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

Restaurant Love - Malena

I absolutely adore the food at Malena (120 Avenue Rd.) but what also gets me excited about that restaurant is the decor. The interior is gorgeous and only adds to the ambiance.  The food is influenced by the flavours of the Mediterranean and as the restaurant is situated in a century old home they've created a space that is warm and inviting and not overly fussy (even though it's situated in the chi-chi Yorkville/Annex neighbourhood).

All photos via Malena


A large farmhouse style table with x-back chairs (just like mine!)

On trend industrial lighting, tin ceiling panels on the wall and reflective tiles in the ceiling

Introducing Madeline

My dining room chairs arrived this week and I am smitten with them.  I picked up the Madeline chair from Restoration Hardware.  It really was love at first sight as I've always admired Thonet's 19th Century bentwood chairs (seen in most European cafes). It is a very comfortable chair and will age beautifully.  My chairs are stained in RH's brown oak drifted to coordinate with the table and bench I had already purchased (much darker than the photograph below). 

via Restoration Hardware