Wednesday, July 25, 2012


You say tomato, I say tomato.

Some call it a window seat, I call it a "book nook."

Why the differentiation, you may ask? Well, first, I love BOOKS - the sight of books, the feel of books, the discussion of get the picture. So, therefore, the thought of an entire space in my home dedicated just to the pursuit of reading a book? AMAZING! And second, I love rhyming words (I think this dates back to my early career as a kindergarten teacher). Regardless of the reasons, however, I have to admit to a little crush on all of the following inspiration shots. As you are scrolling through, I invite you to visualize yourself (or someone you cherish), curled up in any of these TO DIE FOR spaces with a cozy blanket, a beverage of choice, and a well-loved copy of a favourite book.

Natural sunlight, when paired with tufted leather and a whimsical roman blind, create a warm, comfy vibe in this sophisticated nursery. 

Vintage shutters and reclaimed barn board, mixed with velvet, linen, and a cashmere throw? Be still, my beating heart! 

I love this colour palette for a children's playroom! How sweet - and how organized! 

A long, narrow hallway such as this could potentially look dark and gloomy. Not in this case, however.  White, on everything from the drapes and pillows to the slipcovers and paint, creates an airy feeling in this light-filled space. 

Additional storage built-in to this window seat provides function (as well as GREAT form!)

"Halfway up" is a wonderful spot to consider a window seat if your layout allows it. 

There is something so soothing and restful about an all-white room. Probably my most favourite of all of these images, I imagine digging into a great work of historical fiction and whiling away the day. 

I admire a lot about this image - the dark-stained floors, the substantial newel posts, but most of all, I adore the elevated space on the landing. That would be the most highly-coveted space in our home, guaranteed! 

Have a good day! 
xo Kerry 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

watermelon and tangerine


One of the BEST things about BOLD and BRIGHT colour combinations is that they are, quite often, somewhat unusual or UNEXPECTED. I love this. Now, when you think back on your childhood, what two colours did your Mom tell you to NEVER, ever wear together? Why PINK and ORANGE, of course! So, what do we know today that our Moms did not? Well, here goes:
  1. Rules are meant to be broken. 
  2. An unexpected grouping can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. 
  3. You'll never know if something "works" unless you try it! 
Once upon a time, not so long ago, the dynamic duo of watermelon and tangerine (aka pink and orange) would have caused many a raised eyebrow. Now, however, brave fashion pioneers and courageous designers have proven, time and again, that this colour combo REALLY can deliver! 

While watermelon pink conjures images of cool and refreshing poolside beverages (watermelon granita, anyone?), tangerine orange conveys feelings of sunny, happy warmth. Is it merely a case of opposites attract? Or, is it possible, that no matter how old we get, we still like to prove our mothers' wrong?

Here are some of my favourite examples of this duo in action:







I hope that everyone is keeping cool during this oppressive heat wave! 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The humble dining chair...REINVENTED

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago, my friend Denise and I dropped off her dining room chairs for a "little" makeover. And when I say little, I really mean "big!" The existing chairs were, in want of a better term, tired. And dated. In fact, you can see for yourself what they looked like before their visit to the furniture spa.


As you can see, the arched detail on the back is very pretty, as is the overall scale of the chair. It is a well-made piece; it was just in need of some TLC. And, while the entire antique dining room set is both beautiful and valuable, we were finding it a little on the heavy side (all wood in the same dark stain). So, we decided to have the chairs professionally sprayed to both "lighten and brighten." Then, we had the seats re-upholstered with a gorgeous black and cream damask. The result? STUNNING.

Well, why don't you be the judge?


I will be sure to add some photos of the entire room once it all gets put back together. 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Create a Wall Display

Yes, it is July already and no, I do not know what happened to the last 4 weeks. I think they disappeared somewhere underneath a mountain of school books, stacks of un-washed tupperware lunch containers with unidentifiable contents, and several pairs of mis-matched mittens. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now, back to the matter at hand. I have come across many a stark, empty wall in my lifetime (there may still be one or two left in my own home - but let's just keep that between us). We seem to have less difficulty filling our horizontal spaces, but our vertical ones? Well, that appears to be a work in progress.

In an effort to discover why so many people find occupying a wall space so challenging, I searched out the following and was very pleasantly surprised. Check out my Top 10 Ways to Create a Wall Display in your home: 

1. Create a symmetrical grid (measure equal spaces between the frames) of similar-themed prints (i.e. botanical prints) in identical frames. This will create a sense of harmony (because the frames and their contents are related to one another) and a sense of balance (because the frames are hung in a symmetrical grid pattern on the wall.

2. Create an asymmetrical grouping on a wall that includes a mix of photos, artwork, a mirror, and even a plate. Including frames with varying finishes adds to the sense of visual interest and creates what many designers love to see; "an unexpected grouping." 

3. Create a backdrop to support the visual weight, colours, textures, and themes from the rest of the room. In this photo, the framed artwork establishes a connection between itself and the other elements in the room. The height and scale of the framed pieces also relate well to the other existing pieces. 

4. Take the opportunity to display a beautiful collection (in this example, historical maps - rich with a sense of history, intrigue, and adventure). Note that, even though some frames are brown and some are black, keeping them all of a similar width creates a sense of cohesiveness. 

5. Discover your whimsical side. An unexpected mix of medium, finish, colour, and aesthetic lends itself to good conversation and creates a strong focal point. Plus, I am a sucker for anything to do with typography (oh, and butterflies - I love butterflies).

6. Carry a theme through a transitional space (in this instance, a charming staircase). Here, "shabby chic" reigns supreme with an eclectic mix of vintage and distressed frames in a variety of shapes and sizes. What makes it work? Simply put, continuity with colour (the cream-coloured frames and ampersand allow the black and white photos to "pop" and to give the gallery wall a sense of direction.

7. Take advantage of the space offered you in a great room to create a gallery wall done "mural" style. A neutral backdrop presents the perfect opportunity to display oversized graphic images in this contemporary space.

8. Hang a wall of mirrors. Half the fun would just be in the collecting alone! A variation of size, finish, and orientation keeps things interesting, yet still cohesive. This design "trick" is a tried and true way to make a room feel larger.

9. These aren't your grandmother's old plates! Until recently, hanging plates on a wall seemed like a older relative's best forgotten secret. Well, that was then, and boy, were we ever mistaken! Plates on a wall can make a bold, graphic, colourful, and contemporary statement in your kitchen or dining room.

10. And last, but definitely not least, floating shelves continue to be a wonderful way to add some linear definition to a space, while also contributing important real estate for books, collections, frames, and additional vignettes.

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Have a great week, everyone!