Sunday, April 20, 2014

Laundry Mudroom Closet Organization

It's been a pretty relaxing weekend for us. It started with a "uplifting" golden-spoon facial for me at my regular spa hangout (have you tried it? It's amazing!). 

Then a few dips into the hot springs in Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain up in the Collingwood area.

We were all energized and refreshed when we came home last night, and today we tackled a small project. 

We have an entrance into the house through our laundry room from our garage, but unfortunately that means our laundry room is also our mudroom. And this tiny multipurpose room has a tiny closet - seriously I don't know what the builder was thinking - this is a 5,000 sq ft house we are talking about - and they couldn't have planned a bigger closet in this high traffic space?!

We have so many closets throughout the house including a massive wall-to-wall one in our basement, but I hate to spread off-season shoes and accessories throughout them. Because out of sight out of mind, I probably won't remember to bring them out and wear them again next year. 

Our tiny mudroom closet

The laundry/mudroom is sunken. The height of the closet is at least 13 feet so we have a lot of vertical space we are yet to put to use. 

So today we made good use of this piece of premium real estate by adding a second shelf in the closet. 

A simple shelf made a big difference - not only was I able to pack away all the winter boots and accessories in the same closet, I was also able to display some dressy heels which I don't wear every day. 

The second shelf also made room for in-season stuff. 

I just realized how many scarves I have for one season! Sunglasses and scarf are what I won't leave home without. 

And now all the clutter is behind one single door. I don't need to worry about forgetting what I have stowed away in other closets any more. 

The opposite wall is the main laundry area. Chaos averted, order restored. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Earn Your Spots

Well, it took me long enough but I think I am finally jumping on the animal print wagon. I know I know, I am a follower. You are never going to find me the first one to jump on a trend. I wait, observe, test and eventually I may or may not make the move. I play it safe, my decor is mainstream, and I am okay with that.

Spring is officially here, I think, and what better way to update those tired couches you've been curling up in all winter than with elegant and sophisticated animal print pillows?! I've waited long enough and I've earned my spots. 

As high-impact as they are, it's surprisingly easy to pair them with other light or dark color fabrics, and work them into any decor styles. Like this.
K Sarah Designs
And this.
K Sarah Designs
And this. 
Bijou and Boheme, Christine Dovey
These are a few of my favorites on Etsy. 

1. Brown cheetah print pillow by kassapanola. 
2. Dalmatian Spot pillow by WhitlockandCo. 
3. Leopard print pillow by AriannaBelle. 
4. Grey and tan spots pillow by JoyWorkshoppe. 
5. Velvet leopard pillow by AriannaBelle. 
6. Kravet aqua tan spots pillow by PopOColor. 
7. Snow leopard pillow by WhitlockandCo. 
8. Brunschwig and Fils Les Touches pillow by AriannaBelle. 
9. Tan spots pillow by PopOColor. 

Which one is your favorite? Do you have animal print upholstery in your house? 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Whole Enchilada

Welcome to April! Spring is finally in sight and I am really liking this milder and sunnier weather this week. RIP, winter!

Can you believe I've been so busy lately that I completely missed the OOAK show? Fortunately, I was able to get a sneak peak into all the highlights and lowlights of the event from a few of my favourite bloggers' posts.

Home front, the serial decorating saga continues. I have pretty much decided to use the Windsor Smith Pelagos fabric for these two Louis XV chairs. I have enough remnant from these drapes in our master bedroom, and still like the fabric so why not put them to use right? I also know exactly how the chairs are going to turn out because of this upcycled piece by Switch Studio.
Picture courtesy of Switch Studio

The only question remains is the color of the frame - white?

Or black? Or Charcoal, a darker shade than the first picture? Which color frame would you go for with this fabric?

Now onto the mirror. While I still like how it looks over the mantel in my living room, I find it stands out more than I wanted it to be. Not that it's a bad thing because a statement piece like this mirror deserves to be a showoff. I relocated it to the dining room, and I think it works so much better over the dark sideboard flanked by two polished nickel buffet lamps. The Louis Philippe gilt mirror, the crystal chandelier, the vintage painting and all the transitional style furniture contribute nicely into a Parisian-chic theme. So the mirror stays there, for now. And the Paris flea market chandelier dilemma, gone. Crisis averted!

This past weekend I picked up a pair of these Visual Comfort polished nickel table lamps at HomeSense. I couldn't believe the price tag! I paid and rushed out of the store into my car just like this Ikea "Start the Car" commercial. Just kidding.

I still couldn't find the name of this lamp on VC web site. I will send you a special thank you if you can track it down for me. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Whatever Mama Wants

Mama gets, and that's how it goes here at AM Dolce Vita. Remember this pair of Bergere chairs I picked up a few months ago? Well, Mom saw them, tried them for comfort, liked the almost-new upholstery, didn't like the fact I wanted to have them reupholstered, and asked if she could have them. And poof! just like that, they went home with her and I was left with no chairs to upcycle. 

I am a big believer of best things happen when one least expects it. I came across this pair of antique French Louis XV chairs when I was randomly browsing on CList. I expected them to be banged up because they were so cheap - I mean, really cheap; they probably just didn't show in the pictures! I picked up the phone and called the owner and the rest is history. 

They are not just in good condition, the frames are in excellent and almost in mint condition. I wanted to change the upholstery anyway so the stained needlepoint fabric didn't bother me at all. 

They will be going to Paint it Like New! for a few fresh coats of paint, and in meanwhile I will start to pick out a new fabric. Louis XV chairs are vintage decor staples, and I am so happy that I have a pair that will truly reflect my style. 

P.S. I use the terms Bergere, French Louis, Louis XV interchangeably. They are all French Rococo style derivatives. Check out their differences here if you are interested. 

On an unrelated note, I decided to keep the seahorse lucite table lamp and found a new place for it - on the bombe chest in the upper hall. Kinda like it there. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gazebo, Pergola or Awning?

If there was a petition and the petition would actually be granted to end the winter, I would be the first one to put down my name. Winter weather continues to drag on - it makes me wonder if mother nature decides to skip Spring altogether this year. Although I am not a fire-up-the-grill-every-day-while-sipping-cold-beer type of patio person, I would still like to maintain a beautiful and serene outdoor space for guest parties. I've started to plan a few changes in my backyard, and my first priority is to take care of the sun shade. 

Right now I have a tiny 8'x8' gazebo with canopy for the sitting area, and a giant umbrella for the dining area. Both are functional except that for the gazebo it's been a pain to remove the canopy at the end of the season and put it back on the next year which requires some dissembling. I need a more permanent solution. 

Hardtop gazebos are all over my neighbourhood so I am sure they are good. I like that I will never have to remove the roof again because I could barely see any snow accumulation over the winter. The pillars can be screwed and secured into a deck so they are more permanent and sturdy. I heard the powdered aluminum material also makes them wind and rust resistant. 

Allen Roth Square Gazebo at Lowes, a tad too small for me at 10'x10'x10'.
The aluminum roof looks pretty stylish. 
Another popular hardtop gazebo is from Canadian Tire's Essex Collection, a perfect size for my backyard at 12'x10'x10'. I like that it's rectangular in shape so it can accommodate my dining table and more people. 
Canadian Tire
A pergola is also very tempting to me but I am concerned about the rain water accumulating on the flat canopy. Does anyone have any experience with this aspect of pergola? 
Or how about a retractable awning? 

You can have it custom made to fit your space, however, it does need to be mounted onto a wall so there's the location limitation of an awning. Plus when retracted it doesn't look very attractive, see below. 

So what's your experience with a backyard sun shade? Hardtop gazebo, pergola or awning?

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