Contemporary Outdoor Living

Architectural Digest featured this California home recently and I was instantly drawn to the clean, modern lines and the neutral colour palette. Living in southern Ontario I always dream about a home with so much outdoor living space year ’round.

The Texas shell stone that flanks the fireplace in the living room runs horizontally and the kitchen is designed in a similar manner with horizontal lines in the backsplash and cabinetry. Even though this home has a neutral colour palette the use of texture in the materials and the open, airy feel brings warmth and depth to the space.

What do you think? I could see myself curling up by the fire or lounging poolside. Could you?

All images via Architectural Digest

Feeling Reflective

Hi there.

January has come to an end. That means that we are already one month into the New Year. And yet, for me, I feel like the New Year is just starting. A few weeks ago New Years resolutions dominated the story of the day. But my head wasn’t in it.

I’ve never been good with resolutions. They always seemed to be like signing up for something that might not be attainable. So many times I have put resolutions out there and felt like a failure because I didn’t achieve them. Maybe they weren’t realistic enough. Or I was aiming too high. Do you ever feel that way?

I have been thinking about goals and resolutions a lot in terms of my business and where it is going.

I came across a great post by Seth Godin that he wrote at the end of last year. He talks about remembering where you stood a year ago. He suggests that “New Year’s resolutions rarely work, because good intentions don’t often survive a collision with reality. But an inventory is a helpful tool, a way to keep track of what you’re building. Drip by drip.”.

So where does that leave me? Well, if I look back to a year ago I have moved forward by leaps and bounds. I’ve worked on kitchen renovations, apartment lobby renovations and teamed up to draft out plans for an elevator installation. I’ve designed custom furniture, decorated basements and turned a former restaurant into usable office space. That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Drip by drip … it’s moving forward. I’ve worked harder this past month than I ever have. Which leaves me excited and energized for the rest of the year.

So, am I setting goals for this year? I probably should. But I think, for the next few months at least, I’ll take the reflective approach. Instinctively I know I’m moving in the right direction.

What about you? Do you set goals and resolutions? Or, do you reflect back on where you’ve been?

Inspirational Christmas Decor

I am slowly starting to get into the Christmas spirit. I have been super busy work-wise and it has been a jam-packed time for kids activities, too.

I have also been suffering from a desensitization to Christmas this year. Holiday music has been playing in stores since early November, Christmas items have been our since before Halloween and, while I enjoy the Canadian Tire TV ads, I don’t really need to see the dude cut the turkey with an electric carver again! Anyone else feeling over stimulated by Christmas bling?

I am going for super simple, au naturel decor around my home this year. I’ve adopted a “use what I have” philosophy (with the exception of fresh boughs of goodness:).

There has been a ton of inspiration around the blogger world recently for holiday decor and it is just too good not to share!

Sarah Gunn featured DIY Christmas ornaments in a recent CityLine segment and wrote about it on her Yummy Mummy blog, Wall Candy. If you can’t find ornaments in a colour you like it is super simple to paint your own then add ribbon and stickers for fun details.

Amazeballs Wreath

Lindsey featured this super easy Amaze”balls”DIY holiday wreath. Everything in this wreath was purchased at the dollar store!

Heather used mason jars and epsom salts to create pretty candles for her recent holiday party.

Jen always has amazing ways of making ordinary things pretty and her Mini Christmas Tree Trucks are no exception. Such fun!

Jen also created a vintage looking holiday display using an old toy car that her husband had as a child and a display case that she already had. I just LOVE it.

Lindsay shared an idea for gift wrap inspiration using holiday bells, kraft paper and a touch of greenery. I’d be thrilled to open a gift packaged like this!

Those are just a few of the holiday decor ideas that I have loved recently – are these ladies fabulous or what? What are you doing around your home this Christmas?

And, as a sidenote, I was featured recently in the latest issue of Dabble Magazine talking about tips for the perfect bathroom. What do you consider to be the perfect feature in a bathroom?

Lego Decor

Lego is a big part of my life. Namely, my kids are obsessed with it. I love Lego. I love the creatively it inspires. I love how well my kids play together when they are building a city or staging some kind of battle.

The dark side of Lego is that I regularly injure myself on small pieces lying on the floor and I seem to have random mini-figures scattered in every purse and coat pocket.

Check out a couple of ways I could make Lego an even bigger part of the decor in my house:

I could have an entire wall dedicated to Lego:

as seen on Design Milk via HGTV

Or, I could create a key holder out of Lego.

as seen on Design Milk via Felix Grauer

Kind of fun don’t you think?

Kitchen Stools for a Busy Family

As in many homes our kitchen is the hub of the house. Our kitchen counter eating area in particular gets a ton of use. Unfortunately, our kitchen stools have seen better days. Basically they are falling apart. They are kinda crap – and that’s using my nice words!

So …. I’m on the hunt for new stools. They need to be durable (like, really durable). And they need to look good. Hubs isn’t convinced it is possible to find something that is both durable and looks good. I beg to differ.

eclectic kitchen stools

Kitchen Stools

I love the idea of mixing materials and textures. I want something more industrial but not too modern. And, nothing espresso coloured. Given the space it needs to be backless and tuck under the counter when not in use. And, I’d like it to have visual weight to it. Not bulky looking but not flimsy either. Check out some inspiration ….

windows, bar stools, kitchen island


Kitchen stools!

kitchen stools.

Disco kitchen, stools

Awesome kitchen stools!

Kitchen;  Bar Stools

Here are some options that mostly meet my criteria …

via 1, 2, artefac, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

So many choices! I am strongly leaning towards the last option. Although I like the second last option too.

Which would you choose??

all kitchen visuals via my Pinterest

Office Space: Which would you choose?

I’ve just finished a complete re-organization of my office. It started with buying a new printer and then I realized that everything needed to be overhauled. Let me tell you this project wasn’t about the pretty – it was all about the practical and functional. Now everything has a place and I actually know what I have too!

So … with that in mind I’m turning my thoughts to office spaces …. here are a few that have caught my eye recently:

I love this eclectic, whimsical home office space in Paris. It’s a perfect mix of light and dark combined with bright colour.

via Carlos as seen on Desire to Inspire

Or … Ana Atunes bright elegant office space.

via Home Styling

Or what about this space? Not as glamourous or eclectic as the previous spaces but pretty and functional.


via here and Simply Seleta

Which would you choose?


David Mikhail Architects: Additions that Wow

I was recently introduced to the work of London based David Mikhail Architects through Desire to Inspire.

The examples below show how they have created a modern space by adding on to an older home. I really like the floor to ceiling windows that bring in a ton of light and create an open, contemporary living space. The windows are framed in a variety of materials ranging from wood to aluminum and in wide ranging colours as the design dictates.

Check it out …

Image 8

Image 2

Image 1 crop

Image 5

Image 3

Image 8 crop

Even though this isn’t an addition to a home check out this Suffolk poolhouse.

I love how unique each addition is. It doesn’t necessarily blend in with the existing structure but is more like an art installation – except art you live in!

So, what do you think?

all images via David Mikhail Architects

In the Shower: Full Size Slabs

If budget is not an issue and you want an amazing feature in your bathroom. Check out what installing a full slab of stone looks like.

Would you choose this one ….

via Houzz

Architect: Tom Cole
Interior Designer: Robyn Scott

Or this Azul Mazauba Quarzite?

via The Granite Gurus

Or … a large slab of backlit onyx in this Kiawah Island home …

via Houzz and Charleston Home & Design Magazine

Or what about Calcutta Marble …

via The Granite Gurus

I’m personally a fan of the backlit onyx.

What would you use in your bathroom?

Things I Love

I haven’t written a post in a while as I lost a dear friend earlier in October. My faithful and loyal dog moved on the doggie heaven and I miss her dearly. Her passing has made me refocus my energies on those closest to me and I hug my hubby and kids tight – a lot. You never know when life will change in an instant.

But it’s a new month. I’m ready to be inspired and awestruck by the world around me again. So to get back into the blogging mode again I thought I would share with you some of the things I love …

I love fall hikes. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago and even though the leaves were past their prime the day was near perfect in my mind. Even on a day when the sun isn’t at its brightest the colours of the leaves make the woods a happy place. Add to that the sound of leaves on the ground underfoot and the shrieks of kids running around and this lady has a big smile on her face.

My boys … especially when they are acting like goofs!

I recently celebrated a birthday (my 29th, again) and my darling husband gave me a vintage Miriam Haskell necklace. I’ve drooled over her designs before but was so surprised that he remembered. So … for next time I’d like one of these:


Or, this …


I love my husband dearly but what’s not to love when he gives me jewlery!

And, finally, my girl. She was the best pal ever.

I will be back next week in regular blogging mode – how I’ve missed writing!

Have an excellent weekend.

Vintage Lighting for a Powder Room

I’ve been working on a project for the past month or so and the homeowner loves the idea of vintage lighting with Edison bulbs.

We went with this beauty for the three pendants over the kitchen island:

For the powder room I looked at a variety of options and thought I’d share with you some of what’s out there:

The space is pretty small so size was a key factor.

Here are some spaces with vintage inspired lighting:


black accent lighting in bathroom.




What do you think? I find people either really like Edison-style bulbs or really don’t like them. I’m a fan – but in the right space of course!