black and white

Update a Basic, Beige, Builder's Bathroom with 5 Simple Steps (and less than $100!)

We all have seen / had / know someone who has a bathroom like the one in my rental. It's functional, spacious, there is nothing really wrong with it, but it is just a bit boring! There is nothing defining it.
The trouble with rentals, of course, is that you cannot do much about the major fixtures and finishes, but it's amazing what a little decor can do to give a space like this some glamour! I made 5 simple and affordable changes and really changed the look of my rental washroom! (See the 'before' here).

 1. Interesting Mirror: The tough thing about rentals is they often come with a basic sheet mirror. If you can take it down and replace it, that's a great option, but you can also mount mirror on mirror. I found this octagonal mirror at Good Will for $4 and simply hung it from a chain. 

2.  Art Work: I painted these black and white abstract pieces for the bathroom. They add an instant chicness and also some personality to the space. Each blank canvas cost me about $5 at Michael's.

3. Black and White: The thing about beige is that it doesn't always pair well with colours. Although technically a 'neutral', it does not go very well with brights. Black and white helps to add a freshness and glamour, without clashing or competing with the beige finishes.  Navy also looks great! Avoid colored towels as well. Nothing beats the clean, crisp look of hotel whites, and it's easy to tell when they need washing. 

4. Unique Accessories: Add a few accessories that tie into your neutral colour scheme, while providing a little bit of unexpected whimsy. Here, two foo dogs found at the flea market guard my sink. I also covered up my kleenex box with a vintage bamboo case which helps relate the tones in the oak cabinet (which I am not a huge fan of) to the rest of the space.

5. Declutter: Try to keep the facewash, toothpaste, body wash, etc. tucked neatly away within the cabinet, at least when guests come over. 

Bonus points for fresh flowers!

Here is a little look back at my original concept sketch, and the before and after!

I'm officially convinced that black and white can fix anything! Tiny changes with BIG impact, people.
Hope you all had a great weekend.


Sketch Inspired by Stephanie Sterjovski

A few months ago I did this sketch of my friend Stephanie Sterjovski's place from her feature in The Everygirl, as captured by the photography of Anna with Love.
If you guys aren't following Steph's blog, you should be. She is gorgeous, talented, and has one of the biggest hearts out there. I can't believe I forgot to blog this little rendering!

Here is the shot that the sketch was inspired by:
Photography: Anna with Love, via The Everygirl
Can you get over that black and white striped chair? She found it at Homesense Canada. I adore it!
Happy Wednesday! xox

Rental Dilemmas: My Basic Beige Bathroom

There is a part of my apartment that you all haven't seen much of, and that's my bathroom.
Functionally, my bathroom is perfect. Firstly, it's giant. It's got a large soaker tub, a huge shower, and a decent sized vanity. There is also a large window so I have ample natural light. The layout is also ideal, and the fact that I don't have to share it is pure bliss. needs a bit of work. There is nothing really wrong with the way it looks. It's fine. My instinct as a designer is to replace all the tile with something fabulous and paint the vanity blackt, but let's face it, this is a rental and the fixed elements are not changing. Not only would my landlord say no, it also doesn't make sense for me from a financial perspective. But, I am thinking I could spruce it up for around $100.

Take a look at its current state:
^ Call me crazy but I actually kind of like the light fixture. I know it's super outdated, but it reminds me of an old Hollywood starlet dressing room. Things I don't love (but cannot change), are the  plain mirror, the counter top, faucet, light oak vanity colour, and the boring beige tile pretty much everything.
^ I do like the toilet. It's fairly small and nice looking. 
^ I love my tub and the big window. Again, the tile is not my favourite but atleast it's neutral.
^The view of my shower.
I also currently have pinky corally bath towels hanging on the wall opposite my vanity:

I'm thinking it needs a few minor tweaks to make it look a bit more cohesive, and a lot more styled.
Even though it's perfectly clean and tidy, it looks kind of hodge podge and cluttered to me.

I saw a small graphic black and white rug at The Home Depot that I am considering to replace the boring brown one I currently have. I put my black and white pillow down to get an idea of how it would look, and I'm liking the contrast:
I also think that the black and white help to make the fixed elements feel more 'goldy', which I like.

I also know that I can't change the mirror, but lately I've been seeing a lot of 'mirror on mirror' in bathrooms.... I wonder if there is a way I could put my octagonal mirror on top of this one in a non-permanent way....

Lastly, I'd add some chic accessories, and paint and hang a couple of abstract black and white paintings. I did a quick twenty minute brainstorming sketch:
What do you guys think?

Kitchens: Black, White and Gold

My biggest concern for the 'piano mansion' project that I'm working on is keeping it from being tacky or overt. I think with design there is power in subtlety and although the exterior is going to have a curvature and pitched roof recalling the shape of the piano, it will NOT be black and white. I'm thinking it will probably be grey brick but I'm still experimenting...any thoughts? I've also broadened my concept to the elegant and powerful experience of a concert hall in a larger sense. But I still want to pay homage to ebony and ivory keys through some of the interior finishes. This led me on a hunt for black and white kitchens. Add in some brass (think the orchestra) and we are really cooking.
via Betty Lou Phillips

via Betty Lou Phillips
Ali Cayne's Kitchen via Domino Mag
I heaven or what? There's so much drama, yet so much traditionalism, in both of these spaces. And don't even get me started on the copper cookware. My parents have a set of copper measuring cups hanging on our kitchen wall and I've always loved them...imagine a whole pots and pans set!

One Room - Two Palettes: Transitioning your Home Decor for Fall in Five Minutes

We all know that the big trend I am loving for fall is black and white. I say 'trend' because it's a popular look this season, but let's face it, black and white is about as classic and timeless as it comes. While during the spring and summer my space employs a bright, lively and colorful palette, I decided to try on a different look for the colder seasons and went glam with black white and gold.
The changes were simple and only took about five minutes to complete. I didn't buy anything new, just used items I already had around my place.This goes to show you that switching up your decor doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Also don't be afraid to improvise! The dalmation dot pillow cover is really a dress from H&M tied around a pillow form. Shh don't tell!
First I switched out the art pieces. Next I traded the colourful throw pillows. Lastly, I changed the items in my tray to fit the scheme.
Decorating Tip: Removing the dustjacket off of your books will often reveal more neutral covers!
I like any excuse to play around and experiment with styling. Do you change the palette of your rooms with the seasons? I hope you all had a great weekend

Fall Looks via My Instagram

Ladies, I feel like I've fallen off the blogging bus. I came home from Blogpodium feeling so inspired, but then I started to feel a little overwhelmed, and then a lot lazy after finishing my assignments.
I'm going to spend the week coming up with some really good content for y'all.

Today is my first day of Term 5 of my program. That's the first day of my 2nd Year already peeps. Crazy. I'm not sure what to wear but I am LOVING fall and fall fashion. Here are some peeks from my instagram of what I've been wearing lately:
 My top fall fashion go-tos:
2. Big Knits
3. Animal Print
4. Black and White
5. Dark Lips and Nails

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you better be getting on that...
Love you guys,

Geometry Gems

I'm crazy in love with geometry, and I'm not talking math homework here people. No, no, I'm talking about a good geometric print. So contemporary, yet classic. 
I've been on the hunt in my town for a good geometric fabric for a DIY project. Even though this is a huge trend in decor right now, my local fabric stores just don't seem to be catching on.
 I've turned to hunting online for the perfect fabric, using the above photo as my inspiration. I just love it. Designer Fabrics seems to have the a lot of options, and most importantly, it's location is in Toronto only an hour away from my houseThis means I can make some time to visit the store, saving shipping costs and allowing me to touch and see the textiles in person.
Sultana Lattice
Do you like these two options? Or do you think I should do something with some more colour? You all have great taste, and I could use your advice! :)
xox Tiffany Leigh

No Pop of Colour: Neutral Rooms

Usually, I am all about a bright pop of colour as an accent in any room. Lately, however, I have been noticing a lot of stunning rooms that lack that pop and make their statements all in a neutral scheme. 
^From Micheal Buble's Home!
I find many people in my life are afraid of incorporating bold colour into their space, and these inspirational images have taught me that neutral does not have to be boring. 
The key is to mix patterns, tones, styles and textures to create interest!
My favourites are the first and the last one. That glass garden stool is a-maze-ing. I'm drooling. 
What do you think of neutral decor?
xox, Tiffany Leigh

If this dress were a couch...

If this dress were a couch.....
 It would be white with black piping, have a beautiful and colorful ikat lumbar pillow, and two royal blue throw cushions the same shade as her shoes!

If this dress were a couch...
It would be a funky, dizzying black and white patterned number, showing lots of leg, with a bunch of colorful accent pillows!

Truly digging both of these outfits! Are you?
xox Tiffany Leigh