Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treat of the Day

Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate

On a cold winters night who wouldn't want to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of cocoa.
Well here's a twist on the classic recipe.


3 cups fat-free milk
1 14-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 of a 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (2/3-cup)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate shavings (optional)

1. In medium saucepan combine fat-free milk, coconut milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Whisk in cocoa powder until well-combined.
2. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Serve in mugs topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Makes 5 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 445, Total Fat (g) 26, Saturated Fat (g) 20, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 3, Cholesterol (mg) 33, Sodium (mg) 137, Carbohydrate (g) 43, Total Sugar (g) 37, Protein (g) 11, Vitamin C (DV%) 2, Calcium (DV%) 33, Iron (DV%) 8, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Celebrity Room of the Day

This is the cottage of musical sensation Kenny G. It is located in the Muskoka region of Ontario. It is a very popular place for other celebrity cottagers such as Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
Kenny's cottage has many rustic and contemporary elements. I would say his style is Rustic Lodge Chic.The dark wood cabinetry in the kitchen with the stainless steel appliances are where the contemporary comes in. The stone fireplace, wooden furniture and mosquito netting over the bed are more of the rustic features of the cottage.  With all these components, this cottage gives off a easy going, relaxed atmosphere.

Coolest Find of the Day

Smart Tiles

A revolutionary and unique product that is as easy to install as peel and stick! The do it yourself peel and stick tile concept of smart tiles is made of an adhesive substrate topped with a clear gel component called Gel-0™ (which gives it its 3-dimensional effect) that makes the product so easy to handle, cut and maintain you will wonder why this was not invented before. They are installed in minutes without any mess or specialized tools over any clean and sleek surface for you to enjoy right there and then. Especially designed for kitchen and bathroom environments (ie. backsplashes), they are resistant to the heat of stovetops and the humidity of bathrooms. They are removable by simply heating the surface with a hairdryer and peeling them off. Makes life a lot easier! Visit the website and check them out.
They are currently available in most Home Depot stores.

A great alternative to those renters out there who want to jazz up their kitchens and bathrooms without no muss and no fuss, and no angry landlords! And perfect for home owners who don't want to go through the costly hassle of ripping out ugly tiles in your house!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

D.I.Y Decor

How to: Create a wonderful winter foyer

By Style at Home's Christine Hanlon

Photography by Lara Fishbein 

Creative suggestions for making your front foyer a space that gets noticed.

Too often, the foyer is just a space to pass through. Instead, make it the perfect place to create a statement and add subtle holiday magic.

Here's how to achieve this look.

*Courtesy of Style at Home Canada*

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coolest Find of the Day

When you were little, did you ever look up at the sky and try to find clouds that looked like things or letters.
Well now that same sort of idea has emerged into photographic art.
You now can turn your own words or names into beautiful art, and it's just a click away.
Alphabet Photography™ is the work of Jennifer Blakeley. Jennifer and her husband Sam run the business together, along with other members of their close-knit team. Jennifer and her team take photographs of different structues and architecture, that mimic letters. They then turn them into inspirational sayings. Alphabet Photography is based in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Check out the website
Any room, in any home would look great with one of these pieces in it.

Celebrity Room of the Day

This is the bedroom of Demi Moore. It is very sleek, very modern and looks to be inspired by nature.
The large sliding door windows open up to a gorgeous view of the greeny outdoors. All these elements peace together a room full of calmness and serenity

Winter Wedding

I have to say that I'm not really a winter person.  Between the horrible driving conditions and the amount of effort you have to put in just to get out the door and not freeze to death is enough to make me want to hibernate for the entire winter season. However now more than ever a lot of people are choosing to get married in the winter months. And although maybe it is not my favorite time of year, there is something very magical about it.  For your wedding you can make some absolutely beautiful table arrangements by using all that nature has to offer. It's not just about flowers either. You can do centrepieces of tall glass vases with twigs cascading out. The curlier the twigs the more whimsical it'll look.  What about pinecones as your name holders for the guests. If you don't want to go overboard on the earthy look, than try spray painting them in a nice metallic color. Silver is a great color for winter that goes with almost any decor.

Some great color combinations for a winter wedding are; light blue and silver, scarlett red and white, red and light green.

Refinishing Projects

This art deco dresser before was very dated and didn`t fit in with my other furniture pieces. So I srtipped it down to the bones by giving it a good sanding. Then i used a white furniture paint from Rona. After that I distressed it to give it a shabby chic look. I finished it off with brushed nickel knobs to make it a little modern.
One of my first attempts at refinishing and it won`t be my last!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Before & After

This is the before and after pictures of a bathroom I did for a client. The bathroom before was a disaster! The white subway tiles were falling down, the bathroom vanity hadn't been updated since the 70's and it was time for a change. We decided to go for a contemporary/modern bathroom. Using dark wood on the cabinets and brushed nickel on the fixtures it gave this bathroom a clean, sleek look. To bring warmth to this space we used golden colored onyx mosaic tiles on the backsplash in the shower. The tile on the floor is a stone in a coordinating sand color to match the tiles.

Top 10 Design Trends for 2010

Out with the old and in with the new is the age old saying. But this year we are noticing it's out with the new and in with the old for 2010.

1. Color Palette

Purple is still big! This past year we saw a lot of purple in fashion and design and it will continue this year. A pop of the color purple on your bedding like a nice plush throw or a group of pillows are exactly what a tired bedroom needs to wake it up!
Purple is a very luxe color dating all the way back to the Victorian days when royals would use purple on their walls, furniture and accessories. The richness and vibrancy of purple will help you achieve that "hotel chic" or "boutique" look for your room.
Also you'll see that Grey is the new "beige" of 2010.
Grey and Purple make a great color combination as well a Yellow and Grey. With the smokiness of Grey and the warmth of the other colors it gives the room life. Grey also works really well with black or white accent pieces, such as tables or picture frames. But don't be afraid to experiment with other color combinations with grey. Such as Orange/Tangerine or something bold like Magenta or Teal. The possibilities are endless!

2. Bolder Designs

I think 2009 brought a lot of design styles that were a bit safe at times and didn't exactly have alot going on. I think the recession of 2009 reflected in the styling of homes and many choose to play it safe. But this is a new year, a new decade and I believe the boldness of color and design ideas will emerge bigger and better than ever.
You'll see more glitz, more glam and more sparkle! Don't be afraid to embrace vibrant colors and bold patterned prints.

3. Old is New Again

I have always had a love for old things. Whether it's the whithered desk of my grandmothers, or the antique 1920's shabby chic style bed in my room I have a huge place in my heart for things that have a story. And this year it will become more and more common for people to embrace their antique and vintage pieces.
There is nothing wrong with buying new furniture but in order to get the look of a home instead of a "model home", it needs to look lived in. And a one shop stop to Ikea will not help you achieve that look. Instead go to numerous places. Browse antique shops, flea markets, garage and estate sales. Even look online at such places as Ebay, Craigslist and Kijiji which has new listings everyday of unwanted pieces that too some may be junk but too others is a real treasure!

4. Wallpapered Ceilings

I think most people have seen the wallpapered accent walls. The one wall in a room with the bold wallpaper on it. And although this is still very much in, one of the newest sensation is wallpaper on the ceiling! I know, I know, you are probably thinking that's crazy but bare with me on this.
If you like to play it relatively safe in your home when it comes to color on the walls, then this might be the best thing for you. Picture a room with beige walls and neutral furniture. Why not make an unexpected impact by putting a deep red damask wallpaper on the ceiling. Tie the red into cushions, throws or drapes. You will have a beautiful room with an instant WOW factor and without over doing it!

5. Textures

So the theme of Bamboo and more organic earthy textures will continue into 2010. Headboards made of natural woven bamboo will be a must have for many trying to achieve the Eco friendly style. Even crocheted pillows and throws are making a comeback. Maybe our grandmothers did know a thing or two about their design choices.
You will also notice recycled glass being used in vases, bowls and even kitchen and bathroom countertops.

6. Mix It Up
We all remember our days of youth. Moving into our college dorms or scuzzy first apartments with every single piece of furniture no one else in our family wanted that we were so willing and excited to take. Looking back on it now I can't believe some of the horrible design choices I made. But the one trend this year is to mix your retro pieces with your classic ones. A great way to bring you traditional wing back chair or Louis VII piece up to date is to put a bold modern prints on it.

7. Layers

Layering will be big this year. Whether it's a striped runner over a large modern geometric print rug or multiples of the same rug in different bold colors overlapping each other. If you're hating your boring beige carpet but don't want to go through the money or hassle of ripping it out, buy a bold patterned rug that you love and layer it over the carpet. It's an instant wow factor and will save you a lot of time and money.

8. Keep It Real

Forget faux. It is time to embrace the natural patinas of the wood, metals and other materials. Flaws and all! Even the hints of rust and water marks on these pieces will bring out the realness of them and will give our homes character.
9. The Well-Traveled Look

If you have been lucky enough to travel then hopefully you have brought back more than just memories from your travels. Now more than ever, souvenirs are a great items to display in your home. Not only do they add visual interest to a room but they also tell a story, and are great conversation pieces.

10. Artisan Inspired

Embracing your local woodworkers, craftsmen and other local artists is always a great way to bring uniqueness to your home. Even if you are a fan of modern style, having natural hand made wooden decor items and hand blown glass pieces will give your place a sense of wonder and excitement.

The First of Many......

As someone who lives, breathes and dreams design I have decided to start a design blog. I will share my thoughts, my ideas and my experiences as I start my own design business.