I love you Photoshop…

Don’t get me wrong, I do love the room as designed on the left. I just thought I’d have a little fun with it and see what I could come up with. Ah the magical makeover powers of Photoshop!

I threw in a new picture above the bed (it’s actually a photo I took of the roses I got for my birthday); a white ceramic owl on one side table and a mirrored picture frame on the other; a couple of my bespoke cushions, eh voila! My re-interpretation.

I’m not a fan of the tall vase with flowers that are taller than the base of the lamp, but I didn’t have the time to take it out of the image. I would rather have little silver julep cups with white flowers on both side tables. If only I knew how to magically create a throw draped across the end of the bed, or an Hermes purse and scarf on the bench!

magical makeover…

Today is laundry day…oh yeah…it’s Father’s Day too! I tend to be a rebel–at least that’s what my life coach tells me, but I think she’s wrong. So today, I say NO to laundry!!!! Instead, I thought I’d have some fun and do a lightening-quick makeover of a bedroom…you heard me…a makeover, baby!

I took a photo from Canadian House & Home Magazine‘s website, and gave it a little makeover. I added a little punch of yellow, threw on some of my Nicole Jane Home Bespoke cushions and changed the dreadful…er…challenged picture. Now, rather than saying “I want to be in a psych ward.”, I think it says “Hello world! Let’s jump on the bed!”

Hmmm…I had so much fun with this! I think I might just subject you to more of these makeovers!!!

bespoke cushions…

I’m so excited to launch Nicole Jane Home’s Bespoke Cushion collection. With the help of my besties Sharon and Yvonne at Layers & Layers, I was able to choose to-the-trade designer fabrics that mix and match beautifully with so many styles.

NJH Bespke Cushions

When I worked in a busy home decor shop, people would regularly ask about whether or not we sold cushion covers separately. It was never an option, because wholesalers generally sell cushions as a set, including the filler.

So I’m really excited about the fact that I’ll be offering my customers the option of buying the covers and fillers together OR separately! It’s definitely an affordable way to decorate with high-end designer cushions. I’m hoping to add collections with each season.

dress form divine…

Don’t ask me why, but when I see vintage dress forms, they transport me right back to the classic black and white movies that I grew up watching starring the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Bette Davis. I guess it’s ’cause I imagine them placing their beautiful gowns on the forms at the end of the evening–after the big dance, where the men of their dreams looked at them across a crowded room.

These are some wonderfully whimsical updated versions of the really old dress forms, which I admit, can look just a wee bit creepy…you know…the kind that would freak you out every night on your way to the bathroom in the dark!!!!

photo courtesy CosetLacedMannequin on Etsy

photo courtesy Saldos Da Concha on Flickr

photo courtesy thisnext.com

photo courtesy CorsetLacedMannequin.com

photo courtesy Apartment Therapy

photo courtesy CorsetLacedMannequin.com

lovely, Lonny, just lovely…

Lonny magazine is one of my favorite online haunts. I can be found most days lurking on their website, pouring over the pages of each new issue. I was particularly inspired to see all the wonderful shots of fabulous design ideas yesterday. So it’s time to share the love…

I really like everything about this room. The wall color is so soothing and the headboard’s fabulous tongue-in-cheek upholstery gives such a fabulous pop of color. When you get tired of it, you can change it up easily ’cause the room is so neutral.

This bedroom has such a refreshing combination of really bold colors and patterns–nothing’s too heavy and serious. Again, it works because of the neutral white background, and because orange and turquoise are such a power couple! You do realize that I’m making this all up as I go along! I have no formal training–just a good eye for design (at least I think so, but if you saw my own home, you’d shudder)!

Isn’t that a fabulous bookshelf? I’ve got to find some ceramic busts for Nicole Jane Home ’cause I just love how it looks! And look at the ikat dish up on the top shelf–it’s a hot pattern right now. So it the red bamboo & zebra print chair! Someone took a lot of time and care setting up this display–I dare you to take down a book to read it!

And just because I’m heading for my book club tonight, I thought I’d throw in this cozy reading corner with the enviable collection of books! I should be draped over this chaise eating grapes and drinking wine whilst reading a steamy bodice ripper!

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!

Scandinavian fresh…

Canadian House & Home online TV features a tour of designer, Git Gustavsson’s Scandinavian-styled home. I loved her home office with chocolate brown walls and white trim and accents. She has a way of combining things that I would never dream of.

The inspiration for her office was a Mexican hotel room with turquoise walls, but she decided to paint the walls brown and paint the chandelier turquoise. She uses iconic Merimekko fabric for the window coverings.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

She uses an IKEA industrial-style dining room table as her desk with a white Barcelona chair.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

I love the way she displays pictures and other decorative items on the window sill.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

Her master bedroom combines grey, white and amethyst. Lovely. It’s hard to make out in this image, but she painted wide horizontal stripes of matte and shine on the wall behind the headboard.

photo courtesy Canadian House & Home Online TV

green-eyed beauty…

Who says it’s hard being green? Not me! Next to pink, I think my favorite color is green–particularly Kelly Green and Chartreuse. It’s just lucky for me that green is hot right now (not that’s I’d really care if it wasn’t). Here are some examples of wonderful uses of my second favorite color. Brandon Barre is a talented photograper, and I love, love, love his work. He gets to work with some of my design crushes (including my BFF Candace Olsen. Candace, call me. Let’s do lunch). This is one of his exquisite shots. I love the acid greens with black–drama, baby, drama!

photo by Brandon Barre

Oh, okay…I’ll show you another one of his amazing photos! Isn’t this divine? The dark flooring is the perfect contrast against the seafoam walls.

photo courtesy Brandon Barre Photography

This is such a gorgeous wallpaper. When it comes to decorating, one of the most important principles is to choose your upholstery fabrics first and choose your wall color last. I always believe in exceptions, and, in this case, I would choose the wallpaper and then work in the rest of the decor around it. Don’t ya just love that sweet bamboo-esque chair? Bamboo is hot, hot, hot right now. (I have the feeling that somebody’s going to email and say “That isn’t bamboo, you twit!”)

photo courtesy York Wallcoverings

Tobi Fairley is very talented designer. She puts a fresh twist on traditional design, and I’m always giddy when I see her rooms in magazines and websites. Green and silver is a fantastic combination, but leave it to Ms. Fairley to come up with the brilliant idea of using both metals as accents with kelly green!

photo courtesy Tobi Fairley

And what would a blog be without a little jhooshing from Designers Guild? Nottin’ I tells ya! Ahhhhh…green and pink…sigh! Wouldn’t a beautiful little silver aluminum table or a mirrored table look goooooorgeous between these little glamour girls?

photo courtesy Designers Guild

Okay…so we’ve now established that I love green, but let me qualify my appreciation a little. I can hate green too (hey, Gemini, can’t help it). I just want to be clear that I can HATE every single color on the spectrum if it’s used poorly. This is an example of the type of design that draws strong negative reactions from me (I apologize to everyone who loves it). If this is your cup of tea, that’s great go for it, but I just won’t be able to visit 🙂

photo courtesy House Beautiful via Lipstick on Your Teeth

Now that we got that out of the way, back to something divine. This lovely room from Country Living magazine.

photo courtesy Country Living Magazine

Now get out there and get some green!!!

makes me smile…

Just thought I’d share some of the things that are making me smile today…

I found this photo on Truffle Girls blog. It’s driving me crazy…just makes me want to take the day off and make art!!!

photo via Truffle Girls

This pretty bedroom by Burnham Design is putting a really big smile on my face. I love everything about it. The blue chaise, the sweet red chandelier (blue and red is such a smokin’ hot combo right now) and the gorgeous horizontal panelled doors leading to the balcony.

photo via Burnham Design

My kids make me smile every day (some days they make me grit my teeth too). Mine are the two blondies.

photo by Jennifer Findlay

My first grown-up purse. I bought it at Macy’s in Seattle last weekend. I’m giddy like a girl with her first Barbie!

photo via Coach

My sweet 3-year-old Labradoodle–Daisy Dog–is definitely making me smile today!

My sweet little Toy Poodle–Stella–makes me smile too. She loves to curl up on my feet when I sit at my desk!

new age nesting…

When my children were born, I was not…how shall I put it…decor enlightened. My little lovelies, Sam and Jane, were lucky to get a few stars and clouds sponged on to their baby-blue walls (they shared a room in our little cottage). I was a little preoccupied with the rigors of motherhood and the blur of the first few years to even know what I didn’t know!

So now, when I come across children’s furnishings and decor, I find myself experiencing pangs of guilt about missed opportunities and neglect–then I snap out of it and remember that I’m not interested in taking out a mortgage just to redecorate their rooms! There are days, though, when I would happily bribe them with the prospect of flat-screen TVs and bar fridges just to get them to keep wet towels, empty cups and dirty socks off the floors.

For those of you who have your act together way more than me, here are some beautiful nesting ideas. If they aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps there’s a color combination, a display arrangement, or an organizational idea you like.

I think the bull’s-eye hooks are so cool (OMG, Mom, nobody actually says that). I can see them working in a child’s bedroom too. (photographer: Rachael Smith via Gap Interiors)

I came across Little Nest , an Australian company that designs kid versions of classic designer chairs and furniture. This is for the uber-junior-fashionista!

photo from Little Nest

courtesy of Little Nest

I never would have considered chartreuse (kinda sorta) and lilac. It’s such a fresh design The bumper pads on the bunk-bed rail are practical and fun at the same time.

courtesy of Style at Home

The next three rooms are featured on HGTV.com. This coquetish little room is for zee really girly-girl (lame attempt at a French accent).

courtesy HGTV

I know some grown-up girls who’d luuuuuvvvvv this room.

courtesy HGTV

The wood-panelled porthole shelf gives this room the perfect edge. It will help transition the room from preschool to high-school. See those little orange armchairs and ottoman? I want the grown-up version in my living room!!!

courtesy HGTV

I like that they used a narrow striped paint treatment instead of crown moulding in this sweet little room. The pom-pom chandelier is the icing on the cake!

courtesy HGTV

I can see where this is going…I’m going to be one of those over-the-top grandmas who insists on meddling in the room designs for each of her grand-babies (in another 50 years or so…’cause I’m that young).

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