hello sunshine A GUIDE FOR YOUR BRIGHT & HAPPY HOME
BY LEONâ€™S FURNITURE
ON THE COVER Patio Set, see pg. 23 Photography: Maya Visnyei Art Direction: Melissa DiRenzo
hello sunshine 5
ALL IN THE FAMILY
SUMMER’S LIVING ROOM Outdoor Living
SOMETIMES THE BEST SEATING ISN’T IN THE HOUSE Bethany’s Patio Story & Tips
PRETTY, FUNCTIONAL Joanna’s Patio Story & Tips
ROOMS FOR REAL LIFE Living & Dining Rooms
26 MEET THALITA 27
ROOM TO GROW Thalita’s Living Room Story & Tips
LIGHTEN UP Lucy’s Home of Light Furniture
LIVING ROOMS HAVE THE BEST STORIES Bethany’s Living Room Story & Tips
ADD A SPLASH OF COLOUR Hues of blue sofa roundup
LIFE AT THE TABLE Kassandra’s Dining Story & Tips
WHERE BLANKETS LIVE WHEN THEY’RE NOT BUSY BEING FORTS Bedrooms
64 BEDTIME STORIES Kassandra’s Bedroom Story & Tips 72
A LITTLE ROOM FOR FUN Julie’s Boys Bedroom Story & Tips
A CASTLE TO CALL THEIR OWN Joanna’s Girls Bedroom Story & Tips
LITTLE TOUCHES THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE Accessories roundup
Hello Summer! Welcome to our second edition of the Hello series, a digital publication created by our team of talented Hello Yellow bloggers. This 90 page Lookbook is sure to provide you with some useful tips and tricks for a bright & happy home this season. With the rise of the Internet and social media there can be a lot pressure to have the perfect home. From meticulously styled Instagram photos to the picture perfect Pinterest party- we’re often flooded with “inspiration”everywhere we look. At times this can feel a bit overwhelming. Real life isn’t always photo ready. It can be messy and maybe even a little chaotic. But just because a moment isn’t picture perfect, doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for you. Those lazy Sunday afternoons, the piled up laundry, and the family of dust bunnies that tend to visit unannounced, make your home really feel like one. Through candid stories from inside the walls of our bloggers’ homes, we are hoping to show that real life is textured, interesting and fun...but not always perfect. Our homes don’t need to look like the cover of a magazine for us to be proud of them. They are meant to be lived in, not just looked at. With simple tips and some good advice we want to help you get back to the things that really matter: sippin’ lemonade on the patio with your family, fighting monsters from the safety of your kids’ makeshift bunk-bed castle, or just simply cuddling up in your favourite spot to catch up on some reality TV. We hope the pages of this Lookbook empower you to embrace life at home, dirty paws and all. So grab a cold drink, put your feet up, unwind, and enjoy some home décor
IN EA TIVE MARKET
for real life from your favourite Canadian bloggers.
O HEY • LE
All in the Family Each member brings their own personal experience in making spaces that are not only beautiful but also comfortable with a unique perspective on how to achieve that perfect balance. Not to mention strategies for handling twin boys, or for pulling a room together for a pair of princess-astronauts!
Every family is different and the best advice for someone isn’t the best advice for everyone. That’s why we’ve brought together our eclectic team of bloggers and creators from suburbs, cities and farmhouses across the country and asked them to share their own real life stories, struggles and solutions for making a home feel like one.
SSA N D R
IE • ELLIVE
• LAZY M
ANY • T
AR LIT E L A • THE
B S E RV E R
So whether you find yourself moving into your first home, knee-deep in diapers, sending the kids off to college, you’re sure to find an approach that works with your lifestyle, and furniture that not only suits your home but also feels like part of the family.
CY • CRAF
SUMMERâ€™S LIVING ROOM Summer might seem a little short in Canada but thatâ€™s what makes those moments out on your patio so much sweeter. So make the most of the season, serve up some ice-cold lemonade and soak up all the sun you can handle.
F rom Guelph With Love Bethany Gier is a Canadian “mompreneur” and hairstylist with a deep appreciation for all things creative. Her blog, This Little Estate, follows her family’s adventures in DIY and inspires readers to tackle their to-do list with her budget-friendly tips and tricks.
Do you have any good memories related to a particular piece of furniture? When we got married we squeezed into a double bed. Once we added three children and a snuggly dog to the mix we quickly upgraded to a king size bed and it was the best decision. Now during those nights when the kids sneak in we have space for everyone. We even moved a television into our space because Movie night in Mom and Dad’s room has become a highly anticipated tradition for all of us now. Pass the popcorn please!
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? Around our house we love to cook and host gatherings and were so happy when we finally found the perfect long table to accommodate our large guest lists and big families. However, it was a dated table we found off of a local buy and sell site. I got to work and refinished the table and chairs and was so pleased with the transformation and how great they looked in our dining area. We decided to add a new light fixture to the space and knew that with an updated fixture the room would definitely be complete. I left my handy hubby alone to hang it but in his haste to please me, he decided to stand on the table instead of using our trusty ladder. Needless to say the long, newly refinished table snapped in half. Now, when we host dinner parties no one would know that the base of our table is held together by hidden 2 by 4s!! Though it was such an unfortunate incident at the time, we cant help but laugh about it now. That table is a true representation that hard work can transform a piece of furniture but that furniture is also more meaningful when it survives life with you.
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? When I am putting together a space I like to add equal parts new and old. I love including good vintage finds in a space and look forward to the conversations that evolve when visitors inquire about them. I also like to include natural elements, textured elements and smooth sleek elements to layer a space. I have an unwavering love for wicker and glass and include both in every room in our home. I have always been completely obsessed with wood details and try to add as much interest as possible in the form of wall treatments and moldings. I believe that when a room is empty of furnishings the space should still look great.
Describe a perfect day at home. A perfect day at home would be a sunny weekend where we are all at home together with no agenda except for hanging out with each other. The coffee flows freely and our babies run around barefoot embracing the simple pleasures we pursued by moving outside the city. The stove would be filled with concoctions the kids would help me mix up and the house would smell of the childhood recipes I cherish. We would play ball on the front lawn in the afternoon, watch the planes passing by in the sky from the near by airport and we would finish the day off by crowding around a camp fire together with a side of sticky marshmallows.
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? I have a hard working curio cabinet that houses my plentiful dish collection that I couldn’t live without it. I feel like curio cabinets are a thing of the past for some families, but in our home we use ours consistently. It is the piece that holds valuable family treasures, pretty white pitchers that I have collected over the years and enough white cocktail plates to go around when we host our annual new years eve party.
Sometimes The Best Seat Isnâ€™t In The House BY BETHANY When we moved to the outskirts of town, we wanted to fully embrace the simplicity of living outside the hustle and bustle of the city, but we really moved here for the epic sunsets. The only problem was that we didnâ€™t have a space or the means to enjoy the picture-worthy evening skies that were filled with ribbons of pink and gold.
We embraced the needs of our fixer-upper upon moving in during the fall of last year, but most recently we excitedly waited for summer weather to come along so we could build and create a space outdoors. A porch and outdoor furniture would be the perfect fix. There is something so special about watching the sunset, don’t you think? It’s a natural phenomenon that is never the same but always amazing. Our children get it. On the nights when the sky is the brightest shades of royal red, cotton candy pink, and beautiful blush, our daughter will shout out that the sky was painted just for her, and for a second, we feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.
That’s why we had to create a front porch on our new house. We needed a space to soak in the last ribbons of a summer sky, and we also wanted to double our living space. I have been known to escape to the front porch in the wee hours of the morning because to me time is important, and because sunrises out here are just as good as the sunsets. The glass-topped coffee table is the perfect spot to spread out that magazine I have been hoarding, waiting for the perfect time to break it open, and is the best spot to hold my morning coffee while I breathe in the fresh morning air. I never thought an outdoor space could be life-changing, but I was wrong. Don’t tell my husband I just said that.
â€œTaking the time to take in the calm of the morning or the beauty of the evening can change your outlook on the day.â€?
BUY ME! 12
Taking the time to welcome the calm of the morning or the beauty of the evening can change your outlook on the day. It can remind you that your home is meant to be lived in, not just looked at. It can also remind you that you might have spaces right under your nose just waiting to be lived in and enjoyed. Life is always evolving, as is the home. Summer is the best season to look around you, take it all in, and think about how you could love your home more. You might be surprised to see that the sunsets seem to be painted just for you.
READ MORE ABOUT BETHANYâ€™S PATIO STORY
BY BETHANY I have always loved being a party planner from my childhood days, to my college years, as a newlywed, and today. Like everything in life, things change including party expectations. As my family and business has grown, my role as a party planner has changed. It has been my goal for years now to plan a party, but to still be a part of it. I want to enjoy my guests as much as I want them to be able to come to our home to enjoy our spaces, and the people and conversations that flow through it. My tried-and-true shortcuts to hosting a party are what I always refer to when preparing for a gathering. If you too want to be a part of your party, follow these five simple steps, and you will have your hands free for embracing friends when the front door swings open, for squeezing chubby baby cheeks, and for pouring a pitcher of your famously refreshing iced tea.
WINDY EXPECTATIONS I welcome the cooling summer breeze much like I do my guests – with open arms – but being prepared is important. Use decorative pieces or travel souvenirs (like shells) to keep your napkins from getting away from you. Place your drink straws into a covered jar or container to contain in one spot as well.
SPRAY IT, DON’T SAY IT Have sunscreen readily available for those who might be hanging out in full sun, and have bug spray on hand if you plan on carrying your party well past dusk.
AFTER SUNSET If you know your party will continue after the sun has gone down, prepare some simple jars with votive candles inside. The wind won’t be able to blow them out, and their flames produce the prettiest patio ambiance. Having citronella candles close by is a huge help for deterring pesky summer bugs. Keep a basket of blankets on hand. Your guests will enjoy snuggling beneath them while the conversation keeps flowing.
PRESS PLAY As a host you get to set the tone of your party. Plan ahead with a playlist of your summer favourites or download a music app on to your phone and choose a pre-set playlist that will set the Summer mood.
CHEERS! Having a signature drink for your guests is such a fun way to customize each party – and it makes playing bartender much easier, too. A signature punch that guests can serve themselves is even better.
ON THE MENU I always look forward to feeding my guests. To be a present party planner though, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen mixing up and serving food while your guests are waiting for you to join them. Be a part of the party by pre-making easy single serve bites. These are an easy way to get the kids involved too.
READ MORE ABOUT BETHANY’S SUMMER PARTY PLANNING TIPS
A Certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi” Joanna lives in Montreal with her family and is a blogger at LazyMomsBlog. She has a background in psychology and is passionate about making life happier, simpler, and for sharing her enthusiasm for mindful living, good food and functional yet beautiful décor. When she’s not writing and photographing, you can find her making mess in the kitchen with her kids.
Do you have any good memories related to a particular piece of furniture? When I was growing up we had this huge old wooden wardrobe that was originally bought by my grandfather. It stood in the same spot for over 30 years, used by my grandmother and then my own mother. I used to go in and hide there as a child. When we where moving out, we couldn’t move it with us because it was too old, too big, too heavy. So we left it, and I like to imagine it still standing there in that old living room and serving as a hiding spot for some other little girl now.
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? In Montreal at the start of Summer people who rent will move and leave their unwanted goods on the sidewalk. It’s the best time for some great curbside shopping. Once my hubby and I were driving around trying to sooth a crying a baby and spotted two old chairs. He wasn’t too keen on picking them up because we didn’t have space in our condo at the time. But I twisted his arm and they came home with us. Today these are our favourite breakfast chairs at our kitchen table!
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? The clear purpose of the room and it’s functionality are most important things for me. However, I believe that any space can both funtional as well as beautiful and inspiring.
Describe a perfect day at home. Breakfast with my kids and my hubby on the patio, followed by some crafting with my girls, gardening and baking cookies. Next, lunch made by my hubby, reading and cuddling with my daughters, and cooking together in the afternoon. Dinner on the patio and stargazing while sipping wine. Voila, a perfect day at home!
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? Big kitchen table. We rarely use our dining table, so this is where we eat and where life happens. It’s where we start our day in the morning, our craft space, my work space, where we talk about our day and prepare our meals. It’s really the centre of our home.
Pretty, FUNCTIONAL When we were looking to buy a home almost three years ago, I always started the tour in the backyard. I wanted a space big enough to play with my kids, to entertain, and to unwind in after a busy day. I was imagining a spacious patio where I could fit our big extended family, where my daughters could read in the shade, and where I could keep lots of potted herbs and flowers. For me, summer is for outdoor living, for breathing in the fresh air, and for reconnecting with kids while playing in the sun.
Nothing is perfect and after two years in our home, it was time for some changes in the backyard. We needed more space for our summer lifestyle, and furniture that would finally fit our needs. An outdoor sofa had been on the wish list for a long time. We wanted a place for lounging and enjoying cold lemonade with our kids (without worrying that they would hurt themselves on the old furniture). Our new sofa is big enough to fit us all for after-dinner cuddles, and it’s comfortable enough for an afternoon outdoor nap. This sofa has become my daughter’s favourite place to read books before dinner, and it’s my happy place in the evening once the kids are asleep. READ MORE ABOUT JOANNA’S PATIO STORY
â€œWe needed more space for our summer lifestyle and furniture that would finally fit our needs.â€? BUY ME! 19
Painted Pretty Planting Pots,
(Try saying that three times fast!) You don’t need to be an artist to upgrade your old planters. I’m not a real artist, but it doesn’t really matter, because this trick is so easy that even a toddler can pull it off. CLICK PHOTO FOR TUTORIAL
One of my biggest pleasures of summer is spending time outside with my family, but it’s really no fun at all when the bugs join in. Even though there are many products out there, sometimes I’ve run out, and sometimes I think that all the chemicals in them are a bit too harsh for my kid’s sensitive skin. Luckily there are other ways to get rid of unwanted friends. Here are my all-time favourite natural, simple, and easy ways for getting rid of mosquitoes and bugs on my patio. CLICK PHOTO FOR NATURAL BUG REPELENT TUTORIAL
Plenty Of Excuses To Go Outside This Summer Nothing says summer like a night on the patio, surrounded by friends, family – and if you’re lucky – a BBQ! It’s where some of summer’s best memories are made, and you can find everything you need to make it happen here.
Palermo 5-Piece Patio Dinette
GET THE LOOK! p.19
Sasha Outdoor Ottoman
Marco Swivel Chair
Renee Outdoor Ottoman
Caribe Sectional with Ottoman
GET THE LOOK! p.19
Shaw Square Throw Pillows
Palm Harbor 4-Piece Conversation Set
Palm Harbor 4-Piece Conversation Set
GET THE COVER LOOK!
ROOMS FOR REAL LIFE
Your home isn’t a showroom, which means that a picture-perfect design only tends to stay perfect in a picture. You’re dealing with traffic, spills, pets, and toddlers who can at times seem more like tornadoes, but we’ve got a few ways to make those lived in spaces even more lovable.
#TwinMom Thalita is an art teacher by trade, who loves all things black and white. As a new mom to twin boys, she documents how she’s making her house into a home over at The Learner Observer, where you can also catch her blogging about decor, recipes, DIY, and mom life!
Do you have any good memories related to a Describe a perfect day at home. A perfect day at home is when I get to sleep in until 6am particular piece of furniture? As kids, we spent summers visiting my grandparents who lived by the beach and my brother and I would always share a room with a bunk bed there. It was the only time we got to sleep in a bunk bed and it forever signified Summertime and childhood to me.
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? Our living room sofa became my second bed when I was pregnant with the twins. I removed the back cushions and made it extra wide so Luther (my dog) and I could lay on it, and we spent endless afternoons napping there. It was perfect!
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? Remember two things: how the room will be used and how you want to feel in there. Those two things matter most, and knowing them guides my decision-making in terms of colour, finishes and texture.
(I know, my idea of perfection is weird after having kids) and have a (hot!) coffee before the boys wake up. The perfect day is the day the boys nap at the same time and we get lots of quality playtime and cuddles with them both. It ends with babies in bed by 7pm and mom and dad ordering takeout for dinner. So simple, but so perfect!
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? I would not know how to live without our family room sofa! It’s where we all hang out, sleep, and watch TV. It’s Luther’s favourite place to sleep and where we often catch him curled up on a blanket.
ROOM TO GROW BY THALITA Our living room sofa has always been so much more than a place to sit. It’s where I told my husband I was pregnant, where we’ve had several home-cooked and take-out meals on nights when we’ve skipped sitting at the table, and it’s where we’ve had endless cuddles with our dog, Luther. It’s time for a new chapter and a new couch.
We transitioned from being a couple to a family of four last December, when our twin boys were born, and we knew that our living room would need to change, too. It needed to be functional for us in three ways: it needed to look good since it’s visible from the front door of our house; it had to be able to store baby gear; and it absolutely needed to be comfortable enough for us to watch TV and entertain in – not that we’re doing much of the latter with twins! We love our new sofa! The fact that it’s dark leather means clean-up is a breeze for all those times when the babies spit up on us, and on everything else, and it will withstand many more years of our family’s use. On this sofa, we feed babies, we play with babies, we change babies, and we fold lots and lots and lots of laundry! READ MORE ABOUT THALITA’S LIVING ROOM STORY
Set Your Vacuum To “Dog” A Dyson Vacuum might be the solution to keeping a clean home, loving your dog, and keeping your sanity. Vacuuming can be torture for me. Honest to goodness, if you want to see me unhappy, watch me when I vacuum (or fold laundry). And yet I love a clean floor more than just about anything – even clean clothes! With the arrival of our twin boys, cleaner surfaces suddenly became an even higher priority, especially since we have a dog that sheds. We can put down all the quilts and blankets we want, Luther’s teeny-tiny hairs get into everything. So how do I keep our home clean, love my dog, and keep my sanity while doing my most-hated chore? Read on for my best tips for a clean space. READ THALITA’S VACUUMING TIPS FOR LIVING WITH PETS.
For Such Small Humans, They Sure Have A Lot Of Stuff
BY THALITA Babies change everything, and always need changing. We were in dire need of “baby stuff” storage in our living room ASAP. Ironically, we decided to think outside the box and bought a dining server to use for living room storage and it’s perfect! To keep costs low, and in the name of reusing and recycling, I came up with an easy way to recover old diaper boxes, and now peace and order is restored in the living room. CLICK FOR THALITA’S DIY STORAGE BOX TUTORIAL
This Should Cover It BY THALITA I’ve never been one to sit on the floor much, but when you have two infants, you’re not left with much of a choice, especially once the crawling begins! My twin boys are constantly on the floor for tummy time and playing, and I wanted a pillow cover that would be tough enough to handle their continued abuse, so I made one – out of a doormat! CLICK FOR THALITA’S DIY PILLOW TUTORIAL
Hanging At Home BY THALITA If you’re looking for a summer project for you and your kids, or maybe for a little “me time” this may be it. The great part about this DIY is that you can make it as small or as large as you want, and it’s a great way to use up any fabric scraps or ends that you may have lying around from past crafty projects (or attempts). In the end, you’ll have some great-looking artwork that both you and your kids will be proud to hang. CLICK FOR THALITA’S WALL WEAVING TUTORIAL
Laddering Up BY THALITA When did old things start costing more than new? Blankets are an absolute must in our house during all seasons. My husband seems to be constantly cold, and our dog can be found in a pile of them at any time. We’ve usually got them on the sofa, but in the summer, I like to keep them a little more out of the way. I would love an old ladder, but those things have become so popular that they cost a pretty penny, so I decided to make an “old” ladder myself. CLICK FOR THALITA’S DIY DISTRESSED LADDER TUTORIAL
Everything In Its
There are few things more satisfying than an artfully organized room. Here are a few double-duty pieces of furniture to help you make the most of the space you have and some spaces you probably didnâ€™t think about.
GET THE LOOK! p.30
Toffee End Table
Natural End Table
Calvin End Table
Wylie Console Table
Hearst Console Table
GET THE LOOK! p.32
Allison Pine Server
Creativity in Bloom As an artist/photographer/blogger/speaker living in Toronto, Lucy Akins created her blog Craftberry Bush as a means of video archiving arts and craft activities with her kids. Lucy enjoys sharing her passion for decorating, and believes there is an artist in all of us. When she’s not creating, Lucy can be found enjoying time with her husband, their three children, and their energetic Aussie pup, Brody.
Do you have any good memories related to a particular piece of furniture? The very first piece of furniture we bought as husband and wife nearly 20 years ago was a little dinette set from Leon’s. We only recently replaced the set that served as my art table, our office table, the place our children learned to write and do homework on, and the place we would gather on a nightly basis to share meals and enjoy many beautiful conversations as a family.
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? That same dinette table had a circular glass top which for nearly 8 years sat securely upon a pedestal frame. That was until our oldest son, then 4, was leaving the table and accidentally pushed it from the frame and onto the floor where it shattered. The look on our son’s face was priceless as he watched in horror, probably expecting a raging lecture. But we were just glad he wasn’t hurt and it gave us the opportunity to show him that accidents happen and treating people with grace when they make mistakes is important.
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? I believe it’s important to surround yourself with things that speak to you and that you truly love. At times, this may mean forgoing trends, but it’s this approach that will transform a house into a home.
Describe a perfect day at home. For me, it’s waking early on a Saturday morning, grabbing my watercolor paints and creating before everyone else is up. As the day progresses, spending time with my family either working around the house or just doing nothing, but doing it together.
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? The one piece of furniture I couldn’t live without is our bed. Mostly because I love to sleep, but I also love spending time with hubby as we catch up on our favourite TV shows.
A New Love For Old Finds
BY LUCY When decorating your home, it’s important to stay true to yourself and stick with what speaks to you. Sometimes, that aligns with the latest and greatest trends and sometimes it doesn’t. For me, my go-to is old bottles. There is something beautiful about their patina and the stories that they tell. What I love most though is that each
bottle represents a time and place where my family and I have ventured to in search of the perfect find, be it at a garage sale or a curiosity shop in the middle of nowhere. READ MORE ABOUT LUCY’S TIPS ON HOW TO DECORATE WITH OLD FINDS.
The Bright Side of Light Furniture
BUY ME! 40
Because Furniture Doesn’t Fit In A Washing Machine BY LUCY One of the easiest ways to make a room feel fresh and airy is to bring in light coloured furniture. It not only looks great in any space, but also can serve as a blank canvas to any colour scheme you may choose. However, the potential downside – and the reason many shy away from light furniture – is that it does take a little more effort to keep clean, especially when you have small children or pets. There’s no denying that little peanut butter fingerprints or muddy paw prints will eventually make their way onto your furniture, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to banning your children and pets from that room. There are ways you can clean and minimize stains to keep your light furniture looking great for years to come.
Home is about life happening, and let’s face it: sometimes life can be messy. It’s what makes it interesting. CLICK FOR LUCY’S TIPS ON KEEPING LIGHT FURNITURE CLEAN
GET THE LOOK! p.44
GET THE LOOK! p.40
Candace Accent Chair
Lighten Up Tristan Chair and a Half
Laurel Accent Chair
Bring an airy feel to your living space with light furniture that can make even a cloudy summer day feel bright.
Celo Fashion Ottoman
GET THE LOOK! p.44
GET THE LOOK! p.41
London Ivory Sofa
Living Rooms Have All The Best Stories BY BETHANY We recently made the hard decision to move from our finally finished DIY, multi-level suburban home to an outdated back split bungalow on the outskirts of town. We wanted to simplify. We wanted to downsize. We didnâ€™t want to be scattered within our home anymore â€“ we wanted to be together! We wanted to be in a home with our children, on the same floor, passing each other in the hallways, crowding around the dining room table together, and finding ourselves hanging out in the same living room every evening together.
With three kids, a dog, and eight chickens, our furniture is lived on and loved on. It is the place where nothing can be too precious. Our furniture needs to be able to stand up to roughhousing and pillow fights, and the occasional coffee spill. We are also constantly improving our new home with projects, which sometimes take us into the wee hours of the morning, which means our surfaces often get piled up with hardworking tools that should have gotten tucked to sleep in the garage. We are a family that strives to forgive fast and we need our furniture to follow suit. We believe that items that fill a busy familiesâ€™ space need to be able to stand up to everything a family throws at it. For us that means saws, balls and sometimes the odd flying chicken. READ MORE ABOUT BETHANYâ€™S FAMILY LIVING ROOM
SQUEAKY CLEAN BY BETHANY I am always looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary cleaning chemicals from our home environment. With three kids, a dog, and a gaggle of chickens that have been known to wander indoors, cleaning is what we do a lot of around here. With a busy household though, I don’t always have the time to search out, spend money and try out the latest and greatest products on the market. So, I have resorted to my childhood days, when my mother would whip up natural cleaners right in the kitchen using materials she already had on hand. It’s so easy to do and even easier on your wallet. You won’t even have to dip into your decor fund! CLICK FOR TUTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN NATURAL CLEANER
Grocery Store Blooms go
BY BETHANY When we think flower arrangements, we often think of over-the-top bouquets from pricey florists. It is easy to get overwhelmed when wondering what flowers would look good together and how to display them in our homes. However, sometimes the simplest ideas have the biggest impact. That’s why, to take the guesswork out of floral arrangements, I like to snag an already made bundle from the grocery store. Milk? Bread? Flowers? Check. READ MORE ABOUT BETHANY’S TIPS TO GLAM UP A SIMPLE GROCERY STORE BOUQUET.
FOUND: The Missing Remote! 50
BY BETHANY Around here, no surface is safe from clutter. In the blink of an eye, our counter-top and coffee table can easily be blanketed with mail, art supplies, and random junk from the five people who live in this home of ours. Uncluttered spaces are a few steps away though, We simply need to put in place a few steps to achieve Instagramready coffee tables. The good news is that your cupboards and closets have all the answers to banish tabletop clutter. By using forgotten containers your home is hiding, you’ll easily create a great-looking and functional coffee table. Now pass the remote. READ BETHANY’S TIPS ON KEEPING YOUR COFFEE TABLE A CLUTTER-FREE ZONE.
Find A Coffee Table That’s Your Cup Of Tea Coffee tables are for a lot more than just coffee. They’re impromptu home offices, sometime snack bars, and occasionally footstools. Coffee tables are a key part of bringing your living room together.
GET THE LOOK! p.44 Pinebrook Coffee Table
Walton Coffee Table
Berkley Coffee Table
Natura Coffee Table
Dawson Coffee Table
Calvin Coffee Table
Adding A Splash One way to brighten up a room is with a little colour in the form of a sofa. Make a big splash in your living room with your favourite hue of blue.
London Sofa in Luguna
h Of Colour
All You Need is Love and a Cup of Coffee
Kassandra (Kass) Dekoning is mom to two rambunctious but cute little boys. Kass boasts a background in visual merchandising, creative flow, and home ownership. Fuelled by multiple cups of coffee, Kass juggles raising two boys, while sharing her ideas about DIY, interior design, recipes, fashion, and all the adventures of mommyhood on her blog, Little Dekonings.
Do you have any good memories related to a particular piece of furniture? Yes, I love my boys bunk beds! My dad made them when he was in high school so you can imagine how old they are. They were collecting dust in my parents attic for years until we updated Jack’s room last Winter and knew they would be the perfect fit as eventually Jack and Max will share a room. The boys love turning the bunk beds into a spaceship or whatever their creative little minds dream up. I always catch them hanging out playing hide and seek with the sheets, it’s really one of their favourite places to hang out. I know that these bunk beds will be passed down from generation to generation, so they are definitely special to us.
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? I love transforming old vintage and antique dressers. I just love the old handles, unperfect drawers and details you don’t see on furniture today. One day I spotted my neighbour piling a bunch of old furniture out by the road for the taking. I saw an old dresser and I immediately yelled out to my husband “GO get that dresser! Hurry!!!”. So the dresser hung out in my garage for a few weeks while I gave it a little makeover. It’s one of my favourite pieces I have ever refurbished and another I’ve added to the collection.
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? If you asked my husband this question, he would say “sticking to the budget”. While it’s important, let’s just say we don’t agree on that one. For me the important thing to remember when putting a room together is sticking to your overall vision while still making sure it’s functional. Pick pieces that are versatile so the space can grow and change with you and your family. I think your home should be cohesive and each room should flow easily from one to the other.
Describe a perfect day at home. My perfect day at home would be a warm and sunny day with the boys playing outside in the sprinkler, great tunes on in the background, eating watermelon on the deck and cooking on the BBQ. Can you tell we love summer!?
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? I have to say our kitchen table and chairs. I love them because they are very practical and the boys use them more than anything in the house. Plus, it’s our gathering spot as a family.
Life at the Table
Sometimes setting the table includes paint, crayons, and glue!
One of our favourite things about our kitchen is that the dining area is open and our table is used for everything! We love that the boys can climb up and have plenty of room to do crafts, build things out of play dough, have tractor races or eat a midday snack. I even find myself folding laundry or sitting down and using the table as my workspace while watching the boys play in our backyard - it has the perfect view! Since all of the changes we made to our kitchen area, we decided to say goodbye to our first-ever dining table; that poor table took a beating, as kids are hard on everything. We’re so happy to welcome our new dining table and chairs into the family – boy, do we ever love them!
READ MORE ABOUT KASSANDRA’S DINING ROOM
Table for how many? Tips for choosing the right dining table.
BY KASSANDRA Picking out furniture for your home can be an overwhelming experience with thousands of products available in various colours, shapes, sizes and prices. Often times we don’t know where to start or we buy the first thing that we think we like. To make things simple, I’m going to share with you my experience when it came to finding a new dining table for our kitchen. D E F I N E YO U R S T Y L E How do you define your style and what are your needs? Take in some inspiration and pin point what you’re drawn to. What I like to do is pin dining room areas which look similar to my house. If I can see the table in my home and it’s something I love, I’ll pin it and refer back to it when I go to shop for tables. Keep in mind what you were originally drawn too and the sole purpose and need of the table. S I Z E M AT T E R S Where will that future table go within your home? A formal dining room, a breakfast nook or an open layout kitchen/dining area combined? In a formal dining room, you’ll likely want to consider something a bit bigger with leaves that you can add or remove depending on the number of people sitting at the table. A round table is perfect for a corner/breakfast nook or a smaller dine area within the kitchen. F I T F O R P U R P O S E If you have children, or plan on having children, you will need a table that is durable, multifunctional and easy to clean. Or if it’s just used occasionally, go ahead and consider a glass top.
Q U A L I T Y & M A I N T E N A N C E A dining table should sit firmly on the floor without wobbling and the legs should be firm. Do the leaves of the table insert easily? Sometimes tables are built to hide the leaves underneath the base of the table (hello, storage saver!). I find that with kids, I don’t want a tabletop that is going to scratch easily or have deep seams/grooves where food can get crammed. A tabletop that is thick and very easy to wipe down on a daily basis is a practical choice. D O E S I T C O O R D I N AT E ? Referring back to defining your style, a dining table needs to flow with the rest of your house. Look around: What tones of wood do you see on repeat throughout your home? Make sure it’s something you want to stick around for the long haul; this is an investment piece that you’ll most likely be getting a lot of use out of!
A Runner For Summer One of the simplest ways to brighten up your kitchen for the summer months is to add a little something to your table, whether it is a simple bouquet of flowers or a bowl of fruit paired with a table runner. I love table runners because they are an easy way to provide interest to a bare table without hiding the beautiful finish. This mudcloth-inspired table runner is an easy, budget-friendly way to add some decor appeal without being too precious for our much-used dining table. GET KASSANDRAâ€™S EASY TABLE RUNNER TUTORIAL
For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...And Homework The dining table is like another member of the family, so make sure you pick one that fits in with your routine and that you donâ€™t mind hanging around a lot.
Stockton Side Chair
Sunshine Side Chair 60
Astro Side Chair
Larenzo Side Chair
Clearview Side Chair
Ronin Side Chair
GET THE LOOK! p.55 Sunshine Table
Claira Dining Table
Helix Dining Table
Clearview Dining Table
Allison Pine pub Table
WHERE BLANKETS LIVE WHEN THEY AREN’T BUSY BEING FORTS Bedrooms are really the homes inside your home. Which is why it’s so important that you feel comfortable in that space. Now, depending on whose room we’re talking about, that could mean anything from a pillow fort complete with booby traps, to a cozy little reading nook. But whatever the case, we’ve put together some stories and suggestions for creating bedrooms that will put everyone to sleep in the best possible way.
BY KASSANDRA Our bedroom really is the hangout place in the mornings and evenings in our home, with the little guys snuggled in watching Paw Patrol or acting like little monkeys jumping on the bed. It’s also where Brent, the boys, and I rest in comfort when we’re sick. There are always toys and pillow pileups crowding the floor, as the boys are busy building forts, and sometimes the bed doesn’t even get made up because… you know, life gets in the way. Our bedroom means much more to us than just an average bedroom; it’s the comfort zone of our home; it brings us together as a family; it’s our cozy place!
With our bedroom makeover we decided it was time for a new mattress. Testing and picking out a new mattress has got to be one of the most fun things to do! This was totally my husband’s kind of shopping and after lots of laying, rolling, and the kids sneaking in a few jumps, we decided to go with the Simmons Paradise Plush mattress set. It’s designed to recharge your body when you sleep, so you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day... perfect for conquering days spent chasing two little boys around! CLICK FOR MORE OF KASSANDRA’S BEDROOM STORY
“Our new mattress is perfect for conquering days spent chasing two little boys around! .”
KASS BEDROOM DIY/HACK PROJECT Kid’s DIY Lemon Stamp Art Print
FOr when Life Gives You Lemons
BY KASSANDRA Summer is here and Jack and Max both love lemonade! To celebrate the beginning of summer, we created these simple and super-fun lemon prints. Grab some paint, slice some lemons, and go to town! This project is easy enough for a two-yearold. Your kiddies will be so proud of their framed artwork, and it will look great hanging in your room. CLICK FOR KASSANDRA’S PAINT STAMP ART TUTORIAL
GET THE LOOK
Grab these pieces to create a bright and calming escape in your home, with wood accents and a mattress that makes it easy to wake up of the right side of the bed.
the most important piece!
u Pine Ridge Night Table
Elizabeth Floor Mirror with Stand
MAKE IT! p.35
Pine Ridge Chest
Love it for less Helpful hints for finding the pieces that are right for you and your home, on a budget that you won’t lose sleep over. BY KASSANDRA
Whether it’s an overhaul or just a refresh, it may be time to breathe some fresh air into the master bedroom. With these simple tips, transforming your bedroom can be easy and on budget. PA I N T The simplest and most cost efficient way to
M I R R O R S Mirrors are a great way to give a sense of
update your space is with paint. Colour can totally change the mood and feeling of a space.
space and depth, while bringing energy and brightness into a bedroom. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and are simply great for decorative purposes or practical needs.
M I X A N D M AT C H No need to splurge on a whole new
bedroom. Switching out just a piece or two can make a big difference. Try incorporating something vintage or unique. P I L LO W S The best way to add personality and colour to
a bedroom is by adding or changing accent pillows – plus there isn’t much commitment involved. A R T W O R K Fill in that big, blank wall with framed
artwork and photos. Your bedroom is the perfect place to add collections and arrange them in a way that defines you. P L A N T S Plants have many benefits such as purifying
the air, adding colour to your decor and filling in those tough-to-style areas, like the nooks and corners of your bedroom. 70
S H O P YO U R H O U S E Don’t leave your house or spend a
penny. Take a walk around and just re-home and switch around some favourites for a new look. M I N I M I Z E Clear your mind and your clutter! Organize
decor, books, trinkets, shoes, jewelry, etc. and find permanent homes for them (or purge). Get creative with organization by using a wall to hang your hats or jewelry, or a ladder to display scarves or books.
Keep Your Cool With our master bedroom being the hottest room in our house during the summer months, it was time to upgrade our fan to really make our bedroom feel like the ultimate retreat. We went with The Dyson Cool fan because we love its super-sleek design and all of its amazing benefits. We’ve kind of fallen in love with it actually! In the past, we had a bulky floor fan that was often in the way. The kids were always crashing into it or sticking objects into the blades so it really wasn’t practical. The Dyson Cool fan is perfect because it’s compact and quiet, can be controlled by remote when we’re too lazy to get out of bed, and – best of all – it’s bladeless, and totally safe for the kids. It also has a timer, which is great to help save energy. READ MORE ABOUT WHY KASSANDRA LOVES HER DYSON FAN
Adventures In Decorating A stay-at-home mom to three young boys, Julie has a passion for interior decorating, fashion, the colour pink, and chocolate almonds. She is constantly on the look out for inspiration. She’s drawn to interior spaces that combine new and vintage pieces, and when she isn’t blogging about her quest to decorate her home on a budget, you’ll find her scouring antique stores looking for hidden gems.
Do you have any good memories related to a particular piece of furniture? I remember how excited our first born was to buy his very first big boy bed. We were getting ready to welcome kiddo #2 and it was time to move kiddo #1 out of the crib. He helped us put it together and was so proud of his “big boy” bed. It wasn’t anything fancy, but he just loved it! With kiddo 2’s recent bedroom makeover, we moved his old bed to our youngest’s room. It wasn’t until I saw that first “big boy” bed that we ever purchased out in the hallway that all of the memories of buying it and putting it together came rushing back. Good memories!
Do you have a story related to any of the furniture in your home? When we moved into our current home we were pretty excited to have a dining room, but didn’t have any furniture for it. We knew that we wanted to find a table that would seat at least 8 people comfortably. I set out looking for the perfect pieces and stumbled upon a fantastic vintage set. We were able to get the table, sideboard, china cabinet and six chairs for $650! I honestly couldn’t believe it and still can’t. I’m a huge fan of mixing styles and love the character that this set has. It’s a great spot to host friends and family and for holiday meals.
What’s the one most important thing to remember when you’re putting a room together? Have fun! Pay attention to the scale of the furniture. If the piece is too big or too small, the room will feel “off”.
Describe a perfect day at home. Waking up before the kids to enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the news or while sitting in the living room reading magazines. Once the kids are up, we enjoy some breakfast and just chat away. It’s a wonderful thing when there’s no agenda and we can just take the day as it comes!
What’s the one piece you couldn’t live without and why? My coffee maker! Does that count? I do love my coffee. But no, probably a comfy chair or couch with a perfectly placed pillow. There’s nothing better than being able to kick your feet up after a long day.
A Little Room For Fun
BY JULIE When we moved into our current home, we made sure the kidsâ€™ rooms were functional, but didnâ€™t really pay that much attention to the details. Now that the boys are a bit older and have their own distinct tastes, we thought it was time to create spaces that truly reflected their personalities.
Kids’ rooms can really be tricky. You don’t want to invest too much, because you know things change quickly, but you want the room to reflect their personality and be functional. This is a great age to invest in a good bed and mattress because it’s something that will grow with them, and sleep is so important during these years. We tested out many different Simmons mattresses, which my son thought was the best thing ever! After narrowing down his choices, we both agreed that a firm mattress was the most comfortable. He loves the fact that he can totally spread out without touching the edges of the bed. Our son absolutely loves to draw and enjoys cozying up with a book for a little downtime. He also absolutely loves Lego! I made sure to take these factors into consideration when decorating his space. Designated zones for activities help when it comes to creating a functional layout as well as for choosing furniture and lighting. READ MORE ABOUT JULIE’S BOYS BEDROOM STORY
A Room Full Of Memories BY JULIE I was so happy to inherit this red lacquered table that used to belong to my husband’s parents, and before that, his grandparents. Oh, the stories this piece could tell! I adored the shade of red and the chips in the paint (character!) so we kept it as is. I absolutely love inherited pieces, but sometimes it can be hard to know what you should do with a piece that you don’t necessarily need. A little creativity and you’ll be on your way! Have you ever been given a piece of furniture or a decorative item that has lived through a few generations, and you’re not sure what to do with it? Don’t fret! I have some tips for incorporating inherited pieces into your decor. READ ABOUT JULIE’S TIPS ON HOW TO DECORATE WITH INHERITED PIECES.
Play On Display BY JULIE We all have our beloved collections, be they books, art, or a series of toys. Oftentimes, we think that spreading out the collection piece by piece is best, however, the opposite is sometimes true. Our sonâ€™s room gave us a chance to showcase his art pieces, books and Lego creations. By grouping some of your collections together, they have more of an impact, bringing a positive focus in your space. READ MORE ABOUT DECORATING WITH COLLECTIONS
A Castle To Call BUY ME!
BY JOANNA When we first moved to our little old house, I couldn’t imagine my two daughters sharing a room. We had three bedrooms, so in my mind we had plenty of space for everyone. Looking at my tiny newborn and my vigorous toddler, I couldn’t imagine how these two could sleep in one bedroom. Fast-forward two years, and here we are: my girls are sharing a bedroom together, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
So what changed? First, we decided to transform the downstairs bedroom into a real playroom, so we were down one bedroom. Second, they grew as close as you could hope sisters to be. They couldn’t wait to see each other first thing in the morning, and it took serious convincing to separate them at bedtime. So we decided to embrace and support their close relationship, and make their room really work for both of them to reflect the happy and cheerful girls they are.
As far as the decor, I decided to go with white beds. White makes any space look bigger and is a perfect canvas for any pop of color they might love in the future. As for the mattress it was very important for me to choose a mattress that could grow with the girls. Something that would last more than a few years as mattresses aren’t something you replace very often. We ended up choosing the Prince Edward Twin mattresses for a few reasons- one of them being their 10 year warranty! Also, these mattresses are made in Canada. I say it’s a win! READ MORE ABOUT JOANNA’S SHARED BEDROOM STORY
BUY ME! 81
JOANNE GIRLS BEDROOM DIY/HACK PROJECT
Sticking With Colour BY JOANNA When we decided to put the girls in the same bedroom, I was a bit worried about storage because it’s a small space. Since we have a playroom in the basement, we decided to only keep their most favourite pieces in their room and get creative with shelving. Instead of worrying about the lack of space on the floor, we took advantage of the vertical space. I wanted to add colour and whimsy, and these fun house-shaped shelves were perfect. To keep the mess factor down and the easy factor up, I used tape instead of paint and love how they turned out. CLICK FOR JOANNA’S MESS-FREE TUTORIAL ON ADDING COLOUR.
Better Together BY JOANNA I believe the best way for siblings to bond is to share a room. As soon as my youngest started to sleep through the night, I put her in my older daughter’s bedroom and they’ve been together since. After almost a year of their sharing one room, I can say that it has been one of the best parenting decisions I’ve made. I love walking into their room in the morning, seeing them playing together, and hearing them sing lullabies to each other at night. Creating a cohesive, comfortable, and practical space for two kids can definitely be a challenge, depending on your living space. I have a few key tips on how to make it work. READ JOANNA’S TIPS TO HELP CREATE THE IDEAL SHARED BEDROOM.
You See a Bedroom, The furniture in your kid’s room has to be able to handle a lot – everything from being transformed in a fort, an impromptu spaceship, or a temporary trampoline. Which is why it’s important to find options designed with kids like yours in mind.
Charlie Twin Bunk Bed (White)
Chris Twin Loft Bed (Cherry)
GET THE LOOK! p.73
Dessy Junior Storage Bed
Taylor Twin Bunk Bed
T hey See a Spaceship!
GET THE LOOK! p.78
Sweet Dreams Twin Bed (Lavender)
Chris Twin Loft Bed
Aaron Twin Bunk Bed
Chris Twin Bed
LITTLE TOUCHES T H AT M A K E A BIG DIFFERENCE
Accessories are a great way to bring together any space and really make it your own. Those personal touches are what make a room memorable, and they say a lot about the people who call that place home.
I ’ D DOUB L E
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(Click photos for source)
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