Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life, Lately

Has it really been that long since my last post? I guess the subject line probably should read "work, lately" instead. Yes, work has been's been one business trip after another and back to back meetings and conferences to run to. Anyhow, I am hoping I get to stay in town more in the next couple of weeks. 

I have been using Chanel Coco Eau De Parfum since my early twenties. A few years ago I also picked up Mademoiselle. A 3.4oz bottle last forever, so it's been years since I needed to buy a new Coco EDP. Little did I know that a couple of years ago Chanel changed the Coco packaging from the classic glass bottle to an edgier and bolder tall square bottle with a giant black cap. I don't like it. I searched everywhere but couldn't find the Coco EDP in the classic glass bottle. A few days ago when I came home from a business trip, Anthony surprised me with this - he finally found it at a local perfume store which luckily for me still carried some old stock. 

Some things are meant to be together, like Chanel perfume and pearls - aren't they beautiful photographed together? 

This past weekend I went to a thrifty store close to the body shop where I had my car serviced. I saw four of these beauties and immediately searched them online to see if they were worth picking up. 

These peachy pink cocktail/wine glasses were made by Luminarc in France. I can't say I've ever seen an identical set anywhere else, not with such thick and substantial stems. 

They are new additions to my bar cart, just in time for the upcoming holiday entertaining. 

I also rearranged the hallway bombe chest a bit by adding a white porcelain vase (from HomeSense) over the Elements of Style book. 

I think this is just about as much red colour as I can handle in my house. 

Now let's take it outside. You know in my decor world, one thing always leads to another. The wall lights above our new carriage house style garage doors all of sudden seemed so insignificant. The bronze finish also doesn't go with the wrought iron hardware. 

So I've been in search of a much bigger carriage house style wall lantern to replace the old ones, and finally narrowed down to this option, see the mockup picture below - it almost doubles in height. I also like the three-light lantern from Woodside Hills collection by Murray Feiss. What do you think?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Elements of Style Book by Erin Gates

There is no shortage of design blogger books in the market today. I am not the type who would typically write a book review, but I have to say, I am really impressed by the Elements of Style Designing a Home & Life book by Erin Gates. I would even go so far as to say that this is probably my favourite design blogger book! 

Go ahead, judge the book by its cover! Erin went through a few iterations but finally decided on the black & white striped spine with a touch of gold. What a great decision! The book cover is clean, elegant, yet dramatic and attractive - just the type of style that would catch my eye!

I see a glamorous addition to my coffee book collection. 

I am yet to go through the book - this is the type of book I would need to take some downtime to savour, but I really like that the book organizes the contents by room.  

Each room has a clear sectional cover page - how could I have missed a gorgeous floral pattern like this?!

I am already eyeing this Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock pillow in charcoal. Oh so moody and romantic! 

The book is packed with high quality images from Erin's home and projects.

I just can't get over how perfect this room looks. I want everything in it. 

For each room, Erin gives a few ideas of the looks you could go for and their key components. 

I also really love all the illustrations throughout the book. All the opinions are my own - I wasn't incented in any way to write this post. 

On an unrelated note, I found a crystal pineapple in our basement storage and I swear I must have come across it numerous times every time I went through that closet. This time I really wanted to donate it because I have so many smaller decorative objects lying around. For me, it has always been in with the new, and out with the old. But then an idea struck me - what if I tried to glam it up by painting the pineapple head in gold? 

And bam! it looks amazing! I gave a plain-looking crystal pineapple a new life in my decor world. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Garage Doors

I never thought I would be so excited over a pair of overhead garage doors. Our old wood garage doors which came with the house were falling apart. Cracks after cracks they were beyond repair, and quickly becoming an embarrassment. Our builder used the most basic wood panel doors: they should have been treated and painted at factory but I suspect they were painted on the construction site instead. And they were probably lying around for a while. By then the moisture would have got into the wood and the rest was history. 

Our old cracked wood garage doors. We tried patching up using adhesive caulking then painting over but as you could see, it did very little to slow down the inevitable.

I suppose I could have left them alone for another few years until we move but you know I am not that kind of person. My OCD got the worst of me so last month I brought in a friend's husband John who is a garage door expert to replace them. 

Our new garage doors are from C.H.I Carriage House collection, model #5983

I knew I wanted a certain carriage house style, but I had no idea about other tech specs: insulated or not; insulated with Polystyrene or Polyurethane; how high do we need to go on the R-value; steel, aluminum or fibreglass? John inspected our existing garage doors and recommended the model based on our needs.  I picked out a style from the brochure (because that's all I knew :)), and he was able to have that style made with all the features from model #5983 - he made this whole thing too easy! 

That's not all. On the day of the installation, he arrived on time and got to work. He replaced all the rails inside our garage and even re-aligned a crooked support beam. A few hours later these beauties were hung. Our new garage doors are now rock solid and most importantly weather-proof with 27-gauge deep-draw quality steel inside out, and CFC free polystyrene insulation. We also have real (tinted) glass inserts this time so it is now so much brighter inside our garage. 

The colour of our garage doors is Sandstone. Another thing I love about our new C.H.I. garage doors is the customer service from this company. I needed to paint the trims to match the new garage doors so I emailed C.H.I. and they replied overnight with a set of custom paint codes I could take to Sherwin Williams. The store I went to however wasn't able to pull up the combination because it's a commercial custom colour in the States. I called C.H.I. customer service hotline from the paint store, and a real human picked up the phone after two rings; within seconds I was transferred to a service agent who offered to ship a quart of paint to John. I didn't want to wait that long so I asked the paint store associate to try to match the colour. It was a very challenging task for Sherwin Williams because the paint chip is a piece of textured steel, but the associate was able to get a perfect match after multiple attempts. So if you have C.H.I. garage doors in Sandstone, and would like a paint colour match please email me for the codes. 

I am glad I went with the wrought iron decorative hardware John recommended because all other options (spade, Barcelona 1 &2 ) are just thin pieces of metals which look cheap. 

If you are interested in C.H.I. garage doors and would like to get in touch with John, please email me. I highly recommend his work! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Drone, Cornfield and BBQ Party

Sorry to disappoint, but there was no alien involved. We made good use of the gorgeous weather we had this past weekend by having a backyard BBQ at my friend Jack's house. 

The first picture was taken using DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone with camera - aerial photography is something I could really become obsessed with. 

The water was just warm enough for all the kids to take a dip. 

Forget about Weber or Napoleon, a simple grill rack over stacked bricks using maple wood from Jack's backyard produced the best-tasting BBQ meats. 

The yard backs onto a cornfield - how fantastic is that? 

Lastly, a picture of me with one of my friends' son Evan. Are you into plaid this fall? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Les Touches Pillow and Stuck on Hue Etsy

I am still obsessed with animal prints, and all those stripy and spotty fall fashion outfits didn't help. They constantly reminded me of just how much I love Brugweg & Fils' Les Touches fabric. I know I sounded like a broken record - I said I wasn't going to fork out that much money for a pillow; but I also know that Les Touches Black and White would look amazing in any room of my house, so I couldn't let it go. 

I exchanged emails with Hollie of Stuck on Hue on Etsy on and off a few times over the past couple of months, mostly because I couldn't decide whether to bite the bullet. Hollie was extremely helpful and patient, and worked with me to pick out a section of the fabric that would show a symmetrical yet organic pattern. I finally decided to go through with it, and I ended up ordering not just one, but two of them! 

I have to say this is by far my favourite pillow/fabric in my house right now - the Brugweg & Fils' Les Touches in Black and White. 

Gorgeous, right?

The other one is now on my foyer sette. 

Hollie has tons of other gorgeous pillows in her Etsy store, all handmade by herself with superb sewing workmanship. Her choice of fabrics is on trend yet timeless. I am already eyeing this Kelly Wearstler's Channels in Ebony & Ivory.

It would also look great as a long body or lumbar pillow like this. 

Hollie's pillows are widely used in interior designers' homes and projects. Like this 20-inch leopard velvet pillow in designer Sherry Hart's dining room. 

And the banana leaves pillow covers paired with a black and white striped headboard by Sara Lorton Designs. 

And there are so many more in her Etsy store. 

Hollie is also the talented DIY blogger behind I'm Busy Procrastinating. Check out this amazing DIY Black & White abstract art she painted for her living room. 

And the ceiling medallions as statement wall art, how creative! 

Hollie is on vacation until early October so her Etsy store is temporarily closed. Be sure to check back for all the fabulous designer pillow covers she offers at likely the best prices you can find anywhere online. 

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