How about a hamburger for Christmas

This might not be very festive, but I think it's pretty awesome wrapping paper nonetheless!


For all those unbelievers


For anyone who has any doubters or unbelievers in their homes,  Capture the Magic , a site that lets you download photos of Santa in your own home, will help make even the most skeptical of us into true believers. All you have to do is take a photo of your living room (or wherever it is that Santa leaves the gifts), upload it to this site, pick your favourite Santa, merge it and print. Voila! Proof that Santa was in your house.

I cannot wait to try this, I just have a lot of wrapping to do before the scene looks believable! Wouldn't this be a cute thing to leave next to the half-eaten cookie plate on Christmas morning for the kiddies in your house?

If anyone gives this a go, I'd love to see how they turn out.

Thanks to A Cup of Jo for the link.

Time out

How great is this!


Architectural Undulation

This is my third and final year of interior design school, and we have a giant project that we're working on all  year long. We had to take an existing building between 15,000 - 30,000 square feet and design a facility that would have a positive impact on the community. I decided to do a birth centre. It seemed fitting given my recent birth experience and my true admiration for the principles of midwifery. Ontario is pretty slow in adopting birth centres (we have none), but here's hoping the province comes around sooner rather than later.

As I keep plugging away at my design, I wanted to share a few snaps I found online that have been offering me a great deal of inspiration. I seem to have fallen for the idea of curves. Curved walls, floors, ceilings, whatever I can think of, for a different kind of flow through the building. Aren't these beautiful? They're so airy and bright. They guide your eye in a completely different way, which makes it so much more interesting than a 90 degree angle. 

All images from The Cool Hunter

It's party dress season


I don't know how I stumbled on this website, and maybe I've been living under a rock for ages given I've never heard of this, but I'm kind of in love with Rent the Runway. For 90% off the retail price, you can rent a in-season designer outfit or accessory for any type of occasion, and then, when you're done, slip it back (unlaundered - they take care of that) into a provided envelope (postage already paid - they take care of that too) and stick it in a mailbox. Done. They even send a backup size for free in case the one you rent doesn't fit. If you spill red wine on the dress of tear the biggie. They take care of that! Amazing!

Only have to live in the U.S. BOO! We need to get this here! How fun would it be to be able to wear a high-end designer gown to your next black tie event - one that you would likely never spend the thousands of dollars on, or a sexy little dress that realistically, you're only likely to wear once, to a stagette or girls night. So awesome!

If I have been living under a rock and you're all aware of this site already, then please someone tell me what it's like. They say everything arrives freshly laundered. Is that true? Are the clothes in good shape? Would you use a service like this?

If I could rent something from Canada (Rent the Runway people...if you're reading...I'm in Toronto. I'm further south than Detroit...just saying...we're not that far), I think this is what I would want:

I think I'd need to rent the legs too, but that's another story (Retail $1495, rentable for $150).

For an evening when Cam takes me out on the town! Retail this is $475, but to rent it's $75.

Someone needs to host a black tie event and invite me. Then I would totally wear this. This baby is $1495 retail, but $250 to rent. Still kind of a lot, but maybe depending on the event, it could be justified.

I love this cocktail ring. Rent for $50 (retail $398)
I think this is true love. Is it okay to rent true love? For $65 (retail $473)
Images all from Rent the Runway. From top: Trina Turk Gold Tulip Dress; Herve Leger Stop and Stare Dress; Haute Hippie Salsa Dance Dress; Yigal Azrouel Selma Gown; Erickson Beamon Confetti Cocktail Ring; Coralia Leets Cerulean Droplet Earrings.

Colour bottled up

A while back I was admiring some painted bottles from West Elm imagining what they would look like on my mantle. I was so tempted to buy them, but decided that I could make something very similar myself. While I have yet to actually make the bottles, I was reminded of the project the other day while searching Pinterest (my absolute favourite activity while nursing).


How incredibly easy would this be? Find some old vases in need of a freshening up or go to the dollar store and pick some up, pour some acrylic paint inside and swoosh it around, let dry upside down, and VOILA! Custom colours and so pretty.

The lazy girl's guide to antique shopping

Antique shopping is in my blood. My dad is an avid collector, and as a kid, he would drag me to every antique show in the province searching for whatever goody he was looking to add to one of his many collections. One of his most prized collections is a depression glass pattern called Manhattan, and I was assigned the responsibility of scouring each piece he was looking to buy for chips that might lessen its value.

I haven't stopped visiting antique stores and flea markets, but now I drag my poor husband along with me for the ride. He's a good sport, though I know it's not his favourite thing to do.

Now that we're headed into winter (it snowed yesterday for the first time - ah!) the really fun outdoor markets are closed, so I'm turning to this great new site I just read about called Foundstyle.

This Canadian site was started by two stylists and an interior designer, and they sell vintage tableware, textiles, accessories, and small furniture pieces that they pick up at auctions and antique shows. The best part - everything is priced very reasonably and displayed so nicely (no overloaded tables filled with junk like you find at many antique markets). I highly recommend checking it out. I love shopping in my pj's with a cup of coffee in hand - antique shopping never got so comfortable.

Here are a few things that I would love to add to my house!

Kitchen Reno Part 1


When we moved into our house, it was my plan to renovate the kitchen as quickly as possible. It needed some help! Involving the floors, the lighting, the back splash, the counters, the sink, the faucet, the cabinetry hardware and the wall colour, it was a full scale renovation in my mind. Two years later, while there hasn't been any major demolition or complete overhaul, we've made a few changes that I'm really happy with. The lighting, wall colour, and flooring have all changed, but the highlight came a few days ago when our highly anticipated counters arrived along with a new sink and faucet.

We opted to go with something a bit different for the counters....concrete. Let me tell you, it is the most beautiful counter surface I've seen in ages. When it came to natural stone, there wasn't much that really excited us, and some of the man-made surfaces, while lovely, were just too far out of our budget. Concrete is expensive to make, but the materials are pretty affordable and you can adapt it anyway you like. Luckily, my super-handy step dad Saul volunteered to make them, and what a fantastic job he did. He'd never done them before and they were a great deal of work, so we were all happy and relieved when they arrived scratch-free and looking fabulous.

The beauty of concrete is that you can make it any colour you want (they have tints in every shade from the Benjamin Moore fan deck - is 500,000+ choices enough?), you can make it high gloss with lots of exposed aggregate, or create a low-luster, satin finish.  It's a greener choice, durable and can withstand hot, cold or whatever else you throw at it. It's amazing.

If anyone is interested in learning more about concrete counters, check out the Buddy Rhodes website  for a gallery and some inspiration (a great site for DIY concrete counters). In the meantime, here are a few snaps of the evolution of my kitchen.

The two snaps above are of the kitchen before we moved in. I took these when we were at the house to measure before our move-in date.

This was our kitchen a week ago before the new counters and sink/faucet combo arrived.

And these are our new babies! We're so excited and thrilled with how they turned out.

Now that the counters are in, the wheels are turning! I think I want to paint the cabinetry, at least the lower cabinets, maybe a green-grey like this:

House Beautiful

And definitely a change in cabinet hardware is in order. I never liked what was there, but given we need 32 pieces for all the drawers and cupboards, it always seemed like money I shouldn't spend. Now they have to go. They are way too shiny!

We also have a new back splash ready for installation. Pictures of that to follow. 

Of course if we paint the cabinets, the wall colour will have to change. And maybe the art. And on and on it goes....

Top image via Pinterest

My Monkey


I hope you all had a great Halloween! We were having a great day carving pumpkins and trying to mimic the expression on the pumpkin's face (see below). Brigs had tons of fun. At least he was having fun, until......

We put him in his costume:

From that moment on, things got very serious. We're pretty sure that it was just his way of saying he doesn't enjoy being made to look like a monkey for the benefit of his parents, uncle, grandparents and neighbours who were all there to oohh and aahhh at him!

We thought he was the cutest thing ever, and are happy that he allowed us the opportunity to dress him up, even if he didn't crack a smile all night!

Free design classes at Pottery Barn

Happy Halloween! I'm so excited for Brigham's first Halloween and can't wait to show him off in his extra-cute monkey costume to all the neighbours tonight (and through photos here later this week). I loved watching all the neighbourhood kids trot off to school this morning in their costumes. So adorable!
National Geographic
 In the world of design and interiors....

If you're into Pottery Barn and their decorating style, then this might be of interest to you. They are offering free design classes at a bunch of their stores in the coming weeks that cover different design-related topics to those who sign up. They just offered one on living room design which focused on design elements like how to choose the right upholstery, how to select window coverings and floor treatments, as well as choosing appropriate lighting and furniture selections. I think these could be lots of fun and a great chance to get some personal design consultation for free as the instructors are available to answer questions that participants bring about their own homes.

Upcoming classes include choosing the perfect wall colour with a Benjamin Moore colour expert (helpful given they know how the colours can change in different lighting conditions, etc.), decorating for the holidays - both Christmas and Hannukah are being offered, and how to entertain for the holidays.

I love this idea, but I wonder how much money I would end up spending after being in a Pottery Barn store for so long!

You can get more info here.

Elmo means love

I saw this clip on A Cup of Jo a while back, and something this morning made me think of it, so I thought I would share. What a sweet way to end the week, although it did make me cry a a happy way!

Have a great weekend!

Retail Space

This semester at school, we've been given the task of designing a retail space for a high end retailer. I've selected Ben Sherman to work on mostly because I think the clothes lend themselves to a cool space, and because I've never actually been in a Ben Sherman store so I have no preconceived notions of what they should be like.

My interest in Interior Design has always been more residential, however, now that I'm working on this assignment, I've been paying way more attention to store design. Have a look below at some of the crazy designs that I found online.

Unknown Union, Cape Town

Dudes Factory, Berlin

Kirk Originals Eyewear, London

Oh Wow Book Club, New York

Lurdes Bergata, Barcelona

Vila Sofa, Amsterdam

AESOP, Sydney

AESOP, Melbourne

XXS Shop - Focus on Gadgets, Hamburg
Images from The Cool Hunter.
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