Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course 🙂   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.


And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!


Guest room mood board, living room designs and some reno updates

I hope you’ve been enjoying some of the spectacular weather that has been happening.  Makes it really hard to spend the day at the computer, but I may just be bringing it out on the deck.  It has sure been a busy few weeks here.  I’ve just finished a guest room mood board for a client.  Keeping in mind that we wanted to stay on a tight budget for this basement guest room, with a light and fresh beachy feel, here is the mood board.

Laidlaw Guest Room-001

The background colour is the room’s current colour – Benjamin Moore’s – Collingwood OC-28.  And I’ve suggested painting the existing unmatching wood side tables in New Hope Gray 2130-50.  A sheer pretty roll up blind for the tiny  window is perfect to let the light in. A soft upholstered headboard in a linen fabric keeps the bed looking fresh and clean and works well with the existing soft blue/gray tone on tone paisley bedding.  A mirror in a fun shape and a simple bright white dresser are perfect for storage needs and a graphic striped runner completes the beachy feel.

I’m also working on a client’s family room that is very long and narrow.  With dimensions of  23′ x 9′,  it’s a tricky one.  I’m loving the suggestions found on Pinterest, check out my Long Narrow Rooms board to see some of the inspiration photos I’ve collected.

Also on my desk, is the finishing touches to a client’s living and dining room that is all things minimal and modern, oh yes…and with lots of Indian touches and style.  Having lots of brilliantly coloured artwork to play with makes me a happy designer 🙂

And we also been having some fun with the cottage renovations, the sunroom roof was replaced and some skylights removed at the same time.  Lots of mess, but heaven knowing we will not have any more water pouring into it, when it rains heavily.  And we will be replacing some tile flooring in there as well, stay tuned for a tile repair that will look like an entrance rug…fingers crossed….

Hubby is also in the process of making a fire table for the cottage deck.  Lots of stone and concrete bought for it and here’s hoping he has some time in the near future to actually get it finished.  I’m looking forward to leisurely sitting around the fire with a glass of wine while enjoying the river view.  Here’s our inspiration –


Via www.techo-bloc.com website

And in anticipation of having a beautiful fire table to sit at, I’ve ordered some outdoor fabrics to make some cosy pillows for our rather hard wood chairs.


Well, you’re all caught up now, on what I’ve been up too.  How’s your summer going so far?


A small bench….slipcovered

I managed to do a tiny little makeover project for my cottage bathroom recently.  I’ve included the basic instructions in case you want to tackle something similar.

I started with this rather old and grubby little bench that I’ve been using as a vanity seat in my bathroom.

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I wanted a cover that I could wash easily and feel clean and fresh.  So I decided on terry towelling, i.e. towels! I picked up two large white bath towels in the clearance section of HomeSense and I was well on my way.  Be sure to wash them in hot water and put them in the dryer, to avoid any shrinkage.

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I measured the top and sides.  This is also where you figure out how long you want the slipcover to be.   I wanted to make sure the legs weren’t showing so I went almost to the floor.  I also wanted the yoke of the towel to line up on all four sides and for the finished end of the towel to become the hem.

I added 1/2″ for any necessary seam allowances, so on each side I added 1″ as there are two sides to sew and 1/2″ on the top of each side piece, which is sewn to the top of the bench.  The photo above shows the process of cutting out the sides from the towel.

Once all the pieces were cut,  I sewed the four sides to the top piece at the edge of the seat.

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Then I proceeded to pin the sides together, being careful that my towel yoke (is that the correct term?) was lined up.   To do this I put the slipcover on the bench, inside out to ensure the fit was fairly tight.   I should also mention that I zigzagged about 3 times over each raw edge to help with fraying.  This was when I wished I had a fancier sewing machine or a serger but alas, I don’t.

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And here’s the finished slipcovered bench.

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It was pretty easy, only took me about 2 hours from start to finish and I zigzagged the edges on the remaining pieces of towels to use as rags.  Waste not, want not 🙂


Fabric inspiration courtesy of Robert Allen

Last week Robert Allen came to town and like a kid in a candy store, I was first in line to get a peek at their new fabrics.

Just a few of the beautiful pieces that I saw.  Please excuse all the hands on the fabric as we couldn’t resist touching all the loveliness and I had to be quick with the photos, hence the blurriness.


RA22 RA3

These were ethnic inspired and heavy, textured fabrics. The perfect thing for an ottoman, throw pillow or an occasional chair.


Velvet….ah…these were patch worked woven (don’t ask me how they do that) and absolutely gorgeous in real life, definitely my favourite and equally beautiful in the navy or red.  Expensive and luxurious,  a little bit would go along way and I may have to make a throw pillow in this and just keep it to myself.


Beautiful prints are everywhere and the perfect piece to inspire your colour scheme.  Great patterns for roman shades in a bedroom, laundry room or bath or even used for dining chairs.


A classic plaid, I’m particularly fond of the grey, white and gold version.  On a big comfy club chair or large scale ottoman.


A super large scaled medallion print. Resplendid in emerald.  On an ottoman as drapery or perhaps bedding.

RA10 Stripes that were embellished with velvet inserts. Pure luxury and what a sheen! Dining chairs, for sure.


New ikat prints with two tones and reminiscent of water colour paintings.  Draperies, anyone?


Graphic black and white always has my vote and this embroidered print was breath taking. I would love this as a duvet cover.


And Chinoiserie done right, available in many colour waves, this one was my favourite, dark and dramatic.  I can see this used as a roman shade in a fabulous powder room or used like wallpaper and placed inside wall panels.


And last but not least, mixing patterns and scale, with prints that remind me of bark cloth from the 50s and 60s but done in contemporary colours.  These are mixed with stripes and geometrics to make them fresh and interesting.


More ikat in a different colour wave together with a retro inspired red striped print.

Now where can you see these fabrics in your home?


Some updates and bits and pieces

This is going to be a meandering post as there didn’t seem to be too much of a common thread to what I wanted to share with you.

First off, I managed to get all my recent Kijiji purchase of four rattan chairs (if you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen them) to the cottage (had to be done in two separate trips).  However, the wait was worth it, I love them and they fit with the style of the room so much better than the previous very old wood chairs.

Here’s a little peek at how they look in the space.  And…yes, that’s a cat sleeping on them…..it didn’t take them long to find a new comfy spot…sigh.



And a little Blogpodium love still going on.  We received one of this Chalk Ink pens in our swag bag and I was keen to try it out.



And here’s the results….so much easier to write with them than a fat piece of chalk.  I really want to try it out next on my kitchen chalkboard but that would mean I would have to erase all the messages from friends and family that are currently on it….


While at Blogpodium, Tonic Living had a lovely little set up with swatches of their great fabric.  The deal was that you take two swatches and then find some creative way to use them and then tweet, instagram, FB or pin your creation to win a $100 gift certificate from Tonic Living.  Here’s the two I picked.


And my creations.


Well, I didn’t win as my fabric covered boxes were not the most original idea on how to use the fabric but I’m happy with my cute little creations anyways. Check out the awesome winning entry here, and she just happened to use the same two pieces of fabric that I chose.

And finally, a little fall love still going on here.  I took these a few weekends ago and thought I would share them here.

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And with that I wish all my Canadian readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember all that we have to be thankful for!