Connect with H&H

I used to daydream about a turquoise accent wall in my living room, but now I've decided to go with a bold, bright, very beachy teal for my bedroom instead. Now that my mind's made up, the tricky part is choosing the right shade. Here are some photos I've been poring over for inspiration:

Completely unrelated to my bedroom, but I love this shade in a kitchen, too. Turquoise tiles? Why not?

H&H senior style editor Morgan Michener styled this room for our April 2011 issue, and I just can't get enough of this wall colour. My office bulletin board is painted a similar hue.

This Hillary Thomas-designed bathroom appeared in Lonny this year, and the paint colour/nautical art combo really caught my eye.

So, which direction to take? Blue or green undertones? Aqua? Peacock? Here are some of the samples I've saved from Behr and CIL:

Thoughts and picks welcome! Factor in my white headboard and charcoal grey duvet, please!

For more beachy rooms, see our Seaside-Inspired Interiors photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home May 2010 issue, photography by John Cullen
2. House & Home September 2010 issue, photography by Kim Christie
3. House & Home April 2011 issue, photography by John Cullen
4. Tenth Street West Village Townhouse, Steven Gambrel
5. House & Home April 2011 issue, photography by John Cullen
6. Lonny January/February 2011 issue, photography by Patrick Cline
7. 490B, Behr
8. 500B, Behr
9. CIL

I think that everybody has a little creativity inside them. I've met people who say they're not creative at all, but once you dig a little, there's a mini artiste waiting to get out. Even if you don't have a creative job like me, I think it's great to get a daily dose of inspiration. That's partly why blogs are so great!

For me, inspiration is all around and I like to collect little bits of this and that and pin them to the two large bulletin boards in my office at H&H. The grouping is always changing and shifting. The items may or may not have anything to do with a story I'm working on. There are no rules; it's just a place to gather inspiration and a dose of fresh creativity each time I glance over during the day.

Here's what my inspiration board looks like at the moment. I have so many inspiration photos and swatches that they've even spilled over onto the walls around the corkboards! Last week I threw a piece of leftover gingham fabric over an old table and tacked on some fringe with pushpins — classy! I think it's fun for now. I even have a hat, lots of thank-you cards and random bits of ribbon and trim pinned to my board. All fun. All inspiring to me.

This little grouping is for an imaginary country house: The taupe linen is for a sofa, the crazy geranium print is for a stand-out chair, the sage/linen stripe is for some slipcovers and the block print is for some squishy feather pillows. The gingham ribbon? Maybe I'd use that to tie up some loose canvas roman blinds? And there are lots of paint colour options in the leaves of the geranium print.

As you probably know, I have a thing for blue and white and all things beachy and nautical. This striped seersucker fabric mixed with the global batik is a great combo, and I love them next to the monogrammed polka-dot stationery. The straw hat doesn't hurt either! Pour me some lemonade, would you?

I'm also a big garden enthusiast, so these old botanical prints never go out of style for me. (Did you see the TV segment where I decoupaged them on a dresser?) I love them paired with the arsenic-green painted chest and maybe some awning stripe like on that card up there. The paint swatches are old ones from the original Martha Stewart paint collection and the pairings are still current and fresh.

So why not head out and pick up your own corkboard and let that artiste get to work? I promise it'll make you smile.

For more, see Suzanne Dimma's blog post on Inspiration Boards As Art, or Joel Bray's bulletin board tips on Online TV.

Photo credits:
1-4. Michael Penney

The outdoor wedding season is upon us and many of you probably have a wedding or two to attend within the next few months. Perhaps you have the grand task of planning and decorating for your friend's nuptials? Either way, summer weddings are wonderful and Canada boasts some great landscapes to host beautiful parties. Here are some outdoor and indoor decorating ideas that are sure to have you dreaming of holy matrimony.

Rustic wood tables and chairs sit comfortably under the shade. No need for tassels or frills here; let nature take centre stage with a few simple centerpieces of colourful wildflowers.

Oh the juicy summertime colours! I absolutely adore the hanging mini-bouquets! The centerpieces are stunning as well. To get this look, splurge on flowers and save on vessels by purchasing secondhand glassware — the ones shown here are similar to the vintage glass compote that Michael Penney found at Value Village. Summer's also the perfect season to decorate with fresh fruit. The box of apricots sitting amongst the flowers was surely inexpensive and easy to throw together.

A touch more refined, this setup keeps it simple with oatmeal-coloured linens, white flowers and inexpensive hanging tealight holders that will sparkle come nighttime.

Canada's weather is unpredictable even during the warmer months, so this greenhouse wedding is a great idea. Filled with summertime flair, this casual party takes its colour palette from surrounding flowers and plants.

A garden-style bistro table is quaint and cute for a small wedding. The vintage-looking tableware and striped runner are perfection.

Flower arrangements don't have to be expensive — they can be as simple as recycled glass jars and whatever flowers you find growing nearby. Very casual-country and oh-so-pretty!

Speaking of recycling, these quirky floral centerpieces are made of old colourful tin cans. This is a great stylist trick that'll give you that vintage-chic look. See H&H style experts Michael Penney and Joel Bray demonstrate a few similar floral arrangements on this Online TV segment and try it out for yourself!

If you plan on DIY-ing a wedding this summer, check out some of the tools offered by Martha Stewart Weddings. I like the "Plan Your Wedding By Colour" tool and wedding cake recipe section.

Whether weddings are on your summer agenda or not, take some cues from these pretty wedding decors and host your own outdoor party.

Photo credits:
1. Jose Villa Wedding Photography, as seen on A Million Little Details
2. Rebecca Wood Photography, as seen on Cynthia Martyn Events
3. Meg Smith, as seen on Style Me Pretty
4. Soul Mates Photo, as seen on Ruffled
5. Kelly Lynn James, as seen on Antiquaria
6. Peacock Photography, as seen on Ruffled

7. Elizabeth Vanderbij Photography as seen on A Million Little Details
8. Martha Stewart Weddings

Since I saw this stunning lakefront home office in our May 2011 issue, I've been imagining all the things that would make for a great workspace.

Having artwork and inspiration displayed nearby is crucial for me — either on a corkboard, like above, or framed, as in Michael Angus' Toronto apartment.

Desktop organizers to sort stationery, bills, writing utensils and other miscellaneous objects are also helpful. I can't focus when I'm surrounded by clutter.

This office by designer Sarah Richardson features something I've always wanted — a desk fitted into a bay window. I particularly like the detailed brackets which free up floor space. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch, too.

Colour, a comfortable chair and a pretty but functional lamp are also musts for me, as seen in Michael Penney's home office.

What are your workspace must-haves?

For more home office ideas check out this photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home May 2011 issue, photography by Heather Ross
2. decor8, photography by Thorsten Becker

3. CountryHome
4. Sarah's House, photography by Stacey Brandford
5. House & Home June 2011 issue, photography by Donna Griffith

The second Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup took place this past weekend at Toronto's trendy Brassaii on King Street West. Bloggers flocked from all over to network, schmooze, nibble, and learn which new design blogs have popped up this past year, and which have continued to thrive out there in web world. The attendees ranged from bloggers who work in the design industry to full-time moms to lawyers by day and bloggers by night. This year had an even bigger turnout — more than 70 bloggers! — and even more great sponsors and prizes. Plus, organizers Vitania Liscio and Daniella Zitella managed to book HGTV star and Sarah Richardson designer Tommy Smythe as a guest speaker.

For details and photos from last year's event, click here.

Here are just a few of the raffle prizes from sponsors like Ikea, Delta, Crate & Barrel and Rowenta.

Daniella (of Dress, Design & Decor) and Vitania (of Verdigris Vie) did an amazing job of organizing the event.

Brassaii was the perfect venue to mingle and chat about all things design.

Here are Vanessa Francis from Decor Happy (left), Christine Dovey from Bijou and Boheme, and Amy Parrag from Eye See Pretty.

The ladies to thank for many of the prizes? Anita Griffin from Delta (left) and Laurie Hall from Rowenta (middle), hanging out with Susan Forint from the blog SAF Affect.

Wendy Hicken from Desire to Decorate and Staci Edwards from Inspired by Life keeping close to the swag bags!

Brittany Stager from My Daily Randomness (left), Amanda Cromwell from Amanda Cromwell Design, Janice Casagrande from Life begins at Thirty, Right?, and Emily Hayes from Not a House, But a Home smile for the camera.

Sharalee Mushore from Escapade (left), Sandi Tower from For Design's Sake, Daniella Zitella of Dress, Design & Decor, and Maria Miller of Suite Henry enjoy the delish finger foods.

Special guest Tommy Smythe poses with Vanessa Francis from Decor Happy (left), Ana Castanheira from Second Wind Interiors, Sarah Gunn from Wall Candy (second from right), and Christine Da Costa from Decor By Christine (far right).

Tommy kept the crowd in giggles with stories of his trip to Sweden and Denmark with designer sidekick Sarah Richardson. And he passed on some valuable tips about blogging in the design industry.

Daniella (left) and former H&H style editor Andrea Mills (now at Ikea) help Tommy draw the lucky winners who brought home all those fabulous prizes.

All in all, another successful blogger meetup. Thanks to all the creative cats out there keeping the design dialogue going!

Photo credits:
Leah Kirin, Forever Moments Photography

I was thinking the other day about what draws me to an interior. Often here at H&H, we're asked things like, "What are your fave kitchens?," or "Which designers are you loving right now?" But what I love changes — it's hard choosing the "best" because there is just so much good design out there.

The other day, I was having a look at loads of interiors (for an unrelated story), and I noticed that a lot of the spaces I was drawn to had a similar element. Take a look just below, can you find the thread?

If you guessed circles, you're right. Something about each image above and the importance of the circular form struck me. Perhaps I'm responding to the organic nature of the form and its way of offsetting structure and straight lines.

Have a look around. Do you live with a round mirror? Does your home have ceiling medallions? Would a round ottoman or coffee table solve the problem of linking your sofa and chairs together? I bet a circular form or two would add a little something something to your own home.

Photo credits:
1. Darryl Carter's D.C. Townhouse, Elle Decor, photography by Simon Upton
2. Lower Fifth, Steven Gambrel (For more inspiring rooms by this designer, see our Steven Gambrel photo gallery.)
3. Southampton, Steven Gambrel
4. Elle Decor, photography by Eric Piasecki
5. Elle Decor, photography by William Waldron
6. Elle Decor, photography by Simon Upton

Comment Guidelines

We welcome your feedback on Houseandhome.com. H&H reserves the right to remove any unsuitable personal remarks made about the bloggers, hosts, homeowners and/or guests we feature. Please keep your comments focused on decorating, design, cooking and other lifestyle topics. Adopt a tone you would be willing to use in person and do not make slanderous remarks or use denigrating language. If you see a comment that you believe violates any of the guidelines outlined above, please click “Flag as inappropriate.” Thank you.

OK