Archive for May, 2011

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.


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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 houseandhome.com!  For the full blog click here.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Hey Happy Short Week everybody!  Check out this week’s post over at houseandhome.com!  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.

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