Turn a large landscape print into a pleasing collection of smaller prints.
Style at Home managing editor and resident crafter Catherine Therrien shows you how to create an easy yet stylish gallery wall.
• Landscape print
• Picture frames
• Spray paint
• Cutting mat
• X-acto knife
• Masking tape
• Picture-hanging hardware
1 Find an oversized print of a landscape scene in a monochromatic colour scheme.
2 Collect frames of different sizes (for a 58" x 38" print, I used 10 frames).
3 Prep the frames by removing any existing artwork, glass, staples, wiring, etc. Spray-paint the frames in a single colour that complements the print. Let completely dry.
4 Place the print on a flat surface and lay the frames over it. Play around with the placement of the frames, making sure to capture the most important segments of the print.
5 Once you’re pleased with the arrangement, take a pencil and trace around the inside of each frame. Remove the frames.
6 Slide a cutting mat under one of the traced segments. Using a ruler and an X-acto knife, cut out the image. Repeat.
7 Take each cut-out image and place it in its corresponding frame. Secure all four edges of each print to the frame using masking tape.
8 Attach picture-hanging hardware to the top of each frame.
9 Anchor the frames to the wall in roughly the same sequence as the original print. Start with the centre frames and then slowly work the other pieces around them.
Cheeky bathroom wall print
9 stylish and pretty accessories that prove it doesn't take an expensive renovation to refresh the look of your bathroom.
You don’t need to undertake an expensive renovation to give your bathroom a facelift. Cheap and cheerful updates are easy with just a few new accessories – from countertop canisters to pretty paint colours. Give your bathroom a makeover with any of these ideas that will take your space from drab to fab in no time at all!
Every bathroom needs a canister or two to hold unruly items like cotton balls, Q-Tips, hairpins, or even bath salts. These white ceramic ones are up to the task but what we love most is the sweet detail sitting atop each. The small canister features a small crab on top, the medium has a whale and the large size canister, an anchor. Nautical Animal Canisters, West Elm, $15-$23.
This handmade wall art print is printed on high quality photographic paper using archival inks. Not only do we love the cheeky reminder to keep those wet towels off the floor, but we love that this typographic print is also available as an instant download so you can hang it in your bathroom tonight, if you like! Bathroom Decor Wall Art Print, Prints of Heart on Etsy, $9.50.
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to really transform a space is to paint it. Farrow & Ball paint in Tessa’s Green is an ideal colour for the bathroom, channeling a deeply calm and tranquil vibe – perfect for your own personal at-home sanctuary. Farrow & Ball Paint in Tessa’s Green, Farrow & Ball, price varies.
Adding colour and pattern to the bathroom is a quick and easy way to infuse your space with new life. This 100% cotton shower curtain boasts a beautiful Victorian paisley design that dates back to the 1860s and will add instant charm to your bathroom. Beale Paisley Shower Curtain, Pottery Barn, $59.
Your bathroom needs hand wash anyway, so why not choose something that’s going to amp up the room’s style at the same time? Beautifully packaged and delightfully fragranced, this hand wash is made with a blend of botanical extracts and finely milled pumice to give hands a gentle exfoliation. Your hands will feel smoother and your bathroom will look prettier with this perched on the countertop. Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, Aesop, $51.
Keep your bathroom smelling pleasant and fresh with this diffuser set that will not only fill the space with a fragrant aroma but will look great on display, too. Combining the zing of grapefruit with the more woodsy notes of fir oils, the resulting scent is refreshing. The best part? This handcrafted product is 98% natural, made with plant extracts and botanicals. Barr-Co. Fir & Grapefruit Scent Diffuser, K. Hall Studio, $52.
If you’re blessed with a bathroom large enough to accommodate floor accessories, this schoolhouse wire basket will add both form and function to your space. Designed to resemble a vintage schoolhouse wastebasket, this piece is the perfect catch-all for towels or other bathroom accessories like loofahs and soaps. Schoolhouse Wire Basket, Restoration Hardware, $99.
The best kinds of bath mats are the ones that you can launder each week with the bath towels to ensure that they stay clean and fresh. These organic cotton bath mats are specifically designed to allow air to circulate, ensuring that they dry fast and stay fresher longer. Available in a rainbow of colours, you can easily switch up the look in your bathroom, just by swapping out the bath mat. Coyuchi Air Weight Bath Mat, Bluefly, $38.
How adorable is this tabletop vanity organizer? Perfectly compact for a small bathroom countertop, this handy little item will help to keep you and your things organized and easy to find. No more countertop chaos! Available in a sweet mint green, it’s made from a combination of metal, beechwood, plastic and mirrored glass. Tabletop Vanity Organizer, Anthropologie, $58.
Whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles.
A DIY-inclined couple turns an 800-square-foot two-bedroom bungalow into the perfect home for their young family.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson transformed the secondhand piano by covering it in grey paint, casually accessorizing it like the rest of the living room and softening its bench with a faux-sheepskin throw.
The whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. “I brought softness into the space with the upholstered pieces, while keeping a farmhouse vibe with the antique rocking chairs,” says Amanda.
Homeowners Jason and Amanda Robinson hang out in the bright living room with their sons, Ethan (left) and Aidan.
While blue hues rock this farmhouse, Amanda also popped in some pink tones as contrast.
A fun DIY project or easily picked up at a gardening centre, terrariums are a great way to keep your home green in small ways.
Durable slate tiles define the entryway in this open-concept space. Practical items in natural tones like the bench, mirror and coat rack are artfully arranged so everything looks pulled together.
The kitchen epitomizes Amanda’s love of pale backdrops punctuated with colour and natural tones. “I made the shelves out of wooden boards from our barn and left them unpainted to contrast all the white and to complement the butcher block counters,” she says. Mismatched hardware picks up on the hits of blue throughout the home.
With their young sons and pets (Weimaraner Tessie and cat Nimble) in mind, Amanda chose tongue-and-groove pine planks for the floors, ceilings and walls. “I didn’t want new drywall with two little boys and pets running around,” she says. “It was the best design decision I ever made.”
Amanda knew she wanted a light and bright space and conceived the decor with colour in mind. “This is still a really small house, so I stuck to a neutral palette for the base: white and cream with natural wood tones throughout,” she says.
Amanda and Jason knocked down walls to create an eat-in area that features a free-standing stove surrounded by stone-veneered walls and a thrift-store dining table and chairs proudly bearing a mismatched paint job. “I painted everything grey and then decided to paint all the chairs blue but got sidetracked after one,” says Amanda. “It’s fun and quirky as is, and the boys take turns sitting in the blue chair at dinnertime.”
“The walls in Aidan’s bedroom were in good shape, so we painted them and added pine planks to the ceiling,” says Amanda. “I like the masculine look of the unpainted wood.” The new blue dressers share the space with a thrift-store wicker chair, a yellow-painted hand-me-down stool and rope-hung shelves Amanda crafted from barnboard.
“Ethan wanted everything in his room swimming pool turquoise.” They settled on a seafoam blue that’s more soothing for a bedroom and then incorporated coordinating accents in every room – even on the front door. “If you keep the big things neutral and then add accents in a single shade, it makes everything seem effortlessly connected,” says Amanda.
A bright screen door frame hints at the pops of blue to be found inside the house. Amanda refinished a hand-me-down pine table in grey paint and repurposed it as an easy-to-access storage unit for firewood. Antique Canadian Pacific Railway lanterns found in the barn and on Kijiji layer in more colour and reference the surrounding rustic landscape.
After a fresh coat of paint and some carefully placed furniture, the Robinsons are set to make this newly decorated farmhouse their home.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson used blue paint throughout her home to liven up the soothing neutral palette and provide a link from room to room. Here are her three favourite shades.
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
What is thread count, really?
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
What to look for when buying sheets
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
What to avoid when buying sheets
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
What do you prefer?
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.