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.


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 :)

What a Gem! This Week’s Five Favourites

This week has gone by so quickly! All of a sudden it seems like summer isn’t some far off notion. This weekend is going to be so warm in Vancouver… Perfect painting weather! :)

1. As if I didn’t have enough motivation to paint already, John and Sherry from Young House Love announced their Pinterest Challenge Spring Edition this week!


I love their challenges. Such a great way to share your projects and discover a ton of lovely new ideas. If you’re a blogger and haven’t heard of it, I would absolutely recommend it! Link parties are great, but these ones are a whole different level.

If I have time, maybe I’ll be able (and have enough courage!) to finally tackle painting our entry wall… Have you decided what project to work on?

2. I have been obsessed with nautical stripes ever since seeing them in Paris three years ago. I honestly have to force myself to wear other shirts besides those with blue stripes! So when I saw this, it was love at first sight.


There are so many things I love about this party design. The crisp blue and white table cloth, the warm texture in the place mat, and shots of bright gold silverware (can one call it silverware if it’s gold?). I’ve been loving the gold trend these days… Might just have to add little pops of it to our place!

3. This easy DIY could make for a nice little touch by the kitchen sink:

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I wonder how well glass decals would work on something like this?

4. The bold colours in this vignette make such a statement:


The pops of pink and orange against the white are lovely! It would to be awesome to be able to go this bold in our space, but it just isn’t in me. Maybe incorporating some elements would be a first step. What do you think?

5. Brittany from Brittany Makes literally just drew the pattern on to this pillow:


Isn’t that awesome? It opens up a whole realm of possibilities if you, like me, rarely find a modern enough fabric at your local fabric store. (Is this just a problem in Vancouver? I noticed there were tons of fabric stores in Montreal. Everything here seems so dated…)

Hope you enjoyed my gems of the week! Make sure to check back Monday for my next post :)

What a Gem! My Five Favourite Finds of the Week

Every week I have grand plans of projects I hope to accomplish on the weekend, but somehow these goals tend to be pushed aside… I see friends and family, I take Bali for a big excursion (gotta make up for the lack of backyard in this place), I have errands to take care of, I force myself to exercise… (Or let’s be honest, I end up shopping a large part of the time…) I discover so many lovely ideas and projects during the week and I thought Fridays would be the perfect opportunity to share them. Maybe it will help to motivate me, and hopefully you, to take on a project we’ve been neglecting for the last little while! 

1. This is a perfect week to start this feature because one of my (and, odds are, one of your) favourite blogs, Young House Love launched a new project this week: YHL Forums! I really have no idea how they manage to pull off all the work they do, just the two of them. Amazing really.

It’s basically a platform to discuss all your decorating and DIYing: show off what you’ve worked on, ask any questions you might have for other readers… If you know of Reddit, it basically seems like a version meant for DIY geeks like me. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it. I can already see countless addictive hours spent there!

2. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed my washi tape wall pin:


Such a great idea to add colour to a space you may not be allowed (or have the energy) to paint. You could really have fun with the patterns: stripes, squares or any bold geometric. I’m thinking this could be a fun and faster alternative to stencilling my front entrance wall. We’ll see…

3. I’m loving the look of this rustic wood table:


If I had the space for it, I think this could make an awesome DIY! You could follow the same idea I used on our salvaged wood shelves, but of course on a much larger scale.

4. Lately I’ve read a few different articles highlighting the idea of taking off cabinet doors to refresh your kitchen. This one’s from BHG.


This is great for renters as it can lighten up your space without having to make too challenging or permanent a change. I didn’t think ours needed it because of the shelves we installed, but I think it could easily help in an ugly dated kitchen. Especially with some pretty paper lining the back…

5. And to finish on a high note for renters:

Kate from Centsational Girl published her latest article in her Solutions for Renters series yesterday. This time, she’s focusing on the bathroom.


(I mean really, anything you can do to help out that super dated yellow sink? I’m all ears.)

I was especially happy to see this one pop up on my wordpress reader today as I’ve been brainstorming ways to cheer up our beige/pink bathroom once the ceiling is fixed. (You can read more about that little issue here.) I’ll definitely be looking to this article for inspiration!

Hopefully this motivates you as much as it does for me. Feel free to share any projects you’re working on, and make sure to come back Monday to see what I’ve been up to!