decisions decisions

A busy week at work means a late post today, but I wanted to get your expert opinions on somethin'!

A couple of weeks ago I moved my cowhide rug out of my "dressing room" and into my living room, where I'm loving it. The jute rug I had bought from West Elm for there only really lasted a year (am I the only one who's been a bit disappointed in West Elm rugs?) so this was my solution.

That's left the floor in my "dressing room" (the glorified other half of my bedroom separated by an arch) naked, and I'm looking for a new pretty pronto! I was hoping to bring in something different rather than just going with another hide, but the catch is this: the room is a VERY odd shape. Something like this:

See what I mean? That weird jut makes a cowhide really the best and only choice if I don't want the area near the door to look very off. Essentially, a rectangular rug would need to be shoved to one side of the room to fit.

I'm still torn though, and have it down to these two options:

The difference in price is fairly minimal, with the oriental coming out at about 80$ more. Both would go with my room colours swimmingly, but the cowhide would likely make the transition to a new look better. Plus, cowhides are the most durable and easy to maintain rugs in the history of time. Ever.

With all this logic on the side of the hide, you'd think my choice would be clear, but this morning I put a lowball "make an offer" bid on the oriental in a fit of impatience . . . now I'm not sure if I want it accepted or not!

So what say you? Was that bid a mistake? Do you think it would look absolutely ridiculous so off-center in the room? Are you kind of "meh" on the hide? A penny for your thoughts!

P.S. Happy weekend lovelies! We just got snow (yay!), but we also got -12 temps (booo). For you americanos, that's 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Yuck. Looks like a lot of puppy snuggling and cider for me!

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trend spotting: treating your walls like a canvas

The other day I came across this photo:

and let out an audible gasp. Although a little research led me to discover that it's wallpaper, it definitely looks lovingly handpainted, no? I can almost picture the artist - the kind that creates my favourite type of abstracts, alive with colour and wild abandon - deciding to break free of the canvas and express themselves on the largest surface they could find. It screams "a creative mind lives here!" and I could not be more inspired.

After spotting it, it suddenly occurred to me that just the other day Christine of Bijou and Boheme posted about a company that will turn any image into wallpaper, and her desire to turn one of her own abstract pieces into a fabulous feature wall in her home. Then I thought of Kelly Wearstler's grand staircase/entryway, wallpapered in a gorgeous custom design by Porter Teleo, made to "look like artwork":


And finally it clicked: a trend is a-brewin. Not just any trend, though, but a trend that celebrates imagination and bravery instead of money. A trend that anyone with a paintbrush, the nerve, and a little bit of talent can take a crack at. 

And those, my friends, are very best kind. Wouldn't you agree?

Here are a few more beautiful rooms whose walls have been given the abstract art treatment:







Till next time luvs!

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little improvements in a rental: how much is too much?

Since moving into my current rental - a small but pretty one bedroom in Montreal - I've made endless "small renovations". I replaced the pathetic old shower head, cut a custom mirror for my awkwardly-sized medicine cabinet, and switched out almost all of the overhead lights. Last year, when I was repainting the whole place for the second time, a friend of mine sarcastically asked "you own this place right?" 

The implication, of course, was that I spend way too much on it for something that isn't mine. 

To be honest, he may be right. I'm constantly thinking about how to make my home better and more liveable, but if these things aren't transportable to my next place, or just won't work in it, then it's money down the drain, right? 

In reality, these types of thoughts have always nagged at me, and there are certain improvements I've chosen to hold off on because of them, telling myself that I simply can't justify the expense. At the top of that list? Replacing my kitchen cabinet handles. I hated them (to put it lightly), but they worked, and spending the money to replace them when my next rental could have decent ones felt irresponsible. 

For your reference, the handles the previous tenants had installed looked like this:

Yep, those are knives and forks. Knives and forks, folks. Because apparently I needed reminding that I was in the kitchen. Needless to say they didn't go with anything else I'd put in the room, and I grumbled to myself every time I opened the drawer to grab a real knife or fork. 

Well, a couple of weeks ago I came across some decent replacements on ebay that cost only $1.69 each. Almost as importantly, they fit the existing screw holes, meaning no time consuming and costly hole filling and door refinishing. 

So I caved. 

I'm so glad I did. For the cost of a dinner out with friends, I took my handles from country kitsch to classic:

They may not be brass perfection, but for the cost the payoff is huge. Stepping back after putting the last one up, I immediately regretted not doing it sooner. I've lived here for two years, and yet I left those old handles up, abiding by a rule that, quite frankly, isn't mine. I care about my home more than I do a lot of things. The aesthetics of my surroundings matter to me, and making these improvements make me happy. How do you calculate the worth of that? 

This weekend I decided that you can't. I went out and bought a new toilet seat to replace the disgusting cushioned (ugh), and ripped (double ugh) one that was there when I moved in, and my dad came over and cut custom shelves for my bedroom closet.  It was another 100$ out of my pocket, but it's a more comfortable environment in which I spend so much of my time. 

I've decided that for me, it's worth it.

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kijiji makes my life hard: velvet sofa love take 2

I have never posted twice in a day before, but I just found this while perusing my local kijiji for a friend:

Someone, anyone, stop me from buying this. Convince me that I don't need to go through the process of selling my existing sofa for yet another one that isn't a pull out for guests. Tell me that no amount of luscious velvet and brass detailing PERFECTION warrants lugging this lady up my stairs. Even if it is only 500$. Please, please reason with me. I can't be trusted.

The description says it's green velvet instead of blue, so that makes it a little easier. But not much. I'm in serious trouble here people. Someone else buy this so at least I can know it went to an uber loving home. Please??

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happy turkey day americanos!


Canadian Thanksgiving was weeks ago, but despite the difference in date we here in maple leaf land celebrate it exactly the way you lovelies from the 48 states do (or at least should): by stuffing our gullets like champions. So get out there and do us all proud.

Know what I'm thankful for this year? This little blogging world full of amazing ladies (and gents) that I've gotten the chance to know, and the happiness it brings me every time someone new hits the "Join this site" button. It's pretty darn special. 

Oh and secret boards on Pinterest. Sweet baby Jesus am I thankful for secret boards on Pinterest.

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cheapie turkish rugs (without the trip)

In yesterday's guest post on A Newfound Treasure I listed Turkey as my next dream trip destination, in no small part because of my rug love. No obsession. No borderline addiction. Every time my poor mama travels to the states to visit my aunt she asks that the rug I order (to get around Canadian shipping restrictions) not be too big. At this point she just assumes. I have a problem, y'all. 

As much as I would love that trip to happen soon, finances mean it'll have to wait. In the interim, I've found a way to still get my Turkish kilim fix on the cheap: ebay. There may be a lot of duds to sort through, but there are also plenty of gems in every style imaginable, and they're usually much, much easier on the wallet than other sources I've found! Here are just a couple of the pretties available right now:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

All under $700, and most way less than that. Like those four minis at the end. Starting bid? $99. The one right before it? $9.99. That's crazy pants.

Want the Turkish vibe but on a smaller scale? They have that too folks:

1 // 2 // 3

The most consistent dealer I've found is definitely Turkish Kilim, the seller of the first three above and of my own kitchen kilim. I gotta' say, if there was ever a purchase I didn't regret that would be it. I love the pop it brings to the space - so happy!

Go and take a gander - here's hoping you'll find some colourful kilim love without the sticker shock or jet lag ;)

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the next on a newfound treasure

I'm over on A Newfound Treasure this morning contributing to Anna's amazing The Next series! I discovered Anna's awesome blog when she commented on my guest post over on Recently, and I couldn't believe what I'd been missing out on! If you've been missing out too, be sure to pop over and check it out - you won't be sorry.

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happenins around here

Hey there lovelies, hope you're gearing up for a great weekend! My boss is getting married tomorrow, so it's clean up/get down time for me. Long black dress, good friends, open bar. 'Nuff said.

I'm also gonna' be gettin' down d.i.y styles, because the fabric to make this happen just arrived on my doorstep**:

I know it might seem like the current look doesn't need fixin', but unfortunately the last time I bleached it (yes, I mean the last of multiple times - only thing I like better than d.i.y'ing is changing my mind), the light had had enough of my bullshit and got runny yellow stains all over the bottom. Which I tried to paint over. Which did not work.

So losses = cut. New plan = bold.

**Note: The fabric did not actually arrive on my doorstep. In fact, it arrived at my office because UPS decided to *say* they had been to my house three times but never actually show up, or at least not ring the doorbell. I know this because I WAS THERE AT ALL THOSE TIMES, DOUCHEBAGS. So I had to change my delivery address because I couldn't wait at home like a chump anymore.

They also charged me a 25$ "bringing it over the border" fee. On a 40$ package. Thanks for that motherfuckers.

Moving on.

I visited my parents last weekend and found this lovely lady just sitting lazily in my mom's sewing room:

(Oh, shitty iPhone pic. Enemy / trusty sidekick of bloggers everywhere...)

It's by my Aunt, and I'm a fan. It's gonna get a pretty mat and a snazzy frame and relocate to Montreal. My bedroom wall will welcome it.

While I was there I got the chance to smother/take a million pictures of the newest member of my fam-jam :

I am a huge supporter of anything that makes my Dad do things like this:

And then my little sister went and topped it all off by getting a super pretty ring to match her super pretty face:


If the wedding didn't need to wait until after she finishes nursing school it would be on like Donkey Kong. D.I.Y centerpieces out the wazoo, bitches.

But Donkey Kong can be patient.

He'll just be riiiiiiight here . . . sitting . . . waiting . . .

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i heart your art (and design!): tia zoldan

My wishlist in Tuesday's Recently guest post featured some original pieces of art I've been uber lusting after, and judging from your comments, y'all agreed they're pretty killer! So today I thought I'd bring you a little more about one of the lovely ladies behind the pretty (namely that black and white stunner) - Miss Tia Zoldan.

I was first introduced to Tia through her gorgeous interior design work, but a quick google search revealed that she's also the talented painter behind the gorgeousness above (of which there is so much more)! In fact, almost all of her interiors feature at least one of her original pieces. I don't know about you, but that's my kinda two-fer!



{via 1/2}

What I love most about Tia's work is how wildly experimental it is. While it's all abstract, there isn't really much more of a common theme throughout. She doesn't seem to have a particular 'style', and I'm diggin' that about her.

She also happens to be the designer/owner of what might just be the most pinned kitchen of all time:


So, um, here's a question: how come some of us get to be so damn talented? Riddle me that, Tia Zoldan.

I call bullshit.

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wishing & telling over on recently!

Today you'll find me over on Recently, taking part in Emily's amazing Wish and Tell series and spilling the beans on everything from my fave beauty product to my current guilty pleasure! Emily was one of the first accomplished bloggin' ladies to welcome me into this little world, and has been a friendly ear and oh-so-welcome cheerleader ever since. I adore her mucho mucho, and was jazzed when she asked me to participate!

You know what was way harder than it should have been though?  Rounding down my wishlist to only one item!

Bordeline. Impossible.

In the end I decided to focus on things there was no way I could afford right now, and while you'll have to check out the post to see what I ended up going with, let's just say these pretties only just missed the top spot:

{1 / 2 / 34}

Velvet sofa insanity. Oh the filthy, filthy things I would do . . .

But what about you, lovely reader old and new?! Is it just as hard for you, or is there one thing on your pie-in-the-sky wishlist that you want above all others? That you just know would be the first thing you added-to-cart after you hit the lotto?

Do tell! Let's dream a little dream together, shall we? ;)

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kubus roundup for the commitment-phobe

Last week I posted a style three way about cubic illusions , like Pierre Frey's immensely popular and oh-so-luscious Kubus fabric, and y'all seemed to agree that the pattern can't be beat! So today I thought I'd bring you a little round-up of cubic illusion pretties that don't involve wallpaper paste or tile grout. Want the look but don't want to be smacked upside the head with it? Well then here you are my lovelies:

Is that pillow not ridiculously good?! And Astier de Villatte candles are pretty much my definition of the perfect self-indulgence - there are no candles on this earth that smell better! Oh, decisions decisions . . .

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style 3 way: cubic illusion

Cubic optical illusions are everywhere in design right now, and I for one am completely on board. I love all the ways in which this amazing pattern has been popping up in the chicest of spaces:

{images via: 1 / 2 / 3}

The glorious fabric is Kubus by Pierre Frey (natch),  the cubic Moroccan tile is available from companies like Mosaic house and Villa Lagoon, and the wallpaper is Squares Gold by Ferm Living.

While the fabric and tiles will set you back a pretty penny, the wallpaper is actually pretty affordable. So make that happen would ya'? I need me some vicarious living ;)

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