Friday, January 29, 2010

transitional lighting

I love the hurricane lantern. It is classic and can go with every style. This one is very practical and whenever I suggest a hurricane lantern to a client I always discuss the pros and cons of each - as there are so many to choose from! Some are open at the top, some at the bottom, some open on both ends and there are really ornate ones or extremely simple ones. The one posted here is a simple design and what I consider to be the most practical. It is open at the top as well as the bottom, which allows the flow of... dust! The ones open just at the bottom collect dust at the top and the ones open just at the top, are even worse - they collect dust and bugs at the bottom - yech. So, unless you like to keep on top of cleaning (because there are some gorgeous ones that will make you want to consider the extra work to keep them fabulous), stick with an open ended top and bottom.

Transitional you ask? That is a style that is so classic it can go with anything from modern to country to traditional. Like this gorgeous hurricane light... by the way from Restoration Hardware.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

one of my favourite stores

I don't go to this store often enough but was reminded about it when searching for a large Harvest Table on Craig's List for a client. I linked to their site and just went - ahh!

Have a look for yourself and pop by if you get a chance. You won't be disappointed with the treasures to be found in that store.

Monday, January 25, 2010

shabby chic

I love everything Shabby Chic. To me this style just feels so perfect - clean, fresh, unpretentious and feminine. It is also, surprisingly, easy to care for even though the total look is all white! The finishes are anything but perfect and added dings and imperfections simply add to the patina and overall look, making mishaps just additional charm.

Rachel Ashwell is the founder of shabby chic from back in 1989 (yes, this style is over 20 years old and it is still perfect). Check out the heritage of her style on her site.

Give me anything white and add a few dings and I'm a happy girl! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Luis London has a great talent! He is a friend of my nephew's living in Montreal and I was so impressed with the painting he did of my niece Melissa that I decided his talents needed to be shown to all my friends, family and clients. Check out his website for more information and consider his talents for your decor. He can use any paint colour you like so it can match your individual spaces, and it's a great idea for a baby gift or wedding shower gift. He can do them in many different sizes.

Email Luis from his site for pricing. Let him know I sent you and he will be sure to give you a good price.




getting organized

The Laundry Room - a great place to start

Today is a slow day for me. No work, nothing pressing. It is good though - it gives me time to organize things and to re-charge my battery. Organizing feels good. There is a sense of peacefulness at the end of the day as things are put away as they should be, and 'to-do' lists become shorter. Some of my favourite organizing tips are:
  1. if you don't love it or don't need it, get rid of it
  2. designate a family donation box - put things in there as you discover you don't need them - when the box is full, take it to a local charity and then start again
  3. put things back where they belong - when you set something down, ask yourself if that is where it belongs
  4. if you have sentimental things but realize you have no use for them, take a photo of it so you still have it to see - open a new file in your picture files for this specific reason
  5. always choose organized over neat - the neatness will follow

I could go on, but these are some really important general ideas.

To get started, begin small and don't expect it all to happen in one day. Give yourself 10 minutes and work really fast. Set a timer to go off. In all likelihood you'll keep going after the timer goes off, but it is much less daunting to think about 10 minute blocks to start.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

brian gluckstein

Watched City-Line yesterday - Brian Gluckstein, interior designer was on. He does some great work! This dining room has such a wonderful eclectic feel to it.

I only caught a bit of it, but there was a woman who asked for decorating advice for her comfy basement TV space. She had a large comfy sectional and big screen TV with nothing much else. She asked Brian for advice to make it feel finished - he had some great ideas for photos on the walls, etc., but had suggested a smaller chair with wood arms and legs 'so as not to take up too much visual space'. What is that??! How comfortable would that be? And in my opinion, I think it would look lost and disproportionately small next to that over-sized sofa. Besides, it wasn't right for her style (something he seems to have trouble doing as it is his way or no way).

Practically speaking, there was room for a larger chair and I think that is what could hold it's own next to the large sectional and TV. That is where I would have gone with that space. A different, perhaps lighter colour fabric to the sectional would work. I think she will be very disappointed with his advice if she goes for that spindly legged chair.

We seem to just trust big TV personalities without question - Brian gets a lot of things right, but not this time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

simplicity - quote

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." Charles Mingus

white room

I love white rooms with tons of texture. This space is so unique and I love that it's not perfect.

think small

I grew up in a very small house. About 800 square feet for 5 of us. But it never felt small to me. I loved my little house. I still take comfort in small spaces. My favourite quote is (wish I knew who the author was): "Better a small house one day than a big house all the year after". It kind of goes along with the whole 'green' movement in decorating. Why heat spaces you don't use? Right? It's really not practical to have spaces you don't use - you have to dust them too!

Small space decorating has its own challenges however. You have to be really organized - well, at least that helps. You have to think of every purchase you make to be sure you won't be overloading your space.

Check out This is one of my favourite sites. I love that the houses are so real - not glossed over like perfect magazine pages (but I do love those too). There are tons of inspiring small spaces to view. Search small spaces and have fun on all the different house tours.

Monday, January 18, 2010

my first blog

I love to decorate. I also love to re-decorate. Ever since I was a little girl I had a passion for decorating. I didn't really know that moving my furniture around and always wanting a new colour on the walls was decorating. I just knew I wanted to do that. When I played with my Barbies, the best part was setting up their houses. I didn't grow up with a lot of money so the Barbies' spaces consisted of make-shift beds from finished tissue boxes, curtains from old fabrics, and chairs from scraps of wood from my father's woodworking shop.

My father was a carpenter and my mother a stay-at-home mom. My mother died when I was just 7 so I had to quickly grow up, learning how to cook and clean at a young age since my father had a hard time with that stuff. What I remember though is that I didn't mind cleaning - I used to re-organize the open shelves when putting things away so that they always looked different - ultimately creating 'still lives' with whatever mismatched dishes, books and gift items we had.

And that's where my love for decorating started. I feel so fortunate that I found something I love and have found a way to make a living out of it.

In my blog I hope to discuss practical decorating and organizing ideas. My childhood taught me how to decorate with found objects and to re-use whatever I could find. That's my true passion. And as it turns out, that also happens to be the new 'green' movement everyone is talking about. Who knew I was 'being green' back in the 60s and 70s.