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It’s been busy the last two days setting up the IKEA design competition booth. My colleague/friend Marie Kanwischer and her friend Rae worked hard to set up the teenage bedroom. We had a $2000 budget to spend at IKEA. There are three other bedrooms in the competition and visitors can vote for their favorite room as well as win the contents of it.

The inspiration for our space was from the colours in a small carpet, which became the headboard of the bed and a cushion on the sofa. Despite a few out of stock items (like the sleeper sofa) the install went pretty well. The folks in charge of the show were very helpful and so was IKEA.

The timelaps was created by Philippe Clairo, a great photographer who also provided the light house photograph in our room.

The pre-desing

The sitting area


Sleeping quarters

The Scandinavian Team

If you are reading this prior to September 25, 2011… hurry up and go to the show to vote.

Look at these fabulous 360 visuals. And one more created by Philippe Photography.

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It was only a week ago that my sister and I roamed the streets of Paris. Ooh good old Paris. It was not my first visit, but it has been a long time since I stayed longer than a few days (flight attendant days). My last long stay was 1982 working as a nanny. Last week’s trip was only a seven days so we really had to plan our time to be able to see the things we wanted to see. But there has to be days when you simply just walk around and happen on great stores. One of those was the British Conran store with locations in the US, Japan, France etc. The Paris store happened to be on the same street as our little apartment: Rue du Bac.

Hope you don’t have to assemble this lamp yourself…

A big wall is required for this Kartell Book Worm Book case.

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Question posed on my Formspring profile:

Answer: Depends on what I am looking for. HomeSense and Ikea for everyday lower budgets. Chintz for fabrics. Domaine Fine Furnishings for unique furniture and good quality.

Ask me anything

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Picture walls

Last week we had visitors from France. In preparation for their arrival we had to clean out our guest room which normally is a storage room. Among the things stored in the room were a bunch of pictures or art that I did not have the wall space for. I noticed most of my frames were black, wich gave me the idea of creating a picture wall in my basement.

I decided to lay all the frames I had on the floor to see if my plan would work. I realized I was short a few frames but a quick trip to IKEA took care of the problem.

I filled in the gaps with pictures from a calendar I had bought several years ago. The wall is almost complete… a few more frames to fill and perhaps make it a bit more uneven towards the edges and maybe a few pictures to exchange. What I would do differently: I would hang the bottom edge of all the picture a bit higher, only because I sometimes want to fit a console or desk on that wall. What worked: using a level to mark two spots on wall for two nails per picture. I used to use only one nail or hanger, especially for small pictures, but with two nails the picture will not move or hang crookedly. After I laid the pictures on the floor, I took a picture of the set so I could refer back to what I had laid out. I then measured how wide on the wall the set would be. I centered this measurement on the wall and started hanging from the middle.

Here below is a lovely picture wall by Lillian Day.

Picture Wall on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

The Perfect Picture Wall

For those of you who want to create a foolproof picture wall, you can order a template and frames ready to go with pictures or you can insert your own. Go to The Perfect Picture Wall to see your options.

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I don’t know when I first heard about Jonathan Adler, but I always liked his products. Unfortunately they are not as easy to find here in Calgary. But the other day I came across a few ceramic pieces at Sojourn and they ended up in my home. The salt and pepper fish and an adorable dachshund. (I have had two real ones so these dogs are always a favourite).

Source

For my birthday we went to Palm Springs and stayed at the Parker. The decor in this great hotel is by Jonathan Adler and I felt right at home. It’s a very casual atmosphere and you feel right at home.

Very grand entry or exit to the gardens. Admiring the chandelier.

A suite at the Parker, not our room unfortunately. Ours was nice, just not as big. The area rug so reminds me of my childhood. I used to jump hopscotch on one of these.  Photo source.

In the lobby. So casual yet so hip. Photo source.

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A green book on my night table

On my bedside table - February


A while ago I heard a book review and an interview with the author on CBC radio (Canada) and I immediately ordered two copies of Ecoholic Home by Adria Vasil. I read this book on and off, and every time I learn something new. If you are a “green conscious” home owner, interior decorator, builder etc, this is a book full information on how to purchase, build and live greener. The book contains great resource information (Canadian) such as links to web sites to purchase green products. It is written with a great sense of humour as well. When visiting the book web site I found a link to the US version of the book.
To do list

There are always things to improve on when it comes to living green.


The book covers green living for: cleaning, cooking, decorating, breathing, gadgeting, renovating, heating & cooling, powering and moving.

Here is a short excerpt from the book on airfreshners which gives you an idea of what the content is like (so fun to read): “They might smell like gentle summer rain, but those fancy plug-ins, weird gels and fan propelled perfumes are filled with carcinogenic formaldehyde, benzene, and other chems linked to asthma and developmental problems in young’uns. And really, any product that contains the word ‘fragrance’ in the ingredient list almost always contains phthalates, that freaky family of hormone-disrupting plasticizers.”

The great thing about the book is that Vasil gives options and ideas of how to, in this case, freshen the air in your home. The book is Published by Random House.

Enjoy and remember, even the smallest steps get’s you forward.

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Every room needs a throw

I first saw these throws by Merben International Inc. last summer, and immediately fell in love. They come in many colours and are so chic looking, yet homy. Don’t you just want to curl up with a cop of tea and a good book under this one.

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