Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big Changes

   We get the keys to the new house today.  I'm so excited about that but it's been a tough week around here.  I'm struggling with a few things in my regular life right now.  I know, nobody really wants to hear about your problems in blogland.  It's more about the pretty pictures.  

   I'll be pretty busy for a while just with the move and everything.  But I'll try to post because I really love this blogging thing.  And I will surely have loads of 'before' shots of the new place.

For now, I'll leave you with this pretty picture:

I love the vintage details in this room - the wire wastebasket, the tiling, the amazeballs sink, the cute little vignette on the shelf.  Very well done...

xo Meg

Monday, June 27, 2011

Swimming Pool Dreaming

Today I went with Elliott's fifth grade class on a field trip to the local swimming pool.  

We are so lucky to have a beautiful neighbourhood swimming pool, complete with high diving board and shady areas for watching the children. We frequent Thames Pool, two blocks from our house, every summer.  Inevitably, we always meet up with some friends from the neighbourhood.

If I were to put in a pool in our new backyard, it would look just like this:

I know this image has made the rounds on the design blogs this spring.  I first tore the pages featuring this home out of Canadian House & Home in 2009.  It is, hands down, my favourite house.  The back yard is perfection and I love the casual shingle style home with aqua and red accents.  Casual, family friendly and laid back.

A pool would be really awesome for our family.  Elliott and Audrey are both avid swimmers, the kind of kids who swim for hours on end, even if their lips are blue.  They would love to have a pool in their own backyard.

I would maybe add this pool house too, with an outdoor shower and changing area.  Ah, summer... only two days of school left!

Only three days until we get possession of the new house.  

xo Meg

Friday, June 24, 2011

Purgin' and Packin'

Yep... still purgin' and packin'.  My house looks like an episode of hoarders.
I'd post pictures but nobody should be forced to look at that...

Instead, I'll post this photo of Jay and I attempting to move all our books. 

Like my socks?

Kidding, of course.  

But we do have a whole lotta books at our house.  I packed them into a jillion boxes last night.  Now I'm thinking about where I could sneak in a library wall in our new house.  I love the look of neatly organized books, especially if there's a sliding ladder too.

Beautiful via Pinterest

This one would do perfectly.  Schoolhouse lights, glossy black floor, little library room framed in gorgeous windows.  

I love the worn texture of this room.  Comfy seating and that painting hung on the face of the shelves.

Really, that green velvet curtain?  Stunning.  You can put a library anywhere.  Living room, family room, bathroom.....

This one is my favourite for so many reasons.  First off, you know I'm a total sucker for a built-in bench.  I love the charcoal wall and artwork, that swing arm lamp!, the mix of objets and books on the shelves.  Sophisticated yet cozy.  Love.  

  Hope you're doing something fun this weekend... instead of packing.

xo Meg

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Pick-Me-Up

So many things to love about this casual, comfortable space.  It's simple, understated and, well, real. The graphic black rocker, big fat lantern and leggy side table to name a few.  I would love to flop onto that slipcovered couch with my coffee and a good book.  

xo Meg

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dining Family Style

One of my favourite new house ideas is a banquette.  

I really love a banquette.  I always choose booth seating at a restaurant.  I love the cozy, comfortable feel of soft seating.  But I wonder, is it too casual to use in a space with only one dining area?  

This is technically a sofa pulled up to the table but the effect would be the same as a built-in banquette.  Can't you just picture a big group of friends cozy around the table with wine and delicious food and great conversation?

Eventually, I want to open up the space between the dining and kitchen areas.  I want an island in the kitchen with stools and a separate dining table. The kitchen faces the dining room, which has a beautiful leaded glass bay window in it.  I would love to build a pretty bench into the bay area.  But there is no other 'formal' dining room in the house.  

I should mention that we don't, in any way, live a formal life.  The people we invite to our table to share a meal with us usually also share in the prep work and bring their children.  We live in a very casual, informal way.  

I love the colour scheme and beachy feel of the above banquette.  I would always choose the window seat.

This one is pretty casual, more like a breakfast room.  I love the linen textiles and that amazing light fixture.

This nook perfectly represents what I would call 'my style'.  I might choose a slightly different colour scheme but the feel of the room is just right to me.  

And the feel of the room is what is important, right?  I don't want to live in a space with a bunch of rooms I don't actually use.  In fact, real estate in my neighbourhood simply doesn't allow for it.  And I have a big rectangular antique table that would look perfect pulled up to a banquette.

Think it's okay to live that informally?  Does a house need a formal dining space?  


{all images via my pinterest}

Friday, June 17, 2011


Right now, my new house looks like this:

We get it in 12 days.  I can't wait.  

I plan to make some changes to the exterior.  It really needs to be scraped and painted.  The pretty cedar shingles might just need a coat of opaque stain in a grey-beige colour.  The roof needs replacing, the door needs painting and the gardens need some new landscaping.  Is this all going to happen right away?  

I wish.

Specifically, I'm wishing for this:

all images via my pinterest

Have a great weekend!

xo Meg

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, now that the Stanley Cup finals are over, the television at my house can officially go off for the summer.  Sometimes I think that if it weren't for Hockey Night in Canada, we wouldn't even have cable...

In honour of Boston's Big Win last night, I thought I'd post a couple yellow and black images.

And, perhaps if I were a Bruins fan, I would wear this outfit to the game.

pretty cute, right?

However, I'm not a Bruins fan.  I was hoping the Canucks would pull it out last night, although it was obvious right from the start that they didn't have the gumption.

So, in honour of the Vancouver Canucks:

Love that fresh green and royal blue together!

I'd sport this cute ensemble to cheer on the Canucks:

Sadly, there wasn't a whole lot of cheering going on at our casa last night.  I guess we can hang tight and hope the Leafs make the playoffs next year...

xo Meg

*all images via my pinterest

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm so excited! I've won a giveaway over at A Life's Design!!!  I won these amazing typography prints from Coulsen Macleod:

     I love them - I am planning to use them in the family room at our new house.  If you don't know about Coulsen Macleod, you should have a look here.  They also have a Facebook page.

   So, now I'm really giving some thought to the family room at the new house.  It's a longish narrow room on the lower level.  The space will mainly be used by our kids for playing Wii and Playstation, and hanging out with friends.  I do have some pieces that will be re-used in that room.

   We have the Rowe Martin Sofa.  It pretty much looks exactly like the one below, minus the pillows. (I know, it's really beige...) It's actually a queen size pull-out which is good because this room will also occasionally function as a guest room.  There is also a leather storage ottoman, a set of nesting parson's tables (which I am thinking of painting) and two dark denim beanbag chairs.

Here are some inspiration rooms:

I love the beachy feel of this room - the casual stripes and check fabric, and the star light fixture.

I love, love, love the look of a long lumbar pillow on a tailored sofa.  

The above room has so many comfortable, casual elements.  I love the graphic drapes and the mix of fabrics.  I also like the gallery wall display.  Even the colour scheme is similar to the one I plan to use.  I love the mix of royal blue with orange.  

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect fabrics to use in the family room.  Hopefully I can recreate the relaxed feel of these rooms.  I'll keep you posted when I have an inspiration board to show you.

xo Meg

***Please note:  the above images are from my files.  Before I started this blog, I didn't save the source information for my inspirational images.  If they belong to you, or you know the source, please email me and I will update the page.  I certainly want to give proper credit for these beautiful photos. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Speaking of kitchens...

Have you ever noticed that almost all the kitchens you see on Pinterest and often even blogs are really big? And really perfect.

 Perfectly styled, huge, expensive kitchens.


Kitchens with an breakfast nook or casual dining room, an island and a workspace.  

  The kitchen above is perhaps my most favourite kitchen.  I love the medium toned wood floors, carerra topped island, globe pendants, Dash & Albert rug... pretty much everything. It is clean without feeling cold and simple without feeling too modern. I would like to style my new kitchen after this one.

However, I'll have to create the look for less.  No way we can afford the stainless apron-front sink ($2500ish) or the SubZero fridge (I don't even want to guess the price), or the range (which costs about the same as a used Toyota).

One way we could cut costs would be to have the marble cut for the island but use inexpensive Ikea butcher block for the rest of the counters.  Honestly, we used that butcher block for the flip kitchen and it is really nice looking (see below).

Here's a few of the products that could help us get the look of my favourite kitchen for less.  
A double bowl Domsjo $312.98 at Ikea.

West Elm Globe Light:  $99 - $279

The truth is... many people work within a really tight budget when designing their home. It can be limiting but it can also free you up to take chances.  In many ways, I'd rather see homes like this.  I think when you're forced to be frugal in your decorating, you find interesting and creative options that you wouldn't necessarily even know about if budget wasn't an issue.

Also, old homes come with teeny tiny closets, bathrooms and kitchens.  When I'm looking at kitchens online or in magazines, I'm always really excited to see a small kitchen that still feels open and airy or that incorporates really functional design.

I love the character these little kitchens have! And all the small details that go into them to make them special - like a beautiful painted floor.  They are family friendly and accessible.  I think that might even be what draws me to them in the first place.

xo Meg

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A little bit about Truline

  So, I've told you all that my husband is a carpenter.   We own a renovation company called Truline Construction, in London, Ontario.  We've been in business for the past 7 years and we work really hard at what we do.  I thought I'd share a couple of photos of some projects we've worked on in the past.  These are some award winning kitchens:



 I love both these kitchens.  The creamy cabinetry and beautiful granite.  I don't hope to ever have a kitchen either that large or that fabulous.  Maybe you read my post about our interim kitchen.  We are moving into an old house and there would be no way to create a space like these without making changes to the structure of the home.  And I don't want to make changes to the footprint.  Cause it's awesome.

I do plan to use some of the ideas and inspiration from a few of the kitchens Jay has done when we finally get to do our own kitchen.

But for now, I'll be content with the kitchen I have for the interim and my kitchen dreams for the future.

xo Meg

P.S.  I'm planning to sneak a few process shots of a cool three season Muskoka room he's building sometime this week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm packing heat...

    Oh packing and moving... you would think I love you more than anything considering how many times we've moved over the last 5 years.  Four times.  But I really don't.

     I guess I do like to clear out a room completely and purge all the junk we don't need or use anymore.  I love to find new homes for those things.  I like the fresh start organizing and setting up in a new home gives me.  Here are a couple organizational images that are inspiring me right now.  I hope to work them into the new house.

You've probably all seen this shot of Emersonmade's pantry.  I love all the glass jar storage and the way it makes the most basic of kitchen staples look pretty.  I also like how you can immediately see when you need to replace something.  

This little cleaning closet is organized to the nines.  I love how everything you need to clean house has a spot in this tiny space.  When you live in an older home, there isn't usually much storage devoted to things like this.  I really hope to put in a tripped out cleaning cupboard like this one.  

For now, if you're looking for me, I'll be packing boxes!

xo Meg

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Backyard Party

Welcome June!!!  I'm so glad the summer is almost here.

   We celebrated this past weekend with a backyard BBQ in our current home.  We were celebrating the fact that the sale of this house is complete.  We will be moving into our new home on the 29th.  So for now, I'm dreaming of...

A Backyard Party!

We would hang out here...

...under all those pretty candles (I actually have a similar version from Pottery Barn)
 drinking wine and eating delicious food until the wee hours.

Maybe then we'd have a.....

and roast marshmellows.

It would be mellow and relaxing.  But what about the kids?  Wouldn't they be in our hair?

No, silly, they would be...

...hanging in the Muskoka Chairs, watching an outdoor movie and eating s'mores!

Sound good?

For now, I'll have to content myself with dreaming about the amazing times we will have with our friends and family in our new backyard.  With 28 days to go, it's time to start the final packing process.  I think I'll start in the rec room because the kids are never inside anymore anyway!

xo Meg