Sunday, November 19, 2017

Front Door Paint Colour and Schlage Matte Black Lever Set

I posted a story on my Instagram to ask for your feedback on whether to paint over this cranberry red front door of ours at cottage. The response was an overwhelming Yes. 

I then asked which colour you would prefer by showing five different most popular shades of navy and charcoal. No surprise the majority voted Hale Navy and Jet Black. 

I know I wanted a darker shade to go with our pastel yellow sidings, but couldn't decide between navy and charcoal. Looks like most of you share the same dilemma. It turned out I didn't have to choose after all. Introducing Benjamin Moore's Raccoon Fur, a dark charcoal grey with a navy undertone! When it's darker outside, it appears more charcoal and black; but when there's sunlight, the blue undertone really shines through. Perfect, right? The picture below was taken when it's bright outside, you can see it appears more navy. 

This one below was taken at dusk, and it's charcoal. 

Now onto the door hardware. Remember we replaced all our interior doors with this gorgeous Schlage Camelot lever in matte black? Installation was a breeze and probably made much easier because our cottage builder used the same Schlage hardware throughout, but in a polished brass finish. 

I know I wanted our front door set to look a bit different from the rest of the house, but in the same matte black finish. Before selecting the Camelot trim, I also looked at the Schlage Addison collection. I chose the Camelot for its softer and vintage silhouette which breaks up all the boxy and rectangular lines inside our cottage. But for the front door, I wanted it to be slightly more clean-lined and modern because we have Scandinavian-inspired patio set

Don't you just love how elegant this Addison trim looks? 

I can't wait to install them when we open up our cottage next Spring. 

*The lockset was generously sponsored by Allegion on behalf of Schlage, but all the opinions are my own. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cottage Life: Closing Up for 2017

How is it already mid November and I still haven't posted about our cottage closing? Well, it got cold early this fall, so our cottage had to be closed up by early November. We were last up there two weeks ago to finish up a few projects plus putting things away, plus taking a ton of stuff home (liquids, anything with a battery, and even LED TV). This was our first year at cottage, so there's obviously a learning curve. I am sure we will get better organized next year. 

Packing up cottage for the season was exhausting, but I am so glad we were able to complete quite a few projects during the short three months since we took possession. We left the cottage looking more lived-in, cozy and us

This is our dining room before we closed up the cottage. You can see the leaves outside started to change colour. 

And this is the view from our front porch. 

Picture below is our guest bedroom. The Scandinavian nightstand is from JYSK. 

The George Nelson Crisscross Bubble Pendant light is from GFurn. GFurn is a Montreal-based shop specializing in the Scandinavian and MCM style furniture. The small orange scissors print is from my favourite illustration artist Alanna Cavanagh. I fully intend to invest in her large orange scissors print next Spring, and hang it in my cottage living room. That print stole my heart 10 years ago, and 10 years later I still love it. However it really doesn't work with the overall style of my home, so I've been putting off acquiring it. 

Bedding is from Sarah Richardson Design

Besides the small orange scissors print, I also picked up Alanna's newest addition, the SJP Sparkley shoe print. I had planed to hang it above the headboard under the transom window. Our framer made a mistake by installing a thicker frame so there was a two-week delay to re-frame, and the framed print didn't arrive until after we closed up the cottage. That's going to be the first hole I punched into the wall next Spring :))

The guest bedroom is still a work-in-progress. Next year I will need to swap out that white dresser which takes up too much space in a small room. Maybe I will pick up another teak chest like this one. 

Living room is pretty much a wrap with the addition of the NuLoom Marrakesh Shag Rug.

Next year Alanna's big orange scissors print will likely replace that highland cow print. A pop of colour is much needed in this neutral space. 

The hooks are from CB2. I like the minimalist look, however the installation was nothing but. It took us a good 30 minutes and at the end I had to use glue to secure one of them. Alas, they look amazing by our entrance. The small table underneath will need to be replaced. Any suggestions? 

And this is our porch. I will be back to write about choosing our front door paint colour and a sponsorship. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What To Do When Your Home Feels Unappealing

~ This is a featured post. ~

Most homeowners have a moment in time where they stop and look around their home, only to feel disappointed. This is normal, especially if you’ve been living there a while or haven’t done much work to the place.

It’s embarrassing and makes you feel pretty bad and disappointed inside. Instead of sulking around, it’s better to come up with a plan of action to make it better. Although you’ll need to invest some time and money into the projects, it’ll be well worth it in the end when you can look at your house and be proud. See what to do when your home feels unappealing.

Start by putting time and effort into decorating the space. Set up charming lamps, add plants and flowers and hang pictures on the wall. Décor has a way of turning your home from drab to fab in no time. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get it done. Go to a thrift store, consignment shop or rummage sale and pick out pieces as they are or that you can quickly update yourself. Consider adding curtains, area rugs and family photos to spruce it up.

Add Color
Color goes a long way. If your home feels boring, it’s probably because of the lack of color. While black, white and gray are appealing in many forms, and it doesn’t hurt to add a pop of color to your various rooms in the home. There’s no need to overdo it, but simply add a colorful blanket, work of art or decorative bowl and see how quickly the room is transformed. The house will be brighter, and you’ll feel cheerier when you’re in the spaces that have color.

Although you’re busy and tired, it’s never a good idea to forgo your cleaning routine for very long. Do a deep clean once in a while to make sure there aren’t bigger issues lurking around. If you find unwanted creatures taking over, call Turner Pest Control Orlando who are experts in removing the problem from your home. Their treatments are handled by friendly, professional technicians who will return to your home for additional treatments at no cost if you’re not satisfied. All of their products are eco-friendly, and they offer organic options. They’re committed to protecting the wellbeing of your family and pets.

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your home on the inside, then it’s probably time to look at adding a fresh coat of paint. Pick out colors that will lift your mood and brighten up dim spaces. Remember to touch up the trim while you’re at it. A new coat of paint has the ability to instantly transform a room and make it look spectacular upon entering. This is a project you can do yourself or hire a contractor for who paints the interior and exterior of houses for a living.

All your house may need is a day spent decluttering and removing unwanted items. Piles of mess and junk will make your home look unorganized and smaller than it is. Tackle each room and determine what you can donate and what should be thrown out. Organize any items you’re keeping in a storage bin or closet so it’s out of the way and where you can easily locate it at a later date. This is also a good time to go through your closet and clean out any clothes you no longer wear.

Boost the Curb Appeal
In addition to tidying up the inside of your home, you should pay attention to what’s going on outside too. Clean up your landscaping by trimming the trees and shrubs yourself, or call a professional company to help if you’re unable to do so yourself. Focus on your front porch and decorate it with eye-catching colors and features. Paint your front door with a pop of color and include a welcome mat and attractive bench on the porch. Take a look at your mailbox and determine if it could use a paint job or you want to buy a new one. Neighbors and passersby will notice your attention to detail and admire what you’ve done.

Don’t panic if you’re not thrilled with the way your home currently looks. There are projects you can do yourself to immediately give it a facelift and feel better about where you live. Take your time and do it right the first time, so you’re not spending time and money going back to fix blunders because you rushed. This is what to do when your home feels unappealing. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cottage Life: Kitchen and Bedroom

Furnishing and decorating a cottage in a rural area has been more challenging than expected. If we left something behind at home which we should've brought with us, we would have to wait until the next trip. And most of the time that meant delays in projects we wanted done that weekend. Sourcing for cottage hasn't been a walk in the park either. If you've been following my blog for a while, you'd know how much I love online shopping. While online shopping offers convenience and attractive pricing, the delivery time can be unpredictable. I was mostly to blame because I cut it close, so there had been a lot of nail-biting moments waiting for my stuff to arrive before we had to race out of the door for cottage. 

So for the said reasons, our cottage is going to be a work-in-progress for a while. I am not mad about that at all because I felt my design spirit has come back to life since I have a new place to decorate from top to bottom. I wanted to take it slow so the place feels more collected over time. 

So here is the mini tour of our work-in-progress bedrooms and kitchen. 

You'll never guess what's behind that hanging tapestry - an electric panel for the entire house! Who put that in a master bedroom headboard wall?! Well, our inconsiderate builder did! Anthony's guess was that it's the closest (and most convenient) spot for the builder to bring all the wires into the house, so master bedroom headboard wall it was! Thankfully, the tapestry strategically disguises it without looking out of the place. 

Remember the bedside tables were my Ikea Rast hack?

The striped bedspread is from CottonMood on Etsy, 100% Turkish linen cotton. Seriously guys, I am convinced that every design blogger should have a CottonMood throw (or two) in their house. I have three, but fully intend to order more. In the picture below, you can also see a bit of teak goodness sticking out from the left. 

I wasn't able to squeeze that into the frame but it's this gorgeous MCM teak gentleman's chest from Furniture 1950 

It packs a lot of storage in a slim-build body!

And this is the second bedroom, again work in progress. 

This was the design board, so I still have a long way to go. 

And this be the kitchen. For the first time in my life, I have white appliances in my kitchen and I am not mad about it. The kitchen looks more casual and relaxed with them. The black vintage style barn light adds to that laid back style. 

I will be back to write about some recent (online) purchases, all of which are new additions to the cottage. 


  • Bed and bedside tables: Ikea.
  • Desk lamps, seagrass basket: HomeSense.
  • Bedding: Sarah Richardson Design. 
  • Striped bedspread: CottonMood on Etsy. 
  • Teak dresser: Furniture 1950. 
  • Drapery: Ikea. 
  • Framed print: Minted (Trumpet at Noon), framing by YM Art. 

  • Cabinet hardware throughout: Gingers Loft pulls in various sizes. 
  • Cherner counter stools: Rove Concepts
  • Hand soap duo: L'Occitane. 
  • Electric kettle: SMEG. 
  • Vintage style barn light: Lightess. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cottage Life: Living Room and Dining Room

It's been just over a month since we took possession of our cottage and moved in. We took a big-bang approach by moving in all our furniture we had been warehousing at our primary residence. The move was followed by a whirlwind of setups, installations, and cleanups. Now that the boring part was almost behind us, I was finally able to start bringing some of my design boards to life. A lot of you following me on Instagram asked for a house tour, so here you go. 

Remember this was the design board for our living room. 

This was the living area during our PDI. 

And this was the living area as of last weekend. I will list the source at the end of the post. Who knew a Georgian era portrait from Anewall will look so good next to a rustic modern highland bull print? 

I don't think I will ever grow tired of this view. Not sure which I love more, the curvy Cherner stools or the Florence Knoll style sofa in my favourite sandstone-coloured fabric? Keeping it uncomplicated and relaxing for the eyes is the style I am going for, very Scandinavian you may say. I was determined to cut down the number of accessories, and make sure everything has a purpose or use at our cottage, besides looking pretty. 

This would be the perfect spot for me to read A Game of Thrones again. 

These lovely Georg Jensen Lilia tealight holders were gifts from my bestie from Copenhagen. She brought a whole bunch of Scandinavian decor accessories with her for me when we rendezvoused in Iceland last month. Btw, just realized I was yet to write a travelogue about our Iceland trip...where did the time go? 

Now onto the dining room. This was the design board.  

And this was our cottage dining room now. Note I ended up using the Bokhara rug here because it was too big for our living room. This super soft and stylish rug was by Unique Loom which I ordered from Amazon, 6x9' in size. 

And then there's this Serge Mouille style 3-arm light. I've been in love with it for a long time, and vowed to use it one day. It finally felt right to have it installed at our cottage. 

One of the first things we did after moving in was to replace those builder basic shiny brass door hardware. Everything else at the cottage has very clean and boxy lines, so I decided to go with the Schlage Camelot Collection in matte black, which lends a softer and vintage touch. I couldn't be happier with how easy it was to install them. Quality and finish was top-notch.  

The crisp and cooler fall weather has been kind to us. We left our windows open and let the fresh air in, while we were working on the interior projects. As we wound down the day, we would take a walk down to the lake to enjoy this ethereal beauty of the sunset. It's been so much work trying to decorate a place far away from home. I felt burnt out at times. I had to keep reminding myself how lucky I have been to be able to resort to a place like this. This year will be mostly work, but next year we will have the entire summer season to enjoy our cottage to the fullest. I might even pick up a paddleboard for all I know - stand-up paddleboarding is something I've always wanted to do. 

I will be back to write about cottage bedrooms and kitchen. Enjoy the Thanksgiving long weekend my friends! 


Living room:
  • Cherner bar stools: Rove Concepts.
  • Black and brass cone floor lamp: Wayfair Canada. 
  • Highland bull print: Bouclair Home. 
  • Georgian portrait Mary Countess print: Anewall.
  • Grey lounge chair: HomeSense. Article Forma is an identical one. 
  • Cotton throw on lounge chair: Etsy CottonMood. 
  • Grey wool throw on sofa: Linea Emmeti via HomeSense. 
Dining Room:
  • Eames molded chairs and live-edge table: Structube.
  • Serge Mouille 3-arm ceiling light: Morba. 
  • Door hardware throughout: Schlage Camelot Collection in matte black. 
  • Grey Bokhara rug: Unique Loom via Amazon. 

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