Sunday, June 26, 2011

Living Room...Day 3

After almost two months wait, I finally received the dreadful news about the Uttermost Gella Arch-top Mirror. I pretty much redesigned our living room around the HomeSense lantern and this mirror, so to say that I am heartbroken is an understatement.
Motti at Lighting Palace however was able to find me this unique shaped mirror made by Montreal-based Palit Inc. This company specializes in high-end art gallery and decor items, and their clients are mostly luxury hotels and spas.

So this is the next closest thing I could find. I've found some comfort that at least the antique silver finish works better with the rest of the room.  
(Click on image to enlarge)
 The mirror is 30" x 40", a perfect size to see the reflection of the HomeSense lantern. Our fireplace is humongous, and that's why the mirror appears so small. 
 And this is the Day 3 wrap-up of our living room refresh project. It's slowly coming together, and hopefully in the next two weeks I'd be able to put up some framed prints and decorative accents.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Clarus Glass Display Box and Brass Bunnies

After reading Rambling Renovators' "Thrift: Display Case" blog, I couldn't resist but to look for similar vintage display boxes to buy. Such a deal as what Jennifer scored was no where to be found, and all those available online were either too small or too ornate.

I picked up the phone and called Crate and Barrel at Yorkdale this afternoon, and to my great surprise, they still had one set of small and large Clarus Display Boxes in stock! I wasn't going to take any chances so hubby and I went there after his haircut and picked up these gorgeous pieces! They will work into the nautical and causal elements I am trying to add to our living room.

So here they are: the Crate and Barrel Clarus Display Boxes. The coral branch is from Pottery Barn and I threw it in there to show the mirror base of these cases.
(click on the image to enlarge) 

And a rock/crystal/fossil collection like this is what I am going for. I already have an amethyst geode and a quartz cluster so I will need to add a few more colorful ones such as Celestite (blue), Chrysocolla (turquoise), Pyromorphite (lime) and pink Tourmaline, etc.
And these are the super cute vintage brass bunnies from Etsy! Too bad the order is being held up and it doesn't appear a settlement on CP's strike is in sight. Well, patience, grasshopper!
I will post some pictures once I finish my crystal/mineral collection. Let see how fast I can accomplish that without breaking my bank!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Backyard is a Swamp

You see I wasn't joking right? Nothing else can be done until the ground dries up.Shall I pray or keep checking Weather Network?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LOVE: Sophie Cook Vases

I spotted these pod and teardrop vases with long thin neck many times in decor magazines and was dying to find out who made them. I finally came across the tiny fine prints in House and Home Magazine and located the source in Toronto -- Hollace Cluncy. From the web site I tracked down the designer behind these super duper pottery vases -- Sophie Cook! Each piece goes from $305 to $380 (those bandits never update the exchange rate to reflect the current market rates. In US each only goes for ~$240). Anyhow, the new shipment is expected in July and I am getting a couple! Can't wait.

Look how delicious they are!
(Picture source

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shopping Spree at Lowes Today...

Today is the last day of Lowes' 20% off all flowering shrubs and 10% off resin storage sheds, and since I've been all over the map these days I barely caught the last train. After series of client meetings I rushed home at around 4pm, slipped in my jeans, hoodie and sneakers and off I went to Lowe's.

So here are what I picked up today:

4 x Gold Mound Spireas for the front yard that look like this: (love the chartreuse foliage)
 Which I hope in a few months they will grow to be like this:
And I got this 7 1/2" x 5" Suncast Resin Shed for a steal of $760 after 10% off! Well it comes in a long big box with millions of pieces inside, so it'd be interesting to see how quickly we could assemble it.
It's only 6pm and I am seriously contemplating of going back to Lowe's and picking up more flowering shrubs. However, all the plants I bought over the past few weeks have been sitting in our backyard, to such a degree that I started to feel a bit embarrassed.

Oh wait, did I tell you that our hardscaping started yesterday only to come to a complete halt again today due to rain? It doesn't look like anything could be done until after Sunday. What a timing huh?

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Own Landscape Plan

I have lots of ideas in my head, and finally I had enough tonight. I am that type of person that believes in "seeing is believing", and that "a picture tells a thousand words". So I picked up a pencil and started drafting my own landscape plan. As you can tell it's been a while since I last drew/painted (I draw/paint as a hobby) so I am a bit rusty.

We have a very sunny front yard as it gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight throughout the day mostly in the afternoon. Therefore all the plants/trees I pick prefer full to partial sun. I also try to mix different color foliage throughout such as:
  • Colorado Blue Spruce (7-8' tall): focal point, blue;
  • Rose of Sharon Hibiscus (3-6' tall): second tier on the right, deep green foliage with pink flowers;
  • Blue Star Juniper as ground cover in front of the Hibiscus: blue;
  • Anthony Waterer Spirea (2-3' tall): second tier on the left, bright green/chartreuse foliage with small pink flowers, evergreen;
  • One large Daylily Clump in between: green spiky leaves with coral/pink flowers.
And of course in between we will have some rocks and cedar chips to fill in all empty pockets of space.

So here is the plan and I can wait to have them all planted once the hardscaping is done.
(click on the image to enlarge)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Living Room...Day 2

I just realized it's been two months since my last post on the Day 1 of our Living Room refresh project...where did the time go? That's also how it has been before we were able to get back to this. With work and planning of our landscaping project and friend and family summer parties, we find that spare time is inexistente. Another reason I haven't been all that excited to get back to it is because a few major decoration items are still on order: arch-top mirror by Uttermost, Pemberly Wool Rug, Renaissance Architectural Prints, etc. I am that type of designer-wannabe that wishes to decorate the entire room in one shot...yeah I know, a typical rookie mistake.

Anyhoo, we finally dragged ourselves into painting the wainscoting in our living room. I smear to God that this is the last time I would ever paint such a big room with full-wall wainscoting! Do you know how painful it was to brush around the picture-frame mouldings? Extremely!

Here are a few pictures taken with two very sore arms.

Living Room Full-wall Wainscoting painted in custom antique white.
(Click on the image to enlarge)
Another angle of the living room in the new paint. Drapes need to be replaced as the color is not working for me.
(Click on the image to enlarge)
Yet another corner of the same living room. The black cowhide chairs and couch were made by Coja Leather we purchased from De Boer's almost ten years ago for a fortune but I guess it was money well spent as they are still as good as new.
 And guess where I picked up this geometric throw from? Yep, HomeSense it is.
That's it for today. I guess I am "maturing" as a decorator for showing the progress and not just the end result, right? :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I am a living proof of Einstein's definition of insanity: over the past few weeks I've spent countless time and efforts on co-designing our front and back yards with our contractor. Halfway into sealing the deal, my neighbour decided to join us for their front yard hardscaping as well as the joint area between two houses. That triggered further discussions with our contractor who is meticulous about his design and reputation to start with. So I get to go through the same thing over and over and expect different results every time he comes back with more suggestions. Sadly I like most of the changes so it has become a never-ending process.

The latest version almost knocked my socks off. So here is the BEFORE, or what we had decided to do for the front yard: simple, low maintenance, right?
 Now check this out. This is what he sent back today! If this is not insanity then what is??? It's going to cost us 5G more, but I am keeping most of the changes so consider I now have a final plan to proceed with the project!
(click to enlarge the picture)
Now I can only pray the weather will be mostly dry next week when they start digging...forecast says thunderstorms throughout the week...what a timing huh? :-(

Life Is a Beach

Lately I've been thinking, if I should start to loosen up my decor in the living room. With full-wall wainscoting, fireplace screen, arch-top mirror and Edwardian lantern, all these elements seem to scream "formal". The question I kept asking myself is, can "classic" and "old world" also be light-hearted and free spirit?

I believe I come to a good middle ground today by introducing some nautical subjects into the room. Who doesn't want to take their tropical vacation memories with them wherever they go? And the theme doesn't always have to stay behind bathroom walls!

So here are a few sea specimens that have fantastic shapes and forms. The round ones are sea urchin shells. I love how they are grouped today to create a mini nautical nook in the living space.
 And you will never guess where these red coral branches are from -- yes, a big box retailer like Pottery Barn! Even better news is that Pottery Barn Canada has contracted the same Fiftyone online order processing company that Overstock uses to provide shipping directly to Canadian buyers now.

 This is another great coral bush decorative object from Pottery Barn.
 This is an image from a Spanish decor magazine called Nuevo Estilo. Notice how those coral branches instantaneously lighten up all the formal furniture?
Anyhow, a few items have been ordered, and I can't wait to see how they liberate my living space.

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