December 29, 2010

Family Bath

I'm working on an idea board for an upcoming renovation job, the main bathroom in a family home. I want it to feel relaxed, natural, antique but with a hint of whimsy (like the clock, pictured below by EQ3). What do you think?

Ways to Decorate With Items You Already Own

Interior decorating is more than throwing on a fresh coat of paint and rearranging your furniture - it's all about the accessories! There is potential in every space to feel relaxed, formal, chic or rustic. Think outside the box for ways to add some flare to your place, using items that you already own. Here are a few ideas I've used in my own home:

1. Vases - You probably saw my Christmas decoration post (here: ), where I took a plain, clear vase and spiced it up for the holidays by filling it with ribbon and ornaments. But you can use that simple principle year round! When it's not the holidays, I fill my vases with flowers (duh?), or pine cones, or fruit for a refreshing feeling.

2. Serving platters and bowls - As I don't host formal dinners that often, my nice serving bowls and plates are usually tucked away in the buffet and hutch. So I try and give them their time to shine by placing wine and glasses on a tray, or filling bowls with fresh fruit. I currently have beautiful green pears piled in my hand carved wooden bowl - delish!

3. Books - I'm what my husband adoringly calls, a nerd. I take great pleasure in searching threw used book stores (the best are in Sidney) and trying to find that perfect specimen. I usually never read them more than once (or at all), but I love displaying antique books piled high with their beautiful brown leather covers. I'm a sucker for gold trimmed pages. My favorite antique book I have is from 1905 about astrological signs, written in french. It snuggles with a handsome copy of 'Odyssey' and 'Iliad' on my TV stand.

4. Pitchers- Don't always think of pitchers as practical. When not full of homemade lemonade, leave empty, out on display for everyone to admire. I have my favorite pitcher on display in my kitchen, grouped on a silver serving plate (see #2) with a small vase of flowers and a pretty martini glass (which doubles as a ring dish when I scrub the dishes)

5. Teas - I, being obsessed with any hot beverage, have a nice collection of single wrapped teas. Instead of having them all hidden (and scattered) in the kitchen, last night I grabbed them all and organized them all in a cute little basket my friend Jennie just gave me. They look so cute and welcoming on my counter, it makes me want to start the kettle every time I walk by.

6. Bubbles for the Bath - As a girl (woman? old hag??) I have gained quite the collection of bubble bath, bath bombs and all those cute little bars of soap we have trouble actually using. Grab some of you favorite ones, and display them on all a tray or in a basket in the bathroom. Place it on a small table, or the floor for a pretty and accessible way of displaying your bath time treasures.

Happy accessorizing!

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Morgan Design Inc

Wishing all you and your loved ones a very merry, and stylish Christmas!

December 21, 2010

Sorry Bathroom, You'll Have to Wait

Why Erin can’t come to finish the bathroom today:

1. Work is insanely busy!! With all the recent rain storms, we've been flooded with new jobs (get it? Flooded??)

2. I have barely seen my husband in 10 days. Although I am all for time apart, it's been hard to just smile in passing the past weeks.

3. We finally have gotten the house clean enough to not be severely judged by guests and I just see no reason to rattle that.

4. You have heard of Christmas, hmm? Well, I have to cook several dishes over the next few days to bring to dinners, and I am trying to conserve my energy.

5. Although I did manage to trick my husband into buying the supplies for the vanity on Sunday, I think that has officially put me over my honey-do limit. I have to rack up some more wife points before I make any sudden moves.


6. I'm so far behind on editing photos for ErinChristinaPhotography, do I address those or just move onto the Next New Thing? I am torn and will instead do nothing.

7. Renovating is a leisure-time activity (for me, anyways) These are not leisurely times. See #1.

8. The bathroom renovation might cut into my binge-eating time.

December 12, 2010

Cool Cushions for Cheery Chairs

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of hearing my Mom's sewing machine buzzing downstairs during nap time. She taught me at a very young age to sew, and those skills have probably benefited my life more than I think. I got an A during grade 10 in 'Grade 12 Textiles' without even trying, and made my husband smile the first time I told him I could hem his pants (not that I ever have gotten around to that). I even worked as a seamstress for a while out of a high end bed linen shop.

When I saw these two chairs at a government surplus sale a few years back, I could see right through the horrible purple fabric, and knew I could make them perfect for my house. I haggled with the sales person from $60 each to $10 each - and then they were mine! I even fit them in my car to take them home (well...kind of)

I purchased a ton of brown vinyl from my favorite local fabric store (Cloth Castle) for a steal, and then spent the next two years complaining about how difficult they were to recover. But now - they are all done! I even whipped up two cushions for them out of the same vinyl and some neat paisley fabric. What do you think? Neat what a little elbow grease and some bad language can do!

December 9, 2010

Another Day, Another Project

I don't know what it is about me, but I always have to be working on some sort of project. The second I finish one I spend about 30 minutes thinking about how tired I am and how glad I am that the project is finished. And then my mind races until I find another project to start.

I have to say I feel slightly bad for my poor husband (slightly) for being dragged through reno after reno with me, all because he decided to fall for a girl that loves to start things. As soon as we were done our first reno (downstairs bathroom), I told him I wanted to do the dining room next. He told me to wait for the new year - so what was I doing New Years Day? Why, sanding the walls and ripping off the window trim, of course!

Even as we are working on a renovation, I am usually already looking somewhere in my house thinking 'we should really paint that soon...' or 'I wonder how that room would look if we knocked that wall down...'

So, Richard, this is me saying that I truly appreciate everything you do for me, and everything you put up with. You patiently listen to all my hopes and plans (even though we haven't finished the last project yet), and even help me understand different carpentry practices. You teach me how to use power tools, and are sweet when I tell you that I can't lift something. You are a great carpenter, and I am so excited when I get to see you using your skills in our house (even though I swear I can cut in paint better than you). I can't promise you that I will ever change, but I want you to know that I love you for loving me.

December 8, 2010

Pretty in Pink

A little pink goes a long way - but look how sharp it can look as an accent colour!! (and PS - I really do love you blogs and coffee.)

December 4, 2010

Another Year

Today is my birthday! I can't believe another year has passed - where does the time go? My day includes a very late breakfast date with good friends, a dinner date with some more of my good friends and, hopefully, cake! It doesn't get any better than that!

Here are a few things that make me happy to be a girl in my twenties, obsessed with home decor :)

Pier 1 Imports: Sunburst Mirror, $79.99

Pier 1 Imports: Coral on Stand, $13.00

Anthropologie: Owl Hook, $20.00

Canvas Gallary: The Tree Swing By Sarah Martin, $900.00

Pier 1 Imports: Peacock Feather Wreath, $30.00

December 2, 2010

Dining Dilemma

My current dining room

I have to own up to something: I’ve completely lost interest in my dining room walls. There was a time, not so long ago, when I filled every room with warmth and nice buttery caramel walls. But somewhere along the line, I have become obsessed with the cool look of light blue, white furniture, and chrome accessories (Ou! Shinny!!)

This look is currently my decorating obsession. I even got my Mom, queen of the ‘warm look’ to get on the chrome bandwagon, and she is now currently tearing apart Victoria on some very dangerous ‘chrome deer figurine’ hunt, which I spent the better half of Saturday talking about (same deer, Jennie. I know..)

But, cruising Blogland the other day (what, Erin? You actually DO that??), I came across a few photos of a living space – with walls the same colour as mine! I decided instantly that I loved the design, tilted my head and decided ‘yes, I can make this work’. I did, after all, only choose the wall colour in the dining room 18 months ago. And although my husband would not be the least bit surprised by my sudden onset of painters remorse, you can bet your best dish set that he is not going to let me change it again.


To make my space ‘cooler’, I will be reupholstering my dining room chairs (the plan from day one), in a light grey or blue pattern. Something like the following:

All fabrics above, available at Fabric.Com $9-16 /yard

I plan on forcing the husband to build me a nice new dining table, but I am fully aware this will not happen until after the ho-ho-ho season. I also will be on the look out for some nice, chunky black photo frames, for a photo collage. I will probably feature a few photos from my photography business - nothing too personal. I like to reserve all personal photos for the upper rooms of my house. Not that I dine with the queen that often, but when I do, I'm sure she prefers to admire artsy photos of cherry blossom silhouettes, rather than close ups of my dog (AKA The Beast).
I should also add the following to my decor budget. Ahem.
China, by Vera Wang - $$$$

November 21, 2010

A Simple Christmas Decoration

Today it has been brutally cold and icy out (well, for Victoria, that is) and although I generally tune out when people complain about being bored, I admit, I am. Richard, the dogs, and I all got enough of the snow yesterday, and now I'm left with a cold house, way too much comfort food, and a house not yet decorated for the upcoming holiday season.

But yes, there is an easy solution! It involves wine, old holiday decorations and some simple ideas.

Here is how to create a simple holiday decoration, using basic holiday supplies. Easy to do and beautiful to look at!


Grab a vase or bowl, lots of ribbon and some left over Christmas tree bulbs


Place big strips of ribbon at bottom


Layer the bulbs on top of the big ribbon


Arrange the narrow ribbon in a big messy pile that trails deep into the vase


Voila! A cute dish of centerpiece goodness! I'm putting mine on the piano for the holidays, assuming I don't make 4 million more.

Also: SNOW!


Me sprinkling snow in my dogs face

Lucy and I

Lucy sprinkled with sugar

November 15, 2010

Oh How I Love You, UsedVictoria.Com!

Two awesome finds today! I couldn't believe my luck. UsedVictoria seems to be either hit or miss - there will be nothing good for weeks, and then bam, a ton of good finds all at once. That's okay, that's the way I like things anyways.

I picked up this small wood table for $15 - I plan to put a few new coats of white paint on it and have it in my living room as a side table. The handle is my favorite part! I might spray that chrome.

The wingedback chair I got for a pretty good deal - free!! You know what they say, one mans junk.. I am going to recover it and put it in the spare bedroom. Once it turns into the nursery I will probably recover it again for a mommy-and-me chair. This chair will look so good once I recover it, the old owners will probably wish it was still theirs!!

November 10, 2010

The Mudroom

Over the years, a mudroom has become a high priority for house hunters as one of the must-have rooms on wish lists. The mudroom is the space designed to keep all the shoes, coats, purses, sports equipment, backpacks, (and in my house dog leashes, recycling, and the odd screws and bolts that find their way into my hubby's pockets). Simply put - it is a room designed to catch all the junk that a family comes and goes with, and make sure it doesn't leach into any of the prettier rooms of the house.

Although my mudroom (formally called the "laundry room" - now called the "dogs' room") looks not nearly as beautiful as the rooms pictured above, I do dream of having it look as pretty and tidy as these one day.