Thursday, January 28, 2016

Turkish Towel Love.

Our bathroom is small. Tiny really. There isn't room for a towel bar anywhere in the room, except for the wall behind the door. But that would be mean that the door would be always hitting the towel rod each time it opens. This means that we resort to hanging our towels on the stair railing upstairs to dry. It drives me crazy.

The solution was a pair of hooks on the wall behind the door. I chose the Kraus Aura hooks from Home Depot because they matched our hand towel and toilet paper bars. I love their modern simplicity and chrome finish.

Turkish towels, also know as pestemals, are a flat woven towels traditionally used in Turkish baths. They are said to be highly absorbent and fast drying. They make a great beach towels, since they roll up nicely and some people even use them as a shawl or scarf. 

We had some nice white fluffy towels but I questioned whether they would dry out properly if hung on a hook. I decided to try out the Turkish towel route. I'd heard so much about them over the last few years and wanted to give them a try. My parents gifted them to us this Christmas. The grey and white Cabana Stripe are perfect in our bathroom.

The verdict? I like them. They do dry quickly and wash extremely well. I wouldn't call them highly absorbent but they do the trick. Stephane used his once and declared it his last. He said it wasn't warm enough though he may feel differently in the warmer months. I do see where he's coming from but ultimately do like it and will continue to use mine. Although it means I do still have a towel hanging on my stair rail on a daily basis. You win some, you lose some!

What are your thoughts? Have you tried a turkish towel? Is it something you would consider?

*** My mom picked ours up at Cottage Industry in Charlottetown. Last time I was there they had a good selection. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hello IKEA!

A collective cheer rang out across the maritimes last Friday when it was announced that an Ikea store would be coming to Halifax. The first in Atlantic Canada. I had heard many rumblings the last while and hoped so much that it would be true! For me, it's still a 3 hour drive away but that definitely beats the 12 hours to Quebec that we currently have. Although, I must admit I did love those exciting pit stops at Ikea along our travels. I'd make a long shopping list of things to check out and end up leaving with some of that and more of what I'd discovered while roaming the endless maze that is their showroom.

Ikea has long had the reputation of cheap furniture best suited for dorm rooms and first apartments but it's really time those naysayers take a second look. We mustn't overlook the the stylish, classic and functional pieces that Ikea keeps churning out year after year. Many stylish and timeless pieces will still grace our homes ten years from now. I'm sure of it.

In celebration of the big announcement, I'm sharing some of my favorite pieces. Some I own myself, have recommended to friends and clients and others are on my wish list.

clockwise from top left

A whole collection of dressers, bedside tables, shoe cabinets and wardrobes that are really catching my eye. Simple, clean lines and that classic white I love so much.
I wish I had a spot for this little lamp. 
We have two of the wall sconces in the bunk room and the pendant lights in our kitchen.
The most affordable linen bedding on the market. I'm impressed with ours, considering the price.
I wanted this mirror for our bedroom but understandably Ikea doesn't ship mirrors. Lucky for me,
 I found a similar one at Home Sense.
Everyone needs one of these. Less than 20 dollars and cute enough to leave out.
I use ours at least once a day.
I love this whole Stockholm line and the bench is no exception. Classic Scandinavian styling.

A classic piece for many years now. I've almost bought it so many times.
Big and awesome. I love them paired over an island.
So fluffy and soft. Don't get the cheaper version (Ikea makes two). This one is so fluffy and soft. Perfect for draping over the back of a chair in the cooler months.
I have these in our living room and had another pair sewn into a shower curtain for our bathroom. The grey is the perfect compliment to crisp white walls. 
I keep seeing this table on Pinterest. I have yet to see it in person but it looks pretty great for the price.
Extra seating that is slim enough to slide under a coffee table when you aren't using them. I only have one but they look great stacked one on top of the other.
I love the look of a simple white crib. I know this is a favorite for many moms and dads.

Here are a few Ikea pieces in our home:

These VITTSJO metal shelves flank the piano window in our dining room. They were black and we sprayed them white. Then they became available in white. Isn't that always the way?

RANARP pendant lights in the  kitchen. I love the look but we are in desperate need of more light in there. I used the vintage style bulbs and it's just not cutting it.

More RANARP lights in each of our bunks.

Not the best view but our couch is the Ikea KARLSTAD, which annoyingly has been discontinued. We bought it mostly because we knew we could buy replacement covers, if we wanted to change the color or if Beaufort drooled on it too much. I am really happy with it, just disappointed that they won't be carrying it anymore.

I'd love to hear your favorite pieces. I still have over a year before the store in Halifax opens but we do have a little trip to Montreal planned for this spring so I'll be able to get my fill!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Touch of Christmas.

The halls have been decked! My goal this year was to not buy any new decorations. I used only what I had from other years but treated myself to a fresh boxwood garland from Prestige Floral. A friend gave me a generous bunch of pine that I used all throughout the house. Generally, everything was kept quite simple.

A look at the living room with our wee tree in the corner. We have nice tall ceilings and have usually chosen a large tree. This always meant that we had to find a spot for our coffee table and chair somewhere else in the house, which felt cramped. This year, we opted for a little untrimmed tree. We got it at a Christmas tree farm this past weekend, after the most beautiful snowfall. It was so beautiful! I only used my most favorite ornaments and it's turned out to be my most favorite tree yet.

The mantel is simply decorated with a piece of the boxwood garland wrapped with copper wire lights. I added feather trees, candlesticks and my favorite little polar bears. The wreath is artificial but it's filled with some real greens to add some fullness. The garlands are painted wood beads and the pompom garland that I made for our tree a couple of years ago.


Beaufort was hamming it up for the camera, wanting to be in every frame.

I brought out my winter pillows, cozy throw blankets and lots of candles to warm up the space. I love being in there at night with the glow of the tree. I'd imagine the wonderful smell of greenery won't last long so I'll enjoy it while I can.
My little brass deer were a thrift store score a few summers ago. I adore them paired with mini Christmas balls and a framed gold foil print by Kim Roach Design.

The stockings are filled with pine until Santa arrives and replaces it will much funner things!

I'm going to make some fresh arrangements for the dining room but for now, I've placed a table runner with my DIY wood bead advent wreath and some mini bottle brush trees down the center of the table.

There is more to come! I'll try to share if I can ever get home during daylight hours to take some good photos. Hope you are enjoying your own holiday decorated homes!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Modern Jane's Favourite Things.

Remember when Oprah used to do her favourite things show? I didn't follow her show religiously but I never missed that episode. So much fun and excitement! I decided there is no reason why I can't do my own favourite things list. I'm calling it Modern Jane's favourite things. Clever, right?

It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I sat down and made a list of the some of the things that have recently made life a little bit sweeter. I can sometimes be a bit of a salesperson when I find something I love. I think that everyone I know should have it too. I don't mean to be pushy about it, I just want to spread the joy!

I narrowed it down to seven things. I apologize ahead of time for my descriptions below being long winded but I feel like I have to explain why I like these  particular things so much.. and convince you why you should love them too :)

Clockwise, from top left.

Initial Pendant
I wear this necklace all the time. It was a gift from my girlfriends on my wedding day. The initial is an S so that I always have Stephane close to my heart. It's quite special to me.

Shellac Manicure
I always promise to do this more for myself and never follow through, There is nothing better than a fresh shellac manicure from Mint Spa. They last almost two weeks! I seriously love them. My favourite colour is a combination of Cake Pop and Romantique by CND Shellac. It's the perfect neutral.

Mindy Kaling's books
There were some mixed reviews about these books but I really liked the first one and loved the second. She cracks me up. I tend to choose heavier subjects and these were refreshing breaks in the last couple of months. I especially loved the chapter in her second book aimed at young girls.

I've talked about these before on the blog and for good reason. I swear they are more comfortable each time I wear them.. which is all the time. Steph has them too and it took him some time to warm up to them but now I feel like they may have become part of him. Speaking of which.. I often get comments from women who say: "I love your boots! My husband has the same ones!" I then walk away cursing them for making me question if perhaps they are maybe boys boots. Until I see other (cool) women wearing them and we agree.. Blundstones for life.

Sage Peel Gel
This is a new discovery for me. I used the same face wash for years and recently decided to try something new (manly because I learned that the micro beads in the product were killing all the fishies!). I always falsely believed that unless my skin felt squeaky clean, it wasn't. Moving to a new milk cleanser was a challenge. I really liked it but I felt like I needed something to slough off all the dead skin. I tried the Sage Gel Peel and was hooked after the first try. I use it once a week and it makes my skin feel incredible.

Foxhound Collection Candles
I wasn't always a candle burner. I'm actually very fussy about them. I don't particularly like things that smell like baking or candy. These candles have such a natural smell and best of all great packaging. I'm such a sucker for good packaging. I'll need more of them before long.

Everyone needs a Nespresso! Ok, maybe not but it's just so awesome. Steph and I like to call it the greatest purchase of 2014. We both prefer cappuccinos and the machine and frother make a perfect cup. I actually look forward to getting up in the morning because I get to have coffee. For real. It's not a perfect set up since you have to order your pods online, not to mention the waste, but we love it.

There you have it! I little list of some of my favourite things. I've been busy with my report cards this week and anxious to finish up so I can start decorating. I hope to share some photos of our home decorated for the holidays next week, as well as a couple of gift guides for Christmas shopping.

What are some of your favourite things? Have you started to decorate?