living room makeover…

LIVINGROOM2

Nyla Free is an incredibly talented up-and-coming Canadian interior designer, and I owe her a HUGE debt of gratitude! I was lucky enough to win a draw for a free Design In A Box by Nyla, and she completely transformed my crazy “Ralph Lauren Fail” living room. It’s still a work in progress, but I think Nyla has given up on ever seeing me complete her design, so I’m posting some pics.

I still have a few pieces of furniture and decor to complete the look, but my strategy for decorating before my hubby notices, involves a highly complex system of sneaking pieces in very slowly. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know I had the living room painted last year…heh heh heh.

Please keep in mind that this is my interpretation of the design and samples that Nyla sent me. She might shudder at some of the changes I’ve made (e.g., my hubby insisted on having his own chair, rather than having two couches in the room…sometimes a girl has to compromise).

Nyla, I can’t thank you enough. I am finally madly in love with a room that drove me crazy for 12 years.

BEFORE (shudder!):

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.20.34 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.21.54 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.20.51 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.21.30 PM

AFTER (ahhhhhh…that’s better):

BAYWINDOW

COUCHSTELLA2 YELLOWPILLOW LIVINGROOM2 HALL&LIVINGRM

My favourite splurge–Candice Olson wall sconces with mother-of-pearl. They’re gorgeous, like buttah!

CANDICEOLSENSCONCE

Christmas bling…

B

CHRISTMAS DECOR BLUR 4

Time for Christmas decorating. The Christmas carols are cranked up, and first up is my fireplace mantel. I’m thinking flickering candlelight with Christmas tree lights reflecting off crystal and silver ornaments. In the words of the uber-stylish Martha Stewart…it’s a good thing!!!! Next up…the beloved fresh Christmas tree this weekend. Yay!

french bistro chair…

I just finished another painting and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a departure from what I normally paint, but it was so much fun to do! I love french bistro chairs. I actually love lots of different chairs, but they’re a little pricey, so I guess I’ll just have to paint more of them to satisfy my obsession.

French Bistro Chair

lazy saturdays…

I love to stay in my pajamas and while away my time on Saturdays (or, frankly, any day of any week, anytime)! Usually it’s a matter of not being able to peel myself away from my laptop and drinking two pots of coffee, while the house collapses in mayhem around me. I figured that I spent my thirties and early forties cleaning and organizing and ironing and cooking (I can hear my sisters spitting out their tea)–now it’s time for me! That sounds drastic, but it only really happens a few times a year that I don’t have to be somewhere, drop off somebody, pick up somebody, buy something, do something, or make something on a Saturday.

Today, I decided to catch up on some amazing blogs that I haven’t visited in a while. I saw a beautiful mantel display on one, so I decided to drag out my neglected camera and relearn how to set it up!

My house looks pretty clean, right? WRONG. That’s why you’ll only see the fireplace from the waist up. Below, it’s a frightening collection of dog toys, magazines, socks and dust bunnies the size of a small dog.

design in a box…

Today’s going down as one of the best in the history of the Findlay household. I just about giggled like a school girl when I saw the postal lady walk up my sidewalk with a box and a roll of carpet samples in her hands.

DRUMROLL….

It’s the Design In A Box that I won from Canadian designer and design columnist for Dabble magazine, Nyla Free!!!!!!!!!!

It came in the prettiest grey box with yellow trim & ribbon!! I’m a wrapping kinda gal! It’s full of fabric samples for upholstery and drapes, design layout options, source guides and carpet samples!!!

It’s just like Christmas around here! I was so excited that I tore everything open in a frenzy (as you can see), called Nyla to blabber on about what a huge fan I am, and now I need to go back to bed ’cause my brain blew up!

I’m suddenly craving turkey and gravy…mmmmmmm!

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.

area rug area rules…

Ever wondered about the rules for placement of area rugs? Apparently, I’ve been breaking ALL the rules ALL these years. I finally got so fed up three years ago that I ditched the rug under my coffee table and haven’t replaced it since (bad girl).

I’m really impressed by the new line of area rugs by Style At Home magazine…yes…the magazine! I haven’t seen them “live”, so I have no idea about the quality, but for $190, you can get this rug (other styles/sizes) for 8’x11′. Not bad.

photo courtesy Style At Home Magazine

As for the rug placement rules…Style At Home’s got that covered too. Christine Hanlon recommends the following rules in the May 2011 issue.

* An area rug should always extend under all of the key furniture pieces. It’s best not to have a large section of empty rug extend beyond where the furniture ends; ideally, the rug should only extend one to two feet beyond the furniture–ensure that this is consistent on all sides.

* A dining room rug should be large enough that when chairs are pulled out from the table they are still on the rug–usually one-and-a-half to two feet of extra space beyond the table on all sides.

* If you’re placing two rugs in adjacent rooms, there should be a proportionate amount of space between them since each defines its own distinct area, with graphic patterns, the designs could be the same or well-selected companions (for example, reverse colourways of the same pattern).

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