Monday, January 29, 2018

Chic Exteriors | Climbing Vines

The month of January is nearly through! Can you believe it? In some ways it went insanely fast, and in others snail-paced slow. Let's be honest, I'm posting all about gorgeous exteriors covered in greenery today because I am craving SPRING. Please come! We've spent much of our winter sick this time around because it's Marky's first season at daycare ... everyone warned us he'd be sick all the time but this is actually crazy. Just the past week alone we had to fight through a bout of gastroenteritis and a cold virus. Of course my hubby and I keep catching everything too :(

So needless to say, I'm anxious for those sunny days to return, and for us to continue to work on our landscaping and the exterior of our home. I have always been attracted to climbing vines, and most of the photos in this post I've had saved for a long time as inspiration if we were to ever implement this. We have ugly stucco on the back of our house and I've often pondered if this look could work to pretty/disguise it. But then I've read some vines can penetrate and harm stucco. Do you have experience with any of the different species of vines? Safety to the exterior surface, plant growth rates, or healthiness overall? I live in an overall moist and rainy moderate temperature climate. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts! For now, some warmth-and-hope-of-spring inspiration:


And of course we can't forget to include a few shots of the home of Mark Sikes, covered in glorious California sunshine & ivy worthy of envy:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Designer Profile | Hallie Henley Design

Houston-based designer Hallie Henley Sims of Hallie Henley Design very regularly captures my attention on instagram. And in a digital age when we are so accustomed to flipping so quickly through 1000's of images, it says a lot if you notice yourself lingering to look at a photo, perhaps saving it, and often coming back for more! That's when you know a designers work resonates with your personal style. Hallie is one to follow, she has amazing taste and a very keen eye for color, fabric, and wallpaper. Her use of fabrics and wallpaper constantly inspires me, have a peek:

Sumptuous velvets and grasscloth in a Master Bedroom:

A vignette at the HHD office:

Hallie's own new lovely family room she shares with her husband and young daughter; I adore the swivel chairs (my family room desperately needs a pair), and those Christopher Spitzmiller lamps.

And honestly more often, it's just the little vignettes or furniture and wallpaper progress shots, the 'sneak peeks' that leave me swooning! Like this room below with it's grasscloth going up and the perfect glossy crown and baseboard to match. I've been itching to do something like this in my own home, I am LOVING painted out trim:

This daybed in a nursery, with it's contrast piping, can you even imagine?

Oh, and I can't complete this post without making sure you know Hallie is the Queen of powder rooms:

Custom painted lampshades compliment the fantastic wallcovering:

And maybe my favorite for last, complete with a BEFORE:

And AFTER, I've seen this lovely Jasper Peony paper at a Tory Burch boutique and it is even more stunning in real life:

Fantastic! If you find these images as inspiring as I do, be sure to follow Hallie here, and check her website for more portfolio projects here.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday's Favorite to Follow

Happy Friday everyone! For the first 'Friday's Favorites' of 2018, I've chosen to highlight one of my absolute must-follows of 2017. Shaun Smith, (whom I've posted about here and here), has become a true taste-maker to watch in the past year, I always found myself checking in with what he was up to!

Lucky for us, his own home is featured in the February Before & After issue of House Beautiful, on stands now. Here is a sneak peek (you will audibly gasp at the bathroom before & after below), grab a copy to see more and make sure to follow Shaun here! (after shots by the talented photographer Paul Costello).

All of the original tile was kept in this bathroom, what a fantastic transformation! Shows what a lot of zhushing can do :)

Have a great weekend!


Monday, January 8, 2018

Four Fantastic Kitchens With Ideas To Steal

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are beginning to feel back into the swing of things. I'm feeling refreshed after spending some much-needed time with family & friends over Christmas and New Years, and somewhere in between there we celebrated little Marky's second birthday. It was busy but amazing!

I've got a post filled with kitchen-goodness for you today. I've come across 4 kitchens recently in my instagram travels that had me swooning and I thought I would not only share photos but also the reasons why I feel in love with what I fell in love with. Here goes!

photography by Jessica Sample

#4. The Goop Lab kitchen: Gwenyth Paltrow collaborated with Roman and Williams and Waterworks for Goop's first ever permanent retail location. This kitchen was designed to look like a residential kitchen, and I love the style of open shelving that ends in curved brackets, combined with the brass hardware, and stylish enamel Lacanche range. BUT the major lust factor - I never knew I could fall in love with blush colored kitchen cabinetry! If someone asked me, 'hey have you seen that pink Goop kitchen?' I would have thought they were crazy had I not seen these images. 

#3. The Fox Group's Cottonwoods project: I discovered Fox Group Construction via social media and I really loved finding one of their fantastic kitchens complete with herringbone flooring and combined cabinetry finishes. My most-loved element in this space is the metal & glass open shelving against a backdrop of marble! (You may remember I blogged about glass shelving in kitchens here).

Hey, you even get your own indoor pizza oven in this fully-equipped kitchen!

#2. Philip Mitchell's Nova Scotia Cottage kitchen: Philip Mitchell has long been one of my favourite Canadian designers, and I think his previous tiny Toronto condo kitchen was the first to prove to me you could have insanely stunning results in a very small space (you can see images of that kitchen here). He's begun to share sneak peeks of his new cottage kitchen, and I am crossing my fingers and toes that this home will be published soon so that we can see more!!

There are too many things to love, but if I had to name just a few: The built in banquet and sconces, the upper cabinetry with glass panels wrapping around the sides, the antique display case with all of that lettuce ware!! 

I also love Philip's collection of dishware, and you can see in this last shot that the island displays a mix of wood finishes with stunning hardware. Look at those turn-spindle details along the edges!

#1. Alison Pickart's House Beautiful-featured kitchen: This last kitchen was my favourite Christmas/entertaining feature of 2017. If you caught the space in HB you saw it decked out for the holidays with stunning garland wrapping the windows two-storey's high. Designer Alison Pickart recently shared a before photo on her instagram account and I couldn't believe it!

photography by Aaron Leitz

Wow! What a transformation. I love the height and grandeur of this room, and that gorgeous stone flooring. Which of these four kitchens was your favourite? And elements I missed mentioning?


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

7 Holiday Entertaining Tips

This post was created in partnership with Kohler Canada, however all opinions are my own and I only partner with quality brands that I truly love. 

Christmas is upon us! Less than one week, and my guess is that many of you will be hosting a gathering at some point throughout this holiday. To get your wheels turning I've listed 7 of my favorite entertaining tips that I try to adhere to, along with some photos of my own home this holiday to give you a peek into our Christmas. Throughout my home I've tried to utilize fresh greenery, like store-bought eucalyptus and cedar branches from my own backyard! By far the red ilex branches are my favorite - I hope to load that front entry vase up even MORE next Christmas. I've been very attracted to the pop of red against all the blue & white. Here are 7 entertaining tips to get you through this busy season:

1. Keep a limited menu - I love the idea of having one signature drink & and one special appy that takes a bit more prep and effort. Something that guests will remark on and ask you for the recipe. Maybe even have the recipe handy so they can jot it down! Or create something fun and interactive for them, like a hot chocolate bar with all the fixin's. As for the main course, hosting a party is not the time to try out a new dish, stick to those you do often and really well.

The display of food can be everything. I clip some greens from my Myrtle tree and tuck them in amongst mandarins in a bowl. The green is so pretty and it's SO fragrant.

2. Set your table in advance – Assess your dishware inventory and get creative with your serveware. This way you’ll be able to see if there is anything you’re missing well before the party date. I’ll typically start setting out my place settings several days before hand, so I can plan and I can reduce the workload as the date approaches. Don’t save the pretty dishes and cutlery! These are the times they were made for, and they’ll make even the smallest get-together feel more special. Enjoy them with your guests!

Mixing old and new; blue & white dishware from Bombay and vintage Belgian linens that were a very special gift. 

3. Keep the kitchen clean – I once read that if you have very limited time to clean up before guests arrive, focus on the major surfaces like tabletops and counters, they will be the most noticed! No one is really going to go and examine your baseboards. As well, when cooking for others, keeping things as sanitary as possible is always a good idea. The Kohler touchless foaming soap dispenser does some of that for you. Everything is going touchless these days and I for one think it will definitely promote better hygiene. Plus with this dispenser there is a 20-second lighted timer that lets you know how long to lather for, something helpful if you have little one’s that need a bit of guidance! 

 4. Make dishware accessible –  This way guests know exactly where to grab a clean plate or glass. I like the presentation of the Kohler wine glass drying rack which places glasses upside-down, and I've noticed that the practical outcome of course is less water spots on the glass.  Plus if you have limited dishware, a wine glass could be washed and re-used if someone wants to try the white after red. The rack itself folds up for very easy storage. Pretty and practical!

5. Make a play list - And have a specific person in charge of music. I'm personally really picky with music so it's hard for me to rely on those ready-made playlists. You may wish to invite your closest friend a little earlier to help you set things out and instruct them on making sure the music is always playing! 

6. Don’t overlook ambiance – Lighting is so important in creating a special and festive atmosphere. Put overhead lights on dimmers where possible. Use scented candles and sparkly string lights to add layers and watch your house glow! Testing out your planned lighting a couple of nights in advance will help make sure you’ve got it just right. 

7. Mingle like a pro – Be sure to chat with each of your guests even if just for a few minutes. Your job as the hostess is to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. One of the most practical ways I find to do this is to leave the cleanup and dishes for after guests leave. Spend time connecting with people, the dishes aren’t going anywhere & there’s plenty of time the next day.

A huge thank you to Kohler Canada for partnering with me and supporting my blog! Truthfully I always thought of large items like toilets & tubs when I thought of their brand, so it was fun to learn about their new venture into luxurious and innovative products geared towards entertaining. If you are located in Vancouver be sure to pop into the Kohler Signature Store for unique gift items and maybe a present or two for your own kitchen ;) 

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