29 August 2011

Landscaping Comes First

It is official. I am a homeowner. It's happened. The keys have been passed over. The large cheque has been written and the champagne has been toasted (thanks T and N!).

Yesterday was a big day. I brought in the crew, or should I say family, who generously helped me all afternoon clearing the overgrown forest that clearly had taken over the property. As you can see from the picture below, which I will refer to as B.C. (before clean up!), and then you will see afters, A.D. (after demolition!)....you can see what a little bit of elbow grease can do to a place!

The formula for this project:
2 Aunts
2 Uncles
2 Parents
1 boyfriend
1 trailer for brush
2 chain saws
pruning sheers
top soil (left by the previous owners, than you very much!)
brown bags for brush for garbage day
a few other gardening tools

And before you know it...your property will grow by feet!! Check out the results!

Front Garden, BC

Front Garden, AD
Garden from view on the porch, BC

Garden from porch AD

I even had a few neighbours praise us while we were working! I
have been officially accepted to the neighbourhood.

This is the driveway, that can only fit one car due to the over
growth (BC)

Now there is enough space for three cars to fit! Once the over growth
was cut down, it was amazing how big the property felt.
(Driveway, AD)

And you are asking yourself....did the owner's before not 
believe in gardening tools?  The answer: No. 

You can now actually see the backyard to the street. And all the
brush that now needs to be transported to the dump. That is not
the fun part. 

View from deck, BC
The sign of hard work (and even some transplanting in the back)!
 We moved some of the over grown grass to the back to help
with privacy.
Trailer full for the dump.

It was a great project to begin with because I could see the improvement happening. Instant gratification, as we humans all love! Until I get the a-okay from the city, the garden and exterior are the only areas to work on for now. However, I am feeling very optimistic and excited after today!

Thanks for all those who helped and stopped by today to see our progress! You have no idea how much it means to me!

Happy Monday!

24 August 2011

A Designer Tip - Collage Your Life

As I wait for my house, I dream of many different ideas for the space; re upholster my couches, get a new TV, new area rug, etc. The list could really go on and on, however, the money supply ends pretty quickly. This is where my "creative" juices come into play. I need to come up with innovative solutions that will not cost me an arm and a leg. My first task, wall decor, and even more specifically pictures.

In this day of digital photography, we all can call ourselves the next Ansel Adams. We have more pictures than we know what to do with. Here is the solution....create a beautiful wall of photos and paintings for a fraction of the cost it would be to buy them. Not only is it a penny saver, but it is also personalized. Anything can be framed: postcards, letters, children's paintings, magazine cut outs, etc. Place things of value to you that you want to look at and treasure each day.

The next trick once you have found these items is to frame and hang them. Some of my tips to make this process easier for you:

*use old frames from other pictures/paintings you don't like. Reuse, baby!

*Search through your old collection of pictures and paintings. Take these to a custom framing store and have them updated. You would not believe the difference and you may find yourself enjoying the piece all over again.

*Depending on the look you may want, frames can vary, or instead, be all the same. This is completely up to you, either way, it will still work!

*Go to antique stores, flea markets, Sally Ann's to find interesting frames that won't cost alot. A can of spray paint can do a world of good to those pieces.

*Lay out your frames on the floor in front of the wall you are decorating. Arrange them on the floor as you wish to see them on the wall. Take the centre photo, hang it and base the remaining photos off of that starting point.

*Don't be rigid with your hanging. Sometimes the best collage are the ones that lack symmetry and order. Be creative!

Here are some inspirational pics to get you inspired for your collage wall! I can't wait to get working on mine!

A monochromatic collage with different frame sizes, but all black and
white images (and note,on a gray background)

Again, the use of continuity in the frame colour and images,
but not in the size.

Travel memorabilia is one of the more interesting subject
matters to frame. This collage is filled to the brim, making a huge impact
on the space.

Using wall collages as the focal point of the room adds interest
and distracts from the fact that there is no headboard. Instead, the photos
are the headboard.

Here, I took all the client's old pieces, updated
a few and made a powerful impact on a vary large wall. No two pieces are the same
but somehow, it all works!

Last, here is an example of a quiet collage. These images were found
magazine tears my client enjoyed. Simple, found art creates
a contemporary, clean feel with the matching frames.

As you can see, it's all about the creativity and making it your own. One last tip I would suggest is trying to use frames with matting. It isn't always necessary, but it makes the pieces more custom and pronounced amongst it's frame. Now get to it. Open those photos boxes, and piles of memorabilia, and start collage-ing! If anyone cares to submit there collage, I would be happy to feature them on my blog!

Good luck!

17 August 2011

Gray, Not So Gloomy Anymore

If someone were to ask me right now what my favourite colour is, gray would instantly be the answer. I mean, what doesn't gray go with? Just as in your wardrobe, gray suits any living space as well. There are warm grays, cool greys, taupe grays, gray, gray, gray.

I do have one concern, as many do, is gray a trend? I am going to have to say likely. Even though, I want to embrace it whole heartedly and hope that it stays around for ever and ever, I think that gray might get a bad wrap, just as taupe/beige did. As of right now, everyone is transitioning from browns to grays. I am not saying don't do it, I am just not sure how timeless gray will be.

If you look at each decade in interior design, or even fashion for that matter, you can clearly pick out decades due to their colour fads; 80s has blues and yellows (which is coming back again in a big way), 90s pastels and hunter green, 2000s was taupe, and now 2010s is gray.

Again, I am not knocking gray! Heck! Benjamin Moore HC-172 Rever Pewter is plastered along every wall in my apartment, I am just pointing out that we are in another trend!

So let's embrace the trend shall we? Here are a some pictures to see how you too can use gray!

Use grey as a neutral and play with colour on your
accessories!  Via

Wall paper with a black and white theme mutes into
a gray tone, and again, acts as a neutral

Area rugs with geometric gray pattern pops
next to the warm bamboo floor

Even traditional spaces can use gray to their advantage. Tone on 
tone gray give a monochromatic and graceful look.

grey walls even allow the purest of whites
to seem crisp and powerful, even though
most wouldn't expect white to pop this much!

Gray is somewhat the "Bieber" of the colour world right now. It's hot, fresh and in demand, but will gray last as long as Bieber or vice versa? Only time will tell.

15 August 2011

Oops...my mistake...

Hi Friends....

I had a moment today that I realized, I should not be posting the pictures of the interior of my house. As it's not my property yet, I think it's safe to say that I should not be posting them...

More to come as of August 26th. I am new to this blog world, and I want to do everything right! I apologize to everyone.

I will post the floor plans once again...

Thanks for your patience.


05 August 2011

A Designer Tip - Old with New

As I mentioned in previous posts, I am going to lend some design advice throughout my blog. Not all my ideas, but images, ideas and furniture pieces that inspire me.

It's no secret that I love contemporary design. These days most of us do. I have clients continually asking how they can move away from their traditional look and become more streamlined. In the design world, we call a mix of traditional and contemporary, transitional. Making the move from traditional and becoming more streamlined is actually not that difficult. It's mixing your existing pieces and finding newer, up to date ones. Painting walls, up dating art work and frames, changing fabrics; all of these are easy and inexpensive ways to combine your old style with a new.

Look at this pad that Design To Inspire, another blog I follow, has posted. This is the perfect example of how to mix old with the new. The "old", in this case, was the actual structure of the home, and the "new" was using very modern furniture against the natural finishes.

Clean, contemporary style mixed with old modern classics

White walls are often quite contemporary and let the colour,
furniture and art speak for itself

Rustic hardwood floors with the use of old, modern classics
creates interest

Combining the warmth of the old, and the freshness of the
new, this kitchen stands out from any other

Using funky wall paper, this now transformed the space. A TV unit/console
like this could easily be found in the online classifieds. You just need
a little bitof patience.
This home owner clearly had a defined style and pulled off the combination of the old and new quite easily. Items as you see in these photos aren't easy to come by but if you see old modern classic such as these, scoop them up! They will be in style forever! One post, I will specify what modern classics are my favourite.

Happy reading!