‘Modern meets rustic and tangles with industrial’ kitchen reno update

Well, if that title isn’t a mouth full, I don’t know what is.  Obviously, trying to come up with catchy titles isn’t my strong suit…so modern/rustic/industrial kitchen it is.

It’s been awhile since I posted any updates on this ongoing reno, but not to fear things have been moving along, slowly…but still moving forward.

When I last left you, I had posted about the finishing touches and we were patiently waiting for the new cabinetry boxes to be done.  Well, they were finished up fairly quickly and installed.  Which meant lots, lots and I mean lots, of boxes filled with various kitchen paraphernalia, most of which will not be making their way back into the new kitchen.

Once the cabinet boxes were installed, the counter fabricators came in to template the kitchen and about two weeks ago the new counters were installed.


Swoon……(excuse the reflection in the photo, my bad…)

The Caesarstone quartz looks exactly as I had expected it to look, warm, calm and natural. The perfect compliment to the busy, stone island wall.  The stone, black island cabinets, hardwood floor and the quartz make me very, very happy.

FullSizeRender copy

And speaking of counters, I had originally wrestled with the thought of putting butcher block (which I had in my previous cottage kitchen and loved) on the lowered cabinet area (under the windows) to break up the quartz and to also make this area look even more like a piece of furniture.  Well, I had decided to keep things simple and just go with quartz everywhere. But when my fabricator came to measure, we discovered that we would be short with two slabs and we would need to order a third to complete all the counters. Well, I felt that it was a big neon sign that I should go back to my original thought about the butcher block and it would also keep our budget in order.

So, off I went to Ikea and I picked up the Hammarp countertop in Oak, the best match with the oak flooring and the golden oak stained pine.


I also received this stunningly gorgeous runner from West elm that I had ordered a few weeks ago and placed it up against the blue/grey cabinets. Isn’t it charming?



And for my November birthday, I asked hubby for some new everyday dishes. The current ones at the cottage are a hodge podge of my first set of dishes, my Mom’s old dishes, my sister-in-law’s, mother-in-law’s old dishes (I knowwww) and the previous owner’s dishes.  I mean…really…..it was time to move them all out to their new homes and get some fresh new ones.  I knew I wanted white, organic, matte and durable.  It took quite some time to find and commit, but I’m thrilled with my new dishes.  I think they will be so pretty sitting up there on the wood shelves.


And speaking of the wood shelves, when I was in Miami last week for Modenus Talks Miami (stay tuned for a future post), we spent some time at DesignMiami.  And when I saw this vintage 1950’s credenza in all its live edge loveliness, I knew this was exactly the look I wanted for the shelves.  So, I will be sanding my little heart out to get the rough maple slabs, currently in my garage, to get to this look.  But it will be well worth it, don’t you think?




That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in the previous posts on the kitchen, here’s the links.

Appliances, lighting and faucets, oh my!

Changes, compromises and cabinets

Industrial farmhouse kitchen reno update

Rustic/industrial/farmhouse kitchen makeover




Rustic and soft beachy bedroom

Today’s post is how to get a rustic yet soft beachy bedroom.  But first, I must apologize for that large blogging break! I was away in sunny California – San Francisco and Yosemite to be exact. What a beautiful place California is and we enjoyed it so much.

And now I’m back and a little swamped with all the spring fever that is going around over here.  I’m knee deep in lots of designs and plans.  And I had just enough time to do up a post for Wicker Emporium a few weeks ago (when the weather was still cool and pretty miserable here).  So if you are itching to freshen up your bedroom decor for summer, look no further.

soft rustic beach bedroom-001 And if you are looking for the links to the items above, they are below.

From top left:
Metal sand dollars; pillows;  New Haven Queen bed; artwork; glass lamp; drapery; dresser; area rug; cabinet

Have a great sunny week!




Easy, peasy Springtime urn

I managed to get my exterior Spring urn done this past weekend and thought I’d share my easy, peasy steps on how to do it.

Boy, it has been awhile since I’ve written a post. It has been a very busy spring for me and there just hasn’t been any time to blog.  But I’m back at it now.  I hope you are having a great Spring and had a wonderful Easter weekend.


Now back to the urn.  To do this arrangement, you’ll need:

A container; floral foam; floral wire and cutters; faux wreath (a great way to use an old tired wreath); dried moss; birch branches; tall branches or dried grass; secondary faux branches (in this case, pussy willows, 3 of them); focal faux branches (1 of them); grapevine ball; small decorative object (tiny bird’s nest, in this case).

So my easy, peasy steps are:

1. Tie the three birch branches together with floral wire and place them in the center of the container. Then cut the floral foam (you can just use a bread knife to cut the blocks) to fit between the branches and the edge of the container, to keep them from shifting.  The foam will secure all the stems and keeps everything from moving around.

2. I then placed an old wreath with faux pussy willows (that has seen better days) on the rim. It helps to fill in the base of the arrangement. If you don’t want to do this you can just fill in the area with the dried moss.

3. Pop in some dried moss between the wreath and the container if you have any bare spots, like I did here.



4. The long dried branches/grasses at the back, were from Ikea, bought many, many years ago.  I find they help to fill in the background and are a great neutral against the logs.

5. I then added in a few faux pussy willow branches spaced fairly evenly around the birch branches. Repetition is a great way to make an urn cohesive, in this case the faux pussy willows.


6. Next, your focal branch(es) can be added in. I used a faux forsythia branch. I recommend either one or three of these and since I only had one, I placed it a little off center.

7.  A grapevine ball is a great piece to add some weight to the bottom of the urn and I’ve used this one constantly since I bought it. It holds up really well and I just wire it in place.


8. Adding in a little up close interest, is a fun thing to do. This time, I’ve tucked in a cute little bird’s nest a little off center, again.  A bird or butterfly ornament would also work especially well here.

Hint: If some of your flowers fall off, like mine have, I just tuck them into the base as a little hit of colour. If your urn is placed where it will get some wind and exposure, be sure to either wire or hot glue your pieces in well.


Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to see yours.




Rustic country decor with a touch of sparkle

I was  a busy Christmas elf this past weekend getting my log home into shape for the holidays.  Inside and out it’s ready for the season to begin, minus the fresh tree, of course.

Hope you enjoy!

DSC_0401 DSC_0403 IMG_7085 IMG_7073 DSC_0374 DSC_0375 FullSizeRender IMG_7066 IMG_7087

Now onto the house!


And it’s open – Artemano in Ottawa

Artemano’s grand opening last night was a great evening.  Lots of wonderfully dressed people came out to welcome this new store to Ottawa’s design landscape.

photo 1

Vintage pieces like the door above, mix with the organic.  Btw – I took these pictures about a week before the event so that I got clearer views.

photo 2 copy 2

  photo 2

This daybed was a favourite spot to sit and get your photo taken.

photo 3 copy photo 3

This little desks are just the cutest things.

photo 4

These bell lanterns had me at HELLO! I am seriously bothering the better half to get one installed at the cottage.

photo 1 copy 2


This bedroom was my favourite space, from the textured, stacked wood wall, to the moody blue/gray walls, to the Leonard Cohen quote (which coincidentally I had on my website for many years), to the huge and glamourous mirror, to the dramatic basket lights, and finally to that BED!

photo 1 copy photo 2 copy


It was a great evening, filled with fabulous wine, great food, wonderful live music, and lots of very thrilled Ottawans to have another great furniture store in the Capital.  Thanks to all who attended!


PS.  I also wrote a short write up for Ottawa at Home’s blog, click here to read it.