Monday, March 28, 2011

See You Next Week

I'm off to Los Angeles later today, and I'm leaving the old laptop at home. For random & occasional updates, you can follow me on Twitter.

See You Next Week!!

Photo via ak1 at

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bloggers Give Back: The George Herman House Project

I'm excited to be a part of Bloggers Give Back, a volunteer initiative being taken on by bloggers, With this project, we hope to transform the backyard of George Herman House from cold and uninviting environment to a peaceful and welcoming space. For those of you who are unfamiliar, George Herman House provides holistic programming and supportive housing for women with mental and emotional health issues.

These are the BEFORE photos:

We intend to make the AFTER photos much more appealing!! With the generosity of donors and the support of major sponsors (to date: Ikea Canada, Tonic Living, Bona Vista and 101 Trees), we intend to turn this backyard into a peaceful spot to relax on a sunny afternoon. Several of the volunteer bloggers have already completed mood boards for the project, using furniture from Ikea and fabrics from Tonic Living. Be sure to check out the Bloggers Give Back website and vote for your favourite!!

If you would like to contribute to the Bloggers Give Back project for George Herman House, please follow this link for more information:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

California Dreaming

Spring weather has been slow to arrive here in Toronto, so even though my closet has been outfitted for warmer temperatures, I haven't yet had a chance to wear any of my new pieces. Luckily for me, I'm traveling to Los Angeles next week on a buying trip, which provides the perfect opportunity to break out my new spring wardrobe.

I like to lay out potential outfits before packing so that I don't miss anything. I've tried to limit myself to just 2 pairs of shoes and 3 purses, since those items take up the most space in the luggage. I've done such a good job that I may be able to take the medium suitcase instead of the large!!

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

California, here I come!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dabble Mag Launch

Have you heard about Dabble Mag? With the advent of online magazines, we knew it was only a matter of time before Canada launched its own virtual decor mag. I'd like to introduce you to Dabble Mag, which focuses on design, travel and food. With Kimberley Seldon at its helm, and with the support of an amazing team of editors, contributors, stylists and photographers, the magazine is sure to be a great read!!

The Dabble Team

Premier Issue:

Click the above photo to be redirected
to the premier issue of Dabble Mag.

Happy reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

CityLine Taping & Tweetup

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a taping of CityLine (@citylineca) at the CityTV studios downtown. The episode (scheduled to air next Tuesday, March 29th at 9am EST) focused on women who blog and tweet. The audience was made up of four core groups: beauty bloggers, food bloggers, mommy bloggers, and decor bloggers. Everyone had a great time, and the audience was very enthusiastic. Most of us were tweeting up a storm while the show was taping, which was slightly out of the ordinary, but made #CLParty a trending topic on Twitter in Toronto!!

Tracy (@tracycityline) was an A-mazing host!
The many faces of Tracy:

All the cool kids sat in the decor section:
Back Row L to R: @ShannonKFitz, @JenSelk,
@CherishToronto (+ an unknown beauty blogger)
Second Row L to R: @SecondWindAna, @VerdigrisVie,
@VanessaJFrancis, @GlamaMama
Front Row L to R: @bijouandboheme, @meredithheron

Throughout the show there were lots of giveaways from @ShaToBu, @NourishTea, @BenjaminMoore, @LeeValleyTools, @MACcosmetics, @Vasanti, @L'Oreal and @HeresHardCandy. Thanks to all of the vendors for such great products!!

Afterward, all of the bloggers were invited to a lunch time tweetup over at the Ritz-Carlton on Wellington West. Ooh La La!! Thanks so much to Cityline for hosting this event, it was such a treat, and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Great food and great friends are always a winning combination!!

Decor Bloggers,
The Group Photo @ The Ritz-Carlton:

Don't forget to watch CityLine next Tuesday morning,
March 29th at 9 am (EST)!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sarah 101: Episode 12 Fresh Laundry

Last night on Sarah 101, Sarah and Tommy spruced up a basement laundry room with industrial rubber floors, new machines, classic ceramic tiles, several vintage finds, and simple DIY artwork. Voila!! A dull and dreary room was transformed into a pleasant space to fluff and fold!

Tommy found the sweet vintage light fixture while out shopping, and it added a touch of sparkle to the room. The mint green rubber floors were the jumping off point for the space, and the walls were treated to a cheerful coat of SR6/Butter, from Sarah's line of paint colours for Para Paints.

What's a Sarah Richardson design without a hit of vintage? Sarah had a cupboard made to fit above the washer & dryer, but she chose to use a pair of reclaimed doors instead of new, then finished it off with a glazed paint treatment.

The corbels used as shelf supports were also great vintage finds. Repurposing these beautiful architectural pieces adds visual interest to the space and keeps history out of the landfill.

Sarah purchased tall cabinets from a big box store and had them sprayed the same colour as the vanity on the opposite wall. Mounting a bar between these cabinets provides a spot to hang dry clothing.

With no money left in the budget for artwork, Sarah took on an easy DIY project. Working with the wall and floor colours, Sarah glued groups of buttons with interesting features onto mats and popped them into shadow boxes. Cute & simple!

The final episode of Sarah 101 will air next week.
But don't forget we have Sarah's House 4 to look forward to :-)

All images courtesy of HGTV Canada.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cheers to Spring!

It's been a long time coming, and today is the first full day of spring!! Let's just hope Mother Nature got the memo...

Photo by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inspirational Grace Home Furnishings

Here in Canada, we don't have access to quite as many decor options as those living in the United States, but that doesn't mean we can't take inspiration from what we see in magazines and websites. For me, one of the most consistently inspirational retailers is Grace Home Furnishings, with just a single store located in Los Angeles. Luckily for me, I'm traveling to LA soon, and if I get lucky maybe I'll get the chance to visit Grace Home while I'm there. In the meantime, I can lust over their print advertisements, past and present.

All images courtesy of Grace Home Furnishings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sarah 101: Episode 11 Clutter Free Basement

This Tuesday the 11th episode of Sarah 101 aired on HGTV, which means the series will soon be drawing to a close. I will definitely miss my Tuesday night highlight!! But not to worry, there are two more episodes before it's a wrap! Tonight Sarah and Tommy tackled an 60 foot long open plan basement, converting the space from chaotic and disorganized to clutter free and multifunctional. The plan was to create a division of space which could accommodate several functions: storage, laundry, lounging and play.

Tommy and Sarah started at the fabric store, selecting a red scheme which would add charm and personality to the basement. A bold ikat fabric, an embroidered trellis pattern, a red & white stripe and a bold brush stroke print would all combine to create a lively colour story.

The basic building blocks of the room were purely neutral - a fresh coat of cream paint on the walls and bulkheads, durable broadloom on the floors throughout, a light oak finish on the storage cabinets, and a linen slipcover on the sectional sofa.

With duct work running through basements, bulkheads are a necessary evil resulting in a combination of high and low ceilings, making it difficult to use standard storage cabinets. Sarah decided that kitchen cabinetry would be the most versatile option, combining base and upper cabinets with pantry cabinets, creating an abundance of storage space.

In the secluded laundry area, a butcher block island with drawers and shelves provides even more storage while serving as a folding station and pickup zone.

In addition to the built in cabinets, Sarah & Tommy chose several key pieces to adequately furnish the lounge area: a sectional couch, an upholstered chair, a media unit, two vintage side tables, a coffee table, and a console table. Sarah's advice: Buy only what you need - more furniture would have crowded this space.

When using curtains to section off an area such as this kids playroom, use cup mounts on either end and a short center support. Fewer gaps around the edges and along the top make the curtain feel more like a room divider.

More sage Sarah Richardson advice: Use full height drapery on small basement windows. This creates the illusion of being in above ground room, especially when the drapes are closed. Family photos matted in "really red" and professionally framed provide affordable art.

What did you think of this clutter free basement?

All photos courtesy of HGTV Canada.