Design & Decor Blog

chair makeover in progress

After heading off to Aruba and Curacao for a week of rest and relaxation, I was delighted to come home and get an update on the chair I’m getting refinished. The craftsmen over at Carrocel Restorations were fantastic with taking a ton of pictures throughout the process, so I got to see how much they actually stripped it down. Here are a few of the snaps they took — I can’t wait until it’s finished!

chair stripped chair makeover in progress
chair paint chair makeover in progress
chair fabric chair makeover in progress
How do you all like it so far?


dresser re-imagined

I was mulling over what to do with the vintage dresser in my living room for quite some time. I bought the dresser almost 3 years ago at a garage sale for just 15 bucks. The dresser’s top was badly scuffed and scratched, but it was still the deal of the century.

After using it heavily the past few years, the dresser was starting to show its age. I had a couple of ideas for sprucing up my prized piece, but all of them demanded more time, work and commitment than I was willing to offer. When I snagged a set of pink felt placements from the clearance bin at a big box store, I instantly imagined them pieced together to form a runner for the top of my dresser. I loved the placemats’ optical laser-cut design, which happened to mimic the circular motif of the wallpaper in my living room. I was lucky – 5 placements fit the 60″ wide dresser perfectly so no trimming was required.

Living Room Dresser01 dresser re imagined

Living Room Dresser02 dresser re imagined

I love the punchy, vibrant effect of the placemat runner against the walnut wood dresser. The placements hide the scratched surface and make such a statement in the room. The best part is that the entire project cost me only 3 bucks! How’s that for savvy decorating! I’d love to hear about your savviest weekend project. Leave a comment and let us know!

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

lacquer nut bowl

Fab find
Lacquer nut bowl, $4 each;
fab find lacquer bowl lacquer nut bowl

Guest post by Elaine Song

I usually gravitate towards shades more than colours. Most often you’ll see me dressed in black, white or grey. Needless to say, my home decor tends to run on the safe side with neutral tones, but this doesn’t mean I don’t love me some colour — I just tend to use it in punchy accents. I was instantly drawn to these lacquered wood bowls from West Elm. The high-gloss finish offers bright colours and shiny metallics that not only add that delicious pop to a room, but also allow you to customize these accents to your own style and decor. Use them for food, displays, jewelry, keys, or loose change — it’s up to you!

bloggers give back: garden design

You may have heard about this – it’s slowly trickling through the grapevine thanks to Twitter, blog sites and the like – so forgive me if I’m sharing what you already know! It’s just that I’m so thrilled to be participating in Bloggers Give Back. Lindsay from Aubrey and Lindsay’s Little House Blog is the brains behind the operation. She has rounded up a bunch of amazing bloggers from Canada and beyond to re-vamp the overgrown, backyard garden at George Herman House, (a charity which offers supportive programs and safe housing for women with emotional and mental issues). *Side note: If the name “Aubrey + Lindsay’s Little House Blog” is ringing a bell for you, it’s probably because Lauren just profiled Lindsay’s blog a couple of weeks ago. Click here to revisit Lauren’s awesome post!

To set the project in motion, each of the participating bloggers were asked to create a mood board to illustrate their vision for the new garden design. I had so much fun creating my mood board. Not only did I stumble across some gorgeous products, but it also provided me with a much needed escape from the lousy weather we were having in Winnipeg! The jumping off point for my garden design concept was the fresh, yet classic Roxo Outdoor Series by Ikea. I love the beige and white striped cushion cover and white frame of the Roxo Easy Chair. It has a bit of a nautical vibe, without screaming “sailor”! The punch of green on the bistro chair keeps things lively and exciting.

Ikea Roxo Outdoor Easy Chair bloggers give back: garden design

Roxo Outdoor Easy Chair (in Beige), Ikea

Ikea Roxo Chair Green bloggers give back: garden design

Roxo Chair (in Green), Ikea

Just like it is with any indoor room design, no garden design is complete without some fab fabric accents! I selected these vibrant outdoor pillows from Tonic Living. I just love the pillows’ juicy colours and bold patterns.

Tonic Living Outdoor Soho Kiwi bloggers give back: garden design

Outdoor Pillow, Soho (in Kiwi), Tonic Living

Tonic Living Outdoor Soho Mink bloggers give back: garden design

Outdoor Pillow, Soho (in Mink), Tonic Living

Tonic Living Outdoor Cool Stripe Sorbet bloggers give back: garden design

Outdoor Pillow, Cool Strip (in Sorbet), Tonic Living

I hope this was a good teaser for you as you wait for spring to bloom! For more teasers and pleasers, check out all of the bloggers’ garden mood boards on the Bloggers Give Back website. Then leave us a comment sharing which design is most “you”!


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

lotta jansdotter book giveaway

266portrait copy 305x460 lotta jansdotter book giveaway

After interviewing Lotta Jansdotter, the Scandinavian-born print and product designer, author and artist, my crafting flame has been reignited.

168studio copy 460x305 lotta jansdotter book giveaway

The geeky fervour that I formerly applied solely to scrapbooking now applies to stenciling… and I just can’t reign in my paintbrush. Greeting cards, notebook covers, tote bags and tea towels are all getting the touch of the brush – and I’d stencil a pink heart onto my cat if she’d just stay still. Once I hone my craft, I’ll work toward a wall hanging or stencil the walls themselves!

Stencil Handmade Living1 460x279 lotta jansdotter book giveaway

bag3186 copy 328x460 lotta jansdotter book giveaway

If you’d like to get stencil happy… or simply inspired by beautiful spaces, leave a comment below and you could win one of Lotta Jansdotter’s books. We’ve got Lotta’s Printing Studio and Open Studios with Lotta Jansdotter up for grabs. Take it from me, you’ll be crafting in no time!

Open Studios Cover1 383x460 lotta jansdotter book giveaway Printing Studio1 395x460 lotta jansdotter book giveaway

Contest closes April 15 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.

dreaming of spring

I’ve been dreaming of spring lately… Warmer weather, blooming flowers, outside brunches and the fresh spring air! I wanted to share a few entertaining items that are reminding us all that spring is right around the corner… and it can’t come any sooner!

OrangeJuicer dreaming of spring

Pottery Barn Juicer

Tis classic, old-fashioned juicer not only adds style to your kitchen, but it will be your best friend when squeezing all that delicious fruit this spring!

FeedBag dreaming of spring

Potter Barn Feed Bag

A perfect bag for the spring picnics we’ve all been waiting for! Also, when you buy this bag you’re contributing to the UN World Food Program, which provides children with healthy school meals and fresh water!

MasonJar1 dreaming of spring

Pottery Barn Mason Jar

Time to bring out the Mason jar! It’s not spring until you’re sipping lemonade out this mug.

OrganicNapkins dreaming of spring

West Elm Organic Napkins

There’s something about simple organic linens that remind me of spring. I adore these yarn-dyed napkins from West Elm… A perfect blend of simplicity and color.

Eden Passante is the owner of Sugar and Charm, a boutique event design and planning company, focusing on creating the most charming, unique and sweet events.

jade glass zinnia knob

Fab find
Glass zinnia knob, $6;
fabfind zinniaknob jade glass zinnia knob
Guest post by Elaine Song
Hardware is so underrated when it comes to styling a piece of furniture. Whether new or revamped, add some flair to your drawers or cabinets with these beautiful glass knobs. The iron accents in the center add to its fabulous antique look and will give any piece a little pop and a lot of personality.

easy ice cream sundaes

One of my favourite dessert recipes for last-minute entertaining is making your own ice cream sundaes. For a casual get-together, it’s really a fun way to have every guest build their own sweet treat, ready in minutes. There are a few very easy steps to this recipe. The real key is toasting slivered almonds (toasting them releases the nutty flavour). Almonds are one of the items I always have on hand in my pantry. I use them in salads and cakes, and they add that perfect crunch atop a velvety bowl of ice cream. I lay them out in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast them at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
ice cream easy ice cream sundaes

The other elements of this ice cream dessert are some good quality vanilla bean ice cream and some chocolate sauce made by simmering heavy cream and pouring it over some dark chocolate chips.

Chocolate Sauce

  • 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chip (70%)
  • 1-1/3 cup of heavy cream

Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a light boil. As soon as it boils, pour it over the chocolate. Let it rest for 30 seconds and stir until the mixture is homogenous. If you want the sauce to have a thinner consistency, add another couple teaspoons of heavy cream. Serve immediately.
To build the dessert, place 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, top with a couple spoonfuls of the chocolate sauce, slivered almonds and a few sprinkles.

Jennifer Bartoli is a Montreal-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 more delicious recipes like this, check out Jennifer’s blog, Chocolate Shavings.

paint palette inspiration

While flipping through the pages of our April 2011 colour issue, I got so excited about introducing some bold hues into my own space. I was particularly drawn to the paint palette that drew inspiration from an exotic china plate. The story, produced by section editor Catherine Therrien, features paint colours that perfectly match the hues on the plate. I love this idea, because I’m constantly inspired by things I see around me everyday, whether a shape or a colour, and look to mimic it in my home.

paint palette plate paint palette inspiration

The inspiration (Wedgwood Pashmina salad plate, $44;

paint palette swatches paint palette inspiration

Try this palette in your own home!

Have you ever taken palette inspiration from a shopping find?

mid-century furnishings by Lunar Lounge Design

I am a lover of original mid-century mod furnishings, but not the high-end price tags that usually come with these classic designs.

Enter Lunar Lounge Design by Jonathan Sebastian – a Winnipeg-based online company offering affordable and original, hand made mid-century furniture designs. Catering to residential, commercial and hospitality environments for clients around the globe, Lunar Lounge’s furnishings are made to order specifically for the client and are available in a variety of materials, finishes and colours. In addition to their ever expanding product line, the company also offers custom design and fabrication services!

This November marks Lunar Lounge Design’s 10-Year anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, the company just launched a new website and “look”! Jonathan Sebastian, Owner and Chief Product Designer at Lunar Lounge, has invited me to their studio for a first hand look at all the fab furnishings! I can’t wait for the “field trip”; and of course, I will tell you all about the experience when I return. In the meantime, I’ve been browsing online and picked out a few fav’s.

I love the fun colours and great price point of the Booma Mid Coffee Table [$150.00 USD, Lunar Lounge Design, 3/4" Canadian Maple Ply - available in a variety of stain colours - and includes standard 14" Hair Pin Legs].

Lunar Lounge Design Booma Mid Coffee Table mid century furnishings by Lunar Lounge Design

Say goodbye to that dingy, old recliner and say hello to the Leentu Lounge. It’s the perfect marriage of comfort and style  [$500.00 USD, Lunar Lounge Design, 3/4" formaldehyde free Canadian Maple Ply - from renewable, sustainable resources - in semi-gloss finish and slung-style woven-web seating].

Lunar Lounge Design Leentu and Ottoman  mid century furnishings by Lunar Lounge Design

Love the versatility of the Ply Bak Bench 2. It’s a stylish statement for your front hall and bedroom. Or try using it in the living room as an ottoman and, in a pinch, extra seating for guests  [$280.00 USD, Lunar Lounge Design, 3/4" Canadian Maple Ply, foam cushion with Baron upholstery vinyl fabric and brushed aluminum legs].

Lunar Lounge Design Ply Bak Bench 2 mid century furnishings by Lunar Lounge Design To see more from Lunar Lounge Design and to place an order, check out their website and Etsy Shop!

Lunar Lounge Design   82 George Avenue – 2nd Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada   R3B 0K1   t: 204.799.2265


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

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