This post is sponsored by Ethan Allen. The opinions are mine.
If you follow me, you know by now that I adore double duty furniture. In my book, green living starts with buying things that will last, which is why I try to buy versatile pieces of furniture.
A dresser is typically associated with the bedroom. But if you select one with the right style, your new dresser or chest can go in any room. I will show you how three dressers feel at home in an entryway, a living room and a dining room. Continue Reading
If you’re worried about shoegazing guests at your next dinner party, this solution is sure to liven things up.
Not everyone is brave enough to paint their hardwood floors, but if you’re going to do it, go big, bright and bold as did homeowner Kristen Kauffman. Her knockout DIY dining room floor appears in the February 2011 issue of Better Homes & Gardens.
Balanced with white walls, wood furniture and sparse decor, the graphic pattern and unexpected color combination add a youthful, modern vibe to an otherwise traditional space.
I admire Kristen’s gutsy decorating decision. Have you ever made such a bold statement with paint?
Excellent space planning often leads to no waste space in a home. It often requires to think outside the box to found easy to implement solutions. Let’s look at two efficient ways to achieve that goal.
Placing the bedrooms at each end while the open kitchen / living area occupies the middle of the house eliminates the need for a corridor. This is what architect Rick Bzowy did for this superb perched over a hill resort holiday house. Located in Tasmania, this modern architecture house costs $2.5 millions. You can stay at The Lair for $1,100 a night.
Storage Units used as Wall Partition
Another space saving technique is to delimit the space between two rooms with tall storage units. In a Montreal loft, the owner raised a mid-century bookcase on a platform. Then, they hung full-length drapes at the back of bookcase to add privacy to their guest bedroom.
A full-height storage and display unit separates the dining room from the living room. By keeping the center low, you maintain a visual connection between both rooms.
+ The Lair Holiday House in Tasmania
+ Factory Special from Canadian House and Home – January 2011 issue – photo by Jean Longpré
+ Minimal to the Max from Canadian House and Home – January 2011 issue – photo by Rob Fiocca
Girly without being too sweet, the vibrant yet sophisticated palette of this nursery makes me wish I could go back in time to re-live my toddler years.
One wouldn’t always consider icy grey paint as the backdrop for a nursery, but here it’s warmed up with hits of chartreuse green and bold, honeysuckle pink in the fabrics and room accessories creating a fresh and energetic vibe.
The parents-to-be added plenty of personalized touches with custom bedding and curtains (via Etsy shop Rocky Top Design) and DIY projects. I love their twist on a standard Ikea Expedit bookshelf. By flipping it on it’s side and adding drawers and doors, they’ve created a functional furniture piece that would work just as well in an office or as a sideboard.
A pretty gallery wall is comprised of bold fabrics in ornate, thrifted frames sprayed white.
You can check out more details and find sources used to create this lovely nursery at Cape 27 blog.
+ Nursery Makeover and Sources at Cape 27 Blog
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
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 also designed this casual hall way. Here shoe cabinets add a more stylish touch.
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
We upgraded all the fixtures and finishes in our second bathroom. I want to design a bathroom that feels calm, is gender neutral and one where my upcoming son can grow with. In fact, I am jealous of some of the details.
I am really happy about my choice of materials. The unifying element are subtle horizontal lines. The color scheme is blue, white and gray. The starting point was these rectangular (4×16 inches) white textured tiles. They look great and were affordable. I added two blue glass tile borders in a shower/tub area and continue the pattern on the vanity wall. I only need 8 sheets to do the entire bathroom. Therefore, the glass tiles was not a too expensive splurge.
I found the vanity at Home Depot. It is a little high for a kid but finding a ready-made vanity that could fit my plumbing holes and that comes without a top and sink can be a challenge. Anyway, I prefer that the bathroom is not only designed for kids. I already made sure that the toilet and the bathtub will be suitable for the needs of a toddler.
I selected a laminated vanity top to keep cost down. I selected Brushed Aluminum by Arborite (that is apparently discontinued). It has similar horizontal lines than the tiles on the wall and on the floor (not shown).
The walls and the ceiling are painted P5004-24 (Baby Hugs) while the small accent wall is P5005-41 (Pinstripe) by Para Paints, which nicely donated the paints to decorate the rooms of my home. I selected the ULTRA Kitchen & Bath paint for the bathroom.
I can wait to see it when it will be all done. It will not happen before February since I now concentrate my efforts on the finishing touches around the rest of the home.
+ 48 In. Cognac Casual Vanity by American Classics $499 CAD at Home Depot
+ Loft Over the Counter Sink by American Standard
There are so many amazing FREE printables available for Christmas. So many, in fact, that we had to split our round-up into four parts! If you haven’t started decorating for the holidays Part 2 is decking your halls with cute, printable and FREE options.
The sisters at Eighteen25 created this poster that’s a typography lover’s dream. It would make a sweet holiday addition to a mantle or entryway. Don’t miss the instructions for the coordinating pennant banner.
This paper chain garland style from WhipUp is likely a flashback to the Christmases of your childhood, but the downloadable patterns in fresh colorways give it a modern update.
Kids will love this printable gingerbread man garland from Amy Karol at Angry Chicken. It’s an easy project for kids to decorate their bedroom or play area.
Missed part 1? Check out our round-up of printable holiday lists. Up next: printable cards and tags!
+ Christmas Subway Art and Banner from Eighteen2
+ Paper Garland from WhipUp
+ Gingerbread Garland from Angry Chicken
Kim’s cardboard tree post last week got me thinking about alternatives to a traditional tannenbaum – like this modern, Scandinavian-inspired tree. Handmade in Australia from solid red cedar, this tabletop tree is perfect for those who live in small spaces but crave a bit of the season. I love that it can be dressed up or down and that it’s easy to change mid-way through the holidays.
If you plan to leave your tree unattended, make sure to use flameless tea lights.
+ Tabletop Timber Christmas Tree by Red Zebra Designs $145 USD on Etsy
Once a style faux pas, wearing jewelery accessories in multiple metallic shades is a relatively recent trend. Cruise your favorite shop this season and you won’t have trouble finding layered necklaces, cuff bracelets and bold cocktail rings that pair gold, platinum, pewter and bronze tones for a luxe look.
The mixed metal trend works just as well when it comes to holiday decor. Metals marry well because they’re essentially neutral shades. They help to add the drama, sparkle and elegance of the season – just think of them as the “jewelery” of your Christmas decorating scheme.
For an over-the-top, opulent look, pair gold and silver together, as seen in this tabletop by Hostess with the Mostess. Dress up everyday white china by layering inexpensive gold chargers and chunky metallic napkin rings. Use garland and simple glass balls in matte and reflective shades to add texture to the table.
On a smaller scale, one could imagine this gorgeous gold garland as a statement necklace; instead it makes a statement in this entryway spotted on Style At Home. The neutral decor is the perfect canvas to layer sparkling silver accents both on and under the tree.
This simple white tabletop topiary offers multiple branches to mix metallic ornaments for a contemporary version of the traditional tree. It looks modern on its own and when matched with other metallic accents on a mantle.
If you’re opting for a more natural holiday theme, you can still add a bit of glitz with warm bronze tones. This Metallic Leaf Garland from Crate & Barrel can be dressed up or down with gold and silver tabletop accents. Something tells me these sequined creatures would be right at home tucked amongst the leaves.
How will you mix metallic finishes in your holiday decor?
+ Gold and Silver Shimmer Tabletop Tutorial from Hostess with the Mostess
+ Silver and Gold Stairway from Style At Home
+ David Stark Twig Topiary $39 USD at West Elm
+ Metallic Leaf Garland $39.99 at Crate & Barrel
+ Sequin Animals $25 at West Elm
Real Simple can teach you how to make your own ornament chandelier for this Holiday season. You build tiers with balls attached to ribbons of different lengths. Then, glue the ball together to affix your creation.
For the second project, you will need plenty of small ornaments. Real Simple used retro bell-shaped ornaments to create its columns of ornaments. You could use various decorated small balls instead. The 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments or the Dew Drop Ornaments mixed the Jingle Bell Ornaments provide more options.
+ Ornament chandelier from Real Simple – photos: Francesco Lagnese
+ Bells Curtain from Real Simple
+ 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments $44.95 USD for 12 balls at Crate & Barrel
+ Dew Drop Ornaments $6.95 for set of 20
+ Jingle Bell Ornaments $1 each
With the hustle of the holidays already upon us, it can be a challenge to make time to reflect on what the season is all about. That’s why I loved this thoughtful idea and accompanying DIY project from Silverbox Studios.
These printable strips feature the phrase “I am thankful for…” in elegant type, with room to write what you’re grateful for. Use the strips as napkin rings, tags for tree branches or to make paper garland. The examples were printed on kraft paper, but you can coordinate with your decor or tabletop by printing on coloured card stock or decorative paper.
This is a wonderful activity for guests of all ages, especially if you’ll be celebrating American Thanksgiving.
+ DIY Thanksgiving Printables from Silverbox Studios