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.

Exposed Brick

A couple of the houses on our street have recently been bought by 'flippers' and I've been paying attention to all the work they've been doing to modernize and customize these homes. I'm having a bit of house-envy when I see some of the finishes they're using, but I'm trying to use it as inspiration for my own home.

One thing that I've seen which has really got the wheels turning in my head is exposed brick in the main living space. I am now dying to do it in our house. We live in a semi-detached, so the wall in question is the shared wall between ourselves and the neighbours and it would be seen from the living room, dining room and up our stairs. Everyone on the street who has done it says the brick is in good condition (all the houses were built at the same time around 1910) so that gives me hope. They say it's a messy job, but well worth it. There's a layer of plaster on top which would have to be pulled off, then they say you just use water and a wire brush to clean the brick. It sounds so easy!

What about you? Does anyone have experience exposing brick? Any tips or tricks?

To further inspire me, I searched for some snaps of exposed brick interiors. I'm so in love with the look. What are your thoughts?
Bump on a Blog
Candace Rose
Via Pinterest

Bye-Bye Elephants

Toronto City Council approved this week a motion to send three elephants currently living at the Toronto Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in California and to phase out the elephant program in Toronto. This very controversial event was sparked by none other than Bob Barker, former The Price is Right host who said that Toronto was too cold to have elephants.

I haven't been following the debate too closely, but I'm all for giving the elephants the most comfortable conditions possible (I mean, they're already in captivity, so let it at least be warm). Yesterday, though, Cam took the day off work and we took the baby to the zoo. There was practically nobody there and the animals were out and having a great time, including the elephants.

I had to share a few of the snaps from the day. I didn't zoom in on any of these, by the way. We were THIS close to each of these animals. In some case, way too close!!!

This monkey walked right up to us and sat in front of Brigham and just checked him out. This is definitely the closest I've ever been to an animal at the zoo. She and I were each pushing our index fingers against the glass and 'touching' through it. So cool!

I think this was the last time we'll be seeing this guy. I'm so happy we got a good view.

Um.....I was hugging Brigham extra tight when we got to the lions. I'm pretty sure they could jump this far if they really wanted to!

This guy was pacing in front of the metal door in the pic. We thought it was feeding time and he was waiting for his grub, but turns out when this hatch opens, his lady friend can join him from another tiger area a little ways away. What a good looking fella!

Budget-Friendly Draperies

I feel like I'm starting this blog from scratch given how long it's been since I last posted anything. I blame mid-terms for keeping my design mind occupied elsewhere, but I've missed this so I hope to be back at it more diligently (until Finals, anyway!).

Our house is pretty old and needs a lot of TLC these days. We have a leaky basement, a leaky bathroom, the oldest windows you've ever seen (in a not-at-all-charming way), we just had to replace our roof, and I'm pretty sure an addition off the back of our kitchen is falling away from the house! The big to-do list item for us is fixing the foundation wall around the house to stop the water from making itself at home in our basement (our playroom) and generally causing us stress every time the weather gets grey. As a result of all of this, a lot of the decorative work is DIY stuff in an effort to put our financial resources toward the bigger projects.

I love doing stuff around the house myself, except it usually takes forever to get anything done. But, I finally finished drapes in our bedroom, and wanted to share as I'm really happy with how they turned out and I want to celebrate a job completed!!!!

This was a very easy project that involved a trip to Ikea and the fabric store. I bought a pair of inexpensive off-white curtains from Ikea for $30, 1 yard of Vintage Blossom Citrine fabric from Dwell Studios for just under $20 (which was way more than I needed but I'll use the rest for cushions) and a couple meters of grosgrain ribbon for $1 or $2. Here's what I did:

The process here was so simple and if you're a novice sewer like me, you can still make these fairly quickly and without too much grief.

I wanted the Dwell Studio fabric to skim the floor and go up as high as the base of the window frames. I have large windows and they are only 26" off the floor, so I needed 26" of Dwell fabric (plus a tad more for seams), and enough ribbon to run the width of the panels, plus a little more to wrap around each side. As for the Ikea curtains, I hung them and then marked where they needed to be cut (in this case, I cut them at the bottom of the window frame).

I then laid out the Dwell fabric and pinned the seams so I could iron them (ironing fabric before sewing it really does make life SO much easier and is really worth spending the time).

I then just wrapped the Dwell fabric around the sides of the curtain panels and pinned it in place.

This is one panel laid out. The sides and the bottom have been pinned around the Ikea panel and the top has been folded down to create a nice edge. The top doesn't matter too much though, because I'll be sewing ribbon along that edge anyway.

Once the two side edges and the bottom was sewn, I lay the ribbon along the seam between the Ikea pane and the Dwell fabric and just sewed along both edges of the ribbon.

After that, I hung them and VOILA! If I'd really been ambitious I would have lined them, and who knows, maybe one day I will. In the meantime, I'm happy because for $50 or so, I have new drapes. Nowhere would I be able to find exactly what I was looking for for that price. I'm a happy DIY-er!
Please ignore the unfinished chair in the corner (it's very temporary,and a DIY project for another day) and the paper blinds that are hung until our new blinds arrive.

Next projects: the side chair in our bedroom and a few lamps scattered throughout the house. Stay tuned!

A few things I had to share

It's Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend, and there's lots going on with family, plus we have a wedding on Sunday which is going to be such a blast. I can't wait for all the fun and all the amazing food that's coming our way for the next few days.

Before all that starts, though, I had to share a few things I found online this week.

For all the baby hipsters out there:

Cute wedding shower gift:

Bah hahaha!

Great use for wine corks:

Stars in a jar using glow-in-the-dark paint:


Lego cake

DIY ruler growth chart

Have a great weekend!

What to do with pumpkins

This year, Halloween means a bit more to me than usual with a little guy at home. While I know that his 7-month-old self doesn't get the concept of Halloween, he sure seems to laugh every time I put a mask on or show him the monkey costume that I bought for him. Either way, I feel like parenthood means stepping up my enthusiasm and getting my house in the spirit too!

To start, I've been looking around at eerie, creepy and crazy decorating ideas. Before I go too overboard with fake webbing and laughing witches on my front porch, I thought I'd share a few of these pumpkin-inspired ideas which are fun and easy to do.

Bring pumpkins in the house

A white pumpkin and a Sharpie! Love it!
Painted and bejewelled: Alisa Burke

Leftover fabric or paper: I Heart Naptime

Painted Pumpkins. Tiny Prints

Modge Podge and some leaves. So festive! Budget Wise Home

Hollow a pumpkin out and you have a seasonal vase.

It doesn't get any easier than this. The Knot

Gold thumbtacks. Madigan Made

More creativity with a Sharpie.
Tee Hee! BHG
I love these colours at this time of year. BHG

Top Image: Martha Stewart

A few of the images don't have original sources. They were pics I had saved from a while back, so my apologies.
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