Canadian Bloggers Fall Home Tour - Decorating Ideas For A Fall Bedroom

Sep 28, 2016

It's that time of year again... leaves are changing colour, days are getting colder, and we start to cozy up our homes for fall. This week, I'm joining 19 other bloggers as part of the Canadian Blogger Fall Home Tour hosted by Christina of The DIY Mommy. Hope you enjoy my tour and visit the others at the end of this post!

If you're visiting here for the first time, we live in a typical Toronto home that we've renovated from top to bottom and infused with transitional style. It's a never-ending process and this room has evolved from a dingy blue room lacking in storage to a nursery then big girl room and finally this guest bedroom.

We're lucky enough to get four distinct seasons here in Toronto. But while I love chunky sweaters, apple cider, and all the trappings of the season, I don't go all out with my fall decor. I find fall quickly transitions into winter and I'm not one for decorating with reds and oranges and browns, so for me, this time of year is more about simple changes and easing into a cozier state of mind.

We finished redecorating this room not too long ago but it needed an update. I had moved the spool nightstands to our cottage so it was a good time to bring in a few new accessories as well.

For the nightstand, I shopped on one of my favourite sites, Wayfair. As a Canadian, I appreciate that their .ca site lists prices in Canadian dollars and includes shipping and duties. No surprises when the UPS guy shows up! I picked out the Franklin 2 drawer end table in White. Assembly was super easy (it took me less than 1/2 hour) and the piece is stable and sturdy.  It needed a little 'something' so I made this tassel with chunky yarn I had lying around. I used this easy DIY tassel tutorial. To coordinate with the rest of the furniture, I also spray painted the knobs black.

The older I get, the more I find myself craving less 'stuff'. I like to keep nightstands fairly simple and clear of clutter. A thrifted pink vase, a delicious Voluspa candle, and a lamp are all that you need to get things feeling cozier. If you can believe it, the lamp is from Walmart Canada! They're really trying to fill that affordable style void left by Target. Still so sad about them leaving Canada :(

I finding selecting art to be a challenge but these pieces really spoke to my heart. Eventually, they'll be moved to the cottage but for now, they work great in this room and complement the farmhouse style bedframe. The art is by ModernCabinbyEW on etsy. She has a fabulous collection of modern barn paintings. I love the delicate pink hues of this pair.

You can warm up your bedroom for fall by piling on the textiles. I pulled out my red blanket from Indigo (they always have the softest and prettiest throws!) for the bench, and layered the bed with a check duvet and shams from Simons. Buffalo plaid, oversized gingham... check patterns will always be my favourites!

On the other side of the room, I displayed a few rustic accessories on top of the dresser. The shadow box from Indigo and the topiaries from Real Canadian Superstore were both bought on clearance in the spring but the rest of the items I've had for years and just keep moving about the house. The golden textures make me think of wheat fields and add warmth to the black and white scheme.

You can never have enough warm blankets at this time of year. This lidded basket was also a new addition. It's from Canadian Tire (I know! So unexpected) and is just as durable and stylish as pricier versions I've seen. 

Small changes were all I needed to take this bedroom from summer to fall. I hope you enjoyed my tour! For more fall decorating inspiration, visit the rest of the participants' home tours on their tour dates below.






DIY Shiplap - Keeping It Natural

Sep 26, 2016 + , ,

And all of a sudden, it feels like fall. Time to update you on our DIY shiplap project which we finished a few weeks ago. Installing the wall of shiplap went fairly quickly and by dinnertime, it was up. With the new furniture and a few accessories in place, the cottage living room finally looked like this:

DIY shiplap maple plywood plank natural |

And surprisingly, we loved the look of the natural maple plywood planks! We had always intended to paint the shiplap white, but seeing it in the room, we liked the warmth it added to the space. In our open concept cottage, it brings definition to the living room without being overpowering.

DIY shiplap maple plywood plank natural |

I've long loved the look of all-white rooms... but in reality, I find them hard to live in. I find myself thinking the white walls feel too blank and empty and want to fill them with a little bit of colour. The natural shiplap is an easy way to do that. The maple brings out the other warm tones in the room - the wicker baskets, the ottomans, the brass lamp.

DIY shiplap maple plywood plank natural |

You can still see the seams and the nail heads in the planks but I kind of like it. The rest of the cottage feels very new so the roughness and imperfection of the planks adds character. I'm not sure if we'll keep the natural wood in the long run - painting is always an option - but at least for this year, this project is done. And just in time. The cottage closes at the end of October and we still have a few more To Do's we hope to finish up!

It's been a quick transformation to take this builder basic cottage...

DIY shiplap maple plywood plank natural |

and give it some personality.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Home Depot Canada. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words.

The Love List - BlogPodium Edition

Sep 23, 2016 +

Sorry for the blogging absence lately. This past weekend was BlogPodium and I've been consumed with organizing it.  I've run this conference since 2011 and I have to say I think this was the best conference yet. No one was more surprised than me. Blogging has changed so much since I started almost a decade ago. Old blogging friends have slowed down or stopped blogging all together; newer bloggers seem motivated by different things; and the pace of change in social media is relentless. There have been ebbs and flows and at times I struggle with finding my place in this crazy blogging world. But this weekend reminded me that change is good and that this space still brings me so much joy.

For this week's Love List, I wanted to share my takeaways from the conference. It was great to have that time to reflect and be encouraged and inspired to keep on blogging.

1. Find Your Own Secret Sauce

Keynote speaker Tiffany Pratt is the queen of doing her own thing. There is no one quite like her - whatever she puts into the world - designs, art, products, words - it has that Tiffany Pratt signature. We all have that in us. We all emit our own frequency, our own energy, that can draw others to us. The key to this is being in tune with yourself. Know what drives you and listen to your gut. Drown out the noise and focus on your own thing. Find your own secret sauce.

2. Connection, Conversation, Collaboration

Those three words are the tag line of BlogPodium and on the weekend, I saw them put into action. Whether it was a group getting giddy over the pretty accessories in Alyssa's Instagram course or overheard conversations at the speed networking tables, I saw connections happening all around me. I saw women who'd only just met in person give each other the warmest of hugs, and in the BlogPodium aftermath, I've seen coffee dates being made, more chances to connect and further the conversation being planned.

In this online world, it is so important to get offline. It's easy to get caught up in the one-dimensional blogging world and believe what you see is really how things are. It's an environment that can breed negativity and feelings of inadequacy - there's no one to tell you otherwise! But what happens when you go to a conference or blogger event? You realize that others share the same fears and hopes that you do. You find community and are energized by it. I love the buzz that comes from sharing ideas with other creative people. Nothing can replace human connection.

3. Perfection in Imperfection

Tiffany talked about the concept of wabi sabi, or finding perfection in imperfection. As a design blogger, I'm pretty obsessed with the perfect and beautiful: a well-designed room, an expertly executed DIY, a stunning instagram. But there's something to be said for being comfortable with the less than perfect, especially if it's more real. Let the realness seep into what you put out on your blog and social media. Embrace your quirks and unique point of view. There were 150 women in the room, all with interesting stories. Strive to be a perfectly imperfect individual.

4. Surround Yourself With Those Who Inspire You

Every year, I'm amazed by my team. Brittany, Julie, Lesley, and Britt along with Lindsey, DanicaThalita, Shannon and Robin helped me put together an incredible day. Each of these women are talented and so good at what they do. They bring creative ideas to the table and with them, I feel like anything is possible. We set the bar high and always strive to do better.

Of course, BlogPodium wouldn't have happened without the love and support of this guy right here. The conference basically takes over my life for a good six months, and in September, my house becomes a swag bag warehouse, I neglect house chores, laundry, and cooking meals. So thank you to my husband Sean. You'll always top my Love List.

Did you attend BlogPodium? I'd love to hear what you took away from the day.

All photos courtesy of LLB Creative

What You Need To Know Before You DIY Shiplap

Sep 12, 2016 +

We've finally done it. We've jumped on the shiplap bandwagon that has overtaken the design world. If you've been reading here a while, you'll know that we are big fans of any type of trim, moulding, or millwork. But shiplap just never felt right for our house in an urban city. Our cottage in the country though... it just begs to be covered in the stuff.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap |

I was excited to partner once again with The Home Depot Canada on this project and more over the coming months. As a member of the #HDBlogSquad, I'll be providing you DIY inspiration for interior and exterior projects.

As with many of our projects, we like to DIY it but don't want it to look DIY. There are lots of shiplap tutorials out there (this video one is great) but I thought I'd share our approach and things we considered from an architectural and structural perspective. Thinking about these small details really can take your project from "looks ok" to "I can't believe you did that yourself!"

What You Need To Know Before You DIY Shiplap

1. Different Materials, Different Looks

Thanks to shows like Fixer Upper, most people think of "shiplap" as planks of wood installed horizontally with a gap or space in between. There are many different ways you can achieve this kind of look.
  • Real shiplap boards. Shiplap has a rabbet or notch on the edges of the board. When the boards are stacked horizontally, the edges overlap and self-space and create a strong, unified surface
  • Tongue and groove boards. Unlike shiplap, tongue and groove boards interlock with one edge slipping into the groove of another. The slight bevel on the edges of a board create the illusion of the gap.
  • Plywood cut into planks. This is a plywood sheet cut into strips of wood. The planks are manually installed with a space in between.
We decided to go with Option C and used 1/4" Maple Purebond Plywood. It's important to keep the scale of the room in mind - you don't want your planks to be too narrow if you have a very large wall to fill. Our shiplap was going in two spaces: on a single wall in our living room, and in our main bathroom. Both spaces are of a medium size so we had the plywood cut into 6" strips at The Home Depot.

diy shiplap plywood |

We chose plywood for a few reasons:
- it was the most cost effective option
- plywood is available in 1/4" depth. I'll get into why that is important in my next point.

2. How To Work Around Existing Baseboards

If you have existing baseboards or trimwork, you have three choices:
1. Remove the baseboards, install your shiplap, reinstall your baseboards, or
2. Keep your baseboards, and install shiplap boards that are equal to or have a shallower depth. This way, your shiplap can rest atop your baseboards and won't stick out.
3. Use whatever shiplap you want and ignore differences in depth where the planks meet the baseboard.

Now I might have gone with option 3 (Don't worry about it! Nobody looks down there anyway!) but Sean, architect that he is, was having none of that. I knew he was right. Our cottage is a new build and the baseboards are perfect and dent-free so we didn't want to remove them. Using a narrow 1/4" plywood was our best option.

3. Where To Start

Many people will jump right into installation, starting at the bottom, levelling the board, and working their way up from there. If you do this, you might be left with a sliver of a board at the top of the wall, or your boards might fall strangely around doors, windows or outlets.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap |

We always consider if there is a logical place to have a full board and start from there. As we did with the tile in our laundry room, we determined the critical board. In this situation, it made sense to have a full board running corner-to-corner along the top of the windows.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

Sean held the critical board in place and marked where the boards would land down the wall. To space between our boards, we just used the thickness of one of the boards, 1/4". It's not necessary to do this measurement but it will give you an indication of where your boards will fall. In our classic bathroom, this measurement exercise proved important as we found our wall tile was short a 1/4" from the floor. By knowing this before installation, we were able to rejig the tile pattern and add in a pencil tile to eliminate the gap.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

Here's another example of the critical board: in the cottage bathroom, we started with a full board flush with the countertop.

4. Preparation

Before you install the planks, you'll want to sand down all of the cut edges. One thing you also want to consider is the use of glue or adhesive. With most tutorials I've seen, bloggers will just mark the stud line and nail the boards directly into the studs. I would think this would be strong enough to hold the planks against the wall.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

In our particular situation though, or cottage is three-season, meaning that it is closed up over the wintertime with no heat. As a result, the structure of our cottage is subject to significant temperature extremes (welcome to Canadian winters!) and natural woods can expand and shrink and warp as the seasons change. It's part of the reason why the builders chose to use a wood-lookalike vinyl flooring instead of natural wood floors in the cottages. That said, to ensure a stronger hold, we applied Lepage Pro Carpenter's Glue to the backs of the planks before nailing them on. Glue can ruin your drywall so be aware it might be a challenge if you ever want to remove the planks.

5. Installation

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |
what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

Installation is pretty straight forward. Start with your critical board and nail it into the studs. We love love loved using our RYOBI One+ 18 Gauge 2" Brad Nailer on this job. The nailer is lightweight and easy to use. Even Chloe got to nail a few boards. You can see here how Sean used a scrap piece of the plywood as a spacer. You can also use pennies or a tile spacer but this method is much easier. Just slide the plywood along horizontally, push the board beneath up tight to the spacer, and nail in.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

To cut around outlets, use a jigsaw. For more intricate cuts like around the cornice above, trace the pattern onto paper and then use that as a template to cut your wood.

what you need to know before you diy shiplap, plywood shiplap installation |

Before we put the last board up, we let Chloe right a little message on the wall. A fun little touch we do with all our projects. I'm pretty thrilled with the shiplap - it's a classic look that never goes out of style. I can't wait to show you what the rooms look like now! 

Have you installed shiplap? Any tips or tricks that you want to share?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Home Depot Canada. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words.

The Love List

Sep 9, 2016 +

Molly's housewarming party has me totally inspired. How amazing would this be as a harvest party... serve foods of the season, little bowls of soup... have a firepit somewhere, blankets to throw on and keep warm. Hmmm...

They have the prettiest open shelving

Chris makes full use of her backyard. So many creative outdoor living ideas!

Cedar shingles on an accent wall? Why not!

A home for the blue-lovers

Great tips on having a beautiful home with kids

Melaine's fall kitchen is so pretty

I just bought this jacket. Loving this colour for fall!

A whole portfolio of amazing Before & Afters

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