I was at it again a few weekends ago, going to town on my living room walls. As much as I love some dark paint, having a dark grey living room after about 3 years was getting to me. The cave-like effect had lost its initial appeal. Here is what it looked like before the transformation:
That was Downpipe by Farrow and Ball – high gloss on the trim and fireplace and estate emulsion on the walls (and Plummett on the ceiling) . Luckily I didn’t need to change anything but the walls (gawd I hate painting trim – and it’s high gloss so I may be stuck with it forever!). I am not a faux-finish gal but I have always loved the plaster walls the talented duo behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. always use in their projects. So I thought I would give it a go. Due to my busy schedule and general laziness when it comes to painting projects, I came up with a plan. I went to Home Depot and bought a couple of cans of Rustoleum’s Chalked paint – a medium grey (Country Grey) and a concrete coloured grey (Aged Grey). Then I bought many packs of cheesecloth, at Jo’s suggestion. I did a rough, thin coat of the medium grey over my dark grey walls, letting a bit of the dark grey show through. Oh – chalk paint dries almost instantly so I added a bit of water to it. Then I brushed on the lighter grey in small sections and immediately started dabbing with the cheesecloth. And voilà! It looks like concrete/plaster!
Here is a quick snap I took on my phone during the process:
And here is how it looks now! (I know some people may think the dark was better but trust me, a room with larger windows that let in more light would have been much easier to live with)
I was inspired by a photo I saw recently while doing blog research and found this simple solution for hanging art in a not-so-average way. I bought some small black chain at Canadian Tire which I attached by little eye hooks into the bottom of the molding left it hang down (I might hook it into the baseboards to straighten it out a bit). Those beautiful frames I found at Highjinx. They had awful still life paintings in them so I painted over them with some leftover paint I had stashed away.
Sources: raspberry vintage sofa + brass base side table + pink tufted chair – The Pale Blue Dot; Moooi carpet by Marcel Wanders – The Modern Shop; sheepskins – Cowboy Kate Outpost; Knoll tulip table + black tall plant stand + blanket over back of sofa – Alteriors; floral pillow on raspberry sofa – Wild Rice Designs; knitted pillow – Hana Waxman; embroidered bat art – Caitlin T. McCormack; large portrait over sofa – photo by Amanda Margareth; ceramic cat + black base side table – Highjinx; pink blanket and remaining pillows – Homesense; FLOS aim pendant by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Everything else random vintage finds.
Over the last month or so I have received some really awesome things that I wanted to share. Nothing excites me more than packages on my front porch! I’ll start with some encaustic pieces – a medium I was really not familiar with.
Tracey-Mae Chambers of TMC Design Collection is an Indigenous Canadian encaustic sculptor who lives in Southern Ontario. She uses melted beeswax mixed with Damar resin to strengthen the wax and this liquid is then formed into her beautiful collection of vessels. They are then treated with clear gloss lacquer to make them more durable. I had a really tough time deciding which pieces to get but thought this stunning copper flower bowl and black vase would work really well in my home. Thanks Tracey-Mae!!
I had seen some fabulous pillows popping up on some of my favourite U.K. based Instagram accounts lately and was super excited when Karen Sedgwick of Wild Rice Designs (based in Nottingham, U.K.) got in touch about these infamous pillows of hers. Again, I had a really hard time picking my favourite pillow (the runners up were this one and this one).
In the end I went with the vintage floral velvet because I fell in love with the pattern.
It is soooo beautifully made and I could not be happier with it (I’m a bit picky about pillow quality – the feather fill and cotton linen backing with that adorable pom-pom trim totally sold me). Here’s her Instagram, website, and Etsy shop. Thank you Karen!!
I also received another little gem of a book from Tuttle Publishing called Miniature Terrariums. So cute!
What I love about this book is not only does it give lots of instructions for being able to execute these terrariums, but it shows you the beauty of repurposing glass containers such as a lab flask, wine glass, mason jar, or an inexpensive glass box or hanging bulb. It gives some examples of using moss and fern, air plants, succulents and other types of plants. I REALLY want to try some of these this summer. Find this book on Amazon here.
When Christmas was over I was itching for a house project. I wasn’t looking for anything major as I only had a few days to really get into it before the new year, so I decided to give my dining room a makeover. I wasn’t really feeling the colour scheme I had gone with of grey/taupe and pale pink. I found it a bit cold and lifeless, especially when I love cozy, dramatic dining rooms. And since my dining room can be closed off from the rest of the house I knew I could go with something bold. I’ll start with a before photo. And for those of you who lean towards subtlety you may prefer this to the after. 😉
I went looking through Farrow & Ball colours and kept going back to terra-cotta shades. They seemed so warm and inviting. So I went for it! I did a bit of a random colour scheme of pink, terra-cotta and mustard.
I thought this room could use some dramatic curtains, and thought some crushed velvet in a mustard shade would do the trick. After a bit of digging on Etsy I found the most incredible set of very heavy, vintage curtains that were absolutely perfect. (I’ll include sources for everything at the end of the post)
Because the curtains weigh a ton I opted for a short rod on each side for them and found some sheer fabric and had them made into panels that we could easily slide across for privacy. (We live on a busy road so having something that could close so the city of Ottawa can’t watch us eat was crucial). I feel like a legit grown-up now with this curtain set-up, complete with tassels! That scalloped edging at the bottom is also along the inside edges of the curtains and is such a pretty detail.
A few weeks ago husband and I drove to Montreal to check out our favourite flea market and I found the art in the photo above (and a third one which you’ll see later). I almost didn’t buy them but thought they were so fun I went back for them without knowing where I could use them. I realized they would be a bold addition of colour in the dining room. I am SO glad I ended up scooping them up.
There isn’t much wall space in my dining room so I opted for a gallery arrangement on the only decent sized wall in the room. I had fun coming up with this. 🙂
The gorgeous girl with the orange hair and the print of the lips in the previous photo are of my Instagram friend Kelseyanna who kindly sent me copies which I had blown up and mounted on acrylic. The other gorgeous girl is a print by Mel Remmers. Love her!
At the top is a canvas painting by another dear Instagram friend Andrea. Below it is a lightbox my husband built for me. Inside is a photograph I took that I turned into an x-ray. Unfortunately it is hard to photograph when turned on but I LOVE how it turned out!
To my amazement I managed to find a rug that had shades of orange and pink in it to bring in the 2 major colours of the space. And it’s a perfect low pile rug for a dining room so sliding these heavy tulip chairs back and forth and cleaning up cat messes is no biggie.
There are still a few things I want to change in here. I found a darling vintage fabric to cover the chairs with (might not have enough to do all though dammit); I want a smaller, oval dining table because this one my husband built is a bit too big; I want a new buffet that is ideally 7′ long like this one. Regardless of those items I am really enjoying this transformation. At first when my husband saw the colours he thought I was insane but he quickly grew to love it too. I also had him on board with the curtain situation despite it taking hours to install/hang everything. Hope you all like it!
>>>SOURCES<<< wall colour: Red Earth, ceiling colour: Nancy’s Blushes, alcove colour: Picture Gallery Red, velvet curtains: AuDelaVintage, fabric for sheers: bettiecouture, curtain tassels: FabricsTrimsPillows, curtain hardware: Cozzy Coverings, 3 pink and purple signed and numbered prints from Montreal’s St. Michel flea market, vintage radio converted into a Bluetooth speaker by my husband: Daff Design, purple vase on radio & glass owl vase on dining table & most of the vintage ceramics on buffet: Vanier Moderns, plate with semi-circle hanging on wall in alcove & bowl below it & 2 small bowls leaning against books: Le Lou Ula Atelier, plate with flower: L’Arbre et la Rivière, brass reed sculpture & brass plant stand: The Pale Blue Dot, wooden stool plant stand & purple vase on dining table: Highjinx, rug: eCarpetGallery, Hay Denmark blanket and Ferm Living orange pot: The Modern Shop, framed canvas abstract painting: Andrea @hunt.and.scavenge, photos on acrylic: Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick @kelseyannaf printed by PosterJack, print of girl in black/white: Mel Remmers
The other day I realized I needed a project. Nothing too time-consuming because I have some work coming up on the house I want to tackle but something to tide me over until then. An idea came to mind, and luckily my husband was totally on board. Our guest bedroom never gets used, except for a place for cats to nap. It seemed like a complete waste of a room. We have 2 TVs in the house – one in the living room and one in our bedroom. Watching a movie in the bedroom meant one of us falling asleep within 5 minutes, and watching in the living room meant we’d each take a couch. Neither one an ideal situation. So we turned the rather small guest bedroom (10’x8.5′) into a media room. Every piece I used in the space was either already there, taken from other rooms or was pulled out of our 3rd floor storage room. And we LOVE IT!!! Here is what the bedroom looked before the transformation:
And here is what it looks like now. (Resource list at the end).
From trips to Mexico: wool rug on floor, everything on walls but large canvas, all pillows
Vintage: pots on coffee table, vases on white shelving, blanket on sofa, fabric used as curtains, stereo cabinet used as TV stand
Sectional sofa: Furniture Maison
Art over sofa: Madame Clamour by Villa Betula
Pendant light: Wunderkammer
Coffee table: built by my husband
Plant pot: Ikea
Table lamp: semi-built/semi-restored by a friend
Walls: Farrow & Ball Inchyra Blue (hallway wallpaper = Tourbillon)
Featuring 3 of the herd: Phoebe, Mimin and Felix 🙂
I have been on the hunt for some art for my dining room wall for a while now and wasn’t really sure what I wanted until the folks at Minted got in touch and offered me a framed limited edition fine art print. I was so excited to go through allllllllll the prints on their site. They have so many talented artists on board. I thought it would be an intimidating experience but I was immediately drawn into so many gorgeous prints and quickly realized their website is incredibly user-friendly. It’s so awesome I have to show you.
This is the print I went with – take a seat by Eric Eikenbary. When you select the size and frame you want on the right side, the left side shows you the photo framed, in a room, the frame close-up and how the print looks to scale. Freaking genius!!!! I seriously love this, and it’s great for people who are dimension-challenged and order items online only to receive it and go “huh, I thought it was alot bigger than that”. Now you can see before you buy! Anyway, they have lots of options for the frame material and borders/matting and all that good stuff. I went with a simple matt black metal frame and no matt/border. I am thrilled with my selection. It is so much better than the vintage metal sculpture I had there instead. I was hoping for something more graphic and I love photographic art so kudos to Eric Eikenbary for knocking this photo out of the park. I also need to share this photo I took on my phone just as I was digging into the package.
My framed print was soooo well packaged, especially given I ordered it in 30×40′ so I was a bit anxious to see how it was going to make the trip up from the States (California I think). It was completely unscathed, which is not surprising given their packaging methods. And the herd of cats lounged on the boxes for 2 days until I got tired of stepping over them. 🙂 Anyway, let me show you more of my new art!
I was so stoked about this new piece in my home I bought myself this gorgeous lily (?) plant for my dining table.
I thought you might like to see what prints caught my eye and made this a really hard decision.
Blogger friend Jamie Derringer’s Untitled 1b
Kate Ahn’s mother embrace
Misty Hughes’ burgeon
Qing Ji’s A White Peony
Elliot Stokes’ ebb and flow ink lines