A Little Antique Shopping To Soothe The Soul

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For this girl, who grew up loving Pollyanna, Anne of Green Gables, visiting Upper Canada Village and touring homes built way before my time, it's no surprise that going to antique shops is one of my favourite things to do.

The furniture, accessories and knick knacks all make me smile.  Though I may leave the store empty handed more often than not, I will never tire of visiting antique shops whenever I get a chance.

I had a chance to visit a couple of our local shops last week, which were full of fabulous items.  It can be so hard to resist purchasing more than what I went for.  Taking photos is pretty much the next best thing!

I adored these crystal lamps, which just so happen to match Grandma's pinwheel crystal that we inherited!

This lamp caught my eye, it's fabulous!  Gorgeous curves and beautiful gold detailing.  Still trying to figure out where I could use it so that I have an excuse to go back for it!

This chair was sitting right by the front door and was one of the first pieces I fell in love with.  Perfect for the hallway, living room, any place really.  But, here's what's important.  I gave it a good wiggle and it felt like it was about to buckle.  Always test out the furniture to see how sturdy it is.  Look can be deceiving.  Perhaps it just needed some glue here and there, an easy enough fix, but something to remember.

I can't for the life of me figure out why these crystal light fixtures are still at this store (they've been there for a long time now).  They are gorgeous!

Though sometimes it hurts to paint antique or vintage pieces, sometimes it's well worth it.  I adored these two demi lune tables and pictured them with an off white finish and some gold foiling.

The lovely pink glass and the brass base are a winning combo:

Another set of tables that have beautiful lines and details.

The frame to the left isn't so bad either!

It's so fun to think of where these pieces came from and the story behind them.  It takes time to go around the stores because there is usually so much to look at and to go through!  I often go around art least twice and am always surprised by how much I missed the first time around.

Is antiquing something that you love to do as well?

The HomeSense Spring 2014 Lookbook Has Arrived!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The HomeSense Spring 2014 Lookbook is out and as per usual, I can not wait for some of these items to roll out at our store.

I'm not sure what I ever did before HomeSense came along.  I can vividly remember the very first time that I stepped in to one of their stores in Ottawa....pure bliss!  Next best thing to antiquing (which I will be speaking a little more about later in the week), primarily because you never really know what gems you're going to find and the pricing is fantastic when you're shopping on a budget.

This spring, your eyes will be treated to gorgeous colours, beautiful prints and loads of pretty.

HomeSense has broken down their lookbook in to several different themes and I'm sharing my favourites with you!

I mean, come on! Gorgeous shades of pink & green, whitewash wood and beautiful organizational tools make up the In Bloom Collection. There is a lot going on here, but it's been perfectly styled, so that it doesn't feel overwhelming.  Take a minute to take it all in!  Pay close attention to how they used bins to add height and how colours from the wallpaper have been pulled when selecting the items on the etagere.

Here are a few of my favourites from this collection.  I just looooove snapdragons, especially white and pink and one can always use a great cloche:

The Texture Trove collection is stunning, just stunning.  The headboard, side tables (which would be soooo perfect for my living room! hope I can nab two), lamps, artwork, sheets, I.could.go.on.and.on.

Gah!  Be still my heart.  Look at the pops of colour in the sheets, the ruffle detail on the quilt, the lucite base and texture on the lamps is perfection and the pattern & colours in the rug is ever so lovely.  Goodness, I just can't get enough of those side tables, I know, I know....said that already, but they are SO good.

The last collection that I want to share with you is the Statement Storage collection.  The title says it all!  I think there is no better way to stay organized than with gorgeous boxes & desktop supplies.  These affordable options are an easy and quick way to liven up and your workspace.  And good heavens, the wallpaper is simply spectacular!  Organization can be pretty, office supplies don't have to be generic, this is proof!

I recently spotted the wooden boxes with the inlay and they are just lovely.  I also have one of the mail organizers, it's where I keep all of my bills, perfect to keep your desktop neat and tidy.

So, which is your favourite?  Is there a piece here that you are just loving?


Sometimes I Love It, Sometimes I Don't. Art. The Pink Pillow Stays.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's funny, this whole blogging about my decorating.  Sometimes I feel like I've totally got it and I'm all "yes!!! this is what I'm meant to do" and I'm so thankful for that because I truly love it in it's entirety.  Then there are weeks days that I question everything about it and what on earth it is that I'm doing (pretty sure I've said something along those lines at least once a week for the past month).

Truth be told, I've been struggling with the latter for the past couple of weeks.  But the other day, the cloud lifted and I can finally think again.  It was the weirdest feeling, not being able to put anything together, things continually turning out to be completely awful time after time after time.  My confidence was shot, I knew I wanted to keep going but was really questioning whether or not I should.

In the end, I love to decorate, I love to style, it's who I am.  I am constantly switching things around here because I love it, it makes me happy to see how things can work together and to freshen things up.  I find complete joy in styling the tiniest of corners in our house.  Last year I decided to learn as much as I could about decorating and styling, I have been working hard.  It's a steep learning curve and I have to remember that.  I absolutely love it.  So I shall keep going.

With that.  This happened on Monday:

What on earth?!  Seriously, I had zero intentions on buying anything like it, but the minute I laid eyes on this piece at HomeSense, I grabbed it.  The colours are happy, vibrant and go so well with the living room.  I had to try it out.

I know the size is on the small side for this wall, but there are ways to make it work and quite honestly, this might be one of those times that I break a rule.

I'm loving it one second...hating it the other.....I'm intrigued by it, it makes me happy and other times it jumps out at me like a flashing sign, which is not so great!   As Pink says, that must be because it's true love, right???!!

Seriously, I have no clue.  Thankfully I have time to decide (aka 30 day return policy) and I used those lovely command strips to hang it up, so no harm done.  I think it will all depend on how the other pieces, which I have a) yet to find and b) yet to buy, work with it....28 days and counting to get on that!  I will wait before making a decision.

A decision that I did make that I shall not go back on was picking up a pair of pink pillow covers from Ikea that were marked down to $4.99.  I'm liking this one here. A lot.

So we'll see what happens with the art, the colours were hard to capture, they are more vibrant in person.

I'm still waiting to find a fiddle fig to place in that empty corner beside the bench.  Incase you are wondering why there is such a gap, our dog sleeps back there...behind the couch.  If there was the smallest of gaps, he'd find his way behind the couch, so we just pushed it forward to make room for his bed.  I may be slightly regretting this decision.  Slightly.


Framing It With Ikea and Hardware Prettiness.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Giddy up, I'm back!

So last week, we were able to get to Ottawa which meant that I was able to hit a few stores that we don't have here.  Ikea was first on my list and Lee Valley Tools was second.

I wish I was able to get to an Ikea more easily, though truth be told, it's probably a good thing that there isn't one here. My bank account is much better off with the distance! ha!

Anyhow, I really needed to get some frames.  You see, the ones that I had placed beside the gold mirror just weren't working for me.  Actually, the set up isn't working for me at all.  At first I thought it was just the frames and art, but I've come to realize that it's more than the frames, it's the side tables too, they need to be replaced.  I am currently on the hunt for a new pair.  Looking forward to seeing what I can find to fit the space.  I'm thinking gold, with a glass top, but will not limit myself to that, I always love a great vintage piece, so we shall see what I end up with.

Back to the frames.  My original plan was to hang the prints by Gaby Burger beside the mirror, an idea that I absolutely loved, they were meant to go there.  But the frames I had purchased were too small, so I hung up another set of frames and placed the prints elsewhere. Fast forward to our trip to Ikea and the purchase of new frames and this is what we've got:

Bam!  I kept the original mat that came with the frame, but added a black one to frame the print and absolutely love the end result!  I'm now toying with the idea of adding some library lights above the prints.  This thought is currently being processed. I will get back to you with the decision once it's been made.

So, the square frames that were once hanging beside the mirror were given a little makeover.  I then made some art to put in them and tada!  Here they are in the dining room, filling in the little awkward corner:

Again, super happy with the way they turned out.  I'm still trying to find the perfect piece to hang at the end of the table, beside the two gold frames.  I have two pieces in mind and will once again get back to you on this once I decide what to do.

I have been dying to get to Lee Valley Tools for months now.  They have a fabulous selection of hardware if you're in the market.  Our vintage dining room set was in desperate need of some new hardware, like, I only had one intact handle left on the long top drawer, and Lee Valley Tools was the place to go.  Only thing, since it took me so long to get to a store, the prices had jumped significantly on the set that I had chosen.  It turned out to be not so bad though because after seeing them in person, I wasn't sure that they were a good match.

I did however fall in love with this little gem:

I loved how it mimicked the lattice on the hutch doors.  They are just super pretty.  I wasn't too sold on the matching handles, but the price was right and they weren't horrid or anything, so I bought them.  Here's a picture of the hutch with the old & new hardware.

The new hardware is definitely much better than the old pieces, actually, I'm quite amazed by how much of an impact the new look has had on the space.  That being said, I'm still debating the drawer handles, thinking that I may have been better off sticking to my original game plan...Hepplewhite pulls.  The good thing is that I have time to decide.  I'm also contemplating adding some beautiful chinoiserie inspired wallpaper to the inside back of the hutch, to brighten things up.  Yes? No?  To decide.

So progress, good progress, which makes me happy.  It may take me time to figure out what the problem is with a room and it may frustrate me beyond words when I can't quite figure out what the problem is, but once a solution is found, I'm a happy camper.

The living and dining rooms are so so so close to being done, so close.  Can't wait!


Break Time!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friends, it's time for a wee bit of a break.  As I mentioned last week, this week is our March break and so I will be taking the week off from blogging to truly enjoy the entire week with my crew.

This past week, I spent a few days getting organized. It seems as though this is the time for me to take things to the next level.  I'm working on improving the blog and am putting together a media kit.  No more sitting back and waiting, it's time to make things happen.

I'm going to leave you with a few of my most recent favourites from instagram.  Be sure to follow along if you aren't already (wink wink, nudge nudge)!

my inspiration board in my workspace, plus a little detail hanging above it. more about both next week!

I love that the table top reflects the beautiful details of the crystal

white tulips in the kitchen

making things happen!

hoping that this mini rose plant makes it longer than a week! 

afternoon breaks are a necessity

and lastly, I kinda love pink

Have an absolutely wonderful week, friends!  See you again next Monday.


The Kitchen Dilemma. Is It Even A Dilemma?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You know when you've waiting for something for so long and then when it comes time to get it, you get cold feet?  Yeah, such a problem for me!

Anyhow, here's the issue.  We have this nook, which is across from the kitchen table.  We wanted to put in a workspace.  A place where we can place a computer, primarily for the kids to use.  We can then easily monitor their activities but not only that, we can easily help them with homework, etc.  The kitchen is the hub in our house, no doubt and we like it that way.   So the plan was to place a desk height counter (though now I'm wondering, do I want it to be higher???) with drawers on the bottom (might decide to go with a drawer and a large cabinet beneath it for the bottom, on either side), then four cabinets with glass fronts for uppers.

The problem.  The space is pretty tight.  The counter would be approx 18" deep and that would leave about 3.5' when the kitchen table chair and the workspace chair are both pushed in, not bad, but not great either.  However you basically couldn't pass through if someone was sitting at the workspace and another person at the kitchen table.  The chairs don't back on to one another, they are offset, but the shoulders of the people sitting in either chair would be close.....like personal space invaded close.

So we are now wondering, is this a big deal, or is it something we can get used to?  Is it one of those situations when you want something so bad, that even though the issue is a big deal, you think you can work with it, but in reality, your decision making skills have been warped because you just really really really want it to work.  Or is it one those "why did I even think it would be an issue" situations.  Maybe it's a bit of both???

Here's a pic.

Note: I placed the chairs to mimic the amount of space that the drawers would take up.  The chair for the workspace would go where the cabinet is.  The cabinet is about the same depth as the proposed countertop depth and the left edge of it is almost in line with the outer edge of the kitchen table, such a wonky angle, I'm sorry:

(you can see the pot drawer fronts that need to be changed in this pic)

And here's the inspiration pic (though I believe that this is regular counter height,which we may go with, not desk height):

So beyond gorgeous right?  The cabinet fronts are nearly the same as ours as well, so it's a really great comparison.

We are leaning towards going for it and a) just getting used to it, b) pushing the kitchen table back a bit (which would then off center the light, bugger, but not absolutely horrible), c) using the same chair for the desk and the end of the kitchen table, d) using a stool at the workspace.  But we aren't rushing to any decision.

I just wish there was a way to have it all in place, to see how it would look first!  I also have the fear that it will make the kitchen look cramped and cluttered.  I know some don't like a desk in the kitchen because it becomes a dumping zone, but that's our peninsula right now, which I do clean and organize regularly and I plan on doing the same for the workspace, it would just be great to have a designated area as long as it looks good!

The builder is supposed to be sending over some sketches of how it will all look, which I'm excited about.  Also super excited to get those pot drawer fronts switched up!

Thoughts?  Should we just forget about it and do something else with this space?  Shelving, a cabinet, sideboard?  I'd absolutely love to hear and also wanted to thank everyone for your feedback on instagram! Truly appreciate it!


My Own Little Remix. Family Room Revamp Continues and Hey, Got A Question?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Good morning!

So it seems as though the family room is now officially my main focus.  I've got momentum so I have to keep at it. That being said, it's kinda taking off in a slightly different direction that I originally intended, but I'm fine with that.  It's always been about comfort and coziness and it still is my main goal, but I was either making up too many "rules" that clearly needed to be broken, or I lost every ounce of creativity when it came to this room and it was so beyond blah.

Anyhow, the furniture switcheroo helped a lot, things are feeling much better be it simply because there's been a change or because the new layout beats out the old one by a gazillion.

I spotted two carved rectangular mirrors at Homesense last week and liked them, but thought they were too "much" for the family room (see, silly rule). That's where I went wrong, the room wasn't jiving with me because I wasn't using items I loved, I was trying to make it nice in a way that wasn't my style or a decor that wasn't "me".  Lesson learned.  It's my home, go with what I love, then it will work.

So I brought the mirrors home and loved how they worked with the couch and side tables, heck, the entire room, but the colour was off.  Too tan aka not whitewash (see below for more about this and this is exactly why you don't settle, you won't get the results you're looking for if you settle).  Here's a peek at them (they look lighter in the picture than they are in real life)

You see, I'm really really really digging rooms with pieces that have a whitewash finish, lighter wood in general and touches of belgian style too.  And perhaps I always have and am only just clueing in on how great this would look in the family room?  I really don't know, but I am loving the idea.  I've also always loved french furniture & pieces, so to have touches of it in the room would be great.  And of course,vintage and antique pieces make my heart flutter.

Oh goodness. I'm so all over the place.  Sigh. This is totally going to be one of those posts that when I read it in a few weeks I'm going say "what the heck was I talking about?!". Yeah. Those posts.

A space that is light, airy, refreshing, relaxing and cozy, but not just neutrals, with pops of colour too (see, totally all over the place).  I'm craving all of the above, so it's time to put my own little remix together and create a room that works with touches of the elements seen in the photos above.   Mind you, we have the dark leather couches, not linen like in the spaces above, but we can work with it.  This is going to take some time, but we're now heading in the right direction.  My own little remix room, I like that.

I did tackle the drapes, well, one panel.  I needed to add more width to them.  Another lesson learned. I cheaped out and only bought three panels, divided one into two pieces and sewed one half onto the remaining panels.  No....I should have just bought four at the beginning.  So I had to buy a fourth, cut it in half and add it to the existing panels. What.a.pain.  They are pre-made rod pocket drapes that I converted into pinch pleat, so don't follow my lead, just buy the right amount right off the bat!

I'm also on the hunt for more gold edged agate coasters (like the ones in the photos above) so that I can frame them.  I spotted a set last week but they were gone by the time I back for them, poop.

With that!  I'm feeling the extreme need for some time off from thinking about decorating our home.  Thankfully March break is just around the corner and I will be soaking up the downtime. It's funny, being a blogger.  I sometimes wonder what on earth it is that I'm doing, perhaps it's because I'm doing what I love, at times, it feels too good to be true.  I'm so beyond thankful to have you here listening to my random thoughts about how I plan on decorating our house and that you're interested.  It means so much to me.  I hope to continue to dive into decorating and am excited to see where this path leads.  I am more than aware of how much I have to learn, but each and every time I learn something new, be it through trial and error, reading or exploring, I get excited!  I find myself one step closer.

Also, I've recently been approached by a few friends with questions about their home decor and I thank them each for reaching out and giving me the chance to help, I need the experience and that's a great way to get it!


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