Category Archives: Home Decor

Tulips!

My mother-in-law bought me these tulips last week, and now that they’re about ready to trash, I’m a little sad to see them go. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them, and have been particularly impressed that they haven’t drooped at all. The trick? Ten copper pennies thrown into the vase.

Tulips before they fully opened

I took this shot before they’d fully opened – I think I was still skeptical that they’d remain upright long enough for me to get any other photos.

Tulips

A day or two later, and they were just perfect….and not at all droopy.

Close up of tulips

Open tulips from above

So pretty!

Whenever we have fresh cut flowers they serve as a reminder of how much I love them…I really should treat myself and have them in the house more often.

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Minted & Julep

I’ve been dreaming about making the little one’s birth announcements for…oh…nearing 5 months now. As it’s obviously not happening, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to seriously look at alternatives where I can (very) easily use a template and have done with it before the child can announce his own birth.

Which is how I recently ended up on Minted where I almost immediately got distracted, and never actually ordered any birth announcements. Seriously. All it takes is a shiny object or new content that I can peruse while feeding my voraciously hungry little one for the umpteenth time, and you can consider me distracted.

Enter Julep – Minted’s blog – which describes itself as providing design and DIY inspiration for home, weddings and parties. Which immediately got me interested because, of course, I’m always in the mood for some design and DIY inspiration (even if I have zero time to do anything about it because I have a small human attached to me half of the time).

What I found interesting about Julep was that, even though there are some plugs for Minted’s products scattered in here and there, they don’t hit you over the head with them. The emphasis of the posts is on the inspiration and ideas, and not on the sales pitch. For example, in a recent post on Nursery Inspiration they created a mood board inspired by one of their art prints:

Nikkols-Nursery-Picks-For-Minted-good-day-for-a-walk-print

The post is short and sweet: find some little thing that inspires you (like a cute print), and then pull colours, patterns, and themes from it to design the rest of the room (which, of course, isn’t what I did when decorating Boo’s nursery, but whatever). There’s no “buy now” – just a discreet link to the print, and its inclusion in the list of items pictured.

Of course, once I clicked through to the print, I got started looking at their art print offerings (the next “shiny object”) and, much to my surprise, my work brain kicked in…I really like how user-friendly their art selection process is.

Though not all pieces have the same features, many of them – just like Minted’s stationery – are available in multiple colour schemes:

Minted-Art1

To help get your head around each sizing option available, they provide this handy dandy comparison (and can I just mention I love that the model is mostly invisible in the 44″x44″ shot?):

Minted-Art2

And then, if the print has been included in an art wall inspiration board – showing what other pieces of art go well with it – well then, that’s there too, providing inspiration for your very own art wall:

Minted-Art3

All of which is just generally helpful, and a pretty cool way to integrate their inspiration boards into the shopping experience.

Well done Minted.

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Chair Challenge

Of all the household items I need to purchase for my house, I never thought that dining/kitchen chairs would be the most difficult. Without exaggerating, I’ve been searching for months. Why is it so very complicated? Here’s why:

1. The chairs must be aesthetically pleasing to me.
If this were the only criteria, I’d be done. But, alas, many of the chairs I think look beautiful, don’t necessarily feel beautiful once you actually sit on them. Or else they send shivers up my boys’ spine, making him feel like he’s been thrown back in time and is sitting in high school detention. I’m looking at YOU fiberglass shell chairs.

(I should note at this moment that I LOVE these chairs. As in, I abso-freaking-lutely ADORE them, and still harbour the hope that we’ll end up buying a mix of chairs for our dining room table, these included…though as a purist, I insist they be made of fiberglass and not plastic.)

2. The chairs must be well-constructed and sturdy.
We’ve sat in a lot of chairs over the last few months. And every single one of them has been subjected to the “wiggle test”…as in, sit down, and wiggle about. Does the chair feel solid? Does it feel like you might topple off it? Or that it might bust?

Alas, one of my most budget-friendly picks from IKEA failed the wiggle test.

(IKEA’s transparent Tobias chair was too wobbly and, according to the boy, too prone to scratches.)

It also means that the chair needs to look like it’s well-made. If we’re going to spend $300+ on a chair, it’s gotta look like it’s worth it. Though it was comfortable (and passed the wiggle test), the Calligaris Flair chair did not pass the “it looks like it’s worth it” test.

(Surprisingly, the Flair Chair‘s seat upholstery was rather cheap looking once we really examined it.)

3. The chairs must “fit” us.
In other words they need to be comfortable for both a 6-footer and a 5-footer…the length of our respective legs and bodies play a big role in how each chair “fits”. Unfortunately, what is comfortable for one of us can be pretty uncomfortable for the other. A chair back that reaches my shoulder can jab my boy in the middle of his back…or one that is deep enough to sit comfortably and support his thighs leaves my feet dangling like a kid.

(These vintage chairs from Antiquités Curiosités on Montreal’s Amherst street were beautiful….but just didn’t fit my boy’s long legs.)

Add all of these criteria up, and suddenly you’re rejecting chairs left, right, and centre….but not all of them. Our current front-runner is sohoConcept’s Patara chair:

It looks great; doesn’t look like a detention/school chair; passes the wiggle test; looks well-made; and mostly fits us both…it’s a touch tall for me, but as a shrimp I’m used to it and can totally live with it.

We’ve yet to pull the trigger, though, as they carry a pretty hefty price tag…here’s where my “mix and match” idea may come into play!

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Home Sweet Home

I’ve been MIA for awhile…but I’m happy to report that I am *finally* free and clear of the peach-coloured temporary apartment and living in my very own home. MY OWN HOME!

Well, mine, my boy’s and the bank’s. Everything about it feels pretty awesome (if not a little overwhelming).

Admittedly, it took awhile to get all of the necessities set up, including internet (big fiasco, which included our [now former] internet provider actually performing the hook-up on the wrong address). So we switched providers, and are officially up and running.

There’s still lots to do, of course…we’ll be painting room-by-room, so don’t want to get things too settled only to pull it all apart again…and then, of course there are fixtures and decorations and so much more to sort out.

Stay tuned.

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Decor Dreams: Office

I think it goes without saying that I’ll be spending a lot of time in my home office…between computer use and crafting, it’ll be a very important room. Besides enjoying spending time in it, I want it to inspire me.

I also want to have a space for everything: my computer, my beading supplies, my sewing machine, my scrapbooking stuff, whatever…all in the hopes that if it has a place, I can keep it there and keep it organized….rather than creating a great big mess…(which I am very prone to do).

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Ivar shelving unit from IKEA…I bought two of these way back for my first apartment…they’ve since been painted white, but I’m going to refresh them once more and paint them red.
  2. I love love love chalkboard walls. I’m going to paint a full wall in chalkboard paint, and use it to attempt to organize myself, and for fun.
  3. Behr’s Embellished Blue
  4. I’ve always got tons of little papers, cut outs and ephemera hanging around that I either need, or can’t bear to get rid of just yet…in lieu of, or maybe in addition to, a corkboard, I’d like to hang a series of clipboards on the wall for fast and easy access, without putting holes in anything.

  5. Ikea’s Forsa work lamp for my desk. I’ve already picked this up….because I can’t remember what kind of lighting is in the room (I seem to think it may be wall-mounted rather than ceiling-mounted), I’m not dreaming too much about the main lights.
  6. A table…or a desk….or both. I need two dedicated workspaces so I’m not always having to move everything: one for my computer and one for my crafts. I’ve already got my eye on a vintage desk that’s currently in storage at my in-laws…and until I find something else to serve as my second workspace, I’ll keep my Ikea worktable.
  7. Ron Burns’ Toby…back when I worked at a search engine one of my co-workers had ordered this print for his wife…only to discover that the seller had cropped off the names of the artist and of the piece…I can’t recall if it was due to laziness, or because maybe they were advertisers on our website, but they sent him a new one without requiring the return of the old one….which I got (for free!). I like the bright use of colours.
  8. A quilt…this one is from Anthropologie, but if I can find a handmade one in the right colours, I’d prefer it. Why do I need a quilt in my home office? Because I’ll be setting up a spare bed in there…it’s a single/twin that I just can’t bear to get rid of (it’s just too comfy). I’ll dress it up as a daybed, and use it for reading and naps with my cat!

Is it wrong that I’m *soo* excited about my new office?!

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