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When faced with my latest makeover — a small condo bedroom — I knew I needed to design a feature wall with lots of interest, but that wouldn't be too busy visually. Here's a before shot of bedroom:

I'd found my inspiration on Pinterest: a gritty but subtle ombré effect that could be recreated with paint.

Paint was going to play a major part in this transformation, so I had to pick the perfect colours. I picked three consecutive shades of blue from the Beauti-Tone deck: Ocean Crest (C9-7-0502-0) as the base colour, and Water Droplet (C9-7-0503-0) and Indian Tears (C9-7-0504-0) to layer over top. I chose a matte finish to mimic the look seen in the inspiration image.

The first step in this transformation was to get rid of the dark beige walls. A fresh coat of primer and the room was brighter already!

I then applied two coats of the palest blue all over the room. I used the same colour for the trim, but used Beauti-Tone's Door & Trim paint instead.

On a side note, have you noticed that I used painter's tape along a popcorn ceiling? Frog Tape actually worked along the uneven surface! I was quite happy about that.

The prep work before starting the effect was crucial: I sealed the baseboards with painter's tape and placed a thick drop sheet on the floor because I knew it was going to get messy.

To create the paint effect, I used a masonry brush (for its width and natural bristles). I mixed the medium blue paint (Water Droplet) with equal parts water which gave me a runny, watercolour-type consistency.

I applied it in an upwards motion until it gradually faded.

Once dry, I used the same technique with the darkest blue (Indian Tears), and kept my brushstrokes to the lower half of the wall, letting the medium blue peek through the top.

I was quite pleased with the final look. I could definitely see the brushstrokes and variations in colour, but it wasn't too flashy or distracting for a bedroom.

Creating a feature wall with paint was an easy way to add a bit of personality to an otherwise basic room!

Photo sources:
1., 3.-11. Reiko Caron
2. Pinterest
12. Jason Stickley

Author: 

Reiko Caron

Do you remember this copper display rack DIY? Clearly, I'm still hooked on copper in the kitchen!

I love this super simple DIY featured on the Remodelista website (originally posted on the Finnish blog Bambula). I think I might tackle this one myself and inject a little hit of warm metal into my kitchen.

For the full how-to, check out Remodelista's post. (For those fluent in Finnish, Bambula's blog post has detailed instructions!)

Photo credits:
1, 2. Bambula blog

Author: 

Reiko Caron

While perusing one of my favourite blogs, Riazzoli, I stumbled upon a DIY that's so simple, it requires no explanation. It's a magazine rack made from a towel rail! I should've thought of that...

Install multiple racks in a column configuration: the repetition gives a more orderly look. If you're looking for long, stainless steel rails such as the ones shown here, you'll want to pick up the GRUNDTAL rail at Ikea. Too easy, right?

Photo credits:
1-2. Stil Inspiration blog

Author: 

Reiko Caron

For years I've been receiving the Zara Home newsletters from the UK, and have been hoping the international retailer would someday bring it's effortlessly-chic European housewares to Canada — and it finally has.

I took a trip to Yorkdale Mall this week to take a peek at the new store. Situated right accross from its fashion counterpart, the Zara Home boutique was packed floor-to-ceiling with home and lifestyle accessories. The highlight for me was definitely the large selection of bedding and linens. Like a decorator's candy store, there were many different styles of cutlery, dinnerware, bathroom accessories, rugs, side tables, candlesticks, you name it. Their kids section was lovely too — sweet but not too sweet. Here are a few pics in case you haven't had time to check it out yourself:

For those of you who can't access a Zara Home retail store, check out their website to fulfill all your shopping needs (they now ship to Canada!).

Photo credits:
1. Zara Home
2-5. Reiko Caron

Author: 

Reiko Caron

With so many small condos out there, it may time to rethink how we use furniture. If you're living in one of these tiny condos or apartments, don't run out and buy everything "condo-sized" before you've taken a good look at all your existing pieces and tapped into the right side of your brain. Here's a terrific example I found, where two rather large bedside tables were placed side-by-side, creating a full-length sideboard.

Your condo's bedroom may not accommodate all your furniture, but your hallway or living room probably will!

If you're loving the look of this room, you should take a better look at this Milan apartment. It's spectacular.

Photo credit:
Yellow Trace blog, design by Dimore Studio, photography by Emanuele Zamponi, Davide Lovatti and Beppe Brancato

Author: 

Reiko Caron

It's mid-July, and in magazine world, that means Christmas. Although none of us can ever be prepared for the deluge of gingerbread and tinsel in 30-degree weather, we're always happy to get a glimpse of what's to come.

Our latest preview was hosted by the talented team from HomeSense, who never fail to impress. Here are some of the great pieces you should keep an eye out for come fall. Let's begin with furniture:

Expect to see some great pieces from Drexel Heritage (brown-and-brass hutch), oversized rustic storage, cosy settees and smaller, Scandi-style pieces for the home. That little grey chair and ottoman are the perfect size for condo living.

The rugs were quite impressive as well. Here are a few standouts:

Here's a Thom Felicia for Safavieh rug (above). Not nearly as pricey as you'd think!

These cosy neutral rugs are sure to warm up any space. I love the striped, fringed rugs. So Scandinavian!

And of course, HomeSense always shines in the accessories/gifts department:

Beautifully framed fabrics and gemstone bookends make perfect gifts.

Warm-metal cutlery looks gorgeous on a holiday table. This set is actually affordable!

I loved HomeSense's solution to a drab office: jewelry boxes! Paperclips never looked so good...

Keep an eye out, as I've already spotted a few of pieces of their fall collection on store shelves. Happy hunting!

Photo credits:
1-10. Reiko Caron

Author: 

Reiko Caron

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