March 28, 2013

Guest Post by Sophie {My Sister}

In case you ever wondered if I was the only one in my family with a flare for decorating and an interest in DIY, I am so happy to announce that I am not! It runs in my family!
You may remember a previous guest post from my baby sister Janelle {who is SO NOT a baby} who shared a DIY decorating project:
This is Janelle...
And this was her project! Pretty!
I often give heck to my sisters and friends when they decorate their homes or finish projects and they don't take before pictures! A  few weeks ago, my sister Sophie invited me over to help with a paint color selection. When I saw what she had done and was going to do in her main bathroom, I asked if she had taken before pictures. Although she hadn't, she still had pictures of how her home looked when she moved in, courtesy of the realtor's website ( She was another brave soul who decided to undergo some major and minor changes before moving into her home. Most of it was painting {and a lot of it, including her kitchen cabinets} but a major change was replacing most of the flooring on the main floor to a gorgeous chocolate-grey hardwood. They also changed the picture window in the living room {which used to be a bay window} as well as the front door. I absolutely love her selection for both! The detail in the window is classic and the stain glass in the door is just beautiful! So, while Sophie is still plugging away at her bathroom revamp, I will share Before and Afters of the rest of her home! Here are the pics!
This is Sophie:
And this is her home:
The Befores And Afters
Kitchen Before:
Kitchen After:
A gorgeous secondhand hutch she is looking to refinish:
Dining Room Before:
Dining Room After:
{You can really see the gorgeous hard wood floor is these pics!}
Living Room Before:
Living Room After:
Entrance Before:
Entrance After:
What a difference! Her kitchen, dining room and living room are all painted in warm neutral tones and bright reds are used as accent colors in all three spaces. When your main floor has such an open feel, it is best to use the same accent color throughout, especially if you LOVE red as Sophie does.
This is the space she is currently working on: the master bathroom.
I will return with AFTER pics once the project is complete.
Don't you just LOVE before and after pictures? I do!

March 17, 2013

Spring Fling

I currently have a secret crush which I am hoping to turn into a spring fling, and possibly into a long-term relationship. And I am telling it to the WORLD {or at least to my few blog followers... you know who you are!} You see, maybe it's all the snow we've had or the multiple snow storms that are still occurring even though springs official arrival is days away. Or maybe it's an itch that needs to be scratched after being the same for so long... But, something has got to give!
Have I tortured you enough now? Are you dying to know what in the world I am talking about? {I can be so evil!} OK, here it is: I am talking about the dullness of my living room furniture! Ha ha ha!
Before I explain, let me refresh your memory as to our living room's starting point:
The Befores And Afters
View from front entrance:
Seen from the kitchen:
Original wallpaper:
The gargantuan window {yes that's my husband sittin' in the chair; he didn't quite understand what "I am trying to take pictures for my blog" meant}:
Now let me explain. I know our house is new so this living room is fairly new to me. As you can see, we currently have a 3-piece sofa, love seat and chair set that we purchased for our first home. It is chocolate microfiber, super easy to maintain and has clean lines, so can be quite a versatile ensemble. It came with patterned cushions that I was not crazy about from the very beginning, which were tan with different shades of brown. I replaced them shortly after we purchased the sofa set with bluish-green cushions, and recovered one of the original cushions with a blue and silver printed cover. Later I decided to take a large apple green cushion from the basement and add it to the living room to inject a bit more color. And that is how it has been for the last 3 and some years. After a while, you gotta freshen and liven things up! I also find that, even with the window {the largest window known to man!} taking up almost an entire wall, this space can seem dark and dull at times. And the cushions have seen better days! They are looking as depressed as the residents of Kapuskasing! {We've had a long winter up here!}
So, once my idea to freshen up the space occurred to me, I started perusing my favorite online Canadian fabric store {} and started gathering pics of fabrics that could be added to the space. In the last year or so, I find myself becoming more adventurous with bolder colours for our walls, and mixing patterns. Like, I am just DYING to recover our dining room chairs and bench in 3 different patterns! But back to my living room...
On my computer, I saved the images of all the fabrics that caught my eye and fit with the current color scheme. I saved them all in one folder so I was able to see all the snip-its in one spot to determine what worked and didn't work together, sort of like this: 
Keep in mind, I have ordered 7 different fabrics so far from this website, and every single one has been true to what I saw on the site. All colours and patterns were exactly as they appeared, so I feel comfortable selecting fabrics online. Once I have sifted through the entire selection, I started an elimination process based purely on what I liked least.  Since my point in selecting fabrics is to add to what I currently have in the space, as well as to inject more color, brightness and interest, I want to select 4 or 5 different patterns to create one cushion in each fabric, and maybe two cushions in 2 or 3 patterns because I do have 4 different pieces of furniture {the 3-piece set plus a rocking chair}. I've been seeing this more and more where multiple cushions in different patterns are placed in one space or on a single piece of furniture, and I think it is so interesting and lively. Here are examples:
After narrowing it down to my faves, here is the selection of fabrics I came up with. I added them to a little palette board to show how they fit with the room. 
I may go all out and decide to make 2 pillows out of each cause honestly, I love them all! I love the freshness, the tones, the fun and the individuality of each print. The blues are a little brighter  and more turquoise than my curtains, but I figure it's worth the risk. Worst case scenario: if they really clash, I'll update my curtains at a later time. I already have a pair in mind:
{I know: Mylène and her apple green! It has been my favorite color for a decade... I ain't dropping it any time soon!} Or maybe just a clean and crisp white grommet panel to let the other fabrics shine!
And like the rest of the house, I do have a few other projects for this space that I am sooooo looking forward to tackling once painting weather {as in painting with open windows} returns:
-I purchased a secondhand wood dresser for 15$ last fall and have been impatiently waiting to refinish it a dreamy white to use as a media and storage unit {plus to keep the television out of reach of little sticky fingers (yes, that means Luca) }. It has been sitting in the garage all winter, just waiting for some TLC.
-I have every intention of painting the brick on the fireplace in white and painting the inside a dark charcoal, then creating a beautiful candle arrangement. I'd like to get a pretty fire screen strictly for aesthetic reasons as the fireplace is non-functional {the previous owner removed the chimney}. Eventually our plan is to reface it with tile and add a fire insert of some kind. But for now, paint fits my budget.
-I would like to purchase two basic white bookshelves and add trim to make them look built-in and flank either side of the media unit. It will tone down the wallpaper a little but this room needs more brightness.
-I want to update the lighting in this space as well. There are two table lamps as well as tube lighting all along the window valance. I think another light or two wouldn't hurt. Plus I'm thinking of adding a decorative detail to the exhisting lampshades of the two table lamps.
These projects are on my "sooner rather than later" TO-DO list as they are reasonably inexpensive. In any case, the fabrics are being ordered very soon! I will share progress pics and maybe a tutorial or two as I plan on DIY-ing everything!