This morning I cried a little...I am not gonna lie. I woke up extra early to watch the sun that was just turning pink and orange over my Ottawa Canal view, the slushy reminders of last night's first snow fall still clinging to the pathways. I stretched and sat up at the edge of my bed just as I have done every morning for exactly the last two years.
I have lived in many homes over the years. As a child we moved around a lot due to my Dad's work. I have memories of great big homes in Chicago and New Jersey. Back home in Canada when we settled on Inuvik Cres. in Kanata. I remember riding my horse through fields that have since been developed into shopping malls and subdivisions and playing outside in the little creek behind my house with friends until the street lights came on.
As a rebellious teen I lived in small cramped apartments with roomies. I lived in a quaint heritage apartment while at Queen's in Kingston. I have lived in a cute craftsman cottage in Aylmer and a modern Dwell magazine type home next to a ski hill in Wakefield. I have loved them all. The memories of each and every home make me both smile and cry.
But this time it is different. This time this large apartment overlooking the canal was mine. It was my first place that I had on my own as an adult. Fully mine. Chosen by me. Rented by me. Furnished by me. All on my own. To some that may not be a big deal. But to me, as someone who has gone from family home, to roommates, to live in boyfriend, to a young and ill-fated marriage, this was really my FIRST home on my own. Within these walls I learned how to be on my own. Rediscovered who I was as a person on my own. Planned trips and travelled on my own. Learned how to be happy on my own.
But in July, I walked through several rooms and realized that most of the space in my apartment while full of awesome design finds, was unused. I really only "lived" in half the space. The other half became surfaces that just collected more clutter. The views while magnificent, lacked a balcony, preventing me from really enjoying them. In reality, the only time I saw these amazing views was when I was doing the dishes from my kitchen. The separate dining room was only full when family and friends came over. The rest of the time it was enjoyed by my cats and my french bulldog Winston. There was just too much space and I knew it was time to move on.
So #designtribe tomorrow morning bright and early the movers are coming and I am moving to new digs around the corner a block away from my beloved canal. I finally will have the central air that me and my heat-hating french bulldog have been dreaming of for summer months. My view will be of the Museum of Nature not from a balcony, but an actual outdoor f'ing terrace. The best part? The $600.00 bucks a month I will be saving from reducing my square footage to use on new DIY design projects that will be chronicled in this blog and over at the magazine I contribute to www.ohmythatshaute.com.
Unlike the homes and condos I design for other's making permanent changes, my new home is a rental which creates some design challenges. Nothing can be permanent and everything must be put back the way it was when I leave. Believe me, my new space needs some love. So get ready in the New Year for some kick-ass special features for renter's that take your space from Ho-Hum to Hot Damn. It's almost 2017 and it's time for some ch-ch-changes!
INTERIOR OF THE DAY! #IOTD Drop us a line if you are ready to love the space you're in.
Modern Bohemian Style can be added to interiors with items that reflect Bohemian style. Natural materials like wools and woods give modern rooms an organic edge. Boho styling is great for creating interesting "lived in" rooms, from exotic and romantic bedrooms to impressive entryways and stunning living rooms. Modern Bohemian ideas can be achieved by adding simple and beautiful décor accessories, like lanterns and decorative candles, candle holders and textured fabric pieces layered with abandon. Every sense is involved in a #bohochic room. Sight, smell, taste, and touch are involved in the creative process.
Textiles, floor rugs and large pillows for sitting on the floor add a luxe feeling that will rock your gypsy soul. Whirling colours that create attractive contrasts that turn modern interiors into exotic retreats with a touch of charm. Nothing is too precious and the spaces are comfortable and inviting to all who enter. Comfortable lounging is the order of the day.
Boho interiors are a lovely way to start your new and modern style but unsure if you want to re-style your entire home. Following closely with fashion trends, Modern Bohemian decor incorporates an unstructured carefree vibe with modern organic touches. Plants, collections, vibrant colours and textures work together to create a mood. This is one of my favourite styles, it reminds me of a modern gypsy who is stylishly comfortable in her own skin and isn't afraid to rock the look she loves.
Designing a room is much like designing an outfit...you start with your basic pieces and then you add the bling. Accessories in the home are the accents of the room. They should be amazing to look at, perform a function, and if you're lucky...start a conversation. I believe every home should have the touch of the unexpected.
Here's some items that I love to bring a little flavour into your nest.
TELL IT LIKE IT IS....
Me, I am pretty sarcastic at heart. When meeting new people and in professional situations, I try to keep my sarcasm at bay. But I have a love for a little witty in your face edge. I am so into the the statement accessories by SAID THE KING...an awesome company out of Toronto... Don't take yourself too seriously and have a little fun...we all like to drop the F-Bomb from time to time.. www.saidtheking.com
LET THERE BE LIGHT...
If there is one thing that I think should not be overlooked in a space it has to be lighting. Lighting is the jewelry of the room. Whether it casts a rosy glow, shines just the right beam onto your favourite book, or lights up the island during kitchen prep, lighting should be beautiful to look at as well as functional. And hey, if it does a few additional tricks, then that's cool too.
Some of my new favourite finds come from Pablo Designs out of San Fransisco. These designs blend form and function into something that is not only visually appealing, but often dual functioning as well.
A lantern that casts 360 degrees of light and sound. Use it indoors or out and stream my playlist wherever I want?!? Shut up and take my money... Wanna see one up close? You can find the UMA in Ottawa at A MODERN SPACE...www.amodernspace.ca Be sure to click on the pics to visit Pablo Design site to see more beautiful lighting...this was just a taste.
Nothing like the 'knit one pearl two" you learned from your Grandmother as you desperately clicked away hoping to fashion something that looked like a scarf for your Cabbage Patch doll...No these extra large knits are made from wool so heavy that it would rival any arm workout your gym could throw at you. Custom needles are fashioned out of wood dowels, pvc pipes, or just your bare arms. The end result is amazing and worthy of spending Sundays in bed with your coffee, wifi, and magazines.
HANG IT ALL...
Take a cue from your childhood...hanging from things is fun. So are chairs, shelves, hammocks and beds. Suspend a shelf for your plants or books in an empty corner..try a hanging chair in your living room...or if you have the space...try some a stair hammock. Make sure your ceiling can handle the weight first though.
Til' we meet again #designtribe...#liveastyledlife
I’m not here to BURST your bubble... but I have some bad news: summer is almost over. I know, I know! It’s hard for me to wrap my head around that too. While we continue to sweat it out in the final humid hot days of August and part of September...the reality is...Fall is coming.
Normally, I wouldn't have noticed, except I was shopping for cut off denim shorts the other day, and all the stores had transitioned to the fall fashion lineup. Guess I've been so busy I missed the end of summer sale, but no regrets, I am totes ready for fall tights, boots, and layers!
Just like our wardrobes, our spaces move in and out of seasons and follow the hottest trends too! Are you wondering how to take your space from the cooler beachy and citrus tones and kickstart your warmer, earthy vibe? Here's how to get in the fall mood!
I am know for the modern organic aesthetic in my interiors. I love mixing the textures, colours, and materials. Kinda a free spirited boho chic meets a tailored industrialist. Think reclaimed wood, cold rolled steel, and cement meshing with the soft textures and colours of mud cloth cushions, vintage rugs of berber and kilem, moroccan ottomans, and fur throws. Never underestimate the power that carefully chosen textiles add to a space.
On trend colours for fall 2016 are inspired by the local farmers market. Warm up your space with deep hues of pumpkin, saffron, and beet purple. You can drink your ruby red merlot in a copper cup and throw some of that colour onto a feature wall. Another fave of mine is deep deep green. Try a wallpapered feature wall , a little a la jungalow style, or take a baby step and adorn your sofa with some velvet toss cushions. Heavier colours and textiles inspire us to love our hibernating month with a little more pleasure.
The room below hits all the right buttons...an amazing deep shade of green contrasted with metallic eye candy accents seen in the lighting, mirror, and accessories. That bronze gramophone tho! Love!!!
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
My favourite paint colours are those that are inspired by nature, and in my mind, nobody does it better than Farrow & Ball. There is nothing like their deep hued colours to inspire cozy hibernating by the fire when the weather turns bone chilling. Even their lighter tones have a certain muddy quality that warms them up to just the right shade.
IMAGES COURTESY OF FARROW & BALL
LAYER IT UP...
Make sure to add some hibernating worthy layers to your lounging furniture. Try to have some cozy knitted throws on hand so you can curl up and read a good book or settle in for a Netflix binge on a cold night. I also like to drape my dining room chairs in sheepskin to add some warmth and texture to the space. Spring and summer is all about editing and lightening up, but fall and winter are for adding comforting layers. Furs...preferably faux, or refurbish Grandma's wrap if you have it around, are great to have around to add a cozy element.
IMAGES COURTESY OF PINTEREST
DON'T FORGET YOUR SHEETS...
In the warmer months, I prefer white, crisp, and cotton sheets. I use a vintage lightweight bed spread....and I leave my windows bare. The longer sunshine filled days make we want to get up early and got to sleep late. In the winter however, I gravitate to deep greys and plums, I use flannel sheets...the heavy weight duvet comes out of storage, and my windows get some velvet drapes. When its dark at four o'clock I want to live in my bed with all the creature comforts close at hand. Lounging becomes my number one priority.
IMAGE COURTESY OF RESTORATION HARDWARE
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
DIRTY IT UP....
Get dirrrrty!!! Plants and kitchen herbs homed in deep terracotta toned pots. Dried herbs hanging in the kitchen. Wicker baskets filled to the brim with brightly coloured fresh organic veggies from the farmer's market. Flower arrangements in deeper tones found in mums and chrysanthemums mixed with ferns and branches instantly add some fall wow factor. Add a some birch logs in a basket or in a simple stack. Don't have a fire place...no problem...add lanterns and candles to give you the soft fire-like glow we all want in the cooler months. Burn some candles or incense in cinnamon and clove scents to create a comforting ambiance.
IMAGE COURTESY OF BLOG DECOR ME
IMAGE COURTESY OF FAVIM.COM
How do you love your space in the fall and winter? We'd love to hear your tips and tricks.
Have you ever walked into a space, be it a home or an establishment and felt the overwhelming need to flee. This happened to me the other day. I entered a space, my eye did not find a place to settle, there was too much going on to appreciate any one element, I just wanted to GET OUT OF THERE.
Interiors that layer in different styles are stunning and interesting. But too much mixing and your eye doesn’t know where to land, and winds up confused and feeling discombobulated. The most successful spaces marry some common ground, where everything finds a way to get along. Here are ten ways to be a mix master, without needing a prescription for motion sickness.
COLOR: Using a consistent color helps your decor hang well together and look more cohesive. If you have a traditional armchair, but want to add in a more modern sectional, choose a sofa in the same shade as your original chair. Just like putting together an outfit, I like to pick one shade for my basic pieces, black, white, grey, green, or pink, doesn't matter as long as the big pieces have the same tone.
DRAMA: Introduce excitement to YOUR SPACE by combining some prints and patterns. Set small patterns against large ones, limit your palette, and work with big solids you have chosen your sofa, wall, or carpet. If you're uncertain, try working with the number 3 and perhaps stick to 1 type of theme. Cheetah with zebra.... stripes with geometrics...Why does the image below work? The sofa and walls are kept in a crisp and neutral off white, the patterns were kept in ikat, and the accent colours kept to shades of pale blue, indigo, and yellow. Classic, interesting, and flowing to the eye.
IMAGE COURTESY OF BHG
Below, a bold hot pink antique sofa, anchors the room in this eclectic mix. Neutral grey walls and area rug, keep the space from becoming too busy,and allows a fun colour palette of white, green and pink to play with the fun floral pattern on the art deco side chair, minty green ottoman, and solid toss cushions.
IMAGE COURTESY OF DECORPAD
Mix furniture periods: Mid-century with rustic? Art deco with boho? Traditional with industrial? Detailed, traditional pieces look amazing paired with sleek modern styles. A traditional piece like this Louis XVI chair reupholstered with a contemporary fabric makes a statement. One look at the famous Starck rendition of the "Ghost" chair shows us that opposites attract. DON’T combine too many pieces from the same period to avoid the matchy match look of yesterday.
Pairing the Phillipe Starck GHOST chair with this rustic harvest able and modern chandelier creates a timeless yet eclectic dining space.
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE BEES KNEES
You can mix mid-century modern with a Boho vibe....one of my personal favourite design blends. Below, the mid-century side chairs get Boho update with indigo mud cloth throw cushions and an ottoman covered in an antique kilim carpet for texture. Toss in a neutral and textured woven window covering and carpet and the space is fresh and modern.
IMAGE COURTESY OF AMBER INTERIORS
DON'T FORGET THE SCALE: Mix pieces that have similar shape and size. Pairing a large modern sectional with a delicate antique side table won't look balanced. A simple clean lined sofa pairs with 2 rustic cubed coffee tables and leather ottomans. The look is kept from being too heavy with airy glass table lamps and using 2 separate tables as opposed to one huge table. A neutral white backdrop allows the patina of the wood and leather to take centre stage.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
SOMETHING OLD WARMS UP SOMETHING NEW: The quickest way to add warmth to a cold space is too add something that has a HISTORY to it. The simple clean lines of a modern bathroom keep from being too austere with the addition of the antique mirrors and simple floral arrangement.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH THE CLASSICS: Every design period has it's shining stars. Mixing in a design classic from one period with a different style of furniture will work almost all the time. As long as you keep in mind colour and scale, the classics will look great with anything. The Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, will fit seamlessly into any type of decor.
BE FEARLESS: When combining styles you cannot give in to the fear. Matchy match is boring...try something new...knowing you can always edit or change it later. The reason this look works is because at the end of the day, you are combining items that you love. With just a few simple guidelines, you will be able to create a space that is unique to you and not like your neighbour's. Do you have a tip for how you make eclectic decor work in your space? I always love to hear from the #designtribe.
IMAGE COURTESY OF VINTAGE FINDS
IMAGE COURTESY OF A DOSE OF GLAMOUR
CONVENIENCE...We live in a world of convenience today. So many things are available "on demand." I can sign up for hair appointments, yoga classes, and shop to online, all without leaving the comfort of my sofa. So in the interest of convenience...yours that is, I wanted to highlight the benefits of e-design and shopping programs.
Psssst....Do you love my work but are pressed for time or have the impression that working with a designer is too expensive? Have you been touring the showrooms and trolling online to get that perfect look but are scared to make a decision? Then read on.....because maybe these rapidly expanding design services are what you have been looking for.
Social media has made the world of design more accessible to the masses than ever before. We spend hours browsing Houzz and Pinterest all in the hopes of getting the perfect WOW factor into our homes. Everyone wants to LOVE the space they are in. There is a misconception that working with a designer is only for the rich, however, i am here to tell you, that working with a designer is a service that will save you time and money down the road. While it is convenient having tons of choices and images at our fingertips, it also can cause procrastination when it comes time to take that final design leap.
E-deign or customized shopping services were built with the price and time savvy client in mind. Perhaps you have already purchased your main pieces and just need guidance with the finishing details. Or maybe you are the DIY type of person that just needs a list of where to go and what to buy to put the look of your dreams together. Not everyone needs nor wants a full tiered design service from start to finish.
Today, about thirty percent of my clients choose to purchase an e-design or guided shopping tour to get the look of a designer's touch, but on their own budget and time frame. It's as simple as sending in pictures of your space, dimensions, and a detailed questionnaire to narrow down your likes, dislikes, budget and to get a feel for your design style.
Forward me some inspiration shots you collected from Houzz or Pinterest and we are well on our way to customizing your dream space! Once you have purchased a package you are provided with a detailed design concept complete with images, floor plan, furniture and accessories selection, samples for the recommeded materials and finishes, and a shopping list for everything you are going to need to get your LOOK! If your project, such as a kitchen or bath, requires contractors, I can provide you a list of qualified tradespeople for you to manage, or you may proceed to hire me to manage the project for you.
Showroom shopping packages are for my clients who have had trouble navigating the showroom with confidence. I know personally that some clients have taken years to decide on and purchase that sofa before we have crossed paths. I totally get that the showroom can be intimidating with circling sales people, overwhelming amounts of choices, and not enough time. Purchasing furniture is an investment and you want to get everything right. Whether it's a sofa, dining set, bedroom suite, or art, shopping with a design professional can help you make these purchases with confidence and ensure measurements, fabric, and material selection are right for you and not just what the store is promoting at the time. I can ensure that whatever is purchased or custom ordered is not only right for your lifestyle but fits your design vision. There is nothing worse that buyer's remorse and a 25% restocking fee, and still NO sofa to sit on.
Or are you purchasing a new build and have no idea what finishes to put together to make your entire home flow. Bringing in a designer can help you make the choices that will suit your budget and your lifestyle in high traffic spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. Choosing wisely will keep these spaces functioning stylishly for many years to come.
Pricing for these packages vary depending on how many rooms you require help with . Generally e-design can cost anywhere from $250.00 for an accessories only package up to $2500.00 for spaces up to a 1000 square feet. Shopping packages are charged by the hour and if applicable, I pass along a portion of any designer incentive I may have with that particular showroom or stockist.
Are you ready to love the space you are in? Let us help you do it right from the beginning and have you loving your home while saving time and money. Got questions? Drop me a line.
This past year of 2016 I have been experimenting with the notion of finding my "WHY." Not wanting to remain stuck in unhealthy patterns or relationships, I started asking myself what makes me happy, what makes me unhappy, and what can I learn from it. We all need a little space and time to figure out our WHY and to decompress at the end of the day.
Knowing your WHY is an important step in figuring out how to set and reach the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living. These days working to live without a purpose is not enough. So in order to compliment my bone jarring runs along the canal, I have included yoga and mindfulness into my routine. Although I was dragged into my first class kicking and screaming, I am happy to report that I am a complete convert, and my only regret is not introducing them to my lifestyle sooner.
Whenever I walk into my favourite yoga studio, there is a sense of relaxation and letting go that washes over me the moment I walk up those stairs. Perhaps it's the scent of lemongrass candles, it could be the written words of encouragements on the walls, or the soft smile of the Buddha statue at the entrance. Whatever it is, it signals my body to calm the f**k down. Here I can let go of the stresses of my day and drown out the white noise of whatever tragedy FB has bombarded my senses with. Here I can take an hour to myself and stretch and focus and sweat and breathe.
But, sometimes I can't always get Here. Sometimes, Here, doesn't work into my schedule or finances. If you are like me and can't always get to Here, don't worry, sometimes you don't even have to leave your home to achieve that same sense of bliss that you get in the yoga studio. You don't need to have an entire room, even a small dedicated corner in a bedroom or living room will work.
Here are my top five tips to create an inexpensive yoga sanctuary at home.
1. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
Yep. We live in a world filled with STUFF. Whatever room or corner you have chosen to dedicate to your practise, make sure to de-clutter it. Design it with purpose and intention. You do not require anything within that space that is going to distract you. Edit out anything that could catch your attention unintentionally. This is not the spot to have your computer monitor blinking, or a stack of bills within eyeshot. Choose your space as a blank canvas to add things to with intention.
2. CHOOSE CALM COLOURS
Think calming, muted colours like beige, white, or blue. This palette will allow you to focus on calming your mind as opposed to being distracted by bright loud distractions.
3. CREATE A MOOD
Cocoon yourself with soft light, beautiful scents, and calming music. Find a lamp that casts a soft glow, light some candles or incense nearby, and have a playlist at the ready that suits your practise for the day. Perhaps you need music for a calming stretch vibe, or maybe your body needs a tempo for a more powerful flow. Whatever, you require, setting the mood will help get you there.
4. HAVE SOME MEANS OF STORAGE
You are going to need some place to store all your props such as yoga mats, blocks, and straps. I like to keep it organic. Perhaps add in a low lying wood storage bench. Large sisal or seagrass baskets can hold all your equipment as well. Add a little texture for interest within your calming colour palette.
5. ACCESSORIZE WITH YOUR TREASURES
Surround yourself with whatever makes you happy and content. Is it little statues? Perhaps it's a special blanket from your travels. Beautiful floor cushions, low lying tables or benches filled with candles and incense. An inspirational painting that you can focus on to hold your pose longer. Bring the outdoors in and surround yourself with air purifying plants. Accessorize with the items that bring you peace and happiness.
As a yogini at the beginning of my journey, I love the sense of community I get from attending the studio several times a week. But you can be sure that I am enough of a convert to incorporate a dedicated space to myself within my home to practise when life gets in the way. Namaste.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CLEAN YOGA IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
IMAGE COURTESY OF URBAN OUTFITTERS
WANDERING PARIS....1O DAYS ON THE LEFT...
It's no secret to most that know me...clients, family, and friends, that I am a" fangirl " of all things Parisian. My happy place is a little neighborhood in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Saint-Germain is located on the Left Bank of the Seine, just southwest of Notre-Dame. It’s so close to everything — in just a few minutes, you could be at Notre-Dame or on Ile Saint-Louis, in the Luxembourg Gardens or the Pont des Arts, even the Louvre!
It has all the things I love about Paris — cafes with heated outside patios, lots of little bookshops, galleries, and enough metro stations to easily transport you anywhere within the city. Busy til late at night even on a Monday, you can listen to jazz and sip wine at one of the numerous outdoor cafes and people watch to your heart's content. Take a look at some of my favourite things about this chic little neighborhood.....
THE FAMOUS RIVAL CAFES....
St. Germain has been the home of artists and writers for centuries. You can't go down a cobblestone street without wondering exactly who in history has polished the same stones with their leather soles. It is impossible not to feel creatively inspired whilst sipping a coffee in Les Deux Magots — a cafe frequented by Hemingway, Picasso, and Dali. I was lucky enough to stay of Rue St. Benoit where the rival cafe, Cafe de Flore is situated. Host to philosophers and intellectuals throughout history it has been the modern day setting for many movies and once in a while you will spot a celebrity enjoying lunch, especially during Paris Fashion week.
Les Deux Magots on a sunny October afternoon. www.lesdeuxmagots.fr/
One last breakfast at Cafe des Flore before returning home. cafedeflore.fr/
WHERE TO STAY....
St. Germain is quite possibly one of the most expensive neighborhoods to call home during your stay. Accommodations range into the thousand's per night and down. My favourite little street is Rue Saint Benoit. At the top of the street is Boulevard Saint-Germain the main hub of the 6th and the gateway to all the little charming side streets where you can wander for weeks and never get bored.
HOTEL BEL AMI 7-11 Rue Saint Benoit Paris Paris www.hotelbelami-paris.com/
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE HIPMONK.COM and HOTELBELAMI.COM
These five star accommodations will set you back a bit, approximately $554.00 CDN per night, but with it's upscale decor, spa, and 24 hour room service, is worth the splurge. The rooms are large and spacious, the lobby is fun and fresh looking, and the hotel has a cute little bar/resto to dine in.
However, being the thrifty girl that I am, and one that wants to be part of the action on the same affluential street, I stay just up the street at the ....ta da.....
CRYSTAL HOTEL PARIS 24 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris, France www.hotelcrystalsaintgermainparis.com/
Oh yeah..it may be a less expensive hotel, quite frankly I couldn't tell much of a difference. I loved the small quaint lobby and the hallways clad in leopard print carpet. I found the tiny elevator, and small winding staircase charming. Sure, my room was small and slightly dated, but the location and service from the hotel staff made it worth every penny. Upon writing this, the rate per night was $235.00 CDN, half of the 5 star and highly recommended by moi. You are within eyeball distance of Boulevard St. Germain and all it's wonders and Cafe des Flore was my daily coffee spot. Sure coffee is atrociously priced, but hey, your in Paris. With the money you are saving at this fun and funky hotel, you can afford to splurge a little.
WHERE TO EAT....
Dining out in Paris consistently for all your meals can get pretty pricey. I am not going to lie...they charge an exorbitant amount just for coffee. But, there are so many options to try authentic french cuisine, that in order to say you've experienced Paris, you really must try one.
My favourite splurge while in Paris was at a little restaurant in the Marais...
Au Bourguignon Du Marais 52 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris. www.restovisio.com/restaurant/au-bourguignon-du-marais-117.htm
You will find all the great classics of bistro cooking here: poached eggs in wine sauce with bacon rind and mushrooms, mustard veal kidneys, snails, foie gras … And of course beef bourguignon served in a casserole was the signature dish I just had to try...fantastic with a few glasses of Burgandy wine. Beautifully dressed outdoor tables and amazing fall weather made this a meal to remember .
After that little splurge, I was pretty cautious on the overspending for food. You can go to the huge Monoprix and pick up staples that can easily be enjoyed in your hotel room or in your rental apartment. I would visit the little boulangeries and produce stores and pick up little treats to keep in my sac as I wandered the streets and visited a few tourist spots. Don't forget the wine! It was great to be able to try different selections at some amazing prices. A four o'clock glass on a busy patio was great after a day of touring the antique and fabric stores.
Poilâne 8 rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris www.poilane.com/index.php?
My favourite bakery to visit to pick up tarts and to die for bread to bring along with me while touring the shops or to bring back to the hotel room for a snack.
I really didn't do much shopping...almost had you there didn't I :) I would need to go back to Paris several times over to visit every shop that was on my list due to the fact that there are so many boutiques, antique shops, fabric houses, vintage clothing shops, cosmetic counters, and the list goes on.
I did make a stop to the famed Champs-Elysees but did not hang about there much. I went, I saw, and I was glad I did, however it was crowded and much more touristy that I expected. It was fun to watch street performers and to see a few of the larger stores, but I had much more fun wandering the smaller streets to find hidden boutiques that blew my mind. There are far too many to list off but a few of my faves were...
Pharmacie -every street corner in Paris have these amazing pharmacies where you can stock up on your French beauty products for far less than you could ever dare to dream paying at home. Look for the bright green neon cross and you'll know you are in the right place :) www.pharmacie-paris-citypharma.fr/
Noir Kennedy 22 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris -great find in the Marais for vintage tees and other delights.www.noirkennedyparis.com/
Village St. Paul-little hidden gem once again in the Marais filled with antique shops where you can find books, artwork, textiles, furniture, and glassware.
V.m.c Odetta 76 Rue des Tournelles, 75003 Paris-another vintage boutique find in the Marais to treasure hunt for designer vintage clothing and accessessories.odettavintage.com/
Rudy's 84 rue de Rennes 75006 Paris-as much as I longed to fill my suitcase with Louboutins...I picked up several pairs of quality leather ballerina flats and mortorcycle boots here. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but I was pretty happy I stumbled in.www.rudys.paris/
Odile de Changy 6 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 -every woman's fantasy for lingerie and undergarment shopping. Listen, we are way behind the frenchwoman when it comes to "loving what's under the dress."odiledechangy.fr/
I did manage to stumble into the H&M and Zara flagship stores but while they may have had some items that were not available at home I stopped myself from purchasing anything that I possibly could have got at home in Canadian dollars.
I also did a tour of Galleries Lafayette's because you have NOT seen a department store until you seen the over the top beauty and decadence of this incredible building. Of course my shopping tour included Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Oh to dream a little dream...perhaps next time. #Goals
All in all I spent a total of 10 days in Paris. I can tell you it was not nearly long enough. There are far too many pockets to discover properly and each arrondissement has its own unique flavour. Of course I did manage to complete some of what most tourists would do. I spent an afternoon on a bout tour along the river Seine, winding my way under the beautiful Pont Neuf and it's companion bridges. I got lost in the lights of the Eiffel Tower at night. I got lost in the magic of the city. One thing I learned, when I return I will be sure to take advantage of one of the numerous short term apartment rentals and live like a Parisian in a different arrondissement...if only for a short while....le sigh....
AIRSTREAM SONG LYRICS BY MIRANDA LAMBERT
Now that the month of May is coming to a close and summer temperature's are on the rise, everyone is looking to beat the heat and enjoy the great outdoors without the cold hurting our faces. If you have the time we are lucky to have so many amazing lakes, national parks and oceans to explore and play in. If you have friends with cottages there is nothing better than getting the call on a sweltering hot city day to come and cool off for the weekend. Enjoying nature and getting away is just the norm around here during the summer months.
But, if I have to be completely honest, as a girl who has regularly scheduled "Maintenance Mondays" for hair and nails....I always have the dilemma of how to enjoy myself in "roughing" it without looking like a complete princess.
If I told you I didn’t wear makeup camping, I’d be lying. I tone it down to mascara, bronzer and tinted moisturizer, but I have friends and family that are die hard adventurists and every summer I have to reconcile the fact that sometimes I just gotta give up some creature comforts to keep my relationships harmonious. But do I? There has to be a way that I can enjoy the great outdoors and still feel comfortable in my Deet coated skin...
I am aware that that I am not the only Princess camper out there. While I can trade in my heels for a pair of hiking boots, I and others like me are just more comfortable with some conveniences. So what's a girl to do when she wants to get her #outdoors on but needs a soft place to land at the end of the night?
It's a dream of mine to buy a camping trailer, pimp it out in style and road trip to my hearts content. I like the idea of not paying tons of money at resorts or hotels. In these little cuties you can go anywhere in comfort and style. You can surf the waves in Tofino or camp out in the Rockies. You can park it for the weekend or you can take off for a couple of years. Once you're done travelling you can buy your own little piece of paradise and park it permanently. No matter how big or small your travel goals are these little homes on wheels will get you to where you want to go!!!
I love to travel....I'm a little bit of a gypsy at heart. The idea of wanderlust and moving from place to place is so appealing and romantic. In my mind I envision my little trailer to be draped in layers of textured fabrics, kilims, lace, whimsical colours, and vintage pieces. Tons of lanterns and candles to give my tiny home an etheral fairy like glow in the middle of nowhere .
I am also a fan of the pastel colours of the vintage era....Pinks...baby blues....checks and chrome.... A little more beach blanket bingo...Your home your vibe...No matter what decor camp you land in you cannot go wrong .
So settle in and be inspired by some of my favourite images of a travelling lifestyle...the carefree way to travel and experience a simpler outdoor life with style and comfort....I would love to hear from you and know how you would trick out your ride....
VINTAGE RETRO RIDES....KEEPING IT SIMPLE....
IMAGE COURTESY OF REMODALISTA
Loving this classic "silver bullet" Airstreamer...
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE DIY DREAMER.COM
This impossibly cute Shasta is a perfect for "roughing" it !!!!
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST IMAGE COURTESY OF ALLGLAMPING.COM
Redoing the interior of these vintage campers would be such an amazing project.
IMAGE COURTESY OF THOMAS 3 FOR SUNSET MAGAZINE
Parked on the lake...this teardrop camper gives you just what you need for a weekend away...
IMAGE COURTESY OF BARGAINHOOT.COM
How much does one need when you have the surf at your doorstep...
IMAGE COURTESY OF COUNTRYLIVING.COM
The powder blue polka dots of this whimsical interior would appeal to any camping Diva...
IMAGE COURTESY OF GETCAMPY.COM
This light and airy cottage chic interior would be the perfect place to call your summer retreat.
I WANNA ROCK YOUR GYPSY SOUL....BOHEMIAN VIBES
IMAGE COURTESY OF BOHOGLAMOUR.COM
Living the vagabond life....
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
The perfect spot for summer evening picnics....
IMAGE COURTESY OF UNIQUE HOTELS.COM
Would you be able to call this home for a while?
IMAGE COURTESY OF UNIQUE HOTELS.COM
Living a carefree life...
IMAGE COURTESY OF HOMMIEUK.BLOG
It's definitely the beachlife for me...
IMAGE COURTESY OF WIDE OPEN COUNTRY.COM
This....Tie dye and fringe....yes please!!!! The interior of Miranda Lambert's Airstream trailer...
IMAGE COURTESY OF MY BLUE FLAMINGO
The more pillows the better.....
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
A little Airstream love.....
IMAGE COURTESY OF ALIEXPRESS
Get your #outdoors on....
This time of year I always feel like I am in a wardrobe rut...BORED of my cold weather uniform ...but never being able to "find" something that I am really jazzed about for the warmer weather. Despite having a closet and drawers packed full...I find myself wearing basically the same thing everyday. This happens twice a year...going from winter to summer...and vice versa.
IMAGE COURTESY OF LAURENCE MONNERET/GETTY IMAGES
I feel too guilty to shop....and trust me...I love to shop...plus
I feel frustrated that I cannot find even one "OMG" outfit I deem worthy enough to make it out into the public eye...sigh....and I know...it's time to clean out my closet.
In the past I have been somewhat successful depending on where I was living. A couple of years ago I purchased a shiny white lacquer wall to wall Pax system from Ikea and was so organized I felt like I was living in a boutique. Fast forward two years....I am living in a FAB canal front apartment with limited closet space and some remaining unpacked boxes with contents #unknown.
My goal this long weekend is to clean out my closet. I may not have space for the walk in closet of my Pinterest dreams...but I am going to get a close as I can. Here are my steps from getting out of "wardrobe despair" and back to "closet full of happiness."
I'm a hoarder...there I said it...I " know" I still have a pair of Doc Martens circa 1999 lying around here somewhere..parting with stuff makes me sweat. Everything eventually comes back in style and the thrifty chick inside me hates to throw anything away. But the fact is that I don't wear half the stuff that's taking up valuable wardrobe real estate. So I ask myself these questions as I sort through shoes, tops, bottoms, and outerwear:
Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
Will I wear this again...honestly?
Does this make me feel fabulous?
Does this fit?
Would I ever buy this item again?
Is it worth fixing?
Are you ever going to wear that black floor length evening dress that you purchased from the thrift store because it was a good deal? Your ex-boyfriend's sweatshirt from five years ago..is it worth reliving the pain and mopping up those tears? Those worn out heels on the green ballet slippers...worth dragging yourself to the shoe repair place? Broken belts, jeans four times too small, and tights with holes in them....If you have answered NO to any of the above questions...it's time to let things go.
Truth is, while I am not as bad as the character in "Confessions of a Shopaholic", I do mindlessly purchase things thinking they are a good deal or maybe I will wear it at such and such an occasion. Those tend to be the items that are first on my discard list hanging lost and forlorn at the back of my closet with the tags still on.
Parting with things can be traumatic...so if you think its going to be a problem or you know you won't be honest with yourself...enlist a friend and a bottle of wine to help ease the pain.
IMAGES COURTESY OF COSMOPOLITA.CON/UK AND MALLOFSTYLE
2. DONATE IT
There are several non-profit organizations out there that actively look for items that are in good condition for those who could truly use them. Jeans, purses, sweaters, and outerwear are just some of the items that are badly in need by those less fortunate than ourselves. Local homeless shelters, community outreach programs, youth centres, and battered women's shelters are just a few of the services that would appreciate your donations.
Do you have formal wear or career wear that you no longer need? Most cities have a Dress for Success Program for women needing gently used career wear for that first important interview. I know here in Ottawa there is the Fairy Godmother Project that help girls transform themselves into the beautiful princesses's they deserve to be on their special grad night. Never underestimate the change you can make in someone's life with a very simple gesture.
3. CONSIGN IT
If you have clothing or accessories that don't fit or suit your taste and are too valuable to donate...you can always go through the sell or consignment route. Personally, I prefer consignment and there are several great options to choose from where you can either earn some cash or credit for your unwanted or ill fit items. Here in Ottawa I have two favourite sources, the Clothes Secret (www.theclothessecret.com) is a great little consignment boutique that takes items in excellent condition seasonally and has a great credit system should you wish to replenish your wardrobe with things you will use. Valamode (www.valamode.com) , is a luxury consignment business that revolves around high end designers such as Burberry, LV, and Louboutin just to name a few. I have gotten a few super sweet vintage Christian Dior scarves through Valamode. If you have high end items to consign this this is the way to go for great service.
Either way, most cities will have some fabulous consignment options for you to choose from, and if not, I spy a great business venture for someone!
IMAGE COURTESY OF WATERLILLIESSUMMITNJ.COM
3. SWAP TIL YOU DROP PARTY
You are not alone and you don't have to be in pain alone! Start a #closetchallenge with some of your friends and hold a party giving everyone first dibs on items before you donate or sell them. You never know who could be coveting those ostrich skin boots of yours or what your friends have hidden away that they don't want anymore. One girl's trash is another girl's treasure. We all have great items that we just aren't into anymore! Grab some rolling racks, a couple of display tables and some wine and cheese and you are set for a fabulous event. Designate someone to drop off the donations the next day so they don't end up back in the closet!
IMAGE COURTESY OF PINTEREST
4. TRASH IT
When it's all said and done, sometimes there is no other option. Items like old t shirts and single socks (where does the other one run off to anyways) are not worth giving away, try cutting them up into squares and use them as lint free cleaning rags. But, stuff that is so far damaged, stained, or just too god awful ugly to give away...then black bag it and send it on it's way. By the time you get to this stage, you have successfully come to the end.
Now you are ready to take advantage of an empty closet. Take advantage and vacuum the floor, wipe the shelves and start reorganizing what you are keeping. You can add more shelves, hooks and storage options to make your closet work for you. Whether you have a walk in closet or a tiny nook, we can all benefit from a decluttering. It's good for the soul. If you are lucky, your new and improved closet will be Pinterest worthy like the ones below!
Do you have any tips that help you clean out your closet. I'd love to hear from you!
IMAGE COURTESY OF ADELEANDTESSIEBLOGSPOT
IMAGE COURTESY OF PAPERBLOG
IMAGE COURTESY OF CLOSETFULLOFCLOTHES
IMAGE COURTESY OF DECORPAD
Suzanne is the lead stylist and founder of House Couture an Interior Design Studio & lifestyle blog with an eye for design, food, travel, and entertaining. A self-professed LIGNE ROSET junkie, she returned from Briord France after training and touring with the LIGNE ROSET factories convinced she was a Parisienne in a past life. Even her design studio mascot, Winston, is a french bulldog. When not creating inspiring interiors for others, Suzanne can be found wandering here and there to find the next best thing in style to share with you!