Now that Spring is finally here and hopefully going to stay, we can start to think about our exterior projects. It's not quite time to do them but we can think about what we want to do or what needs doing. If you do outside work like painting or staining too soon then you can waste your time and money! The temperature has to be high enough and stay that way through the night as well as during the day. Your surfaces like wood need to be dry. Ideally you want no rain before or after you do your painting, so that it has time to adhere properly and dry thoroughly. Preparation is key removing old stain or loose paint, removing mould and mildew and cleaning. Once all the prep work is done now comes the fun part choosing your colours. Take into account your existing structural colours for example your brick and siding, your surroundings and possibly your neighbours ( they may not like a pink house next door!). When painting, your front door works best if it stands out more than the garage door to invite people in. Your garage door looks better if it is receding, blending in more with your main colour. Next you could add a coordinating color for your trim. Just like the inside of your home you want the colours to flow and make sense, relating to each other. The front door can add that punch of colour but still consider the other colours chosen. We all have our personal style and your home should reflect you but remember the outside is seen by everyone!
As I said the front door should make the statement, showing people where to go, it's the equivalent of an accent wall inside your home. It's one place you want to draw attention too. Check out these great examples.
Wherever you live you will see someone's personal style in full view! Some subtle some not so much!
Whatever you decide to do make sure you have the right product for the correct application and look at the weather forecast!
This week I was thinking about Easter and looking around at all the colourful baskets and eggs. Which in turn made me think about all the beautiful paint colours I have seen that could have been taken right from the Easter Bunny's basket! They can be soft and muted or sharp and citrus. It's the perfect time of year for fresh, Spring like colour. You could change a room in your house or just add new accessories or art. In a bathroom or bedroom blue can relaxing and calming. Soft , sunny yellow would be nice in your kitchen or laundry room. Pink, pastel or punchy could be great in bedrooms or dining rooms. Adding black to ground it or soft grey to keep it modern. I always use Benjamin Moore paints so here are some great examples of ways to use them.........
Happy Easter to everyone! As always look for inspiration all around you!
It's there I promise you.............
As I have mentioned before I am a design bookaholic, but what you didn't know is I have a similar addiction to design magazines too. what can I say I have a problem! Over the years I have seen and read many magazines but there are 4 that are my all time faves.... Livingetc, Ideal Home, Style at Home and Canadian House and Home.
Livingetc is a great, modern magazine published in the UK. I stumbled across it one time at Chapters looking for something new and now I'm hooked and have to buy it every month. It shows really interesting interiors with great unique ideas and accessories. Some of the homes are simple and sparsely decorated and others are eclectic and lively.
Next up is another British publication Ideal Home, this one caters to a wider range of design followers. It showcases quaint cottages as well as more contemporary homes. One great feature is their design mood boards with usually three different styles and colour stories.
Here is my longtime top pick for Canadian magazines. I have been a faithful subscriber
to Style at Home for many years. For me it offers great pictures and ideas for any home, there is always something I can use or apply in my own house. Each month is a feast for the eyes, showing something for any home no matter what the size or your budget....
Finally last but definitely not least is Canadian House and Home another great read. I have also subscribed to this for years and years. It's interiors are from all around Canada, most are bigger rather than smaller but you can still take away some great ideas to incorporate at home. Inspiration is on every page.....
If you have a favourite let me know I'm always in the market for another magazine to feed my addiction!
This month celebrates the 60 year anniversary of one of the top textile designers in the world known as marimekko.
The company began in 1951 in Finland with its founders Vilijo and Armi Ratia. First they designed simple dresses by asking artist friends to add graphics to their fabric. Eventually they were displayed in a Milan department store overseen by the display manager who happened to be Giorgio Armani!. When they were introduced to the United States they were noticed by Jackie Kennedy who bought eight dresses and wore them all throughout the 1960 Presidential campaign. Of course as a well known icon of fashion, people were quick to follow.Over the years the company has had a few ups and downs but their relationship with Crate and Barrel which started in the 1960's still remains strong and ever expanding. In 2007 the current owner Mika Ihamuotilo took over and the company continued to grow with clothing and interior design and were even featured on "Sex and the City" being worn by the character Carrie Bradshaw. Marimekko designs can be seen everywhere, shoes, purses, dishes, wallpaper, the fabric itself can be used in endless ways. the designs are bold, graphic and colourful. Take a look below, maybe you have some marimekko or have seen it and didn't know the name behind it. Now you do!
It has been all over the news this year about the upcoming Royal Wedding, the excitement surrounding the event of the year! Even before it was announced there have been Union Jack's in home decor in all shapes and forms. With the wedding getting closer, in Britain the merchandising has gone crazy, from the beautiful to the bizarre! In Canada I have seen great sofas and chairs, art work and soft furnishings like pillows and throws. For me as a British and now Canadian citizen, the Union Jack has always held patriotic and sentimental appeal, but even if you are not a Brit, a small token of Royal flavour can be a great talking point and keep you right on trend! God Save The Queen and all who decorate with her!!!
For a while now I have been wanting to paint out my banister, it was a maple finish which was okay but I didn't love it. I wanted black and white so this week I finally got down to it! I had been putting it off because I knew it would be a time consuming, fiddly job. I'm all about the quick and instant!
So the first thing I did was give it all a light sanding to take the shine off, then I taped where I needed to and used a self priming paint ( Benjamin Moore's AURA) in a satin finish and set about painting the spindles white. It took a while but I got through it, then I taped off again and painted the handrails black. A few days later it was all done ( if I didn't have to work it would have been quicker!) I am really happy with the final result and here are the pictures to prove it....
There are many ways to update your stairs, by painting as I did or re-staining maybe in a darker colour. You can even paint the whole staircase, railings , risers and treads. A great look is also a hardwood stair with a runner down the centre. The options are endless and are possible whatever your budget! When I did mine, I used leftover paint from another project! Take a look at these cool examples and maybe there will be something you can do!
I have always said if it's not moving or tied down I can and will spray paint it! Over the years I have changed the look and colour of many different items in my home. For example picture frames, branches, patio furniture, baskets,lamps and more..... Sometimes it's just for a seasonal colour change, or to "pretty" up a garage sale or flea market find. I always have some branches in a vase somewhere in my house, right now I have white but at Christmas I put out silver or copper. I'm lucky that I have a large supply out on our property! When I did my daughter's room recently I sprayed a chair, magazine rack and frames all to co-ordinate with the new colour scheme. You can check it out on a previous post. I also mentioned not long ago about my new found love for yellow so I decided to spray paint some existing lamp bases and a few urns and vases. My spray paint of choice is "Krylon", I find it covers really well, it is solvent based and is very stinky so make sure you do it in the garage or outside (not in the basement as I have been known to do!). A face mask is a good idea too! I have used water based spray paints but so far I don't find them as good. This week I got some old frames that my friend Lisa found me at " Value Village" for a couple of dollars, and I sprayed them white and already they look more modern and fresh. It's a good way to unify different frames. My plan is to group some together in my dining room on a wallpapered wall, I am using the frames only so they show the wallpaper beneath but add some extra detail and texture. My final project this week is a bistro set that I got for a steal a few years ago and have already changed from flat black to a hammered bronze finish, but now I want to change it up again and make it yellow to brighten up my back deck! When it's finished I will post more pics!
Anything is possible so don't be afraid of the spray can and go for it! Let me know if you do!
In today's world, it seems more and more people are working from a home office. When we moved into our house we had a small living room that slowly I filled with furniture but we never really used, which is often the case in many homes. For most of us the family room and kitchen are the " heart" of the home. When I decided to go back to school and take my interior design course, I knew I had the perfect reason to carve out a home office for myself. As all my friends and family will attest to I really don't need any excuse to decorate ....... So the first thing I did was empty the room and paint, I chose a relaxing blue/grey ( Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue HC- 143) changing it up from the neutral warm tone in there before. Next I painted an old wood desk we had in the basement. I made it shiny and black and replaced the wooden knobs with cool chrome ones, adding that "bling" factor! I put back in my leather club chairs and ottoman.They are a little large for the space but it's a place I love to sit and read. Finally I finished off with a wall decal of a blossom branch "growing" out of the desk, added a chrome and black lamp on top. I sprayed an existing floor lamp and changed the shade for a matching black drum, hung my own black and white photography and a few extra accessories. Later on I bought grey drapery with a subtle blossom pattern and texture,added a shelf for my design book collection and hung up my diplomas! My philosophy based on my ideas and budget is to be creative with what you have first, then add new if you need to or if you are able to!
Home offices can be created in any space, large or small, re-purpose items, use furniture in different ways. For example an armoire from your bedroom could be moved elsewhere and used as an office that can be closed up at the end of the day. Wherever you make it, make sure it is comfortable, practical and beautiful. Be inspired!