WHY NOT WEDNESDAY : show your stripes!

“Why not consider stripes next time you’re looking to update your decor?”

Apparently stripes are “in” for 2013 but honestly, have they ever been out?  Wide or pin, horizontal or vertical, stripes are classic yet versatile enough to go with absolutely any decor style.

stripes modern masculine & feminine balanceCombining and updating:  Above is an example of a his and hers place -a young couple’s first apartment. A mix of modern and eclectic, feminine and masculine.  Adding a new bold stripe rug, a textured striped ottoman, throw pillows and small stripe picture frame help to tie the colour palette and make both of their individual stuff come together in a more purposeful and unified way.  Click HERE for the full list of products and to shop all that you see in this look!

Currey & Company Alberto Orb Chandelier

Currey & Company

Olin Gold 5x8 Rug

Crate and Barrel

Glamour and Stripes

Keeping it from getting too girly: Imagine this look (above) without the modern striped rug or the in-your-face graphic pendant light fixture (or the striped tray, plant container, throw pillows and frames…).  If the rug and pillows were floral and the fixture was a crystal chandelier the feeling of this space would be much softer and more feminine -not to mention that the gold gun table lamp would look really out of place!  Click HERE to shop everything in this look!

Calypso Tray - Blue/Cream Stripe

Calypso Tray

David Trubridge - Bounce Pendant Lamp : David Trubridge - Bounce Pendant Lamp -Black

David Trubridge


Stripes in a busy roomLightening it up: Those who love pattern can sometimes get carried away! Just because the honey bee repeat pattern drapes, kaleidoscope rug and floral throw pillows all match by color doesn’t mean they go together! Edit out a few items and opt for the classic and always versatile stripes instead!  Stripes go well with a variety of patterns and can go a long way in helping to break things up by making a space feel less heavy. Click HERE to view the full list of products and shop every item in this look!

DwellStudio Draper Stripe Ash Standard Sham Set


Jagges Stripe Oslo Gray Rug Rug Size: 3' x 5'

Jagges Oslo Gray

Jonathan Adler Wallpaper

Thanks for checking in!  -Julie

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WHY NOT WEDNESDAY : no cost eclectic eye candy!

“keep those cheap tips coming!”

OK.  It’s still January.  Our wallets are still recovering from Christmas, yet our homes seem to need a little life… a little colour, no?

I’ve said many times that I think houseplants are the most economical, beautiful home accessory you can buy that will never go out of style, add instant warmth, life, colour and texture to any space.  Buying a plant for your coffee table or fireplace mantle is like “decorating for dummies”.  You simply can’t go wrong.  And this time of year especially, retailers know it.  Which is why when you walk into any hardware, grocery store or even Target you will be greeted at the door by a variety of leafy specimens priced to sell.


Still alive!! (Kong Rose).  You might recognize this plant from my outdoor summer planters. For the details click HERE.

STEP 1 – Whether you bought a new plant or already have a few healthy ones throughout your home -it’s time to get out the scissors!

STEP 2 – Seek out cute little “vases” you already own like that antique liqueur glass, a pretty teacup, candle holder, jar lid, dessert bowl, your daughter’s mouthwash cup… basically, if it’s small-ish and can hold water, it’s an option.

STEP 3 – Snip a small leaf, stem or branch from your plant.  See how it looks in the variety of “vases” you have chosen.  Pick your fave.  Place it on an end table or at your desk to add a little colour and to remind yourself of how creative you can be without spending a dime! (remember to change out the water every week).

leaf plant clippings

plants on shelf

STEP 4 – If you’re lucky, the plant variety you snipped might just form roots and turn into a new houseplant!  If not, it will still give you a month or more of eye-candy-decor-happiness (uh-huh, it is in fact a real design term) before it dies.

plant roots

tea cup plant

plant leaf dessert dish

plant leaf 'digestif'red vintageglass

THE 101: being “eclectic” with decor in your home can be scary.  But in small, no cost doses like this, why not allow yourself to experiment a little?


CHEAP TIPS AREN’T JUST FOR THE CHEAP: Adding character, something personal, fun or eclectic to a space isn’t easy for many people.  Adding real live plants, is usually the first (and easiest) suggestions I give my clients who have perfectly decorated homes but lack a little interest and warmth.  Most clients resist at first, insisting the plants will die, but honestly, after spending thousands decorating a single room does it matter if you have to replace a couple of house plants 3 or 4 times a year? ;-)

Now grab a plant and go be eclectic!

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WHY NOT WEDNESDAY : January blah fix for a buck!

“candles, candy, coffee beans, crystals and a dash of salt!”

It’s January.  The holiday decorations are put away, the planning and entertaining has been replaced by daily routines and many of us are trying to get back on a budget in order pay down that credit card before spring.  Blah.

Still, it’s nice to treat yourself and your space to a little something new.  With the lose change floating around at the bottom of your purse and a few items you may already have around the house, you can create a cute custom candle or two!

Valentine candy candle

Pretty Edible: This tarnished silver crystal bowl was $1 (check out those second hand shops people!).  The small vanilla scented candle ($1) and bag of valentine heart candies (also for $1) were both purchased at the Dollarama.

candle and valentine candy

Coffee candle

Wedding Leftovers & Coffee Beans: Dig out one of those centrepiece vases you were lucky enough to bring home from the last wedding you attended (sarcasm alert!) or pick up something new (the round glass vase pictured, was only $1).  Browse your collection of candles (or treat yourself to a new one).  Add a couple of scoops of whole coffee beans to your vase (about $1 worth, from a bag that cost me about $6) for an adorable, not to mention great smelling, candle -perfect for the kitchen!

Coffee candle


Q. What is that?
A. Chandelier crystals, duh!


crystal candle

Bling It: Who doesn’t have a pile of antique chandelier crystals hanging around am I right? OK, well I had some sitting in a closet …and one day I just thought; “hey my crystals might be cute in this candle holder with the woodsy smelling candle I scored for a couple of bucks!“.  It is, and I love it! (candle from Michael’s arts and crafts store).

crystals candle

crystal candle

Faux Snow: Here (below) is an idea that comes in way under a buck.  A pretty glass from your pantry, some coarse sea salt and a tea candle = a sweet winter theme candle!

coarse salt candle

The 101: Why spend a lot on something you are literally going to set on fire!!?

sea salt candle

Q. What is ‘CINQ‘?
A. It’s French for ‘FIVE

sea salt sandle

My Master Bathroom: Modern & Budget Friendly

My master bathroom; Although the charcoal subway tile, dark cabinetry, square sinks and tub feel more masculine they are nicely balanced with delicate glass door knobs, foggy-rain color paint (custom designed by me), a crystal bubble chandelier (for more info on that click HERE) and a watery color dupioni silk window treatment (which hides the much needed window shade!).

Like most people when designing my master bath, my wants didn’t match my budget!  Still, there were some key elements I knew I had to have.  A walk in glass-less shower (think; easy-to-clean), double vanities, decent storage, and a large window!  Bathroom fans might work well, but nothing beats an open window to properly ventilate and get rid of humidity (and natural light is also perfect for applying make-up!).  For more on that bubble chandelier show above click HERE.

No one will dispute that subway tiles are classic. In my master bathroom the over sized charcoal version with pale grout feels more modern. The frosted pocket door is perfect for this narrow room, it doesn’t get in the way and keeps the room feeling open.

Master bathrooms are definitely more stressful to decorate then their counterpart; the master bedroom.  Picking out the wrong duvet or lamp is not the end of the world but the wrong tiles, fixtures and cabinetry can be a pricey and permanent mistake.

Here are three basic things to consider when planning your bathroom design:

Paint It.  When painting small rooms like bathrooms or walk-in closets, I generally like to paint the ceiling the same color.  It makes the room feel less chopped up, tricks the eye into thinking the ceiling is a little higher and makes the overall space feel more open.

Don’t Decorate.  Keep the palette gender neutral since this space is likely to be shared and of course always consider re-sale.  Baby blue cabinets may go with your beach theme but one day it could drive buyers away.   Adding a blue soap dispenser and other accessories however can be a great way to inject your favourite color into the room.

I’ve always thought bathrooms in general should be clean looking and not “decorated”.  Instead, why not use every-day essentials displayed in an interesting way?  This is how boutique hotels and spa’s make their spaces feel clean and high end.  Items like rolled towels, jars of bath salts, lush tropical plants or even a pretty decanter for mouthwash are simple low cost examples anyone can replicate at home.

Put It Away:  Toothbrushes, wrinkle creams, floss, razors and flat irons -no one needs to see all of that, not even you!  Take a couple of hours on a rainy weekend and clean out under your sink.  Next, buy a few inexpensive, easy to wash plastic bins and baskets.  Make yourself a system with a bin for hair stuff, another for mani/pedi products and so on.  When there is a place for everything, it takes 20 seconds to plop your deodorant, mascara and hair mousse away, not to mention easier to find and take out every morning!

Also published on Bob Vila Nation September 28, 2012

Feature on BLOGGER HOMES September 11, 2013

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