Thursday, October 29, 2015

painting, topiaries and blankets

Little bit of  a fun weather system moving through our area in the past few days. As I sit here typing this it sounds like I have rude upstairs neighbours banging on the ceiling as the wind moves the siding around my building.

I had intended to continue the couch series this week but when the weather is dreary my ektorp sofa doesn't see good light for photography so alas we all must be patient.

So instead today we can have a smorgesboard of a post just me yammering away on whats new and what I've been up to.

We are in major countdown mode to Christmas in the shop and by countdown I mean 4 days. Yikes. I know so many retailers already have their stuff up but in our space it isn't conducive to setup while people are walking around so we need to be closed. As it is my first year doing this setup my brain is running around like a psychotic squirrel trying to remember everything and I am sure I will still forget something but who will notice.       Likely only me right?

I have also noticed some bloggers getting their Christmas stuff together and the already heavy amounts of commenters bashing the bins beneath the stairs full of Christmas decor and while I do have those bins that are organized by room, I feel a little sad. 
That Christmas only comes with an association of work and money now.
What happened to the fun, the movies, the hot drinks, the decorating the tree, scotch taping your wrapping paper to the floor by accident. 
Why does that need to be work instead of fun?

It makes me wonder every year.

A few weeks ago I saw a photo, don't ask me where (problem with having instagram, Facebook  pinterest, you never know where you saved things) of topiaries on a shelf in clay pots. I got a bee in my bonnet to recreate the same thing in my kitchen as I am not huge on having stuff sitting in my window ledge as it isn't huge but, loved this idea as this window does get quite a bit of light.

i planted up different shapes and sizes of terracotta pots with saucers and cypress trees and eugenia topiaries

simple but gives my green thumb some fun inside. plus these thirsty plants are right by the sink so i don't forget to water them.

Next up, I have a lot of custom furniture work I am trying to get finished right now  and these chairs from the same owners of the white chairs just got their 
makeover this week.
Because they were just a set of 4 chairs they didn't really warrant a whole post but it's still fun to dress them up and do a before and after.

these chairs were sanded right down to the wood by a family member of the owner and the one on the right is after one coat

these chairs are done in queenstown gray by general finishes.
i topcoat these with flat out flat poly by general finishes and then a satin wax coating to smooth everything out and they turned out perfect.
the couple did not want distressing on these, just grey chairs so attention to detail when painting was a must.

plus i had fun with a pile of tartan blankets because i love them and could have a million in all the colours.

and for those that don't follow along on instagram i was having fun taking a paint brush vignette photo a few nights ago. i am burning my favourite candle in the garage (also known as my workspace) by illume in balsam cedar. trev keeps wandering into the garage and doing the big sniff. "it smells so good in here"
doesn't everyone burn candles in their garage?

and in that nice rain storm yesterday i went a hunting' for some good christmas vintage and came across a lovely pile of vintage tartan blankets. of course since i already mentioned i love them (and so do my customers) i brought a bunch into the shop.

Well that's it for me today. Need to get some more work done

Talk to you soon,


Friday, October 23, 2015

Couch Series: Vintage traditional on the black leather sofa

Good morning everyone,

Welcome to the second day of the monster couch series.
Yesterday we shared the 
Vintage Eclectic look for those of you that crave colour.

Today's look is much more neutral and could be even more neutral with the removal of the leaves and red accents. Red is one of Jill's favourite colours. Whenever I purchase anything for the shop in red and she is unpacking the boxes I hear the oohs and aahs from the front of the store, so we incorporated it into her look.
Remember if you love something, try to plan a way to work it in. It is your home remember, not an ad on pinterest, nor your friends house. It should reflect you and your personality.

traditional black and white buffalo check fabric as well as ticking stripe, a burberry style wool throw complete this look.

 for a bit of whimsy i added the sheep pillow cover in black and white. you can see that the only real colour being added is the red. it keeps the look tied into the sofas but not being overly vibrant. a young little person that was here helping us with this sofa shoot on the day of, really quite liked the sheep. 

So that's it for the black sofa.

Next up, the ikea ektorp series. Uh huh it's one of the most popular sofas out there and since I own quite a few of the pieces it's time to think about how to style it as well.

Have a great weekend everyone


Thursday, October 22, 2015

COUCH SERIES: You bought the monster, now what?

Hey all,
It's afternoon and I have been a serious graphic designing monster this morning trying to screw my brain around making ads, newsletter updates and my head hurts.

I can do it but damn, graphic design is not my favourite thing. More like an evil necessity in a first year business to save money where possible.

So here's the scoop for this new idea that I had.
I get asked day in and day out how to decorate homes, what goes with what, how to pull things together and a lot of times changing out your furniture is NOT an option or at least not a viable option in the near future.  
Much like the tablescape series that changed the table with different items but a good set of basics,

What do you do when you bought the monster black leather sofa that so many people resort to when you first get married?

Trevor and I owned the brown set, the love seat is still in our basement.
 You know the sofas I mean with huge presence, super comfy arms but not always screaming high on the style scale by themselves.

Have you been in the shop and met my alter ego Jill?
People are actually confusing me with her because we are so alike and have curly hair. We'll do a formal introduction in the coming weeks.

However, for today Jill has the monster black sofas and is a lover of decor. She wants to update parts of her room but changing the furniture right now with a young growing family is not an option. The rug is next on her wish list.

A week ago I invaded her home with garbage bags full of my pillows and blankets and moved things around, hung out with her lovely son (who wanted to move things with me) and super cute pup Scout.

The first look with the black sofas is the 

Vintage Eclectic

Nothing matching each other but all tying together in tone to update the room.
The accessories are all Jill's in the room, we just tied it all together with the textiles.

doesn't Scout look darling with this look. it's like he was made for fall decor. 

Jill already had a lot grey, white and black in the room so when adding in the colour tones i kept that in mind. the mustard pillow and burlap texture pillow tie in her leaf decor and the wicker unit in the corner. the grey and white can look really cool without something pulling them in so i used a grey and white ticking pillow to pull that together.

the biggest trick with black sofas is making sure that they are not the only black in the room. the pillow have black, there is black in the coffee table and the accessories also have some note of black.

i also used a grey wool blanket on the sofa to further pull in the grey in the room to make it feel warmer.

So that's the first look and we'll share number 2 tomorrow 

Vintage Traditional 

Have a good one all,


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A new layer in the master bedroom

As promised today I am sharing the little fabric makeover I recently gave our bedroom.
I just wanted a bit of a change look wise, one that wouldn't cost a lot and would still maintain the overall neutral palette of our room.

Hunting around on pinterest either ends up being the most positive thing or frustrating experience out there. I am so one of those people that gets an idea in my head and then can never find what I am looking for or the idea lives somewhere in the USA and here in wonderful but somewhat retail challenged Canada (seriously, we killed target for crying out loud) the idea costs an exorbitant amount of money to ship here. I knew it was time for a new duvet cover if possible as our white Ikea one is well boring and well used. I found a bunch of lovely ticking stripe ones but just too much $$ or more than I wanted to spend anyways. I found this grey jersey cotton one at Homesense and it fits the bill perfectly

i have seen a lot of excitement on instagram lately about african bamileke hats or juju hats as they are often referred to and am glad to see that the headress we have happily hung for years is continually in style. wouldn't change my love for it but like brass never hurts to be on the right side for awhile.
i changed the euro pillows to a thick white and black check pattern that looks buffalo check but not as heavy for this space.
the brown tribal patterned pillow is actually from vintage curtains that i backed with brown and white houndstooth and linen piping.
the front lumbar pillow is vintage african mud cloth with linen.
all different styles but common colour and it gives me the look i was trying to get. 

these lights were originally from pottery barn and usually have cheap walmart drum shades on them in white. i found nice burlap shades at lowes for a minimal but warmer change

the grey and black striped wool blankets are vintage canadian army blankets

and you know i had to reinvent the top of the dresser!
everything is stuff we had, just moved around and dusted. 
the white buddha is a permament fixture in here and wears a set of coco beads.

the boxes and holders hold our assortment of jewellery, lotions, essential oils, and the antique wood screen corrals my hanging collection of earrings.

the cypress tree adds some green and because it is preserved it will stay that way forever without me needing to water it.

my very small hit of colour in here. the green clock and the yellow fall dried flowers.

Well thanks for stopping by and talk to you all soon

As always,


Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall at home

Hi everyone,

My blogging although increased as of late is not exactly timely. While others were posting their fall decor back in August here we are starting to have those thoughts of sparkles and snow coming into our brains and I am just getting around to continuing the fall tour around our home.

I love decorating for fall as I have mentioned so many times and was particularly happy with how everything turned out in our home this year. It gives me relaxation to go home after work and enter our colourful yet calm world. We have gone on a bit of a closet organizing and emptying streak as of late and to me thats just like therapy. Opening closets that are now organized and tidy with no crap stuffed in places that you forgot about, expired food you keep stacking in front of. We had kraft dinner boxes that had expired 2 years ago, good gawd.

So as I let you in on my dirty organization ocd habits I'll also wander you around our main floor for fall.


our front entry layout doesn't change much over the seasons as my long time readers have noticed as it just works but the tones settle with the change of the pillow on the chair to the ralph lauren linen stripe and the scarf on the mannequin and the vignette on the barrel.

i put the white salvage posts that normally sit here away this season and changed them out for a tall wheat sheath. the cypress tree is some we have in the shop and is planted in a birch pot with brown reindeer moss. the long tail pheasant we have had since we were in our first home and every year he makes an appearance that i still love.

trevor and i found this 3 handled loving cup in a real ramshackle of a local antique/flea market. it was too much money i will fully admit but because we collect them we conceded the gentleman selling because we have never been able to find any like it in our travels. it has survived since 1904 and i added another of our african ostrich eggs on top for interest.

this dresser houses our now needed scarf and mitten collection and to continue the colour tone of mustard and brown that i love this time of year i brought my typewriter down from my office to tie this vignette together. the stone buddha plaque hasn't seen the light of day in about 4 years from my "decorating" closet and was from a much missed store called the copper leaf around niagara.

the full view including my mismatched pillow collection for this season.

there are blankets and throws on so many surfaces in our home this time of year because we love to use them. although this green striped one i will admit that oliver has his heart set on most days. we do not keep our house overly warm almost ever as our poor family members can attest to, because of our blanket habits.

and a sneak peek of my newest decorating book. habitat: the field guide to decorating by lauren leiss. i haven't had a chance to read it yet but i have indulged in the photos and it is better than i thought it would be when i preordered it back in may

the sitting area.
those green ikea covers has been around the block and then some in our home but i still love that colour and if they still had it, i would be buying drapery panels in it.

the sofa table all vignetted up. another wheat sheath and an amber demijohn plus, another huge member of our trophy collection filled with dried yarrow. i couldn't resist some of the lovely beeswax candles i bought for the store in my display. the shapes scream vintage style and the smell is naturally perfect.

our very old factory cart filled with a pewter plate of mismatched mercury candles for fire side nights and my blissfully happy xerographica air plant just growing in the middle of the table.

the little black and white art piece was actually drawn for me by my sister in law as she is well aware of my fascination with portraits of men from another time era.
more freakin' squirrels!

and our dining room. for those of you that enjoyed our tablescape series, this is what the table looks like day to day. pretty clean and simple with a huge moose antler flipped upside down for interest.

it actually sits perfectly that when seated you can actually see over it and it doesn't inhibit anyone eating

the wilton cake stand underneath the pumpkin was a find from one of our shop road trips this year. it chipped and scraped and perfect.

an angle i often forget to show in this room looking from the pew to the elephant painting.

Well that's it for the main floor. Tomorrow I have gotten up to rearranging and changing in our master bedroom so I'll share what's what then.

Have a great Monday everyone,

We are hunting down some props and items for Christmas for the shop today, wish us luck