Design & Decor Blog

my favorite mother’s day gift this year

This mini book from Paper Source is my favorite Mother’s Day gift this year! A small journal filled with questions for mom to answer about her life. It’s a perfect way to get to know your mom better and a great keepsake for your own children or family members. I actually bought one for my mother-in-law for her birthday last year. I sent it to her and about two weeks later I received it back, completely filled with memories. It was so fun to look through and read more about her life and all of her stories… I really did learn more about her! It truly is a wonderful gift. Oh, and they have one for dad too!

MomBook my favorite mothers day gift this year

Paper Source, Mom Journal, $9.00

easy table centrepiece

chocolate shavings centrepiece easy table centrepiece
As spring and warmer temperatures are settling in, an abundance of colourful flowers have made their way to most local markets. I like to gather a few different vases and fill them with a beautiful array of flowers that I then spread out on my dining table — simple and sweet centrepieces. This vase is from a quaint home décor store in Montreal called Buk & Nola — I like how the blue hue brings a hit of brightness to the table.

Jennifer Bartoli is a Toronto-based food writer, photographer and recipe developer who grew up in Paris. Her longstanding passion for food took her to New York City, where she studied at the French Culinary Institute. For delicious recipes and more, check out Jennifer’s blog, Chocolate Shavings.

win a kitchenaid food processor!

kitchenaid blog win a kitchenaid food processor!

When I first ventured into baking (and I can sadly say I’m still venturing), I thought a blender and a food processor essentially did the same thing. Whenever a recipe called for a food processor, I didn’t have one, so I just thought, “Meh, this blender will give the same effect.” Wrong, Lauren. So very wrong.

And that, my friends, is why I’m thrilled to be giving away this top-of-the-line food processor from KitchenAid. Their Architect Series is made up of professional quality small appliances (think of the classic KichenAid stand mixer), and this 12-cup processor is no different.

To enter, leave a comment below sharing your favourite summer food (or drink!).

*Contest closes May 25th, 2011 at 12pm EST. Open to all residents of Canada, except those in Quebec. Not open to any Transcontinental Media employees, their families, or any other persons with whom they reside.

and the winner is …

I recently asked all of you readers to be the designer and help me choose a lamp for my living room. You have spoken! We have tallied all the answers and the winner is the Arteriors Abram White Crackle Double Gourd Porcelain Table Lamp.

winning lamp and the winner is ...

Thanks to everyone who voted and congratulations to our randomly-selected winner, Leah, who won the $100 gift card to Layla Grayce!

jonathan adler patterned cards

Fab find
Jonathan Adler Patterned Cards, $10 per pack of 10; Horchow.
fabfind cards1 jonathan adler patterned cards
From here on out, I’m going to be positive and believe spring is here to stay. As soon as the weather starts to warm up I’m instantly drawn to bright, happy colours so it’s no wonder I’ve fallen in love with these correspondence cards from Jonathan Adler. With four different designs, boasting a multitude of colours, you can use these cards for party invites or to catch up with an old friend. From the cards to the matching envelopes, I guarantee this stationery will brighten anyone’s day – and mailbox!
Do you still send letters and cards? What are your favourite stationery stores?

window shopping at These Four Walls

The weather’s been gorgeous out here in Winnipeg. With rumours of snow in the forecast for this weekend (yuck!), I’ve been soaking up as much of the outdoors as possible. Tonight, I went for a little stroll through my neighbourhood, which boasts lots of pretty shops and historic homes.  The sun was casting playful shadows on the old buildings as I walked and the air smelled of fresh grass and bbq smoke. Aaaahhh…
These Four Walls window shopping at These Four Walls

The best part of my little adventure, though, was that I passed by These Four Walls - one of my favourite home decor shops in Winnipeg. The shop was closed  :(  so I couldn’t check out their latest stash of goodies, but I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of the store’s stunning window display.

These Four Walls03 window shopping at These Four Walls

These Four Walls02 window shopping at These Four Walls

I just love these clear hanging planters. Aren’t they fab?! I’m already envisioning a set of three of these suspended in front of the bay window in my living room. I must go back for another “look see”; and, of course, a quick – or not so quick – sweep through store wouldn’t hurt either!

These Four Walls, 167 Stafford Street, Winnipeg, MB   R3M 2W9   t: 204.452.5786

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

chair makeover videos

You’ve all seen the amazing chair makeover that I had done by Carrocel Restorations, but check out these awesome videos they made of the process (parts 1 & 2 below). I love watching how it all came together!

0 chair makeover videos

royal wedding countdown: big ben clock

Countdown to the Royal Wedding — 2 days left!
royrl wedding big ben royal wedding countdown: big ben clock
Big Ben wall clock, $80;

It seems like everyone has that one strip of wall that they don’t know how to decorate. For me, it’s a long but thin dividing wall acting as a separator between my living room and kitchen. I totally love this Big Ben clock from Umbra — it’s the perfect piece to jazz up that pesky wall space.

Stay tuned for TV Guide’s Royal Wedding Special Issue, edited by Style at Home’s Erin McLaughlin — available May 9th!

prepping a house for sale and finding the perfect neutral paint

My mom is in the process of selling her house and as we prepare to put it on the market, we got some valuable advice from our real estate agent, Linda Turner with Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty.

While the house is in great shape, the one thing Linda emphasized was the need for us to remove all the artwork on the walls; my mom’s an art-lover and there are paintings everywhere. But Linda encouraged us to remove the art, not only to depersonalize the space but to cover up all those holes on the wall. This meant we had to paint the entire main level of the house. Big job but we got it done!

“A fresh coat of paint goes a long way as an inexpensive facelift, wowing buyers immediately upon entering your home,” says Linda. “Keep tones neutral as this will give your rooms a spacious feel. Having said that, if one large principle room has a vivid colour on a feature wall and is accented with bright white trims (including crown moulding, upgraded baseboards and possibly French doors), this could prove to be a fabulous, eye-catching focal point of your main floor.”

It is also a good idea to depersonalize your home of family photos and to keep artwork to a minimum, she says. “This is particularly important on staircase walls. You want prospective buyers to concentrate on and remember all the fine details of your home. Selecting just one or two paintings that truly complement a room’s decor will also enhance the spaciousness of the room,” says Linda.

So – we set to the task of removing the artwork on the walls, filling the holes, sanding and repainting. Our search for the perfect neutral led us to find Sico’s Icing Sugar (6092-11) and we couldn’t be happier with the results. I love the colour; it’s a warm and delicious white. I’ve made a mental note of the name and definitely plan to use it again, likely to repaint my mom’s new home when she finds it.

dining room before prepping a house for sale and finding the perfect neutral paint Prepping the dining room: We removed all the artwork, filled the holes left behind and painted over the existing taupe paint.

dining room after prepping a house for sale and finding the perfect neutral paint The final result: Fresh and clean, Sico’s Icing Sugar (6092-11) was a lovely choice!

It was a lot of work but Linda was right. All the rooms on the main level of the house now look fresher, cleaner and larger. We’re ready to put the house on the market and welcome prospective buyers.

Have you ever staged your home for sale? Got any tips to share?

my apartment makeover, part 1

I’m thrilled to introduce myself on the blog as part of my first official duties as a new design editor for Style at Home! My first chance to work with the magazine came long before this new job — way back in mid-winter, Erin McLaughlin and Margot Austin decided my rental apartment was worthy of a feature in the mag.

On shoot day, the hallway outside my tiny place was lined with photographer Stacey Brandford’s equipment overflow and buckets of magnificent spring blooms that Margot brought. Thus began a whirlwind day of propping, tweaking, lighting and um… eating. Between the fluffy meringues and macarons that Margot brought for the dining room shot and the greasy fish and chips I picked up for lunch, we were fighting our food comas by the afternoon.

Take a look at what the place looked like before my fiancé David and I moved in (it definitely wasn’t fit for photography) and what it looks like now. The landlord was kind enough to let me spec materials and finishes before updating the unit.

waks dining room before my apartment makeover, part 1

The wooden floor in the dining area was damaged yellow parquet and the exposed terrazzo windowsills and cracked walls made the space feel more institutional than homey. And need I even mention the wicker basket pendant shade?

waks dining room after my apartment makeover, part 1

Fresh coats of Benjamin Moore Cloud White paint, a polished dark stain on the floor and my mix of high and low furniture and accessories helped to brighten up the space.

waks kitchen before my apartment makeover, part 1

The original kitchen cabinetry was barely managing to stay hinged, and the ceramic blue knobs and peeling grey vinyl tile on the floor were less than appealing.

waks kitchen after my apartment makeover, part 1

The black-and-white retro feel of the kitchen works its way from the checkerboard floor tiles up to the white cabinetry and black laminate countertop, where it explodes in a frenzy of fun bowls, canisters and more.

waks bathroom before my apartment makeover, part 1

I don’t need to write much about the 'before' shot of the bathroom as it speaks for itself...eek!

Waks bathroom after my apartment makeover, part 1

A bold, striped shower curtain, subway tiled walls and a Greek key medicine cabinet that I painted are great examples of creating impact with a black-and-white colour scheme.

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