Design Inspiration at IDS17

Jan 18, 2017

Photo credit: Natural Landscape Group

It might be cold and rainy outside (seriously January, where did all your snow go??), but I've already got outdoor spaces on my mind. Canada's top design fair, the Interior Design Show, is this weekend January 19-22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and I'm ready to be filled with indoor and outdoor design inspiration. I took a look at our backyard yesterday and it is a contender to do a sleek outdoor space as in the image above. I really love the grid of grass and extra large patio stones. The Open Air display at IDS will be one I'll be seeking out.

Other features that I aim to see:

- Surfaces & Co. is one Exhibitor I'm excited to check out. I've been following their instagram for a while and need to see their gorgeous mosaic tiles like the Nadja tile above in person

- Amanda Nisbet creates the most colourful and elegant interiors. She is a master at mixing pattern and texture. Amanda speaks on Globe Style Saturday.

- The Studio North and Prototype is always a great place to discover emerging talent and unique products. A few items I discovered at IDS in the past include Atelier Nomade's rope lighting and Norquay Co's artisan paddles.

Will you be attending IDS? I always enjoy the show and its great to see all of the design trends and new ideas all in one place.

Best Of: Modern Scenic & Toile Wallpapers

Jan 17, 2017

My tastes have always veered to the traditional and this house has me even more eager to embrace a classic style but with a twist. One way to do that is with wallpaper. These wallpapers are a modern take on classic toile and scenic murals. Whether rendered in unexpected bold colours or stark silhouettes, they feel fresh yet familiar. Even Joanna Gaines has tried her hand at a country toile. I can picture these used for a single accent wall or for the particularly bold, wrapping an entire room and pairing with modern lighting for dramatic effect.
modern scenic and toile wallpapers |
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

The Love List

Jan 13, 2017 +

I'm bringing back The Love List! Sorry it was neglected the last little while. Here's what's I'm loving lately...

Kim and Scott's laundry room is the cutest

This kitchen makeover on a budget is inspiring

How do you feel about Instagram? I admire Jenny's bold decision to use it in a new way

These moody black florals are just what your desktop needs

Emily's exterior house renovation was a massive undertaking! I don't think I could ever tackle a project that big and disruptive to my daily life.

I just want to hibernate in this fabulous black bedroom by the team at Crush Interiors

Decor Trends To Try

Jan 12, 2017 +

Where to start? I have a blank-slate-of-a-house in front of me and these days I'm feeling both excited at the potential and overwhelmed by the possibilities. I can tell you what I want my home to feel like but narrowing down what I want it to look like has been a challenge. I've been pinning overtime with all sorts of inspiration for each room in the house. But there are a few decor trends that keep catching my eye. Don't be surprised if you see some of these making their way into our home.

Design L.Kae Interiors / Dovetail Homes; Photography David Christensen
There is so so much to love in this one photo. My three favourite things:
  1. Applied mouldings
  2. Matching wall and trim colour
  3. Flat paint
You know I'm a huge fan of mouldings and millwork and our traditional Colonial provides the perfect canvas for these details. We've got a good start with chair rail and picture mould but I'd like to beef up our baseboards and embellish the door and window casings with architraves. And yet I don't want these interior finishings to overpower the room so to keep them noticeable but subdued, we'll paint everything the same colour. We used this same trick in our previous master bedroom where the entire room - walls, trim, ceiling - was painted in the same warm shade of white. This really allows the architectural details to shine.

Flat paint... I have a new fascination with this. Yesterday I visited the local Benjamin Moore store which had recently undergone a renovation. The store had the upper part of the giant walls painted in a flat navy and the lower part in a stone grey. The effect was stunning. The paint colours had depth and character. Their lack of reflectiveness allowed the walls to recede into the background and the product to be more prominent. I imagine a bedroom enveloped in flat paint in muted tones would feel like a quiet, restful cocoon.

Design: Tom Scheerer
Mural wallpaper, especially of the grisaille variety (grisaille is a method of painting in only grey tones), has been on my radar for a very long time. I would love to wrap an entire room in a mural but as you can imagine this is a very opulent and expensive look. But there are more affordable alternatives on the market that can give that same ethereal sense. One favourite is the Cole & Son Nuvolette wallpaper. Nancy used it in her nursery to handsome effect.

via Honeyandfitz instagram

I also love this modern abstract take on a mural. Dina recently installed this gorgeous watercolour grasscloth in her home. Isn't it stunning?

Yet another image which captures some of my favourite looks, notably
  • black metal frames: we've seen black metal windows for the last few years and Bailey McCarthy had a fabulous black metal shower. More and more the look is being applied to interior walls as well as exterior doors
  • dark painted doors: I love the contrast of white walls and dark doors. We did similar at our cottage and might want to do something like this here at the house as well
Design by O'Brien Harris

While I love a good built-in, free-standing furniture-like cabinetry is a look that is growing on me. I like how this kitchen island is raised off the floor, giving it an airiness and lightness. You can also bring a similar feeling into the bathroom, with raised vanities with decorative feet

As you can see, I'm not lacking for inspiration. Now to pull this all together to create a cohesive design plan for our house!

What Makes A Blogger?

Jan 9, 2017 + ,

Trends, resolutions, words of the year.  There's a pattern that happens in January when we take a few extra moments to look back, reassess, and catch our collective breaths before we dive into the new year. Without fail, my blog reader gets filled with bloggers writing epic posts on how blogging has changed and optimistically vowing the next year will be different. I've been known to write a few of those posts myself.

I hadn't planned on starting the year with one of these more personal posts on life as a blogger. I could easily jump into house decor - I have SO many ideas flying around my head! - but sometimes pouring my heart out on these pages is good for the soul.

In 2017, what makes a blogger? It's a question I've been struggling with the last few years as millennials take over the world, or at least the blogosphere. Frankly, my mid-40's self doesn't quite fit the mould. I don't have the same motivations. I don't have a growth plan for my Instagram. I don't have a snazzy Wordpress site. I don't even collect your email addresses and send out newsletters for you to ignore. I really don't do many of the things professionals say you "need" to do to be a successful blogger.

And yet, I'm still here. Almost 10 years on, I'm still blogging.

At the heart of it, I'm a storyteller which is kinda crazy to me because I'm not known to be a storyteller in real life. But in these pages I'm happy to fling the doors of my home and life open to you. The last year has been different though. On a personal level, I struggled with career clarity and wondering where I wanted to be, what next step I should take. And the blog kinda fell on the back burner. Living in the same home for the past decade can have that effect. With nothing to change or renovate or decorate, what's there to blog about? And so I blogged less and kinda lost my way.

But here's the thing... while some of you left, no doubt turned off by my lack of consistency and seeing the same old decor and rooms, many of you stayed. I can only guess that you stayed because there were parts of my story that still interested you. And that's a message I'm holding onto.

In a blogging world where comparison is a sport and where we're pushed to constantly up our game, I'm taking myself out of the game. No, I'm not stopping blogging. But I am looking at things with a fresh perspective. I'm not here to draw you in with click-bait titles and I don't write to boost my SEO. I don't post pictures of my new home to induce envy. I won't shift my content to topics with more affiliate revenue potential. There are many ways to "be". Maybe evolving as a blogger doesn't mean looking at others and doing what's new and trendy and treating your blog as a job. Maybe it means doubling-down, clearing out the noise, and sticking to your own story.

I want this blog to be more about that... about how crazy excited I am to transform our rooms, one by one. But equally how I'm eager to take the transformation slowly because I'm pretty sure this is our forever home and I have no desire to rush through the experience. And because that's just our style. I can't wait to tell you about the new business I'm starting with an amazingly talented partner and how we intend to transform the industry - and live lives fueled by passion. I want to share more of the little details - the everyday, the ordinary, the parenting fails and triumphs, and celebrate the unexpected moments of hygge.

As our lives get filled with digital clutter, where we spend our time becomes increasingly important. Maybe it's because I'm here on the other side of 40 and there's this thing that happens at this point in life where you start to see the end of the tunnel rather than the rise of the mountain... but you realize that time is important. I can't help but feel we're all on a road to minimalism, to being more choosy and selective about the words and ideas we absorb. We can't sustain this constant bombardment of information.

So if you continue to read here, I hope you take something away and feel your time was well spent. It could be a decorating idea or an answer to a renovation question. It could be reading about new-to-you products and resources that help bring your design visions to life. Or it could be the pleasure of being witness to sweet moments of someone else's life. Blogging isn't a race. I think we bloggers tend to forget that. For me, it's always been about the interaction, the community, the emotional connection. So this year, I'm focusing on that. I'm just here to share a story, the next chapter of which is about to unfold.

2017, I'm ready to blog all about you, the only way I know how.

P.S. A post with no pictures. I'm ready to break all those blogging rules.

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