Rustic Shelving for a little boy

A while back I posted about bringing home a few apple crates from my dad's farm to use in Brigham's bedroom. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to use them, but after bringing them home and realizing they have spent many years in a barn and are brittle at best, I thought mounting them on the wall would protect them best from busy toddler hands. Plus, they serve as a place to show off his 'stuff', or whatever that means when you're two! I love how these crates look in the room. They're such a perfect fit for a little boy. 

If you want to give this a shot yourself, the only tip I have is that I wouldn't mount the crates directly onto the wall. I had a few pieces of wood (1" x 4" I believe) cut to fit the width of the crates which I nailed on to the back to offer a bit of extra support. I then drilled directly through the back of the crate and through the supporting wood into the wall. You can see the screw heads in the image above and in the very top picture you can see the edge of the wood peeking out.

Modern and Colourful nursery for a little girl


I finally have photos of Eloise's nursery to share with you all. This room has a very small window and gets very little in the way of natural light (which explains the dark photos I'm afraid). To combat this we painted the room white and decided that we'd bring in as much colour as we could through art and accessories.

We didn't know the gender of our baby, so we tried to play the room safe until we knew for sure. We haven't done much since Ellie's arrival, though, and I'm figuring my subconscious knew I was having a girl because the room seems more feminine to me. What do you think?

The pouf was a DIY that I plan to post about later. It's serving us well as a footstool for when I'm nursing and Brigham loves to jump off it and roll on it all over the house. The fabric I used for both the pouf and the roller shade came from this twin size duvet cover from Ikea. I really liked the polka dots and thought they'd be perfect in a nursery, and the price is hard to beat when you think about how much fabric you get from a single duvet cover and sham. I still have tons left for another project down the road.

The letter 'E' is something I've been eyeing at Anthropologie forever and was waiting eagerly to pick up the appropriate letter. If I had a bit more time these days, I would have liked to have made something like it myself with a thrift store oil painting glued onto a generic craft store letter, but I so liked the Anthro 'E' option that I sprung for their version. 

The hamper is this Ikea purchase that I painted with the yellow and white stripes. 

The armchair belonged to my great grandmother, which makes it Eloise's great-great grandmother's. I love that she has things that belonged to generations past in her room. It's in good shape and the slipcover that was made for it a few years ago is washable and neutral. To add some colour to it, I picked up the bird cushion at HomeSense (Home Goods in the US I believe), and grabbed the yellow chevron blanket at Indigo on clearance.

I love this guy! I picked him up before Brigs was born at the One of a Kind show here in Toronto. He's made of felt and sits on the back of the door keeping an eye on things.

These prints are a personal favourite from the Animal Print Shop. Have you seen them before? I feel like photographer Sharon Montrose is getting lots of much deserved attention around the Internet for her gorgeous prints. I highly recommend a visit to her site.

I made the mobile for Brigs when he was born and I thought it would work for Eloise too. The feather on linen print hanging over her crib was another DIY. Obviously my sewing skills are lacking as I can't seem to sew a square, but printing the feathers on there was fun. I carved a sweet potato as a stamp and thought it turned out pretty well. I'll post more on that one later.

The geometric art was a cottage craft a few weeks ago. My 8-year-old niece and I were having fun with masking tape, paint and canvas. I thought they look cute on the white wall. 

The crib skirt was a plain white one that I found on clearance and I just glued a piece of yellow grosgrain ribbon to the bottom. The skirt is white-white while the rug is more of a cream, so that yellow really helps divide the two and make the contrast less obvious. And of course, the hit of pink in none other than sweet Eloise.

I had a lot of fun with this nursery because so much of it was done myself. I still have a bunch of projects I'm working on for in here, but I'm happy with the progress I've made so far, and as far as I can tell, Eloise likes it too!

Big news

So it turns out that blogging is a bit like exercise. You do not want to interrupt your routine thinking that a few days away won't hurt, because it seems that days turn into weeks and months very quickly. I realize that I haven't posted anything since April (whoa), and I miss it. I did have a baby, which in my mind is a pretty good excuse (more on that below), but I still wish I'd been a bit better. The thing about not blogging for so long is that I've stopped paying as much attention to the amazing little things that have been going on around me - or at least I don't focus on them for as long or as with as much interest - or take a thousand pictures of whatever it is thinking I'll post about it later! But I'm ready for that to change.

There have been lots of amazing little things that I'd love to write about, but to start, I have to mention the biggest thing that's happened in my life since 2011. Eloise Diana, our gorgeous girl (who we so thought was a boy) was born on June 7th. The loveliest, sweetest baby girl a mama could hope for. I can't stop sniffing her head and snoozing with her on the couch. I attribute my inability to put her down to the fact that we aren't sure if there will be more babies to come, and I realize with my second baby that the days of cuddling and napping with a baby on my chest are so short and fleeting, that I'd better soak up every second of this loveliness. 

Since her arrival, we've been getting used to being a family of four and trying to get 2-year-old Brigham used to the idea of having a new baby in the house and me used to having absolutely no spare time in the day. But, it's amazing how different it is having a second baby compared to the first, and there's a lot less anxiety this time around.

I can't wait to share photos of her nursery, all the DIYs that I did to get it ready, as well as a zillion other home and work projects that have been keeping me busy since I last posted. I'd love it if you'd check back in soon to see what's been going on. Until then, check out this cuteness...



Today the sun is shinning in my part of the world, but let me tell ya', it's been a long time coming! Like much of Canada and the US it's still unseasonably cold, but hope is in the air, and by the end of the week it might just feel like spring. A girl can dream anyway!

Until the warmer days arrive, I'm looking at this photo and imagining spring. Doesn't it smell lovely! 


DIY Skirted Console or... How to hide an ugly bookshelf

On one side of our fireplace, we stuck an old Billy bookcase that has been used in every room of every home we've ever had, thinking it would be a great spot to put our stereo equipment, some books and a small TV. I had grand intentions of papering the back of the shelf in a pretty paper, but once the shelves were filled and the whole thing was in position lodged awkwardly next to the sofa, that job got too hard for my liking.

All the clutter that was accumulating there had me pretty anxious for a long time. I dreamed of having a carpenter come and build custom shelves to the ceiling on either side of the fireplace (I still dream of this), but until that day comes (likely, never) I needed a good solution to hide the junk and especially the stereo equipment, which couldn't be uglier in my opinion.

After browsing design blogs at length, I found this tutorial which explained how to make a custom fabric cover for a cabinet/bookshelf/console/whatever without a needle and thread. It looked quick, inexpensive and easy. Three things I love in home decor! I wish I could find a DIY tutorial for how to fix upholstery that's been destroyed by your beloved cat!

I started and finished this job during nap time one day, so about 2 hours. The tools needed are really straightforward: some fabric, fabric glue, measuring tape, good scissors, staple gun and staples and an iron. Jenny mentions this in the tutorial, but the step that saved me the most time was the ironing. If you iron, this job will be infinitely easier. Pressing the hems before gluing them ensures your seams are straight and that the job looks like you put way more than 2 hours into it (or better yet, that a professional did it!). Don't skip this step. Trust me!

I'm really happy with the way the whole project turned out. Not only does it conceal all the unsightly stuff that we hide on those shelves, but it adds a necessary pop of colour to an otherwise drab corner.

Unconventional nurseries

We're wrapping up the finishing touches in Brigham's new bedroom, and as soon as it's finished, it's time to get going on the nursery (with 4 months to go). Right now, it's painted a dark grey and we have yellow accents throughout. When we first did this room for baby #1, the colour combo seemed pretty new and original. Since then, it's become 'the' colour combo for every modern room design it seems, and I won't lie - I'm getting sick of it. Having said that, I don't necessarily want to paint the room, but I do want a new feel in the room so that this kid can have a space designed just for them, just like our first baby got. Seems fair to me!

I've been browsing at images and have pulled a few that I like with a similar shade on the wall.

What do you think? Should I listen to a family member who insists that babies don't like dark grey (grrr!) or should I trust my gut and move forward with a grey background and hits of colour?

Images: One/Two/Three

Ikea Hektar Pendant done right

Last week was the Interior Design Show here in Toronto and while there were lots of exhibitors that impressed me, one that really got my attention was none other than Ikea! To be honest, they do a fantastic job each year and every time, if you pay close attention to the conversations of other people there, everyone acknowledges that it doesn't look anything like Ikea typically does. This year was no exception.

Below is a snap taken from the Ikea website of one of the rooms they designed for the show. It's a beautiful modern kitchen, but check out the lights. Gorgeous!!! Below that is a far less stylized snap taken on my phone with a slightly closer view.

If you look closely, you'll see it's the Hektar pendant - a simple charcoal grey piece priced at a whopping $24.99. Alone, it's a cool fixture, but clustered like this makes such a statement. Can you imagine hanging a bunch of these over your dining room table? Bah! Beautiful!

2013 decorating projects

The list of projects to do around this house has never been short, and it's not looking like 2013 will be any different. Some of the items on the list are boring, like patch and repair drywall on our kitchen ceiling or replace a broken tile in our bathroom, but others are a bit more fun. The fun jobs, generally far less essential, top my priority list which explains whey the kitchen ceiling has been needing repair for three years. The fact is, there's just always something more fun to do.

About a year and a half ago I was given this Bergere chair from my grandparents house after my grandfather died. It's in serious need of repair, but it's been in our living room ever since. The colour looks terrible with our other furniture and the upholstery tacks are sticking out making it the least toddler-friendly chair ever. 2013 is the year this chair is getting fixed.
 I was going to attempt to do this job myself. I wrote about it here, in fact. But I've since decided that I'm going to splurge on some Schumacher fabric and I really don't want to run the risk of ruining the fabric or making a mess of the job. Besides, the chair frame needs repair and I'd like the whole thing sanded down to reveal what I hope to be a darker natural finish, so it seems that this chair is destined for a refinisher and upholsterer.

I realize this is a bit of a teaser post given I have lots of 'before' shots and really no 'afters', but I'm wondering what you guys think about the Chiang Mai on this little chair? I'm pretty obsessed with this fabric, and have been for a while, so I think it's time I commit to it. I was thinking of using it for a roman blind on the tall narrow window in the dining room, too. What do you guys think?

Tell me, what are some of your 2013 decorating plans? Do you have anything you've been itching to do but have been putting off? I'd love to hear.

January birthdays

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and did lots of resting and feasting with family and friends.

Now that January is in full swing and everyone has had a chance to make and, if you're like me, break your New Year's resolutions, it's time at our house when we start talking about the next family celebration. My birthday! Yippee!

Are any of you January babies? I am. Born on the 15th. If you are too, then perhaps you'll agree that, short of being born between December 21 - 31, it's probably the worst time of the year to make your grand entrance into the world. I know lots of guys who dream of having boys in January so that their sons are the biggest on their hockey teams (we're Canadian...this is what our boys think about), but otherwise, it's just a bad time of year. Here's why:

People are officially tired of planning anything, leaving their house, preparing for and cleaning up after big meals, shopping for gifts and spending money. Also, people have resolved to not drink, eat only healthy food, get more sleep and replace nights out with mornings in Yoga. All the qualifiers of a good party are pretty much destroyed come January 1st. February babies seem immune to this problem because as we all know, the resolutions that lead people to behave as I've listed above never last past the first month of the year - thank goodness for the sake of people born in any other month.

As a way of adding cheer to this gloomy situation, I have decided that the perfect antidote is to add colour to my living room. I will do so by asking for the following colourful book series from Indigo from my loved ones (those that are willing to shop at this time of year). Indigo is a Canadian book seller and this amazingly colourful series is exclusive to them, but I hear they ship worldwide for all you non-Canucks. Gorgeous, no? There are 30 in total and I've narrowed my list down to 10. Please don't judge me for the fact that I am basing my choices on colour alone. Yes, I am fully judging the book by the cover!

Aren't they gorgeous? Do you have a spot in your home where these would add a lovely burst of colour? I imagine we could all use a little jolt at this time of year, even if your birthday isn't quickly approaching!

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