Happy Easter and Spring!

Just a quick post to say Happy Easter!

I did some spring decorating a few weeks ago at the cottage, when I really needed a touch of spring.

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And this is where my little glass spheres (that I posted about here) ended up for now. I so love the bright green moss in them for now and I added in some shells for a beachy touch. I will likely get around to hanging them at some point but for now they are happy here.


Stenciling how tos

As promised, here’s my DIY instructions for stencilling the back of cabinetry. I did this in my laundry room, you can see the reveal of that room here (and you’ll see the original room and cabinetry).

I started off with regular plain cabinetry and after removing the doors, I wanted to do something to dress up the backs of the cabinetry a little.

These are my tools – a stencil, fat stencil brush and Pittsburgh Paints sample pots in:

- silent night

- swan lake (missed this one in the photo…geez)


- prussian blue



And I was off, I just did a random pattern using one colour at a time.


My tips for stencilling with a small stencil like this is to use a dry brush and only put a small amount of paint on the brush.  Dap the brush to take off any excess paint and then pounce or pound the brush against the stencil.  Having very little paint on the brush helps to ensure that there is no bleeding behind the stencil.


I’m not an expert and the main thing to remember is that it is supposed to look handmade and as such it won’t be perfect.   So don’t sweat it!


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A little vintage, antique, kitsch, nautical & midcentury modern

Some great finds at this year’s Ottawa Antique Show at Carleton’s Fieldhouse.  Here’s what caught my eye for the vintage and antique lover.

Stools, tables, signs, harvest tables and crates…….

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And a few more vintage crates……

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Refurbished lockers as end tables.

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This nifty little cabinet can be surface mounted or inset mounted.

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I’ve always had a thing for these multi drawer units.  Not sure what I’d keep in there but I would love to try and fill it.

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This would be perfect for storage in a large bathroom, a library or a crafts room.

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Some kitsch!

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This adorable little carousel horse would be perfect for a nursery or playroom.  And there is just something about that landscape.

And if you aren’t into horses, how about some sheep made from net floats.

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And I couldn’t resist taking one of this lady…she’s also a kettle LOL! Sure to be a conversation starter.

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A little bit of nautical.

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And a touch of Mad Men!

photo 2 copy 2 Well, that’s my round up but there was tons more. Lots of beautiful jewellery and somehow, I missed the vintage purses….I must be slipping.

And check out what Meredith and Susan of Newberry/Sykes spotted at the show.  I spent quite a bit of time in that map booth too!


How to rejuvenate a tired laundry room in 5 easy steps.

I have been working on my cottage laundry room for awhile now and I am thrilled to share with you my completely rejuvenated (and inexpensive) laundry room.



This is the before shot, when the previous owners had the cottage.


1.  First thing we did was change the floor.  We had put these wood look porcelain tiles in our adjoining hallway and nearby powder room and I made sure that we purchased enough to also do the laundry room.  They are durable, easy to clean and look fabulous.   Goodbye, old, stained and tired vinyl flooring and hello, lovely!


2. Next up, painting the walls, though it is usually recommended to do the painting prior to new flooring going in, I must admit I did this backwards.  I chose the same colour as I did for my nearby powder room, Benjamin Moore’s  Woodlawn Blue HC-147.   I  justified this as both rooms have no natural light and I wanted something cheerful, light but definitely a colour and of course, I already knew that this paint colour went beautifully with the new flooring.  As a bonus, it also helps tone down the faintly striped pink countertops and cabinetry, that due to budget constraints, were not getting replaced.


3. Change the hardware (click here to read my previous post on this).  Just by replacing this, it made a huge difference in the entire space. It completely modernized it and made the cabinetry that much more sleek.  To make things as easy as possible I went with hardware that fit the existing drilled holes, as I knew I wouldn’t be painting the cabinetry.

You can see the blackboard painted laundry chute well in this photo. If you want to read more about it, click here.


4. Remove some cabinetry or just some doors. This room was cabinet heavy, which don’t get me wrong is great for storage. But as this is our cottage and we are fortunate enough to have a ton of storage in this place, I wasn’t going to get too upset about losing a few cabinet doors, in order to lighten up the space.  Plus, I added in some grey fabric boxes that are just perfect for tucking away small items.


5. Add some decorative touches.  I painted out the laundry chute as I blogged about in this previous post.  I couldn’t hide it so making it a cute little whimsical piece was the next best thing.   I also decided to stencil some flowers randomly at the back of the open cabinetry, this adds a little bit of pattern.  I’ll be posting about this little project next week.



I also added in some cute black hooks for drying items and a few colourful pieces on the counter make it fun to do laundry…well sort of….fun.




Transformation from living room to home office

I’m very excited to share this transformation.  It started back in the fall and is now entirely finished, just in time for spring.   You can click here to read my previous post on this project and how rooms in your home can be altered to suit you and your family.   Needs and wants change throughout life, and your home should change and adapt right along with you.

So without further ado, here’s the finished space  -




Here’s a couple before shots -

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So to recap, the stairway wall was closed in and the half wall by the entrance were both closed in to allow french doors to be added to the room.   A trio of long,narrow and frosted windows were added to the now full entrance wall to keep the light flowing from room to room.

The first item purchased was the desk with its dark grey wood legs and glossy grey lacquered top, and it help dictate the mood and style of the space.


Next, the Ikea’s Galant cabinets and bookcases were purchased in grey to coordinate with the desk.  Add, a black and white patterned area rug for a graphic punch and a cosy chair and a half for reading and conversation.  My client’s new artwork made it easy to choose colourful purple as an accent.

Lighting is provided by the great sparkly and modern fan that my client found, a modern floor lamp and a glass table lamp that adds a touch more sparkle.

And a few more pretty shots.


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My client is thrilled and is now inviting clients to her office. I love how changing your space, can transform your life as well.  What room do you want to transform?



A whole new Flor

No, it’s not a spelling mistake in my title, I’m talking about Flor tiles.  What are Flor tiles? They are remarkable carpet tiles that are cleanable, removable, durable and eco-friendly, as they are recyclable when they come to the end of their lifespan.

I’ve been wanting to try them out for quite a while now and after hearing how much Maureen loved them, I was anxious to try them out.

I have been wanting go change up my entryway carpet for a very long time, but hadn’t found anything that I was in love with.  So, now I’m thinking this is the perfect fit.  I made sure and chose a pattern and colour that would hide the dirt that gets traipsed in.  And since, I have quite a bit of blue to my home, a cheerful dark blue was just the thing.


Remembrance in Tidal

Described by them as “Our take on distressed Turkish rug patterning in saturated hues and bold neutrals for an heirloom-worthy design. This style features a random pattern designed to vary from square to square, so patterns will not always align.”


I am absolutely in love with the over dyed look of them and it certainly brightens up my entrance and ties in the navy sofa I have in my adjoining living room and the soft blue chairs I have in my family room. 


And another thing I love about Flor tiles, is that when I’m having a large crowd over I can just add the two extra tiles I purchased, to make a little more space, to take off and put on boots.




They have so many styles and types of carpet tiles that I’m sure you’ll find exactly what you are looking for.


Weekend meanderings and a new fireplace.

So how was your weekend? Great, I hope.  Mine, well I had a pretty productive weekend.  After three winters of dealing with the noisy and not so pretty wood pellet stove, it was time for it to go.  We put in a high efficiency and as large as we could fit, wood insert, to try and help with the exorbitant heating bills that we keep receiving, especially during this particularly long and cold winter.  And as an added bonus, it’s actually quite pretty in a masculine, log home kind of way.

This is the before -

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And the after (but I think you could have figured it out on your own) -

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So much better in my opinion.  It smells so good, you can see the fire so much better and we are certainly clearing up our stash of logs from some previous tree cutting.  There are only two things I would change, I wish it would have fit a little more flush into the space, but this was as good as we could get and I wish I had managed to clean off some of the soot on the stone, prior to the installation.  Does anyone have any good tips for cleaning the stone?  I’m all ears!

I also worked a little on the laundry room and managed to get some stencilling done.  I’m hoping to share the complete makeover next week.


And speaking of this never ending winter, I was determined to de winterize the cottage decor.  Here’s some of the results.

mirror bunnies oars

So what were you up to?


Ottawa sourced – hanging glass spheres

Just picked up a trio of these hanging glass spheres from HomeSense.  They are also available from Chapters, in case you’re looking, since you have to be very, very quick at HomeSense, before the item disappears.


I’m a little puzzled as to why there is no hook on the top of this picture from Chapter’s website.

Not too sure where exactly they are going, but they are going to the cottage, perhaps a cottage bedroom, or the kitchen or maybe the sunroom….decisions, decisions.

So do I use them as a terrarium, like these ones that I saw in store at Chapters? Or do I  just add some nice green moss (can you tell I’m craving Spring)  or perhaps some faux candles?


Hmmm….what do you think?

Shhh….don’t tell anyone but I think I would be all about the faux plants for this look. Mums the word.



Design Plan – Gray, Mauve and Yellow

For this cold St Patrick’s Day, I’m sharing I’m  a little bit of spring with a fresh and pretty design, even though there’s not much green in it.


I’m totally in love with the yellow chair, the artwork, the rug, the console…okay I just love everything.  This entryway design is for a client’s home. It was decided to do the entryway after we had finished converting their main floor living room into a functional and pretty home office, a little bit of reno creep.

Stay tuned for the home office reveal soon.




How to spring clean your home without trying too hard

So, if you are like me and spring fever has hit hard and fast, and you really aren’t Molly Maid, here’s some tips for spring cleaning your home without really trying too hard.

I try to do one room at a time, that way you’ve felt like you’ve made some headway instead of being overwhelmed by the entire house.  Today, let’s focus on the bedroom.


1. Start by removing all the bedding, yes, all of it! Start washing….and open the windows (if it isn’t snowing and blizzardly, as it is here in Ontario today).   Nothing like a breath of fresh cool air to make your home feel shiny and clean.

2. Take one of the long handled swifter type things and dust off your fan blades.  That way, there will be no more dust swirling around every time you turn on your fan.   No fan?  Then dust off the light fixture, you’ll be amazed at how much more light it will give off.  Remember to vacuum the lampshades as well, with the upholstery attachment, of course :-).


3. Move all table top/dresser top/accessories to one area.  Dust off the empty table tops and sort through the accessories. Only put back the ones you love and put the rest in a box to either use in another part of the house, store for another season, or giveaway.

4. I like to tackle one junk drawer, cupboard, closet at a time.  Set aside about 1/2 an hour for each, maybe 1 hour for the closet.  Have a garbage ban or box for giveaways, a small box for things that belong elsewhere and a garbage bin or bag for garbage (which trust me, will be the fullest thing) at the ready.  It’s amazing the junk  stuff you keep.  Be ruthless.  By the by, this also goes of your clothes closet.  Though you may want to set aside a half day or a whole day for this, depending on your level of shopping addiction. Honestly, if you haven’t worn it the past season, why are you keeping it?  You’ll love being able to find the items you actually love, fit you, and that you want to wear, easily and quickly.

5. While vacuuming, move the bed, dresser and sofa, or at least pass the vacuum under it.  That way those sneaky, pesky dust bunnies won’t be coming out at the most inopportune time.

6. Remake the bed and stand back and be amazed!