Obsessed with Cement tiles

I have been working on some great client projects these last few months and I love when I get to work with people who are willing to take a bit of a design leap and step out of their comfort zone a bit. It's so fun to source pieces and finishes that are out of the ordinary and unique to them.

I had one such client who was excited to include a few bolder elements into her open concept living/dining/kitchen space, and I am SO glad she did. Because I think it turned out amazing! There are lots of pictures I want show here, but until those pics are ready, I thought I'd show a glimpse of her amazing backsplash tile and talk more about how obsessed I am with these stamped concrete tiles.
Sabile Hill tile backsplash by Sara Wetmore Interior Design in Toronto

We sourced these particular tiles from Versatile in Toronto but they are made by Sabine Hill.

I absolutely love the finish of these handmade cement tiles. Not only are they super durable, slip resistant and extremely eco-friendly, the colours have such an incredible tone and depth. And, they're easy to install and maintain.

Check out a few other uses for concrete tiles.
I would love to put a few of the styles in my entryway. There are so many beautiful ones to choose from, but these would be my top picks from Sabine Hill.
Sabile Hill cemet tiles

Sabile Hill cemet tiles

Sabile Hill cemet tiles

Sabile Hill cemet tiles

Sabile Hill cemet tiles

To get an even better glimpse of how gorgeous these look, click here to see the Sabine Hill Gallery. Really gorgeous eye candy.


A few weeks ago, our dishwasher broke. Before I go on, I recognize how giant of a first-world problem this is, but I'm used to having it so when it broke down, I broke down too!

Then last week, I attempted to replace the vent to our dryer after being terrified by an online article about the fire hazards of dryers, but ran into problems with the vent cover outside. While I was waiting for the appropriate labourer (ahem, husband) to fix it, I decided to use the clothes line. It rained every single day last week! The laundry pile grew and grew. And then, this week, our washing machine broke.

It's like a series of signs from the Pioneer gods. "For goodness sake, woman, figure it out. We washed our clothes in a bucket outside with our hands. The only dryer we had was the sun, and if it didn't shine, too bad. Dishwasher? We had one of those. Her name was Mom!"

I get it, we're spoiled. But last year when our refrigerator broke down and we went 18 days in August without one, I got a taste or the life of our forefathers and mothers. And I didn't like it!

I saw this article recently about how France enacted a law stating that appliance manufacturers have to tell customers how long a product will actually last before they buy it,  so obviously I'm not the only one with appliance woes.

Then I read this article about trendy appliances and their poor ratings. I know when we went out to buy a new vacuum a few years ago, we were romanced by Dyson and all the claims they made, but after quite a bit of research, found that the reviews for Dysons are actually pretty bad. Same with the super sexy washer/dryers that come in gorgeous jewel tones and promise to do everything include make dinner. What I found particularly interesting was that despite the quality concerns many people had with the trendier products, they are still the most likely to be recommended. Does that mean our society is in fact more concerned with aesthetics than with quality?

Tell me, if there's one appliance you couldn't give up, what would it be? Fridge, washer, coffee maker? What are some personal favourite brands and products? I'd love to know.

Schumacher fabric. My new fave.


For the longest time my favourite fabric has been the Chiang Mai in aquamarine from Schumacher. It's gorgeous and filled with colour. I've wanted to use it in my home for ages but haven't bit the bullet, mostly because I'm still busy fending off milk spills and crushed Goldfish crackers from the furniture.

But last week I was out sourcing fabric for one of my clients and I found this new Schumacher pattern that I can't stop staring at. It's Citrus Garden and it's been released again recently after having been taken out of production for many years. It was originally designed by Josef Frank in 1947 and is now part of the Schumacher 125th anniversary collection.

My client is having drapes made in it (swoon). I would like a roman in my kitchen. Here are another few ways it's been used.

Blurry, sorry, but worth showing. Image

Collecting Vaseline Glass

You guys, I have a new obsession! I was at a fantastic antique show over the weekend and spotted a collection of stemware that has me swooning. It was neon yellow and fabulous in every way (except for price!).

I've been doing some online hunting and I think it must be Vaseline Glass. Have you heard of it? 

According to vaselineglass.org, "Vaseline Glass is a particular colour of yellow-green glass that is made by adding as little as 0.1% to 0.2% Uranium Dioxide to the ingredients when the glass formula is made." Apparently when you shine uv light on it, it will always turn a bright fluorescent green.  

I have a thing for colourful glass (colourful anything really) but I've never ventured into collecting anything in the neon family. Before any serious purchasing is made, however, I have some homework to do so I know what to look for, average prices, and how to tell a dud from the real thing. Also, I'm a wee bit concerned about the speculation of radiation emissions due to the chemicals added, but hopefully more research will prove that to be a myth!

I am partial to the stemware, but here are some other pieces found on vaselineglass.org. Because it was made in the Victorian era until WWII, they tend to be more ornate. The images below are honey pots, marmalade dishes and decorative pieces. 

What do you think? Do you like it? 

Vintage Stamps as art

I recently worked with a client who wanted a gallery wall in her dining room. Whenever I put a gallery wall together I try to mix a variety of elements and art types to keep it interesting and dynamic. In her case, we had a few special photos to put up but it was so fun pulling other elements together. Like this vintage stamp piece.

There's a fantastic store downtown called The Paper Place. They sell the most beautiful papers by the sheet and anything else paper-related like notebooks and cards as well as party supplies. Have you shopped there? I went there to get some papers to frame, but while I was there I found these packets of vintage stamps. They were inexpensive and came 5 or so to a bag. All random Canadian stamps dating way back to more current.

I just bought an Ikea frame and arranged a few of the stamps on a white piece of card stock then stuck them in the frame. Super simple. The wall is a rich blue and I love the way the white frame and small hits of colour pop against the wall.

I was so happy with how this little project turned out. I hope they enjoy it too!

Black cabinets in the kitchen

I've talked before about my love of dark blue kitchen cabinets, but now that I'm really starting the think about fixing up our kitchen, I'm being drawn more toward black lower cabinets. I've rounded up a few images that make me swoon.





I especially love the combination of black lower cabinets with simple tiles and butcher block counters. The glass and brass light fixtures make me pretty happy too!

Hopefully this will be my reality sooner than not so stay tuned!

Colour-blocking books


I think it's safe to say that just about every home has at least a few books lying around. Some people are avid collectors and display them in the most clever and thoughtful ways while others prefer minimalist decor and books serve only as clutter once they've been read.

In our house, we're somewhere in the middle. We had a pretty good size book collection, but over the past few years with a view to organization and living with less, we've minimized the collection to just the books we've yet to read, we love so much we can't part with or those which serve as guides for different subjects (parenting, pregnancy, gardening, etc.). Design books and coffee table books are on display throughout our house.

We have a small corner in our basement where we had a bit of space to display the keepers and I played around with colour-blocking for fun. I always like seeing this way of display - the thoughtfulness of organization and focus on colour makes me happy.

The only problem with this method is that when it comes time to find something specific, you better have a pretty good memory of the cover. So what about you? How do you organize your books? Do you keep them somewhere unusual? I'd love to know.

Front door revamp

We finally bit the bullet and bought new windows and doors. This was something that we desperately needed to do. Our old windows were so drafty and 100% impossible to clean. We even had a wasp nest built in the gap between the storm window and the inside pane in our master bedroom. Nice! Also, our front door wouldn't stay closed in the winter and it wouldn't close at all in the summer when the humidity caused the wood to expand.

The front door arrived unfinished, meaning it was white and boring. I had mentioned in this post that we were planning to paint the exterior of the house last summer and I used the Benjamin Moore Room Visualizer to play with colours for the brick, trim and door. I will be posting pictures of the final product once we finish a second coat on the porch (yes, things take that long around here). In the meantime, here's a shot of our sunny front door.

Turns out painting your front door yellow isn't as straightforward as other colours. Apparently it's more prone to fading. We ended up having to use this paint rather than having something custom-mixed. But for $14 I'm not complaining. I love the colour and it's held up really well through the horrible, wet, snowy winter we've had.

I'm sure feelings are mixed in the neighbourhood. Some people might find it a bit bold, but I love it. I think it's cheerful and uplifting. What do you think? Could you handle such a bold colour? I have new house number and porch light that will be installed in the next few weeks so you can expect more photos soon.

Ikea Stokholm rug

I've been doing some redecorating at home lately and one of the bigger changes I wanted to make was our living room rug. I bought a wool rug when I rented my first apartment in my 20's on a whim. I'd never seen it in person, couldn't return it, and was spending more money than I could afford at the time, but I'd seen it in a magazine and decided I had to have it. Many years later, the rug is still kicking, but it's now living its golden years in the basement.

I really wanted our living room to be youthful and feel energetic and modern, but we have a lot of antiques that I was in no way prepared to part with, so there had to be some balance between the really old and the really new.

I've always love the Ikea Stockholm rug but never really considered it for our space, but after looking at it for a while in the store and online, I decided to give it a try.

It's a bold pattern for sure, but I love how it brings some life and energy to the room. And I think it looks fantastic with a mix of antiques and modern furniture.

Tell me, do you like a statement rug or are you more interested in keeping things simple underfoot and bringing life to a room in other ways? I'd love to know.


The year of less stuff

I've come to the realization that I am a prisoner to our stuff. Not to sound too dramatic, but our stuff overwhelms me. In the morning, as the clutter starts to build I figure that it's no big deal. Once the kids are asleep I'll deal with it. And I'll shower. And blog.  And I'll do all the accounting for my business. And I'll make lunches for the next morning. Problem is, the little critters never seem to go to bed early enough for me to tackle half - nay, a quarter - of what I set out to do, and I'm exhausted by the time they're asleep. Tell me you also have this problem! I can't be alone!

I've purged in the past. I thought these episodes of clutter-ridding were helping us establish a more organized home. But it was never enough. We have too much.

My house isn't tiny (not like these), but it's a downtown semi-detached with an open concept main floor. I love my house, but my living/dining room doubles as our playroom, eating space and home office and there is stuff everywhere. We also like to hang out in the living room in the evening and sip wine and watch whatever we're binge watching that week. I hate seeing all the junk everywhere and I find it incredibly hard to relax.

I saw an excerpt for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo recently and was intrigued by a few of the quotes. Have you heard of it? Apparently it's been on the NY Times best seller list for a while now, and the author is THE tidying expert in Japan. I picked it up recently and read it very quickly (if you're considering it, it's a very easy, quick read), and it has inspired me.

This is my hallway after 2 days of spending a few hours getting rid of, as Marie Kondo put is, things that do not bring me joy. And I'm not even close to being done. We're breathing better already. Stay tuned for more. Way more!

Finding art in unexpected places

Over the holidays we went to visit my Dad and stepmom in Prince Edward County - a beautiful part of the province on Lake Ontario which is becoming increasingly famous for its wineries and artistic community. I went out with him one afternoon to get maple syrup from one of the local farms and we stopped into a variety store in town. The owner of the store had found a bunch of paintings in her basement from the previous owners of the house, and she had them for sale in the shop. I saw this beauty hidden behind a box of chocolate bars.
I love all the colours that the artist used. The whole thing feels very Canadian to me. Maybe it's the snow! Ha!

Goes to show you that you never know when you're going to spot a gem. This painting makes me so happy every time I see it. I wish I knew where this was done. I've tried searching the artist but no luck so far.

Tell me, what's the strangest place you've ever found a special piece of art or trinket that you absolutely love?

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