Designing the perfect shower: 7 things to consider

We’re knee deep in planning out our second shower renovation and I wanted to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way, as long as some crowd-sourced features that you shared with me on Instagram last week. As with many home spaces, showers need to strike that perfect balance between incredibly functional to use and aesthetically beautiful.

Making the switch to cloth napkins and some faves

When we renovated our kitchen last year, I made the decision to reduce our usage of paper towels as much as possible, and that meant making the switch to cloth napkins and towels for cleaning. Beyond reducing our environmental footprint (which is always a plus!), I have really enjoyed how cloth napkins elevate a simple weeknight dinner and allow you to have some fun with different patterns and textures. Even if we’re just ordering in pizza, there’s something special about having nice, heavy weight napkins that make you feel like you’re having more than takeout. Over the past year, through some trial and error I’ve discovered some of my fave napkins, and I’ve rounded them up below. Some of the features I consider the most are the weight of the fabric, the softness, and how much interest they bring to the table, as well as how they have held up in the wash.

Natural woven jute rugs that pack a graphic punch

Typically, when I think of natural jute rugs, I think of them as being great neutral bases for a room, especially in a space that sees a lot of foot-traffic. But, there’s a whole category of natural jute rugs that feature more interesting designs and colours, which is what really attracted me to Annie Selke’s jute collection. When designing my dining room, I knew that finding the right rug was going to be tricky, as it’s a big open concept room that features multiple vintage rugs in one view, and I wanted a rug that could hold it’s own and look cohesive, but not compete with the other rugs. The rug also needed to be large at 9×12 in size and hold up to a lot of foot traffic, not to mention that it had to be low pile, in order to avoid dining chairs from catching on it. As always, my list of needs were long!

How to choose the right fabric for reupholstering furniture

About five years ago, I scoured Craigslist in search of two vintage swivel club chairs I could have reupholstered to suit my tastes. I found the perfect pair of chairs and then set out in search of a fabric. At our local fabric store, I fell head over heels in love with a remnant bolt of blush Ralph Lauren silk velvet fabric. The fabric was expensive, but a steal for what it was, and as I was checking out I asked the staff at the store “will it hold up as an upholstery fabric?” I was told yes, and that was the primary intention for this fabric. So I felt confident in my decision, spent my several hundreds of dollars on the fabric and didn’t think twice about it. We dropped the chairs and fabric off at the upholsterer and were eager to see the finished product. A month later, when we went to pick them up, the upholsterer told us offhand that that fabric was a little tricky to work with. That was my first indicator that maybe, I hadn’t done my homework on the fabric.

Fave Etsy Finds: Indian Blockprint Fabrics

One of my favourite new discoveries on Etsy has been blockprint fabrics direct from India. A few weeks ago, I shared some of the fabrics I recently ordered, and since then I’ve placed orders for many, many more. These fabrics are hand-made, feature gorgeous colours, and can bring a great, eclectic and layered vibe to any space.

One caveat, these fabrics are mostly cotton-based and tend to be quite thin, so without backing them, they’re great for lampshades, tablecloths and (lined) draperies. If you back them, they can be great for pillows too. Oh, and did I mention how affordable this fabric is? Most below range between $8-$12/yard… for hand-printed fabric!

Let’s jump into my favourites (most of which I’ve already purchased):

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight

And as for some ideas for your new fabric, you could DIY a ball pillow or sew a throw pillow with a zipper, or even make no sew cafe curtains or diy no sew placemats. Tell me, which one of these fabrics is your favourite and how would you use it in your home?

The Main Floor Bathroom Renovation: Layout

Those of you who have been long-time followers are probably aware that this is the second time we’re refreshing our main floor bathroom. Let me take you through the journey of this bathroom.

When we moved in, this bathroom was a buttery yellow and white scheme with black and white tile.

One of our very first projects in this house three years ago was giving this bathroom a cosmetic makeover. We gave the beadboard, walls, vanity and radiator a fresh coat of paint. We replaced the medicine cabinet, sconce, faucet (a Craigslist score!) overhead light fixture and vanity hardware. And we brought in some new accessories, shower rod and shower curtain to pull it all together. To say that this bathroom made the rounds on the internet would be an understatement, and we were so happy with how it turned out.

How I use linen throughout our home

Over the years, I’ve come to really care about the quality of the textiles we use throughout our home, and the organic texture and softness that linen brings is my absolute favourite. Not to mention that it’s such a versatile and hardworking fabric.

Kitchen Towels

Linen kitchen towels are my absolute favourite for styling photos in the kitchen, and are also our go-to for day to day. Whenever I’m shooting a kitchen, I always include a linen kitchen towel, as it brings a soft texture to a typically purely functional and cold space. I love how this striped kitchen towel from MagicLinen brings a graphic pattern to the space, yet still feels organic. I actually purchased this linen tea towel, loved it, and then coincidentally, MagicLinen reached out to collaborate, unrelated. I was elated, because I truly love their products.

Linen tea towels are also some of my favourite items to gift to people who take pride in their homes, since they’re the easiest way to add some luxury to your kitchen at a super affordable cost. Even if they’re just the towels you set out when you host guests in your home, they’re an easy way to elevate your space.

Round-Up: Affordable & Chic Sconces

I’m sourcing sconces for a few projects currently and came across so many chic, yet affordable sconces that I had to share. All these sconces are under the $200 mark, but many are far lower than that. I’m loving all the mixed materials and interesting shapes that push the envelope a little bit further and could pack a punch of style in any space.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight

How much did our kitchen cost?

I’ve never had a more requested blog topic before. Like many of you, I wasn’t totally sure how much a kitchen renovation would cost before we 100% wrapped this one up, so I understand the curiosity. My husband and I were chatting about this recently, and I think we figured out why there’s so little common knowledge around kitchen budgets: we’re all so much more likely to renovate a bathroom, but you may realistically only completely renovate one to two kitchens in your lifetime. Plus, the budget for kitchens can differ vastly across the spectrum based on a number of factors.

How we decided on marble countertops and how to care for them

We spent at least a year debating our countertop material for our new kitchen (as you do), where it was between quartz, quartzite, and  marble. I’ll dig in to our argument for each now and what were the final deciding factors in choosing to move forward with marble.

I want to stress that this is a personal and lifestyle choice. None of these are bad options by any means, it’s all about what you prioritize for your home and needs.