happy summer happy color…

Can you hear me sighing with relief? It’s finally summer! Although the sun isn’t shining here, we’ve been promised a peak at it later in the week. When I think of summer, I think of color, so what better post than one on color in decor? I’ve collected an eclectic assortment of colorful rooms.

My inspiration for this blog is a bungalow designed by a fabulous Canadian designer, Jonathan Legate.

Photograph by Stacey Haines for Style At Home

I can see myself living happily in a room like the one above. The combination of warm buttery yellow walls with just the right red–especially the striped chair–and the gorgeous black toile drapes is such an inviting combination! Just the right degree of cozy & drama.

photograph by Stacey Haines for Style at Home

I think I finally get it…fabric is king! Look at how fantastic this room looks with that fabric. I might not give it a second look if I was leafing through swatches, but a designer like Jonathan has the experience to see the big picture and understand how it will make a room shine. Yet another example of why it pays to hire a designer.

photo courtesy Benjamen Moore

Pottery Barn’s summer paint colors for Benjamin Moore are really interesting. As paint chips, they don’t jump out at me, but once I see them in a vignette, they’re fabulous. The brown, blue and red in this room somehow manage to seem light and airy. Go figure! At this point, I think you’ve got a sense of how color-challenged I really am…lettin’ it all hang out here on the pages of this blog.

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

I just think this cozy turquoise room with the gorgeous-smorgeous bedding is the cat’s meow! I’d never leave my bedroom if it looked like this!

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

You know me…gotta get a little orange in here somewhere. This appeals to the modern side of me.

photo courtesy Midwest Living

For some reason, I’m craving a mojito and a fan! I doubt that Mark would actually join me on this verandah for a drink…hmmmm…wait a minute..!

photo courtesy Elle Decor

This rosy red is “in” right now. So if you want to be super cool (just like me), rose is the color for you! I just can’t decorate with it, ’cause it would be a major clash with my red hair–I’m  a big believer in decorating with the colors that flatter you! My mom would probably claim that horizontal stripes on chairs make you look wider…hmmmm!

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

photo courtesy Lonny magazine

The boldly colorful couch and the gold gilded picture frame remind me of some of the decor I’ve seen in Britain. It just says, “sit down and we’ll have a really good chat”.

I’m hopeful that this summer will be full of color. Full of friends. Full of fun!

cool collage…

Looking for a great weekend project? I just love these photo/picture collages. Who doesn’t have photos stashed away that need to be framed and hung?

This one is quite unique. I love that it wraps around the corner!

photo by Blount Architectual and Interior Design via Houzz

The collage wall is just so impressive in this setting. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on that table and chair set too!

photo by Coburn Architecture and Interiors via Houzz

photo courtesy blog.designpublic.com via Houzz

photo courtesy Houzz

And just when you thought you had to paint all your walls white…

photo courtesy Domino magazine via Houzz

What I want to know is who climbed up the ladder on this one…

photo by Tracy Murdock Allied ASID via Houzz

just give in to the serenity…

Sometimes the universe just forces you to slow down, whether you like it or not, and you better just deal with it. I’m having one of those weeks that just make you want to slap on a backpack, tie up your boots and head for the hills. The hubby is in L.A. wining and dining at a big gaming show, and I’m here at home running the other show.

Let’s review: So far I’ve had to fix a broken toilet (well…it’s a BandAid really, until Mark gets back), call the police to break up an impromptu drunken grad party on my lawn in the wee hours of the morning, talk a stressed-out boy down from the homework ledge, entertain visiting family, run a business, clean a house, clean up the mess from the other toilet I coincidentally broke (thank goodness for the third one or we’d be hooped). So far so good.

However, it only takes one grain of sand to bring the whole engine to a grinding halt. A virus hit and Jane has been knocked out with a bad cold! The poor kid has been lying in bed for two days, while I try to convince her to study for her last grade-five science test. Yowsa. I can feel the grey hairs sprouting all over my shrinking head!

I have had to admit defeat and climb right into bed with her. It’s like there’s a little heat generator in bed with me, so all the windows are open, and a breeze is wafting in.

So I’ve given in to the madness and the day is actually turning out to be pretty good! I finally figured out some tricky PhotoShop processes and I went to town. Although it looks simple enough (my graphic designer friends are howling with laughter), the summer entertaining collage I put together took some figuring out, and I’m patting myself on the back for turning 46 yesterday and teaching myself something new every day! Go me!

June bugs…

I used to love June. It’s the month of my birthday. It’s the beginning of summer with so much potential. It’s just a dogone great month…or so I thought until I had school-aged children.

June's finest crop!

(If you are blessed with children who skip through the kitchen with a smile on their face on their way to do their homework–in their own rooms nonetheless and not spread out over the entire kitchen–without your help, then by all means, feel free to skip the following rant. I recommend that you run to the nearest corner store and purchase a lotto ticket!)

June's birthstone

June has turned into a nightmarish month crammed full of last-minute fieldtrips, last-minute assignments, last-minute tests and the most unholy of alliances, sports day and report cards!!!! How is a parent to survive this landslide of extra tasks? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a corporate maven, I know you’ve got enough on your plate already, let alone having to ferry children to year-end recitals, performances, sports events and homework!

Sports Day performance anxiety

I say enough of the madness. Let’s take June back! Who’s with me? Let’s all march into the principals’ offices stamp our feet and whine, “Stop the madness! Spread the butter all over the bread…not just on June’s crust!”.

Look who else was born in June! Photo courtesy Deutante Clothing blog

There. I feel so much better. Now you understand why I haven’t blogged in over a week! Sorry. Believe me…I’d rather be blogging! I have the feeling my mom is rolling her eyes, and my sisters are high-fiving ’cause their spoiled little sister is finally “getting hers”. I have the urge to Valley Girl them with a fingersnap and a “What-Ever!”

for better or worse…

As an online retailer, it’s really important for me to find out what my customers are thinking. It’s not like a bricks-and-mortar store, where you get immediate feedback about how you’re doing (“Oh, I just love how you wrapped that gift!” or “I want to speak to the manager!”). When I worked in a home decor store, I loved the interaction with customers, most of whom really appreciated our customer service.

An online business is very different–it’s all warehouse, boxes and packing lists! I love helping customers on the phone, but it’s not always easy to get a sense of what what they think about our customer service. That’s why I just sent out a survey to all my customers.

It was nerve-wracking deciding whether to press the “send” button, ’cause I started to get the jitters.

Devil on left shoulder: You can’t handle rejection, you wimp! Get me a brownie!


Angel on right shoulder: You’re the best. You look fabulous in green. You need to know the truth: good or bad. It’ll be a hoot. Now let’s go shopping!

So if you would like to participate in the survey, I’d love to hear from you too. It’s most relevant for people who have purchased something on Nicole Jane Home, but it also covers stuff like how you heard about us. Just click on the picture and you’ll go straight to the survey.

photo by Reinier deSmit for Nicole Jane Home

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