Category: Home Decor

Etsy Finds for the Weekend

August 3, 2012

Hello, it’s the weekend! What are your plans? It’s a long weekend here in British Columbia to celebrate  BC Day and its supposed to get nice and toasty. We’re going to take the kids into Vancouver to see the fireworks and do some wandering around. Our good friends are out of town and are letting us stay at their place just up from the beach in Kitsilano, which will be such a fun treat. It’s usually me escaping to the big city on my own so the kids are really excited to get in on the action! If you’re looking for some outdoor inspiration, come visit my guest post over at Poppytalk but otherwise I thought I’d leave you with some dreamy Etsy finds to get the weekend started off right…

JPG Photography

One Eyed Dog

Emily McDowell


Laura Frisk

Eine Der GutenCarococo

This week has been crazy, in a very good way, so I’m looking forward to the beach, some sunshine and maybe even a little sleep. I’ve been teased more than once about all of the late nights I’ve been pulling…is there a way to encrypt Facebook and Pinterest to cover my tracks in the wee hours of the morning? Please fill me in if so 🙂 I’ll be back next week with a big announcement and another exciting kitchen collaboration that I’ve been working on. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!


Birch + Bird elsewhere this week:

  • An interview with us over at the Brazilian magazine Casa e Jardim (in Portuguese!) 
  • Guest post over at Poppytalk

Fresh Inspiration: Summer Berries

June 19, 2012

While Rachel and her family are already lounging poolside, our West Coast summer continues to elude us. I did get a big glimpse of the sunshine and some heat yesterday while on a field trip to White Rock and the beach with Sadie’s kindergarten class but, woe is me, our town remained shrouded in clouds when we returned. Feeling just a wee bit envious of our friends down South right now but I do have high hopes that our summer will start very, very soon! The power of positive thinking, right? In the meantime, I’ll console myself with the abundance of fresh summer berries that are now on sale at the supermarket. I have a major sweet tooth that I’ve been trying to reign in (without much luck) and healthy berries are the perfect solution…they look beautiful on the table too!

My Fudo

Isn’t this bright bouquet and it’s smattering of berries gorgeous? So original! It makes me want to plant some blueberry bushes in our backyard asap…

Camille Styles

Light Locations via SF Girl By Bay

What Katie Ate

Stylizimo for Lifestyle

With the ombre and dip-dying trends in full force, I don’t know if so many  varied shades of pink have ever been so popular! From baby blush to coral to neon, fashion and interior designers just can’t seem to get enough. Which is your favourite berry-inspired hue? Or do you prefer the gradations of the entire paint strip?

Janis Nicolay for The Barefoot Contessa

The Kitchy Kitchen

Design*Sponge via Poppytalk

Eat Yourself Skinny

Natty by Design

Wind & Willow Home

This afternoon, several friends and I are getting together to celebrate my mom, Mrs. Terry, who has run a well-known preschool in town for the past 16 years. Her time there has now come to a close and, while I’m sad that the preschool’s closing before Lilah’s finished her last year there, I am excited for my mom to move onto the next chapter of her teaching career and I know that she’s made such an imprint on so many little hearts and families along the way. Many of my friend’s children and each of my own three have been lucky to have her as a teacher and she was made to work with kids…her creative energy and love for the kids never wavered!  It was the perfect excuse to make my her favourite chocolate cake too…with fresh berries and whipped cream, of course! I love you Mom!

Our New Florida Home

June 8, 2012

Well, it’s real.  We have a home in Florida and I’m so thankful and can’t believe that it’s ours.  The girls and I will be spending the next few days giving it a deep clean before our moving truck arrives on Monday but I thought I’d give you a sneak peek since you’ve all be waiting so patiently.

After looking online for about 6 months and not coming across anything in our price range that I even wanted to step inside, we made an offer on this house after looking at only one other.  We knew it was ours within 8 seconds.  The pool is completely screened in which is very common here in Florida.  It means less maintenance on the pool and you can leave all your doors open to take advantage of the cross breeze and not worry (as much) about bugs.  The large sliders in the living room (below) completely disappear giving us full access to the pool area beyond.

There aren’t any renovations that are pressing but the whole place needs a tonne of freshening up.  The current paint color makes the light feel dingy and I’d like to freshen it up with a coat of white paint, including the kitchen cabinets.  Any suggestions on how to make this very traditional kitchen feel more bright, modern and maybe bring back some the original mid century feel?

My husband and I both are pretty excited to have an extra garage.  I’ve always enjoyed refinishing furniture and to now have a place to carry on with a project without interruption or the need to clean it up is a definitely a luxury.  In fact, I’ve got a number of unfinished projects arriving on the moving truck.

All images by Birch + Bird

So, that’s our new house…well, part of it, at least.  I can’t wait to share with you the journey to making it our home.  Enjoy the weekend!


Open House: Jayme + Sean Lang

June 5, 2012

We’ve got a special Before + After surprise for you all today, submitted by our friend Jayme Lang. She is a local photographer who’s work we’ve featured before and she’s also shot a number of amazing photos sessions for my family over the last couple of years. Jayme and her husband Sean recently purchased their first home and undertook a remarkable renovation in an extremely short amount of time. I was lucky enough to help with the kitchen design and I think that you’ll all agree with me that the final results are pretty fantastic…

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Here’s a brief overview of the Lang’s project and a mini “interview” with Jayme:

What was the timeframe of your renovation? We had two weeks from closing until we moved in, and then another month of living in the reno. So about a month and a half. What was the approximate budget? The budget for the kitchen was $10,000 and the budget for the whole house was $20,000 (this included all new flooring throughout…bye bye orange shag carpeting!). What is your favourite room? I think its a tie between the kitchen and the living room for me. What was your design inspiration? The two main inspirations for our kitchen and the entire house were Dwell Magazine and The Brick House. I love a simple, clean, Mid Century Modern look. We spent a lot of time looking through issues of Dwell and reading Morgan Satterfield’s blog

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme and Sean were super resourceful when researching their options and had a clear vision in mind for their townhouse, right from the beginning. They were also lucky to have a roster of helpful family and friends eager to help out and Brad and I even joined in on the demolition party…there’s something very therapeutic about smashing old tiles off the walls! While the kitchen is fairly small and had a few “hiccups” (we weren’t able to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room…of course, every possible electrical wire, plumbing pipe and vent just happened to go through that 4 foot section of wall!), we did manage to squeeze quite a bit of storage into the new space. It helped a tonne that we were able to borrow space from the double hall closet to tuck the fridge back, out of the way. Modern white cabinetry by Generation Cabinets, concrete counters, rustic wood shelves by Tack Woodwork & Design and my favourite double farmhouse sink from Ikea took this little kitchen from outdated pink and beige to white, modern and fresh!

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

This before photo was taken at night and just doesn’t quite do the original orange shag carpets justice…they were spectacular ! But they really couldn’t stay and now Jayme’s mid century furniture shines against a neutral backdrop of white walls and mid-tone hardwood floors. Tack Woodwork & Design built the custom fireplace mantle with the rustic bark edge and Jayme was lucky enough to win the gorgeous Moroccan pouf from a recent giveaway at The Cross…perfect timing!

Jayme Anne Photography

 Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

Jayme Anne Photography

I really love the calm, clean lines of their home and think Jayme and Sean did an amazing job, especially for first time homeowners on a tight budget! It just goes to show how much of a difference some good planning and a lot of elbow grease can do for a space. And it was a lot of fun playing with different kitchen layouts again too, something I’ve missed a lot since working for Generation. As certain people can attest to, I may or may not have a bad habit of pushing new kitchen plans onto unsuspecting friends, whether they ask for them or not! What can I say, I love kitchens and making them work as efficiently as possible is always a fun challenge. What “must have” elements would your dream kitchen include?

Lived In Spaces

April 30, 2012

Lately, I feel like I’ve been apologizing for the untidy state of my home a lot. Can any of you relate? I used to pride myself on my weekly cleaning routine but that has slowly gone downhill over the last several years. Blame it on 3 young kids, blame it on blogging and/or market planning, or simply blame it on life…whatever the reason, I’ve been slow to accept that this is the “new normal” for our family way of living. Nagging my children and/or constantly picking up after them makes me feel like I’m on repeat most days and, while I do believe that kids need to pick up after themselves, I do think there are much more important ways for us all to spend our time together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean but I honestly just cannot keep up with the zillion pairs of shoes, Squinkies and art projects that come through our home each day. While I refuse to completely give up, (I tackled and conquered our hall closet this weekend), I thought I’d ease some guilt and show some perfectly lovely spaces that look perfectly lived in, just as they should…


Chris Barrett Design for House Beautiful via Sacramento Street

Style by Emily Henderson

VT Wonen. Photo by Jansje Klazinga.

Old Brand New via Apartment Therapy. Photo by Marcia Prentice.

Life is busy, no matter what your stage of life, and I for one will never be caught ironing my sheets! My mom always enforced making our beds each morning though and, while it may only happen by 3pm, that is something that I do always make happen each day…well, most days anyway (sorry Mom)! I find nothing spurs me to get cleaning more than having friends over. In fact, during our last home’s reno, Brad and I would often plan a house party as a deadline of sorts (aka an excuse to blow off steam!) to get each phase of our remodel finished. And there’s nothing like that 5 minute power clean right before that unexpected guest arrives…

Country Road via 79 Ideas


Elle Espana vía SF Girl by Bay. Photo by Maria de Miguel.


Livet Hemma. Photo by Roland Persson.

Design*Sponge. Photo by Trevor Tondro.

Our children’s childhoods are so short in the grand scheme of things and I don’t want my kids’ memories to be of cranky/frazzled mommy. Having an organized and clean home makes me happy though so I guess I’ll move onward in my quest for the perfect balance…could there really be such a thing? That remains to be seen!

Children’s Bedrooms: Room to Grow

April 24, 2012

My weekend just seemed to keep on going…you should see the mountain of laundry I need to catch up on after the busy past few days! I had a great weekend in the city with some friends and the weather cooperated just perfectly. I even managed to pop in for a quick browse at Make It Vancouver and Stepback on my way into and out of town and wish that I could have stayed a little bit longer to do more browsing! It felt great to get away overnight and to catch up with some dear friends while enjoying lots of sunshine by the ocean. Last night, I got on the highway once again and headed out to the new Ikea Richmond media party. I wasn’t sure what to expect but ended up having a really fun time chatting with fellow bloggers and friends and it felt a little surreal wandering through the quiet store with a glass of Prosecco in hand! The new store is fantastic and opens to the public this Wednesday. I came home with a few small purchases as well as one of the fabulous gift bags that they handed out on our way out the door. Thank you Ikea!


Brad and I are at a bit of a crossroads with our home. We’re at the point that we need to decide how long we see ourselves living here and whether or not we should start planning the upgrades that it will soon need or if we should simply spruce things up and start looking for a new home that will suit our growing needs even better. It’s a tough call….moving is no fun and I’m pretty picky at this stage of the game. I picture our next house being our “forever” home, you know, the one the kids will come home to visit with their families when they’re grown. But budget is a huge issue and we chose to live in one of the most expensive housing markets in Canada, too bad for us! The most pressing dilemma is how to provide some more space for the kids to play and stretch out in. After the market later this Spring, we’ll get started turning our unfinished basement rec room into a playroom and then I’ll be able to focus on reconfiguring the kids’ bedrooms with more efficient toy storage and study spaces. I’ve been collecting some inspiring kid’s rooms, where the designers have worked hard to think outside the box…

Desaccord via Apartment Therapy. Photo by Simon Wardavoir.

Miluccia. Photos by Julien Fernandez.

CWB Architects

 Photo by Petra Bindel for Elle Interior via La Maison d’Ana G

Decor Pad. Photo by Mark Lund.

Jenny Wolf Interiors

Lincoln Barbour

The Marion House Book

Jen Loves Kev

VT Wonen via Meet Me At Mike’s

I love seeing children’s rooms and nurseries that can grow with each child, don’t you? I’ve never been one for themes, despite the chorus of pleas for Disney princess bedding each time we venture too close in a department store (mean mommy, I know!). I find spaces like these much more timeless, not to mention more affordable than redecorating after each passing phase would be. Do you have any tips on storage solutions for growing kids? We’ve got a couple of closets literally bursting at the seams, despite my regular purging. First things first though, I’m off to tackle my laundry…have a wonderful Tuesday!

Welcoming House Guests

March 7, 2012

Living close to family and friends for the first half of our married lives together has meant that we haven’t had a tonne of opportunity for house guests.  But now that we are thousands of miles away, we already miss our family and friends and would love a visitor now and then.  To make it comfortable for long stays, I think doing some preparation beforehand can go a long way in making their stay as comfortable as possible.  Having a dedicated guest room and bath would be luxurious but it isn’t always possible so carving out some space might be necessary.  Turning a home office into an guest oasis and clearing out a drawer or two in a bathroom gives guests their own space and prevents everyone from stepping on each other’s toes.  But let’s just say we lived in a dream world and you have an extra room for guests to stay.

 Apartment Therapy

I know when I’m a guest, I always feel like I’m intruding so stocking up prevents guests from having to ask.  Besides giving your guest room a hotel makeover, stock your fridge with snacks and beverages and be sure to put some in their room as well.  The sky is the limit but adding personal items like a journal, magazines and books, maps and information about local attractions and an extra house key will make your guests feel right at home. I guess it all depends on how often you expect guests and how long you want them to stay.

West Elm

Apartment Therapy

Alexandra ANGLE Interior Design

New Designing

 Coyuchi via Remodelista

The house that we had us drooling on the weekend had an extra room that would work perfectly as a shared office and guest room with a private bath across the hall…just one of the many features we loved about the home.  If a private guest bath isn’t an option, a vanity in their room for doing hair and makeup can provide the same level of comfort.  I realize that this bathroom is on the larger side but  I thought this armoir would be perfect for guests.


West Elm

 Design Sponge


Do you take in house guests?  Any tips you’d like to share?

Beds: Warm + Cozy

January 27, 2012

This week was too busy and I’m so glad that it’s the weekend.  The girls are off school today because of a Professional Day so that means we didn’t have to rush anywhere this morning or the next two.  Yes.  A long weekend.  I’m looking forward to sorting through some more boxes, tea with my mom and her granddaughters, a family movie night, maybe a few errands and some housework thrown in for good measure. Speaking of housework, I make my bed almost every single day.  It helps our bedroom look tidy even if it’s not.  And I like getting into a neatly made bed rather than an unmade bed.  How about you?

 The White Company


Lily and I stayed in at the Hotel Sierra in Redmond last year with a couple girlfriends and they had the most heavenly beds, I swear.  The pillows, the featherbed, the duvet, the feel of the sheets, and the weight of the blankets. Pure bliss.  We still talk about those beds.  If someone could tell me their secret, I would spend a pretty penny to have that every single night.  Is it just me or do the messy beds look cozier than the beds made neat and tidy?

House & Home

 Empire Village

 le souk

 Katrine Martensen-Larsen

 West Elm

 a few things from my life 

I hope you can indulge yourself with a sleep in or two as well and we’ll see you back here all refreshed on Monday.


Glass Floats: Treasures of the Sea

April 26, 2011

I have noticed glass fishing floats being used in decor for some time now but I’ve never given them much thought.  I’ve always thought they were lovely, their shape and colour add an effortless layer of interest into displays.  I came across Joan’s blog, For the Love of a House, where she shared her obsessive love for these shiny orbs of glass  and how she displays them throughout her home.  And I have to say that I was fascinated and now I want some too…

1. Northwest Magazine 2. Glass Float Junkie

Wikipedia:  “Glass floats, glass fishing floats, or Japanese glass fishing floats are popular collectors? items. They were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep their nets afloat. Large groups of fishnets strung together, sometimes 50 miles (80 km) long, were set adrift in the ocean and supported near the surface by hollow glass balls or cylinders containing air to give them buoyancy.  These glass floats are no longer being used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world’s oceans, primarily the Pacific. They have become a popular collectors? item for beachcombers and decorators. Replicas are also being manufactured.

For the Love of a House

1. Pottery Barn 2. For the Love of a House

Today most of the glass floats remaining in the ocean are stuck in a circular pattern of ocean currents in the North Pacific. Off the east coast of Taiwan, the Kuroshio Current starts as a northern branch of the western-flowing North Equatorial Current. It flows past Japan and meets the arctic waters of the Oyashio Current. At this junction, the North Pacific Current (or Drift) is formed which travels east across Pacific before slowing down in the Gulf of Alaska. As it turns south, the California Current pushes the water into the North Equatorial Current once again, and the cycle continues. Although the number of glass floats is decreasing steadily, many floats are still drifting on these ocean currents. Occasionally storms or certain tidal conditions will break some floats from this circular pattern and bring them ashore. They most often end up on the beaches of Alaska, Washington or Oregon in the United States, Taiwan or Canada. It is estimated that floats must be a minimum of 7?10 years old before washing up on beaches in Alaska. Most floats that wash up, however, would have been afloat for 10 years. A small number of floats are also trapped in the Arctic ice pack where there is movement over the North Pole and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Dreamy Whites

J. Covington Home

Once a float lands on a beach, it may roll in the surf and become “etched” by sand. Many glass floats show distinctive wear patters from the corrosive forces of sand, sun, and salt water. When old netting breaks off of a float, its pattern often remains on the surface of the glass where the glass was protected under the netting. Other floats have small amounts of water trapped inside of them. This water apparently enters the floats through microscopic imperfections in the glass while the floats are suspended in Arctic ice or held under water by netting.  To accommodate different fishing styles and nets, the Japanese experimented with many different sizes and shapes of floats, ranging from 2 to 20 inches (510 mm) in diameter. Most were rough spheres, but some were cylindrical or ?rolling pin? shaped.  Most floats are shades of green because that is the color of glass from recycled sake bottles (especially after long exposure to sunlight). However, clear, amber, aquamarine, amethyst, blue and other colors were also produced. The most prized and rare color is a red or cranberry hue. These were expensive to make because gold was used to produce the color. Other brilliant tones such as emerald green, cobalt blue, purple, yellow and orange were primarily made in the 1920s and 30s. The majority of the colored floats available for sale today are replicas.

A Beach Cottage

1. Design*Sponge 2. Wisteria

Interesting.  Right?  In August, we’re heading out to the Oregon coast with Lily’s family as well as 2 other families for a week of relaxing by the ocean.  By the sounds of it, August isn’t prime glass float season but I can tell you for sure that I’ll be on the look out for my own glass float.  Kamichia, the Glass Float Junkie, is the lucky gal who came across the treasure trove of glass floats that you saw at the beginning of the post.  Well, I shouldn’t make it sound so easy.  She has been beach combing for glass floats for some time now and she found that glorious stash in Alaska on a super secret beach that she accessed by plane.  On occasion, she has found so many that she has had to leave them behind.  Can you imagine?  Her blog is extremely informative if you would like to know more or to see more photos documenting her hunts and her incredible float collection.

S. R. Gambrel

Of course, you don’t need to comb your local beach for days on end digging through the sand in hopes of finding your very own glass fishing float.  There are always our friends at Etsy who have done the work for us.  Here are a couple of my favourite Etsy floats from Light in a Worm Hole.  She has plenty more to choose from in any price, colour, size and shape.

Light in a Worm Hole

So, does anyone suddenly have the urge to go beach combing?  Glass Float season ends soon!


April 20, 2011

With our shady lot, I’ve been a bit deprived of flowers so I’ve been looking around for some kind of flowering plant to add in the small patch of our yard that does get some sun.  I haven’t pinpointed a suitable plant yet but I do have a few on my list.  Whatever it ends up being will have to be hardy.   That small spot of yard dries out in the heat of the summer and as much as I love to garden, I can’t be out everyday tending to high maintenance plants.  One of my favourite flowers is the Ranunculus.  These generously sized flowers are relatives to the common buttercup.  And since buttercups love our lawn, I am hoping that the Ranunculus may be the lucky candidate.  I still need to do a little research before any decisions are made.

Jackie Reuda

There are over 400 varieties of Ranunculus but I especially like the varieties with layers upon layers of petals.  They make a wonderful cut flower and with the wedding season fast upon us, you may see more and more of this lovely rose-like flower in bouquets and table centerpieces.  They hold their own very well but look just as stunning combined with other flowers especially poppies, tulips and roses as well as interesting filler, like the pussy willow below.

1. Holly Becker via Lolalina 2. Pink Lily Press 3.  Honeytree


1. From My Atelier 2. Whitney Smith 3. Design*Sponge

1. Design*Sponge 2. Beacon Lane

Rock Paper Scissors Events

I remember from planning my own wedding, that not all flowers are as available as you might like them to be or they tend to be fairly expensive if they are not local.  I loved this lovely paper version and I think they are just as stunning as the real thing.  Sunny & Stumpy has a good selection of pretty blossoms to choose from and if you are the crafty type, there is even a DIY kit for you to try.

Sunny & Stumpy

Pretty, right?