Monthly Archives: June 2014

Renovating, Family Style

Thanks to a very generous monetary gift, given with instructions to spend it on our home, we are currently in the process of revamping our townhouse with new engineered hardwood. Goodbye cheap blonde laminate! In order to stretch this gift to do new tiling in our bathroom as well as around our fireplace, Steve and I decided to remove the laminate and tile by ourselves (a feat not possible without the babysitting assistance of grandma and grandpa).

Have I mentioned before that I’m super hot in protective eye wear? Really, it was a hot day and and I kept fogging up the glasses. FYI, it’s good to be able to see what you are doing when using power tools with sharp saws attached.

Removing the groat between the tile with our handy new dremmel tool was a piece of cake...chipping of the tile with said tool less easy...Steve took over with a hammer and chisel.

Removing the grout between the tile with our handy new dremmel tool was a piece of cake…chipping off the tile with said tool less easy…Steve took over with a hammer and chisel.

It was hard work but worth the new tile we are going to enjoy!  When we brought the kids home that evening they were enthralled by the novelty of our messy home. An enthusiastic dance party ensued:

(note, if you are not an adoring grandparent, aunt or uncle, the long sequence of pictures to follow may not interest you 🙂 )

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All dancing done to Sofia's enthusiastically monotone version of "Let It Go" from Frozen.

All dancing done to Sofia’s enthusiastically monotone version of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Introducing the first one year old break dancer.

Introducing the first one year old break dancer.

 

He's teething, everything goes into the mouth: his shirt, the couch, mommy's thigh...

He’s teething, everything goes into the mouth: his shirt, the couch, mommy’s thigh…

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After being told why she needs to keep her shoes on: Where are the slivers?

After being told why she needs to keep her shoes on: Where are the slivers?

The novelty had worn off by the next day and the kids began displaying signs of antsy pants due to the disruption caused to their home zone. We are staying out of the house as much as possible as the work proceeds and looking forward to the completion of the project. Here’s where we’re at now:

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Not exactly kid friendly but we will work with it as the workers take Tuesday off to celebrate Canada Day. On that note I will wish you a Happy Canada Day as I fall into sweet, dusty slumber.

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Weary Bones, Thankful Heart

I’ve been feeling weary lately. Partly from having spent four days painting and stenciling my kitchen and adjoining room last week and partly from motherhood. I see a reflection of my own weariness in the face of most every mother I come in contact with. Not that they don’t love their children and enjoy mothering them, but it is tiring for all of us.

Yesterday at my mom’s house I lay in bed praying that the antsy little girl beside me and the screaming little boy in the attached room would fall asleep so that I could have a rest myself. They did, and as I lay quietly next to that little girl, I day dreamed of running away from them. I’m not afraid to admit that the thought crosses my mind from time to time because I know I never would, and I know that I am not alone in such thoughts.

I thought about jumping into my car and driving far far away, to a beach near crisp clear water, surrounded by trees, where I could embrace peace and quiet and perhaps an extra portion of happiness. I dreamed of lying on said beach in complete silence with no one demanding my attention. And even in this dream, my heart ached.

The thing is, I can’t live without them. They are embedded so thoroughly into my heart that in such a scenario there would be no peace to be found, no happiness to clasp onto. They need me and I need them too. They keep me going on the bad days, force me to get out of bed and enter into the world of the living. My  children help me to live life more fully. Yes, I am bone weary at times, but my interaction with them, the process of giving love and being loved in return, is nourishing to my soul.  I am weary but I am thankful.

and perhaps one quiet day at the beach is not too much to ask for 🙂

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6 Months In: What’s Trending in 2014

I have a theory about decorating trends. Prior to each new year the most popular designers and design bloggers of the world give a forecast of what they think the trends will be in the coming year. My theory is that they simply pick design they like and propagate it through their own popularity until it becomes trendy.

That being said, for one of my final projects in my Modern Decorating Styles class I had to present some of the trends for 2014. The fact that everyone on the web was putting out different ideas of what they thought the trends are made it difficult for me to pinpoint what the actual 2014 trends are.

Thankfully, my hard working instructor spent tens of hours researching 2014 trends in order to present our class with a thorough and well researched presentation of what is actually trending throughout North America and Europe. And so, with all research credit going to Bea O’Driscoll, I’d like to present what’s been trending this year.

1. Painted Vintage Furniture

Famous designer Karim Rashid forecasts that antiques will become irrelevant in the near future but thankfully, they are alive and well in interiors this year.

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Great idea if you love mid century modern design but hate the orange colouring of the wood. Painted furniture was also trending last year. Move over Karim Rashid.

Stores like Crate and Barrel also sell colourful reproductions of classics like the bentwood chair below.

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FYI, the chairs in this particular picture are not from Crate and Barrel.

2. Painted Cabinet Interiors:

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Wallpapering the inside of the cabinet can have an equally stunning effect and unlike wallpapering walls, is an easy DIY.

3. Fretwork:

Most trends are nothing new. The idea of incorporating oriental fretwork into American design has been popular for over a century.

These Jonathan Adler chairs have been a favorite of mine for years. By the time I can afford them they probably won't be "trendy" but I'll still love them!

These Jonathan Adler chairs have been a favorite of mine for years. By the time I can afford them they probably won’t be “trendy” but I’ll still love them!

4. Statement Chandeliers

These are something I have been consistently noting in magazines in the past few months. Some of them are a bit out there but if you are looking for a conversation starter…

I guess not too many conversations get started in the bathroom but you get the idea.

I guess not too many conversations get started in the bathroom but you get the idea.

5. Chevron Flooring

Chevron area rugs have been trendy for years and now this trend has made its way to tile, wood, and wall to wall carpeting as well. I love this look but probably could not commit to it in as bold a way as shown below.

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6. Lighter Wood Furniture

Scandinavian design has used lighter woods for a long time and it is no wonder, with North America whole heartedly embracing Scandi-Chic design, that these wood tones are one of 2014’s trends.

Some more statement lighting here.

Some more statement lighting here.

7. New Gold

Golden accessories and accent pieces are classic and with the creation of “new gold”, a softer, brushed gold, even those who are a bit gold shy may be converted.

"New gold" seen on geometric vase and wall art.

“New gold” seen on geometric vase and wall art.

8. Moroccan Influence

Where drum stools were the big thing last year, ottomans with Moroccan inspired lines are what’s trending this year.

This is another trend that I've been noticing in recent design magazines.

This is another trend that I’ve been noticing in recent design magazines.

8. Faux Furs

If you are fond of flipping through design magazines you may have noticed this trend. The use of faux furs isn’t anything new but it is being used in creative ways as pictured below.

Not your traditional use of faux fur. You will notice a similar look on the cover of the latest Style at Home Magazine.

Not your traditional use of faux fur. You will notice a similar look on the cover of the latest Style at Home Magazine.

9. Nail head Trim and Tufting

Tufting first became super popular in the 80’s and unlike many trends from the 80’s, I’m happy to see this one taking off again. Nail head trim, now that’s just a classic.

How beautiful is this couch!

How beautiful is this couch! I love the contrast of the sleek couch with the roughness of the concrete floor and the stack of fire logs.

10. The use of screens:

Whether it is being used for a room divider or simply eye candy, screens make a beautiful statement in any room.

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So what are  your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Either way, expect to see more of it.

 

 

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Appearences Deceive

This morning I attended “Sports Day” at my daughter’s preschool and brought Charlie along for the ride. While sitting at the playground afterwards, a lovely mom from the preschool came up to me. She complimented me on how “put together” the kids and I always are and how I  always have a big smile and radiate peace.

Her intentions were the sweetest and I appreciate her view of things but I had to laugh (as did my husband when I told him). How deceiving appearances can be (though I never thought I could possibly appear this way to anyone.). Would those other moms who I envy for how “with it” they appear be just as bemused as I was at this kind of interpretation?

Perhaps I smile so widely when dropping Sofia off because I can’t wait for a break from my challenging “threenager” and perhaps the same smile emerges when seeing her after a well needed breather because I do really love her. Perhaps I look put together because my hubby ends up late for work on preschool days in order to help his frazzled wife get the kid’s ready and allow her a moment to throw on some lipstick (he irons my clothes too!). And radiating peace, well that’s got to be Jesus in me because on my own I am anything but peaceful by nature.

The truth of the matter is that I’ve spent the last week and a half grieving my (Steve’s) grandfather’s passing along with the rest of his family. That I am emotionally exhausted from both experiencing my own grief and being surrounded by others grief. The truth is that minus a week or two of sweet, productive, DIY bliss, I spent the month and a half before grandpa’s passing gradually spiraling downwards into a pit of destructive self loathing, depression, and eventually stupor due to an attempt to adjust my medications.

The truth is that my house is a total mess, my husband is the one who keeps the kid’s bathed, and I often feel that I won’t be able to make it to bedtime if I have to answer the question “why” one more time.

This is the truth of my life. Is it the same for those I view as “super moms”?

 

 

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Summer Florals Exemplified

After publishing my previous post in which I showed some of my favorite summery floral fabrics I realized that it might be helpful to show pictures of some rooms which beautifully display these kinds of textiles. The rooms below don’t have the same fabrics as I showcased in my last post but they exemplify how you can bring some summer charm to your interior through fabric.

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It doesn’t seem that they have much of a colour scheme going on here but I do love the lightheartedness of having a bold mix of florals.

If you happen to decorate with blues, greens, white, or beige you won't have a hard time finding a lovely floral to match, there are so many out there in these colours.

If you happen to decorate with blues, greens, white, or beige you won’t have a hard time finding a lovely floral to match, there are so many out there in these colours.

Geometric patterns mix wonderfully with florals for a more modern look.

Geometric patterns mix wonderfully with florals for a more modern look.

Hanging some fabric or securing it to a frame as art is another great, low budget way of adding a floral to your room.

Hanging some fabric or securing it to a frame as art is another great, low budget way of adding a floral to your room.

I think these pillows are stunning! And the colour of that wall, beautiful.

I think these pillows are stunning! And the colour of that wall, beautiful.

As you can see from the pictures above, when I talk about introducing florals into your home during warm weather season I’m talking fairly low commitment, not floor to ceiling floral. It is a fresh and welcoming look that gently nods to the beauty of the outdoors. Now if only I could find one that has just the right colours of blue and green for my own living room!

 

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Summer Florals That Sing

The calender may tell me that it is still Spring but my kid’s and I are singing a summer song. The trees are lush, flowers are in bloom, the sun is out, and the local water park is our destination. To me, nothing in decor says summer like floral fabric. I spent some time ogling floral fabrics on some of my favourite online fabric stores and here are some of the winners I picked out among the hundreds.

This lovely from hgtv's fabric collection reminds me of summer walks along the river.

This lovely from hgtv’s fabric collection reminds me of summer walks along the river. Sold at fabric.com for $15/yard.

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Very on trend with its variety of deep blues, this large scale floral sells for $14 at fabric.com

Paul Kauffman creates some of my favorite large scale florals. I made a shower curtain for my kid's bathroom with this bright, fun floral.

Paul Kaufman creates some of my favourite large scale florals. I made a shower curtain for my kid’s bathroom with a similar bright, fun floral of his. Sells for $20 at fabric.com

This fabric has pretty written all over it. It would be a perfect addition to a girl's bedroom whether she be 3 or 13.

This fabric has pretty written all over it. It would be a perfect addition to a girl’s bedroom whether she be 3 or 13. Sold at tonic living for $23.

The black background adds elegance to this beauty. Sold for $15 at fabric.com

The black background adds elegance to this beauty. Sold for $15 at fabric.com

A different kind of floral pattern. Very art nuevo in style.

A different kind of floral pattern. Very art nuevo in style.

Bold colours are not for everyone, even in summer. Here are some lovely summer prints with softer hues.

Another Paul Kaufman to love. I made my headboard with this fabric and the colours are very soothing.

Another Paul Kaufman to love. I made my headboard with this fabric and the colours are very soothing. Sold at tonic living for $24.

Robert Allen is another of my favorite designers of floral fabric. He has similar floral to this one in a variety of colours. Sold at

Robert Allen is another of my favorite designers of floral fabric. He has similar floral to this one in a variety of colours. Sold at robertallendesign.com.

A beautiful floral reminiscent of a water colour painting by Robert Allen. Sold at robertallendesign.com

A beautiful abstract floral reminiscent of a water colour painting. Sold at robertallendesign.com

Subtle and feminine, if you are willing to commit, this fabric would make lovely drapes.

Subtle and feminine, if you are willing to commit, this fabric would make lovely drapes. Sold by tonic living for $30.

If you are wanting to infuse your home with some summer charm, pretty new throw pillows are an impactful and inexpensive way to do it. All the links above will take you directly to where these fabrics are sold. If you don’t happen to sew, you can find the information for the fabric at the above links and have custom pillows made by various shops on Etsy (including mine! Shebajoux).  Tonic Living, one of the stores mentioned above, is a wonderful Canadian business which not only sells fabrics but will custom make your pillows for you.

Hope you enjoyed the eye candy!

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