Kitchen Design Help Please!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hey, friends!

So the builder was here this morning to discuss some cabinets that they "forgot" to install in the kitchen.  No worries, they are being really great about it and this has actually worked in our favour.  Reason being, when we first designed the kitchen we had planned on putting a bank of pantry cabinets in the space, but have now decided that since we have ample amount of cabinets in the kitchen, we don't need the pantry, so we instead want to have a built in workspace.

But I'm in desperate need of some help!  Corina was kind enough to take the time to draw up a few renderings of me of what the space could look like, which helped so much.  Thanks again, Corina!!!

With the builder's aok to go ahead, I need to decide a few things.  First, here's the space:

It's a little hard to see, but wall is slightly pushed back by approximately 12".  So my first question is, do I keep the bottom cabinets (which will be drawers) flush with the wall and bump out the counter only where the chair will be, or do we extend everything a few inches (around 15") which will allow us to have deeper drawers.

Here is another view of the space, you can see how the wall sticks out a little better in this picture:

My next question: for the upper cabinets, there will be three sets.  Do I want them all to have glass fronts or only the center two?

And do we use the same countertops that are in the kitchen? I'm thinking yes.

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it!


Gallery Wall Winner!

Good morning!

A big thank you to everyone who entered the Gallery Wall giveaway!

The lucky winner is......

Congratulations, Mandy!  Check your email!


The Chair - An Upholsterer, I Am Not!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hey friends!

First off, if you received a spam email from me on Saturday or any time this weekend, I am so sorry.  I hope it didn't bug up your computer.  What a pain!

Second, have you entered the Gallery Wall giveaway yet? If not, there's still time!  Hurry on over and get your name in for a chance to win a painting of your choice!  Whooop!  Click here to enter.

So I'm nearly done reupholstering the chair. I have to tell you, this was a doozy.  I am no upholsterer.  Kudos to all of you who do this as a career and who have successfully tackled your own furniture.

One of the biggest mistakes I made was with the piping.  Silly me didn't realize that you could make double corded piping, I thought you just glued two single rows, one on top of another.


no you don't.

This is not the way to do it.

Ugh.  So this explains the very unprofessional look, this among other issues I had.

Here is a series of photos from before, during and after:

The back (on the front of the seat) was terrible.  I'm not quite sure how long I'll be able to stand looking at it, that will be the first part that I redo for sure.

Anyhow.  All in all it was a learning experience.  I'm really glad I attempted this project and I did learn a lot along the way.  I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll tackle the second chair.  I have a feeling that it may end up being done by a professional!

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend.  I attempted a social media free weekend. I wasn't completely out of sight, but didn't use my phone nearly as much as I usually would.  Baby steps.


Pretty Friday. Sunburst Envy

Friday, March 22, 2013

I have to be honest, I'm sitting here studying and wondering how on earth I'm going to do this.  I have moments of pure & utter confusion and self doubt.  Every time I study something, I find more to study. Don't get me wrong, I realize that there is a whole lot to know and I'm prepared to work hard to learn it all, but it scares me when I find things to study that I didn't even think about!  Doing this on your own vs going to school is so intimidating!


I think experience is key.  Combine experience with knowledge and you'll be okay.  It's just going to take time and I have to remember that I have the time.  Little J isn't going to be in school full time until 2014.  I think by then, that I will should be somewhat ready to start doing some type decorating on a very small scale.  What exactly? I'm still unsure. But I have the time.

Two things before I sign off for the weekend.

First, I love this quote:

“Patience - the gift of being able to see past the emotion. ” - Rodney Williams


And second.  Don't forget to enter the Gallery Wall giveaway.  It's a good one peeps!

Happy weekend.

Homesense Round Up

Thursday, March 21, 2013


So, I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should consider making this a weekly post.  I mean, it would be a good excuse for why I visit Homesense every other day! ha!

I'm always excited to see what's new in store.  That's how much I love home decor pieces, it's fun just looking at them and to see them in person.

Anyhow, last week's trip was fantastic!  There is a whole slew of newness rolling into the store and I'm loving it!

The fabric on this bench is fabulous:

Check out these wool rugs, perfection:

Rope mirror:


Hello capiz art:

And don't forget to check Homesense if you're looking for planters, they always have a huge selection in a variety of shapes, sizes and colour.  I am loving these white ones:

Til next week!


Gallery Wall Giveaway! - CLOSED -

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh boy, do I ever have a fun post for you folks today!

The lovely Sarah Swanson, the talent behind the ever so popular Gallery Wall shop on Etsy has offered to giveaway one of her beautiful pieces to one of my lucky readers!

Get out. I know!

Sarah's $10 watercolour paintings (yes, $10) are available in an array of gorgeous colours and a variety of designs.  These paintings are absolutely perfect for creating a gallery wall in your home or to simply fill a vacant space that you have on any wall, so versatile and so stunning.  They are not only affordable but they create impact with their vibrant colour.

Her paintings have had a home on my "current obsessions" list more than once, they are just so perfect. They have also caught the eye of the editor's at Style At Home:

She is one talented gal, I tell ya!

So, Sarah is offering one piece to one winner!  The lucky winner even gets to choose which piece they would like from the shop!  The giveaway is open to residents in Canada and the US.

Phew, seriously amazing! And there are a slew of other paintings available, but you've got to know that they don't last long.  Beautiful art at an amazing price = sells quickly.

Here's what you've got to do to enter:

simply head on over to Sarah's shop and leave a comment here telling me which print is your favourite!

Of course, there are ways to earn extra entries (who doesn't love more chances to win?!). here's how (please leave a separate comment for each):

heart Sarah's shop
follow Sarah on twitter
tweet this giveaway (you can copy and paste this if you'd like): I've entered to win a #gallerwall painting by @sswansondesign over at @ellivenstudio
for even more chances to win, you can also follow me on twitter

Good luck! Contest closes one week from today, March 27th.

Before you go, be sure to check out Sarah's blog, it's full of design and fashion inspiration and you'll definitely want to check out her latest venture, here.  Want more? I knew you would...her design website can be found right here.


Reupholstering - What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The title says it all.

You see, I knew that this wouldn't be an easy job, but I don't think I really knew what I was getting into until I started to take the chairs apart.

But, I've started and I am going to give it a go.  I cleverly started with the smaller of the two chairs...hoping it would be a touch easier, but still, it's going to be tricky.

I have to say it was pretty neat to see what was beneath the oh-so-retro yellow velvet.  Just the craftsmanship and all.  I'm wondering when these chairs were originally made.  I should look into it.

Anyhow, the process has begun and this is where it currently sits (no pun intended, har har):

The fabric has been ordered from Tonic Living. I decided to go with this one:

It's the same ikat dot that I used to make the pillows for the family room with, just a different colour.

The chairs will be going in the nook upstairs on the second level.  My hopes are to make it a reading area, a place to go and relax a bit.  There is a beautiful window and a lovely vaulted ceiling in the nook, so it's the perfect place for a little quiet time.

And I'm thinking a Saarinen side table or something similar would be fab. I spotted this one at Homesense a week or so ago:

 Promise to keep you posted on the end result of the chair reupholstering.  I daily wine intake may rise ever so slightly until this project is finished. Ha!


When Dreams Become Reality

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hey friends! I hope you are all well and the loveliness of what is soon to be spring is blowing in to your part of the world.

I've been asked a few times what has come from this post, so I thought I would share bits and pieces here on the blog.

Lara Casey pretty much summed it up for me in the print above.

My love for decorating is strong and undeniable, it's really and truly my passion.  I've been doing a lot thinking and a lot of soul searching.  And this is what I've come up with so far:
  • though I have an unbelievable amount of respect for interior designers, it is not for me, interior decorating however, is
  • the thought of helping people achieve the most out of their space and creating a place that they can truly take pride in makes my heart smile.
  • I have an undeniable love for fabrics, paint colours, furniture, decor items, etc...the list goes on, to work with all of the above would be a dream
  • family is and will always be my first priority. I need flexibility, it's the only way that this can work
  • understanding every element of decorating is very important to me.  I need to have this knowledge to even begin attempting any sort of decorating project so I've been studying anytime I have a free moment.  There is a lot to know, there is a lot to learn, but I'm eager to learn it all.  Eager and excited
  • learning about design and decorating has made my heart smile, I kid you not.  Even if I only use this knowledge to help myself or even friends and family members, I'll be happy because it's what I love
  • experience is needed.  My house is the perfect test site.  It's coming, slowly but surely
  • I in no way what to rush things or jump in too soon.  I will be taking my time, however long it takes. When I'm ready...for whatever works best and again, I have no clue what that is at this time.  The answer will come, in due time, I'm sure
So that's that!  Hopefully it gives you a little insight as to what is going on over here.

I will share more as soon as I can!


In Times Like These

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Honestly, you're going to start to think that I work for Homesense. I promise, I do not.  Although I'm beginning to wonder if the ladies who do work at our store think that I'm paid to keep tabs on their store by management as I'm there so often and very rarely buy anything.  I'm *that* shopper.

The deal is that when I know I can find a piece at their store, I go often, as I mentioned here.  It's a tactic that has proven to work time and time again.  Plus, it's also a tad bit fun to go and see what's new in store.  I need to win their $1000 shopping spree, I totally do.

Anyhow, I went yesterday and spotted a gem of a mirror.

Only problem, I had no "need" for it.  I contemplated replacing the lovely flamingo print that faces our front door...not a good idea, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Which leads me to this:

When panic sets in, take a step back and chill out.

Panic over a decor item?  Yes, yes, yes. You read that correctly.  That is what happens to me.  I panic trying to find the perfect spot for an item which in turn would give me the permission to buy it. You know?

No, I do not need this particular mirror, but the thing is, it's fabulous and extremely well priced.  So in the end it's a deal worth going for and that's all the permission I need.  This whole budget has me all wonky in the head I tell ya!

So I am going back to see if this loveliness is still there.  If yes, I buy, if no...I cut my losses and move on.

Going back to my shopping day, I adored these pillows.  They would have been great for the living room...only problem, the zipper wasn't where I hoped it would be.  I like the way that the print is going in the photo, but then the zipper would be on the side and I just couldn't get over that.  So I left them behind.

And if you're looking for a pop of tangerine, well, then this chair is for you:

Hellooooo colour!  Bam!


Whatchya Doin'?!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

So glad you asked.  I'll fill you in.

I started to tackle the pillows for the family room.  Only wish my math skills were a little more above par, or at least at par.  I only had enough to cover one pillow.  Took me two tries to get the whole hidden zipper thing figured out, but it's done and here's a peek at how it looks (polka dot fabric):

It immediately changed the tone of the room.  A little more casual with a touch of personality. I like it.  I think that the other fabric I ordered (this one) will balance everything really well.

I'm thinking of using it to make two pillows for the living room.  Right on...totally.

We inherited a pair of chairs.  They are on my to do list, they need to be recovered.  I'm thinking of going with a beautiful greige linen/linen blend fabric.  We'll most likely be putting them in the upstairs reading nook.  I'm thinking of pairing them with a beautiful saarinen side table.  I spotted one at Homesense and I think the curves from the table will be a great juxtaposition to the chairs:

Little J and I headed to a few shops last week, one of them being the Gap Factory Outlet.  You guys, look at this pea coat that I scored for $27 reg $105. Whoop!

The best part is the leopard print on the inside...just the kind of hidden touch that I love!

Did you see the April issue of House and Home?  How about this EQ3 rug? Isn't it fabulous? Yes, indeed, it is.

Also of note, we are officially on March break. Goodness, it's been awesome.  We are doing nothing, absolutely nothing and it's perfect.


Pretty Friday.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hallelujah, we made it to March break!  That alone deserves a dance!  Holla! (speaking of holla I totally want this sign)

I'm currently obsessing over empire chandeliers.  I wish I had a place to hang one in our house, sadly, I do not.  So I'm left swooning over them in magazines and in gorgeous photos like the one above.  Seriously, a row of them hanging from a stunning, take-your-breath-away fabric lined tent at a wedding...completely swoon worthy.

I wish you all a happy weekend and if it's also March break in your neck of the woods, enjoy!


Stalking Homesense. It's A Good Thing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hello, hello!

If you're following me on instagram or twitter (and if you're not, you must, it's an order...find me here and here.  ha! I's not a must, but I'd love the company) then you know that I'm once again stalking Homesense for a few items.

High on the priority list is a gold sunburst or something along those lines for the living room and a white lamp for the family room.  There are more items on the list, but I'd really like to find these two asap.

This past weekend, Tim, the genius behind Design Maze spotted an amazing find and shared a pic. Get out, right? I know. Stunning.  To know that something so gorgeous may be waiting in a store near me meant that I was heading to both asap.

I did just that and unfortunately, did not find one, but I have no doubt that something similar will pop up if I'm patient enough.

What I did find was an array of beautiful pieces, which of course I just had to share with you:

lamps, lamps and more lamps...just no white lamps. sigh. 

the black lacquered bookcase, the nautical lamps and the ring handle & nailhead trim on the chair. I die.

 brass & glass Ralph Lauren lamp. shut the front door!

these beauties are such a serene and calming shade of blue/grey. perfection

hello glamorous gold foil etagere. omg.

sassy. just sassy.

So I guarantee that I will be at Homesense at least three times a week for the next couple of weeks. What can I say, it's the truth.  Not only is it the truth, but it will pay off and it's how you've gotta work if you really want to find that gem.


Framed Agate.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hey, hey, hey!

A few weeks ago, I shared this fantastic DIY tutorial by Erica from Moth-Design.  I knew I wanted to try it out, but hadn't had any luck finding any agate to use for it.  Then I saw Lindsay mention that she had seen some agate coasters at Homesense. Voila.  So I've been checking Homesense ever since without any luck changed last week! Whoop!

I scooped these puppies as soon as I saw them:

The colours are absolutely perfect for the new family room colour scheme.  I managed to also find the perfect frames at Homesense as well:

Here are two of them all finished:


I wasn't able to follow Erica's instructions exactly since the rivets on the back of my frames would have been visible if I painted the backs.  Hopefully these will stay in place.  Fingers crossed.

Total cost each: $20 ($20 for 4 coasters and $15 per frame).  Bam!


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