26 February 2014

room of the week: mcdreamy natural kitchen

Have you seen the latest issue of Architectural Digest yet featuring Patrick Dempsey's home? I love the whole home, including the outdoor raised gardens where he and his family grow their own vegetables, herbs and flowers. But I think my favourite space is the kitchen. It's not huge yet it's very functional, and it uses organic materials like wood and concrete. Those vintage chairs and baskets are also dreamy. Oh, and of course all that fresh greenery is brought inside as well to thrive in the light let in through oversized windows. I can't think of a better way to connect to nature and also live stylishly. 

24 February 2014

second-hand tea for two

Just to clarify: the dishes are second-hand, not the tea! 

I spotted these elegant silver-rimmed plates, cups and saucers at Value Village recently, and since there were only enough for a place setting for two, I snagged them for $4. What a lovely excuse to invite a friend over for tea and a snack of fruit and scones. The cyclamen was picked up at my local garden centre for $4 as well. A low-cost way to set the table in a brand new way without consuming new mass-produced "stuff", don't you think? 

21 February 2014

Olympic pursuits: mixing metals

In the spirit of the Olympic Games (way to go Team Canada!) I've selected some images that I believe capture the right ways to mix different metals in one room. Gold, silver (chrome), bronze - all are lovely and can actually work well together in the right proportions. Do you agree?  



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19 February 2014

green idea: grow something!

I think I have Spring Fever, because I've started growing seeds already. 

I planted some basil and lettuce to grow on the plant shelf in front of my sunny patio door within the condo. 

I used untreated seeds, and hope they will grow well so I can have fresh produce this year. If things go as planned, I'm going to try tomatoes too, since I have room on my patio to transplant them and move them outdoors if the weather even warms up. I eat tomatoes like nobody's business so growing these plants will not only be a natural way to decorate my home, it will also save money. And you can't get much more local that getting your produce from your own patio. Is anyone else trying to grow plants from seed? 

18 February 2014

quick refresh: switch it up

I like change. I know, it's kind of weird. But I love switching things up in my home to refresh it once in a while. So last weekend I switched out my desk in the den and brought it to the dining area as a side table. I always end up bringing my laptop to the table and working there anyway (I mean, the TV is in perfect view from there) so why have my desk eating up floor space in a den that could become more of a reading sanctuary? 

The new 'sideboard' in my dining room is sleek and chic, and goes so well with my glossy Saarinen table. The pendant lamp is DIY (from this earlier post). The branches on display were picked up from a branch that had fallen during the holiday ice storm. 

One of the shelving units that used to be in the real estate that sideboard now owns is sitting in front of my patio door with plants that are soaking up all the sunshine. The Eames knockoff that was my desk chair is moved in front of it. 

The salvaged and recovered vintage chair that used to be in the living room is moved to the den, which is now dedicated to reading and mediating. Cozy and zen, yes? 

An easy and no-cost switch up of furniture is all it took to refresh my space. Hope this gives you some ideas on how to update your space without spending! 

16 February 2014

coffee can DIY pendant lamp

The tiny dining area in my condo that's squeezed between the kitchen and living room can get a little dark. But since I'm not buying anything for my home (yeah, I know, but see my reasoning here) I couldn't go out and purchase a lamp. What to do? I hung an IKEA light which I had in my tool box (at $6 bucks a pop they are affordable and handy to have on hand) and then went about DIY'ing a shade. Of course. 

A coffee can worked perfectly - I used tin snips to cut a hole in the top, then I simply wrapped some gray felt that I had leftover from recovering my dining chairs (see this chair recovering post) around the outside. The material is flush at the bottom and wrapped up a little over the top. The trusty glue gun did the trick once again.

I think it looks very chic hanging in front of the silver mirror. Better than a store-bought lamp any day, don't you think?

Well, of course I had the leftover lid from the coffee can and just enough felt for a second project. I couldn't let them go to waste! My laptop sits on the side table under the pendant, so I created a mousepad from the lid.

C'mon, that's kinda cool, right? Happy repurposing everyone!

12 February 2014

have a green Valentine's day

Yes, I love the little red hearts and the chocolate too, but this year, consider bringing more green into your home for a Valentine's Day gift to you and your family - with plants. The gift of better air quality and a sustainable planet will be appreciated, if not now, at least down the road! 

9 February 2014

vintage find: pretty dishes

My friend Andrea came to town last week and while we scoured Queen West in Toronto for vintage deals, she came across this pretty and price-friendly set of china. So lovely! Even lovely enough to carry around town, on the train, and then a plane ride home to the East Coast! (I would have done the same thing friend!) I don't think I will ever purchase new dish ware again. Such a sustainable way to update, don't you think? 

3 February 2014

six eco-chic products for your home

I love coming across products that are made from organic materials and hand-made with care. It just feels good to bring something into your home that has not only made a limited footprint on the earth, but also supports craftspeople who love what they do.  Here are some of the best I've come across lately.

blankets hand-woven from vintage saris by dignify.ca

natural untreated wool blanket by Korimoko

oak organization tray

reclaimed wood planters

Ethiopian cotton tablecloth by Creative Women

jute fibre fair trade tote