November 29, 2012

Dreaming of .... Front Hall

"Dreaming of...." will be an ongoing series as I begin the process of turning my house into my home.  First up, the front hall.

Here is my front hall as it looks today:

Certainly an improvement from where it started and you can see the "before" shot in an earlier post Mini-makeover - Front Hall.

This is what I'm hoping it'll look/feel like though:
Suzanne Dimma's gorgeous front hall - via House & Home
Front hall of one of my fave bloggers - via  Door Sixteen
Pops of yellow and a great shelf for keys - via Better Homes & Gardens
The home of Janette Maclean - via Design Mom
Wonderful red door and classic penny tile - via House & Home
Although these spaces look different and have varying design styles, they do have several common themes.  All of these front halls are bright and welcoming and certainly suggest to guests what they may expect to see in the rest of the house.  Each space has personality and includes repeating patterns/colours which is important in even a small space.

I'm hoping to accomplish something similar with a few additions like:

New tile - I'd love something white, bright and vintage
Octagon & Dot with grey grout
Basket weave
Penny round
Coat rack - without a hall closet, my jackets are currently stashed in one of the three (yes, three!) closets in my bedroom which is not very convenient

Coat Rack Bench - Restoration Hardware
Grid Coat Rack - Crate & Barrel
Metal Tipped Coat Rack - West Elm
Shoe rack - it's nice to be able to have several options at the front door
Kellan Shoe Rack - Pottery Barn
Shelf - something small for my keys and a few accessories
Rustic Wood Shelf - Pottery Barn
Holman Shelf - Pottery Barn
Reclaimed Wood Wall Shelf - Restoration Hardware
Seating/bench - I've always wanted a rustic bench at the front door and finally have space for one
Addison Storage Bench - Crate & Barrel
Offset Bench - West Elm
Storage - a bit of a catch-all for toques, mitts, scarves, shoe polish, bags, etc.
Barika Totes - Crate & Barrel
Metal Mesh Bin - Restoration Hardware
Woven Felt Baskets - West Elm
Repeating pattern/colour - I don't have a large house, so I'm planning on working a similar shade of blue into each room in my house.  The rug I recently added is a perfect start and adding a small tray, vase or piece of artwork in the same colour will tie it all together.
Fold Key Hook - CB2
Lacquer Stash Box - Jonathan Adler

Mille_Fleurs by Brea Souders - 20x200

November 18, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Here's what I was up to this weekend...
Shopping at the Calgary Art Market
Day tripping to Banff
Putting up Christmas decorations

November 15, 2012

One of a Kind Show

I am so excited to have a business trip next week to Toronto and even more excited that it coincides with the One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale.  The show happens twice a year (the Spring show falls around Easter) and I tried to go at least once a year when I was living in TO.

The show isn't your typical 'craft show'.  First, it is absolutely massive and takes hours to get through the whole show.  Second, every type of craft is available at all price points and the curators for the show ensure there is a mix of artisans to meet everyone's taste.

Here are the booths I'll be stalking:
Artwork by Kelly Grace
I love Grapefruit Peppermint, Spiced Pumpkin and Cranberry Vanilla

Old Island Stamp Co.
Children's toys by Fidoodle
Amazing printed textiles by Bookhou

And that is just a VERY small sample as each time I visit the show I always find a new and original artist. I also tend to finish most of my x-mas shopping and am planning to bring a large suitcase with me   on this trip to bring back lots of goodies.

November 11, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Here's what I was up to this weekend...

Felting Christmas ornaments (no judgment on first attempts)
Baking peanut butter banana muffins
Scoping out window casings

Lest we Forget

November 09, 2012

Books - A Second Life

After my uncle passed away this summer, my Mom found some books in his apartment that she thought I could use for various decor/craft projects.

The "I See All - The World's First Picture Encyclopedia" has five volumes and is exactly what it sounds like, an encyclopedia of pictures rather than text.  Each page is jammed with various snippets of black and white pictures of definitions, historical events, famous personalities, etc.

I looked the books up on-line and they aren't worth a lot and don't appear to be rare or overly unusual so I don't feel too bad cutting them up.

The biggest project I'm going to use them on is to wallpaper my upstairs office nook.  The inspiration is from one of my favourite stores in Toronto,  Love the Design.  The owner, Christine Flynn, wallpapered one of the walls in her store with pages from vintage books.  I love the look and think it'll be perfect for a small space.

I'm currently going through the books and pulling pages with topics related to design and other personal interests so the images I see each day are ones I really love.  With five volumes though, there are a lot of extra pages so I'm looking for a few other crafts to do.  Some ideas include:
Table runner
Wreath - tutorial at Katydid and Kid
Wrapping paper
Run the pages through a printer and add new images
And the list of potential craft projects goes on and on and on.

November 08, 2012

Mini-makeover - Front Hall

It is going to take some time to find all the "right" pieces to pull my new house together.  I have a long list for each room and most of those items are on my phone so when I'm out-and-about, I know what I'm on the hunt for and have all the essential measurements for any larger items.

My front hall is quite wide so there is plenty of space to take off your shoes, hang up your coats, drop your bags, etc.  The only problem is that there is no hall closet.  The former owners left a huge wooden rack with hooks and a shelf but the little cherubs on it weren't exactly my style so it was removed while I was re-painting.  The blinds you see in the photo are broken and the hall light is not very bright and casts a horrible yellow light.  With the dark colour on the walls and the brown tile at the entrance, the space just sucked up any light that came through the side window - the complete opposite of an inviting entrance.

The dark walls sucked all the light out of the space 
I used Stonington Grey by Benjamin Moore and now the natural light bounces around the space 
Not a huge fan of the colour of this tile - contemplating a temporary fix with marine paint

After (so far):
A much more welcoming space
The new light fixture is considerably brighter 
Still in need of a coat rack and a bigger bench to sit on and store shoes
I removed the blinds and added a temporary opaque film to the windows for privacy
Great inexpensive rug from HomeSense by Colin and Justin
Much better!  The colours of the rug work really well with the lighter paint and make the space even brighter.  I love the extra privacy that the frosted windows provide without sacrificing light.  The new light fixture is great and completely changes the space.  I picked it up during a lighting sale from Restoration Hardware and the classic shape is perfect for the age of the house.

Here's the rest of the "to do" list:

  • replace the tile (something light and bright)
  • replace the locks and doorknob
  • replace the windows (ordered and booked for January - still will be opaque for privacy)
  • paint out the fixture cover above the door so it's less noticeable
  • add a coat rack with a shelf
  • add a large bench (storage under the seat or pick up baskets/boxes for under the bench)
  • paint out the door? possibly a glossy black???

Still a lot left to do but this mini-makeover will hold me over while I continue to search for the rest of the items on my list.