Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas Signs and a Christmas Vase

Along with the shorter days this time of year it is starting to feel like winter here in southern Ontario. Hubby had to scrape frost off my van windows before I could leave for work this morning. I have put away our simple Fall decor and I am just beginning to work on ideas for our Christmas decor. This past weekend I painted two small signs to help add some holiday cheer to our home.

The signs are not my original designs but they were fun to work on. I cut a pine board that we had on hand in half and just started painting. The best part is that I had all the supplies on hand and in a few hours (including dry time) I had two new signs. These instagram photos don't show the distressed edges very clearly, but I will be sharing photos again when I decide where to use them.

I don't have any fancy cutting tools so I just printed off some font on the computer for the Rudolph sign and traced the letters. The lettering is not perfect but it will do! For the JOY sign I traced large alphabet stencils.

Our fireplace wall is finished and I will be sharing it and a faux beam mantel just as soon as I can take better photos. I also need to share the farmhouse table that I cut down in size, stained and painted in ASCP for our family room computer desk. I wanted something for the corner of the desk and went looking for a large vase at the thrift store. This 12" glass vase was $5 and I filled it with birch branches, corks and red bead berries. I may switch the beads out for bells.

Are you hanging on to Fall a bit longer? Are you American and waiting for your Thanksgiving or do you like to combine the holidays? Our Canadian Thanksgiving was in early October so I hope to get a start on more of my Christmas decor this weekend. Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Benjamin Moore 2016 Colour of the Year and Our Home

Little did I know when I used Simply White to paint our family room in July 2014, our kitchen in November 2014, and our dining room in November 2014, that Benjamin Moore would announce, earlier this month, Simply White as the Colour of the Year for 2016. At the time I searched through tons of white paint chips and decided on Simply White OC-117. Now, over a year later, it is the upcoming Colour of the Year. 

I know I have said it many times, but I love love this colour. We bought our newly built home 17 years ago and I have painted many times. Never have I been happier with my paint choices than I was last year when I picked new colours for our main floor.

The rooms on our main floor flow into one another and share walls. Because we have the board and batten on one kitchen wall...

and wrapping around to the family room fireplace wall, I didn't want to use Simply White above the board and batten, which is painted BM Snowfall White. I wanted the board and batten to stand out a bit.  (The photo above is a nighttime IG photo of the new faux beam fireplace mantel in progress.)

We have lots of light in the kitchen and family room end of our home from patio doors, family room windows and two skylights in the cathedral ceiling. The white looks so fresh in here and I think it works really well with the wood stained chalkboard frame and open shelves. Black is one of my favourite accent colours and I think it looks so good against the Simply White backdrop.

Our dining room and front of our home often appear darker as there is only the dining room window (which faces our neighbour's brick wall), a narrow window in our living room, and the front entry door and sidelight. By painting the walls Simply White our dining room no longer feels gloomy. 

Just like in our kitchen, I love the white with our wood tones and black furniture pieces. 

Besides being brigher, the white also makes our small dining room appear larger. 

I think it is the perfect backdrop for our brown leather sofa and recliner and keeps the family room from feeling dark.

From Benjamin Moore:  "The Color Studio arrived at Simply White OC-117 after careful review of the company's more than 250 white selections. According to the Color Studio, it was the most neutral, level and constant in the various light sources used in today's design environments."

I have used white on our walls in other rooms as well, BM Cotton Balls in our living room (May 2011)...

... our oldest son's basement bedroom (January 2012),,,

...and our 4th upstairs bedroom/hobby studio (July 2011). 

If that isn't a crazy amount of white rooms, our guest bedroom upstairs is patched and waiting to be primed and painted Simply White and our master bedroom is partially painted Simply White (I stopped in the middle of painting our master bedroom when the new roof  leaked again and I had to repatch a freshly painted corner wall.) 

White walls are not for everyone but I love them with the neutrals, wood tones, browns, blacks and textures that I use in our rustic casual home. And I have a wee bit of a head start on using the Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year for 2016 -Simply White ;)

Linking up to the following parties...
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our Neutral Fall Living Room Tour

Continuing on from the Fall tours of our kitchen and dining room, today I am sharing our Fall living room. For this season I have cozied up our very light front room with textures, cozy throws and some darker colours. 

Our home is rustic casual and neutral with lots of whites, wood, greys, browns and black. Our living room is not our tv/family room, but a room we enjoy for reading, visiting with friends and family, and my favourite spot to do needlework while my guys flop down and we talk about our day. 

The gallery wall we had over the couch for several years was replaced with this pair of chalkboards I made last month.

I used the same pine and stain as the farmhouse sofa table that I made over, and the kitchen chalkboard. The IKEA bookcase I was trying in here in the summer was moved upstairs and replaced with the farmhouse table. The big white crocheted throw adds some texture and is so soft.

This is the view from our front entry and staircase. Our living room was the first room that I painted white back in 2011 (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls.) Over 4 years later and I still love it, Since then I have also painted  our basement guest bedroom Cotton Balls white and other rooms BM Simply White: half of our kitchen and family room, our dining room, my hobby studio, our basement stair way and now I am working on our upstairs guest bedroom. White walls are not for everyone but I truly enjoy them in our home.

As much as I enjoy white, I am finding that I love the rustic contrast of white and wood. Wood planks will also soon be added to the top of our 'for now' coffee table. 

I simplified the Fall accents I used this year. This dark grey wood tray on the coffee table gets a lot of use year round. I changed out the white cut work linen piece for an ecru crocheted piece. To keep the look simple I added pillar candles wrapped in birch bark and tied with twine, and a simple wood berry garland in Fall colours.

On the farmhouse table I added a wheat sheaf tied with burlap ribbon and a white ceramic pumpkin to pieces that I like to use year round: wood spools, mason jars, mercury glass, metal, architectural salvage and candles.

I was going to use a runner on the table for more texture but couldn't bear to cover up the plank top that I added when I made over the table.

I use a variety of metals and on this one side of the room there are wire baskets to hold books and magazines, a galvanized watering can and wash tub (it holds larger floor pillows and a plaid throw), a black painted metal sphere and star, shiny silver on the lamp and an aged brass ceiling fixture (not shown.)

The grey buffalo check pillows are from Ikea. I painted and sewed the True North, gather and punctuation pillow covers. The grey plaid pillows were made using Ralph Lauren napkins. Last week I sewed the charcoal grey pillows using suiting fabric my oldest sister gave me.

 The grey wool blanket was a thrift store find. I painted the barstool then re-stained and added grainsack inspired stripes.

We keep sunglasses and safety glasses in the small galvanized pots in the wooden crate. I found the vintage black and white ironstone plates and platters with farm scenes in a dusty box at the Aberfoyle Antique Market for $20. The platters are very heavy and I hung them with DISC adhesive plate hangers.

That is the front entry through the opening. The hall paint colour is Revere Pewter. It has been cold here this past week so definitely time to bring out my winter scarves. The grey and white striped curtains are from IKEA.

The tables are all garage sale or kijiji finds that I painted white (and the farmhouse table is ASCP Old White and Provence.)

 A shutter that I painted grey and the galvanized pieces add a bit of interest to this corner. One of my favourite scented candles is nestled in a wood berry wreath on a simple white plate.

Thanks for stopping by our cozy Fall living room. It is decorated with lots of inexpensive finds but is one of my favourite rooms in our home. Our Canadian Thanksgiving was two weekends ago so except for decorating our front porch and entry for Halloween, it is full on planning for Christmas decor for me.

Sharing with...
The Scoop at Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Addict, StoneGable and Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Thrifty Find and Charcoal Pillows

Happy weekend! Today I wanted to share a recent thrift store purchase of a white crocheted throw and some charcoal pillow covers that I sewed.

This new white crocheted throw was a $2.50 find at our local store. It is a small thrift store but I like to stop by to see if they have the items on my regular 'search' list (canning jars, wool blankets, ironstone etc.) This throw is quite large and still had a hand written tag with a length of extra yarn attached. Lucky for me it was also half off linens day (reg. $5.) 

With it being Fall and with winter approaching I wanted to add some darker and warmer-feeling pieces to our living room. My oldest sister gave me this charcoal grey suiting fabric that has a lovely texture. I sewed some simple pillow covers for a pair of pillows on our living room couch. (The buffalo plaid pillow covers are IKEA, the grey plaid are RL napkins sewed into pillows, and the others I hand painted on heavy muslin.)

Did I mention how soft and big this lovely blanket is?! 

Nice and wide and long enough to cover head to toes and then some.  I washed the throw in hot water, dried it in the dryer and it seems even softer now. I can't even buy a single ball of wool for that price either. L o v e !

I took advantage of the sun this morning to take way too many photos ;) of our Fall living room. I will be sharing a full tour soon. I wanted to wait until I added wood planks to our stand in coffee table but I decided I need to finish other projects first.

It is a sunny and very cool Fall day here in southern Ontario. The temps dipped below 0 Celcius (32 F) overnight and this morning, with a high of 5 C (41 F) this afternoon. If you can call that a high, We even had some wet flurries. Don't want to be saying that four letter S*** word quite yet but there was accumulation north of us overnight and this morning. I'm happy to have another warm throw if I feel the need for some snuggle time. Hope you have a great day and weekend. I will be back soon with more photos of our Fall living room.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Neutral Fall Dining Room Tour

Welcome to our suburban southern Ontario home. While my guys were up north on Sunday I took some photos of our dining room decorated for Fall. Okay, a lot of photos. 

I like using neutrals in our home and love the Benjamin Moore Simply White walls (the wall opposite the window is actually Revere Pewter as it is also kind of an open hallway/traffic path from the front door through to the family room.) Whites with wood plus lots of black and grey are my preferred colours.

We have a very tight budget for decor so there are mostly handmade, garage sale, kijiji and clearance items mixed in with a few purchases. We had the farmhouse table and Windsor chairs made after we got married 23 years ago and I'm pretty sure the light fixture was Home Depot full price.  

I pulled the table back a bit for this full shot of the pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch. I am thinking of painting it a solid black. The cabinet is filled with white dishes. I love collecting white pitchers and have a line of them on top of the hutch and some inside on the shelves.

The small boxwood adds some texture and a bit of colour. I am feeling the need for more greenery and plants in our home and need to work on this. 

The pumpkin covered soup bowls are from HomeSense a few years ago. The trio of candle holders have a stained glass look to them and my favourite scented candles are baking related (maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, pretty much anything that would make a good dessert lol.)

The pine farmhouse table is simply set with painted grey chargers, white dinner plates and thrifted 'The Friendly Village' bowls. 

I love the wavy glass of these lanterns. A few pinecones and painted pumpkins are scattered on the layered table runners with a wood berry garland.

Oops, I just realized I forgot the cutlery! So not a pro at tablescapes lol. 

But I have sorted through my collected plates and napkins and narrowed them down to my favourites. Now I know what filler pieces to keep an eye out for. 

The grey chargers were originally shiny green post-Christmas clearance chargers (90% off at Michaels.) I spray painted them with grey primer and then finished with grey chalky paint and wax. 

I would eventually like a rug under the table to break up the wood tones.

The opening in the wall lets light into our basement stairway. That is our small front entry and front door beyond.

On the weekend I moved this extra little bookcase in here until we make a long rustic console table for this wall. I shared more photos and details in this post.

I took these brown transferware plates down when I painted the main floor last Fall but brought them back out recently for either side of the window

I sewed the curtains several years ago from cotton sheeting fabric with a narrow tone on tone stripe. Our dining room tends to be a bit dark despite the white walls so this weekend I put clip rings back on the curtains to allow them to open more fully.

So that's our rustic farmhouse dining room with some simple Fall decor. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend but since we host 11-20 on average our dinner is often buffet style. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a chance to let me know you were here!

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The Scoop at Stone Gable, Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Additct, and Cedar Hill Farmhouse
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