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home accessories

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

My Home: The New Red Vases for My Living Room

new red vases in my living room

When I went to Zone last Friday for buying the small red gourde vase that I, initially, planned for my entryway, I realized that the vase would be too large for the IKEA shoe cabinet. But I didn’t waste my time since I noticed that it was the same orange red than my Eames rocking chair. Since the vases were at 50% off, I bought it and its tall companion. I was right! The color matches perfectly. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase.

The next step is to get rid of the bulky media center computer, the stereo style component under the red vases. I asked my husband to explore ways that we could do this. He is in charge of everything that is technological at home. Stay tuned for our progress.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

New Uses for Picture Rails

spools of thread stored on picture rail

Picture rails are way more versatile than its name would suggest. Let’s explore ways that you could use them. Beware that reading this post may trigger a desire to install picture rails in every room of your home.

In a Craft Room or Design Studio

One idea to steal from crafter, knitter and designer Brett Bara’s studio tour is her use of a picture frame ledge to hold spools of thread. I love the burst of colors and the practical application. Continue Reading

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

At the Opening Night of Ethan Allen’s Design Centre in Montreal

ming display sideboard with kim vallee at ethan allen

ethan allen cours mont royal opening night
from left to right:  Maripier Morin (TV columinist), Valérie Taillefer and Jean Airoldi (TV hosts and couple), me (Kim Vallée) Vanessa Sicotte (TV host and blogger) Mélissa Nepton (fashion designer), Julie du Page (comedian) and Mr. Farooq Kathwari (Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen).

Last Thursday, I had the honor to be one of the 5 design personalities who were invited to pick their 5 top choices for the Design Centre Opening Night of the first French-speaking Ethan Allen store. If you are not familiar with the brand, you will like to know that you can tailor their furniture pieces to fit your taste and that Ethan Allen provides free interior designer services to their clients.

Now, let’s talk about my 5 picks. I rely on my own signature lifestyle: entertaining in style. For that, I selected furniture that are making a statement and that will stand the test of time.

josephine chair

My first choice was a modern take on a French classic. I absolutely felt in love with the fabric on the armless Josephine chair.

webber china cabinet in sunny yellow

Then, the bright yellow of the Webber china cabinet caught my eye. It is unusual to find a tall china cabinet that stays the same depth from the top to the floor. It is the type of china cabinet that I would definitely enjoy if it was in my own home.

Antiqued Glass Candlesticks

Candlesticks are a must have for anyone who entertains a lot.  Made of faux mercury glass, which is blown double-walled with silver placed between the layers, the Antiqued Glass Candlesticks bring the right amount of glitter and drama. Everyone who attended the opening night party returned with one of my picks. The small and the medium sized candlesticks were in our party bag.

My last two choices have a gentleman mood to reflect the trend towards more gender-neutral and masculine home decor. And they both have a distressed finish.

marapi table

We all need a versatile small side table. The sculptural shape of the Marapi table made it a winner for a reading nook, or to be used as a night table. You can bring it to your living room when you host a cocktail party. The table is heavy to move so you don’t have to worry that it will fall down if someone bumps into it while a few drink glasses sat on it. If you like the Marapi table, you can have it delivered fast since it is from the Ethan Allen Express collection.

ming display sideboard with kim vallee at ethan allen

My fifth item is the awesomely rustic Ming display sideboard. The compound miter corners are a nice touch. I like how it feels strong yet polished, especially in this vignette. It is currently showcased at the store next to a stunning L-shaped grey leather sofa. I imagine this design as the perfect living room for an urban couple or a design-savvy bachelor.

ethan allen cours mont-royal

Located at Cours Mont-Royal with an outside entry door at the corner of Metcalfe and Maisonneuve West, the 9,000 square feet store is both elegant and inspiring. If you are in Montreal, I invite you to discover what is inside the new Ethan Allen’s store.

photo credits: a mix of mine and from photographer Marc Dussault

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

STACT Modular Wine Wall

stact column

stact modular wall wine storage

Forget the big flat panel TV!  STACT may become the prized possession of your man. I must admit that I prefer it to his huge TV.

You know that I have a thing for modern, efficient, space-saving item. When I saw it this morning in my inbox, I was intrigued.  STACT is a modular wine wall system created by 2012 ICFF award-winning designer Eric Pfeiffer for the Vancouver-based wine storage company of the same name.

You can mount a single panel, create your own custom pattern and plan, or grow your system as your collection evolves over time. It comes in six finishes. I like how it can fill an otherwise empty kitchen wall.

stact column

This is a project funded through Kickstarter. To make it a reality, STACT needs to raise $20,000.  The STACT modular wine wall system suggested retail price is $129.99 each but if you can get up to 40% off the suggested price if you pre-order yours on Kickstarter.

ENTERTAINING EVERYDAY entertaining

Three Creative Uses of Washi Masking Tapes

washi tapes on flower vases

washi tape loot bags

Keeping a reserve of washi tapes can be a time-saver when you have to create last-minute party decorations. Washi tapes immediately transformed a basic bags or bottles into something with personality. I compiled a lit of amazing projects made by crafters and small shop owners on the blogosphere.

Loot Bags

If you are looking for a simple project, you can’t beat the kids loot bags made by Omiyage, a Canadian store. Their kids collection is composed of a range of animal and transportation themes. Recycle their loot bag idea for any occasion. You could even use it to gift wrap a present in a hurry.

The second project is by cu·te·ta·pe (pronounce: koo-teh-tah-pee), who also sells washi tapes online and other party/craft supplies.

washi paper bags

The creator of cu·te·ta·pe transformed the simple white lunch bag into a remarkable party favor bags with striped paper straws, washi tape and matchin twines.  You can write the recipient names on the tape. I love it! cu·te·ta·pe sells all the materials online except for the bags.

Playtime

washi doll house

I salute this first project from Japan. They used washi tapes to decorate a doll house. What a simple way to really put your stamp on the design scheme! See more stunning pictures about mt factory tour, a Japanese washi masking tape maker at Poppytalk.

washi drawing board

You can also apply washi tapes on a foam board to create your own city block mat or on a thick drawing paper to fuel your kids imagination. Even though my son is a little bit young for those activities, I love this idea so much that I bought the transport theme tapes from Omiyage. I imagine the hours of pleasure that he will have playing together or with his buddies.

Home Accents

washi tapes on flower vases

You can tailor plain bottles, jars or flower vases to your party theme or home decor by applying washi tapes around the containers. Look at how beautiful is this project by Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint for decor8.

SOURCING:
+ Take A Ride Washi Tape Set $15 CAD for 3 rolls at Omiyage
+ Washi masking tapes from $3.50 USD a roll to $30 for a pack at cu·te·ta·pe
+ washi doll house photo: Ros Lee of Polkaros for Poppytalk

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Liberty of London Fabric Garlands Made in Quebec

les triplettes garlands

les triplettes garlands

This morning I had breakfast with Sophie Manessiez Guinet, the co-founder of minibulles.ca and Les Triplettes and the other panelists to prepare our e-Commerce and women panel at Webcom Montreal in May. On our way back, I walked home with Sophie. So we chatted on our current projects. This is where I learned about her new venture, Les Triplettes.

I wish to introduce their fabric garlands made with Liberty of London textile. Sophie is fond of these fabrics. The Liberty of London is a high quality cotton with delicate patterns. I usually buy my fabric garlands on Etsy but it is good to know that they are some produced in Quebec.

Available in 10 patterns, Les Triplettes garlands will cheer up any playroom.

SOURCING:
+ Les Triplettes Garland $36 at Minibulles.ca

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Paint Dipped DIY Round-Up

paint dip utensils kitchen diy

Paint-dipped furniture has been making the rounds as a subtle way to embrace the bold and bright color trend. But if you’re not willing to sacrifice a favourite wooden chair or stool for this trend, the technique can be adapted for inexpensive home accessories.

These DIYs prove how easy it is get a custom look with a designer vibe. If you have leftover cans of paint, these use-what-you-have projects are the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon: transforming unwanted clutter into something beautiful.

paint dip utensils kitchen diy

In The Kitchen

Wooden utensils and mismatched silverware are prime candidates for this technique. If you don’t have any kicking around your kitchen, look for inexpensive options in dollar stores or secondhand shops.

Don’t worry too much about coordinating shades – remember, the goal is to use up your painting leftovers – but try to keep similar tones together, as Erin from House of Earnest did with her wooden utensils. Even neutral shades look cool in a group.

Want to keep all eyes on the table at dinner? Try dipping the handles of a set of silverware in a mega-watt color. Creatively Christy used multiple colors for a fun effect, which is also a clever way to disguise a mismatched set. Planning your next dinner party? Stick with neutral linens and dishes, and use dip-dyed cutlery to dress things up, or coordinate them with your party palette.

paint dip bowl glasses diy

In The Dining Room

Speaking of dinner parties, if gold-rimmed china isn’t in your budget, this cool alternative adds a bit of gilded glam to your table. If you’re feeling super creative, you can make your own porcelain bowl before dipping it with this tutorial on Curbly, though these dishes are better suited for table styling than eating off of.

No one will care that your goblets aren’t crystal thanks to Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken’s creativity. She created this gold version for holiday dinner, but we’re imagining them in the metallic-of-the-moment, copper, or in a summery hue for outdoor entertaining.

paint dip diy flower vase candle holder

Around the House

It’s the little things that make a house a home, and it’s the trendy little accessories that keep your home out of a décor rut. We love these baby food jars-turned-mini vases from Oh Happy Day for a spring shower or birthday, and the way Design Love Fest gave these basic and boring vases an instant upgrade with a dip – make that a spray! – of colour.

wicker basket paint dip martha stewart

We all have more wicker baskets than we’d like to admit. Give these open storage essentials an update with a dip of colour, as shown on MarthaStewart.com. White paint freshens their look for a laundry room or bathroom, but they’re easy to imagine on a patio in a sunny yellow, or as toy storage in your child’s favourite colour.

Do you have paint just waiting to be put to use? Will you try this trend?

SOURCING:
+ Paint Dipped Wooden Utensils from House of Earnest
+ Colorful Silverware DIY from Creatively Christy
+ Gold-Dipped Bowl DIY from Curbly
+ Gold-Dipped Wine Glass DIY from Say Yes to Hoboken
+ Paint Dipped Mini Vases from Oh Happy Day
+ Color-Dipped Vase DIY from Design Love Fest
+ Dip-Dyed Baskets from Martha Stewart

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Meet Duck Harry, which is Not a Rubber Ducky

duck harry

duck harry

Don’t be fooled by what you see at first sight. I was thrilled when I thought that they modernized the rubber duck that is the companion of every child’s bath time. But it is not the case. Duck Harry can’t float! Instead, Icelandic designer Hlynur Atlason created it as a multi-purpose item. Intended usages are a a toothbrush/toothpaste tube holder when you put it on the side, a doorstop or a paperweight. I wonder if we could use it as a bookend.

So, what your verdict? Would you give Duck Harry a chance? Or, are you disappointed, like me, that it can’t float? Having said that, Duck Harry would look great as a doorstep for a nursery or a bathroom.

SOURCING:
+ Duck Harry, in yellow or black $28 USD at Kontextür

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

What to Do on Valentine’s Day: Take a clue from this scene

mister T by French designer antoine lesur

mister T by French designer antoine lesur

When I started dating my husband, we used to go to a nice restaurant at Valentine’s Day. Then, one year I suggested that we had a romantic dinner at home. It has been our tradition ever since.  Maybe, we will establish a new tradition this year since we are new parents.We did not discuss it yet. But I know is that I would like to start my day where my husband and I chat around a coffee with a warm French croissant and jam. Since our baby wakes up at 11 AM, we would have the time to do it.

When I saw this picture, I was immediately inspired by the set up that reminds me our trip to Japan. I came empty-handed trying to find a store where I could buy Mister T by French designer Antoine Lesur. I simply learned that Mister T is edited by Oxyofor Made in Design. On the bright side, Mister T is an occasional furniture composed of a basket, a tray and two cushions. Therefore, it should easy to recreate the concept at home with cushions that are comfy to sit on, a low table and a tray. We could even sit side by side to be closer to each other.

If you prefer to wait later in the day to start celebrating Valentine’s Day, you can always use the same idea to sip a cocktail.

SOURCING:
Mister T designed by Antoine Lesur

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Modern Mobiles from Puka Puka

mobile modern nursery colorful

mobile modern nursery colorful

Art doesn’t need to hang on the wall to impact your space, and these handcrafted mobiles from Australia’s Puka Puka Design are a perfect example.

Handmade from ethically sourced, high quality materials, each mobile is unique and designed to bring a bit of nature into your space, with designs inspired by the sky and sea.

We love the organic shapes and contemporary color pairings, and that the mobiles add visual interest without adding visual clutter. We can see these in almost any room of the home – from the corner of the living room to an entryway or office – so think beyond the nursery (though they’d look lovely there, too).

SOURCING:

+ Puka Puka Modern Mobiles, $80 and up