Friday, 17 June 2011


Shells are great ways to bring the beach and summer into your house. They are also great accessories to bring neutral colours to rooms and an overall mellow feel.

 In this picture, shells are used to decorate the chandelier. Though we think that in small amounts sea shells would look nice on this light fixture, the complete coverage looks overdone. We think that it looks awkward and even a little corroded. This room does look good with shells though and we would put some in small amounts, possibly on the table.

 We really like this sand and shell candle arrangement. It is unique because the shells are actually the things holding the wax for the candles, not just tea lights placed in shells. Also, we like how not every shell holds a candle because that would be too much light and the beauty of the shells would get lost. We like this just how it is and would place it in a bathroom or bedroom with a beachy feel.

 These candle are a little different than the previous ones, but we still really like them. Unlike previously, the sells don't hold the wax, but instead they are attached to a sandy coloured stone votive holder. We like the variety of shells and the neutral colours because they would go with many colour schemes. We would also put these candles in a bedroom or bathroom.

 This is an example of taking shells way too far. There are a lot of things wrong with the shells in this bathroom. First of all, there are too many of them. there are so many that you lose the detail of the individual shells and it becomes way too busy. This also goes with the second thing thats wrong, the shells are too crowded. Finally, they are too big. IT looks like they might fall off the wall! If we were o changes this, we would use fewer, smaller shells and spread them out more. Also, we would either decorate the mirror or the border, not both.

 We really like this way of using shells. Though it is only a small touch, it brings the beach into your room without overdoing it. The pale coloured bowl makes it so the shells aren't lost, and even though they're large they don't overtake the space.

This final candle holder has a small sea shell touch. The shells are very small and take the place of sand, rocks, or marbles in the bottom of the candle. We like the cream tones in this candle and think it would look good in any room where you would place a candle.

Overall, we think sea shells are a great, inexpensive way of bringing the beach home and giving your room a laid back feel.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Double Post)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Patio Furniture: Outdoor Fireplaces!

For the final part of our patio furniture series, we decided to look at outdoor fireplaces. Outdoor patio spaces are always fun, but adding a fire place brings hr space over the top! They not only warm up the space on chilly days and nights, but they add class and make the space feel more like an inside room with great lighting.

We like this fireplace. The square shape is really modern and the neutral brown colour adds to this look. We also like the grill on top because when the fireplace is turned off, you could use it to hold things on. This fireplace works well with the stone flooring and the colour of the patio furniture's cushions, though we would stan the wood a darker brown.

Tis fireplace is very modern. We like how it has the water pouring out to the pool so close, the contrast between the fire and the water is really unique. We also like how the fire isn't the regular pit, but a line of fire. This isn't exactly a fire that you could sit around to roast marshmallows, but we still really like it and think it gives off a very miami vibe.

This fire pit is a little more traditional. The fire looks really small and even a little lost in the big marble slab, so we would probably make a bigger fire, but we like it all the same. The bottom of the pit matches the wrought iron chairs surrounding it to create a complete outdoor room feeling. Finally, the fire column beside the fire looks cool, but we think they should have focussed the fire to one area in a bigger way instead of a couple of smaller parts.

This outdoor fireplace is really cool. Unlike the last one, the fire is anything but lost in this pit as it takes up the entire space. The cool fire designs on the pit make the fire look even bigger, and if you look close enough you can even see some of the licks in the actual fire. This pit would be cool to sit around, but the fire looks so big that we would be afraid of it overflowing the pit. But that's nothing a little careful watching won't help! The small circular bottom to the pit make this look like a ball of fire, something we really like.

this fire pit is the opposite of the other one in that it's completely safe. WEll, as safe as fire can get! The deep pit has a woven affect so you can see the fire even when it is not tall enough to reach over the top of the pit. We like the wrought iron, it gives the feel of an old blacksmiths fireplace. Also, the mesh like cover on top keeps a barrier between the flames while still being able to enjoy the heat and beauty of the fire. We think this is a great fire pit to have in any back yard and would work well for everyone, even those with smaller children, because of the safety precautions that have been taken.

Our final fireplace is kind of a response to the earlier on with the small fire in the marble slab. This is fire pit shows how by just rounding the circles of the slab into a circle shape, the fire appears to be bigger, though we doubt it actually is. IF the earlier example had had a square fire or a rounded pit, it would have looked more in proportion but with the different shapes it looked too small. We like this fire pit, especially the stone covered base. IT goes well with the patio furniture that has been put around it, and this whole set could be placed in almost any back yard space because it is neutral and goes with most spaces.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Double Post)

Monday, 13 June 2011


Shelves are great! They're so useful and can be so versatile. Whether used to organize your books or put decorative objects on so that the rest of your house wont be a mess, shelves are great to have in every room! Shelves are also nice to place free standing in any room of the house. Shelves can hold  flowers, books, or even organize papers and pottery.

We really like this shelf because it is unique and well designed. The white wall works well with the blue and white shelving, and the blue becomes the focus of the wall. Also, the objects on it stand out. The leaf and branch paintings coming off of the corners of the different levels of the shelf make it look that much classier. We would use this shelve more as a decorative piece than a functional shelf to hold things. We might add something small, though, maybe a white flower.

This book shelf is in a great location, underneath the staircase, and the attached desk makes this an all-in-one office space! This shelf is great because it is easy access and it is big too, so you can put a lot of stuff on it.
What we like about it is that it is very functional and there are multiple levels of the book shelf to help with organization. What we don't like is that it is very high and may be hard to reach if your not a giant! Remember, you want a book shelf that is somewhat your height so you can reach the top shelf without too much trouble. 

This self is our favourite by far. It's funky and totally changes up what everyone picture when they hear the word shelf. We love this one, it is fun and is really easy to work with. Not so sure where you would place it, but we would put it in a computer room or in a bedroom that has a lot of space. A office would be an interesting place to have it too. You can place anything on this shelf because of the multiple levels and the tubes give it separation. Like in the picture, this shelf looks great with big flowers and even a kitchen coffee maker!

Overall shelves are great ways to store, display, and even hide objects while remaining stylish and organized.

 Alexandra,Vanja & Hayley

Patio Furniture: Wrought Iron!

The next part in our patio furniture series is wrought iron patio furniture. Like other mediums, wrought iron can work in many different types of spaces with many different themes. In this blog, we're going to show you just how versatile wrought iron can be!

This first bar stool and table set is quite unique. The bottoms and backs of the chairs look almost woven, which isn't an easy effect to achieve with iron.. The table top has a similar design, but it is more tightly woven, for obvious reasons. You wouldn't want a table where things could fall through the holes! This set, like most traditonal wrought iron pieces, is black. We think that the dark colour makes this set look classy. Even though it is traditional, it is timeless and would have been stylish 10 years ago and will be stylish 10 years from now. We really like this set and think it would look nice in a back yard garden
This full table and chairs set is similar to the first set shown. It too is the traditional black wrought iron and has the same classy look. The design of the iron is a little different, though. Instead of a woven effect, these chairs and table top have a mesh iron look to them. This is probably a bit more comfortable than the woven, though some colourful cushions would still be nice. This set also has full arm chairs and a much larger table, which would work well for dining. We like this set, but we think it is a little basic for our tastes. Like we said before, cushions would help a lot not only with comfort, but to bring some life to this table and chairs. We think this set would look nice is any average backyard or patio, but not in a modern, youthful space.
This next set screams old lady! The wrought iron has been woven and the intricate designs on the chairs are bad enough, but when you add the low table and spray paint it white it all becomes a huge mess! This is not to say that we don't like vintage, but this case is just not working! There isn't much hope for this set in our eyes, but if you are extremely attached to this set, you could always add a coat of darker pain and some bright coloured or even patterned cushions. It might end up looking acceptable and if your really good, maybe even nice!

We really like this wrought iron table and chairs set. The wrought iron on the back of the chairs has a cool design and the neutral cushions go well with the table. Our favourite part of this set is the table. IT is not wrought iron on the top, but we think that it probably has wrought iron legs. But the top is really cool. The tile design is very classy and almost looks Grecian with the granite in the middle, but the best part by far is the fire pit in the middle. Though it isn't a really fire. it still gives off the effect without being extremely dangerous. We would put this table in almost any space because the neutral colours work in most themes. Also, who doesn't want a table that can keep you warm while holding your drink!?

Sometimes, an entire wrought iron set is just too much. The great thing about wrought iron is that it doesn't only work when it is in a set, individual pieces look nice in most spaces, too!
 This traditional bench would look nice in almost any space. We like how a different coloured cushion would change the look completely and adapt it to a modern, old fashioned, or gardeny theme.
This piece is very old fashio9ned. It's extravagant design would work well in a very formal space, like a rose garden. We like this bench, but we think it would be hard to work with.
This final bench is uber modern. We love the Butterfly! Unlike most benches, a cushion would ruin the look of this because it would cover up the butterfly design and it could make it look like a normal, yet a little weird bench. We think that this bench has to be the focal point of an area and would look great in a garden or park space.

Overall, wrought iron is a great medium to work with and is very adaptable to your back Yard or patio theme. Pick a piece that represents you and your personality, have fun with it!

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Double Post)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Patio Furniture: Wood!

Probably the most traditional, wooden patio furniture is classic. Like wicker, there are tonnes of different styles of wooden patio furniture that work well in all types of spaces. There are many types of wood that can be used in furniture, and each grain and colour has a different feel, so really, you can't go wrong!

This first table and chairs set is a simple, traditional set. It isn't painted or stained, so the focus is put on the design of the chairs. The table is a classic round table that too is very simple. The only intricate part of this set are the chairs, which have a trestled design that we really like. It adds some class to this set. We like this table and chairs because of it's simplicity. We think that it is a clean slate of sorts and would work in any backyard. But there is one thing we would do, add some nice cushions to liven the pieces up!

The focus of this next set is all wood. Not because it's that intricate, but because it's all there is. This set is all wood panels, including all 4 chairs and the table. This set looks very modern. The wood is not stained or painted, and it looks like it has seen a bit of wear. Also, the slant on the backs of the chairs and the square structure of the chairs add to the modern look. Overall, we think this set is a little too simple. We think it looks too worn and extremely uncomfortable. It is interesting to look at, but thats all we would want to use it for because we would be afraid of getting a bruise if we sat down too hard.

This next set is a little bit more detailed, but not in the wood part. This wood also has no paint or stain on these pieces, but with the cushions it takes on a whole different look. The orange brings out the warm tones of the wood. Also, the cushions make the furniture look more luxurious. Without the cushions, these pieces would be very flat and probably more simple than the first set. We like this entire set and think it would look well in a large outdoor space, especially in a outdoor living space near a fireplace. With a different colour cushion, this set could look very different. White cushions, like the picture below, make the wood look a lot darker and more finished. The entire set looks more modern, as well.

Sometimes, you don't need an entire set of patio furniture in your back yard. It's nice to have a focus on one or two pieces, like perhaps a bench...

 This first bench is a double threat. It's not only a bench, but a storage cabinet as well. We like the espresso stain on it and the streamlined planks. We think that even though there is no cushion on this bench, it would be fine to sit on for a while, unlike one of the previous patio sets. It would look very nice on a pool deck or with another set with similar colouring. 

 This bench is extremely modern. We're not sure how they made this bench, but we think they might have heated and moulded the wood. However they made it, we like it! The wood in this hasn't been stained painted, but we think it might have been lightly stained to bring out the grain of the wood. This bench wouldn't work well with all patios, but in a modern chis area, it would be perfect. 

This bench is totally different than the first two. Though it too is sculptured, it is much more natural than the other sculptured piece. It looks like it has been carved our of one large log, as do the legs. It has been stained to bring out the grain of the wood, like the previous bench. We think this bench is really cool, but it wouldn't work well in many places. It is perfect for a beachy, laid back patio, or even a park, like in the picture above.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Double Post)

Patio Furniture: Wicker!

With the summer season almost here (Finally!) we decided to focus on patio furniture design for a series of blogs. This first blog will focus on wicker and woven furniture, one of our favourite kinds of patio furniture. During the long summer nights that last place you want to be is inside a hot house, but often times patio aren't comfortable places to spend hours on end. But not anymore! We found a few great patio sets that make your back yard escape just like you're inside, but with natural air conditioning!

We really like this first wicker patio set. The dark and medium wicker is largely woven, making the contrast visible. This gives more texture to the pieces and with the wooded arms, the various tones of brown pick up the grain in the wood. We also like how there are a lot of pieces included in this set, two benches, a chair, a bench, and an ottoman. The high backs on the pieces make them more comfortable to relax on and more like indoor furniture, which is a common trend this summer. Also, we really like the cushions in varying tones of green. They go from olive to kelly to very light green, which goes really well with the greenery of your back yard and the tones of the wicker itself. We think this set is great and would go well with any patio with a modern vibe.

This wicker is very different from the first. It's made of stronger wicker with a large weave that has a sort of honey comb design which is really unique. This is just one sectional pieces that is 3 different pieces pushed together. This feature makes the options endless for putting them together. Also, it's very cost effective because whenever you want to change up the look of your patio you can just rearrange the pieces. The back is lower on this one, but the extra cushions help to keep it comfortable. We like that the grey colour of the wicker almost looks like stone, but we would have put a brighter colour cushion on it. With the grey cushions it becomes too monotone. Other than that, we think this piece is really unique and would work well in any space by just changing the colour of the cushions.

We don't like this wicker because we think it looks very old fashioned. This example shows typical traditional wicker, something that we're not too fond of. The tight weave and the designs in the back of the chair scream 1970s and the cushions don't help. To improve this set, we would not paint it. Tightly woven wicker can look very nice, even though it is more traditional. Not painting helps the look or painting a dark colour will bring this piece into this decade, a definite plus. Also, different cushion covers and even thicker cushions and back cushions can update the look and make it a lot more comfortable too. The example below shows how you can update this older style wicker while still keeping it more traditional. This set would work well on a covered porch of a cabin or a stone patio.

Wicker can look extremely modern too:

This wicker chair is a work of art. The flower designs are all hand made and it must have taken hours to make. We really like the large back on this chair. It is very oversized which adds to the modern feel. Also, we like how the base of the chair is black while the top is a light wood colour. This two-toning helps ground the chair and looks really cool. The black bottom almost looks like it was turned upside down. We think this chair is beautiful and super modern and we could see in by a pool in LA or at a high end hotel.

This final wicker piece is also very modern. It is a oversized bench with a matching stool, but that's not what makes is so modern. It is very deep, a new feature in furniture, and the stool connects to the bench in a ying and yang kind of style. The dark wicker makes the piece look younger, and the curved lines also add to this effect. Finally, the powder blue and white cushions complete the modern look. We think this pieces would look great on any pool deck in a tropical destination.

Overall, wicker is a great medium for patio furniture. There are many different weaves and style, each unique to whatever theme you are trying to capture. They work in all patio, backyard, and deck spaces when they are chosen to match this theme, and with neutral coloured wicker and fun cushions it's hard to go wrong!

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Double Post)

Home-Made Vignettes

This blog is all about vignettes, little centre pieces of grouped objects that not only fill space but they also make your rooms theme more complete. We decided to first look at some vignettes by other people, to see how they did it, and then try for ourself. After looking at other vignettes, we think we were able to come up with some pretty nice ones!

We think this first vignette is very modern and funky. It's focal point is the abstract picture behind the cabinet, which set the tone for the rest of the vignette and also the rest of the room. There are varying heights in this vignettes, from the high sculpture on the far left to the plant in the centre. This also makes it look more modern and different from a structured, symmetrical vignette. We like the mirrored cabinet that the vignette sits on too. Usually just the base for the grouping, this cabinet becomes a part of it and adds to the theme of the whole room. Overall, we like this edgy, young vignette and think it would look great in a home with a miami feel.

This vignette is very different from the first. Though it does begin on a bench with the rock basket and pail, it travels far past the bench onto the wall above. This makes the space look larger and utilizes the entire area, not just the bench surface. We like how all of the pictures are in black and white because we think it works really well with the pale blue walls. In this vignette, it is very easy to see that the designer was going for a beachy vibe, and it was done successfully. The added feature of the wood below the bench and the different sizes of the frame make it look a little bit more home made, which completes the laid back look.

Now, it's our turn.

This was our first vignette. We decided to make it on top of a black bookshelf because we thought it would be a nice pace to start with a blank slate. Also, being against the metallic purple wall, we didn't need to put a large picture to add spark. Metallic purple is as sparky as you can get! There are two focuses to this vignette, the shot glasses and the pictures. The candles and little black cabinet of bath products are extra elements that help to complete the look, but it's not hat should be focussed on.

This picture frame is the focus to our vignette because friends are so important to us. These pictures represent us and all of our friends and the fun times we've had. Some of these pictures are a little old and will need to be replaced with new ones, but it's hard to keep up because we take pictures all the time, so these will do for now.

The other part of our vignette that we chose to focus on are the shot glasses! we all have shot glass collections from mostly the same places, so it really ties us together. Whenever one of our friends goes away, they're responsible for bringing back 6 matching shot glasses from where ever they went. And they have to match, we don't want any shot glass wars! The shot glasses show our fun, youthful style, and they're mostly all black and red too, which has become the theme apparently.
 This "I got tipsy in Alaska" glass got a little tipsy itself, its slanted! this is definitely one of our favourites.
 Don't think too hard about who LV is, we love Las Vegas!
 Couldn't find a shot glass on a key chain, so we had to settle for a shot glass with a key chain from Victoria, Canada, eh?
 Though its a little hard to see from the picture, we really love San Francisco! This one goes perfectly with the Vegas one too
This shot glass is from Alcatraz, and old high security prison, but it looks too us like one bandit got away!

This vignette shows us as a group of friends and little element of what we're about. IT was fun to make and we think that it is very "us."

Our second vignette is a lot more traditional. It has a symmetrical feel and goes well with the earth tones used throughout the room (Even though you can't see it, take our word for it, this room is all neutrals.) It's focus is candles and the tree ornament in the middle. This vignette has a laid back, clean feel that we thought contrasted the first vignette really well. 
There are a lot of candle holders in this vignette. They are matching on either side with the same coloured candles for a very clean look. We thought the symmetry worked really well in this vignette. The greens in the candles goes with the neutral feel of the room.

The other element of this vignette is the tree ornament pieces in the middle. It is in a vase filled with sand, covered with river stones, and the ornament is placed in the middle. This pieces has two looks to it. It looks natural when the piece isn't lit up, but when it is turned on and the tips of the branches light, it looks whimsical and adds a really cool light to the room.

Overall, we think vignettes are a great way to add yourself to your room, so try it out! all you need is a flat space, a theme, and mementos of you for a great, personalized vignette!

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (*Triple Post)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Window treatments

Window treatments can change the entire mood of a room. They can make a room look put together and finished as well as being functional parts of the room. Before we begin, lets define a few window terms:
  • Finial: The ornament at the end of a curtain rod that holds the curtains on the rod. They are usually decorative, though they come on all styles, shapes, and colours
  • Tie-Back: The tie used to hold long drapes out off to the side of whatever they are covering. These too come in tonnes of varieties.
  • Curtain Lining: The inside of the curtains that faces the window. This lining finishes the seams of the viewed side of the curtain.
  • Valence: The rod used to secure stationary window treatments. These are often thicker than regular curtain rods and the curtains are tighter fit on them since they don't slide back and forth.
  • Grommets: The rings around the fabric where the curtains are put on the rod. These used to be hidden by curtains but in modern design they are focal points of the curtains.
Now time for the fun part. We're going to show various types of curtain treatments and give examples and opinions of each. so here it goes.


Swag blinds are probably one of the simplest types of window treatments there are really no rules. You don't need many tools and it's very easy to get creative and do whatever you want to. Swags are stationary blinds that are just tied onto the rod and spread out until you like how they look. You can use multiple fabrics and do anything you would like to. They are the beginners window treatment because you can't do it wrong!

We really like swags because there is so much you can do with them. Depending on the fabric you use and how intricate you get with the swags, you can create a simple to intricate look. Also, we like how swags still allow for other window treatments without crowding the window.

Over the past couple of year, sheers have become really big as far as window treatments go. Not long ago sheers were thought of as an inner lining of sorts and were rarely seen separately from the heavy curtains, but recently this has all changed. Sheers have become window treatments in their own respect, adding light and openness to many spaces.

Sheers are a great place to show off modern grommets, like in the first picture. The stainless steel ones in the first picture add simplicity to the room while making it look a little edgy. Sheers are also now patterned to make them seem more like real curtains.

Roman Shades
The last type of window treatment we decided to feature are roman blinds. Roman shades are the ultimate window treatment because they act as blinds and curtains at the same time. They have panels with fabric connecting them together to create an all-in-one.

Overall there are many types of window treatments, all of different styles and themes. Match the style and colour to your room and you will have a functional, attractive window space that you'll love.

-Hayley, Vanja, & Alexandra (Double Post)