Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Store Watch - Saturday Afternoons

Last weekend I finally had a chance to check out a store in Aurora, Ontario called Saturday Afternoons, and I'm so glad I did.    Not only did I get a chance to see beautiful furniture and accessories, I was also able to get some Christmas inspiration.  One thing that makes this store so special is that some of their furniture is made with reclaimed Ontario barn boards.  They also carry Dash & Albert rugs and Brentwood Classics Furniture (which makes Kimberley Seldon's line of furniture).

A very simple but effective way to add some Christmas to your bedroom - change out the cushions and add some greenery above the headboard.

Love these caged lights. (I'm really into the industrial look lately).  Also, I love the idea of adding some Christmas by placing wooden stars on the wall.

Here's one little close-up of a glass Cloche that they placed over a silver candle.  It looked so sweet.  The string of bells was super cute too.  I just had to take a pic.

I seriously could have spent an hour in this store..there was so much to see.  If you live in the area, you should definitely check them out. They also have stores in cottage country - Bala, Orillia, Huntsville, Port Dover and Midland.

If you need some more Christmas inspiration, there's been a Canadian Bloggers Home Tour going on this week that you can check out here.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Toronto Artist, Marlene Pape

I was at an art show last night in Toronto at the Art Square Gallery where my friend, Marlene Pape, is showing her art.   Marlene has been painting professionally since 2003 and  sells her art all over the world.  Our kids went to PS together so it's been a few years since I've seen her.  (Our kids are now finishing high school.  How did that happen?) We used to drop the kids off at school and then she'd run home and paint.  Marlene is such a talent and It was so nice to see her again.  This show is called "Reflections", and will be on display at this location until 
December 1, 2014.  If you are in Toronto you should check it out. 
For more information about her show you can go here.
This is just a little taste of what you'll see.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Barn or Loft Doors

When I showed the reveal of our son's bedroom in our basement, I got quite a few people telling me they loved this barn door and were going to make one for their own home.  This is my favourite thing in the whole space!  There are so many great ideas out there.  You can make your own or use old or new doors.  You can have vertical or horizontal boards or both.   You can paint them or have them more rustic looking.  I love the idea of recycling old doors.  Here's just some of what I've seen.  



The one below is used to save space instead of using a pocket door.


This one uses old barn boards stacked horizontally.  I've also seen this done on a design show using click board flooring.




The blue door above adds some interest down a hallway that otherwise might be a bit boring.   Below they recycled old shutters instead of using old doors.  Great idea!



It's always nice to add some interest and uniqueness to a home, and this is one way of doing it.  Here's a link to purchase the hardware if you are thinking of putting one in your space.  You can also purchase the hardware at many of the big box stores.

You can check out more barn doors here on my Pinterest board.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Windsor Smith

I'm showing a little love today to one of my favourite designers, Windsor Smith. She somehow manages to make her rooms dramatic and yet relaxed; sophisticated and yet soothing.  Her eclectic style of blending old with new, Moroccan with traditional, and classic with modern is exceptional. So talented and so inspiring!!!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Year of Blogging

One year ago I started blogging.  I can't believe that I've been doing this for a full year!   I really don't know what I'm doing and most days I think: what should I post next!!  I've read that some bloggers have 10 posts waiting at a time - that's not me.  I started this whole blogging thing because since moving away from Toronto about 5 years ago, I found it hard to find freelance staging and stylist work; it just wasn't the same attitude, environment or sensibility as Toronto.  But it seems that I am always consulting and helping people with their design choices.  Sometimes it's at the paint store or the fabric store or the mall...wherever it is, people always seem to walk up to me and ask me what I would do.  I can't tell you how many people I've helped in the paint store.  So I thought, why not just show people some things I've done and choices I've made and see if that helps them in their own lives.  I was also transitioning from a traditional century home to a previously-owned new build, so I thought I could share this transformation.  My goal has always been to show people great style wherever I see it, so that they can be inspired in their own lives.

You've all heard about stepping out and doing something that's not in your comfort zone. Well, blogging has been that for me - believe me.  I'm an artistic person and have no computer or social media skills.  I'm not even a writer.  Let me just give you some perspective here - I'm not on Facebook and have never been on Facebook, I just got an iPhone and I had no idea really what a blog was until about 3 years ago.  This may sound strange to some people but I really felt like God was telling me to step out in faith, put my talents out there and to trust Him.  So I did...about a year later.  

This year I have learned how to use Blogger (well kind of), Goggle (sort of), Pinterest, Pic Monkey, Polyvore (still learning) , Etsy (sort of), Instagram and Spoonflower (fabric available soon)  to name a few.  That's right... me - the one who is completely afraid of technology and wants to be a hermit and recluse!    I've also become a better photographer in this process, and hope to get a camera soon.  (I don't think I could learn another technical thing right now so I'm waiting to purchase one).  I've learned all of this just this past year.  So let me encourage you to put your talents out there - whatever they are.  If I can learn all of these things that completely scare me, then so can you.  
Just do it!

Unfortunately, I've also learned that this blogging and social media thing is a bit of a game.  It's not just about your talent, your content or your abilities but really more about who you know and how many followers you have.  It's full of link parties, follow Fridays and Like to Know It.  I believe it's become very disingenuous in the process of getting followers and comments.  That's why you will see countless link parties urging you to follow and contests saying if you follow, like and comment you could win something.  Maybe this is just part of the sticker generation.  These people grew up with getting stickers for everything they did and now that transfers to likes and followers.  I didn't grow up getting stickers so I can't relate.  I don't really understand why if you have 5k, 10k or 40k followers you need more, maybe they get paid more by advertisers.   I totally understand if you like a product and want to share (I do that) or if you believe in a product and are getting paid to tell people, but I don't understand when every other post is selling something for profit.  I've stopped following some of the bigger blogs I used to follow because every other post was an ad.  To me that shows that they are more concerned about making money than being genuine.  I've also learned that a person with a large following is never going to comment or like a photo on a smaller blog, Pinterest or IG account unless they have something to gain. They will ask questions to encourage comments and urge you to follow them, but they won't reciprocate.  I've learned that it's kind of like the playground at school.  You know, the popular kids and the unpopular kids.

Here's what I love about blogging and social media.  Anyone can put their photos or ideas out there and get recognized.  Years ago (I know I'm aging myself) we used to have to wait for the magazine to come once a month to get our fix of great design.  And great design was dictated by the social media at the time - magazines.  Now guess who's being featured in all the magazines - that's right - bloggers.    I love this. It's like the power is in the hands of the people.  I think there are some very talented people out there, and definitely much better at blogging and social media than I am.  I'm just very grateful and thankful for the opportunity.

This is probably the longest post I'll ever write but I thought I should share.  Thank you to those who read this blog and support me on this journey.  I hope this encourages you to step out and try something new in your own life.  Remember, we all have talents and we all need to use those talents, even if it means doing things we're 
terrified of doing!!