decor

Mantel Makeover: Holiday Edition


With the holidays fast approaching, two things in particular about my new apartment were making me very excited for Christmas decorating. The first was that my place is big enough to get a big tree (remember the teeny little tree I've been using for the past couple of years?) and the second was that I had a mantel to style up! 

I kept it pretty simple with natural elements and classic red and green to give the mantel some holiday cheer. I wanted it to feel very traditional, sophisticated and (of course) beautiful.

A quick trip out to my favourite local florist proved successful. The flower shop is such a magical place at this time of year, filled to the brim with all the trimmings for gorgeous bouquets, wreath and garland making. I picked up a lovely foxwood wreath, a large swag of leyland cypress branches, fresh red berry branches, and a big bouquet of seeded eucalyptus (for a center piece). I also grabbed some logs to fill up the fireplace - purely decorational as my fireplace is non-functioning, but I think they really add to the cozy feeling! I didn't do anything fancy, just hung the wreath with some fishing wire, tied a big bow and laid the branches out on the mantle. I like the lush, semi wild look this achieved.



Oh I just love Christmas decorating! Have you decorated your mantel? Link to it in the comments below!
xox
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Fireplace Facelift: A Rental Friendly 'Marble' Makeover


One of the things that I knew I wanted to change in my rental was the yellow tile surrounding my fireplace. I'll admit that once I moved in, the yellow tiles grew on me. They were more charming than I originally guessed, but I still felt that they weren't in keeping with my overall style and vision for the space. A couple of them were also cracked. (And yes, the ceiling fan is another thing I'd like to change!)


The tricky thing is that this is a rental unit, so I have to be realistic about what I can change and what I have to live with. I want to retile my kitchen backsplash eventually, so I'm saving the 'ask the landlord' question for that. Furthermore, I wanted marble and I know that it's not in the budget, and investing a lot of money into a rental doesn't make sense for me.

What I really needed was a rental friendly, non-permanent, easy, no-hassle, and inexpensive solution.
And that's when it donned on me, what about something I can peel and stick? So that's exactly what I did! I ordered up this amazing contact paper from my friends over at Design Your Wall, and went to work. A quick note about this contact paper. It is SO thick and durable, some of the tiles I had to unpeel and restick over ten times to get it just right, and the paper didn't rip, crinkle, or lose its stick. It really feels almost more like vinyl than paper. It is even wipeable! The pattern is also extremely realistic. 





The contact paper comes with a great grid on the back, so it makes it really easy to cut straight lines.

Next, just peel and stick! (and swear and get frustrated and almost give up). I'll be honest, I found this part difficult because part of my tiles are in behind the copper insert, so to peel and stick while getting it in behind there was very tricky. Thank goodness I could peel up and restick so many times!
I used the small triangle to help smooth out any air bubbles as I went. You should also make sure that your tiles are clean and dry before sticking.



I used the utility knife to reveal grout the small grout lines if the paper was covering it.




And voila! I can't believe how great this project turned out. I still need to add some caulking around the perimeter just to hide some of the pre-existing gaps, but I am loving the transformation! This really was the perfect solution! I don't think you can tell that it is paper at all unless you get really close. A big thank you to Design Your Wall for such an amazing product!

Now I'm thinking about what else I can marble-ize!
xox
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New Apartment Part 1: The BEFORE pics & tour

Hi loves! 
If you follow me on instagram, then you know that my apartment is no longer empty and that I'm settling in quite nicely, but I wanted to share some quick snaps of the place before I had all my things moved in, and before I painted every wall, ceiling, trim, door, etc. to give a full idea of what it looked like in the beginning. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the walls were a light tan colour and the trim was a yellowy-cream.

^ This picture really captures all of the main things that made me fall in love with this place. The original hardwood floors (with that lovely inlay detail around the hearth), a gorgeous fireplace and mantle, picture frame mouldings, big baseboards and crown mouldings, and high ceilings. The space also has really great natural light.


 ^ Here is another view of the family room with a peek into the dining nook. Some of my furniture is sneaking its way in by this point. Here you can see the charm of the rads, and more moulding details. There is a big spot on the original wood floors, but luckily my area rug covers it now. This also gives you a better idea of the dingy wall and ceiling colour. The small kitchen is behind the wall to the right of the photo.


^You can see the front door and front closet in this picture. Off that hallway is my bedroom and the bathroom. I love the big opening that leads from the hall to the main living space! I need a solution for the ceiling fan...


^Another look at the hall with a sneak peek into the bedroom.

^The bedroom, which is surprisingly big! Sadly I had to sleep on the sofa for 5 nights until my new mattress got delivered. Well worth it to have a queen bed though!

^Good news! The closet is a great size! Not as big as the lovely walk-in at my old studio apartment, but still a huge amount of storage (there is a big shelf on the left side that you can't really see here) and nicely set up with a closet organizer.

^The remainder of the hall. 2 small storage closets on the right and a door to the washroom at the end.

^My sweet little washroom with amazing floor tile. I apologize that the toilet lid is up. I was also testing some wall colours by this point.

^The dining nook, which is a great size. It's open to the kitchen. M. was filming a cover video here that day, which explains all of the music gear. You can check it out on his youtube channel here.


^ Okay yes, my kitchen has terrible purple tile floors and backsplash..but other than that it is really great. I love the appliances, (and there is a dishwasher!!! Major bonus), there is tonnes of storage and a nice window. I'd love to replace at least the backsplash...I'd only need about 20 sq.ft. and I don't think it would be too hard. Ideally I would do the floor as well, but that seems like a big job and I'm not sure my landlord would go for it. Maybe a nice little kilim rug in here instead? Does anyone have any advice on rental kitchens?

^This is the last shot before getting to work painting (it took about 5 days to paint pretty much every paintable surface). 

Hopefully from these pics you can see what I saw when I first looked at the space: Serious Potential.
I can't wait to show you the progress I've made already! Stay Tuned.

xox
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Decorating with Crystal and Stones

Every room needs some natural elements. Typically this includes a living plant and some fresh flowers. Due to my black thumb, however, (remember my fern?...it didn't work out), I look for other ways to incorporate nature into my apartment. One way that I do that is through stones and crystals, which are sculptural, textural, beautiful, and add that much needed natural touch. 

Here are the current pieces that I have in my space:

If you'd like to find some crystal for yourself, I recommend keeping an eye out at antique stores and flea markets, where they always have a good gem or two! The bookends are from Home Sense!
xox
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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
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A Golden Pouf

Christmas has come and gone and my room got a mini makeover to make room for all my new golden accessories that I received as gifts over the holidays. There is just one thing left my room is really missing...
Margaret Elizabeth via The Everygirl
via Stephanie Sterjovski
via The Lishes
via Style Me Pretty
A golden pouf! While I'm on a no spending spree right now, these pictures will tide me over.
Perfect as a footstool, extra seating or side table, it's a great multi-use piece!

Will the gold madness ever end? I hope not.
xo
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K.R.T. Home (and a favour pretty please!)

I've said it time and time again. If there is one thing that keeps me blogging, it's the amazing community of lovely bloggers I've met here who act as constant support, mentors and friends.
One such amazing person is Kristen of Just a Girl and her Little Dog who has been with me since I first started my blog!
Now it's time for me to pay it forward to this talented lady with an eye for vintage goodness you won't want to miss. I'm so proud of Kristen for the launch of her new online shop K.R.T. Home. The collection she has put together is amazing. I wish I had more room so I could scoop up every.single.piece!
I've hand picked some of my favourites below. Hurry before they're gone!
^I can't handle the pretty. Pint sized and perfect for a nursery.
It also comes in navy velvet...I die.
^ This marble and glass cheese dome would make a perfect hostess gift. Cheese is my favourite so I'm biased.
^Isn't little Lola the perfect mascot?

Congratulations Kristen! I just know it's going to be a HUGE success.
Be sure to visit K.R.T. Home

Lastly, I'm asking for a favour from all of you. This weekend I was nominated for a 'top ten interior design blogs' list and voting is open for favourites! If you could head on over HERE and cast a vote my way I would love you forever (already do though). Thank you SO much in advance.
xox
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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
xox
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Thrifted Thursdays: Love on Sunday

Is it Thursday already? Time is flying my loves.
Today is a fun day because I'm over at Love on Sunday sharing my favourite thrifted find. You better believe that playing favourites with my treasures is no easy task...can you guess what I chose?

Amy is awesome. She is a fellow Toronto blogger (holla!) and design enthusiast. She is even in design school too! Pretty much twins, you know? Take a look at her fabulous city home:
Her styling is too good, right? That second image is so very Kelly Wearstler and has my heart. 
I'm now more convinced than ever that I need a nude... are you blushing?

So head on over and see if you're right about my fave thrifted item and to fall in love with Amy's blog! And don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway if you know anyone with a baby in their lives...
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Flea Market Find: Brass Bar Cart (and giveaway reminder!)

This weekend, my big brother and I hit up the Aberfoyle flea market. I guess this means that I can check off number 3 on my Summer to Do List! It was huge, a little overwhelming even, but I found something that has been on my lust list for a long time: a brass bar cart:
 To be honest, I don't really have anywhere to put this, but I bargained it down to $30 and just couldn't pass it up. I was in love. Now I'm looking to some of my favourite bar cart images for inspiration on how to style it perfectly.
Monika Hibbs via The Glitter Guide
Naomi Stein via Design Manifest
Deborah Needleman via Lonny

 Catherine Sheppard via The Glitter Guide
Kyle DeWoody via Vogue
via Society Social  Manifesto Magalog 1
 What do you think? I am in love.
Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for your chance to win TWO pairs of fab earrings :)
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ps. I did the magnet test and my bar cart appears to be brass plated rather than solid brass. The finish is a bit tarnished..Does anyone have suggestions for a good gold spray paint?