It’s a new year and finally, a new post

Happy September! Doesn’t September feel more like the beginning of a new year, than January? It always has to me. After a ridiculous long blogging break, I’m trying to get back at it. Lots has been going on here.

The cottage kitchen was finished in late March/April and I LOVE it. I am trying to get it published so I’m very limited on what photos I can show here, but here’s a few teasers.

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All photo credits above: Melissa Kew Photography

We also took a short but fabulous trip to Nashville and Memphis in May. My appreciation for country music and cowboy boots has increased exponentially after this trip.


The view from our hotel room.


The site of a civil war clash.


We both picked up cowboy boots and a friend got the same ones.


We both thought this highway sign was hilarious but accurate.


In Memphis, we had to do the Graceland tour.


And of course, Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll.

We also had another very short trip to Quebec City this summer, where I used to live many, many years ago as a child. It is my favourite Canadian city, so old world and charming.

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Work wise, I finished up a condo decorating project in Mont Tremblant, a complete master bath remodel, started a new client’s living room/dining room/kitchen remodel, commenced another bathroom renovation, helped another client with the finishing touches to her mid-century modern apartment, gave a bunch of consults for painting and decor clients and I’m so excited to be starting a client’s very challenging and huge cottage renovation this Fall.

I’ll be sharing some pics of these decorating projects and renovations in the next while.

On the family front we have been very busy. Our youngest daughter graduated from her Masters program and started her first permanent job with the Government. Our other daughter got engaged and bought her first house, all in the same weekend in March. One of our sons moved back home from out west and will be going back to school this year.

And last, but certainly not least, our eldest son is getting married at our cottage, in like….less than 3 weeks. Whoa, that scares me to write that.  We are well into the throes of final decorating projects and this past long weekend, we were a beehive of activity. The beach got de-weeded (is that a word?), long grass got trimmed and manicured, trees were cut back, things got painted, take away gifts were embellished and readied, terrarium centrepieces were done, chalkboards were written on and general planning and details were ironed out.



Architecture, streets and alleys of France

So for this post, I am focusing on the streets, architecture and alleys of France.  Some of these photos are actually taken in Monaco, but I am going to put them in France for today 🙂  Warning there are a ton of photos in this post!


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Did you spot all the Roman buildings in this post?  The Romans were very busy when they were in France many centuries ago.  And I thought I’d include this little video of us driving through Provence. Click on the link below to watch.


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.



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Adirondack styling

Sorry for the lack of posts here, it’s been a busy time.  I’m posting over at the TBB blog today all about Adirondack styling from my recent trip to Lake Placid, New York.  Click on the photo below to read it.

DSC_0158 This is my favourite picture from the weekend we had.  Such a beautiful area.

No updates on the table I was working on at the cottage as I got totally sidetracked by the painting of our exterior trim. I chose a golden yellow but wasn’t too thrilled with it on the front doors.  It looks great on the window trim but for some reason we hated it on the front doors, I think it was just too much solid yellow.  So, back to the colour deck and I chose a dark green for the doors, which should be finished up this week.  Can’t wait to see it!

So hopefully more updates next week on the exterior and more on the table as well.  Have a great week and weekend!


Cornerstone Sonoma

Last month while in California, one of the places that a BlogtourNYC colleague and now friend recommended to see was Sonoma Valley, as she’s lucky enough to live there.

So while we were in San Francisco we took a little detour and drove up to meet her at one of her favourite haunts, Cornerstone Sonoma.  What a delightful place.


Described on their website as:

“Cornerstone Gardens is an ever-changing series of walk-through gardens, showcasing new and innovative designs from the world’s finest landscape architects and designers. The first such gallery-style gardens in the United States, the nine-acre Cornerstone Gardens was created as an inspiration and resource for people interested in gardens, garden design and art.

Inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France, Cornerstone Gardens aims to create a cultural and creative haven, celebrating the connection between art, architecture and nature. The gardens contribute to the art, philosophy and future of garden design; they focus on themes and ideas, establishing or uncovering new directions in garden design and art. Continually in a state of evolution, some garden installations will be in place for a season, while others will remain for several seasons.”

Here’s some of the various garden instalments that have graced Cornerstone.

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It is also in high demand as a wedding venue, small wonder.  Look at this gorgeous Garden Barn.


Or you can have your event at the Vineyard Lawn.

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On top of the gardens they also have interesting and unique design shops and art galleries on site.  My favourite there was called Artefact Design and Salvage.

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Photos courtesy of Artefact and Cornerstone Sonoma’s website

There were rare architectural antiques, salvage crafted into decorative objects and many other decor items, such as furniture, mirrors, lighting, outdoor furniture, artwork and even garden pieces.  Commissioned items are also done by the owner and founder Dave Allen.

These are some of my pictures from the place. I could have stayed in here for hours. IMG_2877 IMG_2874

As if this wasn’t enough to keep you interested, there is Keating Wines, a small winery on site.  And Meadowcroft Wines has an adorable little tasting room on site as well, to quench your thirst, from all the shopping you’ve done.  And of course, you may be hungry so Park 121 has a delicious seasonal menu made from local ingredients.

And of course, Irene and I had to have our pic taken on the BIG BLUE CHAIR. Thanks so much for recommending this place Irene, and for meeting up with us on that sunny afternoon.

DSC_0964 I’d definitely recommend this side trip if you are in Sonoma Valley. I wish we had gotten there earlier so that we could have spent more time wandering around.  Oh well, next time!

For all my Canadian readers – Happy Victoria Weekend! Here’s hoping that the sun is shining where ever you are!