Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paperwhite Progress.

Thanks for all your comments on my new chair! It really fits in well with the room and I'm very happy with it. Today, I thought I'd share the progress on my paperwhites. I few people had emailed me wondering how quickly they were growing and what I thought of their odor. So here they are!

It was my first time growing them and I was surprised just how easy they were. They seemed to sprout right away and within a couple of weeks I have long stalks 12 to 14 inches long with delicate little white flowers blooming.

The bad news? They really do smell horrendous. It's a little bit like a strong permanent marker. At first, I would notice the odor when I sat along side them, now I can smell them as soon as I come into the room. It's terrible enough, that I doubt I will plant them again next year. 

Strange how something so pretty, smells so terrible.. I started more a couple a weeks after these so that they would be blooming at Christmas time. They are starting to grow.. looks like the odor is going to be around a little bit longer!

Speaking of paperwhites, I have the paint color for my kitchen narrowed down to two colors from Benjamin Moore. I can't seem to decide because as the light changes through the day, I keep changing my mind. I'm after a barely there grey color.

Intense White:
Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Paper White

They look a little purple on the screen. Wondering is any of you have used these colors in your home? Lately, I've been thinking I should just go white.. argh.. it's so hard to decide!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My New Little Chair!

My living room is long and narrow, therefore I have two sitting areas. One with the sofa that faces the television and fireplace, and another under the window which is two chairs and perfect for coffee and conversation.

The awkward part of the room is the chair along side the couch. One is needed for more seating but generally an upholstered chair divides up the room. (Why didn't someone tell me that I needed a sectional when I bought my couch!?:) If I placed the chair by the fireplace so that you could face the people seated on the couch, then you walked into the back of the chair when you entered the room. If the chair was placed beside the couch, it seemed out of place and useless for conversation. Plus, it was a pain to move around.

Wow this is an oldie. The room doesn't even look like this anymore. Nevertheless, you see the chair. Sorta

A few months ago, I sold the floral chair on Kijiji and tucked the money away for when I found something to replace it. I looked at a lot of options, but space was limited. It had to be something small scale. Then, it occurred to me that an Eames rocker could be the perfect solution. I see them a lot in nurseries but more and more, they are popping up in living spaces.

I couldn't find nor likely afford a vintage one. So I sourced some reproductions online and found a Canadian company in BC called Wire Home. The chair was affordable and so was the shipping. I knew that Amelia from House Pretty had purchased one (another maritime blogger!) so I contacted her and she assured me that she was happy with the product and the service.

They offer it in four different colors;  red, blue, black and white. I decided to go with white like the one Nicole has in her living room. Who would of thought? I don't like white at all, do I?

Another gorgeous space with and Eames rocker. I love this room and it reminds me of when we painted the floors in Stephane's old kitchen. It was so beautiful.. I wonder how they are holding up?

Anyhoo, my chair has arrived. It came in 2 pieces and took me all of 5 minutes to put together. Size wise, it's perfect for the space as it doesn't take too much space. I can move it around easily without scratching my hardwood floors. It sits a little low to the floor but I knew that about that going in and that's fine, we aren't big people. Lastly, it's surprisingly comfortable. Maybe not for curling up and watching a movie but that's what couches are for! Overall, I'm happy with it!

Isn't it cute?

I love my little zigzag pillow from this ebay seller paired with my Ikea sheepskin rug. I wish I had picked up a few of those on my last trip. They are so versatile, especially at this time of year.

I'm off to sit in it for a bit!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shiny Glossy Goodness.

It's glossy, it's shiny and it's beautiful. That's pretty much how I feel about my new dining room sideboard. We spotted it at Structube in Montreal and knew it would be perfect for the dining room. Storage, check. White, check. Glossy lacquered finish, bonus. I was sold.

Could we fit it into the car? We were assured that the box it came in was only as long as the piece itself. After a few measurements and rearrangements of our previous purchases, we knew we could make it work. Yep. Off we went to the warehouse to pick it up, pleased with ourselves and our knack for packing.

Only to arrive and see the package. It was a good 8-10 inches longer than promised. There was no way it was fitting. I panicked a little for a second, vaguely remembering the saleslady reminding me there were no returns as I sailed out of the store, engulfed in my retail bliss. What to do? Steph sprain into action, pushing my seat up so my knees were jammed against the dashboard. The box was pushed in as far as it would go and still hung out the back. He tied the trunk shut as best he could and we crossed our fingers, heading to his aunt and uncle's across the city, praying nothing would fall out.

Upon arriving we removed some pieces from the box, wrapped them in old sheets and gently placed them among the other pieces taking up residence in the trunk. A dining room table, bathroom vanity and sink.. I told you we were good packers! The end of the box was cut off and the trunk door jammed shut. We did it.

Now it's home in our dining room. Worth all the trouble:)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Montreal Trip ~ Via Instagram.

I love cities. Montreal in particular. It's artsy, edgy, and energetic not to mention stunningly beautiful. Stephane grew up there and it's one of my favorite Canadian cities (love Quebec City too!) but this was our first visit together.

We stayed in the heart of the city with my aunt and uncle the first two nights. The most hospitable couple I know, who made us feel at home, toured the city with us and filled our bellies with delicious food and wine. Steph even got to eat an almond paste croissant for breakfast each morning. Heavenly, however, I stuck to the classic Montreal bagel. They can't be beat!

My aunt Brenda is very special to me and we had such a wonderful time shopping around the city, admiring the clothes, shoes, Christmas decor and fashionable people. There is certainly no shortage of those things! Here were are before heading out to dinner one night. I love the other picture of Brenda with the big bear. We couldn't resist picking him up and giving him a squeeze while shopping at one of the Christmas displays.

Of course there were a few stops for some good coffee along the way. Sunday night we had the opportunity to eat at Garde Manger. We both enjoy Montreal chef Chuck Hughes and his show Chuck's Day Off on the Food Network. We had reserved a month in advance at his restaurant in Old Montreal, as it is in high demand, and it was delicious!

One of my favorite parts about the city was the store windows. Everywhere I turned was something new and inspiring. We were lucky that signs of Christmas were starting pop up around the city with shimmering lights, trees and decorations. I wish I had taken more photos of the beautiful old buildings and homes around the city!

Of course I may or may not have spend a bit of time and money at Anthropologie. Every nook and corner houses such unique items that are thoughtfully displayed. I made it out of there with a a few home decor items and a beautiful shirt that I can't wait to wear!

The Museum of Fine Arts was a quick 2 minute walk from my aunt and uncle's so one morning we decided to check it out. They were having an exhibit on Impressionist works and we saw some pieces that we will likely never have the opportunity to see again in our lifetime. Very cool, but to be honest we were both enamored with the collection of Decorative Art and Design, from the Renaissance to today's contemporary design. We spent quite a bit to of time in there. If you should ever have the chance to go, even the museum itself is worth the visit. Absolutely beautiful!

We stopped in one morning to visit with one of Stephane's good friends, who came to PEI to spend some time with us this past summer. It was great to see him and meet his little Maggie. I fell in love with her instantly. I swear she has springs in her legs, she can jump so high. She mostly wanted to be outside running out in the backyard with her ball. So different from Beaufort who can't get inside fast enough to go lay on the couch and sleep:)

And last but not least, we headed home. Packed to the brim with our purchases. Would you believe that we have a dining room table, a sideboard, and a bathroom vanity and sink in there? It is true. Plus, all the other goodies we picked up! Luckily, my knees were only that close to the dash for a few minutes, until we had time to repack for the long haul back to PEI.

It was a great trip and I can't wait to go back again. It was so fun to meet some of Stephane's family!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American blogger friends and readers!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ellen's House ~ Part 2.

You may remember a few months ago when I helped Ellen freshen up her family room and kitchen? We transformed her space into something fresh and airy all the while keeping it family friendly. Then, a couple of months ago, Ellen contacted me again. This time for help with her living room and bedroom. I enjoyed the process so much the first time, that I was game to tackle another one and got shopping!

Ellen, knew she didn't want her living room to be considered formal. Rather, a space, where she could escape on her own to read her book and maybe watch her own television shows, an escape for a busy mom of two boys.

Here is a before shot of her living room:

We had the walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter. (A tad beige on the chip but a true grey on the walls - just what we wanted!) and she purchased some new tables and a white slipcovered Ektorf sofa from Ikea. All the windows where dressed with white lined breezy drapes. A few accessories and it's a brand new space!

Still to come is a new rug and two Strandmon wing chairs from Ikea. I've been obsessed with them since their release so I was thrilled when she agreed to using them in the space. They will sit against the back wall with a little black garden stool between them.

Next up is the bedroom. Here is the before shot:

We had the walls painted out in Benjamin Moore's Coventry Gray. Similar tone to what she had before but we steered away from the green and went with a soft blue grey that gives her the spa feel she was wanting for the space. All the furniture stayed and we just added new bedding and a few accessories.

It was darker in there, so challenging to take good shots, but it's feels quite soothing and restful. The bedding is West Elm's Organic Diamond Texture (I wish I had the time to press it!) and the throw pillows were added in. The mirror above the bed and the lamp were Winners finds. The white linen curtains are just awaiting a new curtain rod.

I found some black frames on sale at Zellers and used them to frame a set of pretty art prints to hang over the console table. An easy inexpensive project for a large wall.

Ultimately, I think Ellen was happy with the result. She likes simple, classic styling without too much clutter and that's what we ended up with. Actually, I left feeling like I have a lot of stuff in my home and I enjoyed the simplicity of hers. New Year's resolution? Who am I kidding? I love my "stuff"!:)

I'm so happy she has it all finished for the holidays! Time for a party! Thanks for letting me share, Ellen!

I'll be back this week with a recap of our trip to Montreal. We did some shopping!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Changes to Pinterest.. Good Ones.

I thought I'd share some of my recent favorite pins since today is a big day! Pinterest has announced that you will be able to have up to three private boards! I love this idea! While sharing is fun, it's nice to keep what is inspiring you under wraps sometimes.

Admit it, we love to make predictions about people's lives based on what they've been pinning..

They must be building a new house, she's been pinning lots of house ideas.
I think she's expecting, she's been pinning baby nursery ideas like crazy!
They must be going away, she's been pinning lots of travel photos.
I bet they'll get engaged soon, she pins the sweetest wedding inpiration!
I think she's following the paleo diet, I can tell from the recipes that she pins.

Ah yes.. without even realizing we are doing it. But no longer! Now you can at least attempt to keep your plans and ideas a little more private. Learn how to get started here.

Without further ado, here are some of my recent pins. None of which would be labelled private. What will be in those boards? Ah! Wouldn't you like to know!! :)

I've decided I want something different for a Christmas tree this year. Every year it looks the same - a perfect cone shape. I want something a little more Charlie Brown.. if that makes sense. I also love tabletop trees but let's face it, I've got way too many decorations for something so small.

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

A diy project I can really get behind. How easy and sweet are these coasters? 
Because really, I never do any of the ones I pin.

Love her. Love the quote. Enough said.

It's pretty much a prerequisite to have a board where you pin cute animals and babies. If you don't, it's like you don't have a soul. Kidding.. but it's honestly hard to resist. Here is a sweet little Boston in a field of poppies. How fitting for this time of year. 

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

Enjoy the weekend everyone. Remember your veterans and wear your poppy!

We are off early tomorrow morning for our little trip. 
Hoping Beaufort enjoys his time with his grandparents!

Should I Paint the Hearth?

The fireplace hearth in my living room is my nemesis. The rest of the room is soft and light, then your eyes stop at the orangey-red tile. To be honest, it used to drive me crazy, then I learned to avert my eyes and honestly forgot it was even there for a little while.
Then lately, my hate on for it is back in full swing. I've been casually dropping comments like this:

It wouldn't be that big of a deal to remove that tile... would it?
What do I need... a chisel?
Wouldn't marble tiles look so nice there?

Needless to say, I didn't get much of a response. Apparently, it is a bit of a job. Plus, any extra cash is being saved up for a bigger project. So, I let it go.

Then, I saw this post over at Elements of Style. Erin had a similar problem and used paint as a quick solution. Duh! Why didn't I think of that? I paint everything!

Here is Erin's before:

And her much improved after:

Doesn't it look a thousand times better? It's not to say that I still wouldn't want to replace the tile later on, but in the meantime it could look so much better. Problem is that she used Valspar latex enamel paint in a flat black. I'm pretty sure that we can't get Valspar in PEI so any recommendations on a similar product?

If you haven't visited Erin's blog, she has crazy beautiful style and has been busy renovating her new home. It's worth a follow! Did you notice that her and I have the same brass birds? I think I'm going to go put mine on my fireplace now too.

Have a great week everyone! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Dining Chairs Are Finished!

Our teak dining chair seats are now covered in the pretty blue geometric pattern (Bethe, Robin's Egg), that I selected from Tonic Living.

We started recovering them ourselves, and while not that challenging a project, we decided it would be nice to have the foam all replaced. I dropped them off at my upholsterer on Sunday and we had them back on Monday afternoon! They are soft and comfortable and she did a much better job than we could have mustered up. Plus, for the price, we should have had them done long ago.. not worth the effort of doing it on your own.

Now I can't wait for our new table!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Seriously November?

Countdown is on for our little getaway to Montreal! We leave on Saturday morning and I've already started out shopping list. My sweet aunt Brenda is sourcing out all the good shops for us to hit up and I can hardly wait! When you live on PEI, getting a chance to shop in the big city is a very exciting thing!

On Saturday, Gaby and I took Beaufort for a walk in the woods. I brought along my camera and got some decent shots. We were about a week late, as most of the trees had lost their leaves but we found a few good spots. Here are some of my favorites.

If you follow me on Instagram (modernjane) you may have seen that I got a new rug! I spied it on the bottom shelf at Winners and took it home without a spot for it. I may have found one and I'll share once I've decided!

I also got to consult in an amazing home that boasts this incredible view. This project is a biggie people and the homeowners have killer style!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Time to start your paperwhites!

Nothing says Christmas to me like fresh greenery in decor. It's just not Christmas for me without the smell of pine throughout my home. Every year, I plan to compliment my fresh greenery with pretty pots of paperwhites and I forget to plant them on time. Not this year. It's November 1st and I'm on it!

A couple of years ago, I found this great post on Pure Style Home about forcing your bulbs. I'm going to plant mine this weekend. I can't wait to see the little shoots of green sprouting. If you want some in time for Christmas, it's soon time to get them planted!

Good luck!