Sunday, 7 December 2014

dining room mood board

It’s hard to believe my first semester at Georgian is three days away from being finished. Despite what feels like a mountain of homework and projects left to be completed, it feels so good to be in the home stretch!

One of my final projects involves the above dining room collage. It’s a little rough around the edges and needs to be touched up in PhotoShop, but it is turning out to be one of my favourites and thought I would use it to whip up a blog post to kick start the last week of class.

Looking forward to Christmas break and catching up on some other projects I’ve been meaning to complete, such as: my new black bedroom, the basement homework station I created, some holiday house tours I participated in, and some Re-Store finds : )

Friday, 31 October 2014

bedroom mood board + school update

This fall I began a new chapter in my life. I quit a job (that I loved and had been quite comfortable in) and went back to school to pursue Interior Decorating. It was definitely a risk and scared the bejesus out of me, but now that I’ve crossed the halfway point of the first semester, I’m happily settling into a schedule that involves juggling homework assignments, a minimum-wage job and living with my parents (none of which is actually as bad as it sounds). 

The biggest shock of being back at school was realizing the age gap between me and some of my peers—who knew I’d be 10+ years senior to my classmates!? I wasn’t expecting that, and even more surprising was actually feeling how large that gaping hole was. I joined the clique of ‘mature students’ and am actually quite happy to be there. Thinking back to how much I’ve changed since graduating high school, and being so unaware of…everything, I’m happy to be back at school with some life experiences under my belt and on my resume. I still have a lot to learn but am happy and content with the direction things are going. I’m looking forward to the next two years packed with homework assignments, midterm marks and a touch of student-debt, but will hopefully end with a fresh list of experiences to add to the resume or check-off the bucket list—and even more important: the beginnings of a new career. I’m happy I took the risk and listened to that little voice in the back of my head that kept pushing me towards this new adventure. 

Above is one of my first homework assignments (posting homework will likely become a trend…) We were asked to create a mood board for a room we would one day like to create. I chose images, quotes and products that I was leaning towards for my new room. As much as I love the way this turned out, my bedroom will be going in a completely different direction...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

before & after: DIY white lamp

A few weeks ago I made, yet another, wonderful discovery in my building’s garbage hub: a brassy old table lamp. Stuck to its stained and dated lampshade was a note that read, Still works! :)  

I considered this a good find. Loved the look of the lamp, and was not 100% turned off by the brassy base (the lampshade was a definite no, and was left in the trash). After being left in its original state for a few weeks, I decided that a spritz of white spray paint would give it a more modern and chic look. 

Sporting a new $12 lampshade from Wal-Mart, my garbage lamp is complete! When I get tired of white, I can easily switch out the lampshade for something more dramatic, a la the lovely Rose Landscape Lampshade from Anthropologie (spending a few extra $$ on a shade is easier to justify when you scored the base for free) OR easily repaint the base in a new colour. Another option, would be to try sanding off some of the white, for a brassy-weathered-look (no idea if that would actually work…but worth a try one day) 

And, a friendly reminder to please vote for my bedroom in Apartment Therapy's Room for Color contest. Winner receives a $1000 gift card to and some much-needed paint from Sherwin-Williams. Thank you! 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Apartment Therapy’s 2014 Room For Color / Colour Contest

I was definitely more than a little excited when I saw my bedroom had made it into Apartment Therapy’s annual Room for Color contest. And I have to admit to being more than a little obsessive about tracking every vote myself and my competitors fellow home d├ęcor enthusiasts have received. Living in Canada qualified me for the International Division, which makes it all sound very exotic! There are currently five rooms competing and I managed to hold second place for a few days, but was recently knocked down by Johanna’s “Belgain Summer” room. Contest closes October 3rd so there’s still time to move back up to second (and then work on first place!). If you haven’t yet, I would very much appreciate a vote! A quick and painless sign-up is required, but worth it :) Another exciting result of the Room for Colour contest was a retweet of my entry from my new favourite Twitter account, Potter Barn Teen, aka PBTeen. Despite being well out of my teenage years, they do tweet some great content and I was / am honoured to have been recognized by them! My bedroom is probably my favourite space in the apartment, and one of the most enjoyable places to spend reading a book or perusing the internet (despite having a very weak signal in there…) My previous apartment was on the ground floor and two feet from a fence that blocked most of the sunlight from both windows, so I was pretty thrilled to wake up to sunlight streaming in through the window my first morning after moving in. 
When decorating the room, my goal was to create a calm and relaxing space. The west-facing wall is a deep teal / blue colour called Plumage, Martha Stewart Paints collection (available at Home Depot), it was the perfect colour to ground the space and create that ‘relaxed’ feeling. 
To carry on with the ‘relaxed’ theme, I wanted the bedding and pillows to be simple and opted to keep it entirely in blacks and whites—to save money, I simply switched out my current floral throw pillows with the black and white checked ones in the living room. I had written about the nightstand in a previous post, the yellow was a bit of an impulsive choice, but being a fan of colour, I wanted something that would be a great contrast, and add some interest to the space. The downside to this second-hand nightstand was that it doesn’t have any drawers or hiding space for clutter. That meant keeping things neat and tidy with a stack of my favourite colour-coordinated books along with a few that were next up on my reading list. The pink dresser was another second-hand piece I had written a post about, it was also painted on a bit of a whim and was initially intended as a storage piece for inside of my closet. However, once it was painted, I loved it too much to stuff into a closet and instead added another pop of colour to the space with a coordinating arrangement of some prints (the Mayan Calendar I had purchased a few years ago while vacationing in Mexico and the Pink Grizzly Bear was a gift from my sister) an antique mirror my parents had bought at an auction 15 years ago (recently painted white) and my gold initial from Chapters Indigo. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

my new neighbourhood: kijiji finds

Today my dad and I posted a few things on Kijiji, which led to me browsing some local goods. Found a few items worth a second look and thought I'd share, just in case your living room is in need of a Tiger Coffee Table...  

Tiger Glass Top Coffee Table $200
Disclaimer from owner: The pictures do not do the table justice. Described as a one-of-a-kind item from a shop down the street, that advertises "Antiques, Cool Stuff and Weird Junk"…will definitely be visiting. 
Retro McDonalds Filet O Fish Collectible Kids' Ride $250
Pretty sure I rode this as a kid. Owners are in Port Severn, and if I’m not mistaken, there was a McDonald’s Play Place somewhere around there before McDonald’s Play Places were even a thing. 

Vintage Telephone Table This is actually kind of adorable, owners claim it is in mint condition, and at $25 it seems like a steal. Unfortunately phones are not included, but saw similar ones at Pottery Barn. 

Toilet complete assembly – FREE 
Solid, working. Need 2 bolts for the tank. 
Pick up from the curb.
,,,Enough said. 

Stadium Chairs for the Mancave $100
Kind of a cool idea, apparently the seats are leather. 

Honourable Mentions (not pictured)
Garbage Bag of Women’s Clothing $40
Mix of summer and winter teen/women’s clothing, sizes x-small to medium. With over 50 items in the bag, this could be an okay deal. 

All Kinds of Bottoms! $80
Requires travel to Orillia. Seller seems to have a lot of jeans, shorts and skirts in all sizes, or you can take them all for $ that a deal?

50 Shades of Grey and 50 Shades Darker $15
2 for $15…terrible deal, Amazon is cheaper and they will ship to your door. 

** Formatting this post was a nightmare.  

Monday, 1 September 2014

Before and After: Revamped Rickety Kitchen Chair

As most of my blog posts begin, this kitchen chair was rescued from the garbage can of a neighbouring apartment building. It was salvaged within the first week of adopting Maggie, and lugging that oversized chair up three flights of stairs with her timidly in tow was definitely the most difficult part of this DIY. 

Having extra seating readily available is always tricky in a small space but despite rarely entertaining a crowd and having ample closet space, I was still in the market for a few accent chairs that could do double duty as both a practical piece of furniture and a lovely place to stuff more decorative pillows. 

After a light sanding, a thick slather of black paint (leftover from a previous project), and what felt like an eternity of keeping my white dog away from the paint, the new chair was up and running and ready for extra guests—however, it was a rickety chair and the handful of times it was used, it was used very carefully…hence why it was found in the garbage. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

before & after: dining room feature wall

I blame Bathurst Street for being the reason my kitchen is no longer white. Living on one of the busiest streets in Toronto makes having white walls (white anything, really) nearly impossible. You have no idea how much dust, grime and probably pollution billows in through those little Bathurst-facing windows, and it gets everywhere—except on my food. For obvious reasons, I like to think that my food is always clean. 

The kitchen wall I was set on dressing up is visible throughout the apartment. With the exception of standing in the bedroom or bathroom, you can see this wall upon entering the apartment and when seated in the living room—it feels prominent. I wanted something that would catch the eye and help to make my dusty white walls look like the brightest and cleanest white walls that ever existed.

I found my new wall colour while catching up on one of my favourite blogs, Making It Lovely. Nichole was in the middle of transforming her living room and was sampling some very dark and dramatic hues from Benjamin Moore. She wasn’t quite sure about any of the swatches she had painted—but that little two-inch square of Soot had caught my eye. Also, wouldn’t it be kind of ironic to paint my dusty wall Soot?

I did a quick google search on the colour ‘Soot’ and saw a few other rooms painted the same colour. They were lovely, and I was convinced that I had found my colour. I immediately called my dad and invited him over to paint.

Painting Dark Colours 101 
A few things worth mentioning when going with a dark colour:

Dark Colours are Dark 

Shocking, right? Just be aware that if you don’t have a ton of natural light, this could make your room feel small and gloomy.

Compliment with White Trim, Moldings or Features

My last apartment was a junior one bedroom on the first floor. I didn’t get a lot of natural light, but still opted to paint the place grey. It worked because the space had a dropped ceiling, lovely crown molding, and huge double doors leading into the bedroom—which were all painted a bright white. This helped to lighten the space and complimented the dark walls, making it feel a little more cheerful and brighter than it actually was. 

Tinted Primers 

This is especially handy if you are painting over a bright white wall. Prepping your wall with an inexpensive tinted primer will allow you to get that rich paint chip colour—it will also save a bit of money, since you likely won't need a second or third coat of paint. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

so styled: burgers, beers and sangria

Cheers to the August long weekend! And cheers to my second styled post in less than a week (I have found my new obsession).

Despite being cooped up in the house prepping and purging for my move (less than a month!), I managed to satisfy my burger craving with a few cheddar jalapeno patties—sadly the sangria craving went unsatisfied, since the one featured is a fake. But c’est la vie, I will consume my calories with other tasty treats.

Set of 4 Assorted Napkins - Target $6 | Oh Joy! Round Melamine Plates - Target $12  
Lemon & Lime Salt & Pepper Shakers - Pier1 $10 | Planters Sadie Hedgehog Measuring Cups - Pier1 $14  Assorted Succulents - Home Depot $3-$5 | Snack Bowl - Wind & Willow $49 | Gold Craw-fish - New Orleans Souvenir $1.99 | Pickled Corkscrew - Fred & Friends $ unknown  | Lobster Bottle Opener - $ Unknown   

Monday, 28 July 2014

so styled: let's do lunch?

Since starting my blog I’ve always wanted to curate and style a post. Past posts have always been created as more of an afterthought—the result of me farting around my apartment arranging and rearranging something until it stopped annoying me, and then realizing I should probably take a picture for the sake of updating my blog. The pictures are usually grainy, taken at odd hours of the day/night, sometimes taken with my phone and “edited” with an Instagram filter, and are kind of just good enough for the moment.

This post was different. I actually went shopping for this post. Purchases included: one over-priced loaf of (deliciously) crusty artisanal bread, one single linen napkin found on clearance at Pier 1, two sets of salt and pepper shakers (also from Pier 1. And yes, I purchased two because I wasn’t sure which set would work best) and one lovely cloth placemat from Target. Everything else I found in my cupboards or the back of my fridge (I honestly don’t remember buying that lemon, but was so glad to find it).

I arranged everything on Saturday afternoon, but knew I wouldn’t be shooting anything until I had that perfect amount of just-right natural lighting, which I assumed would stream in through the kitchen at noon on Sunday

And because I had already invested all of this time and money setting up the picture, I decided to read the camera manual (something I had never done before). It proved to be helpful, since the picture isn’t blurry. One thing I will keep in mind for next time, is to watch out for embarrassing reflections in the silverware—despite looking perfectly bronzed, it is definitely not a flattering view of my thighs.

And yes, there will be a next time because I actually had way too much fun doing this, and have already decided the next one will be themed around this adorable lobster-shaped bottle opener I have....

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Garbage Finds: I Love Lamp

Since adopting my dog, Maggie, my walk-around-the-block count has gone from zero to a billion in just a few months. This has been great for my waistline, stress –and apartment; because my garbage finds have gone from picking up random pieces of furniture my fellow neighbours don’t want to now picking up the things my ritzy Forest Hill neighbours don’t want—and my ritzy neighbours have had some good stuff!

Exhibit A: My brass globe lamp that likely spent an evening outdoors on the curb. Bringing it in was risky, since it probably had water damage and I’m convinced I could’ve been electrocuted. Thankfully the garbage gods were on my side, and after dragging it up three flights of stairs and giving it a few days to ‘dry out’ I plugged the bad-boy in and have been enjoying it ever since.

My new find increased in personal value when I spotted him in one of my favourite design sites, Lonny, as a Trend We Love feature.

Also worth mentioning: Those new $19 curtains from Target <3   

Dingy Old Dresser Gets a Makeover

Unfortunately I am sans ‘before’ picture for this post – but you must trust that this was a good one. Not only did we sand through several chipped and bubbly layers of paint, but a little extra elbow grease was needed to remove the phrase ‘This dresser sucks’ which had been un-lovingly etched onto the top of the dresser. A few good slathers of ‘Berrylicious’ pink, some new knobs from Anthro, this ‘sucky’ dresser became my bedroom’s focal point.

As most of my DIY projects begin, my mom rescued this little beauty from the Re-Store for under $20. At almost 4-feet high and 1 ½ -feet wide—she knew it would be a great storage piece for a small space. And right she was, because I’ve managed to hide/organize clutter that had been filling up my closet. It is also doing double-duty as my night stand, since the one I was previously using (shown here) looked adorable, but the lack of storage and hiding spaces made it always appear messy.

Lamp – Unknown / prints: Mayan Calendar – a souvenir from Mexico; Bear – Urban Outfitters (Christmas gift from my sister!) / Monogram A – Chapters Indigo /  Jewellery Dish – Chapters Indigo (very old and no longer available) / Dresser Knobs – Anthropologie 

Friday, 17 January 2014

before + after: the [almost complete] gallery wall

After an unintentionally long hiatus from my blog, I've finally buckled down and rounded up a few pictures of my (still in progress) gallery wall. Although some of the frames my still be empty, the fact that after months and months of humming and hawing I actually managed to put a nail in the wall is a major milestone for my little apartment.

#1. Decide on a layout before you nail.
I laid all of my frames out on the carpet before hanging.
By doing this, I was able to make a few edits to the frames I had initially wanted and replaced with some older ones I dug out of my closet (and by closet, I actually mean the garbage bin in my building...who threw out those red and yellow metal frames? Crazies.)

#2. Try to use a level.
Because I'm lazy and my local Dollar Store didn't have any in stock, I skipped on the level. If you're a perfectionist, this will likely drive you crazy. Since I am not, I am OK with slightly crooked and uneven lines--adds character.

Next challenge: Finding a way to hide those pesky cables and cords.

Had to include an adorable cameo of my new pup Maggie! Check my Instagram for an obsessive amount of pictures of her.