Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Painted Antiques - Dual Purpose

Look how gorgeous this looks.  It's an antique I spotted recently.  I absolutely love how paint can transform an old piece of furniture and give it new life.  

The one thing to keep in mind when you're purchasing furniture is what other use the piece can have.  This is especially helpful when people move into a new home.  The furniture they purchased for a specific location in the old home, suddenly doesn't have a space in the new house.  This is when you need to think of what other purpose your furniture can serve before getting rid of it.  For example,  most people purchase a dresser for the sole purpose of being in a bedroom, but don't feel you always have to place a dresser in a bedroom.  The piece above would also look fantastic in a front hall and used for storage.  It could also be placed in a dining room and used as a sideboard or buffet.  

This cabinet below is another example of a piece of furniture that can be placed in any room.  This would look fantastic in a bathroom, hallway, living room, dining room or bedroom.

To see more painted furniture, check out these.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Potted Plants for Shade

While up north in June my friend asked me for help with his front porch at his beautiful country home.  So, in addition to getting flowers for the side of the house which are in full sun, I wanted to select the right blend of plants for the urns at the front of his home.  Because they're under a covered porch and in the shade,  I chose Sweet Potato Vine, Coleus and Begonias.  What a beautiful combination!!  As you can see, there is a lot of height on either side of the door between the urns and lights. This is why I chose Coleus.  It should get about 2' high by the end of summer, and the deep colours look stunning against the grey siding.  

I couldn't believe the difference when I went up three weeks later and saw them.  
Check out these before and after pics.   

If you're an avid gardener or just starting out and not certain of a plant, 
I highly suggest you check out Garden Harvest Supply.  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Summer Fashion Staple - White Pants

*** top * pants ***

A fashion staple for summer is white pants.  These are a must have for any wardrobe.  What I like about them is that you can dress them up or down by just changing your shoes.  This blouse is so versatile and can be worn casual or upscale.  Always choose items for your wardrobe that can be worn with more than one thing and can be dressed up.  This will always make your wardrobe go further.
We're still seeing a lot of gladiator sandals and stacked wooden heels.  All of these look great with a skinny white jean.  I think one thing we've learned over the years is that we're all different and all have different tastes and preferences.  That's what I love about shoes right now.  You can wear a flat, a wedge heel, stacked heel or just an everyday heel. There's something for everyone.

If skinny pants are not your thing or don't suit your body type, I would suggest the linen wide-leg pant or the skinny flare as alternatives.  Again, we are all different and don't all suit a skinny jean. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pergola Progress

Sorry for the delay in my posts this week.  I've been a little under the weather.  I'm feeling a bit better today and wanted to update you on our pergola which is now up and we're loving it!!  What a great purchase this was from Home Depot.  Most people like the Gazebos but I'm not a big fan of them.  Although we have quite a small back yard, the space actually feels a lot bigger now because of the pergola and garden.  Similar to designing inside, when you take a small space and make the eye look vertically and horizontally, it gives the illusion of a bigger space. 


I bought 2 drop cloths (below) and made them into curtains. I draped the drop cloth over the pergola with an overlap of about 8", measured it and then cut the drop cloth. The edges are sewn, so I just used fabric glue to hem the cut edges.  I then cut adhesive Velcro strips in to 2" sections, folded the top over about 8" and stuck the Velcro to the drop cloth.  ( This isn't the first time I've used a drop cloth for something other than it's purpose.  I've also painted and used a drop cloth for art).

I really like the weave of the drop cloth.   It looks like linen.  The down side is that the one side has plastic on it to make it waterproof.  I thought this would be a good idea because I was putting it outside.  However, the plastic doesn't allow for the drop cloth to breathe and therefore, it blows in the wind.  I don't think I would buy this type of drop cloth again for this purpose, but I still love the look.

  Hopefully I'll start feeling better soon, so I can look for outdoor pillows, lighting etc. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Girl, Tween, Teen

Last month was a little sad for me because my 13 year old daughter graduated from grade 8.  Another chapter in our lives is through - Wow, hard to believe.  When we moved here she was just 9 and her room looked like the pics above.  A little shabby chic with vintage fabrics, miss matched antiques and pale green walls (Pickling Spice by Ben Moore).  The whole colour scheme (pale pink and soft green) came from the quilt my aunt and I made out of two different vintage curtains.  I've had the white chinelle blanket from Martha Stewart for years and had it in her room in our previous house.  I actually liked the blanket so much I bought two, and cut one in half and made it into curtains for her room. 

Then her room became more "tween" and a little bohemian, with no more pretty pink accents.    I kept the furniture and switched out some of the bedding and added some plum pom poms, baskets (from Bouclair) and a throw (from HomeSense) - I love pom poms and they're so simple to make.  I also added a pillow made from vintage Indian fabrics with jewel colours similar to this one.  I've had the room a hundred different ways, including two beds at one point.  It's like the pic below right now.

I'm telling you all this because one of my goals this summer is to change this room into a teen room. My daughter's been asking me to change her room for about a year now and wants a black chalkboard wall.  I think I'll just use black paint instead of chalkboard paint and then accent colours in cream and white.  I find the whole process a bit organic, so there may be some colour in the mix.   We'll be keeping most of the furniture and just changing out the light and accessories.  

Here's a pic of my girl just before her grad.  See those sparkles on her dress?  I did that with some "jewels" from the Dollar Store and some fabric glue.  I've been doing a few craft projects with these "jewels" for her new room, which I'll share later.  So easy and inexpensive and more importantly, they look fantastic!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Country Garden Tour

OK so I really don't know where to start with this garden except to say that it's pretty spectacular.  It's one thing to like gardening and it's quite another thing to know exactly where to place everything in a garden. I mentioned recently that I was up north in Clarksburg, ON checking out some art galleries and antique shops. One of the artists, Cynthia Marsh, from Marsh Street Gallery, let me have a tour of her garden.  (She also happens to be my sister's art teacher).

 This is a beautiful English garden with a bit of whimsy mixed in.  I love how Cynthia uses old found artifacts and existing structures in her garden design. (
I took these pictures in bright light and with an iPhone, so I hope I do it justice). 

Enjoy the tour!

Cynthia uses lots of iron throughout the garden, including the iron bench surrounded by peonies, the iron door built into the stone wall, the antique iron bird feeder and the light on the shed, to name a few.

I love the formal look of the wall of Emerald Cedars and statue above, and the casual look of the clematis growing over the arbor below.  This garden has a sophisticated yet relaxed feeling which is my favourite kind of design - inside or outside.

Here's a close-up - pale pink Oriental Poppy.

Thanks for the tour, Cynthia!!
If you'd like to go on a tour of her garden or other gardens, just go here for more details.