Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stolen Simple Projects

First of all, although it may seem like I sing their praises a little too much, I assure you, Style at Home has never heard of this little blog, me, or that I post on here and talk in real life about them a little too much.
With that said, here are some totally stolen simple ideas from my Style at Home newsletter:

Button Lampshades : I love this idea, and it really is that simple. You never think to dress up a lampshade, pillow, or even top with buttons or ribbon, but, done right, it could make it a totally new piece.
Covered Canisters : Again, totally obvious, and I've actually tried something similar with a cylinder piggy bank before. A great way to reuse and to inject colour or pattern into a room on the cheap!
Framed Papers : Admittedly, this display isn't all that nice. For my taste anyways. But some nice craft paper or even gift wrap (because you can never find something to wrap with the scraps) framed in a bathroom, nook or even in the kitchen could be really nice. And...yep-cheap.

Covered Stools : A nice way to pick up plain jane stools (or even homemade) and give 'em some pizzazz (or flare if you're into Office Space...yes please)
Paint Can Candles : Totally cute homemade gift, hostess gift or favour if you're an avid painter, or can get some friends to save some up for you. And cheap as can be.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Wish List

Whew---it is HARD to get back into things after vacation. I'm pretty sure I'm sleep-typing right now and may have sleep-driven to work this morning. Hey! At least I wasn't also doing my make-up on my way in, which I've been known to do :)

So, since I've been awol and haven't thought about my home for a few days, I thought I'd post my home-related birthday wish list, which hubs asked for last week.
This board is mostly Decor-y stuff:
1-I can't remember where I got the original image (me thinks ZGallerie?), but an umbrella holder similar to these ones would be too cute.
2-I've loved these book ends for a while. Not these ones specifically, but ones similar would be fantastical in the office.
3-Z Gallerie Vector Sconce. You may have seen this on other "I want" lists, and that's because I love it.
4-Anthropologie Monogram mugs. Same deal as above-you've seen them before here, but a good thing is a good thing, right, Martha?
5-Apothecary Jars-the ones on the left from Pier 1 (and a bit too big) and the ones on the right from Restoration Hardware. Both lovely and would both look great in either bathroom with some bathroom-y stuff in them (q-tips, soaps, cotton balls, epsom salts).
And this list is a little more kitchen/crafty related:
1-Corner punch: You see, I make my own cards (laugh if you will) and it would be great to be able to round the edges in a less ghetto way that I am currently (holding plain-jane scissors and curving the paper resulting in a less than stellar corner). Enter Fiskars.
2-Cake carrying case. As the default baker in the family, and especially with decorating lessons starting August 5, something like this would come in super handy. And that it can carry cupcakes, mini cupcakes OR a cake is just icing on the...well cake. Baddum ching.
3-PVR. Enough said.
4-Bread maker: to be able to plop some stuff in before bed and then wake up to the smell of fresh baked bread...yes please!
5-Microplane Zester. Totally unnecessary if you have a grater, but sometimes it's just handy!
6-KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Doesn't everyone want one of these?

What's on your wish list?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Has anyone else seen this show on HGTV?

It's now taken on the Tuesday night at 9:30 slot from one of my faves, Design Inc, and happens to be on right after Sarah's Cottage. Great news, right? So I've watched a couple episodes-3 to be exact, and it's friggin good.

I've always liked Genevieve Gorder from her Trading Spaces days and then on a show I can't recall where she tried to makeover a whole community. It was a cute show, but I don't think it lasted very long. I hope this one does though.

Her design is very much my style and she's such a seemingly genuinely nice, sweet and totally cute person. And apparently she has a 6 month old! How are you that cute with a 6-month old?

So last night's episode clinched it. It was a kitchen of a couple that had and pretty hideous kitchen to begin with, and it became seriously a dream kitchen. Well, mine at least.

Here's the after:And...I found a flaw. The show's website is a pain in the a$$. I hope it's only because it's still new and they have to work on it, but it's kind of hard to navigate and, at least for me, takes for.ever (shout out Sandlot) to load anything. It's ok though, I don't watch it for the website.

The other episodes I've seen are a a family basement episode and a family room re-do episode. much as I'm loving the show right now, I'm pretty annoyed with the website, so that's all I have to say about that.

I don't know if there's HGTV in the states, or the equivalent, but I urge you to check it out (the show, not the site) and see for yourself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the Sound of Music...

Nope, this isn't a review, comment or ramblings about the von Trapps.

It's about a new addition to our dining room:
It's been a busy few days getting ready for, hosting, and cleaning up after our first real house guests! Hubs' dad and stepmom came for a visit this weekend and a trip to Bluesfest to see Blue Rodeo (which was, as usual, fantastic). They've retired to their cottage in Quebec, so they don't come to "the city" too often, and it was nice to finally get to host them for a change.

They brought with them lots of hugs, stories and...a piano. Yes, I knew it was coming. Yes, I knew it was coming this weekend. Yes, I know hubs loves it and has been playing every free moment since we got it. Yes, it's a lovely heirloom from several generations of his past and it'll be great to have.

But for now, I don't know what to do with it.

There's so much wood in that room and there's not much of a budget to make too many changes (that I can think of).

Obviously, the first thing to do is reupholster the seat. C'est facile! Easy peasy. And of course, hang up some art work on the walls. Now that we have it, and once we determine the layout, we can finally do that, and that'll make a huge difference.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can lighten this space up?
(Besides not take photos at night?) Or how I can make it more interesting?

I'm thinking of re-recovering the dining chairs as well. Perhaps to match the piano bench? Yay or nay?

The dining table and chairs are actually from the same family and same original owner. About 5 years ago, hubs and I stripped it, routered the edges and stained it, as well as recovered the chairs for a huge improvement. Now it's pretty, sentimental and a little piece of history. Something I hope we can eventually work out with this piano.

So...ideas? Help. Please.
Edited to Add: Hmmm...I came across this post today. Coincidence???

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sarah's Cottage

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Sarah Richardson. I've gushed about her before and I'm always sure to watch her shows on Tuesday nights. She's done 2 seasons of Sarah's House, where she flips a house and you get to watch the whole thing. The most recent season was Sarah's Cottage, where she made-over her very own cottage. Let me tell ya---serious envy going on.
I've seen each episode at least 3 times each. Hubs just rolls his eyes whenever it comes on now and asks if I can give the commentary yet. Sadly, I probably could. Yikes! (And yes, I watched it last night--it was the bedroom episode)

So yesterday, I found this post on Apartment Therapy and thought I'd share the cottage love with all y'all.

I'd hope to save some of the images from the HGTV site, but they're in flash and I'm just not techie enough to figure it out. I'd taken screen shots and gone that route, but it just doesn't work. Next step-google images! Not quite the same, but you'll just have to check the site out for the real eye candy.
The Living Room Addition/Exterior episode boasted some pretty swanky open concept living, and a good amount of antiques:

There was also a whole episode dedicated to the 2 guest bedrooms, appropriately and conveniently named East & West Guest Rooms:

As well as one for the master bedroom & their children's loft (did I mention she was uber preggers during the show waiting on number 2?):

Another devoted to the super swanky cottage bathrooms:One of my personal favourite episodes was the kitchen & dining room episode where Sarah used a lot of rustic looking stuff to cottage-up an otherwise quite modern kitchen & dining room:And the final episode was fairly Sarah-less because she was thisclose to delivery, so they recapped the season as well as focusing on the bunkie, which was just too cute:They just make it look so easy! I've asked before how and where these designers find their resources (seamstresses, antiques, reupholstery) because I've seen and dealt with some, and nothing ever turns out like any aspect of these rooms.

I definitely recommend you check it out though, and if you're anything like me, you'll love all the little details and personal touches. While you're there, check out the galleries for Sarah's House 1 & 2. Just be prepared for some serious day dreaming...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sidewalk Rummaging

I'm not ashamed to admit I did it.

OK, that's a lie, I'm a little bit ashamed. But not really.

Hubs and I were dropping my sister off at my parents place Saturday night and their neighbours are moving very soon. As such, they had a pile of stuff on the sidewalk waiting to be scavenged and take to reduce their garbage load this week. We're on a tight budget these days, so thought, "hey! what have we got to lose by taking a peak".

Well there was some half decent stuff there, but not much of it that we needed. But there was a patio table that quite nicely matches our front porch set. So we snagged it.

It's in great shape structurally, and if we wanted to, all it needs for a complete pick-me-up is a good sanding and a coat of stain. Since we have one set of in-laws coming from out of town this weekend, this'll be perfect for lunch or dinner if the weather's warm since it'll be a tight (not to mention impossible) squeeze to fit 4 adults at the bistro table. Perfect timing.

Anyone else have any good finds on a sidewalk? I figure it's just like a garage sale, but even cheaper!

Like a good neighbour

Hubs decided to finally mow the lawn last week. It was new sod, so we had to wait awhile, but it was looking nice and plush and very very welcome, so he gave it a quick snip.

Since we have no side fence yet, and we've got a decent "how's it going" kind of relationship with our next door neighbours, he continued the snippin' and did their back yard too. Plus, he's a nice guy. He didn't think anything of it, but was glad he did.

So yesterday while napping after a day of torrential downpour beach volleyball tournament, I heard a knock on the door. It was our neighbour dropping off cupcakes as a thank-you for mowing their lawn. I was floored-it was so thoughtful and sweet...not to mention delicious!
I guess she runs a cupcakery shop out of their house, The flour shoppe.
And her stuff looks amazing! I want to have a party or shower or something just so I can order some. But you know I wasn't just going to leave them for hubs to enjoy since he did the favour, right. Snort, don't be ridiculous. Besides, I'm the sweet tooth of the family!

So I dug into one of the white topping ones:

And it didn't stand a chance. Flippin' delish, cute and oh so thoughtful!

Thanks Melissa, and if anyone's in Ottawa, I do not hesitate to vouch for an amazing taste to these treats.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Backyard Lovelies

I've posted before about some backyard lovelies here. And, oh boy would I looooove any one of those images for my very own.

However, I likely never will, and certainly not with this home. Among other things, they're all on a serene waterfront, which is not the same as backyard neighbours with a trampoline. I promise, it's not.

With that in mind, here are some of my (slightly) more realistic inspiration images for the backyard:

Hey, I never said they were completely realistic. Nor have I ever claimed to be realistic myself. A girl can dream though, non?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Office Upgrade

You may have noticed in a previous post (but probably not, why would you?), there was a missing piece of massive technology in the reflection of these pics:See how boring and plain and empty it is? Isn't it great?

You see, there used to be a gigantic desktop computer that hubs had when he went away to school. Yeah---about 8 years ago. The desk area (if you were on drugs that made your vision blurry) used to look like this:

But since May, when I came into the 21st century and got an ibook, we've had 2 computers and a lot of mess sitting in there.

So, with a bit of time on my hands and 2 important guests coming to stay in that very room in 2 weeks, I finally sat down and transferred all our files from the old fuddy duddy to the sleek beauty.

The old computer will go down to the basement, where it'll be perfect for hubs' music room and he can download guitar tabs, lyrics and record his music all in one place.

But the office now looks like this:

And eventually, hopefully like this:With items such as these:
Already, though I think it's much better, non?