Wednesday, April 24, 2013

a fresh new use for an old buffet...

I've been meaning to share this with you for a little while. Isn't it pretty? 

Martha, one of my lovely readers, sent me this photo of her daughter Caitlin's buffet turned change table. She said she was inspired by the buffet makeover we did recently! (you can see that here).  It does look very similar to our buffet. However, we use ours as a bar.

Her grand-daughter Lottie now enjoys this restyled buffet as a change table. I think it will be a great piece for her room as she grows up don't you? Maybe one day baby Lottie will re-style it for her own home.

Thanks so much for sharing Martha, Caitlin and Lottie :)

Hooray for Craft Day!

This past weekend was our Mother-Daughter Craft Day. 

Not for the faint of heart. We crafted all day!  
But it was FUN. We ended the day by invading the new local Queen Marguerita Pizza...all 16 of us :)

Thanks Colleen for organizing!

I thought I'd share some photos of our creations. Maybe it will inspire you to organize a day with friends to create and celebrate.

This is the wreath Isabella and I made together --

ha ha Julian thought it would be funny to wave hello (fingers in window...)

 Tassle keychain instructions from blog Lovely Indeed & chevron necklace from In Honor of Design

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the village - Dianne's Edwardian home

This is a new column on the blog that I'm calling "The Village". 

We are lucky to live on a street nestled comfortably between two great neighborhoods - the Junction and Bloor West Village. Leafy tree-lined streets, parks, eclectic shops, cafes, restaurants and family homes make our west-end neighborhood a lovely place to live. 

I've introduced you to some shops in the area here and here. However I've decided to make this column a regular feature on my blog because I know a lot of you love to hear about great places and spaces.  

I'm kicking off this column with a home tour! 
I'm so excited to share with you the lovely home 
of my friend and talented decorator Dianne Amaral-Medeiros

You can read a little more about Dianne at the end with a short Q&A.

This is Dianne.  And this is her house.


Her favorite room.... a sunny space at the back of the house which was an addition added to the original house.  This is where Dianne and her family share meals and work on projects together.

Graphic black and white art is a combination of found objects, prints by one of Dianne's favorite wood block artists Michelle Han and original pieces by Dianne.

Stacks of favorite magazines and a basket with design sketches and samples.

Pops of colour, pattern and natural objects are a great way to add interest and texture.

"I am inspired by nature in all its forms, from colour to particularly texture." ~Dianne


Dianne's 8x10 foot kitchen may be tiny but it functions very well for her family. The key is organization and using every square inch wisely.

A steel baker's rack provides great accessible storage.

The hard working island makes food prep easy and is a great spot to use for entertaining.  

When I arrived there was espresso and delicious Portuguese custard tarts (Nata) waiting for me. Yum! 
Aren't these dishes pretty? Dianne and her husband brought them back from their honeymoon in Portugal.

I thought about sharing a recipe for these tarts but then thought some things are best left to the experts at the Portuguese bakery down the street...Caldense.


Dianne's boys share a great attic bedroom. I love the idea of shared rooms for siblings.

Dianne used a cozy combination of bed linens from Homesense and Ikea. The mat is from West Elm

The boys love baseball, so framed Blue Jay's tickets hang over their beds. Fingers crossed their fave team, The Toronto Blue Jays, do well this year! 

Zoe the kitty, snoozes on the big comfy chair in the boys reading nook. 


I love Dianne's claw-foot bathtub. This said from the woman (me) who tore out her bathtub for a walk-in shower. More on that later...

The bathroom is spacious. Lots of room for the tub and a walk-in shower. A great little storage spot for toiletries and towels hidden behind the door.


The back yard has this amazing garage. Great for storage (obviously) but Dianne uses it in warmer months as an entertaining area. Brilliant. 

Thanks Dianne for sharing your house!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Make it! A tea garden terrarium

With Mother's Day around the corner, I thought I would share this gift idea 
-- an herb garden terrarium. 

I've packaged this as a tea garden for a friend who I know loves tea but you could adapt this to other culinary themes as well. 

How about an Italian herb garden with basil, oregano and Italian parsley or a French garden with tarragon, thyme and lavender? 
The combinations are really endless.

Anyways it's super easy to put together. Here's what you need.

Tip: try to purchase organic herbs plants that you know 
are grown using non-GMO seeds. 

Add some plant markers. I used Japanese Washi tape to embellish these plain wood markers. You could also paint with chalkboard paint, dip in a colourful paint or stamp them.

The peat pots cover up the ugly plastic pots that these plants are packaged with at the store. 

This gift was traveling so I wrapped it up and added a tag and some twine. However, you could easily leave it unwrapped and just add a tag.

So there you have it. A nice way to add some green to a kitchen and then plant outside when the weather is warm enough.


Sources: Terrarium from Homesense, herbs, peat pots and plant markers from Plant World.