31 July 2012

Olympics art #3


30 July 2012

Olympic art #2

Paul Rogers Studio

28 July 2012

Olympic art #1

In honour of the Olympics (and because I am spending most of my free time watching them) I am dedicating quite a few posts over the next 16 days to Olympic artwork, past and present. Because you know how I love to mix modern and vintage.

Go Team Canada!

Zoran Lucic

27 July 2012

where will you be watching the Olympics?

I'm an Olympics nut, so I'll be glued to my tv for the next 16 days, which got me thinking about options for designing with televisions in our homes. Flat screens now mean that we don't need to hide them in big entertainment units any more. Here are some brilliant options I've come across.  


Where will you be watching? Are you as excited as I am? 

Need some ideas for designing or redesigning your home? Contact me about online design for only $150.

26 July 2012

water-smart remodeling tips for bathrooms

Water conservation is a focus of the modern bathroom since over the long term this approach is beneficial to both the environment and our wallets. With that in mind, here's a little info on water-wise upgrades that we can integrate into our next bathroom remodels. 

LDa Architecture & Interiors

Hot Water Recirculating Pump

A recirculation system provides instant hot water and uses considerably less water than a traditional system does. The main drawback to such a system is that it requires the pipes to be insulated, which usually necessitates going through the walls. Remodeling is the perfect time to install such a system because you can offset that additional cost.

Tankless Water Heater

Traditional water heaters are inefficient. Tankless heaters heat water on-demand, which eliminates the need for the tank and greatly reduces energy usage. There are some special considerations when combining tankless and recirculating systems: a standard recirculating pump may not provide enough water for the standard tankless heater, so it is necessary to buy them with synergy in mind.

Replace the Toilet

Unless your current toilet is very new, it is outdated and using too much water. High-efficiency toilets can save the average family tens of thousands of gallons of water each year, which will easily offset the additional cost of the unit. A dual-flush feature, which you can purchase already installed or add via a kit, can significantly increase those water savings.

Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow showerheads and fixtures use high pressure and aeration to create an appropriate flow using less water. These are wise additions for right now, even if you’re not planning a remodel. And if you are renovating, replace the showerhead but rethink replacing your shower and bathtub. New fixtures along with resurfacing and tile replacement can produce a like-new modern bathroom at a much-reduced cost.

Mark Brand Architecture
I will definitely think about trying one or several of these options once I own again instead of renting. Even just a simple dual-flush toilet or a standard toilet fitted with a dual-flush kit is a smart investment. Factor that in with low-flow fixtures and tankless and recirculating water systems, and it becomes clear that we can do right by the environment and save enough money to offset the cost of the remodel in a very short period.

Will you be using water-smart technology soon?

23 July 2012

summer lovin'

1. vintage-look beach chairs- Etsy
2. herringbone cotton throw- Serena & Lily
3. apple, ginger and cranberry cocktail recipe
4. vintage look wood radio- Amazon

images: balloons/ bike/ cones/ beach

20 July 2012

is your mudroom working for you?

One of the most asked questions I get from homeowners is how to organize their entryway. In fact, this previous post I wrote about mudrooms is one of my most popular. Whether you are lucky enough to have a designated mudroom, or like many of us, you have to make do with just a small entryway, there are ways to make it work efficiently in order to save you time and frustration getting in and out the door every day. After all, home is supposed to make you feel happy and at peace, not frustrated and chaotic! 

creating a mudroom in a small space
LDa Architecture and Interiors
LDa Architecture and Interiors
If you have a dedicated vestibule like the pictures above, make sure that you take advantage of the space by building either neat open storage with cubbies or baskets, or closed storage so you don't see the mess.

Knowles PS
The spaces above show great ideas for creating a mudroom if you have an open floorplan home where the door opens right into your living space.  Create a small wall or half wall where you can build closed storage and a bench. Then you won't be looking at coats and shoes all the time and it creates a nice looking zone. 

Traditional Home
Hooks are a must. There is nothing better for quick access to coats, hats and bags. And its welcoming for guests when they visit so they can take off their coat and hang it up themselves. 

Take advantage of vertical space to add shelving for hats, umbrellas and sports equipment. If you don't have built-in cubbies, use boxes and baskets for pretty storage. And try to make room for a bench or chair- its very handy and you'll be thankful you did. 

And always have a place for your keys, sunglasses and mail - things that need a landing spot and can be found again when you need them. A mirror and good lighting are also helpful.

Check this post out for more tips and tricks. 

19 July 2012

room(s) of the week: black,white & bling

I'm crushing on LDa Architecture & Interiors right now - they have a dynamite portfolio of work on their Houzz page. These pictures have made my room of the week, not only because they are my favourite black and white, but also because they bring a modern touch to a slightly formal home. The attention to details like molding, cabinetry, flooring and doors make these spaces stand out. Don't you just love the black framed glass doors on the dining room? 

17 July 2012

green idea: repurposing roundup

 Ready for some more creative ideas for sprucing up your home through repurposing? Have at it! 

repurposed rake key rack from The Selby
recycled bottlecap tray from Sweet Something Designs
repurposed insulator pendants from Girl In Air
tapestry headboard via randomitis
vintage luggage medicine cabinet by Blake Sloane
bentwood chair turned side table via Martha Stewart
reclaimed wood and loaf pan crate by Homeroad

16 July 2012

quick refresh: flowers and cans

What's the easiest and quickest way ever to refresh your home? Pick some flowers and display them in a recycled tin can. So lovely. Enjoy the week everyone. 


Sweet Paul via the Style Files

13 July 2012

i'm obsessed with: pineapple decor

I've loved pineapples as decoration ever since a trip to Italy where I spied them on gates throughout Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. Pineapples are known as the symbol of friendship, welcome and hospitality, and historically they announced the hospitality of mansion owners through carved wood or molded mortar on gateposts. Here are some sources for pineapples to use not only at your door and on your porch, but inside your home as well.  

1. stone finial - Restoration Hardware/ 2. pineapple lamp - Sue Fisher King/ 3. vinyl welcome decal - Etsy/ 4. hurricane lantern - Frontgate/ 5. vintage pineapple vase - Etsy/ 6. white porcelain pineapple - Adorn Homewares/ 7. crystal pineapples - William Yeoward Crystal/ 8. indoor-outdoor rug - House Accents/ 9. silver finial and rod set - Restoration Hardware/ 10. pineapple plaque - Amazon


12 July 2012

trend to try: a pair of x-benches

Again, this is more of a design classic than a trend, but x-benches are everywhere once more, and they make a real statement when placed in pairs. This multifunctional piece of furniture dates back to Egyptian times (take a look at the great pictoral history I found below) but the modern takes on this beauty are endless. 

via La Dolce Vita

Martha Stewart
Lauren Stern
Elle Decor
Atmosphere Interior Design
Caitlin Creer
Nate Berkus via Decor Pad
Laidlaw Schultz Architects
House Beautiful

11 July 2012

black and white day 17

Oversized mirrors. Vintage chandeliers. Barcelona chair. Need I say more? 


Need some ideas for designing or redesigning your home? Contact me about online design for only $150.

10 July 2012

finding inspiration for a room refresh

It's really important to go into a refresh with an idea of the look and feel you are hoping to achieve. It saves money on purchases you don't need and on paint and fabrics that aren't quite right. Yesterday, I showed you my bedroom refresh for summer; I wanted something light and airy, and the colours needed to work with my rental beige wall colour and existing taupe curtains. So with those colours in mind, I used a beautiful pink, cream and taupe marbleized vase as my inspiration. 

I'm also a big web and Pinterest browser, so I looked for rooms with the same mood that I wanted to achieve. These images inspired me further.

And here is how my room turned out. 

Hope this inspires you to find something as a "jumping off point" that you love.