video from around our house

I recently switched from a blackberry to an iphone. You likely caught this switch if you follow me on twitter because I suddenly went crazy with finally being able to post instagram photos. :) I'm in LOVE with the phone. I'm slowly finding awesome apps, like the 8mm video app that I'm in obsessed with with. And since I'm on vacation this week I decided to take the opportunity to try something creative non-work related and played around with some videos that have accumulated on my phone the last few weeks. I've never been a video girl, but I think these apps that make it so easy, will make me venture more into this territory. Any apps you love, especially creative ones?

gold sparkly hats + honkers

After Christmas came and went, I had this immediate overwhelming need of of calm - just wanting to be low key, hang out with Aub and Oscar and my family. No commitments. No major plans. Do you get like that? Sadly, part of that meant that I also avoided my office - where I do my blogging. Oops.

This weekend is New Years Eve, and Aubrey's little sister is also getting married. I'll go to the wedding with Aubrey and Oscar but sneak Oscar away in the evening so Oscar can get some sleep at my parents house - where I'll wear a sparkly gold hat, one of the ones pictured above, and honk in the New Year with the dollar store honkers that I picked up today. New Years at my Mom & Dads is perfection to me, you see about 10-15 years ago I gave up on the parties and came to terms with the fact that eating party sandwiches and being with my family was much more fun than any wild party on the town. Do you have plans?

finding inspiration: kitchen

Aubrey and I walked to Starbucks today for a lovely coffee date, and on the walk there casually talked about boxing day sales, and perhaps we should look online to see if we should consider any sales. Our focus for the past six months has been to find a new fridge as our current one makes gun shot noises that we've grown to ignore. A few hours after that conversation we were in Lowes and, an hour later, had purchased not only our fridge, but new oven, dishwasher, and above oven microwave. Wow. That was easy. We're no where near being able to afford the rest of the kitchen, but with the appliances all checked off, we're kind of pumped. Which brings me to my latest inspiration for our kitchen. I spotted it on Barbara's latest "So Canadian, eh?" features.

This is the kitchen of Ashli Malinek from Mini Manor in Vancouver. What made me bookmark this was the spot for cook books at the top - the relief of cabinetry to allow for some colour is perfection. So this is totally going into my inspiration folder for our kitchen reno. Which may be that much closer now with all of the appliances. :)

'twas the friday before Christmas....

A year ago I pondered on our blog, how Santa gets in on Christmas Eve should you not have a chimney. He's got a lot of tricks in that big red bag of his, so I know he always finds a way. But a lovely neighbour/friend of mine saw that post awhile back, and it made for a lovely conversation on how Santa gets into their house. Apparently, he has a special key.

One chilly morning this week I woke up and popped outside to see if the mail had come. Although there was no mail, I found something wrapped ever so nicely in our mailbox. A small little package that had a lot of weight, and a tag read "With Love From Santa". Curious, I opened the parcel.

A key. A beautiful old skeleton key. My heart skipped a beat. I suppose that my lovely neighbour passed along to Santa that we needed a key for our house. Honestly, I love our neighbourhood + neighbours.

Our special key by our tree
Ps., It's my half birthday! Yay! :)

Flooring - To Stain or Not to Stain?

I've decided I want my house to have a gallery feel. Not cold and stark like a gallery, but instead fresh, subtle and non descriptive. Some may call this boring but I think less is more in this case.

An inspiration.

I have oodles of art work and want them to stand out in the house, giving it colour and spark. One element in my home that will help achieve with the gallery look is the old, original 1930's oak floor. Not only are the  oak strips cut differently (the wood has been cut on various planes for each piece, and so the grain changes often), but there are two types of oak in the floor; red and regular oak.

Floor prior to refinishing; old oak floors, with an aged stain on top. 

I made the decision to stick with the original floors because not only do I love the charm of the floor, but it was also more cost effective for my reno. I sourced matching 2" oak planks for the new addition and to fill in the gaps around the house.
The floor was sanded down and to my surprise, most of the imperfections came out of the floor. As a side note, if you are planning to use old hardwood floors, be sure that the nails are not too close to the surface. They could have been sanded prior and as a result, lost some depth in the wood and the nails will be sticking up above the floor surface.

New addition floor, sanded.

Dining Room Floor Sanded.

The next major question was, how to finish this beautifully sanded floors? This one was hard for me. I wanted to keep the stain original to the home and era, but the orange stain really wasn't working for me. This is my inspiration for my floor.

Floors are rustic, natural and interesting.
I tested out a few stains which I recommend before you commit to a whole house full of that colour! And remember...dark stains show everything! Dog owners, beware!

Spot treated where the cabinets will sit. You can see how
each plank of wood takes on the stain differently.

Neither of the stains, which were recommended by the floor finisher, were exaclty what I was envisioning so I decided on a straight urethane finish on the floors. This means no stain, just top coat. I couldn't be happier!

After finishing...Urethane on Natural Oak Floors.

The rest of the house is still covered with paper protection from moving day! I have moved in and am settling in slowly. I will post some photos once more of the boxes are away and the embarrassing mess is gone!

And on that note, this will likely be the last post till the Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Have a safe and happy New Year!


Gifts for Neighbours

Do you do gifts for neighbours? I try to every year do something small. There are also people that stop to say hello when they see me walking with Oscar, or wave hello as they drive by on the street. Many are simple interactions, but they build up over time, to give me this huge sense of community. Previous years I've made Candy Cane bark. But work was so busy, and adding Oscar into the mix, I really just didn't have time. So I did what anybody with lack of time does - you buy pre-made baking. Don't judge.
The loveliest Biscotti from Costco. A bin cost under $8.00. The aroma of the biscotti is absolutely perfect for this kind of gift.

I put about 4-6 pieces in little paper bags that I have here in stock, that I sell in my shop. But you can find likely at any bulk food store, or packaging store.

Once the cookies were in the bag, I closed it and punched a hole through the bag, and tied red twine through it, and put a little card with a simple Holiday Greeting on the back. [Cards are from my shop but are sold out right now] I then attached a single bell.

This was the scene in our kitchen yesterday afternoon. Even the reindeer got bells!

And ta-da! A lovely gift for those you love that will be very economical and stress-free. :) Oscar and I went door to door last night, the gifts jingling away in his stroller, it was somewhat magical - he and I walking in the dark, looking at all of the Christmas lights and delivering little treats to everyone. Hope this inspires! xo - Linds

Kitchen Zen! Kitchen Design Trends 2012 – Part 2.

To achieve kitchen design enlightenment you must first create a peaceful, functional flow within an arena of artistic conflict! 
Creating harmony out of aesthetical tension will deliver the best kitchen designs of 2012.

'Tis the Season - Modern Christmas Decor

'Tis the season to be jolly, and creative! Holiday decor doesn't need to be traditional and fuddy duddy, instead put a twist on it! Modern christmas decorating can add holiday cheer with a fresh approach!





What is your holiday Christmas style?  Personally, I love anything white and sparkling, reminding me of snow! A house with white christmas, twinkle lights (inside and out) has always been a favorite of mine!


Teacup Kitchen

If you crave a nice cup of afternoon tea accompanied by assorted fancies it is somewhat appropriate that your rather refined refreshment should originate from a kitchen resembling a teacup!  A transforming teacup that is!
The Mogul loves this transforming; kitchen pod design by Vitor Xavier as it presents a commercial concept for tomorrow while tantalising the design possibilities of today.  Re-defining the social legacy and fashionable expectations of kitchen design is the biggest obstacle to making a design like this as overwhelmingly trendy as the iPad! 

We don’t buy computers or mobile phones on the basis that “bigger is best” we buy them because they are compact, functional and have been painstakingly well designed.  Very slowly, but ever so surely consumers are realising that these attributes are defining the modern kitchen.  The transforming, automated kitchen pod cometh…..or has it arrived?!!


Before the Christmas Tree went in, this was our Living Room. I bought a HUGE canvas to finally make some art. I bought it from the best art supply shop in Toronto, Gwartzman's. Have you been here before?  In High School my Mom used to take me all the way downtown to go shop at this store to pick up supplies for my art classes. I remember the trips so fondly, she and I going, and being in awe of all of the supplies to make art. My first easel came from this store. A tip for new visitors - Mr. Gwartzman is notoriously grumpy but I think it only adds to the charm of the store. ;)

When I needed a canvas, I obviously thought of them but I first called DeSerres for a quote [they are closer to me] and they quoted me $120 for the canvas. I them called Gwartmans and the canvas was approximately $30. Gwartmans even shipped it to me the total bill coming to around $50. With the money saved on the canvas, and by me doing the artwork myself, I will likely get it framed, much like this, at my parents house.

Art at my parents house - serving as inspiration for the framing. [Although I'd take that art too]
So the next step is painting it. I've painted on canvas before but the style of art I want is abstract - which I am new at. I may try to find some inspirationa before I put a brush to the canvase. Anyhow, to read more and see more pictures on Gwartzman's click here.

Ps., The bird painting in this post found a home at my sisters apartment. :)

High speed aerodynamic kitchen design!

Lately there have been many parallels drawn between the automotive and kitchen industry as both of the products created are functional, aspirational, driven by fashion and provide an immediate insight into the owners personal style choices and social position.  But the type of car you drive does not normally influence the architectural design of the garage it sits in; the same can be said of the modern kitchen. 
This design showcases how, like the car, the kitchen is totally independent from the surrounding architecture, becoming a functional and artistic centre piece to the modern home.  And it is obvious by looking at this concept that kitchen designers are now exploring some of the more fluid forms and shapes usually introduced to aid high speed aerodynamics....possibly to keep up with the pace of modern life!
Lovely job!!

Wrapping Style...

Every Christmas I find myself wrapping the special gifts to those I love in a theme. It's never elaborate, or intentional. I just happen to find something I love and want to use it on all my gifts. It's either a ribbon I've found that I end up using or a wrapping paper that I adore. This years inspiration was once again unintentional.  I have bells in my craft collection and I tied some together for Oscar so he could play some music. I adored the jingling sound as he walked through the house, it seemed so festive. So for 2011, my parcels will all have bells.

I took a card [throw out that plain envelope!] and punched a hole in the top and tied ribbon/twine through it and knotted two bells. The c ard adds beautiful colour but the best part is, the sounds of the jingling bells as you carry them into someones house will be so beautiful. It just brings a smile to my face. [You can do the same style of card, just take a beautiful holiday card and punch a hole through it. Leave the envelope elsewhere so that the card becomes part of the gift.]

A simple wrapping style but oh so sweet. :) Super easy to recreate - you can find packages of bells at the dollar store, or any craft store. xo Linds

Top Rated Colour of 2012, Tangerine Tango

Each paint company is claiming a different colour of the year for 2012. I never know who to trust. I mean, who exactly chooses these colours to be crowned "colour of the year". Well, there is this group called The Colour Marketing Group, and though I do not want to give away a designer secret, but this group decides on what is hip and cool for colour. And I am not just talking Interiors alone, fashion is another huge industry who is driven by this group and their colour choices. I have been told that The Colour Marketing Group chooses the colours two years ahead of time. Every wonder how designers know how to keep their collections trendy? Well, this is how.

This year, we have been told the colour of the year is 17-1463, Tangerine Tango. Cute name, isn't it? Let see if you like it's statement inside the home.

Runway show displays the new tangerine colour.

Organic rug with tangerine tango accents!

Home and personal accessories embrace the bold orange colour.
Splashes of orange in a monochromatic space. This is how I
think I would integrate this bold colour into a room.

For the colour lover out there, this room is for you.
There is something I love about this space. Probably
the teal!

What do you think? Is Tangerine Tango a colour that you could introduce into your home or is it just too bold for you?