October 29, 2009

This beautiful Belgian-inspired home can be yours!!


Breast Cancer Awareness month is coming to an end, but we need to keep supporting the cause!! If you’re like Victoria and me, you’ve been touched by cancer in some way. Victoria wrote this wonderful tribute to her friend Roni, who’s battling cancer. My dad’s mom was a cancer survivor and lived to her early 90s, but his two sisters and brother died from cancer. A girl I went to high school with died from brain cancer. Even dogs get cancer… it has no boundaries.

Trish Snyder at House & Home asked if we would help raise awareness and funds for cancer research by telling you about the Princess Margaret Hospital Sweepstakes Showhome. Of course we’ll help!! Because it’s a beautiful home and a great cause — and because I want to be able to come visit and see the house any time I want, which really is the least you can do for me if you win the house, right?? ;-)

The showhome is in Oakville, Ontario. The modern farmhouse design was inspired by romantic farm houses that House & Home’s Lynda Reeves had seen in Belgium and France…


The home’s design was a collaboration between Lynda Reeves and other House & Home designers with architectural designer Ray Murakami. It was built by PCM Homes. The home and its contents is worth $3,500,000.00. That’s a lot of zeros!! There are french doors throughout, five fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, exposed wood beams, and hardwood floors. Most of the wood in the house—including the custom-built cabinetry—is natural white oak.

Let’s go inside and take a look…

hallway 2

You can see the Belgian influence in the home’s design, starting with the gorgeous wine barrel chandelier in the great room…

chandelier 2 chandelier 3

The great room is light and casual and has cathedral ceilings that are almost 20 feet high…

great room

The coffee table has a white oak base and a zinc top…

coffee table

The unfitted kitchen is next to the great room. That’s a European-style pot rack in front of the window.


The living room has two linen-covered sofas. The ottoman is covered in a Robert Allen fabric that’s a modern take on paisley (Donna, this one’s for you!!)

living room

Think you could sit down in this chair at the desk in the library and get some work done??

library chair

Probably not — too many pretty things to distract you!! ;-)

librarylibrary mantel

That’s a canvas runner at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom. It adds a great hit of colour to the otherwise neutral room…

bedroom bed 2

A comfy spot in the bedroom to sit down and relax…

bedroom chaise

This bookcase is a reclaimed piece. It was painted black, and the books are covered with burlap covers (I bet Brooke would like them!!)

bedroom bookcase

The chipped paint on this dresser adds some rustic charm and antiquity to the elegant bedroom…

bedroom chest

And a couple more spaces in the home…


To see more pictures and watch video tours of the home (with great design tips and secrets from Lynda Reeves), go to the House & Home web site. And if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, go check out the home in person. Tours are free — here’s the address and map.

So what do you think — would you like to live in this beautiful Belgian-inspired home?? Well, you can… and it won’t cost you $3.5 million!! All you need to do is buy a ticket —$100 for one ticket, or three tickets for $250. Tickets are on sale until November 26th, but if you buy your ticket before midnight on November 5th, you’ll be entered in the early bird draw on November 18th. The big draw is on December 9th.

If you don’t live in the Toronto area or don’t want to move to Oakville, why not make a donation to your local cancer charity and support the cause that way :-)

And remember, if you win the house, I’m expecting an invitation to dinner!! :-)

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I’m linking this beautiful Belgian-inspired home to A Beautiful Life blog party hosted by Melissa at The Inspired Room.

Check out the home’s source guide here
All pictures from House & Home

October 28, 2009

Happy autumn colours

Seeing as it’s supposed to be grey and wet and gloomy here for the next few days, I thought I’d share some cheery fall colours with you. I took these pictures on Sunday walking around my aunt’s neighbourhood in the Niagara region…

RS pathway

Yellow trees…

RS birch and yellow trees

yellow trees

RS yellow tree sky yellow tree

An orange tree…

RS big orange tree 3

And my favourite, red trees…

japanese mapleRS japanese maple 2RS As tree 1

You don’t always have to look up to see colour…

RS stone wall grassesRS sidewalk

And some close-ups

RS As tree 2 close RS red leaves closeRS cream berries

Happy autumn!!

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October 26, 2009

Do you know what this is??

lavender ostrich fabric

Here are two clues:




Do you have it?? It’s this:

lavender ostrich chairs

Yes, it’s the purple ostrich I was on the hunt for a couple of weeks ago :-) Thanks to the help of Emilie at InVU Drapery, Natalie at Style At Home, Samantha Pynn at Pure Design, and Valerie at BB Bargoons, I now own 3 yards of lavender faux ostrich leather :-) It’s going to be combined with violets and otters…

SW ash violet SW otter

…in my next decorating project — which is a secret for now :-) You’ll have to make sure you keep reading DesignTies to see the final result!!

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October 25, 2009

Is this a Bedroom or a Bathroom?

So… is this a Bedroom with a Bathtub in it OR is is a Bathroom with a Bed in it?!


I was doing some internet research today for an “Inspiration/Ideas Sheet” that I’m preparing for a client – I was looking for beds made with predominately neutral bedding, however with a coverlet at the foot of the bed in a colour or print. The above – as you can see – is a perfect example.

But when I looked more closely at this bedroom/bathroom (found on Apartment Therapy, by the way) I found myself wondering if I liked what I saw. Hmmm. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve seen and liked tubs in bedrooms, but does it work in this space?

Okay… here’s what I love: the paneling in the room; the slight lean in the walls (obviously this room is in the upper attic-type corner of a house/building); the fresh white used in the space; the pops of khaki (natural colours) used to warm up the space…

You know… maybe it’s that same white freshness I mentioned I liked, and maybe it’s the long row of pegs ready for hanging towels, or maybe it’s the vanity space ready and waiting for a bathroom sink… but when it comes down to it the WHOLE space feels more like a bathroom to me and NOT a bedroom… to me it’s definitely a Bathroom with a Bed in it!!

What do you think?


P.S. Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday!! XXOO

October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

Okay… I wouldn’t ordinarily make a big deal about my own birthday, but Kelly’s visiting family this weekend and so she’s not here to do it for me!!


Happy Birthday to Victoria! :-)

2009_1024NewPics0029 Yummy! My favourite cake, waiting for me in the kitchen RIGHT NOW as I type! I’m tempted to go and have a slice after I post this little story, but I’ll wait for after our dinner.

And what are we having?



Pizza Hut Pan Pizzas, Supreme & Hawaiian!

It’ll be scrumptious!




And what have I done on this lovely, sunny fall day?2009_1024NewPics0017

Did I go to a spa for a facial? Did I meet some girl-friends for lunch and great conversation?

Nope. Brian and I worked (yet again) on the soon-to-be paving stone walkway in our front yard! I hauled rock dust up the stairs and helped to move and re-stack some Allan Blocks so that they’re out of the way of our working area.

And get this… come 2:30 this afternoon all worked STOPPED so that Brian could come in to watch a BC Lion’s (football) game, followed closely by a Vancouver Canucks (hockey) game. What about me?!

Are you feeling sorry for me yet? Do you feel crummy that I’m ONLY having Pizza for my birthday dinner? Are you shaking your head at the fact the I’ve spent my day trudging in the yard and then being forced to watch sports all afternoon & evening?!

Well… take a look at this:



While Brian (and – okay – ME out of the corner of my eye) watch and enjoy a Canucks victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Go Canucks!) I’m busy playing on the internet, doing a little blogging, putting together an “Interior Ideas & Inspiration Sheet” for one of my clients’ bedroom and writing this post.




The fireplace is blazing… the critters are asleep around us…

2009_1024NewPics0019 Scotty

We have some potato chips and dip to nibble on…


All and all… it’s a pretty darned terrific day!

And that’s not all!pl_otree

Yesterday, Brian and I bought a beautiful Bloodgood Japanese Maple for our front yard! It’s still at the nursery, but we hope to have a spot ready for it next weekend… here’s what it will look like in a few years ~

An absolutely beautiful tree that’s red all year long!

I’ll take some pics and share when I can… while the tree we purchased is covered with fantastically vibrant red leaves right now, they may have all dropped by next weekend :-( I might not be able to show you how FANTABULOUS this tree will look against our Gloucester Sage (Benny Moore) house until next spring!! Oh well… I’m still happy!




Last night… we went for my REAL birthday dinner… a fabulous steak dinner at The Keg! Love it!! We had an absolutely wonderful evening!



And last weekend… Brian surprised me with the purchase of a NEW CAMERA!

DSC02617 2009_1024NewPics0027

Perhaps you can see the difference… the photo of my New Camera was (obviously) taken with my “Old” Camera. When compared with the photo – taken with my New Camera – of my “Old” Camera (confused?!) the background is somewhat blurry and my hand is darker. Okay… maybe you can’t see the difference, but I can!

I love my hubby!!!

Pizza has arrived… we each have a glass of red wine for my Birthday Toast - “Skol!” - I’m about to ask Brian to change the channel away from sports (enough for one day, don’t you think?!) and soon we’ll be cutting into my Birthday Cake…

So as you can see… things are JUST RIGHT here!