My Thanksgiving Table

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sorry for the brief absence over here. I was busy recovering from my food coma all week because it was Thanksgiving! I know I'm confusing any Americans reading but we have our Canadian Thanksgiving way before Christmas. This gives us time to forget about how much we all ate at the last meal and really enjoy overeating. Anyway, here is my Thanksgiving table FOR REAL this time! My beautiful sister is visiting from Costa Rica and she came over to spend the day listening to me agonizing over decorating decisions and floral arrangements and also to cut up all the potatoes- so Chad was pretty happy. We also have enough cut up potatoes to last us a century, but it's the thought that counts-love ya sister!

I took some pictures of the 'adult' table before my parents brought over the extra card table for us 'kids'. We also had to have a few people eat on the couch but it was cozy. I didn't do a super formal setting and I tried to keep the table open for conversation and second helpings.

I loved the chance to use some new to me vintage pieces like the plates and glasses as well as the placemats and napkins I scored on clearance at Home Outfitters. In case you're prepping for your Thanksgiving or just looking for an excuse to have a fancy dinner for two, click on the words below for links to my table decor:

Table Cloth/ Large Burlap Runner/ Smaller Burlap Runner/ Placemats/ Napkins/ Plates (vintage)/ Cutlery/ Wine Glasses/ Water Glasses (vintage)/ Candle Holders (vintage)/ Vase/ Salt & Pepper Shakers (similar)

Oh yes and happy Friday everyone!

Art Under $100

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Friday everyone and happy long weekend to all of us Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving! Instead of a 'Le Weekend' post I've got an 'Art Under $100' because frankly I've been thinking a lot about gallery walls and what makes them special.

Now there is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly symmetrical gallery wall of matching black and white prints but I love things to be a little imperfect. I love the mix and the contrast, so my favourite gallery walls include not only paintings, prints and photographs but also something unexpected like a wire sculpture, a set of antlers, a mask or a carving.

As you can see from the examples above you don't have to go crazy and you don't even have to hang the pieces on the wall. The second photo down showcases objects placed in front of artwork to give the impression of a layered arrangement. So have fun, play around and don't think you just have to hang framed artwork on your wall. If you have a favourite memento, by all means add it in. If you don't happen to have something, I've rounded up a few pieces to help add that something special to your gallery wall.

  1. Painting wood relief
  2. Spiral paper sculptures
  3. Horseshoe
  4. Woven wall hanging
  5. Wooden bear mask
  6. Vintage metal Russian sign
  7. Woven African basket
  8. Metal eagle
  9. Mounted antlers
  10. Taxidermy butterflies
  11. White juju hat
  12. Vintage metal letter
  13. White ceramic wall sculptures
  14. Cubist wooden sculpture
  15. Wire portrait
  16. Vintage metal bird sculpture
  17. Metal diamond sculpture
  18. White pottery medallion
  19. Blue handmade plate
  20. Pink Rhino bust
  21. Driftwood tree slice sculpture

Thanksgiving Decor

Sunday, October 5, 2014


With Canadian Thanksgiving right around the corner, I've been pinning table top decor (or tablescaping if you want to sound weird). I'm excited to be hosting Thanksgiving at my house and obviously my favourite part of any event is the decor. I'm also hosting a Halloween party so I'm trying to find ways to possibly re-purpose some of the same elements. Here's my inspiration so far:

Via 1(unknown). 2. 3(unknown). 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9

I know I'm not going to be doing a super formal table setting. While we don't eat off paper plates, we don't do a full place setting either. I'm all about something simple and practical but also pretty - so I will not be carving out a pumpkin to put flowers into it! What I'm loving is the mini white pumpkins or squash (not sure what they are officially called), the burlap runner, and a low flower arrangement with fall colours. I think a lot of these things can be re-used for Halloween as well. While I appreciate how beautiful a neutral looks, you know I'm all about mixing colours so I'll be using what I have to mix and match. Here is a little peek of some potential place setting combinations for my table:

So far I love the mix of navy, orange, black and brass. I'm excited to use my Waterford 'Cottage' blue plates and the additional matte black and silver cutlery I picked up. How about you, have you thought about how you're going to set the table for Thanksgiving? Is it still to far away for you Americans? Or are you focusing on that all important turkey? 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hey Everyone! It's almost Friday, which means it's almost the weekend- who's ready to relax with some pumpkin spice? I know I'm a cliche but I can't help it. I'm going to spend the weekend brainstorming decor ideas for the Thanksgiving dinner and Halloween party I'm hosting. Maybe I can combine them- scary Thanksgiving? That's way more important then the food-right?

Anyhow, I thought I'd give you a peek into an e-decor client I recently helped. In case you don't know, e-decor is a great option if you don't live in Montreal/Ottawa or if you have a limited budget and don't mind doing part of the work yourself. After an initial consultation by phone, Skype or email I send you a moodboard, a floorplan and a full source list. Then you go off and easily create the space you've always wanted.

This client was a real estate developer who had two luxury condos to stage-the idea was that the furniture would be used in one space and then moved over (with the addition of some pieces to the larger unit). The decor had to appeal to both potential buyers-young couples and empty-nesters. We went with a mix of  what I'm calling modern/lux/industrial. This was a really easy space to work with as the finishes were gorgeous-dark maple cabinetry, 'super white' granite, dark maple floors and a canvas of Benjamin Moore 'Stone Harbour Grey'. It was also requested that I use a few of their wholesale suppliers like Gus Modern- which is always my dream choice for sofas! We had to keep the budget reasonable so we tried to mix in some craigslist/kijiji and vintage finds. Ummm, yeah , I think I can handle that.

My favourite option-I've seen that blue Gus Modern sofa in person and it is gorgeous. The chairs, table and lamps were all vintage. Now, a blue sofa isn't for everyone so here were a few other options:

This last option was probably my favourite grey sofa option. I really loved that cobalt blue mid-century chair and the benches. Which one do you like best? Which one do you think they picked?

The dining room was fairly open concept so I wanted it to tie into the other spaces - natural tones with the industrial edge of metal and graphic art. Also, you can't beat a round tulip table in a small space.

The den/office already had the cool industrial metal desk- see how easy it was to work on this project? I added bright and colourful elements to soften the space. 

This guest bedroom re-used the art from the living room to make a calming, modern retreat using a mix of vintage (dresser) and some newer thrifty finds- the headboard is from Home Depot!

I feel like the master bedroom is exactly what I'd want in my own house. The mint and mustard colour scheme may be a new favourite - if only I was redecorating my own bedroom! 

To find out more about e-decor services take a look HERE and shoot me off an email so we can start working to create a space you love for a great price. Then go get yourself a pumpkin latte! 

The Little Shop

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I'd read about this super secret Montreal vintage store before while doing random internet searches but had felt lazy about heading out to an inconspicuous store housed in well, a house, only open for very limited hours a few days a week. It was on my list to "someday" make an effort to go find. When a friend was heading back there to pick up BAGS of clothing she had bought, I knew it was the perfect time to check it out. She promised the owner, Jill, would be lovely- offering customers tea, cookies and a chat all while selling the kind of vintage you just can't seem to find anymore. I was not disappointed.

Jill's mother Ann Silverstone started the store in the residential neighbourhood of Parc Extension over 50 years ago. In one yelp review , Risa D. explains:

 Because the secret of the Little Shop is this: it's the private, professional renters that are it's original appointment-only clientele. The Cirque du Soleil comes here to rent costumes and set dressings, the McCord and other museums borrow from here to fill out exhibits, the Spiderwick Chronicles created rich fantasy worlds out of the goods hidden in the Little Shop. And they are often hidden: apparently props people are notorious for hiding their finds amidst the dusty bounty... and the staff laugh tolerantly when they find a room that's been tossed, as they begin the Sysiphian work of re-establishing order.

If that alone doesn't make you want to visit then I don't know what will. While this kind of digging isn't for everyone, if you want to find very reasonably priced vintage that isn't merely second-hand H&M, set aside a few hours to browse through the rooms of jewelry, fabric, dresses, coats, paintings and knick-knacks. 

The shop is actually housed in a duplex and every room is filled with stuff- yes even the bathroom! 

The lovely Roisin displaying some finds that I had a hard time walking way from - that cream skirt suit was amazing in person.

The basement is full of fur coats, hat boxes and shoes

The second half of the store - through the blue exterior door - is filled with homewares, art, fabrics and wedding dresses. This is the side of the store that I could have happily lived in for a few days.

The chenille bedspread (above) was a gorgeous mix of pink, grey and burgundy and the pink bed-skirt (below) was just so happy and fun. Both would both be perfect in girly-retro bedroom.

This large textile would be spot-on as a seat cover for your sofa or folded at the end of the bed to add a layered, boho look.

The details on this wedding dress were so beautiful

This was actually a complete set of china with an amazingly delicate landscape scene on it.

If you are ever in Montreal, I highly recommend visiting for the vintage and the tea- The Little Shop, 1002 Ogilvy (corner Birnam), Montreal, No telephone but they do respond to inquiries via Twitter Open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 5pm.

Le Weekend

Friday, September 26, 2014


It's Friday, it's Friday! I think this is going to be a good weekend folks. My sister is back home visiting from Costa Rica and we're going to this chalet to celebrate a birthday and the end of summer. I'm also working on a post about an amazing vintage store I was introduced to here in Montreal - it may be my new favourite. Until then, here are a few things from around the internet that I enjoyed this week.
  1.  Even though I'm more of a bright colour girl at heart, I love Lauren Liess's neutral style. She's currently re-capping all the renovations she's made to her home and you have to see it to believe it. 
  2. What a great way to make affordable DIY art - using a shower curtain? I may have to try this myself.
  3. I've always been a fan of Australian Mag Inside+Out - I mean look at this rustic kitchen! The good news is that you don't have to go on a scavenger hunt or pay an arm and a leg to get a copy- download it from Zinio, Google Play or the Apple Newsstand.
  4. Elements of Style blogger, Erin Gates, let's us live through her trip to Nantucket and those homes look magical.
  5. A new to me blog, Color Me Carla, not only has amazing taste- look at that horse wallpaper in her nursery- but her writing style is refreshing and real. 
  6. If you haven't watched these Ask Lena videos already, go do it now! The office set and her opening scene dancing with her dog is my favourite part (maybe 'cause I dance with the cats?) but her advice is also spot on.
  7. Gaby of the Vault Files has great style so it's no surprise really that her home is also stylish. 
  8. Another before and after (who doesn't love a good transformation) from the Jersey Ice Cream Co. as they turn their vacation rental into a English country-side estate. 
  9. Just in case you have any negotiating to do in your future, keep these points in mind.

A Trip to Quebec City

Sunday, September 21, 2014


As promised last week I've compiled my photos from our trip to Quebec City with Chad's parents. If you don't like slide shows of 'My Summer Vacation' turn back now ( I won't blame you) but if you're not exactly ready to start Monday and would like to day dream about visiting the 'Europe of North America', let's take a little trip to a city right in my backyard. 

Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec and about a 3 hour drive from Montreal. The city is actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure. I had forgotten since my last trip in high school just how charming the city really is. In my defense the legal drinking age in Quebec was lower and let's just say a bit more lenient than in Ontario-so we weren't actually excited about sightseeing). While it is touristy in certain areas there are also many out of the way quiet moments to be had and lots of inspiration in the old stone buildings and streets.

We spent two days just strolling around, so my pictures are in mostly in the order that we walked. I only found this after but if you're interested in a walking tour Frommers has two for Upper and Lower Town here. Or you could download an itunes one here. Or you could be like us and just stand near English speaking tour groups for more information. 

We stayed at the ChâteauFleur de Lys, which was a small boutique hotel right next the Château Frontenac. It had soaring ceilings, beautiful moldings and a marble fireplace in our room. The designer in me was itching to make some changes in order to really make it shine but the view alone was worth it. 

Chad and his Dad enjoying the view

The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of the cities landmarks and has recently been restored to blend historic and modern features. I would recommend having a drink at the hotel's 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar overlooking the St. Lawrence river. 

The restored lobby- I love the blue coffered ceiling

The lobby bathrooms were also gorgeous. Nothing like marble on marble on marble with a side of herringbone pattern. I think everyone in the bathroom thought I was crazy (Chad's Mom did ask me what I was doing) but I feel obliged to document a beautiful bathroom when I see one. You're welcome.

Sitting area outside the bathroom-Gold AND fur! 

Rue du Tresor-outdoor street gallery

Obligatory tourist shot

Listening in to tour groups

Feeling like I could be in Europe

The city of Quebec has a semi-permanent public art exhibition running until the middle of October called Passages Insolites or Unusual Passages. Delirious Frites (above) is one of six city-mandated public art installations on display in Quebec City's Quartier Création.

The artists say they chose pool noodles as their medium to encourage people to touch and interact with the exhibit.  You can read more about it here

Our final stop on the first day, Place Royal -the oldest stone church in North America. Just add some gelato and you can almost pretend you're in Italy (almost).

View from the Citadelle

More drool-worthy homes and maybe yet another paint colour option for our cottage?

Walking around the Citadelle

Touring a military exhibition as part of the Citadelle and  Royal 22e Régiment and look-it's the same Emergency Drinking Water we have!

Our last stop before heading home was Montmorency Falls . The falls are suppose to be 30m higher than Niagara Falls and if you're into strenuous hiking you can walk up all those stairs - or you can park near the top, cross the suspension bridge, turn around and make fun of the people climbing.

So that was our trip - congrats if you've made it all the way to the end and weren't planning your own trip in the near future. That being said, if you aren't planning your own trip you should be! Unless you're European - I'm still confused as to why there were so many European tourists. Maybe it's like visiting a frontier town for you? As your reward for looking at all my pictures, here is one more photo of Chad and I looking serious and dapper.

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