30 March 2012

find it friday: coffee tables

I recently read an article in Stylelist Home that declared coffee tables on the extinction list. While I fully agree that ottomans, stools and trunks that can be used for double-duty are very functional, I still love a coffee table. Might it have something to do with the fact that I eat every meal in front of the TV? Maybe. But it's also that a table is where you can show off a bit of personality. It's a piece of art. I love the craftsmanship of handmade and vintage tables, and the sleek lines of a modern table that perfectly shows off a great display on top of it. 

Some examples to convince you:

 reclaimed wood handmade beauty on Etsy: $450

reclaimed brickmaker pallet table from Bobo Intriguing Objects: price unlisted
vintage surfboard coffee table on Etsy: $650
or a similar vintage-inspired new handmade table on Etsy: $280
local vintage stores are a great resource, like Mid-Century Dwellers: negotiable price
how about a DIY? check out this midcentury-look coffee table tutorial.

West Elm: $416
teak from Crate & Barrel: $750

So, vive la coffee table?

29 March 2012

black & white day 7

I'm taken by the simplistic beauty of this ranch home with black and white as its foundational colours. The textures and natural elements that are woven throughout make it so warm and inviting. 

You can see the rest of this great home at Martha Stewart.

In need of a little help with designing or redesigning your home? Contact me about online design help, starting at $75.

guest post: repurposed glass vases

Hello!  I am Tiffany from Living Savvy and I was honored when Kelly asked me write a guest post for her readers!  I love Kelly's style and I think we have a lot in common!  I love repurposing items in my house and finding a fresh way to use all my items.

It has been Organize Month on Living Savvy so I have been cleaning and organizing everything behind a door!  When I was working on my decor cabinets I realized I had a LOT of glass vases.  I really didn't need that many glass vases, and thought if they were a fun color I could use them as accessories with out flowers!

For this project you can use any paint you have on hand, but not spray paint.  I have spray painted many vases, and I love the look, but I wanted something different.  Something with a little more depth.

Using what acrylic paint I had on hand I added some paint to the inside of the vase.  I swirled the paint around until it coated the entire inside.  This took a little bit of smacking the vase in the palm of my hand, but soon all the vase was coated.

I really like the thickness of the glass on this vase, but it was sort of hard to spread the acrylic paint around in there.  So I used a paint brush and moved the paint around.

I wanted a different color than the greens and blues I had in acrylic paint so I explored my latex paint samples.  The latex paint was a lot easier to coat the inside of the vase.  To let all of the excess drip out I set it upside down on two bamboo skewers and a glass.

These are not going to be able to hold water!  {I cheated with daffodils and moved them as soon as I was done taking pictures... sorry!}  By using a water based acrylic and latex paint water will just break down the paint and wash it away.  I did these with the intentions of having a bunch of color vases to display, and not use for flowers.  I think I might try it with an oil based paint and see what the water will do to that.  Maybe I will be back here for a second tutorial!

But even still... very pretty, and an easy way to add a pop of personalized color to any room!

Thank you so much Kelly for asking me to guest post!  I love the idea of refreshing you home with things you already have!

28 March 2012

green idea: interesting upcycling

I've recently come across some amazing upcycled products and ideas that I had to share. 

Rue magazine



Cool huh?

27 March 2012

before and after: cute bungalow refresh

Ever wonder if a fixer-upper can be fixed up on a budget but look like a million bucks? Well here is proof that it can. Friends Shannon and Mitch recently did a smashing job renovating the main floor of their adorable bungalow, but needed help with the finishing touches. The catch? If they are to continue with their renovations to the outside and basement of their home, they couldn't spend a lot on decorating. Not a problem. We used a lot of what they already owned, found a few new key pieces, and made some small improvements to the rest. 

Like the kitchen. 



The new paint colour is CIL Oyster Bay, a nice light gray that modernizes and lightens up the room. The cabinets stayed as is, but the backsplash was switched out to a classic white subway tile. We kept their dining table and chairs, but covered the seat cushions in a cheery and modern orange fabric. Add some drapes to the patio doors and pull out lots of vintage tins, wooden bowls, cookbooks, and jars filled with stuff from their backyard, and the look is complete!

We even pulled out this wonderful vintage mirror from storage and found some family antique pieces to fill the cute nooks and crannies in this space.  

Onto the living room. 


They plan on building custom bookshelves to fill the fireplace wall around the stove, but until then, simple updates make the room modern and cozy. Trim was painted white and the walls painted CIL English Pine. The dark grayish-green goes nicely with the light gray from the kitchen, which you can see from the entry and the living room. They found a used modern gray sectional for a steel, which is nicely mixed with the traditional elements in the room like the stove and refinished wood floors. They already had two nice chairs that we moved to flank the fireplace. A white shag rug pulls everything together into the centre of the room for a cozy conversational feel. And a new white coffee table and black velvet bench complete the look. New curtains were added that pick up the black and white of the existing chair. 

Small touches make a big difference in finishing the room. Fluffy white pillows and vintage mohair black and  white throws invite you to sit down and curl up. A basket of books offers personality, and sticks and leaves in vases on the floor not only cover up electronics, but also add no-cost natural decoration. A gallery wall of family photos completes the space in a personal way that invites guests to get to know the owners better. 

Couldn't resist getting the other owner, Sawyer, in a shot! 

Finally, the tiny bathroom needed just a little refresh to make it sparkle. 



The new gray and white shower curtain set the tone, which also continues the feel from the rest of the main floor. Fluffy towels, pretty jars and a picture in a surprising place add immediate interest as you walk in the room. The chandelier light we choose is a throwback to the original character of the house, as seen from their amazing restored doors and door knobs.  

All three rooms decorated and finished for under $1000. Thanks Shannon and Mitch for allowing me to help with this wonderful project! 

26 March 2012

monday refresh: a touch of orange

This lovely and colourful table is at the home of friends Mitch and Shannon, who have been renovating an adorable fixer-upper. I helped them finish off some decorating recently and we set the table for lunch. 

As always with my refreshes, everything used was pulled out of their own cabinets, then flowers, fruit and things from the backyard brought in. It doesn't take much to quickly refresh a space.