Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Makes a House a Home?

Recently, I read this post, written by the amazingly talented Rachel Halverson. I'm sure you know who she is, or have at least seen images of homes she has helped to create.   Her post is about the creation of a home that evolves over time and how you can't create a unique home that truly reflects you by putting all the pieces together right away.

"A home is created over time: layered with stories, precious pieces, memories, and lots of love." (RH)

Interesting, right?  

all images via nest egg

I will admit that I am guilty of trying to quickly pull everything together in our new house - before I've even really had the time to get the feel of the space.  I often get ahead of myself (and certainly get ahead of my budget) wishing this place looked perfect and finished, even though we've only been here a month. I want all the projects to be done now.

But the thing is, I have to remember to enjoy the process.  You know, the hunt for those perfect dining chairs or that amazing fabric for the master. That stuff is really rewarding and even fun.  And I also think it will result in a unique home that reflects the tastes of the family who lives here. It will take time, but it will tell a story about the four people who call this place home.

Slow it down, you know?

Happy Monday!

xo Meg

Thursday, February 21, 2013

While We're Discussing Green Things...

Oh my word.  I made these zucchini sticks last night for dinner.  I could have eaten the whole batch myself but my family apparently loved them too so I had to share.

Seriously, make them tonight.  They are unbelievably delicious.  And healthy.  And almost unrecognizable as a veggie to my kids.  Just make them ... and their onion dip too.

Note:  I did substitute greek yogurt for 3/4 of the mayo in the dip to make it a little lighter.  It was great.

I'm still working on hanging up the artwork in my dining room.  I should have guessed it wouldn't be quick and painless.  I'm hoping I can show you some photos tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Before & After: Sideboard

Things got a bit crazy around here this weekend.

Sometimes, I get tired of being neutral.  I love the look of my new warm charcoal grey wall, but that wasn't enough. It was far too 'wood-y' in here. Plus,  I wanted to add some energy to the room.  Big time.

I was really loving the colour of the demijohn sitting on top of my sideboard.  And things have been moving in a more 'green' direction in our house.  So I decided to paint it green.  Now, this sideboard is actually a converted chest of drawers.  It's nothing too precious but it holds all our napkins, tablecloths, etc. and is really functional.  Perhaps my favourite thing about it is the brass hardware.

So I sanded it down, primed it and painted it.  I will spare you the bunch of photos I took of this process.  Here's the before:

And here it is now:

This colour thing is totally all it's cracked up to be.  I love how the hardware stands out and the way the paint sort of modernizes the piece.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  

Check back later in the week for some photos of the gallery wall I'm working on for over the sideboard. Think antique brass frames and dark botanical prints...

xo Meg

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dining Room Before and After

   I did some work on the main floor of our house this weekend.  And man, it's amazing what a little paint can do.  We are in the process of re-thinking and re-purposing all of our furniture for use in the new house.  It's tricky to move our 'style' from vintage traditional to something that will work in our 60's ranch. 

The existing yellow walls weren't helping.  Neither was having a boob light as our dining fixture.  So first, we corrected that little problem.

I decided to use my all time favourite white, Benjamin Moore's White Down (CC-50) for most of the space.  I was thinking that the addition of a little black and white to our scheme would make our wood furniture look a little edgier.  

This is where things got tricky for me.

If you've been reading for a while, you know I'm a colour chicken.  Neutral Nelly.  Plain Jane.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. 

We decided to paint the back wall of the dining area in an almost black grey colour.  Whaaat? We went with Sherwin William's Urbane Bronze, partly cause everybody always raves about this colour.  I painted the little swatch on the wall from the gallon Jay so boldly purchased, stepping out onto the limb with me.  I was totally nervous about it and, we lived with the swatch for a few days, like you're supposed to.  After much discussion we decided not to do it.  

I know.  What a chicken, right?

And then I looked at the collection of accessories for the room that was sitting on the table (see above picture for the swatch and collection).  And Jay said, "Look how good all that crap looks together!"

And I thought... yeah... let's see this plan through and decide what we think when it's all put together.

And I LOVE it.

The computer isn't staying here or anything.  There's just some construction going on in the office and our kids can't live without it for long.  Accessories need to move in, art needs to be hung.  So I guess this isn't a true before and after.  

Also, I'm thinking of painting the sideboard green.  It's not precious or anything.  In fact, we don't even like it as it is.  If I do paint it, I'll move the demijohn to another space.

What do you think? 

xo Meg

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Ok people, let's talk progress.  I can only talk progress because nothing is anywhere near an 'after' shot yet.  We are in process, but some of the changes have already made a huge difference to me.  

Take for instance, this boob light that hung over my dining room table.  

Why a boob light over a dining room table??? 

I have no idea.

     This is the light I grabbed on sale at Wisteria.  The scale is really great for the small dining room and it has a really pretty patina that you can't really see in these iphone shots.  In the above photo, you will also see a white paint sample painted next to the window.  I can't wait to paint out the entire room in BM White Dove, my all time fave white.  

     Next up, the front window.  This one is really hard to photograph, since it is a 10 foot window with tons of sunlight streaming in.  There were *fugly* vertical blinds hung here.  These blinds were a serious kind of gross:  dirty, greasy, dusty and disgusting.  

If you recall, I have some beautifully sewn, amazing curtains that I was planning to use here.  I knew they weren't wide enough for the 10 foot window, but I was hoping to add a plain white linen curtain panel to each side to fill it out and cover the window.

I tried it and it looked terrible.  

You know, like I cheaped out on the curtains.  Not the look I was going for.  So I had to revise my plan. I'm going to find a new home for the patterned curtains that I love so much and just use white linen panels in the living room.  This also frees us up to use a new colour palate in there as the fabric was pretty bossy.  

So, I'm left with a single white panel on each side of the large window.  It doesn't have the fullness that I'm looking for, and isn't even hemmed yet, but it offers some privacy until I can add two more panels.

Basement work is also progressing.  Elliott's room and the family room are framed, insulated and vapor barrier has been installed.  Next up:  drywall.   My hubby rocks.

xo Meg