Archive for February, 2011

Book Geek Chic

Written by on 28th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

That Bookshelf video got me thinking about my bookshelves, and your bookshelves and everybody’s bookshelves.  I started surfing and soon stumbled upon a blog that has a Bookcase of the Day feature, how cool is that? Check out I Suwannee for a daily dose of book geek chic.

Remember in High Fidelity when Rob (John Cusack) re-organizes his records..Not by type, not chronological…but autobiographical. Ahh that movie was pretty good.  Now, as if I have nothing else to do…perhaps I will try a re-org of my books (ahem sorry, our books) by colour?

Or turn the spines around (just kidding – I wouldn’t)

Or Maybe I could just work on making them look as effortlessly cool as this? And maybe dust a little too while I’m at it, that would be time well spent, no?

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Organization in motion

Written by on 28th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Saw this on Apartment Therapy today, and it made me smile!!

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Baby Talk

Written by on 27th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

My favourite baby is little miss Ellie and I can’t wait to see her on our visit this week! She has been referred to as the little giraffe because she’s so long and as a result the giraffe theme really took off! 

I am hopelessly unqualified to blog about all the necessary gear that the baby needs, but I will take a few moments to highlight some giraffe related items that might suit the sophisticated nurseries of all the little giraffe’s out there.

Keep in mind you should not incorporate all of these elements into one room, and if you have any questions about which ones…I am just an email away:)

Starting with a neutral or white room is key, why not place a giraffe patterned rug on the floor?

Is this Art? Or a hook? You decide…

Pillow for your rocking chair?

This lamp from Sarah Richardson’s show is very cool!

A change of hardware might be right for you?

The artwork you choose will make a style statement. For example:

Photography lends a contemporary & calm feeling to the room:

Modern lends a colorful and graphic element to the room:

 Animated art adds a softer, playful and colorful element to the room:

Mix up your fabrics and try to stay away from literal patterns and jungle themes. I like these…

If you do find one fabric that is really cute, make a pillow, maybe even a floor cushion for you to sit on…but just one!

Decorating your baby’s room has to be one of the most fun in terms of decor.  I hope all you lucky moms and dads have fun with it!!

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Handsome Fella

Written by on 26th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

This happens to me all the time….I’m looking in a magazine or online for inspiration or confirmation of my design choices and then something in an image grabs me, speaks to me “Hey you,”  “Yeah you, look at me!”  This week it happened as I searched for kitchen tile and came upon a house with a great kitchen.  Wait there’s more….  Adjacent to the kitchen was a sweet little dining area with a cool looking light that spoke to me:)  His name is Thomas O’Brien Hicks and he is a handsome fella!!  As with most new discoveries, once you see one, you see a hundred and so this week I’ve been tripping over these pendants everywhere I go so it’s time to share.

This is the original picture that grabbed me of Lisa Giramonti’s dining room followed by pics of the popular pendant which are all over the Internet!!

Followed by pics from Style Estate, Rue, CocoCozy, & decorpad

Available in the following finishes: *Local Alert - This light is available at Chintz & Co. 

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Kitchen Confidential

Written by on 25th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

The search for countertops and tile continues and while I have found the materials I like I still have some comparison shopping to attend to to in order to be certain I have found the best price.  I recently found a photo of a kitchen ALOT like my own and Ive been carrying it around on my iphone to keep me focused amidst the sea of tiles and stone I have jumped into. I think it’s pretty great and reflects a great deal of what I am trying to achieve in my house. The owner of this little kitchen is LA area blogger Lisa Borgnes Giramonti who writes

As someone who has dreamed about re-decorating her kitchen for years I am shocked at how difficult the task of choosing and staying committed to my choices has been.  Decisions like counters and tile are very expensive and permanent and I am a little hesitant to make the final final decisions.  I’m getting there though, we are close. But I think it is a valuable experience to share with other prospective re-decorators and with any of my own future clients. That is, that it really does take time to develop your preferences, weigh all the factors, the costs etc and make the final decisions.

My best advice is to look at lots of pictures and based on the ones you like go to your local suppliers and get some samples you can sign out and bring home.  Once you start to get a feel for specific products you like (and can afford) go back online and to your magazine stash and find pictures that incorporate your colours and textures to see it all together. This process will help you narrow the choices down and will also help you visualize all of the elements together.  The Houzz app on my sidebar is a great resource for pictures too. Happy hunting!!!

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House Tour – Interior by Peter Dunham

Written by on 23rd February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Relaxed and Refined. Peter Dunham is another favourite designer of mine, and you might recognize some of the patterns used in the rooms below as he is not only an interior designer but he creates the most beautiful (and popular) textiles as well!  This family home was featured in Traditional Home Magazine.

I love the warmth of the wood floors and the casual welcoming feel of this open plan kitchen and eating area.

His choices are refined, but he pulls the furnishings together in such a way that the room is inviting and comfortable. The rugs are a key element in each of these neutral rooms, I love rugs rugs and more rugs!!!

Mixing the styles of the chairs and the modern shade with the traditional lamp base adds interest, but the use of the same linen colour palette on all the surfaces keep this area visually quiet.

The bed is stunning with its barley twist posts and takes its rightful place as the focal point of the room. Aged looking linens combine with a mixture of antique and modern pieces to create an interesting and worldly feel in this relaxed bedroom.

Simple white subway tiles…works every time.  The basketweave tile on the floor is classic too!

A beautiful example of a refined yet relaxed home designed for a modern family but honouring traditional style.  Love it.

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Vintage Victoria

Written by on 22nd February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Mixing old and new is the best way to achieve a comfortable, casual and interesting interior.  Why not check out the Vintageous Fair this weekend and dig around for the perfect “something old” for your space? Show highlights include vintage fashion jewellery and home decor.

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Homes & Hope in Haiti

Written by on 21st February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Sometimes the most beautiful homes are built under the worst circumstances. To each new owner who is liberated from tents and uncertainty… these homes, and houses like them, ARE without question the most beautiful houses in the world. Each picture has a story.

Over a million people are still homeless and at risk for diseases like cholera after the January 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.  Help is still needed, donate if you can 

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How I Painted My Cabinets

Written by on 20th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 3 Comments

Disclaimer – This is not an easy job… or a weekend job. I spent two weeks on the process and then two more days to re-install and put on the new hardware. Not for the faint of heart!

If you’re game then here are my suggestions and steps for success!

Take a bad before shot (the worse it looks the better your”after” shot will look)

Bad Before Shot

Then you have to take all the doors off, But WAIT Number them first and put a corresponding number inside it’s cabinet home.  Best place to put the number is in the hole for the cabinet hinge. Tape’s no good because you have to remove it when you paint and then things get all mixed up!

Remove the Doors and Number Them

Maybe I should have emptied the cabinets, but I didn’t. This is real life folks!!

Next step is to remove ALL the hardware, handles, hinges and everything – this will make your job so much easier…trust me.

Next step is to wash the doors on both sides with TSP and be sure to also RINSE them off as the TSP residue will prevent good adhesion from your primer.

Washed, Filled and Lined up for Primer

After they are dry you can begin to fill the holes where the old handles lived.  I used wood filler and a putty knife and after it dried I sanded it and did it again. Try not to leave a big smear of the filler on the door surface, make your repair small and as good as you can possibly get it. Sand the surface of the doors with a palm sander, or by hand if you’re comfortable with a medium grit sand paper.

After sanding use a tack cloth to clear the surface of all debris. (What the heck is a tack cloth??) It is a sticky cheese cloth type of thing, costs about $1 at the paint store and it picks up all the remaining stuff on your door before you paint and despite it’s sticky texture it does not leave any residue on your door. Get one or two, you’ll thank me!

Next you are ready to prime.  Use an oil based primer and make sure it is well mixed.  My trick was to place the door on a small box on a lazy Susan so I could spin the door and get good coverage on all sides.  Try this, it was a good trick!

Spin that Door

Apply the primer thinly with a brush meant for oil based paints. Allow it to dry at least overnight.  I placed each door on a box in my basement to dry flat like this…

Doors Hanging Out

I kept the Uppers and Lowers separate through the whole process and it helped keep me sane.  You will need some room to spread out and let them dry flat so prepare your space for this.

Once your primer is dry, look at those hardware holes you filled and make sure they are smooth smooth smooth. If not, sand again and prime again.  The primer is important over the filler so the texture of the topcoat doesn’t change over the filled areas.  Allow it all to dry.

Once dry you are ready to start painting. I recommend the Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in a Pearl Finish. It is adverstised to set up like oil paint but it can be cleaned up with water and I can confirm it does both beautifully.  You will need two brushes (if you are working on two sets like I was – this allows you to wash and dry your brushes throughout the several days of topcoats you have ahead of you). I also recommend having some of those small rollers on hand.  The best type is the one that is the same circumference of a full size roller but 1/3 of the length. These give a nice flat roll of the paint. I Don’t recommend those skinny longer mini rollers (fuzzy nor sponge) the fuzzy type is not good with this paint it clumped up and was no longer round…a total mess and the sponge ones put too much air into the paint and can leave bubbles.

The best technique is to roll and then brush the thinnest most even coat you can and then roll lightly over it all again. Careful that you catch any drips on the edges…the Advance paint has a tendency (like oil) to do this, but the lazy Susan is a great help in getting to all sides and preventing this. Let each coat dry at least overnight.  I did three coats on the front and two on the insides of all my doors.

During this process you also have to paint the sides of your cabinetry and the little trim bits inside the cabinets. I used the roller exclusively for this part.

Sand Prime and Paint the Cabinetry too

At this point I was pretty exhausted by the whole thing and so I took a few days off.  When I returned I re-installed the doors, made a cardboard template for the new hardware I purchased and spent a full day installing the hardware. I love using my drill so this part was kind of fun:)

Almost Everything Back in it's Place

Next step is to get a new sink, have the counter tops measured and order the back splash tile.   New lighting is also a must and I feel like we are well on our way to having a great ‘like new’ kitchen!!

You can do it too peeps!! it just takes time, space to spread out and patience.  I ran out of all of these at one point or another, but that’s normal. It’s done and I cant wait to call in the professionals to do the counter and the tiling work!!!

Let me know if you found this helpful. I am happy to answer questions or give suggestions. just email me.

Cabinet Colour – Niveus by Benjamin Moore

More Posts to Come!!

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Pretty Picture iphone App

Written by on 18th February 2011 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

The free Houzz Design App lets you browse over 90,000 photos from top designers around the world and save the pics you like in your own ideabook.  The rooms are really well done and the selection is outstanding. I really like this App more than other similar photo  storage Apps in the istore. Check it out!

I have also added the Houzz database to my sidebar so you can search it here AND on your iphone. Enjoy!

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