Well, it comes as no surprise how “done” I am with winter. I know I live in Canada, but we have been spoiled the last few years with our gentle winters. For March break we usually jet off to Florida for some fun in the sun, but this year we decided to stay put. In three weeks we are moving back into our house after a five month reno!
As I dream about summer days, I have resorted to adding pics to my Pinterest account to remind me of the days to come. One of the boards is for our backyard. There are a few over-the-top ideas to consider, but some easy and affordable ones too:
A built-in slide! We actually have a slight hill in our yard, where this would be perfect. Add a little water and you have a instant water slide!
My boys would love this skate ramp in the backyard. I love how they've painted it to look like a pool.
If you don't have enough room for a pool, here’s a great idea to consider. Obviously, it's a huge job to undertake but how fun. I can see the adults enjoying this as much as the kiddies.
Love the concrete bench with the pink and grey throw cushions. It's easygoing and a great seating area for a large party.
These outdoor lights have been on my shopping list for years. No, they are not Christmas lights — they're way more charming and have a beautiful glow.
Not only is the design sleek and fitting to any setting, the sound is unbelievable. Also, if you’re not interested in listening to the radio, you can easily connect your iPod.
Plus, the iPal Radio's environmentally-friendly NiMH battery recharges in less than three hours, and lasts up to 16 hours. Here's another fan: "In terms of bass, clarity and loudness, the Tivoli [iPal Radio] is in a class of its own … [it's] the best sounding portable speaker on the market for the iPod, and it’s got AM/FM to boot when you feel like listening to local radio. Highly recommended." (NBC's Today Show).
If you can believe it folks, Christmas is just seven weeks away. This is the perfect time of year to swing by The Bay to check out their beautiful Christmas Street. Last week House & Home editors had the opportunity to walk through Christmas Street at The Bay’s Queen Street location. The event was hosted by Arren Williams, creative director of home fashions, alongside interior designer Brian Gluckstein. Both Arren and Brian walked us through their collections and noted some of their favourite pieces. All the collections are beautifully executed, very inspiring and are full of gorgeous finds for the holidays.
Here's Arren Wiliams by a Christmas tree with wide red tartan ribbons garlands.
Brian Gluckstein talks to guests about some of the key pieces in his holiday collection.
These sparkly silver reindeer are part of Brian's line.
Part of The Bay's regular holiday line, these tartan bears are right on trend.
These reindeer and gingerbread house ornaments caught my eye.
This classic red blanket and antler-look reindeer decoration would make a great foundation for a masculine, winter cottage look.
Recently on Facebook, Arren mentioned the Gluckstein Faux Fur throws, promising that with "one touch you'll fall in love." And fall in love I did. I absolutely love this one in the Wolf colourway. It's definitely going on my wish list this Christmas!
While you're picking up Christmas decorations, you might want to get a little Christmas shopping done as well. Just along the path from Christmas Street you'll find a few new collections in The Bay's stationary section, including one from Jonathan Adler and a fun line called Cake. But what I'm most excited about is the Ordning & Reda line above. The brand is Swedish, and the name translates to "Order and Method." The company has been producing great quality folders, pencil-cases, letter-writing paper and so forth since 1990. It's definitely worth checking out.
See the holiday decorations that have caught Holly Meighen's eye this season.
1-9. Sarah Hartill
The month of August flew by right before our eyes. Between time off and photo shoots, I calculated I was in the office for a total of four days.
Another reason why I was out of the office was the New York International Gift Fair. My colleague and good friend Stacey Smithers and I jumped at the chance to attend the annual trade show. Even though we were only in New York for two days, we managed to make the most of it. We stayed at The NoMad Hotel located in the heart of the historic NoMad neighbourhood (North of Madison Square Park). (Check out Mark Challen's article on the NoMad hotel in our October 2012 issue.)
As style editors, we are constantly finding inspiration in all sorts of places. As soon as you walk through the doors of the hotel, your senses gear into overload, and our rooms were no exception. We instantly fell in love with the overall design of the rooms — you felt like you were walking into a cool Parisian apartment. From the artwork to the gorgeous carpet and paint colours, the small details were nothing short of brilliant. It was the perfect place to end our day after walking the gift show for hours and touring the city.
See Cameron MacNeil's blog post on Vintage Chic Hotels for more inspiration.
1-8. Sarah Hartill
It's the debate in kitchens today — light versus dark cabinetry. I'm in the stages of designing our new kitchen. Right now we have dark wood shaker panelled cabinets. I definitely want a change but I'm struggling between white or dark grey (even black) cabinetry for the new kitchen. As you can imagine, the inspiration binder is exploding, but it's crunch time and I really need to make a decision. I would love to hear your feedback! Comment below!
Here are some kitchens I love with light cabinetry:
And equally gorgeous kitchens with dark cabinetry:
Which do you prefer?
See our Kitchen Design & Decorating Guide for more reno inspiration.
1. House & Home October 2009 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
2. House & Home September 2011 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
3. House & Home October 2010, photography by Michael Graydon
4. House & Home February 2012, photography by Michael Graydon
5. Sköna Hem magazine via Solid Frog blog, photography by Daniela Witte
6. Plain English
The other day, my colleague Sally Armstrong and I took a trip over to Designer Fabrics in Toronto's west end. I was immediately surprised by all the hides they have in stock right now. The different patterns and colours are amazing. If you're in the market for a fun element to add to your space, these could be just what you're looking for.
I couldn't resist, so as an early birthday present (today's my birthday!!!), I purchased one of the cream and gold hides (above). I know my husband will think I've totally lost it, but I think it will look great on a bench in either our living room or bedroom.
For tips on reupholstering furniture, leather or not, see Michael Penney's blog post.
1-5. Sarah Hartill