Thursday, 19 December 2013

Holiday Gift Wrapping- A Homemade Feel

   It's that time of year again! You've survived the dreaded crowded stores and now it's time to start wrapping your presents!
This holiday season, for me, has been all about rustic decor. So naturally, I've decided to wrap my presents with the same rustic, homemade feel.

   For my wrapping paper, I kept it simple and used brown kraft paper. I bought my paper from my local Target. It wraps well, and my favourite added bonus, it has a grid pattern printed on the inside of the paper to help with straighter cutting and a tidier wrapping job. Perfect for any perfectionist, like myself! Another bonus, if there's any leftover wrapping paper, it's neutral enough that it can be used for any other occasion.

To decorate, I used:
                                          *I made the bow in the fourth picture using left over wrapping paper. 

To attach the decorations, I found using a hot glue gun was the best and easiest way. 

Here are some more gifts that I decorated for a window display. 

Brown kraft paper, tissue paper, and ribbon go a long way to make some impressive gifts!

How are you decorating your presents this year? 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Glittery Silhouettes- Add the Sparkle

   When I think about Christmas, I always think about twinkly white lights and lots of sparkle. There's something magical about all of the sparkle and shine during the holiday season. Let's face it, it wouldn't be Christmas without a little glitter. It's easy to add it to your Christmas tree, shelves, and tables, but your walls are often overlooked. Here is an easy way to create festive artwork that anyone can do, and is full of glittery goodness!

What You'll Need:
  • Picture frame
  • Glittery scrapbook paper
  • Paper for background of picture
  • Double sided tape or glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

-Cut the paper for the background of the picture to fit inside of the frame.

-Trace the background paper onto the back of the glitter scrapbook paper. This will be your guideline on how large to draw your silhouette.

-Draw your silhouette of choice onto the back of the glitter scrapbook paper. Make sure you draw the reversed image. For more complicated designs, you may want to create a template on a separate piece of paper first. I had to do this with the deer silhouette, and then trace it onto the glitter scrapbook paper.

-Cut out your silhouette.

-Use double sided tape or glue to secure the silhouette onto the background paper.

-Put your picture into the frame.

-Hang, take a few steps back, and enjoy your new glittery masterpiece!     


   Will this DIY be a new addition to your holiday decor? What silhouettes will you try out?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Salt Dough & Sharpie Ornaments

   Salt dough ornaments are fun, super easy to make, and look great on any christmas tree. They add that personal touch to your tree that you just can't buy from a store. 
   This year, I decorated mine by drawing on them with a fine tipped Sharpie. This gave me more precision and control to add a lot of detail to some of my designs. Whether you want really intricate designs on your ornaments or something really simple, they all look great!

What You'll Need:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cookie cutters
  • Straw or toothpick
  • Ultra fine point Sharpie
  • Twine or ribbon

Preheat your oven to 250° F

Combine flour, salt, and warm water into a bowl and mix with your hands until it becomes a dough.

Prepare your rolling surface and rolling pin with a dusting of flour. This stops the salt dough from sticking.

Kneed the dough well before rolling out to get rid of any air bubbles trapped inside the dough. 

Roll the dough to about 1/4” thick. 

Use cookie cutters to cut out your ornament shapes (I used a cup to create my circular ornaments). 

Use a straw or toothpick to create a small hole at the top of each ornament. This will be used to string ribbon or twine through later.

Place ornaments on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 2 hours. 
Once done, let cool completely before drawing on them. 

Use an ultra fine point Sharpie to draw on your designs. I decided to do a mixture of both intricate and simple designs on my circular ornaments, and left my star shaped ones plain. 

String with twine or ribbon, and they are ready for your christmas tree! 

   With leftover dough, I made gift tag shaped ornaments using a knife to cut them out. They look very impressive on your gifts and will surely impress anyone who receives one. 
The cookie cutter ornaments also make great gift toppers. They double as a decoration and a gift for their tree. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Fall Trend Predictions

   Fall is officially here, and I must admit, I'm pretty excited! Although I love summer, and all its sunny weather, fall has always held a special place in my heart. Colours get deeper and richer, the air gets crisper, fashion gets edgier, and who doesn't love a trip to the pumpkin patch!
   With the season changing, that means it's that time again for some new design trends. I've always enjoyed predicting what I think will be trendy, and in the past, have been surprisingly pretty accurate -Lets just hope I didn't just jinx myself there. My strategies are; noting what I'm seeing more often in stores, magazines, on TV, in fashion, etc., what was starting to be introduced last year around the same time, but didn't quite become trendy, and pure gut feeling.

Let's start with colour!

Burgundy/ Oxblood- We started to see some interest last year with the deep red tones. It appeared here and there in magazines and in fashion. I was slightly obsessed with the colour last year, and was determined to find “thee” right nail polish shade (You'll be happy to know, I did find it. It's called Wicked by Essie, my favourite fall shade to wear!). Since it didn't take off last fall, I'm expecting the deep reds to come back full throttle this year. I've already been seeing it used in fall clothing, it's only a matter of time before it shows up in home decor.

Navy Blue- Teals were huge this summer, and now that the season is changing, I suspect that navy blue will take its place. I have been seeing it paired a lot recently with orange (who doesn't love a complementary colour scheme!), burgundy, and olive green.

Orange- Orange was a favourite this summer and I can see it transitioning into fall. Although I believe it will get rustier than the bright oranges we seen this summer.

              Navy blue, burgundy, and olive green paired with gold accents create a rich palette. 

Gold- With the cooler weather on its way, finishes are warming up. Gold seems to be the finish of choice lately, especially paired with black. It was after I used a gold framed mirror in our powder room that I realized how popular gold was getting (Pictures of that renovation coming soon!). 

Natural Wood- For awhile, it was all about painting your furniture. The DIY's are everywhere! Now, leaving the wood natural is gaining popularity again. Don't get me wrong, painted furniture is still a big thing, but with the trendy colours becoming deeper and richer, it's only natural for wood to be a number one pairing with all its natural warmth and depth. 

Horizontal Wood Paneled Walls- In the past, I have seen focal walls done in wood flooring or barn board. Its a great way to add texture and warmth to a space. Since natural wood is becoming a favourite again, I can see applying wood on accents walls becoming quite popular. Especially in commercial spaces. 

The reclaimed wood planks add warmth and texture to this simple, neutral bedroom.

 Herringbone is showing up in magazines and in artwork more often than usual lately. I am seeing it being used in back splashes, on floors, in artwork, and even fabric. In the past, herringbone was used in traditional settings, but recently have seen it used in more contemporary styled spaces. It makes sense that herringbone becomes trendy this fall since the chevron pattern was huge this summer. 

              The wood herringbone floors add great visual texture against the shaker doors.

Elephants- There's usually always a trendy animal, and I believe this fall will be the elephant. Other than seeing a lot of elephant artwork online, this prediction is pure jut feeling. 

   There you have it, my fall trend predictions! 
What are some of your fall trend forecasts? Will you be following any of these trends? 

2. Houzz

Friday, 23 August 2013

MY TOP 10: Favourite Neutrals

   When choosing colours for your home, going a neutral colour on your walls can often be seen as “playing it safe”. Although I love a dramatic wall colour, going neutral can be just as striking. 
   Neutral walls act as a great backdrop for any decor, accent colours, and furnishings. For those of us who like to change out certain decor pieces when the seasons change, neutral walls are one of your best options. 

   With so many neutrals available, it's hard to find the right one. To narrow it down, here are 10 of my favourite Benjamin Moore neutrals. 

Bleeker Beige: Warm beige with a slight grey undertone. The grey tones the colour down creating a nice softness. 

Revere Pewter: Warm grey with a slight yellow undertone. The yellow keeps the light grey warm and makes it very versatile. 

Stone Hearth: Warm taupe with a nice balance of red, yellow, and grey undertones. 

Inukshuk: Warm taupe with a slight red and grey undertone. Slightly lighter than Stone Hearth. 

Muslin: Warm beige with a slight yellow undertone. A new take on the dreaded "builder beige". 

Dufferin Terrace: Warm taupe with a slight red and grey undertone. Works with any decorating style. 

Shaker Beige: Warm beige with a slight yellow undertone. Great in historical homes. 

Stone Harbour: Warm grey with equal amounts of red and yellow undertones. Very easy to pair different colours with.   

Silver Fox: Warm grey with a slight red undertone. Looks fantastic when paired with purples.   

Thunder: Warm grey with a slight yellow undertone. Works well in contemporary styled homes.  

Wall Colour: Silver Fox 2108-50 (using the Personal Colour Viewer)

What is your favourite neutral? Do you have any of my top 10's in your home?

Monday, 5 August 2013

Dreaming of Cottage

   It's well into summer and after that last heat wave (which now seems like ages ago), all I can think about is spending some time at the lake. Although I'm not at that point in my life where I can afford a cottage of my own, that doesn't stop me from dreaming up what I want it to look like one day. 

   First up, the walls! What's a cottage without white panelled walls? It's the perfect shade to keep the interior bright and inviting, and it works perfectly with all the mismatched furniture and decor. My favourite “cottage walls white” is White Dove by Benjamin Moore. It's a soft white with a slight yellow undertone. It still appears clean and crisp, but with a warm glow. 

   To keep the cottage fun and playful, the accent colours will be shades of blue, teal, and grey. I'm a huge fan of bringing colours found in nature indoors, so I want to use colours that compliment the lake.

   The furniture will mostly consist of refurbished garage sale finds and hand me downs collected over the years. I love the laid-back feeling that mismatched furniture gives off. To me, cottages are a place to relax and de-stress, so not having to worry about water marks on the furniture or scuffs and scratches is a must! 
   Distressed wood is a must have as well. Whether it's the coffee table or the floors, there will be distressed wood in my cottage. It keeps the cottage feeling warm, even among all the cooler accents. 

Cottage Do's:
  • Natural Linens- to give texture and keep with the care-free feeling. 
  • Thick Stripes- pillows, throws, curtains, etc.
  • Stone Fireplace- who doesn't love a stone fireplace. It's striking and screams cottage.
  • Solar Shades- They filter out harsh sunlight and help the cottage stay cool while still allowing a good view of outside. 
  • Nautical Accessories and Artwork- Lighthouse figurines, driftwood, coloured glass, you name it. 

                   My acrylic painting of a seagull will sure to be an addition one day.

   While on the Style at Home website, I came across this gorgeous cottage dining room. I love the contrast between rustic and contemporary by pairing the distressed farmhouse table with the metal aqua chairs. The mixture of colours and textures create a fresh look that I would like in my cottage one day.  


For more pictures of this beautiful rustic contemporary cottage, click here.

   Now that you've got a glimpse of what my dream cottage would look like, what does/would your cottage look like? What are your cottage must haves?  

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

From the window, to the wall: DIY Window Frame Art

   Painted window frames are quick and easy to do and look great after they're done. They add a rustic touch to any room without burning a hole in your wallet. To add a more glamorous touch, I've added a panel of wallpaper onto the back. Pictures and artwork can easily be added as well to add a more personal touch. Now lets get started!

What You Need:
- Window frame
- Paint (your colour of choice)
- Paint brush
- Wallpaper (enough to cover the back of frame)
- Pencil
- Scissors
- Staple gun, wallpaper adhesive, or tape

  • Paint the window frame in the colour you chose. Test pots from paint stores are the perfect size for this project. Apply two coats for best results.
  • When the frame is completely dry place it on the wallpaper and find a spot where the pattern looks best through the frame. Once found, trace the outside of the window frame onto the wallpaper. This is your template for where to cut.
  • Cut the wallpaper and place onto the back of the window frame to make sure it fits. If it is too large, trim the paper down a bit. 
  • To attach the wallpaper to the window frame there are three different options. You can either use a staple gun, wallpaper adhesive, or tape. The staple gun and wallpaper adhesive are the more secure and durable options. If you are planning on switching the background paper often, tape might be a better option for you as it is easier to remove. 
  • When securing the wallpaper onto the back of the window frame make sure it is smooth and tight so there are no waves or wrinkles. Once all of the edges are secured down, your window frame is ready to be put on display in your home!

Window Frame Colour: CC-10 Ultra White by Benjamin Moore

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Setting the Tone: 10 Front Door Colours

Door Colour: Oregano 2147-10 (Benjamin Moore)

     The front door may seem a small detail when looking at the exterior of your house, but it is more important then you think. It greets your guests before they step into your home and sets the tone on what to expect once inside. You want it to be a reflection of yourself, as well as compliment the rest of your houses exterior. It can be a tricky task trying to find the right balance of personality and functionality, so here are 10 of my favourite Benjamin Moore colours that look great on front doors:

Yellow Marigold 2155-30, Navajo Red 2171-10, Gentleman's Gray 2062-20, 
Newburyport Blue HC-155, Iron Mountain 2134-30, Oregano 2147-10, 
Plum Royale 2070-20, Caliente AF-290, Polar Jade CC-754, Black Bean Soup 2130-10

              *All these colours are available in paint chips at any Benjamin Moore store

   Benjamin Moore has a great tool on their website called the Personal Colour Viewer. It allows you to pick a sample home and play around with different colours. The image used at the top of this post is an example of what the Personal Colour Viewer can do. Keep in mind that colours will appear slightly different on a computer screen then in real life. Colour samples (test pots) are always the best way to go for real colour representation.

What colour is your front door? How does it represent you? 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

MY TOP 5: Painting Supplies & Tricks

1. Microfiber Rollers- These rollers give a great smooth almost sprayed on finish. This means no more orange peel texture on your walls like the general purpose rollers leave. With paints drying faster than ever, the microfiber rollers hold enough paint in them to keep the paint from drying on the roller. Once washed out, they can be used over and over again making it well worth the extra money. 

2. Artist Brushes- I always revert back to artist brushes. Whether it's the artist in me, or the perfectionist, artist brushes are perfect for those tricky areas where a paint brush is just too big or not precise enough to do the job. 

3. Wet Cloth- It took me a few painting projects to finally realize that having a wet cloth handy is a must! Especially for those of us who aren't the most graceful. Whatever you are painting, big or small, it only takes a second of distraction for a drop of paint to fall or for a roller to hit the ceiling. This is when the trusty wet cloth comes in hand. It is much easier to quickly wipe up the mess while it's wet then having to touch things up later.

4. Wire Brush- I don't know if you've ever tried cleaning out a paint brush after a day of painting before, but all I can say is it's frustrating and takes for-EVER to get completely clean. I can understand why people throw them out after one use. Fret no more- those days are over! Using a wire brush while cleaning will take off all the pesky dried up paint that sticks to the bristles and push out all the paint. 

5. Glass Cleaner- Like the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (If you haven't seen it, you really should) says, “Windex fixes everything”.  Believe me, he really was onto something. For the spots of dry paint on the floor, glass, counter, furniture, or anywhere else that you didn't catch while painting, spray some glass cleaner on it and it will help loosen the paint. Depending on how long the paint has been settled there, you may need to gently scrape at it.

  There you have it! Those are a few of my trusty top painting supplies and tricks that I've gathered over the years. 

What are your favourite tricks and go-to supplies when it comes to painting?