Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Etsy Taste Test

I love Etsy. But, honestly, I rarely go there unless I'm looking for something specific. And it almost always is for my children. Any time I've just gone to browse around I just get bogged down in how absolutely immense it is.

So when I read about Taste Test, I was intrigued. I've done it several times since then and every time it's new and interesting. And I've found quite a few intriguing shops.

Here is some of what it chose for me today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Draws Me In

I have close to one hundred design magazines. Mostly Canadian House and Home or Style at Home. As I put stuff away and moved things around during my holiday decorating, I decided I needed to let them go. Take a quick flip through them, tear out what appealed to me and get rid of the rest.

So my jaw dropped when I read this post on decor8. But today when I flipped through the first issue, I gathered up the torn out pages and really looked at them. Examined them to see what drew me in, how I can incorporate some of that into my own home and what they had in common.

And I learned some interesting things and some obvious things.

1. I'm drawn to the combination of teal/chocolate/white. Not so shocking since a large chunk of my home incorporates those colors.

2. Every image had natural wood paired with a modern or sleek finish. This one was a little new for me. I've not traditionally been drawn to wood finishes but I love the texture and depth they add to a room.

3. Every image had pops of vibrant color. Another unshocking one. This is a common theme in my decor and wardrobe.

Do you take the time to really examine what you like about an image? Do you hold on to old decor magazines (today's was from 2008!)?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Around the web

Love the pile up of white on white texture and the grounding punch of black in this hallway found on Emma's site

I'm a big fan of furniture living multiple lives so this really appealed to me.

There are a ton of things I love in this craft space. In particular the carpet tiles on the wall and the breadbox as charging station.

I think bathrooms are a great place to go a little over the top. This before and after on Design Sponge is a great example.

Great tips I could have used last week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trend: Felt in Home Accessories

In the last week I've come across numerous different examples of felt pillows in home decor magazines.

The Layla pillow by Crate and Barrel

A felt loop cushion from UK store ASDA .

And a stunning colorful floral pillow found in House Beautiful magazine led me to the website of Ronel Jordaan and this cushion.

Then on a shopping trip I stumbled across a felt flower pillow at Winners.

And this doesn't even begin to cover all of the etsy sellers that sell felted goods. My favorite is Papaververt and her gorgeous felted bowls.

Obviously I am a fan of the felt trend and am even trying my hand at replicating a felted pillow for my sofa. What do you think of felt in home decor? Love it or feel it's best left for children's crafts?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shopping Finds

I've had a few interesting finds while out and about shopping in the last few weeks and wanted to share them.

At Winners the theme was definitely green in home decor, with up to date patterns and materials. So pretty I was wishing I had spots for them in my home.

A follow up trip uncovered 2 sets of chairs that called out to me.

The find that was most surprising to me was a line of office storage at Walmart. I stumbled upon them while shopping for envelopes but ended up returning for a two-drawer storage unit and a canvas storage box.

Wicker Emporium had a really pretty blue tufted chair.

A little exploration on their website and I discovered that it is also available in green and orange.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Magazines: In Hand or Online?

I love magazines.

It is one of my major vices. On any given day you can find a stack of magazines at least 10 high waiting to be read. I love pretty much all of them. Gossip, fitness, parenting, craft and of course home decor. But over the last several years magazine after magazine has gone under. Domino, Elle Decor, Blueprint, O at Home, House and Garden all in the last two years. It seemed to be a sad scene for home decor magazines. Worry abounded that other favorites would be soon to follow. Instead the remaining magazines seemed to have stepped up their game in response. Style at Home and House Beautiful stand out to me as magazines that have done nothing but improved over the last two years and I love settling into my sofa for a few hours on the weekend to pore over the latest issues.

In addition, the online magazine scene has started to expand. It started with the Domino spinoff Lonny I've read a few issues and LOVED the content. Now there is Nesting Newbies I haven't had the opportunity to flip through this one yet but it got good reviews overall from Apartment Therapy As well, several paper magazines have online versions available, Style at Home and House and Home, to mention a few.

When you combine online magazines with the plethora of design blogs and the popularity of Flickr, it's easy to find inspiration with a few keystrokes. And because of the long turnaround time magazines experience (they are working on Christmas issues in the middle of summer) I often find myself noting month old trends on the "new and newsworthy" pages. As a quick example, the May issue of House Beautiful listed subway scrolls as a noteworthy trend while Apartment Therapy readers dismissed the trend as over and done with in February 2010.

But I haven't been able to fully commit to online magazines. Every month I think I will explore the latest Lonny but I rarely get around to doing it. Part of it is because I spend a ton of time on the computer and have a hard time sitting down and committing to reading a whole magazine on the screen. Part of it is that I love curling up and flipping through pages, tearing out the ones that really inspire me. I'm sure that I will eventually begin to explore more of the online content but for now, I really hope that my favorite magazines continue to publish paper copies each month.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Neverending Projects

I think I could sit in any room in my home and see at least a half dozen projects waiting to be finished. Some of these are general maintenance, like touching up paint. Others are organizational projects, like figuring out a solution for that back cupboard that collects "stuff". Still more are decorating projects, new pillows for the sofa or new drapes for the dining room.

After 3 years in this house you would think that my list of projects would be diminishing but instead it grows on an almost daily basis. I find myself looking at finished rooms in magazines and on blogs and wondering if those people look around their rooms and see projects to be done. Or maybe I'm a product of my genetics. My mother worked her way from room to room in our home, repainting, replacing a few pieces of furniture, buying new window coverings. By the time she finished all of the rooms she was ready to start over at the beginning.

Some days I bemoan my unfinished home, wishing I could sit and look around and just enjoy everything that I see. Most days, however, I love that my home is full of things that I invested time and energy into producing. So many homes end up feeling forced or like a furniture showroom because they were rushed or finished in one fell swoop. My home has evolved and on any given day reflects who we are and how we currently live our lives. So bring on the unfinished projects! At least I'll never be bored :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A's Unconventional DIY Nursery

I've never been a big fan of the traditional nursery look. Instead I find myself drawn to quirky and somewhat modern nurseries like those featured on Ohdeedoh. So when I found myself planning a nursery for my second child I wanted to create something that I would enjoy looking at and being in. Ideally it would also work for several years.

I'd been enjoying the yellow and grey colour scheme for some time so that was a no brainer. And when we found out we were having another girl, I added in pink for a second accent colour. Budget is always tight around here so there are a lot of DIY elements. But in the end I'm thrilled with how everything turned out and apart from a few more little art projects I feel like the room is finally complete.

Simple wooden letters from the craft store covered with scrapbooking paper and hung with ribbon

The room is teeny tiny so I kept the furniture to a minimum.

The artwork was done using bargain store canvases and masks (a sticker that you lay on the canvas, paint over and then remove leaving the negative image unpainted). I made the change pad cover following the tutorial on Prudent Baby

The dresser is a really old wood dresser from my parent's house. I cleaned it up, painted it and added new drawer pulls.

We added a low shelf in the closet and painted both the same yellow as the dresser

Shelves for knick knacks and photos above a simple toy box. The decals are from etsy store Elephannie

The flowers are by Umbra and I sprayed them yellow

A simple bird mobile made of felt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Minimalism with Children?

Now that I am on maternity leave I'm spending a lot of time in the house. And the more time I spend in the house, the more I notice areas of the house that are cluttered. Yet after two months of decluttering I find myself no further ahead than I was in March.

A 15 month old lives here? courtesy of Apartment Therapy

I see so many homes in magazines and on design blogs that show these beautiful, streamlined, minimalized homes with children and I'm left wondering "Does you home always look like this?" Seriously, did they take 50% of the kid's things and stick them out on the front lawn LOL.

Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Where are all the kid's toys? The homeowners always say that their home is family friendly or child friendly. What does this mean? Are the kids relegated to one room in the house? Are they only allowed 5 toys? I have been aspiring to have a home that looks like these homes but I would rather have clutter than throw out all of my daughters' belongings.

Two toddlers and a cat live here Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Of course that doesn't mean I need to let "stuff" overtake the house. SoI will continue with decluttering and paring down our belongings to the things we use and love. And I'll remind myself that these pictures show only a moment in time and not the lives that are lived in the home.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Cure

Today marks the beginning of Apartment Therapy's Spring Cure. Every fall and spring they host their home cure, an eight week process based on the book intended to help you create a healthy home.

I've participated in the cure 3 times now and each time come out with a home a little closer to my vision of what I want my home to look/feel like. Given that I'm due to deliver my second baby girl any day I won't be participating this spring but I did pull out and reread my copy of the book. I've probably read it 6 times now but every time I find something new or am reminded of something that I want to accomplish in my home.

If you've never heard of the Apartment Therapy cure I definitely recommend signing up and following along the best you can. At the very least, pick up a copy of the book from you local library and take a look. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I'm a little late to the party when it comes to Lonny Magazine but I just spent the weekend devouring the entire latest issue and I will certainly be back.

It's filled with meaty articles, stunning photos and a wide range of design styles and influences. If you haven't checked it out yet, definitely head over right away.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This issue of House Beautiful magazine really hit home why I love this magazine. I've been reading home decor magazines for many years now and I can't recall ever seeing an issue that was devoted to a single color. Lots of color issues of course that cover all of the current popular colors but never 1 single color!!!

So when I saw that the March 2010 issue was all about Blue I was intrigued for sure. And it didn't disappoint. It highlights paint colors, accessories and pages of stunning blue focused rooms. The editor even directed me to a blog that only covers blue decorating: House of Turquoise

I guess it shouldn't shock me that I'm in love with this issue since blue plays a large role in my home. In the living room it appears as a jewel toned sapphire blue. In my bedroom, it's softer, more of an eggshell blue. In both places I warm up the blue with dark wood and chocolate brown. And for a punch of contrast, orange accessories.

I also want to highlight an etsy shop I ran across this week. They are local to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and have beautiful upcycled painted furniture. One look will make it clear why I thought they fit well with this post.
Turquoise Shed

It came as no surprise then to find a plethora of blue in my inspiration file. Apologies in advance that I don't know the sources. Most have been in my files for some time now. Please comment or email if you recognize any of them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Seussery

I offered to help an out of town (actually out of country) friend put together some final touches for her son's nursery. She had already purchased furniture (in a rubbed black finish) and bedding and was down to the final details.
She had a few ideas and a budget that I worked with to create two schemes for her. One with a whimsical feel and one with a classic feel.

In the end she chose a few options from each and modified some to work with her ideas but the finished room is a unique room just waiting for the arrival of her little boy.

This job was a lot of fun to work on but I think one of my favorite parts of it is how it dispels a common myth about working with a decorator. It is a wonderful example of how a decorator can be customized for exactly what you need. I didn't work with this client from the beginning, we didn't do all custom pieces and I never actually set foot in the actual room. The most important part is to find a decorator that can fulfill your needs, regardless of where in the world they are.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ceiling Love

I'll admit that I've never given much thought to ceilings. Slap a coat of flat white paint up there and call it a day. Or if you're feeling brave, take your wall color and cut the intensity is half (or even 3/4 and use that). Nothing too exciting, that's for sure. But after hearing wallpapered ceilings mentioned on The Skirted Roundtable and seeing the picture above (from Apartment Therapy, I was intrigued and started digging through my inspiration folder.

Paint is definitely a common choice for ceilings. Using a vivid color or painting a pattern really draws attention.

Source Apartment Therapy

Source Unknown

Source Ohdeedoh

Source Living Etc..

Wallpaper on the ceiling definitely makes a dramatic impact. Not all wallpapers work well on the ceiling, however. You want to look for a paper that has a non-directional pattern.

Source Flickr

Source Living Etc. via Flickr

Source Ohdeedoh

Of course, in the right setting, a wood ceiling, either beamed or panelled, is absolutely stunning.

Source House and Home

Source House and Home

Source Living Etc.