Making Beauty Anywhere

Making Beauty Anywhere
Live with what makes you smile

Friday, July 17, 2015

Slip cover tricks

I adore my white furniture and I recently purchased an Ektorp loveseat/chaise couch which matched my Ektorp chair. People make fun of my white sometimes but I love that it can be cleaned and the room shines again.  I have been cleaning slipcovers for 20 years and I find it backbreaking exhausting work but the results are always worth it. 

So here are my slipcover tricks:

It's as simple as rubber gloves and clothespins.

After washing with soap and a bit of Oxi Clean in a front load washer.

The rubber gloves seem to speed up the handling and maneuvering of the fabric over the furniture.  The provide a better grip then bare hands can manage.

The clothespins hold the corners in perfectly and I keep them in place overnight so that the next day I have crisp corners.

Easy, time tested and it always works.

Happy cleaning,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Love and Paint


Love can change your life. 

I met the love of my life while living in my redone condo and after a year we decided to take the leap and move in together.  We chose a 70's bungalow with a vaulted ceiling and open floor plan but with the ugliest paint colours I have ever seen! At least after having redone my condo I went into it knowing I could paint..... And paint and paint to fix it.  This is the dark, matte light sucking colour.

Moving two homes is a time consuming process (especially in the winter) and so Christmas showed up and I had to ignore the hideous colour and throw up a tree.

It was two tones of orange/brown/rust/dark/matte  blehhh.

It was a few days after Christmas when we were choosing paint and on New Year's Day with no plans we began.  The paint is Benjamin Moore Origins (sold by Canadian Tire in Canada) Mercury Glass high gloss.  It's a true gray with only black added as a colour and I chose high gloss (as always) to bounce the light.  

Why do cats always find the paint tray and walk in it??

Alright it was getting better and certainly lighter.  I have wanted gray for a long time and this gray is the one I had been waiting for.  It sometimes looks light blue but it's creamy, soft and light.

I found the sideboard with the TV not working. It's a long wall into the dining room and with a large window beside it and then open to the kitchen.  It was limiting for pictures or "stuff" so I took a leap on floating shelves to centre the sideboard/tv and allow me to add and subtract my treasures without putting holes all over the wall. 

I like it a lot.  It allows me to redo it on a whim without marking the wall, it centres the TV setup and adds a focal point that was needed. 

The background colour works doe all seasons and makes my treasures shine.

It was a big start on getting this house looking like ours. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 and Shabby Chic

was contacted by Holly Hughes, Community Manager at Chairish - to design a Shabby Chic room,   What a request!! It's an amazing website with sellers posting online items for sale that are exactly what you are looking for when you go treasure hunting.  This site rivals anything I have seen on eBay and all I can say is it's a good thing they don't ship to Canada or I would be a broke but very happy blogger!  makes selling easy as pie, listing is free and they take care of all the pesky logistics of payments and shipping. You can sell items on Chairish from anywhere in the continental United States.  

So on to my room,  I think every Shabby Chic room starts with an amazing comfy, cozy big white statement couch and this is why I chose the White Linen Rocco Sectional.  This lovely sectional works for lounging, relaxing and hosting and it is the statement piece in the room.

Since the sectional is such a statement piece I thought for a coffee table it needed something calm and light to not distract from the couch.  This Modern Acrylic Table works even though at first thought it doesn't seem traditionally Shabby it is the perfect for the sectional.

I love a Console Table behind a couch and this was where I would place this traditionally Shabby Chic floral dresser.  With three drawers this dresser offers storage, pink roses and perfect chippy paint. I would place the Tall Alabaster Urn Form Table Lamp on the Antique Carved Architectural Capital Topped With Marble and beside it place this Antique French Bird Cage which is perfect for candles, shells etc.  A disparate grouping of found vintage treasures look like you have spent a lot of time in the flea market over time. No one would ever guess you relaxed at home and shopped!

I adore alabaster lamps and have a small collection and what I thought would be perfect with this lamp is the Antique Large Linen Lampshade which is stunning.  The linen would pick up the linen in the couch and it would create a soft glow of light = Perfection.

A flatscreen is a part of almost every living room/family room and I like it on a white console such as this Thomasville White Lacquered Sideboard.  If not a TV then the stunning Trumeau below on it.

This vintage French Trumeau mirror would be perfect anywhere.  It has lovely scrolly details, chippy paint and even a bow.  It would bounce light around the room and add additional age to the collection.

Across from the couch I thought these Slip Covered Oversize Wingback Chairs would look great.  They are oversized like the couch and I love that they are a classic look but slip covered and comfy looking.  I thought between the two chairs the Vintage French Pedestal Side Table would add the touch of chippy and vintage, and one of the Brass Crystal Candelabra Table Lamps. 

Personally I love a bit of white marble in a living room, it gives a bit of sheen and I love the marbling of greys and blacks that are different with each piece.  When I found this amazing Vintage Marble Clock Face which is slightly chippy it was ridiculous, obsessive, love at first site!

Oh The Possibilities !!!! 

It could be hung on the wall, used as a table top or even converted back to a clock.  I adore it so much I have spent too much time thinking where it could go in my living room, or bedroom.  It's a true find. 

I also found a perfect Vintage  French Porcelain Enamel Sign which would work  with the Trumeau mirror and  French bird cage.   It's a bit chippy but its in in perfect condition.

I was so caught up in the hunt I found more items to flesh out the room, this vintage Mercury glass candle set is a perfect addition for shabby, country, french  versions of this room. I loved this set because of its versatility;  in the birdcage, on the beautiful clear coffee table  - anywhere.  

I found lovely pillows for the couch  and chairs that would reference the colours of the items in the room. 

Stunning grey damask, 

Harmonious light blues with greys,

And soft stripes. 

I adore a treasure hunt and I can't thank Holly enough for opening my eyes to the treasures at  This website offers those of us who love to decorate a chance to find what they are looking for in one spot.  So now that you have seen what I found, go check it out for yourself.

Happy Shopping,


Monday, February 18, 2013


Other than ebay it is really hard to find a good Euro cover here in Canada.  I have been looking for a very long time and nothing made me happy.  I wanted something that would work with the greys and blues in my living room but was a pattern I could live with. 

I was walking through a store the other day and found a shower curtain in a pattern I love and set to work sewing.

It beautifully blends the colours in my living room and is soft enough to not be jarring. 

I especially love the view from behind the couch.

I wanted to sew but I am never good at the zipper and quit trying years ago, so instead I made a pocket.  Trial and error has taught me to do a low pocket so that it is easier to get the pillow in. It also shows better from behind.

(not pretty I know!)
It's an easy trick and it works for me and my limited sewing skills.

I had to show this itty bitty orchid which is about 8 inches tall and came with the teeny tiny pot (with fleur de lis on it).  I found it at Home Depot and have never seen such a small orchid.  It is just charming.  The mirrored lamp has a black shade but I just quickly wrapped in in gift wrap which hides the black well.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shabby Cane Chair


Oh Kijiji, on a dark winter night you are a dream weaver. 

It's January, it's cold, and as you can probably tell I am spending a lot of time on kijiji.  I suddenly wanted a chair with a cane back, seat, arms - anything!  I saw a stunning chair but it was $1000.00 which is beyond single mom budget. 

Then I saw this chair and I knew it would satisfy my urge for a cane chair and thought I could make it work.


It was in my budget range, white and even already distressed.  The only issue was the seat cover which was not my style. A few weeks ago in my basement I found a hammock made of strong cotton that had aged beautifully,  I liked the colour and wanted to use it with something.

It seems like they would be nice together. So off came the previous seat cover and I discovered a .49 cent paint can opener is perfect for getting off old staples.

With a bit of work I got it all together.

Yowza!  I love it.

It works in the small corner of my living room that needed something petite.  It's by the window, next to my marble cherub table with a little lamp with crystals and it's all just so french and charming.

I'm so happy with the results.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Little Pink House

Happy New Year!  For Christmas I went to the Caymen Islands and went from -31 Celsius to this:

It was heavenly to spend our holiday in the warmth and sunshine and my daughter and I did a lot of collecting.  I think it was Nate Berkus who always says to live with the things that have meaning to you, and things that remind you of your travels, so after bringing  home 10 lbs of shells I went to work incorporating them into our home as a reminder of a wonderful time. 

Many years ago I found this beautiful Murano glass bowl,

and for some reason I have not found a use for it for years.  When I filled it with all my shells (and a fishing float) it became a beautiful daily reminder of all the beauty that can be found on a beach.

I found beautiful pale pink,

sweet green, 

and a representation of all the love I have in my life. 

(it looks a bit like a heart!)

I also found something to dream about 

A beautiful pink house, with a Canadian flag, on the beach in the breeze.  When it's cold, and the day is long I like to dream about this beautiful pink house in the sun. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some Pretty Things

It's a wonderful time of year for pretty.  I love getting out my feather tree and decorating it.

We have had a lot of snow already and this beautiful statue was out in the snow at Wellington in a quiet spot. 

I still love a grouping of grey.


I did my own little grouping with my grey.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas,