Two mantels, two different looks

Mantels are one of the best places to decorate for the holidays and if you are like me, you love looking at different ones and different styles to get some ideas for your own.

I’m lucky enough to get to do two totally different ones every year, just for me.  Here’s my cottage mantel that I keep pretty minimal and rustic, totally appropriate for the country setting that it is in.

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS FIREPLACE

 

Photo credit: Justin Frost

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL

 

I used lots of fresh local greenery, some pinecones in a vintage apothecary jar, some antique encyclopedias (which I have sprinkled around the entire place), some sparkly grapevine balls, a birdcage and of course some candleholders. Honestly, this mantel took me all of half an hour to do. Quick, simple and rustic, just the way I like my country Christmas mantels.

Now for my city house, I went with a more sophisticated style.

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

Some similar elements here, fresh greenery and some dried magnolia leaves (they do last a few years, if you are careful when you store them), some fairy lights and of course candlesticks and candles. I may just tuck in some white and clear christmas balls amongst the leaves, at some point.  Pretty, simple and classic, perfect for my home in the city.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa

 

 

Update on my updates

So I thought I’d give everyone a little update on what’s been happening at my house this December. (Click here to see my previous post about what we were planning). We’ve had the painter in for 3 weeks now and it looks like we will be done early next week.  Phew! It’s been a bit of a long haul having the whole house painted at once, every night is spent putting a room back to together and taking another one apart.  I’m so looking forward to that being over.

So the living room, lower and upper hallways have been painted in Benjamin Moore’s Grandma’s China and doesn’t it look so very fresh and clean?

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The kitchen is soft and lovely in Subway Tile.  I love the way the gray/blue looks against the warm wood.

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We also decided at the last minute to do the den in the same colour, instead of Picket Fence.  Pics of that room later, we are still putting it back together.

I hate to play favourites, but the dining room is the best….shhh…don’t tell the others. This is Andes Summit and I’m in love with the colour, so rich and dramatic. Perfect for entertaining.

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My master bedroom went just a bit darker than it was, as I was keeping the wallpapered accent wall.

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The family room, sunroom, guest bathroom are also done but I haven’t got a great picture of them yet as we are having this done as well and the mess is encroaching on those two rooms.

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I know, I know, I’m crazy for doing this now.  But really, it should all be done by next Tuesday….fingers crossed.

Lisa

Artemano’s Grand Opening in Ottawa

 

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I’m so excited to be co-hosting Artemano‘s Grand Opening at the Trainyards in Ottawa, on Wednesday, November 19th between 5 – 9 pm.

This Canadian company has the most amazing wood furniture and now we don’t have to travel to Montreal or Toronto to see it.

Just take a peek at some of the deliciousness Ottawans are in for.

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I would love to see you there.  Please RSVP to me at lisa@lisagouletdesign.com by November 13th and I’ll make sure you are on the guest list.

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And mum’s the word…but a little birdie tells me there is going to be fabulous sales on as well during the evening….shhh!

And please feel free to pass this invite onto your family and friends.
Lisa

How to furnish and love a long narrow living room in 5 easy steps

So, you have a long narrow living or family room, and perhaps you are a little puzzled on how to go about using it to it’s full potential or at least making it appear less long and narrow.   Well, I have some quick tips for you so you can achieve this.

1.  First off, do not make the shorts walls a featured area.  This will just draw your eye right to the other end of the room and emphasize it’s narrowness.  So therefore, no accent walls of paint or wallpaper, and if possible, do not place the television or fireplace here.

2.  Do try and place the television/fireplace or other focal pieces, on one of the long walls, so that your focus is redirected there.

3. Place furniture away from the short walls wherever possible, so that they are drawn more into the center of the room.  Creating two seating areas works well in this kind of room and enables it to be used to it’s full potential.

4. Built ins or shelving units are your friend and can be used on the short walls to create some additional storage and they will inevitably cause the room to be shortened in length.

5. Don’t be afraid of larger pieces of furniture, like sectionals.  They take up less space than a sofa and loveseat and give you just as much seating, if not more, and allow you to stretch out to watch your favourite Netflick shows.

Recently, I did up a floor plan for a client with just this dilemma and here’s the two options I gave her.   *There is an interesting closet like space at the end of the room that we needed to work with, you know old homes and all their character.  Also, keep in mind drawings are for design layout purposes only and not necessarily suggestions for colour or specific pieces.
Option 1 – 
  COpt1
End of the room closet area was brought forward by using a console with a piece of art above and two matching chairs in front as the secondary seating area.  The remainder of the room is focused on the television set in the middle of one of the long walls with a sectional facing it.
Copt1west COpteast
Option 2 – 
The east side of the room remains the same, with the west side accommodating a built in bookcases and storage.
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Copt2west
So what’s your favourite Option?
Lisa

Using a room’s full potential

Do you use your rooms to their fullest potential?  By that, I mean do you stick with a room’s original purpose or are you willing to switch it up to suit your lifestyle.

I am currently working on a home office for a client.  It was originally  a living room but since there is a large cosy family room just down the hall, this room was looking pretty, but was rarely used.  Since both my client and her husband work from home, they decided to make better use of this prime and sunny location.

Some minor renovations were done first by my client, to ensure a successful transition –

1. Closing in the stair wall that runs beside the room, so that french doors could be added so that the office can be closed off from the rest of the house;

2. changing the half wall, that divides the space from the entry way, into a full wall.  The addition of long thin frosted windows ensures that light will pass through and keep the entry way feeling bright.

Here’s what we have so far for this feminine and practical home office.

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My client found this beautiful ceiling fan with beautiful crystals that make the most spectacular reflections on the ceiling.  Definitely a great find.galant-storage-combination-with-drawers__0148968_PE307332_S4 chair My Home

 

There will be a small sitting area with a television so this comfy chair and a half fit the bill perfectly.

We need to live in our homes and having barely used rooms is really a waste of space, so much better to change it up for your family’s needs.  So have you or would you change a room’s function to suit your lifestyle?

P.S. I’m posting a fabulously quick and delicious weekday meal on the TBB blog today.  Click here to read.

P.P.S. I’m a contributor to the newly launched Brazenwoman,  the only lifestyle Blogazine written by women 35+ for women 35+. Join us for the most current lifestyle tips, trends, reviews and recommendations, all written a voice you can relate to. Click on the link above to subscribe so you never miss an edition.

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