Monday, April 30, 2012

Come On In! (A Look Inside the New House)

Hello, friends! I hope this finds you well. We've been enjoying a quiet Monday at home after a full weekend. I was able to stroke a few more new house things off the to do list and of course we stopped by to see how things are going. It's clicking along and I'm pleased to invite you inside this week! It's a little dirty and rather drafty but you're welcome to come in and have a look around. First, a look at the exterior with the roof on and the doors and windows in.

There's more I could show you but it kind of all looks the same at this stage of things.

I don't think I showed you this school house light though. It's what I ended up choosing for the mudroom and pantry. I like the white milk glass and the casual, industrial feel of the fixture. It was also a great price and comes with some extension rods so it can be used as a pendant light or as a semi-flush mount fixture (which is how we'll use it).

O.k. and what do you think of this vinyl (linoleum) flooring? We're doing lino in the mudroom, pantry and laundry room and I'm having a hard time deciding.

It does look fake in some ways but that's kind of what you get with vinyl. It's made to look like tile or wood or concrete but it of course it isn't and you can tell. There isn't really a way around that. I know the black and white would probably show the dirt, but I thought the look of it tied in nicely with the school house light. What do you think?

And while we're at it, here's some of our other flooring choices.

Country Cream Carpet

This Colour of Stain but in Maple

O.k. and what do you think of the tile in the upper left hand corner (with the zig zag pattern)? I was considering it for around the fireplace. We'd use about 6" of it to frame the fireplace.

Decisions. Decisions.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Stacey Cohen's Toronto Condo

Check out this crisp black and white condo designed by Stacey Cohen, a Toronto-based interior designer. I love the pops of pink and blue - definitely a favourite colour combo of mine and an excellent choice to give this condo a fresh, youthful look. The overall vibe is modern but pretty and homey at the same time. That sectional in the living room looks so plush and those sparkly light fixtures add the perfect touch of feminine glam. Stacey nailed it if you ask me!

Stacey's condo was featured at Style at Home. You can learn more about Stacey here.

TGIF! Tomorrow I have to finalize the exterior stone for our new house and my husband is taking off for a few days to have a study break before his big, scary exam. The kids and I get to hang with my parents which is just good fun for all of us.

I plan for be back with a new house update next week - some new pictures to come! And I've been working on a Mother's Day gift guide too (in case you need some fresh ideas for mom's day). Rock on, friends!


Images via Belle Maison and Style at Home

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simple Delights

Sometimes it's the simplest things that bring us pleasure...

Like spending a chilly 1/2 hour outdoors with my two little darlings this morning. I love watching kids play. They just go for it without a second thought. There's never a need to tell them what to do. The wonder and eagerness they show to discover and learn and try new things is delightful!

And then I discovered that my Joy of Cooking cookbook that normally looks like this...

Can actually look like this...

And that led to an impromptu vignette in the corner of my kitchen...

I can't stop gazing down at my toes these days either. I picked up some Essie "Mint Candy Apple" polish recently and the colour is perfection. It makes me happy.

Simple Pleasures.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stationary at Papyrus

Do you correspond with anyone the old fashioned way? (You know where you sit down with a pen and paper and actually write a card or letter.) I know it's something not many of us do anymore. My grandmother is one of the only people I write to on a semi regular basis. She is wonderful at sending us cards and short letters througout the year. I love hearing from her and reading her thoughtful and well-written notes. I try to write back each time and spend a few minutes composing a letter of sorts. What's written in the card is obviously the most important thing, but it's always nice when the card itself is beautiful. One place that always has fabulous stationary is Papyrus.

I'm such a sucker for this kind of thing. You can order from Papyrus online and I'm quite sure Target carries some of their cards as well.

Etsy is also a great source for all kinds of paper products and pretty notecards.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Look Inside My Head (Exterior Plan)

We have to choose siding and exterior stone for our new build this week. I'm not as confident with exteriors (arg). So this is me trying to visualize what things might look like. As you can see, we're thinking of going with grey siding and stone. The roof is black and it's already up so we can't change that! The fascia, soffits, and trim will be white and I'd like the front door to be black. That brass knocker and door handle look pretty good too!

What do you think? Any red flags? I know there's a lot of grey going. The white trim should really pop though and that isn't really represented in the collage. Undecided (but maybe you can help me with that).


Monday, April 23, 2012

Kitchen Dress Up

Happy Monday, friends! I hope this finds you well. We finalized all the electrical and lighting for our new house over the weekend. We got to walk through with our builder and decide where each light fixture would go (which is hard to do without any furniture in the space), where we wanted outlets, phone jacks, etc. It was lots of fun and now we can check one more thing off the list. Woot!

A gorgeous, gold-finish french press popped up in my pinterest feed today (thanks, Andrea), and it got me thinking (you'll see the french press in the collage below). I've rounded up a few things that should be kept on your kitchen counters. Everything else can be relegated to a drawer, cupboard or the pantry. (If only it were that easy.) Dress up your kitchen with a few of these pretty accessories; some of them even go beyond "accessory" and actually serve a useful purpose while looking lovely.

1. Nice Looking & Sweet Smelling. This Pure and Good Hand Duo Set from Anthropologie would be perfect beside the kitchen sink.

2. Perfectly Shaped Glass Canisters with Chrome Lids at Williams Sanoma. Canisters can be pretty.

3. Wood Salad Bowl Set with Gold Leaf by Diane Von Furstenberg at the Bay. I love the wood and gold together. So warm and rich.

4. Stylish small appliances. Kitchen Aid Mixer in Stainless Steel and Bodum French Press Coffee Maker at Zappos.

5. This white and gold bowl would be perfect as a fruit bowl and a stack of vintage tea cups adds subtle colour and pattern. (Both at Etsy)

Kitchen Tray & Cherry Blossoms via pinterest.

You can get pink blossoms like the ones above at Michael's. They're quite pretty and they last!

Well, now I'm off to clutter up my kitchen with supper prep! Project pretty kitchen will be put on hold for a little while.

Catch you later!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Mixing Styles (Living Room)

I've been experimenting with mixing different furniture styles and pulling together a few living room arrangements. Here are three boards I've put together that I think work pretty well. It's always fun to combine different pieces of furniture and different styles to create an interesting, one-of-a-kind look. There's of course nothing wrong with buying a furniture set but it's not very interesting or unique (and all the professional designers will tell you not to do it).

Mixing and matching different pieces reflects your personal taste and style better and lets you experiment like I have here. (It also means you don't have to commit to only one style of sofa, loveseat and armchair. If you like some different styles then try mixing them all together for a truly unique look!)

1. Blakeley Sofa by Jonathan Adler
2. Sophia Pendant at Maisons Dumonde
3. Brass Coffee Table at Neiman Marcus
4. Jayson Home and Garden Slipper Chair via 1st Dibs

1. Porter Brass Lamp at Jayson Home and Garden
2. Modern Club Chair via pinterest
3. Kensington Sofa by Jonathan Adler
4. Capucheen Pearl Pillow at The Cross Design & Decor
5. Coffee Table via 1st Dibs

1. White Wingback Chair (Source Unknown)
2. Amil Side Table at Made Goods
3. Blue Tufted Velvet Sofa at Mercantila

In each board I've really tried to mix things up and somehow (call me crazy) it works! Here are a few guidelines or tips for mixing styles successfully.

1. Choose one main piece as your starting point. That may be the sofa or area rug and then go from there.

2. Maintain balance. Pair leggy furniture with grounded furniture. Pair light furniture with a bulky or substantial piece.

3. If in doubt, try it out. Sometimes you don't know if pieces will work together until you see them in your space. Keep your receipts or ask if you can take a piece of furniture out on loan before you commit to purchasing it.

4. Focus on using colour and texture to tie things together. Usually this will create a cohesive look even if the style and shape of each piece is quite different.

5. Don't hesitate to ask for help whether that means asking a friend with good taste or hiring a professional. And don't take yourself too seriously! It's not about creating the perfect space; it's about creating a space that you like and feel at home in.

I would just mention as well that even if you want an overall traditional look say, it's still a good idea to throw something unexpected in the mix. Perhaps a modern console or some abstract art. Otherwise, your space will look straight out of a show room or catalogue and that can be rather boring.

Do you have anything to add? I'm sure there are other useful tips to be heard.

Enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stylish Scallop

Scallop is a pretty pattern that has been catching my eye lately. I like the charming simplicity of the pattern. Somehow it's sweet and sophisticated at the same time. You can use it in subtle ways or not-so-subtle ways. Hot in fashion right now (scallop shorts anyone?) and showing up in interiors as well.

1, 5, 7, 8 via pinterest
2. Scallop Shoes at BHLDN
3. Bedding at Dwell Studio
4. Lace Top at Madewell
6. Peacock Scallop Pillow at Caitlin Wilson Textiles
9. Rug at Urban Outfitters

Such a perfectly pretty detail. Yum.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fawn Galli Interior Design

I recently enjoyed having a look through the portfolio of NY based designer Fawn Galli. She has a real eye for mixing modern and traditional styles. There's nothing boring or status quo about her spaces. They exude originality, showcasing bold colour and pattern. Here are some of my favourites.

Fawn Galli's work has been featured in House Beautiful, Domino, O at Home, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. You can see more of her work here.

I'd happily take even just a bit of her fearlessness!


All imges via