ONE ROOM CHALLENGE - MY BEDROOM - WEEK 2

It's week 2 of the One Room Challenge! In case you missed my first post, I'm giving my master bedroom a much-needed makeover. Every Thursday, hundreds of bloggers and designers along with myself, will be posting about the progress on their space. If you feel inclined to go back a week, you can find more of the deets on Week 1 here

Update time. So, after scouring the internets, this is probably the closet thing to what I want my bedroom to FEEL like:

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Soft, laid back, peaceful.....ahhhhhhhhhh I can just picture myself curling up with a good book on that cozy bed. Unfortunately, I don't live in Sweden so I'm not blessed with white-washed floors and a killer view BUT I do have IKEA 30 minutes away so I can make an Amy version of this happen. 

I threw together a little concept board below. I love the soft colours but I'd love to bring in some colour and texture in the accessories. I've had my eye on some vintage mudcloth throws but of course they are $$$ so I'm looking at some options. Also, why is it so hard to find a rustic stool??? I've had no luck on Kijiji or Craigslist. Am I crazy to hope that it will magically appear on someone's curb on garbage day?

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I've added an asterisk to pieces I already have. The rug is actually in my office and I've realized I don't really need a rug in there since I shoot most of my things on the floor so I might be moving that into the bedroom. However, if I decide to buy one I've narrowed it down to 2 other choices:

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I don't know if I want a warm or cool tone to the rug so I would love to know your thoughts!

And that's it for the Week 2 update.  Make sure you check out the other talented folks over on Calling it Home . Big shoutout to Linda for creating this challenge! Make sure to check back here next Thursday to see what progress I've made :)

Source: top image via Alvhem.

Bright Spots

As I begin my bedroom makeover for the One Room Challenge, I couldn't help but go back to a time when everything was done. Today I've rounded up some of my favourite spots in our old condo.

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My favourite spot was definitely on the sectional. The floor to ceiling windows always left the room bright and sunny and it made me feel like I was up in the clouds! Do you have a bright spot in your home? What is your favourite area to get inspired?

To see more of the old humble abode, you can check out our Home Tour here

All That White

Whenever I search for photos of my dream home, there is always one common denominator: white.  I’ve always been drawn to spaces that are light and bright so it's no surprise this space stole my heart. Midcentury modern pieces along with subtle textile patterns perfectly complement the intricate architectural details in this beautiful apartment. I mean, if I had THAT fireplace...I would never leave.  Scroll down for more of this gorgeous space shot by photographer Jonas Berg.

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Small Business Saturday - My Toronto Faves

Happy Saturday folks!  Can you believe it's less than a month until Christmas?  I have yet to start my Christmas shopping (typical, I'm always last minute) but this season I'm doing things a little differently.  My goal is to shop local for all my gifts.  This will be a challenge for the little ones on my list so if you know any Canadian made toy stores, do share!

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In honour of Small Business Saturday, I'm sharing with you some of my favourite local spots for shopping in Toronto! I don't know about you, but a handmade or locally made gift for Christmas means so much more to me than something bought at a big-box store.  The care and craftsmanship that goes into every detail of these products is amazing.  

You'll notice the ceramic bowls below.  These are made by Inspirations Studio, a Social Enterprise that I had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year.  Inspirations Studio is a project of Sisteringa woman’s organization that offers practical and emotional support to women affected by homelessness, trauma and mental health issues.  They are having a Studio Sale from December 5-7, I suggest you check it out!

I hope you'll take the time to visit some of my (or your) local favourites this season.  Sources are below, happy shopping!

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Sources:

1. Sweater by Muttonhead

2. Bowls by Inspirations Studio

3. Pillow by Bookhou

4. Blanket by Cambie 

5. Candlesticks from Green Light District

BRIKA Pop-up Shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre!

If you still have a few people to cross off your Christmas list, I suggest you visit the new Brika pop-up shop at Yorkdale Mall.  I mean, YOU MUST GO.  Believe me when I tell you it's worth the visit.  I'm talking sensory overload.  Every where you look, you'll be inspired by beautiful decor, handcrafted items and delicious treats that are almost too pretty to eat.

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I was so excited to be invited to this event because this year, I'm making a conscious effort to buy local and/or handmade and it was great to see a lot of local talent being represented at the store.  

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Cookies from Moo Milk Bar?  Yes please.  And we even received a sweet little wreath demo from DIY expert, Natalie Ho of My Little Secrets

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I'm a sucker for pretty paper goods and this spot did not disappoint.   I also gravitated towards some handprinted napkins from Pehr and coasters from Xenia Taler.

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I honestly wish I had taken more photos but I was too busy being 'present'.  And you honestly can't help it when there's so many beautiful things to see and feel.  If you're in the Yorkdale area, make sure you pay a visit. You won't regret it!

One Room Challenge – The Reveal!

Today is the day - the reveal day that over 150+ bloggers have been working towards.  To be honest, it was a race against time trying to get my shots done right before the sunset but I did it and I'm so thrilled with my finished studio space!

No matter how small a room, it takes time and patience.  For a new entrepreneur like myself, I've learned that time is limited and I have to make every hour count.  This challenge has helped me become more decisive, organized and it also increased my alcohol tolerance.  Because let’s face it, you need wine.  Or in my case, cider.  Sweet, sweet cider.

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If you’re new here, welcome to Love On Sunday!  I am an interior stylist and graphic designer living in the Greater Toronto Area. I recently took the plunge and quit my full-time job to follow my dreams. I help businesses re-brand, re-design and more.  I also work with families and couples who require assistance with styling their home. 

So back to the space – I wanted a place that was calming, inspiring and slightly minimal.  Do you remember the before’s?

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Not calming at all.  I hated working in there. I loved the desk but it wasn't right for the space.  

Also, a little update on the chair situation.  Remember the cane back antique chair I was refinishing? (above)  Yeah, didn’t happen.  It turns out, you should always watch a youtube video BEFORE trying to strip the back of a cane chair.  What a disaster.  It’s blotchy and needs a lot more finessing.  So, it’s still in my garage but it will be done very soon.  Super bummed about that but lesson learned.  On a happier note, I scored a lounge chair on Kijiji for $20!  Not even hating on the cushions but I’m thinking it might need to be replaced in the near future.  What do you think?

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I wanted to keep the majority of the walls blank because this is where I'll be shooting things for my blog and portfolio.  It was important for me to have a blank canvas that would easily turn into a backdrop for a shoot. The wall-to-wall desk space provides ample space for working and styling.  I've reserved the area on the far right corner for shooting smaller pieces. 

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The hanging planter was a last minute addition.  I've been eyeing that plant for awhile now.  Instead of hanging it from the ceiling, I decided to use an extra IKEA shelf bracket.  The wall above my computer usually changes based on what I'm working on so it's rare that it will stay this clean and minimal.  You'll notice in the first photo above, I've already started placing some inspiration pieces.

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Thanks to all the folks who’ve been following my progress here and on Instagram.  Your positive and encouraging comments definitely helped me push through.  My studio makeover had a slow start but I hustled and managed to sprint to the finish line.  A big thanks to Linda from Calling it Home for creating this challenge and also much love to my parents and hubs for helping me with this space.  

Now, if you want to be thoroughly inspired to makeover a room, you can check out the other 150+ bloggers here and the 20 designers here.

I hope you'll check back soon as I'll be updating my home for the holidays and posting some free printables too!

xo, Amy

One Room Challenge – Week 5

It's crunch time, people.  Week 5 of the One Room Challenge has left me with feelings of anxiety and excitement.  Progress has been slow but steady and I honestly cannot wait to see my studio space dreams come to fruition!  It's been a blast following the designers, as well as other guest participants (like myself!) who've decided to join in on this 6-week transformation!

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Even though I've made some excellent progress, I might have bit off more than I can chew.  I'm pretty consistent that way, I always seem to think things are easier then they are (just ask the hubs).  Long story short, I made a last minute decision to change the upholstery on my antique chair on top of stripping the paint.  Yikes.  What was I thinking???

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But honestly, the fabric wasn't in great condition.  The photo above hides the rips and tears pretty well, but it was in rough shape. The natural wood looks so much better than the yellowish paint it originally had.  And I'm actually loving the wabi-sabi look it has now, it looks a little more aged and weathered.  With only a week left and a busy weekend of social commitments, I'm nervous this baby will not be complete by the reveal.  Plus, I think my lungs need a break from the potentially toxic fumes that were released while stripping paint.  Did I mention I'm also a hypochondriac? ;)

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Moving on…we have a light pendant, a rug, a side table and a desk lamp.  What's left to do?  Finish the chair situation and find a plant or PLANTS.  Plants make me happy, especially when I can keep them alive.

If you want to view my previous posts for the challenge, you can check them out here:

WEEK 4  |  WEEK 3  |  WEEK 2  | WEEK 1

Don't forget to visit Calling it Home to see the other projects and check back next week for the FULL REVEAL of my space!

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 4

Hey there!  I can't believe it's already Week 4 of this challenge.  To be honest, I'm SUPER behind and a little worried that I won't be able to get this done for the reveal.  I've had minimal progress because a lot of this happened:

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WORK.  I'm currently swamped with a few big design projects that are taking up most of my time.  I can't complain about being busy though - I feel blessed since I'm still fairly new to the full-time entrepreneur world.  Th photo above is a moodboard I'm working on a for a client.  

You'll notice the desk looks rather yellow? I've picked up a stain at Home Depot which I will test out in the next few days.  I'm thinking it might need a teeny-tiny bit of stain to give it more of an ashy colour.  What do you think?

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How about this chair?  I'm excited I'll finally have a spot for it!.  Again, it looks yellow so I'm going to be stripping it down to the natural wood.  Wish me luck!  As you can see, I'm already getting a lot of use out of my new and improved desk.  It's so much nicer to have a huge surface where I can lay things out. And that rug? It's going bye-bye.  I purchased it with an IKEA gift card but I'm not really loving the colour.  What my heart really wants is a Beni Ourain rug or a vintage kilim rug to help warm up the space and make it feel cozy.  I'm loving these 2 options from West Elm:

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Leaning towards the Souk because it's fair trade :)  Also, as beautiful as they are, I feel like it's everywhere which might make me sick of it after awhile.  Oh, decisions.

So things left to do:

  • patch holes
  • paint?
  • strip chair
  • hang art
  • accessorize
  • decide on a rug!!!
  • photograph

Please keep your fingers crossed that a miracle happens and I get this room done.  EEK!

You can check out the other guest participants of the ORC here as well as the 20 ORC designers here.  Don't forget to check back next week for more updates!

One Room Challenge – Week 3

Hey there!  It's Week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I'm happy to share some progress on my studio makeover.  If you'd like a little more background or want to check out my before's you can catch up with Week 1 here and Week 2 here.

Since last weeks update, there have been a few changes.  You may recall this beautiful inspiration photo?

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Sadly, it's not going to happen.  My plan was to DIY a miniature version of a daybed but after taking a long, hard look at the space and measuring the room for the 20th time, it's just not going to fit. My plan was to place it across the desk and even tried it in the corner but it would be way too bulky especially since my desk is already massive.  So, I'm thinking something on a smaller scale.  I'd love a sitting area where I can read, recharge and be inspired. I love the photo below, the mixture of traditional furniture and modern scandinavian elements makes the space feel modern but not too stark or minimal.  This photo has inspired me to use a chair I already have which I think would work well in the space (bonus!).

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The good news is, we managed to get my MASSIVE desk into the room.  And that was a fun adventure to say the least.  Tried it up the stairs; didn't fit.  Tried it through the room's window; didn't fit.  Thankfully, we managed to fit the desktop through our bedroom window!  Let me tell you, my heart was beating so fast when my Dad offered to stand ON TOP of our garage roof to get that sucker in.  Apparently standing on your roof is no big deal (insert screwface).  I honestly said, "let's just cut the piece in half and call it day"  But before I could even utter that entire sentence my Dad was already on the roof. He was determined!  

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And there it is folks, the desktop is in! I'm loving it so far and so thankful for all the help from my Dad (who built it) and also my Mom and Uncle for helping deliver and maneuver this baby around the house.  But here's my dilemma:  do I stain the wood?  I'm kind of loving the natural wood but it looks a little too yellow, don't you think?  (also, the lighting is not great in this photo so it does look extra yellow). I would love your thoughts and/or suggestions on this because I am completely torn.

I'd say that's pretty good progress for Week 3 but there's still tons to do:

  • lighting situation (pendant!)
  • reading nook (which chair? thinking I will use something I already have)
  • fill holes and touch up paint
  • select and hang artwork
  • accessorize
  • style
  • photograph

I feel like I'm missing a few things so I will re-evaluate my to-do list a bit later.  I must say, It's been a fun experience so far and what makes it even better is to be able to follow along with other bloggers who are participating in this challenge as well.  You can catch 20 awesome designers here as well as other guest participants like myself here.  Until next week!

Sources:

photo 1 | photo 2

One Room Challenge – Week 2

I've never been THIS excited on a Thursday.  First off (and totally unrelated to the ORC), our Toronto Blue Jays advance to the ALCS!!!  Our city is buzzing right now since the Jays haven't made it to the playoffs in 22 years. It's a great time to be a Jay's fan, I'm still on a high from last night! Second, it's Week 2 of the One Room Challenge. Let's do this!

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Big thanks for all the comments and encouragement on my Week 1 post.  If you're new to Love On Sunday, this is my first time joining the challenge as a guest participant and I'm excited but a little nervous.  For this challenge, I'll be transforming my studio space in six short weeks! This week, I've pulled together a little concept board with some key elements for my studio makeover.  Loving the image above for its simplicity.  Doesn't it feel like a calming space to work in? I will be incorporating tons of white with hints of black and white and maybe pink.  I love natural materials so I'm thinking some raw, unfinished wood will be incorporated somewhere.  For the lighting situation, I still haven't figured out whether I want a natural material or an industrial fixture.  Thoughts?

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And of course, I can't forget the most important piece for the room; my desk. My plan is to have my desk span the width of an entire wall.  Since I work with 2 screens and a drawing tablet, ample desk space will help tremendously.  It will also offer an area for sketching/painting as well as space for the printer and other office accessories.  Here you see my Dad has clamped the pieces together in order to prevent the wood from warping.  Thankfully, the weather has been good to us so we were able to lay this out in my parents' backyard. 

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Stay tuned, next week I hope to have the desk all set up and hopefully moving on to the seating area.  I'll also be sharing my progress on Instagram so follow along if you're interested!  

Don't forget to check out the other guest participants of the ORC here, who will be posting their progress every Thursday (like me)  as well as 20 talented designers whom you can find here, that will be posting every Wednesday.  A ton of inspiration!  I'm off to see what the others are working on.  Happy decorating and GO JAYS, GO! 

 

sources:

top image via Norfolk

concept board sources: IKEA storage cabinet / natural wood tabletop / room with daybed / lighting / eucalyptus wall hanging / large workspace

Fall Fashion - My Wishlist

I used to love shopping.  When I was in my mid-20's, I actually went into debt because I was an impulse shopper and a fast fashion addict.  Finding cute clothes for a bargain was thrilling; with no regard as to how my purchases affected my bank account, other people and the environment. I commended myself for saving money with a $5 t-shirt that I discarded after a month.

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Back in June, I watched a film called True Cost.  A documentary on the fashion industry and how it affects people and the planet.  This was a huge eye-opener for me.  Since then, I can count on one hand how many clothing purchases I've made.  Every time I feel the urge to buy something, I ask myself, "do you really need this?".  I try to make a conscious effort to find out where the item is made and how it's made. Now more than ever, I'm trying to buy local, handmade, second-hand, or fair trade products.  This is definitely a lifestyle change for me and to be honest, I'm wondering if it's even feasible to implement for all my purchases.  I'm taking small steps but at least they are steps in the right direction; closer to the life I want to live and the person I hope to be.  I want to buy with a purpose, opt for items that are better quality and don't harm people or the environment.  After all, in the grand scheme of things, we are all connected somehow and I can't bear the thought of wearing something that I know someone else suffered for – no matter how cheap it is.

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via Sarah Lazarovic

 

So I've scoured the web and gathered some of the top items on my wish list.  As you know, buying local, handmade or fair trade can be a lot more expensive but when you buy less, you can save for the items that do good and make you feel good too.

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What's on your Fall wishlist?  Better yet, do you have any favourite sources for the conscious shopper?  I'd love to know!

Sources:

tote bag / collar necklace / shawl / leather crossbody / leather Tom's