Inspiration Hits – My Newest DIY

I was struck by inspiration recently.  Whomp!

I believe my setting and scenery had everything to do with my inspiration – sitting in the backyard, feet up, warm dappled sun shining through the canopy of trees and a cuppa tea by my side.  I was reading my July issue of Canadian House and Home magazine and came across a photo in an article titled Relaxed Seaside Living.   House and Home Relaxed Seaside Living

I loved this calm, neutral living room with slipcovered furniture, sculptural rope floor lamp, lots of weathered wood and organic textures.  But there was one particular detail that caught my eye.

So I was inspired to DIY.     DIY Pillow.

Canadian Maple Leaf.


Fringed Pillow..


And in the wink of a D-eye-Y this was my creation…..      Canada Flag Pillow.

My Canadian Flag pillow.  Perfect for my ‘Relaxed Lakeside Living’!

I chose to use neutral, organic fabrics for a faded, worn look but also these are the tones of my cottage interior.  See my cottage renovation here:

Oh Canada!

All images via Modmissy

Stuff (and more stuff!)

I have often said that when it comes to our homes these days it is not that our homes are too small rather our lives are too big.


I am just being diplomatic.

The truth is people have way too much stuff.  Unnecessary stuff.

I understand that we are creatures of habit and form strange attachments to our stuff but really, do we honestly need all that stuff!?

Get rid of stuff.  Donate the stuff.

If you haven’t used it lately, i.e. 6 months to 2 years, then you don’t need it.

I will never recommend the use of rubber storage bins, they only exacerbate the problem.

Take a picture. Buy yourself a 2 terabyte external hard drive and store it there.  Then get rid of the stuff.

It is a fallacy if you think your kids will want this stuff.

Garages are for cars not stuff.

Lightness of being – try it sometime.  It feels wonderful!  (-:  stuff

PS.  Can you tell I have been very busy staging/editing homes lately!

Image via Modmissy


Home Staging

I have not written in a while because I have had my head ‘stuck in a house’.  Head in House

Really!  For the last 2 ½ weeks I have been staging a huge house (a real biggie!) for real estate sale.  It will be listed for $$ million so a lot of pre-presentation work went into this house.

In total I counted 25 people who at some point throughout the 2 ½ weeks worked on this house.   At times it felt like we were ants crawling all over the house!  Bless the homeowners for being so patient as they lived in the house while all the work was being done.

To get this home ready for Open House presentation I had all the wall-to-wall carpeting ripped out and replaced with hardwood.  Interesting what you sometimes find underneath carpet.  Faux red brick!!!!!

Faux red brickThe stairs were treated to new updated wool Berber carpet.  The mint green walls were painted Benjamin Moore White Down, the dark paneling was painted Cloud White and the wallpaper border was stripped off.

Nothing dates a house like light fixtures so many of those were replaced.  Retro tulip light

All the outside fencing and decking were re-stained to make them look updated.

The garden was tended to.  All the windows were washed.  A cleaning crew went ‘full-on’ inside for a day.

And the homeowner’s contents were edited.  (!!!)  Then I did my thing – staging and propping.

Needless to say the house looked beautiful in the end.

I love ‘playing house’!

I was so focused on this house I almost missed a beautiful part of spring – the blossoms!

Magnolia tree


 All images via Modmissy

Fence Design – Love this one!

As previously mentioned the fence in my backyard needs replacing – 10 years ago!  And now with summer on its way decisions need to be made sooner than later.

So what’s the 10 year hold up you ask?


What should the fence look like, what style do I want?  Should I go with horizontal or vertical fence boards?  Stained or natural?  Should it have modern influences or be more traditional?  And what extra details should be incorporated into the design?

I have posted twice about fence designs. See My Fence Design Dilemma and More Fence Designs. 

Similar to a home’s interior décor I believe a fence requires as much thought to the style and design. 

Recently a neighbour of mine decided it was time to tear down their old dilapidated garage and install a parking pad and build a new privacy fence.  Yeah for me!  The [ugly] garage is now gone and there is a really nice fence to admire.  And…..I love the design.  Fabulous Fence Design

The fence boards run horizontally and are staggered in width with narrower boards at the top creating interest and a sense of design.  To break up the abundance of wood 2 panels of sand blasted glass were incorporated giving a contemporary feel to the fence.  sand blasted fence

I like the gate hardware, a black lever-style handle, a variation from the norm.  A peep-hole ‘viewing sliver’ has been built into the design also.  fence hardware and peep hole

So… there hope/inspiration for my fence replacement?

All images via Modmissy


Solair Chairs

I have this childhood memory of sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car while on our way to someone’s cottage. (Not sure who’s cottage – my memory’s not perfect!)

The sweltering heat of July was blowing in through the open windows (non-existent air conditioning!) causing us 4 kids crammed in the back seat to stick together but it did not matter because somehow I had won the coveted position of a window seat.  I had an unimpeded view.  Happy, happy!

On our journey I remember passing by a roadside motel, with a name something like Lakeside Motel or Three Lakes Motel, and thought it funny that there was no lake in sight although there was a pool out front.  The motel was a long, 1-storey stucco building painted bright white with green roof shingles and blue painted doors.  To the side of each blue door was a very ‘mod’ looking chair in bright orange.

I have never forgotten this image – colourful yes, but it was the groovy orange chairs that I fell in love with.

Those chairs were the Solair Chair designed by Canadians, Fabio Fabiano and Michelange Panzini in 1972.   Solair Chair

The designers were recruited by an injected-molding plastics company, Industries Provinciales Ltée, of Quebec to produce a comfortable and stylish modern indoor/outdoor chair.  The chair was designed in one weekend!  The chair fell off the ‘design radar’ for a number of years but has recently made a big comeback.  The Solair chair is now in production and distribution by Industries Emile Lachance Ltée

I recently came across these chairs for sale in a rainbow of colours at The Hudson Bay Company  in downtown Toronto. Solair Chairs

A feeling of nostalgia came over me especially when I realized that my childhood memory is now an iconic piece of Canadian design.  (The chair, not my memory!)

These chairs also reminded me of these juicy colours! Juicy Fruit


All images via Modmissy


SPRING – it has finally arrived!!

Kick winter to the curb and do the ‘happy dance’!  You deserve it.

At this time of year the days are longer and brighter.

People just seem happier.  I attest this to colour – with the arrival of spring comes colour; bright, happy colours.

After a long dull winter colour is the mood booster we all need.

Colourful spring bulbs are popping up from the ground.  This photo was taken from my neighbour’s south-facing garden – and the white stuff is snow! Spring flowersIf you don’t have any spring flowers take a stroll through a retail venue and get your hit of colour from store displays.  The Hudson Bay Company is totally decked out for spring with colour everywhere throughout the store and a SPRING STARTS HERE event now on. 

Spring Starts Here HBC Spring Starts Here

While shopping for a desk lamp for an executive client’s office last week I came across this colourful display.  Unfortunately not what ‘Mr. President’ required but it made me pause and smile.

Spring color lamps

I love this colourful crockery display at Homesense

Spring Crockery

Spring spring is a wonderful thing,

All the colours make your heart sing.

Vibrant green and bright sky blue,

And hits of purple, pink and yellow too.

I adore this wonderful time of year,

It makes me happy and full of cheer!


All images via Modmissy

The Winter Blues

With the February blahs behind us and almost mid-way into March I find I am craving for colour.

Next week is school break for our household.  My boys head off to the Rockies for a week of skiing and I am staying home; a stay-cation as I like to call it.

I prefer to set my sights on somewhere warm and colourful.

This photo I took last summer is a retrospect in blues and a reminder that Lake Ontario located at the end of my street can sometimes look like a ‘tropical’ getaway.

So until I book that ‘colourful’ getaway I will just have to imagine.

Feeling the Winter Blues


Have a great weekend!

Image via Modmissy

A Heavenly Home

Continuing on the theme of religion in décor I thought I would share another transformation of church to home.

The former St. Jakobus Church located in Utrecht, Netherlands originally built in 1870 was converted into a beautiful modern townhouse in 2009.

With almost 5000 sq. ft. of living space and ceilings that soar to 14 metres (46 ft.) high the Utrecht-based firm of ZECC Architects undertook the transformation from church to home with a great attention to light, space and functionality.

Converted Church Utrecht

Converted Church

Converted Church interior

Converted Church interior

Converted Church interior

Converted Church interior

Converted Church bathroomTruly a ‘heavenly’ transformation!

Images via ZECC Architects

Religion in Décor

Tomorrow, February 28th, Pope Benedict XVI officially retires.  Since his surprise announcement to the world indicating he would be the first Pope in 6 centuries to retire the world has been in a bit of a ‘holy mess’!

I can’t say that I blame him; Pope Benedict is 85 years old!  I think the man must be feeling a little weary.  While the rest of us are hoping to retire at 65 years old or ‘freedom 55’ (if we are lucky enough) still working as an octogenarian must be exhausting.

Today in honour of His Papal-ness I thought religion in décor would be fitting.

The focal point in this room is a very large Buddha.  Fortunately it is seated upon the window seat as I read that inappropriate placement of the Buddha i.e. on the floor, is considered a sign of disrespect in many Buddhist cultures.



In this photo religion in décor is taken one step further!

religious stairs


The Moravian Star has become a popular décor feature.  Originating in the 1830’s at the Moravian Boys’ School in Germany (possibly from a geometry lesson) the star was adopted by the Moravian Church as an Advent Symbol and also now commonly used in light fixtures.

Moravian Star Light


Often used interchangeably due to the fact that the population of Morocco is almost 99% Muslim is Moroccan-inspired/Islamic-inspired décor.  Seen in everything from wallpaper (1st photo) to furniture and light fixtures (2nd photo) to leather poufs (3rd photo).

Moroccan-inspired decor


Belief in angels is fundamental to many religions.

Angel wings in decor

And what better way to incorporate religion into décor than converting a church into a residence.  This photo is a converted church in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Church as residence


Images via: 1,2,5,7 3; 4 6 8



Happy Valentine’s Day

Will you be mine……….



Eames Eiffel chairs are red,

The Pascal Tarabay clock says its ten to two.

A very cool bamboo magazine rack,

And a Jonathan Adler pillow just for you!


Image designed by Modmissy

  1. Eames Eiffel Chair
  2. Classic Clock by Pascal Tarabay
  3. Red Bamboo Magazine Rack
  4. Red Letter Pillow