Roses Are Red

 … and pink and white and orange and…

One of the spur-of-the-moment projects I found myself taking on this weekend was a make over of our china cabinet. We got this piece on sale about 15 years ago and it is wonky and endearing and I love it. We use it every day, as our dishes live in it (because our kitchen lacks space for them), but I suddenly thought it could use a little brightening up. And I wanted to use fabric, not paint, to do the job….

Useful, but ready for a facelift.

Useful, but ready for a facelift.

In the end, I remembered Elsie’s shelves and thought, “Hey! I could do that!”  I decided to paint part and “upholster” part of the cabinet’s interior. So I grabbed my (you guessed it) Annie Sloan Old White and painted up the shelves and interior sides of the cabinet. I wanted to use leftover ikat from the office, but didn’t have enough, so I had to find something suitable and suitably cheap to use for the fabric lining.


I found a Ted Baker-inspired print chiffon scarf at H&M and knew it would look great on the back wall of the cabinet. I used a decoupage product that promised not to be sticky or to require a top coat (because that extra step seemed like the kind of thing I’d rather not have to do…)  and it worked pretty well, once I got the hang of it.  Working on a vertical surface made it a bit tricky, but once I figured out I had to work in tiny “slices,” rather than slathering the whole surface at once, things went more smoothly. The task was easy, but a pain in the backside, so only tackle it if you are feeling patient.

Best of all? The fabric can be easily removed if (who are we kidding? WHEN) I change my mind!


I like the way the vintage china and glassware really pops against the new interior.



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:


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!


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…)

Work it!

Remember the Office Inspiration post? Well, here are (most of) the details from the (very nearly) finished office.

I needed to update all the storage & organization bits in the room, but did not want to invest in all new boxes, files and bins.  I decided the solution was to give our existing ones a facelift with the help of some fabric and some paint.

I wanted gold accents, so I had to find a way to take the trim on our Ikea storage boxes & magazine files from silver to gold. Removing the hardware and painting, then replacing it was not an option; the boxes would not have survived the surgery.


Some of the boxes were black, so I sprayed the silver trim gold & then went in with an artist’s brush and some white paint to cover the black/gold-overspray. I do not recommend this if you are in a hurry. It took FOREVER! Lesson learned: spray prime entire surface first, then do gold spray on hardware, then paint. I rushed right in with the gold paint and then the white paint = I needed about 6 coats of fiddly, artist-brush painting to cover the dark lids. Sigh. Learn from my haste, Interwebz.


For boxes whose lids got a paint job, I covered the bases in one of two fabrics. I just cut a strip of fabric a couple of inches wider than the height of the box and long enough to wrap all the way around. I used a combination of spray adhesive and glue-gun action to adhere the fabric to the boxes. Then I re-attached the newly-gold outer label hardware and ta-da!

Some of the boxes were already white, so I just sprayed the label hardware gold and covered the lids in fabric. Using spray adhesive and hot glue, I pretty much just wrapped the lids like they were presents.
That will never be opened.
Because they are glued shut.


I found some cute file folders at Target in the $1 bins (woot!)– they are a natural colour and have metallic designs on them, so they look cute with the new accents in the room.  Now to find the time to reorganize our file drawers. (The entire contents of our filing system may have fallen down the stairs in a moving incident during the floor refinishing bonanza…. We may have just shoved the files back in the drawers any old which way because we were tired and highly cranky….)

I also re-jigged the magnetic bulletin board I made a few years back, covering the board with fabric and painting the frame Blackberry Punch (after trying three different versions of gold…). I sprayed the little clothespin magnets gold, too. I sprayed a woven box and a few Ikea tea-light holders gold to keep storage looking pretty and to keep pens, pencils, letter-opener, etc. accessible.


I invested in new frames for the gallery wall because I wanted white ones and the images in the frames all came out of mis-matched, random frames. I did paint the one on the lower right side, next to the M. I love the way the white frames look so crisp against the dark wall. It makes me happy every time I see it!


I took a West Elm dip-dye curtain (that I snagged from the sale section for $14!) and, since I wanted a horizontal, rather than a vertical dip, I cut the curtain in half and, using some inexpensive white muslin ($3 a yard), made two curtains with simple rod pockets at the top.



Finally, I decided to embrace the whole, “colour code your books” trend. This is the cheapest update you can think of: it’s free! You do need to invest some time, but it took me less time than I thought it would. I’m still a bit on the fence about it– sure, it looks great, but I’m not sure I can FIND my books…. My previous system was a “by topic” system, so I could easily find any book at a glance. Now, I have to know what colour the book’s spine is… I’m pretty visual, but I’m still not convinced that this is the most sensible way to file stuff.


Once my Serena and Lily round rattan rug arrives and I find the perfect ceiling light fixture, the room will be done! Yay!

Bette Davis Eyes

I have been wanting to show you our new office for a while now, but we still have a teensy-tiny way to go before we are finished.

So, in the mean time, I thought I’d just tease you a bit with a few previews.

First, I found this humungous, oh-so-pretty basket at Homesense. And I said to myself, “Self,” [I said] “You need to have that as your recycling basket for the office.”


And, just like that, a makeover was born.
Like Venus rising from the ocean, the vision came, fully-formed, to mind.
Nearly-black navy walls;


crisp white trim;  dip-dye,  some ikat & some pom poms,


…maybe a chevron or two, antique gold & natural rattan accents…..I could not wait to get this room jeujed up!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

In The Navy

One of my dear sisters-in-law is plotting a master bedroom makeover. She and her hubby deserve it: they just survived a Never Ending Bathroom Reno!  We chatted about inspiration and I started up a Pinterest board where I could “pin” ideas for her. We are thinking about navy, with some brass/gold accents.  Here is one inspiration board drawn from the ideas I’ve gathered so far on Pinterest.
What’s inspiring you this weekend?


1. Nailhead trim headboard, boho-chic duvet set

2. Chandelier

3. Trellis patterned rug

4. Slipper chair

5. Whimsical side table

Last One (I promise!)

Okay, I admit to being a bit obsessed with the whole Ikat look. Can’t help it– I just love it.
Ikat is the new chevron! 😉

Here is one last idea for bringing a little design tension to a room using a bright Ikat-inspired print. Once again, the sofa itself is a good starting point, blending traditional styling with a contemporary print.


(1; 2, 3 & 4)

The pendant is a custom piece from Eclectic Revival, right here in the Junction. If you live in the Toronto area, definitely check out the shop– there are some seriously swoon-worthy lighting options for the person who likes a bit of whimsy with her industrial.

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

Today, I thought I’d show you a couple more ways to mix and match in order to create design tension, using this groovy upholstered bench in two different colours. The bench itself is a good starting point, as it combines traditional lines with a very contemporary fabric.

In the pink-based palette, the faux-bamboo side table in an unexpected shade, plus the industrial take on a traditional table lamp combine with the au courant Ikat print bench and the antique rug to create an upbeat, harmonious look with just the right amount of tension.


(1; 2, 3, & 4)

In the cool palette, the modern, geometric weave of the rug and the industrial-insipired wall sconce work with the curves and rustic vibe of the side table and the Ikat print on the bench.


(1; 2, 3, & 4)


Here is the Duchess, in a mock-up of her soon-to-be new surroundings.

I found the Ikat rug online and fell for it– hard. Then I had to decide which of the amazing wallpaper from Timorous Beasties I would choose. This brilliant little company in Glasgow, Scotland, does not make products for the faint of heart. But I find their gorgeous, edgy, hand-painted and/or digital prints completely irresistible.


Ever since I saw the red/pink version of Thistle on the walls of a pub in Edinburgh, I have lusted for it and wanted to use it in my home. In fact, in the mock-ups, I still like it best.
The trouble is, the paper is darker in real life and really sucks up the light;
I am concerned it will make the room look too dark.


Luckily, I am also all swoony over the (more expensive, of course!) Fresco, which also looks good with the Duchess and with the rug. Because it is lighter (it isalso quite a bit more silver-y in person), I have decided to order it, even though one person who saw my wall o’ samples took one look at ALL the Timorous Beasties paper samples, made a moue of disgust and said, “Ew! NO!”  I disagree– I love it and, though I’m a bit sad about not being able to use my beloved Thistle, I am sure I will find a use for the latter in some future project. (I already have one in mind….)