Thursday, December 30, 2010

Well this place is pretty swanky.

All images via Fabulous House Designs

I came across these pics of actor Joel McHales' Hollywood Hills home when I was flipping through my sister's InStyle magazine the other day. It's got a glam, Hollywood regency thing going on that's very cool. Joel's wife is a designer who used to work for Kelly Wearstler, which doesn't come as a surprise when you see this house. The hexagonal dining table reminds me of the hexagonal coffee table my parents bought in the 70's. I never cared for it much as a kid, but I wish I had that table now. Actually, the sideboard in the photo also kind of reminds me of the doors on the side tables that went with that coffee table. Damn.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yay new rug!

My new Dash & Albert area rug arrived the other day. I'm pretty happy with it. I quite like how my coffee table looks on it. I'm not showing you the rest of the room yet because it's not even close to being done. You can catch a little glimpse of my charcoal sofa in the bottom corner. Now that I've got the neutrals down, it's time to get some pops of color going. Right now all that includes is my pink Christmas poinsettia. That and the great yellow cover of the hilarious Amy Sedaris book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People (an Xmas present from my sister).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lamp Fix

$23 Home Sense lamp with cheap looking orange shade + a bottle of matte black fabric paint = new bedside lamp. Yay.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This post brought to you by the letter S

image via Hindsvik's Etsy shop

I have had this long running obsession with the idea of having a big ass piece of font. Do you know what I mean? Like when someone salvages a huge letter from an old neon sign and turns it into a piece of art. I know I've seen some cool examples in the past, but it was before my blogging days and I never thought to bookmark them. Anyway... I came across this Etsy shop via Design Sponge today, and I so want this red S for my new place! How cool is that? Actually, they have a lot of great stuff. I could get into a lot of trouble. They have some other letters too, but both my parents' names happen to start with this particular letter, so I think this would be a nice little homage to Steve & Suzanne :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Great Photos

all photos via Door Sixteen

I am really into these pics taken by Anna over at Door Sixteen. I'm always intrigued by roadside architecture and great old signs like these. I often think I should hop in my car with my camera one day and snap some pics of the ones I've spotted around town - before they're gone - cuz I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Maybe this is the inspiration I need to finally do it. In the spring. When it's warm. And the roads are clear. And it's still light out after 4pm.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A House in Texas

Just wanted to share some pics from a house tour I found over at Martha Stewart. This is the family home of designer Kimberly Renner. I especially enjoy the DIY elements she's incorporated. The ceiling installation at the top of the stairs is made from fishing line and vintage postcards, and there are bookcases in the dining room made from cinderblocks. I also love her sons' bathroom with the black rubber floors and tiled red cross. But the orange steel vanity in the master bath is giving me flashbacks to my days working at Home Depot. You know, the orange steel racking? Just me?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bah, Humbug.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. Really. But I was assigned to showhome tree-decorating duty at work this week, and I'm a little treed out. This is the fourth tree in two days. At least this one was pre-lit. The two yesterday were not. The box of decorations assigned to this tree were all silver and red. Since there are blue accents in this house, I bought some teal blue ornaments to throw into the mix. (There I go with the blue again!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I know! Why don't I spend another weekend painting!?

Yeah, so after I repainted all my cabinets the countertops really looked like crap. I was hoping to replace them, but if I want money left to, you know, like, feed myself and stuff, it just isn't an option right now. So.... I took the plunge and painted them, too. I know that painting countertops seems like a risky undertaking, but according to numerous websites it's doable. I used the same melamine paint I used on the cabinets, and so far it seems to have worked. I'm showing you the bathroom, but I did the same in the kitchen. Not the most durable option in the world, but I don't cut on my counters or anything. And if I'm really being honest, I don't even really cook. They don't have to last forever, just until I can afford to replace them. And it really does look way better than the speckled gray laminate that was there before. The solid white does show everything, but it's actually a good motivator for me to keep them clean.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I've been up to.

So, I've been spending a lot of my time working on the new place. I'll try to start posting on a more regular basis so I can keep you fine people up to speed. One of the first tasks was painting my cabinets. A rather tedious process, but I'm pretty happy with the result. The white melamine doors were awful - the edges were all yellowed and starting to peel. It really is amazing the difference some paint and new hardware can make. After ordering new appliances the budget was pretty tight, so this really freshened things up without costing a fortune. It's all looking a bit grayish right now, I know, but I'm not done yet! And don't worry, the back splash isn't staying! I'll post pics of the completed kitchen once it's, well, complete. Or at least a little closer to it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Mom

Mom, my sister & I on my sister's wedding day.

This is an incredibly difficult post for me to write. On September 25, my mother passed away after a 13 year struggle with kidney disease. Suzanne Audrey Pallay was the most amazing, kind, courageous, and loving woman I have ever known. She was an extraordinary person and she was dearly loved by so many. She was just the best.

I am so thankful to have an incredible family and wonderful friends to lean on during this difficult time. One friend sent me this lovely message:

"Remember, in most ways we represent the best in our parents. You are a reflection of her - kindness, generosity, caring and grace are all found within you, gifts your mother gave you. Always be the woman your mother helped you become and you will continue to honor her life... P.S. also lots of style as well but I’m not sure if that’s your mother's doing or just something you got on your own."

If I do manage to display any of these characteristics to any degree, it is without a doubt because of my mother. She possessed all of these qualities in spades. Our personal styles may have differed in many ways, but I can certainly count her as one of my biggest influences - whether consciously or not. I love to use the color blue. In fact, I have had my hand slapped at work for using it too often. Blue was my mom's favorite color. We also shared an appreciation for antiques. I remember a family vacation several years ago when we took a detour through New England on our way to Mom's home province of Prince Edward Island. We made my poor father pull over at pretty much every antique store we passed. I have so many great memories of my mom, and I am so thankful for every moment we had together. I just wish there could have been many, many more. I will miss her every day.

My mom was able to see my new condo a couple of times. She was so supportive and encouraging about me buying it. She kept telling me, "I really think you're going to be happy there." As I work at making my house a home, I keep reminding myself of that. All she ever wanted was for her family to be happy, and I want to create a happy home not only for myself but to honor her.

I love you Mom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's like design fate.

I've been considering wallpapering my bedroom in my new place, and I've been agonizing over what wallpaper to use. I've seen a ton of patterns I like, but nothing seemed quite right. After a long evening of scouring the web, I started thinking that maybe I should go for something textural, like a grasscloth, instead of something with a bold pattern.

So, I'm at work the next day when I get an email from my sister. It said "I don't really know what grasscloth is exactly, but I thought of you", and it was a message from her office asking if anyone would be interested in buying four rolls of gray-blue grasscloth that was left over from a recent reno. Seriously? What are the odds of this? Oh, and did I mention they were half price? Clearly this must be a sign from the decorating gods that I am meant to have this wallpaper. Search over.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yes, I am still alive.

This is not my stuff - these are the MLS pics.

Had you given up on me? Things are just kind of crazy busy for me these days. My sister's wedding is quickly approaching (I throw her a shower next Sunday. Eeek! Not quite ready) and... I bought a new condo! Okay. not a new condo, but new to me! These are some pics above. It could use a little TLC, but I think I'm up for the challenge. It's a cute little place with a good layout and loads of storage (very important when you own as many shoes as I do). I don't move in until the end of August, but I'll be sure to document the reno process once it begins. Oooooh, a new project!

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lotto Home

The Boy's Room

Boy's room again

Playroom. Pretend there's a big screen TV on the wall.

Here they are - the wallpaper animals I wrote about a while ago

It's the playroom again.

Window seat in the playroom. Sorry the picture sucks.

The Children's Hospital lottery house I've been working on opened today. (If you're in Calgary and want to take a tour it's up in Panorama.) I'm pretty happy with how my two rooms turned out. I just wish I'd known not to order a pillow top mattress - it makes the bed look crazy high next to the low nightstand. Oh well. Live and learn. As my co-worker said while I agonized about it: "people will walk in, think 'fun colors', turn around, and walk out." Good point.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Doesn't your yard look like this?

The Restoration Hardware Garden catalogue arrived in the mail the other day. Now, I must admit I'm really more of an indoor girl (I am an interior designer after all), but the amazing settings in this catalogue are making me wish I had a yard. Well, maybe not just any yard, but one that looks like this. Perhaps with a grand chateau to go along with it...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get yourself down to The Bay

image via

These beautiful salt & pepper mills were designed by Jens Quistgaard in the 1960's for Dansk. Their names (from left to right) are: Rosie, Jane, Hank, Audrey, and Jack. I even love the names! The good news is that Dansk has just reissued them. And according to Canadian House & Home, they are available at The Bay.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chirp Chirp

Image via Macy's

I have admired the Chirp dinnerware collection from Lenox for a while now, but I'm not really in the market for fine china. How did I not know there is also a bath collection? Way to pay attention Tara.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I did this.

living room

Nook. Excuse the boxes - appliances not installed yet.

Kitchen. Again, try to ignore the boxes and imagine stainless appliances.

Master Bedroom. Is the stag head thing over? If this stag head over the bed is wrong then I don't want to be right.

Boy's room. Like the robot painting? I did that.

Main Bath. I found these little duckies at Micheals. I think they were like $1.50 or something.

I know I've been M.I.A. for a while. Work has just been crazy busy. One of the things I've been so busy working on is this showhome. Above are some not so good pics I took in a hurry. There will be professional ones taken - I'll post those later. Overall, I don't hate this one. I hated the last one I did so this is a step in the right direction. Showhomes are what I like to call "crap-shoot decorating". A lot of the time you're re-using furniture from other showhomes and you only have a photo to go by. You don't get to actually see it until the day it's moved in - and then it's usually too late to do anything about it. Yeah. Fun times. (Well, actually, it can be fun... when it all comes together the way you thought - and hoped - it would.)