Archive for February, 2012

February 24th, 2012

Vinyl Decal Ideas

 Green room with white vinyl decals.

Vinyl decals have come a long way towards embracing modern trend and design and have become an ideal decorating tool for amping up the decor of your home or office. Modern decals are exciting! With a range of patterns and colours, vinyl decals can be used anywhere you deem fit to add personality and a pop of visual interest.




Byrdie Graphics has an Etsy store filled with modern designs you can plaster all over the place. And courtesy of Natalie, Byrdie Graphics is offering DOJ readers a 15% discount on the decals in their store! Thanks Natalie! Don’t forget to mention you saw Byrdie Graphics’ decals here at DOJ and enter code BLOGGER15 at checkout.





                                                          Images courtesy of Byrdie Graphics.




Add one large decal to spice up an entry way, combine a series of decals to create a vignette over your sofa or mantel or treat an entire wall to a decal makeover. Another idea is to create a panel of decals to bridge the space between two rooms. The benefits of decals, you might ask? Vinyl decals are self-adhesive and peel right off the wall when you are finished with them. This means you can change them when you move, for the season or on a whim. It is also a great way to add detail to your home when renting a space.




I would love to use decals in a nursery, because you can change them as your child grows without having to repaint or stencil large areas of the room. Change out the old decals with some new ones when the time comes. Tree forms are a popular choice for kid’s rooms, but you can look for other images or have one custom designed according to your child’s interests.



You can also use vinyl decals to give old furniture a new lease on life. A headboard, the seat of an old wooden chair, an armoire, a dresser, and a coffee table would all do well with a decal or two strategically placed. I think the damask and Morroccan style patterns would be a fun addition to white kitchen cabinets. Where will you place the decals?


February 21st, 2012

The Quick and the Dead-Joy Williams

A story of the haunted and the haunting.


I read The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams in choppy, disruptive spurts of time. The story therefore ingrained itself into my days and imbued them with the creepy airs found in this book. I was under the misconception it was about three girls wandering through the desert, and was surprised the desert played a nominal role in the story.


The three girls – Alice, Corvus and Annabel are disconnected youth searching for connection in the desperate landscape of their tragedy stricken lives. Alice is funny, jaded and cause-driven. She asserts her environmentalism wherever possible, much to the irritation of other characters and makes herself fall in love with an ageing piano player simply because he is inappropriate. Corvus is just plain sad, her end befitting her life. Annabelle is a more typical teenager transplanted to the desert by her haunted father.


Annabelle’s dad Carter, plus her ghost mom, Ginger, were my favourite characters of the book. Eerie, unsettling, yet believable in an ‘is it real or is he losing his mind’ kind of way. Certain characters were introduced late in the book and felt unnecessary (Ray and Ray’s parents) yet added to the overall absurdity of the cast of characters, already strange and outcast.


The biggest contributing factor to the unsettling quality of this book, is the continual shift in perspective. Scenes with multiple characters find the narrative jumping from head to head. The reader is then bombarded with multiple snippets of perspective, instead of one unfolding viewpoint.


All this against a backdrop littered with the dead and the dying. I love the way this book ends. I love the way the loose ends are tied up and I would recommend this book for times when you need to puzzle over something other than your own world, preferably before bed to get the most of the dreams sure to ensue.




February 13th, 2012

Modern Pottery: JD Wolfe Pottery



If you are looking for some heart shaped lovelies on this Valentine’s Day, look no further than these sweet heart shaped nesting bowls. On Etsy today I found JD Wolfe Pottery, a modern pottery shop that makes unique pieces inspired by Scandinavian designs. Designs range from heart shaped bowls (perfect for this time of year), cloud shaped dessert plates and other wonderfully whimsical polka dotted pieces. Each piece of pottery is handmade and lovely!




For most people decorating the home is an ongoing process. A process of adding new items when the time is right or when you see that special something you just can’t live without. In the kitchen, decor takes on functionality. The decorative items you find and love are often the very things that are used every day. Whether you entertain frequently or are apt to dining with family, modern pottery offers a range of decorative possibilities to include in your dishware rotation.


I can imagine fluffy pastel cupcakes or sweet lemon curd tarts on those cloud plates!

February 10th, 2012

DIY Granite Path

When we bought our current house it lacked a solid path to lead from the house to the back parking area. As far as priorities go it was pretty low on the list, until last winter. Alberta winters tend to be extreme in temperature only. Winter 2011 brought a different sort of extreme, more snow than we had seen in a long time. Come spring, the melting turned the ‘path area’ into a muddy mess. What to do, what to do? Well, I decided to plan a diy granite path.


With the vast array of options available it might have been tricky to decide if I hadn’t eyeballed stacks of half broken granite counter tops leaning against the back fence. The plan came together when I saw a patchwork quilt style patio made with granite remnants. You can see the granite patio here at Junk Market Style. All you need is a little inspiration sometimes!

DIY Granite Path


While there are many ways to create a diy granite path, I wanted the path to look natural and blend with the rest of the yard. We have two small boys and I wanted the yard to remain safe for riding bikes, bug hunting, pulling the little red wagon and all other forms of mischief. The plan then, was to grow grass between each slice of granite to soften the edges of the stone. To design your own granite path, check with your local granite counter top company to see if they are willing to sell remnants and broken tops. If you are lucky they might even give them to you if you come and pick it up.


The amount of stone required will vary depending on the length of the path, the width of the path and the pattern. A general rule of thumb for the width is to allow two people to walk it, shoulder to shoulder. The pattern we chose is random. The pieces were broken and laid together within the outline created when the path was dug out.


Take time to look at the stone you have, to generate ideas. Granite is polished on one side and is therefore extremely slippery when wet. The polished side will need to be placed down, the rough side will face up. One idea is to choose a couple of particularly attractive markings and turn those ones face up. It will still be slippery, but it will add a decorative touch. When it rains you will see the beauty of the granite shine through. For those of you who live in rainy climates, this path will look amazing! I admit I have spent time gazing at the path on rainy days, but I am also smitten with the darkening effects of rain on things like bark and stone buildings too!


When it comes to pattern, it will largely depend on personal preference. Due to the broken nature of the stones the path is meant to look organic. Work with it! We laid our path in a random pattern with an assortment of colours and types of granite and quartz. One idea is to use a combination of large and small chunks of stone. Lay the large pieces diagonal to each other, along the length of the path (almost like a long checker board) and fill the other spaces with randomly placed pieces of smaller stones. Or, lay the large stones randomly and encircle them with smaller pieces. As you break the granite, study the shape of the stone and it’s markings to create a path that works for your space.


Here is what you will need to get the job done and some basic steps to help you create your own individual granite path.




Spray paint

Wooden stakes









Rubber mallet


Grass Seed


1.Plot the path you wish to design and mark it with spray paint. Once you have made any adjustments required, use wooden stakes and twine to define each side of the path. This is a good time to determine whether an incline moving away from the house is required to lead rainwater away from your door. Generally, a gradual incline of a few inches will do the trick.


2.Dig to a depth of 6 inches and remove sod or topsoil from the yard.


3.Pour sand in a smooth even layer across the designated area for the path. Use a trowel and a level to create an even surface for the stones.


4.Break granite remnants using a hammer and chisel to create a pattern. Make sure to wear goggles during this step!


5.Lay stones on top of the levelled sand and carefully tamp them in place with a rubber mallet.


6.Place the stones tightly together for one look or leave an inch or more surrounding the stones for another look.


7.Continue to lay stones the length of the path.


  1. Mix grass seed into top soil and sweep the soil and seed mixture into the spaces between each stone. Pack the soil firmly, like you would brown sugar, when baking.


  1. Walk over the stones to secure them in place. Add more topsoil as needed.


Water the path according to the directions on the grass seed. Or, you can water it a few times, leave for vacation and hope it rains the whole time you are gone. That’s what happened to our path. When we returned from vacay, the path had grown in with thick luscious grass 6 to 8 inches tall.


This idea can also be repeated elsewhere to create a patio area, to surround flower beds or to form a smaller meandering path to lead from one area of your yard or garden to another.





February 6th, 2012

Purple Bedroom Ideas

Before moving into our current home I had deep purple visions of a mauve and purple master bedroom. Visions that were plastered in silver and lilac damask wallpaper. Visions framed with light and accented with soft heather gray in wool and linen and silk. Visions that were not masculine enough. Visions that were quickly vetoed. I moved on, not without a proper pouty face of course, and chose a mid-range blue with smoky gray undertones. I love the chosen colour, and it works beautifully with the white and silver accents I have added. While I am perfectly delighted with it, every now and then those dusky purple visions come back to haunt me!


There are so many fantastic ways to include this hue in any room of your home. Modern shades of purple can be found in bright colours fit for a child’s room, sophisticated shades you could use in a den or an office and a range of colours for living and dining spaces. As always when working with colour, bring home swatches and samples (whatever your preference) to gauge what light levels will do to your chosen colour. I suggest beginning with swatches to narrow it down and then go back and get samples for your top choices.

Countless options exist for introducing bright colours into your bedroom, like the gorgeous bedroom pictured above from Home Creat. You can add bits and pops of it here and there or you can go large and create a monochromatic look. A monochromatic purple bedroom is a commitment, and I recommend that you must have a sheer and uncomplicated love for the colour purple if you choose this path. Otherwise purple it up with a few of these ideas! And check out Color Sizzle and Apartment Therapy for further purple bedroom ideas.


Paint Ideas


Experiment with the idea of purple paint and paint all the trim in your bedroom. Purple trim will punctuate the space with bold colour and lend it some personality. If you decide you love it, paint the entire room in the same shade or use it as a gateway to introduce more of the twilight hue through bedding or accessories. Palest hues of indigo or lilac can be paired with other colours such as grass green, stark white and pops of cherry red. Design a pattern for the walls using one colour of paint and a glaze. For instance, horizontal stripe details, honeycomb patterns and damask patterns. Use a stencil for intricate patterns and use painter’s tape to mark the lines for stripe painting. Once the glaze is painted over the colour you will see it as different levels of light grace the walls.




I love wallpaper. Love it. Modern patterns are abundant in the purple palette and can be used many ways. The most obvious is to wallpaper the whole room with a purple printed pattern. This application generates a warm, cozy and often dark feeling to a room, suitable for a bedroom or a dining room. A feature wall is a way to experiment with wallpaper in a smaller dose. Try wallpapering the wall behind your bed to draw attention to your headboard. If you want to add architectural detail to your room, create shadow boxes for the walls and wallpaper the inside of them. Space the shadow boxes evenly and symmetrically along the length of the wall. Paint the surrounding walls a lighter tone of purple to soften the look. Another way to add a bold purple wallpaper to your bedroom it to use remnants to wallpaper furniture. One idea is to use a vintage floral wallpaper to paper the inside of an armoire. Wallpaper shelves, drawers or even the top of an old dresser or desk.




Sometimes all you need to freshen up a space is a new set of curtains. Layer panels of curtains to achieve texture or choose one luxurious fabric like silk or velvet to add luxe appeal to the space.    Makeover a set of sheer or lace curtains with purple dye.  Another idea is to add a decorative detail to plain curtain panels. Add purple trim as a band across the bottom or inner edge of the curtain panels or hang a valance above the plain panels.




A piece of purple furniture will set the vibe for the entire room. For an unmistakably bold piece, look for a purple upholstered headboard or an ottoman for the end of the bed. Refinish a wooden bed frame with purple paint (I will show you how to do this in a future post, as we recently refinished a bed that has been in my family for thirty years or more). Bedside tables, dressers, bookshelves and desks can all be reworked in dusky shades of purple. Or, look for a purple fabric in a pattern like trellis, lattice, honeycomb, herringbone or a bold floral and have a chair upholstered for your reading corner.




Accessories are what makes a room come to life and feel like its lived in. Bedding, throw pillows, vases, flowers, art, mirrors, books, candles and perfume bottles and other knick knack-y items will add to the finished look. Layer bedding in different shades of purple and an accent colour. The accent colour you choose will depend on the whole scheme for the room, but some ideas include white, silver, cream or taupe. Add glass and mirror accents to give the room a little sparkle. Remember: this is where you dream, make it special!