We spent so much time and energy on the inside of the house these past weeks that originally we thought we’d wait until next year to do the backyard. 

Lo and behold, we put in gardens in the front, painted the deck, bought lounge furniture, put sod down, and put in a small vegetable garden. (With lots of help from the in-laws I might add!)

My love of used things & what I bought this week

My biggest house fear is living in a space that looks like a staged model home.

There is nothing wrong with new houses! But I want my house to look lived in. And let’s face it, hand crafted items or furniture made decades earlier are usually better made.

If you look in the right place you can:

  • Do something good for the planet by reusing and repurposing great items
  • Have really well made things in your home without a big price tag

My favorite places to look include auctions, estate sales, thrift stores, antique stores–which probably come from a love of garage sales as a kid. And some of my favorite clothing pieces are second hand: my black leather jacket from Screaming Mimi’s in Manhattan, and my Dior blazer from Bungalow in Kensington Market in Toronto.

(However, some things will definitely have to be new: sofas, light fixtures, etc.)

Here’s what I found this week:

Wicker Blanket Box ($9)

This has seen better days, but I couldn’t resist it. The brass hardware IS in tip-top shape though. It has a lot of charm and I’ll probably throw a blanket over the spots that have lost their wicker wrapping.


Framed NYC map ($7)

This looks brand new, and reminds me of these Restoration Hardware prints. For some reason it was at the thrift store looking for a new home. It will go really well with our grey walls–and my love of the big apple.


Mid-Century Shopping List

I have a few things on my house wishlist that I’m starting to hunt for early.

The one thing I can’t get out of my head: some mid-century chairs. I’ve started scouring Kijiji, thrift stores, and antique markets and I found my first 2.

They’re missing a few mushroom screw hole buttons, but that’s an easy fix.



I was hoping for 6 chairs of some different shapes, but the same style, to create an eclectic look around the dining table. Here’s hoping I can find 4 more. Now I need to decide if I want 4 matching or 2 pairs. Hmmm. It will all depend on what I fall in love with next…

(The thing I’m most pleased about: they were $10 each!)

Decorating a House, Designing a Life

I’ve been re-reading my design books. Do you have any must-read interior design or style books?

After living in 9 spaces in the last 12 years the thought of decorating our new house is thrilling but oh, so intimidating. For someone that loves to shop, but loves a bargain even more, I am excited but a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of it all.

My husband and I have slightly different philosophies on decorating a house. He wants it done so we can get to the living part–and I want to find all the “right” things (big and small) even if it takes months.

We have to fill:

  • Our master bedroom
  • 2 guest rooms
  • An office/guest room
  • A living room
  • A dining room
  • A den
  • A finished basement

We need to:

  • Decide on an aesthetic
  • Paint the whole house
  • Buy furnishings
  • And last, but not least, decorate

I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite lifestyle and design books: Styled by Emily Henderson, Elements of Style by Erin Gates, Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner, Remodelista by Julie Carlson, The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels and Loveable, Livable Home by the Young House Love blog couple.

I work from home so I am here all day/every day so I think I might be overly obsessing, but we live our lives in these spaces so I want to plan accordingly.

Q: Am I missing any of your favorite design books? Let me know your favorite design blogs too.