Category: Vintage Inspiration

Spruce Collective in House & Home!

January 9, 2013

Co-owning a home decor has already been a dream come true. If I had to come up with another dream, it would have to be seeing said store featured in a national magazine and, guess what? Spruce Collective is the shop feature in the February issue of Canadian House & Home!!! Ironically enough, I seem to be the last subscriber in Canada to get their copy in the mail and I’ve been stalking my local grocery store for their stash (which should be on shelves today, by the way). My mom read me the article over the phone last night though and I’m pretty much freaking out over the whole thing, in a very good way! Janis Nicolay was amazing enough to coordinate the shoot and to take the stunning photos of our shop. She’s always been such a great cheerleader and supporter of this blog and all of our endeavours here at Birch + Bird and I can’t thank her enough! Without further adieu, here’s a look at Spruce through Janis’ lens…

All photos by Janis Nicolay. Spruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

One funny note about this shoot, we had literally just decorated the entire store for Christmas the week before we heard word about the feature so we had to un-decorate (and then re-decorate again) overnight! Our storage room and even our washroom were packed to capacity with Christmas trees…using the facilities was just like being in the forest 😉 But it was well worth the effort…my new partners and I couldn’t be more thankful for such an incredible opportunity, especially so soon after opening our doors in September!

My lovely friends Aprille and Nancy even popped by to practice their modelling skills and try out our line of CeCe Caldwell’s chalk & clay paint…nice work ladies!

All photos by Janis NicolaySpruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

All photos by Janis NicolaySpruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

Andrea, one of our fabulous customers, was kind enough to send me a picture of our spread to share with you all…

Photo by Andrea Westbrook…thanks Andie 🙂

Well, I’m headed back to the grocery store to clear their shelves of the new issue before going into work…hope you enjoyed a peek around the shop! I hope to see you there sometime soon but in the meantime, have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂


Budget Style: Vintage Vanities

July 30, 2012

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through summer vacation already! While we’ve had plenty of fun and a whole lot of R&R going on around here, we have yet to complete the lagging renovation of our master bath. Now, “master” bath sounds quite grand but ours is more of a cubby hole! The shower was the guilty source of the nasty leak that inspired the demolition, but the vanity is a builder basic that really just needs to go. I think I’ve finally convinced Brad to rip it out but will have to get really creative when finding the budget-friendly replacement. And when I say budget, I mean as cheap as possible because this reno was definitely not on our radar for this summer! I love the idea of a vintage cast iron wall mounted sink and have seen several at the Bellingham Habitat for Humanity store for around $50 apiece. It would take some reinforcing for the supporting wall, as I’d imagine they weigh a tonne, so I’m open to re-jigging a vintage dresser or table instead…if I can find the perfect piece! Here are some lovely examples…

Better Homes & Gardens

Photo by Virginia MacDonald for Canadian House & Home

Photo by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book

Photo by William Waldrun for Elle Decor


Ellen’s Album

Feldman Architecture via Desire to Inspire

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn for  Southern Living 

Photo by Andrew Grinton for Canadian House & Home

I know that there are a few new vanities in this mix but I do love their simplicity, especially when paired with rustic and reclaimed wood elements. Isn’t that wood-slatted shower floor above fantastic? As I cruelly hinted at on Thursday, I’ve got a certain big project in the works (will just have to keep you hanging a wee bit longer!) so we’ll have to hustle and get our ensuite finished. The novelty of sharing one bathroom between all 5 of us has definitely gotten old too! Off to the beach now but have a wonderful Monday!

London 2012 Olympics

July 27, 2012

We usually have family movie night on Friday nights but since the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics is this evening, we’ll be watching!   How about you?  Here is some Olympic inspiration for you on this lovely Friday.

Andrew Maunders

Bella Lulu

British Library

1. The White Pepper 2. Reclaimer 3. 42 Things 4. Meadowview Vintage

Vintage Scraps

 Maps of World

Urban Outfitters

Don’t do too much work this weekend!

A Coastal Hideaway

July 9, 2012

Summer has now officially arrived to our corner of the country and it is beyond wonderful! Friday night, after a picnic dinner at Cultus Lake, we picked up Gabe from his week away at camp and this mama hen is very happy to have all of her chicks back in the nest. A whole week felt like a very long time to have our favourite guy away from us. Despite having a tonne of fun, even he said he got pretty homesick which secretly made me a little relieved….don’t want him too eager to leave home again quite yet! We spent a family day at the far side of Harrison Lake yesterday…sunshine, swimming and being together, the three key ingredients to summertime fun. It was so beautiful and none of us wanted to leave. Did you get outside this weekend? We’re already planning our next local day trips so I’d love to hear what you got up to.

All photos by Alec Heimer for House Beautiful

Rachel and I have decided to take a wee break from blogging for the rest of the week. We’ve both got some things around the house that we want to catch up on and time with the kids at home is already ticking away…have you seen all of the back to school stuff in the grocery stores? I am so not ready to think about that yet. So, let’s turn our eyes towards this gorgeous Californian weekend home instead. Perched on a hillside along the coast of Marin County, it is light and bright and was designed to sleep up to twelve people, despite only being 1650 square feet. There are plenty more lovely pictures over at House Beautiful too, if you’d like to see more…

From the white walls and lofty beams to the ceiling lights made out of  old buoys, the numerous vintage touches throughout and that stunning ocean view, this remodel comes pretty close to perfect in my books! Designed by Erin Martin and homeowner Kim Dempster, the two wisely avoided taking the nautical theme too seriously and instead went for a “marine industrial” take. I really like Erin’s response to playing with large scaled pieces in a small space too, “I might put as much stuff as I can into a small room, and in a bigger space, I’ll do less stuff. There are no rules. Somewhere along the line we got stuck in a box. Let’s get out of it and have some fun. Try something new.”

All photos by Alec Heimer for House Beautiful

All photos by Alec Heimer for House Beautiful

Can you imagine breakfast or evening drinks with that view? I can! Those lockers and vintage sinks in the bathroom are pretty drool-worthy too! What do you have planned for the week ahead? I’ve got two more closets to tackle before moving onto our basement storage…something I’ve been putting off for a very long time! Rachel’s still busy unpacking boxes and setting up house but we’ll be back next week with regular posting. Have a wonderful week!





Warm + Worn Leather

July 5, 2012

Well, I find writing this post from my perch in the Hotel Vancouver…lucky me! I got whisked away for a spontaneous girls weekend (how could I say no?) and the sunshine came out just for us. Feels like summer may finally be here to stay and I couldn’t be more ready! Funny enough, as we wandered the shops and did some window shopping yesterday afternoon, it seems as though fall fashion is already inching in. I for one feel like I haven’t even broken in my flip flops! But while the rain was pouring down over the weekend, I did find myself drawn to warm and cozy interiors especially those including worn, caramel-coloured leather…

Jonas Bierre-Poulsen for Dwell via Emma’s Design Blogg

Annabelle Kerslake featured on Design*Sponge

Photo by Matthew Hranek for Martha Stewart Living

Photo by Chris Warnes for Real Living

Paul Raeside

Freedom via Desire to Inspire

hOmE featured on Design*Sponge

Photo by Virginia MacDonald for Style at Home

While I would very much like fall weather to stay far away for the time being, I really love the character and warmth that vintage leather brings to a space. A hint of masculine yet oh so comfortable, these sofas and chairs make me think of well worn riding boots or that perfect leather bag. Hmm, yet another vintage find to be on the hunt for!

A Little Bit Country…

June 13, 2012

After I dropped the kids off at school yesterday morning, I put my party cleanup chores on hold and took our dog for a long walk along the dykes on the outskirts of town. It felt great to get outside and just enjoy nature in this beautiful place we call home! Too often, I spend my precious moments of “quiet time” on the computer which doesn’t end up feeling like much of a break at all. Fresh air and catching the odd glimpse of deer, bunnies and soaring eagles is far more refreshing to the soul, wouldn’t you agree? Although I couldn’t be completely tech free (safety first!) so I made sure I snapped a few Instagram photos along the way…

Lily Ellis on Instagram

Each time we have friends and family gather round for a meal, I can’t help but long for a huge harvest table that would comfortably seat at least 10. As the kids are growing, the leaf just doesn’t quite add enough space and we’ve had to butt up a small folding table to fit all of our extended family around. Cozy? Yes, very! Comfortable? Well, it’ll just have to do for now! Flipping through photographer Stacy Van Berkel‘s portfolio the other day, I came across this modern farmhouse with an enviable rustic trestle table. The rest of the home featured in Garden & Gun is pretty amazing too, as I’m sure you’ll agree…

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Designed by architect Ken Pursley, the farmhouse is actually a weekend home (how relaxed would you be come Monday?) built just outside of Chester, South Carolina. Using rustic and humble materials like wood, tin and rope (isn’t that staircase amazing?), this retreat fits in seamlessly with the rest of the surrounding landscape, silos and barns. Built to accommodate the homeowners’ large family and plenty of overnight guests, I love the open plan and it’s modern take on the traditional farmhouse. Each room looks to be flooded with natural light, thanks in part to plenty of windows and oversize doors…

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Between the bunk room and two semipermanent safari tents built by the pond, it’s a wonder that guests would ever leave! ?So much architecture has gotten vanilla, but this is something you?ll remember uniquely to this house,? Pursley says. ?If you grow up here, you?ll always have fond memories of this bunk room nook, of cuddling up and reading a book. I like the idea of creating spaces that leave an emotional impression.?  I can just imagine the lifetime of family memories that could be made here!

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.Garden & Gun. Photo by Stacy Van Berkel.

Just a little field trip to the countryside to get you through until the weekend…is it happy hour yet? Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Barn House Vintage Marketplace

August 3, 2011

I’ve found myself drooling over the Barn House photographs that are popping up all over the internet and  I’m feeling a little down that Lily and I didn’t work a visit into our weekend plans.  First Farm Chicks and now Barn House…boo.  We could have blamed it on research and discovery for the Fieldstone Vintage Market and our Birch + Bird shop, right?  We’ve been watching what’s going on across the border for some time now and it’s definitely something to aspire to and the Barn House Boys pulled out all the stops.

Lily and I have been thrifting for a very long time now, you could probably call us professional thrifters.  Not every day is a good day in the world of thrift but every once and awhile, you hit the mother load.  I think that’s why we love vintage markets so much.  So many treasures all in one place.  A vintage lovers heaven.

Luckily, for those of us who missed out on this fantastic market, Michael Jardine captured all of these images and it’s clear why we should be sure to visit the next one.

We don’t have near enough vintage markets in our neck of the woods but it feels like the time is right and slowly but surely they are popping up here and there.  Are you an avid thrifter or a vintage market junkie?


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!

The Art of Display

January 7, 2011

So, we’ve been talking a lot about getting organized, purging the excess and reducing the clutter around our homes. But what to do with the knick knacks, mementos and sentimental items that you really love? Rachel and I both take pleasure in displaying our vintage treasures wherever possible….on our mantles, credenzas, table centerpieces, and more. But at what point do our “displays” become clutter? I suppose it comes down to personal opinion. To some, less is more but to others more is never enough! I’d like to think I’m somewhere in the middle, slightly to the “less” side. When redecorating, I like to empty the mantle or surface that I’m rethinking and start from scratch rather than adding more to what’s there already and I definitely lean more towards symmetry and balance.

Geninne Zlatkis is an extremely talented artist living in Queretaro, Mexico in an amazing home built by her husband, Manolo. I love her watercolor paintings and how effortless she makes the process look on her blog…I highly recommend that you take a look! She also has a lovely Etsy shop that she’s currently taking a little break from but I can’t wait ’til she opens up again! Her birds and other paintings are simply gorgeous. But back to her home….it’s a combination of modern lines with natural wood and materials that I am really drawn to these days. And what’s not to like about this open floor plan and soaring ceiling? But what I love most about Geninne’s home is how she’s managed to display art, found items and plants in such an easy and uncluttered way. Subtly and with a light hand, she’s managed to bring personality and splashes of colour into every room of her family home…

Geninne’s Art Blog

Whether you lean towards the “less” or “more” end of the scale, there are plenty of ways to display your trinkets and collections without allowing them to take over your space entirely. Containing art, books or other collections to one wall, cabinet or surface, for example, makes them a focal point and keeping the number of pieces to a minimum prevents individual items from being lost in the crowd. Rachel and I both constantly edit and rearrange our homes throughout the year and keep any out-of-rotation items stored away out of sight. Once again, these vintage crates would be perfect for such storage and easily accessible too…

Hus & Hem via Emmas Design Blogg

The Selby via Geninne’s Likes On Pinterest

Canadian House & Home

Petra Bindel via Emma’s Design Blogg

I’m a big fan of collections, and while I don’t have many on the go myself, I love seeing them displayed in other people’s homes. Rachel recently put together a lovely post about how to display collections here. Natural history and found objects are a big, not to mention economical, trend right now. My kids love collecting feathers, seashells and rocks from any of our holidays or excursions and covering them with a glass cloche dresses them up from treasure hunt find to scientific specimen, don’t you think? Hindsvik has so many fabulous vintage finds in their Etsy shop….


Mixr via French by Design. Photo by Christoper Drake/Redcover.

Rachel gave me Sibella Court’s book, Etcetera, for my birthday last year and I was so happy to add it to my book collection! Sibella’s style is definitely rooted in the More is More approach, and while I couldn’t live amongst it all myself, I really do enjoy looking through the pages of all of her amazing treasure displays and undone rooms. Walking into her home or store would be like entering a museum! I found a few pictures depicting the opposite ends of the display spectrum…which do you prefer? The white pantry and open shelving are organized perfection to me!

1. Country Living 2. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge

1. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge 2. Tine K Home via Apartment Therapy

Of course, I’m a strong believer that vintage finds can be added into any room. I love the industrial shelving mixed with milk glass and other finds in this bathroom vignette. Simple, crisp and far from cluttered. If you’re unsure of how to add vintage objects into your own home or fear it will look like Grandma’s basement when you do, I recommend starting small with framed wall art. Vintage paper goods or art, like these blown-up Canadian stamps, look wonderful framed. Choose a frame that will compliment your room decor and, voila!, easy and affordable art for your walls!

1. Rue via sfgirlbybay 2. Canadian House & Home

There’s no need to go out and buy all new accessories to freshen up your space. Sometimes all it takes is a quick shuffle, swap, and a splash of creative thinking to make your old treasures shine like new again! Think outside the box and  you’ll be surprised by the many ways you can decorate with what you already have!