Posts By: Julie

Side Server – Holder of Crayons and The Perfect Server

Selecting piece that can play double duty is a great idea, especially during the holiday season!  That’s exactly why we chose the Bleecker Server for our basement space.  This beautiful piece features upper drawers, which are great for storing colouring books, crayons, craft supplies and more.  So when the kids are playing in the basement and want to get crafty, everything that they need is easily accessible, but it’s also well organized.  The open shelves provide space for bins which hold smaller toys as well as books. What we love most about having this stunning piece in our basement is that it can easily be converted into a server, which is what it was originally intended for!  The kids colouring accessories are still neatly tucked away into the drawers and then the top and shelves can be filled with all of our entertaining supplies. Our basement is a multi-purpose area and gets a lot of activity during the cold winer months.  It’s a spot for our kids to hang out with their friends, but it’s also a great room for hosting casual parties. Choosing furniture that can have multiple roles is certainly something to be considered when you are shopping for new pieces, Read more

Displaying Holiday Cards Under The TV

Mail during the holiday season is most certainly extra special!  It brings a smile to my face when I open the mailbox and spot the colourful and festive envelopes that have been carefully packaged and sent by family and friends!  It makes the trek to the mailbox in the deep snow and cold temps completely worth it! Sending and receiving holiday cards is such a wonderful tradition and something that makes the holidays what they are!  The kids read each card and we reminisce and tell stories that remind us of the sender.  After each card has been opened, the question is, where to place them for all to see!? The answer came after we finished decorating the family room for the holidays!  We realized that entertainment unit provided the perfect spot to display the cards sent from family and friends.  The best part is that the kids can easily hang the cards after they have been read and it’s also a great way to add to the room’s holiday decor! The front of most cards have either beautiful pictures or the most perfect holiday saying, they just beg to be placed in a spot where they can be seen! Here’s what you’ll Read more

3-in-1 Ottoman

I firmly believe that ottomans are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture that you can own.  If you have space to include an ottoman in your room makeover, then don’t pass up the opportunity!  When it came time to makeover our family room, one of the first things that I added to my list was an ottoman and we ended up going with the beautiful Klein Ottoman to match the chairs. If you look at an ottoman as just a place to kick up your feet, then you’re missing out on the other incredible ways that this piece can be used! Here are three ways to use an ottoman: It’s a Table Yup, it’s true!  Most ottomans have a generous amount of surface space.  What’s so great about that, is that you can place it next to a chair or couch to be used a side table.  Or, if it’s large enough, it can certainly make for a great coffee table!  A great tray is all you need to create a spot to place a beverage and your favourite snacks! Eggnog anyone?! It’s Extra Seating We love to place our ottoman beneath the fireplace when it’s not in use. Not only because it’s Read more

5 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Reading Nook

At the end of a busy day, once the kids have gone to bed (and perhaps after you’ve gotten some holiday wrapping done), a reading nook is the perfect place to unwind and relax!  A cozy spot with the right lighting to write those last few emails, read a book or sip a cup of warm tea.  There’s nothing quite better than having a little retreat in your own home! Here are 5 tips for creating the ultimate reading nook: 1- Lighting If you’re able to set your reading corner close to a window, that’s an added bonus!  A warm light is a what you need to be able to read well at night.  Consider a reading lamp, or a small table lamp, but take into consideration how bright the bulb is as well as how much light the shade lets out.  You want more of a direct light, so that you can see what you’re reading, vs a light that will light up the entire room. 2- Table You don’t need a large table with a lot of surface space, just something wide enough to set down a cup of tea and that can tuck neatly beside you chair.  Make sure that you bring Read more

Prepping The Basement For Guests

The sectional in our basement has a pretty large role!  It’s the place where the entire family sits for a movie night (that’s five of us!), it’s where the kids and their friends hang out to play video games and it’s also where our guests sleep! Since our family lives out of town, choosing a sectional that easily converts to a pull-out couch was a high on our list of “must-haves”.  When family comes to visit (especially during the holidays) we want them to stay a while, so having a comfortable place for them to rest was really important!  We took the time to configure the layout of the furniture prior to shopping to ensure that we would select the proper direction for the sectional, (you can choose to have the sectional right or left facing). After unanimously choosing the Athina sectional, it was time to amp up the cozy factor of this space!  Our sons have so much fun spending time down here, especially during the winter months (I totally love hearing their excitement when they beat a tough level in a video game or during a funny part of a movie).  Adding pillows and throws was a great way to make Read more

Family Room Makeover

Our family room is one of (if not the) most used rooms in our house as it’s on the main floor and open to the kitchen (the hub of the home!).  During the winter months, we love to sit in this room as a family to watch tv (there’s nothing better than the holiday television classics), play board games and read books. It may have something to do with the fact that this room houses the fireplace!  After dinner, we dim the kitchen lights, turn on the tree lights, cozy up with a delicious beverage and blanket and max relax. This room is also where we do the most of our entertaining during the holidays, it’s certainly a gathering spot!  The family room is where our guests sit and chat with us while we finish prepping dinner/snacks and where we all take a seat once dinner is over.  Having multiple seating options (hello 3-in-1 ottoman!) and a variety of blankets is key so that everyone is comfy.  There used to only be a few good seats in the family room to watch tv, and our old chairs were way too large for the space (take note: knowing the size of your Read more

How to Style a Bookcase Like a Pro!

I truly can’t deny my love for magazines and my husband cherishes his book collection, so adding the Villa Toscana Bookcase to our reading nook was a great solution to storing our favourite reading material so that they are easily accessible.  The amazing thing about bookcases is that they don’t only provide you with enough space for books and magazines, but are also the perfect spot to display family photos, heirlooms, accessories, and more! There’s nothing better than having a place for everything, but you definitely want to make spaces there exposed look great!   Here are tips to styling your bookcase like a rockstar! Make It Personal You know those precious family photos that are tucked away?  Go grab them and a beautiful frame and put them on display!  The great thing about printing photos out in a common size is that you can rotate them every so often.  Scatter a few frames filled with great photos on various shelves of your bookcase. Add a Natural Element Natural elements add a touch of warmth to your space, which makes it feel that much cozier and welcoming.  We may not all have a green thumb, but we sure do love a touch of greenery!  You Read more

And To All A Good Night: Cozy Bedroom Makeover

Welcome to our newly decorated master bedroom!   After many years of patiently waiting for the perfect time to makeover our master bedroom, the day has finally arrived and we couldn’t be any more excited!  When quiet time is calling, or when we need to have a conversation that we’d rather not have in front of the kids (i.e., do you think that Santa is going to bring R the bike?), our bedroom is now our go-to and we LOVE that! Our primary goal for this makeover was to make better use of the space and we definitely wanted it to be a room that we would love for years to come.  The plan was to create a retreat, a room that brings a smile to your face, a room that encompasses coziness and warmth and that wraps it’s arms around you after a long day, not just a place to sleep. Prior to the makeover our bedroom was a combination of mismatched furniture from when we first moved out (it had served it’s purpose, but it was definitely time for an upgrade) and a mattress that left us waking up in the morning with the achiest backs!  Can you relate? The Read more

A Little Room For Fun: boys bedroom makeover

When it comes to decorating the house, bedrooms typically come last, which is funny, since we spend so much time in them!  When we moved into our current home, we made sure that the kid’s rooms were functional, but didn’t really pay that much attention to the details.  Now that the boys are a bit older and have their own distinct tastes, we thought it was time to create spaces that truly reflected their personalities! Our 9 year old middle son absolutely loves to draw and enjoys cozying up with a book for a little downtime. He also also truly loves lego!  I made sure to take these factors into consideration when it came to decorating his space.   Designated “zones” for activities help when it comes to creating a functional layout as well as choosing furniture and lighting. His colour palette of choice - red and black, and with his approval, I added hints of grey and white.  Since kid’s tastes change rather quickly, I made a point to choose furniture that could grow with him.  The Dessy Junior bed was a great option as it boasts ample storage with drawers beneath the bed on one side as well as shelves in Read more

Play on Display: Decorating with Collections

We all have our beloved collections.  Be it books, art or a series of toys.  Often times we think that spreading out the collection piece by piece is best, however the opposite is sometimes true! Our son’s room gave us a chance to showcase his art pieces, books and lego creations!   By grouping some of your collections together, they have more of an impact, bringing a positive focus to them in your space. A fun way to display a collection of smaller items is to make an art piece out of them!  You could easily do this with lego figures that are no longer being used, seashells, or even stamps or buttons!  Smaller collections can be placed in decorative bowls, glass jars, wooden crates and more! In my son’s room, he really wanted to display his art.  We created two separate areas in his room for him to do just that.  A gallery wall above his dresser (which is super easy- you just group and hang the art together!) and then a ledge beside his reading nook.  His masterpieces are no longer tucked away in drawers where he can’t see them, they are visible to anyone who enters the room!  We included Read more

A Room Full of Memories: Incorporating Inherited Pieces into your Decor

What’s that?!  You’ve been given a piece of furniture or a decorative item that used to belong to your grandparents, then your parents, and now you?  What to do with it, you ask?  Don’t you fret!  I have some tips on how to incorporate inherited pieces into your decor! I have to admit that I absolutely love inherited pieces, but I totally agree that sometimes it can be hard to know what exactly you should do with this piece that you don’t necessarily need.  A little creativity and you’ll be on your way! I was happy as anything when I found out that we were able to have the stunning red lacquered table that used to belong to my husband’s parents and before that, his grandparents.  Oh the stories that this gorgeous piece could tell!  I adored the shade of red and the chips in the paint (character!) so we kept it as is.  The table is now a desk in our 9 year old son’s room.  The tabletop is the perfect work surface for him to draw, build lego or do homework.  Though we didn’t use paint to update the piece, what we did do, was repurpose it.  That’s right, use Read more

5 Tips For Hanging A Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are one of the easiest ways to add visual interest and impact to a room.  Though the thought of hanging a gallery wall can be ever so slightly intimidating, they are truly worth the effort! I chose to add a gallery wall to our recent basement makeover and we are absolutely thrilled with the results! I've rounded up five of my best tried and true tips for anyone ready to tackle a gallery wall in their own home. Read them below! Tip 1:  Measure Your Space This one is important! In order to know how many frames/sizes etc you'll need, you're going to need to know how much space you are covering. Once you’ve measured your wall, you can then use that measurement to figure out just how much space you have to fill.  Filling the entire wall behind the couch, or approximately 2/3 of the length of the couch are both great options. Tip 2: Start With Paper Templates If you’re concerned about making too many holes in your wall, you can cut paper templates (using kraft paper) of each frame and then tape them to the wall.  That way you can see the finished product and move things around until you find a layout Read more

Basement Makeover Reveal

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share our basement makeover reveal with you today! The last element for this project was to add art and a few more accessories.  I decided to hang a gallery wall above the couch to add a little more personality to the space.  The gallery wall includes pieces made by the kids, photography prints and some words of wisdom!  The wonderful thing about gallery walls is that they enable you to create a customized look.  They also allow you to include pops of colour and you can easily swap out the images to freshen up the space as needed. A large canvas print placed next to the television fills in the void there and some smaller art added to the top of the sideboard rounded up the pieces that we needed.  I may end up adding a few more frames to the gallery wall, they are so much fun to design! If you've been following along, you know that the inspiration for the colour palette came from a tree in our backyard.  I am still over the moon with the pillows from Tonic Living.  The faux down inserts are wonderful and it's great that there aren't any feathers all over the Read more

A Designated Crafting/Lego Building/Dining Zone

When it came time to select pieces for our basement makeover, we really stopped to think about how we would be using the space.  We wanted to ensure that we had all of the pieces we needed, from seating to storage to tables.  One item that we knew we definitely wanted to incorporate was a solid surface that the kids could use to build Lego, do crafts and that would also act as a place to enjoy pizza during movie nights and such!  The surface needed to be durable, able to handle toys being dropped on it and we also wanted something that could be cleaned easily.    The answer, you got it!  A dining table!  Placed right behind the couch, it allows us to dine comfortably while watching our favourite movies.  It's also perfect because the kids can build lego, colour, etc, while the others play their video games or watch TV and everyone still feels connected since we are all in the same room. It was so important to select a piece that would sit the five of us comfortably and that wouldn't tower over the back of the couch.  I liked the faux wood look of the Ryder table and how Read more

Styling Your Coffee Table

Your coffee table usually takes center stage in the room, so why not make it look beautiful?!   The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your coffee table, but finding a jumping off point can sometimes be a little tricky. Today I'm tackling the Wellington coffee table in our basement.  Since this is a space that needs to be family friendly (aka ready to handle flying nerf pellets!) I kept the styling simple and chose items that fit the use of the space.  Nothing too tall and nothing that can easily be broken.  When decorating a coffee table, I always try to incorporate the following: something green, something with height, some ambiance (candles) and a hint of colour and texture for interest.   Adding a fun decorative piece is always great too! Where to start is often the number one question.  Of course it depends on the shape of your coffee table, but for the most part, start by drawing an imaginary line that divides your table into 2, 3 or 4 sections and then decorate each section. I've created three options for our basement table, for all three, I've divided the table into two equal sections.  By leaving extra space Read more

Creative Toy Storage Solutions

If you have kids, chances are at one point you've asked yourself the question "where am I supposed to put (hide) all of these toys?!".  I believe that this is the perfect opportunity to think outside of the box, you don't have to shop in the storage section to find great pieces that will help you clear clutter and stay organized.  I'm constantly on the look out for pieces that can be used for something other than what they are meant for and found the perfect piece for toy storage in the dining section at Leon's! As soon as I saw the Bleecker Server I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into our basement makeover.  It's truly one of my favourite pieces in our basement and works perfectly as a toy storage solution even though it's meant to go in the dining room.  It's lacquer finish, clean lines and neutral colour complimented the other pieces in our basement so well.  The best part is that we will continue to be able to use this piece long after the kids have grown out of their toys and it can also be used as a server when needed! I was looking for a Read more

Tips for Choosing Pillows for Your Space

Pillows are such a great way to personalize your rooms.  When it comes time to select pillows, it's always fun to mix and match patterns and prints.  Here are some tips to coordinate pillows for your space!  Really, the sky is the limit and definitely go with what you love, but if you're nervous about mixing patterns, these tips should help.  For this project, I worked with the amazing team at Tonic Living to find the perfect pillows for our Athina Sectional and Ariel Chair. The first place to start is selecting a colour palette (this is where your colour wheel comes in handy!).  Whether if you're sticking to a monochromatic, analogous or contrasting colour palette, this is the place to start.  Next up, you will want to think about mixing patterns and textures.  By adding different textures, you keep your space from being too dull. For mixing patterns, I typically like to have at least one floral print, one geometric and one solid.  The key is to mix the scale of the prints, meaning, one large, one medium, one small. I am a huge fan of pillows that are 20x20.  Because we were working with a sectional (the Athina), I wanted to cover as much space as possible.  We went Read more

Mantel Styling Inspiration

When it comes to decorating your fireplace mantel, there are SO many possibilities and options to choose from, which can feel overwhelming. The solution is to narrow it down to the look that’s right for your room and that suits your taste. I recently visited the Leon’s Trenton location and noticed that they had some fabulous gas (yes, gas!) fireplaces in their lower level (which by the way, are available to purchase in-store!) and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to share some mantel inspiration! The best part, all of the pieces I used are right from the store. So you can re-create these exact looks if you wanted to. Chances are that your fireplace is the focal point in your room, so we want to play it up! A gorgeous piece of art is always a great option for above the fireplace. I chose this stunning fish scale art print. The colours provide a fantastic jumping off point for the rest of your decor. It’s important to have a colour palette so that your look is cohesive. Be sure to select items that are of various heights and texture. Here’s the first look: For the second look, I went with Read more

Top Tips for a Spring Tablescape

Spring has sprung and what better way to welcome this glorious (and oh-so pretty) season with a happy and playful spring brunch (or maybe lunch or dinner)! I had the pleasure of styling this spring tablescape at the Trenton location in the most welcoming spot, next to the stunning stone fireplace which greets customers when they first walk up to the showroom floor. We selected the beautiful Kingston dining table which boasts fabulous curves and exquisite detail and that can be dressed up or down, which is such a bonus (seriously, the legs on this piece are amazing). I love that the table can easily sit up to 8 people comfortably and the fact that it has a butterfly insert, which allows you to customize the length to your preference. The chairs are absolute knock outs with their “x” Now if your budget allows for it and you have the space, definitely consider going for a sideboard. I especially love how the Kingston sideboard has a dedicated space for bottles of wine and that is has both drawers and cupboards, which provide ample storage. It’s also the perfect spot to place your dessert while your guests enjoy the first course! When planning your Read more