what being indecisive looks like

I'm currently trying to find the perfect purple-grey for my apartment. The walls are continuous from my hall through my living room and into my kitchen, so the colour will be covering a large area.

A couple of days ago the wall behind my couch looked like this:

The colour can't be too cold, but can't be too brown or pink either. And it needs to work with those ikat pillows, because I love them.

A few days and an insane amount of second and third and fourth guessing later, and the wall behind my couch now looks at this:

I've spent 60$ on sample pots. Honestly at this point my head just hurts. This is so who I am in every single way it's hilarious. In a very un-hilarious sort of way.

I would just go with the one I've labelled as my fave, but OF COURSE it's one that I mixed myself and didn't realize I was in love with until I had already added other paint to it (so didn't paint it onto a card to be colour matched). All the ones around it are me trying to mix it again. AGGHHHH.


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i heart your art: harland miller

I first happened upon Harland Miller's work when this photo (which I think is from elle decor) popped up on my Pinterest feed a GAZILLION times. 

Suffice it to say, I quickly became obsessed with getting a print of that art in my home. I mean, it's fuchsia goodness and surprisingly inappropriate. Girly girl with a trucker mouth. CLEARLY we were made for each other.

Unfortunately that sweet thing does not exist in poster form, as I learned through the OCD'esque research that ensued. The artist - Harland Miller - has some limited edition prints of his works, but even those cost thousands, and originals are in the tens. 

Le Sigh. 

I did get to ogle some more of his deliciously crude masterpieces though. Feast your eyes on this awesomeness:

My favourite is still that original one though... oh what I wouldn't give...

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when bad decisions go right: pendant light makeover

So I've wanted to add a bit of colour to the "dining" section of my kitchen for a while. It was pretty and serene, but kind of blah and certainly unfinished.

I started by adding my rug a couple of weeks ago, but I knew it needed a bit more. More specifically, that pendant light was the cheapest large option I could find, but needed some life added to it.

So I decided to dye it. At first I thought pink, then waffled to yellow, and then decided on pink again (who am I kidding, I'm such a pink girl at heart). I was inspired by Jenny's show and tell of the lampshade she painted with fabric dye instead of using  traditional bucket method. This was pretty necessary in my case because there is no bucket big enough to hold this puppy (she's bigger than she looks), and my bathtub is old enough that I'm pretty sure a dye bath in there would permanently stain it.

I ordered a few bottles of dye off of ebay, and experimented with intensities on some old fabric I had lying around. I even painted an old lampshade I knew I wouldn't end up using that had (what I thought was) the same fabric covering it. It went on like a dream, with no paint stroke marks and no differences in intensity from one spot to the other. Essentially, perfectly. I had considered a couple of more experimental/bold applications rather than just painting it all one solid colour, but when I saw how well it went on I kind of chickened out and decided that solid was the best way to go.

After mustering up my courage I set about painting:

Now unfortunately I have no pictures to show for what happened next. Mostly because I was panicking. I painted the bottom of the shade and it was a disaster. HUGE differences in colour from one area to another, MAJOR paint stroke marks, and nothing resembling pretty.

So I threw caution to the wind and painted the rest of the shade the way I'd originally intended to before I chickened out: something inspired by Amanda Nisbet's Positano silk in Pink Lemonade. Not exactly mimicking it - I forgot to even look at the pic before I started - but definitely playing off the general idea. 

And I liked it. It looked cool. But, unfortunately the bottom was still all pink, and when I put it up and turned on the light, something even worse happened. IT LOOKED LIKE MOTHER F-ING VEGAS in my kitchen! The light glowed through the dye and cast a neon pink glow over everything. Like florescent lights gone bad. 

Oh Lord. 

So I did what any sane person would do. I called my sister. 

A lot of laughing and panicking later, I grabbed my jug of bleach. I figured "what do I have to lose". It was either that or throw the light out entirely. So I painted the bleach on too. And you know what? It worked!! 

Here it is once the bottom had almost entirely faded back to normal:

YES!! Not only had I saved my light, but I also learned that I can diy the crap out of this thing with dye and still bleach it back to normal. This is dangerous, dangerous knowledge in my hands.

The best part? I kind of love it.

Isn't she purdy?!

I don't think it goes with the curtains, but I had been wanting to replace those for a bit anyway. If you're interested in buying them for a great price, let me know! They're in great shape and West Elm still sells them.

Anyway, what do you guys think?? Is she a keeper?

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styled photo shoots: jumping in the deep end

There's a big difference between designing a space for real life and making it work in a photo. Just because it looks good in person doesn't mean that it will translate on camera, and achieving that perfect shot - the ones in magazines like House and Home and on blogs like Design Sponge - is actually quite an art.

That art - called styling - is something that I've always wanted to master, and that desire has been hugely reinforced by Pinterest, where the difference between styled shots and unstyled ones is pretty obvious. Whether it's a perfectly placed throw, a simple floral arrangement adding an essential pop of colour, or a couple of sparkling rings casually strewn on a dresser, styling is such an important part of getting the shot, and none of it happens by accident.

So when the opportunity presented itself to team up with my friend Dallas on a styled wedding photo shoot, I jumped at the chance. While I don't intend to pursue a career in weddings, the skills you need to style a wedding shoot and an interior design shoot are essentially the same. It's all about figuring out what works in person vs what works on film in terms of colour, composition, spacing, texture, light . . . the list goes on. By taking on this challenge I would get to learn about all of it in the only way I really know how - hands on.

When we first started we were thinking pretty small, but the project quickly grew, and then grew some more. In a matter of days we went from a small shoot in a park to a full day at a gorgeous local restaurant with eight models and a stunning lace confection of a dress. We had vendors to coordinate, props to source, d.i.y projects to tackle and (due to a hilarious twist of fate) a three tiered cake to make ourselves.

And while it was definitely a lot of work, and there was a big learning curve, I loved every single minute of it. We weren't even finished with the first shoot when we started planning the second one, and we're currently dreaming up our third. I officially can't get enough.

For a full write-up on our concept (think cozy urban fall) and more of the portrait photos from the shoot, visit Dal's post here. If you just want the pretty though, here are a few of my favourites:

Like anything worth doing, I feel like I have learned so much - more than I had even expected to. I'd expected to improve my styling skills, but I've been amazed by all the other skills I've improved on as well, like marketing, networking, planning, coordination...really the list is endless. What's more, I've met amazing people along the way, most of them inspiring women who have followed their passions and started their own businesses doing what they love. I can't tell you how pumped up that gets me!

When I look back at the process and the photos from each shoot I feel intensely proud, but I also see everything that I would refine or do differently. I see a huge amount of room for improvement, and I get excited just thinking about how much better I can do next time. Which is what makes it fun for me. The second I stop learning is the second I stop doing this.

I'm excited to keep sharing these projects with you, as well as all my other attempts to improve my styling chops. I hope you'll share your honest opinions on areas that I could tweak, or ideas that I may not have thought of. Your thoughts are so so welcome!

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yellow love week: love turns to lust

One last little post about my lemon obsession before I digress....This one is about all the yellow bits and baubs I'm coveting, either for my wardrobe or my home. I'm pretty determined to inject a little neon sunshine into my summer, and in more ways than one...

I'm especially LOVING the pleated chiffon skirt, and am really hoping to find a more affordable version. I found this one on piperlime, but I'd rather be able to try it on first. You never know how chiffon is going to drape, you know?

But really, how amazing are these outfits?

images via my pinterest
Simple, elegant, bold. I'm head over heels.

I'd settle for a yellow maxi dress instead. Or as well. Yes, I think I'll go with as well. 

images via my pinterest
That girl on the left has it down pat. Too perfect. I'm officially on the hunt...

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i heart your art: olga seriojina

This morning a colourful piece of art popped up on my Pinterest feed and I clicked through to see who it was by. It took me to a Tumbler blog, which I must admit I HATE because you can so rarely find the original source for anything. It drives me nuts. Fortunately I didn't just give up, because when I tracked it all the way back I was rewarded with the work of an incredible artist whose beautiful creations I'd never seen before. 

Introducing Olga Seriojina, who is from Moscow and is apparently only thirty years old. Pretty damn impressive. I think her work is incredible:

It kind of fits in with yellow week because every one of my favourites has some in it, from a teeny tiny smidge to virtually the entire canvas. That counts right?

Also, she's kind of ridiculously adorable. 

Just sayin'. 

To see more of Olga's work, visit her (equally amazing) website, or check out her Flickr.

Be back soon with more yellow love! Although at this point I may be the only one who hasn't had enough...

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yellow love week: pops of happy

Ever since I got my new rug, the little bits of yellow in it have gotten me obsessed with bringing more of the sunshine shade into my life. I had bought pink dye to give some colour to the pendant light above my table, but now I'm thinking a golden yellow would be waaaay better. I may even paint one or both of the chairs a golden yellow too, à-la this chair from Anthropologie:

Be still my heart. 

I think yellow is one of the absolute hardest colours to get right. Most of the time it just ends up looking like a jarring bumblebee of a country-kitchen-style hot mess. But when yellow is done right - with just the right shade and just the right balance of daring and restraint - it really is like nothing else. 

Examples? Don't mind if I do! 

Tommy Smythe has pops of yellow down to an art:

Yellow headboards make me weak in the knees:

I want to eat the Scalamandre wallpaper on the right with a spoon:

Yellow chandeliers are fun, unexpected, and easy to achieve with a can of spray paint - the best combo!

And finally, my favourite of all favourite dining/living rooms in the history of all time (I'm actually not kidding):

Every SINGLE time pictures of this space pop up on my Pinterest feed I end up pinning it, because I forget that I've pinned it a million times before and my eyes go straight to it. I can't help it, it's like interior design crack for me. I want it I want it I want it. 

My yellow love isn't stopping at rooms though - I'm lusting after yellow maxi skirts, yellow jewellery, yellow shoes, yellow fabric, even yellow iphone cases...pretty much just can't get the shade out of my head! 

So I'm officially declaring this yellow week, and will be back with more luscious sunshine in the coming days. 

What do you think? Are you a fan? Do you agree that yellow can go so so wrong?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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