Posts Tagged "Decorating"

Doing the drapery dance (which doesn’t at all look like the Safety Dance) (ok, it actually kinda does, but just a little)

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Dining Room, Living Room | 2 comments

It’s spring!  Well, sort of.  I’m still wearing a winter coat on some mornings (albeit a very tight one due to my ever-growing and beloved baby bump.)  And I’m keeping my toque and mitts and scarf close at hand.  Just in case the weather turns wintery.  Again.  Since, you know, Mother Nature has cursed us with a never ending winter this year.  (Dear Mother Nature…  I love you, and you’re awesome, but you’re being completely irrational this year.  Stop it.  Please.  Thank you!)

And while I despise the ridiculously cold snowy winter we’ve had this year, I despise my current window coverings even more.  The previous home owners (being the insane awesome people that they are!) left us a plethora of flood-ready bright white sparkly-swirl sheers for our windows.  An intended act of generosity?  Perhaps.  But regardless of motive, the result is the same: the curtains are making me a crazy person.

Enter: Ikea.  Yep.  My beloved and dependable go-to for window coverings.  Their curtains are cheap.  They’re very cheerful.  They come in really long lengths (for those of us who prefer to set our curtain rods a tad higher than the average population.)  And their curtains come in pairs (which seems to be a bit of a rarity anymore.)  (But really, how many people only need one curtain?)  (Cough, cough, rip off, ehem…)  During an Ikea trip about a month ago I purchased no fewer than six (much needed) new drapery sets along with the accompanying curtain rods and hardware and doodads and such.  After a second Ikea trip a few days later (because a certain someone with a wee bit of baby brain forgot a few crucial curtain rod components…) we finally got everything up last weekend.

Here’s my front living room window before (with its icky swirly silver sheers all aglow):

Our sparkly white sheer adorned living room window

(Here’s a closeup of the sheers’ sparkly swirls, just in case you’re interested.  Snazzy, eh?)

My super swirly sheers

And here’s the after, featuring my all-time favourite front window drapes (Ikea’s Ritva) and a set of soft-ivory sheers (Ikea’s Teresia).

Ikea Ritva curtains with Teresia sheers in green living room with white Ektrop sofa

I’m a happy girl!  But why did we get another pair of sheers?  The glass panes in this window are no longer sealed properly (one of the hazards of buying a fixer-upper with archaic windows) so there’s condensation and dust between the panes and this window always appears dirty from the street (despite that – I promise! – it’s very very clean!)  The sheers help mask that a bit, which means we’ll likely be sheer-people until we replace that entire front window (which, sadly, will be a very expensive venture) (which, also sadly, means it’s pretty far down on our list of priorities right now.)

The Ritvas are waaay too long right now (I’m all for little drapery puddles, but this is a little silly) and will likely require shortening.  Tip I’ve learned?  Wash and dry Ikea drapes a couple of times before shortening them.  They sometimes shrink.  A lot.  Whenever they’ve accumulated enough kitty fur to require a trip through the laundry (which, sadly, will likely be soon) I’ll get around to making them a bit shorter.  For now, however, I’m just happy that they’re not sparkly.  Or swirly.  Or bright white.

Next up?  Here’s the before of my dining room window…

Dining room bay window with short curtains

Apparently the previous owners weren’t bothered by the too-short panels (or, um, lack of baseboards) but I think the windows look much lovelier now that they’re dressed with a few Borghild panels from Ikea…

Bay window in green dining room with Ikea Borghild curtains in flower patterned white

And we added the same curtains to this previously un-adorned window at the end of our dining room too.  Here it is pre-curtaining…

Eeek!  A naked window

…and here’s the much improved after…

Dining room with white flower patterned Ikea Borghild curtains

All of which makes me a very happy girl.  :)

The last set of the six sets of curtains I purchased is earmarked for the baby’s room (should we ever get around to starting the nursery) (hello?  Ambition?  You should probably kick in about now…)  If they don’t end up used in the nursery, we’ll hang them in our bedroom (since a certain black kitten has pretty much destroyed our bedroom drapes.)  (He thinks bedroom curtain-clawing is a really fun pastime.)  (Particularly at 5am.)  (It’s a good thing he’s cute.)

And now, for your viewing pleasure (and a little post-title clarity), here’s a little Drapery Safety Dance from Men Without Hats…

…because, well, it’s really, really weird, but so fun.  :)

 

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Nursery natterings (part two: what we’ve planned so far) (aka: a whole lot of cuteness!)

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Babies, Nursery | 2 comments

Little by little we’re starting to put a nursery plan in place.  With only fifteen-ish weeks to go until my due date (eek!) (seriously – where did my second trimester go?) we’re at the point where we need to start making decisions and purchases and moving forward with this space that’ll one day be home to someone so completely and utterly adored.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that the nursery will be a light teal-ish colour (which I see as very gender neutral – once baby is born we can add a bit of coral and yellow if we have a little lady, or navy and green if the bump is currently housing a little gent.)  Here is our (ok, well, my – Sweetie has sorta given me free-reign on this whole nursery decorating project) inspiration pic (from The Farmer’s Nest)…

Pretty teal beige gray and green gender neutral nursery with bunting

Happy sigh.  Prettiest nursery ever.

And here’s what we I have planned to date…

Rocker

Remember the rocker from our staged quasi-nursery at the last house?

Unisex yellow nursery with painted animals mural including a giraffe and elephant

This chair once belonged to my grandparents, and my mom (hi mom!) has sweetly offered to have it reupholstered for our nursery here.  The room that’ll be our nursery is quite a tiny little space, and this rocker is small but super comfy.  And I love that it once belonged to my grandparents who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up.  Having this rocker in the nursery is a little like having them be part of Baby’s life, and I absolutely love that.  :)

Mobile

Have I ever mentioned that I love sheep?  I love sheep.  Weird?  Likely.  But there’s something so awesome and peaceful about those grass-munching field-frollicking balls of white fluff that makes me insanely happy.  So when I stumbled upon this mobile (courtesy of Etsy-seller GiftsDefine) I was sold.

White and beige sheep baby mobile for teal nursery

Oh, lamby sweetness.  I love everything about it.  I haven’t yet hit the purchase button, but I plan to very very soon.

Bunting

Yep!  I may fall into the whole mobile-PLUS-bunting (how decadent for baby, eh?) category, mostly because (surprise surprise!) I can’t decide between the two.  The mobile will likely float above the crib, and the bunting will likely hang above the change area.

This one is my current fave for a little girl…

Yellow coral teal girl's nursery bunting flags

And I love this option should we have a little man…

Boys nursery bunting flags in green teal and mint

…both from the awesome Etsiers at The Spotted Barn.

Pretty little things

Have you ever noticed that Chapters has the absolute best stuffed animals?  They really do.  I’ve adored the super soft, squishy stuffed creatures from Chapters since way before Sweetie and I had baby-thoughts.

My favourites are the ridiculously adorable bashful lamb…

A lovely bashful lamb

And the ever so sweet bashful bunny…

A mighty bashful bunny

So much cuteness.  So much.  Like, an immense amount.  (I’m seriously swooning over here.)  Here’s hoping that Baby loves them as much as his mom does.

And then there’s all the other (far more important) stuff

And then there are the bigger, scarier, expensive-er, non-decorative purchases: the crib, the dresser (that’ll double as a change table), a bookshelf of some sort for stuffies and books and such…  THESE are the items that I need to make decisions about soon.  Very soon, in fact.  I have a couple of friends who’ve had their babies far earlier than their due dates over the last few weeks, and I’m starting to get a wee bit nervous.

Let the nursery decorating frenzy officially begin!  :)

 

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Getting springy with it (a little organizing, a couple pretty print cushions, and a plethora of new curtains to freshen up our little mauve home)

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Bathroom, Living Room | 2 comments

It’s official: I’ve come down with a serious case of spring fever.  After months and months of never-ending snow and cold (and more cold) (and more snow) and wind, the weather is (finally!) starting to suggest that the seasons have changed.  Maybe.  (Although, as I type this, I see evil little white frozen droplets of water softly falling outside my window.)  (Sigh.)  But I saw my first robin of the year last Thursday (on the first day of spring, in fact – he was a punctual little bird!)  And I suddenly have this unbelievable urge to clean and purge and renew and make the house pretty and lighter and fresher and lovelier.  These must be good, spring-is-near-type signs, right?

(Although all this might also just mean I’ve hit the “nesting” phase of pregnancy.  Does nesting feel a bit like uncontrollable and obsessive spring cleaning?  If so, consider me a momma bird eagerly vacuuming her happy little nest.)

First it was my loo: after months of cursing over our overflowing (and not particularly pretty) bathroom cabinet, I finally tidied it up last week.  I ruthlessly threw out any old or outdated cosmetics and prescriptions, and then made it a bit more organized (and way more user-friendly) using some random baskets (courtesy of Bouclair) that I already had kicking around.  The result?  A much less chaotic and cluttered little cabinet that is not only far prettier from the inside…

Bathroom cabinet organization

…but looks way nicer from the outside too.

Dark brown over toilet cabinet with frosted doors and cow photo

(I’m not a huge fan of these clear-ish frosted doors, btw.  These doors may eventually fall victim to a little DIY-ing.  Because, really, why would anyone want a semi-obscured glimpse at the inside our medicine cabinet?  The same medicine cabinet that, while tidy right now, will inevitably end up looking disheveled within a few weeks I’m sure.)  (It makes me super sad to type that, but, really, I’m a realist about these sorts of things.)

Organizing this tiny little utilitarian cabinet probably took less than half an hour, but it made me feel about a gazillion pounds lighter.  Like stripping away a big bulky winter coat.  And mitts.  And scarf.  And a super static-y winter toque that makes your hair all flooffy (techincal term) but you defiantly wear it anyway because, seriously, if you didn’t, your ears might actually fall off from the cold.  Good hair days be damned.

(Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter?  I really dislike winter.)

Next, I turned to my couch (which, btw, is overdue for its quarterly date with our washing machine.  Don’t look too closely.)

After months of looking at the same dark brown (and, admittedly, very boring) throw pillows, I turned to the brilliant, pillow-scouting buyers at HomeSense with a great deal of pillow-related optimism.

They did not let me down.  I found these…

Watercolour flower throw pillows in green and teal and blue

And I think my exact words at the time were “Oooooh.  You’re pretty.”  Does anyone else talk to decorative objects while out shopping?  I most certainly do.  It helps me to bond with the blankets, and create rapport with rugs.  In this particular case, I got a little complimentary with the cushions.  They didn’t mind.  And now they’re sitting happily on my couch, looking all spring-ish, like this…

White ektorp ikea sofa with green blue and gray cushions

Green living room with white ektorp ikea couch and green blue and teal cushions

Floral toss pillow by Newport

And, they almost match the spring placemats I pulled out of winter storage…

It’s textile fate.  It was meant to be.  :)

And, speaking of textiles, and continuing in my must-organize-and-improve-the-house-in-celebration-of-that-one-lonely-and-cold-looking-robin theme, I then went a little crazy at Ikea.  I purchased no fewer than six (six!) new sets of drapes for our living room/dining room (and all of the required curtain rods/brackets/fancy pieces to accompany said curtains too.)

Pictures of all this drapery actually hanging are still in progress (since, well, Baby decided I needed a day off from all this craziness and urged me to take a very long nap yesterday afternoon) but believe you me: it’ll be one epic and super happy day when the new curtains go up.  (Because the sparkly white sheers must go.)  (Immediately.)   You just wait!

So that’s the story of spring coming to our little mauve-coloured house.  At least so far.  There’s lots more cleaning and organizing and nursery-decorating and probably another trip to Ikea looming (yay!  I heart Ikea so much), but for now I’m happy with the progress made to date.

Now, please excuse me while I go play with my new, non-stark-white, living room drapes.  Whee!

 

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The inherited island conundrum (and the lesson that not all baskets are created equal)

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Kitchen | 2 comments

The day we took possession of the old mauve house, we discovered that the previous owners had left us their kitchen island.  Sadly, I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t an altruistic gesture: the island is super heavy, really large, and likely would have required disassembling before moving it out of the house.

The truth: the previous owners were lazy and likely just didn’t want to be bothered with all of this.

So we inherited their island.  I probably should have been rather happy about this.  It was a free kitchen island afterall, and not a terrible looking one either.  In fact, it really looks quite nice with the current kitchen cabinets and colour scheme (all of which will hopefully, one day soon, be changing.)  However this island features a lot of open shelving.  And open shelving, in my seemingly stuff-infested world, always seems to equal messy-looking.

And messy-looking makes for a rather unhappy Melissa.

And thusly began my quest to find the perfect baskets for the island.  If HomeSense offered frequent visitor awards, I would have gained a bundle.  There were many many HomeSense visits in my search for ideal basketdom.  I bought (and returned) baskets that were too small.  I bought (and returned) baskets that were too large.  I pondered dark baskets, light baskets, wicker baskets and plastic baskets.

In the end, I ended up with these…

And I did a little baskety-loving kitchen happy dance!  The perfect fit, the perfect colour, and (at $9.99 each) the perfect price!  I had found the perfect baskets for our kitchen island!  I was a very happy girl.

The problem?  My local HomeSense store only had two in stock.

And so my HomeSense basket search continued.  For a while.  For a really long while.

Dear HomeSense peeps – I know your stores and inventory ridiculously well now.  Should you ever need, you know, an adviser or ambassador, call me.  We’ll talk.  :)

I finally (finally!) ended up with a basket collection that looks like this:

Baskets in open shelving kitchen island

And I’m quite pleased.  The pretty little white cloth liners make the new baskets look a bit more fussy (if a basket can be fussy?) and they’re basically the same size and material as my previously purchased perfect baskets.  Of course, the baskets don’t all match (which, honestly, is a bit of a bummer) but after venturing out to three different HomeSense stores numerous times to find matching mates for the previously purchased perfect baskets, I gave up and decided to go with what seemed close enough.  The ladies in HomeSense were beginning to whisper whenever I’d emerge, yet again, from the basket aisle.  And it was all starting to get a little silly.

Here’s the island in all its newly basket-ed glory…

Matching baskets as open shelving or island storage solutions

Baskets as a kitchen storage solution for open shelving or islands

It’s not bad eh?  And the clutter is well-hidden.  It’ll do for now.  Eventually I’d love to replace the island with a more functional piece that we can converge around with barstools (yep, I desperately miss our awesome kitchen island with its super cute Ikea barstools from our little 1940s house.)  And an island with better and more useful storage would definitely be preferred.

But, for now, we’ll use this one, with its newly acquired pretty little (not-quite-matching) baskets.  It was free afterall.  Oh, those crazy generous previous owners.  (Rolling eyes implied.)

 

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Window woes (someone needs new curtains) (me!) (and new baseboards) (but that’s another story)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Living Room | 2 comments

You know how when you move into a new house, and the previous owners have left the existing curtains, and they’re ok for the time being (because, really, who has the time or money to buy all new curtains immediately upon moving into a new house), and you say “oh, I’ll change them soon”, but then three months later you’re still living with the same bright white tacky-silver-swirl-adorned too short too ugly gross sheer curtains and it suddenly dawns on you that you should really swap those things out asap?

Yeah.  That’s me.

And when I say that our curtains are too short, I’m not exaggerating:

Curtains that are way too short

Yep.  We have flood-ready curtains.  And no baseboards in our dining room (for some unknown reason.)  (But that’s a completely different story for a completely different day.)  And this picture is obviously from the day we moved in (I promise!  Our house is now fully furnished.  We’re not extreme minimalists!)  But just look.  Look at those curtains!  I’m not an interior decorator, but I’m pretty sure I speak somewhat accurately and knowledgeably when I say: that’s not how you hang curtains.

Ugh.

In our little 1940s home (oh, how I miss our little 1940s home!) we hung Ikea’s Ritva curtains in the front window.  And they looked lovely (and apparently lulled a very cute orange cat – who we miss very much – to sleep on our sofa the day I took this picture.)

Ikea Ritva curtains in my BM Edgecomb Gray living room

My only criticism of those Ritva curtains?  They were wrinkly.  Like, mucho messy wrinkly.  They were definitely not wash-and-wear sorta curtains.  Nope!  A whole lot of ironing went into making sure that anxiety-inducing wrinkly-frumpiness was kept at bay.

So is pulling out my iron each time I wash my Ritvas a deal breaker?  I really really do hate ironing.  A lot.  A whole lot.  But, as much as I hate ironing, I do truly love Ritva.  The curtains have a linen-y texture that makes them seem far more expensive than they really are (since Ikea drapes are as delightfully cheap as they are cheerful.)  And Ikea’s long-length curtain panels will definitely be appreciated in this old mauve house, since our dining room ceiling height is quite high (Sweetie says 9-ish feet, but it seems way higher to me.)

Oh Ritva, you sneaky devil.  You really do have a hold on me.  You may be once again forcing me to dust off my iron.  But you’re worth it.

Queue forthcoming curtain-collecting Ikea trip.  Woo!  I heart Ikea.  :)

 

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