Sunday, November 30, 2008

Approach the bench.

As a little girl, I would read novels about other young ladies who were so lucky as to have window-seats in their bedrooms, where they would sit to read, write in their diaries and generally ponder about life. I loved that idea but a bedroom that was half underground, made for a less than adequate view, so I went without.

Now, our current home has huge, beautiful picture windows in every room. Unfortunately, our current situation is less than perfect, with the vanity being far too small for the space, and awkwardly dwarf looking. What's I'd love to do, since the window area is built out, is create a window seat.
Unfortunately, as we may buy a new place, this may never happen, but if stuff changes and we decide to stay, I plan to start building.
Here are a few I like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

They'll never want to leave

In my perfect, happy little world. We'd buy the duplex this weekend. What that would mean, is that I can start planning the decor :)

If all goes as planned, we will have a three bedroom. I am planning on doing a guest room and an office. Here's what I'd like to do in the guest room:

We've got a nice little double bed, that everyone says is the comfiest bed they've ever slept in. So I am thinking we keep that and add a pretty custom upholstered headboard in this fabric:

It's a tealy-blue velvet (my fave color) that would look so luxe.

This West Elm Duvet Cover Set is soooo pretty!!! And would look amazing with the headboard.

To really make things pop, these faux linx cushions and throw for the end of the bed, are a steal from Zellers of all places!!!

To really glam things up, a pair of Mirrored Cabinets on either side of the bed, are the perfect place to reflect the light of these lamps which I already have (with a black shade)

This dresser on the other side of the room, from Ikea is a multi-tasking piece that we'll switch out the hardware on...

Last but not least, I'd love to throw in this pretty chandelier for some added bling and just to make it a lovely little retreat:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

what's going on you ask....

Yeah, I'm still around and about.. unfortunately I am gearing up for the month-end stuff here at work, so busy busy. Plus, the camera seems to have gone MIA at home, so we've been unable to take photos anyhow.

Stick with me, I plan on getting on-line tonight. We're gonna try and find Mr. Canon this evening and the weekend is bound to produce lots of fun pics, since it's Christmas light hanging time!!

Happy American Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Warm & Toasty

This weekend was a chilly one, and it was also the first weekend we turned on the fireplace this year. Now, bear in mind that this is the first time I have ever lived in a home that did not have a wood-burning fireplace, so a gas alternative is no where near as awesome, but serves the purpose or a focal point, ambiance, and as I found out this weekend - actually put out some heat.

This lazy boy - Greyson, was the first to get in on the napping in front of the fireplace idea. It was the cutest thing ever, first he was all laid out, stretching, and then zonked right out in the bask of the heat.

Now, currently we have nothing in front of the fireplace, so he just sleeps on the carpet. I was thinking it might be nice to have something for him to curl up on and nap, since I plan on turning the fireplace on often this summer. But one of the hardest utilitarian things to work into one's decor is animal items.

Here are some things I am optioning that would work, and are still attractive:

The traditional sheepskin rug from Ikea is probably the best (and most cost-effective) option, plus I think it looks pretty.

This dog bed from over at Bowser Beds is a fave of Kal's over at Lovelife and the pretty pattern would work with our decor. Only thing, is that I don't really think the kitties are really fond of pillow-sitting.. so I'm a little hesitant.

Lastly, this faux-fur throw from Zellers might work for a non-permanent option that I could just throw down when I turn the fire on, and both the kitties and me could curl up together......

back at it....

Sorry for the absenteeism lately.. I've been busy at work lately (where I usually write from ) and I've been really busy finishing my course and working at find us a house.
We've decided to go with a duplex-style townhouse, and I am super excited. We thought we had selected our home, and found one even well under our price range, that we could upgrade to the max. But then today, I found out the same builder has similar ones, in the complex across the street, that are a bit bigger, with walk-out lots and better floorplans!!!

What's even better - these have pretty large lots, so there is tons of room in the backyard, even after the deck!!!

So we're gonna scoot over there tomorrow evening after work, and take a peek at what they've got and pricing, and then make a decision as to which one to go with.
I'll keep you posted on the ongoing saga of:



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heavenly Headboards

Nope, I've still not made a headboard for our bedroom yet.

I did however, make so headway this weekend when I brought Cory out with me to look at fabric. Unfortunately, they did not seem to have any leather or vinyl in the entire store???

It was however 50% off weekend, and the store was PACKED!!! So perhaps they were cleared out, or maybe it had moved... anyhow it was too busy for me to ask a Staff member anyhow.

We did manage to find some Chocolate Brown velvet that was diamond quilted, with the batting already attached.. I'm not sure what this is typically used for. We both liked it!!

Plus, it would give us the slightly tufted effect we were looking for, without the hassle. All I need to do is create some fabric covered buttons!!

But since nothing is set in stone, here are a few more headboard ideas that caught my eye today!

Okay, so the color-scheme, is not what we're going for in our place.... but I've always pondered about doing something super-tall like this.

This is very similar to what I've always wanted... and it's even in chocolate!!

This is kinda different, and I like it. It's also less feminine, so I am sure Cory would approve. As well, something like this looks like it would be much easier to create myself!

Add some luxe to our living room

I've been thinking a lot about our potential new home, and the decor direction I wanted to go when we finally buy a home. Of course we'll be trying to keep costs low, and work with what we have. Thankfully, I was looking at the collection of lovely items in my file right now, and alot of it, just seemed to go together.....

We currently have this sofa and loveseat:
I have thought about getting some zebra pillows for our couch for a long time, but I wanted something that looked real, and classy all at the same time. I did manage to come across these from Zellers and had to resist very hard to bringing them home... should I re-think this??? (they aren't actually blue, but a silvery-looking greyish color... but even if they look blue, I'm thinking they'd still work!!)

As we currently don't have side tables, I think something like these Artie nesting tables from URBAN BARN would be really cool.

This Pier 1 lamp has the prefect colors, as well, seems like it would be a big enough scale for either side of the sofa ( with it's tall, rolled, padded arms)

I'd love to do some single chair seating, like these amazing slipper chairs, from Ashley while I love the matching stone color, I'm thinking that they would look equally as lovely, and even more cozy, even, if done in dark chocolate brown!!

I would love to pop this beautiful little table between the two slipper chairs.

I would love to be able to get rid of using those stupid fireplace niches for our tv... and instead want to mount our set to the wall and place a lovely cabinet underneath, like this one to store all our media equipment ( Pier 1)

I think these glass domed, white birds (Pier 1 ) are the perfect accessory to dress up the media stand, alongside a great laquer tray holding a fishbowl full of peonies!!

This crazy glass head makes me very happy. I'd have to find somewhere perfect for it!!


There's nothing worse than walking into someone's home and thinking "gross, I am gonna need to throw all my clothes directly into the laundry and take a shower before I go to bed tonight", because their home has a lingering odour.

I mean, I love my friends, but sometimes, I don't necessarily want to smell like their dinner, for the rest of the week.
Where's this coming from? This past weekend, Cory and I went to a friend's house. Upon arriving, I was graced with an unpleasant smell. I wasn't sure exactly what it was.... it was sort of a combination of deep-fryer and a sweet, woodsy smell. In addition, a couple of them were smokers, so I had to smell that. eeeew.. After, we headed over to his brother-in-law's place, and yuck!! The sweet woody smell was there again, and then after, the guys friend wings so there was the deep fryer addition. Our clothes reeked so bad. I even had to wash all of Cory's stuff twice, with waaaayyyy too much soap, to get rid of the smell.
Thankfully, we do not own a deep fryer and other than not taking out the garbage in a timely manner, the only other "offending" smell that might be at our house, is the litter box, but that's two floors down. However, I like to think that I take some steps to ensure people think "this place smells great, I'd love to bring this smell home" when they leave our place.
Here's how we keep our house smelling scensational!

In most rooms, we keep Airwick Air Fresheners plugged in. I try to use something pretty, fresh and not necessarily identifiable. A couple faves include Magnolia & Cherry Blossom; Plumeria and Wildrose; Mandarin & Green Tea and Sparkling Citrus. ** we also use the night light ones in common areas which work wonderfully for guiding the way to the bathroom for guests**

In areas that don't get a lot of traffic ( guest room), or often have the door shut(closets) I think a solid air freshener is the way to go. I'm not particular about the brand, and will get whatever is on sale ( think, under $1), as long as it has a pleasing scent.

We also like to burn candles. My favorite ones have to be from Ikea oddly enough! They are super cheap, come in great glass holders, smell amazing and are best of all - SUPER CHEAP!! The TINDRA candle in Vanilla/Natural is my fave. Right now, I have two regular size glasses ($2.99 each) on either side of the serving bowl on my dining room table. One big glass ($4.99) sits on my coffee table. I NEED to get more.

Also, Febreze is wonder in a bottle. I love the Auto Spray, fabric spray and Air Effects to keep under the sinks in kitchen, bathroom and in the litter box area.

Lastly, I love adding an additional layer of fragrance into a home. For me, this is done through using diffusers with Home Fragrance Oils. My absolute favorites would have the be from The Body Shop . I have a variety of oil burners around, similar to this one.
Here are a couple of scents, I always have on hand:

Exotic, Very Vanilla. Satsuma, Cranberry, Mango, Kiwi Melon

I would love to get the new: Passion fruit, Lemon Basil, and Plum

As well, this pretty new reed diffuser comes in a couple different scents, and it's ultra-modern design means it will fit in, amoung any decor! Plus, you can buy refills for the oil!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

San Fransisco Home

Got a small space - make every inch count as the owner of this San Fransisco Edwardian flat did. This home was featured in Better Homes & Gardens.

The owner chose low-back couches in this room to show as much of the bay windows off, as possible.
When he couldn't find a coffee table that suited his needs, he made this one out of plywood and metal trusses.
Love the style of something, but can't find it in the right size? This owner put two identical tables, side-by-side to create a larger space and displays vases collected along his travels.
The kitchen was designed to maximize storage. The laundry is even disgusied behind cabinet doors! Having a big kitchen meant being able to incorporate a big enough eat-in area, and eliminate the need for a separate dining room.
In what was the former dining room, is now the masterbedroom. But the built-in hutch is a reminder of the room's former purpose.
Using the dining room as a bedroom, means you get these beautiful windows!
The office contains two enclosed computer stations that can be hidden away with sliding doors. This room absolutely maximizes on storage.
Got a funny or awkward angle in a room. Don't leave it wasted... find something that works. This angled window is perfect fr staggering filing cabinets!While pretty, this bathroom seems out of sorts with the whole house..But it does maximize on space, as the toilet is squeezed under the narrow counter, they've gone wiht open storage, and eliminated the claw-foot tub in favor of an open shower with sloped floor and open drain.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nifty and Thrifty!

Since we're saving for a house, Cory and I have been focusing a lot lately on ways to save and spend better. With the economy the way it is, it's best to do all we can. I'm always thinking of ways to be better with our finances, but here's some of the stuff that we do already.

1. We use coupons - I don't care what the item is, or what it costs, if I can save any amount of money on it - I will. We shop at Save On Foods and they send me a booklet almost weekly with coupons. In addition, when you enter the store, there is a little booth where you can scan your points card and it prints up about 10 coupons for you to use. I also visit sites like where I can select all the coupons that we want, and they mail them direct to our house.

2. Mind your meter - we try as much as possible to keep our utility bills managable. So if that means resisting the urge to crank the heater as the weather cools, and instead put on a sweater and wear slippers, we do that. It's always wise to also compare the actaul meter reading with their "Estimate", to ensure they are not over charging you. We also have a programmable, electric thermostat that is set to be cooler when we are sleeping, and when we are not home. It is set to turn on shortly before we get home. The weekends are also set differently than the rest of the week.

3. Be natural - even though it's getting darker and darker, earlier and earlier. We try not to keep ourselves illuminated when we don't need to. We have lots of big, beautiful windows in our home and try to keep the blinds, and natural light going as long as possible. I'm also quite strict on following Cory around to make sure he shuts them off as he leaves a room.

4. Buy what you need - we try not to buy crap we don't need. This works in two ways... the less I buy, the less I spend. The less stuff I have, the less time and money I need to clean it, maintain it, and store it.

5. Research purchases - doesn't it irk you to find out after you bought something, that you could have gotten it for cheaper?? Well, it does for me, so I always take the time to research a purchase. I've even returned stuff after I found the price somewhere else, and it doesn't hurt to see if a store will price match. Plus, a lot of store will do price adjustments, if you ask and keep your receipt. It's your money, use it wisely!

6. Fill 'em in - A big topic of discussion over at our house is how to still be social and maintain friendships, while not spending money. I have tons of answers for this, Cory does not. My answer is simple - let your friends and family know your situation and that you're avoiding unnecessary spending at all costs. For the most part, they'll respect that and be cool with doing things that are within your realm of cost.

7. Recycle - We do a couple things that help us save. Firstly, we are pretty neurotic about returning our bottles and cans, and we have a lot!!! We also try and re-use as much as possible. We also use our re-usable grocery bags as much as possible, and some stores will even give you a couple cents off for each bag you use.

8. Shop off-season - I wish we did this more than we do. Unforunately, the stuff I do think to buy off season (like a shovel or a bathing suit) is never available when we look for it. But it's a good way to save some dough!

9. Buying bulk/stocking up- There are a couple ways that we do this effectively. One, if I find an item that we use all the time, on sale, I always buy more than one. This is great cause it saves me money in the long run, plus since we always have back-ups, it saves the extra money that we would have spent, running to the corner store to when we realize too late, that we are our of something. We also buy more of stuff we use, so we have a Costco membership, which I recently found out, my company provides discounts for. Buying wholseale is however, only a good deal if it's stuff you actually use. Another option is the bulk section of your grocery store, which we use as well.

10. Sign Up!- If a store has a member or discount card, I probably have it. I will take any excuse I can to get a discount or free stuff. I'm cheap, and I'm fine with that. If a store offers an incentive of this nature, it's great to use. My only exception to this, is cards that require you to pay to be a member. Example: a $20.00 20% Discount card that saves me 20% on the initial purchase is only worth the extra expense if it is going to be used habitually, and if the total cost of all the savings I get, by using it will be MORE than it's initial cost. If I pay $20, save 20% on a $30 bra and never use it again, it's a waste of my money!!

11. Reap the benefits - If you are lucky enough, you might work for a company that offers you incentives, rewards, and overall benefits. Take advantage of these!!! For years, my bf has has healthcare benefits, etc. paid for him through his work. However, he does not recal EVER using them!!!! Use them as much as possible, if it is offered to you, some people don't have it so lucky. I, on the other hand, use mine as much as possible, as well, I am listed on both our healthcare benefit plans, and whatever my company does NOT cover, I submit for coverage through his company. If your work offers a discount on items like Costco memberships, gym memberships, Insurance company affliations, car rental and hotel discounts, why would you not use them?

These are just a few tips of things we do to keep the cash ours!! If you have any tips or tricks, please comment!!

Wii Giveaway

The lovely Katie over at La Petite Chic is offering up a chance to win a

Now, I don't know about you, but we love the one that we've been borrowing from Cory's uncle John for the last couple weeks. Unfortunately, he does have a daughter who uses it, and we heard yesterday, that there are plans for him to be moving out of the Province here soon.

Unfortunately for us, that means we're gonna be having to give it back to him :(

So even if you don't want to win, you could always pop over here drop Katie a comment and let her know that if you win, you'd love to send the prize my way :)

Or... you could keep it for yourself.... lol.

Either way, run over there and enter!! Best of luck!

Little One - dressed up

A couple months ago, as an Anniversary gift for Cory I purchased a lovely little print of Kal Barteski's piece entitled Little One. Penguins have a special place in our heart, so this was a perfect gift.
Unfortunately, I never posted a pic when I got him all done.

I didn't want to detract any attention away from the print, but I needed something simple, and elegant to showcase the little guy!! So, armed with a 50% off coupon, I headed over to Michael's where I found the perfect complement. This thick black frame and a perfect double matte.
Unfortunately, while both the frame and matte were the correct size for the photo, I didn't make sure the two worked together.... so the matte was far too small for the frame. A little quick thinking with some archive-safe photo corners and we were back rolling!!
He's not hung yet as I changed my mind on the original location we had selected for him.
(Cory wanted to hang him in the living room for everyone to admire; but he was too small in scale; I've decided he'd look best keeping an eye over us as we sleep in the bedroom).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Divine Dining

Here's another room update I'd love to be able to do, if we get the new house. Our current dining set is serving it's purpose but getting scratched more and more everyday. Unfortunately, the glossy-look, dark finish doesn't make this look appealing. Unfortunately, we are real people, with animals who sit on tables (when we're not eating), and people who drop things and make messes, so we would love to have something where we could make a mess.

Here's something I am loving:

This gorgeous table, is from Finesse Home Living's Environmental area. I love the large round size. Plus, the weathered-look to the top, means we don't have to be too precious with it.

One one side, we'd feature the bench, and then chairs the rest of the way around!!! Love this!!!!

I am totally getting the right vibe from this twig chandelier.

The Campton Console from Pottery Barn would be a perfect little sideboard.

These base pieces are all gorgeous and yes, a little basic, but when you add tealy-blue silk drapes, artwork, mirrors, sconces and some great accessories, I think it will be a perfect front room!!