Friday, July 29, 2011

My Favorite Painting

I am not an art snob. I really don`t care if it`s original, or cut out of a pretty calender and framed. However, having said that, I do find something extra special in original art. I wonder about the artist, and what made him/her paint that particular scene. I wonder who it was for, and how it ultimately made its way to me. One of my favorite pieces is this original that my mom found at a garage sale. I admired it for years, until one day she had it framed and put it under the Christmas tree for me. One of my favorite gifts, I tell ya.

I just love the subject matter, and the soft delicate watercolours. Enlarge to see the signature, dated 1921.

One of my favorite blogs, For the Love of a House, has many beautiful original works of art.  It inspires me to search for more to add to my collection.

Linking my favorite picture to my favorite Parties!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Few New (to me) Pieces

Part of the fun of moving to this new house has been finding homes for all our furniture. However, this house is almost twice as big as our last home, so there's many empty voids! I yearn for that collected over time, eclectic look (not to mention that we don't have unlimited finances to go to a store and fill our house!), so I hit the antique stores. I was also lucky in that my mom had a few pieces she was downsizing so she sent them along with us. Most of these will need a little spiffying up. Maybe some paint, perhaps a re-finish.....I'm going to live with it while we get some more major tasks done (such as painting the walls!) and then decide.

A lovely Welsh sideboard from a local antique shop.

It fits perfectly in my dining room (more like a dining nook, rather than a full room!). I have a gallery wall planned for above.

I love the handles, and the carved detailing.

A bookcase, given to me by my mother. It was $30 at a garage sale. The minute I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for my quilting fabric. This is definitely getting a coat of creamy chalk paint and some distressing.

How I love vintage handles!

Can't wait to get my hands on that yummy fabric (once I'm organized and unpacked, that is!)

A funky old pine cupboard. It reminds me of the one that Miss Mustard Seed showed us on her blog. However, as my husband pointed out, hers is much nicer =) It's smaller than hers, but has a similar vibe. I love this for my craft supplies. Love the cute hinges and the latch.

Here's my cupboard:

And Miss Mustard Seed's:

Do you see the similarity too? Pine, rustic....oh ya!

It stores all sorts of crafting supp's.

Finally, this old chest from a logging camp on Vancouver Island. My mother bought it when she was first married. There's even colouring in it from when I was a kid (now I am getting payback with my own children colouring on my furniture!). I greatly dislike the finish, but nothing a little paint won't fix up. Doesn't it remind you of this one built by Martha Stewart's team? Cool idea to use it as a filing cabinet too.


 (great potential, but ucky finish)

It even comes complete with a funky odour, which I've been spending weeks airing out.  Happy to report that it's almost funk free.


Perhaps a conversion is in my chests future?

A few fun pieces to keep me busy once my chalk paint arrives! Still not sure if I want to paint the Welsh sideboard though. What do you think? Paint it (I'd likely leave the top stained and bottom a cream colour) or refinish and restain it?? I'd love to hear your opinions!!

Have a great day,

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progress in the Sunroom

Today I read how Julia, from Hooked on Houses, recently added an Ektorp sofa with a white slipcover to her sunroom. It inspired me to show you my own Ektorp which we purchased over the weekend.

I've made some progress in the sunroom. While I was going to originally wait until it was all 'done' for the final reveal, I realized this would take some time. I also love watching how room designs evolve on other blogs, so I thought I'd share the progress of this room with you.

The new sofa:

I envisioned a light, airy, white sofa, and the Ektorp did the trick. We splurged on a high quality, Restoration Hardware sofa in the living room, and needed a more economical choice in here. I love it! I really don't think I would have been any happier with a more expensive option. I'm considering the Ektorp chaise for the other side of the room.

The mantel is still being styled, but here's where we are at now:

The old window is from my Grandmother's house. I plan on adding a small moss wreath to it, and perhaps changing out the other accessories.

I love the corner cabinet in this room. It suits the style of the sunroom perfectly.

The small table in front of the loveseat is a perfect fit for this space. I had originally wanted a slipcovered ottoman, but I think I'll repaint this piece (once my chalk paint arrives) and see how I like it. I plan to add baby tears to the planter. Unfortunately the ones in there before didn't survive the move.

I can't decide if the cat is tacky or not. It was my Grandmother's, and I always loved it in her home. This may not be a piece that I would pick up if I saw it in a store, but it reminds me of Grandma's, so I love it =)

I still have the other half of the sunroom to furnish and accessorize. This is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house! It may be a while before we finish this room up as we're currently busy painting the rest of the house...busy times!

Have a fabulous day!

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Guest Posting at Oak Ridge Revival

Today I'm at Oak Ridge Revival, joining Andrea in her Thankful Thursday series. Come check out what I'm thankful for, and be sure to browse Andrea's fabulous blog. You may just find a bit of this:

Love that kitchen!

And some of this:

Fabulous, right?

See you there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playroom: The plan

In our old house, we had what I liked to call 'The Closet of Shame'. It was a walk in closet FULL of kids toys. While I take no responsibility for aforementioned closet, and blame Grandparents fully, I nevertheless had a place to hide away the shame.

New house, no closet of shame. What's a mom to do? Enter, Kijiji. I was searching for a wall unit type of set up with cupboards on the bottom and shelving on top. I knew I could remedy any homeliness with paint and trim.
Luck! A free, large shelving unit, just to our specifications! Stay tuned for the transformation, in the next few weeks.

Where we are at now:

An amazing, huge space downstairs, next to the family room. It is meant to house a pool table/games area, but for this family, it will become the mecca of playrooms.
I am coming to grips with the fact that I can only prettify this space so much. The large, plastic toys will still be visible, and I'm ok with that. It is, after all, a space for my children to play in, imagine, create and enjoy. It is their space.

The plan:

Paint and trim out the cabinet. I am either going to paper the back (if I can find the right pattern) or paint it a soft blue. Baskets and organization are in the works. Think along these lines:

Oh, and giant poufs are a must, also.

A large rug, with a low pile for the play area. While I love seagrass and sisal, it will need to pass my comfort test as little knees will be kneeling on it and playing.

This Jute rug from Pottery Barn is lovely.  Need a feel-test first, though.

A large table for crafting and creating, complete with a large roll of paper (mounted on the wall) for endless artistic pursuits. 

A large, trimmed out cork board to display their specials on, and I love map images lately.  Perhaps a cool, enlarged bright map for some wall art.

Maps: Pinterest

I am seriously considering having the first map image blown up to a giant poster size.  I love the colours and variety of all those maps. They inspire adventurous travels to places unknown.

We should be getting started on this space fairly soon, and will show your our progress along the way!

Linking to my favorite Parties!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Jaunt to Ikea

I like Ikea, I really do. But I don't love it. I don't have much Ikea furniture in our home. I find it a bit, how do you say?? not the best quality??   I mean no offense to those who love Ikea and have furnished their house with their pieces, it's just not always my cup of tea. However, I do think Ikea furniture has its place.
We spent 4 hours there on Saturday (which of course included a meatball thing I do adore about Ikea!) outfitting our office/craft room.

I love the look of the office furniture called the Bedford collection at Pottery Barn, but there are two problems: 1. It's quite pricey for a craft room space, and 2. They won't ship most of the heavier pieces to Canada. I was determined to mimic the look & feel for a fraction of the cost. Enter: Ikea.

First stop, is the obvious office section. I didn't really love the modern style of their office furniture, and I was shocked at the higher price. I was looking for a bank of drawers to go down a 14 ft wall. There is a sloped ceiling, so I had to watch my height.
We ended up finding the perfect solution in the bedroom section. We bought 4, 2 drawer dressers that are cute and cheap! They are perfect to store my crafting and office supplies. The bonus room doesn't have a closet, so I need a storage solution for all those uglies.

We then bought two large tables (very basic) for my sewing and crafting area. Nothing fancy, but this is a table which will see glue, glitter, paint etc so basic and utilitarian is perfect.

I also wanted a central cutting table for my quilting adventures. We made one out of a dresser, two table tops, and two adjustable legs. I get storage, and have a spot to slip a stool under if I'd like to sit at the table. Similar Bedford table: $1400 cdn, Ikea version: $160

We stayed up to the wee hours of the morning, drinking wine and assembling furniture. I have blisters on my hand from putting all those dressers together =)

I can't wait to show you the rest of the space, once it's fully unpacked and prettified.  I have many older vintage and antique pieces for this room. It makes for a very eclectic space; one that I am so looking forward to creating in!

Ikea, thank you for providing me with the inexpensive, functional and cute crafting space that I was seeking. Guess I do really like you.

Linking up to my favorite Parties!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mudroom: The plan

There isn't much to do in this room, as it has pretty good storage and I like the look already. Love the cubbies with the baskets. Love the slate floors, built in bench.

Where we are at now:

I'm happy with the storage, with one exception: I can see already that the bench is the catch all for back packs, coats (for those of us too lazy to hang them up, or too short!).

This lovely wall is just begging for board and batten, with some cool vintage vibe hooks and a small shelf on top to display pretties. Perhaps some wallpaper above? Stencil? Maybe just painted? Opinions??

My inspiration? This great B&B project from Home Stories A to Z.

Just the look I'm going for.

Also, I'd like to add a cushion to the bench, which I will sew a cover for. I'm thinking a durable sunbrella/outdoor fabric, to withstand kids and dirty/wet 'stuff'.

No area rug in this utilitarian space.

That otta do it. Now to get to work so I can show you the after!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A little familiarity, in this house of chaos, is a welcome thing.

A favorite picture, hung up amongst the blank walls.....

Or a treasured piece of furniture in our otherwise empty room....

Gives me just the needed push to continue with emptying boxes, and to look forward to the real decorating fun ahead.

The two munchkins are at Grandma's house next week; a perfect opportunity to get out those paint rollers. We are also working on a great project that I hope to reveal next week!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Dilemma Solved

Remember my TV dilemma?

There were varied opinions on what I should do; definately not a clear favorite amongst the commenters.

Well, I mulled over the decision and was ready to order the Restoration Hardware armoire, especially since they were having a great sale. We got into our new house, though, and I realized that the RH armoire was not the right piece for this house. I loved that armoire, but I just couldn't visualize it in here.

We immediately knew which was the perfect piece for this home:

Rat tail hinges and gorgeous original hardware.

Original finish complete with amazing patina.

Signed by the original owners. Enlarge the pictures above to see the french (the armoire is from Quebec) names of the Famille de Bellemare, first dated 1873!  They've listed their children and grandchildren's names on the cabinet, with the last date 1956. You just can't buy character like that from a new store!

We are thrilled with our decision. With this being a newer home (3 years old), I want to create charm and character to avoid that new build feel. We plan on using moldings and trims to help with this, but antique and vintage furniture pieces, mixed with newer finds will create that perfect eclectic balance I am after.

Thank you for all your input on my dilemma! You are an invaluable source of inspiration for me, and I truly appreciate your opinions!

Linking to my favorite Parties!