Design & Decor Blog

trendspotting: tropical prints

Let’s talk about the amazing tropical trend for summer.  I’ve been noticing tropical prints everywhere, and think they’re fun to try out this summer – whether it’s a dress or a toss cushion on your sofa. I rounded up some fun products in the July issue (on newsstands now!), but I scouted a few more that I’d like to share with you here.

Tropical RiflePaperCoWallpaper trendspotting: tropical prints

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My trip to Minneapolis with Cambria

A few weeks back I went to visit Cambria in Minneapolis. Cambria is a manufacturer and fabricator of beautiful quartz solid surfacing. Here are some photos from my trip (sorry not so pretty):

cambria truck2 My trip to Minneapolis with Cambria

No mistaking who’s picking you up at the airport in this car. Read the rest of this entry »

ombre rose cake

Pretty much every cookie, tart or piece of cake I make and am subsequently forced to eat, I blame on Pinterest. As a self-confessed Pinterest addict, I am constantly finding not only new recipes to try but incredible decorating techniques.

Admittedly, the decorating techniques usually seem to be far outside my skill set but it never hurts to give something new a try. But one of the great things about this digital age is that there’s nothing you can’t find online. Before I set out to make a cake with a new or difficult icing technique, I watch YouTube video tutorials and read the blogs of all those brave souls who have gone before me. There’s so much to learn!

My latest cake challenge was an ombre rose cake, which, if you read food blogs or spend time on Pinterest, you may have seen already. Here’s what I was aiming for:

culinary couture rose cake ombre rose cake
Image via Culinary Couture
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wedding gift idea

Summer is a time to relax, enjoy the heat and of course attend weddings! I often find myself down to the wire, days to go till the wedding, frantically shopping (nothing left on the gift registry) in the attempts to find the perfect addition to your friends home (without abandoning all creativity and handing over an envelope full of cash…..) The question that continues to surface each time is “what do you get for the couple that already has it all”?  Today I came across the most unusual and gorgeous bowls from the Drake General Store. Created by Areaware, the same studio that brought us the famed Piggy Bank found in stylish homes across the globe, these marble and resin dishes are cast to replicate a classic rope design, that would bring a bit of flair to any space.  They come in a variety of finishes, prices range from $115-$185 CND.

coil rope bowl 1 wedding gift idea
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recipe: sugar cookie bridal shower favours

This past weekend I hosted a bridal shower for my best friend and bride-to-be. Planning a bridal shower can sometimes be challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun. With help from the rest of the bridesmaids, we had pretty party decorations, a menu full of tasty recipes and lots of delicious desserts. After dividing the to-do list there was one last thing that needed to be done; bridal shower favours.

SAH blog bridal shower sugar cookies recipe: sugar cookie bridal shower favours
When it comes to gifts for guests, I am a firm believer that baked goods are always a great idea. Almond macarons, cake pops and even double chocolate brownies – all delicious choices. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, I decided to put together favours that were as delicious as they were pretty.

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fab find: printed tea towels

Fab find
“Cooking is Love” tea towel, $15.99; Shop Ruche.
graphic print tea towel fab find fab find: printed tea towels
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container garden 101: planting

After selecting the suitable plant materials for your container garden, it is now time to place them into their new home.  I am using annuals for the tall planters, so all I need to do is to put them in the planters.  Now for the low planters, I have selected Silverleaf Dogwood for an attractive, low maintenance, privacy screen.  Since they are perennials, I want to make sure they will survive our harsh winter conditions and come back next year.

Today, I am sharing a few tips I picked up from the garden expert at The Home Depot.

Screen Shot 2014 06 06 at 1.46.18 AM container garden 101: planting

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a flower’s power: how to be fierce with florals

Florals. Where do I begin? For most of my adult life I have been of the conviction that flowers and anything remotely floral belongs in the garden and the garden only. Being an 80s child and somewhat of a tomboy, I often suffered the extreme discomfort of many a floral fashion blunder – theatrical bridesmaid dresses, cutesy Laura Ashley day dresses and flawless floral bedding selected by my well intentioned mother, just to name a few. Truth be told, I have often joked about “florals” being my personal F-word.

Today this predictably pretty and ultra feminine motif has turned frisky and fierce – it’s all about less structure and a more organic, large scale and fluid look. Florals have taken on a new life and blossomed into a form that’s experimental – “flower power” in its true spirit.

town and country floral by ruven afanador 3 a flower’s power: how to be fierce with florals

photo by Ruven Afanador

6 1363793011 a flower’s power: how to be fierce with florals

photo by Ruven Afanador

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decor vs. fashion: white futon or clutch?

Decorating with white is a classic spring favourite for design mavens and fashionistas alike. Whether you prefer to redecorate your living room with a new white futon or upgrade your wardrobe with a clutch you’ll wear all season, wonderful white accessories are the best way to bring a fresh perspective to your life this spring.

Spending your monthly budget of $200 all in one place this week, which would you choose–the white futon or clutch?
decor vs fashion white sofa bag decor vs. fashion: white futon or clutch?
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container garden 101: plant materials

With more people buying condo as their first home or downsizing after retirement, we all have to adjust and learn to live with limited outdoor spaces. Since having a lush garden with mature trees are out of the question, an easy to care container garden is the go-to option for today’s urban living lifestyle.

Today, I would like to share with you a few tips I picked up from the expert at the Home Depot garden centre.   From a crash course on a variety of plant specimens to which ones are suitable given sun exposure, maintenance requirement, I have got my answers for this balcony in desperate need of greenery.


container gardening 101 container garden 101: plant materials


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