Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

So we finally got our tree up....and when I say "up" I mean way up, so Axel, the sweetest little biting puppy ever, can't get it.   It actually looks really sweet...I just put it on an end table I had and used an Ikea curtain as a tree skirt.  (This is officially my second Ikea hack haha).  I like things simple and classic at Christmas.  Not too much clutter...actually, I think with the world being a tad cray cray right now, a lot of people are feeling the simple Christmas thing.

I trimmed the tree with most of the things I had from last year but also purchased some Martha Stewart glitter garland at Home Depot. 

I added some feathers form the dollar store to the mantel...looks so snow.

I also made some garland out of some gold & silver glitter ornaments from the Superstore and put them on my lamp shades in the dining room.

And this is the reason why there are no presents under the tree yet....Axel, the destroyer.

(All pics taken by me with my iPhone.)

Monday, 7 December 2015

Toronto Christmas Market - Distillery District

We bundled up and went downtown this weekend to enjoy the Toronto Christmas Market put on every year at the Distillery District.  It's basically a winter street festival with lots of food, Christmas decor, cafes, art galleries, beautiful architecture...basically everything I like in one location. This is one of my favourite places to go in Toronto and it's even more beautiful at this time of the year.  

If you get a chance to go, make sure you stop by Balzac's Coffee and Soma Chocolatemaker.

(all photos taken by me with iPhone)

The Toronto Christmas Market runs until Dec 20, 2015 and is a definite must see if you're in Toronto during the Christmas Season.

Working on getting our Christmas decor up this week...which is proving to be a little hard with a puppy.:(

Friday, 27 November 2015

Our Newest Addition

So, I've been a little busy over here...I'd like to introduce you to this little guy, Axel.  We realized after losing Po that we just can't live without a dog, so when an ad came up for Valley Bulldogs (Boxer/Old English Bulldog mix), we jumped on it. 

We are completely in love.

(All pics taken by me with my iPhone.)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Teen Girl's Room Before and After

Does anyone remember this room?   You know, the room I started over a YEAR ago...well it's done...well, I'm never really done, but it's basically sort of finished :).  I know all you designers/decorators out there know what I mean...done until the next Pinterest or magazine pic makes me go a whole new direction.  Anyway, here's my daughter's "finished" teen room.  (If you haven't been following along, you can read about the process herehere and here).

Here's a little peek at what it was before... a little shabby chic with pale green walls, vintage linens and soft pink was so sweet.

Ok...back to the teen room...I basically used all the furniture from before, with the exception of the gold Target side table and just painted the walls.  There's lots of cheap in this room...everything from the found iron bed, to the valance (which is simply a table runner from Homesense that I just cut in half), to the chair that a friend gave me (thanks Deb!) to the thrift store dresser and desk.  The window valance will probably change... a little too bright for a teenager in the morning...but until I find something I really like, they'll stay.  All the artwork I made...and the pompoms below are super cheap and add some dimension and texture.


Striped Bedding, Hanging Light:  Ikea
White Blanket:  Martha Stewart (many yrs. ago)
Faux Fur Pillows:  Pier1 Imports
Chevron Pillows:  Fabricland
Gold Table:  Target
Table Lamp, Valance & Pouf: HomeSense
Striped Cushion:  SuperStore
Ceiling Light:  Home Depot
All Furniture:  Thrifted

Monday, 26 October 2015

Very Cool DIY - A Headboard Bench

 Photo taken by me with my iPhone

So my love for benches continues....spotted this bench a few months ago in the lobby of a restaurant.  It wasn't until I got home and was posting it on Instagram that I realized that it was actually a headboard made into a bench...very cool, right?   I always love a good DIY and even better, repurposing something.  The bench I saw was made from just the headboard, but some of the ones below have cut the footboard in half and used it on the sides for arm rests...such a great this!  

If you're thinking of making one, I would suggest that to really get the full impact of the headboard you should paint it dark if it's against a light wall, and paint it light if it's against a dark wall.  These can be real show stoppers if put in the right surroundings.  The light ones below would look stunning against a dark wall.  Here's a tutorial if you're interested in making can see more on my Pinterest board.

via shabby2chic Etsy



Some of you have sent me pics of things you've painted and DIY projects you've done, and please keep them coming.  I love seeing what you've all been up to, and I'm always happy to hear if I've inspired you in some way.

Have a great week!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

I Did It...I Painted My Stairs Black!

So my stairs finally got painted...and wow, what a transformation!
I know I say this all the time, but I can't believe what a difference a little bit of paint makes. 

This was a pre-owned home so unfortunately we weren't able to choose any of the finishes.   When we first moved in I painted the railings a dark grey (Iron Mountain by Ben Moore) to make them a little more bearable (see below).   The light floors and railings wouldn't have been my first choice, but I was very grateful for the hardwood.  Also, the stairs had beige carpet running up the middle of them (yikes), which over time was starting to look a bit nasty.  

I delayed taking up the carpet because sometimes builders cheat the hardwood on stairs to cut costs, and put a cheaper wood where the carpet is.  Fortunately, we had hardwood all the way up...whew!   The next challenge was taking all of the staples out of the stairs.  This next step took a really long time and it was a lot of hard work.  Let's just say that the guy that had the staple gun went a little crazy...some stairs had over 20 staples. .

Next I had to choose paint, and had heard about Fusion Mineral Paint on Instagram from The Learner Observer.  I saw that she was painting her stairs with Fusion Mineral Paint, and she was nice enough to answer all my questions.  This paint is used mainly on furniture so it was great to see it used on stairs.  The good thing is it really adheres to rough surfaces and goes on no brush strokes.  Also, it's not very thick and is very runny so a little goes a long small jar did the railings and stairs.   I wanted the colour to be an off-black so I mixed equal parts Ash (dark grey) and Coal Black (very black) until I got the colour I wanted.

My original thought was to paint them all black and then I decided I liked the look of the light stairs and the dark risers...oops!...(like a really big oops!.. like run
 to your neighbours' house as fast as you can and borrow their sander oops)!  The last step, once they were sanded, was putting  a light coat of sealer on them.


Ok so here's the before and after...keep in mind that the before is quite a 
few years ago...big difference!


I just realized that I've never really shown this front room's before and after pics...probably because it changes every week....before and after pics coming soon.  

Also, I really want to try another project with this Fusion Mineral Paint.  I'll give you a has to do with the bathroom but it's not the vanity.  Can you guess what it is?

Friday, 2 October 2015

September was not an easy month for us, and it's taken me quite a while to write this post.  
I lost my sweet Valley Bulldog, Po, a couple of weeks ago, to Wobbler's Syndrome.  She basically couldn't walk anymore...most of the time it looked like she was walking on ice, and when she fell down, she couldn't get back up.  She had no pain, but this was very hard to watch.  I'm still getting used to her not being here and miss her so much.  I've had many pets over the years but can't remember being this attached to a dog before.   

I think what's so hard about losing a dog is they really do exhibit some of God's characteristics...they are always faithful, are always happy to see you and love you unconditionally.

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole." unknown

R.I.P. Po!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Backyard Pergola Reveal

So every blogger out there seems to be posting all their fall decor, and I'm still talking about my backyard!  To be honest, I'm not quite ready for fall, and I always find it hard transitioning from my favourite season, summer, to fall... hey life goes too fast, why rush it?

So this space (which is half of our back deck) all started to transition last year when I purchased a pergola from Home Depot which we are extremely happy with.  Then this year I picked up these striped cushions from the Superstore and painted these very basic brown cushions.  I've had great success at the Superstore...we got our patio set from there a few years ago, and most recently these black metal side tables.  They were $10 each on!  I'm sure I'll bring them in for the winter and use them somewhere in the house.  I like to use as much of my outside furniture inside over the winter.  Like my ratan chairs, I always bring them in and use them in living room.  Oh and I move the lanterns in for the winter too.

My original thought was to buy three side tables and then stagger them as an alternative to the original coffee table that I got with my patio set...which is a little too ordinary and boring for me.  But I'm eclectic and also don't like everything to be so new, so when I put them in the space I actually decided to use a bench from my picnic table set as the coffee table.  Then I moved the coffee table to the side for extra seating (see below) and placed my seat cushions and roll top cushions on top for extra seating.  I actually really like this look and it mixes it up a bit. Also the seating is quite low so the eye continues into the garden.  I love to use things in an unexpected way...which is also why I use my birdfeeder as a planter (see below).

One more thing I did this year to the space was replace my curtains that I made last year from drop cloth.   They had a plastic liner which I thought was a good idea at the time but turns out it wasn't, because it held in the moisture and blew in the wind (what was I thinking?).  So this year I made more curtains out of a drop cloth without a plastic liner and I like them a lot better.

The jute rug seen here is actually from my dining room.  I just propped it with this one to see if I liked it...and I do.  So now I'm on the search for an outdoor one.  I found one at Lowes in the spring, but when I went back to the store to purchase it, they were sold out. :(

Hoping to get a few more nights on this back deck before the cold comes.