Kitchens: Black, White and Gold

My biggest concern for the 'piano mansion' project that I'm working on is keeping it from being tacky or overt. I think with design there is power in subtlety and although the exterior is going to have a curvature and pitched roof recalling the shape of the piano, it will NOT be black and white. I'm thinking it will probably be grey brick but I'm still experimenting...any thoughts? I've also broadened my concept to the elegant and powerful experience of a concert hall in a larger sense. But I still want to pay homage to ebony and ivory keys through some of the interior finishes. This led me on a hunt for black and white kitchens. Add in some brass (think the orchestra) and we are really cooking.
via Betty Lou Phillips

via Betty Lou Phillips
Ali Cayne's Kitchen via Domino Mag
I heaven or what? There's so much drama, yet so much traditionalism, in both of these spaces. And don't even get me started on the copper cookware. My parents have a set of copper measuring cups hanging on our kitchen wall and I've always loved them...imagine a whole pots and pans set!


Advanced Residential Project Inspiration: Piano Room & Sketches

First and foremost, I want to send a huge thank you and a warm hug out to each and every one of you for the overwhelming amount of support, encouragement and positive messages that I received through the blog, instagram and e-mail regarding yesterday's post. My heart is so full at the thought of this community and all we do for one another. :) You are the best.

Now onto a more fun topic. Last week I shared some details on this term's design studio - a 4000 square foot residential property which we get to design from the ground up. We received the program and the occupants are a family of talented musicians. They have a grand piano.
I actually took piano lessons when I was younger and while I never made it too far (I always hated practicing when I could be outside playing) I still plan on taking my piano with me into my first real house. All of this led me on a hunt for some piano room eye candy.
Stacey Brandford Photography via Desire to Inspire
via Robert Brown Interior Design
Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles via Little Green Notebook
I'm consulting with a talented piano playing young man (we will call him M.) on this project as a client sounding board. He says he would want a wood coloured grand piano, rather than black. Something like this I'm thinking...
via Markdsikes
I mean, burled wood? Let me pick my jaw up off the ground. Simply stunning.

 And while I know last week I said that my favourite old house is the direction I wanted to go in architecturally, I am now considering really running with this piano concept. I've sketched up some ideas for the shape of the house inspired by the shape of the piano and am really digging it. Realistically when am I ever going to be able to design a budgetless custom mansion? NEVER! Why not push myself to do something outside of the box? Here's a peek at my initial brainstorming work:
I might have to start practicing again, feeling inspired! Do you play an instrument?


Changes: Life, Love and Loss

Today I'm over at Beth's blog DesignPOST participating in her Take Two series sharing the biggest and best changes I've made in both my space and my life. The bonus question asks what I would do if I had only five dollars...any guesses? Head on over and check it out
On a more personal note...
Thinking about changes has me reflecting on the past year and how much my life has changed. I'm so confident that I am following the path that I was born to take, but that doesn't mean the road has been easy. Four months ago I wrote a post hinting at some tough personal issues that I was going through. It was impossible for me to talk about then, still hard for me to talk about today - especially in a public forum, but as a blogger I feel it's important to let you all into my life. Not just the pretty parts, but the raw, personal parts too.
The fact is, in June my three year relationship came to an end. 
We continued to try to make things work for awhile after that, but at the end of the day we realized that we have grown apart and that it's time for us both to move forward. I have gained so much from what we shared and am so grateful for the relationship we had. He is a good man and I know that he will do great things with his life. I wish him all the best - the best life, the best love, the best friends. 

I'll be honest, after it ended I fell into a pretty big slump. I questioned my choice, what I was doing with my life, if I was on the right path, what would have happened if I had stayed in my hometown. It's never easy to let go, even when you know it is the right thing. But as the months have passed I've gained confidence in my decision and am moving forward. I'm ready to open my arms to new opportunities and accept all that is coming for me. I know today that no matter the circumstances, the outcome would be the same - God has His plan and I am so excited for all that it entails. I feel fate at work. I feel something special in the air. I wake early every morning healed, thankful and ready.
To myself and anybody else going through something similar I say this:
Keep your chin up. You are worth it. You are strong. Don't be afraid to be alone. Don't be afraid to fall in love again. Don't think you are incapable of staying in love - when you find the right person it will stick. There is someone out there completely right for you, so right that everything you've gone through will make sense. Don't let fear paralyze you. Your happiness must come first. Take chances and listen to the voice in your head, trust your gut, and most importantly follow your heart.

Have a blessed day my loves. xo


K.R.T. Home (and a favour pretty please!)

I've said it time and time again. If there is one thing that keeps me blogging, it's the amazing community of lovely bloggers I've met here who act as constant support, mentors and friends.
One such amazing person is Kristen of Just a Girl and her Little Dog who has been with me since I first started my blog!
Now it's time for me to pay it forward to this talented lady with an eye for vintage goodness you won't want to miss. I'm so proud of Kristen for the launch of her new online shop K.R.T. Home. The collection she has put together is amazing. I wish I had more room so I could scoop up every.single.piece!
I've hand picked some of my favourites below. Hurry before they're gone!
^I can't handle the pretty. Pint sized and perfect for a nursery.
It also comes in navy velvet...I die.
^ This marble and glass cheese dome would make a perfect hostess gift. Cheese is my favourite so I'm biased.
^Isn't little Lola the perfect mascot?

Congratulations Kristen! I just know it's going to be a HUGE success.
Be sure to visit K.R.T. Home

Lastly, I'm asking for a favour from all of you. This weekend I was nominated for a 'top ten interior design blogs' list and voting is open for favourites! If you could head on over HERE and cast a vote my way I would love you forever (already do though). Thank you SO much in advance.


One Room - Two Palettes: Transitioning your Home Decor for Fall in Five Minutes

We all know that the big trend I am loving for fall is black and white. I say 'trend' because it's a popular look this season, but let's face it, black and white is about as classic and timeless as it comes. While during the spring and summer my space employs a bright, lively and colorful palette, I decided to try on a different look for the colder seasons and went glam with black white and gold.
The changes were simple and only took about five minutes to complete. I didn't buy anything new, just used items I already had around my place.This goes to show you that switching up your decor doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Also don't be afraid to improvise! The dalmation dot pillow cover is really a dress from H&M tied around a pillow form. Shh don't tell!
First I switched out the art pieces. Next I traded the colourful throw pillows. Lastly, I changed the items in my tray to fit the scheme.
Decorating Tip: Removing the dustjacket off of your books will often reveal more neutral covers!
I like any excuse to play around and experiment with styling. Do you change the palette of your rooms with the seasons? I hope you all had a great weekend


Halloween Throwback DIY: Gold Skull

I was at Michael's the other day grabbing some watercolour supplies and was happy to spot that this year they restocked the little cardboard skull that I used for my gold skull DIY last year.
This skully used to be a permanent figure on my coffee table, adding the perfect amount of edge to an otherwise pretty space. The zebra has since taken over, but I brought this guy back out for some Halloween fun!
 Pretty glamorous for a dead guy, right? Check out the full throwback DIY HERE. I promise it is quick, easy and inexpensive.
Do you guys go all out or minimal with your Halloween decor?


Advanced Residential Project Inspiration: My Abandoned Dream House

This term our big studio project is advanced residential, a 4000 square foot house that we must design from scratch, including the exterior. It also must be barrier free as one occupant is in a wheelchair. Oh, and the plot of land we are designing on is a hill.
It's an intimidating challenge to say the least, but I'm ready and excited to face it head on.

As I started thinking about ideas, I knew I had to go visit my dream house for inspiration.
This house hasn't been lived in for years and is now owned by a large company whose warehouse is adjacent to the property in St. Jacob's, Ontario. It sits mostly abandoned. There is a haunting, historical, charming presence to the house that has always drawn me to it.  With halloween right around the corner, it was the perfect time to go snoop around this abandoned beauty.
I've always said if I ever have enough money to build my own house it will look exactly like this. The red brick, large porch and balcony, regal columns, ivy covered walls and tall windows are all speaking to me. I also love the formal courtyard that is enclosed by a low brick wall and shrubbery, although it's in a state of disrepair at the moment:
 If the house wasn't right next to a giant parking lot now (such a shame), well I think I'd move right in - ghosts and all! I swear I heard a door shut while I was peering into the windows at the empty rooms!

Hope you are all having a lovely week!


Let us Give Thanks and Be Glad

God is good. I don't speak much on the blog about my faith because I don't want to seem like I am forcing my beliefs on anybody. I accept all different views, but lately my heart has been so full of gratitude towards the Lord and all the goodness that my life has been blessed with. With Thanksgiving on Monday, what better time than now to acknowledge a small sample of those joys?
Image via Stephanie Sterjovski / Print via SS Print Shop
 1. Firstly, I am thankful for my family. My crazy, loving, incredible family. I miss living in the same city as you. Thank you for all of your support. I am so blessed to have parents like you and two big brothers who always looked out for me. I love you.

2. Secondly, I am thankful to have a roof over my head. That I moved to a new city and was able to find a job related to my field of study that allows me to pay for this roof over my head. That I can fill my space with things that make me smile - little luxuries I know not everyone has and that I do not take for granted.

3. I am thankful for the lessons that God has instilled in me that have led me to where I am today - to a place where I feel like I am a good woman following the path that was intended for me. Thank you God for teaching me kindness (even when faced with negativity), for teaching me to follow my heart (even when it hurts), for teaching me to work hard at my craft (even when I want to give up).

4. I am thankful for friends, new and old. Thank you to my old friends, who I've known for years. Even though we don't see eachother as much now that I'm living in Toronto, I know that I can always count on you. Thank you to my new friends, who made moving to a new city less lonely and showed me I can make a life for myself here surrounded by people who I love. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of my blogging friends. Without this amazing community I would be lost.

My heart could burst with all of the joy I feel for these incredible things - and there are so many more not listed here.
via my personal bible Psalms 106:1
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Have a great long weekend! xo


Fall Looks via My Instagram

Ladies, I feel like I've fallen off the blogging bus. I came home from Blogpodium feeling so inspired, but then I started to feel a little overwhelmed, and then a lot lazy after finishing my assignments.
I'm going to spend the week coming up with some really good content for y'all.

Today is my first day of Term 5 of my program. That's the first day of my 2nd Year already peeps. Crazy. I'm not sure what to wear but I am LOVING fall and fall fashion. Here are some peeks from my instagram of what I've been wearing lately:
 My top fall fashion go-tos:
2. Big Knits
3. Animal Print
4. Black and White
5. Dark Lips and Nails

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you better be getting on that...
Love you guys,


Wear/Where: The Lips Trend in Fashion and Home Decor

Today, it's all about paying some lip service to lips. There's something so feminine and sexy about a big ol pair of lips - Angelina Jolie knows what I'm talking about - and I'm loving this fun playful trend popping up in fashion and decor lately. I've been all over this. As long as I have my bachelorette pad, I'm taking advantage of as many girly things as possible...but let's be honest, even when I'm living with a man, the lips are going to stay.
sweater / print
This is  a great example of how fashion and decor are major influences on eachother. I am in love with my watercolor lips from The Aestate. I've posted about them more times than I probably should, but they are that good. Apparently Forever 21 was loving those lips too because they made a sweater looking suspiciously similar..... which I of course bought and can't wait to wear all fall.
Are you loving the lips trend? Big fat kisses to all of you xoxoxox.