May 29, 2010

Random images…

A few garden images to celebrate the arrival of summer temperatures….

IMG_3109 IMG_3114 IMG_3113 IMG_3116 IMG_3119 

From our trip to Montreal last weekend to celebrate our 28th anniversary (wow – when did “that” happen?):

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Le Parchemin, a lovely french restaurant we have frequented for anniversary celebrations located right beside the church pictured above:


  Lovely tulips basking in the early spring sunshine:IMG_2999

My gorgeous magnolia…   IMG_3010  IMG_3012 

Enjoy your weekend…

May 27, 2010

Keeping your cool

I’m not quite sure if the weather we are having in Canada’s Capital city this week is record breaking, but I’ll say one thing – IT’S HOT!!!   On Monday, the temperature reached 30°C, Tuesday we hit 33°C and yesterday it was a very stifling 36°C. 

keep your cool

All I can say is – WOO HOO!  I actually love the heat, of course I may be singing a different tune had I not somewhere to go to get out of that heat :)  We’ve had the central air running full blast, the windows and blinds were all closed against the sun and we even turned down the temp in the hot tub – it’s now a cool inviting 34°C – which is actually very nice even in this heat.

sunbathing (And yes – this is me – in my dreams - lol)

Speaking of heat – or actually cool, along with the AC, we have had all of the ceiling fans in our home running to circulate the cool air.  I know that “ceiling fan” is like a dirty word to many decorators, and some of them have a lot to be desired in the looks department, but functionally they do a great service.  Each of our three bedrooms has one, as does our stairwell and kitchen.  Admittedly, they were all here when we bought our home and are on the pedestrian side of design, but, hey, you can only tackle one thing at a time.

So, with our master bedroom undergoing renovations, hubby suggested we replace the current ceiling fan, which can only be run on high without squeaking, with a new one.  Now, I’m all for upgrading, but I know my hubby, it will need to be done on a budget.  So, no running off to the high end lighting store, we’ll be looking at the likes of good old HD, Rona and (new to the area) Lowes.  Of course, there are a few styles I’m trying to stay away from.

1) the bowl light that mimics a part of the female anatomy (you know - the boob/nipple light :)) like this: hunter royal palm2) the three/four light fixture like this:hunter convent garden

Here are a few I’ve been eyeing from Home Depot, Rona and Canadian Tire:

hunter ceiling fan wintrop ceiling fan in bronze finish image

And here are some that I dream of …

benito fanimationcancun fanimation sirius treville

And I did find a light kit on the Fanimation website that I did like:

And then there are some really different and funky ones out there:

nebulacumulos involution old havana vetricco volare 

Ceiling fans – love ‘em or hate ‘ em?

  Leave a comment letting me know how you feel.  And if you have a great source for ceiling fans, let me know that too.

May 22, 2010

ODNG – the beginning

Thursday night we held our very first meeting of the Ottawa Design Network Group (ODNG). 

screen%20shot%202010-05-10%20at%2011_14_52%20am_301x101 This has been a pet project of mine for several years since starting my education.  I thought, hey, I’m meeting all these amazing people with a future in this industry and I’m going to loose touch with most of them, how can I change that?   Recently, inspired by Kimberley Seldon and her Business of Design seminars, the project has taken off.

bird-taking-off We, as design professionals, have an abundance of inspiration when it comes to design.  I am ashamed to even admit how many home decorating magazines arrive in my mailbox – in fact I don’t think I even KNOW how many – and lets keep it that way OK – denial isn’t just a river in Egypt you know :)!  And then there’s the internet.  Just have a look at my blog roll, full of amazing inspiration from people all around the world.

kellywearstler1 What we lack is business information.  You know, setting up your business, dealing with accounts receivable, dealing with the government and taxes, marketing yourself, and so on …  These are all areas with many unknowns and frankly they are a little scary.

sr So, back in March, when Kimberley Seldon brought her Business of Design seminars to Ottawa, I signed up (I posted about the experience here) and came away with a renewed energy for my small business and some great business advice.

turvey_001 The piece of advice that I think will have the biggest impact was  get to know your peers, network with them, share with  and support them.  When Kimberley suggested we establish a networking group in Ottawa to do just this, I volunteered to organize one.  Over the last month or so I’ve been working with Custom Home Interiors in Ottawa to get this group growing.


Our first meeting was very well received in the local design community with an overwhelming turnout  of over 25 designers, decorators and home stagers – WOW!   It was personally very validating to know that I wasn’t alone in my search for information and support for my new business – many of us expressed the same concerns and issues.

agreeing So now the first step has been taken – we’ve met, decided on our charter, how often we will meet and our motto, which rocks by the way!

80% Business / 20% Design

I am feeling the change already!  I now have established connections to more people in the local design industry and am anxious to get planning our next meeting. 

So, if you are a design professional (decorator, designer, home stager, organizer, landscaper), design enthusiast or student in the Ottawa area and are interested in joining the Ottawa Design Network Group, sign up here for our next meeting at Custom Home Interiors at 6:30pm on June 24th, 2010.

I look forward to meeting you!

May 9, 2010

Guest Room Sneak Peak & Master Plans…

I will apologize up front – this is a looooooonnnnggg post!  Sorry – but you know you love it!

We have been working on the upper level of our house for a few months now.  And when I say we – you all know who I really mean right?  That would be hubby dearest, who has been working since January, not steadily mind you :), but still working on our Guest Room and now on the Master Bedroom.

As I promised in my last post, I’ve got some pictures of the Guest Room to share with you.  These are limited shots as the part of the room you don’t see is full of all the tools, drop sheets, paint, etc… from the work in the Master.

First here is a reminder of what it looked like during the transformation …


This is looking in from the hallway.  The room was a very tired looking beige colour. IMG_2701

Here is hubby in the old closet, which is now opened on the opposite side into the Master Bedroom. IMG_2715

We are looking from the middle of the room out to the hallway.  The newly built closet is on the right.  That ugly seafoam green in the hallway is also in the stairwell, the hallway on the main level AND the kitchen (with a matching countertop and backsplash - ARGGGHHHH!).  And you’d better believe it is on the list to change!

And now – a sneak peak introduction to the new Guest Room:

IMG_3017  IMG_3019IMG_3025IMG_3027 IMG_3031

The new closet complete with colonial sliders, the new colonial trim and the new colonial interior door.  We also installed new switches and outlets.  The room colour is Benjamin Moore’s Silver Marlin and the trim is Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White.  As I mentioned in my last post, the Silver Marlin can read a variety of colours throughout the day, turquoise in the morning and afternoon, blue in the evenings and with the light on at night it reads lavender.  I love that I’ve got so many different colours out of one paint choice!

image image

Here are some vignettes of the room:

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The throw pillows were purchased at Loblaws for $6.99 each.  The duvet is actually half of a duvet (it snaps together with another one the same size for the colder months), the other half will be used when I put the second matching twin bed in the room (currently being used by daughter #1 in her basement bachelorette pad :)).

The desk in the first couple of pictures was a gift from my hubby about 10 years ago, back when I was tele-commuting  frequently and needed a compact space to work that I could just close up at night when I was done.  It was bought at a local furniture store – Randalls – that I will do a post about in the next little while. 

Since I’ve stopped tele-commuting, the desk has been used by both my girls as dressers.  It is now used to house the myriad of treasures I’ve picked up at HomeSense, Winners, Value Village, Salvation Army, etc…  While I was taking pictures, I decided to check out the goodies. 

In it I found the lovely gifts I won from Low Tide High Style:


This is not their final destination, but until I get some shelves up, I thought I’d get some pictures. (Hey I think this means I can cross another one off my list !!!)  The lamp is one of two I picked up a year or so ago at RONA for $15.99.

Here are some other goodies I found:

 IMG_3035 IMG_3036 IMG_3037

Some glass vases I picked up at Value Village for $1.99 each.  The stones I already had and the beautiful turquoise shell is from Low Tide High Style’s giveaway.

  IMG_3040 IMG_3041  IMG_3043

These vases I picked up at a little shop near my parent’s apartment in Long Sault, Ontario (the gateway to the Long Sault Parkway), the name escapes me at the moment, but it is a treasure trove of lovely gifts!   IMG_3047

I got these mugs there too - $1.99 each.  I love the colour and pattern!  IMG_3045

And finally these candlesticks I picked up at Value Village for 99 cents each – gorgeous!!

Once we get finished with the Master, I’ll be styling this room with more furniture, shelves and wall art, but until then you’ll have to do with this little sneak peak :)!


As you know, we are working on our Master Bedroom closet.  As most things do, this has now morphed into a complete redo – new closet, new paint colour, new trim and new doors (closet and room).  Work is underway – as I type – on the painting so I can’t show you pics, but I can show you paint colours – which is almost half the fun …

I’m loving the new grays lately so was looking for something along those lines, but that would complement this bed that we bought about a year ago, the Amisco Erika Headboard in Oxidado (a copper brown) finish.


I loved Nancy from Marcus Design’s front entry colour, which is Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.

And a couple of weeks ago I attended a Pittsburgh Paint event and came away with a coupon for a free gallon of paint, so I thought I’d check out their fan-deck to see what I could find that was close to the same colour, and give them a try at the same time. 

Here’s what we decided on (and by we you know who I mean right?):

image With the same trim colour as the Guest Room:

image Next I’ll be choosing a paint colour for my dresser …

So stay tuned….

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