Warning: This Post May Cause a Desire to Remodel!

I've never been a big fan of stock cabinetry.
My own house is only a few years old, so I can't really justify changing out ours.. but
unexpected and innovative bathrooms cabinets are so much more interesting.
It seems, though, that there are many more rustic options out there than chic ones.
I love rough hewn, but sometimes a girl just wants something a bit more swanky...

(you really should stop reading now if you are even the teeniest little bit disssatisfied with your loo!)

Put a spin on traditional:

Warm up the space with a sumptuous gold:

Um, this is my favourite.. can you believe those sinks?! 
This space feels like the inside of a jewellry box..

Not-so-Basic White:

Grace and Charm:

Did I mention the stunning wall units?
Lets hear it for color!

Or Dining Collection?

These fluid walnut chairs are the perfect blend of old and new, 
investment pieces that could find their way into almost any interior, and stay there..

And this sculptural armchair, oh, so lovely..

So maybe I'm thinking about more than just a bathroom remodel... :)

til next time..
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Debora House's Illuminating Art

Last week I posted about Artist Kathe Fraga
and met another friend of hers through the blog..
the exceptionally talented Debora House.

You that saying, birds of a feather... it's absolutely true - where there is one noteworthy artist...

Debora is from the United States and currently resides in Stockholm, 
where her work is on exhibition at Mobila. 

I spent a copious amount of time at her site
which you really must visit - when you go you'll see why!

Debora says, for her, painting is an act of meditation in motion.

When she begins each piece, she does not know what the outcome will be, 
and this frees her from being attached to a specific result.

Her work captures light in such spectacularly radiant way...

There are so many that I wanted to show you, but this is my favourite, aptly named A Moment in Time.
It seems to be lit from within..  

Like being transported, for a little while, into a majestic and achingly beautiful world..

For available paintings, and to learn more about Debora House, go here.

'til next time..
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How do You Say Welcome?

A welcome mat is a clue.
A clue to who and what lies beyond that door..

There's the steady iron traditionalist:

home depot

Boho Daisy's for The Optimist:

Aspen Country

Frank Llyod Wright works for The Art and Crafts Buff:

Binary Code for The Techie:

oh yes  - The Newlyweds:

Linear and Functional suits The Industrialist:

Easy and Pretty, The Romantic:


The Fun Flip-Flop Lover:

The Flip-Flop Lovin' Recycler:

The Modernist:

Retro Modern

Gorgeous - The Naturalist:

Pebble Mats

ooh, so upbeat - The Color Lover:

Betcha you guys will like this one - The Creative Type:

Jeni Rodger

oh my, The Cheeky:

 Love This - welcome mats used to create a better living environment by Arts and Architecture Students. The concept was to make the area welcoming to ALL students:

 Dominic Wilcox uses welcome mats to great effect as living room carpet - what do you think?
 The graphic quality of this is fantastic:

What type of door mat do you have?

til next time...

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Staging Tips: Curb Appeal

Spring is in the air, and as the Real Estate market is moving quickly here, I have been answering many inquiries regarding exterior staging. Thought I would do a post to cover the basics...

Here you are.. a staging 101 for preparing the exterior of your home..

We've all experienced it: passing by a home, and having the urge to stop and stay a while... something draws us in, it feels so welcoming, and lovely. We wonder what lies within... 

That is Curb Appeal working it's magic, and if you are selling you home, you need it.

Curb appeal is one of the most important components in a successful property sale, for two reasons:

1. We live in a digital age, and an estimated 90% of prospective buyers search for homes online. 

    This means the tiny online photo of your home has about three precious seconds of viewing time, during   which it must stand out from your competition's tiny photos enough to generate interest. The buyers then enter the listing, and investigate further... 

2. Curb Appeal is what invites prospective Buyers into your property.

     This is such an integral part of the sale.  Did you know most Buyers decide whether they are interested in your home within the first twenty seconds of arriving outside?  Buyers want a place that makes them feel good and they can be excited about coming home to.  This is your opportunity to impress them with a well-maintained, welcoming home - and allow them to begin to make the crucial emotional connection with your home that creates a desire to own it.

Although I recommend simpler changes when you are preparing your home for sale, just look at the difference in these two houses featured by Better homes and Gardens that got complete exterior makeovers:

This home got a major overhaul in both asthetics and function by removing excess shrubbery and creating a garage and driveway, and repairing and replacing exterior trim and siding.

From fixer-upper to charming cottage. Again, overgrown shrubs were removed, siding and trim were updated, but what a difference this small porch roof has made. A wide staircase and walkway lead your  eye straight to the front door. Planting beds are lush and low, with mature trees already in place.

These properties are very welcoming now, and thats how we want yours to feel.

If you are selling, you will want to get the greatest impact with minimum investment.  Here is a basic checklist of considerations you should make to increase curb appeal at your property:

1. The most important thing you can do is to declutter, repair, and clean up.  This won't cost you a cent, and has the greatest impact.  We all accumulate excess "stuff", and quite often the kids toys, garbage bins, extra building supplies, etc.. end up piled outside somewhere.  By removing excess, fixing that screen window thats ripped, and cleaning the cobwebs from the porch light you have prevented buyers from getting distracted by negatives and are allowing them to focus on the positive - your beautiful, well-maintained house!

2. Landscaping is a place where a little elbow grease will reap you huge rewards.  Trim trees and shrubs to ensure they are not blocking your house from view.  Edge and weed gardens, place fresh mulch in beds and under trees.  A few colorful flowers placed intermittently from the street to the front door will lead buyers eyes where you want them - to the interior. Want to take them with you? Try planters or window boxes..

3. Driveways and walkways need to be clean, sealed if necessary, and in good repair.

4. The all-important Front Door: a fresh coat of paint, preferably an accent color that complements your exterior palette - match to your flowers for bonus points! Are the hardware, mailbox and street numbers in good condition and up-to-date? If not, replace. If there is room, add seating, buyers love front porches..

House Beautiful

5. Last but not least, consider lighting. Ensure you have an attractive front light that matches your hardware, with a bright bulb.  Don't want buyers driving by because they can't see the house numbers, do we? Solar lighting in the garden is inexpensive and you get to bring it to your new home, use it to lead the buyers eye up to your door.

Architectural Digest

These are really general guidelines. In a Staging consultation I make specific suggestions regarding color, updates and repairs that I know will get you a high return on your investment.  Every house is different, and you can really benefit from hiring a professional to assist you - we ensure you don't spend money where it's not needed.

Here are some examples of houses for sale in the Simcoe area that have good curb appeal:


I'll end off with a view of my place, which is sadly lacking in new flowers yet, 
as we are still getting frost at night... 
our first summer here, so I am absolutely itching to get out there and start planting :)
The front garden is losing that huge aluminum planter and will be filled to the brim with white hydrangas to soften up the existings cedars and boxwood.

 Last fall I painted the railing and garage this dark warm grey, they had been glaring white.
The front door was a dark purple (!!!), but I love how it shows up now - Saffron, by Behr.
I used the paint and primer in one, it covers really well.
Yellow flowering shrubs and flowers will have a home in the small garden you don't see down by the street, just to bring in the yellow again..
This was the most wonderful door to come home to on blustery winter days...

Today the garden was edged, shrubs trimmed, 
and made some new slipcovers for the front porch seating - whew! 
The flowers out by the front door are silk, 
I usually cave and do that for about a month in the spring until it's safe
 to fill up all the planters with the real thing...

We've moved around a lot, but we're not leaving this one.

There's no better feeling than arriving home, is there?

til next time...

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