Art – do you frame or stretch?

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is being kind to you so far.  It has been wonderful to me. We escaped for a week right after Christmas to Cuba for a little R&R.  It was wonderful to put my feet in the sand instead of heavy winter boots, even if it was just for a short while.

While we were there, we ventured to the Varadero Market to check out some artists. I love to buy pieces of art while we are away to capture the feel and beauty of a country.  And Cuba doesn’t disappoint with their many talented and creative artists.

We bought a typical Cuban scene of a colourful street with a 1950’s vintage automobile, of course.  The colours are so vibrant, we were smitten at first sight!

Cuban artwork

I’m thinking it will be absolutely stunning in my new navy dining room. Here’s a picture my son in law took on Christmas day of my holiday table, below.

Navy Dining room

So now how to finish it? Do I stretch and frame or just simply stretch it? Well, I put the question to my followers on FB and the response was overwhelmingly to have it stretched.

But I guess, I don’t follow advice too well, as I’m having it framed.  

My reasons are because the dining room is more formal so a frame feels right but actually, the artwork made my decision fairly easy. As you will see in the photo below.

Cuban artwork

Do you see how the terra cotta colour is kind of creeping out of the edges of the paint on the sides and bottom? It would look really unfinished if you could see that on the sides of it once it was on the wall. You could paint the sides I suppose as I have other mounted pieces done that way, but I didn’t want to play with the integrity of the painting.  The other option was to still stretch it but to bring the painting over the sides so that there was no unfinished sides but then I’d lose the artist’s signature and shrink the size of the art.  Not what I wanted to do.

And there was another plus to having it framed, Michael’s was having a framing sale and if you choose a sale priced frame the cost of the stretching was also on sale. So even though stretching was cheaper, for only slightly more money, it will be stretched and framed.

So there you have it, it will be stretched and framed. I decided on no matting as I wanted to keep it relatively simple and clean.  I went with the frame in the picture above. It’s a soft black and has a slight texture which gives it a little bit of a rustic feel to it, kind of like the painting itself.  Even though, it’s going in my dining room, I didn’t want it to be too formal and I certainly didn’t want a busy frame as the painting has alot going on. I wanted the piece to shine out of the frame, if that makes any sense.

So sorry, to those of you who voted for stretching only.  I’ll post a picture once it’s done and in place and you can see what you think.

Lisa

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

From my home to yours, I wish you the most merriest of Christmases and a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Just a quick little note, have you guys seen the Artisto app? My friend, Donna discovered it and I’ve been a little obsessed lately with it.  Take a peek at what it did to some of my photos.

LOG HOME COUNTRY URN WITH SNOWFLAKES

ARTISTO COUNTRY CHRISTMAS TREE

COUNTRY RUSTIC FIREPLACE WITH CAT

And I’m in love with this one of my two cats.

LOG HOME CAT There are different filters so you can different effects and colours.  So fun and quite addictive! Enjoy your holidays!

Lisa

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

Bright and fresh guest bath

Before and after bath

I’m sharing a before and after of a small guest bath that was completed recently.  As you can see, it is now bright and fresh and ready for some Christmas guests.

A few befores. removing the bulkhead made such a huge difference.

Before bath before bath Before

This was a budget makeover as it is a little used bathroom and my clients just wanted to bring it up to date and make it fresh and clean.  We shopped big box stores and used budget friendly pieces wherever we could.

shower curtain, vanity and toilet view

We did a solid rectangular grey tile on the floor and a simple grey vanity from a big box store.  The client had purchased the mirror a few years prior and was itching to use it in the space. It adds a nice dose of personality to the room.

shower tile, curtain

The large scale white horizontal tile with strie detail are absolutely stunning in real life.  It’s a little hard to see the detail in a picture but trust me they are spectacular! And the graphic black and white shower curtain, just adds the right amount of pop.

horizontal shower tile,

You can see them a little better in the above photo and we laid them in a grid pattern so that it the horizontal lines were unbroken, also 2 tiles fit the length of the tub and 1 worked for the depth…perfectly. Little to no cutting involved!  When does that ever happen???

Here’s a good look at the vanity and the mirror.  I pulled the blue out of the mirror for the towels but you could use any of the accent colours in the mirror to change it up.

vanity view

We painted the walls in white that matched the shower tiles, to make it feel bigger, as there’s no demarcation line between the tiles and the walls.

shower curtain, vanity and toilet view

My clients also picked up a new low-flow toilet that is a higher more comfortable height.

close up of vanity

graphic shower curtain, toilet, flooring

A better look at the floor tile that were done in a grid pattern.

After full view bath

And if you look really close in the far left corner, you’ll see that even Phoebe approves.

Sources: Wall and floor tile – Ceragres, paint – Benjamin Moore, vanity, shelf, toilet – Home Depot, Mirror, artwork – client’s own,  faucets – Delta, shower curtain – Bed, bath and beyond

Lisa

 

Simple and easy turquoise accented Christmas urn

As promised, here’s my urn and wreath at my city house. As you can see I went with turquoise accents on my Christmas urn, this year.  I love the way the turquoise stands out against the evergreens.

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And a close up.

Closeup of turquoise and evergreen exterior urn

It was super quick this year, I just picked up some cedar and boxwood branches from Loblaws and I used some leftover pine branches that I had brought home from the country and layered them together.  I added in the huge pinecones, which I always seem to use,  along with some birch branches.

I’ve used the turquoise bow and butterfly before and I just pulled them out of my supplies and that was it.  Quick, simple and inexpensive

I also picked up a ready made boxwood wreath and just added a few pinecones and another turquoise butterfly for a super simple DIY.

Exterior christmas wreath with turquoise accents

I love the way the turquoise and green pops against the dark brown door.  Hopefully the boxwood wreath will hold up all the winter.

Exterior urn and wreath with turquoise accents

Exterior christmas urn with turquoise accents.

If you haven’t seen my first Christmas urn I did last week for my cottage, you can see it here.

I also decided to go back and share some of my previous exterior urns and decor from years past. I think you’ll see that I stick with a pretty similar style, year and year.  And they may give you some inspiration to get yours done, if you haven’t already.

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Lisa

This year’s country christmas urn

After our 15-25 cm of snow this weekend, it now looks just like Christmas here! So pretty but NOT so great for driving.

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This past weekend, I got my country log home ready for the holidays (minus the real tree). Have you started your decorating yet?  Yesterday, I did my country Christmas exterior urn and the rest of my entrance’s decor. I rarely have a plan for this, I just go where I’m feeling it, and this is the result.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

I found these adorable wooden snowflakes at Wicker Emporium last year and I was excited that I fit them into this year’s decor. I kept it pretty simple and rustic with some pine branches, cut from our own trees, my old standby birch branches (from my neighbour’s lot) and some bought cedar branches, as we don’t have cedar on our property.

Closeup of christmas urn with snowflakes

I added in some red dogwood branches in the middle (from my backyard in the city) and of course, a huge pinecone and a sparkly bow to finish it off.

Exterior christmas sled

I also did up my vintage sled and two of the lanterns that I had spray painted black (from their original rusted silver) this summer.

Exterior christmas lantern

Exterior christmas entry with urn and sled

Please ignore all my little wet footprints, everywhere.

Exterior christmas sled

Exterior Christmas urn and lantern

Later this week I’ll be sharing my city home’s exterior urn and I’ll be taking a look back at ALL THE ONES I’ve done in year’s past. Wish me luck finding all those old pics.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

Lisa

Updating a 10 year old home

After 10 years in this home, we  or at least, I am ready for some changes. Goodbye, warm yellows, gold and greens..so over you.  So how do you update a 10 year old home? Well, you pick some new fresh paint colours, install some new lighting and perhaps change the kitchen’s backsplash.

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been walking around with paint colours, yes it does take that long to make a decision in my own home, and I’ve finally decided upon these.

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I’m going with Grandma’s China (kind of an unfortunately name, IMO) above in the hallways, loft, living room and funnily enough in my master bath. It’s a lovely warm taupey/gray that works well with my warm fixtures, but still reads grey enough to give me that fresher tone I was seeking.

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Picket fence will greet my guests in the entrance and front den.  It is also being used in my laundry room/mud room and is the main colour for my basement. It’s just a touch darker than Grandma’s China for those rooms that need a little more mood.

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I’m using this grey/blue in the kitchen to bring down the red in my wood cabinets and it will work beautifully with the Ceragres Liverpool subway tiles in Portland, (the colour below) which I am having installed, hopefully before Christmas.  This grey/blue paint colour will also pull in the blue of my blue velvet chairs in the adjoining family room.

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I am going with a significantly darker blue in the dining room. I had wanted to do Hale Navy but it was way, way too dark for my room. It was reading as almost a black and just wasn’t doing it for me.  This dark grey/blue is much softer and works better in my already moody (read..dark) dining room.

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Fossil will be a lovely pale cream in my very bright family room and sun room.  It has a hint of violet in it which will work well with my current sofa and my blue armchairs.

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I painted my office in Wish recently and I am in love with this soft dove grey colour. It works well with my darker desk and storage units and even blends with the beigey/pink carpeting.  It has been added to my favourites list.

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My bedroom is going with a darker and more grey blue than what I currently have. This was a tricky one as I didn’t want to change the feature wall’s wallpaper but I wanted the blue to have more depth than the pale blue I have in there now. This one was the winner. And it also works well with Grandma’s China which will be in the adjoining master bath.

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And last but not least, my son’s room is being done in this pale steel grey. He requested nothing too out there and since his furniture and flooring are dark, this will work well.

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By the way, all the paint colours are from Benjamin Moore.

Picking out lighting, is one of my favourite things to do design wise, so, this was like an early Christmas gift. It’s been ten long years, since I chose what I have now and I’m so over it.  I had been drooling over all the warm metals with a touch of age, so these vintage bronze pieces were exactly what I wanted.

The top left is going in the entry (I can’t wait to see the pretty reflections this one casts), the top centre for the hallways, the middle centre in the laundry room, the bottom right, for the kitchen peninsula, the middle bottom for the kitchen table with it’s semi-flush version for the kitchen centre, and the sconces will live in the lower hallway.

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 I SO CAN’T WAIT TO GET THESE ALL UP!

I’ll be sharing some progress on Instagram and FB, so follow me along for updates.

Lisa

Rustic and warm wedding table setting

Well, so far I’m hitting a new post every 6 weeks…Yikes.  I will be trying to improve my deplorable record in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned…..

As I previously mentioned, my son got married at the end of September at our cottage, it was a beautiful day, sunny and a little cool, perfect when you are doing plenty of eating and drinking ;-).

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This wedding was a labour of love and we had many personal touches to make the day extra special for the newlyweds.  My new son-in-law shares of love of all things decor and DIY with me, so we kind of went to town on wedding DIY decor.

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The rustic and warm table settings got many oohs and aah so I thought I’d share them here with you.  Justin, had a very specific vision for them and I just gave him a hand implementing his ideas.  I think they turned out beautifully.

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They had decided on terrariums for the centrepieces, together with some vintage silver vessels filled with tiny baby succulents.

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Aren’t they adorable?  We managed to get most of them done with lots of family help, on the long weekend in September.  The large terrariums were given to the wedding party as a thank you for being part of this special day and we hope they live a very long life in their new homes.

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I think the first thing that was decided upon, was to use burlap runners (hard to see in the following pics).  I found ready made ones online but they were a little short for our long wood tables, so I just sewed two together to make it work for us.

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The table numbers were printed up on paper that looked like chalkboards and we just inserted them into these budget friendly white frames.  The name tags were also printed professionally and placed in “previously loved” wood branch place card holders.

The caterers provided the gorgeous wood boards, and votives and we think that the terrariums looked absolutely spectacular on them.

Together with some beautifully simple white platters and dishes, that pop…. and…VOILA!

You have a simple, rustic yet so interesting and warm wedding table setting.

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Lisa

From dark and drab to bright and pretty

Well, I can definitely smell fall in the air.  Makes me want to get all my cosy sweaters, leggings, tall boots and chai pumpkin tea out. It really is my favourite season, cool, sunny and not too hot.

As promised I thought I’d catch you up on some design projects that I worked on this past winter/spring.  And this master bath renovation definitely brings to mind a fresh, bright, spring day.

Quite a bit of work has been done on this client’s home, as the previous owner used a wheelchair and there was some retrofitting that needed to be done for my client.  High up on the wish list, was her dark, brown and dreary master bathroom.

Here’s the befores and I apologize for the absolutely terrible before pics. In my defence, it’s a small bath so it is very hard to get some good pictures but I think I accidentally deleted a few that actually were better than theses (shakes head).

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My client explained that she really wanted a white, clean, spare, spa bath with a freestanding tub and no shower (there’s one in the basement).

So, first up was removing the large brown walk-in shower.  I gave my client the exact measurements she’d need for a tub that would fit into small alcove (where the shower had been) and she was off shopping.  It was very important that she tried out the tub herself and made sure it was comfortable for her, tubs are like mattresses and seating, everyone fits in them differently.

And happily, she found the perfect one, modern, clean, oval and exactly the right size for our space.

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Vanico Maronyx – Vesso

Isn’t she pretty?

Now it was time to find tiles. She loved the look of marble but with budget being an issue, I found some marble lookalike, large scale porcelain tile which fit the look and budget perfectly. We used them on the floor and then ran them up the wall about a third of the way, but just around the tub.

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Ceragres Anima & Onix Nature

When I came upon this pretty matte and  iridescence mini hexagon tile border, I had an aha moment. However, the large scale tile and the border tile were different thicknesses, but after adding in the chair rail moulding tile and pencil tile, it will never be noticed.

 

Due to budget constraints we decided to keep the existing white vanity.

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Caesarstone Organic white quartz

But upgraded to a new Caesarstone’s Organic White quartz countertop (above). Together with a simple white square undermount sink, shiny new Moen faucets and hardware you’d never guess it was the same cabinet. Feminine and sparkly!

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Moen Weymouth

We added the matching two handle tub filer from Moen, which really makes a statement in the small bath.

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Moen Weymouth

Again, excuse the photos, I haven’t had it professionally photographed yet, or even photographed by me properly, but here’s a few iPhone pics of the after.  And yes we were still waiting for the new handles to be installed in this pic as well as for a small shelf above the toilet.

White. grey and yellow master bath

White, grey and yellow master bath tub

White, grey and yellow master bath detail

Quite a difference from the previous space, wouldn’t you say?  Bright and pretty, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a nice soak.

Lisa