Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Inspiration

I had a really long day today. The mentally draining kind. You know the type of day that you wish you could have spent in bed, with a hot cup of tea and a good book? I desperately wanted a pick-me-up this evening. And so, beautiful Autumn inspired photographs to the rescue.

Image 1 and 2 Style At Home, Image 3  Coastal Living, Image 4-6 Country Living, Image 7 HGTV, Image 8-10 Martha Stewart, Image 9 Pottery Barn.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn Air

Today, the crisp Autumn breeze was truly refreshing. It will soon be the catalyst for the dazzling colours I'm looking forward to admiring on the landscape. And, I think, for the first time, I'm mentally prepared for the cold. Maybe that's because I just read a novel that painted a romantic picture of cozy knits and hot cinnamon cider. And yes, maybe that romance will dissipate with the first frost, when I'll be left cursing the cold and dreaming about my flip flops. Maybe. But today, I really enjoyed the beauty of the season while having brunch with a girlfriend and walking along Main Street, Unionville.

I must get over my irrational fear and learn how to properly poach an egg. So intimidating. But so good.

Cute stores and beautiful architecture make for a great afternoon walk.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Take Me To...

This MIND BLOWING dream home in Costiera Amalfitana, Italy. For me, the mere mention of "Italian villa" conjures up romantic images of authentic tagliatelle al pomodoro with a bottle of vino a la Eat Pray Love. I'm sold. Not only is this property obscenely massive (7 bed and bath, tennis court and 2 ports for boats), it also has a 'funicular' - a cable car that connects the road to the home and sea house. Oh my. There are NO photos available of this estate's interior. Do I care? Hell no. I'll take it, thankyouverymuch. I'll be spending my life on the terrace anyways.

Photos from Dream Homes Magazine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

DIY: Painting Ikea Furniture - Bookcase Makeover

My humble Ikea Billy bookcases (purchased long ago on a single-girl-moving-out-of-the-house-with-parents’-help-budget) and TV bench have been screaming for a makeover for years. I wanted to try painting them white. I expected the process of painting something that is, well, cardboard, to be a hassle. It wasn’t. The only frustration that I really encountered was having to paint within a confined space that was already mid-renovation due to new flooring. Here’s the end result.

Here is the before photo (dated by the old stereo)

I love the look of bead board paneling. I had some cut to size at a hardware store to replace the original back panels of the bookcases. It was secured with nails and trim so that it would rest flush and secure against the shelving.

With the shelves and hardware removed, I roughed up the bookcases with medium grit sandpaper. Then, I applied 2 coats of Fresh Start primer, which was recommended by the lovely people at Benjamin Moore. It adhered beautifully and dried quickly.

I applied two coats of Aura paint from Benjamin Moore in Mascarpone with matte finish. It’s water-based with zero VOCs so it is not only phenomenal paint, but also environmentally friendly. For application, I used a 3/8” mohair roller.

I used Alex caulk to fill in the gaps then touched it up with paint. 

And then I added Zinnia knobs from Anthropologie, regularly $8.95, on sale for $2.95. 

And voila, my Ikea transformation was complete. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giada de Laurentiis for Target

I am sure many people watch this Italian beauty on the Food Network and adore her. Yes, I know. She’s only a TV personality. I’m sure she has an invisible dream team sweating helping behind the scenes while the cameras capture her beautifully organized and effervescent facade self. It’s Giada’s seemingly effortless illusion ability to be a domestic goddess of home, husband and baby that has me completely mesmerized.

As a celebrity chef, her name alone will probably sell her product line at Target. 

I love her coral and turquoise packaging.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colour Crush: Orange

I will admit to being guilty of associating orange with Halloween. I never really considered it a versatile year-round colour for a home. I say this because, in the past, it was challenging for me to find orange-infused rooms that I would be willing to live with for 12 months of the year. And while I personally still prefer to alter my accent pieces seasonally, I am really loving these rooms. I think I'm more open-minded now, and not limiting myself to visions of jack-o-lanterns, but rather, a feeling that is more organic, spicy and energetic.

I love every detail of this space from Martha Stewart, especially the wainscoting.

Martha Stewart

Coastal Living

House Beautiful - I love the headboard.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DIY Magnetic Kitchen Chalkboard

I finally got around to putting together my kitchen chalkoard. It started with a visit to Southwork Antiques in July where I purchased a frame. Here is the final result:

It began with this:

And then I sanded it (through 3 colours of paint) until I was left with this:

Onto the partially-sanded frame, I dry brushed "Mascarpone" by Benjamin Moore. I totally fell in love with the colour and the name. It's from the Pottery Barn collection.

I went to Rona and had a thin sheet of particle board cut to fit inside the frame. I used Rust-Oleum's Magnetic primer, which is a dark metallic black colour. The insructions stated that "subsequent coats will increase the magnetic attraction." So of course, being the Type-A that I am, I applied 7 coats. Probably not necessary. I waited 1 hour between coats. The next day, I applied 4 coats of Rust-Oleum chalk board paint with a small foam roller. I waited a week (recommended) before putting it into the frame.

In the mean time, I found an old recipe box that I transformed into my chalk box. I sanded and painted it, then roughed up the edges once it was dry to give it a distressed look. The font is basketville old face.

Before using it, I conditioned it by rubbing the side of a piece of white chalk all over it, then rubbing that in with a cloth. And finally, I wiped it clean with a damp cloth.

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