Posts Tagged "Inspiration"

Blue cabinetry lust (pretty pretty pretty!)

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Kitchen | 3 comments

I adore Samantha Pynn.  I really do.  Call it a bit of a designer-crush, but I think she’s amazing, and super talented, and I love everything she does.  (And, she’s a fellow Canadian to boot!)

So imagine my delight when she posted pictures of this kitchen in her regular National Post column

 Two toned kitchen cupboards with blue lowers and white uppers by Samantha Pynn

And imagine all the swooning (from me) that followed shortly thereafter.  That blue – it’s perfect!  That marble (or a close lookalike!) countertop – how lovely.  The whole kitchen screams the word “fresh!”  I seriously want to cook in there.

And now I’m seriously rethinking my kitchen plans.

Our kitchen currently features cream-coloured cabinets on the uppers, with dark navy lower cabinets.  I didn’t paint these (the house came like this) and while the two-toned look has grown on me, I’ve always found the combination a little dated and dark (despite that two-toned cabinets seem to be very in style right now!)

Kitchen with white and black cabinets and open cabinets - teal and orange accents

I’ve always planned to repaint both the uppers and lower cupboards in a crisp off-white, Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White, to be exact.  We painted our last kitchen’s cupboards this colour, and it was the perfect bright white, with just a hint of creaminess to take away any overt starkness.  It was lovely, and made me very very happy.

Vintage 1940s or 1950s kitchen Stonington Gray and white cabinets with yellow accents and Allure Trafficmaster flooring in Patina

But now I’m changing my mind just a little.  The upper cabinets will still get a good-sized dose of Snowfall White, of course (since the existing cream-colour is just so… dark) (if cream can be dark?  I think it can…) but I’m now second-guessing my bottom-cupboard intentions.  How pretty would a little electric-ish blue be?  My answer?  VERY.

We’ll see just how brave I’m feeling come kitchen-painting time.  I’m a bit of a kitchen cupboard painting chicken, truth be told.  Kitchen cupboards take a long time to paint, so it’s one of those tasks where I’ve always returned to my safety-zone hues (since I can’t imagine having to repaint all my kitchen cupboards for a second time.)

Here’s hoping that kitchen-painting time comes soon!  Only 743 other projects to finish up first….

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Wishing winter away (because spring means outdoor painting projects!) (…and less snow and cold and general miserableness)

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in The Great Outdoors | 0 comments

So, it’s winter.  And it’s really winter.  It’s let’s-hibernate-under-the-blankets-and-pray-for-beloved-spring-or-even-an-unseasonably-warm-weekend-might-suffice-for-now winter.  And, honestly, it’s getting to be a bit much.

So I’m looking ahead!  I’m preparing for outdoor projects.  Because I need something to look forward to right now.  Something more beyond carbs and sleep and snuggling in under the blankets.

Sweetie and I already know that we have several projects looming once spring hits.  We need to critter-proof the house (since we’ve discovered that small four-legged furry creatures – the kind that squeak, btw, not the ones who meow – seem to find our house rather, unfortunately, hospitable.)  We need to re-insulate our laundryroom (since our laundryroom water pipes froze last week, but – luckily! – didn’t burst.)  And we have tonnes (tonnes!) of yardwork currently pending (trees that need to be trimmed, gardens that need to be moved, wild flowerbeds that need to be tamed and made far less wild, bushes that need to be relocated…)

Pink mauve old farmhouse with front deck and red shutters and door

But most important to me?  Curb appeal.  Yep.  The old mauve house desperately needs a facelift.  The burgundy shutters make me cringe.  The weather-worn front deck looks neglected.  The big front window is far too dusty rose-coloured.  And the house just looks… tired.

Which is sort of how I feel in the dead of winter, I suppose.

I did a little Pinterest searching and found a bit of spring-project inspiration.  Because we don’t have a lovely grandiose covered front porch (although I’d really like one!), I looked for similar “front deck”-style front porches as I searched through everything.  Unfortunately, most porches (or at least the Pin-worthy ones) appear to be of the covered kind (and, honestly, with good reason!  Who really wants to fumble with the front door locks in the midst of a rainstorm on a non-covered porch?)  But I did find this house, which, despite also sporting a covered front porch, is now my inspiration for this spring’s big “make the house look pretty” project…

Pretty eh?  I sure think so.  The white trim, the dark gray shutters, the white-painted porch rails with the stained (or maybe painted?  I can’t tell) porch floor…  It all looks so lovely.

And if I squint just a little, and look at the house out of the corner of my eye while chewing gum and folding laundry, I might even swear that there’s a touch of mauve in that siding.

Or I may just be getting my hopes up.

Regardless, I’m now feeling super inspired, and I’m rather anxiously looking forward to outdoor painting weather.  Afterall, there are only a measly 41 more days till the first day of spring.

But who’s counting…  :)


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Getting all porchy for the holidays (it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!)

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

I’m already planning my holiday decor.  Is it a little early for that?  I’m guessing no.  The first snowfall of the season appeared all sparkly and pretty on Tuesday morning, so it’s most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (thank you Mother Nature!)  And my front porch practically screams “adorn me please!”  I’ve never been one to disobey a porch, so adorn it I must.  :)

The porch at my little 1940s house was tricky.  Because the stairs leading up to the porch were to the side of the doorway, and a rail ran continuously across the front of the porch, it was hard to decorate around my front door (since anything I added to the porch ended up sadly obscured by the railing.)

Front porch painted Benjamin Moore Stampede on red brick house

Here, with no door-obscuring rails and with stairs boldly leading straight to the front door, we have smooth front porch decorating sailing.  See?

Pink mauve burgundy and white old farmhouse exterior with oil rubbed bronze light

No obstructions.  Just a lovely view of my soon-to-be-adorned front door.  :)

Admittedly, this front porch decorating thing is a little intimidating to me.  Perhaps it’s the public-ness of my porch (if it looks silly, our new neighbours will all assume that I don’t know my boughs from my baubles and my ribbons from my wreaths.)  Or maybe it’s because I’ve never truly decorated a front porch before for the holidays, so we’re totally venturing into unchartered Christmas waters.  Regardless, desperately hoping for a perfectly pretty porch display, I chatted a bit with my Pinterest folk to gather a few decorating ideas.  Here are my faves…

I love this simple “wreath + sparkly little trees in urns” option from the lovely folk over at The McLife:

Simple red wreath and lit mini Christmas trees entrance

And, speaking of pretty urns, I’d love to try creating something like this this year (although I’m a tad evergreenishly-challenged):

(Original source, sadly, is unknown, but the image appears on THIS website compiling a bunch of Christmas decorating ideas.)

And then there are stars!  I love stars!  (Actually, I’m a bit obsessed with stars, which you might remember from THIS post.)  How pretty is this…

Gold stars decorating a Christmas door

Sadly (again) there’s no source for this image.  So dear gorgeous plummy door starry people: please let me know who you are!  I adore your front entrance!

And then lastly, there’s this one (which is part of an Etsy-listing, in fact, for JustTheFrosting‘s shop):

…the perfect, elegant, simple front entrance (with a super smiley little snowman to boot.)  This is my goal.  :)

So all I need now is some evergreeny-sort of stuff.  And a couple of black urns.  And some pretty red bows.  And a big ol’ green wreath.  And maybe a quirky little snowman too.  Sounds easy enough!  I’ll keep you posted.

But, in the meantime, Christmas?  Bring it on.  My soon-to-be-appropriately-adorned front porch will be eagerly waiting.  :)


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Faux fireplace fanaticism (four fabulous faux fireplaces to fluff)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Living Room | 2 comments

At our next house (only FOUR MORE DAYS to go before it’s all ours btw!) (insert happy squeal HERE) we’ll have not one, not two, not even three, but four (yes, FOUR) faux fireplaces to style.  Yep.  That’s right.  The nutcases nice folk who currently live in this house really really like their fireplaces.  To an excess, some (including myself) might say.  There’s one in the living room.  There’s another in the (adjoining) dining room.  There’s a fireplace in the sunroom out back.  And yep – for faux curling up on blustery winter’s nights, there’s even a faux fireplace in what will likely be our guestroom.

It’s a little (er, a lot) much.

There’s a pretty good chance that at least one of the fireplaces will eventually be moving out of our old mauve house.  Hell, we may even get rid of two.  Because, really, who needs SEVERAL (non-functioning) fireplaces in a (well-heated via furnace) home?  Not us, says I!

The big problem with having so many fireplaces?  Having to decorate so many fireplaces.  Mantel primping is an artform.  An artform that one can either excel at, or go mad attempting to perfect.  There’s the necessary accumulation of decorative items needed to adorn the mantels – decorating four mantels will indeed require a lot of stuff.  Then there’s the seasonal-decorating dilemma (fantastically fall-er-izing four faux fireplaces could be a rather time consuming project.)  And, most importantly, there’s the fireplace overkill factor.  One faux fireplace in a rather small little three-bedroom home?  Awesome!  Two fireplaces?  Wow – lucky me!  But four fireplaces?  Four?  Really?  That’s a little much methinks.

Yep.  One or two must go.

However, all four fireplaces will likely stay firmly in place until we’ve lived in the house for a little bit, at least.  Which means I’ve gone on a Pinterest expedition to find inspiration for fireplace dressing (since the acquisition of four fireplaces obviously requires a whole lot of inspiration.)  My favourites?

This chalkboard-adorned mantel idea from Mom4Real is pretty fantastic, and could easily be switched up for the seasons.

Chalkboard fireplace mantel with banner

I’m thinking it could be a lot of fun for the guestroom fireplace.  If the guestroom fireplace makes the final faux fireplace cut, that is.  :)

And how fun is this mantel from Wit and Whistle

Red brick fireplace with garland and zombie warning sign

The Danger Zombies sign?  That’s a whole lot of awesomeness.

And globes, maps and galoshes?  I love globes and maps and galoshes!

Maps and globes and galoshes fireplace mantel

This map-a-licious mantel is courtesy of the lovely folk over at Gather and Build.

However this one, from Style at Home, is my absolute fave.  Not necessarily because I like the fireplace (although I do!)  But because I’m obsessed with everything about this living room.  Love love love!

Gray white red teal living room with fireplace Style at Home

But, I’m guessing (just call it a hunch) that at least one of my four (FOUR!) fireplaces will end up looking a little like this…

White faux fireplace in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray living room with basket inside

Yup.  Like our old faux fireplace.  Because I loved it.  And because I miss it.  LOTS.

So there you have it.  My Pinterest-derived fireplace mantel inspiration.  Because I need lots of inspiration.  Because I’ll be the proud owner of a lot of faux fireplaces very very shortly.  In a mere four days, in fact.

Can’t wait.  :)


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Come and knock on our door (be it black, plum, or blue…)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in The Great Outdoors | 2 comments

Get it? Come and knock on our door? Be it black, plum or blue?  We’ve been waiting for you?  No?  Hmmmm…  K – here… Watch this!

Random fact: I was absolutely fascinated by Three’s Company when I was little, but didn’t at all understand it.

Random fact #2: John Ritter rocked. As did Don Knotts. And I fully support Team Chrissy (a Cindy and/or Terri fan I am not.)

Random fact #3: this blog post isn’t really about Three’s Company (although Three’s Company is truly deserving of its own blog post, if you ask me.) Nope. This blog post is about a door that I don’t yet own.

Yup. That’s right. I’ve been humming and hawing (and thinking and winking) (and obsessing and, um, obsessing) for the past month or so over what colour to paint our (not yet ours) front door at the new house.  We won’t officially own this house until the end of September, which means I’ll likely miss front-door-painting season (aka late spring/summer/early fall) entirely this year.  Which sort of makes me sad, but (happily!) also gives me lots of time to obsess over consider all of my options.

Just as a reminder, here is our (soon to be ours!) next happy little home (in all its mauve-hued glory)…

Mauve or pink sided older house with gray roof

Yep.  That little pink-y-purple-ly house will officially belong to Sweetie and me in a mere 18 more days.  The porch desperately needs staining and painting.  The front yard needs some serious de-bushing (technical term.)  And I guarantee that there will be a whole lot less clutter in the yard (ie: NONE) once we take possession.  So excited!  Can’t wait!

But, come next spring, I’ll also be (rather enthusiastically) tackling the front door situation.  There’s the obvious (and, admittedly, rather elegant-looking) option: black.  Check out this lovely-looking front door from Melissa at 320 Sycamore

Black front door with black urns and lights

And just look at this one (with its matching black shutters!) from For the Love of a House

White house with black shutters and black front door and white porch

So simple and so pretty, eh?  Black is definitely a very solid option.

However (yep – this is where my indecisiveness kicks in with a big ol’ kerbang) this picture (from Jen at IHeart Organizing) (hi Jen!) makes me wonder if a contrasting bright-ish colour would help detract from the unfortunate mundane mauve-ness of our siding…

Behr Harbor teal front door with gray siding

Perhaps our house looks exceedingly mauve because the door and shutters are currently painted a deep-pinky red.  Maybe a little happy tealy-blue (one of my most favourite colours, and the colour of our front door at our last little house) (oh how I miss our little 1940s home!) would help hide the mauve?

Or we could simply embrace (and – gasp! – perhaps accentuate) our mauve-ish-ness.  I found this image of a mauve house with lavender shutters and such on an online forum, and (shockingly!) I sorta like it.

Mauve exterior siding with lavender purple shutters and trim

It’s a bit country-cute.  Which I’m ok with.  Will Sweetie be ok with it?  I’m not sure.  (Sweetie’s edit: No I am not.) But in the meantime lavender is indeed in the running as a possible door/shutter hue for my big outdoor-painting-extravaganza next spring.  If you can’t beat (the purple colour family) ‘em, join (the purple colour family) ‘em, right?


But my most favourite colour scheme of the bunch (I think) is this one from Vivaciously Vintage

Plum front door with taupe trim

Love love love the taupe-y trim with the plummy door!  Could this all work on our little mauve-coloured house?  I’m not entirely sure.  But I’d really really like to try!

With only nine-ish more months until front-door painting weather returns in the spring, it’s going to be a rather stressful front-door-decision-making winter, methinks.  So please excuse me while I resume my humming and hawing.  (And my thinking and my winking…)  (And all of that sort of decision enabling kinda stuff.)  There are some very important front door decisions to be made.  :)


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