Friday, November 21, 2014

Exotic Cats with Pattern Play: Wardrobe or Wallpaper?

image

I’m loving the likeness of Thibaut’s Cheetah wallpaper to this Joe Fresh silk blouse.  Both items have playful exotic cats layered on top of a pattern for a fresh yet fierce look.

image

Thibaut’s celebrated paper could be skewed as over the top when looking at it up close, but once it’s applied to the walls, the cheetahs recede and form an abstract pattern, like in this beautiful bedroom by Michelle Smith as featured in Lonny. How tongue in “chic”!

image

This silk blouse is a great way to add a playful element to your look and at only $59, it’s not something you’ll cry over if you only wear it a handful of times.

If you’re wondering which item I’d pick, then wonder no further. My answer would be an unequivocal yes to both as I am a proud supporter or all exotic cat prints whether on your clothes or on your walls! Meow!

(Room image by Genevieve Garruppo via Lonny)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Master Bath Before and After

The latest bookazine from Style At Home is all about makeovers and it's a goodie! Chock full of dramatic before and afters, there is page after page of inspirational images that will get your creative juices flowing and ready to tackle your next project.

image

My master ensuite, which we worked on as part of our big reno last year, is featured and it shows how we transformed a tiny cramped bath into a sophisticated and relaxing retreat.

image

Categorizing it as a makeover is an understatement because literally nothing remains from the original space. The bathroom was teensy and poorly laid out with a wee wall-mounted sink, toilet and narrow tub/shower. Thanks to walls that jutted out awkwardly to accommodate two separate closets on each end, it was a very weird shape and there was no way the bathroom could be used comfortably for more than one person at a time.

image

We opened up and lengthened the space into a long rectangle by demolishing the two closets and borrowing some extra feet from a nearby bedroom. The plumbing was reconfigured to accommodate a double vanity, large shower and separate bath tub for a luxurious master ensuite retreat.

image

I wanted the space to feel like a properly appointed salon and not a regular old bathroom, so I brought in details you’d see in a living room, including textured wallpaper, a chair rail, and herringbone floors for a richer atmosphere. I reinterpreted these elements in bathroom-friendly materials, such as Philip Jeffries’ vinyl glam grass for the wallpaper from Crown Wallpaper, marble for the chair rail, and porcelain tiles for the floor.

image

I used a timeless palette of whites and cream stones from Marble Granite Depot, paired with the rich walnut tones of the faux-wood tiles from Stone Tile. All these colours are seen in the roman shade fabric, a small scale embroidered pattern from Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics that ties it all together beautifully.

image

The plumbing fixtures are classic and refined with cross handle details. I mixed Brizo’s Tresa lavatory faucet for the vanities with the luxurious Raincan shower head and Charlotte slide bar with shower. Having the relaxing large rain shower head is a real treat, but having a removable shower head is just as key when it comes to ease of cleaning so I am loving the combo of the two!image

Brizo doesn’t make a deck mounted telephone style tub filler, but Rubinet has a wonderful selection of tub fillers, so I chose their Raven design which complements the other faucets nicely. The various fixtures are united in a warm polished nickel finish which plays off the rich tones of the floor tile and colours in the roman shade. I was even able to order the legs of the Cheviott clawfoot tub from Vintage Tub & Bath in polished nickel as well for a truly cohesive look.

image

I love how the refined vintage vibe of the bathroom is an extension of the rest of my home’s décor. The dramatic clawfoot tub, framed antique prints and pleated shades on the beautiful Payson sconces from Circa Lighting reinforce a warm and glamorous mood that makes getting ready in the morning a pleasure.

image

Seeing the bathroom come together on the page is very rewarding considering it was probably one of the most complicated spaces to deal with during the entire reno. So much can go wrong in any given project, but this bathroom took us to a whole other level of insanity!  There were extreme variations in the natural stone mosaic I selected for the shower which meant that part of the shower walls had to be ripped out and new tile sourced at the eleventh hour, the tub filler ended up being too deep for the tub and had to be shortened which took weeks, two separate parts of the tub were missing and caused delays until each one was received and could be hooked up, a wallpaper mix-up, the list goes on…you name it and it probably went wrong or delayed us! I’m justso happy it’s done and that I get to enjoy it every day!

(after photos by Donna Griffith)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Glam Patch of Pumpkins

Halloween is just a couple of days away so here are some of my favourite no-carve pumpkin decorating projects I’ve seen online this year:

Chic_Halloween_Painted_Pumpkins_10

Nicole of So Haute splattered this gold and ivory beauty, which results in a shimmery Cy Twombly meets Kelly Wearstler effect. These would look right at home in a bowl on my kitchen island!

malachite pumpkin diy 3

Over on Design Sponge, Hank and Hunt turned the humble gourd into a malachite masterpiece! Their deep emerald swirls are so unexpected and bold.

image

This etsy seller went the decoupage route with these fierce leopard print pumpkin forms that you could enjoy any time of year. Meow!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Perfectly Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Looking for a quick and nutritious snack this thanksgiving weekend? Try these tasty low-fat pumpkin muffins from Anna Olson that are a cinch to whip up and easy on the waistline.

muffins

These muffins get their delicious moist texture and natural sweetness from pureed pumpkin instead of relying purely on sugar and oil, so you can indulge in this classic autumnal treat and not feel guilty.

muffins 1

Anna Olson’s Low Fat Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 ½ cups pure pumpkin purée
  • ⅔ cup packed demerara or dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with large paper liners.
  2. Stir the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg whites and vegetable oil.
  4. Pour the liquids into the dry mixture and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Cool the muffins for 20 minutes before removing from the tin. The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen. Do not refrigerate.

muffins 2

I added pumpkin seeds to the top for some added crunch but you can also sprinkle them with raw sugar, or stir in cranberries or other nuts into the batter to mix it up. Happy baking and happy thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Golden Nursery Finds

It’s so marvellous to see that pretty much every major shelter retailer is having a golden moment right now. It doesn’t take very long to spot something gold or brass when walking the showroom floor or browsing a catalogue or website.

The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

The love for the warm metals has even crept into nurseries and kids spaces, a  place usually reserved for more cutesy and less sophisticated details. This is shown to fabulous effect in the nursery above, designed by Rachelle Belle as seen on the Animal Print Shop blog. In celebration of this golden age, here are some of my favourite ways to add some golden glam into your nursery or kid space:

image

The Don’t Grow Up (It’s a Trap) Gold Foil Print by Penny Paper Co is the perfect tongue in chic piece to add to a graphic gallery wall above a modern crib. At $27 it won’t break the bank and it is sized to fit IKEA’s ribba for easy and affordable framing.

image

I love reimaging a vintage dresser as a change table in a nursery (add a change topper and ta da!), and these gilded swirled geode knobs from anthropologie would make for a seriously stunning hardware choice. They’re $18 each and would add an ethereal element to a kid’s bedroom that is fresh and unexpected.

The Emily & Meritt Chandelier Table Lamp

The Emily & Meritt Chandelier Table Lamp by PB Teen would make for a whimsical and welcome light to read bedtime stories by in a feminine and pretty little girl’s room. The beaded arms and delicate flowers would look right at home with a floral wallpaper accent wall. (I’m talking about you Rose Decay)

 

image

Last but not least for a boho baby’s lair, the global-looking Tangier Bronze Stool from West Elm would be a perfect choice to sit next to your glider. The stool, $299, is versatile and adult-enough that it can be moved into your living room once your glider days are gone.

image

Personalizing your baby’s space with their initials is always a nice touch and these $10 gilded letters from Indigo add some shimmery glamour to the wall. Spell out a quirky saying or their full name for a maximalist approach.

(Nursery photo by Joe Schmelzer for The Animal Print Shop)