Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Table Settings

Well I did it! I finally managed to decorate our Christmas table, with only one day to spare before the feast. 

Picture below: our 2016 Christmas table setting. I relocated the Renoir reproduction "Madame Henriot" painting from above my living room fireplace mantel to here and it was an accidental success. I carried this year's simple, elegant and a dash of feminine theme through to the table settings. 

The flower centerpiece was my first-ever DIY floral arrangement. I gathered a few of my favourite flowers including white hydrangeas and champagne roses, and eucalyptus leaves to add a touch of festivity. 

Pretty happy with how the bouquet turned out. I think I will be making more floral arrangements going forward. 

Saeco Moltio Carafe super automatic espresso machine was probably the most exciting and anticipated addition to our family this year. I took advantage of Hudson's Bay's Black Friday sale and bought ourselves an early Christmas present. Let's just say what comes out of the machine is pure magic and 100% delicious and addictive. Never underestimate the power of being properly caffeinated. 

With that, I am going to sign off and start cooking/baking up a storm. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! May 2017 be a happy and successful year to us all! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to Maintain Your Doors

~ This is a guest post. ~

Maintaining your home is important, if you want to keep it looking good. There is little point in spending a fortune on decorating your house, only to let it go, once all of the hard work is done. If you do that, your home will end up looking shoddy in no time.

Why doors matter
When it comes to home maintenance, attention to detail is important, which is why, today, we are going to look specifically at looking after the doors in your home. They are an important element of any home.

Do not forget that your front door is the first thing people notice when they visit you. If your door is shoddy, dirty or old-fashioned you are not going to be able to make a good first impression.

Most houses have a hallway with access to each room coming off it. This means that the moment someone enters your home the first thing they see are your doors.

Oil the hinges regularly
One of the biggest mistakes people make is ignoring squeaky doors. The longer you ignore the squeak the worse it becomes, and the harder it becomes to open and close it. Every time you open a stiff door, you are putting an unnatural strain on it, which means that you are creating unnecessary wear and tear.

It only takes a few moments to add a drop of oil to each door hinge, once or twice a year. Doing so, could potentially save you from having to buy new doors earlier than would normally be necessary.

If you notice that your door is starting to drag on the floor, address the issue immediately. Usually, all you need to do is to lift the door off its hinges, and shave a few millimetres off the bottom. Doing so, as soon as you notice the door scraping along the floor will stop permanent damage being done to your flooring.

Painting your internal and external doors yourself
The most important part of door maintenance is painting them every few years. Doing so protects them from the elements and moisture, as well as keeping them looking good.
Most people can easily paint a plain door. However, painting panel doors is a little trickier, but it is still a job you can potentially do yourself.

You just need to prepare them properly and paint the panels in the right order. Click this link to be taken to a video that shows you exactly how to do it. Watching it will only take you 10 minutes, and enable you to work out whether it is a job you can do yourself or if you really do need to call in a professional painter.

Replacing your doors
Unfortunately, no matter how good your doors are, or how carefully you maintain them, at some point, you are going to have to replace them. When you are ready to do so, we highly recommend that you visit the door store website.

This company sells hundreds of different doors, which makes it easy to find exactly what you need. They offer a good warranty with all purchases, and their customer service team is happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 Holiday Home Tour

Can you believe Christmas is less than one week away?! Work has kept me so busy this year that I've been so late to post my holiday tour. Having been featured in magazines for my holiday decor two years in a row, I couldn't help but feeling a bit stuck in a creative block this year. I've done various colours and themes over the years, all of which played a part into the overall style of my house. There are only so many spots at home spacious enough to accommodate a large Christmas tree. And there are only so many new ornament pieces I can buy each year before running out of storage room. My heart says do whatever I like, even though people may react "didn't she already do that last year"? My head however urges me to up the game and try something different. At the end my heart won. It felt good to be true to myself. I am drawn to a certain aesthetics which I want to continue to experiment around, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Picture below: my 2016 (mostly) pink Christmas tree. 

Picture below: holiday mantle adorned with faux greenery from Ikea. The antique neoclassical style mirror was a lucky score just in time for the festive decorations. 

The picture below was the Take One of my 2016 holiday mantle. I added pale pink ribbon accents to the mantel, only to switch to a more eye-catching maroon colour for a pop of visual interest.   

The gold ball garland is a quick and easy DIY project using black satin ribbon and dollar store shatterproof balls. 

My holiday decor wouldn't be complete without restocking the bar cart. 

The arrival of the new brass and lucite coffee table was well-timed. It enhances the feminine and elegant style I was going for. 

Picture below: my holiday living room.

Our foyer is sun-filled year-round. It's a natural place to put the Christmas tree without having to move furniture around. Can you believe the lush faux boxwood wreath in the picture below is from Ikea? 

And here's our 2016 Christmas tree, standing tall and happy in our foyer. 

Picture below: pear glass ornament from Canadian Tire's Canvas collection. 

Picture below: gold pineapple ornament from Glitterville. 

Picture below: this intricate ceramic swan ornament by Chapters Indigo is by far my favourite addition this year. 

Here is a side-by-side comparison between my 2015 and 2016 Christmas tree. This year's tree looks fuller, and more confident. 

And last but not least, for the first time I also added a touch of festivity in our kitchen. 

So in love with this black striped ribbon and faux boxwood wreath combo. 

And there you have it, my 2016 holiday home tour. Now I can concentrate on figuring out how to host our Christmas Eve dinner. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Drainage Pipes in Your House Inspection

~ This is a guest post. ~

If you’re about to buy a house, you’ll be only too aware of how it’s one of the biggest financial transactions and commitments you’ll make in your life. You’ll spend a few hundred dollars – maybe more – on land checks and surveys to make sure that the house itself is in good condition and worth the money your mortgage provider is about to lend you. Do you, though, think about getting your drainage pipes checked over? Probably not. 

A regular survey probably won’t look at your underground drainage system. You’ll be able to see where the drains are, but you may not find out what sort of condition they’re in. This is a bit odd, really, as your drainage is vital to the smooth, healthy running of your home.

It’s what’s underneath that counts
It doesn’t matter if your house is quite old or if it’s relatively new, you’ll almost certainly be planning some changes – either redecoration or some structural changes. These cost money, but just as important is making sure your underground pipes don’t need any attention. If they do, and you’re not aware of this, you could be presented with a very expensive surprise – a drain shattered by tree roots – and you will no doubt regret spending all that money on a new porch.

Get a CCTV drain survey
Having your pipes surveyed by CCTV can save you a lot of money in the long-run. You could still go ahead and buy the house, but you could ask for a reduction in the asking price so you can fix your drainage system as soon as you move in. You should be looking for displaced or collapsed pipes, as well as tree roots working their way into the pipes. There’s also clogs and cracks to look out for.

A CCTV check isn’t intrusive in any way – the camera is inserted at the checkpoints and the examination can be done is a short length of time. The survey will pick up any problems – either ones that are in an advanced state, or any that should be dealt with to prevent further damage down the line. Your surveyor should also give you an idea of how much the repairs will cost, so you can negotiate a new price with your vendor.

A drainage survey can help you to plan your extension
If you have plans to extend the property once you’ve moved in, then a CCTV survey will highlight any problems that building or excavation work might cause or make worse. Many a building project is thwarted or delayed by problems with damaged underground pipes, so it’s best to be able to build this knowledge into your plans before you start.

You’ll even get a film!
Your surveyor should give you a DVD of your inspection so you can show it to your mortgage provider or vendor to back up your mortgage application or argument for a price reduction.

There should also be a written report detailing any problems, as well as suggestions and cost estimates for repair work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Achieving that Chic Bedroom Look

~ This is a collaborative post ~

Bedrooms are great spaces. They are somewhere you can shut out the rest of the world, and truly relax. Unsurprisingly people are spending more and more time in these rooms, which means that they are spending more money on decorating them.

Many people are opting to recreate the look and feel of a luxury hotel room in their own home. The fact they are short of time, and sometimes funds, means that many people end up taking a staycation rather than going away for a holiday. This is probably another reason people want to turn their home bedrooms into luxury spaces.

Stripping things back to the basics is the first step to achieving a fresh, clean, luxury look. De-clutter, and throw away what you do not need. Make sure that you have a space for everything by redesigning your wardrobe space. If you have to buy special storage racks to make better use of the wardrobe, it is wise to do so.

Crisp walls in neutral colours
Once you have reduced what is in the room you will have a clear canvas to work with. Start with the walls and ceiling. Decorate these in neutral colours. If you want a wallpaper feature wall, opt for a classic design rather than one that will date quickly.

Resist the temptation to skip painting the ceiling, and updating your light fixture. They will not look as clean and fresh as the rest of the room does, which will ruin the overall look.

Simple flooring
When it comes to flooring keeping it simple is the best way to achieve a chic look. If you want to, you can do what many continental hotels do and install stone or tile flooring. However, bear in mind that this is going to feel cold under foot. You can still achieve the look you are after if you opt for wood flooring instead.

Add in the extras
Investing in some of the extras you get in a hotel room also makes sense. For example, having a coffee maker and refrigerator in your room means that you can enjoy a glass of chilled wine without having to leave your warm bedroom, and go downstairs to a cold kitchen to get it. In the morning, you can put the coffee maker on while you are in the shower, and enjoy the beautiful aroma, as well as drink your fresh coffee in bed.

Upgrading your bedding the easy way
A good quality luxury throw or bedspread is always a good investment. They allow you to transform any bed, which means you can put off buying new bedding sets until you have enough funds available to buy the ones you really want.

Doing it on a budget
Speaking of which, if you are on a tight budget do not think that you cannot achieve the luxury look; you definitely can! You will just have to be a bit more creative and do the bulk of your shopping on sale days and New Year’s day, which is when the best discounts are available.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Brass and Lucite Coffee Table

Well friends, after nearly 4 months wait, it's finally here! ELTE told me they had 50 pieces in this time, so go get it if you are interested before they get snatched up. This coffee table is one of the designers' faves so they do sell very very fast. 

After a domino effect of change, from the ceiling light (and the ceiling itself), to the drapery, to the area rug and finally the coffee table, I am very happy with how this room has transformed and come together. 

For those who are following my Instagram feeds, a couple of weeks ago I shared this picture below as a sneak peek at my 2016 holiday decor theme. It's going to be a collection of my favourite colours, textures and shapes. Can you tell I am really into pink and feminine hues this year? 

Speaking of pink, I've been on the hunt for a set of these vintage blush pink Luminarc champagne flutes for the longest time. From time to time I saw a pair or two for sale on Etsy but they could get very expensive if I was to acquire them two at a time. Then one of my Insta friends Jen (@jenc184) mentioned she has a large collection, and she would give up over a dozen of these flutes for me. Each one of them was in mint condition, and I've just been over the moon about how gorgeous they are. They will be put to good use this holiday season. 

I will be back to do a Christmas home tour soon. 

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