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.