Home Content – The Wallpaper Diaries

Ok so I admit I put the whole wallpaper search on hold for a while. I did order the mural for the family room, which just came in. And was debating just painting the hallway instead of wallpapering it, mostly because the cost of awesome wallpaper was just so high! (seriously – it’s an investment!). But I really didn’t like the idea of a plain hallway, i wanted impact and life, some creativity! It’s tough with a hallway, there’s no direct sunlight and i have really awkward light fixtures (they came with the house, see below).

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So I took the time while I was waiting for the mural to arrive (meanwhile we did the baby’s room and our bedroom) to brainstorm solutions for the hallway. Should I just do the one wall? (but then would the impact be there?) Should I try one of those stencils like you see on Pinterest? (seriously, at 30+ weeks pregnant I can’t exactly get up on a ladder and my husband is not really the ideal candidate for this job) Should I just say ‘eff it’ and do plain jane paint for the entire hallway until i have the money and inclination to do it right? And then I was watching Candice Tells All and discovered paintable wallpaper. Oh. My. God. Could this be the solution?

As it turns out doing the hallway in Paintable Wallpaper is going to cost less than half of what it would cost for any of the cool graphic print wallpapers that we were looking at. And there are a lot of options, you can get anything from just a really cool texture, to a geo repeat, and plenty of traditional options as well. Including an option that would be awesome for a ceiling to mimic tin tiles.

Geo:

PW geo diamonds

Texture:PW texture

Tin Ceiling:PW tin roof

And the winner for us is this guy, i just love the traditional pattern and the scale of it. Also the fact that the texture is on the raised pattern really adds dimension:

PW raised relief

So the plan is to leave it white (the ceilings are going to be painted white as well, this grey has GOT to go) and then when it starts to look a little dingy we can just put a fresh coat of white paint on it. It’s highly durable and designed for high traffic areas. Can’t wait to show you the ‘After’ photos.

Baby Content – Bee Decisions

Ok folks, those brilliant folks at Bugaboo have gone and done it again. This time they are offering limited edition Andy Warhol prints on their canopies for all stroller models. But which one to choose??? Let me know your vote!

Flowers?

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or Cars?

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Home Content – Inspiration is Everywhere

Our bedroom is the last room to tackle in our home decor rampage. It also happens to be the most mismatched room in the house during our ‘make-do’ stage, and awkwardly laid out. As a first time expectant mom I’ve never ever been more motivated to turn our bedroom into a sanctuary, knowing that rest is of the utmost of importance both now and in the months to come. So where does one even begin to start? We don’t have one single piece to start with.

I’ve showed countless online images of headboards and duvet covers to Mr Content but he just couldn’t give me any direction from ‘a picture’. So I thought I’d take it a step back and dropped by the paint store to pick up some potential paint swatches, but instead of showing him one at a time, i put two potential palettes together and presented them that way. Bingo!

The room is small, so a light bright colour was the only way to go for the walls, but i added in some more saturated hues to show how some accent colours could really compliment the light. (think bedding, pillows, curtains, etc.)

Proposed Palette #1; Blues with a little Seafoam Green action

Blue Palette

Proposed Palette #2; Purples with a little Rose and Neutral action

Purple Palette

As it turns out Mr Content is not a fan of anything green, (not even seafoam!) so those were quickly eliminted from the blue palette. And although purple is his favourite colour he thought the light colour options for purple too grey toned, and anything else was too feminine for the walls. So we chose the lightest brightest blue in the palette and then started playing with accents, we ended up with an array of blues but i still felt like we were missing something to kick it up a notch. That little hit of the unexpected. And then I saw one of my scarves sitting on the dresser and it all came together in an instant!

Bedroom 1

The very light blue is going on the walls – ‘Sheer Bliss’ from Benjamin Moore, and the rest will serve as direction for bedding, accent pillows, headboard/bedframe, etc. Before and After photos to come hopefully in about a month.

Style Content – Filling Empty Spaces, Before & After

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.

Before:

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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:ImageThe 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.

Another Beautiful Yoga Morning

We welcomed in Spring today with Toronto Yoga Mamas (even though it felt like anything but Spring outside!). These camo Wunder Unders are still one of my all time faves and they spark a conversation every time I wear them.Image

There’s new art up in the Gallery where Toronto Yoga Mamas practices out of. I love yoga-ing amongst art.

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Baby Content – 5 Diaper Bags for The Stylish Mom

The truth of it is the diaper bag is about to become your purse for the next couple of years, so why settle for something that looks like a diaper bag, as opposed to something that looks like a cool bag? Here’s our top picks;

5. Ju Ju Be’s Better Be Toki Doki edition

This is just soooo fun! This is for the fun loving mom who loves something a little more quirky and colourful. Toki Doki is renowned for their fun and whimsical prints and what a better collab than with Ju Ju Be on diaper bags? This is just one style of a few different options in both styles and colours. Available from Snugglebugs.ca for $149.99.

 

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4. Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Adler in Nixon Black

Skip Hop + Jonathan Adler designs = Awesomeness. Jonathan Adler is a master of geometric prints and bold colours, and his collab with Skip Hop is making for some mommy-must-haves that everyone can get behind. Available at snugglebugs.ca for $99.99

 

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3. lululemon athletica’s Vino & Vinyasa bag

Ok it’s not actually designed to be a diaper bag but it’s loaded with handy pockets for all the gear you would need for the gym, and whether it’s a baby bottle or a water bottle going in the pockets – who cares?  Also they always have some sort of wet/dry pocket – brilliant for separating dirty/wet baby items from the clean. I have given numerous lululemon bags to expectant moms over the last number of years and they have all been very well received. This particular style is one of my faves and from what I understand it’s here to stay for a few months, so expect different options (colours/materials) to arrive with Summer. Order online or pick up at most lululemon stores for $138.00

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2. Tory Burch’s Stacked T Billy Baby Bag

Love this bag for looking like just a great bag and not screaming “I’m a diaper bag!”. 7 Exterior pockets and 3 Interior plus a change pad – the function is there to match the fashion. Available at ShopBop.com for $399.58.

 

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1. Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Preppy Nylon Eliz-A-Baby

This is the bag that captured our hearts way back before it was reasonable to be buying a diaper bag. Again we love it for not looking like a diaper bag! Sleek and stylish, available in a variety of colours at both Marc Jacobs and Shopbop.com for around $370.

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Baby Content – Top Three City Strollers

So I’ve spent weeks, maybe almost two months of weeks truth be told, deciding which stroller was best for me.  ‘Me’ is in bold because everyone under the sun wants to be helpful and offer their advice but at the end of the day only you can decide what the perfect stroller is for you. I had originally been looking at options that will be adaptable to a second child in a few years whenever #2 comes along, but quickly realized they are just too big for my lifestyle right now. So what is the point of spending money on something I’m not going to be able to, or enjoy using? There is NO such thing as the Perfect stroller, just what is most suitable to your personal needs. I made a list of my top 5 requirements and went from there;

1. Something light that I can take on and off the ttc on my own, from birth! And ideally eliminates the need for a second stroller (umbrella stroller). I don’t want a ton of ‘stuff’!

2. Forward and rear facing capabilities, as well as the ability to snap on our car seat. I want versatility.

3. Stylish! Of course i want it to look appealing, It’s an accessory that I’ll have with me all the time, after all.

4. Well made. My husband was really focused on wheels and treads and concerned about the winter months (more on that later too)

5. Not insanely expensive!

So I narrowed it down to these three brands/models, they all hit most of, if not all my top requirements;

1. Bugaboo, Bee – the lightest of the bunch weighing in at a mild 18.5 pounds. The easiest one handed closing I’ve EVER seen! It’s narrow – great for city sidewalks and inside stores. And hit every single item on my list, and it also has 4 wheel suspension – to my husband’s delight. The only thing I didn’t love about it was that the cocoon (bassinet) is soft so it’s only good inside the stroller, I can’t use it outside as I was hoping to so I’ll have to pick up a moses basket or bassinet for the baby to sleep in the first few months. Not the end of the world. Base unit price runs around $699 plus accessories (cup holder, parasol, cocoon, etc) at Moms to Be and More

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2. Mamas and Papas, Urbo – this guy weighs in at just under 20 pounds (9kgs), looks very cool, has the front/rear facing capabilities, and works with top brand car seats. My hesitations with this (and at one point I was leaning towards this as my top pick) are that it didn’t seem to be the same quality as the Bugaboo, and also the wheels were only so-so, and it took a bit  more effort to collapse and definitely required both hands. This guy retails for $579.99 at Babies R Us.

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3. Uppababy, Cruz – this cool guy weighs in at 22pds, works from birth (with an insert to cradle your peanut’s head of course), has an easy one hand fold, a large storage basket, adjustable canopy height to grow with your babe – and the canopy has a 50+ UPF rating. Also like the Bee it has the option of adding a kickboard for your toddler to cruz on when you have baby #2 in the seat. And this bad boy comes in at a comfortable $499.99 at Moms to Be and More

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For me and my lifestyle the Bugaboo Bee was the most suited, so that’s what I’ve decided on. I went ahead and put all the accessories on our registry including the sun parasol, the cocoon, and the sun canopy (summer baby), among others. Of course I don’t have a baby to put in it yet but I like to think that when he/she arrives I’ll be excited to get out and about in our bee.  Also one thing I didn’t mention – this stroller was SO easy to maneuver, like a really high end sports car. I can easily move it around with one hand and hold the baby in the other if needed.

Home Content – The Wallpaper Diaries

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.

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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.Image

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.

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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.

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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.

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So the search continues. Stay tuned for the next round.

Home Content – Mural Edition

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…

New York 'Chelsea' MuralI 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.

Source: gilt.com via Melissa on Pinterest