Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adding some flare to your fireplace- with built ins

So often, the wall space around our fireplaces can be a bare area, lacking function and style. Built in units are a wonderful way to add invaluable storage space while also adding drama to our rooms natural focal point... Here are some of my favourites from

traditional bedroom by Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.
Love how this built in unit seamlessly incorporates both hidden and open storage as well as an area for the TV....
by Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.  
traditional family room by Rachel Reider Interiors
Sometimes, closed storage is all you need. This unit keeps things simple and neat...
by Rachel Reider Interiors
contemporary family room by Mahoney Architects and Interiors
Often times we'd rather not see the TV. In this unit, bi-fold doors are the perfect solution to hide the TV. They can open and slide into the media cabinet when it's time to tune in to your favourite show.
by Mahoney Architects and Interiors
traditional living room by Dwellings
The combination of a stone fireplace and painted built ins looks wonderful.
by Dwellings
traditional family room by B. W. Interiors Chicago
Even if your fireplace is in a corner, some clever built ins can add lots of storage and style to your space...
by B. W. Interiors Chicago

Monday, July 18, 2011

Decorating that forgotten space....Hallways!

We are often so consumed with decorating the larger areas such as living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens that oftentimes we overlook other areas. Hallways are one such area. With just a little effort they can become so much more then a path from A to B. They can quickly become a beautiful continuation of the feel and mood we have created all around our home. 

Here's a few of the additions I completed in my dark and dingy basement hallway....

After- can you see the difference?


Before- so dull and depressing...


An old demilune table gets a new look with a quick coat of black spray paint which ties it in with the frames above.... A lamp is added to brighten things up and add a warm feeling. 

 A mirror/ console table is a welcome addition at the bottom of the stairway. The mirror makes the space feel larger instead of feeling like a dead end. It also brightens the space by reflecting light. The table is the perfect space to display pretty flowers and decorative items....

A simple wall grouping is created using  inexpensive black frames ($15 for 2 from Costco) with white matting. A few favourite family photos printed in black and white create a gallery feel....

These wall words I found at Winners for just $8 add the perfect finishing touch to the wall...

Do you decorate your hallways or leave them bare?  Ant tips you'd like to share?  (I'm a poet and didn't know it :)  lol! )
Love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nan's Banana Bread.....

We'll it's sure been a miserable weather day around these parts....woke up to a balmy 7 degrees C (that's 44 F for our southern neighbours) Can it really be the middle of July?!

To top things off our cable provider had a major service interruption which meant no internet, cable or even phone service for 6 hours. It's a times like that you really realize how dependent we have become on all our technology and gadgets....

What is it people always say.....if you're handed lemons, make lemonade? Well, in my case I decided to make the most of my day away from the "connected" world, by turning overripe bananas into scrumptious Banana Bread courtesy of my  90 year old Grandmothers' recipe..... thanks Nan! :)

If you'd like to try our family recipe, just keep on reading for the easy instructions.....

Here's the recipe in my Grandmothers recipe book in her own handwriting....a keepsake I will treasure always :)

Here's the ingredient list:
~1/2 c Butter                      ~1 tsp Baking Powder
~1/2 c Brown Sugar          ~ 1 tsp Baking Soda
~1/2 c White Sugar            ~ Pinch of salt
~2 Eggs                               ~2 Bananas (mashed)
~2 c Flour

and the step by step instructions:

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.....

Gather all the ingredients....

Cream the butter.
Add sugar.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add the mashed bananas.
Mix in the dry ingredients .

Put the mixture in your greased loaf pan and using a sharp knife, score a line down the middle of the loaf.

Bake at 300 degrees for 60- 70 minutes.

When it's done it should look a golden brown like this....
Let it cool for a bit then remove from pan.

Once it's completely cool, slice and enjoy with a glass of cold milk.....

yum yum!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime on the Porch....

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend! It's pretty great that our parties (Canada & the US), fall so close together ;)

With the arrival of July it seems as though summer has also arrived our way...finally!  Many of you have asked to see a few exterior shots of our home, and with the sunny weather over the weekend, I finally got to snap a few of our porch area. This covered veranda is one of my favourite features of our home along with the sunny yellow siding. It provides such a warm welcome! When the time comes to change our siding, I'm sure I'll want a change , but will have a tough time choosing a new color I'll like as much....

Here's a few of the ways we've dressed up our porch....Come on over and sit a spell  :)

A coat of black spray paint turns an old indoor plant stand into a perfect flower pot holder for the porch...

Love this resin wicker bistro set I found! The smaller size of the chairs fits perfectly on my narrow veranda, while the blue seat cushion adds comfort as well as a pop of color... I also added these gorgeous striped (you just know I can't resist stripes ;) ) outdoor accent cushions...♥

       Love this little bluebird I picked up at Wescal.... so cute!

I like to keep this lovely watering can on display...functional and pretty at the same time :)

I found this great metal door star while vacationing last summer.....simply added a few flowers for a welcoming touch!

A pretty hydrangea flag picks up on the porch accent colors...


I decided to replace the usual flowers in my urns with these ball cedars this year....I love the look!

So.... what is your favourite way to dress up your entryway? We'd love to hear your ideas! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

♥ Katrina  :)