Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Favourite... ( I know it's Saturday)

If I was really honest, I'd tell you that my favourite thing about last week in blogland was actually finishing my kitchen re-do (mostly) and actually posting about it.  But I know it's not all about me...

Especially when there's amazing design to be had in the form of this Brooklyn Home Company project I saw on Design Sponge.  Really... ridiculous, amazing home.

Ok, the simplicity of all the white mixed with the rough wood, the styling of the bookshelves...
that sculpture!

Everything, including (especially) the kitchen sink.  With the ticking fabric skirt.  Honestly.

You know, I'm buildin' in a bed this weekend too.  Hope mine turns out looking this good.

And... this one's just because that doggie is the perfect addition to that stylish desk.  
He even matches the decor.  Just sayin'.  

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

xo Meg

Friday, July 29, 2011

Interim Kitchen Reveal

 We've been working really hard around here, getting the place spruced up enough that we can comfortably live here.  Lots of changes made.  Lots still to come.  

I'm working on Phase One of the renovation process.  This phase just makes it livable for us for now.  It's a little baby step in the right direction.  I've just about finished this process for the kitchen.  

The kitchen before.  You can see my office through the doorway.

An in process shot of the kitchen with the doors removed, being primed out.  

And now:

We needed to work with the existing green checkerboard floor.  I like checkerboard.  I wouldn't have chosen this colour but it is what was there.  I happened to have the vintage birds artwork along the same colour lines, so I thought I'd use it as my colour inspiration for the room.  

What we did:
- painted out the cabinetry in BM White Dove (OC-17)
- replaced the hardware with simple, inexpensive nickel knobs and pulls from Home Depot
- painted the walls BM Whale Gray (2134-40)
- used silver spray paint on the brass hinges

Still to do:
- spray paint  the red (?) fisherman's light with silver spray paint
- paint out the sideboard in a deep blue
- maybe paint the frame around the vintage birds artwork
- maybe add a couple more images to make a more substantial gallery wall
- make curtains for the window

Note:  there is nothing I can do about the location of the plug above the sideboard at this point so I just have to live with it.

    This is the view into my unfinished little office.  I love this space so much!  I mean, I will once I get it looking the way I want it to.  It is a perfect little nook for my computer.  The room also has a powder room, pantry closet  and door to the back yard in it.  It works perfectly for me right off the kitchen.

And this is Gilmore, my photographer's assistant.  Love him and all his fuzzy goodness.  

xo Meg

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Buildin' A Room for Elliott

    Oh,  Elliott.  He is the boy who willingly gave up the largest room in the house to his little sister.  All because he is the sweetest 10 year old I know, and because his teeny room has a teeny closet door which we have dubbed 'the hobbit door'.

(This is from before we moved in.  Note the 'hobbit door' to the left of the window)

    As we have begun to settle, we have determined that Elliott's room isn't really that small, especially in terms of an old house.  Old houses have small rooms and small closets.    I have no problem with the decorating of the room.  We're going with a sort of nerdy, ivy league, Canadiana kind of feel.  It's exactly Elliott.

This is my original design board for his room:

     Much harder than the decorating is the function of his small space. We have started to figure out just what Elliott's room needs to function.  It needs a captain's bed and built-ins including a desk and shelves.  So Jay and Elliott drew some designs up.  And this weekend, we're going to start building!

So, some inspiration for Elliott's bed, from my pinterest:

I love the built-in bed and desk with shelves above in this image.  We are considering doing two sets of stacked drawers under the bed.  This will raise the bed up some, but give Elliott more storage.

We are also planning a trip to the salvaged lumber shop that Jay uses for work this weekend.  We are thinking of panelling the wall behind his headboard with salvaged wood.  

Should be a busy weekend.  I'm excited to tackle this room though, cause it is such a disaster right now.  And I want Elliott to love it and feel like it's special, even though it's the smallest room in the house.

 My first task:  strip the painted-over wallpaper.  Ugh.

xo Meg

Monday, July 25, 2011

Designer: Jacqueline Glass

 I have been following the work of Jacquie Glass, a Toronto area interior designer, for many years.  She used to be a regular on CityLine's Home Day and I would tune in specifically to see her makeovers and ideas.  I love her clean, neutral aesthetic, and that the homes she designs are beautiful and accessible.  

    design by Jaqueline Glass.  photography by Robin Stubbert

   What a beautiful seating area just to the side of this kitchen!  A window seat and cozy furniture - I would have my coffee here for sure.  I love the use of built-ins in all her projects.  She makes the best use of space and creates functionality with them.  Here are some more examples:

  design by Jaqueline Glass.  photography by Paul Chmielowiec

 design by Jaqueline Glass.  photography by Paul Chmielowiec

  design by Jaqueline Glass.  photography by Paul Chmielowiec

design by Jaqueline Glass.  photography by Robin Stubbert

To see more of the portfolio of Jacqueline Glass and Associates, go here.  

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

xo Meg

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Favourite

Happy Friday Everyone!  Hopefully you have some fun plans for the weekend.  I know we'll be chillin' in the back yard with a fire, some friends, and some good food.

I have a couple of favourites from this week for you:

   First up:  the Forever Cottage Family room.  I think it's looking totally amazing.  I love that gallery wall on the stairs with its incorporation of two awesome sconces and some typography.  And the fresh slipcovers and pretty cushions on the couch.  I like the mix of light and dark and the way it actually feels like a family home.  Not over designed, just perfect.

I also loved this  Cutlery Tray for Jewelry, over at Maillardville Manor.  I'm always looking for great ways to organize my fun jewelry collections.  I especially love a repurposed DIY-type project.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Stay cool!

xo Meg

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I found this image via Pinterest.  

And it made me want to copy it.  It is actually part of in inspiration book of sorts made by artist Michelle Lapoint Rydell.  I thought it would be fun to create a list of the things that are going on over here in all the madness.  So here it is:


1.  Listening:  I'm listening to the Trews.  They're a Canadian band that I love love love.  I'm going to see them in August and their new album Hope and Ruin is killer.

2.  Eating:  Lots of salads.  Not only in an effort to keep my weight in check, it is ridiculously hot here.  Like 45 degrees celsius (that's 114 degrees fahrenheit).  Ridiculous.  But it makes me not want to eat heavy foods.

3.  Drinking:  Wine spritzer with Cave Spring Reisling (an Ontario favourite), SourPuss Apple shot, and a full can of soda over lots of ice.  In a Mason Jar, the big kind.  With a straw.  

4.  Wearing:  A purple dress from Joe Fresh.  Cool.  

5.  Feeling:  Excited but overwhelmed by everything going on in our lives right now.  I have so much to do in getting us settled but I also don't want to miss out on time with my kids and hubby this summer.

6.  Weather:  I think I already mentioned this one.  It's hot.  Elliott and I just spend a couple days in Hanover at my friend's lovely cottage so I got to enjoy the lake to keep cool.

7.  Wanting:  This pair of lululemon athletica still shorts ($58 CAD):

I have them in black and charcoal and they are really flattering and comfortable.  I want a new pair in the heather gray colour way.  I also wouldn't mind looking as good as the above woman does in them.  Just sayin'.

8.  Needing:  I guess I'm needing to get it together around here for the sake of my sanity.  My goal for the day is to put away all the rest of the boxes on the upper floor.  Perhaps possible.

9.  Thinking:  About my friend who just had to put her 18-year-old Chocolate Lab to sleep.  Wishing I could tell her how sorry I am.

10.  Enjoying:  My new house, with all it's quirks, soaring ceilings and work to be done.  I am so happy to finally be here.

And that's my list!  If you want to make one too, I'd be happy to link up with you here.

Have a wonderful Thursday... stay cool!

xo Meg

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Duchess House Chronicles

     I'm feeling so overwhelmed by the new house.  There is so much to do that I don't even know where to start.  I'm constantly devising a new plan for this or a new approach to that but the truth is... until I get all the boxes emptied out and put away, I can't really get down to the fun stuff.

    So today I'm starting a new series.  I'm hoping this will break down this insurmountable house into smaller, more manageable portions.  Portions that I can tackle and complete and feel like I have actually accomplished something.  Baby steps, right?

    You will probably also notice some changes to the blog over the next few days as well.  I am adding some tabs at the top to make things easier to navigate and organize my reno so I can really keep track of the progress.  After all, this is supposed to be a journal of the progress of this house.  So,  I give you...

   Just a reminder, we just moved in, half our stuff is still in boxes and this room is no where near decorated much less styled!

   This is the front living room at our Duchess house.  It has a bit of an awkward layout.  We have been working on arranging our existing furniture but are discovering that it doesn't really fit into this room.  Everything in the room feels off centre to me.  I am the kind of person who re quires symmetry.  I like pairs of things:  lamps, chairs, etc.  So I'm having a really hard time getting my head around this long, skinny room.

This is the planned layout:

   I don't really love the rug I have with the fabric in the adjoining dining room.  I think a nice sisal rug would look better.  We will move the Pottery Barn rug that is currently in there up to our master.

I found a couple chairs I like at Urban Outfitters.  They are both small in scale but I need to decide how much pattern I want.  The striped cushions and the orange velvet cushions will stay.


There is also the question of lighting.  I would like to put a couple of sconces on either side of the fireplace.  I haven't sourced them yet but there is no light in this room except for the plug-in lamps.

We hate the fireplace, especially my carpenter husband.  He will eventually restore it.  There will be pretty millwork that goes with the style of the home.  There will be no green faux marble tile. The artwork will all get hung and the mantel will be styled.

  I love the bay window with the leaded glass.  I am just going to make simple sheer linen cafe curtains for here.  The lace ones aren't really to our taste but they aren't an immediate priority.

   There you are, a snapshot of the first room you see in the house.  The others are in even worse shape and I'll be showing you my plans for those over the next couple weeks.

xo Meg

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Favourites

Hi Everyone!  I know, I've been MIA this week.  I guess moving will do that to a girl.  I haven't been able to blog, read blogs, comment on blogs, or even check out new images on Pinterest.  A sad, sad week. As a result, I don't have any Friday Favourites.

   The good news?  We're in!  The old house is cleaned out and the keys are dropped off.  The new house is a total sham but it's ours!  We look like that trashy family with half the contents of our garage out on the driveway.

   Right now, there is a huge sectional couch in the middle of my front hallway.  It's there because we can't seem to find a way to fit it down our stairs to the family room in the basement.  There are a jillion boxes and lots of messes.  There is peeling wallpaper and patched walls.  There is really ugly wood wainscotting just begging for a paintbrush in my new office.  But to get to all that, I first have to put everything away.  That's what I'm working on for now.

My internet is back up now, so I hope to spend some time catching up later tonight.  Maybe I'll write my Friday Favourite post this evening! It still counts as Friday if I do it at midnight.

xo Meg

Monday, July 11, 2011

My big date with U2

I'm taking a break from moving work today to do something really exciting (at least to me).

   Jay and I are hitting the road for the most ill-timed concert in the history of all concerts we have attended.  But I wouldn't miss U2.  No way, no how.  We've had these tickets for almost two years, with the original concert being rescheduled cause Bono hurt his back.  

The truth is:  I am a tried and true, old school fan and I can't wait to hit the Roger's Centre in Toronto tonight.  Even though I have a million boxes to unpack and a kitchen to empty out.  Even though I have fabric to order, wallpaper to strip and rooms to paint.  

I know it will be worth it to see this show and spend some time with my handsome fella.  

   I'll be back tomorrow to show you some photos of the new house with all our stuff in it.  We are struggling with trying to arrange our furniture.  Most of it  doesn't really fit in the rooms, since it was purchased for another house.  

   So, it looks like some shopping will be required.  Sigh.  

xo Meg

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Loving

Hi, today I'm linking up with Brittany over at Gallery No. 8.  And I'm blogging about what I love about summer (and it's not wearing a bikini).

If you're new here, thanks for stopping by.  I'm excited to meet you.

   My summer love started when I was just a kid at the home of my maternal grandparents.  Our family grew up summering on Cedar Beach. It's a little (and perfect) stretch of beach on Lake Erie in a town called Kingsville, Ontario. My parents both grew up there and knew each other their whole lives.

As a kid, I spent summers on the shores of that lake with my cousins and brother, Mason.  My Grandma Wanda would shoo us outside for a swim in the morning and we wouldn't come in until she called us for meals.  We usually swam our way to the second sandbar.  Sometimes the third.

So the lake is really my favourite thing about summer.  It's my true North.  The place where I feel at home.  The place that has made me who I am.  

It's the reason why I love houses like this one, with grey siding and white trim.  

(sorry but I don't know the source)

It's also the reason why all my design decisions reflect my love of sand and sun and sea.

And it's why my favourite summer nights with friends and family always include this:

Time at the lake to me is quintessentially summer.  And I love summer.  Kids relaxing in bare feet, body surfing for hours, lazing in the hammock chairs with a good book or paddling in the kayak.  Waiting for the lake to be "flat as glass" to haul somebody up on the waterskis.  


Thanks for joining me for my break from house moving insanity.  Most of the big furniture was moved in today with just the smaller stuff to go tomorrow.  The kids will be off to my brother and sister-in-law's house for some time with their cousins and, perhaps, some time at Cedar Beach.

xo Meg

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Favourite

I'm tired and sore from a million trips up and down the stairs with boxes in hand.  I'm sick of eating take out junk food and I miss my kids. They're with my parents, swimming and sunning while the moving craziness is going on.  Okay, that's all the complaining I'll do.  Suck it up, buttercup.

Time for my Friday Favourite.  On Fridays, I'm going to try and post this series of my favourite thing I've seen in blogland each week.  Here it is for this week.

Megan, at  A Life's Design, posted this home.  It is designed by Interior Philosophy.

I'm really trying to figure out my design aesthetic.  I find that when I'm checking out blogs and interior design sites,  I am often struck by beautiful images.  Some rooms, I simply love because they are well designed, even though I would never use the ideas in my own home.  Other rooms, like this one, speak to me.  I could see our family living here.  

So, what do I love about this room?  First of all, I like the way the furniture is grouped.  It seems like a good conversation could go on with a bunch of people and a bunch of wine.  My kids could snuggle into the couch with a book and Jay and I could sit with our morning coffees.  

See how it's really always about wine and coffee???

Second of all, I love the design details.  The charcoal grey chairs with the contrast piping and nailheads, the graphic grey pillows on the neutral sofas.  It is a great mix of light and dark.  And I love the simplicity of the creamy wall colour and curtains and the contrast that evokes. 

The turquoise chairs mixed in with the wicker are amazing.  Where do you even get chairs like that???  The colour perfectly picks up the bright turquoise flower on the cushions in the living room.  I hope I can create something like this sense of flow in our new nest.

If you haven't already, you should check out the rest of this space.  The entire thing is a stunner.  Really something, in my humble opinion. 

Happy Friday!  

xo Meg

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


  We've been working hard... in between soccer games and gymnastics.

Slowly, but surely we're getting there.  Yesterday, I de-greased, cleaned, sanded, prepped and primed out the kitchen cabinets and doors.  Today, I'm gonna paint those bad boys:

gross in process shot of primed cabinet boxes

While I was working on the kitchen, my Mom was stripping wallpaper in Audrey's room:

While we were doing this, my beautiful, wonderful children went to the library in the village.  Then they spread out a blanket under the enormous shade tree in our front yard and read books together for hours.  We could hear them giggling from inside the house.

Hopefully they are as well behaved and entertained today!

xo Meg