Monday Must Haves: Kettles

I got married five days past my 22nd birthday. The only kitcheny object I had to my name was a wok with which I could cook a barely edible stir fry (just ask my hubby). When we went shopping for our gift registry my mind was mostly fixated on picking items which were not too expensive because I didn’t want to seem “greedy”. If I could go back in time I would tell myself that people are generous and it is okay to pick beautiful, even expensive items for your registry. However, if I had picked a fancy kettle at that point in time I would have regretted my choice since it only took a couple months of marriage for me to melt it on a hot stove.

Eight years later I still have the same melted kettle. Guess what is on my birthday wish list 🙂 A new kettle to go with my new kitchen. Here are ten of my favorite:

kettleblackdiamond

Black Morphy Richards kettle. This might be my favorite. I didn’t know a kettle could be sexy.

kettlesteelkrups

Krups Stainless Steel Kettle

kettlewalmartgeo

Bella Kettle from Walmart

kettlewhitesmeg

Smeg kettle. So Sleek and it comes in a variety of colours! This one is high on my list.

kettlewhiteceramic

This super classy design looks more like a stove top kettle. Perfect for a more traditional style kitchen. By Dunelm

kettlechinablue

I’m a sucker for Asian influence in design. By GForce sold on Wayfair.

kettlebronz

Russell Hobs kettle and matching toaster.

kettlekitchenaid

This Kitchen Aid kettle gives of a sweet retro feel.

kettlepurple

Purple Presige kettle.

kettlegreenvintage

Another kettle with a vintage vibe by Delonghi.

 

 

 

 

 

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Impulse Buys and Kitchen Pizazz

I am somewhat prone to impulse buys, particularly interior decor items like wall art, vases, trays etc. I am drawn to beautiful things and have too often bought objects which, though beautiful, are not necessary, practical, or even in keeping with the style of my home. It doesn’t take me long to realize this after buying the object but by that time I am stuck with the bill and an increasing surplus of stuff. And though I like beautiful objects, I distinctly do not like a build up of “stuff” in my house so off to Value Village it goes.

Why am I mentioning this? Partly because money matters are a bit stressful after a renovation which (like most do) went over budget, and partly because there is still a bit more money I want to spend on accessories for the kitchen. My goal is to thoughtfully consider what would be beautiful, what would be in keeping with the rest of my decor, and what would not completely annoy me to have sitting on my counter at all times.

And so, as I thoughtfully consider whether I want some artwork leaning against, or attached to my back splash, and what artwork that might be, here are some pictures of kitchens that are given an extra dose of pizazz through art displays:

kitchenartcoffee

These people speak my language. You can buy prints like this on Etsy or make them yourself.

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kitchenartcountryleaves

kitchenartcountrymod

kitchenartcountryscene

Such a necessary pop of colour in an all white kitchen.

Beautiful kitchen design with black cabinets.

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kitchenartwallmodern

These pictures aren’t against the back splash like in the other kitchens but what a stunning display. Love!

So what do you think? Would you, could you have art on your counter space?

 

 

 

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Accessorizing Your Kitchen with Etsy

My kitchen reno is now complete (yay!) and it looks phenomenal. However, it needs some accessorizing to bring in the warmth that the other parts of my home exude. I read this fantastic post on Jennifer’s Blog about accessorizing kitchens. Some take away tips from it include:

1.) Don’t over-accessorize, crowded counters are never good design

2.) Lean some artwork against your back splash (don’t forget it needs to be something you can wipe down)

3.) Buy objects that are both beautiful and functional

4.) Use accessories that fit with the style of your kitchen (see below for tips!)

5.) Add pops of colour which coordinate with the colour scheme in the rest of your house

I love shopping on Etsy, partly to support artisans, and partly because it is too crazy going to the store with three children. I went searching for kitchen accessories and was able to find everything from soap pumps to lighting. I have put together three idea boards for kitchen accessories, one country, one modern, and one traditional. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the modern accessories brightening up my kitchen in an upcoming post on my kitchen (okay, might be a few weeks since I have to buy and ship them etc.).

Country

Country Kitchen Accessories

Pendant lights, Hang Out Lighting; Art prints, Benton Park Prints; Cookie Jar, Art Extraction; Cutting board, Something in the Box; Paper towel holder, Locust and Plum; Kettle, Hobbit House; Soap pump, Pretty Simply Studio; Dish towel, Modern Vintage Market.

Modern

Modern Kitchen Accessories

Art Prints, Beach House Gallery; Pendant light, SAwanunion; Salt and Pepper Shakers, Club 88 Inc; Kettle,; Cutting board, Dominik Woods; Soap Pump, Rail 19; Dish towel, Hearth and Harrow.

Traditional

Traditional Country Accessories

Art prints, Beach House Gallery; Pendant lights, Lamp Goods; Emroidered dish towel, Starting Stitches; Cookie jar,; Marble cutting board, Modern Geometry 101; Soap dispenser, Southern Home Supply; Salt and Pepper Shakers, Revive 58.

Bon appetite!

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The Statement Headboard

Every room needs a focal point. Unless you have a fancy pants bedroom with a masterful fireplace and/or stunning view, the default focal point for the bedroom is most often the bed. My favorite way to draw your eye towards the bed is a statement headboard. I used to make custom headboards and I always bemoaned the fact that people seemed to always choose solid, neutral fabrics. Boring! Okay, a neutral headboard has its place, but pattern is so much more fun. Here are some rooms that go bold with gorgeous, patterned headboards:

headboardblack

With this room you keep the neutral feel but add some oomph with this black floral headboard.

headboardgreencirlce

Now that’s a statement!

headboardgreentall

The dark wall behind this bed makes the gorgeous fabric of the headboard stand out even better. So pretty!

headboardredfloral

Headboards like this are a super simple DIY.

headboardblue

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headboardbrightblue

headboardgreen

headboardpink

headboardredpagoda

headboardredrobertallen

All you need is a staple gun and an inexpensive jig-saw to DIY this style headboard.

headboardskellygreen

Okay, so this one isn’t patterned but it is kelly green which is statement enough!

So pretty! One of the rooms I look forward to decorating most is the bedroom because there are so many places to use fabric. Headboards, throw pillows, blankets, curtains, it’s a fabric extravaganza!

I’m working slowly towards opening my own small interior decorating business (under a different name than Fabrictherapy (!)). It turns out that all the nitty gritty details of starting a business start to add up in terms of cost so I am digging “Shebajoux Custom Headboards” up from the grave for a bit to try to raise some funds for my business license and such. Here is the posting on Craigslist if you are interested: https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/bnc/fuo/5580461512.html

 

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10 Space Saving Indoor Herb Gardens.

For mother’s day, one of the things my hubby did was order supplies to build me a special herb garden in the kitchen. The plan I have is a somewhat innovative (?) use of space and I’m looking forward to chronicling the process of getting it set up. I don’t actually use a lot of fresh herbs and my desire for this garden is mostly aesthetic but hopefully having them handy will encourage me to liven up my dishes!

In the mean time while we await our order, I have been enjoying these other ideas for indoor herb gardens that take up no space at all.

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Sold on Etsy.

herbgarden

As easy as attaching a planter box to the wall.

herbgardenbottles

A DIY anyone can do

herbgardenikea

Ikea hanging herb garden

herbgardenmacrame

Bringing back macrame

herbgardenmetalclay

A gorgeous custom design by Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.

herbgardenmub

Super cute use of a peg board

herbgardensmall

Even with the tiniest amount of space you can make room for some fresh herbs.

herbgardenupsidedown

I LOVE this. I could just see my cats on our counters, on their hind legs batting at these. By designer Patrick Morris.

herbwallgarden

Ikea’s fintorp system

The problem with most of these is that they require attention. As in, you actually have to remember to give them water frequently. Not killing plants is not my forte so Steve is setting me up with a garden that has a reservoir of water that I only have to fill occasionally. Phew! I’m looking forward to mojitos, tomato basil salad,  and other herby fresh treats this summer!

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Not Just Another White Kitchen

One of my delights as a blogger and a member of Choices Interior Decorating Program is to share the work of my classmates. I’ve mentioned recently that my kitchen has been under going renovations. My “back splash” is currently torn up dry wall so I’m not exactly ready to show pictures yet but I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a kitchen done by Daniela Hammond of Counters and Decor.

Though I have chosen my own finishes, Daniela has brilliantly sourced materials and coordinated trades for me. I am plenty willing to design a kitchen for a client but Daniela will certainly be someone I will coordinate with again in the future. She is prompt and hard working, and generally a delightful person to work with (not to mention she gets the best deals in town on counter surfaces).

Here is some of her own work. The mix of materials (notice the combo of butcher block and stainless steel on the island), and the pop of blue make this kitchen a winning modern design with a creative twist.

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danielakitchenbacksplashstove

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danielablueliving

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Her out of kitchen decor is fabulous too!

danielalivinroom

This is the living area beside the kitchen: clean and modern with pops of colour to add interest.

Thanks for letting me share your work Daniela!

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A Playful Shared Bedroom

Not too long ago I decorated Sofia’s room and was very happy with the soft, pretty appearance I created for her. However, it was by no means gender neutral and with the advent of Anna, the need for Charlie and Sofia to share a room arose.

Steve and I shared our bedroom with little Anna for the first eight or nine months of her life in a desperate attempt to avoid putting Charlie and Sofia in the same room (Charlie is an excellent sleeper, Sofia, not so much). Around Christmas time my sister gave me a talking to and told me that I needed to be excited about them moving in together because if I wasn’t, they wouldn’t be. How did I get myself excited? By re-decorating of course!

The budget for this room was pretty much nil so I relied on my sewing machine, paint, and some DIY art to bring the room to life. My mother’s day wish was that I would have time to stage and photograph Sofia and Charlie’s new shared room. Wish granted. Thank you husband!

First, a before of Sofia’s girly decor:

sofiasroom

For the new decor I departed from the fairly neutral overall scheme of our house and went wild with aqua and pops of red.

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FYI, Walmart has the cutest and least expensive lamps, like this red one here.

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Curtains, bed, red pillows, Ikea; Faux fur pillow fabric, Fabricana; Fox print and zig zag prints fabric, Fabric.com; Cellular shades, Canadian Blind Manufacturing Inc.; Drawer knobs, Anthropologie; Side table, Home Outfitters; Toy storage bin, Homesense.

I sweet talked Steve into replacing the seldom used closet with a loft space.

I sweet talked Steve into replacing the seldom used closet with a loft space. Now looking at the picture I’m thinking it is a bit too red. I might paint the ladder and front of the loft cloud white to lighten it up.

I gave these inexpensive Ikea curtains some pizazz with a red and white zig zag trim to match the homemade window cornice.

I gave these inexpensive Ikea curtains some pizazz with a red and white zig zag trim to match the homemade window cornice.

A collection of mismatched Value Village pictures frames are unified with red paint and filled with DIY art.

A collection of mismatched Value Village pictures frames are unified with red paint and filled with DIY art. And wow, really could have hung those pictures straighter. Quilt by Grandma LaRoy.

It is a tight squeeze but we make it work. I'll keep Charlie in a crib until he's ten if it means he won't wake us up at night.

It is a tight squeeze but we make it work. I’ll keep Charlie in a crib until he’s ten if it means he won’t wake us up at night.

This is how Charlie gets into his crib.

This is how Charlie gets into his crib.

My favorite part of this room is the gallery wall. Not because I think my drawings are so fantastic or because the frames only cost $20 total, but because the pictures tell a story. You see one night Sofia asked me to “tell them a story with my mouth” and so I made up a tale about an orphan brother and sister, Barley and Bofia, who went into a cave and found a secret underground land of talking dinosaurs where they met a family of triceratops who adopted them. It was a hit and they have been asking for Barley and Bofia stories every night for two months since. If I knew that it was going to turn into such an epic series I probably would have chosen better names! I love coming into the room and catching the kids just standing there, staring at the pictures which feature different characters from the stories.

I think the kids probably like the addition of the loft best (what kid wouldn’t?). We have dubbed the lower section Charlie’s “man cave” and the loft portion, Sofia’s “lady loft”. They’ve ended up sharing both spaces and overall the transition from separate rooms to a shared room has been a good one. They are constantly fighting but they are also the best of friends and I am thankful that their sharing a space has contributed to this.

I used to do more DIY posts with instructions but there are so many good ones out there already so I’ve included some links to tutorials for how to do some of the projects I took on for this room: the closet loft, curtain trim, fabric window cornice, fitted sheet (in loft).

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Next up is giving Charlie’s old room some girly flair to suit my Anna baby!

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Famous

Growing up, I never  felt like I truly excelled at anything I did. I was pretty good at a few things, like academics, but I didn’t excel. I was surround by those who did excel, or at least who made themselves known through their boisterous personalities. As siblings are apt do to, I compared myself with my brother and sister. My sister was a track star, a leader among her peers, and a “A” student. My brother was an amazing basketball player and later became an extraordinary guitar player. But what did I excel at? Sports? Certainly not. Music? I was mediocre at best. Academics. I did well, but not as well as others.

I have spent my whole life comparing myself to others and feeling sub par. What I have also only lately admitted out loud is that I still compare myself, to my siblings in particular, and feel myself coming up short. They are known for what they do. My sister is a super chic fashionista as well as an incredibly talented writer. She writes on her popular blog and is also asked to write articles for other big online publications.  My brother is an influential pastor, a super smart guy, and the author of three books. I love them half to death and I am proud of who they are, of what they do, and that it is acknowledged by others. It feels too exposing to call myself jealous, but I think that is the word it comes down to.

The problem you see, is that I want to be famous too (yes Michelle and Chris, you are pretty much famous in my eyes).  It is such a declaration of vanity to say those words out loud but in my silly little heart I have always wanted to be of note. Through my teenage years and into my early twenties my hoped for notoriety was viewed as a future of working as a nurse with a missions agency and following in the great footsteps of those missionaries whose stories I had spent years pouring over.  And now, as a blogger and a decorator…can you guess? Stats through the roof! A feature in a design magazine! A list of people who want to hire little ol’ me!

It is incredibly embarrassing to write these things, these (previously) secret thoughts, but this blog is how I unfold my personal baggage, and I believe in transparency. I don’t think that these desires are bad, but they do bring up bad feelings in me, because they are unmet desires which tie in with a life long feeling of never having excelled.

I love to write on this blog. I love to decorate. But I’m going to ruin it for myself if I pile up unrealistic expectations about what it means to be successful. I think it is time to start putting aside my inane need to be “famous” and switch my focus to doing these things because I enjoy them. I am not a decorator or a blogger foremost in my life. Foremost, I am a mother of three beautiful children, a wife of an amazing man, and a child of a great God. And I know that to these most important individuals, my excelling in life has nothing to do with stats.

So I’m going to keep blogging my little head off because I enjoy it. I’m going to keep developing a small decorating business because it’s fun. But I’m also going to try to see my success through a different, more forgiving lens.

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Gift Guide for the Decorista in your Life

I had to laugh at myself a little when I started putting together this post because what are any gift guides but a collection of beautiful stuff that the author of the article happens to like? Whether it works for your recipient really depends on him or her, but as someone who thoroughly enjoys interior decor and all items associated with it, here are some ideas for what a decor-savvy lady in your life might enjoy (whether, she be your mother or not).

FYI, most of the linked stores have similar product in different colours, scents, sizes etc. Enjoy!

jewleryboxindigo

Jewellery Box from Indigo

jonathanadlerbirdbowl

Decorative bowl by Jonathan Adler

pillowwestelm

West Elm textured throw pillow

tablerunnercrateandbarrel

Crate and Barrel embroidered table runner

candlesjoosandmain

Joss and Main candle holders with tray

cuttingboardworldmarket

World market chevron cutting board

gifttapemeasuregoldtarget

Gold tape measure from Target

lemonmintleaftbodyworkspray

Lemon Mint Leaf Room Spray from Body Works

napkinring

Pier 1 Imports napkin ring

urbanoutfittersplanter

Urban Outfitters wall hung planter

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Succulents, meet Grandma’s Crystal

My dining table always looks more alive when it has a centerpiece. Practical for a family of five who eats at this table three times a day? No. But very pretty.

Over the past couple of years succulents have become one of my favorite forms of greenery. They stand up to my black thumb and my cat’s annoying habit of nibbling leafy greens, plus they have sculptural form to boot! Many years ago I claimed a crystal bowl which belonged to my maternal grandma and proceeded to leave it hidden in a cupboard. I decided that it would make a perfect container for a grouping of succulents so now I get to have a center piece and a functional way to display grandma’s crystal!

Do forgive the excessive number of pictures. I was practicing my still life photography.

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Here are some other interesting vessels for planting succulents in. Choose a vessel fitting your home’s style and you can’t go wrong with these beauties.

succulentscountrysucculentsgoblet

 

succulentsglasssucculentswood

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