Interior Design Show 2013


I had an amazing time at this year's Interior Design Show last Friday.  I was lucky to have joined an "InstaWalk" hosted by the gals over at Beige is Dead and led by Margot Austin.  Essentially we wandered through the booths snapping Instagrams of things that inspired us, and if you search #idswalk13 you'll find a treasure-trove of amazing ideas and products from the show.  Here are a few stand-outs for me, and I will also include a few links to some of the other bloggers on the walk who have done great round-ups.

From top, left to right: Gorgeous wall of Farrow & Ball colours - they are just so velvety and posh, and always just the right hue.  Wish I could afford them. :) Laser-cut alphabet by Eva Bartha of in a fun casual font.  They also had laser-cut felt hangings and their business card is laser-cut slices of wood. Show-stopping copper tub in the Ikea booth (which won the Gold Booth Award).  All of the tiles at Ceragres were beautiful (really, really beautiful), but I quite like this wood-grain tile for kitchens or bathrooms, where tile is the most practical but a wood floor looks so nice!

I had to stop at this eye-catching paint display at the Beauti-Tone Paint booth, where they had lots of great DIY paint ideas.  The Ikea display was the star of the show (I'll post some of their publicity photo eye candy below) but the marketer in me liked that they included the very-affordable prices.  New works by one of my favourite Canadian artists, Charlie Pachter in the Caviar20 booth.  I am dreaming up ways to use these big hexagonal tiles at Ceragres.

And here are the publicity Ikea booth photos I was sent, which I am posting because it was impossible to get a great photo with all the crowds in there.

And here are some great IDS13 round-up posts:

I wanted to post these right away, but this weekend I was as sick as I have been in a very long time with some sort of flu or virus.  It has run through every member of our household and is hanging on much too long!  I am used the colds and flu that go around but this one knocked us all flat.

Cam's new "vintage" big boy room

Big Boy Grey Gray Room turned bed

Cam has been having sleep troubles lately (ergo, we have all been having sleep troubles lately). In an effort to entice him to stay in HIS bed, we pulled out the turned-wood bedframe I bought at an auction in New Brunswick. I had intended to paint the frame, but I actually like the worn walnut colour.  Of course this prompted some full-on decor strategizing, and before I knew it I had the boys watching Netflix and was opening a mostly-full can of the paint left over from the basement.

vintage bed big boy room

The bed required a new mattress, so I headed to Ikea.  While I was there...I realized we would need a new duvet, and why not this young-but-not-too-cutesy duvet cover?  It's a dangerous place, that Ikea.

kids room wall art

Other than that, the room cost $0. All the big artworks on the north wall were feeling a bit too heavy for me, so I took them all down (except for Yara's of course!).  Suddenly I remembered these wooden figures were sitting in the garage, waiting for the perfect spot.  My neighbour had them out for a garage sale a few years ago (he's an antiques dealer) and when I asked about them he gave them to us.  I love the style of them - they look straight out of TinTin to me.  I have no idea what they were originally used for - they are all two-sided.

Big Boy Grey Gray room orange ikea vintage

I flipped up the Expedit shelf, and got rid of the little dresser - meaning all Cam's clothes had to go in the baskets (the white dresser is actually full of my husband's clothes!).  The artwork is mostly the same - Chris insisted that the elephant stay - and I love this photo of Chris and his brother when they were little.  I grabbed these un-used curtains and although they aren't very 'kid's room', I like how they go with the grey and white furniture.  I have a bigger, more substantial curtain rod I would like to put in, but it didn't get done - YET!

So to recap, it went from this:

 to this:

 to this:

And I might be done.  For now. 

Resolutions on Style at Home

Good heavens, I am so out of it these days that I didn't even realize I was up on Style at again!  Their web editor-extraordinaire Elaine Song emailed me before Christmas asking if I had any home resolutions for the new year, and I had to think on her question for a while.  I of course have my endless wish-list of projects and transformations, but I wanted to focus instead on my attitude towards my home.  I find I am so frequently inspired by my fellow design bloggers, that I am always dreaming up new ways to style my house, arrange my furniture, and paint my walls.  I need to simmer down a bit and put the brakes on my consumerism, second-hand or no!  Stuff is stuff, and I have too much.  Admitting it is the first step... right?

Anyway, head on over to read my and my fellow bloggers' home resolutions for 2013.  But before you go... I am so curious - do you have home resolutions for the new year?  And do you ever feel overwhelmed by STUFF?

Craigslist Round-Up Time!

Seriously long, beautiful, blue velvet tufted-back Louis XV-style sofa for $2500.  Wow.
Alright folks, obviously if I am going to start this year off right, I need to do a Craigslist Roundup post. I had high hopes for this search, since it is January/Organizing & Purging Month when people shed their belongings like a snake its skin, but I really wasn't blown away by the offerings.  I also have certain criteria for these lists: things have to be something I like, somewhat unique, that I could consider using in a room I designed.  It  has to have a good photo.  They also have to be cheap or reasonably-priced, which usually cuts the contenders in half!  Man, people charge a lot of money for crap... However, I managed to find a few gems to tempt you with...

60's-style chrome orb ceiling fixture for $75.  I would change the light bulbs (OBVS) and maybe the colour of the wires.  Could be cool, could be crap, requires inspection.
Mustard yellow (patterned?) velvet occasional chair for $175 OBO.  Not sure of the style - is that art deco? victorian? dunno.  walnut legs I would like to see close up.  Could be a funky dose of colour in a room.
OK, check out this awesome victorian corner curio cabinet for  $150.    Pretty wood, pretty art glass, nice shape...
...with blue velvet lining and a light! WHAT!? So it's a light fixture too. It has two glass shelves - for holding bar glasses?  Talk about unique...
Ikea swedish-style wool rug for $60.  I don't love the colours, and mostly I just posted this because I have the same rug in Wills room but all in blues and I love it.  People always ask me about it, and they haven't sold them in years, so here you go!
Conservative white chandelier for $75 OBO.  Not totally my taste (I'm not into chrome) but a nice, neutral fixture for a decent price.
Plastic crystal and brass ceiling fixture for $20.  Probably chintzy and complete crap, but for $20 worth a gander!
And finally, the piece-de-resistance, the one I WANT but can't quite justify, the Emily Henderson-style treasure find of the day, this cedar-lined brass half-size trunk for $195.  And they'll deliver.  **SOB** AAAAAH.  Buy it. (for me).

So there you have it, the inaugural 2013 craigslist round-up post.  I kind of feel like I could do better - there are treasures eluding me, I just know it.  Do you like any?  Hate any? Inspired? Think I'm a nutter with no taste at all?  Common guys, lemme have it.

DIY whiteboard coffee table


I have to say, while not being the most aesthetically-pleasing of projects, this guy has to be one of my favourites, based purely on the fact that it is a raging hit with the boys.  It could actually be a very beautiful project, I just didn't have the optimal bones to start with, since I found the coffee table on the street on garbage day.  The table looked pretty solid (it was damn heavy) so I squeezed it into the back of the car while taking the kids home from school one day.

The run-of-the-mill heavy machine-turned legs are not really my style, but the price was right, as was the shelf underneath. It was in pretty rough shape, with peeling veneer, chipped and cracked paint, and creaky legs.  It looks like it was someone else's up-cycling project at one point, but they must be even more impatient than I am (I didn't think that was possible) because it definitely wasn't sanded or cleaned before the paint went on in glops and dribbles.


I sanded the table for the better part of a weekend - next time I would definitely try to scrape off more paint before the sanding stage.  Then I filled in the cracks and split veneer with wood-filler, and tried to fill in the routed "detail" on the top.  I also hammered in some nails around the legs to secure the wobble.  It was at this point that I hit a creative roadblock - should I just leave it white?  Paint it with blackboard paint?  Get the fancy expensive white board paint?  I tweeted about my indecision and was surprised and thrilled to hear back from Steven at Smart Wall Paint.  He offered to send me a tester of their white board paint and I jumped at the chance!  When it arrived by DHL, the cost of duty was as much as the paint would have been from Home Depot, but I was excited to try it.  It was also a great chance to make use of the Scotch blue tape I had been sent.  I painted the bottom a light grey with the paint left over from my bathroom redo, and there was just enough smart paint for the top.

The paint was an interesting process - you have to mix part A with part B (much like DIY hair dye), make sure your roller passes over every section 5 times, wait 5 days, and then use.  We had to open part B with a knife as the top wouldn't come off, and it was pretty stinky stuff.  I carefully followed directions and waited patiently to use it.  I don't know if I didn't clean it off properly, but I was disappointed that the surface wasn't a smooth glossy finish - instead it has lots of little tiny bumps - but the kids don't seem to care and you can't really see it.  I call it a win.


The table has been in heavy use since the moment I put it in the sunroom.  I had bought some whiteboard crayons a few years ago to go with a book Will had, and they work perfectly.  I also bought some washable whiteboard markers, imagining every shirt and bit of exposed skin being covered with ink, but the crayons give better colour.

We have had roads, towns, shapes, words, animals, and games drawn on the table.  My favourite was the whole zoo they made with Děda, complete with a polka-dot hedgehog!  They each have their own collections of cars and trucks - the table is the perfect height for driving - and I have been keeping them in white Ikea baskets on the bottom shelf. Looks good and functional: score!


I do wish it had more modern lines, but all things considered, it doesn't look too bad in front of the sofa.  As a bonus, we now have somewhere to put our feet up and rest a coffee mug (when we're allowed).  So what do you think?  Have you used white board paint before?  I love that it fits in my favourite colour scheme (white and wood), and am contemplating a whiteboard wall in the kitchen...

*Thank you to Steven from Smart Wall Paint for reaching out - gotta love social media!
*Thank you to Laura Stratton for the Scotch Blue Painter's tape - it's awesome.
*thank you to Katrina at Pugly Pixel for the photoshop templates!

Happy New Year: a fresh beginning


Yes, I am a little late with my wishes, but I still hope you have a wonderful 2013!  It has been a slower start to the year here - my in-laws left for Alberta yesterday morning (they are driving with their dog) and we took the tree and decorations down.  Although I am always sad to see the Christmas tree come down, there is something so cathartic about packing it all up, vacuuming up all the needles and dusting all the little nooks and crannies that had been hiding under the garland.  In all the mass cleaning, I ended up moving all the furniture again, and replaced our tired-looking white rug with an old rug from my house in New Brunswick. Today, after taking my eldest to school, I came home to a clean uncluttered house and felt like the new year was finally underway, fresh and full of promise.

I have been reading all of the amazing resolutions on everyone's blogs and can feel the optimism for the new year. Usually I would have my own list, but for some reason it just doesn't seem appropriate for me this year. I am less inclined to set goals and more of a mind to be open to whatever life brings for a while.  Maybe it's laziness, maybe it's zen. :)  Whatever you call it, I am looking forward to seeing what 2013 has to offer!  I hope it holds wonderful things for all of you. xo

Rambling Renovators' 2012 great reads

I am thrilled to be on Jen's round-up of blogs on Rambling Renovators.  I am in amazing company too - I have found a ton of new blogs to add to my reader... Thank you Jen!

Craigslist Murphy Bunk Bed

Um, this thing is pretty amazing.  I wonder how comfortable it is?  I have always had a thing for Murphy beds, and this one is sort of blowing my mind...

Yours for only $4000.

Glitter Card Production Line

I purchased a few holiday cards for the boys' classes, and never really got around to using them.  When I mentioned filling them out to William, he asked if we could make cards instead, like we did for Valentine's Day. Wullll, yeah!!!

I had a ton of glitter around that I had picked up during one of my many excursions to the Dollar Store, and of course a bazillion sheets of construction paper.  So we cut some little cards and I drew a few simple designs with glue.  Then the boys gently tapped quickly dumped the entire container of glitter on the glue and shook off the excess.  Thankfully I had the foresight to use some box tops to try to contain the glitter! Our little pot-scrapers also came in handy.  They kept at it for  quite a while and we had a real production line going before the glitter fights began... I think there will be glitter in our house until they leave for university - it is like living inside a disco ball.  (I sort of love it.)

Having done all the cards, and then allowing them to dry, William filled out approximately six before he had a melt-down and refused to do any more.  So for those of you with kids in his class who thought  his hand-writing looked like something his father might have done with his left hand... well, you get a gold star. :) Oh, and you are welcome for all the glitter we sent into your house.  Enjoy!