A while back FLOS offered me a light fixture to try, I absolutely could not say no. FLOS is one of the coolest lighting companies there is. I have to admit I had not heard of the light before and now I’m kicking myself for not having known about it sooner. Designed and created in Italy, AIM is a uniquely minimalist suspended light designed by brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. In their own words, AIM is a “new type of lamp that is naturally positioned in space – like a plant – with long cables providing maximum freedom to adjust the direction and height of the light source.” Similar to hanging vines, the long, free wires allow for “infinite adjustability” while providing a sense of the natural, as the wires seem to “develop and grow like branches or climbing plants”. AIM also uses warm LED, meaning that it is a very low energy consumption lamp.
When the light finally arrived I was SO excited to get it installed. Knowing I was getting 1 fixture, the only place I thought I could put it was in my bedroom as it’s the only room besides my dining room and dressing room with an overhead fixture (stupid old house with bad wiring!). But when I unwrapped the light I realized it was larger than I had expected, and even more gorgeous in person. I went with black, and it’s a matte finish! *sigh* (It also comes in white and polished aluminum). My husband, who is thankfully quite the handyman, suggested we put it in the corner of our living room, and he would wire a plug to the end of it so we could plug it in to the wall but mount it to the ceiling so it looked like it was wired up there. GENIUS! We both LOVE the AIM. It looks incredible in the living room. I can imagine a few of these grouped together over a dining table, or over a large desk. A few hanging in a staircase would be cool too.
This post is in partnership with FLOS USA but all opinions are my own.
As much as I am dying for a new house, I keep trying to keep myself from going crazy while stuck here by continuing to do small projects and picking up little things here and there I totally don’t need or have room for (LOL). Here are the latest bits and bobs that I’ve worked on or purchased.
First up – I got a little tired and bored with the centrepiece on my dining table. Because my house is so small and my dining space is in the middle of the kitchen, it means the dining table is prime real estate for displays. (You can see photos of what has been hanging out on my table for the past several months here). I went to Value Village Friday and found a wooden tray for $3.99, then went around the house collecting pieces I thought would work for a fall theme. I have a red and orange batik table runner I may put down too (but the cats tend to lay on the table where there’s fabric on it).
While rearranging the dining table decor, I decided to switch things up a bit on the display shelving in the kitchen (this is what it looked like). It’s the same colour scheme as before and alot of the same pieces but I was dying to get my Catherine Holm enamel pot out of storage.
I unearthed a few things from the basement that I was anxious to put to use again, like a couple of vintage floral frogs. One of them is now on the kitchen counter with some ceramic branches (actually oil diffuser reeds) next to Larry, my Chive gnome.
I don’t recall sharing my vintage radio here on the blog so I snapped some photos yesterday. My husband and brother-in-law have a little side business called Daff Design where they gut old radios and refit them with modern components (like speakers and bluetooth). This one is on the opposite wall of my desk so I play music via my Mac through it while I’m working. Handy, and looks cool to boot!
When I was perusing the aisles of Value Village Friday I came across a large storage container. I thought it was pretty sweet, but saw the $60 price tag and moved on. Saturday morning I remembered it and showed my husband a quick photo I had snapped of it on Instagram. He liked it too so I hopped in the car and went back to the store to grab it (the cashier told me he didn’t think anyone would pay $60 – sucker that I am). It is made of fibreglass and was used in the military (it has a sticker on it that says National Defense and Petawawa). It is 20″ wide and about 2.5 ft tall. I’m thinking of using it in the upstairs bathroom instead of the 2 ceramic stools I have in there that I hate, to store extra pillows and linens in it. It needs a good cleaning first.
I picked up yet another wooden crate last month (a beautiful one found at High Jinx) and thought it could be put to good use to store some of my favourite wool blankets I wouldn’t dare actually use in a house full of cat fur. Fed up with them being stashed out of sight, they now reside in the living room where I can admire them often.
With the cold weather making it’s way here, I started pulling out rugs and sheepskins from storage to keep things a little cozier in this drafty house. This season I decided on some wool Flor carpet tiles I had received to review on the blog a while back as the living room rug. LOVE these – I am a huge fan of the versatility of carpet tiles (esoecially when cats seem to aim barf at carpets).
I didn’t really know what to blog today and since there are a couple of new little projects around my house I thought I would just share that today (a sad day I might add – we’re heading to my sister’s cottage with the family to help close it up for the winter). Aside from the cat house and new paint job on my desk, I did more painting and some fabric dying which I had never attempted before. Fabric dying was quite the experience. Since I don’t have a big laundry sink I’m grateful to have a backyard with half dead grass where I could make a mess without harming anything. I have had a very large piece of white linen in my fabric stash for several years that I have been dying (pun intended) to do something with. I decided I would use a piece of it for a curtain over my desk and another for a seat cushion for a chair in my bedroom. So off to the fabric store for some black dye. All they had was ‘black velvet’ which I assumed meant a light black. I tested a couple of strips of fabric – one bundled up tight and wrapped in rope, and the other I dipped right in.
I opted for bundling up the fabric and wrapping it because I wanted it to look really odd with faded parts. Unfortunately not knowing what the frig I was doing, I bundled it too tight and there were too many light spots, and the fabric didn’t turn out dark enough. So I had to do it all over again.
After a second bath in the black dye the result was perfect! Much more subtle and dark but not too black. While I was at it I added all of my vintage doilies that I had dyed dark grey a while back but they turned out too blue.
After washing and hanging them to dry, I balled up the fabric and left it like that for a while because I LOVE the look of wrinkled linen.
In reality the lighter parts are not as bright as in the photo above. It turned out pretty awesome. My doilies are still fairly blue. Ah well. I have wanted to stitch them together into a table runner for ages but never got around to it.
It was a rainy day today, and the added fun of trying to photograph towards a window made for kind of crappy photos but you get the idea of how the curtain looks.
Next project. I have a vintage bamboo-like chair that I had painted Chinese red and used in my dressing room a while ago. Since I redid that room it has been in a corner of my bedroom and I had been wanting to paint it flat black.
It is one of my favourite chairs as it is surprisingly comfy. And the cats love it so that is one less animal on the bed at night. It looks SO much better black. And since I can’t sew I just tucked the fabric around the old seat cushion, and grabbed an accent pillow from my linen closet.
I had to snap a couple quick photos of my living room today for an interview so I thought I’d randomly share them too.
When you don’t have room for a liquor cabinet…
Our next project is converting the back room, formerly my office, into a pantry. The room is an addition, essentially added on top of a deck so it is freezing cold in the winter and raccoons live under it in the summer. It is the perfect pantry space and coat closet since we have no closets on the main floor. The space is awkward as it’s square but the previous owners added a fairly large powder room to be used by someone wheelchair-bound. This means the room is annoyingly L-shaped. Coats hang on one wall by the back door and where my desk was we want to make into a storage wall. (These photos are several years old).
I never got around to painting that little ramp into the room after my kitchen reno so I woul like to finally get that done. And we will do something with the hideous bathroom as I have not done anything to it since moving in. My husband was talking about building shelving for the ‘pantry’ himself but I think he is now leaning towards buying cheap Ikea shelving. Whatever works! I want something we can take down and reuse when we get around to wrecking this house. Right now we have some metro shelving and other random storage pieces in there for extra food and small appliances and it’s been great but I can’t wait to have proper storage. Photos to come when we’re done!
It’s a busy week & weekend for me so I didn’t have time to do much blog surfing for my blog favourites post so instead I give you more stuff I took photos of. First up is a magazine feature – 6 whole pages! – of my kitchen renovation. It’s the Well-Styled Home summer 2013 issue of Kitchens & Baths.
Another major event this week was the arrival of more of my Wonkiware dishes from Green Light District. When Deborah & David’s shop was located here in Ottawa, I discovered these gorgeous handmade dishes from an artist in South Africa and fell in love. I purchased a few pieces each time I visited (they’re investment dishes shall I say) hoping to eventually acquire a decent amount to be able to use them when having peeps over for a meal. I had a set of 4 (soup bowls, pasta bowls, side plates and dinner plates) and when I heard from Deborah that the artist had unexpectedly changed up the style of some of them, she agreed to bring some to Ottawa with her on a recent trip. I totally adore these dishes and have blogged them before (I think the last time was here) but could not resist taking more photos as these are my dream dishes and I am overjoyed to now have a set of 8 (except for side plates, Deborah only had 2 left of the original style).
I love the raw edges of some of the pieces. It gives them a rustic, more handmade flavour.
I nearly had a coronary when Deborah told me she included some desert bowls in my package as a gift. !!! They are so adorable. The desert bowls and the dinner plates all have the raw edge and plain, no-pattern design. The rest of the pieces have a sort of lace pattern and finished edges.
Platters for this set were on sale so I requested one of those as well (although my mom now has 2 of the dinner plates that are large enough that she uses them as platters).
Unfortunately my house is tiny and I have no designated dining room where a hutch or something similar would be perfect for displaying these gorgeous dishes. Instead, I have to improvise, and have spread the dishes throughout the kitchen (there’s no way they are being hidden in a cabinet – plus, my cabinets are full!). I placed the platter is in some narrow shelving leading into the kitchen, the side plates and soup bowl on the shelves over my cabinets, the dinner plates and pasta bowls on top of the fridge, and the dessert bowls in my dining table centrepiece.
Now I’ve got to run and get ready for the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show!!!
I thought I’d do a little something different today since I spent just about all day yesterday organizing parts of my house, taking photos, sorting through the photos and tweaking the photos. (Amazing how time consuming this ends up being). I acquired a few things recently so I thought I’d share them with you. Keep in mind I still have plans to tear this house down in the (hopefully) near future but in the meantime I still need to keep myself amused with decorating it.
I did a little something in my dressing room which you can check out over on themourningcloak.com. On the same wavelength as that little project, there are a couple of new additions to my living room. First, I decided that I was tired of not really having anything over the sofa (it’s been 5 or 6 years) and since I have next to no space to display anything in this house, I decided to stick a shelf there. My husband took me out to a lumber yard and we found some gorgeous raw edge planks of wood. We bought 3 and used 2 in the dressing room and one over the sofa. My vintage cameras have been in storage for a while so I pulled those out and for some reason I like displaying lightbulbs (but I need a better bowl) so there we have it – a little display of stuff and things.
Two of my favourite brands – Normann Copenhagen and HAY. 🙂 The Normann Copenhagen Dropit hooks (large) now reside on the wall next to the front door. We don’t have a closet or anywhere to hang a purse of jacket when you walk in so I thought they would come in handy.
These Scholten & Baijings tea towels by Hay are amazing. The fabric is to die for and the colours and patterns are really fun. I seriously lack cute tea towels – not anymore!
Also in the kitchen, I’ve got a new centrepiece on my dining table thanks to a bunch of goodies from Highjinx (a local non-profit thrift shop where proceeds help the homeless). For about $40 I scored some really cool silver items (that I added to some I already had). I dug out a silver tray from the basement that my grandmother had given me and voilà, new bling on my table.
The piece above is really neat. It is a vase on one end and a candleholder on the other. (It is marked with “NORWAY PEWTER”). My candle didn’t fit the candle end so I just shoved a few in the vase end. 🙂
Last but not least – my bedroom. I had cheap rattan blinds that stuck out from the window a good 4 inches so light would shine right in our eyes if we were lucky enough to sleep in (or the streetlights would shine in). I FINALLY got rid of them and found some cute black and white retro tree curtains at Ikea (that I “hemmed” with hockey tape temporarily – it was all I had). I also picked up a new duvet cover that I thought would work with the curtains and the very pale pink walls. The room has had no real colour or pattern going on lately so this was a HUGE improvement. And a few of the cats were stoked that I actually made the bed (in my defense there are always cats or a husband asleep on it so I have given up bothering – unless I take photos). On the bed is an otami pillow that my parents brought me back from Puerto Vallarta (I stupidly didn’t buy it when I was there but got them to pick it up before they came home). I had never seen otami in black and white there so I was stoked to find it and the piece of otami fabric I did end up buying there.