Julia Child's French country kitchen
What better way to master the art of French cooking than by renting this culinary legend's iconic Parisian home.
Built in 1963, La Pitchoune ("The Little One") was once the former home of Paul and Julia Child.
Julia's living and dining area is full of character from the brightly coloured furniture to the exposed beams and grand fireplace.
Drink, eat and be merry in the home that once hosted (what we're sure were) some of the most wonderful dinner parties.
Except for the stove, the kitchen remains exactly as Julia left it. Modeled after the kitchen in her Cambridge, Massachusetts home a replica can also be found at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
The original outlines Paul drew for Julia can still be seen on the kitchen pegboard. Imagine cooking dinner using some of Julia's original utensils (which are also still in the kitchen).
Fun fact: The tall counters in the kitchen were created to accommodate Julia's 6'2 frame.
The master bedroom includes lots of natural light and a walk-out to the terrace.
We love the gorgeous Chinoiserie-print fabric found throughout this bedroom, including the window coverings and on the footboard.
Another beautiful fabric (this time in blue) is used in the third and final room of this cottage.
Surrounded by olive trees and local herbs, a walk through the cottage gardens would make the perfect afternoon activity.
Tour this Vancouver home's modern eclectic look.
This Vancouver home's modern eclectic look is a testament to the power of a sister act.
Now that the dust has settled on their massive whole-house renovation, homeowners Anna Wright and Alistair Sale – both busy professionals and parents of Lewis, 10, Freddie, 8, and George, 6 – each have their favourite features of the new interior. For Alistair, the cook of the family, the open kitchen is the (long-awaited) best part. Anna is most excited about the master ensuite bathroom she doesn’t have to share with the kids. And for the boys, it’s their bigger playroom in the finished basement.
The Vancouver family lived in the 3,700-square-foot 1920s home for five years before embarking on the huge overhaul. “I’m so glad we lived in the house for a while first and figured out what we wanted,” says Anna. “If we’d done the renovation right away, we would have done things very differently, and those decisions probably wouldn’t work for us now.”
The crisp white brick fireplace surround, built-ins and original wood panelling set off the dark grey on the upper walls of the den. Leaded glass cabinetry doors are another original feature. The antique chandelier was picked up at a London flea market.
A contemporary pale orange sofa pops against the white panelling and dark grey walls. The Mid-Century Modern desk was a lucky find at an antiques store a few years back, as was the Tolix chair.
Going vintage is often a more economical decorating idea than buying brand new, says Sophie.
The birdcage pendant light adds another unexpected dose of colour and whimsy.
In the dining area, an antique zinc-topped table from a French flea market pairs well with mismatched colourful Eames dining chairs. “We thought the different hues of the dining chairs would be quirky and fun,” says homeowner Anna Wright.
The designer pendant light was a pricey find from London, England.
Expanding the existing skylight and adding more windows above the sink brought loads of natural light into the white painted kitchen. Homeowner Alistair Sale greatly appreciates the bigger sink, but extra kitchen counter space, double wall ovens and a gas cooktop were at the top of his must-have list.
French doors lead out to a newly enlarged wraparound deck off the open kitchen/dining area, making the backyard much more accessible. The kitchen peninsula is perfect for casual breakfasts and homework time.
The zinc top on the antique dining table can take plenty of wear and tear from everyday family meals; the stark white modern dishware strikes a pleasing contrast against the patinated surface.
A desk area in the kitchen serves as the family workspace and offers plenty of storage space for the kids’ paperwork and school supplies. Inspirational photos and small pieces of art bring personality to the nook.
The new master ensuite bathroom is Anna’s retreat from hectic work and family life.
The matching gold mirrors in the master ensuite are a glitzy big-box score.
Grey and white cement floor tiles provide ornate pattern in the otherwise serene white room.
The bathroom floor tiles themselves weren't very expensive, but shipping the from California was.
Follow these simple tips to keep clutter at bay and keep your home looking effortlessly organized.
Piles of bills on the kitchen counter, DVDs strewn about the living room and a beautiful antique dining room tabletop that's buried under piles of paper. Oh, and you can't find your gym pass either.
Can you relate to the above scenario? If so, you and your loved ones may slowly be drowning in a giant pile of clutter.
Clutter can be a big weight on the state of your mental health. "Clutter is like pollution. It's all-pervasive: It's in your thoughts, in your way, in your space. It robs you of peace of mind and that feeling of being at home," says Kristie Demke, President of Professional Organizers in Canada. "It can also rob you of time," she adds, "because you spend a lot more time moving things to dust, sweep and vacuum around. And, you spend more time looking for things."
Many of us dream of neat and tidy rooms like those showcased in our favourite design magazines like Style at Home. Here are 10 quick and easy ways to start clearing out the clutter in your home.
Credits: Stacey Brandford
1 Identify clutter hot spots
Kitchens attract mail pile-ups, home offices store endless piles of bills. Books and hand cream samples seem to love night tables and the weekend's newspaper becomes a permanent fixture on your living room floor. Once you identify your clutter hot spots, consider purchasing an attractive basket to house items you like to have at your fingertips. But remember, a basket can organize chaos for a while, but will also need a frequent purge a few times a month to avoid pile up.
Purge and do it often. Why are you using up valuable space storing that mixing bowl set you think your niece might want when she leaves for university in a few years? Go through your stuff and think about the last time you used it, why you're keeping it around and if it would be more useful somewhere else. After your first few big purging sessions, you won't need to go at your storage closet so frequently (and ruthlessly).
We all have important keepsakes we don't know what to do with and purging these can be difficult, but don't keep these things buried in the bottom of a box in your garage. Find a space in your home where you can show off its beauty and take good, constant care of it. "There's really no point in owning something if you can't use it," Kristie says.
3 Deal with a little every day
This may be the hardest tip to follow, but it's by far the best. Focusing a mere 15 minutes of your day on clearing clutter will make your life a whole lot easier (and your house a whole lot tidier)! When you're finished your bowl of cereal, put the dish in the dishwasher right away, rather than placing it in the sink. When you get home from work, deal with your mail immediately. File away bills and recycle junk mail then and there. If you have the luxury of half an hour, says Kristie, you can manage to sort through a closet of clothing, determining what you don't need anymore. If you don't let things pile up, your home will be a lot tidier and cleaning up much less of a daunting task.
4 Stay focused
When you're taking on a clutter-busting task, it's important to be energized and focused. Even if you're just spending 15 minutes on cleaning off your desk, ignore the buzz of your Blackberry and the ping of your e-mail inbox. Just focus on the task at hand so you can be done with it once and for all.
5 Look at the big picture
It's hard to decide on the fate of a beloved old sweater when you're looking at it on its own, but when you put it beside all your new ones, you may notice that it's stretched out of shape, faded and really, you wouldn't be caught dead in it in public. Conundrum solved!
6 Make use of unused space
You can add hooks over your bedroom and bathroom doors, bins and baskets on closet floors, storage bins under your bed, and bulletin boards and file pockets to your office walls. Be creative when looking at unused space and it can become a great new place to store items out of the way.
7 Get your kids involved
"Kids come with a lot of accessories," Kristie says, "so you have to be pretty vigilant to make sure you stay on top of it." Kristie recommends sitting down with your kids for an hour every month to sort through what they have, then storing or donating what is no longer being played with. "And make sure whatever storage you have is at their height and within their ability [to use]," she adds. "Even a toddler can put away soft toys into a bin if it's at the right height."
8 Identify a place for things
So you knit, sew, run, bike ride, cook and have two dogs. Your hobbies require you to actually own stuff, and therefore have created a good deal of clutter. "You really have to identify an amount of space - a place - for things. If you have a dog, make sure the leash and bags are all kept in one area," Kristie advises. In finding a home for your hobbies, you may discover you don't have room for all of them, helping you to identify which ones should be a priority.
9 File things ... now
Kristie says that one of the best organizing investments is a filing cabinet. Just think: All of those piles of papers in your home office can be put away in mere moments. And you won't spend hours of your precious time trying to locate your donation receipts come tax time. Don't worry, not all filing cabinets are of the old, stacked metal variety. You can find ones with classy design elements at places like West Elm, Ikea and Pottery Barn.
10 Give away
Dedicate a specific spot in your house or garage for giveaway items, and place a box there. When you come across something you no longer need or want, you can discard it to the giveaway spot immediately, rather than setting it back down and forgetting about it. Plan a monthly trip to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army drop-off location to get rid of the goods you no longer have room for.
A warm, cozy throw is an absolutely guest room essential
How to create a welcoming, cozy place for guests that adds that special, thoughtful touch.
In case of chilly nights, make sure your guests are warm enough. A spare throw strewn across the bed means they won’t have to ask you for an extra blanket in the middle of the night. Warmest Throw, West Elm, $24.99.
A small chalkboard hanging on the wall or placed on the nightstand is the perfect way to make sure your guests know the WiFi password so they don’t have to repeatedly ask for it. Since virtually everyone needs to be connected these days, this is a thoughtful touch to any guest room. Modular Chalkboard Tile,Pottery Barn, $49.
Channel a luxury hotel vibe with fancy soap, just for your guest’s personal use. Place on top of one or two folded towels on their bed so they know that it’s theirs. This particular soap is French milled by artisan soap makers, beautifully packaged and has a light and natural fragrance. Elderflower Bar Soap, Proper, $15.
Fill this glass water carafe with water and place alongside the tumbler on the nightstand in your guest room. A small but simple touch that is sure to make guests feel welcome. Recycled Glass Water Carafe with Tumbler, Pottery Barn, $24.
Beautifully bound books will not only look great on display in your guest room but will be a welcome find for visitors who have forgotten their book at home or are looking to dive into something new. The Penguin Classics series, stunningly bound in cloth covers, are the perfect addition! Penguin Classics Clothbound Books, Amazon, prices vary.
Empty out the dresser drawers in your guest bedroom and make room for visitors to unpack. Clean, fresh drawers are sure to be appreciated, especially if they’re lined with these pretty, practical and scented drawer liners. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when they open the drawers. Blue Waters Scented Shelf & Drawer Liners, Container Store, $11.99.
No one likes living out of a suitcase so make sure there are hangers in the closet so your guests can unpack and hang up their clothes. These durable wooden hangers have a smooth, polished finish and will last for years. Natural Wood Hangers, Bed, Bath & Beyond, $6.99.
Sure, blackout curtains are best but we don’t expect you to spend a fortune to accommodate guests. If your guest room doesn’t already have blackout drapery, consider buying a few sleep masks and leaving them on the night table for guests who need complete darkness to get a good night’s sleep. Dream Zone Sleep Mask, Bed, Bath & Beyond, $7.99.
Cold floors are no fun, especially when you just wake up. Keep spare unisex slippers on hand for when guests arrive to use during their stay – and to keep when they leave. These spa slippers are one size fits most and are soft and cozy. Terry Spa Slippers, Amazon, $29.99 for set of 6.
Traveling guests are likely to have their clothing folded and rolled into their suitcase – which means wrinkles! Keep a small travel-size iron in the guest room so guests needn’t ask you for one. Travel Steam Iron, Brookstone, $39.99.