Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas 2017 Home Tour

This weekend was the first weekend in a long time we didn't have to work or catch up on the household chores. I was in my happy place baking, decorating for holidays, gift wrapping, and of course, blogging. I have to say, although I didn't spend nearly as much time this year on my Christmas decor, I LOVE this year's tree the most! 

Picture below: our 2017 Christmas tree, mainly white with black accents, Scandinavian hygge inspired. 

It all started with this Crate & Barrel Frame Console Table. After decorating our cottage top to bottom in a Nordic style, I craved more modern and simplistic furnishings at home as well. I've always made an effort to keep a few pieces of really modern and clean-lined furniture in my primary residence, but their presence was camouflaged by a few more transitional items that set the overall tone of a space. Those were my design baggage. In November after closing up my cottage, I made a decision to start over. I must have got rid of at least ten pieces of furniture and accessories within two weeks - it felt so satisfying to purge! So I replaced the living room rug with the same Bokhara rug in my cottage dining room, in a larger size. I also bade farewell to the quatrefoil mirrored cabinet, and brought home the Crate & Barrel Frame Console Table. 

Picture below: our new 8-foot Christmas tree this year in the living room. We tried something new this year and moved the tree away from its usual location in our foyer. 

Crate & Barrel's Frame Console Table is made of solid American walnut with a 1/2 inch steel tube box frame. You have no idea how happy this table has made me: it's modern, clean, simplistic, and functional all at the same time, not to say it uses honest and quality materials. 

I had a white Christmas tree in mind but then realized I needed an "anchor" colour. No other colour is more elegant and sophisticated to pair with white than black. It's unconventional to do a black-and-white Christmas theme (and a big no-no in Chinese culture). But my heart wants what it wants, so there you have it, my mostly black and white Christmas tree, which was inspired by hygge and lagom. I wanted to keep it clean,  uncomplicated, not over the top but definitely elegant, very lagom that was. 

The hygge factor did shine through with the additions of all these cute felt animals. Can you spot the fox? 

Picture below: a moose in a scarf and ballerina tutu...how adorable and hygge is that?!

Picture below: my 2017 Christmas living room

A more close-up look at the tree.  

Overall black, white and grey gift wraps this year. 

Picture below: 2017 Christmas mantel. Again, I tried to keep it simple. White fur pom-pom and pre-lit Eucalyptus garlands were from the Canadian Tire Canvas Collection. 

I also dressed down the bar cart with fewer things and kept it monochromatic. The bar cart has been in this room for many years, so it's probably time for it to find a new spot in our dining room next year.  

Unlike previous years, this year I also took the Christmas decor upstairs to the second floor hallway. The gold-leaf French bombe chest was replaced with this minimalist style George Oliver Woodbury console table from Wayfair. Btw, the bombe chest is for sale if you are interested. 

I even took up a DIY by using a wire coat hanger and fresh greenery to create a Nordic style wreath. The two pieces of jewel-like ornaments are from Georg Jensen's Christmas Candleholders collection. They were gifts from my bestie in Copenhagen. Lucky me! 


I really really wanted a real tree, but I was also really really scared of bugs and cleaning up the never-ending shedded needles. Keeping a real tree outside on our porch turned out to be a perfect compromise! The smell of this fresh Balsam Fir was simply dreamy. What a refreshing sight! 




How to Replace Your Bathtub in 6 Easy Steps

~ This is a featured post ~

Replacing a bathtub is not a complex process contrary to what many may think. It is a surprisingly common do-it-yourself project, assuming you don’t need to alter the plumbing installations like the faucet location or moving the drain. Here is how you can replace your bathtub in 6 easy steps.
Source: Pinterest
Verify the Dimensions
Before you buy a replacement tub, verify the dimensions of the space where the new one will be going in. Don’t forget to check the locations of the existing plumbing fixtures, since the drains should match up and you don’t want a tub so tall that the existing faucet can’t drain into it. Don’t overlook dimensions like drain sizes and pipe dimensions.

Floor supports, too, need to accommodate the new tub. Make sure you don’t try to install a heavy antique tub if the floor cannot support its weight.

Consider How You’ll Remove It
Before you decide to remove the tub, consider how you’ll remove the existing one. If you detach it from the floor and walls, will you be able to carry it out the existing doorway? Or do you need to get tools to cut the old tub into sections so that you can remove it? You’ll also need to figure out how you’ll get the new tub into the bathroom before you buy it too.

Take the Necessary Precautions
Turn off the water supply to the bathroom before you start ripping out a tub. This ensures you don’t flood the bathroom if you damage a water line when removing the old tub. If there are electrical connections around the tub like an in-tub heater, disconnect the power to that area as well.

Remove the Old Tub
Open a faucet that is below the level of the tub to drain water supply lines so that you don’t end up with water in the pipes pouring into the bathroom during the removal process. Now remove the faucet, drain and spout. Remove the old tub. Clean up the area and make sure you haven’t damaged any piping. Check your dimensions again in case you need to cut the piping.

Install the New Tub
This is the time to install the new tub. You’ll put in the new tub and then start connecting the water pipes and drains. You can learn more about how to install plumbing connections and other DIY projects at theplumbinginfo.com. This process is easier with a freestanding tub than one installed in a tile enclosed space.
Source: Pinterest
Clean Up
After you’ve installed the new tub in a conventional bathroom, you may need to apply new caulk so that splashed water doesn’t damage the drywall under the tile wall or apply seals to the boundary between the tub and tile floor. Clean up the dust, the putty, the paint and other items leftover from the project. This ensures that you won’t slip on sawdust or spilled water when you try to get into the new tub the first time you try to enjoy it.


If you want your tub installation to go smoothly, follow the steps in this article. Verify the dimensions of the space first and foremost, consider how you’ll remove the old tub and fit the new one in and take safety precautions before your start. 

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.

Decorate
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.

Clean
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.

Paint
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.

Declutter
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.

Conclusion
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. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...