Design & Decor Blog

lotta jansdotter book giveaway

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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

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