Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I did it. Well I didn't do it, but my husband did. We have wallpapered our powder room. And I love it!

Finding a decent wallpaper print was like finding a needle in a hay stack. Yes, wallpaper is available at Walmart and HomeDeopt, but find me one that isn't granny-ish or over done. I ordered from General Paint and found a series of contemporary wallpapers by Blue Mountain that I liked. Because I ordered there, I expected to be able to purchase supplies there too. WRONG! Apparently the "lack of popularity" has made wallpaper troughs and squeegees nearly extinct. I tried three different paint supply stores before I found the must-have supplies at RONA.

Then I stayed up all night watching online tutorials on how to hang wallpaper.

When I began papering, I was awful at hanging it, but didn't realize immediately because I was just so good at everything else involved like:

- preparing the walls,
- measuring,
- matching the pattern,
- cutting the paper with a 2" seam allowance at the top and bottom,
- pre-soaking,
- "booking" the paper,
- and trimming the top and bottom.

So I gave up after a few too many strips, and my husband hung the rest. I think he should do it professionally, there is a real call for wallpaperers right now, but unfortunately he would rather be a doctor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Designing for Myself, Argh!

I bought a house in one weekend! A spec home, of about 1500 sqft. Thankfully the house was not completed so we are able to select all the finishes.

Agreed to buy the house on
Sunday, was told to complete the finish selections by Monday evening, wrote up the deal on Monday night from 8-10:30pm! Realized that I hadn’t selected a kitchen counter, oops, Tuesday shopped again to make finish selections and add an addendum to the sale. I had 24 hours to select all the finishes in my house, and hopefully find options that were in my price range.


Designing for a client is easy, I get a feel for who they are, what they like, and what their style is. Designing for myself is tricky. First of all I think I am pretty self aware, I know that I like the new flashy unique stuff that often looks uber dated in about 5 minutes. But I am also “practical,” or you could call it, “cheap,” so in the past I have bought neutral pieces and I have avoided the trendy decor. So should I make an exception to my rule and decorate my house in over the top trends because it is what I like right now? I want to be in my new house for the next 7 years. What will I like for 7 years? I guess I need to look at what I have always liked, which would be mid century modern, with BOLD accents, and daring primary colours sprinkled here and there. But unfortunately trends over the past 5 years have brought that look to the main stream making me look ever so 5 minutes ago! One look I really enjoy is the “art gallery”: off white walls with intense oversized art. So that is my inspiration for my new home.

What will you like for the next seven years?

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It started with a frantic phone call.

Client: “Our builder called and wants to know what colour eavestroughs
, TODAY! What colour do we want?”
Me: “I am not sure as we haven’t selected the exterior colours yet. Can your contractor wait a day for the answer?”
Client: “It didn’t sound like it. I don’t think so.”
Me: “
Umm ah... Let me see if we can set an appointment this afternoon for the exterior colour story.”

I lacked direction, all I knew was that the house had cedar beams and shingles and varied brown asphalt roof shingles and white windows. Two hours later I was frantically searching the paint store for the corresponding paint chips which I had 20 minutes previous selected from my paint fan in my office. Generally I only give two or three options to my clients, otherwise making a decision can be overwhelming for them. But I made an exception this time because we hadn’t discussed what type of exterior look they wanted. In an hour and half, I had thrown together FIVE possible colour stories. I was going in blind, hence the five options:
  1. Dark Blue and Warm off-white
  2. Kahki and Cream
  3. Medium Brown and Cream
  4. Medium Grey and Black
  5. Neutral Green and Cream
My personal favourite is the blue and off-white.

Main House: Dark Shadows CL 227N*

Trim: So Stunning CL 1216W*
Cedar: Natural Stain

Eavestrough: Off White

It is bold, contemporary and will make that cedar pop! But I fear it is too bold for my clients, the safety of the
kahki is inviting to them.

What would you pick?

* All colour selections from General Paint

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vinyl Quotes - Official Time of Death circa 2008

Dear DIY Decorators,

Enough is enough! Vinyl lettering does not belong on your walls, it belongs in the commercial world IE - signage. It is one thing in a public place where a person needs directions, it is another thing entirely to put it up on your home's walls to state the obvious, meaningless or cliche.

Examples: “Live Laugh Cry,” (ugh) or the obvious “Families are Forever" (blah).

It’s like a song on the radio that got too much airtime, it’s just played out. I would like to pronounce inspirational quotes, sayings, and all other types of vinyl lettering adhered to your residence DEAD.


MS. Lyle-Mason

PS - If you have-to-have-to have a quote on your wall. At least be unique and custom design it by finding an obscure quote that embodies you, and then I won’t mind so much.