Sunday, 30 June 2013

Oh so Canadian red and white

Photo: Houzz. Bedroom by Manasquan Furniture and Accessories.
Red and white - what a clean, happy colour combination! It works equally well in cozy winter decoration, as in fresh summer 

Red accents in a white space act like cheery exclamation marks, calling for attention and providing a hint of warmth. Very dramatic and effective! 

Here are some great red-and-white spaces that caught my attention at Houzz. Enjoy Canada Day!

Photo\; Houzz
Photo\; Houzz
Photo: Houzz. Liz Levin Interiors
Photo: Houzz
Photo: Houzz. Traditional Porch by Sacramento
Landscape Architects & Designers Geno's Garden
Design & Coaching

Monday, 24 June 2013

Good Life of North Bay & Nipissing articles

Make sure to pick up your copy of the summer edition of Good Life of North Bay & Nipissing, to read my articles about potter Pat Stamp and an energy-efficient home in Callander. Or, check out my stories here.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Happy summer decorating!

Nature is also a great place for inspiration.
Just look at the fantastic colour combinations
in this sea of lupins, as seen around North Bay
these days. 
A home that makes us happy - every time, every day - isn't that something to aspire to?

With relatively small measures, lovable, practical spaces can be created. And as we improve the comfort and beauty of our homes, our general sense of well-being is also often enhanced. What a thrilling thought! 

Since we all need some inspiration to get started, here are some great fabrics that I spotted at Stewart's Decorating and Fabricland in North Bay. They are good jumping-off points for a happy home these early days of summer.

Make sure you enjoy the longest days of the year. And get those creative, home decorating juices flowing!

Fabrics from Robert Allen's latest collections, with summery names such as Mango, Peony and Watermelon, as seen at Stewart's Decorating:

Happy summer fabrics from Fabricland in North Bay:

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A place of his own

A garage/workshop can be a great, special place for Dad,
especially if it's well organized with a place for every item,
like the space in the photo. Photo: Houzz, by California Closets.

Speaking of well-organized garages,
I've always liked this ad by storage solutions 
manufacturer elfa: "First love his wife. Second
love his elfa." And the guy is surrounded by a
great bike, tools and other toys!
Some years ago, I lived with my husband-to-be in a 400 square foot city condo. The apartment was practical, but without any space that either of us could call "our own". Not ideal.

The situation changed when we moved into our present house. Here we have common areas to enjoy, and also our own special places to go to from time to time. Much better.

Men's favourite hang-out places often feature chocolate brown leather couches, a huge flat-screen TV, an advanced sound system, and a fridge full of beer. That's the stereotypical man cave, and it's a great arrangement if it makes everybody happy.

But what if Dad sometimes wants to invite the rest of the family to share an activity? Then his special space would maybe look like the pictures below. 

Enjoy Father's Day and please share your comments on the ideal man cave! 

A real man cave has a place for some
heat! Photo: Houzz. Space by Bosworth
A room for office work and music.
Photo: Houzz, Lord Design.
This dark, dramatic room feels very "grown-up",
but will certainly also attract the kids of the family
thanks to the generous pool table. I love the
light fixtures! Photo: Houzz, Michael Abrams Limited.

Another pool table, this time in a bright, open space.
Photo:Houzz, by Synergy Design & Construction.
This is a great multi-activity room: light-filled and fun! Dad
will likely not have this room to himself though, for better or for
worse. Photo: Houzz, Menter Architects LLC.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Backsplash alternative for your kitchen

To select a kitchen backsplash can be difficult, but also very gratifying, since it has the potential to affect the whole atmosphere of the room. A backsplash can play whatever role you want it to play: the unifying element that ties the space together, or that "stand-out feature" that makes it come alive. 

Tiles are the most popular choice for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes, but there are other alternatives worth taking into account. Back-painted glass is one such option. I like it because it is relatively inexpensive and provides lots of flexibility: the glass can be painted any colour you wish, and can also be applied on top of wallpaper. Here are some examples of Finnish kitchen designer Puustelli's take on backsplashes, as seen in their Stockholm showroom during my recent visit to the Swedish capital.
A bright wallpaper, combined with a back-painted glass backsplash,
steals the show in this contemporary kitchen display.

Close-up of the wallpaper.

Wallpaper covered by a sheet of glass becomes a
stylish backsplash.
The green from the patterned wallpaper is highlighted
in the back-painted glass.
This grey-and-white kitchen gets an injection of colour through
the red backsplash tiles.