The Love List

Feb 17, 2017 +

If you caught my Instagram stories this week, you'll know that while there was a winter storm blowing outside, my intrepid husband was inside the garage starting to build his man cave with shelving, tools, and pegboard galore. Sabrina Soto's garage has me thinking we could tweak the design and make it girl-friendly too, ha!

A pretty dining area makeover. I really love the gold lantern against the blues and greys.

I looooove roasted fruit for dessert. Adding this to my recipe book.

These art videos are mesmerizing

I had some headshots taken for my new business this week (!!) and wore this top (40% off right now!) It fit me more like a tunic and looked fab over a fitted shirt.

Not too little, not too much, this house has just the right amount of wood accents

Kate is so good at picking tile! I love the unexpected tile colour story she used in this bathroom.

I enjoyed reading his view of things behind the blog

It's Family Day on Monday here and I'm looking forward enjoying the extra hours hanging out with my favourite twosome the next few days. Hope your weekend is swell!

Small Entryway Makeover

Feb 15, 2017 + ,

Sometimes the quick and easy projects can feel just as satisfying as the big and complicated ones. I've got a quick makeover to share with you today!

One thing I disliked about our last house was the small entryway. It was crowded, dark, and felt cramped if you had more than two people at the door. And while the entryway in this house isn't grand, I jumped at the opportunity to create an entry that was much more welcoming, well-lit, and functional.

First task was to find furnishings in keeping with our style. The rug above was a last minute purchase when we staged our last house for sale. I'm not really fond of it but it did the job and kept our floors clear of snow. This being winter, it would also be handy to have a piece of furniture near the front door to store hats and mitts and drop keys.

The lights in the entry and down the hallway also needed replacing. I wanted to have similar lighting in these areas because they were in close proximity and you could see both while standing at the doorway.

Design by Lauren Liess
I was really inspired by what Lauren did in her last home. Instead of the typical recessed potlights, she chose to use rows of flush mount lights in the kitchen. I love how the black fixtures contrast with the white ceiling and bring dimension to a flat surface.

A few simple changes and now we have an entryway that I love. The lights were provided by my friends at Bellacor and are exactly what I wanted. Usually you'll put a large fixture in the foyer but I wanted this light in particular to be understated. As you can see, we don't have much room between the front door and the stairs and I thought a large chandelier would be too grand for the space.

Side note for Canadian readers: I had the lights shipped from the US which can always be tricky. Duties, taxes - you never know what the final cost will be. BUT, I came across an amazing service that got these lights shipped across the border for less than $10 Canadian!! More on that soon ;)

I find shopping for lights to be challenging. It's easy to find a style you love but judging how much light it will cast is very hard to discern. This fixture was such a pleasant surprise: the interior of the light is a white gloss metal. Because of that, it reflects the light downward into the space really nicely. Looking upwards into it, the bulb disappears against the white and you don't have that blinding hot spot you usually see when you look into a light. This is a single 60 watt bulb in case you were curious.

I'm really happy to have a proper drop zone at the front door now. This 3 drawer cabinet provides room to store my purse and our winter gear. I wanted a dark cabinet to stand out against the white moulding and the furniture-like details of this piece suit our traditional decor. The black handles tie in nicely with the oil rubbed bronze of the light fixtures too.

Black and white accents are turning into a favourite around here. This rug is nice and soft and the pile isn't too high that it gets caught under the front door. It does a good job of hiding the dirt and absorbing the snow from our boots at this time of year.

I've been wanting a federal mirror ever since I left one behind at the Christie antique fair two years ago. This one was a lucky find on eBay Canada. It was an imperfect and inexpensive plastic model in a faux bronze finish which I spray painted with my favourite gold paint, Design Master Premium Metals Gold Medal. I kept the rest of the accessories simple: an enamel tray from West Elm, a milk glass vase from the thrift store, and faux peonies.

And here's a peek at the living room. With the entryway looking so good, I couldn't just leave this room as it was. To make the rooms more cohesive, I brought in black and white accessories and simplified the styling overall. The buffalo plaid chair was brought in from the corner of the room to form a more intimate seating arrangement. I removed the Valentine's Day mantel decor and replaced the items with a symmetrical arrangement of faux topiaries and ceramic busts. 

The changes I made weren't dramatic but now I think you really get a sense of our style as soon as you walk in the door. It feels good to come home!

Disclosure: Lighting fixtures were kindly provided by Bellacor. All opinions and words are my own.

The Love List

Feb 10, 2017 +

On this week's Love List...

Design by Kristina Crestin
Can somebody please transport this room into my house? Love the use of high gloss paint here.

Rene's living room is bright and beautiful

I love seeing this lakehouse come together

Have you found your tribe? Making friends as adults can be a difficult thing

A clever way to hide a medicine cabinet

Eek! Valentine's Day is next week and we haven't made or bought anything yet to give to Chloe's classmates.  That's okay. Still giving myself (and you) a 'Way to go, Mom'.

Confessions of an Instagram influencer. Fascinating!


#scrolledandsaved: Do you use Instagram's save feature? New on the Love List, I'll be sharing images that stopped me in my tracks as I've scrolled through my feed.  So much to love in this image posted by Kelly Nutt Design... that red brick walkway, the modern planters, the colour of that gorgeous Dutch door and the simple door hardware. Simple and stunning!

Have a good weekend friends. I'll be finishing up some painting in the office and hopefully will have an update for you next week!

Valentine's Gifts for the Design Blogger

Feb 7, 2017

With Valentine's Day just a week away, you'll want to get shopping for your loved one if you haven't already. I bought Sean the most unromantic gift last year because I knew he would love it and it proved to be his favourite gift ever. Just goes to show that taking into account the recipient's personal taste is one way to make sure your gift is a hit. And there's no taste I'm more familiar with than that of the design blogger. These items would look great in a room or styled for an instagram post. I guess you could consider this my personal Valentine's wish list.
valentine's gifts for the design blogger

Note: Affiliate links have been used in this post.

The Love List

Feb 3, 2017 +

Photo by Trevor Tondro for House Beautiful
Bailey's library feels so current yet timeless. You need to check out the Before photo!

A great read if you're considering refinishing your floors. There's a ton of work involved!

What a difference a change in accessories can make

A brilliant idea for shelf brackets. I think I'll have to do this in my new home office.

Melissa's new dutch door is oh so lovely.

Need new art for your walls? Here's a list of resources for affordable photography. This one has a bit of a Slim Aarons feel to it.

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