December 8th, 2016

Command Station Ideas

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m writing this post because I need a command station too! Look at this beautiful example pictured above from Iron and Twine. I mean what household could not use a system for organizing the in’s and out’s of day to day living. My hope is to simplify, to create some stillness and help the days start and finish with a smoothness we sometimes lack.

Whether its just you, or you have a whole brood to get out the door in the morning, a command center will keep you in top form (organizationally speaking). One of the things I struggle with is paper, my children are prolific artists and for a long time I kept every sketch and scribble organized in monthly folders. Once they started school I had to draw the line which meant editing the piles of paper and tossing much of what made it home. Yet still, so much of what we sift through has importance and needs to be corralled into some semblance of organization.

Pottery Barn

You might be wondering what is a command station and why do I need it? The idea here is to formulate a plan for running your household. Bills need to be paid, meals need to be cooked (maybe even planned), schedules need to be met, synced and often referenced and basically life needs to be lived and lived well.

I honestly believe that with a little vision anything is possible. If you’ve ever asked yourself any of the following questions, a command station big or small, might help you navigate and simplify your days. How can I make the morning go smoother? Will meal planning make a difference? Where am I going to put all this stuff?

AKA Design

What should you include?

  • A calender: one you can write on
  • A clock
  • A mirror: lipstick check!
  • Lists: shopping, chores and to-do’s
  • Recipes and a corresponding meal schedule
  • A hanging coat rack for backpacks, purses, bags, sweaters, umbrella, etc.
  • Storage area for each person in your family (this could even be a simple basket for holding envelopes or keys)
  • Hanging storage displays like the envelope style ones pictured here
  • A vision board: even just a few happy family photos
  • A little inspiration: a quote that resonates with you

One Creative Housewife

Alright, now that you’re feeling inspired the first thing to do is figure out where the command station will be? As pictured here today you can see it doesn’t have to be a large area, in fact the smaller the better. The point is to keep things tidy and organized, a space for everything, right? I like the idea of using the side of the fridge if it is exposed. Or right in the entryway is another viable spot. If the space will be accessible to little ones be sure to hang their items at a height they can reach and build up from there. Keep that inspirational quote at eye level! You may need a reminder some days (I know I do)!

One more thing…a plant! Add some life to your command station by adding something lively and green. It will cheer up all that paperwork and add some pretty. And speaking of pretty, maybe you can shop for some cute glass magnets. Also, there are a ton of free printables online if you need some templates to create a polished look for your recipes, schedules or meal plans. The happier and more inviting you make the command station, the more excited you will be and remember excitement is contagious! If you are excited to implement this, you’re family will be too! Happy decorating! XOXO

October 26th, 2016

That Green & that Dilemma

I read so much this summer and was fortunate enough to have devoured title after title that not only resonated with me, but blew my mind. And then autumn hits and I find myself halfheartedly reading three different books that are not doing it for me. And it has been so cozy inside. And it has even snowed a few times. Can you believe it? I need to be drawn in. I need to be consumed with the story. Captivation please! Wait, let me gush a little over luscious green hued furniture and home decor and then we can talk books. Let us focus.

Sheer Luxe

You know that green, that beautiful shimmering emerald green? The one you have a crush on? Yes, that one! I love it too. Its bold, its brilliant, like a precious jewel, but for your living space. Maybe you want to experiment with it? I know I do. Each of these exquisite rooms unabashedly goes for it. A bench at the end of the bed, a full sofa (this one has some teal tendencies), a sidebar, curtains and a voluptuous chair– each of these ideas make it simple to incorporate this luscious hue.

Most of these ideas involve some commitment, but if you wanted to dabble in that green for a season or two, pillows and throws are an alternative that is both cost and commitment effective. Or why not paint a vintage end table, or a bring in a new piece of art? So many options to play with this colour.

Est Living

Alright back to the books! So there’s two books I’ve wanted to read for a while now—Girl on a Train and The Light Between Oceans, both of which are currently in theatres. This sparks that dilemma again. The book or the movie? And if both, which one first? Normally I would say book, but there have been a few times when the film was better.

Pinterest

Like Suite Francaise, for instance. I saw this film before I read the book. The book was good, but the movie was spectacular! And interestingly the movie was based on a portion of the book, but it was enacted so beautifully, I will always remember it. Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts were breathtaking, and the whole film was stunning. The origins of this book are fascinating, check out this article from the New York Times book review, for the full story. So in this particular case I indulged in both, but loved one. After discussing this dilemma on more than one occasion, I have decided to watch Girl on a Train and read The Light Between Oceans. And then? Then, I will watch The Light Between Oceans and decide about Girl on a Train…

About Home

Once you’ve brought that green home and jazzed up a room or two I strongly suggest you watch and read Suite Francaise if you haven’t yet, ’tis the season to be cozy. Happy decorating, and happy reading!

XOXO

October 3rd, 2016

White Pumpkin Decor

I can handle orange in small doses, but if you asked me to pick a colour for basically anything, orange would be my last pick. When it comes to autumn decor in a house layered with sea foam, teals and blues, (pictured above) the only realistic thing to do is to paint those orange pumpkins white. And how beautiful they look with white chalk paint. Of course a proper vignette must always include a little sparkle. So a glittery pumpkin found his way into the mix and a few other items from around the house. For now they are inside, but I will be moving them back outside on the front steps.

Style Caster

As far as holidays go, Thanksgiving is my favourite. A whole holiday based on gratitude and thankfulness! Such an inspiration and a reminder to be mindful and pay attention to all the good, because there really is so much good. Plus, an amazing meal without all the gift giving frenzy of Christmas, what’s not to love?

A Blissful Nest

I painted my pumpkins with white chalk paint (the spray paint variation made quick work of it) just make sure to tape the stems so they retain their natural colour. I love the results, incidentally so did the pizza guy, but now its time to decorate them. You can do this in phases, like I did, if you like to keep updating and changing the look of things. A little ribbon, some silver thumbtacks and some glitz in the form of a single upholstery bauble, and voila, glamorous pumpkins. You could also experiment with glitter, sequins or gold and silver pens or a black cat for alternate looks as shown.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

As this beautiful season progresses and we cozy up to one another, take time to appreciate each and every beautiful moment of it. And bring some of the outside in while you still can, before the winter sets in. Pumpkins, branches, even that fresh crisp morning air. Get chilly, wear sweaters and love, just love, the moment, the people in it, your home… XOXO

 

September 16th, 2016

Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets to Crush on

First off, I am a huge fan of pristine white kitchens (all that monochromatic love and white light) need I say more? But recently a handsome new friend inspired me and I ended up falling for two-tone cabinets pretty hard. So today I’d like to show you some beautiful two-tone kitchen cabinet options that made my heart beat just a little faster, perhaps you’ll feel the same. And oh my goodness, don’t even get me started on the exquisite back splash tiles I found while looking about for ideas.

Many of the kitchens shown here explore the two-tone look with neutral combinations which are absolutely lovely, but you could also play with colour. Possible combinations you could easily pull off are: grey + white (my favourite), white + black (classic!), white + sea foam (or teal, or green, or blue…), and white + wood (love this one too).

Remodelaholic

You might think, okay, beautiful, but how could this make sense in my life? Well, family life is messy right? I always say that, but the truth is, I make a mess too and my kids are quite careful and usually ask before attempting science experiments with old sneakers, buckets of water and who knows what else (yes, this happened). Dark lower cabinets are less maintenance than an all white ones!

Better Homes and Gardens

How to Achieve the Look:

Upper/Lower Split: White upper cabinets and dark lower cabinets leave things bright and airy yet functional.

Feature Wall Split: Say you have an enormous kitchen and you want to create a visual break or designate an area for special, duty like a coffee bar. This combination looks best when you carry the feature colour via accents into other spots in the room.

Island/Main Cabinet Split: I like neutral cabinets– white, wood, black– with a brighter colour for the island. But hey, its your kitchen, so pick a combination that makes you happy! Every morning the kitchen is where we land. Command central!

HGTV

When choosing finishes for your kitchen there will be many exciting decisions to make. Paint is one of the choices that will tie it all together. The colour you choose for the cabinets will dictate the mood for the whole room, so have fun with it!

Happy decorating!!

XOXO

August 3rd, 2016

5 Reasons You Need a Statement Mirror in Your Dining Room

I am obsessed with the eclectic look of this first picture. In fact, when I started this post, I immediately went out to search for deep red dahlias. Instead I found Gerber daisy’s of the same colour, which gave my room a much needed jolt of red. Thank you Architectural Digest for sharing this beautiful room that belongs to David Jimenez from Hallmark Cards.

So I had this whole post written about why you should hang a statement mirror in your dining room but the simple truth is that it will look awesome and you should do it. The end. But that doesn’t make for very interesting reading does it? Do you need some backstory? What should I tell you? How amazing this summer has been so far? How exciting it is to be surrounded by inspiring people, furniture and my beautiful children? Or maybe I should tell you about my love of hot yoga and how finishing a long day with breath and awareness brings sweetness to my life? Or maybe you want to know about the stillness that leaves me enchanted as I move through these beautiful days and nights? How about what I’m reading, watching, listening to?

Inspiration is everywhere and you will see it trickle into this little online space bit by bit over the next little while. But enough about me, let’s let your curiosity simmer a little and focus on the decor!

My five reasons you should hang a mirror in your dining room are: drama, reflection, ambiance, architectural elements and to add polish. And I’ll tell you why…

Kate Marker Interiors

For Drama: A single large scale mirror can add instant drama to a dining space and create a sense of mood. There’s just something almost bewitching about a big beautiful mirror when placed right. I can think of several that made a room stand out to me. One was in a house in Vancouver (an enormous one with an ornate wooden frame), another in a restaurant in Toronto (hung somewhat precariously above the tables where we sat) and countless others.

For Reflection: Whether the mood of the room is light and airy, colourful or brooding, the mirror will bounce light – both natural and artificial around the room. It will also add depth and perspective to the room and make it feel bigger.

For Ambiance: Think of those cozy winter nights, lights dimmed, dining with family and friends! Although we are mid-summer right now, nights like this are not far off. For me, candles are a must, any time of the year. With a mirror in the dining room all that dim moody light can dance through the mirror too.

Pinterest

For an Architectural Element: Last summer when I was exploring furniture stores in Toronto there was this store that had three tall beautiful mirrors that looked like cathedral windows against one of the interior walls. It opened the floor right up and acted as an architectural element and I thought (I am so going to use this!). This is an especially great idea for newer homes which may be short on architecture. Hang a group of them together and see what happens.

For Polish: Honestly, a mirror adds a little glitter, a little polish, a little bit of a finish to any room you hang one in, but dining rooms are special in the sense that we entertain in them. Special dinners, holidays and birthdays are often celebrated in your cozy little dining room and you want the room to reflect that (literally), hence the polish and finishing details like the lovely mirror.

And there you have it. Some solid reasons you should add a statement mirror to your dining room. Now wait! Where should you hang it? How about above your sideboard? Work with the fixed elements in the room like windows and entrances and you will find the right spot, I promise!

Happy decorating!

xoxo

July 7th, 2016

Pattern: Wallpapered Bathrooms

My Domaine

Thank goodness, wallpaper has been brought back to life! Don’t you love it? Every now and then when wallpaper comes up in conversation (as you know it does) someone will question my love of it. It seems we all have our associations and aversions with things we grew up with. And wallpaper, in some circles, has a bad rap! Some gaudy room wallpapered to the nines no doubt. Or perhaps a wallpaper removal incident? I encounter this with furniture all the time and I find it fascinating. Our homes, and the way we decorate them, shapes our lives in a way that sticks with us. It is, after all the backdrop where we make many of our memories right?

Pinterest

I mean look at the gorgeous printed papers in this little post. The bathroom or powder room is not always the favourite room in our homes, but adding a splash of graphic wallpaper sure helps place it in the running. Due to its smaller square footage why not have fun with it and introduce a wild print that you wouldn’t consider in one of the larger rooms in your home.

Suburban Faux Pas

Today I wanted to look at black, white and/or gray wallpapers for a few different reasons. First: impact. As soon as you open the door the nature of each of these patterns immediately grabs your attention. And second, colour trends can be played with in the accessories with flexibility throughout each season or whenever you want a fresh look. Think pretty hand towels, art work or fresh flowers.

Elle Décor

Even if you don’t want to paper the entire bathroom in wild patterns you could also achieve the same type of impact with a feature wall. And paint the rest of the room in a complementary colour. But I say live a little. Go for it. Wallpaper the whole room.