January 31, 2011

Fresh & Fruity German Wreath

My girlfriend Alisha took this photo while in Germany a couple of weeks ago. I'm not GOING to pretend to know what these fruits are, but I don't HAVE to pretend to love it. Because I do. I really, really do.

Seriously, when can I live in Europe where beautiful things like this wreath are waiting for me to pick them up while on a quick stroll?! Oh, and I'd love some cobbled streets too.

January 28, 2011

Toronto's Indie Coffee Passport

I'm a little late to learn about this, but I'm pulling the "I haven't lived in Toronto for five years, or been home to visit in over a year" card for this one. I just read about how small coffee shops in Toronto have come together to create an Indie Coffee Passport at a friend's travel blog

Here's the idea. You pay $25 dollars and over the next few months you get a cup of coffee (up to $5 value) at 24 indie coffee spots. Very cool! I would LOVE to slowly sip away java, and stay warm, with this passport. I really hope they organize this again - if you've read my profile, you know I love my caffeine. 

Such a great idea for any city!


January 27, 2011

Elbow Grease: Cabinet & Mirror Makeover

I originally posted about this project over at GEORGE Interior Design last year, but I am adding it here too as the first addition to my "elbow grease", aka DIY, category. Still haven't revealed the zany colour of the cabinet post makeover! Got to get on that!


I've got two DIY projects waiting for me in my storage unit. I can't wait to get my hands on these!

I've been wanting to swap out our current, college-esque TV stand and last month I found a cabinet PERFECT for hiding our TV. It has doors to conceal the ugly flatscreen, not to mention a shelf that holds the receivers up high where my baby can't reach the DVD eject button (Open, close. Open, close.) Due to our non-existant budget, I searched Craigslist to find it...

We bought this unused, Pier 1 Imports cabinet for $80! I know it isn't the best quality around, but I think it was a pretty good deal...

We have a rug with a mix of persimmon, gold and blue-grey so I'm planning to paint it a high-gloss color something similar to this...

And these are the pulls I'm ordering. I like how they work with the gold nail head detail of my new sofa, but have a hint of black too...
After envisioning my new cabinet, I stumbled on this photo in Lonny. I'm liking the combo!

* * *

I also found some crazy mirrors at a garage sale. This pair was only $20, which is an amazing deal for mirrors! I really love the shape and think they will be great behind our bedside tables...

{Don't mind me in my yoga attire...}

As of now, the plan is paint them blue-grey in a flat finish...

Stay tuned for results! I always get worried about my painting technique and concealing brushstrokes - wish me luck!

January 25, 2011

Colour & Pattern & Texture, Oh My!

 I've been thinking a lot about who my favourite designers are, and as a result I'm going to try and come up with a short list to feature on this blog over the next few weeks. This brings me to the fabulous
images below - Charleston home of the super-talented Angie Hranowsky

Definitely one of my current favourites, Hranowsky is a master at mixing beautiful and colourful textiles with layers of differing textures - all the while combining sleek and modern architecture and furnishings with aged, vintage finds. I have seriously NEVER seen a room by this design-genius that I don't adore.

{All photos via}

In every room slick and shiny surfaces (polished marble, sparkling chrome & translucent glass) are perfectly complimented with rough and nubbly counterparts (scratchy grasscloth, brittle caning & pitted ceramics). The furnishings and textiles are also a delicious combination of opposites - old and new, minimal and intricate.

My favourite parts of the living room are the substantial gallery wall, mix of mid-century mod and caned chairs, custom fretwork dividing wall, and of course, the plentiful pattern!

While the kitchen with its vintage lucite stools is gorgeous, it is a bit sleeker than I would choose for my own home. I would take the den, however, as it is the perfect spot to curl up with family and I happen to love its mildly Moroccan vibe.

So, don't you agree?! Hranowsky can work colour, pattern & texture, no?! I would love to meet her one day. And I would love to sleep (and have my daughter sleep) in a bedroom like these one day too.

January 23, 2011

Feed Me: Sweet & Tangy Yogurt

If you, like me, are always on the hunt for tasty and satisfying snacks, which are healthy and minimally processed, try this one the next time your stomach starts to growl...

{slightly heavy-handed with the syrup, whoops! ;) }

Organic PLAIN non-fat yogurt and an artful drizzle of REAL maple syrup - it's seriously tangy with delectable pockets of sweet! One of my favourite go-to snacks. 

PS. Did you know that maple syrup is considered a superfood by some?! I read a really great article about this and can't find it, but you'll get the jist here and here.

January 21, 2011

Flutter Cards

Lately I feel like I am constantly sending out thank you cards. I love a nice note card but they can become extremely pricey, no? Well I found these adorable butterfly note cards which are blank inside at Target and fell in love with them instantly. They totally remind me of John Derian stuff, and that's right up my alley. 
And ps, you can't beat the price - 10 cards for $2.99!

{They are really nice matte paper, AND the colours are much nicer, brighter and saturated than they appear in this quick horrible photo. The perfect card to spruce up pink tulle, and some graphic silver and white paper!}

January 17, 2011

Dear California,

Sorry I'm so hard on you. You really deserve more credit. 
Summer-like weather in January is quite delightful. Keep up the good work.


January 14, 2011

A Little Pick-me-up...

Every time I hear this song it puts me into a great mood. I heard it as I was driving to the lastest install for GEORGE Interior Design and I walked into the day feeling positive that I was where I should be, doing exactly what I love. Just heard it again coming home from yoga - in tonight's case, it was the cherry on top of a superb Friday night.  These guys are alright.

{Two Door Cinema Club from Northern Ireland}

Wish I was at home in Toronto tonight so I could dance my butt off at their show with a few good friends and a cocktail!

The BIG 3-0

The BIG 3-0 happened a week ago! I've never been one to care about age, but I have to admit that the day I turned 30 I actually did feel a bit anxious. You turn 20 and while it's a huge decade for growing up, no one really expects you to get your act together and stop having way too much fun with your friends. Well, I hit 30 and suddenly felt like I had to mature, and FAST! By the end of this decade I feel like I'm expected to be fully responsible, doing well financially, chasing a few kiddies around, and only be adorned in fancy, grown-up clothes - this last part especially daunting as I currently live in leggings. :)

On to the fun stuff! I had a Christmas and birthday list which was long, and I never thought would be completed. BUT I was very spoiled this year and pretty much got everything my heart desired, and more. Here are the things I received from my parents, in-laws and hubby which I think are classic, well designed products and will no doubt help lead me into the next, mature sophisticated, phase of my life...

1. Hunter rain boots in Aubergine 
I have wanted these forever but it doesn't really rain where I live so I couldn't justify them until now. A slightly frivolous item but you need one of those for your 30th! I am loving the deep purple because it looks black from a distance but is a little more unique. This colour also goes with everything - black, grey, green, brown, khaki, you name it.

2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Suki watch
Another item I've wanted for some time. I love the gold and the shape can go either casual or dressy, perfect for work or play. Now I'll just have to save my pennies for a stainless & rose gold watch, those are new on my radar.

3. Missoni scarf
Love the classic Missoni flame/zig zag. It will easily turn a plain work outfit into something fabulous, and the colour combination is amazing.

4. Le Creuset oval oven
This enameled cast iron oven cooks so well, I'm not sure how I've ever lived without it. The white (Dune) colour looks great with my two sets of dishes and serving pieces, and it doesn't compete visually with the delicious food inside. I've already made a hunk of beef tenderloin and chunky stew in this and it is worth every dollar!

I'm nine days into my 30s, and so far, life is good!

January 11, 2011

Eggplant & Persimmon

I've been lusting over moody grey-purples lately, and have been known to love cheery and sweet persimmon-orange.  I guess it should not be surprising that I was immediately drawn to this Pacific Palisades living room designed by Hillary Thomas...


I absolutely LOVE the colour-scheme in this space - the eggplant and persimmon are fun yet sophisticated and perfectly soften the stark black and white architectural details. Ikat patterns are also high on my list of must-haves, but that's another story all together. Anyway, I wish I could say I designed this!

{ps. I highly recommend reading the whole article that this photo belongs to. Check out the new Lonny issue which came out this week, pages 98-129. A beautiful and inspiring read!}

January 10, 2011

New Year, New Decade, New Blog

It's the beginning of a new year and, for me, a new decade - I turned 30 last week! Something about entering a new decade in life has got me all excited to start something new, and thus, värv was born.

After blogging over at GEORGE Interior Design with my good friend Emily, I've decided to go solo and start a blog where I can continue to talk about my love for DESIGN, but also add in tidbits about my personal life - think FOOD, TRAVEL, FAMILY & HEALTH. Blogging for GEORGE has been so much fun, and I hope to continue to work with Emily for a long time, but värv is a little spot just for me, my thoughts and ramblings. Welcome!