Sunday, 22 December 2013

Practical holiday entertaining

Only a couple of days to Christmas! Some of us will host large groups during the holidays, and that puts extra demands on the logistics of our homes.

Here are five easy ways to create practical flow and stylish organization when entertaining this Christmas:

1) Place an inexpensive shelving unit at the front door, where guests can put their snowy boots. It looks so much better than a jumble of footwear around the door.

2) In the living room, replace a big coffee table with multiple smaller tables that can be easily moved.

3) Use trays to organize your kitchen counters. Glasses on one tray, different kinds of beverages on another.

4) Convert a dresser or side table in the living room into a beverage refill station. It will reduce the traffic to the kitchen.

5) Remove small area rugs and runners. They can be tripping hazards when many people are moving around in the house.

Have a wonderful Christmas! Happy entertaining, and enjoy the fact that from now on the days are getting longer!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Fun and funky upholstered finds

I love the wave print and channel tufting
on this old-meets-new, stately chair.
It's the creativity that Bonnie Bonell loves the most about her job. With skilled hands and TLC, she gives new life to tired quality pieces, transforming them into one-of-a-kind furniture that will be used and loved for many more years to come.

Bonnie's company, Bonell's Upholstery, celebrates 40 years in business this year, and recently hosted a well-attended anniversary show and sale for the occasion.

Among the pieces for sale were funky chairs, fun ottomans and colourful pillows. Dressed in updated fabrics and with details such as piping and nailheads, they looked current and fresh - totally prepared to give personality and flair to any home. What a great idea for a Christmas!

Here are some of my favourites:

Upholstered in a rich purple velvet and with details in
a contrasting fabric, this chair looks sumptuous and
somewhat decadent. It's the perfect statement chair
for an entrance, bedroom, living room, or creative office. 

A high-gloss black gives this cane chair a modern
expression. The contrasting fabrics add interest.

The vintage needlepoint flower print is a perfect choice
for this curvy bench. Ideal for a "shabby chic" or French
country interior, it's a practical piece for a front hall or at
the foot of a bed.
Bonnie turned a vintage patchwork fabric into a groovy pillow,
with leather on the back. Love it!
A small footstool or ottoman can be that single,
special item that give a whole room a certain mood
and personality.

The fabric on this chair is hand-painted and stencilled by Bonnie.
Contrasting purple velvet on the back. Cute!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Three hot colours for 2014

Radiant Orchid is PANTONE's colour for 2014 and
"encourages expanded creativity and originality".
A soft blue, a luminous purple and a mellow yellow. These are the colours we should use in our homes next year, if we are to follow the advice from three big paint companies. 

The first two colours are cool, whereas the yellow has a warm glow to it. The purple stands out in this crowd because of its vibrancy.

CIL's Creamy, described as a “soft,
buttery colour that emits a feeling
of calm, tranquility and renewal.”

I would use the purple as an accent colour in accessories, and possibly a focal wall, but can't really see it on all the walls of a room. Can you? 

The pastel blue I'll keep as a contender for a bedroom or a bathroom. 

The yellow will cheer up any room. It's the most versatile of the three. Paired with black and grey, it feels fresh and more contemporary than the French country style that this hue is often associated with.

What do you think, will you try any of these colours next year?

Benjamin Moore's Breath of Fresh Air 806 is
described as a "new neutral", that works in
several different environments.
CIL's "Creamy" paired with greys, whites and black.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Dreaming of a white Christmas

Tulips in December? That's an early start, but I'll
take it, thanks to the Metro store in North Bay
and my thoughtful husband. Whether we'll have
a white Christmas or not, I know my home will
be partly dressed in white for the holidays.
Winter is off to a flying start! At the rate we're going, there's a good chance we'll have a white Christmas.

Will that be true also for the interiors of our homes? Not so sure; the traditional red and green, gold, silver, and to some extent icy blue, continue to be the go-to colours this time of the year. 

I have always liked the idea of a white Christmas. I know, it's not warm and cozy, and it doesn't fit all interiors. But paired with the greenery of the tree, pine cones and wood, it feels so airy, fluffy and light - just like snow. And: it's hard to get tired of!

The colour injection can come from other things, such as food, beverages, porcelain and napkins.

Be inspired by these white Christmas interiors from the company Bemz: