New project – Canadian man cave, office edition

I’m really excited today to share my latest project as it’s very close to home; I’ll be lending some of my design expertise to my broseph to help szhuzh-up a gentleman’s Canadian man cave makeover to his new office! And I’m getting all sorts of emo all up in here looking at Canadian mood boards. 
My broseph is currently in college so the budget is pretty tight. I’ll be working on recycling and upgrading the pieces of furniture and accessories my brother already has and reincorporating them in a new way. I like a good budget challenge! 
To give you an idea of the room, below are a couple of pictures showing what my brother’s office looks like at the moment [keep in mind he just moved in, so there are a variety of items / boxes in here at the moment] … 
First up – we’re going to kill that magnolia with fire. We’ll be changing the layout of the room and since we’re a little strapped for space, we’ll be making the most of the walls. I’ll also be adding lots of tiny and budget-friendly changes such as updating and coordinating the handles on the closet with the soon-to-be revamped drawers [as seen in the corner of the second ‘before’ picture]. 
To give you some visuals and a better feel of the mood I wanted to create for this room, below you’ll find the inspiration from Pat that started it all … 
When I first saw Pat’s Canadian cabin nursery design, I knew something along these lines would be perfect for my brother. He is after all, the only legit Canadian in our family. I loved how Pat’s nursery wasn’t over the top cheesy-patriotic, but it so perfectly incorporated a Canadian slant into the design.
And some clean, gentlemanly office inspiration that I stumbled upon on Pinterest. So far, here are just some of the ideas I’ve magicked up with my brain machine … 

1. I was thinking a subtle way of adding some personality to the office without going too OTT with colour is to add some colour to the curtain rod. This can easily be done with spray paint, doesn’t cost a lot, and can also be repainted at a later date [side note: there won’t be black curtains].

2. The cardboard stag’s head I bought in Marks & Spencers last year has been gathering dust in our apartment, but it will look perfect in my broseph’s new office. Ca-ching. 
3. I don’t know how possible this will be, but I’d like to include either a birch branch or birch bark into the design. Now, all I have to do is find some birch available in Ireland … 
4. Clipboard wall! One idea I had as a functioning focal point was to have a clipboard wall above his desk, as an alternative to a bulletin board or chalkboard wall. A chalkboard wall would be too dark and overwhelming in such a small room. Whereas a row or two of clipboards would be able to hold not only assignments, but tickets for events, reminders, and similar to what’s in our kitchen, I could paint one of the clipboards with chalk paint so it can be taken off the wall and written on. 
5. I’m going to try my hand at DIYing some pillow case covers by upcycling some old plaid shirts [see below inspiration on this idea from Pat].  
6. I couldn’t resist including the man blanket I crochet for my brother a couple of years ago. It and other textiles will add another level of comfort to the room for snuggling up on crappy rainy days and watching movies.
7. I’m still on the bench when it comes to wall colour. I’d like to with a warm shade of grey that’s barely there grey. Really close to white, but enough grey that broseph’s white desk will stand out. I think grey, when used in the right conditions, can make everything else POP in a room and add warmth. That is, with the right shade. We’ll see how the paint tests go. 
I’m excited to get started and help my little [yet an entire foot taller] broseph with the gentleman’s office he deserves. I’ll be sharing updates on the room as it develops so stay tuned! 

xx A

p.s. “Office edition?” I hear you say. Yes, office edition, meaning there’s gonna be MOAR ROOMS! I’ll be updating broseph’s bedroom too after his office is sorted. 

Happy Canada Day!

I miss Canada on a moment-to-moment basis. Every year when the 1st of July rolls around, my level of missing gets real. Today is Canada Day, and already I’ve witnessed my Twitter and Facebook feeds explode with Canadian long weekend celebrations, and it got me craving all things Canadian. So, I thought to share with you some of my favourite delights from back home. And more importantly, to tempt you into the dark side … 

Naniamo bars. It’s like shoving a piece of heaven in your mouth. Coconut, biscuit and dark chocolate base, followed by a smooth and delicate custard centre, topped off with a crisp layer of dark chocolate. When you bite into it, the custard goes everywhere and you will loose the plot completely. It’s that good.  
POUTINE. Oh my god. If there is only one Canadian delight you try, make it this one. Even better reason to try it – it’s oh so simple. Chips {or fries – depending on what continent you’re on}, grated cheese {lather it on good and thick}, topped with home made gravy. I will be personally offended if you do not try this. 
Pecan pie. I know. Pecan pie is American and not Canadian. BUT, it is gorgeous treat of the senses and reminds me of home. Does that count? The Canadian version of this dish would be butter tarts. Which are insane. And I want one now. 
Tourtiere. I will be the first to admit this dish tastes a hundred times better that it looks. Husband pure demanded this for dinner tonight, but as he’s up to his gills in man flu and I’m not far off, I think poutine will be our choice of dinner tonight.

Happy Canada Day to you and yours 🙂

xx A

p.s. I’ve been a bit MIA on the blog front this week. I’ve been channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw by writing away and spending a lot of quality time with my laptop. Except, nowhere as fashionable. 

Lovely mention – Canadian House & Home, part 2

What did my eyes gift me this morning, only just a mention over on Canadian House & Home! H&H had asked readers to share pictures of their holiday decorating {#hhdeckthehalls}, and since I had just blogged some Christmas stuff, I tweeted a pic for the hell of it. I didn’t think I’d make the top ten

I think what’s more overwhelming is the fact that I’m along side some for-seriously talented decorating. Tore up from the floor up kind of talented. You have to check them out as there’s some tres tasty holiday ideas to be found. Linkage to the H&H photo gallery is right on over here
And while I’m going on about it, my snippet made their home page …
I’m proper chuffed. That made my Wednesday a lot easier to handle.
p.s. You can check out my custom Christmas colours series here – part 1, part 2, and part 3. I promise I’ll stop going on about it now.