Let us continue on the grand tour of my new place — before the makeover! Again, stay tuned for the "after" photos in H&H's June 2011 issue. If you missed the main floor, click here, and for our kitchen, click here. Remembering these days right after we bought really reminds me of how much work we've done to spiff it up.
Let's start with the front bedroom. It came with lots of vinyl wallpaper and some apple green silk drapes. I thought I might be able to work with those drapes, to tell you the truth. Notice all of the nice mouldings, old doors and hardware? They're my favourite!
Here's a shot of the landing at the top of the stairs. It's unusually large and square for a house this old, but it's a really nice feature and provides a bit of breathing room between the bedrooms and bathroom. And you've got to love the old drapes on that little window!
This is the guest bedroom — it's about the same size as the principal bedroom except for the closets. This blue is one of my favourite colours, but of course I repainted! You'll have to wait and see what I chose instead...
More great old doors and doorknobs. And the floors are in really good shape up here, too.
And here's the old bathroom in all its glory. Wallpaper, drapes, drapes over the tub, linoleum flooring — you name it! This was the first room we tackled and yes, there was a crowbar involved.
The house came with a great original pedestal sink and a beautiful white tub, but can you believe those awful faucets?!?! And that medicine cabinet? What were they thinking? You can see the 'cultured marble' tub surround in this shot. That's where I employed the crowbar. It came down with a crash!
Finally, the principal bedroom. It's a decent size and has a nice big window looking out over the yard. The closet situation is kind of unusual — it's like a little room unto itself with a his and hers closet each! Plus, there's a door out onto the roof (for sunbathing, I guess?).
Even though I had been pulling wallpaper down in the bathroom and kitchen, I was dreaming of putting wallpaper up in this bedroom. I can't wait to show you the results!
Lately it seems that every art, hardware and decor store carries a wide selection of wall stickers for the home. From typography to flowers, anything seems to go. I must admit, I thought they were rather clever at first. It seemed like a quick fix — a cheap and easy way to throw on some oversized art without the pain and cost of framing. Nowadays, however, they kind of make me cringe.
Oh dear — the chandelier decal. I've seen this sticker one too many times. May I suggest getting a real chandelier?
Decorating, like art, is subjective and individual. So I totally respect that many may disagree with my take. Please weigh in the comment form below!
Oversized, nature-inspired decals seem to be popular in living rooms. Once again, I'd rather see a real plant and some pretty paintings, but that's just me. What do you think?
Somehow, I don't mind them in a child's bedroom. I guess the bright colours and cartoon-like flatness of the art works well in playful spaces.
This growth chart wall decal is adorable. Again, it's for a kid's room. I like when art becomes functional!
I'm sure you have your own thoughts about wall stickers. Perhaps you've found a way to make them work in your own home. In your opinion: are wall decals still trendy, or are they a fad?
This is the time of year I start thinking about what I should be working on in my backyard. It's a small city yard (about 400 square feet) and I know I don't have enough space for an outdoor structure, but I've certainly always wanted one!
I love the idea of a cabana in the backyard as a mini hideaway — they always remind me of being poolside in Miami or the Caribbean.
I think it's great when people convert their garage into something like this, but I would be just as happy with a Sunbrella fabric pavilion like the one below.
1. House & Home May 2010 issue, photography by Ted Yarwood
2. House & Home July 2007 issue, photography by Stacey Brandford
3. House & Home April 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
4. House & Home September 2008 issue, photography by Kim Christie
Taking the time to properly lay out a room is so crucial to the design and decorating process. Too often my friends, family (and, sadly, myself) get excited over a furniture find only to bring it home and realize the item is too big, too small, or simply not “just right.” When I stumbled upon The Urban Barn Make Room Planner, I knew I had to share it with you all.
This free web program lets you create floor plans using their premade layouts, or start from scratch using your own room dimensions. Then, you can drop in chairs, beds, dressers, dining tables, rugs and more, and change the size of each object. You can also rotate an item, give it height, colour, and link it to a webpage. So cool!
Even better, you can include structural items like outlets, windows and doors, along with kitchen appliances and workout equipment. You can drop in Urban Barn furniture, too.
As you can see here, you get to include inspiration photos in the background. I quickly put in my bedroom dimensions and a few of the main items I'd like to include to test out the program — and yes, I have a lot of doors in there.
So, go on and give it a try — it’s an easy way to discover all the neat options for your space, and it’ll make room planning that much easier. Save, print and export your file when you’re finished. Don’t forget to bring along your measuring tape and room plans when you go out, too. You never know when you’ll stumble upon something that could work in your home.
For more design and decorating tools, visit our DIY & Home Improvement section.
The office was abuzz when I invited a Smucker's "sundae specialist" in for an afternoon session of make-your-own sundaes. (Have I mentioned that House & Home is a great place to work?) Anyway, a bunch of us gathered in the kitchen to get pointers from Sarah about how to create the perfect DIY sundae experience.
Some of the basics included using long-handled spoons to reach the very bottom of the sundae dish, pre-scooping softened ice cream and then freezing the scoops on a parchment-lined tray so the ice cream is ready to go when you are, and having a good variety of toppings at hand — squeeze bottles of sauces work best with kids. The most important tip of all is to just have fun with it, like we did, when we made a variety of these Canadiana-themed Smucker's sundae recipes. Try one of these at home!
1 homemade or store-bought brownie (2" x 3", split horizontally)
1 scoop (1/2 cup) vanilla or mint ice cream, softened, divided
1 tbsp Smucker's Magic Shell Chocolate Topping
2 tbsp Smucker's Sundae Syrup Chocolate Syrup
1 tbsp toasted coconut, optional
Step 1: Place bottom half of brownie on dessert plate. Top with 1/2 scoop of ice cream. Top with remaining brownie half. Place another 1/2 ice cream scoop on top, drizzle with Smucker's Magic Shell Chocolate Topping.
Step 2: When magic shell is firm, drizzle with chocolate sundae syrup and garnish plate with toasted coconut.
©/™/® Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. or its affiliates
6 strips uncooked bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 strip candied bacon, crumbled
2 tbsp Smucker's Sundae Syrup Caramel Flavoured
Sea salt to taste
1 large scoop (about 1 cup) maple ice cream
Additional bacon for garnish
Additional caramel syrup
Step 1: Combine bacon and brown sugar in small bowl, making sure that sugar evenly coats both sides of bacon.
Step 2: Place bacon on barbecue grill over medium heat, and grill 3-4 minutes per side or until crispy and golden brown. Cool.
Step 3: Combine syrup, crumbled bacon and sea salt in small bowl. Set aside.
Step 4: Meanwhile, place ice cream in serving dish. Drizzle with caramel bacon mixture. Garnish with additional bacon and caramel syrup if needed.
©/™/® Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. or its affiliates
2 graham crackers, crumbled
3 tbsp Smucker's Sundae Syrup Chocolate Syrup
1 large scoop (about 1 cup) vanilla ice cream divided
1 tbsp chopped dark chocolate
Toasted mini marshmallows
Smucker's Sundae Syrup Chocolate Syrup
Step 1: Place 1/2 of cookie crumbles in bottom of parfait dish. Top with 1/3 of chocolate syrup and half of ice cream. Continue layering, ending with ice cream.
Step 2: Garnish with toasted marshmallows, chopped chocolate, and chocolate sundae syrup.
©/™/® Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. or its affiliates
For more ice cream ideas, see our Frozen Dessert Recipes.
1-2. Leslie Williams
Remember that blog post I did a few months ago about the overdone leopard look? Well, lately I’ve been seeing another wave of the leopard print trend again, but this time of the snow leopard variety and I’ll admit, I’m really liking it.
The original fabric is called Les Touches and was manufactured by Brunschwig & Fils, a massive fabric house that was bought by another fabric giant, Kravet. It was introduced to the decorating world in 1965 and has kept a strong presence ever since.
As much as I’ve got decor on the brain, every time I see this fabric I have flashbacks from my childhood and the countless times I watched Disney's 101 Dalmatians (on VHS, of course). Remember having to wait and rewind videos? But I digress — back to decorating.
In the past, some designers have taken it a bit too far, like the fashion designer Geoffrey Beene. Back in 1988, he covered an entire room in this pattern. Luckily, things have changed since the ’80s…
The ever-so-stylish Tommy Smythe used this fabric on two wing chairs in his apartment that we featured back in our December 2009 issue. You can check out more of his bachelor pads, past and present, here.
This pattern might also be the best wallpaper ever if you have kids (or uneven walls); it’s guaranteed to hide all kinds of marks and fingerprints! Designer Tom Scheerer used it in this adorable powder room in an East Hampton cottage.
I’ve had this shot saved on my desktop for a few weeks now ever since I stumbled across it on a blog. This is my favourite application of this print — not too overpowering, but just enough to add that visual impact and interest to a room. It's something I would totally do in my own space.
Speaking of which, you can recreate this look yourself! Emily, from High on the Tide, took matters into her own hands and completed the most affordable DIY project to recreate this look. Check it out here. All you need is some white vinyl, a black Sharpie and some time on your hands — the perfect rainy weekend project. I recommend having 101 Dalmatians playing in the background, you know, for a little inspiration!
For more inspiration on punches of pattern and colour, see our Colour-Packed Rooms photo gallery.
1. High Street Market
2. 101 Dalmatians, Animation Archive
3. All the Best
4. House & Home December 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
5. East Hampton Cottage, Tom Scheerer, photography by Simon Upton
6. Unknown source: Help! Does anyone know where this shot comes from?
7. High on the Tide