Not so boring backsplash

24 Feb

I’m a pretty traditional gal when it’s all said and done and I just realized this because I NEVER thought about doing this. EVER. Tiles need to be in a pattern right? Or all in a pretty line? Well apparently not. I am loving this look. It’s modern but not cold and lends a really cool aesthetic to this kitchen (which isn’t too shabby itself). And it’s not too crazy so you will hate looking at it 5 years down the line. Yes please.

backsplash Geo

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Espaliered Trees

8 May

Like many of us, this city living is tight. I have been really enjoying growing food in our garden and it’s no acreage. Our garden designer tipped us off to espaliered apple trees and they really have been blowing my mind! They grow up against a wall or fence and literally take up NO space. In the few years we have had them they have given us TONS of apples off of two very small trees, no taller than 4 ft. Here are ours growing in our garden.


You also can grow them like this within the garden and make an awesome privacy screen or living room/space divider. I can’t say enough good things…espaliered trees…isn’t nature grand?

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Spring spruce up!

14 Apr

One of the quickest ways to spruce up the home this spring is a quick pressure wash (what fun!) and doing up a few planter pots for out front. Every time I commit to doing this my heart sings guaranteed when I walk in or out of the front door. I do this seasonally, and once you get into a rhythm it’s really quite fun and very rewarding. I like to use some perennials as well as some annuals to make them really sing and last. Here are my spring pots! They were super easy and I have reused the cascading perennial and twigs for several seasons.


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Fireplaces for small spaces

1 Dec

I love our house. It’s cozy in all forms with two little ones, a husband, and a Terrier to boot. Throw in too many toys, a play kitchen, a shopping cart, a doll stroller, and a newly acquired scooter (Happy birthday Dylan! Those are for outside right?!?) our 600 square foot main floor is starting to feel a bit cramped. But I still have my heart set on a fireplace, even if I only get to turn it on for an hour once the kids are in bed and before I fall into my own zombie slumber.

But the thought of putting a fireplace into our small space makes me feel claustrophobic as I’m just not interested in a wall mounted look, electric or ethanol. Gas all the way. We are talking framing, dry walling, mudding, sanding, painting… oh my! So, why not use some dead corner space in the room to fulfill my fantasies? I didn’t want that plant anyway! Meet Malm fireplaces. They started making these in 1960, so they obviously know a good thing when they see it. Wouldn’t it make these cold winter nights so much better and be such a breeze to install! And how awesome are the mid century vibes and endless colors to choose from? Definitely on my Christmas wish list…I’m thinking white…or rust orange…

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Bigger kitchen or a dining table…do you have to choose?

9 Sep

I have been on the hunt for a workable space (and affordable…ha!) for a young family lately and have run into a whole lot of apartment galley kitchens. Guess what? There is about an inch of counter space in those things and once you add some sippy cups to the equation good luck doing your dinner prep! So often these units do have a dining space beside the tiny kitchen, but just big enough for a very small table. So very small table, very small kitchen. Let’s change that up. Once you have a little one running around you spend a lot more time in that kitchen and personally I think you should maximize that space since chances are you will have worn feet marks in your hard wood by the time they head off to school…chop chop chop! But that being said you don’t want to miss out on a table! Why not expand your kitchen into the dining area, countertop included, and throw 4 stools underneath. Bingo. Plenty of additional counter space as well as a nice table for 4. You might even have some space left over for cute play kitchen;)

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Paint that trim

4 Sep

I’m guilty. I admit it. I have always thought that a trim needs to be painted white. NOT the case apparently. How cool does this look? Pretty darn simple to create a pretty big statement. The grey is a neat choice but really why stop there?! Why not try butter yellow? Or Navy! Yes Navy! Now I just need to ante up, grow some cojones and jump in!

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Eating nook + Island

27 May

Short on space? Want a bigger kitchen but still want a dining room? Solution! This genius idea would work really well in a narrowish kitchen space or just in general if you want to steal some space from the dining room to increase your kitchen size. Why not build an eating nook directly onto that island…it’s three times the seating you would have gotten if you just had bar stools and you have to buy half the chairs!

Awesome bench seating attached to island, gorgeous hood, love the colors and patterns. simply beautiful. much attention to detail.Dream A Little Dream

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Galvanized Stock Tank Garden

15 May

I’ve got veggies on my mind! Our disaster yard is finally getting some tender lovin’ care and I have been researching veggie plots because I’m going to go hard into this! Well, guess how much cedar veggie plots cost? I was so surprised how much  it cost to get a custom cool looking veggie plot constructed. So I’ve had my eye on this idea for a long time and it turns out to have a lot of positives to cedar boxes for me. A) It’s cheaper. Who would have thought?! B) Their look goes right along with my need for “contemporary cottage”:) C) Our darn Terrier can’t get high enough to get into all my veggies and eat all my snow peas…THOMAS!

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Living Teepee

18 Apr

I’ve definitely got garden on my mind. We are about to jump on our backyard with our friends @ Aloe Designs (if you don’t know them, click here! And Caitlin’s great blog too here!). We really want a fun space to play with the widget and for the Terrier to patrol (not like he doesn’t anyway, it’s what he does best). I’ve been struggling with making an actual “play zone” but the thought of staring at kid crap even once they are in bed makes my head hurt. I always loved to make forts etc when I was little and was obsessed with finding little “secret gardens” outside in the yard and great beyond. I want to have that in our yard! Alas, it is tres tricky here in the city. So…I’ve decided I would make my little lady a teepee for the backyard to play in. But why stop there? Why not make it a living teepee! This is just genius, and easy too. Runner beans will work just fine as they grow so quickly! She can play in her fort, Thomas the Westie gets his bean snacks 1 foot and below and mom gets her beans above:)

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Corrugated Ceiling

13 Feb

I generally find corrugated steel quite cold but I think this idea just might change my mind! Why not use it as a ceiling material. I love how the right lighting can make it glow and lends a really warm feeling to it. I don’t think it would work on anything other than a vaulted ceiling…but in say a vanny special…could be something amazing don’t you think?

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