Progress Report: Master Bedroom Roman Blinds

April 6, 2015

The snail's pace decorating is still happening over at our house. But my Roman blinds are hung in the master bedroom!!  Cue the music!

Using Neo Toile by Robert Allen from Tonic Living - my favourite source for fabric - and some blackout lining, the blinds are perfect! The bonus was the fabric matched the wall colour, which was chosen by the landlord and painted just before we moved in. Using my tutorial, I am so pleased with how they turned out!

Our bedroom had mini venetian blinds that did not block out the street lights very well.  With blackout lining almost all the light is blocked, only the sliver along the edges is illuminated. That will get fixed with drapes. Hoping to pop into Ikea really soon to grab my favourite go-to curtain.

This room is hard to photograph as it is north-west facing with my neighbour's house blocking any western light. This is the best I could do....I have no tripod. If I waited until the room was done to my liking to show you, you would never get to see. 

This photo was taken just after we moved in. Boring windows, large room, no personality.

Here is today.

Being a bit OCD in the fabric department....I made sure that the pattern repeat lined up along all three windows. You can't really see, but I was careful to line up the Asian pagoda houses across the three windows. I can't wait to add an extra layer with drapery! Then I would like to find an area rug for under the bed and something at the end of the bed, like a bench or a chaise to give this room more personality. 

XO Barbara

My Go-To Curtain

March 17, 2015

Recently a commentor asked me what drape I buy at Ikea. I had mentioned in my post that I was heading to Ikea to buy my "go-to" drape. I almost always use Ikea's Ritva drapes in white. Ikea's white isn't really a true bright white but a off-white. The weight of the fabric is perfect, the thickness of the fabric filters light, so they don't need to be lined. I also like how the hanging tabs are hidden in the back, so the drape looks like it's pleated. And you can't beat the price point at $29 CDN. Ritva drapes are so versatile and customizable. 

Since we are renting...still...I am not spending money on getting custom drapes made. Ritva curtains have moved from house to house with me. As much as my dream would be to buy yards and yards of some fabulous Schumaucher just doesn't make economical sense, not to mention I change my mind, so paying several thousand for fabric that I might not like in a year, isn't worth it.

A good drape needs to hang right, one thing I add to my Ritva curtains is drapery weights in the hem, just at the corner.  It is what creates a good "hang". You can pinch pleat, add trim, fringe, etc to give it a complete custom look for mere pennies!

Here are some ways I have used Ritva curtains in my home or spotted around the web.

 My living room in my previous rental home. I sewed black stripes onto the curtains.

 source: Design Crisis

Our games room in our previous rental home.

In my daughter's room in our previous home.

And I have them up in 4 rooms in our current home, which I hope to take better photos of real soon! 



February 23, 2015

Woah, that's the longest break from my blog I have ever taken. I am finding Instagram so much easier. To write a decent blog post takes time, have to take photos with my camera which requires me to edit and upload onto the computer. I am just too dang lazy. Also I have been really thinking about my blog, what I want it to be, do I want it to go anywhere, and if so,  do I need to simplify my name, or just use my name instead of something else? I had dreams of venturing into design, hence the name, but I can't see myself actually enjoying the business aspect of it, so that is not a reality anymore. Maybe I should just be hodge:podge, as that is what my blog is full of, a mix of gobbly goo. Or should I just be my name, like other bloggers? Or is that just so yesterday already? 


What do you see my blog as?  I do enjoy showing everyone that renting shouldn't limit you design-wise. I loved interviewing fabulous Canadians in my So Canadian, eh? series, but that was soooo time consuming.  Not sure what my niche is. Would love your two bits.

Even though I left my blog stagnant, I have been busy with a few projects. I am almost finished custom roman blinds for our master bedroom! Hoping to head to Ikea to get my favourite drapes to add an extra layer to the windows!

I have been adding a few blue and white bowls to my collection.

Can't help myself.

And this lamp came home with me from Target, which by the way is leaving Canada. Waaaaah!. Only now that they are exiting our lovely country, are their shelves fully stocked. That was not the case for the past 18 months. So sad, really. 

I have been trying to decorate slowly, not make rash decisions. I really want our home to feel like a home and not a showcase for a photo op. I want it to reflect who we are, and not fill it with trendy things. I don't want it to look like thousands of other bloggers homes, which frankly I find so boring and lacking any design aesthetic. So with that in mind, I will practice slow blogging as well. Why fill this blog with "filler" posts?  I want to be filled with authenticity and inspiration. 

And my 5 year blogiversary came and went in October. 


I feel I have come a long way with in those 5 years. Life has changed, my priorities have changed but I still enjoy blogging even if it is every once in a while. I have had many exciting opportunities land on my lap, met fabulous people (many who I can call a good friend now) and have felt the whole world open up! Being a mom to one still at home, moving this past summer and teaching Kindergarten/grade one has kept me busy. So glad that I have many friends that have stuck by, thank you. Hugs and kisses to you all!

A Favourite Space

December 23, 2014

Growing up I wasn't very sentimental, but now as an adult, I am getting more so. contacted me asking me if I'd love to share a favourite thing or space! Porch is a home network that allows you to find the right professionals, get inspired, and manage your home….for free!

There are so many favourite things around the house, but one of my favourite spots in our house is our living room. It feels even more fabulous during Christmas, with the tree and all the decorations scattered about. I love the vaulted ceilings, the hardwood floors, my throw pillows, the artwork, my old piano and the light that filters into the space. There is nothing better than curling up on the sofa by the twinkling lights and feeling so at peace in a space.

My tree is covered with ornaments from Prague and ornaments from Ikea that are a nod to mine and my husband's heritage, along with handmade ornaments my children have made over the years.

Love my old piano. It is horribly out of tune and old, but it was the one my parent's purchased for my sister and I when I was eight. I practiced countless hours on that piano, and now my daughter plays.

The artwork is so meaningful. The Eiffel Tower photo was taken by my husband on one of his many trips to Paris, the artwork on the right is a print of a famous Czech artist (don't ask me who though!) and the middle piece was a copper etching my daughter did in grade 5!

I love, love this piece of art painted by my daughter of the Big Sur, inspired by our trip down the California coast. 

And if anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I have a "thing" for throw pillows. I LOVE to sew throw pillows. A few of these have been around for a while along with some new additions.

And the coffee table was the coffee table that I grew up with. It was a teak coffee table that after a decades of use needed a fresh coat of stain. I chose to stain it with an opaque stain. Still love it after all those years.

Pop over to Porch where you can read my feature on their site!

XO Barbara

A Favourite Appetizer Recipe

December 22, 2014

With the Christmas entertaining season upon us, I thought I would share one of my go-to party favourites. I always like to keep it simple, I hate having to stress having people over. This year I am hosting my son's rowing team Christmas gathering, we are having a finger food/dessert potluck. I will be making a few of my trusted and loved savoury treats. My absolute favourite, that gets rave reviews is a goat cheese log I snipped out of an old Canadian House and Home magazine. It is so easy to put together, but tastes amazing!

You need:

Fresh thyme, usually a small bunch will suffice
Walnuts, pieces (the original recipe calls for pecans)
300 gram goat cheese log (I buy mine at Costco or Superstore)

Chop thyme leaves along with walnuts. Roll goat cheese in chopped nut-herb mixture. Pat into cheese to make it stick. Wrap up in plastic wrap and refridgerate until ready to use. Serve the herb nut goat cheese log at room temperature.

I serve this with a selection of favourite crackers, along with some fig jelly, salami and olives. 

Easy pease lemon squeezy.

XO Barbara

Ikea Hack using FAT Paint

December 19, 2014

I have blogged about how I am slowly repainting my black brown Ikea Markor furniture to do away with the matchy matchy look. I repainted two bookcases, along with a sideboard which you can pop over here and here to see. 

For the past year, I have been dying to re-paint the glass door fronted bookcase. After moving into our new place, it was evident to me that it needed to get done. I have been dying to use FAT Paint, an artisan chalk painted created and owned by one of my good friends, Victoria Lambert along with her brother, Brad. Together, they have taken this paint from being mixed in Victoria's kitchen in her tangerine Kitchen-Aide mixer to their newest location in New Westminster, where they manufacture, sell and ship their paint to over 70 retailers over North America.

I decided to use Warm White paint. 
Chalk paint is supposed to be easy to use, can be painted indoors (no smell!) and quick to dry.

 I decided to complicate things by painting in my garage during a rainstorm outside. Not a good idea. Chalk paint absorb moisture and won't dry very quick. After a few panicked messages to Victoria, I moved my project indoors.

Much better.....

The paint dries nice and quick. After some sanding, which you need to do to remove the "fur" as they call it and get a smooth finish, I gave it a layer of FAT wax and buffed. I am in LOVE with how it turned out! Originally I was going to just leave it solid without sanding the edges, but I decided to make my bookcase look more vintage. 

Here are my two bits of advice:

1. DO NOT paint in a damp garage!

2. DO NOT sand in the house, move the project back into the garage, unless you want to dust and wash your whole house!

I am very pleased with how it turned out. Slowly I am adding things to style it but am nowhere near finished with that. My eyes are open for a large basket on top or for the bottom shelf and more ginger jars!

Now I am on the hunt to paint something else with FAT paint!

XO Barbara

Christmas Around the House

December 17, 2014

With Christmas around the corner, I managed to finish decorating the house. Keeping it real simple this year, I just added bits of Christmas decor throughout the main floor. My go-to decor items are Christmas balls, I have 2.5 bins full! They are perfect for arranging in a bowl, to hang from a drapery rod or string together to make garland.

My Czech corn husk nativity.

Sent the hubs and son to get a tree, knowing they'd come back with a ginormous one! Love how we have the space for a beautiful tree! Had to  s  t  r  e  t  c  h   the ornaments all over the tree, spacing them so it looked covered.

The nutcrackers are chillin' with Beethoven (or is it Mozart?)

The quickest way to decorate - throw balls in a basket and you are done!

Simple, but I love it.

XO Barbara
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