For my first apartment I am inheriting many things. My mother started saving up things for me to use pretty much on the day I was born.

Now along with Tupperwares of all shapes and sizes and coming from many eras (eg. the 70’s brown, sunny yellow, olive green and burnt orange aplenty). I am also getting a not new but still in the box table. Wood top with white legs. And the chairs that went with it. These are not in the box still. They have been used for over 10 years. So the table is in great shape, but the chairs aren’t.

Now comes in the need for colour. All of my walls will stay white. I could paint but I don’t know how long I will live there so I am not getting into it. And they are sort of freshly painted white. So it won’t be gross and need to be refreshed or anything. More money in my pockets that way. YAY!

All of that comes together here. I have a blank canvas apartment with white walls. Some chairs that need a refresher and a table that needs to match. (Or does it? I’m rethinking that as I type.). So I will be painting the chairs and table legs with colour instead of keeping them white.

So I have been loving the whole yellow with grey since Miss Selfridge had their window dressed with clothes in these colours. Even Topshop where I worked had the same look. Unfortunately the style was soon replaced by something with primary colours, and also the whole green is the new black. That I Ioved too.

These days the same combinations of yellow and grey or even yellow and aqua/ice blue are everywhere. It’s all the rage and this time I’m not letting it pass. So I’m painting using yellow.

Now the only thing left is figuring out which shade…

Shades of yellow

Some shades inspired by a fabric I picked up last year before yellow made a comeback. And a thanktop and flip flops, that I bought recently with the love of yellow in mind.

Picture © Kim Brien


I love pink and I really love our peonies.

Pink Peonies 1

I would cut some to put in a vase but the only place I would be able to look at them for a long time is at work. But I tried that last year and the poor flower was dead at the end of the day. So I’ll enjoy them still on the plant.Pink Peonies 2

Pink Peonies 4

Photo © Kim Brien

I always love summer editions of magazines more than the other ones. Why? Because I love summer and all that it represents. Long evenings, barbecues, lazy afternoons in the hammock reading books, splashing in the pool, going to the beach. And then there’s going to the cabin, cottage or other place where people gather and live a simple life for a few days.

So when I saw the cover of the new Martha Stewart Living magazine. I knew I was going to love this one. All I wanted to do that morning. Right out of bed was step though the lens and spend the day there enjoying the sun and warmth.* Plus my favourite colour is green. So that’s a huge plus.

Here is the reason why…

MSLO Deborah Cox 1

MSLO Deborah Cox 2

MSLO Deborah Cox 3

MSLO Deborah Cox 4

MSLO Deborah Cox 5

MSLO Deborah Cox 6

Photo credits : Peter Murdock (Martha Stewart Living June 09)

*Because it’s still spring here not summer so nothing over 20 degrees celcius yet. Except for those few days last month. But pretty much everyone felt that.

Wow! One of my many favourite blogs was featured in a magazine I read. In Canada. Grace from Design*Sponge is the lucky one. YAY! for her. I don’t know about US magazines. But it is rare to see bloggers featured in magazines. Even though they have become more and more present in the design world over the past few years.* If there have been blogs featured prior to this I didn’t notice. I recall seeing something somewhere but that might have been in my dreams. And that only presented for so many blogs it wasn’t like they were featured. It was more like they were trying to jump on the trend while not being sure they should be.

So seeing this was a joy. And she got two pages. TWO! I’m only showing you the first here. Haven’t scaned the other one yet. I can’t wait to have a desk for the computer and scanner in a place where I have space for a desk.

design*sponge in H&H june 09

* I only started following more and more craft and design oriented blogs in the past few months. Before that I only followed YA writers and decor8.

Hi! this is another Sarah’s Cottage blog post. I thought that my last two post on the subject weren’t all that great. So I’ll try to get better with this one because after that there are only two episodes left to air. And one that I’m also writing.

“Sarah, Tommy and contractor Vito create two nature-inspired bathrooms, each on a strict budget. As the bathrooms come to fruition Sarah’s husband Alexander increases the solar capacity on this electricity-free island to run the new facilities.”
– from

The wall that was pushed back 4 feet in the East guest bed to gain space is also giving more space in the main bathroom. And this cottage needs it. To add an essential staple. A bathtub. The previous summer Sarah had to bathe her daughter in a Rubbermade plastic container. No kidding, she had pictures to prove it. Not the most glamorous thing in the world.

Oh and this week they are showing us how they are powering the place. With solar panels. They built an new shed to prop the solar panels. They had to install more so they could live normally without Alexander (her husband) getting up at night to switch things off so they wouldn’t run out of power. If I had a cottage on an island this is what I would do too. It’s not the kind of place where you have tvs and computers running all at once.

Sarah's Cottage main bath

The main bath ends up looking glam and not too cottagey. Which is not bad at all. She doesn’t want to slum it. But with natural elements like many different styles of tiles and stones. Including cool pebbles for the shower floor. Split face back wall behind the bath. Inexpensive white tiles in the shower made looking fab with a moonstone border. But the best piece is the vanity, a beautiful vintage find. I also like the cut up cabinets used for storage.

A good trick that I learned for the towels when you have many guests over and no one can really tell whose towels is which. She had numbers embroidered on each one of the bath towels and the beach towels too.

The second bathroom is this tiny powder room on the second floor and you don’t actually see all that much of it on the picture that they have on the site. All it is really is the blue vanity and a toilet. What we get to see is the storage hall in bold red to complement the main bedroom which I will be covering in details soon.

Sarah's Cottage powder room

Trouble no 1:
There’s a slight problem with the faucets. You won’t be able to turn them on. The piece of marble has to be remade with the sink closer to the front.

So they have to:
put it on a boat
get it to the mainland
get it to the city
get it remade
get it in the car
then on a boat
and back here
before the end of tomorrow or was it tomorrow morning?

are you kidding me?

That ended up being a “Super panic rush delivery.”

That’s what I love about Sarah’s shows. The cool quotes and all the things they don’t show you on other shows.

Funny bits:
Tommy riding a septic tank. He called it the poop deck.
The first Formula 1 sceptic tank. Sarah said this when she saw the septic tank being pulled quite fast by the boat.

Ami McKay 1

As soon as I saw the blue settee I knew I was in love with the piece. Not so much with the price tag. But one day I do hope that this kind of furniture will be more affordable. So the regular girls like me, who don’t make millions can buy stuff this great. I guess one piece could be enough and then since they are made to last. It would be an investment. Still I’m too poor at the moment. So I can only dream.

Ami McKay 2

Ami’s designs great but they are also 100% sustainable. The wool upholstery is Oeko-tex-certified (a European standard of nontoxicity). The frames are made with FSC-certified hardwood with a nontoxic finish. Jute-and-latex webbing holds the seat. The seats and backs are made of latex rubber forms. This is very good. I like that someone is making a fashionable step in that direction.

Ami McKay 3

Ami McKay 4

She has four different collections each with a particular style and feel. I particularly like Air, with its mid-century modern aesthetic. Others are Fire think hot and sexy with a European flair. Earth is comfy West Coast family-friendly. (I’ve seen more pieces for this one on the website.) And the last Water, which is very Hollywood glam.

Ami McKay 5

She will be getting quite big now that Style at Home and Canadian House and Home have featured her in their May 2009 issues. Oh and I just found out that this is one of Oprah’s favourite furniture lines. So visit her site soon. Even if it’s only to dream and learn more about her mission to give us formaldehyde-free homes

This time it’s personal. Meaning that this cottage is really Sarah’s own. And she knows how to make it work for her and her growing family. A good exemple of that is the East guest bedroom where she switched the big sliding door for a smaller window in order to make the room less bright and hot in the early morning summer sun.

I should mention how I really love, adore, add any form of devotion here, Sarah and her shows. One the things that make her so much more are the little outtakes at the very end. These usually have Tommy saying something hilarious. This episode showed Sarah getting a scare from a mannequin standing in the corner of an antique shop.

“East West Guest Rooms

Sarah and Tommy whip two tight spaces into shape by dusting off old features and shoehorning in vintage cottage style. The dark East Room draws from the every watt of light-filled skies while the sun-baked West Room cools down in watery blues and greens.”

East Bedroom

West Bedroom

I like both rooms but if Tommy stays in the West room. I would love to stay in the East bed. I find the auction bought and sprayed chest of drawers beautiful and charming. Sarah’s parent’s first bed where she remembers sleeping snuggled between her parents is covered with colourful floral sheets.

The challenge this week was that wanting to save money somewhere she decided to reuse the pine boards that were used in the rooms before they were expanded and split from each other to accommodate a front entrance. But they ended up needing more boards to fully cover the walls and ceiling. the new boards were of a different colour since they had no varnish on. And had not aged in the sun. Even the old board had different shades depending on if they had been covered by furniture. So in the end even though Sarah had been hoping not to paint the walls but only white washing like in the addition/porch/living room. She had to paint. But she left the ceiling as is to show wood texture in some places in the rooms.

I preferred this episode to the last. Antique shopping for furniture pieces with a life, rag rugs, vintage quilts that’s the Sarah I love.

I’ll post more pictures once they have been published in Canada’s Style At Home or Canadian House and Home or Home & Country.

Later this week I will cover the next two episodes. The bathrooms and the upstairs bedrooms.

After one whole month wait. The premiere of Sarah’s Cottage, was a relief and a surprise. This series was shot simultaneously with Sarah’s House 2. There had been some thinking on my part. Since Sarah was pregnant during Sarah’s House 2 I thought this had been shot one year later. Well it wasn’t. And this series is a surprise. This is actually her own property and will not be resold. This time around Sarah is really working for Sarah.

This getaway property is on an island. Which is a challenge in itself. This week is the first and Sarah and Tommy are tackling the exterior, living room/addition. New windows are to be installed all around. But there has been a mistake. Sarah made ordered the wrong windows. The addition windows have mullions and the others are plain. She has to reorder and correct her mistake, swallowing the cost. This mess is leaving her heart broken. But once the windows are in. All is well and nothing is amiss. The addition doesn’t end up looking like one after all. And she is happy with her choice. And the final look is cool blues with windows on three sides.

“Living Room Addition/Exterior”

“Borrowing from the richness of nature, Sarah and Tommy create a living room and outdoor deck that celebrate a sweeping panoramic view, a front row seat to amazing sunsets!”

And now the reveal.
Sarah's cottage living room 1

Sarah's Cottage living room 2

I’ve just made a font from my handwriting. I once thought, back when I was studying graphic arts that it would be cool to design fonts. Mostly I wanted to make one from my handwriting. But teachers would say that if we wanted to waste time we could create fonts. Nice opinion on things they had.

Well now I didn’t have to waste any time at all. It was all done in less than 15 minutes.

With the magic of yourfonts I now have a font.

my hand font

I found this through blanket mag issue 15 discovered via Decor8

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