Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I am a big sucker for cushions and mirrors. I have over 20 cushions on display throughout the house and at least another 20 stowed away somewhere in storage. I see cushions like purses to women -- who doesn't have a few of them we use on regular basis, and another tens of them sitting somewhere hoping we'd eventually get to them again some day.

Anything with a reflective surface catches my eyes: from silver tray to stainless steel appliances to of course, wall mirrors. I wouldn't crown myself a big sucker if I don't own over 10 large wall mirrors at home, and perhaps another 5 of them lying somewhere in the basement that I don't even remember. Proper positioning of mirrors in a room not only brings light and opens up the space, but also serves as a piece of art. It can be the backdrop of a pretty chandelier, or reflection of greenery outside a window.

I picked up this 24"x32" mirrored frame mirror from...guess where -- Kitchen Stuff Plus! There was only one left throughout the entire franchise, and we drove across the town to the East Mall location to pick it up. But the saving was way worth the drive: I paid $67 for this mirror after a 25% discount coupon. You can also find similar ones at and Union Lighting & Furnishings.

Monaco Mirror with Mirrored Frame 24" x 32"

This picture has nothing to do with mirrors but I thought I'd share something I did that I was proud of. I picked up the BLIK Chandelier Stencil from HomeSense on clearance at $10. I was always skeptical about wall decals and how they may cheapen the overall decor. I picked up this piece for the sake of buying some in the store, and I was surprised by how nicely it turns out. It only took minutes to stick them to the wall, and according to the product description I could peel them off if I need a change. Wall decal is a baby step to test out before I fully commit to wallpaper the entire wall.

On the wall: Black BLIK Chandelier Stencil 29" x 30"
Around the bottom edge of the chairs: I put on the upholstery nail heads and the chairs look so much more sophisticated (at least IMHO).

This one next...

I am waiting for our sideboard (from Christine's Custom Furniture) to arrive in March to buy this mirror. I plan to put in vertically over the sideboard, and flank it with two tall vases and hurricane candle holders. This 24"x43" mirrored frame mirror is available at Union Lighting & Furnishings on sale at $269.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some good finds.

Having spent over 20K on new furniture for our new house, I was determined to take my time to look for unique yet inexpensive items to furnish the rest of the house. Vintage and restored antique pieces have naturally become my new favorites. I consider myself a traditional person with an open mind, and my taste of furnishings totally reflects my personality. I am always intrigued by classic furniture (e.g. French Provincial style) that has simpler but still elegant details more suitable for today's life. I have been in search for a French Provincial Dresser with Serpentine Front since I watched HGTV's Sarah's House. Sarah Richardson has repeatedly used the same dresser, though in different finishes, in a few different rooms/houses she decorated --- and if Sarah loves it that much, that means I definitely, absolutely, by all means, need to get one for myself. I found a perfect spot in our master bedroom for it...see the pictures below.
Good Find #1
Oval Back Louis XV French Settee/Canapé: I took this piece off a couple's hands at a bargain price of $400! Can you believe it? $400 for a French Settee that's in mint condition. It's at some high-end furniture stores for over $2,000! That's right, if there's a deal to be had, I need to get it!

Good Find #2
The lush down feather cushions are from Vera Couture in Richmond Hill.

Good Find #3
I call this the "Sarah Richardson Dresser". This particular piece was originally made in 1930's in England. It was restored and refinished by a couple specialized in antique restoration in St. Thomas, Ontario. If you'd like to have their contact information please PM me. This dream piece only costs us $400, and Anthony said this would be my early Valentine's Day present.
French Provincial White Dresser with Serpentine Front. The cube knobs are from Lee Valley Tools.
Don't you just love these curves?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Year 2009 in general was a good year for Anthony and myself, though we ran into patches of rough and stressful times now and then. If you thought I must have stressed out during our entire moving process, you would figure out that was nothing compared to the last day of year 2009, or a few hours before our New Year's Eve dinner party.

It all started in August 2009 when I finally had enough of paying for overly-priced furniture made of MDF and laminate from big name stores. Anthony and I found this niche custom furniture company called Christine's Custom Furniture that has solid mahogany furniture made to their clients' designs, lifestyle, and dimensions to fit their space. We could choose wood stains, fabrics and even subtle detail like how we would like the armrest part of the armchair to finish at. And since this is a family business, Christine and her husband Brian offer impeccable customer service and attention to details. The only downside is that as the furniture is made in a foreign country, and for the nature of its business Christine's doesn't keep inventory, it's subject to supply chain hiccups such as force majeure and delays at customs. As a result, we didn't get our dining set three hours before our dinner party started. Boy wasn't that close! Kudos to Christine's husband Brian for making three delivery trips.

All that aside, the dining set was well worth the wait, and our guests had a fantastic time together. The "chicken shake-n-bake coq au vin" we made for the first time was a big knockout. Here are some pictures:

Foyer finished: now with our long-awaited silver leaf zebra chairs to flank the gold leaf bombe chest.
My Precious: zebra chairs!
Double pedestal table dining set: made of sold mahogany. The table top itself weighs almost 100 lbs.

Upper Hall: I found the silver chair from an antique store and had it restored and reupholstered.
Guest bedroom

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