Happy Birthday

•March 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

12 years ago today, we were celebrating my dad’s 40th birthday.  All his friends and family were at our house, enjoying food and drinks, good company, good music and making it a party of a lifetime.

This turned out to be his last birthday, and everyone that was there knew that this was always the possibility so we made the absolute best of it.

Today, we celebrate with message filled balloons sent off to find him and bring him our words of love, celebration and sweet sorrows.

I find that his birthday is always easier than the day he passed away.  We try to remember all the good things that we got to share with him.  All the hugs, the laughs, the nights spent under the stars, his laugh, and sense of humor, all the way to the end.  We remember his love of life, his love for his family and friends.  How many lives that he touched.  How his always wanted the best for all of us.  We remember his love of music, and all things art, his love of food and good drinks.  I remember him in the kitchen cooking up some concoction or another and for the most part, they tasted delicious.  His love of the outdoors that could never be sated.

But in the same moment, I found this year to be hard.  I m finding that I am having trouble remembering his laugh.  It will stop me dead in my tracks when I realize one more thing that I am forgetting.  I feel like I am loosing him again.  Its such a slow lose that you don’t notice it happening until you can’t dig it out of your bank of memories anymore.  This year seems to be the start of forgetting the little things that you never want to forget.  As hard as that is, I guess it is all part of the process.

He loved life, and it makes me beyond happy that I learned that from him.    You live your life everyday like its your last, because you never do know when it will be.

Love the people in your life, forgive everyday, be grateful for everything that you have in your life.

I m Back

•March 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I know it has been a while.

I have not been on top of this whole blogging thing.  Mostly due to the fact that I haven’t had a home computer with internet in FOREVER.  Which has now changed and I have spent my Saturday morning, with a lazy kitty who is making it hard to type (or do anything at all actually), revamping my blog to be a little more personal. 

I have changed the layout, and the name, which I hope suits this new blog well.

Things have been very busy on our end here in the last few months.  This past summer I lost my kitty that I have had for the last six years, which was heart breaking.  But because of that I was able to help out a long time friend and took in her kitty.  Both the beau and I fell in love with him, and he seems to have taken a liking to us as well :)  His name is Garfield, and takes after his cartoon namesake in more than just colour!

We moved the beau about a million times in the last year! From one apartment with too many people, to another apartment that made us sick with the smell of cigarette smoke, to another apartment with crazy upstairs neighbors that liked to wake us up at 5am with shouting matches, to my too small apartment.  We have now been in our most recent apartment for a month and it is fantastic.  Its full of charm and character, and the ones I love! It is an old century home with all the convenience of being in the middle of town.  It was love at first site!

Its going to take a little bit of time, but we plan on making a few little design changes.  But first thing first is getting a new bed frame for our mattress.  Because of the old home, we weren’t able to fit our queen sized box spring up them and are currently sleeping on the floor with our mattress.  I literally can roll out of bed at 615am, though it hard to get up off the floor that early!  And the cat seems to think he can leave his hair all over it as well.

We then need to get some new desks and a shelf, along with a few coats of paint and roman shades! All of which I will keep you posted on in the next few months.  I can’t wait to get started on it!

Thanks for taking a peek at my newly renovated site.  I m sure there will be a few more changes as I get working on posting more blogs!

A Babies Haven

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have decided that there must be something in the water.

I know so many women that are pregnant right now, it’s a little ridiculous!  Though, I am so incredibly happy for each and every one of them.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise when I sent out a request for people to ask me questions and tell me their design problems, that the very first ones were about nurseries.  Which is where this blog is coming from.

Many women, and people in general, worry that they are going to put too much colour into a space.  Someone I know was concerned that because they had chocolate brown furniture, soft beige linens that putting PINK on the walls would be too much.

I say “Go for it!!”

Chocolate brown and beige are neutrals, so putting a colour on the wall is not too much.  It’s the same with white, cream, and grey.  They are all neutrals so don’t be afraid to add as much colour as you want.

Picking the right colour for the nursery can be a very hard and trying decision to make.  Especially when studies have shown that colour does have an impact on your baby.  Apparently, your baby would tend to cry more in a yellow room. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would definitely not want to take that chance!  Although pastel colours are soft and you would think they would be soothing for your baby, babies eyes don’t have the ability to differentiate between subtle colour variations, and pastels are actually quite boring for them.

Did you ever notice that baby toys have bright, contrasting colours?  This is because babies can see the contrast in these colours better than soft colours.  As well, red is the first colour that the human eye can see.

High contrast colours provide visual interest and stimulation for developing eye sight.

So, according to this information, the best nursery design would be a little something like this

I know that this a little bold for a lot of people for a nursery.  I love the look of it myself, but I don’t know if I would ever want to use these colours in a nursery.

I love the idea of the traditional pink, or blue for nurseries, but then the designer in me screams,

 “GO UNIQUE!!”

A nursery for your baby becomes a very personal thing.  Not only does it have to fit the new baby, it also has to be pleasing for you as well.  You are the one that is going to be spending a lot of time in this room.  Late night feedings, checking in on a sleeping baby, diaper changes, checking in on a sleeping baby, putting clothes away, checking in on a sleeping baby, play time….and of course, checking in on a sleeping baby.  You have to feel comfortable in this room as well, and in the end, its your choice on how bold, or how soft you go with it.

Because there is a lot of different things to consider when designing a nursery, I m just going to go over a few things that you should keep in mind, before we start with colour and bedding and all those fun things.

The best place to start is with your furniture.  This is a big purchase, sometimes not purchased by the parents, and a lot of time, dictated by finances. There are sooooooo many cribs and bassinets out there, as well as dressers and changing tables.

I found this bassinet in my searches and fell in love with everything about it…especially the uniqueness about it

This is a very neutral piece and can be brought into a nursery, then taken out when the baby grows out of the bassinet stage.  In which time, the crib can be moved into place.

This set of furniture from “Casa Kids” is very modern, and again, unique.  Also, neutral colours, and works well with the bassinet.  This set is good for a boy or a girl (which would work well if you don’t know what you are going to be having)

Depending on the size of your nursery, not everyone has room for both a dresser AND a changing table.  A good way to overcome this challenge is to get the dresser and attach a changing pad to the top of the dresser, which can be easily removed when it’s no longer needed.

And for all those things that you would need on hand while changing a diaper, just add some shelves above it,

Or attach some tapered baskets to the wall.

Keep in mind that you will be changing diapers in the middle of the night.  Do you want to be turning on a bright overhead light at 3am?  Opt for a floor dim lamp, or a lamp that sits on a shelf near the changing table.  You want to make sure that the cord is NOT within reach of the baby.

Another light that would work is something that mounts on the wall.  I know that my sister had a cute flower light that attached to the wall.  My niece LOVED it and had to have it on whenever she was getting a diaper change.

Another important aspect of the nursery will be the rocking chair.  This, is your corner of heaven for the late night feeds and lullaby singing.  Think about what you are going to be doing in this chair, and that it may be something that you will be sitting in for a few hours.  This NEEDS to be comfortable.  You may want to have a little side table beside it for a bottle, or a drink for you, anything that you would want to have on hand late at night. Also, depending on how close your changing table is, you may want a floor or table lamp as well.

 Another good thing to have on hand is a garbage basket beside the changing table.  You don’t really want to be carting those stinky diapers through the house.  Also, a laundry hamper that you can just toss all the dirty little things into.

This sweet changing table has a hamper that is build right into it.

Stayed tuned for a post about working with the colour and furniture to design sweet boy and girl nurseries, as well as working with neutral colours to create a gender neutral nursery.

Is there anything that you found was a necessity for your babies nursery??  I would love to hear about it!

Spring is coming, with new beginnings

•March 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I know, I know.  Its been weeks since I have last posted and its horrible! 

The month of March has been disastrous, to say the least.  Between the boyfriend and I, we just don’t seem to be getting a break.  Sickness, money woes, apartment hunting, moving, and then apartment hunting again, and more moving, car/licence/insurance issues, more sickness, antibiotics, and the biggest thing in my life right now, finding a new job. 

I was informed a week ago that the company that I have been sub-contracting myself to (for architectural/interior design work), is closing the office come the end of June which means I need to decide what I want to do.  I have been working with him for 4 and a half wonderful years and have learned sooooo much.  It has been a great experience and now I have to move on. 

It’s stressful, but at the same time, very exciting.  This leads me to having to rewrite my resume…ugh.  Boring!  Also, really get my butt in gear and work on that portfolio that I have been putting off….forever. 

 I have plans, I have ideas, I have been scheming, now I just need to put all of that to paper.  Photographing, cutting, pasting, swearing, cutting more, more swearing and it will be done, eventually. 

Its going to take some time.  This has led me to redoing my living room, which use to be my bedroom.  I painted it 2 weeks ago now and am in love with the colour.  Benjamin Moores Chelsea Gray.  So soft, yet with a very industrial feel to it. 

I actually had to change the light bulb in the living room from a warm bulb to the cool one because when I first opened the can of paint and put it on the wall it looked green.  And not a nice green either.  I brought the can into the kitchen that had a different light and viola! It was actually gray.  Then when I painted half the room it didn’t look much different then the brown that was in there. 

The thing with greys, and a lot of colours, is that it will pick up the undertones of the colours that are in the paint.  Because I only painted half the room gray, and the other half was still brown, my gray, that has brown undertones, looked a lot more brown than it was supposed to.  But once it was entirely painted it looked the way I wanted it to.  Beautiful!  

Be sure to keep that in mind when picking paint colours.  They will pick up other colours in the room if there is a lot of another colour.

I will also be doing one wall with a stencil treatment which is a cheaper alternative to wallpapering. I just haven’t decided which stencil I am going with yet.  Either something with a geometric pattern like the endless circles, or a more traditional design like the damask print.  Both can be found on Etsy at Royal Design Stencils’ shop.

royal design stencils' shop found on Etsy

royal design stencils' shop on etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the rest of the room, I am painting most of my furniture.  Right now I have a white, stained, couch that I am going to get a new cover for and it will stay white.  I also have a miss match of other furniture some of which will be painted this lovely shade of berry pink (or something similar)

And some that will be painted a lighter shade of grey.

I have beautiful family and friends that I am going to showcase in a photo gallery wall similar to this.

Though all the frames will be clean, crisp white.

I also plan on putting up some shelves to hold some of my over flow books and some pretty little things that I own and love.  There is also a corner of the room that will house my desk and some shelves for all my crafting essentials that I like to have on hand.  As well, I m going to make one of these beauties to have all of my notes and inspirations on hand.

There is still lots of painting to do.  I have to pick out fabric for my curtains, make some throw pillows for the couch, take a trip to IKEA (such a shame!) and put it all together.  But I am excited to see the end result.  I m going to use the room as a project in my portfolio.  Its been fun so far, and a great start to the spring season. 

Now if everything else will just fall into place.  Wish the boyfriend luck on the apartment we are going to look at tonight! Fingers crossed that it’s as nice as we think it is.

Anyone else have some fun spring projects that they have on the go?  A fresh coat of paint?  Some cheery new decorations?  I hope that everyone is having a great March and is ready to bring in April!

 

 

My Bedroom, and all I have planned for it

•March 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The addition to my apartment has recently been renovated.  Yay!

 After living with it unfinished for a year and finding out everything that was horribly wrong with it; little to no insulation in the floor, no air space in the roof, the person who built it didn’t take the siding off the outside wall when they put the addition on, so there was major heat loss going up the wall and through my roof causing the snow to melt and get under the metal roofing, then freezing and separating the roofing and causing water to come pouring into my living room on warmer days.

Oh! And not to mention the insulation in the roof that was essentially doing nothing because of the squirrels making a home in it.  Yes, I said SQUIRRELS!

 It’s always a nice surprise when you are brushing your teeth in the morning, to find a squirrel has fallen through the vapour barrier and is running around your house!  Also, during the renovation (that has taken place over the winter) I was pulling down all the vapour barrier and insulation and was suddenly surrounded by FOUR squirrels that were living in my roof.  They are fast little things! 

 They are cute, but all I could picture was one of these things attaching itself to my face while I was trying to get them out of my apartment.  But with my brothers help they vacated the premise.

Now, the addition was originally my living room and walk-in-closet.  Yes ladies, a walk-in-closet all to myself!

I also I have a large picture window that looks out to the backyard, which is just beautiful!

I lived with this space as my living room for a year. But the addition is very long and narrow.  Only 8′ deep by 20′ long.  Which I realized was just a useless space for a living room.  I tried arranging it a few different ways and I just never liked the way it functioned.  I also didn’t like that my bedroom was at the front of the apartment and closer to the road. Living on the highway makes it VERY loud. Plus, my only bathroom was in my bedroom, which meant everyone had to go through my bedroom to use it.  Not something I liked.

I decided that since we were going to be finishing the back room, I would just ask my step dad for a few additional changes.  heehee. Oops! Did I say a few? I meant a bunch!

We moved the walk in closet wall so that the bedroom is only 15′ wide now.  I gave up my walk in closet *sigh*, and opted for just a 5′ wide closet, BUT with a nook for built-in shelves beside it which will house all of my lovely shoes.

I was in heaven when I started planning out the layout.

The walk in closet is now bigger and will become my office/craft room/storage.  That room will be tackled much later in the year.

I have some photos of what the bedroom looks like right now, and honestly, I am slightly embarrassed at how it looks right now.  But I always say, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

So don’t judge, it’s a serious work in progress.

I realized when I was taking these photos that I am in serious need of a pretty new camera.

But you get the idea of what the room looks like.  Instead of drywall we put up cedar siding.  As you can see, the siding is not finished yet.  It got very cold here for a while and renovations were put on hold.  Plus, I was tired of not having the use of my kitchen because of all the tools and massive air compressor in my front room.  At that point, everything got put on hold until the warmer weather comes back. The closet still needs to be finished, so I am still living out of garbage bags of clothes.  As well, the ceiling needs to be taped and mudded.  So much work!

There has been some serious debate on “to paint, or not to paint”.  The cedar is beautiful, but not exactly the look I am going for.  It gives it a deep woods, cottage sort of look.  I like that, but not for a room I am sleeping in everyday.  I wanted something light, and fresh and feminine.  

White! I am in love with the idea of a white bedroom.  But I m going to pop some colour into it with accents of colour.  I am still getting fabric samples and have yet to settle on what to use for my headboard, but one of the accent colours is going to be turquoise.

 I have also been toying with the idea of painting that lovely dresser that is in one of the photos.

This was my Dad’s dresser, and left to me when he passed on.  I love it, not only for sentimental reasons, but its a beauitful piece of furniture.

I have talked with my mother and brother, both with differing opinions of what to do with it.  My brother says keep it the way it is, or strip it and re-stain it with something I might like more.  That option is A LOT of work, but definatly an option.  Mom says that my Dad would want me to be happy with it, and if painting it would make me happy, then I should.

My worry is that it is such a huge piece of furniture that it might dominate the space because it will be a heavy wood piece in the room, therefore, I need another wood piece in the room to help balance it out.  I m still unsure about it and have decided that I will live with it the way it is for a while, change the hardware, and see what I think.

I found a photograph of a beautiful living room that is the essence of what I would love in my room

I love the colours in this room.  The clean white lines and the pops of colour.  I like the different shades of blues and turquoise as well as the olive green that goes so well.  I found this colour combination in a fabric that may be used for my headboard. 

Ugh, my headboard!  This has been my problem since the beginning.  I can’t seem to decide on a fabric.  But most of all I can’t decide if I want to go with white, or a patterned fabric.  I am so torn!  So, I will post some options and ask everyones advise.

  All of these fabrics were found on the Tonic Living website.  They are a fantastic source for fabrics, plus you can order samples from them for a dollar!  So great when you are not sure what you want.

I am really liking the “climbing blossoms olive” (if you hover over the pictures the name of it will show up).  But, my problem, I love them all!  My other option is a white headboard and use some of those fabrics as accent pillows and such.  Help!

I know its boring, but I will probably just go with Benjamin Moore’s “Decorator White” for the walls. A nice crisp, clean white.  Simplicity in its finest form

 I m going to have a tufted headboard, and the make-up vanity I already have in my room, which is from IKEA.

That vanity is such a beautiful piece, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

My existing nightstand will get a revamp with some white paint and the inside of the shelf in an accent colour.  Topping them off with these beauties for some bedside lamps.

 

I came across a post in what has become my favourite DIY blog, Centsational Girl, for this stunning chandelier made out of a wire hanging basket, mardi gras beads and some spray paint.  It was love at first sight!

I also love the look of these frilly, ruffley, feminine drapes for my window.

 

 

 

There will be lots of pillows and I will be replacing all of the hardware on my dresser, vanity and night stands with these beautiful crystal knobs.

Sparkle, sparkle!

 

 

WHITE! And all its wonders…

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What do you think of when you hear WHITE?

For some people it brings out the thoughts, plain, boring, uncreative.  But for other people it brings out much different feelings.  These people hear the word white, and it makes their heart skip a beat.

They think clean, crisp, natural and bright, and for a long time I fell into the first category.

I really disliked white. I am a colour person and I felt like white just didn’t fit into the category of fresh and exciting.

But recently I have changed my tune.

White can be a very wonderful canvas to work with.  But white can become a complete disaster as well.  If the right white isn’t used in the room, you can end up with a very washed out look, or a creamy colour instead of the crisp white you were looking for.  Or it can look grey, or blue.  In the Benjamin Moore colour deck, there are 140 shades of white, and off white, which can become very over whelming when trying to choose the right white.

So what makes a white room successful?

There are many aspects of what works when you are designing with white.

For me, the biggest element that makes a successful white room is ‘texture’.  Texture will  give you different shadows and help define each piece that is used in the room.

An easy way to add texture is with a plush carpet, like the one in the photo.  A glossy white or crystal chandelier can offer another form of texture.  Adding a coffee table in your living room that is slightly scuffed, faded and rustic looking is a great change in texture.

Anything that reflects and changes the light will help add definition to your space.

Flooring in a white room helps set the feeling in the room.  The photo on the left has a very chic, feminine, glossy white floor.

Whereas the floor on the right has a totally different feel with the grey, weathered wood floor.  Which adds an air of sophistication to the room.

White kitchens are clean and classic.

Kitchens are a huge expense that eat into a renovation budget and not something that can easily be changed.  White is a good route to go when trying to choose cabinets.  It offers a lot of variation in the future.

If you decided that you wanted to make changes in your kitchen later on down the road, you can change the wall colour, or even the tile on the back splash.

As for working with a white colour pallette for a kitchen, the best advise I have is to add glass doors to your cupboards, as well as providing open shelving.  This allows you to display your colourful dishes, and glassware that will reflect the light.  This offers you the texture that you need to add dimension in the space.

Of course, you are never limited to working with just pure white.  The nice thing about white is that it is exactly as I said at the beginning……

A blank canvas! 

It can become the back drop for some wonderfully colourful artwork, a wall of family photographs, the glass bottle collection that you have been hiding away on a dusty shelf.  A white couch becomes inviting with a cluster of grey throw pillows and hand knit blankets.  That wall of white trimmed windows come to life with tourquoise roman shades.

There is no end to what you can do when you are give white as a starting point.  The fun thing about it is, when you get tired of one colour, you can swap it all out and create a brand new room!

YGPUCAFA29C6

Up and Coming

•February 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This has been a long time coming on my end, but I am happy to announce the start of my new blog.  The blog is no where near ready to be scene, but I have become VERY anxious to get this out to the public, so here it is.  This is somewhere for me to share with everyone my experiences with interior design, as well as my knowledge of architectural design, that I have developed over the last few years designing cottages and houses in the Muskoka’s.  I will also be sharing all of my home based projects with all of you. 

Stay tuned for my first design blog next week which will cover all the aspects of designing with WHITE.  White has become a very big trend again and many people are turning to the classic shade once again.  But there are so may things to keep in mind when designing with white and I will share that with all of you.  As well as the introduction into my personal bedroom renovation/makeover.  This makeover has only just begun and will probably be the basis of many of my   blogs over the next few months.  You can not begin to imagine how over joyed I will be when it is done!

 
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