Saturday, January 17, 2015

Our Winter Living Room

 Our winter living room feels so fresh and cozy now that the holiday decor has been packed away.

White and wood is the foundation of my lakehouse/farmhouse decorating style. I am learning that I am happiest with a room when I start with white and wood and then I can add in other colours and textures. I love the fresh white of our living room walls (that really help with overcast days and early darkness), slipcovers, and white painted tables mixed with the wood tones in the flooring, dresser and vintage skis. I use black, grey, brown and off white in accessories and natural elements. Mercury glass adds a touch of sparkle.

I kept the simple wreath with a glittery beaded snowflake and linen bow hanging on the mirror above the dresser. My favourite spot to sit is the end of the sofa with the thick suede and sherpa throw.

Our living room walls are Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls and the new colour peeking in from the front entry is BM Revere Pewter (love it!). On the pedestal coffee table that I painted white, I added lots of natural wicker, burlap and string wrapped filler balls to a tray filled with pillar candles wrapped in birch.

I have been working on the stairs to the basement, tearing up carpeting and patching walls. There is still lots to do. We ordered black iron lever type door handles and hinges for the front hall bathroom and closet doors, and the basement landing door. Now I just need to install them. 

Our winter living room seems 'quieter' with the Christmas decor stored, but there is still lots going on in different vignettes. I don't do minimal well lol.  I added texture with the white sweater pillow (still need to finish one) and the candle cozy I knit. I like using trays and ironstone platters to corral decor items and it makes it easy to move a display too.

Besides the wreath, I kept out mercury glass in tealight holders, oval balls in the apothecary jar, and the footed bowl, plus pinecones and the white deer.

I would love to find a pair of snowshoes to go with the vintage wooden skis.

More texture in the chippy old window frame, porch post and the little grey knit star.

Stacks of decorating magazines and Restoration Hardware catalogs are close at hand in wire baskets. The distressed black plant stand was a $2 garage sale purchase. The grey and white striped curtains from IKEA still need to be hemmed.

I added some extra throws to the wooden crate under the end table.

The olive bucket still holds greenery, birch logs and large cones and in the evening I turn on the strand of globe lights that are tucked inside.

The footed mercury glass bowl has snowflakes etched on the sides that echoes the beaded mirrored snowflake on the wreath above.

Despite being an overcast day, the light really reflects off our snow.

With the cold January weather and snow we have been getting, coupled with some long drawn out cold viruses, we are enjoying snuggling into our warm home after a day at school and work. Our cosy living room is my favourite place to relax with family, read or do some needlework. The aquas and turquoise may reappear in Spring or summer, but for now I am enjoying this room decorated for winter. 

Sharing our winter living room at the following link parties...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best Projects of 2014

Another year is almost over and I am making plans for what I want to complete in 2015. Looking back on my favourite completed projects from the year ending always inspires me. Today I will be sharing what I consider my best projects of 2014.

This year, more than any other, I find that I am finally narrowing in on what I want our home to look and feel like (on our tight diy budget of course.) Painting and selling some furniture has allowed me to buy a few new pieces as well. I'll keep the explanations to a minimum but you can click on any of the headings to see a related post with more details.

New stained pine shelves in kitchen

Painted vintage buffet in General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint

Painted Waterfall Dresser in General Finishes Snow White

Painted pedestal coffee table

Painted chairs, sidetable and chalkboard with ASCP Provence with White

Painted front door and trim, new roof, new garage door and garage man door, replacement skylights
(a post to follow when the weather is a bit nicer, that's the old roof being taken off and that photo of the snow was from last winter, we had a green Christmas this year)

Painted entry, dining room, family room and kitchen with Revere Pewter and Simply White

Popcorn ceiling texture removed in family room, dining room and entry hall
The link shows the family room, better photos of dining room and entry hall to follow

There is still so much that we want to do but we feel blessed to be able to live and spend time with our family and friends in our home. I do enjoy furniture makeovers and updates to our home as time and budget allows. Hopefully 2015 will be a year where I can continue to figure out my design style too. I look forward to seeing lots of year end posts from blogs I follow as well

Sharing at....
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Just finishing up some last minute dinner prep today as we are hosting Christmas dinner for lots of family on Christmas Day. Tonight we are headed to my sister's home here in our neighbourhood for a family get together. 

Wishing you all a great holiday and a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for visiting throughout the year and for your friendship.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From Sweater to Pillow

Like many of you, I love pillows. Some I buy but most I sew myself. Sweater pillows are popular for winter decorating and I knew I wanted some. 

When I was helping my sister clean out her closet a while back I saved two snowy white sweaters she was going to donate. Last night I took a break after some last minute shopping, wrapping, and generally getting ready to host our family for Christmas. Half an hour later I had turned this cardigan into a pillow. I found it easiest to measure out my pillow size, sew the seams first, and then cut away the extra fabric. I trimmed about 1/2" from my sewing lines then used a zig zag stitch to keep the ends from fraying. Nothing fancy but it works. I kept the original button placket intact, even with the little stitch that goes between buttons and makes it pop open like that. Not the best photos on this very overcast day.

It may end up on the family room leather couch since the white is brighter than the IKEA slipcovers. One of these days, when I am looking to unwind, I will recycle the other sweater into a pillow cover. Easy and free are some of my favourite projects. 
Hoping all my friends and readers have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a relaxing holiday. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Favourite Vignettes From Our Christmas Home Tour and a Greenery Trick

I enjoy this time of year, not only because of the anticipation of Christmas, but because there are so many great holiday home tours and Christmas related posts. I love seeing different decorating styles, recipes and gift making ideas.

Today I am sharing some of my favourite little vignettes and arrangements from our Christmas home tour, seen in this post. As I putter around our home in the evening, working on last minute projects or wrapping gifts, I love seeing these little spots of Christmas cheer in our home.  Our living room dresser is one of my favourite spots, with naturals, mercury glass, chippy architectural pieces and red accents. Our full living room tour can be found here. 

At night I like to turn on the Christmas tree lights and the globe lights in this olive bucket of naturals. You can see our living room at night in this post.

This large painted wood bowl filled with pinecones, white pine, burlap and vintage silver glass ornaments is simple and really easy to pull together.

This is one of my tricks for keeping the mixed greenery from drying out and making a mess. For smaller bunches of live pine, fir or cedar, tucked here and there I use these florist water tubes. They slip easily amongst the balls or hide behind bowls on shelves. (If you don't overfill them they can lay horizontally without leaking too.)

For larger arrangements, like in the galvanized sap buckets on our office armoire in the family room, I use jars and check the water every week or so. The galvanized sap buckets and watering can get more of a winter look with the birch ball, pinecones and lots of greenery. I got the JOY galvanized letters at Michaels for 70% off. I really like how this area can be seen from both our kitchen and family room, and even a glimpse from the front entry.

This metal milk pail was a purchase, along with the olive bucket above, from Meg at Oliver and Rust's Fall Vintage Sale. I added the found birch limbs, faux greenery and a little piece of leftover ribbon from our family room tree. Again, simple and it can carry over to winter.

Our front entry is small so this vintage honey pail with greens and fillers is a pretty touch and on the cabinet, it's out of the way.

I shared the chunkier new stained kitchen shelves here and I am really enjoying the simpler decor this year.

I like keeping most of our kitchen prep space clear so I perched another galvanized bucket of simple birch and greenery up high on the fridge in the kitchen. 

We have been getting lots of use out of our hot chocolate station. The cutting board was a 50 cent garage sale find that I added a chalkboard to. Since I took the photo I have added a mason jar filled with candy canes. It is simple little touches like these that make our home feel ready for the Christmas season.

Thanks for visiting! We are spending a quiet weekend wrapping presents and having dinner with my dad and sister's family. I always decorate their live tree for them and just as we were sitting down to dinner we heard the crash of the tree falling over, shattering all their glass ornaments. Sister is not a fan of tree decorating so I can see a small tabletop tree in their future. One more week of school/work and then we get to really settle in for Christmas holidays. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Our 2014 Cozy Christmas Home Tour

Link party holiday house walk tag

Hello friends! Welcome to our Christmas 2014 Home Tour. I'm joining The 2014 Holiday House Walk Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo's. Christmas and Home Tours are two of my favourite things. I loved visiting the homes in this year's tour and found the homes and bloggers to be very welcoming. There was so much inspiration that I know, just like in previous years, I will be visiting the tours again and again. 

I am so happy that you are visiting our home tour today. I welcome my regular readers and thank you for your friendship. If you are a new visitor, I am Elizabeth and I live with my husband Rob and our two teenage sons in our suburban home in southern Ontario, Canada. I will be sharing lots of photos, with links to detailed posts as they are available. 

We will start the tour on the front porch on the first sunny day in weeks. It is cold here and we have had light snow a few times. I kept things really simple on the front porch this year.

We put the wicker chairs away for the winter and I placed a metal pail on a bench and filled it with fresh fir and pine clippings, cedar branches and a simple burlap bow.

I got a late start to my Christmas decorating this year because I just finished painting our main level. Lots of work putting everything back together but we love the fresh new colours. We have plans to make more updates., but I like the way that our home's style is evolving as time and money allows.

Our front entry hall is on the small side but has a coat closet, a half bath and just enough room for this black cabinet I painted. The cabinet holds baskets full of warm gloves, hats and scarves for our cold Canadian winters.

This rusty old honey pail makes a cute container for fresh greenery and fillers. I used burlap garland to fill the space between the water jar and the pail and made a bow out of burlap ribbon. Berry and apple picks, pinecones, and natural balls add some interest.

From the entry our home flows into the living room on the left, into the dining room past the stairs on the right and then back to our kitchen and family room. I love how the new lighter paint colours really help to brighten the darker rooms towards the front of our home.

This year my vision for our Christmas decor was a cozy northern cabin with some added sparkle and I think it mixes well with our year round 'farmhouse at the lake' style. 

Our living room is light and bright with a neutral base of whites, grey, black and wood tones, with red and silver added for Christmas. The tables are found or garage sale pieces that I painted inexpensively to give a fresh new look.

The lanterns, vintage wooden Superior Skis and cozy throws add to the cabin feel. I love architectural salvage and it makes me think of the old farmhouse or cabin that it may have once been part of. I enjoy finding ways to display old chippy pieces. The repetition of greenery, pinecones, birch, stars, deer and moose remind me of times spent camping or at a northern cottage.  

Pine cones, birch and greenery in this olive bucket add a touch of nature inexpensively. The knitting is an infinity scarf I am working on for my niece. The vintage dresser stores extra candles and keeps my knitting/crochet projects close at hand, both winter essentials for a relaxing evening at home.

More greenery and pine cones fill this footed mercury glass bowl.

Our living room tree ribbon is a red and black buffalo check. I bought tons of the red wood berry garland more than 20 years ago and it is a part of our Christmas decorating every year.

Large snowy pinecones, glittery deer and snowflakes, felt moose, silver and brown jingle bells, white, silver and clear glass balls, wood candy canes, plaid mini boxes and white sweater trees fill the tree. 

I painted the JOY and Canada flag pillows, and sewed the red and black check and moose/maple leaf pillows, last year. The coffee table tray is filled with pinecones, strings of red wood beads, large mercury glass balls and Christmas balls in various sizes. Isn't the white deer a cute piece? Hopefully he will remain safe from our chocolate lab's powerful tail lol.

Across from our living room is our dining room. It is not a large space but I really love how bright it is with the new Simply White paint colour. 

I am searching for a low narrow buffet to paint but for now the pie safe and the bookcase, relocated to make room for the family room tree, balance out this side of the dining room. This past summer our boys stripped the popcorn ceiling from the family room, dining room and hallway and I still need to lower and center the light over the table.

Lately I am enjoying simple linen or natural bows on wreaths as seen here in the dining room window. The rough cut cedar plank on the dining room table is from when my father-in-law had a sawmill. On it I placed, no surprise here, more strands of red wood beads, white pillar candles wrapped in birch, white wooden stars and a pair of lanterns.

I use a mix of real and faux greenery and love to tuck fresh white pine and cedar in amongst the white dishes in the hutch. The white pitchers on the top of the hutch need to be raised higher. I have a few more of the cedar planks in the basement that will work.

Did I say how much I love the new paint colours? Revere Pewter and Simply White, with Snowfall White trim. Now we need to get busy in the New Year finishing the trim and mantel on the fireplace/TV wall that has been half completed for way too long. I don't have a mantel to decorate yet but in the meantime I hung our Christmas stockings from 3M Command hooks. Inspiration from Pinterest, five minutes and a chalk marker last night gave the chalkboard that I painted a new message for the season. 

The end and fireplace wall are Revere Pewter and the wall behind the leather seating is Simply White. I'm so glad we switched the leather couch with the white slipcovered sofa in the living room. This is where our family hangs out. The heritage leather holds up really well to a bunch of 15-21 year old guys.

More greenery, pinecones and birch fill this old milk pail. You will find lots of references to cows and farms in our home. My husband is from a farming family. I have always loved cows and farms. Our 17 year old son used to show dairy and beef cows, has owned goats and rabbits (which our youngest son also used to show), and currently owns and breeds Jersey cows, although not in our suburban backyard lol.

I like to include our family's interests and history in our home decor and in our Christmas decor, especially on the family tree.

Our family tree is collected and colourful but I try to pull it all together with a pretty ribbon, some homemade deer tags and repeating the red wood berry garland used in other Christmas vignettes.

This is the first year for this tree to have white lights as the guys have always requested coloured lights. They agreed to get white lights next year too.

Our soon to be sixteen year old son helped me build this crate for our family room tree. It is a simple and inexpensive touch that gave our tree an updated look this year. The crate also helps hold up a lower branch or two on our well loved 10 year old tree. I will add buckets for presents just as soon as I get my shopping started.

On the ottoman I filled a large black wood bowl with white pine, pinecones, burlap and vintage silver glass ornaments. The large etched and glittered glass balls were this week's thrift store score at 99 cents for 4. I was channeling the gorgeous dough bowl full of vintage Shiny Brites image on Pinterest. My copy cat version was made with items on hand and less than $4.

I keep my collection of galvanized containers on top of the office armoire all year. The greenery and pine cones, plus galvanized JOY letters add some Christmas cabin charm.

I love that this natural vignette can be seen from both the kitchen and family room, with a peek at it from the front entry as well.

Our family room shares the cathedral ceiling end of our home with the eat in area of our kitchen. This Fall I scored a solid oak buffet and hutch from a neighbour doing a kitchen renovation, for free! You can probably guess that it will be painted after the holidays. I love wood tones mixed with painted pieces but prefer a darker stain.

Love love the stained wood kitchen shelves that I replaced last week. My collections of aqua Crown mason jars and pudding bowls give these shelves a more simple look than previous years.

A few cuttings of fresh pine added to the ironstone pudding bowls carry the greenery around the room without being too busy.

Another bucket of greenery and birch branches with a natural ribbon on top of the fridge.

I crafted a little chalkboard cutting board for the hot beverage station in a crate on the kitchen counter. 

I still have a few more Christmas touches to add to other rooms but I am not going to stress about it and will focus on enjoying time with our family and friends.

Thanks to Jennifer Rizzo and the bloggers on the home tour with her this year. Thanks so much for visiting. Our home is not perfect and is always a work in progress, much like ourselves, but we are very blessed to call it home. We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! 

I will be sharing this tour at the following parties....

christmas tour of homes