Coastal Inspired

May 28, 2015

As the weather warms up and it feels like summer has hit, I instantly get coastal fever. I long to spend weekends at a lakeside cottage and redecorate my house in a cool and laid back nautical theme. Since neither of those desires are presently realistic, I resort to day dreaming by browsing through stunning photos of cottage interiors, hanging on to any small slice of inspiration that I can incorporate in to my existing decor.

Adding coastal cottage elements to your home can be easily achieved. The weathered looking paddles in the photo above add a laid back cottage feel to the room without changing any of the existing decor. Wide planks, either on the walls, floor, or ceiling is another key indicator of the cottage look. You may not be able to add this to your existing home but if you're starting a new build or thinking of renovating, this style is worth considering if the coastal look and feel is what you're aiming for.

Rustic and vintage decor almost always translates to a cottage beachy feel, especially when put together in colours of cream, whites and light grey. Take the photo above for example; the bare windows let's ample natural light poor into the room and allows for a beautiful view of nature; the vintage bed and mirrors above the bed add a laid back rustic feel, texture (and storage) is added through baskets and flowy bedskirt. 

Seeing the theme yet? Horizontal plank walls are a shore (pardon the pun) way to achieving the cottage theme. Another easy theme to follow is simple, clean decor in neutral colours with natural and rustic elements incorporated. Keep your eye out for vintage rustic items and over time add these to your decor. A few nautical accents, like the hooks in the photo above, will really help push the cottage and beachy theme home. 

This lovely airy bathroom achieves the cottage look through barn inspired light fixtures, round window and bright blue cabinets. Rustic, vintage light fixtures can be easily added to your existing decor, don't be reluctant to mix and match - embrace it! After all, life at the cottage should be comfortable and relaxed. Painting your cabinets in a calm and relaxing blue colour is a fairly easy DIY which you can accomplish in a weekend (depending on the number of cabinets you have).

Easily bring the outdoors in through natural woods, plants, seashells and stones, which can all be found in your backyard, neighbourhood or nearby beaches. Working with these few coastal themes will give your home a lakeside feel in no time, even if it is in the middle of the city.

Happy Spring Decorating!

photos: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Bathroom on the Brain

May 25, 2015

The start of our bathroom reno is approaching and although there's a lot of demo that has to happen first, followed by plumbing and electrical work, I'm ready to skip right to the fun part of picking out fixtures, tiles, a vanity, and all of the other design and decor related items.

I first shared some inspiration photos for our master bath back in January, since then we've given the design a lot more thought and have narrowed down some of our choices. If I were to describe the desired style or theme of the bathroom in a few words they would be simple, clean, serene, rustic, chic. So what does that look like? Well, I envision a bright and airy space with clean lines and not a lot of colour. I would then add character through brass light fixtures and some natural wood decor. 

As per my usual styling process, I've put together a mood board to help keep my vision clear. There's still a lot of specifics to decide, and things like delivery time, budget, supply and availability will all factor into the decision process as well.

 I love the brass pendant light fixture which I'm intending to hang over each sink; however consideration will definitely have to be given to whether or not they give off enough clear light (for doing everyday things like applying make up and shaving). If not, the addition of some sconces on either side of the mirror should do the trick. When planning your reno, don't forget to incorporate functionality. It may be pretty, but ask yourself, does it also make functional sense?

Another thing to keep in mind is that your metals don't have to match. Lots of metals go well together so there's no need to shy away from mixing and matching, just be sure to tie everything together in one way or another. 

In my recent research for the bathroom, I came across two photos that if you merged together, they would pretty accurately sum up my vision for the bathroom.

I'm hoping there will be some progress photos for the master bath soon! In the meantime, I'm working on some smaller projects around the house and turning my focus to our garden as well. Not going to lie, it's a little intimidating, but I'm looking forward to giving it a little TLC.

Reveal: Spare Room/Dressing Room

May 22, 2015

As promised, I'm sharing our second spare room reveal today! Wow - it really feels great to have these two rooms completed with fresh new and inspiring looks. There's only so much renovation chaos a girl can handle and I was getting pretty close to reaching my max. Yes, we are starting another major reno in the next few weeks but, at least I will have these 2 rooms, plus the main floor, as a sanctuary away from the mess progress.

As a reminder, here's the room before. A great sized room with lots of natural light but 
WAY. TOO. MUCH. PINK. (not to mention the curtains!)

Having removed the carpet, the curtains, painting the walls and installing new hardwood flooring and crown moulding - here is the after!

This old dresser was actually my first DIY. It was handed down to me by my mother and was originally finished with stained wood. I painted it black, distressed it and added the fancy drawer pulls. It's followed me around from house to house since I moved out of my parents and is one of my favourite pieces.

To add a little sparkle and glam to the dressing area I added some branches wrapped in clear lights. They add great ambiance plus a little bit of rustic to this otherwise feminine room.

Since this room is serving two purposes, dressing room & spare room, I decided to create more of a lounge/day bed feel with the bed. By not having a headboard and styling the bed with a great big comfy pile of pillows, the bed can be used just for hanging out, watching movies or reading; without feeling too much like you're actually in bed.

I've been using this space now for about a week and am absolutely loving it. Having a dressing room all to myself (even if only temporarily) is delightful. If you don't have the space to allocate a full room to your closet and accessories, try creating a little nook in your existing bedroom that you can at least call your own - hang some fun girly artwork, put a nice, plush rug on the floor and hang a glam mirror. 

That's it for today! Have a lovely creative weekend! 

Small Spaces Design Inspiration

May 20, 2015

Hello again! I took a few days "off" from blogging over the long weekend, but I am happy to be back with you today. We didn't partake in any camping or cabin adventures, instead we decided to stay home and give the exterior of our house a little love.  The siding and front porch all got a good cleaning with the pressure washer, the gutters were cleared and we successfully cleaned and shined  the gutters with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser....and by we I mean Nick. I supervised and held the ladder :)

It's easy to get caught up with taking care of the interior of your home but the exterior definitely needs attention too; after all it's the first impression of your home, and that's an important one. A few small updates such as a fresh coat of paint or new color on your front door, ensuring your house numbers are visible and not chipped, raking away old leaves, adding new soil, and washing the windows, all go a long way.

How fun and unexpected is this bright coloured door against the classic exterior of this home?
Let's head back inside the home for some interior inspirations. If you're a lover of decorating and home decor and you haven't yet checked out then you're really missing out! If you do read their site, then you're probably aware that they are once again hosting the Small Cool Contest. Readers from all over the world submit their spaces to be voted on by readers as the smallest and coolest abode. I don't know about you but I love looking into other people's of course.

Here are some of my favourites! Remember, these are everyday people's homes, not professional or designer.
As you can tell, most of these homes are extremely small. I think it is so creative, unique and interesting to see how the homeowners have made even the smallest of spaces cozy and functional.  Seeing how other people decorate and style their homes is a great way to get new ideas and inspiration and maybe try a different style or approach to my own decorating and yours as well.

Check back Friday for the second spare room reveal!

Simple DIY Canvas Art

May 14, 2015

I'm currently working on the finishing touches to the second spare room. This will be my dressing  room while we're renovating the master bedroom, and although there will be a guest bed in there,  I'd like to make it a little girly and glamorous for the time being.

I did some Pinterest searching and came up with a few ideas for DIY canvas art. These two only took about 25 mins and very little work. They'd look great in a home office or girls room also. Of course you can switch them up using different colours and types of materials...whatever you'd like to suit your individual needs and personal preferances!


To replicate the ones that I've made, you'll need:
     - a hot glue gun
     - a circle sponge
     - black acrylic paint
     - pink tape
     - jute string
     - gold leaf marker


For the Glam Canvas Art, create the dots using your round sponge brush and black acrylic paint. Let this dry before applying your glue and jute. Once you're ready to start gluing, I used a pencil to lightly write out the word and then simply traced the letters a little at a time with the glue and then applied the jute string. You'll have to cut in some places, but just continue on as before.

For the Love Canvas - create the stripes on each side using the coloured tape. Again, I used a pencil to lightly write out the words, then traced over them using black paint for "do what you" and the gold leaf pen for "love".

I'm excited to hang these in the new room and finally start to see that space come together - even if just as a temporary dressing room for now. I have a little more painting to do this weekend on the closet doors, and  install the closet organizer, but after that, I'll be able to actually start moving some things in. It's exciting when the end is near!!

Spare Room Makeover: The Breakdown & My Favourites from the ORC

May 11, 2015

Believe it or not, I'm still recuperating from that super intense 6 week challenge. But as crazy as it was, it really helped me get that room finished, so I may or may not be setting another 6 week challenge for myself to get the second spare room done....although I'll admit it - I like deadlines.

Since the reveal post was so photo heavy and I didn't get to discuss the room a lot, I thought I would do a little breakdown for you today.

Originally, I had wanted for us to do this ourselves; but a key thing to remember in DIYing is that sometimes you can't do it all, or do it correctly. I think for the sake of my sanity, it was a good idea that we hired someone to get the floors and the mouldings installed. 

In terms of which color/finish to go with, we choose the closest match we could find to the existing hardwoods in the home because we aren't planning to replace those. 


The nightstands were another item that I had originally intended to DIY (and may still do so down the road), but due to time constraints, I started looking for something and found these which were fairly close to the look that I was going for: something a little more rustic to contrast with the fancy wall paper and Victorian style bed. I didn't want the room to feel too traditional or too formal so to avoid this I added in things like the zebra print, the night stands, and the modern style sconces.


And in case you were curious, here's some insight into various design decisions for the room.

Area Rug - opted not to have one because:

 - I like airiness of the bare hardwoods
 - I couldn't very well cover up my beautiful new floor!
 - In this size room, most of the rug would've been under the bed which defeats the purpose for me

Furniture - Minimal furniture is required in a spare room. Most quests will be able to fit what they have in the closet if they decide to unpack. The room feels a lot bigger, cleaner and tidier with just the bare essentials. I gave some thought to adding a storage bench or two small seating benches at the bottom of the bed but decided against covering the beautiful bed and floor details. I chose to offer some seating while also adding to the room ambiance but including the rocking chair.

Lighting - I love lamps and the calming effects they can create, and although I love the ceiling light in this room, adequate bedside lighting was important. These sconces are perfect - both eye-catching and functional - allowing for more nightstand space, there's additional room for books, candles and tea cups; and the moveable arm is perfect for bedtime reading. Unless you have a large nightstand that can accommodate a lamp base plus the rest of your nightstand items, I highly recommend sconces. 

And there you have it, a little backstory to how this room came together. 

All of the One Room Challenge participants did a fabulous job on their projects, it's seriously incredible how talented everyone is! Here's a preview of some of the stunning transformations - be sure to check out Calling It Home for all of the submissions for the One Room Challenge.

1 // Krista @ Petite Modern Life  designed a creative, modern, organized space for her craft/sewing room. Of course, I love the simplicity of her chosen colours: white, black and gold. But more than that, I love how organized and functional the space is. There's even a fold out sewing table that doubles as a chalk board! 

2 // Shannon @ Burlap & Lace took her living room from a complete blank canvas to a bright, fun and stylish space. I'm envious of the way she has pulled together so many colours and such a great mix of furniture pieces. Everything came together so perfectly! 

3 // The laundry room transformation at Lisa Canning 's blog is jaw dropping. Another organized, functional and stylish space, I would love to do my laundry there. The backsplash tile pattern is beautiful and I love how the otherwise modern space is contrasted with the rustic wooden shelf and pipe rack.

4 // Tera Janelle has really provided the wow factor with the transformation of her stunning kitchen, the before & after will definitely shock you. There's so much to love about the new kitchen: calming grey cabinets, beautiful backsplash tile, stylish and modern appliances and drawer pulls - it all comes together to beautifully! I would certainly enjoy cooking and dining in this space.

One Room Challenge: The Reveal

May 7, 2015

Well...after all of the late nights, emergency trips to the store, final decision making and planning, the big reveal of our spare bedroom/guest room is finally here. I'm so thankful to Linda at Calling It Home for organizing and putting together this wonderful challenge. It is just what I needed to get this project finished and I've loved checking out what everyone else has been working on and discovering new bloggers along the way.

Now then, without further adieu...

As a reminder, here is a photo of the room before:

And the mood board that I shared during Week 1 of this challenge.

And now for the After photos! I apologize in advance, this post is very photo heavy...and for good reason I hope. :)

And one of the room at night because it's just as cozy and lovely then as it is in the day.

Wow! I still can't believe how different it looks and feels. It's definitely my new favourite room in the house.  Thanks so much for following along on this challenge and for your encouraging words and certainly pushes a girl along!

Now...which room next?! :)

For those of you who are are some product sources:
 - Rhino Hooks: Homesense
 - Rocking Chair: Vintage and thrifted
 - Floor Faux Plant: Pottery Barn
 - Love Peace Pillow: Home Sense
 - Bed: Bombay Company (from years ago)
 - Gold Mirror: Home Sense
 - Stripped Sheet Set: Home Sense
 - Curtains: Home Sense
 - White Blanket: Ikea
 - Black Throw: Bowering
 - Throw Pillows on Bed: Home Sense
 - Owl Pillow: Pier 1 Imports
 - Night Stands: Pier 1 Imports
 - Rugs: Home Sense
 - Tray: Home Sense
 - Wall Sconces: Ikea
 - Zebra Print: Home Sense
 - Closet Handles: Home Sense (Cynthia Rowley)