphic quality of these Depression-era black amethyst candlestick holders. In case you missed the post, here are more of my favourite vintage candle holders.

7/ Tulip season was coming to an end, but this pretty mix caught my eye and I’d like to try it at home next year. Anyone know if this particular mix has a name?

8/ Do you remember these phones?!  We’ve been watching the latest season of Mad Men and they seemed to be on trend in the 60′s. Very retro nowadays.

**Reminder — you have until this Sunday to enter to win a set of paintbrushes.  It sounds like many of you have big painting plans this summer! 

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Giveaway // Paint Brush Trio

Sun Room | Dayna McCarthy InteriorsLast week I showed you my newly painted sun room. The change from beige to bluey-gray was such a refreshing update.  I mentioned this room is an odd space being only 7′ wide by 11′ long and in that small space there are 3 large windows running down the left side, one large window on the right side, and one bay window at the end. Needless to say, painting this room was a slow process!

Sun room | Dayna McCarthy InteriorsThere was a LOT of cutting in and narrow spaces where I couldn’t use a roller.  50% of the time I used a good 2″ synthetic angled brush and the rest was done with a mini 6″ roller.

Now I don’t consider myself a painting expert, but I have painted almost every room in our home and just about every past apartment, so I can recognize a good brush from a bad one. I’ve done the cheap ones which inevitably get tossed after the job, but these are keepers:

Harris gel brushes, available at Home Depot

The Harris Gel Paint Brush handles have nifty gel inserts which made the job of cutting in quite comfortable for the hands.  They washed up really well and I thought the coverage was good, with minimal streaks (but this can also be attributed to a quality paint – I used Sherwin Williams Emerald, colour matched to BM Rainier Gray). I will totally use these brushes again and recommend them to anyone with a painting project in mind. This trio set of brushes are available at Home Depot at a very reasonable price point.

I’m happy to say that I have a 3-pack of Harris Gel brushes to giveaway today!  What you will get:  a unique gel 3 paint brush pack containing 1.5″, 2.5″ and 2″ angled brush. The unique gel pads provide additional comfort during continued use reducing fatigue for longer tasks. The 100% synthetic filament is specifically developed for all types of paint and produces a fine finish.

To enter, just leave me a Comment telling me what painting project(s) you have planned this summer. For an additional entry, share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook and leave an additional Comment letting me know you did.

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and I will randomly select the winner on Sunday June 15 after 6pm.

Happy Painting!

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*I was given these paint brushes to test out but opinion is 100% my own.

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Around the House // The Sun Room

‘Around the House’ is a little series intended to document the (slow) decorating progress in my own home . Like most people, decorating my home is an organic progress -adding and tweaking, as the need arises or inspiration strikes. No big bang reveals here…this is real life. 

When we moved into our home two years ago, there was an awkward room off the kitchen.  I say awkward because it is a very small space (only 7′ wide by 11′ long) with 4 windows and a bay window (!).  The two previous owners had used this space as a dining room but the space was way too narrow for a proper dining space.  See?

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DECORATING TIP:  Ideally, you should allow 36″ between the walls and the dining room table (or other furniture) to allow chairs to be pulled out easily. 

Here is how the space looked when we moved in.  Already a little better with all the furniture removed.

Sun room before

This was the view from the kitchen:

Sun room from kitchen

After living in the house for a while and discovering how we use the space (occasional eating, lots of colouring/crafts, some reading and relaxing), we decided to build a bench under the bay window using IKEA cabinets for built-in seating.  I won’t give you the step-by-step, but if you’re interested in DIY’ing a bench using IKEA cabinets there are plenty of tutorials online (we used this one). Oh – and that’s the royal “we”. My husband did all the construction.

Bench building

Once the bench was installed I had a firm 3″ bench cushion made in a super-durable denim coloured fabric and added several Sunbrella cushions (kids + spills/crumbs/markers/paint requires stain resistant fabric!)

Two weekends ago I decided it was finally time to get rid of the beige walls.  The honey coloured floors, in combination with the beige walls and sometimes harsh afternoon light, made the room way too yellow for me.  The beige had to go.

Inspired by this bright and airy sun room by Emily Henderson, I decided to go with a cooler palette, to give the room a fresh and breezy vibe. I selected Benjamin Moore’s Mt. Rainier Gray from their 2014 Colour Trends palette. A soft bluey-gray.

Sun room 7

Doesn’t the blue make the white trim pop?!  So refreshing.

Sun room 2

The room gets a TON of light and as a result, plants do very well in here. My fig tree has sprouted about 2 feet since I bought it. Now I’m trying my hand at succulents.

Sun room 4

Sun room 5

Sun room 3

I’m much happier with the “finished” space. I use quotes because I’m already planning on switching it up in a month or two once our littlest guy starts crawling. Since the room is right off the kitchen I think it’d be great to use as a small playroom so I can keep an eye on him while working in the next room.

And since I love a good Before + After, here you go:

Sun room before

Sun room 6

 One day of painting was totally worth it.

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Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 2

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

I am finally sharing one of my favourite projects to date!  Here is the full reveal of the bright and playful little girl’s room I mentioned last week.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

The drapery fabric was really the jumping-off point and inspiration for the rest of the room.  It is a bold, colourful, and playful floral, perfect for a young girl but will be able to transition with her over the coming years. I then paired it with several other smaller geometric fabrics, to pull the room together.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Knowing my clients appreciate artwork, especially pieces with meaning for them, I suggested a few special pieces for their daughter’s space, including: a customized ABC name print; her first bikini framed (sooo cute!); and last but not least I painted a series of canvases (inspired by the drapery fabric) for over her bed.

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

 Bright and playful little girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Toronto-based photographer Nechama Laitmandid a newborn/family session in this room. The amazing light and bright colours provided a perfect backdrop. Here are a couple photos from that shoot:

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

Bright and playful little girl's room |Photo by Nechama Laitman,room design by Dayna McCarthy Interiors

I’m really happy with how this space turned out and I think the little resident is too!

I believe the room will grow with her over the years, with slight tweaks here and there. Maybe a bunk bed? Probably a desk.  Time will tell.  In any case, the bones of the room are solid. I love working with this family as they give me a lot of creative freedom and really welcome my expertise. Little sister’s room is in the works, stay tuned.

A few sources:

P.S. If you missed the first post about this project, click HERE to view the inspiration design board and “Before” photo.

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Image credits: 1-11 Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor, 12 & 13 Nechama Laitman Photography

Client Project // Bright & Playful Girl’s Room, Part 1

When my good friends were pregnant with their first daughter (gender unknown at the time), I designed a serene gender-neutral nursery, which suited them all perfectly (see it HERE).  But when the time came to design their daughter’s room in their new custom home, we decided to go a little more girly and fun, with the requirement that the room be able to grow with her over the years.

Here is the space mid-build (so big and bare!):

Mid-reno | Inspiration for DecorWith bright, playful, fun, and girly (but not too girly) as my direction, I sourced this vibrant and colourful fabric which became the jumping off point for the rest of the room:

Tonic Living Tempo Salsa | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

Tempo Salsa fabric, Tonic Living

The bright pink, orange, purple, and green hues gave me so many options for coordinating fabrics to pull the room together using existing furniture, rug, and lighting. For the walls, I chose a soft blush pink that wasn’t too over the top.

Inspiration board for a bright and playful girl's room | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

It took me a while (too long) to photograph this project, but I finally did and am excited to share. I’ll be back later this week with the full room reveal, but in the meantime here’s a sneak peak:

Bright and playful girl's room. Tempo salsa fabric, sewing by Tonic Living | Dayna McCarthy Interiors via Inspiration for Decor

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Images: Dayna McCarthy for Inspiration for Decor

Spring Tulips

 

Spring Tulips | Inspiration for Decor

Just a quick post to say Hello and to wish you all a great LONG WEEKEND!!

I have some major clean-up to do in the yard, so I’m hoping we have a bit of sunshine. Though our garden is a mess, I found these gorgeous red tulips growing among the weeds.  Aren’t they lovely?

Since I’ve been “off” on maternity leave I’ve had a chance to photograph a few past projects, as well as work on a few new ones.  Starting next week, I’ll be posting several projects. I can’t wait to share them with you!

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Etsy Finds // Mid Century Candle Holders

This past Sunday I popped in at Hamilton’s The Vintage Marketplace with two girlfriends. The show had TONS of great vintage clothing  and a few housewares vendors.  Though I walked away empty-handed, I definitely found some inspiration!

One of the items that caught my eye were these black amethyst candle holders and vases:

Vintage black amethyst candle holders and vases via inspirationfordecor.ca

The two in the middle are small fluted vases, the others are candle holders.  The vendor was selling both the taller vases and candle holders for $35 apiece which I thought was a little steep (since I’d want a pair), so I walked away.  But I really liked the graphic quality of the matted black glass so when I got home I checked out sites like Etsy and eBay. To my dismay, I found that Depression-era black amethyst glass isn’t too widely found, especially nothing like the items I passed over.  Sigh.  I’ll certainly keep my eyes open for something similar in the future, since I think they’d look great in a vignette on a shelf or mantle.

Anyway, while searching Etsy, I inevitably got side-tracked and found a bunch of really great vintage mid-century candle holders.  Just look at these sculptural beauties!

(click on pictures to link to original Etsy posting)

MCM candle holder

MCM candle holder

MCM candle holder

MCM candle holder

MCM candle holder

MCM candle holder

Pretty great, right? I love how each piece is like an object of art on its own.  They could sit on a dining table, sideboard, or even coffee table.  For my own home, my favourites are #3 and #4. What about you?

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Instagramming // March

March snapshots via Instagram | Inspiration for Decor

1/  Hello climate change.  When is Spring going to arrive?

2/  I’m a design blogger, of course I have a fiddle leaf fig.  Two years in and he’s still alive and thriving.  He seems to sprout new leaves about once every 8 months and we have 5 leaves sprouting now!  My recipe for success:  stick pot in a sunny location and water once a week. Sometimes I forget and he goes two weeks without water…but he seems pretty forgiving.  People are funny about their figs, here is another fig story.

3/ Our main bathroom used to look like this but function trumped form.  This is our main bath and we needed storage and counter space.   I am not loving the chrome knobs even though they match the rest of the chrome finishes.  I’m going to replace them with darker oil-rubbed bronze knobs, to tie in the dark accent tile.

4/ These pretty agate pulls are on sale at West Elm.  Perhaps a bit too delicate for cabinets used regularly, but lovely nonetheless.

March snapshots via Instagram | Inspiration for Decor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/ Thinking about one of these Capiz orb pendants for our dining room…

6/ A $5 pick-me-up that lasted almost two weeks.  Now if only these would start sprouting outside!

7/ I’m always on the hunt.  I spotted these wood + iron industrial stools, perfect for a friend who was hunting for stools for a higher-than-standard bar height counter.  Found at In House, one of my favourite interiors stores here in Burlington.  A similar stool at a lower price-point (same style but not quite as solid), can be found at Urban Barn.

8/  A sneak-peak of my son’s nursery.  I have a few mini projects to complete then I’ll share photos.  Hopefully next month!

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Decorating a small foyer

Foyers are the first impression guests have of your home, so ideally it should be welcoming and reflect your style. But since they are also the transition point between the outside world and your personal space, they should also be functional (i.e. where do you put your coffee when your kid is crying about a missing boot, the dog is barking, and someone is at the front door?….yeah, me this morning).  You don’t need a large space so long as you include a few basic elements:

  1. Mirror for last-chance-do-I-have-food-in-my-teeth checks
  2. Table/console/shelf to place keys, mail, coffee etc.
  3. Storage (hooks/closet/baskets)
  4. Rug or mat to ground the space and protect floors
  5. Ample lighting so it doesn’t feel like you’re entering a cave
  6. If you have the luxury of space, a bench or chair to put on and take off shoes (especially for the old folks)

Time to fess up: my entryway has been sorely neglected.  After removing the winter runner last night I realized that it’s time to pay some attention to our (small!) foyer.

Foyer

What you don’t see in this picture, is a mirror and set of hooks just inside the door.  They are both awesome. Hooks at kid-level are great.

Long-term, I’d like to rip out that first doorway which acts as a bottleneck, tile the floor with slate (or slate look-alike) in a herringbone pattern (like this), and replace the hall closet door with a pocket door.  Until we can afford this reno, I plan on painting the foyer and adding a few pieces (console table is first on the list!). 

Here’s what is inspiring me now:

Decorating a small foyer
  • Lighting // Alexa Hampton flush mount in natural brass - Visual Comfort
  • Console // Echelon iron console table - Crate & Barrel (at 8″ deep this console is perfect for a narrow entry!)
  • Rug // hand-knotted Royal Balouch wool runner - ECarpet Gallery
  • Storage //modern weave basket - West Elm
  • Hooks // brass hooks - Light + Ladder
  • Mirror// Tork brass mirror – CB2

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P.S. I’m Canadian and I say “foy-yay” not ”foy-er”.  Whenever I hear the latter I kinda cringe. You?