Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Susan does Style At Home

Last August, my friend Susan Snow at Susan on Design posted about something really exciting that she was going to be involved in – a photo shoot with Margot Austin from Style At Home! Susan is an interior designer in Charlottetown, PEI, and she also owns the home decor store Moving Designz Home & Cottage. She’s worked on some amazing projects, including the gorgeous B&B Number One Grafton Street (click here to read about the B&B) and some beautiful beach homes to name a few.

The August 2011 issue of Style At Home is out, and a beach house that Susan designed is not only featured in the magazine, it made the front cover! Yay Susan!

susan cover

The home belongs to Calgarians Susan & Shane Stark. They originally bought the piece of land in PEI with the plan to one day build their retirement home there. But they loved the property so much, they decided to build right away. Let’s take a look inside… here’s Susan (the designer) in the living room. I love the stone fireplace and the fresh colours of the cushions and throws.

susan LR

The blue glass tiles on the kitchen backsplash are a great hit of colour.

susan kitchen

The wicker chairs and bench give the dining room a relaxed vibe.

susan DR

Such a gorgeous & soothing colour palette in the master bedroom – the perfect colours for a house by the water :-)

susan bedroom


This is most definitely a…

susan floats

You can read more about this project over at Susan’s blog (check out the archives in her sidebar), and Susan shared the Style At Home photo shoot experience here.

Congratulations Susan!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vote for Jackson!

fifi button

Fifi Flowers is looking for six dogs that she’s going to paint for her Beach Bum Biscuit 2011 Collection to help sponsor service and guide dogs. The voting ends tonight at 9:00PM California time, and I’d really appreciate it if you would take a minute today to head over to Fifi’s blog and vote for my pooch, Jackson :-)

jax running in snow 50

Please go vote for Jackson (#5) now! :-)

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P.S. You can check out last year’s winners here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cottage dreaming

Sorry about the shortage of blog posts lately. I was on holiday last week and spent most of my time at the cottage. We actually have high speed there now, but I just couldn’t sit inside in front of the computer when the lake and kayak were calling my name! Oh, and there was The Help to read too. I was torn between wanting to see how it ended and not wanting it to end… in the end, seeing how it ended won out :-) I really, really love this book, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of you have read and enjoyed it too. Thanks for all the book suggestions – I’ve been checking them out online and plan to order a couple of them for more cottage reading.

So anyway, now that I’m back in the city and at work (UGH!), I’m counting the days till I’ll be back at the cottage (FOUR!) And I’m dreaming about having a cute cedar shingle cottage on a cliff next to the water, just like this one in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia…


Los Angeles designers Eliot and Alexandra Angle were inspired by local barns when they designed and built their house in Cape Breton. They sketched out ideas for the house on napkins at a local pub and created a structure that complements its environment. The interior colour palette was inspired by the flowers and fields surrounding the house.


I love the exterior and the location, and the colours used throughout the home are so pretty and watery. The wood floors throughout the home are stained a glossy white.

white floors

Is it just me, or does the light fixture in the kitchen look like a huge white spider crawling on the ceiling?!  Otherwise, the kitchen is pretty and serene in shades of blue…



Don’t you just want to be sitting at the dining table right now?!

dining table

Eeek, another spider! The living room is opposite from the kitchen. Kind of sparse furnishings, but how gorgeous is the view through all of those fab windows?

living room

A work table in the living room.

work table

Maps of the area make great artwork in the hallway.

maps in hallway

The master bedroom is a calming retreat in watery blues and greens. Isn’t the chandelier charming?

master bedroom

More fantastic views from the daughter’s bedroom…


The bathroom is a beautiful shade of green, but I think it could use some artwork on the walls. What do you think?


Love the blue & white tub.

bathroom 2

If this was my cottage, I wouldn’t be able to get any work done! But I suppose I might be able to squeeze in a few blog posts at this desk :-)


Every home needs a dog!


I could spend hours on the deck just taking in that view…


No need for window coverings when you don’t have any neighbours!

nightimeAll images from The New York Times and Alexandra Angle Interior Design

I’m ready to move in – how about you? :-)

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Cottage read: The Help

One thing I love to do at the cottage is read. I usually have a big pile of home decor magazines to get through by this time of the year, but I seem to have caught up on most of my magazine reading (unless I put a pile somewhere that I forgot about).

A few weeks ago, I saw a preview for a movie called The Help, based on the book by Kathryn Stockett.

The three main characters are amazing women who take a huge risk in order to tell the story of what life was like for “the help” in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. The movie is coming out in August, but I decided not to wait for the movie and buy the book. I was hoping it would get me through a good part of the summer, but I love the book so much I pick it up every chance I get! It’s funny, sad, hopeful, and completely enthralling.

Have you read any good books lately?

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Around the garden

Thought I’d share some pics of the garden that I snapped a couple of days ago, starting with my absolute most favourite flower, blue hydrangeas…

hyd close

The trick to getting your hydrangeas plant to produce blue flowers is to add aluminium sulpahte to the soil. I was late adding it this year, so the flowers on my hydrangea are blue, purple, and pink :-)

hyds with geranium

purple bloom

new bloom

I also love delphiniums. If you cut down the plant after the flowers finish blooming, it will usually produce a second batch of flowers later in the summer.

delph close


I love how this little delphinium looks with the sun shining on it :-)

delph small

Ornamental grasses are beautiful – I’ve planted quite a few in our garden, and this one is my favourite. It starts growing a bit later than the other grasses, but then it takes off like a weed!


grass close


And my very favourite annual, impatiens…


This red cardinal is for my friend Kate in Australia :-) I took the pictures on a rainy day in the spring with the zoom lens from the bedroom window – this is as close as I could get!

cardinal 1

Action shot ;-)

cardinal 2

And believe it or not, we actually have at least one hawk living in our neighbourhood. There’s a bit of a running joke here about hawks. They freak me out when I’m swimming at the cottage – when I’m just a head sticking out of the water, what if they think I look like I’d make a good dinner!? And then when they go off and get their friends and start circling, I freak out even more. My friend Sonya said I should wear one of those propeller beanie hats to scare them away – I just might do that! Anyway, we saw a bunny running away from something a couple of days ago, and then saw this guy sitting on a neighbour’s car:


Eeek! They’re following me!

Hope your gardens are full of blooms and the hawks leave your heads alone…

Happy weekend!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best. Clock. Ever.

I have a bit of a thing for watches and clocks. I especially love big wall clocks. So when I came across this picture on Pinterest, I hit the Repin button real quick!

clocktower03 clocktower04Images via Newsarama

Seriously, is that beyond cool or what?! The only drawback is that you have to read the time backwards. But hey, if you’re living in this $23.5 million penthouse in New York City, you can probably afford to hire somebody to tell you what time it is ;-)

And speaking of time…. I don’t spend much of it on the computer on weekends, seeing as I’m at the cottage and outdoors from first thing in the morning till dark. So it’s likely to take me a few days to reply back to the comments you leave on my blog posts between Friday and Monday. But I’ll be by your blogs when I’m back from the cottage, promise!

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