labouring for labour day

For the last couple of months I've been tackling a project for my day job (web comms at a university) that has had me working non-stop. Evenings and weekends. Endlessly. I'm tired - both mentally and physically - and sick of neglecting other areas of my life. The fact that I actually wish I could clean my apartment (if I could only find the time or energy) is a very bad sign. I hate cleaning.

Yet the last few days have brought with them a very different perspective. I'm finally in the home stretch, and even though I'll be working over the long weekend, I'm so close to the pay-off that I'm fine with it. I can practically taste freedom.

More importantly, I'm really damn proud of what I've created. I don't know if it's any better than the work I normally do, but the knowledge of how hard it was to get there makes it oh-so much sweeter. Even if I'm the only one who knows, that's good enough for me. All of a sudden I feel grateful for the pressure. Pressure makes diamonds.


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lookie what I did: an entrance makeover

A few months ago I decided that despite having no budget at all to pull off a makeover, my entrance just couldn't stay the way it was. It was stark and bland, and simply not an inviting space to come home to. Here's what it looked like at the time...

It's clear from these pics that it needed a bit of life added to it, but what isn't clear is that the floor was in really, really rough shape and never looked clean. The door also looks ok from this angle, but the knob had obviously been drilled into the wrong spot, and then the huge original hole had just been polyfilled when they fixed their mistake.

Since I was on a budget, and since I rent and can't wallpaper (which would have been my #1 choice by a mile), I decided that I'd complete as much of a transformation as I possibly could using only paint, a stencil I cut myself, and art I already owned. The results? None to shabby!

It's not perfect by a long shot, mostly because cutting your own stencil is a stupid thing to do (seriously, don't do it. I'm an idiot.) and also because I couldn't find gold paint no matter where I looked and ended up using acrylic paints from an art store (seriously, don't do that. I'm an idiot). But even without crisp lines I love it.

You can't see it all that well because I need a mat and so didn't want to show it yet, but I also painted the floors a grey-ish purple. So pretty. Once I have that mat and a new roman blind, I'll be all done!

Speaking of which, anyone have a lead on where to buy cheap, ready-made fabric roman blinds? IKEA no longer sells them (!!!) and I'm coming up empty everywhere else I've checked. Why is it that sometimes the simplest things can turn out to be the most complicated? That last 10% . . .

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wallpaper love: spots & splatters

When Tiffany Richie's office was posted on La Dolce Vita last week I was reminded how much I loooove Thibaut's Tanzania wallpaper. 


I was also reminded of Meredith Heron's office, where Meredith used the same paper, similar brass furniture and virtually identical chairs. She also used the same Prada print in another section of the room. Either the two of them have eerily similar taste or one has bestowed the most sincere form of flattery on the other.



Maybe I'm naive, but I'm going with eerily similar taste. It seems to me that pics of the spaces were released too close to one another to be anything else. There just wouldn't have been enough time to copy! (UPDATE: Turns out I probably was just naive. Meredith is not amused)

Tanzania isn't the only black spotted wallpaper I'm obsessed with though. Fireworks by Albert Hadley has a very similar feel, and is pretty much the most perfect powder room wallpaper ever, especially when paired with pink!

{1 & 2}


Hinson's Splatter wallpaper takes this idea to an even crazier extreme. I must admit that I like it a bit less than the other two. With a pattern this busy my eyes need a bit of white space to rest on, and slightly more consistency in dot size. 

{1 & 2}

Apparently I like my wallpaper just like I like my life: barely controlled chaos.

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i heart your art: ryan pickart

I may not love all of Ryan Pickart's work (some of it is a bit too cold for my taste), but what I do love I love a whole, whole lot. Anything with this much Klimt in the mix can't help but be amazing: 

I'd love to put these against black walls, especially the fourth one. I think it would be so striking.

I also really appreciate that he sometimes posts "in progress" shots of his work, like this one:

For someone who can't draw or paint to save their life (unless it's a new coat of spray paint on a chair), it's truly fascinating to see gorgeous works of art like this mid-process. It makes it feel so much more tangible, doesn't it?

{all image via Parlour BlogPICKART and aestheticshelter}

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dining in the library

I fall in love with a lot of rooms (a lot), but few stick out as absolute favourites. You know those ones that never lose their appeal no matter how many times you see them? This is one of those few:


It's been in my inspiration file since before I was on Pinterest, yet every time it pops up in my feed I have trouble not repinning it. I'm just insanely drawn to it.

Well the other day I came across this beauty . . .


... and realized that this just has to happen in my life. Someday I will have a dining room library, and that dining room library will have deep, moody walls and hot pink chairs. It just has to happen.

I feel like it would be borderline impossible to have a bad dinner party in these rooms. Looking for an interesting conversation starter? Um, how about thousands?? Honestly, if you run out of things to talk about surrounded by this many books it may be time to find new friends. Just sayin'.

Here are a couple of other tall, dark and sexy reading and eating combos that I'm loving:





You know what these ones are missing though? Hot pink chairs. They're clearly missing hot pink chairs.

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homesense insta' room

I'm a huge fan of Homesense (Canada's Marshalls). I know it can be filled with some seriously tacky kitsch, but even at the worlds worst ones - which both happen to be in Montreal btw - I always manage to find some gems. And, quite frankly, the metal chickens and sequined dog thrones are good for a laugh.

Proof of it's awesomeness? The other day while I was perusing the aisles I snapped a couple of pics of the day's best, and realized later that they added up to one pretty sweet room. And if there's something that doesn't suck, it's one stop shopping that doesn't look like you one-stop-shopped.

I spent a bit of time in the bedding section, mixing and matching to make pretty sets (cuz I'm cool like that), and this was my favourite:

The two in front are Ralph Lauren, and up close the pillowcases were epicly amazing. You can't really tell here, but the little dots have a fabulous mossy tint to them.

I do believe I would put this ottoman at the end of the bed:

Put these on the side table:

And then spray paint this in a luscious mossy green before throwing it into the mix:

And hey, why not add the amazing Beni O from my last trip to Homesense, just for good measure:

Although if I did I'd toss a deep, burnt red throw over that ottoman to break up the beige on beige.

Not bad eh? I'm telling ya', this place isn't as craptastic as it may seem . . .

P.S. I'm not a crazy person. If that mirror hadn't been 349$ it clearly would have come home with me. Sigh. Trust me to love the one mirror in the entire store that's over 99$...

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alien chic

So according to the world of the internets (or at least of my facebook newsfeed), I'm in the minority when I say that I actually really liked Prometheus. Maybe it's because I hadn't heard any of the hype or maybe it's because I'd never seen the Alien series and didn't have any expectations. Either way, I thought it was all sorts of awesome. 

What's even more messed up than my taste in movies, though, is that ever since watching this one I keep seeing furniture and accessories that really remind me of it. Like, everywhere. So what's a girl to do? Put together a round-up of alien chic, clearly.

You see it too right? Right??

P.S. This may be super weird since I just said they made me think of slimey, blobby killer creatures from outer space, but that lamp, knob and stone table can all come home with me. Please and thank you. I honestly don't think I'd mind an alien takeover if it looked this good . . .

P.P.S. If you've seen the movie, can you guess what each piece represents?

P.P.P.S. Why am I such a nerd?
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built-in beds and built-in dreams

On days that work is especially tough, and grown-up problems are weighing me down more than usual, I dream of being a kid again. Of the days when I could go to sleep, all tucked up snug in bed, and let absolutely everything drift away without a single worry about tomorrow. 

Maybe that's why I've been noticing nook beds more than usual lately. The ones that are not only built-in, but that come down a bit at the top to create a cocoon of cozy. 







These are for childhoods filled with magic, not with video games. These are for rooms filled with dollhouses and swords and trunks of dress up clothes, colouring books and timeworn blankies. These are for tales of Peter Pan and the Velveteen Rabbit late into the night. These are for dreaming. 

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green goodness: pops in every room

Last week I brought you rooms painted, lacquered and wallpapered in green, and today it's the accents' turn. From painted doors to luscious tile to twinkling chandeliers, pops of emerald and kelly are oh-so unexpectedly amazing in every room of the house.

It makes a strong statement in the entry:

Brings a touch of glamour to the office:

And adds exotic flair to the bathroom, from the completely out of reach . . .

to the slightly more attainable.

It's just perfect for soft upholstery, especially when in velvet:

Finally, it sets your kitchen and dining room apart from the crowd:

Wanna bring a little of this loveliness into your life? I'll be back soon with a round-up of pretty purchasables to help you do just that!

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 unknown, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18}

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