Design & Decor Blog

emma serving bowl

Fab find
Emma serving bowl, $26;
fab find emma bowl emma serving bowl

Guest post by Elaine Song
You know the saying, “It looks so good I could eat it”? Well these bowls are so pretty, you’ll want to eat right out of them. Enhance the beauty of your food with these earthenware serving bowls. The beading detail along the outside is subtle, yet makes these bowls oh-so-charming. At 10” in diameter, they’re great for serving a hungry group of dinner guests or just displaying fruit.

mod home accents from Paperdoll Woodshop

I am always on the hunt for something new and fab. Lately I’ve been on the hunt for a unique coat rack for my front entry. My search led me to Jim and Jenny’s shop on Etsy and I am so glad it did! The Paperdoll Woodshop creates handmade goodies for the home; and, I was instantly taken by the company’s simple, mod-style. Here’s a few of my fav’s from their shop:

PaperDollWoods Take It Off Coat Rack mod home accents from Paperdoll Woodshop

This is too cute! Love the cheeky phrase and pretty, rustic hook. take it off. coat rack. Poplar wood block [8"H x 7.5"W x 3/4" thick] screen-printed by hand with dark grey ink.

PaperDollWoodShop M is for Magazine. In Turquoise. mod home accents from Paperdoll Woodshop

I’m a bit of a design magazine junkie. Me thinks I need this: M is for magazine. in turquoise. Baltic birch veneer – natural and painted turquoise [outside dimensions: 11"H x 9"W x 3"D]. Additional colours available.

PaperDollWood Antler Frame. 4x6 mod home accents from Paperdoll Woodshop

Antlers have been making a come-back for a number of years. I don’t know if I am ready to hang the real thing, but I can def. hang up a few of these quirky frames. Antler Frame. (4×6) Comes with glass, black foamcore backing and sawtooth hanger [12"H x 8"W x 1/2" Thick].

Items take about 1-week to make and ship to Canada! So what’s your fav. Etsy find? Let us know!


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

a charming st. patrick’s day table setting

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I created a quick and easy table setting for inspiration! For the look, I simply repurposed gift wrapping paper from Paper-Source for the place-mats, then added in a succulent (already potted) from the grocery store and homemade linens from a fabric shop. Guinness beer is a must-have at any St. Patrick’s Day dinner and I also made some delicious Guinness mini-cupcakes (recipe found here) that go perfectly with the dark stout! This St. Patrick’s Day, set the table, cook up a traditional Irish meal and serve some Guinness beer and cupcakes! Cheers to the Irish!

St.PatttysDay1 a charming st. patricks day table setting

St.PatttysDay31 a charming st. patricks day table setting

St.PatttysDay2 a charming st. patricks day table setting

St.PatttysDay4 a charming st. patricks day table setting

St.PatttysDay5 a charming st. patricks day table setting

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.

featured blog: aubrey & lindsay’s little house blog

little house lindsay featured blog: aubrey & lindsays little house blog

Blog: Aubrey & Lindsay’s Little House Blog


Blogger: Lindsay Stephenson


Location: Upper Beaches, Toronto

What’s your blog all about?

I’d like to think that what I write about on our blog is all of the things I’d be telling my family or friends over a cup of coffee. Trying to figure out how to do trim, our latest fabric finds, the new vacuum that I bought that I want to recommend, DIY projects — we really talk about everything.

What do you do for a living?

I run an online art and stationery studio called Penny People Designs and do freelance graphic design for small businesses.

If you weren’t working in the profession you are, what would you be doing?

Had I not found my passion with running my own business/being an artist, I think I would have loved to have been an interior decorator as I feel it’s similar to what I do right now– a dash of business, with a whole lot of creativity.  But, I’m extremely spatially challenged, so I think I’ll leave the profession of interior decorating to other people.

little house ikea rast featured blog: aubrey & lindsays little house blog

Lindsay's IKEA Rast table makeover, which was a hit around the blogosphere

Describe your home in 6 words or less.
Young traditional.

Favourite post you’ve done?

I have a lot of favourite posts but perhaps the one I’m most proud of is our master bedroom, because it’s a perfect example of our style of decorating — splurging in some areas, saving in others. Our bed was a splurge (Colette from Crate and Barrel), while our wood dresser was found tucked away in a vintage shop and our vanity was repurposed by painting it white and adding new knobs.
Our side tables were a project we did after seeing them in the September 2008 issue of Style at Home. We immediately did them and posted about them on our Penny People Blog, and rather quickly our makeover shot went viral.

little house nursery featured blog: aubrey & lindsays little house blog

The sweet nursery Lindsay and Aubrey designed for new baby Oscar

If money were no object, what one item would you buy for your home?
A piece of original art, either by Peer Christensen or David Grieve.

Where do you shop for items for your home?

From boutiques to the used furniture store down the street, we shop everywhere. But surprisingly, we do a lot of DIY projects that involve IKEA. We did a DIY bench out of IKEA cabinets {image below}, and also used cabinets as part of my DIY desk. We made a daybed/sofa out of an IKEA bed that is in Oscar’s nursery {not shown in image above}.

little house kitchen featured blog: aubrey & lindsays little house blog

Aubrey and Lindsay's clever DIY bench made from IKEA cabinets

What song, movie or soundtrack sums up your life?
I don’t think there is a soundtrack that sums up my life, but if there was an album that I wouldn’t mind playing my whole life, it would be any classical record. No matter what a day has been life, classical music seems to slow things down for me.

What has been your fave find under $50?

Our little hippo sugar container for $2.00.

P.S. Interested in having your blog featured?
E-mail us at

the new dyson air multiplier

dyson bladeless fan the new dyson air multiplier
We know that when it comes to innovation, Dyson is at the front of the pack. When they eliminated the vaccuum bag, we thought that was pretty cool. But now they’re back with another great new product that’s just hit the Canadian market: The Dyson Air Multiplier.

It’s a fan that has no blades. It’s super-stylish, yes, but is it really necessary? You may not think so but according to inventor and engineer James Dyson, he created this new fan to combat spinning blades, which he says chop up the air flow, causing annoying buffeting. He says the blades are hard to clean and are, of course, a temptation for childrens’ curious little fingers.

The Dyson Air Multiplier is a stylish reincarnation of a household product many of us use. Not wanting to run my air conditioning all night long in the summer, I often rely on a fan. But this one would look so much better than the clunky fan I’m currently using. Simple. Stylish. I love it!

Available at:, The Bay, Home Outfitters, Sears and other retailers across Canada.
Price: $379.99 to $549.99

What do you think of the look of the new Dyson Air Multiplier?

colourful ceramic spice jars

Fab find
Ceramic spice jars, $4 each;
spice jars colourful ceramic spice jars
Guest post by Elaine Song
I have completely fallen in love with these adorable spice jars. They’re airtight and come in four pretty, pastel colours – perfect with Easter just around the corner! Each jar is numbered and impressed with the phrase “Plein de Bonne Choses” (Full of Good Things). It’s these little details that make them all the more precious.

you be the designer: can you help me choose a lamp?

As many of you who have been following my blog know, I recently completed a makeover on my condo. I took it from drab and outdated to fresh, chic and modern. (For those of you who haven’t seen the transformation, you can watch the video of it here.) I love every piece that designer Lisa Canning chose for my space, to give it the feeling of liveable luxury that I craved.

Alas – I broke a lamp. Sssh … don’t tell Lisa! I knocked it over one night and broke the whole thing. And now I’m on the hunt for a replacement pair of table lamps. If you’ve seen the video of my condo makeover, you’ll have a sense of my style and of the rest of my space. So here are four lamps I love, all from Layla Grayce.

lamp you be the designer: can you help me choose a lamp? Here’s what’s what:
1 Arteriors Abram White Crackle Double Gourd Porcelain Table Lamp

2 Tole Lamp

3 Jamie Young Lighting Lamp Base Lucky White Casted Metal

4 Bungalow 5 Cadiz Table Lamp Hand Painted Porcelain

I love all four – so I need help choosing. Here’s what my living room looks like:

condo you be the designer: can you help me choose a lamp?
Which of the four lamps above would you choose for this space? Leave a comment below with your vote! Plus: Your vote automatically enters you into our contest to win a $100 gift card from Layla Grayce. Good luck!

Contest closes April 5 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.

Update: Congratulations to our winner Leah. And thanks to everyone for entering!

makeover monday: chair project

Last summer when I was at the family cottage, my Mum and I went to pick up some groceries in Cobourg. Right next to the grocery store was a little ol’ consignment store, so I popped in to see if they had any hidden gems. Well, did they ever!

I spied this chair for $50, but managed to talk the seller down to $30. I loved the shape of it, but the fabric is obviously tragic. I knew with a little love, the chair could be made over into a fab piece of furniture. chair makeover makeover monday: chair project
Now that I’m ready to take on this project, I’ve chosen Carrocel Restorations in Toronto to reupholster and refinish the chair (check out their before & after section — never fails to amaze me!). All that was left was to decide on a fabric, and I’ve been obsessed with the DwellStudio Gate pattern for ages. It’s pretty popular, so I’m lucky that Robert Allen had just the amount I needed.
chair makeover fabric makeover monday: chair project

What do you guys think? The best part is, the guys at Carrocel will be taking pics of the process so we can show you how to refinish a chair.


framing your front door

Any Friends fans out there? Admittedly, I was quite the fan (a.k.a. fanatic) of the hit TV sitcom and grew up gushing over Monica Geller’s chic Manhattan apartment. I adored the girlish mix of eclectic furnishings, pretty purple walls, yellow floral curtains and quirky accessories. Looking around my apartment at the melange of styles and colourful accents, I can’t help but think I subconsciously drew design inspiration from the infamous TV set.

My absolute fav detail in Monica’s apartment is the iconic “yellow frame” around her door peephole. I love the simple, yet stylish accent so much that I decided to make one myself. Now I am usually a self-proclaimed DIY-avoider, but this was a project even I felt confident tackling.

here’s the before:

Sun Frame before pic framing your front door

and here’s the after:

Sun Frame After pic02 framing your front door

Sun Frame After pic051 framing your front door

all you need is:

1 – frame (new or old – mine was an inexpensive thrift store find)

1 – tube of acrylic or craft paint (any shade)

1 – foam brush

1 – pack of picture hanging strips (I used Command 3M: Medium Picture Hanging Strips)

just two simple steps:

1. Using a clean foam brush, simply give your frame a few quick coats of paint (leaving the frame to dry for about a half hour between each coat).

2. Secure frame to door using removable picture hanging strips.

And that’s really all there is to it. Easy, “I know”! Oops sorry, you might say I “pulled a Monica”. So tell us, what’s your fav TV or movie set design?


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

behind the scenes at a video shoot

Today we were hard at work shooting a video on making the perfect bed. From finding the best sheets and duvet covers to styling your bed so that it looks as good on the outside as it feels on the inside, we dissected the process from beginning to end for you.

The video will be online soon but until then, here’s a sneak peek at the beautiful bed and the gorgeous linens from Au Lit Fine Linens.

beautiful bed1 behind the scenes at a video shoot Julie from Au Lit Fine Linens steams the sheets to get them perfectly wrinkle-free and camera-ready!

beautiful bed3 behind the scenes at a video shoot Joanna, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens is ready for her close-up. Here she’s talking about finding the perfect pillow for a perfect night’s sleep.

Stay tuned for the video demonstration that’ll help you make your bed as beautiful as this one.

What’s your favourite way to make your bedroom luxurious?

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