Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Once upon an August

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here the last week or so! I've had a lot of etsy orders to fill, as well as writing my very first guest post (details to come this week!), and both became much more of a challenge considering we lost power the last two nights.  The most notable of events of late, however, would be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary last Thursday, August 23rd. 

We had an amazing date which I will recap soon, but for now, I thought I'd share a few glimpses into that very special day 4 years ago. As an aside, we had an absolutely terrible photographer experience and therefore I'm not even close to being thrilled with our wedding photos, but it's what we have, so it's what we will cherish.

We are going away for Labor Day long weekend, but I've got some fun and crafty posts coming up next week, so don't stray too far!

If my husband looks pained in the ceremony photos, it's because he was balling like a baby as I walked down the aisle, not because he's completely depressed to be getting married!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo J

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Inside your Pantry | The Paper Society

Every time I get an order on etsy for The Paper Society, one of the first things I do is check out the invoice and see where on earth my labels are going to end up. I am BEYOND fascinated that in this crazy world, I can have my label designs in pantries from Australia, to the UK, to Texas. It. Blows. My. Mind. I know it shouldn't, because that is the nature of the international web marketplace, but still, I am amazed.

Even my husband (who gets the paypal notifications to his email) comments when he sees an order and says something along the lines of "Hey hunny, your labels are going to Germany! You're my idol! Want me to make you some schnitzel?"...Ok, I made up that bit.

I also love hearing and seeing what people do with my labels and how they organize their pantries. There are some very talented and organized people out there and I have seen a fair share of magazine worthy pantry makeovers. Melanie's has got to be one of my faves.

Melanie lives in NYC, and if that isn't enough to make you a wee bit jealous, she's also a very driven entrepreneur. Her company Elizabeth and Clarke is little bit genius, a lot bit functional. I don't live in the city but I do get the hassle of running around from shop to shop trying to find staples. Elizabeth and Clarke takes all the hassel and guess work out of stocking your wardrobe with the essentials. Ease and affordablity- I like that.

Back to pantries! Melanie has used the OXO pop up containers that I absolutely adore. They seal perfectly airtight, and in a day and age where so many things are short lived and disposable, I do feel like these containers will stand the test of time. I only have a couple but hope to one day outfit my pantry with some more of them!

The jars for the vinegars are also genius! I have a handful of sparkling wine bottles with this type of lid that could so easily be repurposed. And, decanting keeps everything looking the same, so what's not to love!

Are you having pantry envy yet?

I sure am ;)

xo J

A little Love for Louis

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have gotten a sneak peak at today's post, which is brought to you by my dear friend Louis.

Louis and I have a long lasting love affair, and I feel this one may stand the test of time. If I could choose one chair, just one chair to have for eternity, it would be Louis.

The oval back is such a timeless silhouette (clearly since it's been around for centuries) and I absolutely love how versatile it can be. Glossy and modern, demure and traditional. Louis has got it going on.

I have always known that one day, Louis and a few other of his friends Louis, would come to stay with us, and hopefully to stay for a while. I figured that day might come when we have a house, and a proper place to really put them up. A dining room of their very own to call home!

Well, Christmas came early this year, and Louis made a shocking early arrival!

If you've heard of me talk about my obsession with designer warehouse sales, you'll already know the beginning of this story...

At my very first warehouse sale, which turned out to be the mecca of them all, I bought a TON of stuff. My mom did also. And like me, sometimes my mom buys things she doesn't quite know what to do with. We are a family of impulse buyers, what can I say?

My mom scooped up a set of 6 Louis chairs at said warehouse sale. Why didn't I jump on them? Firstly, not my colour , at all. The wood is finished in a deep mocha/espresso stain, and the upholstery is camel. Might work in someone's home, but not mine.

That wouldn't have been enough to deter me though. The main reason I didn't take them home with me right then and there was that I was out of money. I brought a big wad of cash with me that day, and vowed to only spend what I had. And I did. I spent it all.

My mom and I disagree on what they cost. I remember them being $50 a chair, so $300 for the set. She reemembers $75 a chair, so $450 for the set (the day was such a whirlwind and we both spend so much money that it is completely understandable that neither of us remember how much they actually cost. Well, actually I mom just forgot). Either way, a MASSIVE deal compared to what these babies would cost retail. HUGE HUGE steal!

I couldn't justify it though, and even after my mom and dad decided they did not want them, and even after they sat in their garage for nearly a year, I couldn't justify the $300 because I knew I'd have to probably throw another $50 at each chair to make them look pretty for me (and that would be upholstering them myself, add another $100-$200 a chair for a professional job).

To make a long story short, we were at my parents for dinner the other night talking about these forsaken chairs that were still in their garage that my mom had yet to successfully sell on craigslist. And then it happened....

She said..." Well, would you like them? I'll just give them to you."

To which I responded " HECK YESSSSSSSSSSS."

I started to shake.

Ideas started running through my head.

I had always wanted the chairs, the only barrier was the cost. The cost of something that desperately needed a makeover and would cost even more.

But now that they were F-R-E-E, and oh, the possibilities were endless!

There are so many routes to take my friends Louis I, Louis II, Louis III, Louis IV, Louis V and Louis VI on, but I think I might have to go the safe route. I tire of pattern and colours really quickly, so I think I might just be going all white.

What do you think? What would you do with 6 Louis chairs?

I have already hatched a little plan for the upholstery to be revealed later, but what I'm really stumped on is the wood. Do I go straight white (maybe even with a gloss), or do I try out Annie Sloan's chalk paint for a more weathered look?

Let me know your thoughts! I need help! :)

xo J

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ella's Living Room | The Details

Yesterday I revealed my first reader e-design, taking Ella's living room from this:

to this:

And then I stopped there because I had to go to bed and get to work bright and early the next morning.

Well, now for the rest of the post that should have been one had I not lost it all in my laptop meltdown.

As I summed up yesterday, I took my own direction for creating something feminine with a touch of Paris (please say "Pahree"  with me right now in your head to humour me).

I was torn between doing a large scale piece or a gallery on that large wall. After doing up a rendering with a wall of various mirrors, I decided on one large piece. I just found that with all the tufting on the sectional, that the multiple pieces were just too busy and visual clutter for the space.

The art I decided on is called "The Beginning" and is one of my favorite Cocoa and Hearts pieces by Jen Ramos of Made by Girl. I love her abstract art because of the colours she uses. They all just seem so happy to me. Jen's pieces sell quickly, however you can contact her to commision a piece. My suggestion for an easier route is to look up your local art schools and see if any abstract artists are willing to do commissions. Give them your colour scheme and send some ideas their way, and you'll end up with a totally unique, original, local piece of art.

Home Sense (Canada's HomeGoods as far as I know) has an amazing selection of large scale art, and it seems to be growing and getting better everyday. I've seen pieces at the same scale as the one in the rendering for anywhere in the $100- $200 range, which can't be beat for a piece that size. If you are at all crafty and willing to experiment, then break out your paint brush and medium (likely oil paints for most of the canvas pieces at Home Sense) and add in your own colours to match your colour scheme! I did this in my office as seen here, however I still have some work to do and some more colours to add!

I don't actually have a paint colour name to give you because I created this colour on my computer, however it wouldn't be difficult to have a custom colour mixed to match (I'm hesitant to recommend paint colours anyways, because I know all too well that the natural light/orientation of a room can change the way a paint colour reads rather dramatically, so the way it looks in one home may not be the way it will look somewhere else.) That being said, I think a colour similar to this is perfect for this room. It really brightens up the space yet doesn't commit itself in one significant direction. If you were to ever tire of the pillows and/or decide to switch up the art, you could easily take this room in an entirely different direction.

The Mongolian fur pillows are the ones Ella referenced in her post from Kohl's. The funny thing is, is that before I even read her post, the first thing that popped into my mind was "She needs some fluffy pillows!". Glad we started on the same page!

yellow scales scalloped pillow

The yellow scales pillow isn't a cheap find at $80, but of all the pillows I searched through, it was the one that stood out the most to me. The embroidered scales on linen lends a more sophisticated and upscale feel to the room, and every room needs a little bit of panache!

 For a more budget friendly option, keep your eyes open for something similar at Home Sense, or buy some fabric (fabric shopping online is my fave!) and take it to your local dry cleaner or tailor to sew you a basic pillow cover (if you don't have sewing skills yourself). I quite like this print as an alternative to the scallops:

If you're really feeling up to a DIY, you can also try stencilling the scallop design on a ready-made pillow cover. I did this on some outdoor pillows, however it would look 100 times better if you started with the colour of fabric that you want and only stencil on the design, as opposed to painting the entire thing first like I did, and then stencilling. This screen printed pillow on etsy is a great indication of what yours could look like with a little elbow grease!

This patchwork X pillow below is from CCDeuxVie on etsy. The pillows are less of an investment at $50 each, and again, could be sewed or DIY'ed by the willing person.

And last but certainly not least, is the lovely fretwork pillow from Caitlin Wilson Textiles. I love love love her fabrics and pillows! I particularly like the design of this one, because SURPRISE!: you can totally DIY this with some gros grain ribbon.

Every room needs a little sparkle, especially a French-inspired salon! I think the metallic accents really pull the room together and polish it off.

The Ralph Lauren side table I chose is actually so so out of character for me (being that it costs $2000 and all), but I chose it for a very specific reason.

And that reason is..... that it was the easiest to "photoshop" (ok, I didn't use photoshop, but you get the idea) into the rendering.  Hey, at least I'm being honest!

Truth be told, I found about 10 others that I really liked and were way more affordable, but they just didn't look right in the rendering because of all the white spaces left behind the fretwork, if that makes any sense. But I am dying to get my hands on an Ikea Lindved side table at just $20, and spray paint it a brassy gold. I think it would be a fab makeover, and have yet to see one on Pinterest.

Also loving this easy spray paint DIY of a cheapo $34 side table from Target by Sanity and Chaos.

And another unlikely yet convenient pick was this tray from Layla Grace which would only set you back $420. For a tray. That's nothing, right?

Har har har.

It is GREAT inspiration though, and if your local home decor stores don't have something similar, this could be a pretty awesome DIY. Grab a plastic round tray from Wal Mart (under $10), metallic spray paint, and a mirror that either fits perfectly or is cut to size. Stencil on the circular quatrefoil design and paint, and voila! Ok, probably a lot more difficult than it sounds, but boy it would be pretty, and sure wouldn't cost $420!

And lastly, the rug. Oh the rug.

Dear PETA, please avert your eyes right now...

I first laid eyes on this cow hide rug last year in one of the display homes my company designed. It was stunning and I was really surprised by how much it grabbed my attention. Essentially areas of the cow hide are treated with an acid splatter to remove the fur, and then those smooth spots are painted with either gold or silver metallic. It really, really needs to be seen in person to be appreciated, so you have to trust me on this one! I love it so much that one day, one day I intend on just going for it and putting one in my own living room (I've been a vegetarian for the last 20 years or so, so I feel I've saved enough animals to earn one leather piece, no?).

And, here's the finished rendering one last time:

And as they would say over in ol' Paris, " C'est fini!"

Grand Bisou!