Design & Decor Blog

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?

paisley print napkins

Fab find
Paisley print napkins, $12 for 4;
fab find napkins paisley print napkins
In honour of our fabulous new colour issue, we’ve chosen this fresh green set of paisley print napkins from West Elm as our latest fab find. They’re on sale right now for $12 for a set of four — what an affordable and easy way to bring some colour into your home for spring!
How do you bring colour back into your home for the spring season?

three drinks even st. patrick would love

When I think of St. Patrick’s Day I think of Guinness and Irish Cream. Irish Cream makes me think of coffee, so I figured why not do a little Irish mix n’ matching and see what delicious treats I can come up with. I ended up loving three creations using these ingredients… so here they are! Try them out and celebrate St. Patrick’s with a little caloric love!

SandCIrish2 three drinks even st. patrick would love

The Guinness beer float: Coffee ice cream and Guinness beer… what a combo!

SandCIrish1 three drinks even st. patrick would love

SandCIrish3 three drinks even st. patrick would love

Irish Cream, Coffee Milkshake: Add 2 cups of ice cream, 1/2 cup milk and 2 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream. Go green and really kick up the “Irishness” by adding in a few drops of green food coloring!

SandCIrish4 three drinks even st. patrick would love

SandCIrish5 three drinks even st. patrick would love

Add a side of cream and Irish Cream  for a simple, yet festive way to serve coffee on St. Patrick’s Day.

featured blog: the art of doing stuff

art of doing stuff karen featured blog: the art of doing stuff

Photography by Donna Griffith

Blog: The Art of Doing Stuff

Blogger: Karen Bertelsen

Location: Small town just outside Toronto


What’s your blog all about?

The blog really is all about how to do ‘stuff’. My philosophy is “It’ ain’t that hard. Any of it”.  Honestly, if I can do it, chances are you can do it.  I have no training in anything at all. Interior decorating, floral design, home improvement — the only reason I can do these things, while a lot of other people can’t, is because I try. Plus, I’m wildly curious and impatient. If some appliance or something breaks in the middle of the night I’d rather Google how to fix it and do it myself. I really just don’t have the patience to wait for a repairman to call me back.

What do you do for a living?
I’ve made my living for the past 15 years as a television host and writer in Canada. I’ve done a lot of pop culture commentary and celebrity interviews, plus have hosted a multitude of lifestyle type shows. And now I make 12 cents a day with my blog so… I guess add that to the list of how I make my living.

art of doing stuff hydrangea featured blog: the art of doing stuff

Karen's square hydrangea arrangement

If money were no object, what one item would you buy for your home?
3-ply toilet paper and a box of Maldon Salt.  Just kidding.

Where do you shop for items for your home?

Garage sales, the side of the road, HomeSense, IKEA, flea markets,  and inexpensive contemporary shops like Structube and EQ3.

What has been your fave find under $50?

Up until a couple of years ago everything in my house cost less than $50!  I often found stuff at the side of the road and it cost nothing.  Of course I had to scrape dead worms off of it, but still — it was free.  I didn’t keep much of that stuff, but I’m pretty fond of the mirror in my living room (and in the photo below, from the Style at Home shoot);  I got it at a garage sale for $5.  *Check out another fave find of Karen’s that is really a sight to see*

art of doing stuff mirror featured blog: the art of doing stuff

Karen's $5 mirror find (photography by Donna Griffith)

What’s your favourite movie interior?
I’m not sure if it really is my favourite, but the first thing that popped into my head was the kitchen in Something’s Gotta Give. And Grey Gardens. Love, love, love.

What song, movie or soundtrack sums up your life?

Green Acres
because I feel like I’m an exact cross between city and country.  I love them both.

Favourite post you’ve done?

The furry chair post is the one that “got me on the map”.  It’s the one that Design*Sponge picked up on and ended up being circulated from blog to blog to blog.  It was also the blog post that got Erin McLaughlin to notice me and my blog which led to a feature in Style at Home.

My favourite post is probably the post I did on my backyard makeover.  Not because it has the best pictures, or is written the best, but because it shows what one little girl can do if she puts her mind to it.

Oh!  And then there’s the frozen yogourt tampon post!  Also a fave…
Ugh, this  “pick your favourite post” thing is like asking a mother which child is her favourite.  You’re mean.

art of doing stuff thanksgiving featured blog: the art of doing stuff

Karen's Thanksgiving tabletop

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

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