Here's the scenario: You have guests coming over and need to add a bit of wow to your space without too much effort. Here's an easy way to add an inviting touch: bring in a tree.
In the past year, we've seen the broad leaf ficus in almost every space. Although glorious and lush, I can't say that I know a single person who's managed to keep it alive for more than 8 months (including me... yikes!). My suggestion: try an outdoor tree that you can plant outside later.
The lilac in the bedroom above is absolutely stunning. I'm thinking it might be a branch (based on the narrow pot it's in), which also works, but won't last more than a couple of weeks.
For this porch makeover (watch the transformation on Online TV!), H&H Online TV's segment producer, Ryan Louis, suggested we make a trip to Plant World in Toronto's west end. We found this spectacular maple that brings the outdoors in — perfect for an enclosed porch. It elevates the space more than any house plant ever could. The best part is that the homeowner can plant it outdoors later in the season!
I couldn't write this blog post without showing this gem from 2009. Style editor Stacey Smithers threw a Japanese maple onto an entrance table and we're still talking about it.
Forget cut flowers — make a big impact with a small tree and create a focal point your guests won't soon forget.
I stumbled upon this Brazilian interior and couldn't help but share it.
There are so many eclectic elements in this space, but somehow they all work together effortlessly. The three styles of very different chairs, the mix of antique, vintage and contemporary pieces, the bulb clusters sitting in nets and the lived-in look of the not-so-curated bookcase are pulled together to create a fantastic, unique space. It's so refreshingly different — I love it. What do you think?
See our gallery of photos from Vintage Remix for more ideas.
1. Méchant Design
You may remember Vancouver company Gallant & Jones was featured in the July 2010 issue of House & Home (Style Files, p. 30). Their beautiful handcrafted chairs are still available, as are their stools, trays, totes, blankets and... tents! Yes, tents! Now carrying a quirky line of tents from FieldCandy, Gallant & Jones' outdoor products are sure to put a smile on your face.
Outfit your deck with something other than moulded plastic chairs. Gallant & Jones' folding deck chair frames are crafted using North American white oak and covered with the prettiest assortment of fabrics.
The FieldCandy tents are too much fun! There are six trompe-l'oeil options to choose from. I can't describe how happy that watermelon tent makes me, even though I have no interest in camping!
Gallant & Jones also has a beautiful blog. Check it out for more inspiration.
I must admit, I'm guilty of pinning dreams on Pinterest: pins that are so glorious and eye-catching you can't resist adding them to your "Inspiration" or "Must Buy" boards, when really, you'll never own any of those things in a million years. Let me quickly share a few with you:
Ah, the ever-dreamy lofty glass house! Last I checked, I live in Canada, it's snowing in April, and hydro still isn't free. Maybe I'll just buy a cloche and let my cactus live out my glass house fantasies.
I just had to pin this (most likely expensive) freestanding, round statement tub that won't fit most normal-sized bathrooms. All that's missing is a Persian rug at the foot of the tub.
This one's been repinned quite a few times. I'm fairly certain there aren't many people spending weeks moving their furniture, laying out drop-sheets, meticulously applying masking tape and covering their 14-foot ceilings and walls with two very daring colours that they'll grow sick of within months. But I had to pin it. I love it. And I can guarantee you I will never attempt it.
I couldn't finish this blog post without mentioning the Serge Mouille lamps. I've pinned every one of them, again and again. I know these fixtures might not be completely out of reach for some people, but for me, it goes like this: an original Serge Mouille or a first-class trip to Bora Bora? And that is why this is another Pinterest dream.
Now I understand that inspiration boards are meant to be just that: a place to gather ideas and jostle your creativity. I'm definitely not done pinning dreams and hope that you keep pinning "big" too.
For the old fashioned type of inspiration board, see Wendy Jacob's blog post about H&H editors' offices.
Spending days sourcing new products sometimes pays off, especially when I accidentally stumble upon a gem, like this Etsy shop EarthSeaWarrior. Filled with quirky and colourful decorative bits, this shop is like a candy store for the eclectic decorator. I must admit, the retro lamps are what really caught my eye. Their multicoloured cords are hand-dyed to achieve the right vibrancy, contrasting nicely with the muted colouring of the vintage lamps. Here's a small sample of their playful fixtures:
I'd love to have a lamp where the cord doesn't need to be hidden behind a desk!
Keep an eye out in Free People stores, where EarthSeaWarrior can be found lighting the dressing rooms.
For more, visit EarthSeaWarrior's Etsy shop online.
It's time to take pink out of the nursery. Don't fret: there are easy rules to follow to avoid the frilly, overly-feminine look. First and foremost, forget Pepto-Bismol and embrace these warm pink hues that don't scream Disney princess.
If you're a pink virgin, start small with blush-hued drapes. The crinkled nature of those pictured above offer a more casual aesthetic (read: not prom-like).
If you're ready to throw some pink paint onto your walls, try colour-blocking with a muted shade. I suggest a pink that almost reads as beige or grey — that way it will feel more like a neutral.
You're ready to commit to a pink upholstered piece? Hats off to you! Keep it from looking too sweet by pairing it with not-so-feminine decor elements, such as the raw wood-plank wall and linen pillows pictured in this modern Scandinavian beach house.
This gem is Bodie & Fou co-founder Karine Kong's home in London. Her daughter Mila picked the colour after judging their home's interior as being "too white". I dream of a house where the front door could be painted cotton-candy pink! You really can't go wrong with such a neutral façade. Beautiful.
For more inspiration, check out our Decorating With Pink photo gallery.