Wallpaper Murals – would you or wouldn’t you?

The trend of oversized patterns and murals on interior walls, is still on it’s way up! If you were like me, when you hear “wallpaper mural” you think of the 70′s versions of forested and jungled rooms.  Well, not to fear these are not your 70′s murals. And there are no variegated moss green shag carpets either….shiver.  Did I ever tell you we removed exactly this type of carpet from our first home, along with some green palm frond wallpaper?  Yup, we did …but I digress.

Today’s murals, from Prime Walls are nothing like that.  They are pure gorgeousness.


I think this one above is my favourite.  I’d love to put it in a bedroom at the cottage.  The panels are 18″w x 110″h (and come in 4 panel packages) so they are great for rooms with high ceilings.


Can you tell what this one is? Red, rusting metal. Fabulous in an office lobby, or as shown here, a boardroom.  Perfectly appropriate in an engineers office or metal company.


This one is cork.  So neat, I kind of see pencil shavings in this one.


This would be so great in a living room with some very sleek, white and soft neutral furniture and a splash of red.


Of course, concrete is so popular right now.  I can see this around a gas fireplace insert, instead of a traditional surround for a modern contemporary feel.  It would also be great as a backsplash in a kitchen with glossy cabinetry.  The contrast would be amazing!


Probably my second favourite. If you had a cottage or country home that didn’t have wood walls inside, this would be the perfect solution to bring in some of that warmth.


Now, this one I would put in an elegant spa, a powder room or a women’s boutique.  Beautiful and oh so classy!

So which one would you use and where?

*All photos courtesy of Prime Walls



Hunky, Chunky, Roving Wool Throw

For me the colder weather always brings with it a need or perhaps a craving to create homemade items.  Being stuck inside makes me look at my spaces with bored eyes and my hands get itching to create something to spice them up.

This winter I’ve gone back to knitting, which is so, so, so popular, right now.  The inspiration is everywhere.  I decided to get on the huge chunky knitting bandwagon and went off to my favourite wool store…….and I came home with 12mm knitting needles.  These are the BIGGEST needles I have ever used…I know, I know, if you look on Pinterest you will see many, many larger needles, some that are made from PVC pipes….WOW clever people, really clever.

Well, I wasn’t quite up to that, so I’m sticking with my somewhat large needles and what’s called Briggs and Little Pure Wool Country Roving yarn.

It is five strands thick and very, very, easy to break….take my word on that.  I choose a dark blue…I’m sure you are shocked by that…snicker….for the throw blanket I decided to make and it’s coming along nicely.

I call it my Hunky, Chunky, Roving Wool throw.  And I just may have it done by spring :-)


No pattern for me, nope, I just read up on a bunch of blogs and Pinterest, on what everyone had done and I kind of went from there.

So for those that want a pattern to follow, here’s what I did, by no means do I claim to be an expert knitter, I’m just a dabbler, so proceed at your own risk.

Cast on 40 stitches (about all these knitting needles could handle)

Then first row knit in garter stitch (that’s straight knitting, if you’re not sure).

Then the pattern is -

1st row – K1, *K2, P2* and repeat * to end K1

2nd row – P1, *K2 , P2* and repeat * to end K1

Easy, peasey, and you can see the pattern shaping up in the photo.  Now, if you are wondering how many balls of yarn to buy, I am going to have to get back to you on that.  I bought four to begin with, but I fully anticipate having to go back to pick up some more.

****Disclaimer – you really should get all your wool at one time so that they are all from the same dye lot (the colours can vary with each dye lot).  I’m just hoping that I get back there soon enough that they aren’t on to the next dye lot.

If this works out well, there may be many, many, many throws given as gifts next Christmas…..you didn’t read this, family and friends.

So what are you making during this long, cold, snowy winter?



Hot travel inspiration

Sorry for the quietness around here lately, but I was taking in some sun and sand.  Don’t you find going away always makes you see your place with new eyes?  So much inspiration comes from travel.

These are a few of my inspiring photos, can you feel the heat? Lord knows, we need it here in Ontario right now.



IMG_8373 IMG_8371


And we have a Refinished Table!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a restful and fun filled holiday! Mine was great, very relaxing, spent a lot of time with family and definitely ate and drank too much. But then, that’s what the holidays are all about.

We spent some time at the cottage and I managed to finish my table makeover, finally.  It was more of a job than I thought, but isn’t that usually the way.  I had to make a compromise or two on the way but I still am very happy with the way it turned out.  It’ll be perfect for our card playing evenings come summer time.

So to refresh your memory this is how the table was looking. It was in pretty rough shape.  To read my original post, click here.


I sanded slightly and painted the base in chalk paint (made by myself – click here for the recipe) in this bright green. I wanted to bring some lightness and freshness to the sunroom.


 Sherwin-Williams – Dancing Green 6716

Next up, I sanded the top which was much more arduous than I originally thought. The original finish kept gumming up the belt sander and then we tried the palm sander, which unfortunately due to our over zealous sanding caused many ripples in the surface and horror of horrors, went down to the plywood base…so much for it being a solid wood top.   Luckily, most of our boo boos were in the leaves of the table which I usually do not leave in place, as I prefer the smaller footprint in this room.

So after finally getting the top sanded, it looked like this.


I had originally intended to sand the apron by hand and stain it the same as the table top, but after trying to do just a small area, I was totally discouraged and decided on the simpler and faster route of painting the apron the same as the base.  I know a bit lazy, but I really don’t have that much patience.

So I painted the apron and then stained and varnished the top (with a satin polyurethane) and here’s the finished result.

refinished table



I love how by painting the base and apron the details show up so much more than just staining the wood.  Sorry to all the wood lovers but there is definitely enough wood in this home!


The 613 Holiday Special | Oh Christmas Tree

Hope your Christmas preparations are going well.  Mine are, two trees up, two homes decorated, presents all bought, some are even wrapped, almost all my Christmas cards sent, however, no baking done yet. I guess that is this week’s priority.

Today is the third instalment of 613 Holiday Decorating – today’s topic Oh, Christmas Tree!  So come along and see what we’ve all been up to.


In keeping with my previous post, I’ll be showing you my two very different Christmas trees. I’m excited as this is the first time we’ve had a real Christmas tree at the cottage, in previous years I’ve dressed up a large Christmas branch :-)

I do have a few rules with my trees. Number One is a ton of white lights, so my trees always have at least hundreds of lights on them.  Number Two is the style of garland sets the stage for my trees and Number Three is I love personal ornaments, though I have been know to buy some boxed sets, but mostly I like personal and homemade ornaments.


I keep the silvery sparkly theme going at home with the tree.  I use a ton of white lights, pearl garland and as many ornaments as I can squeeze on.  These are some of my favourites.


Starting from the top left:

1. A  lovely little Christmas gate, that was a present. Doesn’t it looks so inviting, like there is a little cottage just down the way and everyone is waiting for you to arrive.

2. A sparkly chandelier, from a trip to Niagara on the Lake.  I know it’s not really representative of the area, but I couldn’t resist it’s prettiness.  I always try and get a Christmas ornament on our travels. It’s a great souvenir that doesn’t clutter up your home and you get to relive your travels at least once a year.

3. My Mom and me made these beaded ornaments one year when I was a teenager and they have been a favourite of both of ours ever since.  This is Rudolph (sorry he’s a little blurry).

4. Crystal tree in a clear ball from Rockefeller Center in New York City.

5. The beaded Christmas tree my Mom and I made, and;

6. our Santa’s stocking. They have all held up remarkably well, considering their age.

I use a pearl garland on this tree and this year I added in some silver mesh ribbon for some fullness.

photo 2


For our cottage tree, we went with a real tree….so exciting for me. It’s been years and years since we’ve had a real tree.  I bought some of the new LED lights in a mini globe shape and  I’m loving the look of them. But considering the size of the tree we ended up getting, I’m wishing I had about 4 more boxes (see Rule #1)….oh well, that’ll have to wait for next year.

I’m loving that there are tons of natural pinecones still attached to the branches. You can see them in the middle of tree below.


So for this tree I used burlap garland which gives it the rustic country feel I was going for. I even used some of it for the large bow on top of the tree.


A view in the evening.
photo 4

photo 4 copy

You can see the little San Francisco street car (another souvenir) and in the one below our little sock monkey, which is my hubby’s favourite ornament.

photo 2 copy

One last look!

photo 5 copy

So check out my fellow five Ottawa bloggers as we set our tables, deck our halls & try to survive the holiday season with style & cheer. Grab your eggnog and toast to the season with us every Monday until Dec 23rd. Happy Holidays!   Check out all the holiday decorating below!

613 holiday special



The Sweetest Digs

Just Settle Down

Keep it Beautiful

Next week, it’s all about our holiday traditions!

And a big congratulations to Newberry|Sykes for their fabulous articles in the Ottawa Citizen this past Saturday.  Click here to read all about Meredith’s DIYs and Susan’s decor tips. Congratulations ladies!