Monday, March 23, 2015

[ powder room update ]

I LOVE that our home has a main floor powder room {something that many of our previous homes didn't always have}. What I didn't love was the cramped and dated feel of it...

Because the room is so small and narrow, the pedestal sink was much too deep for the space which required some awkward manoeuvring around it to reach the toilet. While the sink and toilet were in perfect condition and actually very nice, they were bone in colour and had gold fixtures which was adding to the dated feel of the space {and while some may argue that gold is back in, I wasn't feeling it!}...

We had already swapped out the mirror so that was the only thing we were keeping in this space. Oh, and the custard paint colour which I did actually like. Other than that, time to update!

While removing the pedestal sink, we discovered some old wallpaper ~ thank goodness the previous owners had already removed it...

We shopped around for some smaller pieces to make the space function better. We were lucky to find a cute vanity that is only 9 inches deep...

I like the modern, clean lines of the pieces which helps to bring the room into this decade...

Some new chrome fixtures add sparkle...

and the addition of simple wainscotting adds a nice detail, while visually expanding the space...

Some new chrome lighting is the finishing touch...

I love the way this update turned out! It's amazing how swapping out a few things can really make such a difference. This room feels huge now and while this home may be almost 100 years old, it doesn't need to look dated!

We donated everything we removed to Habitat for Humanity so nothing went to waste. You never know, someone may be thrilled to find some gold fixtures for their space!


Friday, March 6, 2015

[ sewing Pinterest finds ]

IF YOU'RE anything like me, you pin all sorts of wonderful projects on Pinterest and your pin board just starts overflowing with potential projects. Well I finally decided to tackle one of my pins...

I love how classy this dress looks with little effort and no pattern required...

I've never owned a maxi dress and it really would have been the perfect thing to wear while in Dubai. Any that I found in stores were WAY too long for my minuscule 5'4" height and they usually had thin shoulder straps or were strapless, meaning I would have had to wear something over top to cover my shoulders, which wasn't happening in that heat! 

While I love her black version, I decided to try it with some patterned rayon fabric I had on hand {about 3 yards}...

Mimi G's how-to video for this pin makes it easy for anyone to tackle. The entire project is based on your own measurements so you know that it's going to fit you in the end {there's nothing worse than completing a sewing project only to find it's a little tight or uncomfortable after all that effort}. And the 2 pattern pieces are just rectangles ~ no fancy shapes...

... and TADA!!

I added a black sash from an existing dress but any type/colour of belt would look nice as well. Or skip the belt entirely - the elastic waist is super comfy on its own. I could fill my closet with these! This would also make a cute shorter dress {as she shows in pink without the gathered shoulders} which I might try...

All in all I'm super happy with my new maxi dress and that was definitely one pin that worked out beautifully. Mimi G has loads of great sewing DIYs if you want to check them out here. If you want to try one of these great maxi dresses yourself just go here. Happy sewing!


Monday, February 23, 2015

[ getting inspired ]

SO anyone who follows me on Pinterest has noticed that I've been pinning a lot of art and art studios lately. I've been tossing around the idea of getting out my artist brushes again and creating some art. My guy bought me a lovely easel for Christmas and now that I've got it all assembled and my studio taking shape, it's time to get painting!

There's nothing like an art fair to get your creative juices flowing and this weekend we decided to check out the Artist Project in Toronto. 250 artists from Canada and abroad were showcasing their work at Exhibition Place and what an amazing show. Browsing through galleries is fun but there's nothing like meeting the artists themselves and hearing about their inspirations and how they've adopted their particular technique.

Here are just a few of my faves from the show...

...and here are a few more whose cards I didn't get so I don't have their contact info but I'll show you their eye candy since they're so beautiful:

What a great way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon! I left feeling totally uplifted and inspired to get cracking on creating some art. No point letting my art school/design degree go to waste!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

[ 5 years and thoughts ]

IT'S incredible to think that this little blog-o-mine has been around for 5 years! It's always during these blogiversaries that I realize how quickly time goes by.

When I started this blog, I was taking my first official step away from my magazine art directing career for good. I was living as an expat in Ireland and I had decided to give up the freelance work I was doing and focus on my newly discovered handbag designing business full-time. No one could have predicted where time would lead me ~ moving to Dubai was certainly never on my radar ~ or that I would have to shelf my handbag business while there due to logistical problems.

Now that my expat days are over, I have to admit moving back to Canada has definitely been an adjustment. I had heard many times that the longer you live away as an expat, the more difficult it is to readjust to life in your home country. I didn't really believe it at the time, but after 7.5 years away and now after almost 8 months being back, I understand what people were talking about. I think it's been less of an issue for my guy ~ he's been so busy with work all along ~ but still, old familiar things have felt foreign and it's been weird discovering the changes that have happened while we've been away ~ new plastic-feeling currency, no more pennies, tv shows and movies we had never heard of, cities exploding in size with new neighbourhoods, new stores, a new stat holiday in February...etc.  My brain forgets to readjust all the lingo from overseas to local lingo like pants, pop, gas, cab, cell, loonie, etc. And I've had to remind myself that this is not just another visit and I don't need to stock up on items I can't find overseas to load up my suitcases, our house is really ours and not just another rental and it's ok for me to change whatever I want.

But the biggest adjustment? I can pursue whatever I want now. I think this has had me the most stumped of all. Do I revive my handbag business or start something new? Do I go back to my old career or savour not working in an office? Do I take a course? Do I start a new hobby? What about my blog? Being an expat gave me plenty to blog about while I explored new places, new cultures, new hobbies. Now that I'm back, finding topics to blog about have felt dull and uninspired ~ hence the sporadic posts ~ and I've felt a bit like I've been floating about, unsure as to where I'm headed. I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out. I know that everyone goes through blips like this so it's nothing new. But for now, thanks for so patiently sticking around and for still popping in to see what's new. I'll try to say 'hello' a little more often! xo


[via houseofturquoise]

Thursday, January 1, 2015

[ happy new year! ]

IT'S 2015! {can you believe it?}. It's incredible how quickly the years fly by. New Year's Day is always a time to reflect back on last year and think about how things panned out ~ did you accomplish what you set out to? Did you live the best life possible? Were you happy?

When I think back to what I knew a year ago, I never would have expected some of the things that happened to happen ~ some great, some not so great. I'm not one to make many resolutions but I hope  to live 2015 as healthy as I can, as happy as I can and as kind as I can. If I can do that, 2015 will be a great year! Happy New Year and here's wishing you a wonderful 2015. I hope that everything you set out to accomplish will come true!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

[ merry christmas! ]

FROM our home to yours...

have a wonderful Christmas filled with joy, laughter and holiday cheer!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

[ backsplash reveal ]

WHEW! We're done with the backsplash! And I must say my guy did a great job ~ it turned out better than I expected {which is always a nice thing!}

You may remember the before...

That pinkish tumbled tile was not doing the kitchen any favours ~ it looked drab and dingy. We chose a white bevelled subway tile, a classic look that we thought would marry well with the cabinets and the Corian countertops.

Ok, here's our big secret... we tiled over the old tile! Yes, sometimes you CAN tile over tile depending on your situation. The old tile was so well adhered, there was no way it was coming off without tearing out all the drywall with it all the way around the kitchen, and that would have been a much messier and time-consuming project. {We tiled over our tile in our Muskoka place years ago for that exact same reason}. We knew that the only challenge we would face would be the trim under the windows but we had a plan for that.

We started by cleaning the old tile very well with TSP, then we planned out where to start/stop to ensure that the cuts would work well around the windows and in the corners. Then, off to the races!

Gosh, doesn't that make the old tile look so bad??!

While we were at it, we decided to swap out the over-the-range microwave for a new hood {which is a better idea over a gas range}...

Once all the tile was installed, it was time to grout. I love the trend of grey grout nowadays and wanted a similar look, but needed to keep in mind the colour of our countertop to make sure it worked together. So, I chose Malt which was a medium greyish brown...

Once the grouting was done, all we had to do was refasten the electrical outlets with longer screws, caulk around the edges and build out the bottom of the window trim since it was now flush with the tile. We applied a 1/4" thick piece of wood over top of the existing trim using glue and a nail gun...

...then painted it out. Good as new! {How amazing is that notched cut around the trim? - thanks hun!}

I have to say that I'm in LOVE with the new tile! What a difference it has made. I love the bevels which catch the light and add a bit of sparkle to the kitchen. Even the countertops blend in nicely now. The grout colour is just dark enough to provide contrast without demanding all the attention. A new hood and counter-depth fridge and the entire kitchen feels new...

It feels great to have this project done. Using the bevelled tile was a little tricky, both with cutting {my guy used a wet tile saw} and with joining up in the corners {flat subway tile would have been much easier} but I think it was definitely worth the time and effort. I'm certainly blessed to have a guy so handy!


Friday, November 7, 2014

[ bye bye tile! ]

I KNOW, you've probably been wondering what's been going on around here.... well, it's got a lot to do with this...

Yup, that's our backsplash tile. You may remember when I talked about undertones when I was painting my kitchen {read the post here}...

Well, getting rid of the peachy paint definitely helped, but we knew that this tile wouldn't be sticking around for long. It looked drab and felt like it was bringing the entire kitchen down.

Today's post is just a teaser but here's an idea of what's inspiring me...

I love classic white subway tile. It looks fresh and never goes out of style. We considered marble tile again {I loved it in our Muskoka place}, but these speckled corian countertops are definitely dictating our choices. Though I would never have chosen these countertops, I'm not about to start replacing them ~ there's a lot of counter! So, we had to decide on a tile that would work with them instead of work against them. 

Hopefully we can wrap up this project on the weekend and I can show you some Afters next week! 

That's what I've got planned for the weekend ~ what about you? Have a good one!

[via dustjacketattic.tumbler;;]


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