Category Archives: Home Decor

Decor Dreams: Kitchen

In the grand scheme of things, I think my future kitchen worries me most. I have a very large desire to create a kitchen I love love love, in the hopes that it’ll inspire me to want to spend time in it, and even want to cook in it! (cooking isn’t exactly tops on my list of “good times”).

The kitchen also happens to be the room for which I have the least to work with. I have a table (a beautiful, lovely table). But that’s pretty much it…everything else I need to find, buy and/or do. Here’s where my thinking is headed:

  1. I want a happy, sunny kitchen…I think Benjamen Moore’s Little Dipper will give me just that, without being too harsh or bright.
  2. A little bit of inspirational artwork from Vol25…I’d like to include one of her home-themed prints somewhere…and where better than the heart of the house?
  3. In all of my imaginings, I never imagined a weird burgundy-pinkish countertop…so the one that’s currently installed is going to have to go. That being said, I don’t want to get too extravagant and blow my decorating budget on a granite countertop…I think this Butterum Granite laminate countertop looks quite nice. What’s more, its colouring is complementary to oak, which is what our cabinets are (and which will be staying as is…there are far too many of them to replace/alter).
  4. These are just some oak cabinets I threw in to serve as a colour guide, because as mentioned above, there are lots of ’em in my future kitchen.
  5. I can’t recall what’s there now, but I figure I may very likely want to switch out boring cabinet knobs/handles with nicer ones. This is something I’ll probably really want to hunt around for, but something along the lines of this one from Anthropologie would suit me just fine.
  6. Chairs…..currently I’m using old nuns’ chairs from a closed convent. As much as I love them, and love their history, the fact of the matter is: they’re not very comfortable, nor are they suited for a dining room table (they’re just too low). My idea is to have a mishmash of chairs: I really like the idea of contrasting the old barn wood in my harvest table with modern chairs, like a ghost or fiberglass shell chair…and I don’t want to have any more than 2 of any particular type of chair (I’ll need 6 total).
  7. This is a swatch of my table….I love the colour, and all of its fantastic imperfections. It’s made from 100 year old barn wood.
  8. Dishes…I desperately need a set of at least 8 place settings that (and this is key) actually match. I need both everyday dishes, as well as “good” dishes…If I ever get married, “Chirp” dinnerware by Lenox will definitely be going on my registry to serve as the “good” ones (I’ve been coveting them for years…what I don’t covet is their price tag!).
  9. As you can see from my dinnerware choice, I’m thinking turquoise would be a great accent to butter yellow walls (truthfully, I think turquoise is a great accent to just about everything!). I’d love to have a Le Creuset Dutch oven in Caribbean blue.
  10. My biggest worries in the kitchen are the counter and backsplash…they’re items I’ve never had to shop for before, so leave me a little outside of my element. Do I even know how to pick them? Can I avoid making them too matchy-matchy? Can I install them myself? Can I even afford them?

    I dunno.

    What do you think? What would you do differently? Any and all comments welcome!


Decor Dreams: Master Bedroom

While trying to fall asleep nights, I’ve been dreaming up how to decorate my future bedroom, rather than counting sheep:

  1. It’s funny how your taste changes as you get older. My first apartment was in a quirky little building called the “Ivanhoe” in the McGill ghetto in downtown Montreal. It was also pretty old, with original plumbing fixtures (separate hot and cold faucets), massive pulley windows, and a chandelier to light my one room. While I could live with the faucets, and the beautiful sunshine the windows let in…I couldn’t stand that chandelier. Which is why I find it somewhat ironic that a decade later, I dream of having a fairly similar one in my bedroom. Go figure.
  2. Paint: Benjamen Moore’s Sour Apple
  3. This ought to be my motto (just replace “pajamas” with “jogging pants”)! I want blue accents in the room, and this seemed a fun way to incorporate it into my mood board…Speaking of moods, I’m pretty tempted to buy Kris Atomic’s latest print, Chronic Bitchface (I fear I suffer from it).
  4. One of my most vivid dreams has been to use wallpaper *somewhere* for a statement wall. I’m leaning towards Graham & Brown’s “Darcy”. I like that it’s simple, elegant, and a little masculine all at the same time (the fact it brings Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy to mind doesn’t hurt, either).
  5. I will FINALLY hang my Design*Sponge jewellery bust! I made it shortly before we packed everything up and moved to the temporary apartment. It’s only ever seen the inside of a box.
  6. This is pretty close to a white bureau currently in storage in my parent’s barn. I intend to rescue it, and use it for jewellery, makeup, hair stuff, etc…
  7. I’ve already got this duvet set. Its main colours are a soft but happy yellow and green, and were the inspiration for my overall colour selections for the bedroom.
  8. IKEA’s Malm bureau…in fact, we’ve got two of them (doesn’t everyone have at least one piece of Malm bedroom furniture?). My current hope is that the closet is as big as I remember, so that I can hide one of them in it.

…and that’s where I’m at.

There’s still more to figure out, though:

  • The boy and I both need some sort of bedside table for lamps, alarm clocks, books, glasses of water, kleenex, remote controls…you name it.
  • The bed needs a headboard…we’re currently using just a plain metal frame for the bed, and it could use a little “something” extra (especially for when the pretty sheets/duvet cover are in the wash).
  • Both the boy and I are geeks, so we not only have a bedroom TV….we have a bedroom playstation…we’ll need to put them somewhere.

Any ideas?! I’m wide open to suggestions, so please feel free to share!


Decor Dreams: Living Room

The boy and I are in the process of purchasing our first house…to say that I’m excited would be an understatement….to say that I’m obsessing about how we’re going to decorate it would be a monumental underestimation of my capacity to become completely, compulsively and continuously preoccupied with a particular subject.

Last Wednesday I wished that all of the jumbled up decorating ideas floating around in my head would actually come together at some point…during my few days of hibernation this weekend, I started creating mood boards to help in that process.

Today I’m sharing my ideas for the living room:

1. Hanging world map – I’ve already got this beauty! It was a gift from my mother-in-law after she discovered how much I love maps.

2. A tribute to my favourite film “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” – two Michael Sowa prints. To find: a couple of thrifted frames to protect them.

3. Desired paint colour: Behr’s Cucumber Crush

4. My blue IKEA couch (with a scan of the fabric swatch). To find: Pretty doilies to stitch on to one arm to camouflage my cats’ handiwork.

5. Persian-type rug…inherited by the boy ages ago from (ummm…) someone (!).

6. Stacked vintage suitcases (to hide/store blankets, unused video/gaming cables and paraphernalia, etc)…I have my eye on a few that my mom currently has in the barn back home.

7. My big-ticket item for the room…an arc floor lamp to put behind the corner of the couch, and arc over the coffee table (which we’ve already got, and is boring, and so not included in my mood board!).

What do you think? Does it have potential? Or am I headed for disaster? Any other ideas I could incorporate?


Picture Frame Alternatives

A little while ago, while I was dreaming about my future home which I am just itching to decorate, I shared a DIY from Design*Sponge for super cute paper picture frames. I just love the idea of finding alternatives to real picture frames, because the real things can be so expensive, or it can be really hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

So since then, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more interesting alternatives to the traditional picture frame that I can use as I continue to decorate my make-believe home in my head (and that I can hopefully use in real life sometime soon). Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Lindsay from LDC Designs has a very economical twist on the DIY picture frame – using contact paper…not only is it easy to find, but it’s affordable and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. Add to that, there’s no hardware required…just cut out the shapes you like, stick it up, and pull it down when you’re in the mood for a change. See the tutorial here.

If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you could find high resolution photos of picture frames you like, and then get them printed directly onto vinyl to make your very own vinyl wall decals. This is what Danielle from Thompson Family-Life did for her son’s nursery, and it looks just spectacular. Visit her site to get the full low-down on how she did it.

If you’re lucky enough to own your home, and don’t have to worry about removing anything you put up on your walls, then picture frame wallpaper is another option…this awesome black and white frames wallpaper by Graham & Brown is actually meant to be embellished – with your photos, drawings, illustrations, whatever…what a great idea (and what a fantastic way to foster creativity):

Or…if you’re super duper creative, you can forget the wallpaper and just draw or paint the frames (and whatever you decide to put in them) yourself. That’s what Timothy Goodman did for his artistic contribution to New York City’s Ace Hotel:

Holy moly! He drew 99 picture frames to create a “wall of discovery” about New York, highlighting interesting facts, things or places he loves about the city….I think this is super cool.

I also think, however, that the permanence of it might freak me out (I’d be soo worried that I’d mess it up). A little more error-friendly, would be an erasable wall of hand drawn frames on a chalkboard wall…something like what Anthropologie had in their July catalogue. Chalkboard walls are still super trendy at the moment, and I’ve been just salivating to paint something (anything) in black chalkboard paint:

So that’s what I’ve been able to dig up, so far…I’m particularly partial to the whole idea of chalkboards, but I’m also pretty in love with the wallpaper…though the paper, contact paper, or vinyl frames would be much more practical (and easy….you can have just one, rather than a whole wall of it!).

Have you come across, or made, something else instead of using a traditional picture frame? Please share!


Cat Scratch Camouflage

I have a cat. He’s adorable. He’s talkative. He’s recently been diagnosed with feline hyperesthesia (poor little bugger). When he isn’t hiding as a result of it, he loves to have his belly pet. He loves treats, duck and green pea cat food, and the scratch post my dad made for him. His name is Weasley:

Sometimes, however, he’s a total brat and decides his scratch post needs a rest, and attacks my couch instead….until now, I’ve mostly made sad attempts to clean up his mess by “trimming” the fabric he pulls out. When I get fed up, I try to dissuade him from continuing to scratch by covering the areas he gravitates towards with aluminium foil. It’s effective, but ugly.

I came across this idea by Amy Gross the other night, however:

Granted, it doesn’t fix the problem, but with a few doilies, I can at least make it a lot nicer to look at. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for pretty doilies starting now…and if I find some, project cat scratch camouflage will be put into action!

Does anyone else out there have a cat that enjoys ruining your couch? How do you deal with it?