Monday, December 21, 2009

Ugly Watering Can Painted To Pretty!

Over this past Summer I finally got to create a little garden of my own on my top floor apartment balcony. It was the first time renting a place that I had an outdoor space to call my own. Being on a very tight budget I snagged this mini watering can from my best friend who had planned on tossing it out because she had been using it as a temporary source until she could find a prettier looking one. As you can see, you can't really blame her. So I snatched it up and brought it home to try to salvage. This only took one quiet afternoon with just me, some acrylic paints, finishing spray and a little patience.


That sticker absolutely refused to budge. It took a lot of soaking and scrubbing and picking to finally come off. Because it had that nasty little rust mark on the spout I painted the other side but I did cover the rust with a little yellow paint.

I used a picture of a magnolia for the general idea of how I wanted it to look but I knew I wanted a blending of bright pinks against the yellow. I think I would try a purple or maybe a blue next time around. I did the lettering freehand which can be really tricky so if you don't think your hand is steady enough then another way you can do this is by browsing through the fonts on Microsoft Word and printing out the size you want on a piece of paper. Then you just cut out the letters using an exacto knife and tape it to your project. Basically your just making your own stencil which is easy peasy. When I was finished with the paint I covered my outdoor table in newspaper and sprayed down the can with a finisher to make sure it could withstand the elements outside and not crack or peel. The total cost of this project was $1.50 for the spray since the watering can itself was free and I already had paints and brushes.

This is a little shot from my balcony. My pretty new watering can helped keep these flowers very happy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Masculine Office Design

My husband is a Civil Engineer so he is very attracted to streamline and structural looking design. When we finally buy our first house I have an office already in mind to do all his hard work in. I worked up this mock version of the type of work space I'm envisioning for him. I would like to create something in a leather and cognac theme with hits of deep red and grey because it looks very sophisticated much like him. He loves bridges like I love interior design so the blue print art of bridges at Restoration Hardware are perfect for him. He needs a drafting table which I've provided here also from RH, as well as some comfy places to flop down. Some accessories, storage and lighting tie everything together to make this a place for deep thought and hard work. All the images below can be found at: Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Bombay, Benjamin Moore. If you have any questions or comments please let me know. I love reading your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Night At The Movies

One of my absolute favorite things to do is grab a warm blanket, some tea and a great movie to cuddle up with your lover and watch. Home theaters would be such a cool luxury to do that in. You see them in larger homes but it's becoming a popular trend to turn your basement hangout into your own home theater. Here are a few of my favorite pictures I've saved over the years.

You can see in the back corner they have a little snack station set up. I think I would want to have an old fashioned popcorn machine in mine as well. This room is used as the theatre room and for all the video games kids accumulate. It's a nice area to store away all those cords and accessories.

I really like the rich colour in this room and the loveseat chairs in the back are adorable. I think this room would be perfect with some golden pieces added to it. Maybe some moldings or more dramatic tasseled drapes.

Framed posters of your favorite movies is a fabulous idea. We all have our favorite movies but we can't hang posters of them in our bedroom like a thirteen year old girl. This is a perfect way to hang your favs minus the shame. The table behind the chairs reminds me a bit of a bowling alley but it would work great if you wanted to watch a movie and maybe play cards or something while you watched.

This one is a really different approach to typical home theatres. It looks much more casual and comfortable. You wouldn't be wrestling for an arm rest in this room and you could stretch out without kicking the person seat in front of you. The fireplace is a cozy touch for night movies as a family.

I think this room nailed the importance of distance from the screen. A lot of theatre's seating is too close and you wrench your neck looking up. You also have plenty of space to stretch your legs out in front of you not to mention the convenience of the much needed cup holder.

The little lights illuminating the ceiling is a really neat addition to this cozy theatre room. I think it would be really awesome to have a theatre room you could also turn into a planetarium by putting your chair back and having a projector for the ceiling. This is one of the only theatre rooms I've seen where there is storage for movies. You've got to wonder where everyone is hiding all those movies!

You can find these and much more like them at the website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bench and Banquette Coveting

How many of us have gotten a little excited when the waitress seated us at the booth table? I know I'm always pleased and I would get to enjoy it everyday if I had banquette seating in my own kitchen. Someday hopefully but for now I'll feed my urge by showing some favorites. I really love banquette seating in a eat-in kitchen. You see it much more often in eat-in kitchen areas rather than formal dining rooms but every once in a blue moon you will see it in the dining room as well. I prefer it in the kitchen because it's a much cozier space to relax in when you get up in the morning with your paper and coffee. Here are some of the best ones I've encountered thus far:

Hickory Chair

House & Home


Sarah Richardson

Domino Image

What do you think of banquettes and benches in the eating areas? Do you have one yourself? Let me know your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do Not Open Until Christmas!

Being the season of giving I thought I'd share some of my favorite holiday gifts. I'm not materialistic about Christmas at all but I do love to buy gifts for other people so I always find it fun to browse various flyers or sites for ideas even if the products are way out of my price range. Maybe it will spark an idea for a particularly hard person to buy for or maybe you'll just kill a few minutes amusing yourself with something to do. Either way here are some of my favorite "must have" gifts.

1.)FOR THE TECH GEEK= iMac: Between $1300-$2100 is what this computer will run you. I'm not computer savy myself but I love that they're coming out with computers that aren't as clunky looking and can actually add luxury to the decor in your office or wherever your computer resides. Because this computer is a sleek beauty I think it would be a perfect gift to replace the outdated dust magnet computer you already have. Other great tech options are the iPod touch (which I bought my fella last year) or the new HP Pavillion All In One Touch Screen which is basically a larger scale iPod touch.

2.)FOR THE MUSIC LOVER= Stereo Box Set: The Beatles: Everyone knows at least one Beatles fan so what better gift than this digitally remastered 17 disc box set containing all 14 original Beatles albums released between 1963 and 1970 plus the two CD Past Masters collection of non-album tracks and a bonus DVD containing all the mini documentaries that can be found as enhanced tracks on each of the individual CD releases. Who wouldn't be pleased to open up this little box of some of the best music ever made? More great music options recently out are the Susan Boyle CD I Dreamed A Dream or the new Lady Gaga The Fame Monster.

3.)FOR THE BOOKWORM- The Time Of My Life: The auto-biography of Patrick Swayze has become a bestseller fast I'm sure in no small part to the fact that he was so widely loved. I don't know a single woman who has seen Dirty Dancing and didn't fall in love with Johnny the rough edged sexy dance instructor. This book would be a great gift for any of those women or maybe even a little present to yourself for all the work you put in to making Christmas great! Some other great books to consider are Michael J Fox's "Always Looking Up" or the new Stephen King novel "Under The Dome."

4.)FOR THE JOKESTER= The Office Season Five: For the clown in the family I think this would be a perfect gift. I was skeptical of this show in the beginning but as I began to watch it quickly moved into my "favorite TV show" spot. It's not your typical humor yet it promises belly laughs even Santa would covet. Some other hilarious shows you might consider are Corner Gas and Fawlty Towers. If dramas are more your thing, I personally can never get enough of House or Medium.

5.)FOR THE KIDDIES= Even though it's been out for quite some time now and it was the most wanted item during last year's Christmas rush, the Nintendo Wii is still very high on the "Dear Santa" list for kids who have yet to get one. In reality a kid will love absolutely any game system you buy them though so if this one is out of your price range there is also the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS which come in at a lower price range and require less extras.

6.) FOR THE MOTHER IN LAW= Monogram Cashmere Robe: You cannot fail with anything cashmere. Although it can be pricey it is worth every cent spent to make the mother in law pleased. When she slips on the cloud like robe with her initials on it don't be surprised if she finally admits you are good enough for her son! I found these great robes at restoration hardware for $249 on sale from $299 but if that's too much for you they also offer throws, pillows covers, scarves, slippers and hot water bottle covers all in cashmere. All of these choices range in price from $39-$250.

7.)FOR THE ATHLETE= Lance Armstrong Comeback 2.0: A great story about Lance Armstrong's battles and victories from winning 7 Tour De France races and beating testicular cancer. This book would be very inspiring to anyone that aspires to be an athlete. Some other great gifts for sports lovers could be the Wayne Gretzky book "Gretzky's Tears" or one thing my brother the sports fan loves in particular is his PVR so he can record games he misses when he is at work then watch them when he gets home. Not a typical gift but they will be singing your praises when their sports season starts up.

8.)FOR THE ASPIRING INTERIOR DESIGNER= Domino The Book Of Decorating: Although I do not have this book myself, everywhere I look people who love design such as myself are raving about this must have item when renovating or decorating. It's made it onto my Christmas list this year because if that many people say it's fabulous I'm willing to bet that it probably is. If you check out amazon they will give you a little sneak peak inside the book. Some other great ideas for the decorator in your home could be some of the amazing software they have out now to digitally draw up your rooms and re-design them before you ever have to touch a paint can or hit the stores. What you spend on the software will no doubt be cheaper than the possible blunders that occur without proper planning. One good place to start is with the Better Homes and Gardens software you can find on amazon but if you just go to the software department and look up interior design it will give you several options.

I hope you enjoyed my take on some of the hot ticket items this seasons and got some ideas. All of these items seen here can be found at except the cashmere gifts which can be found at the Restoration Hardware website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Traditional Bedroom Design Scheme

This is a board I put together for a traditional bedroom design. I wanted to create something you would see in a family home with kids and a dog that all crawl into bed with mom and dad on Sunday mornings. It's very warm and classic but still functional. You can find these various items at Benjamin Moore Paints, Sarah Richardson, Candice Olson Design, Restoration Hardware, etc. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Home Sweet Home At The 2010 Winter Olympics

If you're looking for real estate in my neck of the woods so you can catch all the 2010 Olympic action in Whistler (and you just happen to have tens of millions of extra dollars you aren't using at the moment laying around the house) then check out these beautiful homes people are selling to take advantage of the popularity Canada is gaining this Winter. If you're anything like me then you probably won't be able to afford one of these beauties by a long shot but we can at least drool over them together.
This one is my personal favorite and if I can scrounge together $14,900,000 it could all be mine! At 5005 sq ft. with 4 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, the detail in the design of this home is breath taking. It fits in perfectly with its surroundings as if mother nature placed it there rather than man.
This stunning residence sits at $11 million and a whopping 6500 sq ft. with 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. Cheaper with more space? I like it! The orange accents in the kitchen is really working for this room in my opinion. You don't see it often and I love it when people try something a little more bold rather than sticking to typical safe choices. It looks so secluded and private all aglow in the mountains. I can picture me with my cocoa watching the deer romp outside right now.

Canada seems to be the hip place to be this winter and I don't think Whistler could be more beautiful. It's only a bit of a drive from where I live but it's going to be roaring come January. If you ever get a chance to travel to Canada (if you aren't lucky enough to live here already) then it's a must see. Hope you enjoyed day dreaming along with me today!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

O Christmas Tree

I took a few pictures of my holiday decorating for you all to see. I tend to go a little crazy and put everything up early because I just can't wait and having an artificial pre-lit tree makes that possible (not to mention oh so simple to do). Since I live in Canada, we have Thanksgiving in October so once November comes around there are no more big celebratory holidays before Christmas (which is how I rationalize my early start). I always get a fight about it but I have a rule of thumb that when I see a Christmas commercial on TV it's fair game and I get to get out the tupperwares! I also like to put up my decor in November for the same reason I like to collect up Christmas presents year round; by December that's one more thing I can check off my holiday to do list. I want to enjoy my Christmas season and not panic and stress. And overall, who wants to put in all that time and effort for only a week or two of enjoyment for all their hard work? I want to bask in holiday cheer for as long as possible. This is actually much less decor than I normally put up but we moved into a fairly small apartment so I had to cut it back this year and leave some stuff in storage.

I decided to do a themed tree this year so I could leave some of my ornaments in storage until I have more room to spread it all out. I just brought out all my gold and white decorations this year for a more elegant look. If you look at the bottom of this post, I'll have posted another picture of what my tree has looked like in the past years with all my ornaments. I'm a bit of a Christmas tree ornament junkie. I can't ever get enough of all things Christmas.

This is my cute little electric fireplace. As you can see, I love Santas. I actually have four stockings but when I bought my stocking holders from Linens 'n Things a few years back on a huge clearance they only had two but they were fabulous so I couldn't resist. I have not since been able to find two more to match and since I rent I can't nail in my other two stockings so for now this will have to do.

Top of our entertainment unit which usually holds my Christmas Village but again trying to scale it back. There will be a pic below of the village from past years as well.

That's a tin in the background I bought knowing that the chocolates inside would be horrible but I really loved the tin.

A gold Santa and ornaments to match my tree!

A few extra stockings I couldn't resist getting. They looked really country cabin looking to me.

And now for some past decorating pictures from when I had more space to put up everything:

This is my tree when all my hallmark ornaments make it up. I know it looks fairly crowded and it is but once we buy our house I'm hoping to have two trees for the family and living room so it will be split in half. You'll notice it's also a different angel topper on this tree than my current themed one. This one is my usual topper but I had to use the gold one to match the tree this year.

This is the village that normally goes on the entertainment unit. You can't see it that well but I put down some felt for the fake snow effect first. My mom gave me this village and I love it but it's tons of boxes and stuffing so it can be very time consuming to put up. One thing that grind my gears is I can't ever add to it because today all the villages are much bigger than this one so the people looks like giants!

Let me know what you think of my Christmas wonderland!

Candice Olson Rocks My Socks!

One of my absolute favorite designers is the incredibly talented Candice Olson from Divine Design. She has yet to decorate a room I'm not head over heels in love with. All her designs are functional and homey yet looks fabulous and chic. I'd like to share a few of my favs she's done in the past:

Can't you just picture coming downstairs to the smell of coffee in your chic kitchen? Even though it isn't huge the space is really used well. I love the glass door cabinets and dark counter-tops. The fridge gives it a sleek look but the little touches like the green stools and cute lamp keep it more traditional and warm. The great thing about these types of designs is they look beautiful but it's nothing the average person couldn't do with a little elbow grease.

This dining room is a dream! Soft powdered blues and cremes are so serene and calming. It would be lovely to have a fireplace in your dining room to roar while you have your family dinners. The detail on the chairs is phenomenal as well. It's a solid light blue on the seat but the back has a pretty pattern upholstered on it and the rug below matches perfectly with the whole scene. Bon appetite!

I think this bathroom would be like having your very own spa in your house. Lots of dark finishes and stone looking tiles with a large soaker tub make it feel classic and comfortable. I think the floating counter is a really interesting look and the white coral accessory is the perfect touch. Give me my glass of wine and dim the lights because I'm ready for a soak!

This massive bedroom is the size of my entire apartment! It's so warm and inviting and the vaulted ceiling gives it a unique architectural touch that draws the eye. A bedroom is your sanctuary so it should be a representation of you and whatever makes you comfortable. A fireplace in the bedroom is so romantic and a chaise always looks like a luxurious place to flop down with a good book. I would love to retire to this paradise every night.

This is a basement hang out Candice did on a more recent episode and I am digging everything about it. It's such a warm colour pallet but it's practical at the same time. One thing that always drives me crazy is when designers fill a room with white furniture. Of course it looks beautiful but will it after your dark furred kitty has rolled around on it and the kids have spilled their juice or the dust settles and it just looks grubby? A dark couch helps you to feel less neurotic about spills and messes. The recessed lighting really works well here with a few lamps and sconces and the neutral rug ties everything together. Pop in your favorite movie and cuddle up with the ones you love!

For more great designs by Ms Candice Olson check out her show on the Women's Network or at her website at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chic and Professional Office Design Scheme

This is my take on one possible dream office mock-up (I can think of so many ways I'd love to decorate a home office!). I love the look of a classy black and white pallet because it looks clean and sophisticated. A woman's office is a spot that can be solely hers so it should reflect herself and make her comfortable. What independent working woman wouldn't love walking into this little piece of luxury? Work suddenly isn't such a chore anymore!

You can find these various things from Sarah Richardson Design, Mac, Ikea, Restoration Hardware etc. A little hunting and you'll be amazed at what you can find.

Homemade Christmas Cards

I've always really loved crafting and creating something special with some simple paper, scissors and glue so I decided to try out making my own Christmas cards (and envelopes) this year and I think they turned out fairly well. I don't know if I'll be doing it again for awhile because it takes up a lot of your time but I think family and friends will appreciate it. Do you send out cards every year? Have you ever taken on the task of making your own? Here was the results of my mini endeavor, let me know what you think!

These are some of the inside I decorated with left over cut outs I couldn't bear to toss:

These are the envelopes I made to match the cards (excuse it being a little dark):

Come back soon, I'll be posting some pictures of my holiday decorating in action!