Design & Decor Blog

re-formed, canadian company spotlight

I’m hugely sentimental. My basement storage room is filled with boxes and boxes of saved birthday cards, airplane tickets from trips, Oscar’s first baby clothes … the list keeps growing. Although I take great delight in opening a box up and going through memory lane, it’s sad to have certain things packed away. Sarah Gunn (@lovelaughshop) tweeted last week about getting a piece of work from @ReFormedArt and curiosity got the best of me and I went to Re-Formed’s website. I fell head over heels for this gem of a Canadian company.
Untitled 1 re formed, canadian company spotlight

What Re-Formed has done, is put a modern spin on the shadow box. You give them something you love and they permanently frame it in a beautiful plexi box, allowing you to also customize the background colour, and even add on text to the front of the box.

By putting something in one of these boxes, it transforms your memento from being just an object, to being a really cool conversation piece in your home as well as a beautiful piece of art. I’m now going to go dig through my boxes in the basement and find some things I know I’d like to have done! Pricing starts at $95 and increases with the size of box.

Untitled 12 re formed, canadian company spotlight

Pssst – The current boxes permanently encase your item (which is fine for most things) but Amanda, the designer behind Re-Formed mentioned that they are going to be releasing a new box that can open shortly.

Visit Re-Formed website here for pricing and more (gorgeous) photos.
Photography by Margaret Mulligan

Lindsay Stephenson is our guest blogger who has her eye on all things fabulous in Toronto. When not scouting out the coolest stores and the fabbest finds in the city, Lindsay runs a graphic design business (Penny People Designs) and blogs about her life and home decorating projects on Aubrey & Lindsay’s Little House Blog.

bathroom renovation: day one

Welcome to day one of my bathroom renovation! The demolition began yesterday and I returned home to find everything … GONE! Here’s what my bathroom looks like today:

bathroom reno during1 bathroom renovation: day one Yikes!

bathroom reno during2 bathroom renovation: day one The wall-to-wall mirror is gone, as are the sink and vanity. Can’t say I’m sad to see ‘em go.

bathroom reno during3 bathroom renovation: day one Adios, bathtub!

bathroom reno during4 bathroom renovation: day one I found this drawing behind the tile on the shower wall. I’ve heard tons of stories about the things people have found behind walls and underneath floors when doing a renovation. Have you ever found anything interesting? A friend of mine found well preserved newspapers from the 1920s when she renovated her house.

bathroom reno during5 bathroom renovation: day one I have to hand it to the installation crew from Home Depot. I’m so pleased with the way they’ve been treating my home. They put up plastic coverings in all the right places and have kept the mess contained to the bathroom. We’ve all heard horror stories about renovations gone wrong, so it was nice to start things off on the right foot. Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it.

the perfect pitcher

Fab find
Glass Solano pitcher, $24 US; Pottery Barn.
fabfind pitcher the perfect pitcher
It’s time, my friends. The days are officially here where you can toss the throw blanket and slippers and, instead, take comfort in an ice cold bevvy in the backyard. The sun, thermostat, and my thirst is screaming to whip up some liquid refreshments to beat the heat! I love the Solano pitcher for its sleek, elegant shape, which can hold 1.3 quarts – great for some summertime entertaining. It also comes equipped with a glass wand, for those who prefer their cocktails stirred, not shaken.
What are your favourite summer drinks?

how to perk up your space with pattern

Pattern, pattern everywhere! From dainty to graphic to global, patterns are popping up in all the right places. Style at Home’s June issue is filled with pages of colourful, pattern-packed interiors. If your home is drowning in a sea of solid beige, the thought of both colour and pattern might be just too much. Never fear…West Elm has got you covered with these lovely neutrals.

West Elm Rajasthan Stripe Printed Dhurrie how to perk up your space with pattern Why not roll out an area rug in a tone-on-tone pattern?! You’ll get wow factor with this global inspired pattern without the worry of committing to colour.   Rajasthan-Stripe Printed Dhurrie, in Slate, 80% wool / 20% cotton, 5′ x 8′ - West Elm, $199.00 (other sizes available).

West Elm Stripe Duvet Cover and Shams how to perk up your space with pattern

If nautical is more your thing, stripes are just the right touch for your home. I love the soft, yet striking appeal of these grey and white striped linens.   Stripe Duvet Cover and Shams, in White and Feather Grey, 100% cotton, Full / Queen Size – West Elm, $69.00 (other sizes available).

West Elm Hand Blocked Multi Pillow Cover1 how to perk up your space with pattern

Too many textiles got your head spinning? Want an eclectic mix, but not sure how to create it? Just toss a couple of these hand-blocked cushions on your sofa and you’ll have a patchwork of pattern without the headache.   Hand-Blocked Multi Pillow Cover,  in Stone White / Iron, 100% Raw Silk, 20″ Sq. – West Elm, $39.00.


Amy Walters is a Winnipeg-based design enthusiast and blogger. For more design inspiration from Amy, check out her blog aDESIGNdock.

ready to start a bathroom renovation

The long weekend is coming to a close but there are no fireworks for me. Instead, I’m home preparing for a bathroom renovation that’s scheduled to begin in the morning!

Needless to say, I’m tres excited to get this ball rolling. My bathroom, as you’ll see from the photos below, could use some work. I live in a condo building that was constructed in 1988. All the fixtures are original and I suppose when you take that into account, they’ve weathered the past 23 years pretty well. But now everything, from the vanity and the tub to the flooring and mirrored wall needs to go! It’s time for a fresh, new, modern look and it wasn’t hard to find everything I was looking for at Home Depot. I just needed one afternoon of one-stop shopping and now I can’t wait to get started! I’m going to share the whole process with you and I’d love your feedback along the way.

OK – here are the photos of my bathroom. Be nice!

bathroom reno1 ready to start a bathroom renovation
The shower. I can’t WAIT to get rid of that grey tub.

bathroom reno2 ready to start a bathroom renovation
And I can’t wait to get rid of the matching grey sink and toilet. Ugh.

bathroom reno3 ready to start a bathroom renovation
When I moved in, the bathroom was covered in a pink, white and purple floral wallpaper. Not so much. After painstakingly removing the paper, I opted for a charcoal grey paint. This time ’round, I’m ready to lighten things up. I haven’t decided on my colour yet. The new fixtures will be black and white. Suggestions for the paint colour?

bathroom reno4 ready to start a bathroom renovation
Coming soon: Polished marble.

Stay tuned – the fun begins tomorrow!

the essential earth tones

Our designer secrets special issue is out on stands now and I love all the tips inside from some of our fave design experts. I always get stuck trying to choose the perfect paint {hey, some shades just look too darned alike}, so I really enjoyed the paint section of the issue with designers sharing their fave shades. Here are the earth tones that are making the experts swoon.

earth tones the essential earth tones
1 Split Pea 16-28, Pratt & Lambert

“I use this yellowy green in bathrooms and bedrooms to create a serene ambience.” -Michelle Mawby, Lucid Interior Design

2 Floating Islands P5127-34, Para Paints

“”think Florida home circa 1990 meets Mies van der Rohe. This ‘blush’ adds a light, soft hue to any space and looks amazing when paired with charcoal, cream, navy or white.” -Angela Robinson, AR Design

3 Never Land P5026-85, Para Paints

“I’ve always had a weakness for jewel tones! I recommend painting this green on walls in a semi-gloss finish to create drama, elegance and sophistication, then accenting the colour with accessories in burnt orange, electric blue, eggplant, black or white.” -Angela Robinson

4 Granny Smith SD008, Style at Home Collection, Beauti-Tone Paint

“When used to create a feature wall, this shade provides a gorgeous pop of colour that doesn’t overpower a room. It’s a huge trend right now to use a chartreuse or citron.” -Jessica Kelly, Jessica Kelly Design

5 Folly Green 76, Farrow & Ball
“This green, one of my most asked-about colours, looks great on library walls broken up with lots of bookshelves and neutral elements.” -Stacey-Litwin-Davies, Litwin-Davies Design

6 Willow CC-542, Benjamin Moore

“This rich wall colour adds dimension to any room. I’ve used it on the walls in a panelled library, a dramatic dining room and a tiny jewel-box powder room. I love pairing it with brilliant colours like indigo blue or saturated colour.” -Samantha Farjo, Farjo Design

7 Rockies Brown 2107-30, Benjamin Moore

“This colour, best in a pearl finish, pairs well with one of favourite David Hicks wallpapers called The Vase, which was actually inspired by his famous Coca-Cola-coloured walls.” -Timothy Mather, TM Design

8 Kendall Charcoal HC-166, Benjamin Moore

“We’ve used this warm grey to make a bold statement and give rooms weight and depth. Whether it’s used on a piece of furniture, built-ins, interior doors, or to accent a handrail, that bit of darkness creates a layered effect.” -Cindy Bleeks, Feasby & Bleeks Design

9 Black Blue 95, Farrow & Ball

“This paint colour, which has a hint of blue, looks great on exterior doors.” -Cindy Bleeks

diy floral arrangements

Two years ago, my husband and I had a wonderfully small and intimate wedding in the backyard of my parent’s house. Due to the fact that the day we chose was the busiest wedding date of the year, and that we planned the whole thing in only a few months, there were no florists available. My mum, who has always had a keen design eye and a crafty nature, decided she could take on the task herself. She went to her favourite florist, Sweet Violets, ordered all the flowers and asked a few questions. From there she got to work, designing and executing all of the floral arrangements for the big day.

I asked her to disclose her method for anyone who might be interested in creating their own floral arrangements – whatever the occasion!

For the small arrangements that would be used at the dinner, she cut out a circle of sheer, green organza and pulled it around a small glass vase, using a piece of cream-coloured organza ribbon around the neck to secure it. She trimmed ten ‘super green roses’ and arranged them in the vase tightly, like a bouquet:

dinnerfloral diy floral arrangements

For the larger arrangements used in the ceremony, she ordered green spider mums, green al chamilla, white dahlia, white hydrangea, decorative cabbages and a collection of filler greens. She took 1 ft tall vases and made a grid on the opening using floral tape. First, she filled the grid with the greens, packing them tightly. She arranged the large hydrangea and cabbage and then filled in the rest of the vase using the spider mums, freesia, dahlia and al chamilla:

ceremonyfloral2 diy floral arrangements

ceremonyfloral diy floral arrangements

entry diy floral arrangements

ceremony diy floral arrangements

What do you guys think? Anyone have any great tips for creating your own floral arrangements?

how to paint wall stripes

There’s really not a whole lot that I don’t love about our June 2011 issue. It’s so bright and fresh and filled with amazing decorating ideas. And that cover? Oy. Our design editors amaze me on a daily basis.

dressing room how to paint wall stripes

One interior I particularly fell in love with was the high/low feature of the dressing room. I mean, what woman wouldn’t love to come home after a long day and get changed while surrounded by a sea of Tiffany blue? The stripes are what really stand out in the room, and you can get the look with paint instead of buying pricey wallpaper. Contributing design editor Christine Hanlon gives her top 6 tips for painting perfect wall stripes.

paint stripes how to paint wall stripes

1 Pick your colours. Aim for high contrast hues, advises Christine.

2 Use high quality painter’s tape. It will ensure less bleeding and smudges as well as avoid bubbles.

3 Paint the full wall in the lighter of your chosen colours.

4 Measure the width of your entire wall and divide into equal parts to determine the width of your darker-coloured stripes.

5 Use a pencil to mark each stripe at the top and bottom of the wall.

6 Place the tape on the outside of your markings for each dark-coloured stripe.

Paint colours: Cabbage White 269, Arsenic 214; Farrow & Ball.
{Photography by Nina Texeira}

colourful melamine serveware

Fab find
Melamine serving dishes & tray, $2.99-$5.99 each; HomeSense.
fabfind melamine serveware colourful melamine serveware
I’m trying to be bolder with my home decor, whether it’s with paint, pattern or decor accessories. I’m always comfortable sticking to a neutral palette, but then drool over homes filled with colour and pattern. To slowly pull myself out of my comfort zone, I opt for decor accessories with fabulous colours and prints – this way I can add those little pops to my home without the anxiety of being stuck with it.
One great way to splash some colour around your home is with this vibrant melamine serveware collection. Great for indoor and outdoor entertaining, these bright dishes and trays are perfect for summer parties or just relaxing in the sun with some refreshments. At less than $6 a piece, you can be the host with the most – in savings!
How do you add colour to your home?

glass pedestal stand & dome

Fab find
Glass pedestal stand & dome, $14 each; Pottery Barn.
fabfind cakestand glass pedestal stand & dome
Whether you bake or buy your decadent desserts, they will look absolutely delicious on these classic glass pedestals. You can ‘wow’ your dinner guests with a beautiful dessert display, have friends and family over for tea with scones and sweets, or simply use the stands and dome to keep your treats fresh. At only $14 each, these stands are an easy and elegant way to make any dessert look all the more appetizing!

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