~Don't Show This To My Husband~

As I was browsing through design*sponge this morning, I stumbled across this Toronto home. The home belongs to artist Courtenay Wotherspoon. What almost made me fall off the chair is this photo of her gorgeous entryway. 

I am married to a bike FANATIC, who cycles every chance he gets, collects bicycles to the point that one lives in my family room (it migrated from our bedroom). It is a bone of contention. He thinks I should incorporate it into our home design. 

This photo should NOT be shown to him!

source: HGTV Canada

I love Courtenay's quirky sense of style and her home. In this space, she successfully marries the heritage staircase with an Ikea console, vintage framed mirror, Starck ghost chair and the practical bicycle as art. Isn't the archway to die for?

LOVE it!
 (except we will still keep this photo away from my husband, this could help his cause)


~What's Your Style in One Picture Challenge~

I am a bit slow in writing up posts but this one challenge put out by Ally from The Right Bank had me thinking, how would I sum up my style in one photo? I was up for this challenge which had me browsing through my bookmarked images. It was a toss up between a few but this one speaks to me.

 My style is ever-evolving, a bit of a hodgepodge, hence the name of my blog. But I have always loved this photo. If I could sum up my style it would be seen in Margot Austin's kitchen. I love the simplicity of the space, the rustic chic elegance. 

What I love is the airiness of the space, the clean lines, the white, black and grey palette, the old world elements, the bare wood floors and the gorgeous carriage light. The only thing missing are some red elements, my favourite colour. 


~Flowers around the House and a Winner!~

I love fresh cut flowers around the house especially if they are from my garden. 

With all the crummy rainy weather we have been having, what better way to liven up damp spirits than to cut fresh flowers (in between rain showers) and place them in a vase for all to see and smell.

(ok - these aren't from my garden, my husband bought them for me)

We did have a few "visitors" come running out of the peonies, but a few whacks with a flip flop solved that problem!

Nothing like waking up to sweet smelling roses.

Also for those waiting and anticipating, sorry for the delay.....

The winner of the $40 gift certificate to CSN stores is.......

(once again, couldn't embed random number generator- anyone know how?)

Blogger Donna @ dh designs said...

I would use the GC towards some baby goodies for my first grandchild who will arrive in September :)!

Thanks for hosting!

And please drop by my blog to enter my giveaway - my very first one!!!


Congratulations Donna!
Ahem....maybe I'll win your first giveaway, I am wanting those earrings!
Enjoy spending your $40 and spoiling your new grandchild!

~A Giveaway From CSN~

Life has been quite busy around here.... 

not much excitement 

but full of end of school events, music recitals, projects, final exams, bike races and work. All my projects are at a stand still and I am hoping as the school year winds down I will find more time to tackle my to-do list. 

One exciting event did happen a few weeks back, I finally won a giveaway!


I won a $40 gift certificate from a wonderfully creative esty seller and I will write up a feature and share when I get my package. It is now sitting in a post office in Blaine Washington as it cost millions and trillions to ship things to the Great White North. I am visiting the US for a Target fix (and to watch my daughter play in a soccer tournament - but even she is more excited about shopping) and to pick up my parcel, when I find all is intact I will share!

So when CSN contacted me about doing another giveaway I said, "Why not?" 

I am in a giving mood. 

One lucky winner will recieve a $40 gift certificate to buy something from one of CSN 200+ online stores. 

What could you buy?

 You could put your money towards a purchase of a new bathroom vanity?

How about a dog bed for Fido?

A ultra cool mirror to gaze at yourself?

BBQ tools for whip up some amazing summer dinners?

Lovely pillows to adorn your sofa?

Or a Eames chair? ( I'll take two in white)

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents. 

How to enter:

1. For one entry: visit a CSN store and leave me a comment what you would like to buy with $40 if you won.

2. For a second entry: become a follower of my blog through Google Connect, if you are let me know in another comment.

3. For a third entry: add a link to this giveaway in your sidebar or blog about the giveway and let me know.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 20, 7 AM PST.  I will try to get my act together and announce the winner that day!

If your email is not on your blog, please provide one, so I can contact you if you won.

 Also, please note that there may be shipping costs involved that can be above your $40.

Good luck!

~The Keefer and Chinatown~

A few days ago I chaperoned my son's grade six class trip to Chinatown. Vancouver has a thriving and vibrant Asian community and Chinatown is a feast for the eyes and nose. I have always been fascinated with Asian food, decor and architecture. One of my best friends growing up was Asian and I loved eating at her house. It is because of her family and extended family's hospitality that I love Asian food and have developed an appreciation for Asian decor and architecture.

 While touring the Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens I could of snapped so many photos but I forgot my camera that day! The garden embodies the Asian philosophy of ying and yang, the mix of opposites. For example, the round opening and the graphic square pattern in the gate. The garden evoked a feeling of peace and calm. Even all 70 students managed to be somewhat calm and orderly in the garden! What a beautiful place to wander through and see the koi and turtles swim in the lily filled pond, the naturally acid-etched rocks that were imported from China mixed with bright peony bushes, weeping willows and sculptural trees.

source: The Seattle Times
source: Flickr

source: Classical Garden visit

 My goal is to take my kids back this summer to nibble on apple tarts and steamed pork buns at the New Town bakery, to visit the herbalist shops, to buy more Asian pottery and lanterns (cheap!) and enjoy some traditional Cantonese cooking at Foos Ho Ho's. 

source: Urban Spoon

While we were having a tour of the historic buildings of Chinatown our guide brought us to a beautifully renovated building that has been converted to a gorgeous boutique hotel called "The Keefer." The graphite painted exterior beckoned a look inside. Because I had 6 children in my charge I decided against going inside, but instead enjoyed the view from the outside. We could see the rooftop patio from the street and I had fun that evening going through their photo gallery on their website. I think my husband needs to take me there for one night for our upcoming 19th anniversary. I want to have a martini in their bar, dinner at Bao Bei and then stroll the street at night and hit the Chinese night market. 

Who wouldn't want to eat here? I love the chintz covered industrial bar stools, the worn out leather chair in the corner, the mix of old world, Asian and modern elements.

The Keefer Hotel is a beautifully decorated building. Each suite is gorgeous and has a mix of Asian and modern styles. I couldn't copy the images from their website but found these at Expedia. 

Update: Tara from The Cinnamon Post (another fab Canadian blog) informed me that The Keefer's interior was designed by Wendy Williams Watt, the doyenne of style, former owner and founder of Vancouver's Liberty furnishings and now owner/designer behind her latest endeavour, Grace studio. Another juicy tidbit, her ex-husband is the owner of The Keefer.

Love the mix of the Asian lantern, French country armoire, modern mirrored night table and old world charm of the ceiling.

Love the Asian drum stool in the shower - I could see myself soaking in the tub with a glass of wine.

A glass bottom pool on the roof top with gorgeous city and mountain views. I think I could move in.

Ehem.... hubby are you reading this? Hint....hint.....wink....wink....

All images of The Keefer Hotel: Expedia



Just wanted to say thanks to Jennifer Ramos of MadeByGirl  for the shout-out. 

Not sure if her thanking me for a posting I wrote about my favourite print of hers is considered a shout-out but thanks anyways. I was thrilled to see my simple-not-too-fancy header among other more popular blogs last Friday! I felt like a little fish in the big sea. I was so nervous about what people would think about my blog when they popped by.

 I wrote her a thank-you in her comments and had 2 spelling mistakes - so in awe that I messed up - sheesh!

My favourite print by Jennifer is this one:

And since it never came for Mother's Day (er...family doesn't get etsy) I went out and ordered one for myself. It should arrive soon! Can't wait to hang it up!

Thanks Jennifer!

A side note: I FINALLY won a giveaway from another wonderful etsy shop and can't wait to show you what I picked!


~A Mirror Transformed~

My daughter's bedroom is finally coming together, I am just adding the finishing touches and a few more furnishings. 

When she came home from her hiking trip she was thrilled with the Stonington Gray on the walls.

 Her words (and my other daughter's words as well) "It looks so grown up!"

 Just the mood I was trying to convey with the colour choice. Glad to have a satisfied client. 

 The furniture is back in, her "collectables" have been edited, new bedding purchased, art hung and I have re-vamped a few thrift store finds. One is this ornate mirror I found at a recent thrift store jaunt, each for $5. I bought two, one for each girl. This mirror will help bring a bit of glam to the room.

This is where spray paint comes to the rescue. 

First I spray primed the mirror frames with spray on primer, then I sprayed them white. 

I didn't like the white frame against the gray, it was too stark.
Spraying the mirror with a bit of black allows it to really pop against the gray walls and now coordinates well with all the other frames on the art wall above her bed. 

{no matter how I tweak the photo, the camera doesn't capture the wall colour}

We are still choosing some photos from her massive collection of photos (teenage girls take a LOT of photos) to place in a few frames.

But here is a sneak peek: 

You can see the peony painting I painted early on in the year.

All that is left is to source out a nightstand and make the headboard, which I will need my husband's help with the jigsaw if I want to keep all my fingers!

SNS @ Funky Junk Interiors


~Pretty Glass Bottles Come in Handy~

An idea I  stole borrowed from Martha Stewart's book "Good Things" is to put alcohol decanter toppers into glass bottles that can be then used to store dish soap or olive oil. 

Don't they look pretty on the counter top?  Much better than an ugly plastic bottle. 

{ugh-my hideous blinds}

I have used one bottle for dish soap for years but recently found another pretty bottle to house olive oil. After cleaning out my laundry room cupboards I found the triangular one which I am giving to my sister as a gift to add some pretty to her kitchen as well. 

Now I am going to be on the lookout for bottles with unique shapes to fill with soap, oil or  vinegar. 

Wouldn't they make great hostess/host or teacher's gifts?