Over the summer I spent many hours scouring the internet for new bedding. Most of the time my searches were of linen bedding because once you try linen bedding you are hooked, believe me. (Linen has magic powers of being cool in summer and warm in winter, in case you didn’t know). Nothing was ever quite the right colour. My bedroom walls are Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back – an odd grey brown that can can look a little more green or yellow depending on the lighting, and seems tough to match with. I never ended up finding anything until one day Jo and I received an email from an angel sent from heaven. Her name is Ieva Šidlauskė and her shop, April Notes, is something you’re going to want to bookmark. She offered to send me duvet cover and bedding sets and kindly helped me choose colours. The photo above is what I ended up going with – a linen duvet cover set in moss green and linen bedding set in beige.
Each set was sent in a white linen bag. Love that and will reuse them.
I was also stoked that Ieva sent some linen fabric samples. Somehow she has managed to select the most perfect shades of earthy tones to work with. That almond on top left and sunset rose bottom right are sooooo yummy. I love that all of the colours work beautifully together and if you’re into mix and match colours of bedding you could do that so easily with each shade she carries.
I could not be happier with the colours, the quality and the absolute beauty this bedding brings to my bedroom. I was incredibly excited to get these on the bed and once I started the photo shoot I could barely contain my excitement. I know I sound a little nuts but I was so desperate for some new cozy bedding to get me through these next several months and these could not have come at a better time. April Notes to the rescue! (Side note: Mimin my elderly cat spent the first 2 days after the bedding was setup sleeping on the pillows. My husband slept in the first 3 days. We’re all in absolute heaven with these new additions to our bedroom)
There’s something about linen wrinkles that I just adore. And that’s the beauty of linen – you can iron or smooth out the wrinkles or go with the crumpled look. And a bed made with linen bedding often looks better unmade. I actually did the first part of this shoot with everything in its place and then I threw back the covers and displaced the pillows a bit for that unmade, natural look. Which is frankly how my bed looks always 🙂
Thank you so much Ieva!!! XOXO
Some points of note about April Notes…
Design Philosophy: Our ethos is rooted in harmony: Harmony with oneself, nature, and with others. We strongly believe that by introducing harmony into our daily surroundings we can shape our lives towards a more sustainable and bright future. We achieve this goal by prioritizing function and style over fleeting trends to create versatile products that will stand the test of time. Our approach to sourcing earth-friendly materials minimizes the environmental impact, while the on-demand model eliminates textile waste. From the smallest button to the plant-based packaging, April Notes pushes the envelope on sustainability so you can manifest a more mindful home.
Shipping: Most of our items are handmade, thus all orders are prepared and nicely packed within 3-5 business days after the order has been placed. Shipping time can vary from 2 to 5 business days depending on the destination. Orders are shipped from Europe — Lithuania. We offer free shipping* for orders over $100 value. A shipping fee of $12 will be added at checkout for orders below $100. *There might be an exception for shipping to remote areas. Currently we ship to the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, all countries of the European Union, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Gibraltar. We are hoping to expand to other regions and countries in the future.
Hey folks. It has been a while since I shared a reno project on the blog, and today I am sharing a bit of a doozie of a reno. I’m taking you back to the beginning of my main bathroom. The photo above is from the real estate listing. Over the 8 years we have lived in this house it never really got any better than that photo aside from me painting the purple out in a pale grey and the chair rail molding in black. This bathroom had a few great features and others that were totally lacking. Great = the stained glass curved window, marble hex tile floor with off white curved trim tile (I think original to the home that was built in 1940) and off white subway tile in the shower with curved black trim tile. The problems with this bathroom were the former owners stuck a cheap, useless pedestal sink in there, so there was ZERO counter space. And there was NO OUTLET!!! We found out there was asbestos so we ended up having to gut the parts of the bathroom we were working with and able to leave the features we weren’t touching. This meant we were easily able to have an electrician put in an outlet, have a separate switch for the fan, and add electrics for a ceiling mounted light (I had one in storage I wanted to use). I wanted to keep all the tile in the shower area and the floor and trim tile because they were beautiful. Turns out this decision cost me a small fortune and would have been much cheaper had I simply replaced the floor tile, because there was a lot of prep work required when re-drywalling to set up for the new tile to be installed flush with the trim/floor tile. Anyway, it is what it is and I am happy to have maintained original features in there.
Here is a shot post-asbestos removal, after adding new insulation and electrical all set up.
This renovation started about a year and a half ago and during many pandemic lockdowns and also with this city having next to nothing in terms of fun options for renovations I did almost all of the purchasing for items in here online, and turns out most of them were from Wayfair (the sink, faucet, all new plumbing hardware in the shower, wall mount light fixture, towel bars). I did want to find a vintage cabinet for the sink, and came across this on Facebook Marketplace for $150:
We sanded it down and gave it a coat of Livos and some new knobs, fit it with a Carrera marble counter and backsplash, refit it inside to fit the plumbing pipes and make use of the top drawer and it worked out really well! You’ll see a bit further below but first a quick note on the tile. I went to a discount tile store and managed to find simple black glossy subway tile and they had plenty to do the walls I wanted tiled. It cost about $200!!! And I decided to add a little bit of colour and found a square tile in green online at Home Depot to add a stripe through the room. That cost $35! I was having a hard time deciding on how the tile should be laid but then saw something online that made me think of this pattern:
My tiler thought it was really creative and though it was a bit of a pain in the ass to prep the drywall for 2 different depths of tiles (try and avoid that – will for sure keep the cost down), I love the end result.
Enough babbling – let me show you my new Art Deco inspired bathroom!
(A couple of other sources: the mirror I have been hoarding a while from Highjinx, the shower curtain is Marimekko from Bed, Bath & Beyond, the little cabinet over the toilet is an antique watch cabinet I found on FB Marketplace, the painting is by Mike Rachlis, the rug is from Turkey via Etsy, the towels from H&M Home and everything else I shopped my house)
If you’ve been around here and my Instagram account a while you will remember I collaborated with Eternity Modern a while back where they gave me a fabulous deal on an epic Noguchi Freeform sofa & ottoman that continues to take pride of place in my living room. I was so excited when they reached out to me a couple of months ago wanting to work together again. I loooove my Noguchi sofa and was absolutely on board for another collaboration. I pondered what piece of furniture I could use the most and dining table was one of the obvious choices. At the start of the pandemic I decided to move our 8′ rectangular dining table my husband had built us into the living room as my new massive desk when I realized working from home was going to likely be long term (confirmed it’s now permanent!) and I really craved something smaller and round (I will never again have a hard-edged dining table). I had found an office table on Marketplace for $50 and pimped it out and it did the trick for the time being but I really craved a proper table. Eternity Modern to the rescue!!!
I have had my vintage reproduction tulip chairs for several years now and adore them and always dreamed of getting a tulip table to go with them. This was my chance as Eternity Modern carries an entire collection of tulip tables in any of the classic combinations of marble-like quartz, white lacquer or walnut veneer tops in round or oval and bases in black or white. I went with this tulip table that has a black calacatta quartz top in 48″ round with black base because in my world darker is always better 🙂 (Full disclosure – this table was gifted to me and this review is my honest opinion)
The delivery company they work with here in Ottawa was great – they were clean and quick and put it together and placed it exactly where I needed it. When I watched them carry it in I could tell it had some weight to it – and does it ever!!! This is a very substantial table. The base is very solid and the top weighs a ton so I have zero concerns about the ever tipping over. This base though…..nothing sexier than the curve of a tulip base.
The top is their ‘Calacatta Quartz’ made from natural ground quartz with resin and ribbons of pigment resulting in a marbleized surface. It is highly durable (AMEN!), resistant to cracks, stains and chips with a beautiful gloss finish. I think I could have picked from 4 different veining details and that’s a great option because ideally I would have loved to have as little of the large white veining as possible. I must add that this table is even more of a dream that I imagined. The base is narrow which makes my dining room look soooo much bigger than my last table and the top isn’t too thick so all in all the table is very open visually and is great if you have a small space or need a table that isn’t bulky. That’s a major reason why I love tulip tables – they give the effect that the top is floating.
I snagged some fabric at the last minute to cover the brown velvet seat cushions to have the chairs blend a bit better with the table (I was nervous about a black and white table with very cream coloured chairs with brown seats) and that really helped this all come together. Don’t tell anyone the fabric is just tucked under so no one is allowed to move while sitting LOL
I have always loved rugs around my home, to add a graphic element and another dose of colour to liven up my floors. Also, cats love ’em 🙂 This winter I became particularly obsessed with hunting down vintage rugs and using them anywhere and everywhere to add coziness to my house since I’m spending 99% of my time at home working. When the folks at Revival Rugs reached out and offered to gift me one of their insanely gorgeous, vintage one-of-a-kind rugs, I nearly fell out of my chair and was so stoked to agree to a partnership. It was particularly easy when I learned their goal is to offer affordable vintage rugs directly from talented artisans and partners across Turkey. Their rugs are premium quality, handmade and the selection is epic. I spent HOURS scouring their vintage collection trying to decide on a rug for my living room. It was an agonizing process let me tell you.
After much deliberation between bold and graphic vs classic and timeless I ended up letting the folks at Revival choose for me and they went with Jelisava, a 6.6′ x 10.7′ vintage wool kilim rug, flatwoven in Konya, Turkey. Also agonizing was my worry it would not match with my mustard-ish yellow sofa but AMEN it works! Their photos were pretty dead-on in showing the colours as they appear IRL so luckily the peach tones work with the yellow. And it arrived in about a week or so which was AMAZING since it came from Turkey. Phoebe was obsessed the moment I took the rug out of the box and with each section unfolded she kept climbing right back on. Luckily the novelty soon wore off.
I could not love my new rug more. It is so meticulously made and the details are exquisite. Revival is now at the top of my list for go-to rug sources, and if you’re in the market for a new rug I highly suggest heading over to their shop and having a looksie. I because I have no doubt you will find your perfect rug, use code 10OFF-KIMDTI to receive 10% off your purchase (valid until March 17) or click through this link and the discount will be applied at checkout. Happy rug shopping!
I live for summer. If you know me and/or follow me on Instagram you know how true this is, as each day when the weather is decent I would head outside (on weekdays at about 6:30 am) and put out all the cushions outside, feed the birds, squirrels and chipmunks, get my cats and I settled in the greenhouse and I’d work out there all day, then go inside, make dinner, then hang out outside until the darkness settled in. I’m not sure who loved this routine more – me or the cats. Especially Lucky, the cat in the photo below. He was always at the door asking to go out in the backyard, which was cat-proofed so they could not leave the property. It melted my heart seeing how much he loved it out there. And when we had to let Lucky go on October 21st (the third of our cats we’ve said goodbye to since the pandemic) I was just so grateful he had the best summer of his life out there.
Since it’s been a while since I shared my backyard oasis I grabbed a bunch of my favourite photos from this past summer I had on my phone for an updated post, and as a tribute to Lucky. It won’t be the same back there without him 🙁
The greenhouse was the best project and investment we’ve made with this house. I’ve had to work from home since the first day of the pandemic and I spend all summer working out in the greenhouse. It also was the perfect spot to hang out on a rainy day, perfect in the evenings if it was a bit too cool to hang out outside, perfect if the mosquitos or wasps were relentless (it’s all screened in so no bugs get in) and a couple of times we even watched movies out there on a projector. The cats would sit at the greenhouse door asking to go in, and would nap in there for hours on the weekend while we puttered around the yard.
The yard was constantly crawling with critters. There were always at least 2 of our cats out there. The bird feeder was always jammed with a flock of about 25 house sparrows, Cardi B and Reginald – female and male cardinals – visited daily, near the end of summer I had 3 blue jays regularly show up and squawk at me to throw them peanuts, the bird bath was always jammed with birds drinking and bathing. Then there was Sherman, my sweet grey squirrel who visited for her third summer and loved to be hand fed, but unfortunately got sick or injured and passed away. There was a chipmunk named Scarface who would climb all over me looking for peanuts, and about 4 regularly visiting black squirrels one of whom now takes peanuts from my hand. It was truly a magical space and was essentially my own private zoo (there are some videos in this IG highlight of my interactions with them).
My husband had a great idea for our little pond as the fountain spout we had bought on Amazon was always clogging up. We had some leftover copper pipe from some plumbing work we had done in the basement so he made an L shape and drilled a bunch of holes in it. This really helps drown out city-living noise.
My handy husband also built me a modular sofa, which turned into Lucky’s favourite spot to lounge, and it even included steps for him to climb up easily (all of our cats who were allowed out in the backyard were geriatric age so we always made sure they had steps). After dinner that was where you would always find Lucky and I lounging.
I also completed a bunch of projects, like painting the ugly white garage (that husband built new doors for), the newly re-built front porch, and the back porch (the colour I used everywhere is Peppery by Behr), and finally landscaped the front yard which we had started completely redoing in the fall of 2019, and hopefully next spring the final touch of porch railings will happen.
And some remaining photos from around the backyard. Boy this is going to be a LONG winter!