Mini interior sample stash for designing on the go

This is a trick I’ve used a few times so far and figured if I found it handy, someone else out there in the process of [ s l o w l y ] updating their home might also find it helpful!

What I started doing was collecting samples of the main colours and fabrics in our home to keep in one place; a swatch from our Article sofa, sample strips of CIL’s Kitten White and Burgundy paint, some cardboard with Coal Black Fusion Mineral Paint and Pure Gold spray paint from Rust-Oleum and a sample of my faux marble contact paper. Then I neatly stashed them all in a black envelope. This way when I’m heading out to look at something for our home I grab my black envelope, toss it in my bag and I can easily see if whatever I’m looking at will match what I already have.

I especially find this handy when I’m looking at something burgundy. I’m so picky when it comes to burgundy and I really love the shade in our home, so if I find something that’s a shade of red that I’m unsure of, I can quickly see if it’s the good kind or bad kind of clashing. It’s a minor design hack, but one that I use a lot! More importantly, it makes me feel like I have my shit together for a few minutes each day. Worth it.

Secondhand baroque style picture frame

Every few weeks I check Kijiji for old picture frames in the hopes that someone posts something they don’t realise is actually amazing and I find something inappropriately underpriced. Like when I got lucky with our secondhand Victorian style mirror in our dining room or the baroque style mirror in the hallway. Last week I found my next piece, and while it was a bargain at just $10, it’s not made of plaster but some type of plastic and had been left in storage for some time and the front details [like the center of the flowers] were worn down and the gold had chipped off. I knew I could fix it so after a quick wash I touched it up with my gold Sharpie marker and despite it being a plastic frame, to me, I think it looks incredible and well worth the walk in 45C heat pushing a pram with one hand to pick it up.

I’m calling it a baroque style picture frame because I don’t know what else to call it. It doesn’t have a back, but I should be able to sort that out easily enough. I’m hoping to either fill it with another painting by Cora or try painting something myself. It’s unusually long for normal canvases so I’m going to have to buy a canvas board and cut it to size.

I think it looks so much better here than the previous iBride trays, which I of course will be putting somewhere else. And I finally set up our bar cart! Once this corner is looking a bit more organised, I’ll take better pictures.

An afternoon at Vanitea Rooms

Earlier this month my BFF Sinead traveled all the way from Ireland to visit us for a whirlwind of a week. One of the afternoons we were looking for somewhere special to have a light lunch when I remembered The Vanitea Room which wasn’t far from where we were at the time.

I can’t remember how I first heard about The Vanitea Room, but I’ve been following them ever since I found out about them. Robert and I have been hoping to treat ourselves to one of their afternoon teas for months, but since we don’t know any babysitters just yet since moving to Ottawa last September, we’re still waiting. So when Sinead and I stopped in for a quick afternoon retreat, I felt guilty. But then I saw they had unlimited bellinis on their menu and so I ordered the bottomless bellinis.

We arrived within an hour of closing, which gave us just enough time to order a late lunch. I went with the Benny and Lox and Sinead had their Stairway to Heaven and while mine was delicious, Sinead’s looked even more delicious. It was the perfect amount of food to fill us until dinner.

Since we were there until closing, I had a few minutes while no one else was there to take a few pictures. All of which were taken quickly on my phone [it was warm and sometimes when you’re warm and cranky you don’t want to carry your camera], but the pictures turned out not too bad! It’s a cozy restaurant with [give or take] seven seating areas. The Vanitea Room serves up delicious food and even more delicious design details. Robert and I will for sure be going some time soon just the two of us for one of their more extravagant afternoon teas. Hopefully that some time is before Cora goes to college.