Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Mini iPhone New Home Tour {In Progress}

We are now at that stage where things are generally done enough to get by... but not even close to done. Other than the sunburst mirror in the dining room, nothing has been hung, not a room painted, not a surface styled with accessories. But, it's a fairly blank canvas and we have time, so why rush? Our basement is full of boxes from the storage pod that we filled with "unnecessaries" before our 6 month stint in the apartment - most of which are decor items, so it will be an experience opening them back up one at a time and finding a place for them.

Until then, here's a mini home tour of the living/dining/kitchen area. I just realized I didn't get a good shot of the stairwell and 18 ft ceilings. I'm guessing that's because our fireplace built-ins are done yet and it just looks very blah on that wall so I didn't think of it. Soon, I hope!

Below is from the hallway. Front door would be behind me, laundry room to the left, mudroom/powder room to the right down that hallway.

Below is a peek at the very unfinished future living room built-ins. We've built the Besta units (hardware is coming) and in the spring will be building them in, adding shelves above, and tiling the fireplace. We also have roman shades on order that will provide some much needed privacy as we have no fence yet!
Couches and Side table: Homesense Rug: RugsUSA  Drapes: Ikea

The view from the landing on the stairs up to the second level is one of my favourite views of the house. We are currently waiting on our coffee table (from Joss and Main) to replace the ottoman that went with our old couch set. We also need a new buffet for the dining room as this one has followed us around since our first rental and it's seen better days. We are also trying to decide on the perfect paint colour for the dining room/kitchen  (because I thought it made more sense to live in the space and see colours in their actual light before committing to a colour). Still torn - please offer suggestions on good warmish but greyish whites.

Into the kitchen, our newly completed marble herringbone backsplash. I was all set for a brick pattern until the day before the tiling job and changed my mind. I just love the impact and classic look of herringbone and I'm so glad we went for it.

After many days of back and forth, I opted for white grout. I love grey grout and I think it works really well with marble, but since the countertops and cabinets are so light, I wanted the backsplash to tie that in a bit and so I thought the white grout would do the trick. I also like how it makes the pattern pop.

Interestingly enough, these were not supposed to be our island pendants. I bought two round globe pendants online that were going to go here, but long story short, we ended up with these and used one of the other pendants in the entry, and the other has yet to find a home.

From the dining room. I opted for a solid pantry door because I thought it would blend in well and not scream "I'm a pantry door!" - but after we moved in I decided I'd rather a frosted glass door afterall. So, that will need to be swapped out one day. It also bugs me that the pantry door is our trim colour (white white) and our cabinets are a slightly off white (Alabaster white). I'm really torn on what to do - keep the door trim white and paint the pantry door Alabaster? Far right you can see a bit of the double wide entry to the laundry room which is waiting on doors as well.

So there you have it! If you have suggestions - please give them! And hope to get the rest of the floorplan up this week too :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Almost there! And a floor plan

We are three weeks into the New Year and the new house, and slowly chipping away at the to do list. I wish I could wave my magic wand and instantly have the entire house decorated and ready to go! Wouldn't that be nice? I am excited to share photos but wanted to wait until the place came together a BIT more, and we are almost there. Backsplash was installed yesterday
, grout tomorrow, roman shades should be arriving soon - so other than final accessorizing, hanging art, and some larger, future projects, we will be mostly settled in very soon.

I would still like to do a version with furniture placement, but here is the main floor floor plan. I can say that so far, this is the perfect amount of space for us. It feels spacious but not cavernous. The open layout is just what we were hoping it would feel like and we are so glad we added the extra bump out in the dining room in order to flip the island 90 degrees to face the living room.


The space in the front was originally an open den which we had absolutely no use for. I thought long and hard about what to do with it, and the only thing that just felt right was to put the laundry there (moved it from the right side of the mudroom). First of all, why would I want my laundry in a small(ish) mudroom. Not only is there no space for hampers and and ironing board and drying rack, but it's a MUDroom. And in Winnipeg, where 6 months of the year are in mucky boots or snowy boots that turn to muck, a mudroom really is just that. Do people seem to think it's strange to have the laundry there? A little. But I'm adding cabinetry and features to make it fabulous (and double frosted french doors), and I can tell you that having a REAL full-size laundry room has been awesome so far. I also have my desk in there for now and eventually plan on making a craft area, but that is further down the list.

So far, my only one big regret is not squaring off the corner pantry. Long story short, it wasn't until close to the deadline that I learned that we could really customize the builder's plans and move things majorly around. And had we had more time, I would have somehow figured out how to put that pantry on a 90. It would have made for a smaller pantry and it would have affected our fridge and pantry wall, but I'm sure we could have made it work. I am not devastated by the corner pantry at all - I still love the kitchen, and the space and walk through feature is amazing - I just know IF I were to do it again, it would have been nice to know earlier!

On that same note, we also never knew it was an option add square footage to the plan (in the dining room). We really thought the builders plans were mostly set less minor alterations, and I was really struggling between two plans (a smaller version that had the island layout I wanted and now have, and this plan which I loved but didn't like the island orientation). It wasn't until someone unrelated to our purchase suggested the option that I even knew it was a possibility - and I am so glad I did!

I remember when we started building/planning I googled everywhere trying to find someone else's building experience and found very little - perhaps it's worth doing a post or two on what I learned during the process, if only so I can remember myself if we ever decide to do this again!

Okay, that's all for now. I hope to take some pics and post this weekend, as well as to share the upstairs floor plan and furniture placements!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The House is Done and We are IN!

Guys!!!! We are IN! Words cannot explain the feeling of finally being in our house. It felt like it took forever, but the final two months just flew by and before we knew it we were signing on the dotted line and turning the keys to our home. It was a total whirlwind having just come back from vacation, and getting everything done in between Christmas and New Years. In the span of two days we had about 15 different people in and out of our house from deliveries to installations to electricians (which we are super thankful for since so many people are off over the holidays) - but, it is done and we are "home" now.

I can't wait to share more pictures, the long promised floor plan, our experience so far with the finishes we chose, and everything we still have yet to do (like the backsplash, fireplace tile and paint). I just need to unpack the "real" camera so I can take some proper pics next weekend. I will just say it because I've been obsessing over them for the past 4 days, but I am overjoyed with my marble island. I am so in love with it and so thankful I took the risk.

For now, here's a quick insta pic (if you want to follow along as I post more house pics, you can find me at ).

And for those who ask if two people really need a double wide fridge - YES we do :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Healthy(ish), Vegan Christmas Cookie Recipes | Sugar and Gingerbread

We had some of our favourite friends over last week for a Christmas baking night, and I knew for things to go smoothly/quickly, I should have the dough pre-made. So, the day before I scoured the internet for the best recipes I could find - and because they turned out SO good, I just had to share them with you. And, sneakily, they don't contain any dairy or eggs, but you would NEVER know. My 3 baking partners as well as taste testers at work were completely fooled! And even if you don't need to avoid dairy/eggs, it sure doesn't hurt to have a slightly healthier holiday cookie recipe up your sleeve (because then you can eat more) and it also means you can eat dough as you go along, which, let's be honest, is really the best part (and the whole point of baking, right!).

This is totally how our cookies looked (not).

Okay, the sugar cookies aren't really healthy, but they were tasty and vegan, so tomato/tomahto. That said, these are probably the BEST sugar cookies I've ever tasted so I don't know why you would make another recipe ever again now that you have this one.  Not to mention super easy ingredients unlike other recipes I found that called for cornstarch (which I was out of) and cream of tartar (which I don't have). Head here for the delish recipe.

This gingerbread recipe, on the other hand, uses some much more healthful ingredients which makes indulging a lot less sinful. I used coconut oil, coconut sugar and blackstrap molasses (all organic) for an authentic and delicious (and very dark) gingerbread recipe.

And, camera is already packed so no photos of our creations (which were actually really nice less a few very naughty cookies in non-Christmas shapes).

What is your go-to holiday cookie recipe?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Designing a Home | Finding a Style

Just 16 more days until we are into the new house. Excited doesn't even begin to capture how we're feeling. But, as the move in date creeps up, as does my self-imposed timeline to figure out how to decorate this blank canvas.

This layout below is very similar to ours (just cut the island in half, take out the coffered ceilings and the beefy trim.. oh and almost everything else! But you get the idea).

What I love about this photo is that it's not pigeon holed into a style. The cabinets and mouldings and door style are all very traditional, yet the furniture is modern and simple. It's the definition of transitional design, and it's what I'm hoping to achieve with our home.

Although the style below is pretty far from my own, I'm including it as a reminder for me to inject some colour in my space. I usually gravitate towards neutrals but look how happy this space is! I just love it.

The opposite of colourful, the style below blends so many textures that it conveys warmth in a different way (let's be honest, I probably won't inject much colour and will end up with more neutrals no matter how hard I try).

 I've always loved a little art deco or hollywood regency glam. It doesn't need to be done throughout nor overwhelming to make an impact.

But, I also love the modern, clean line of this condo design. Do you see what I'm going here?

And this space is just to.die.for.

Okay, if you're still with me you've probably acknowledged that I have design ADD and I love about a million different things and styles. Hence why we are 16 days out and I'm still agonizing how to tackle the house. SO much pressure on myself to make it perfect. Right now, I'm just hoping to get our stuff in there and take it one day at a time. It's hard to know what to do with a space unless you'd lived in it, right?

If you have, how did you figure out your "style"? HELP!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Card Season

Do you have your Christmas cards yet? Or (like me) have you run out of Christmas cards as your list adds up and up with recipients you might have forgotten about? It's not too late - in fact, it might be the best time because holiday cards are majorly on sale. Score some custom holiday cards with guaranteed shipping at 40% from Tiny Prints.

I nearly opted out of doing holiday cards this year until the amazing people at Tiny Prints slapped some sense into me and brought me back to the real world, where I absolutely cannot miss the experience of sending Christmas cards. And when Tiny Prints gives you cards, you don't say no!

Because of the big move over the holidays to the new house, we aren't decorating and we aren't gift giving, so it's not feeling very festive around here. Sending Christmas cards was the least I could do to get in the holiday spirit!

No special photoshoots this year, so we opted for a non-photo custom card in a luscious pale mint and gold foil effect. The matching address labels were also a welcome opportunity to share our upcoming new address with a "New Year, New Address" message,

If we had done a photocard, I absolutely love these options below.

What are you doing for holiday cards this year? When do you send them out?

*Thanks to Tiny Prints for providing me with my holiday cards this year. Despite being gifted by Tiny Prints, I do completely love their cards, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Best (FREE!) Holiday Printables Round Up

Every year I design my own gift tags and Christmas cards around now for the upcoming holiday season. This year, things are different because we aren't going to be home for Christmas and we also have a lot going on with the new house build. So, since physical and wrapped gifts will be few and far between, spending hours designing tags seems like a waste of time, especially when there are so many amazing options out there already. I love all of these below and I'm sure you will too. And you really can't beat the price ($0). And from one label/tag maker to another, a huge thank you to all who shared these. I know the hours that go into designing, so it's so appreciated to have them available gratis.

Perhaps my favourite of the bunch are the first in this round up. I love their simplicity yet the inclusion of typical christmas graphics like trees and reindeers. These are oh so similar to some I designed for myself last year (and similar to the cards I made), but I like these better, so I'll probably be using these this year! From the crafty Creative Index blog and can be found here.

 How cute are these? Definitely perfect for a Kate Spade lover (or anyone who loves classic black, white and gold!). Download here from Pretty Darn Cute.

Lovely pastel tags below from Best Day Ever. Download here.

Love these kraft and ice blue printables by Catch My Party. Banner and labels and more can be found right here.

These kraft and white tags are also super cute and simple. Find here from Muffin Grayson.

Love these hand drawn labels below. The come with a white background so print on any colour paper you like. Find them here from Hey Look. 

If you're going to be making some gifts this year, these are the tags for you! Hand lettered chalk art and FREE. So beautiful.  Find them here on World Label.

Lots of great kraft tags can be found over here at Shanty 2 Chic. 

What are you planning to do for gift tags this year? How often do you take advantage of free printables?