Monthly Archives

January 2011


Forest Spoon by Nendo

forest spoon by nendo

forest spoon by nendo

I am in awe with this adorable bird on a tree spoon. The Japanese design studio Nendo made a spoon that is as fun to look at it is to use for the curry chain restaurant Coco Ichibanya‘s annual ‘Grandmother Curry’ promotion, in which 100,000 lucky customers could win curry spoons through a lottery.

When you bundle several spoons, it creates a landscape. I wish I was visiting Japan to have a chance to win mine.

+ Forest Spoon by Nendo – photos by Masayuki Hayashi
+ via Snow magazine and MoCo Loco


Organizing Your Mud Room or Entryway

organizing your mud room

organizing your mud room

Whether you have a mud room or an entryway, you need to take into account form and function to design a beautiful, practical room. It is even harder if you live in a colder climate because you need to store many coats, boots, mitts and hats.

So, what are the must-have items for an efficient mud room or entryway? My must-have list includes:

  • shoe racks
  • a coat and hat stand or hooks
  • at least one top shelve
  • several baskets to neatly organize mitts and scarfs. Ideally, I like one basket per family member with an extra one for your guests
  • an umbrella stand
  • a bench where to sit to put and remove your boots, or to deposit your packages when you enter your home
  • a mirror to see if you look pretty before getting out of the house
  • an indoor/outdoor mat next to the door. I will show you the cool ones that I saw at IDS later.

Mud Room Design Ideas

    designing a mudroom :: inspirations

    For inspirations, I am leaving you with three inspiring mud rooms. The first one was spotlighted on The Wall Street Journal last weekend. Read their article for more good tips by Rita Koning. The Wall Street Journal’s mud room has a cottage feel while IKEA proposed us a more family-oriented mud room.

    ikea entry hall design idea

    IKEA also designed this casual hall way. Here shoe cabinets add a more stylish touch.

    black and white scandinavian mudrooms

    Look at the well-done black and white mud rooms from Skona Hem. I like how the cycling accessories are displayed on the wall as art instead of every items. I spotted these Scandinavian mud rooms on the blog High Street Market.

    + Tidy up the Mud Room on The Wall Street Journal – photo by  Don Freeman
    + IKEA mud room – photos from catalogues

    FAMILY KIDS rooms

    Vintage Science Charts for a Nursery or Toddler Room

    vintage science charts

    vintage science charts

    When I spotted those cute vintage school charts on Shelterrific this morning, I immediately thought that they would look sharp on a baby or toddler room. They carry a childish vibe and it will make a change from the usual ABC or 123 posters. The best part is that they can grow with a kid.

    animals hibernate or migrate vintage science chart

    Each chart measures approximately 12.5 x 15.5 inches. To unify the look make sure to use identical frames. You could go with white, cream or black frame. You can find those on Etsy from Scottie in a Canoe.

    This post closed this month feature on nursery and toddler bedrooms.

    + COMPASS and SPEEDOMETER mid century School Chart $20 USD
    + THE SUN 1960s Science School Chart $20 USD
    + MIGRATION and HIBERNATION vintage mid century Classroom Science Chart $20 USD


    Follow-up on using Wishpot for my Baby Shower | Getting ready for the baby

    follow up on using wishspot for a baby shower

    follow up on using wishspot for a baby shower

    I told you earlier that I created my wish list for my baby shower on Wishspot. Now that my baby shower is passed, I can share how it went. In two words, it works!

    The conclusions are that:

    • Many guests used it and found it easy to use.
    • They told me that they found the wish list to be very useful.
    • They used the Reserve function.
    • It guided people in their choice of colors. Everything fits together.
    • I am super lucky. My husband and I adore all the gifts we received.
    • Having a list that is not attached to one specific store is way better.
    HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

    Babel Bookshelf by Mario Mazzer for Bonaldo

    babel by mario mazzer for bonaldo

    babel by mario mazzer for bonaldo

    I enjoy the original shape of the five-tier bookshelf designed by Mario Mazzer for Bonaldo. The textured surface brings to this sculptural piece a resemblance to a tree trunk.

    babel bookshelf used to store tableware

    You can use it to store books, magazines, toys or tableware. It could even make a cool place to store your barware.

    + Babel Bookshelf $895 CAD at Bonaldo in Montreal
    + Babel Bookshelf by Mario Mazzer for Bonaldo


    DIY Monogrammed Ribbon

    velvet ribbon bookmark

    velvet ribbon bookmark

    With my ribbon collection now organized, I’m on a hunt for creative projects that will help me use up my stash and, in turn, allow me to replenish it with new colours, textures and patterns.

    This simple DIY project from Martha Stewart is a smart way to get custom ribbon for cheap. With the heat of an iron and rubber stamps, you can burnish words, monograms or pretty symbols into velvet ribbon (just don’t try this with satin, silk or polyester) – then use the personalized ribbon as a thoughtful addition to gifts. Here are a few ideas:

    • The next time you plan to gift a favourite read, pair it with a luxe, handmade bookmark made from wide ribbon imprinted with the recipient’s initials.
    • Give a framed photograph and create a ribbon matte (check out Martha Stewart’s how-to). Add the year or a special sentiment on the ribbon to complement the photo.
    • Skip the gift tag and add initials to the ribbon you’ll use to wrap a gift.
    • Create personalized ribbon to tie up wedding, shower or party favours.

    Set of 5 Velvet Ribbons on Wooden Spools from Sundance
    + Monogrammed Velvet Ribbon Tutorial from Martha Stewart
    + Frame with Velvet Ribbon Matte Tutorial from Martha Stewart

    ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

    Carnation Cones

    carnation cones

    carnation cones

    I usually dislike carnations. But I have to admit that Martha Stewart Living craft editor Marcie McGoldrich impressed me with this easy to do DIY carnation cones.

    You could either print your own pattern on heavyweight paper or buy a thick patterned paper at a local art & craft store to make your own cones. Secure the cone with double-sided tape. And do not forget to bind the stems with floral tape.

    + Martha Stewart Living, February 2011 issue – photo by Con Poulus


    Chocolate Soup for Valentine’s Day

    chocolate soup recipe

    chocolate soup recipe

    Soup for dessert may seem like a stretch, though with rich chocolate and cream as key ingredients, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more inventive or more indulgent to finish a Valentine’s Day meal.

    This recipe, created by Heather at Sprinkle Bakes, uses skim milk and half-and-half cream to slightly reduce the calorie count without sacrificing the soup’s velvety texture. You could also use flavoured chocolate and a splash of your favourite liqueur for an added indulgence. Skip the sandwich and serve it with pound cake croutons, biscotti or garnished with berries.

    What better way to warm hearts!

    + Chocolate Soup Recipe from Sprinkle Bakes


    2011 Food Trend: Honey

    honey spoons
    honey jars

    Pie may be getting all the buzz, but there’s something even sweeter on food trend lists this year: honey.

    Perhaps a reflection of the local food movement, beekeeping is making its mark in urban backyards. Food and Wine magazine reports the Carmel Valley Ranch in California allows guests to check on hives located all over the property, while the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto added a hive high above the city to help pollinate its rooftop garden and keep a steady stock of the hotel’s signature honey ready for chefs to use in sauces and dressings.

    honey spoons

    If you don’t plan to make bees a part of your backyard oasis, look for local honey in a variety of flavours at better food stores and farmer’s market. Try swapping sugar for some of honey’s natural sweetness in your everyday meals.

    For hundreds of recipe ideas, check out the U.S. National Honey Board.

    + Homemade Honey article from Food and Wine
    + Urban Beekeeping from House and Home
    + U.S. National Honey Board

    FAMILY KIDS rooms

    Baby-sized Mousehole for a Playroom

    child's fort with a mousehole

    playroom for babies and toddlers

    I wish we had enough space in our home to have a playroom just to make our own. I saw it on Dear Genevieve. She used the bottom of a bookcase – built on a closet – to make a child’s fort with an entrance shaped as a mousehole. This is brilliant and fun. I can’t imagine a toddler that will not be thrilled by this. But in our case, our son-to-be would have to share it with our two cats.

    toddler child's fort with a mousehole entrance

    If you want to know more about this project, the Hagop and Claudia’s Playroom episode will air 4 more times this week on HGTV Canada.