Le Weekend

Friday, October 24, 2014


Happy Friday! We made it! This Friday is one of goodbyes. My sister is going back to Costa Rica and Billy the kitten is losing his balls today (time to get fixed little buddy!). On that note, do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I think we're going to stay in, help Bill recuperate and maybe I'll finally tackle a few projects I've been putting off - oh yes and there will be wine. Here are a few links to things that caught my eye this week on the internet:

  1. Little Green Notebook strikes again. Seriously, this lady has young kids and said she was fighting off morning sickness while pregnant with another, all while creating these amazing DIYs for Domino Magazine.
  2. The One Room Challenge is back again and Naomi is doing not one but two rooms. The kitchen she designed is shaping up to be amazing, I mean the cabinets have walnut interiors!
  3. Gabrielle visited High Point Market and very kindly gives us a round up of three upcoming home decor trends.
  4. Erin Gates is on tour for her new book 'Elements of Style' (a really fun read by the way) and her personal style is knocking it out of the park. Check out just one of her outfits here.
  5. I've been sourcing some removable wallpaper for a client and Made By Girl has done a great job of giving some examples in case you don't want, or can't, make a permanent commitment.
  6. Bailey McCarthy gives us an update of her new bigger and better store. Those colours and that pattern mixing is incredible. 
  7. The Jealous Curator alerted me to the work of New York based illustrator Mac Conner. See more of his illustrations here
  8. My coworker sent me a link to the Design Matters Fall 2014 interview lineup. I can't wait to listen to some of these and learn more about the world’s most creative designers, thinkers, writers, and cultural commentators. 
  9. If you're crazy about fluffy stools like I am but don't want to shell out the money for a high-end one, Life with a Dash of Whimsy, has a great DIY version using Ikea sheepskins. 

Real Estate Room Reno

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's been a while but I finally have another installment of 'Real Estate Room Reno' where I redo a room from a real estate listing that has potential but isn't living up to it.

First of all, you may think I'm crazy but I know I'm not the only one who's dreamt of converting an old church into a home because there is plenty of pinterest proof. Second of all, this real estate listing is for $1! The only problem is that you'll have to move this Sackville, New Brunswick church yourself and I'm guessing that will not be cheap but just look at the potential!

BUILDING TO BE MOVED AT BUYER'S EXPENSE. The former Sackville United Church which will seat approximately 1200 people. The sanctuary is on the second level and features beautiful stained glass windows and cathedral ceilings.

Bedrooms: N/A
Bathrooms: 5 1/2
Year Built: Unknown
Asking Price: $1

The original woodwork, the ceiling, the stained glass - I love it all! I'm not sure what you'd do with the organ but maybe you could work around it. Here are a few examples of amazing church conversions I've found from around the internet. The most successful of these seem to not be afraid to remove elements, modernize the space and partition off the space.

While I would have loved to show you how to add a kitchen into the main area of the church that seemed a bit beyond the scope of what I can do in one moodboard and without the help of an architect. 

Instead, I created a beautiful living room space (minus the church pews) that pulled colours from the stained glass window but modernized the space with white paint and a layered, cozy interior.

What do you think? This room has all my favourite elements:brass, velvet and vintage rugs. Does it make you reconsider an alternative living space? In case you want to recreate the space here are the sources:

If you need any help re-envisioning a room in your house, check out my services page and give me a shout. 

My Thanksgiving Table

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sorry for the brief absence over here. I was busy recovering from my food coma all week because it was Thanksgiving! I know I'm confusing any Americans reading but we have our Canadian Thanksgiving way before Christmas. This gives us time to forget about how much we all ate at the last meal and really enjoy overeating. Anyway, here is my Thanksgiving table FOR REAL this time! My beautiful sister is visiting from Costa Rica and she came over to spend the day listening to me agonizing over decorating decisions and floral arrangements and also to cut up all the potatoes- so Chad was pretty happy. We also have enough cut up potatoes to last us a century, but it's the thought that counts-love ya sister!

I took some pictures of the 'adult' table before my parents brought over the extra card table for us 'kids'. We also had to have a few people eat on the couch but it was cozy. I didn't do a super formal setting and I tried to keep the table open for conversation and second helpings.

I loved the chance to use some new to me vintage pieces like the plates and glasses as well as the placemats and napkins I scored on clearance at Home Outfitters. In case you're prepping for your Thanksgiving or just looking for an excuse to have a fancy dinner for two, click on the words below for links to my table decor:

Table Cloth/ Large Burlap Runner/ Smaller Burlap Runner/ Placemats/ Napkins/ Plates (vintage)/ Cutlery/ Wine Glasses/ Water Glasses (vintage)/ Candle Holders (vintage)/ Vase/ Salt & Pepper Shakers (similar)

Oh yes and happy Friday everyone!

Art Under $100

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Friday everyone and happy long weekend to all of us Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving! Instead of a 'Le Weekend' post I've got an 'Art Under $100' because frankly I've been thinking a lot about gallery walls and what makes them special.

Now there is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly symmetrical gallery wall of matching black and white prints but I love things to be a little imperfect. I love the mix and the contrast, so my favourite gallery walls include not only paintings, prints and photographs but also something unexpected like a wire sculpture, a set of antlers, a mask or a carving.

As you can see from the examples above you don't have to go crazy and you don't even have to hang the pieces on the wall. The second photo down showcases objects placed in front of artwork to give the impression of a layered arrangement. So have fun, play around and don't think you just have to hang framed artwork on your wall. If you have a favourite memento, by all means add it in. If you don't happen to have something, I've rounded up a few pieces to help add that something special to your gallery wall.

  1. Painting wood relief
  2. Spiral paper sculptures
  3. Horseshoe
  4. Woven wall hanging
  5. Wooden bear mask
  6. Vintage metal Russian sign
  7. Woven African basket
  8. Metal eagle
  9. Mounted antlers
  10. Taxidermy butterflies
  11. White juju hat
  12. Vintage metal letter
  13. White ceramic wall sculptures
  14. Cubist wooden sculpture
  15. Wire portrait
  16. Vintage metal bird sculpture
  17. Metal diamond sculpture
  18. White pottery medallion
  19. Blue handmade plate
  20. Pink Rhino bust
  21. Driftwood tree slice sculpture

Thanksgiving Decor

Sunday, October 5, 2014


With Canadian Thanksgiving right around the corner, I've been pinning table top decor (or tablescaping if you want to sound weird). I'm excited to be hosting Thanksgiving at my house and obviously my favourite part of any event is the decor. I'm also hosting a Halloween party so I'm trying to find ways to possibly re-purpose some of the same elements. Here's my inspiration so far:

Via 1(unknown). 2. 3(unknown). 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9

I know I'm not going to be doing a super formal table setting. While we don't eat off paper plates, we don't do a full place setting either. I'm all about something simple and practical but also pretty - so I will not be carving out a pumpkin to put flowers into it! What I'm loving is the mini white pumpkins or squash (not sure what they are officially called), the burlap runner, and a low flower arrangement with fall colours. I think a lot of these things can be re-used for Halloween as well. While I appreciate how beautiful a neutral looks, you know I'm all about mixing colours so I'll be using what I have to mix and match. Here is a little peek of some potential place setting combinations for my table:

So far I love the mix of navy, orange, black and brass. I'm excited to use my Waterford 'Cottage' blue plates and the additional matte black and silver cutlery I picked up. How about you, have you thought about how you're going to set the table for Thanksgiving? Is it still to far away for you Americans? Or are you focusing on that all important turkey? 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hey Everyone! It's almost Friday, which means it's almost the weekend- who's ready to relax with some pumpkin spice? I know I'm a cliche but I can't help it. I'm going to spend the weekend brainstorming decor ideas for the Thanksgiving dinner and Halloween party I'm hosting. Maybe I can combine them- scary Thanksgiving? That's way more important then the food-right?

Anyhow, I thought I'd give you a peek into an e-decor client I recently helped. In case you don't know, e-decor is a great option if you don't live in Montreal/Ottawa or if you have a limited budget and don't mind doing part of the work yourself. After an initial consultation by phone, Skype or email I send you a moodboard, a floorplan and a full source list. Then you go off and easily create the space you've always wanted.

This client was a real estate developer who had two luxury condos to stage-the idea was that the furniture would be used in one space and then moved over (with the addition of some pieces to the larger unit). The decor had to appeal to both potential buyers-young couples and empty-nesters. We went with a mix of  what I'm calling modern/lux/industrial. This was a really easy space to work with as the finishes were gorgeous-dark maple cabinetry, 'super white' granite, dark maple floors and a canvas of Benjamin Moore 'Stone Harbour Grey'. It was also requested that I use a few of their wholesale suppliers like Gus Modern- which is always my dream choice for sofas! We had to keep the budget reasonable so we tried to mix in some craigslist/kijiji and vintage finds. Ummm, yeah , I think I can handle that.

My favourite option-I've seen that blue Gus Modern sofa in person and it is gorgeous. The chairs, table and lamps were all vintage. Now, a blue sofa isn't for everyone so here were a few other options:

This last option was probably my favourite grey sofa option. I really loved that cobalt blue mid-century chair and the benches. Which one do you like best? Which one do you think they picked?

The dining room was fairly open concept so I wanted it to tie into the other spaces - natural tones with the industrial edge of metal and graphic art. Also, you can't beat a round tulip table in a small space.

The den/office already had the cool industrial metal desk- see how easy it was to work on this project? I added bright and colourful elements to soften the space. 

This guest bedroom re-used the art from the living room to make a calming, modern retreat using a mix of vintage (dresser) and some newer thrifty finds- the headboard is from Home Depot!

I feel like the master bedroom is exactly what I'd want in my own house. The mint and mustard colour scheme may be a new favourite - if only I was redecorating my own bedroom! 

To find out more about e-decor services take a look HERE and shoot me off an email so we can start working to create a space you love for a great price. Then go get yourself a pumpkin latte! 

The Little Shop

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I'd read about this super secret Montreal vintage store before while doing random internet searches but had felt lazy about heading out to an inconspicuous store housed in well, a house, only open for very limited hours a few days a week. It was on my list to "someday" make an effort to go find. When a friend was heading back there to pick up BAGS of clothing she had bought, I knew it was the perfect time to check it out. She promised the owner, Jill, would be lovely- offering customers tea, cookies and a chat all while selling the kind of vintage you just can't seem to find anymore. I was not disappointed.

Jill's mother Ann Silverstone started the store in the residential neighbourhood of Parc Extension over 50 years ago. In one yelp review , Risa D. explains:

 Because the secret of the Little Shop is this: it's the private, professional renters that are it's original appointment-only clientele. The Cirque du Soleil comes here to rent costumes and set dressings, the McCord and other museums borrow from here to fill out exhibits, the Spiderwick Chronicles created rich fantasy worlds out of the goods hidden in the Little Shop. And they are often hidden: apparently props people are notorious for hiding their finds amidst the dusty bounty... and the staff laugh tolerantly when they find a room that's been tossed, as they begin the Sysiphian work of re-establishing order.

If that alone doesn't make you want to visit then I don't know what will. While this kind of digging isn't for everyone, if you want to find very reasonably priced vintage that isn't merely second-hand H&M, set aside a few hours to browse through the rooms of jewelry, fabric, dresses, coats, paintings and knick-knacks. 

The shop is actually housed in a duplex and every room is filled with stuff- yes even the bathroom! 

The lovely Roisin displaying some finds that I had a hard time walking way from - that cream skirt suit was amazing in person.

The basement is full of fur coats, hat boxes and shoes

The second half of the store - through the blue exterior door - is filled with homewares, art, fabrics and wedding dresses. This is the side of the store that I could have happily lived in for a few days.

The chenille bedspread (above) was a gorgeous mix of pink, grey and burgundy and the pink bed-skirt (below) was just so happy and fun. Both would both be perfect in girly-retro bedroom.

This large textile would be spot-on as a seat cover for your sofa or folded at the end of the bed to add a layered, boho look.

The details on this wedding dress were so beautiful

This was actually a complete set of china with an amazingly delicate landscape scene on it.

If you are ever in Montreal, I highly recommend visiting for the vintage and the tea- The Little Shop, 1002 Ogilvy (corner Birnam), Montreal, No telephone but they do respond to inquiries via Twitter Open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 5pm.

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