MY TOP 3 WHITE PAINT COLOURS

I get a lot of questions about wall colour...choosing the right colour for your interior walls can be very daunting and a little intimidating.  But it doesn't have to be!  The great thing about paint is that if you don't like the colour you can always, and I mean always, paint right over it!   

Perhaps the more frequent questions about wall colour I get is about which white to choose - either for trim, doors, in the kitchen, etc... There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of shades of white, and they all differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Some of my personal faves are the 3 below from Benjamin Moore...all classics in their own right!

DINING ROOM...BEFORE AND THE AFTER PLANS......

Living in Toronto (or any metropolitan city for that matter) can be expensive!  Real estate in this city has gone cooko-bananas and until last year I had grandiose dreams of moving from our crooked little semi to a detached palace of our dreams.  Those dreams, however, have been squashed because I do not have access to a readily available pot of gold and we have yet (yet!!!) to strike it rich with the lottery.  So we have decided to stay put in our semi and sometime down the line we will gut this sucker and create that fab family palace!  Until then we have embarked on a couple re-decorating projects.  We have been in this house for 6+ years and over time my and my husband's tastes have evolved, and until we are ready to tackle a major reno both financially and emotionally (renos are stressful! And we have a 2 year old!  'Nough said!) we are making little updates in each room so that we can enjoy our home until we pull off the reno bandaid.  

One of the more dramatic updates will be in our dining room, where we have planned a complete overhaul (albeit one that has taken us months....see above re: lack of access to pot of gold!); new table, chairs, paint, wallpaper, credenza, lighting....Phew...I'm tired!

Below are some photos of the before (as in before we moved in), what the room looked like for about 5 years, its current state and my fab plans (completion mid-June....yay!).

COME ON BABY LIGHT MY FIRE.......

Finding the appropriate light for your space can be extremely daunting.  There are so many styles and finishes to choose from that I would equate it to finding that perfect wedding (or prom dress!).  Lighting is key for so many reasons, it allows you to control the mood/feeling of your space, provides you with illumination when you need it, and it of course helps to finish the overall look.  Below are some of my favourite pendants...all very different but equally gorgeous!

THE FIDDLE LEAF TREE...AND HOW I TURNED MY BLACK THUMB GREEN

Let's be honest, being/having a green thumb is hard work!  Not that I'm averse to hard work mind you, but man keeping plants alive takes some skill, lots of patience and making sure you schedule those recurring maintenance/watering reminders.  My journey as a green thumb has been a long fought battle....I have spent many years planting, replanting, watering, talking to and spending money on plants - all the while managing to pretty much kill every single one.  It's not until recently that our house has exploded with greenery, and shockingly plants that have been alive for months and are actually thriving.  How did I do this you ask?? Well I will tell you - It all started with with a Fiddle Leaf Tree....My brand new shiny (very pricey & trendy plant) was dying a slow death shortly after I re-potted into an equally pricey but spacious pot.   I was beside myself and then of course the google curse took over....I obsessively typed and typed into that little search bar until I came across a random thread very deep in the interwebs that had one clear tip - DO NOT RE-POT YOUR PLANTS!  Yes, that's right!! Keeping them in their yucky plastic containers is actually what keeps them alive and helps them grow!  I paid our local nursery a visit the very next day and spoke to the lady in the tropical section - and she confirmed this!  I mean, I wanted to cry!  There was hope for my fiddle leaf. I promptly bought a small pot (the same size it originally came in) went home and replanted it.  It was touch and go for a while - but I'm happy to report that it's it's making a nice recovery!  

Below is my Fiddle loving life!

Now that's a happy plant!  Planter from West Elm...

Now that's a happy plant!  Planter from West Elm...

PLANNING YOUR BABES FIRST SPACE....ON A BUDGET

Being a mom to a 21 month old, I have now learned a couple of things about where to splurge and save when it comes to planning your little one's first space.  It's tough NOT to want to spend gobs of money on your nursery since there are so many too-cute options out on the market, but here is my TOP 3 list of Splurge and Save items (according to little old moi........)

SPLURGE

  1.  Mattress / change pad and protective covers - A great mattress and change pad are essential.  Your little one will spend soooo much time snoozing (lucky bugger!) and getting his/her diaper changed that investing the money in these items is totally worth it. And don't forget the mattress and change pad covers - they are extra but trust me you will thank me for this!
  2. Window treatments/drapes - These are so important and necessary especially during those first months when you are getting the baby used to sleeping/napping during the day.  Room darkening window treatments are a must!
  3. Books - get your little one interested in books early by making them a part of your decor. Invest in some classics and some of your faves and you too will look forward to story time. 

SAVE

  1. Chair - This one tends to be somewhat controversial...and it's all personal preference really...but I was never sold on the idea of spending an absurd amount of money on a chair that will eventually be moved to the dark shadows of the basement.  The glider/rocking chair concept is also not for me (thank you motion sickness!).  I believe the most important thing about your nursery chair is that it has to be comfortable, stylish and washable/easy to clean - and all of that doesn't need to come with a $1500 price tag!
  2. Artwork - Etsy, Indigo, Animal Print shop have some amazing art prints for kids that are fun, colourful and not too kiddie-looking.  And since there are tons of affordable options you won't regret your purchase when you want to change things around as your little one gets older.
  3. Change table - Hit up your local salvage or vintage store for some unique finds or you can re-purpose a bedroom dress as the change table, and when the babe is no longer a babe you can remove the pad...and voila his/her very own grown up dresser!

Below are some of my favourite 'splurge and save items':