Latest Posts

finds … I heart coat trees

There is something about a standing coat rack (coat tree) that it so beautiful and sculptural, yet practical (which I love).  Coat trees add color, dimension and texture to an otherwise open space, creating a warm, welcoming entry.  It’s an opportunity to add color without the commitment of painting an entire room and the freedom to mix metals with woods, paint and other materials. The statement of a coat tree can be as bold or as subtle as you wish.

I have been shopping for a coat tree for the last 6 years, yet I have never purchased one.  We now have the space so it’s time to narrow my search down.

Here are my top picks in making a bolder statement.

This year, I will buy one…

coat tree

1. Blu dot;  2. Room & Board;  3.Overstock.com;  4. IKEA;  5. Room & Board;  6. West Elm

cover photo source: idea collection.net

color yellow

news… hello again

It has been a while, but it’s time to get back at it.  Since my last posting I’ve kept busy moving into a new house, new city, new COUNTRY and most importantly welcoming a new baby.  Well, new baby is now 2 years old and its time that I take back a little time for myself, my love for design and all things organized!!

Now based in Seattle, Washington, I’m a wife, mom of three, and designer with Canadian roots (hence my spelling).  With this blog, I hope to share my design ideas, projects that I am working on and all things that keep me inspired.

Hello again….

Feature Photo source: OhDierLiving

Christmas sweater ornament

news… holiday decorating on a budget

What I’ve learned this year about Christmas decorations is that it’s really about the kids.  Sure I’d like to have control over everything and have that pretty, perfect, pristine holiday aura around my house, but the reality is I’m going to have pre-school and kindergarten artwork plastered all over my front windows, my refrigerator dressed as a snowman, and every inch of my front yard decorated with rainbow light bulbs.  And I’m ok with that. 

For everyone looking to decorate in the next few weeks, here are a few of my budget, eco-friendly ideas that were published in the Ottawa Citizen last Thursday. You can read the article here: Satisfy your senses for holiday decorating on a budget

Happy decorating!

 

finds … welcome winter ‘wool-fully’

Well, I’ve been wearing my snowboarding socks for a few weeks now, which only means one thing (regretfully, I’m not snowboarding), it’s cold outside!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite finds to help bring some warmth into your home.  I love wool for its ability to add texture, warmth and colour into a space.  I love that it’s being used in so many unconventional ways, and I’ve noticed that I’ve often included one wool piece in my past ‘ETSY find’ postings (bowls, baskets, acorns).  Here are a few of my favorite winter wool accessories.

ETSY winter

a. Set of 4 Coasters – Felted Wool, Papaververt, Alameda, California  (www.etsy.com/shop/papaververt)

b. Grey wool pillow cover, Mazizmuse, Vancouver, British Columbia (www.etsy.com/shop/mazizmuse)

c. Boys knitted wool blanket, Rocket and Bear, Bath, England, United Kingdom (www.etsy.com/shop/rocketandbear)

d. Wool blend felt pillow,Alichu Studios, Cleveland, Ohio (www.etsy.com/shop/AlichuStudios)

e. Wool pom pom flowers, Berry Island ,Calgary, Alberta (www.etsy.com/shop/berryisland)

f. Upcycled eco-knit  floor cushion , the Remakerie, Montreal, Quebec (www.etsy.com/shop/theRemakerie)

g. Lines Tall Bud Vase – Felted Wool, Papaververt, Alameda, California (www.etsy.com/shop/papaververt)

door entry

diy … shut the front door

I believe the entry way of a home sets the tone for the rest of the house.  We try to make it as welcoming as possible with flowers and a place to hang your coat.  Colour and artwork may be added to the walls, but often the front door is missed, left blank…we don’t see it…and we should.

So here is an easy weekend project that will instantly add some personality and character to your home. It’s time to bring some life into our entry ways by painting the interior door.

This is THE project for those of you that are looking to add a punch of colour to your living space, but have a fear of commitment when it comes to colour.  It’s a small amount of colour that can be as subdued or as bold as you want.  It could even be black.

Best paint for the job: All doors are different.  Talk with your local paint supplier who can help you select the right paint for your door.  Paint with some gloss (semi-gloss, pearl or satin) are the easiest to clean in high traffic areas.  But avoid paints that are super-shiny (high gloss)―they tend to reveal even the tiniest nicks and dents.

Here are a few samples that show just how much life can be added to a room with just a little paint.  I love it!  I’ll be adding this project to my ‘to do’ list.  Will you?

cover photo source: apartmenttherapy

yellow door

source: tiny white daisies

painted door

source: houzz

painted door

source: room for Tuesday

Sonos Play 5 Sub

finds … 6 reasons why a wireless audio system will work for us…

As an avid music lover I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve been living without a dedicated audio system for years now.  I am currently limited to listening to music via an iPod, a computer or an Xbox.  With a makeover of our living room on the horizon I thought I would take this opportunity to sell my wife on including a Sonos System in her design plan.  Below are 6 reasons why I think the Sonos Wireless HiFi System will work for us:

  1. Small footprint. We have a very small house overflowing with 2 adults, 2 young children and 2 large dogs. We just don’t have the space for a standard setup with a receiver and bookshelf or floor standing speakers.  At 8.50 x 14.40 x 4.80 in. We should be able to find the room in our living room for the PLAY:5.
  2. Kid friendly.  Ok, the actual components themselves may not be kid friendly, but their size and lack of wires makes this system a lot more practical with kids in the house.  The system can be positioned in a safe place or easily moved to a safe place when not in use.
  3. Zones.  Additional systems can be added to create zones throughout the house.  Zones can be set up to play different songs or we could play the same music throughout the house.  We enjoy entertaining and often find our guests in 3 separate zones throughout our place; living room, dining room and our patio.  The Sonos System would allow us to deliver audio to all of our guests regardless of where they choose to hang out.  Multiple zones will also be useful during “play dates”.  Children’s music can play for the kids while the adults can enjoy some Raffi free listening pleasure.
  4. Easy access to my entire library…and more.  Currently, I have my entire music library on my desktop.  I then have a subset of my library on my iPod and a larger volume stored on an external hard drive.  I then move these devices throughout the house as I want to listen to music.  Keeping my smaller libraries current is a pain.  Via my router the Sonos System will provide me access to my entire library.  It will also allow me to stream music from music services and radio stations available online.
  5. Wife approved aesthetics.  The Sonos components look clean, simple and can easily get lost in a room.  This should be an easy addition to negotiate into our living room makeover.  A pair of 4ft tower speakers, not so much.
  6. There’s an app for that.  I love/appreciate the fact that I will be able to control the entire system from my iPhone (or an Android device).  This is especially useful with multiple zones.  I can barely function when the TV remote goes missing, I can’t see myself moving between zones to change the playlist.

So, there you have it, 6 reasons I think the Sonos System would be a great addition to our home.  I believe we would start with a Play:5($450), Wireless Bridge($60) and Play:3($330) as our initial system.  Without the bridge one of the systems would need to be connected to our router via an Ethernet cable, so the bridge will provide us with some flexibility in placing the primary zone.

I do have a couple reservations with the system.  I am concerned about sound quality at higher volumes with such a small system.  I have also had poor experiences with accessing my library over the network with other systems.  The audio has been very slow to access and has been choppy even though the network seems very efficient for other tasks such as online gaming.

I’ll be sure to update this entry with my actual experience if and when I get my hands on this system.  Please share your experience with the Sonos System or other wireless audio solutions you are aware of in the comments section below.

Sonos Play 3 Wireless Speaker

color … me, myself & lilac

I think women, especially mothers, are notorious for putting others first.  Eventually, we all need a little me time!

More often than not, my projects involve designing spaces that bring adults and children together in one cohesive environment.  This week we did the opposite!

My client (a wife and mother of 2  boys) has decided to reclaim her space.  With the 3:1 ratio of boys to girls, the house was quickly filling up with sports equipment, electronics and homework.  Enough… it was time for some me space!  She was taking back her living room and wanted it to be a relaxing, cozy, pretty, grown up retreat.

Here is her colour story: Lilac

color lilac

source: fabric: Robert Allen, Freja Blush www.robertallendesign.com, paint: www.benjaminmoore.com, area rug: IKEA, Tarnby www.ikea.ca, chair: West Elm, Sweep www.westelm.com, pillow: www.etsy.com/shop/ClassicbyNature

paint deck

diy … customizable paint deck

I came across this little diy project courtesy of natty by design and wanted to share it.  It’s a customizable paint deck made with paint stir sticks and a metal ring. I think wide popsicle sticks (tongue depressors) would also work well for this project.   This portable paint deck allows you to always have your paint colours on hand.  Genius!

A great solution to those imminent life changing dilemmas. Should I buy the tangerine or teal pillow for the living room? (or both?)

paint deck

For complete project details please visit natty by design

photo source: natty by design

ETSY finds white

finds … colorful white

Often colorful accessories are used to introduce drama and emotion into a room, but what about white?

White can add just as much impact to a room with its classic, subtle simplicity.  It goes with everything.  I love the clean, crisp, freshness of white and for that reason, I’m addicted to white accessories.

ETSY finds color white

a. Birch Wool Acorns – Felted Acorns SET of 12 / White Gold, SewnNatural, Ottawa, Ontario (www.etsy.com/shop/SewnNatural)

b. White Crochet Basket with Handles, ADKnits, Richmond Virginia (www.etsy.com/shop/shmugusta)

c. White record clock – Moby / Wait For Me, PatrickHoesterey, Long Beach, California (www.etsy.com/shop/PatrickHoesterey)

d. Porcelain and BROWN leather hanging planter, Farrah Sit, Brooklyn, New York (www.etsy.com/shop/farrahsit)

e. Personalized natural white birch candle holder – carved heart & initials, urban + forest, Rockland, Maine (www.etsy.com/shop/urbanplusforest)

Note: Although I haven’t personally purchased these products, I’m looking forward to incorporating them into my future design projects.

color … yellow

A year ago I would never have brought the color yellow into my home, but now I am wanting to introducing pops of yellow everywhere.  I’m feeling good about yellow.

Yellow is often chosen for its positive psychological qualities: creating happiness, optimism and confidence, but yellow is a tricky colour to work with because it feeds your emotions.

As quoted from international colour expert, Karen Haller “Being surrounded by too much yellow, the wrong yellow for you or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones within the colour scheme and the negative qualities could present themselves such as irrationality, anxiety hence the expression ‘yellow streak’.”

Did you know that the colour yellow has been proven to make babies cry the most? Something to think about!

With all this said.  Don’t be afraid of yellow. Used in moderation, yellow can bring life and cheerfulness into any room.  Its happy!

Feature Photo source: OhDierLiving

yellow room

source: www.decorpad.com

yellow room

source: www.home-designing.com

yellow bathroom

source: houseandhome.com

yellow accents kitchen

source: www.housebeautiful.com

yellow bedroom

source: www.marthastewart.com