Monday, October 28, 2013

Discount Code from Dishin-it‏

You might remember this vintage teacup set I purchased from Dishin-it. The lovely ladies at the Etsy store Kathie & Susan are offering AM Dolce Vita readers a 20% discount to any purchase from their store.

Enter AMDOLCEVITA as coupon code upon checkout. Just imagine all this fabulous vintage glassware you can pick up from the store. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Magazine Feature

I received the latest issue of Canadian Home Trends magazine in the mail today, and guess what's in it?

You might still remember my 2012 holiday mantel and the silver-gold Christmas tree in the foyer like this:


And they were featured in the latest issue of Canadian Home Trends magazine! 

My 2012 Christmas tree inside the cover page next to the table of content. 

Pretty amazingly awesome right? The magazine is on shelves now at major retailers. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Staircase Ledge Decorating Ideas

I am lucky to have a grand curved staircase in my foyer, but not so lucky that the same staircase comes with a ledge. Seriously, there must be a way for a builder to eliminate it. A few people I talked to actually think a staircase ledge is a bonus feature. Sigh...we are obviously not talking in the same language. Anyhoo, I have to work with what I've got. So this is the staircase ledge I referred to, a completely useless but very visible little nook from the entrance.

A more close-up look at the ledge: do you see the silver-leaf urn with faux cedar plant in it? This is something I thought was cool a gazillion years ago.

I am struggling to figure out how to decorate this tiny little corner. Here are the options I am considering:

Option 1: display a Roman/Greek bust sculpture on a column/pedestal, like this Bust of Greek Goddess Ariadne from Restoration Hardware.


Option 2: display a group of bust sculptures on pedestals of different heights, like in this picture from Wayfair.

Can you tell I am obsessed with head busts lately? I can't think of a better place in my house to use them.

Option 3: display a group of tall vases of various heights. I've seen numerous houses with vases on staircase ledge, so this is a safe and proven solution. It's also very predictable and mainstream. Part of me yearns for something a bit more classic and extraordinary.

Option 4: add a tall (real) house plant. We have tons of natural light into our foyer year round, so a house plant will thrive at that spot.

Option 5: nothing on it, leave it empty. Let the useless space be useless.

So what do you think of a staircase ledge? Which option would you go for?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vintage Teacup Collection Part II

My vintage teacup collection continues to grow. Unlike other vintage collections I started, I find cup and saucer collection to be very addictive. Why? First of all, over the last century there has been ample supply of fine quality bone china with exquisite designs in the marketplace which makes collect them relatively easy today. Secondly, for the past 200 years, the manufacturers never stopped competing with one another by coming up with better, more intricate colours, patterns and styles. Lastly, online shopping makes it even easier for a collector like me to browse images and see exactly what I am buying from the comfort of my own home. That all goes to say that it doesn't seem like I am going to stop collecting these teacup sets any time soon.

In addition to the four sets I picked up this past summer, I added these three to my collection.

This pale blue Paragon set is from Dishin-it, a vintage china and glassware specialty shop on Etsy run by two super friendly and helpful ladies Kathie & Susan. The set was made in 1959 to commemorate the Royal visit at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

This romantic rose and gold Royal Stafford number is from vickyg on eBay. Vicky carries a large selection of antique and vintage teacup sets at an affordable price range. I was all giggly when I found out the identical set was for sale elsewhere at almost 3 times of what I paid. Let's talk about scoring a deal and ROI, shall we? :)

I am beginning to see a pattern of my collection: although I didn't intentionally follow the advice to focus on a few manufacturers, I find that I gravitate towards the designs and styles made by Paragon, (Royal) Tuscan and Royal Stafford/Staffordshire. This is another Tuscan teacup set I picked up from mama_bundy on eBay. Isn't the pink porcelain wicked? So far this is still one-of-a-kind as I am yet to find an identical one anywhere else.  

So this is my antique/vintage teacup collection to-date, 7 and counting, following no particular design, color, manufacturer or era. However, they are all at least 50-year old from the 1900 to 1959. They are also all in mint condition, with no chip, crack or crazing. I insist on quality over quantity because fine bone china appreciates in value when they are whole.


Another set that didn't make to this photo shot but is en route to me is this glamorous teal and gold Tuscan teacup set from prissyscollectibles on eBay. Debra has tons of dreamy collectibles in her eBay store like this emerald green Chinoiserie pagoda set by Royal Chelsea. I only wish I could have them all!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know I am late to post but better late than never right? I hope my fellow Canadians all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. It was a very relaxing weekend for me because unlike any other year when I usually hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, this year we decided to take our feast at a restaurant. And boy wasn't it a good call! We took our time catching up and enjoying our food, and the best part is, nobody had to constantly get up to serve!

This afternoon we took our bikes out to a nearby trail in this perfect weather. This pond is about 5 minutes bike ride from our house. Can you spot the heron in the picture? I could swear I also saw a great horned owl nearby.

The fresh air totally opened up my lungs, and my eyes took in all these stunning fall colours. I felt so thankful that I am living in such a green community - we are so close to all the places we need to go yet still have the nature in our backyard.

Being a city girl all my life I was stoked by these acorns in the grass. Can you believe this was the first time I ever had an acorn in my palm? Before this Ice Age was my closet experience.

To wrap up this post, I will share this picture of a super dorky me next to the giant pumpkins outside of Longo's. My friends said I could ride in them. Yeah laugh away. :)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Colours

Fall is officially here, and at 43N latitude here in Toronto we are lucky that we have all the colourful leaves to prove it. Do you know you can monitor the foliage colour progression province-wide online here? The report is updated on a weekly basis, and it tells you how much percentage of the leaves has changed colours in a certain area, and what the predominate colours are. It even gives you route recommendations for the best fall colour watch experience.

Right at home here in my front porch, I also have a little fall colour action going on. The burning bush has turned into a fireball in this most incredible vibrant red colour. I had a few neighbours asked me what it's called and told me that it has become a highlight of our street (a good thing I hope). I only wish it could grow a bit faster - we've had it for over two years and so far it hasn't grown taller or wider all that much.

I also couldn't miss the easy-to-care-for and super beautiful fall chrysanthemums (or fall mum for short). I tried to pick a different colour every year, and this year I went for the coral pink.


The Bougainvillea plants in my backyard are still blossoming but I started to see some yellowish spots in the leaves. That signals it's time to bring the plants into the house. I trimed off a few branches and save one of them by placing it in the hobnail vase/tumbler from Anthropologie. Fuchsia, turquoise, brass and milk glass is kind of my scene. :) So fall doesn't have to be all about the typical gold and orange harvest colour themes right? You see my fall is all about pink and more pink. :)


 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Guest Post: A Little Vintage Style

You know how much I love to blend vintage touches in my design, so today I am happy to have Mari from Arcadian Home blog to guest post on vintage spaces and styles.  
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Hello, everyone! It’s Mari here. I'm so happy to be with you at AM Dolce Vita today with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog. It's a great place to find interior design inspiration including decorating ideas for everything from beautiful folding screens to crystal chandeliers. Today, let’s take a look at vintage spaces. We’ll go from the living room to the kitchen and then to the bedroom and just outside on the patio. I’ve brought along eight rooms to inspire you to explore the limitless possibilities of chic vintage style. Please enjoy! Thanks for letting me visit for a bit. ~ Mari
 
Vintage Style
First up is one of my favorite vintage rooms. It seems every single detail is perfect including the smiling leather hippo at the end of the sofa. Speaking of the sofa, isn’t it magnificent in vibrant green velvet with a pop of lilac in the toss pillow? I love the little flower-covered chair and the vintage brass coffee table is gorgeous atop the Moroccan rug.

Vintage Style
From layered rugs on the floor to the delicate Mid-Century light fixture overhead, this is a dining room with lots of vintage charm. Don’t you love the color and texture of the rugs?

Vintage Style
This living room is part of a whole house retro redo. A new vintage-look Moroccan rug is beautiful with the patchwork leather pouf and tons of vintage pieces. Potted plants add their own version of vintage appeal. How cool is the colorful piƱata near the overscale floor lamp?

Vintage Style
Is it possible to have too much vintage brass in an interior space? This gorgeous dining room seems to want to answer that question with an emphatic “no.” From the chic table and chairs to the quirky long-legged bird wall art and other decorative objects, the brass is totally amazing.

Vintage Style
This chic pale bedroom is awash in vintage style from floor to ceiling. The gray bedding is beautiful with oh so soft color and gorgeous textural pattern. Isn’t the vintage glass pendant light absolutely perfect for this appealing space?
 
Vintage Style
Here, a built-in storage unit has a nice little desk area with library shelves on either side. A gorgeous little curvy chair and red and blue rug add vintage charm to the space.
 
Vintage Style
This black and white kitchen is all about vintage style, as is the adjacent breakfast nook. Pops of red and green look pretty with the black cabinets and white tile backsplash.
 
Vintage Style
A beautiful and inviting eclectic solarium is filled with lots of vintage style. Colorful rugs cover the tile floor, drape over seating and cover pillows. A lovely little Moravian star pendant light can be seen in the background.

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 What do you think of these vintage inspirations? Let us know in the comments, and stop by our blog for stylish home decor, mini pendant lights, and interior ideas!
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Thanks Mari for sharing these beautiful vintage interiors. My favourite has to be the bedroom with the vintage glass chandelier...so dreamy. I might just get one for our guest bedroom.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Hiked in My Heels

I was in Vancouver last week for a conference. When work was all set and done with, we still had a few hours to spare so we took a drive up the scenic Highway 99 to Squamish. The traffic through Lions Gate Bridge was a lot smoother than I had remembered, so within minutes, we were on the "Sea-to-Sky-Highway", a two-lane scenic highway passes both the Pacific Ocean and rugged mountain peaks. I wouldn't be surprised a lot of sports car commercials were filmed on this picturesque route.

Shannon Falls, Squamish

Forgetting to pack an extra pair of walking shoes this time, I was in these 4" heels when we slowly hiked up the hills.

And for this heavenly view at the Shannon Falls? My foot aches and back pains were totally worth it!


It was only late September so we didn't have much luck spotting any bald eagles. However, we did end up seeing a swarm of humpback salmons (pink salmons) flapping and trapped in shallow creeks after spawning. It was heartbreaking and I only wish I could give them a hand and help them find their way back to the ocean. But what I am to disturb the nature's ecological cycles right?

If you are in Vancouver and have an afternoon to kill, I would highly recommend you renting a car up to the Squamish area. We also drove by Lions Bay, Murrin Provincial Park and Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.

On a related note, I ordered this gorgeous vintage oil painting featuring the German Alps by Wilh Neumayer from VintageArtRoom. It's smaller than I had expected so I am still trying to figure out where it goes. I really want to put up at least one gallery wall in my house so perhaps that's where it belongs, with a group of other artworks I collected over the years.


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