I Have a Crush on You

I have a big crush on this little corner of the Paris home of Giambattista Valli:

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via

The weather here is finally getting spring-like so I plan to spend some time on a patio or two this weekend as I return to my university stomping grounds with some dear friends.

Whatever you get up to, have a great weekend!
Happy Mothers’ Day to my wonderful mum, MIL, stepmum and my sisters-in-law! xo

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Circular Impressions

A few weeks back, I managed to snag the only Nate Berkus brass lamp base in the store at my local Target. I had had my eye on it online, so I was pretty chuffed when I ran across it.
I snapped it right up, even though there really wasn’t a shade that worked with it.

Luckily (M would certainly choose another word…), I am a lampshade hoarder, so I knew I’d have something in my stash that I could use to finish it off. In the end, the only thing I had that was the right scale was a plain white linen shade.
It looked okay. But it was, to be honest, too white for the room.

The search for the right shade was on.
I tried the coordinating Nate shade, in navy. Didn’t suit the room.
I found a burlap-esque one at Homesense and tried it. It was okay, but a bit too small and it made the light too dim.

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Then, I noticed Jana Bek‘s lovely desk lamps in her Instagram feed.

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I’d seen them around the interwebz and liked them, but Jana had made her OWN version and I thought to myself, “Self, this idea could be adapted to solve the lampshade problem….”  I figured I could easily transfer the painting idea from the base to the shade. Why not?

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Out came my favourite new paint and my brushes. I took a deep breath and….painted.
It looked….not too bad!
But the shade was lacking something, so I taped off the top and added a band of gold.

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I’m pretty happy with it. I will (because it’s just the way I roll) probably keep looking for the Absolutely Perfect Shade, but this one works just fine for now. The shade only cost $20, so it’s not a huge investment if I find something better down the line.

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DIY Off-Piste

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If you are a DIY-er like me, then you know that projects do not always go according to plan… Sometimes, the thing you have envisioned so perfectly in your brain (which, for me, usually involves lying awake at night, figuring out how to make that vision into reality), ends up looking….well…. a bit crappy. There is even a big trend in the blogosphere of posting your most hilarious DIY failures.

But, sometimes, things work the other way and, though your finished project ends up looking nothing like your original plan, it ends up looking…. SO MUCH BETTER!
This is what keeps DIY-ers going– this SO MUCH BETTER THAN I IMAGINED result is the equivalent of DIY crack, Gentle Reader. It’s like seeing a unicorn.

I had just such a unicorn moment last week when I finally got around to making over a picture frame I picked up in the As-Is room at IKEA for a whopping $7.  I liked it because of the size of the mat– I am a sucker for an oversized photo mat, I must say. But I hated the cheap, damaged, faux-wood frame. Of course, as you know, I never met a bargain I didn’t want to paint, so home it came with me. My original plan was to  copy er, emulate these frames:

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I got started with my Annie Sloan chalk paint, but not even Annie would cover the weird, slick surface of the laminate frame. Frustrated and in a hurry (when am I not?), I wiped off the paint and gave the frame a quick sanding and then primed it. Next, Annie Sloan, but the colour was too yellow. So, I added a couple of coats of Farrow and Ball’s All White.

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And then, the unicorn moment: being in a hurry, I started to paint on the gold (how I LOVE this gold craft paint— it is soooo perfect!) before the white was totally dry, figuring I’d just go back and tape off the clean lines once things were dry and then fill in the gold up to the tape line. BUT, the gold paint goes on in a beautiful, sheer way and I really liked the way it created an ombré effect. Luckily, I had to sleep on it, as the paint was not dry enough to tape off. When I returned to the project the next day, I realized that the way the white and gold faded into each other really could not be improved upon.
Another coat or two of gold to add depth and I was done.

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And, then, I put the mat in and the sample of Timorous Beasties’ Thistle hand-inked wallpaper and there, Interwebz, was the unicorn: it looked sooooo good!  SO MUCH BETTER THAN I’D IMAGINED!
(Even M had to admit it was an impressive finished project. 😉 )

Also, just signed up for Bloglovin‘. I know. I’m very late to the party.

 

 

#WIP

More on the now-ubiquitous gallery wall today. I still love a gallery wall, even though I fear it is the avocado-coloured kitchen appliance of the new millennium…
I like gallery walls because they offer a way to showcase a lot of pretty things in a way that “reads” as one big “piece.”  But, a word of warning: in order to work, a gallery wall needs to have a variety of things on it.  A good gallery wall is not your grandmother’s “rogues gallery” of school portraits. 🙂 To look current, aim for a range of sizes of frames, a range of items (not everything should be a print or photo in a frame), a range of textures and works that are both vertical and horizontal in orientation.

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Here is a little work-in-progress in the corner of our dining room. It was born of the need to camouflage the thermostat (I still dream of getting one of these, but M is not on board, alas), which stands out like a sore thumb on our newly-dark walls. I started off with the round shelf and the gold K, then added a few cards from Rifle Paper Co. and a couple of other cards I found at Indigo and framed up in IKEA frames.

The table and the candles added some interest lower down, but I knew I would need to keep my eye out for a few more pieces to complete the look.

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When I found the little figure at IKEA, I had to have him– I have always wanted to hang a series of these along a long hallway. I used my beloved 3M Command Strip to hang him on the wall. The tiny mirror was a Homesense find– it had a black frame, but a quick coat of spray paint fixed that in a hurry!

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 You can see that I still have a couple of spaces to fill (don’t worry– I have some horizontal items for those empty gaps), but things are looking better all the time. I was not happy with the corner until yesterday, when I added the large piece at the bottom; I was feeling that the stuff in the corner was too “bitty” and teensy-looking.    I love the way the larger piece balances things out and I am a BIG fan of hanging artwork low to the floor.

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More about the frame on the larger piece on Monday.
Have a great weekend!

Heads Up!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas, if that is what you celebrate. If not, I hope you had a nice few days off to rest and relax. We had a wonderful day with family, following a few days of the warm company of our dearest friends, LHR and GraphicDefiner.

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In addition to all the regular festive preparations, we were also pretty darned busy getting Delovely HQ in ship-shape for the arrival of all our guests. The weekend prior to their arrival, the Mr and I spent some quality time with power tools and paint brushes, sprucing up the master bedroom. Not that anyone besides us stays in there, but it is the first thing one sees upon climbing the stairs, so I wanted it to look nice.

So, let’s begin, shall we? First, I had to paint and repair my groovy faux taxidermy bargains. (As you know, often a bargain comes with the caveat that the item is damaged.) You’ve already had a sneak peek at the golden ibex makeover, but here is how I went about fixing the hole-y ram’s horn.

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First, I looked around to see what I supplies I had on-hand
& then I worked a bit of plastic (haha!) surgery magic:

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Using the glue as a kind of shellac/glue hybrid, I pasted a scrap of cotton fabric over the hole. The topcoat of glue helped to seal the hole and to allow the fabric to harden into a paintable surface. I made sure to use cotton so that the glue would saturate it nicely and so that the fabric was soft enough to be worked into the grooves in the horn. I let it dry overnight, sprayed it with some primer and then painted it up with my beloved Blackberry Punch.

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In the meantime, our new bed had created a bit of a wrinkle in Operation Master Bedroom Spruce-Up: the colour of the bed, while grey, is a much blue-er grey than the warm grey on the walls. The result? Jarring and kinda hideous. Suddenly, I found myself faced with having to repaint the bedroom. Le sigh.

Off I trotted to get some sample pots. I painted big swatches of each colour on each wall of our bedroom; I wanted to make sure that I could see how each one “read” in the changing light throughout the day, and to make sure that I got a sense of those changes from every angle. One of the things I loved best about our former paint colour was how it shifted and altered as the light in the room changed over the course of the day.

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Paint Colour Swatches:
1. Dark Pewter
2. Pewter
3. Downpour
4. Chinchilla
5. French Silver

We lived with enormous splotches of 5 different paint colours on our walls for weeks before I finally committed to Chinchilla, by Martha Stewart. Um, yes, that is the colour that appears to be invisible in the photos… Ahem. My favourite colour was actually Down Pipe, but both the Mr and I were concerned that it might make the room too dark– we both love our sunny southern exposure. Chinchilla is very similar to our former shade, Mount Rainier by the now-defunct Ralph Lauren line of paint, but it is bluer. I don’t love it the way I loved the former shade (I fear it makes our trim and dressers look too yellow… hello, decor snowball…), but it does look good with the bed. 🙂

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The little guy is sporting a nod to Christmas decor.

I will post a proper tour of Operation Master Bedroom Spruce-Up once we have a day sunny enough for me to take some quasi-decent photos. I’d like you to see the whole effect, from antique French sconce-supports to new dhurrie rug, to new bedding. But for now, I hope you like this little glimpse of the faux taxidermy and the cute print (by local lovely, Steph Sterjovski!) I picked up to go with the “heads.”

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In my travels around the interwebz, I found this pretty little way to add festive flare to a holiday dessert.

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Click on photo for source.

And that led me to discover the highly addictive Sweet Tooth blog.
Off you go, fall down the rabbit hole of loveliness.

You’re welcome & have a great weekend.

Snowball

Have you ever renovated, updated or made over a space?

If not, I am here to let you in on a secret: a small change leads to more changes.
A big change, leads to MANY changes.
Thus it was with our new flooring upstairs. Once it was in, the whole tenor of the second floor changed so much that we began to see all the things we’d been ignoring for….um…. years. One day, M said to me, “Well, I guess you’d better find a bed.” And so, the hunt was on.

In the end, we went with the Deuce. It really is a great-looking bed, even though it requires that we get rid of the box spring (seriously, do you need a brand-new, totally bed-bug free, queen box spring? I can totally hook you up and then it wouldn’t end up in landfill…).

And then, I started thinking about how to bring it all together with a few little updates.
Snowball, anyone?

Here are some of the ideas dancing around inside my noggin at the moment:

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1. The Deuce bed by Novogratz
2. Jumpin’ on the faux taxidermy bandwagon
3. Sconces, instead of bedside lamps. These ones make my heart go pitter-pat.
4. Ordered this baby online for a deep discount. Can’t wait to see it in person!

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5. Since we need new sheets anyway, why not these?
6. Drool-worthy much?
7. As above.
8. One of these on our white duvet covers would be rather gorgeous.
(No link because I can’t remember where I found them. Womp, womp…)