December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone all the very best in 2012 - let it be a year full of inspiration!

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Season's greetings from the TDot!

December 01, 2011

MLS Finds - Bankview

Was doing a little scan through MLS and this lovely caught my eye.  It was renovated by Rectangle Design and is situated in the Bankview neighbourhood of Calgary.  Very innovative design and certainly a rather unique find for the city (it's only 816 sq ft but looks much larger).  I visited Rectangle Design's site and perused their gallery of projects and loved all of them. They have a very modern aesthetic but certainly come up with some creative space solutions.  Definitely a site I'll be revisiting to see what their future projects look like. 
Great exterior shot (which is what attracted me to look at more pics)

Love the beam in the ceiling. The modern furniture pieces aren't too stark.

I personally love all the grey tones.  The wood trim on the counter adds some impact.

Great details - the artwork really ties into the design.  I also think that is a beautiful floor.

November 27, 2011

Decking the Halls

It is officially time to start trimming the tree.  I typically wait until December 1st to pull out the x-mas decorations but am hosting a small dinner party and wanted the house to look festive for my friends.  My parents are also coming to stay with me for the holidays so I wanted to take it up a notch.

I started by moving my living room furniture around to free up the front window as I love how the tree looks there and it provides some interest to the exterior of the house when the lights are on.  The living room is a wee bit cozy but since I have yet to find a coffee table for that room it actually works out perfectly.

Ornaments and shiny bells glitter in the candlelight
Garland via The Bay reconfigured into a wreath

Garland added to the chandelier
Garland and holiday decor on the bookcase

Christmas detail added to the mirror
Tree all aglow

Lovely little vignette (large ornaments are from Winners)

Interior wreath - garland is from The Bay
Ornaments on display

Lighting Inspiration

My final Lighting project involves a two bedroom condo.  Our instructor wants us to challenge ourselves with our lighting choices and reminds us that there is no budget!  Some fabulously expensive lighting finds I found include:

Artichoke Glass Pendant - Design within Reach

Wooster Pendant Light - YLighting

Cadmo Floor Lamp - Artimede

Leaf Light - Design within Reach

November 06, 2011

Looking for a Coffee Table

I moved the coffee table from my living room to my family room a few months ago and have yet to replace it.   I have a bronzed large mirror in that room and need select one with a similar metal tone.  A wood coffee table will be difficult to find as I have a red tone in the hardwood and then the dining room furniture has much darker tones in it.  A few options I'm considering:

Bel Aire Oval Coffee Table - Crate & Barrel 

Clairemont Coffee Table - Crate & Barrel

Foxed Mirror - West Elm

Tanner Coffee Table - Pottery Barn

November 05, 2011

New Rug - FLOR

After my previous post on FLOR, I decided to order some tiles but actually didn't select the rug per my post "In Need of a Rug"  FLOR sent along their catalogue and that's when I found Due East in Pepper.  It works really well with the existing furniture and rug in my living room which is essential since it's an open plan.  I selected a custom size to work with my own space and ordered some extra tiles to accommodate the dining room table when it's extended.  Love it!

The reveal

Laying the tiles out with Shoppy

The finished product

Detailed shot
Another view

Getting Country-fied

Project 3 for Interior Decorating I involves designing a condo for a client with a specific design style in mind on a $70,000 budget - my partner and I got a single woman with three cats that likes "North American Country" and pastels.  She is also a piano teacher and needs a room/space for lessons that is separate from her personal space.  We also have to incorporate her piano and a pre-existing hutch (which thankfully can be painted).  Definitely a challenge.  I'm leaning towards shabby chic and a more modern interpretation of country - here are some of my inspiration photos:

Lovely kitchen - via Mad About Pink
Sweet little nook - via Decorpad

Subdued living room - via Modern Home Furniture

And who can forget the originator of shabby chic, Rachel Ashwell - her site is full of amazing room designs, furniture and accessories.

October 23, 2011

Bathroom Re-do

My second project in Interior Decorating I involves taking our existing bathrooms and re-imagining them.  The twist is that we need to apply Green Design concepts.  Meaning we need to consider sustainability, our carbon footprint, upcycling, refurbishing, etc.  My plan is to find new items for my presentation board but then also include Craigslist finds to demonstrate that I can find and re-use some local cast-offs.

One easy application to demonstrate Green Design is to go low-VOC with our paint selection.  A Benjamin Moore rep came to speak to our class a few weeks ago and had a lot to share about the types of chemical additives included in paints and how that impacts the VOC rating.  I've painted with Benjamin Moore paints before (see post re: Time to Freshen Things Up) and it has amazing coverage.  Definitely an incentive to fork over a few extra $$s for their Aura or Natura lines.

For my bathroom re-do, I've decided to replace my tub with a free-standing cast iron tub.  Injecting some of the Victorian design elements back into my Victorian-age home.  The design theme is rustic industrial - it's going to be a moody room with dark paint and zinc-topped furniture.  Here are some of the items I'm planning to incorporate into the room:

Wolf Gray BM 2127-40

Roxburgh - Victoria and Albert

Mansard Mirror - Restoration Hardware

Zinc accents - The Art Shoppe

Ribbed Glass Filament Sconce - Restoration Hardware

October 22, 2011

Furniture Bank

After buying a new dining room table (something more house-size and less condo-size), I needed to figure out what to do with my old table and chairs.  Craigslist is a popular choice for selling furniture but I've also heard a few horror stories and wasn't terribly keen on having a stranger-danger come by my place.  I remember one of my instructors mention the Furniture Bank so decided to do a bit of research. 

Furniture Bank is a registered charity that transfers gently used furniture and household goods to people who have recently transitioned from homelessness.  I remember when I moved into my first apartment and had a huge list of items I needed to buy, borrow and inherit just to fill that space. I can't imagine someone trying to do that and get back on their feet.  You can either drop off items at their donation warehouse or for a fee, they will come and pick-up your donation.  All donations receive an in-kind receipt at the donated value - a little extra incentive on top of the warm and fuzzies for doing a good deed.

The warehouse is on a quiet side street with ample room to stop and unload your items.  You are instantly issued a receipt for your donation which is then followed up by the in-kind donation receipt sent by the government.  All in all a very easy experience.

October 21, 2011

Fall colours

It really feels like Fall in the TDot and with the cooler weather it's the perfect time to remove any summer decor from the house and add some warmth.  Just like we would pack up our summer clothes and bring back the wool sweaters, we can do the same in our house.  We swap out the cotton blankets and add the heavier duvet and cozy blankets.  We move the accessories in pale tones to storage and pull out the fiery accents instead.

I always mark the change in each season by replacing the wreath on my front door, pulling out some art in red and orange tones and adding a little sparkle.

via Desire to Inspire

Of course, this is from Martha

October 08, 2011


As part of one of my projects for school, I needed to create a board with the design for a bedroom.  Our instructor has encouraged us to bring "props" - pillowcases, pieces of wood representing the stain of furniture, hardware, etc. as in her experience clients like to see and touch the products we recommend.  I've designed a kid's room and one of the items in my design are the oh-so-popular knit poufs.  I had previously found the pattern for the design at Green Eyed Monster and with the incentive of this class project decided to try making one myself.  I picked up wool from Romni Wools (658 Queen St West) and started to knit away.  It probably took me about five hours to knit and I made it a bit bigger by casting on 60 stitches.  Here's the finished product:

Nice size for a toddler

The colour is really vibrant and fun
Update:  I brought this pouf to Calgary for my nephews and they loved it!  They used it as a pillow and a chair - they also threw it at each other but since it's so soft, there were no injuries or tears.

October 07, 2011

Office Inspiration

My home office (aka "the attic") has become overwhelmed with school projects, craft supplies, design magazines and the "no where else to store" items.  I am desperate to re-design the space but have continued to put it off as I need to actually move the majority of the items out of the room before I can re-paint it.  I also need to de-clutter the space first and that always becomes a time-consuming task as I inevitably become distracted (love those old yearbooks).

The following images are some of the offices I covet and hope one day to be able to post a similar photo (I just love mood boards):

via artessen

via Made by Girl

via The House that Kat and Fred Built

Via Dwellinggawker

October 02, 2011

Restaurant Love - The Gabardine

I had dinner at The Gabardine a few weeks ago and fell in love with the food and the room.  It's a small space but the design matches the comfort food and is warm and quaint.  The brick has been painted white and they have small bistro tables which makes it easy for sharing their fabulous desserts.  The exposed Edison bulb fixtures are on trend and the artwork scattered around the room adds whimsy to the space.

All photos from The Gabardine site:

Exterior - huge window for watching the Financial District crew walk by

White brick, tin ceiling tiles and ubiquitous blackboard for the menu

October 01, 2011


I subscribe to 20x200's weekly e-mails but have yet to buy any art from the site.  I received a promotional e-mail this week though for people just like me - those that peruse the site but haven't purchased anything.  The incentive is $20 off of any print that is $50 or more.  This is exactly the push I need (marketing works!) and now must decide which piece to pull the trigger on.  A few that have caught my eye in the past:

Winter Flags, East Village, New York by Youngna Park
Untitled #17 by Matthew Tischler
Dandelion Clotheslines, Santiago, Chile by William Lamson
Kite Hill by Paul Octavious