The Cottage Diaries: Moving In

Feb 9, 2016 +

Late last November, we snuck off to the County and took possession of our cottage. The cottage resort itself was closed (it'll reopen in April) but we were able to move in much of the new furniture we had been storing in our garage. I thought I'd give you a quick tour and show you how things look.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. Most of these were taken late in the afternoon (which in November is almost pitch black) and I've had to lighten them in Photoshop so the colours might be off. Come spring, we'll get to doing some DIY projects, get the rest of the furniture in place, and really start to enjoy our summer home.

white cottage | loft ladder | french bistro counter stool | kitchen island

Here's the view from the front door towards the living room. The lofty ceilings really make the cottage feel open and airy. Everything was finished beautifully; the paint, trimwork, floors, and carpet were just as expected and there were hardly any deficiencies noted during the inspection.

white cottage kitchen | Serena & Lily black white Riviera french bistro counter stool

The Serena and Lily Riviera counter stools were a splurge but I just knew I wouldn't be happy with anything else. We plan to have this cottage for a very long time and these chairs are a classic that won't go out of style. They're made of rattan and woven plastic which will be easy to keep clean and they're stable enough for a young girl who rarely sits still (I'm talking to you Chloe).

white beadboard cottage kitchen

The kitchen has ample storage but definitely needs some colour. In the backsplash maybe? I asked them to leave the handles off as I want to source my own. We have a black swing-arm sconce for above the window and I'm leaning towards mixing metals and using brass handles (these ones would be a dream). We debated white or stainless steel appliances, but budget won out and we kept these white but opted for the Ceran cooktop.

white cottage | dining room | vinyl floor

White, white, everywhere. The sofa was another item of debate: do we go for the practical dark colour or go for light to keep things open and airy? We will be renting the cottage out at some point so you do need to consider those types of things. I have a philosophy though that guides me in most "house" related decisions: get the best you can afford and get what you really want because tomorrow may never come. I'm very much of the mind that you 'use the good dishes' and stop holding onto them for 'someday'. Ultimately, this cottage is for our enjoyment and we shouldn't let the possibility of a red wine spill deter us from getting the cream sofa. We can always get a slipcover, right?

Here's the dining area, piled with junk. We'll be using these Canadian Tire outdoor wicker chairs around a custom table built by Chris. If you need custom wood furniture, she's your girl! I'm on the search for just the right light fixture to replace the fan overhead. Any suggestions??

white cottage beachy bathroom | beadboard cabinet

Onto the main bathroom. I asked them not to install the mirror as it would be one of those frameless ones glued onto the drywall. I've already purchased an awesome light fixture to replace the strip lighting.

white cottage beachy bedroom

This is Chloe's bedroom. A simple bed, trundle, and dresser are pretty much all she needs. She has room for a small side table and a bookcase but I think we'll spend our time looking for vintage ones. We can't have everything looking too new!

white cottage beachy bedroom | rattan headboard

We managed to get our bed assembled too. I really love the rattan headboard and distressed finish which feel suited to a casual summer bedroom. I do have to tell you that we put in the boxspring and mattress and the bed looked really big and high for the space. But, I'm reserving my judgement until we get side tables and lamps in and dress the bed. Empty rooms can be deceiving.

white cottage | loft ladder | french bistro counter stool

And then there's the loft. The ladder tucks up against the wall when not in use, but judging by how often Chloe was up and down those stairs, it will always be out. She loves it up there. Me, not so much. I never was afraid of heights (still love roller coasters!) but this space makes me feel a little woozy. I'm getting old!

We had just enough time to assemble our sectional up in the loft before we packed up and closed up the cottage for the winter. It'll be open again in two months and I can't wait! I've stockpiled more furnishings and am excited to show you some of the plans for the rooms.

The cottage is a blank slate which is exciting but daunting. Tell me, what would you do to this space? Would you paint? Leave it white? What colours would you use? So many possibilities!!

The Love List

Feb 5, 2016 +

A clever use of colour in this white kitchen. Via Design*Sponge.

A must read for bloggers, influencers, marketers, and agencies

Cute printable valentines for the classmates

I'm a breakfast loaf kind of girl. I need to make this recipe.

A roundup of white farmhouse kitchens.

I'm on the lookout for lighting for the cottage and keep debating whether to go modern or more farmhouse over the dining table. I really love the drama of a singular pendant like this one. And something like this copper pendant has been in my head ever since we visited this cafe.

Have you seen the new Farrow & Ball colours? So moody (and they have the best names).

Great tips on how to redecorate for free

Tents, Tile and the Magic of (Kids) Tidying Up

Feb 3, 2016

My phone is full of random but interesting photos and things I've come across lately so I thought I'd share some with you. I apologize for the low quality of some of the pics!

Chloe asked to sleep in a tent the other day so her dad came up with this clever solution. He used the flexible poles from our beach tent, zip-tied them together, then then threw two bedsheets on top. Clothespins hold the bedsheets to the poles and allow her to have the tent 'walls' up or down. I took a nap in here the other day and I'll tell you it's just as cozy and warm and dark as you think it would be.

Another small change happened in this bedroom. I have the Marie Kondo book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" (which I've misplaced... a sure sign I need the book!) and recently reorganized my drawers, folding my clothes to stand up, as she recommends. Chloe saw my drawers and asked me to show her how to do the folding. This weekend, I was putting away the laundry and saw that Chloe had Kondo-ized all her own drawers. Even funnier, she had enlisted her friend who was over for a playdate to help with the folding. Now that's the sign of true friendship!

This is what January 2016 in Toronto, Canada looks like. Definitely not the white winterland you'd expect. Crazy!!

I came upon a new consignment store, Elle and Eve. It had some great pieces like these two side tables priced at $130 each. They would have been great for the cottage but sadly weren't wide enough. I would have painted these up, maybe in a chalky dark grey with contrasting white interior to bring out the wire mesh. Somebody buy them please!

A trip to The Door Store is always inspiring. It's like a trip back in time and is full of amazing vintage and reproduction finds. I have my eye on that barn light pendant with cage!

This tile from Saltillo Tiles stopped me in my tracks. Doesn't it look like real barnwood?? I love how they've mixed different tile sizes - 2.75"x24" and 8.25"x24" - which gives it a more authentic reclaimed look. The tile was called Retro Negre and was priced $9.95 per square foot. I think this would look fantastic in a farmhouse mudroom.

Large Scale Audubon Pelican Art - Free download!

Feb 2, 2016 +

Ever since we painted our grey walls white, I've been searching for a piece of art for the top of the stairwell. I knew what I wanted: something large scale, portrait orientation, primarily dark colours to contrast against the white walls, and more realistic than abstract. And sometimes you put a wish out into the world and it gets granted!

Audubon white pelican free download high res file |

I came across Kristine's post and loved her pink flamingo print. Who knew that you could get high res Audubon downloads for free? Not me. It's such a great resource that I had to share so hop on over to Kristine's blog and scroll to the bottom for detailed instructions on where to get the prints.

I've long admired Audubon's White Pelican and knew it would work in this space. After I downloaded the file, I resized the photo to 24"x36" in Photoshop. I had it printed at Staples for $30 and popped it into an inexpensive frame from Michaels. I put a faux forsythia arrangement on the window ledge to pick up the yellow.

large scale art at top of stairwell |

The high resolution of the file really makes a difference and you can see how detailed the print is, even up close. Given the great quality, you can do much more with this digital file: print it on canvas; or go to a commercial printer and have it printed at even larger scale.

Audubon white pelican free download high res file |

Audubon white pelican free download high res file |

John James Audubon has many famous paintings you might recognize: the pink flamingo, the blue crane, the great blue heron, and the common American swan, among them. I am tempted to print even more of these. I think they would make a wonderful grouping for a gallery wall or over a long bench.

Don't you love it when you find great things for free?

The Love List

Jan 29, 2016 +

A gorgeous (and quick!) bathroom makeover

Very wise words on living a creative life. I've always thought this way... to let my thoughts or work or creations or blog posts speak for themselves. To set them free.

A chic fireplace makeover

A dream come true for indie designers... or not?

The cutest dollhouse kitchen ever

A simple change to give an old lantern new life

Tips on selecting roman shades

Why you might not want to install marble in a bathroom. Side note: we have a marble floor in our basement shower stall. So far, so good, but I'm going to have a closer look for fissures!

I'm having dinner tonight with my dearest girlfriends for our 25th annual (!?!) very-belated Christmas get-together. I'm a lucky girl. Hoping you get to share laughs with friends this weekend too!


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