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May, 2011

  1. Gorgeous Historic Home For Sale

    May 31, 2011 by admin

    Do you ever wish you could pack it in and move somewhere and live in a gorgeous house like this?  How about Nova Scotia?  Check out other historic homes for sale here.

  2. Antique Barn in Prince Edward County

    May 30, 2011 by admin

    Last weekend I had a morning of sheer bliss – rummaging through an old barn in Prince Edward County!  I found some really interesting pieces and objects – read all about it over at!  For the full blog click here.

  3. Flowers From My Garden

    May 28, 2011 by admin

    It is such a pleasure to gather flowers from your own garden. Last weekend early in the morning I went outside and snipped a little of this, a little of that from our garden.

    Here I’ve gathered some yellow tulips, forget-me-nots and some other flower I don’t know the name of that was already growing in our back yard. They’re all loosely placed in a vintage Depression glass vase that belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother. My nana used to tell me about how she would go to the garden and snip roses her mother had grown and place them in this very vase and so I love to do the same.

    Spread out across our kitchen counter, these fresh and FREE flowers look so nice, don’t you think? And there will be more as the summer progresses!

  4. Fresh Traditional by Meg Braff

    May 26, 2011 by admin

    Recently I’ve really been loving comfortable, luxurious yet relaxed spaces by big time decorators like Thomas O’Brien and Bunny Williams.  The attention to detail and the layering in of so many wonderful objects and personal touches are what set these spaces apart.  Meg Braff is another designer whose fresh take on traditional style is inspiring me at the moment.  What about you?

    The front hall of this Long Island house designed by Meg Braff is simply beautiful.  The leaded glass arched window and sidelights are to die for and I love the black and white stone floor.  A great room to welcome you home.

    The dining room is the kind of formal space tailor made for large family gatherings.  The combination of upholstered chairs and a wooden table combines the best of both worlds and I especially like the cream border on the gray chairs.  The wall covering is detailed, but also simple and the Venetian mirror above the fireplace is just the right amount of elegant detail.

    Simplicity is key to keeping traditional spaces from getting fussy.  The drapes are luxurious but basic in design and there’s no fancy rug, just a gorgeous rich wood flooring allowing the patterned walls to be the star of the show.

    A classic creamy white kitchen, warmed up by wood floors and cheerful drapes.  I like the over sized gingham fabric on the inside of the glass fronted cabinets.  And I’m keeping an eye out for this type of pleated plus metal pendant – I’m noticing them lots these days.

    How about this warm and cozy living room?  A English roll arm sofa, a spool style arm chair, gourd lamps and collection of printed fabrics and colours – just perfect.

    Here’s a restful bedroom with some very pretty drapes including a valance.  The bed is maybe a little over the top but it’s nice to see a headboard and footboard incorporated.  Plus I love the watery blue fabric on the upholstered bed.

    Okay this room I love.  Mainly because of the small scale printed wallpaper.  Simply beautiful!  More fresh trad staples?  The preppy bedding and wall-mounted sconces.

    Lush relaxed roman blinds like this are popping up lots in House Beautiful and even a recent issue of Elle Decor.

    Now this bathroom is fantastic!  The subway tile and clawfoot tub are of course classics.  But that charming wallpaper and banded shower curtain make it for me.

    And one more lovely bedroom in cream and chocolate brown.  The grid of frames above the headboard are great and so are the brass lamps and more preppy crisp bedding.  These paired back roman blinds keep things nice and simple and I love that small scale print.

    For more Meg Braff, check out her website here.

  5. New To My Portfolio: Coral and Khaki Decorating!

    May 26, 2011 by admin

    Earlier this year I created a decorating story for House & Home all about special decorating details and trim. When it comes to decorating a home, it’s often the special little touches that make all the difference. I used fabric trim, wood trim, fringe and even some decorative tape for a DIY art project. And I was excited to use shades of coral and apricot mixed with taupes and khaki for an unexpected colourful-meets-muted palette. Hope you like ’em!

    Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Angus Fergusson; House & Home Magazine, Feb 2011

    This was an Ikea dresser tarted up with white-washed trim and rustic hardware. The gorgeous art, lamp and flowers don’t hurt either!

    Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Angus Fergusson; House & Home Magazine, Feb 2011

    In this living room I had a whole collection of cushions sewn with a variety of trims in various patterns and designs. Plus I added chocolate brown trim to the slipcover of this sofa. The artwork was decorated with a graphic trim border made from decorative masking tape from an artist shop.

    Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Angus Fergusson; House & Home Magazine, Feb 2011

    And finally a little corner with a comfy chair complete with bullion fringe. It’s sort of an old school decorator’s look, usually used in posh living rooms, but I like how it mixes with this cotton slipcover and earthy rug. Just makes me want to curl up with a good book. So if you’re looking to take your space to the next level, think about adding trim – and check out my portfolio for some more ideas!

  6. Ralph Lauren Teacups, Wishbone Stools and More!

    May 25, 2011 by admin

    Recently I took a stroll through my local HomeSense and I found some wonderful things!

    First, these classic blue and white Ralph Lauren teacups.  They have a lovely shape and scale and the design is an update of the traditional motif.  Tea for two?  Or twelve maybe?

    The other great score was a set of four wishbone-style stools.  I love that they were in this fresh white finish with woven seats.  And given that it is near impossible to find stylish kitchen stools that don’t cost the earth, I was thrilled to see that these beauties only cost $129 each!  Did I mention they had four!?

    After HomeSense I headed across the big box parking lot to Pier 1.  With lots of colourful summery accents in stock there was lots to choose from, but my favourite was this seashell covered picture frame.  I’ve always liked the seashell encrusted antique mirrors or the folk art keepsake boxes that are also covered in shells.  This Pier 1 frame has the same style and I think it would look great with a simple black and white vintage photo inside (maybe a beach scene?).

    So get out and find some Pier 1 and HomeSense deals people!

  7. Around The House: Back Yard Trellis DIY

    May 24, 2011 by admin

    Hey Happy Short Week everybody!  Check out this week’s post over at!  This time it’s all about my DIY trellis treatment at the back of our house.  It was an ambitious do-it-yourself, but one I’m very happy with.  Read all about it here.

  8. Happy Victoria Day!

    May 23, 2011 by admin

    Hope everyone’s enjoying their long weekend!  I sure am – here’s a little of what I’ve been up to:

    Napping in the middle of the afternoon

    Hunting for antiques in the countryside with Sara

    Having a summery bbq dinner with the in-law’s in Belleville

    Attempting to tame the wild part of our back garden (more on that to come)

    Planting some new lilac bushes and clematis

    Playing a few leisurely rounds of “Guess Who” the board game that Sara rescued from her grandparents’ house.  She won mostly.

    I love long weekends – especially ones where Sara and I get to just hang out and do the things we love

    Hope yours has been just as sweet.

  9. Montana Burnett's Vision for Amber

    May 23, 2011 by admin

    Recently my good friend, designer Montana Burnett completed the fresh new makeover of Yorkville hot spot, Amber.  For those who want to see and be seen, Montana has created a chic, Palm Beach inspired lair complete with stunning colours, fabrics and design.  Recently featured by Toronto Life, you can see Montana’s design here.

    Toronto Life Magazine

    I love the longe-y banquettes and how the curvy glamorous shape is combined with tan leather.  The rattan chairs are dramatic, bohemian and romantic and the laquered woven cocktail tables are killer.  Also, how fun are those Dr. Seuss style pendants and the hits of kelly green?  Check out the Toronto Life article for more images including a marble bar with retro brass lamps and a combination of lucite and bamboo bar stools (great idea!).

    Montana’s work has always been dynamic and fearless and has the same mixture of fun and slick style that Kelly Wearstler is known for in her commercial projects such as the hotels above and below.

    Great job Montana!  I love it!

  10. Tulip Fields = Amazing!

    May 21, 2011 by admin

    Isn’t this shot amazing? Imagine – those are thousands and thousands of tulips in bloom!

    That’s it – I’m quitting and becoming a tulip farmer in the Netherlands!

    Happy long weekend everyone (in Canada)!