Category — Our Homes
Sorry for skipping out on Wednesday’s post! It’s been another busy week, one that had a few challenges thrown in for good measure (“challenging” sounds so much better than draining, non?) but I’m still standing and pretty happy that the weekend is here. Pottery Barn recently asked me if I’d like to receive a surprise box of Holiday ornaments from them and I happily accepted, of course! It was such a treat to come home to a pretty package on my doorstep last week, a box that contained not one, not two but ten gorgeous glass ornaments! There was one small catch though: I was challenged to creatively display them, ie. not on a tree. A little tougher than you’d think but I used some vintage finds that I already had as the backdrop and styled this travel-themed vignette on my mantle.Come see:
The large “painting” in the centre is one of my favourites and is actually a vintage card table top. My dear friend Monica gave it to me and the scene is my happy place when life’s “challenges” get me down :) The other artwork is also all vintage except for the black + white architectural sketch, which I drew in an interior design class years ago. My mom made the stockings for each of us and the nutcrackers are a mix of new and vintage finds. The greenery is all from our front yard and I forgot to turn our gas fireplace on so just imagine a toasty glow inside!
Ornaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.
Ornaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.
Ornaments from Pottery Barn. Photos by Lily Ellis.
I’m pretty thrilled with the end results and Gabe told me last night that it’s “the best decorating you’ve ever done!”, a big compliment from my 10-year old boy :) Make you want to jump on a plane and go somewhere, doesn’t it? A BIG thank you to Pottery Barn for the early Christmas gift and here’s a list of the 10 ornaments that I received:
- Silver Globe (benefitting Give a Little Hope campaign)
- Plaid Sphere
- Trolley Glass
- Double Decker Bus
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Statue of Liberty
- Red Telephone Booth
- NYC Taxi
- and 2 Mercury Glass Orbs (similar to these)
Temperatures are dropping fast and it’s supposed to get reeeeally cold (for us!) this weekend. So stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!
*While I did receive 10 ornaments from Pottery Barn at no cost, I was not compensated for this post in any way. All photos are by myself, Lily Ellis, for Birch + Bird.
December 6, 2013 2 Comments
As promised, I’ve got some Before + After photos of Gabe’s new bedroom! If you’re out of the loop, our home has a 1 bedroom basement suite that we recently took over and it’s been pretty darned amazing to double our living space from 1200 to 2400 square feet! We thought our 10 year old son, Gabe, was ready for a bit more space to hang out with his buddies and study (or simply “chill like a villain”, as he likes to say :) and it just took a little time and elbow grease to get him settled in nicely. Come take a look…
You may remember my boy’s room inspiration post here and here’s another look at my mood “board”…
Gabe is a pretty mature 10-year old and definitely knows what he likes…and what he doesn’t (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)! This is a space that he’ll very likely grow into his teen years with so we kept to a mostly black + white scheme with bright pops of colour that can easily be changed with his tastes. He’s been passionate about skateboarding since he was about 2-years old (that canvas painting on the gallery wall was done by him at age 4!) and I’m sure he’ll soon be plastering the walls with posters of his favourite pros but, for now, this is what it looks like (sorry in advance for the dark photos, the day got away on me and I took these after sunset last night)…
This was a budget room reno all the way and I only bought paint for the walls (it’s Cloud White, not as creamy as it looks in this dim light), I already had fireplace, trim + chalkboard paint, the metal side table ($160 from Spruce…it’s originally from a Spokane, WA hospital!), sheets ($30 from Homesense), desk chair ($35, Spruce Collective) and some art, also from Spruce Collective (Phrenology head poster, $5, and ship prints, $22 each…all others I already had). My sister and her family recently downsized so we “inherited” the vintage desk and the antique metal bed belonged to my great grandmother. Each of the kids beds have been passed down through my mom’s side of the family which is pretty cool, I think! The laminate floor was existing (not my fave but is in good condition) and I gave the ’70′s mirrored closet doors and bedroom door a quick update with chalkboard paint. Still searching for a good ceiling light and a full-sized duvet cover but making do with what we already had for now. Gotta love a cheap home reno!
And there it is! Hope you liked it and if you’re ever in the neighbourhood on a sunny day, you’ll likely find me here at my perch watching Gabe at the local skate park! We’re hosting The Urban Market this weekend so I’m beyond swamped and will be taking a blogging break for the rest of the week. Hope it’s good to you and I’ll be back to chat soon!
October 21, 2013 16 Comments
Well, I did it! My first turkey dinner is now officially checked off of my life-accomplishments list and it turned out even better than I’d hoped, if I do say so myself! The Ultimate Dry Brine Turkey recipe I found in this month’s House & Home magazine truly was the ultimate…crispy on the outside, juicy and flavourful all the way through. The recipe’s not up on the website yet but it is in the current October issue…so good! I also made the sweet-and-sour red cabbage and the pumpkin pie, minus the pecan crunch (I thought I had pecans but they were actually walnuts) and both turned out really yummy too. I cheated on the stuffing (full disclosure here!) and bought freshly-made maple sausage and cranberry stuffing from Lepp’s Farm Market. It wasn’t cheap but it was sooo delicious that it was worth the splurge, not to mention it saved me from making one dish myself!
Decorating the table is hands down the best part of any gathering for me, obviously. Thankfully, I’ve got a warehouse full of vintage furniture to “borrow” from at times like these and we swapped out our everyday dining table for one of my fave rentals, The Margaret Table…if only it could stay! We also moved our credenza in front of the fireplace and now I’m dreaming of a harvest table to replace our current round one…one day!
In addition to the turkey and other sides, I also made these Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes (mine didn’t look nearly this good but they still tasted fantastic!), creamy herbed mashed potatoes, a green salad, fresh bread and my sister-in-law Amy brought a delicious Shiraz Cranberry sauce compote. Let’s just say, no one left hungry!
I was a bit too busy to take any other pics of the evening but thought I’d share some Fall-inspired pics from around the shop, since I’m in such a Thankful state of mind. We restyled and de-cluttered our shelves and displays last week and all found it pretty therapeutic. It’s always amazing to me the effect that our surroundings have on our mental state, whether we realize it or not. You know, that feeling when you’ve walked past that annoying stack of paperwork on your desk for weeks and then finally take 5 minutes and sort it out…it’s like a breath of fresh air!
Fall neutrals are a win-win with decorating in general and you really can’t go wrong. Add some greenery and a few splashes of colour for good measure and you’re good to go! Will you be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this coming weekend (or next month, for my American friends)? If so, what are your favourite dishes and/or turkey techniques? Enjoy your Monday!
October 7, 2013 5 Comments
Happy Friday, all! My sweet family is home and we’re all heading up into the wild to celebrate our friends’ wedding for the weekend. But before we hit the road, I thought I’d share some quick before + after pics of my chimney painting project. I think you’ll agree with me that the white is such a refreshing change and its brightened up the rest of our open-plan main floor dramatically! Painting brick is no easy chore but I used a concrete roller (it’s extra thick to get into the cracks) and a regular paint brush. We originally painted the brick when we moved in 5 years ago and it covered so much better the second time round, although there’s no quick and easy way to paint brick or stone. I used 2 coats of Cloverdale Paint (self-priming low VOC latex, leftover from our main floor walls) colour matched to Benjamin Moore’s White Down. Come take a peek…
The chimney is floating between our dining area and living room and is the very first thing you see when you walk in the front door. We originally chose dark charcoal grey because the existing paint colour of the main floor walls was a slightly lighter grey (we liked it a lot at the time) but we painted the walls just over a year ago and it was high time the chimney stepped over to the bright side too…voila!
I love the fact that my bentwood chairs really stand out against the white backdrop now! While I still like the green of my table, it’s got quite a few scuffs and felt marker stains on it so I think I’m ready to try out a different hue on that too…maybe navy blue? What do you think?
We’ve got a nice beefy mantle and the previous owners were smart enough to upholster the slate hearth in a hard-wearing vinyl (thanks Jen ;), safe for little heads and it doubles as extra seating when company’s around. I’m pretty pleased with how my vintage art all pops now…
It felt so amazing to get a project completed, from start to finish, with absolutely no interruptions! Already feeling inspired to tackle something new…maybe next week :) No tunes to share with you today but I’ll be back to chat on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!
July 5, 2013 15 Comments
Well, I’m wiped from the weekend. I’m not sure what’s more exhausting…corralling 11 ten year olds in a public place or hosting 14 combined family members under our roof, phew! But we had a great time and Gabe is blessed with such a loving family and some truly great friends.
I’m a longtime fan of gallery walls (as you may have seen in my own home below) but, despite my somewhat Type A personality, I’m drawn to eclectic salon style arrangements far more than the more orderly, symmetrical versions. There definitely needs to be some sort of balance to the collection but matching frames and too much of a theme make me yawn a little bit. Don’t mind the odd crooked pic in my own home and scroll down to see more inspiring examples of well thought out gallery walls…
Like the look but not sure where to start? Thrift stores are hands down the most affordable place to find art that you love and most of my favourite pieces have been found in one junk barn or another. Etsy is my next best bet (pour yourself a coffee and prepare to browse for awhile) and I’ve seen some amazing pieces purchased at local art schools in friends’ homes too. And of course, family photos always add a personal touch. But my best advice is to simply buy what you love! Why would you want to look at anything else?
Do haphazard frames and artwork make you cringe or are you of the quirkier-the-better frame of mind? Either way, gallery walls are the perfect way to feature growing art collections all in one room. Afraid of moving things around and potential nail holes? Don’t be…nothing a little hole filler and leftover paint can’t touch up! Have a great start to your week :)
April 15, 2013 9 Comments