June 29, 2011

Project: Muskoka Getaway

Today I'm going to introduce you to a project that I have been helping with, on and off, for the past couple of years! My family is lucky to own a fantastic little piece of Muskoka - aka beautiful cottage country in Ontario.

Over the past few years my parents have been renovating what was a tiny summer cottage (I am on the hunt to find some before photos) into a larger all-season home (see below). While I don't get final say in ANYTHING (boo!) my brother (an architect) and I (an interior designer) are asked our "expert" opinions whenever possible - this was hard while I was living in California which was the reality until a month ago. 

 A little background, this new cottage was designed by an architect before my brother was even in school to become one, and also before I started ID school. This is also not my parents' first stab at home renovation. They built my childhood 4,000 square foot home from the ground up - my father's hobby is very likely the reason both of his children fell in love with architecture and design! Back to the cottage, we LOVE the architectural design, but there are definitely issues that we all wish were realized and addressed before building commenced. Seriously, think about how furniture will be placed in each room while you are still finalizing floor plans and elevations,  and deciding on colour-schemes and materials BEFORE you start these types of projects is highly recommended! Figuring things out as you go is NEVER easy or best!

Enough talking at you, here is the basic shell of the cottage when you arrive...

{cottage in 2009 via cell phone camera}

We've been working slowly at finishing more of the entry, both exterior and interior, and here's a peak at some of the completed parts and other things that are in the works...

I'll reveal what we've finished after this weekend. The front door colour was a difficult decision!

June 24, 2011

living in a treasure trove

We are currently squatting at my in-laws while we permanently settle into the city and find a house to buy. While helping execute a small purge of the garage and basement, I rescued a few items from the yard sale box. One man's garbage, another man's treasure right?!

I saved a few adorable vintage bottles/beakers and a glass apothecary jar, a handful of really old books (I'm talking 1800's) and my favourite, a pair of vintage silver pineapples...

I can't wait to use them to style my future home but the best part is that they are actually an old lighter and cigarette holder. So darn cute! Pineapples are also signs of hospitality, so they are great to display in a public area of your home. Can't wait to see what else is hiding down in that basement...

Have a super weekend! x

June 15, 2011

seasonal sizzle {for the home}

This past week I stumbled on a few amazing finds for our summer homes. It's too bad I can't afford to buy all of them. How hot would these look in our yards, during a fantastic bbq with friends?!

I love this new Barbara Barry birdbath so much that I've already been concocting a plan for how to DIY it - the $3,200 price tag is a tad out of my doable range.

I just purchased a full set of these Iittala bowls, along with the small plates and larger platters. Originally designed and sold from 1964-1988, Iittala just reintroduced them this year. I absolutely love them and am excited to mix them with my casual and formal china sets. They add some much desired sparkle and texture to my white table settings!

And to help get our delicious bbq'd food into our mouths, we will all need this stunning bronze flatware, AND cheerful steak knives, available at Anthropologie. These alone will make any table fabulous and memorable.

June 5, 2011

Settled & Ready for Summer

Yes, it has been more than a month since I last posted, but we are FINALLY in Toronto and have settled (sort of) in our temporary home. We had an amazing time driving cross-country through gorgeous Utah and Colorado, 

and enjoyed a quick stop to play in Chicago.

Now that life is slowly becoming normal again, I have started to get excited for summer to arrive. I want to share two of my warm weather MUST-HAVES for keeping your lips and feet looking great this season....you NEED these!

My girlfriend Katie had us wear Tarte lip surgence in Hope for her wedding in April and I am hooked. There are no harmful ingredients, it smells like peppermint, goes on so smoothly, and the best part is that it is matte! I love this look for summer - a nice change from the glossy lips you see everywhere!  It also claims to increase your lips' moisture by 6000% in 28 days.
{Tarte, available online and at Sephora}

Next, everyone needs a pair of Tkees sandals! Have you seen these before? They are popular with all the celebs, and come in amazing colours. The collections are named after different facial cosmetics (foundations, shadows, liners, etc) and they are perfectly simple and chic.

{Tkees, available online or at Gee Beauty & Holt Renfrew in TO}

 I have my eye on a pair from the foundation collection for this summer - love that invisible look and they can be worn with everything. I guess I'm not the only one who digs this idea...

Summer 2011 = tarte & Tkees