re-organizing the stereo…

When we first purchased our Computer Armoire from C and G Pine and Oak approximately 16 years ago, we had purchased our first family computer and it was BIG computer. Big old monitor and and big old CPU. It fit in the computer desk just lovely. And I love that armoire! It fits so nicely into our living room. But then, as we upgraded our computers over the years and computer components continued to get smaller, we wondered if our computer desk would become obsolete. Then came the laptops and the keyboard section, monitor section and CPU section of the armoire are now completely useless. Then I had a thought! The kinda thought where my husband holds his breath and says, “What’s you thought, dear?” Since we remodelled the living room a few years ago, I knew that I wanted to keep the stereo in our living room but I always struggled with where it was. We used a side table that my Mom had given me years ago and placed it next to one of our armchairs and it always sat there a little awkwardly, in my humble opinion. So once the computer was gone from the armoire I decided to plop that stereo right in that armoire and so glad that I did it. It looks great, it fits in there wonderfully and that awkward table is now gone. More space in the living room and less clutter. Just thought I would share some pictures of what it looked like before; that picture was taken many months ago.image

And this is what it looks like now…the cords are less obvious and it feels like it fits there so well.IMG_5566

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But once I took this picture it did look a little naked so the decision was then made to style the corner around the chair with just a few found items in the house. Moved that lamp from the other side of the living room…IMG_5587

Then came the basket…IMG_5589Then came the pillows and blanket lazily placed in the basket…IMG_5565

And then a few nicely placed pillows in the chair…So pleased with how it looks now. Cozy, comfortable and clutter free!

styling a table…

I took this picture for an Instagram post about 2-3 weeks ago to show my appreciation to Willow House for their great job re-covering my couch a couple of years ago and how it still looks as good today as it did when we brought it home. But this post is not really about that. It wasn’t until I took that picture and looked at it that I saw how empty my table was looking and how I knew I could do so much better than that. I knew I had lots of stuff that I could spruce that table up! So I shopped my house. A little task that I do frequently around my house. I get tired of looking a one vignette and decide I want to change it up! So that is exactly what I did.IMG_1841

I started by finding this huge golden tray that I use mostly at Christmas time. Placed it on the table over a great striped table runner. Then I placed my newly bound books on the tray and just started adding a bunch of things that I had gathered from around the house or had in my storage room in the basement. Those tall candle sticks with two really tall tapered candles, a beautiful turquoise vase bought at Bowrings years ago, a pretty little ceramic vase filled with little white mums,  a candle with it’s own terrarium given to me as gift at Christmas time, my cork coasters topped with a turquoise glad votive holder and finished off with a great candle from Yankee Candle. There you have it…By using lots of layering, mixture of colors and textures and you have a styled table. Not one red cent was spent. that is the best part of all!IMG_5579

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EQ3…

While in Ottawa this Summer my family and I visited Byward Market. Just a great place to visit; so full of color, culture and fabulous food. I was so happy that I stumbled upon a great store that I have watched online in the past. I was unaware that they had a store in Ottawa. But EQ3 was such a refreshing stop during a very hot afternoon. I felt such peace when I was there. Wonderful pieces to adore, great ideas for future projects and the art that I saw in each piece. What goes through the mind of a designer? Is it form or function? Or is it both? The ability to combine both is wonderful to look at. The pleasant colors of it all. The trends you are able to gather from looking at the pieces and also the fact that no matter what the trends, you can find a piece that works in your own home.

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curb side find…

Have you seen something on the curb on garbage day at someone else’s house and wondered “Why are they throwing that away; it is a perfect piece to work with?” I will be honest that I have thought that but never really stopped and took that item to work with it. Well, two weeks ago, I was picking up one of my boys from football practice and saw this bureau and thought exactly that to myself. I could hardly believe my luck. Simon and I stopped and looked at the bureau and it looked pretty decent in the dark of the late evening. So I went home, got my sweet hubby and asked him and Simon to lift it into the van to bring it home. I did go to the front door of the home where we were taking it from, but no one was home. I felt a little like I was stealing but then I stopped. My sweet hubby and I put things at the curb all the time on garbage day, hoping that someone will come by and take before it heads to the garbage. The old saying, “Someone’s junk is another man’s treasure”.

So away we went with the bureau! Once it was home in the garage in better light, I could see why the owners were probably getting rid of it.

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Holes in the side…both sides…Not sure what they were for…

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A large chunk out of the bottom edge…Again, not sure what that was from…

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Drawer handles all chewed up…

What you can’t see in these pictures is the actual “before” shot of the bureau when I actually got it home. The bottom accent trim looked as though it had been chewed away by a dog. The people who previously owned it had just painted over the large chew marks. It wasn’t very pretty. You can also see what happened to the handles of the drawer as well. So hubby and I got to work, removing the bottom accent trim. It was just attached by screws so it was fairly easy coming off. We searched at a few home improvement warehouses and finally found this trim at Lowes. It was not a perfect match but I am so pleased with how it turned out.

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With a little wood filler to fill the holes…several sandings and several fillings later it was a lovely smooth edge. Plus, I put wood filler along the two outside mitered corners where our trim met; along with several sandings here as well…

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And my favourite white caulking to fill along the edge of trim where it meet the bureau…And the refinishing was complete. Now to prime it all with white primer. I have not decided yet what color to paint my new find. I am not sure if I should go with my Oil Rubbed Bronze or if I should complete it with a bright Teal or Kelly Green…

Stay Tuned!

mirror, mirror on the wall…

I have had this great gold flourish mirror for many years. I actually debated for many years about what to do with it. It was on the wall of our main bathroom for several years. One day I looked at the mirror and really thought how it just did not fit there anymore. It just was not my style. But I hated to sell/giveaway such a large mirror. I truly felt that it could be used somewhere in our home. The most recent home trends are showing that gold is coming back into home and clothing design. I then felt that maybe I should just leave it the way it was and  discussed it with sweet hubby. I have to say that even though he used it for many years in the bathroom, he was never truly sold on the look of the mirror. So I placed it in the front hall on the black bureau; just to get an idea of how it would look against the black bureau. I must say, we. did. not. like. it. at. all.

So what to do……I decided that I needed to look at the rest of our home and rethink this project. Normally the front hall bureau has a black mirror on it and we did like it a great deal. It pulled the whole front hall together. The black mirror just felt warmer during the winter months and too heavy for spring and summer. I knew then that my decision was made for me. I need to spruce up the mirror and just use it during the spring and summer to brighten the front hall.

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We decided to use the color from the table runner on the bureau. It is this lovely Kelly Green and I was able to find the matching color of spray paint at Michael’s. Was so delighted!

I started by removing the mirror from the frame and then with a coat of spray primer and then several thin coats of the Kelly Green. It took a while, but the mirror looks finished properly. I really believe that is the key with spray painting. Several thin coats with adequate drying time in between.

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Styling the bureau afterwards was fun. Just pulled together items from my home…a milk glass bowl with some shells and starfish, a little bling on a glass candle holder and a flourish clock to help compliment the flourish of the mirror. Very simple and pretty!

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Blog Podium 2013…

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I am so super excited because I am going to Blog Podium 2013 in Toronto on September 21, 2013!  Jennifer Flores and Lindsay Stephenson are the founders of Blog Podium and had their first Conference in 2012. With increasing interest they have moved to a larger venue this year and a full day agenda. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be attending and learning many new tools to help me grow my blog and connect with fellow bloggers. I have, on many occasions, wondered how successful bloggers create a brand for their blog and keep their content current and relevant to their readers. This conference will help with some of these questions.

On top of that, I am really looking forward to the keynote speaker which will be Sarah Richardson from Sarah Richardson Designs. So wonderful that I will be listening to her about her passion for design, business strengths and new and upcoming projects that she is working on.

design inspiration…

The availability of design inspiration is so available now. Regardless of your budget, you can find the most expensive item to the most thrifty and make it your own through a DIY makeover. I use most of these resources at my fingertips whether it is an online source or a paper edition of a magazine you will get help with any of your renovating/decorating projects.

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Lonny

Lonny is a lifesytle and home design online magazine that was launched in October of 2009. If you go online their magazine is free to view and is filled with amazing designers and their works, galleries of pictures and ideas for any room in your home. I love this magazine because it helps me look outside of my comfort level when it comes to design. Different ways to use a particular piece of furniture or a new way to use bold colors. I just love reading the pages; I feel like I am inside a chic New York apartment or a London flat…Just lovely!

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Style At Home

Style at Home provides it’s readers not only design advice but innovative solutions to achieve their design ideas. Their beautiful photography inspires the reader to think about great ways to incorporate design trends from the inexpensive to high end design work. So fabulous! I used to have the paper magazine sent to my home but now I take advantage of the online edition. So nice to pull out my iPad and have my most recent edition whenever I want it!

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Canadian House and Home

This fantastic magazine is another favourite of mine. They showcase much Canadian talent and design. They showcase many Canadian homes that help the reader see how differently we decorate our homes from coast to coast. I do love their “Before and After” columns the most!

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decor pad

This is a site that is similar to Pinterest. It is a pin board but more directly focused on decorating, renovating and home building. You can create your own virtual library that you can collect your inspiration photos. There is a community that you can get ideas from, bounce ideas off of and ask advice about building projects. They have a sensational paint gallery. If you are decorating in a particular color, the entire board will help inspire you.

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houzz

What can I say! Houzz is so wonderful! In their own words “Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas with reality.” So many ideas, so many design experts and so many home improvement experts all in one place. The only thing I found to be a little annoying is their is SOOO much that it took me a while to get used to this website. But once I was able to navigate the site easier, I enjoyed it much more.

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Pinterest

Pinterest is so HOT right now! Practically everyone knows or has heard about Pinterest. Even if they don’s use it!  There is so much inspiration on Pinterest from Home Decor to Recipes to Humour to Art So many things to look at and so little time. But if you are focused and know exactly what design element you need help with; this is a great place to visit. You create boards to help keep things organized and uncluttered.

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pinterest

There are many more places to get inspiration on the internet but these are the places that I can call my diehards. Where do you get design inspiration? I would love to know so that I can take a peek…let me know in your comments…

that’s much better…

Sometimes it takes something so simple to make all the difference in the world to how a particular item can look. Both of my boys beds are definitely in that category. They both had these great beds that had a wooden baseboard around the bed that the box spring fits in. But when both of their beds were made you could always see the cream box spring.

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At first I thought of doing a bed skirt of some sort but was having difficulty figuring out what type to put on there. Whatever I looked at appeared very time consuming and labour intensive. I was making the kids beds one day and it just came to me as I was putting the fitted sheet on the mattress.  I then decided I was going to place a fitted navy blue bed sheet on each of their box springs and it has made all of the difference. I just love how their beds look now. It looks finished, clean and the bed always looks made now. Another little thing that brings a smile to my face!

What simple things have you done that have made all the difference? Feel free to share in the comments section…

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