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west elm – calgary

west elm – calgary

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015

While I was visiting Seattle last month, I stopped by West Elm.  I fell in love with the whimsy of the Dapper Animal Plates.  The combination of a moose or a llama in a cozy sweater was just too much for me to pass up. I created a casual look by using my Blue Willow plates as chargers and placed them on top of crisp, oversized napkins.  The runner is my latest craft project and I loved creating something using vintage fabric. I’ve been growing succulents in a galvanized chicken feeder (why not?) and it makes an interesting centrepiece.  Blue mason jars with tea lights suspended in epsom salt complete the look. I’m really looking forward to visiting the Calgary location once it opens on August 20th.  You can find the fourth Canadian location of West Elm in Mount Royal Village (868-16th Avenue...

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guest room with a british influence

guest room with a british influence

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013

I re-designed the guest room at my parent’s place.  It’s the room my sister and I use and eventually, when my nephews are older they’ll sleep there during their visits.  Our intent then, was to create a room that would work for all of us.  It is a playful room though with lots of little things that grab your attention. Here are some before shots: The room was basic builder’s brown and it’s in the back of a walk-out basement so there isn’t a lot of natural light.  The furnishings are all leftovers from our old bedrooms and we weren’t looking for anything new but just trying to update them. Some inspiration photos: via House & Home via Charlotte Home & Garden via House & Home via Style at Home These rooms are all similar in their use of eclectic accessories and overall have a very comfortable feeling – perfect for what you want in a guest room. I think once we decided on working with blue, it was pretty quick for us to settle on a “British” theme.  Nothing too over-the-top but just a couple of touches that reminded us of our visit to London.  We also ‘shopped’ the house and brought together several vintage pieces that worked to accessorize the space. The first step was to find a colour for the walls that was just the right shade of blue.  We ended up going with Benjamin Moore CC-816 Athabaska which is a pale denim. One of the great finds for this room makeover, was this fun metal “Open 24 hours” sign my mom found at HomeSense.  She didn’t even realize it lit up, and it made us love it even more.  We’re still hunting for an updated lamp or shade for the bedside table. The bed frames were painted in HC-156 Van Deusen Blue. Since we’re looking at the beds, check out this fantastic zigzag stitching on the coverlet. The bright red throws are from Simons and are wonderfully soft. The white frames were an idea from a photo I had shown my mom for the colour of the dresser (Benjamin Moore 2134-50 Gull Wing Gray).  She...

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deck makeover

deck makeover

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013

My Mom came down for a nice long visit to help me with several projects around my house.  One of the biggest projects we tackled was re-staining my back deck.  Here are some before shots from when I bought the house: I wasn’t a big fan of the colour of the deck stain or the unstained lattice. It’s hard to tell from these photos but the original colour of the deck was Sandstone: I decided to update the look with Pewter: I also separately stained the lattice using Behr’s Stonehedge which was leftover from my fence and front porch makeover. The former owners used Rust-Oleum Restore (available at Home Depot) which is a deck resurfacer that is extremely thick, fills in all the cracks and creates a slip-resistant surface.  Being slip-resistant is pretty important as access to the garage is from the back door and the deck gets covered in snow during the winter months.  I decided to use the same product as all of the above sounds great and I figured it would be extremely time-consuming to strip the deck. UPDATE:  Just wanted to add a quick update to this post.  I cannot recommend Rust-Oleum Restore and would encourage anyone considering using this product to read through the many reviews that are out there.  This product claims to last 12 years and after less than a year, my stain has bubbled, peeled and generally looks horrible.  Looking on-line, I am not alone.  This product does not live up to its claim and is certainly not worth the hefty price tag. When we were prepping the deck, it was pretty clear that the previous owners had only put down one coat of stain and the texture was very uneven.  There were also a few areas where the stain even lifted as water had been able to get into the cracks. You can see a few of those spots in these photos: Applying Restore requires two coats to make the texture and colour even.  As the previous owners had already put down one coat of this product, we were hoping that we would only need to layer on a second coat with...

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family room – sneak peek

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013

My family room is really coming together nicely.  The addition of my new drapes and some furniture rearrangement has completely changed the feel of the room.  It’s such a bright and comfortable space.  I’m still hunting for a coffee table, a new media console (maybe?), lighting, incorporating more artwork and making a cushion for my window seat.  Feels like a very doable list. I sold my old chairs (they went really quickly) and decided to replace them with just one chair as once the cushion is added to the window bench, that will work as extra seating.  I really love the Strandmon wing chair I picked up from Ikea.  It was exactly the updated piece I was looking for and the slope in the seat makes it really comfortable.  More posts to come as I continue to work on this...

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craft room – update II

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013

I finally wallpapered the wall behind my desk with pages from an old set of encyclopedias.  I previously discussed different projects I was planning with these books here. These encyclopedias are pretty unique as they contain pictures rather than a lot of text.  I spent several nights leafing through all five volumes and selecting pages that include items related to architecture, design, furnitures, etc. I just love the vintage images and many of the pages have aged from use and time so some are a bit more yellowed than others. The first step in this project was to trim up the pages.  Not super exciting but having straight edges certainly makes this project a lot easier as each page keeps the next one straight (meaning I didn’t need to pull out the level or mark off any chalk lines to keep everything straight). The next step was to put up a layer of sizing on the wall.  Sizing helps prep the wall for wallpaper and gives you a little wiggle room to line up the sheets.  It also makes removal a wee bit easier. After waiting two hours for the sizing to dry, I laid out the first two rows of pages to see how they would overlap, how many pages I would need to fill the wall and where I wanted to place them.  The built-in desk was perfect for this.  A little planning was needed as I wanted to keep certain pages on similar topics a bit spread out (meaning Roman architecture and Greek architecture weren’t beside each other).  Certain pages also had topics either on the right or left-hand columns, so I needed to place them so that the overlap of the next page wouldn’t cover anything I wanted to see.  I was also saving certain images for those that would run along the row at eye-level so I could enjoy them as I worked at the desk. Once I was happy with the layout, I started pasting.  This took a little practice to make sure I was using enough paste but not too much that there were bubbles or too much seepage.  The paper used...

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craft room – update I

Posted by on Mar 17, 2013

Sneak peek There has been a lot of progress in my craft room (see my plans here).  A huge part of this project also included painting my stairwell and the trim along my staircase and I am really happy with how it’s turned out.  Here is what the space looked like before: My first step for this project, was to rip off all the trim around my doors and take out the shelves in the closet. I created a huge mess and there were a lot of holes to fill in (including those the movers made attempting to bring my queen boxspring up the stairs). It took a full day to actually prep the space before I could even start painting. I put up two coats of paint (Benjamin Moore – Stonington Gray) and it has drastically changed the way the space looks.  It is so much brighter up there.  The space has a skylight so there is some natural light but with the wheat-coloured walls, wood doors, wood trim and herringbone floor, it looked really, really yellow up there.  The gray walls have made the space feel considerably more contemporary. I put a coat of primer on the desk, trim and the closet door.  The trim and the door took two coats of paint and three to get a really solid coat on the desk. It was worth it though as I’m really happy with how fresh it looks.  I also painted out the trim that runs along my stairs and it looks fantastic. I did get quite a lot done but still have some major items before I can complete this project: paint the room in Stonington Gray (carrying the colour up from the downstairs) paint the desk in white wallpaper behind the desk with pages from books add shelves above the desk paint out the closet door in white and replace the handles paint the interior of the closet create efficient shelving in the closet replace the trim around the doors paint the baseboards white paint my dresser in navy blue and switch out the handles bring it all together with artwork and some accessories Lots more...

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