Talk about Real Estate, Home Decor, and more related topics.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Meandering

Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was filled with all kinds of holiday fun!

1)  The new issue of Lonny went live today and I am smitten (as I always am) with art walls in the issue. 

Lonny Dec 2012 -2

In fact, this entire Denmark home in shades of black and white was jaw dropping. 

Lonny Dec 2012
The above two images are one wall in a small studio apartment.  It expands the space and just goes to show that if you hang art that you love, it works. There are no rules!  I would love to have an art wall in every room in my home but two are enough for now!

2)  As many of us predicted, the Pantone Colour of the year for 2013 is Emerald Green. My friend Cecilia and I have an annual bet on what the colour is and it wasn’t difficult to choose a green as the “it” colour for next year. It has been everywhere the past two years – in both fashion and decor.

Colour - Grand Hotel Oslo

I really don’t have any green in my house save for the wallpaper in my powder room (although it’s more of a greyed olive green).  I am working on my bedroom next year and think that green may make an appearance – maybe an upholstered headboard in a green velvet like the sofa above?

3) If you have a favourite family cookie recipe, then take part in Style at Home’s Holiday Cookie swap. You can win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. But hurry up, the contest closes this Friday, December 14th. Read the contest details here and get baking!

Holiday cookie recipe swap contest

4) Did you see Jenny’s DIY stair runner using Ikea runners? Amazing as usual.  See it here.

5) Everything about this mantel makes me happy.  The moulding, the antique mirror, the scones, those sweet birds…See  more photos here.
Have a happy week!

Make 2013 the year that you have a home that lifts you up! Contact me at vanessa(at) to book a design consult.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Holiday Mantel

Happy Tuesday!  Are you getting into the Christmas/holiday spirit yet?
The folks at She Knows Canada contacted me to share a Christmas decor tip with their readers awhile back.  So, I got cracking on decorating the mantel.  I didn’t even pull out the boxes of ornaments and decorations from the basement as I wanted to do something different from Christmases past.
I had seen an owl print as part of a Christmas display at a retailer and I remembered that I had taken a photo of a snowy owl at my local conservation area a few summers ago.  I was up close during one of their bird presentations.  I had the photo enlarged and popped him in a frame.
This set the stage for a wintery woodland theme. I bought the woodchip heart from HomeSense, the two deer from the Superstore and the glittery gold and wood bird from my local greenhouse. Then,  I just added in some burlap and my vintage brass candlesticks and that was that!
I have since added in some greenery and of course the stockings are added closer to the big day. Oh, if you looked back at my previous mantel displays, you may have noticed that the wall colour changed. It was a light buttery colour and now it is Para’s P5223-24 (aka Sarah Richardson’s Lily). It’s the perfect greige – not too grey and not too beige. It’s become my go-to colour as it really goes with everything!
(Excuse the terrible photos. Next year, I’m going to invest in a big girl camera - an SLR so I can take better quality photos. I know I have said that once or twice before but it’s time!)
Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? Do you change things up every year?
You can read the She Knows article here.  And I am linking up here. If you are visiting for the first time, welcome!
Have a great week!
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Where I’ve Been and Where I am…

Hi there! Happy Friday!
Just wanted to let you know that I’m featured in an article in the Toronto Star online.  So fun to see my living room on their home page and mentioned next to Debbie Travis and Colin & Justin. You can read it here.
I also have a little mention with some other fab bloggers in the latest issue of Dabble magazine.  It’s on one of my favourite design projects – bathrooms. You can read the entire issue here.
If you can’t read it, I say “If you share the bathroom with your spouse/partner, two sinks are mandatory.” If you have the space of course - don’t you agree?
This week, there were a number of fun events to attend. The first was an event hosted by DIY expert and friend Sarah Gunn of the Yummy Mummy Club.  We all experienced an Oprah moment when we took home a Brother all-in-one colour printer. It even prints 11x17 and I can’t wait to use it.  Thanks Brother!

Then, I attended an event at Decor-Rest with a presentation by Para Paints as well. I love both of these companies and was happy to hear what’s new with both.  My luck continued as I also won a chair!  I have no idea where I will put it, but isn’t she pretty? It would be a great end chair for a dining table.
DecorRest chair
Oh, and the Home Depot Canada has launched special holiday collections from Martha Stewart Living.  There are three different collections  – Winterberry, Arctic and Celebrate.  They sent me some ornaments from their Celebrate collection which are golds and bronze and will look perfect on our tree. Below is a pic of their Winterberry collection.
Winterberry holiday collection
That’s it for now!  Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately.  You know how it is, right? Please stick around though because I will have some client projects to share over the coming weeks/months. And I can’t wait to share our newly decorated den – just waiting for it to be published online first!
Have a happy weekend!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OOAK Ticket Giveaway Winners!

Buy One Handmade
The lucky readers who won a pair of tickets to the One of a Kind Christmas Show (chosen by are:
Casey in TO
Mrs. F
Heather M
Anon Nov 20th 8:46
It was nice to see readers who have never commented before leave a comment!  Thanks for reading! Please email me at decorhappy(at) so I can advise where to pick up your tickets.  Have fun at the show!
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Monday, November 19, 2012

One of a Kind Christmas Show Tickets - Giveaway

It’s that time of year again! The One of a Kind Christmas Show starts this Thursday and the folks at the show want you to attend!  They have given me 10 pairs of tickets to the show to give away.  
All you have to do is leave a comment below – easy!  And with 10 pairs of tickets, your chances are pretty good!  If you don’t have a blog (i.e. no way to reach you), please leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.  Contest closes Wednesday, November 21st at 8:00 am.  I will announce the winners that day and let you know where to pick up the tickets.  Good luck!
  I’ll be heading to the show on Thursday and am looking forward to seeing what’s new plus purchase from some of my favourite artisans.  You can read my previous posts here.
PS Mr. Decor Happy’s Den is finally done and being photographed today. I’ll tweet a sneak peek photo and will share the photos  once it’s published in the Post online.
Have a happy week folks!
If you need decorating advice, please contact me at vanessa(at) to arrange a consult.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Meandering

Hope you had a happy weekend! Yesterday, the weather here (just outside TO) was incredible.  It gave me time to do some much needed gardening/winter prep and have one last jump on the trampoline before we take it down for the winter.
1) My latest ideabook for Houzz is live and I wrote it on, of all things, pitchers. Lately, I have been noticing them everywhere in all sorts of beautiful colours and materials. You can read it here.
houzz oct
2)  The folks over at Posterjack are having a contest where you can win a Sony camera. Like their page on Facebook to win. Contest closes November 30th.

Remember they enlarged and framed a photograph that my daughter had taken when we were hiking. It hangs proudly in her bedroom.
PS Photographs are the perfect holiday gift and Posterjack can hook you up!
3) My friend Staci of Switch Studio has crafted beautiful stockings just in time for the holidays.  You can read her blog post here and order one here.

Aren’t they modern, graphic and just a little out of the ordinary?
4) While on Pinterest, I came across the artist Rebecca Kinkead and was happy to see that the subjects of her paintings were children of colour, for lack of a better way of saying that.  It’s not that common, let me tell you, so it was refreshing to see children depicted in art that look like my beautiful daughter!

I emailed to enquire about the painting above and let’s just say that I won’t be purchasing it any time soon!  Isn’t it beautiful though? Even Oprah has one (or more?) of her paintings in her collection.
5) My friends over at Decor Rest are having a Blogger event “Living with Colour in the Home” on Wednesday, November 28th at 6:00 p.m.  You will have a chance to see their beautiful showroom plus the folks from Para will be there. And they are having an “Excess Inventory” sale so you will be able to shop at the same time! Email to RSVP or for more info.
6) The November issue of Lonny is live and it doesn’t disappoint.  They always had a great website where you could browse through images from the magazine but they have added more features like browsing through images by designer.  Happy pinning!
November 2012 Issue Photo - Candlesticks, framed art, and books on a tabletop
A great example of styling above.
That’s it for now! Hope you have an amazing week! See you back here soon!
If you need design/decorating advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Upholstered Headboards

Happy Monday! It’s mornings like this when it’s cold out that you just want to stay in bed with a good book.
Unfortunately, my bedroom is in need of some TLC and will be redecorated next year. I still have the same wood bed that I have had for 20 years!  Without a question, my next bed will have an upholstered headboard. This post I wrote over two years ago is one of the most popular on the blog – everyone else is enamoured with headboards as am I.  I have seen so many gorgeous headboards lately, so it’s time for another round up.  (Hopefully some of these are new to you!)
Designer Barrie Benson's home.

Headboard and cushion detail. W Design Inc via House of Turquoise

Photo Gallery: 100+ Gorgeous Bedrooms | House & Home

headboard, rug

Upholstered patterned bed

striped headboard via Kerrisdale Design

Tommy Smythe.


House of Turquoise: Bedroom

House of Turquoise: Bedroom
All images via Pinterest. (You can click through to see the original source.)
So many styles to choose from! Which do you prefer? I like those with a straight top (like in the first image) so that you can hang art over it. When you hang something over a curved headboard, it never looks right. For my bedroom, I’m thinking of doing a solid teal velvet, or a yellow, stylized floral velvet or….(see, so many choices I just can’t make up my mind!)
Have a wonderful week!
If you need help creating the bedroom of your dreams (or any room for that matter), please contact me at vanessa(at)
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fabric & Wallpaper: Mr. Decor Happy’s Den

So, I have been slowly but surely working on Mr. DH’s den (aka the “man cave.” ) I received creative and inspiring input from my design savvy blogging friends and took something from each.
After I figured out the layout (it’s a small room, so this was easy), I put my mind to the colour/pattern scheme.  Mr. DH likes navy and grey (and it’s manly – no pink allowed in this room) so I knew those would be the main colours. Interestingly enough, four out of the five blogger moodboards had a shot of orange/tangerine.  So when I spied a linen called “Spice” at Tonic Living, I knew that had to be the “happy” colour in the room to balance the grey and navy.  Even “man caves” need a happy colour so it doesn’t end up looking like, well, a cave! I would call this colour a “burnt orange” as it’s not bright and I think that’s why I like it.
I fell in love with this Robert Allen fabric (below) and thought it would be perfect on a custom ottoman – every room meant for TV viewing and relaxing needs an ottoman, don’t you think? (I think I have designed one for almost every client’s family room!) I love the ethnic/tribal feel of the fabric.
 Decor Happy
I knew I wanted wallpaper on one wall.  I love seeing all walls papered in a room but that is something that I just can’t commit to – so one wall would be enough.  Which wall though?  The idea of papering the TV wall in a dark wallpaper really appeals as in this image below.  The TV just disappears on the Nina Campbell wallpaper.
Black wallpaper makes the TV disappear
Credit: Style at Home
But when I brought home samples of wallpaper with a black background, it just wasn’t Mr. DH’s cuppa. So, then I thought a lighter wallpaper on the daybed wall (the opposite wall.)  That probably makes the most sense anyway since I am only doing one wall.  What wallpaper? How to narrow down the thousands of choices? You know I love floral but this is Mr. DH’s room where he goes to chill, watch TV, read – no florals allowed. What about trees? Trees are manly, right?  I narrowed it down to these two.
Nina Campbell’s new Woodsford papers are beautiful (they are so new that they aren’t even on the Osborne and Little site at the time of writing.)  They have a real hand painted quality and when you touch it you can feel the “paint,” i.e. it’s not smooth.
But I have always been a huge fan of Cole & Son’s Cow Parsley papers so when I heard they recently came out with five new colourways, I headed off to Kravet to see them. (One of my first posts included an image with Cow Parsley which I loved.)
Isn’t it lovely? It’s like a mural so that kind of justifies my “one wall” plan. I was going to choose a hex print (you probably know the one I mean!) which was very cool and manly but I think this tree/plant wallpaper/painting is more fitting for a one wall application.
This is how everything will look when complete.  The Daybed is for napping but this room also doubles as a guest room and a room where I can go when Mr. DH’s snoring is too loud. :) (He is not going to be happy when he reads this!)
Mr. Decor Happy's Den
As soon as the room is done, it will be revealed in a national newspaper (online), so you have to wait until then!  So, what do you think of the room?  When I do the reveal, I will show you the before – it’s pretty scary and a far cry from this!
Happy Halloween! Hope the kiddos don’t get too wet/blown away.
(And PS – my thoughts are with everyone in the US affected by Hurricane Sandy and dealing with the aftermath. ) 
If you require design/decorating help, please contact me at vanessa(at)
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Korhani Home Fashion Show

On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the preview of the Spring/Summer 2013 collection for Korhani Home during Toronto Fashion Week.

The models were sporting beautifully tailored clothing crafted from Korhani Home’s carpets and home accessories.  Once again, they didn’t disappoint with their beautiful and colourful patterns and textures.
This year’s collection showcased three themes each having a distinct feel.
“Belle du Jour” featured Parisian inspired garments/rugs:

The glitz and glam of the roaring 20’s was showcased in “Puttin’ on the Ritz:”
“Tropical Paradise” showcased bright tropical prints fashioned from reversible plastic rugs:

Hard to believe that these are all rugs for the home! Note that the rugs will be available at major retailers across Canada in Spring of 2013.
In my post last year, I mentioned that I would love to attend the Joe Fresh fashion show which was the same night and I guess the universe was listening because we saw that one too (Ok, we snuck in but whatevs!)  I have many Joe Fresh pieces, love their fashion forward styles and affordability plus the added bonus of picking something up while you are grocery shopping!
Gallery Image
All images via here and here. (We were sitting a few rows back so the glare from the lighting meant getting a good enough photo was impossible.)
It was so much fun and I can’t wait to be invited back for the next show! (Maybe next time we will have better seats (with our names on them!) so better photos can be had :)  Just putting that out there!)
Have a happy weekend! (I am working all weekend – it’s that time of year when clients are calling to ready their home for the holidays.)
If you require design advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Style at Home Limited Edition Collection

To mark their 15th year anniversary,  Erin McLaughlin and her design team at Style at Home created a Limited Edition Collection of housewares, bedding and bath so that you can have a well-styled home too.
You may have already seen my instagram photos or heard about this via my lovely blogger friends that were in attendance with me at the preview.  These products are still available and would be a nice addition to your home or make a great Xmas/holiday/hostess gift.


I snapped the photos below of the products which look right at home in the beautiful Trump hotel suite we were in.






All of the items in the collection are stylish and affordable too. But hurry as this is a limited collection so when they are sold out, that’s it.  Go here to see the entire collection and order!

Happy shopping!
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