Loving Lime Green and Carrie

I have a really great friend, who has a really great cottage.  One of the best parts about her cottage is it's awesome vintage/retro feel, and that's probably because it IS vintage. What I love most about her place is the lime green accents!  When she first told me that her cottage was lime, I feel like she was embarrassed ashamed.  ASHAMED of lime green?  Preposterous!  And just to prove it to you Carrie, I dug up this picture taken when I was 16ish, right after I finished painting my room, you guessed it. Lime green!

My parents of course thought I was crazy.  But I think as long as I did all the work, they would've let me paint my room any colour!  I think my mom gets it now that I'm all grown up and I do what I do . . . 

Anyway, enough with my stroll down memory lane.  Let's get on with the lime green goodness!


Lime grounded with grey AND accented with gold.  I probably wouldn't pick these colours right off the bat, but they totally work  The only thing I might do differently is the ceiling . . . it feels a bit unfinished to me because of the ornateness of the rest of the room.


LOVE green and any orange toned wood.  So very modern and gorgeous.  See what I mean about the ceiling . . . when the ceiling has a treatment it feels much warmer.  

Punches of lime are a great addition too.  It's such a strong colour that it can be intimidating for some.  If that's the case, then introduce it in something that it "temporary", like your lamps or toss cushions.  This way you're not committing.  This image is interesting because the safest way to introduce an accent colour is with neutrals . . .but in this case with the walls painted blue, it's a vibrant, fresh and fun feeling.

mmmmmm . . . wanna take a wild guess why this one is my favourite?

crisp white and a beautiful damask wall treatment.  gorge!

Ok, so I know this is not lime green.  but I just llooovvvveee the application, the colour, the accent . . . everything!  I think I love it because it reminds me of my recent trip to Casa Loma and the past.  So bold and uncompromising   I love the change in pattern on the wall and how it's framed with white.  Anyone who knows me, knows my affinity for the black and white checkerboard floor . . .sigh. one day.

As a side note, I'll soon be taking the blog to the next level.  Some big changes will be happening soon.  Stay in the loop and like me on facebook or follow me on twitter (if you don't already):
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Thanks for liming with me today!  I look forward to liming all weekend, now that I think about it!

Stay Classy,



Secrets of My Trade

So, my role as a home stager allows me to see A LOT of different homes.  I have the privilege of meeting tons of different people and seeing how they live.  But with it comes a whole slew of issues.  And by "issue", I mean things that may interfere with the overall presentation of the home.  These can be as small as dents left on a wall-to-wall carpet from a sofa sitting on it for a long time or as serious as gauges in the hardwood floor.

You are in for a treat today, because I'm going to spill the beans on some easy tricks I use to make sure each house I work in shines with all it's glory.

Ever have an area rug that you are constantly tripping on because the corners constantly roll up?  Well, quit your cursing because I have the solution.  SHELLAC!  I know what you're thinking ... but the shellac is to be applied to the underside of the rug.  Start with one coat right on the fussy corner or wrinkle.  The amount of shellac you should use is based on the thickness of the pile.  A thicker carpet will require more, while a thinner area rug may only need one coat.  Let each coat dry between applications and if needed, re-apply until the curl subsides.

What about candle drippings on your carpet? We've all been there, you have people over, someone inevitablely knocks over the candle holder.  Or you're like me, and you like to let the candle burn all the way to end so that the wax overflows and finds its way down to the carpet.  Fret no more! Use a brown paper bag over the spot as a blotter to absorb the wax and run a hot iron over it to melt the wax.  Just be careful not to let the iron sit on one spot for too long or else you will have a whole different problem on your hands.

But candle wax is a bigger issue on furniture surfaces, since that's the first place it will go.  To remove chunks of wax from your furniture surfaces, aim your hair dryer at it. Once it is softened, peel it off and follow with a clean rag or paper towel.

Do you have nicks or scratches in your dark hardwood floors? Try mixing enough water with instant coffee to create a thick paste and rub it into the wood.  Clean off the excess and wax as usual.  Good as new!  For deeper scratches, break a walnut or pecan nut in half and rub the scratch with the meaty side.  This method works better on lighter floors and is not necessarily a permenent solution, but does the job in a pinch.

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing water rings on wooden furniture.  Really, how hard is it to put down a coaster first?  But none the less, they make furniture look crappy and they are hard to wipe off.  A great trick is to rub the area with petroleum jelly and let it sit for at least 24 hours.  Rub it into the wood, finish up with a quick polish and you're good to go.

And finally, I didn't forget, those pesky flat spots on the carpet where the furniture sits.  Sometimes, if there is a heavy pattern in the area rug, it can go unoticed.  But if the carpet is a sold colour, the dents will be much more obvious.  Place ice cubes on the indented areas and let them melt.  Once they are gone, give the rug a once over with the vacuum and the fibers should pop right back up.  In some cases where the furniture has been sitting for extended periods, you may need to repeat this process a couple of times. 

So there you have it, some really easy ways to take care of those more complex chores.  Keep in mind that whenever you are applying anything to your furniture, upholstery or carpeting, it is always a good idea to test a discreet spot first, just to make sure that there is no adverse reaction and you're not making it worse.  Easy peasy right?  Of course, in my opinion, the easiest way to clean anything is to have someone else do it.  :)

Stay classy,


Tourist Weekend #1 - Casa Loma

I think it's so fun when you can discover new things in your city.

Of course, there's nothing "new" about Casa Loma. ;)

It's one of those places that everybody visits in elementary school, but alas, I never went. I must have been sick for that trip.

So a few weekends ago, Eli and I were hosting friends from out of town and we decided to visit the castle.

the dining room and great room.  the details on the main  floor are amazing.  So it goes that Sir Henry Pellat ran out of the money to finish the project.  It's obvious to see what the priority rooms were.

the sun roof in the green roof.  apparently, there is a big light behind the stained glass that can be lit on a dim day, so the ceiling is always spectacular.  I'm implementing the same concept in a basement where the window is under a deck . . . great minds think alike.

the lady's master bedroom.  it will never cease to amaze me how history repeats itself.  all of the pieces and fixtures in this house could easily be on the front page of a design magazine tomorrow.

lady pellat's ensuite.  coral details to match her bedroom.

such a statement! 

various doors throughout the castle.  beautiful details.

i love this piece!  would love to find one . . . 

even the radiators in the garage were rad,  :)  


I took so many pictures.  I made my friends go ahead because I was holding everyone up taking snapshots of the things I saw.  If you live in Toronto and haven't been or if you're planning on visiting our fair city, I highly recommend it.  Not only is it a great daytime activity, but you might get lucky and attend an evening function or wedding.  It is stunning when it is all lit up at night time.

***update: (3 hours later)

I think it's amazing when things are so kismet.  Literally, right after posting this, I started doing a little research about my business and getting it started and I came across the Happiness Project.  It is a movement to spark creativity and promote happiness and well being within yourself.  Doing fun and interesting things make us less stressed and more susceptible to being gosh-darn happy.  This weeks challenge is to, gasp, be a tourist in your own city!  Judging by the fact that I was still excited enough by what I saw and experienced at Casa Loma (and I have another trip waiting in the wings) to still write and post it is enough proof for me.  Check it out, I signed up for more challenges!

now I'm fin. :) ***


white love

another new project . . . more gorgeous inspiration images to drool over!  this time it's going to be a white master bedroom . . . i know right?! the ultimate serene getaway.

i just love this bedroom because it is so romantic.  not the hugest fan of the carpeting, but i can get over that.  they went full on with the white on white.  i think this can be challenging sometimes because it can very easily become institutional.  in this case however, by layering so many luxurious textures the space becomes warm and cozy.


lovely white and creams paired with golds and bronze.  so sweet and soft.

no this is what i'm talking about.  my client would not go for this, but i LOVE it!  white base, accented with gray and highlighted with blues and yellows.  it's so bright and cheerful

tee hee.  i had to. i love that lamp. so kitch and glamourous at the same time.


i'm not entirely sure what that board may have used for.  looks like it could have been a attendance board or in a factory or something.  either way, vintage wood + crisp white = drool.

ok, not my cup of tea . . . but is still pretty.  this is what every little girl envisions her grown up room to look like.  in reality, this room makes my teeth hurt like i'm getting a cavity.  i could definitely do without the heart shaped knobs on the dresser and end table.

mirrors, mirrors, mirrors.  a great compliment to white rooms . . any room actually.  as an alternative to traditional wood tables, they fit into any space and literally camouflage themselves in.  PLUS, this table would be most effective for getting at those pesky nose hairs.

this one is so new york loft.  this is the style my client is in love with.  very graphic and simple.  i love the lucite chair.

white is such a natural colour and combining it with natural woods, especially birch, beech or maple gives the space a very organic feeling.  again, layering with different materials creates interest and will give your white bedroom dynamics.


distressed white wood gets me every time.  again, the white paired with natural wood produces an almost ethereal feeling.  i can tell you right now that if this were my room, i would spend ALL my time dancing around in front of that mirror.  (possibly with the helmet on)

so there you have it . . . white love.  all the colours of the rainbow in one place.  as much as i love white, i must confess that she is not my friend.  to many of the other things that i love like coffee and spaghetti sauce end up on her and she is stubborn when she is soiled.  

my client on the other hand (regardless that she has a nine year old daughter and twin 5 year old boys) is following through with her love affair.  so we'll see how it all turns out.  before and after pics to follow.


the plug salad: take the power back!

i promise, i see it all the time and there is something you can do about it.

we all have them.  those awful piles of knots that plague the back of our media centers.  as if the knots themselves weren't bad enough, they create a net of sorts that collects everything from small toys to garbage to dust bunnies.

it has become one of my leading pet peeves.  i understand that this area is not a priority for most people.  out of sight, out of mind right?  i guess i'm just at the short end of the stick.  when it comes time for me to move a client's television out of their formal living room i am usually the one who gets stuck back there trying to untie and unravel.  it's awful, but i've gotten to the point were i leave everything plugged in and move the giant dust ball as one piece.

but what about when you actually need to get back there, to remove or (gasp) add plugs.  do you take the time to understand what's happening back there?  or do you take care of business as quickly and efficiently as possible and get the heck out?

i am here to lead the cable management revolution!  a little bit of elbow grease and some creativity and the vortex will become a tidy and organized heaven.  you'll want to hang out back there all the time!  This project doesn't even have to be expensive, re-purpose everyday things that might otherwise end up in the trash.

(click on image to see where it came from)

this is an extremely clever idea to disguise cords running along the wall.  not only is it clever but also easy.  check out the tutorial!

(click on image to see where it came from)

this solution attacks the problem at the source.  contain extra length of cord by fastening it underneath the table.  this fancy gadget is a great idea, but velcro or any kind of tape would work the same way.

(click on image to see where it came from)

this idea is just plain brilliant!  those bread tags that eli never puts back on the bread will now go to good use! (i've already started collecting)  it drives me crazy playing power bar roulette just to plug in my i-pod, and just when i think i've figured it out, i realize that i unplugged the speakers.

(click on image to see where it came from)

a power bar leg!  genius!  this desk is most definitely something that i am investing in when i have the space for it!  (i also secretly wish this was my idea)

(click on image to see where it came from)

see?  cheap and cheerful.  butterfly clips fastened to the side of your desk, work space or bedside table can keep ALL the different charging cords for our different devices organized and available for easy access.

(click on image to see where it came from)

these cords covers are so darn pretty.  what a great way to turn an annoyance into art.  this is a fantastic solution for those cords that are smack dab in the middle of the wall.  sometimes there's just nothing you can put in front of it to try and hide it.  in these cases, cord covers are the way to go.  this leaf one is stunning and multiple pieces can be joined together to accommodate more length.

(click on image to see where it came from)

i think this is the creme de la creme, so i saved it for last.  living in this day and age, it is quite common to accumulate a ridiculous number of EXTRA cables.  where the heck to they all come from?  the tp roll method is the coolest thing i've seen in a long time.  fold up the cables, shove them in a toilet paper roll, label the roll with the details of each cable, stick 'em in a shoe box and they are out of the way and ready for the next time you really need it.

i hope i've inspired some of you to tackle those corners in your home that gather the most dust.  in my opinion, the powers that be who design all these fancy gadgets and techno-dork products really need to start thinking about the way that they're powered.  it probably sounds vain, but that gorgeous 52" flat screen tv is not so sexy when it's got big black boogers hanging down from it.  just sayin'.


navy blue is my new hue.

i find it so interesting that my tastes are constantly changing.

lately (like in the last week) i've been obsessing with navy blue.

and not only in my home, but my wardrobe as well.

it all started when a friend of mine suggested we have a nautical themed party on a boat.  a totally rad idea, but i don't own anything even remotely nautical.  that's ok, she says, just get something blue.

hmmm, blue, good idea.  i'm already a big fan of turquoise, especially with red, so that's pretty close.  but i honestly can't say that i've ever been in love with the colour blue.

and as luck would have it, i'm working with a brand new client who is having me design his condo . . . and you guessed it, i'm painting it navy blue!

i love the navy paired with the rusty orange chairs.  it just looks so comfortable.  it's got a classical yet modern feel.  (ps. note the bookshelf.)

navy blue sharing the space with a crisp white.  probably not the best idea for family living, but oh so pretty to look at.  i especially love the tulip floor lamp. :)

so it can be tailored or rustic.  the perfect match for me.

ooh ooh, and with turquoise.  now that is hot.  and bright. and lovely.

but it's not just lovely interiors i'm drooling over.  i want to wear navy!

love this for the boat themed party . . . don't know how comfortable it would be on a boat though . . . 

i think i will wear this one on my trip to the zoo.  yep,  eating some ice cream and watching the monkeys, in my pretty navy dress.

this one is just hot.

and the same hotness!  i've just got to say that i love modcloth.com.  if you didn't know, know you know!  i would love to complete these outfits for you, but it's late. and alas, another long day tomorrow.

i'll keep you posted on the navy blue condo, i'm so excited!  can't wait to share photos!



how to love your bookshelves

i see A LOT of homes.  believe it or not, there is one very common denominator in most homes . .  . messy bookshelves!

in my humble opinion, bookshelves, whether they are stand alone or built in, are supremely neglected.  they seem to have become a catch all not only for books, but for important figurines, papers, photos, magazines and anything else you can throw at it.

bookshelves or shelving of any kinds can become focal points in the space.  grouping 2 or three freestanding bookshelves together can create the illusion of a built-in unit if you don't have one.  in some cases, having a built-in bookshelf can be overwhelming for the room, depending on the size of course. short bookcases are an option.  these days, there are all sorts of choices for bookshelves, everything from traditional tall units to funky shapes or completely unconventional.  no matter which type you choose, dressing the bookcase remains the same.

reorganizing and dressing people's bookshelves can be the most time consuming part of my job.  sometimes i have to start from scratch, other times it's just a clean up job.  here are some tips for making your bookshelves speak for themselves.

the first step is to edit out anything that doesn't belong in a bookshelf.  i always recommend removing things like binders, spiral bound notebooks and even sometimes photo albums.  photo albums that are in good condition and preferably all with the same spine are acceptable.  binders and spiral bound books belong in an office, not on display.  i believe that all books should be displayed, however, textbooks and books that may have seen better days can make the bookcase appear messy.  try making a book covers specifically for these books, to create consistency.

next, i like to group the books by size.  i don't necessarily always take the books across the shelf from largest to smallest, but i find this helps the case look neater.  sometimes i stack them too.  the most important thing to remember when dressing your bookcase is balance.  every so often, take a step back and look at your work. try to make sure that where you've placed your books doesn't feel top heavy or lopsided.  alternate the direction the books are travelling in.  this will naturally balance the groupings.  balance is key not only in the placement, but also the colours of the spine.  sometimes it can appear visually heavy if there are too many dark coloured items grouped together.  don't be afraid to switch up the direction of the books as well.  set some vertically, and some horizontally almost as a book end.  maybe on one shelf all the books are stacked horizontally.  

i like to think of dressing bookshelves as an exercise in layering.  typically i start with the books, grouping them by size and placing them on the shelves.  next, i choose my tchotchkes.

{tchotchke   [chahch-kuh]  –noun Slang .
          an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament.  a trinket or 
ornament. (From Yiddish.) :  Her whole house isfilled with tchotchkes and old photographs.  Origin: 1965–70, Americanism  < Yiddish tshatshke  < Polish czaczko bibelot, knickknack (now obsolete; compare modern cacko  withsame sense, orig. dial.); of expressive orig.}

this is my broad term for decorative accessories.  be creative with what you choose.  there really are no rules here, anything goes.  just as long as you maintain the balance.  bowls always work well on top of a stack of books.  unlit candles are another useful accessory.  if you have any small pieces of art that would fit between the shelves use them at the back of the shelf to create interest.  this is a good place to spread out some of your family photos and feature them.  baskets are also a useful tool for storage and hiding any items that you may not want on display.  any small item will work to fill in the holes and further layer the bookcase.

the last and very important word of advice that i can offer you is to pull the books forward to meet the edge of the shelf.  too often people feel the need to push the books right to the back, burying them and diminishing them.  pull everything forward and show them off!  plus, then there's a secret hiding spot behind the books for things you don't want to be visible.

so there you have it . . . show your books some love and they will repay you for years to come.  ok . . . maybe not.  but they'll be a lot easier to look at. :)