Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Imagine the looks

I would love to hang this inexpensive faux chandelier up in my office at work. It would feel so much more homey...so much less "office". The looks would be priceless.

Fancy chandelier by etsy seller uncommon

Would you do it?

How much do you believe in having an inspiring space to work in?

Do you mind what your co-workers would say/think?

We're talking a corporate and conservative office environment here...


Who can't resist a beautiful collection of windows...especially when they are letting in sunshine during the winter.

Photographed by Mark Williams

Photo by Pierre-Jean Verger

Designed by Joseph Dirand Architecture

Restaurant De Kas in the Netherlands

From Emmas Designblogg

From the March/April edition of Inside Out

Designed by Peter Pennoyer Architects

Monday, December 21, 2009

DIY Holiday Wreaths

The Food Network hit a home run with a series of DIY candy holiday wreaths. Wouldn't it be fabulous to be so talented to be this creative?

Searching for a clock?

Only if we hadn't found our new clock last weekend...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Since we're talking about artwork...

...here are a few inspiration images of photo/artwork walls

A peaceful nook photographed by Melanie Acevedo

Another cozy nook via photographer Douglas Friedman

A modern take photographed by Erik Johnson

Simple decorating with pretty paper via Busy bee's blog

A good example with smaller pieces also via Busy bee's blog

Great large and colorful photographed by Pierre-Jean Verger

Unusual horizontal theme by Kevin Corn Design

Photo ledge also by Kevin Corn Design

Could be neat in a hallway. Via mondo cherry

Hopefully this collection will be helpful for someone else out there that is considering a wall of artwork or photos. Any favorites out of the above?

Inspriration vs Reality: home gym

When we started the home, we imagined two children's rooms, a guest room, and a play room for the kids. After two years, the children haven't materialized (we're still working on that) so we've effectively been living with four, yes four, guest rooms. Obviously that's not a great use of space (no disrespect to our guests of course), so earlier this year we decided to turn one room into a home gym.

When we first visited a shop to discuss home gym equipment, I received very perplexed looks when I expressed my desire to create a comfortable, yet slightly designed room. "It's a gym!" they would exclaim (Mr. Big in agreement of course). After much discussion, a brochure was produced that had an image of a serene home gym environment...to appease me of course. I don't think that they really thought that I was serious. Nevertheless, here's my inspiration photo:

It's taken a while to get the room sorted, but it's finally taken shape. (As an aside, putting gym equipment together is the most challenging, yet rewarding, puzzle...). I am seriously thinking about sending a photo back to the guys who ridiculed me at the shop as I'm pretty happy with what we created.

Actually, I now spend a lot of time in here, especially when Mr. Big goes on his basketball binges (defined as 3 games per evening...maybe just a wee bit much). A lot of bad Bravo TV gets watched via elliptical in this room. My body isn't really showing anything yet (holidays anyone?), but hopefully there will be good progress soon. Here's to hoping anyway!

Stylish outdoor rugs

It's difficult to find an outdoor rug that isn't boring or a bit too "busy" for my taste. Ballard Design provides just the right answer with their Celia indoor/outdoor rug, which just happens to be on sale at the moment (bonus!).

We're hoping (emphasis on hoping) that our outdoor space is going to be completed in early 2010. One of these could be a contender for sure. Have you seen any other good outdoor rugs that are worth a peek?

Etsy artwork results

A few months ago, I posted about these beautiful watercolors by Putnam Court. They've been framed and put up on the wall. No surprise, but I'm absolutely loving them in our office. They add just a touch of color, while still giving us the "calm" feeling that I seek.

We still need to get the countertop on the cabinets (not sure why it's taken us two years, but we've obviously been cutting ourselves slack). Nonetheless, it's amazing how much these pieces have finished off the room. It's definitely been worth the wait.

With that being said, is there anyone else out there who is just finalizing rooms after living in their house for two years? Or is it just our sorry selves who are taking so long? :)

Hold onto your seats...I'm cooking

No joke. I stumbled across allrecipes.com a few months ago and I've been having a pretty good time with this whole cooking thing. (Insert a pause here for the shock to settle in). For those that know me, they'll concur that cooking has never been a strong point in my repertoire. I pretty much do everything within my might to avoid cooking...leaving me pretty much to items involving a peel top lid. So you can imagine my pure delight when Mr. Big, cook extraordinaire, entered my life.

So how did this recent turn of events take place? Not really sure to be honest. I'm probably late to the game, but I really dig how allrecipes.com let's you input ingredients and then kicks back an easy, but good, recipe for dinner. (Emphasis on easy.) Maybe I'm learning that cooking doesn't have to be hard to be good. And maybe the fact that I've got a mac-daddy kitchen makes me feel the need to actually use it. Who knows...but I've been having fun experimenting lately. And to add another shocker, Mr. Big has been giving rave reviews (unlike the forced, high pitched reviews that he's eeked out in the past). There's a very talented little gal out there in Calgary who is holding onto her seat (yes, I promise your uncle is safe).

Anyway, I thought that I might start sharing a few good things that I've found along my way. Today we'll start with the Tzaiki dish that has been successfully made to complement Mr. Big's pork souvlaki. Even our professional chef buddy can't keep his hands out of the bowl! :)

To my girlfriends out there, can you believe that came from my hands? Here's the recipe that I followed. I added juice from half a lemon to give it a little bit of a citrus kick. And to save time, just use Greek yogurt rather than draining normal yogurt. (Just click on the image to get a larger view of the recipe).

Is anyone else out there having fun with the same site? Or are there other sites that I'm missing? I'd love to get some input. Cheers!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Can anyone help with a use for paperclips?

Err...I mean clothespins (someone needs to start the day over...). These may just be too cute to pass up and I need ideas.

From etsy seller olivemanna

Definitely check out her site for other great designs. Ideas? Ideas?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A two hour workout...really?

Last month, Mr. Big and I hit up Las Vegas for a good friend's 40th birthday party. It was a huge reunion with great friends and in a location to have some f-u-n. Mr. Big is a bit tentative about Las Vegas (he's only been there once before), while I was raring for a good time. So you can only imagine his absolute shock when I voluntarily spent at least two hours working out at the gym each day. (That is not typical of me at the moment).

You see, we didn't really understand the whole concept behind Green Valley Ranch Resort before getting there. It's an off-strip resort that is designed to the nines. Rates are reasonable along with normal prices for food, goods, spa treatments, etc. (I feel so uncomfortable paying the ridiculously high prices at the fancy hotels on the strip). And bonus, the casino is fun! We certainly ventured to the strip...but ended up having just as much fun at Green Valley.

But then they throw in one of the most beautiful spas that I've ever experienced. And it's not one of those places where you have to have a treatment to enjoy the amenities. If you're staying there, it's yours to enjoy. (And I did!)

L-o-v-e-l-y. (Apparently lovely enough that I whipped out my camera!). And don't worry, I still rallied for the casino. Mr. Big's first trip to the craps table proved quite profitable.

After being really skeptical about the resort at first, we had a blast. Definitely worth a try!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Etsy hits again

How can one possibly pass up these original watercolors from etsy seller Putnam Court? We are in desperate need for some artwork in our office and these would start us off well. Simple, peaceful and colorful.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tee towels

I've become obsessed with fun, modern tee towels. Studiopatro hit a home run with this set.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My husband wants a fire pit

I doubt that this is what he had in mind (but a girl can dream).

Photographed by David Prince and featured on Desire to Inspire

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Remember drains on your back patio

When the builders were discussing our back patio, we spent a lot of time discussing gentle slopes that would allow for water to drain to the sides. In all of this discussion, I simply cannot fathom how Mr. Big or I didn't question whether we should put a drain somewhere in the patio.

Fast forward to this morning and you would find me rinsing down a few morsels of potting soil, just begging for a drain in this mammoth patio.

That would be today's little nugget...definitely think about those drains!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reason enough

I'm speechless. The fireplace is reason enough to swoon over this room. But then they go and add gorgeous detailed mouldings and a laser cut wall hanging. Yes, it's sweet (and I'm usually not so into sweet design), but this room rocks it. I can't stop applauding the fire place. Bravo!

Image photographed by Rachel Smith

Exquisite and different lighting

These pendant lamps featured at Terrain are so unique. Wouldn't they be beautiful hanging as pendants in a bathroom? Or over a kitchen island? They might not give off the most amount of light, but boy, they are beautiful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finally, wine by the pool

The month after we moved into the house, I was accosted by a friend for drinking wine...gasp from a wine glass...while sitting on our pool steps. I suppose that I hadn't fully understood how difficult it would be to hunt down a single piece of broken glass in our monochrome pool (another home ownership secret revealed). Oh how quickly we learn.

Last weekend, Mr. Big and I had the delightful pleasure of visiting Old Montreal. A stroll through the streets yielded us the perfect solution, Govino wine glasses.

These puppies are shatterproof, reusable, recyclable plastic glasses that don't break the bank ($2.99). Supposedly they have properties consistent with crystal for color and aromatics, but we haven't yet tested that theory out yet.

I'm ready to give them a whirl. Poolside party anyone?

I could survive with this mirror in my house