What a Gem! This Week’s Fave Five

Hello my lovely readers, and Happy Fourth of July to my American friends! Here is my round up of favourite spaces around the blogosphere this week.

1. I’m a sucker for architectural detail and loft ceilings so I was bound to fall in love with this one…


Wouldn’t you love to have an office this open and airy? She does a great job adding in functional organization too with the built in cabinet and desk.

2. 10 Bonus Benefits to Small Space Living:


I needed this post this week. I feel like our storage is bursting at the seams… There is only so much you can fit into 625 sq ft so a purge is very much in order! That being said, I whole-heartedly agree with some of these points… especially about having less to clean. I barely manage in our little space. How some you handle enormous five bedroom homes is beyond me! For you apartment dwellers like me, this might be worth a look.

3. This masculine black and white office is so lovely to look at. The crisp hits of black are so striking.

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4. Kate from Centsational Girl wrote an article on bold and bright accents this week.


It’s a great source of inspiration if you’ve been thinking about adding in some colour but are too scared to take the plunge..!

5. And of course, the last one to show you is this stunning living room by Emily Henderson:


Can I ever get enough of Emily Henderson? I would never think to use a dark blue carpet, but this one looks so rich and luxurious… The sharp geometric lines of the coffee table are great too. As much as her style is a bit too eclectic for me, she’s one of my all-time favourite designers. 

Hope you have a wonderful sunny weekend and see you Monday!


What a Gem! Favourite Five

The end of June… Wow! I finally see what all the teachers and mums in my life are talking about. School BBQ’s, Father’s Day picnics, end of year parties, graduations, special dinners… Such a busy month. To all of you teachers and mothers reading, happy summer!

This week one of the bloggers I follow, Kirsten, from 6th Street Design School, posted a “Parade of Homes”. So many gorgeous photos that I just had to share a few. The crisp black and white styles were my favourites!

1. The first one that stood out to me was this kitchen.


I love the crisp and modern lines of the white cabinets, industrial stools and chrome lamp against the warm wood floors. One day…

2. This clean and modern office:


The fun pops of yellow are great against the monochromatic black and white scheme. It inspires me to see what patterns and lines work well with chevron too.

3. Continuing on with the black and white theme of the week…


This one is from a fellow Canadian, so I’m of course intrigued. I love her styling here, especially because this is her actual home, not just a room styled to be perfect like the ones above.

4. I clearly have to throw a DIY in. This is a simple trash bin spray painted and turned into a side table. Clever, and you would never know.


5. Not only is it the beginning of summer, but it’s also Canada Day Long Weekend up here in Vancouver. This shot reminds me of a quiet, comfy cabin nestled in the mountains here in BC…


It inspires me to go outside and enjoy warm summer evenings. (Once our rain stops anyhow.) Hope you have a lovely and sunny weekend and to all you Canadians, Happy Canada Day.

The Red and White Megastore: Is Target Really All It’s Worked Up To Be?

Oh hello my fellow Canadians! This post is especially intended for you (or any others who wonder what all the fuss is about).

It seems like the major contenders I hear about in the design realm of blogland are popping up in Canada. West Elm, Crate and Barrel and now Target. It was impossible not to see their signs popping up around the city boasting messages like this one:

It honestly made the university student part of me feel vaguely uncomfortable, like it was just another wave of Americanization sweeping over our country (which, I suppose, it is).

However, I wasn’t strong enough to resist. Those marketing specialists have done exceedingly well for themselves… News about their Threshold line has been popping up all over my Pinterest boards and reader feed for months now!. Amazing deals, modern and stylish accessories for your home… I admit I was more than curious.

Clearly, when I found out they were coming to Vancouver, I was dying to go. This weekend I made the trip back out the suburbs to shop. (Can you believe it? I spent my teenage years trying to high tail my way downtown to avoid this mall, and now that I’m in the city, I find myself driving back there. Sheesh.) If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed this latest post…

Seeing Red

Honestly (and somewhat embarrassingly) when I got to their bold and bright front entrance, I was bubbling with excitement. Would it live up to expectations?

First off, as soon as I walked in, I was greeted with rows and rows of awesome natural and organic creams, shampoos, soaps, sprays…

Natural products

Let me tell you, I was impressed. If ever you’re wondering what all the fuss is over the natural product trend, read this article, The Dirty Dozen, from the David Suzuki Foundation and you’ll see why I try to go as natural as I can. Sometimes I wonder if beauty products will be the next asbestos or cigarettes with all their carcinogens…


Laden with a few new bottles of conditioner and exfoliant, I made my way to the stationary aisle, a close second favourite of mine after furnishings. They have a wonderful array of colourful notebooks, binders, organizing supplies… Even pretty wrapping paper for cheap!

Line a drawer with wrapping paper Wouldn’t some of those be make some lovely drawer linings?

Once in the home furnishing section and was positively gleeful! Their merchandise is gorgeous! In one aisle, I heard clamouring footsteps. I turned to see a little boy running frantically and screaming hysterically

“Muma! Muma! Muma! THEY HAVE IT!”

and thrust a toy box into her hands. All that to say, I understood how he felt. 

More than a few lovely white ceramic lamp bases…

Pretty white lamps

Though clearly not organic, I thought these soap dispensers could add a nice touch to a boring kitchen sink:

Lovely soap canisters

Baskets, baskets, baskets. So functional yet so pretty. I can’t get enough.

Pretty woven storage baskets

They were also rocking the gold trend with brass lantern candle holders,

Gold cage candle holders

sunburst mirrors,

Brass mirrors

and animal figurines!

Brass animal figurines

If you can’t really see how these could work and need some inspiration, check out how Dana from House*Tweaking decorated her coffee table a few weeks ago…


(Do I spend too much time perusing blogs? Maybe?)

And… what got me most excited…

Cheap pulls

All their knobs and pulls, the cheapest I’ve seen them at! Even cheaper than Ikea. Plus, their standard sizing (unlike Ikea pulls), so I’ll be updating my kitchen with new pulls in the next few days… Check back later this week for the reveal!

After spending far too long in the store, I’d say it’s a bit of a cross between Walmart and Crate and Barrel You can get some great deals but you’ll also find some gorgeous contemporary furnishings (like patterns and colours that are actually trendy and what you want to buy!) though some were a bit steeper than I was expecting. All in all, I loved it. I’ll definitely be out there again sometime soon!

What do you think of Target? Really all it’s cracked up to be? Or would you rather shop at a store from your own country?

Target didn’t sponsor this post; I just thought it would be fun to share my thoughts with you all. All opinions are 100% my own!


What a Gem! This Week’s Favourite Finds

My dog has been sick recently… Let me tell you, it’s been a rough last few days! My sympathy was drawing thin… They tell me the messes we’ve managed are only a glimpse of what parenthood will be like. Yikes! We’re at least over the worst of it now… Which means it’s a perfect time for some inspiration for any projects you might have coming up this weekend.

1. This fireplace make-over:


I was initially drawn to the accent colours on the mantle, but the tiling was what won me over! I’ve read a few times that honeycomb is the new “it” pattern… Could it even be the new chevron? It’s definitely worth checking out the before and after shots at Retro Ranch Renovation.

2. This mint and gold tablescape:


While I’m not a big fan of the colours in the flower arrangement in the background, I love the mint and gold! I discovered this one recently and was instantly attracted to it because it resembles the feel I’m going for in my new blog design (especially with the ombre turquoise and white table cloth). I’ll certainly be referring to it for inspiration for my final tweaks (again, I get obsessive over these things.) Thanks to all of you who have contributed to my plan this week! Can’t wait to unveil it all soon…

3. A faux marble DIY:


She literally managed to create the look of marble. At least in the photo, I can’t tell the difference at all. How amazing is that?

4. These easy DIY outdoor candle holders:


One of my all-time favourite blogs, I Heart Organizing just launched her latest Monthly Challenge, “The Great Outdoors”. Each month, she focuses on one area in the house to work on, be it organizing or decorating, and then finishes off the month with a link party. This might be just the push I need to tackle our little patio! Plus, she posted these little candle holders as inspiration. Aren’t they cute? I’m sure it would be an easy and cheap update to some thrift store glasses.

5. This KITCHEN.

I’m in love. Honestly, if I ever have the chance to design my own kitchen, this would be it. It’s so beautiful; I had to throw in two photos.


I love everything about it. The dark wood floors, the open shelving with a slightly rustic feel, the gleaming bin pulls, the shaker-style white cabinets, the crisp white subway tile…. Even the accessories like the pink peonies, the striped grey tea towel and clear glass baking jars. It reflects me to a tee!

I hope these finds inspired you this week. Be sure to check back Monday for my latest apartment updates…

What a Gem! This Week’s Favourite Five

Friday… Finally… The patience my students and I have for school is clearly wearing thin at this time of year! Judging by my choices this week, I’m clearly lusting after clean, calm and airy spaces.

Sorry for the lack of sources in this post… I depended on Pinterest more than I usually do this week.

1. An expansive ornate white mirror:

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If you have been following my on instagram, you may have noticed the (free!) frame my boyfriend picked up for me from his friend’s place. I’m thinking of painting it a lovely crisp white like this one.

2. A picture shelf:


I’m loving the casual look of a picture shelf like this one. Once it’s up, there’s no need to fuss with getting the exact right height like a gallery wall, or worrying about damaging the paint. You can easily switch out the frames, and can add other items for interest like the letters and plants in the photo. I’ll be adding one to our bathroom in the coming weeks…

3. A cute little office:

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Isn’t this little desk corner adorable? The wall organizer is so practical. While you’re working, keep it visible, and when you’re done, anything you don’t want to be reminded of can be easily tucked away behind the curtain!

4. Pink peonies:


I’ve realized recently that one thing my place is missing for me is a bit of glam. Aren’t the mirrors and peonies in this photo so lovely and glamorous?

5. A serene and feminine living and dining area:


I love this space. The muted tones and leaning mirrors and artwork give it a look of understated and casual elegance. It’s feminine without being too pink and girly, and calm without being too bland or boring. 

My inner debate between fresh bright colours and muted neutrals continues. Sometimes I’m all for the vibrant turquoise and yellow tones, and other times I lean towards soft greys and whites. Honestly, it’s an ongoing question for my living room. What’s your favourite scheme? How do you balance colour and neutral in your home?


What a Gem! This Week’s Favourite Five

Little late on my usual Friday post, but better late than never right?

1. West Elm knock off coffee table


I love walking through West Elm, but honestly, it’s usually way out of my budget. It’s clearly worth the splurge from time to time, but it’s even better if you can make it yourself! Julia bought this coffee table at a third of the price, and just white washed the top to make it look like the original. $100 is much more manageable than the original $300 plus price tag.

2. Gleaming industrial lamps:


I’m on a bit of a lamp kick recently… maybe because ours are cheap Home Depot basics? These lamps are like a pair bright silver earrings. A little accent can make the space!

4. Help on hanging frames:


I’ve often heard about hanging prints at eye level, but I’ve never heard of following the natural lines of a room. By looking for the “lines” of a room, the bottom of a window, the top of a door frame and so on, the composition of a room can be much more pleasing to the eye.

4. This massive piece of abstract art:


I’ve never been one for paintings of landscapes or portraits, but I love an abstract piece. One of these days I’m going to attempt it. This one especially appeals to me because the size is balanced out by the peaceful, pale blue monochromatic scheme.

5. A pretty, feminine office:


To start with, this room has great bones. The beams on the ceiling and those windows are lovely! The bright chartreuse pillow and the bold silver lamp especially caught my eye. Having an office like this makes working on a computer from home seem so much more appealing…

Hope you enjoyed this week’s round up! Have a lovely (long for all you Americans) weekend and I’ll be back Monday!

What a Gem! This Week’s Favourite Five

Here are my top five finds of from this week:

1. Chris Loves Julia‘s list of Less Traditional Things to Fill a Bare Wall:


I love the idea of displaying photos on a shallow shelf like this. I’ve been brainstorming new ways to display more photos of family and friends in our home, and I think this could be a lovely and casual solution. Plus, the list also included bikes on display:

Though clearly not something I would choose to do, this space pulls it off. One of my closest friends would love to display her bike like this, so I just had to include it!

2. Emily Henderson is quickly becoming one of my favourite designers. Check out her latest master bedroom makeover:


Gorgeous. I would prefer something more feminine myself, but I nevertheless love the crisp white combined with dark indigo and mustard yellow accents.

3. Ceramic Owl Bookends:


I’ve never been one for collections, but if I had to have one, ceramic owls would be it. Maybe because they symbolize wisdom? Or reflect my book-adoring ways? Whatever it is, I may just have to indulge the desire to collect a few more…

4. Glass Jar Typography:


Honestly. For someone who has spent years doodling different fonts, how has this never crossed my mind? So simple, yet so effective.

5. This Coral Infused Bedroom:


Clearly I’ve had bedrooms on the brain this week… Maybe because ours is an utter disaster. It’s on the list. Anyway, I had to add this in for two reasons.

a) The design itself, of course! Sarah did a beautiful job of combining a few different prints, from the wallpaper, to the bedspread, to the bright little pillow. The use of texture in the space is great too: the dark brass nightstand, the airy glass lamp, the grasscloth wallpaper, the nailhead design… Most importantly, it’s a removable feature wall, so renter friendly!

b) I love getting to know the blogger behind the design, and she sounds so lovely and approachable! Her home is gorgeous, and she is even a renter. Now I’m intrigued.

Hope these inspired you as much as they did for me! I will tackle our bedroom… I will tackle our bedroom…

Have a wonderful long weekend to all you Canadian readers out there :)