“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication” ~ Leonardo Davinci. This is a motto that guides my design principles.
I like to keep things simple and minimal allowing each design feature and decor item to speak for itself. This is the same rule I apply when I am styling a coffee table.
Tips on how to style a coffee table that will accommodate almost any style:
I always love adding fresh flowers, plants or greenery to add life and color to a room. It could be as simple as fresh flowers in a mason jar, as I have here, or potted plants or some faux greenery in a vase.
I have a number of items on my coffee table such as the candle, vase, paper weight and bead garland. To keep it looking clean and clutter free, I added a tray to store all the items. I chose a tray that complements the decor of my home. In my case I chose this gold mirror tray that really ties in all the pieces adding a level of sophistication to the overall look of the coffee table.
To create visual interest, I added some contrasting pieces such as the natural wood bead garland wrapped around the mason jar next to the polish gold apple paper weight. The different material choices immediately draws your attention to it, not in a negative way but in a complementary way.
The purpose of the candle here is to add varying height to the coffee table. If everything on the table is the same height, it will often look boring and cluttered. By adding objects with varying heights it keeps the eye moving and captivated. That and I simple love candles. You’ll see them pretty much in every room of my house (with the exception of the kid’s room and their bathroom). They are pretty to have around but also keep the house smelling fresh!
Coffee table books are just one of my favorite accessories in the house. Find one that interests you and they are often very well designed so it looks great in any home. It also allows your guest something to browse when they are visiting. Magazines are also great options and you can always stack them to create varying height as mentioned above in #4. Rule of thumb: stack in odd numbers.
Guys, we finally renovated our kitchen after contemplating for over 2 years since the day we moved into our 1680 square feet townhouse. After finding out I was pregnant with baby #3, I immediately knew our kitchen had to be gutted and remodeled. Now that I will be nesting with a baby, I knew I needed to love my home. The kitchen was the one room in my house that I did not love, yet spend the most time in it.
If you ever once thought white kitchens are boring, well I hope to change your mind today. In my opinion, white kitchens are classic and timeless. For our kitchen remodel, I wanted to keep it traditional while adding some modern elements and plenty of visual interest to it.
We didn’t touch the layout as this layout functions great for our family but we pretty much replaced everything.
What we did:
Added taller shaker style cabinets (old cabinets were 30″ in height, new are 42″).
Added crown molding above the cabinets.
Replaced the under cabinet microwave hood with a custom built in hood.
Added open shelves on each side of the hood.
Lowered the bar top to countertop level.
Removed the pantry and replaced it with full height cabinets.
Added deeper cabinets over the refrigerator and panels on each side.
Replaced the travertine backsplash with white 3″x12″ subway tiles.
Added shiplap above the shelves and cabinets and on the back of the peninsula.
Added lighting above the shelves.
Replaced the tile floors to waterproof/kid proof vinyl wood floors.
Replaced the speckled corian countertop to the Calcatta gold quartz countertop.
Added the waterfall effect to the countertop of the peninsula.
Replaced hardware, faucet and sink.
Despite the layout remaining the exact same, the kitchen now feels a lot more open and spacious. The taller cabinets, the open shelves, the lowering of the bar top, the replacement of the pantry with full height cabinets all played a significant role in this.
The rectangular hood above the range may appear simple but definitely added a modern statement to the overall look and feel of the kitchen. The simple black hardware, stainless steel apron sink, champagne gold faucet and industrial glass pendant lights all added the perfect modern balance to a traditional kitchen.
The shiplap, the crown molding, the beautiful veins on the Quartz countertop and most definitely the waterfall effect adds drama and keeps your eyes captivated despite the very white and neutral color palette.
I absolutely love how our kitchen has turned out and excited to be making many more memories with my family here. I would love to hear what your thoughts are on white kitchens. If you didn’t like them before, was I able to convince you otherwise.
As you know, I reside in Florida so the closest things we have to Fall at this time of the year are pumpkins and various colors of mums found in grocery stores in mid 80 to 90 temperatures. So it doesn’t really feel like Autumn around here and you MUST know that this is my absolute favorite season!!!
I miss being able to dress for this time of the year with all the layers, cozy sweaters, jackets of all sorts and BOOTS! I MISS MY BOOTS!!! I remember the first year I moved to Florida, the day after Labor Day, I totally had my OTK boots on. I couldn’t tell you how silly I felt, as not only was I sweating in them but EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE were in flip flops, even the men, which you almost never see up North. But that’s not going to stop me from embracing all the warm hues and beautiful rustic elements of this season. I might not be able to rock the oversized cozy sweaters and booties that have been blowing up my Instagram or take evening strolls watching the leaves grow old in vibrant colors of yellow, orange and red. But I can definitely sit inside the comfort of my cozy Autumn home sipping on a pumpkin spice latte in my super fuzzy slippers.
Here are a few easy ways to bring the beautiful season of Fall into your home:
1. You know Pumpkins were going to be on my list so it might as well be the first one. I can’t seem to resist them at this time of the year despite knowing very well that they will NOT last long given the Florida heat and humidity. Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkins. They come in various sizes and colors so make sure to grab a few and scatter them on your mantle, coffee table, entry way table, shelves and/or front porch. Instantly Fall has found its way into your home. If you prefer more of a neutral decor like myself, then white pumpkins/gourds are perfect for you.
2. In fashion, plaid is a big hit at this time of the year. This is when I love rocking button down shirts/flannels, my way of incorporating the season into my wardrobe even with the lack of cooler temps. This same trend can also be applied to the interior of your home. Plaid throw pillows and towels can easily be staples in every house and will allow you to maintain the color scheme of your decor. They never go out of style and really can be used anytime of the year. Texture and layering is quintessential to a cool Autumn day so this is a great time to add hearty texture to your decor. Bring out the faux fur, chunky knits and velvet throw blankets and pillows to add that touch of coziness.
(Image found on todaycreativelife.com)
3. When I think of fall, I think of nature, being in the woods surrounded by trees with tons of leaves, some on the tree and some scattered on the ground. So add some rustic elements and wood tones to your decor. Replace a ceramic planter or vase with a wooden one and you’ll be surprised how warm your space will feel.
4. Flowers are always a nice touch to every home. If you’re like me and can’t keep plants alive to save your life, flowers are a great way to add life and a pop of color to your home. To celebrate this season, add some mums to your front porch in rustic planters and you are set. Fresh cut sunflowers in a vase is another great way to showcase that warm Fall hue in your decor.
5. Yellow, Green, Orange, Red and Brown are the probably the colors that come to mind during this season. If that is your thing, by all means, incorporate these colors to your home. If you are like me and prefer a more neutral palette, instead of introducing bright orange pillows to your couch, find a more subtle way to introduce these tones to your home, such as adding amber glass jars/vases for your shelves or in my case, hand soap/lotion bottles. It doesn’t have to be extreme or over the top, subtle touches are often the most impactful!
Also try shopping from your own house. It is likely that you have something stored away that you can reuse or repurpose and that is really the best way to shop! I brought out my olive-green hunter boots and placed it by the entry way for that extra touch of Fall. The reality is I NEVER wear them but you know what, that’s ok because it makes me happy! I also have an oversized plaid scarf that I’ve had since my days in Toronto and now I use it as a throw blanket for this time of the year.
I would love to hear what you have done to incorporate Fall into your home. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments below.
I wanted to share with you a neat little idea I had for an activity that I could do with my boys and then use it as wall art for our house. I am also confident that this activity would strike up a conversation with our guests when they visit our home.
One of the many things that my husband and I share is our love for traveling. When we first started dated, we seriously listed out all the countries we have visited to determine who has travelled more between the two. LOL (we were such kids then). We both have done our fair share of independent traveling but have also taken some amazing and unforgettable trips together such as Greece, Italy and Iceland. Traveling is something we are both passionate about and plan to continue doing with our children. Having said that, if you’re a parent, you’ll know that traveling with children definitely has its challenges, from flight durations to time change, nap/sleep schedule, routine…the list goes on. As a result, we have definitely limited our traveling over the past 5 years. Both my boys have been on numerous plane rides, but for the most part, we try to keep our destinations within 3 hours of flying (with a few exceptions). Some of the places they have been to are: Dominican Republic, Toronto, Bahamas, Lake Louise, Seattle, and California.
My oldest child is 5 now and the youngest is turning 3 in a few weeks. For the first time, both my husband and I feel like we are ready to take on bigger adventures with them. This summer our family will be visiting Lisbon and the Algarve in Portugal for 2 weeks. While I am super excited about this trip, I am definitely nervous about it and no doubt, the stress level will be at its peak closer to the date.
With this trip and future trips in mind, I wanted to come up with something I could do with my boys to document the magical memories I plan on creating with them (yes, being SUPER optimistic here). I purchased a scratch map of the world online. Check out this one similar to the one I purchased. This one from Walmart and this one from Etsy both seem like great options as well.
Every country we visit, the boys can scratch that country off on the map to show where we have visited collectively as a family. I got the map framed at Hobby Lobby and now it is currently hanging in my office/dining room. Right next to it, I hung a Metal mesh grid panel. After each trip, I would let the boys select a few photos from our trip that they could print using our polaroid printer. They can then hang it on the grid using bullnose clips or mini clothes hangers. How cute is that? To add a little dimension and some fun to it, I wrapped a fairy string light that I picked up from Target around the metal panel. I want to make sure the photos are visible so lighting was necessary.
I love that this is something we could do together as a family for many years to come. It provides an opportunity for us to bond and reflect on our experiences and most memorable moments from our trip. Another thing I absolutely love about this idea is that a map is a pretty generic/standard piece of art but this is so personal and really reflects who we are as a family. If you know me and my style, you’ll know that I am a fan of making your home reflect you, your lifestyle and this is just that!
Now if you are looking to do something similar to this and not wanting to use a scratch map, you could also glue a map to a cork board sheet, get it framed (optional) and then pin the areas you have visited. I had a client once who collected pins from every city/country he visited and used it to pin his map.
Now all we need to do is start traveling and fill our wall with amazing memories! If you do end up doing something similar, I would love to see it, so please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your creation and memories. Thanks for following along guys!
Although I currently reside in Florida where there is no shortage of space and large homes, I spent most of my life in Toronto, where square footage comes at a premium price tag. Designing a home in the city is often not just for the esthetics but each square foot needs to be accounted for to maximize functionality.
An effective way to create a multi-purpose room is to combine a frequently used room with an infrequently used room. A perfect example of this is combining a guest bedroom with an office space. Since guest bedrooms are typically only occupied when you have overnight guests, it makes sense to convert it into an office space for daily use if space is limited.
In this 1700 square foot home, 2 office spaces were needed. Immediately the guest bedroom was turned into an office for dad as he needed a bit more privacy. I then converted the dining room into a beautiful office space for mom who was fine with having her work space in the common area. The dining room only gets used when they have guests over so it was perfect to function an office space as well.
For this room, we got this large beautiful wood dining table with live edge, that will be used daily as a desk, where she has ample space to lay out her work, computer and whatever else she needed. For storage, we used 3 metal bookcases and placed them behind the dining table. These bookcases were the key to the design. Traditional wooden bookcases would have visually occupied more space in this room but these metal shelves keeps it looking open and spacious. Boxes with filing folders were used to store important documents and baskets for extra storage.
The pendant light offers great lighting for work but also creates ambience for conversations over dinner and a glass of wine.
Also, the paint used in this room is actually chalkboard paint so you can actually jot down notes and brainstorm directly on the wall when you’re working and it can be easily washed off when you are done.
When this family expects to have guests, they bring out the dining chairs from their breakfast table, add a floral centerpiece, set the table and voila, a dining room it becomes. By utilizing the chairs from their breakfast table, they don’t have extra chairs laying around where storage and space is already limited.
As you can see, this room now becomes a beautiful dining room for entertaining guests and having great conversations. You can quickly swap some of the items in the bookshelves to make it more entertaining friendly, such as candles, flowers, bottles of wine and coffee table books.
Once dinner is done, you clear the table and once again it becomes a fabulous workspace.
I hope this has given you some tips and ideas on how to create your own multi-purpose room.
Ok so it’s been a while since my last fab find post. Life has been a bit hectic lately between various ongoing projects, home renovations, mom life and family visiting from Toronto.
One of my favorite places to shop for household items is World Market. I love their eclectic collection of items. You can find a range of styles from modern contemporary to bohemian to South African influenced decor.
They are currently having a dining room sale (up to 60%) and it’s pretty fabulous so make sure to go check it out.
I picked up this live edge dining table this week with the 30% discount and will be using it to create a dining room/office space for a client who needs her dining room to serve multiple functions This table actually looks even more beautiful in person, with the live edge giving it that rustic feel; combined with the metal legs for a more contemporary look.
Here is the matching bench to go with the above dining table. Benches are a great way to save space if your dining room is on the smaller side. Often it would fit more people, great for kids and since there is no back, it visually occupies less space.
You’ll find these lantern pendant lights all over Pinterest and Instagram. At this price point, you just can’t go wrong.
I am also in love with the color and style of this dining table. It is a solid pinewood table. If you’re looking for a dining table to add to a farmhouse look, this would be a great addition.
I love the rustic detail and color on these chairs. If you’re looking for a subtle pop of color, these dining chairs will definitely do the trick.
If you would rather stay on the neutral side, then I would go with this chair. It would still add the character and charm to the space while maintaining a neutral palette.
I have loved these wishbone chairs for quite some time now. Its silhouette and ivory faux fur definitely adds glamour.
You can really never go wrong with a little mid-century detail in any space. Combined with the clear transparent color, not visually occupying much space, this chair is totally a winner. You have the mid-century detail while still keeping it simple and minimal.
Another item you have probably seen all over Instagram and Pinterest is this Juju hat. This is definitely a conversation piece and will add interest and a texture to your walls. They also have a smaller one here.
A great and simple way to update a kitchen is to change out your bar stools if you have an island or peninsula. The combination of wood and metal continues to be very trendy and would definitely add a modern touch to any space.
This bar stool is also a great option if you want to have back support, which in my mind is great (perhaps must have) for kids.
We all know how much I love the mix of metal and wood and this sideboard is just that. It offers tons of storage and would probably work great as a media console as well.
And now how cute is this gold rolling bar cart? This could easily be stationed in a dining room to serve drinks for your guest or be moved around if you’re having a more casual setting such as in the living room by the couch. I think this would be even more fun and whimsical used as a book case with an interesting painting/art hanging on the wall above it. What do you think?
I hope you take advantage of the sale before it ends. Leave me a comment if you found this helpful!
Initially, our move to the US was only supposed to be for a short period of time, and by short, I mean 12 to 18 months. We’re now approaching 4 years and still no signs of going back to Toronto. When we moved here, we sold our house and stored all of our belongings in my parents’ basement, thinking we would be back for it shortly. We packed 5 suitcases and flew down to Florida and started our new life.
When we started furnishing our apartment, my assumption was that we would be leaving most, if not all of the stuff behind by selling them or donating to charities when we return to Toronto. That meant I had to spend a lot of time surfing the Internet to look for budget-friendly yet stylish decor pieces.
Target quickly became my go to place for pretty much EVERYTHING! That is why I chose it for my first Weekly Fab Find.
Target currently has many beautiful and chic pieces that would elevate any home decor but for this post, I will focus mainly on the Living room. Here are some of my favorite items:
Velvet is definitely trending this year and this deep blue Cologne Tufted Trace Arm sofa is absolutely gorgeous and will add a pop of color and sophistication to your living room. I currently have this pink accent chair in our master bedroom. If you are looking to add a touch of femininity to a space, this definitely would be the chair for you.
I love the look of this faux fur chair as an accent piece in a living room or as an office chair. If you like the mid-century look, this bench would definitely be a nice touch to your entryway.
Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE the tripod floor lamp look and this one from Target is definitely a show stopper. I love both the clear and black base. If you prefer a wood base then check out this Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp.
Above are some great throw pillow options as well.
These house bud vases are probably one of my favorite purchases from Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Hearth and Hand Collection that now sits on a shelf in our living room with some eucalyptus in them. They also come in white. These lanterns are also great additions for inside or outside of your home. I currently use mine for our outdoor table decor. I literally have 5 of these Cedar Magnolia candles scatted throughout the house. It makes your house smell absolutely amazing. This set of circle accent mirrors are always a great touch to every room.
Decorating my boys room was a lot tougher than I had thought. I wanted their room to be stylish but also reflect their interests. I also felt it was important for my 5 year old to be part of the process. However, if it had left it up to him, I think there would be superheroes flying at you as you enter the room.
I gave the boys the option of choosing a superhero theme bedding or having a superhero wall decal above their beds. As you can see, they opted for the wall decal. They each got to choose their favorite character from a preselected list based on price point. My oldest chose Spiderman and my donut chose the Hulk. These are perfect because you can take them off easily if you need to relocate them or want to switch them out for something else. We also had this superhero banner from awhile ago when Lucas was in his own room. Of course he insisted on bringing it over to his new shared room with his brother.
I chose this navy blue upholstered platform bed from Amazon for their room because it complements the decor. More importantly, it is not something that they will outgrow quickly. The bed is affordable, stylish and easy to put together.
For bedding, I took the boys to Ikea since you could literally make a whole day out of Ikea, from browsing through their entire show room, stopping at the kids section, playing with all the toys, eating and then going downstairs and actually finding your items plus way more than you came for. Lucas initially chose this flower bedding, which is so pretty and fun. I was blown away by his great taste. I loved all the flowers and color on it and was excited about figuring out how I was going to tie the flowers into the Spiderman and Hulk theme. Then his younger brother choose this blue stripe one. I am not sure what happened but last minute, Lucas threw back the flower bedding and just went with this simple navy blue set. I was a little disappointed but it was his choice.
It took me awhile but I eventually found this cute little night table for their bedside. It is also available here. It is round so no sharp edges which is great for kids (childproof). More importantly it has a little basket that could store all their stuff animals. My boys must have at least 10-20 stuff animals in their room at any given time and they usually ALWAYS end up on the floor. So having the basket is amazing because I could easily throw them all in there. Each night they would pick one from the basket to bring to bed with them.
One of my favorite items in their room is the paper mâché LED letters that I placed on top of their bed. It acts both a decorative piece and night light for their room. Overall the boys room came together pretty nicely and we are pretty happy with it. It is cute and stylish for mommy, and you definitely cannot miss the superhero figures on the wall protecting my boys at night.
This is probably one of my favorite renovations to date as we tried to keep this as budget friendly as possible. We opted for simple and minimalistic finishes, however, with all the right touches, this bathroom exudes sophistication.
Renovating a bathroom can be a costly expense but you can make smart choices to help keep your cost low. For this renovation, most of our purchases came from big box stores and we searched for sales.
Here are some BEFORE photos of the bathroom prior to the renovation.
The existing bathroom had two single vanities. To maximize the space, we opted to remove the smaller vanity. We then converted the larger one into a double vanity. White is as classic as it gets so we chose this white marble countertop vanity.
For the shower, we extended the width and length by 1 foot so it is now 4×4. This whole bathroom design revolved around this beautiful pattern tile we picked up at Home Depot for the shower floor. Since it is a pattern tile, we kept the shower wall simple to balance it out as well as allow the shower floor to take all the glory. This beveled subway tile was the right decision as it was clean and simple and the edges added the right amount of visual interest.
To keep the bathroom looking open, we chose to have a frameless glass shower wall and protected it with this glass shield to prevent calcium build up. Our local provider had the shield applied at the manufacturer. We chose to do this because that meant there was a 2 year warranty on the glass but you could also do it yourself for a fraction of the price.
We managed to purchase this simple yet beautiful tub when it was on sale for $649. (Note: I just checked and it is on sale for less than $600 now).
If you are looking for low maintenance, then opt for oil rubbed bronze finishes for all your faucets. It will definitely look cleaner a lot longer than your more typical chrome and nickel finishes.
Wood looking tile has definitely gained popularity over the past few years, but I’m certain it is a trend that is here to stay. We chose this neutral wood plank porcelain tile for the entire bathroom floor.
The geometric pendant light hanging over the bath tub is probably my favorite purchase for this space. It is gorgeous, adds so much interest while not occupying a lot of space visually because of its design. To top it all off, it’s handmade from an Etsy shop in Greece and you all know how much I love to support small businesses. This is how the box came in the mail. There must have been over 50 stamps on the box.
The vanity light is also from Etsy and we went with the brass finish as it complements the space and the oil rubbed bronze finishes in the faucets.
The distressed ship lap wall behind the bathtub was a last minute decision. We originally did not consider having a feature wall because of the tight budget. However, for a few extra hundred dollars of material and an extra day of labor, it was absolutely worth every penny. It completely transformed the space and added so much warmth and detail to the master bath.
To finish off the space, we added these vanity mirrors from Lowes. In terms of paint color, after many sample purchases in search of the perfect gray, we finally settled on this light gray, Shoreline, from Benjamin Moore. If you are ever looking for a perfect barely there light gray (no undertone) then this is your color.