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The Shimmer

Best in Spring

Tuesday, April 7


The forecast may still be calling for snow (WTF?!) but at least it can feel spring-like in your abode. 

'Sherbert Long Board' by Teil Duncan
Moonlight Jade Platter and Divided Server from Chapters/Indigo
Citron Metallic Striped Pillow from Chapters/Indigo
'Salt the Skies' Serving Board by Millie Fairhall
'Indio' Foil-Pressed Stationery by Amber Barley via Minted
'Hello Friend' Foil-Pressed Stationery by Erin Deegan via Minted
Striped Jewelry Tray from Chapters/Indigo
Fresh Coconut & Vanilla Candle from Chapters/Indigo
Indian Lace Wood Grain Platter by Nicole Porter Design
Violet Antique Anatolia Turkish Kilim Rug from Shoppe by Amber Interiors



How to Emphasize Flesh-Tone Trim

Friday, April 3

It's been ages since I shared a foyer update. Apologies for the prolonged absence. Life, you know? But I'm back. And you know that expression, “it has to get worse before it gets better”? I can’t think of anything more apt to describe our foyer’s current state. A few weekends ago we tackled painting the walls. Three coats of Benjamin Moore’s Paper White yielded this:


Pretty dramatic difference from before, right? The whole space feels so much brighter. Unfortunately, it’s also managed to somehow make the flesh-toned trim look even MORE disgusting. 


Don’t worry though – the trim isn’t staying! We’re going to add pieces to the existing trim to make it more intricate and it seemed like a waste of time to paint the trim before we did that. But… if it takes us much longer to get to the trim details, we may just need to do an in-the-meantime paint fix.


Lesson Learned:  Sometimes progress can make things look worse instead of better.  Keep going.  Also, never ever let anyone paint anything in your house the colour of flesh.


P.S. We finally bought a wide-angle lens. It hasn't arrived yet but when it does, it will make it SO much easier to photograph this tiny little space!

P.P.S. More foyer posts here, here, and here.

Get Sprung Already, Spring

Monday, March 30

This past weekend, Halifax was hit by yet ANOTHER bout of snow. This winter has been beyond ridiculous. We've had METRES of snow. Hey, Mother Nature - parkas and snow boots are NOT appropriate gear for the second week of Spring! Here's what I should be wearing:

Paint It Black

Monday, March 2


Remember how I said that our doors were already looking pretty fierce? That may have been an understatement. Check them out now:


We painted them Benjamin Moore's Space Black - which is a fairly true black, although a bit softer. We used a pearl finish, on the advice of the paint store guy (If you're local, we always go to the Acadia & Quigley BM on Quinpool - they're amazing and know EVERYTHING.)


I do acknowledge that our doors were already pretty fantastic - old, solid wood, lots of interesting moulding details. I feel like this transformation is akin to Rachel Leigh Cook taking off her glasses in She's All That and suddenly everyone thinks she's beautiful. Except, I suppose, we put on her glasses. Or maybe we dyed her hair. I don't know. This analogy is getting confusing. Basically, yes our doors were pretty awesome underneath - but even cheap doors look amazing painted black. 

Now it's time to move on to the next project on our list: Painting those dang walls. You can check out earlier iterations of the foyer here and here.

P.S. Trying to photograph this tiny little entry is really making me aware of my need for a wide-angle camera lens! Sorry for the terrible angles!

I can probably just leave it like this, right?

Friday, February 6

If you read Tuesday's post, then you've seen the atrocious 'before' photos of our frightening foyer. Gulp. Click here for a little refresher. Well... we've made one very important step in the right direction: NO MORE WALLPAPER!


Check out those marvelous mauve murs. We can probably just leave it like that, right? No need to put in all the work we had planned?  After all, it already feels so much brighter in here.


NOT. Oh, you guys. It's going to get so so SO much better. Just you wait and see...

P.S. If you're looking for wallpaper removal tips, I think it probably depends on the quality of the wallpaper you're removing. For ours, we used spray bottles of boiling water (be very careful - the bottles get super hot and one of them - a cheaper/thinner one - actually crumpled) and spackle knives. The longer the water sits (up to a point), the easier it is to scrape the wallpaper off. We basically just sprayed a bunch of the area we were working on; let it sit for a minute and then used the knife to peel up the edges. After you get started, you can spray ahead so you don't need to wait. In some areas that have been well-sprayed, you can peel off huge strips off paper with your hands instead of the knife. The wallpaper comes off in two layers - the top coloured bit and the white sticky underlayer - we actually found the top bit the hardest to remove, but the whole process was much easier (although still time consuming) than we had imagined.

Foyer Fiasco

Tuesday, February 3

You guys, there's one part of our house that you've never seen. For very very good reason. The foyer... (duh duh duhhhhh). You see our house is a classic city Victorian, very typical of Halifax. And like many classic downtown Halifax homes, it's been converted into a set of flats. So you step inside the front door of our house, and you're greeted with this...


I apologize if you had to avert your eyes. It's painful, I know. Blue floral wallpaper. Flesh-toned trim. (Side note: WHY DOES ANYONE EVER THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO PAINT ANYTHING THE COLOUR OF FLESH?!)


It's the armpit of our house. So so bad. And yet, everyone who enters must see this. And not only those who enter our home, but also visitors to the apartment upstairs. And I call myself an interior stylist. It's EMBARRASSING. 


Which is why I'm very happy to announce that times, they are a-changing. Sayonara, wallpaper. Farewell, flesh-toned trim. This place is going to be light and bright and funky and fun... and much more welcoming to any guest who deigns to visit.


The wallpaper is already toast (using the boiling-water-in-a-spray-bottle-and-a-spackling-knife method). The doors are also now looking pretty fly. Next up: several fresh coats of paint, fancifying the trim, and adding a killer ceiling feature, an awesome light fixture, a jumbo piece of art, and a few functional accessories. It's going to be INSANE, you guys. I'm so SO SO excited. Stay tuned.

(Also, I may have intentionally not cleaned it up before taking these photos to enhance the dramatic before and after. Guilty as charged.)

Buying Art Like A Grownup

Tuesday, January 27

I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my art purchases of late.  You see, I have a bit of an addiction. If I LOVE a piece of art and it’s in my price range, I buy it. I don’t stop to consider where I might put it or whether it goes with my current aesthetic. I just buy it. Pull the trigger. Not a second thought. But now that I live in a real house - a house we intend to be in for quite some time - a house with designed interiors and legitimately nice furniture instead of whatever was cheapest at Ikea, I’m starting to realize that a house only has so many walls. And my exponential art purchasing just isn't sustainable.

So, like I said. I’ve been making attempts to be more intentional. Resisting my initial visceral reaction of: I LOVE IT. I NEED IT. I HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW. Instead, thinking: Where will I put it? Will it coordinate with the other aspects of that room? Is it the right size? Right mood? Will the boyfriend also like it? In other words, I’m being an adult. It’s hard, you guys.

I think art is so SO personal. More so than your furniture or colour scheme or choice of pillows and rugs. I struggle with definitively picking out art for clients because I think your art should speak to YOU, not the person who designed your room. And what speaks to me doesn’t necessarily speak to you. Because of this, my typical MO when sourcing art for clients is to compile one big long list of pieces that I think could work in their space and have them select what they like from the list. It works, but it’s a process for sure. I’m constantly bookmarking pieces and artists I love for future reference and client use.

Anyway, this was really just one big long introduction for today’s post. A post about the art that I DESPERATELY want to buy, but have been resisting thus far, until I can make grown-up decisions about it. Here are a few of my favourites:

The Power of 10 by Irene Suchocki
Clothed Figure Study 1 by David Lloyd
Coming Home by Sara Coursin
Calculation by Stephanie Nowotarski
Rimma by Tosya
William Saroyan Quotation by Chelsea Petaja
Some Things Take Time by Laia Blesa
Frida Kahlo by Michelle Tavares
Grey Waters by Kimberly Blok
In a Mist by Jane Rovers