Browsing Tag

cottage

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Sand Box by Day, Fire Pit by Night

sand box around the fire pit

sand box around the fire pit
photo: Tongue & Groove via Houzz

I have a thing for clever use of space. And since space will only continue to be at premium, I feel that the future of the entire interior design industry passes by making better use of smaller spaces.

It is more common to show a double-duty room inside a home which is why I please to have found an example done in a backyard. It feels right to use sand instead of a stone floor around the fire pit at this property next to water. Young kids can play near their parents during the day, while the parents are comfortably relaxing in the Adirondack chairs.

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Simple and Delightful Ideas for Entertaining at the Cottage

outdoor movie :: pillows on the dock

outdoor movie :: pillows on the dock

Entertaining at a cottage by the lake must leave you time to enjoy the view and all the outdoor activities. A few simple steps is often enough to make your guests feel welcome.

You could start with these three ideas from a Montauk Surf Shack that was featured on The New York Times. What I like about these ideas is that you can reuse them over and over. The key component is to provide comfort in a fun and stylish way.

canvas teepees

  • Create your own outdoor theater with vintage webbed lawn chairs and a canvas screen. Ask your guests to bring the sangria, beer, popcorn and their favorite movie.
  • Spread a large collection of comfy pillows on the dock. Pillows are easy to make with outdoor fabrics and use less place than lounge chairs.
  • If you often invite a large group of people, why not build your own canvas teepees? This way, your guests will not have to bring their tent. Better yet, you will be ready for impromptu guests. Building the teepees could be a fun group activity one weekend.

SOURCING:
+ Webbed Lawn Chairs at Lawn Chairs USA $29.99 USD
+ photos: Randy Harris for The New York Times

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

My New Post on HGTV: Modern Style at the Cottage

modern style at the cottage

modern style at the cottage

August is about Camping and Cottaging on Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV.ca. For my monthly column, I gave it a modern twist. I am particularly proud that every item shown on the article is available in Canada. With a little digging, you can find cool products in this country.

My biggest challenge with this post was to select items for my short list. I was surprised by all the good stuff that is out there. My two favorite items are the Kayu teak table and benches and the affordable Notebook Grill. This BBQ grill is a cheaper option to the Eva Solo Table grill. And I cannot ignore the  beautiful Lighthouse oil lamps designed by Christian Bjørn.

+ Read more at Kim Vallee: Modern Style at the Cottage

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Stunning Swedish Outdoor Hot Tub

bathroom of Katarina Grundströmer as seen on Sköna Hem

bathroom of Katarina Grundströmer as seen on Sköna Hem

This summer home is heaven on Earth. I do not know which view I prefer between the bathroom or the outdoor wood-fired hot tub. This is the summer house of a new star in the Swedish stylist scene (according to Emmas designblog), Katarina Grundströmer.

wood-fired swedish hot tub as seen on sköna hem

Do not miss the rest of her summer home, it’s a place where it should be great to go every weekend.

SOURCING:
+ photos: Sköna Hem
+ via Apartment Therapy San Francisco

LIVING URBAN Living

Delightful Mondays: City Bike and a Swedish Summer House

civia loring city bikes

civia loring city bikes

Over the last couple of years, the vintage style of the Dutch (or Italian) city bike is in vogue. It’s cute and it’s true that you need a different style of bicycle to run errands and for transportation across the city. I love the aluminum racks with  bamboo panels. It used to be that we could only get these bikes from European brands. Since, a few American brands have started making vintage style utilitarian bikes.

This is the case of Civia Cycles, a Minnesota-based new comer. You can read Dottie’s review about the Civia Loring on Let’s Go Ride a Bike, a blog run by two girls.  Trisha in Nashville and Dottie in Chicago provide a women prospective in their bike reviews. They show on their blog that life on two wheels can be simple, stylish and fun. It sounds like a good match for At Home with Kim Vallee.

garden solarium in a summer house :: as seen on emmas designblog

I had to share this stylish solarium with a stunning garden view. I would like to rest, eat and on colder days, take care of my garden in that space. This is from a summer house on Gotland, Sweden’s largest island and a true summer paradise. Via Emmas designblog.

SOURCING:
+ Civia Loring from $895 – $1395 USD, photo by Let’s Go Ride a Bike
+ summer house solarium: photo by Johan Carlsson for Sköna Hem

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Easy DIY Summer Projects

diy summer projects by sweet paul

diy summer projects by sweet paul

I spotted on Sweet Paul two fun and easy DIY projects that have summer writing all over them. The first crafty idea let’s you build your own affordable hot house. This is important to produce robust seedlings. Paul repurposed the small water bottles and reused gardening pots that you already have.

The tray with string handles can be made with any type of small wooden crates. Paul made his with an old apple crate. It is great to carry things in and out of the backyard. Or to transport your lunch from the cottage to the dock.

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Hostess Gifts And Home Accessories for the Cottage

cottage decor :: canoe cushions and guest book

cottage decor :: canoe cushions and guest book

With the summer well installed – it’s over 27ºC this afternoon – we all think about weekends at the cottage. I spotted outdoor items at Indigo that could either add something new to the decor of your cottage or make a nice gift to your hosts.

wasp traps in jewel tones at Indigo

I will equip our terrace with a couple of those wasp traps in jewel tones. I did not buy them right away since I was not sure on which color to get. Colored glassed wasp traps are preferable since they hide the dead bodies. The wasp traps are priced at  2 for $20 CAD, or $12.95 each.

classic lawn games and pesto set at indigo

Or you can bring classic lawn games to provide hours of fun. The Pesto Kit provides the pestle and mortar, a recipe book and basil seeds. All those are only available in stores. I really wish that Indigo would add their home and gift sections to their Web site.

+ Indigo

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

DIY Ikea Bedside Chair

diy ikea bedside chair by kate pruitt on design sponge

diy ikea bedside chair by kate pruitt on design sponge

The summer cottage season is almost here. It’s time to prepare. I found an inexpensive way to add extra seating at the cottage and furnish the bedrooms on Design*Sponge. This afternoon DIY project converts a chair into a bedside table. The Ikea hack involves adding a drawer and a holder for a swivel lamp. Good job Kate!

It cost Kate Pruitt $51 in materials and took 2 to 3 hours to build. You will find the instructions of how to make your own on Design*Sponge.

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Soup

caramelized onion and mushroom soup by all the best

caramelized onion and mushroom soup by all the best

I absolutely love the traditional French onion soup. Who can resist the caramelized onion soup topped with croutons and melted cheese? When it is well done, the taste is divine. Ronda of All the Best shared a twist on the classic recipe that I want to try. Her recipe adds Portobello mushrooms and use goat cheese instead of the classic grated Swiss, Gruyere or Emmental cheese.

+ photo: Caramelized Onion Mushroom Soup recipe by All the Best

LIVING

Doing Moguls, at last!

kim vallee at the top of exil glade at Mont Sutton

kim vallee at the top of exil glade at Mont Sutton

I am pretty excited by my day so far. My husband and I went skiing. The weather was wonderful. And the ski conditions were great, considering the lack of snowfalls that we experienced lately.

But the reason my day was amazing is that I started to ski like I used to. I gained back my speed when I tackled steeper groomed slopes. The high of the day came when I did moguls. I am still very careful so I do them at a slower pace and without attacking the moguls but I did it. It felt great! You see, moguls are my favorite activity when I ski. After my ski accident in 2007, there were many times when I believe that I could not do that again. My surgeon and my sport doctor were both cautious and told me to not count of that. But I told them that I would do it again. I am so happy!

My husband filmed me going down the Exil glade at Mont Sutton. It is short. It gives you a feel of what I am talking about.