I grew up in a house that had plates and tiles hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and it’s something that’s always stuck with me. I have some of my mom’s old Dutch tiles and plates and they are going up in my kitchen, but in the Fall I fell upon these Rob Ryan plates at The Bay and fell in love I bought them immediately knowing I’d find the perfect spot for them in our new house (which were weren’t moving in to until January).
So now the time has come! I indeed found the ‘perfect’ place for them in our dining room, right near the entrance to the kitchen. I am not a fan of everything being perfectly symmetrical, neither is Mr Content so we opted for an untraditional layout that still looked balanced.
I might need to tweak the hook on the back of the ‘Summer’ plate (second from the top, they are in seasons Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) it looks slightly skewed. And of course our dining room will look even better once our dining room table arrives next month;
It’s no secret we’re in love with our new-old-home. Now that we’ve been in our space for a couple of months and have some painting done, some art purchased, and some storage planned we’re getting into the detail work. Or at least for the first floor we are – the second is just getting ready for a full on makeover.
Working around radiators is one of the biggest obstacles, as well as the fact that as tall as the house is, it’s also skinny. So we’re carefully planning furnishings with these ‘obstacles’ in mind. We clearly needed something at our entrance, as much as we love our exposed brick and we’re thrilled with how our massive mirror looks hanging on the brick – the entrance still needed a little something.
The rest of the room has a very modern industrial feel to it’s furnishings. Clean lines, mixed metals, concrete, etc. So it couldn’t be just ‘any’ console table that would work. We found this at CB2 and are thrilled with the final outcome.
After:The glass and metal are a perfect compliment to the space. And now I have somewhere to put all those glass vases I’ve apparently accumulated over the years, plus it’s the perfect spot for that ‘change tray’ that Mr. Content likes to empty his pockets into.
Cribs are one thing, but for the first few months Baby Content will be sleeping in our room which is rather limited in size. So what to do for those first few months?
Originally i was thinking I’d just get a stroller that comes with a bassinet that I could just plot onto a stand in our bedroom but I ended up deciding on a stroller that doesn’t have that option.
So here’s where I’m at; I’ve picked out two options – one is more on the inexpensive and functional side, and the other is gorgeous and still functional but maybe not as versatile.
First up – Summer Infant’s By Your Side Sleeper. It’s compact, travels well (convenient for the trip to the East Coast we’ve got booked for next September), has the mesh sides which aids in SIDS prevention (allows air movement so the baby essentially does not suffocate in it’s own CO2 while sleeping). It appears to be designed to be on the same bed as you, or on the floor or a counter of some sort – this is one of the major downfalls because our bed is quite high and I don’t have anything to place the sleeper on to keep him/her closer to my eye level. And you can’t really beat the price, $59.99.
Next up is Restoration Hardware Baby & Child’s Heirloom Wicker Bassinet. what can I say about this that isn’t already obvious? It’s. Just. So. Beautiful. *Le Sigh* It comes with a stand that has a convenient shelf underneath for all the baby things you need to keep handy for the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. I can park it right beside my bed and have Baby at eye level for quick and easy supervision. And I can remove the basket to use in another room if we decide to take a nap in the family room together, or i want to hop in the shower really quickly and keep an eye on the wee one. It won’t travel well – not to the East Coast anyways, but that’s only a week out of the entire year. And it’s such a beautiful piece of furniture that would not be obtrusive in our own bedroom. Eventually I can use it to put some toys in, in the baby’s room once we’ve moved on to a crib. A little more pricey at $299 usd, but if you compare to what Pottery Barn Kids has to offer – not outrageous.
I’ve already got into my wallpaper woes, so I just thought I’d show you some of the options we were looking at. We borrowed the books and brought them home and as lovely as they are in the daylight, they are going into a hallway and lose all colour. I thought for sure we needed a really light coloured base, like white or off-white but in the evenings you can’t see any of the detail. Actually only for a few hours in the middle of the day can you see any of the detail. So, sadly, the search continues…
This Grey sample we didn’t actually bring home, I think it was a little pricey but it would be a better fit than the other options.
This was my husbands preference but it started to look like wrapping paper to me and I think we’ll grow tired of it quickly.
Forgive the sideways pic below, grasscloth is super cool and I found one that has this great geo print on it but the price is extreme! So I didn’t see the bang for our buck here.
This was my favourite of them all, but again you lose all detail without it being in direct sunlight all day. Also my husband wasn’t feeling the ‘sparkles’. You can see I was already picking out paint colours for the two end walls.
So this seemed like a different option, only two colours in it – the base and the print which was all glitter. But too busy. Cool, but busy.
So the search continues. Stay tuned for the next round.
With the first floor of the house mostly organized (just a waiting game now for the last of the furniture to arrive) I’m starting to plan the second floor. One morning I woke up with this brilliant idea to wallpaper the hallway. Originally I was thinking of a geometric print in greys/blacks/golds on a white/offwhite background. I wanted something bold so that when you went upstairs it really struck a chord (like the kind of chord that makes you think I hired a professional designer to come up with this brilliance).
So as it turns out sourcing awesome graphic wallpaper is not as easy as one would think, should you be ‘just’ a residential homeowner and not trade. But I persevered and finally found a store in the east end, Toronto Paint Store that had a great selection of Crown Wallpaper that I could actually see in person (as opposed to online). I went during the day and was helped by very friendly staff who also helped me come up with colour concepts for paint on the adjacent walls and also helped me figure out costing.
I brought Handsome Husband back there with me that evening after he finished work to vet my top selections and we brought three books home with us for a few days to see in daylight and in our own space. I was very excited to show him one concept in particular – a mural – for our family room. Initially I planned to wrap the wallpaper from the hallway around to the family room so we had a bit of a feature wall and also some direction for that room. I found this amazing mural that i think really sets the tone for the family room and it got me inspired for a bit of a theme for the whole floor (colour and mood). The family room is a bit of a mish mash right now and screams ‘man cave’ (before and after photos of the final transformation will come at a later date). One wall is exposed brick, one wall has a sliding glass door to nowhere in it (great for light, but so awkward!), and the other wall will have wall to wall, floor to ceiling, white glossy built-ins for entertainment, books, and storage solutions (thinking ahead for storage for children’s toys in a house with virtually no closets).
So without further ado, here’s the Mural that thankfully my husband whole heartedly agreed with. And just like that I have direction for the whole floor, not just one room…
I think it has just enough of the rustic look to work with the age of the house, and the grey tones are perfect with the exposed brick tones (they aren’t bright red, lots of taupe in them). And the hallway that opens up to the living room has a trio of gold & crystal chandeliers so the gold tones in the mural really work well. Instead of putting a couch in front of the mural we’re going to put my (future) rocking chair (new mom friendly room) and a side table of some sort to hold the kind of stuff a new mom needs handy when she’s nursing.
See where I’m going with this? Modern, Stylish, and family friendly. Blog post to follow shortly with wallpaper options.