New Dining Chairs

I was at London Drugs on Saturday night and spotted these Eames Shell Chair knock-offs.  The best part?  They were on special for $29.99 (from $99.99)  What a steal!  I bought one and took it home to test drive it.  It’s a bit lower than I’m used to sitting- so I’m debating.  But at that bargain price, will I really regret them?

Here is the original, which I was planning to buy eventually in a few years when I’d saved up enough.

And to complete the look, I’m thinking of refinishing my existing table to a medium walnut stain.  Kinda like this-

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Is that not gorgeous, or what? 

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Analog Coffee

On a recent trip to Calgary, we visited the new Analog Coffee and it was so great!  Not only great coffee, but a feast for this decorator’s eyes.  Take a look-

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I just love the chevron wood floors!  So great.  And all the black with the wood is gorgeous.

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And that’s the coffee station with cream and sugars.  So classy with a marble top.  And that black wall is the perfect dark backdrop.
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Even the bathrooms were fitted beautifully with vintage-inspired finds.  Go check it out if you are in the area, Analog Cafe.

Thrifting for brass

I’ve taken up thrift store shopping with vengeance again.  It is so easy here in the Okanagan. There are many thrift stores and all really close to where I live.  Lately I’ve been on the look out for cool brass accessories.  

 

A few months ago I found this very retro brass hair-pin stool. I love it so much!  I thought it would look great re-covered, but I cannot part with the cutesy floral.  It reminds me of my grandma and how pretty life was back in the 60’s.  We need more florals again people! I’d like to fix up the brass on the legs and was wondering how I might do this.  Any suggestions?  

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This baby called to me yesterday at the Salvation Army and it came home to stay.  It looks like a former planter.  So maybe I’ll show you next week with some great houseplant inside?

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Happy thrifting!

Marcus and Bethany Kitchen

Kitchen Inspiration

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I had the privilege of helping out some friends of mine with a new paint colour in their home. We settled on Escarpement from Benjamin Moore. It’s a great muddy grey.  I’m excited to see it when it’s actually on the walls.

Escarpment

Benjamin Moore Escarpment

Of course talking paint colours also led to talking about flooring and a little spruce up to an existing kitchen. And you know how it goes… Renovations are fun to talk and dream about! Very hard to know where to stop. It was especially fun discovering that we love a lot of the same things in decor. They like a lot of vintage elements, subway tile, slate counters, white shaker cabinets, gorgeous wood shelves and window ledges. Here is my Pinterest inspiration board I created for them.  Marcus and Bethany Kitchen

You can follow me on pinterest here pinterest.com/michellejf/

Upholstered Valances, if you will

Upholstered valances are still one of my favorite window treatments.  Some people call them pelmets, I like upholstered valances.  I think drapery fashion (cuz that’s what it is!) is so fun again after hitting a rough patch in the late 90’s and turn-of-the-millenium with just boring ol’ brown curtains.  I guess it’s following fashion and everything colourful, girly, fun and generally late 80’s is hot.

What I’m REALLY tired of seeing-

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What is REALLY fun-

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What I built for my son’s room-

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image by tasha jean photography

This was a fun project that I had been wanting to do for a long time.  I used ready-made panels from Home Depot.

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I built the valance out of pine shelving from the Home Depot as well.  I had them cut it to size and my sweet hubby and I spent an evening screwing it together with L-brackets.  I then covered it with quilt batting and then used a 3rd panel to cover it.  Fun.  And not as much work as I had anticipated.

Next week I plan to post about the relaxed roman shade I created in the dining room.  Happy weekend!

Pushing past your decorating comfort zone

I’ve been thinking a lot about making myself uncomfortable in decorating.  It started from a statement by some designer about preventing your room from being an ode to a certain era by restricting furniture and accents from that era.  I started mentally calculating all the teak pieces I own from the 60’s and possible 70’s and I started to worry.  I’ve been living without a coffee table for some time, often keeping an eye out for some teak beauty.  But the realization of how boring that would look dawned on me.  It is brilliant advice.  So I’ve pushed my limits a bit and bought 2 metal round end tables from Winners.  They are extremely practical, being round and can go just about anywhere.  With metal, I am free from worrying about spills and scratches.

image by tasha jean photography

I also bought a curvy turquoise side table that was a bit more formal than I would normally go for.  But, it contrasts beautifully with the gold chairs and I love it.

image by tasha jean photography

And now when I look at the living room overall, I’m really happy with the balance of old and new.  I’m never going to give up some of those teak beauties- but they are broken up by other pieces.

image by tasha jean photography

image by tasha jean photography

Isn’t she still pretty after all these years?  You’d never know she was rescued from my in-law’s garage.  There were paint cans and tools sitting on top of her!  Oh, the horrors.

French Kids Eat Everything

My girlfriend and I have been reading French parenting books lately.  The first Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman is fabulous.  It’s a look at how the French parent their children wildly different from North Americans.  They are calmer, more confident and a bit more strict.  Their children are consequently better behaved, more orderly and also calmer. There was a large part of the book that focused on how well French children eat and how their parents view it as their job to “educate” their children in food.  What to eat, how to eat it, when to eat, with whom to eat it, etc.  They eat everything!  After finishing the book, I dove into Karen LeBillon’s new book French Kids Eat Everything.  It is a more in-depth look at how exactly this is executed.  What has inspired me is how the French and their children eat 4 courses at lunch and slowly savour each new taste and plate.  I think slowly surprising the children with little plates seems like setting them up for success.  So today at lunch I tried it with all 6 kids.

I set a menu of exactly 4 courses- appetizer, main course, cheese, dessert.  And there was no grain or sugar added to any of it.  The result?  Success!  The all LOVED it!  I did, of course, involve them in preparing one course each.  I talked about it for the hour before- how it would look, that there would be new tastes, and how fun (!!!) it was going to be.  I think that helped.  They were a little nervous about the cheese course, it was to be a French brie.  But I let them cut it before hand and smell it.  It was a bit stinky, but they each nibbled a little and the conclusion was they thought it was acceptable in very little bites.  No one finished it, but they all TASTED it!  My success has spurred me to want to offer this kind of French dining experience once a week for them.  Let’s see if I can accomplish that!

 

Menu making

Menu making

Cutting up the broccoli

Cutting up broccoli

Waiting to be asked to sit down

The menu

Mmmm… carrot salad

Roast beef and broccoli