Making Beauty Anywhere

Making Beauty Anywhere
Live with what makes you smile

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Collections that shine

I started a crown obsession years ago and I was lucky enough to find some lovely pins, some vintage some not.

One day I decided to put them together in a little shadow box and it's a small crown collection that makes me smile.

Years ago I found this perfect Mercury glass bowl that I adore because it isn't that shattered/spotted Mercury glass ( why they do that I understand) and it's filled with sea glass my daughter and I found over the years. It's meaningful and charming.  I sat it on a marble box that I found on sale at homesense.

I was out weeding and  lifted a small weed with this tiny piece of moss attached to it so I put it in a vintage Mercury glass salt cellar that I got years ago on eBay and covered it with a tiny cloche.

Together they are a charming shiny combination of treasures collected over time and recently.   Nate Berkus always says decorate with items that have meaning to you and my small collections do that for me.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Creating Your Own Backyard Oasis

I was contacted by Wicker Central, about doing a post for them and I'm so glad they contacted me because there website covers it all. 

I feel in love with this charming, vintagey, crisp blue and white wicker set.  White wicker has such a history and this lovely set makes it modern with a 3 seater sofa, table and chairs.  On a warm afternoon is there anything more indulgent than laying on a sofa outside?!!

I thought this set would look great with two wicker side tables to put a drink down on. This Classic Coastal Wicker Sarah End Table Would work perfectly. 

I really wanted to two end tables so that I could add, drumroll please!! This classic coastal cottage wicker cylinder lamp in white for evenings outside.  This lamp is not for outdoor but on a dark evening a bit of lamp glow is soft and soothing and at the end of the evening running it back inside is easy. 

I adore pillows on a couch and I thought these two sun faded Panama Jack pillows would add some extra charm and a bit of colour that will work well with the garden. 

I'm goofy about planting flowers and I thought that this white wicker planter,
could either have flower pots placed in it with classic ferns overflowing, or pull double duty when entertaining with bottles on top and glasses on the bottom.

This planter serves 3 purposes!

1- planter ( good size and classic)
2- it's fluorescent/glows at night 
3- it's a beverage cooler!!

A multipurpose garden planter is hard to come by and this one is impressive.

A garden fountain will relax you completely and I love a wall fountain because I find them easy to maintain.  This Alfresco Cologne fountain looks as classic as white wicker. 

And finally on a cool evening this Dayva tower of fire runs on propane and will warm everyone. 

Wicker Central offers free shipping in the U.S., has so much to choose from and will fix up your backyard in no time! 

Happy Decorating,


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.