Stick with the classics – whether decorating or grade 8 grad

I do not consider myself a boring person but I do think if the base of any project is classic, then you have a good foundation. Start a room off with classic furniture and area rug then pop in some fun or even “out there” accessories and you will have success. A classic couch paired with spunky accent pillows is going to look great. 

Last night was my youngest child’s grade eight grad. There has been talk about dresses, hair styles and footware with all her friends since pretty much the first day of school in Septemeber. There were chats about who would wear what colour, would the hair be up or down, straight or curly and oh no, what to do if someone shows up wearing the same dress! From the start my line was, pick a classic look then add some funk. You can not go wrong with a classic. In this case, the simple black dress. Everyone refers to the simple black dress as the go to for a reason! In the case of my daughter we ended up finding what I consider to be a classic dress. Black with lace. Pretty and simple but elegant in the same moment. She made the dress “hers”, meaning her style, with accessories. A good friend of mine made her a custom necklace and shrug (thanks Denise!) and Zoe a great hairstyle with braids. My daughter Maya, the grade 8 graduate with honours was a show stopper. Dressed in a classic but with her style displaying itself in the accessories. A good lesson for fashion and in home decor. Remember they are classics for a reason after all! 

  
Congratulations Maya! You looked fabulous and your entire family is proud of you! 

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Rattan or Wicker? 

  
I recently picked up this (seen above) fantastic set of patio furniture from a garage sale. I was telling my husband it was advertised as a rattan set, to which he asked how one knows if it is rattan or wicker. For a moment I stared at him blankly. Yes, folks for a brief moment I was speechless. I actually never thought about the difference between wicker and rattan. My next thought was, is there a difference? 

  

I went to the trusty Internet to start my research. 

According to wise geek: Here’s where the difference between the two terms lies: rattan is a specific material, but wicker is the general process of weaving this wood or other materials into finished goods. A rattan chair is definitely made from that specific wood, but a wicker chair may use other materials such as straw or bamboo slats around a rattan frame.

I learned that rattan Rattan is considered to be one of the strongest woods available, since its grain grows vertically instead of forming the concentric rings of most other hardwoods. The straight wood is usually steamed and then bent into the desired shape through the use of specialized shapers. Once dried, it will retain its shape forever. These poles are often used to form the frames of what will become rattan or wicker furniture.

So now I know… there is no such material called wicker. Wicker is the process. Now I need to find my hubby so I can fill him in on my new found knowledge. 

Chalk Paint 

If you have not heard about the trend of chalk paint then you will soon enough. I am not talking about chalkboard paint but chalk paint. This is the type of paint that is ideal for that shabby chic look. The pale colours where the paint is worn/rubbed off intentionally on certain edges.

  
This night stand is a good example of it. 

Now there are a few specialty company’s that offer the paint but I recently found a version made by Rust-oleum in Canadian Tire. Personally, I am going to attempt a dresser and a night stand and if that is a success , I will move on to my kitchen table and chairs. 

  
The paint is called Chalked and it is $24.99 a can. It also comes in the four colours shown above and a black as well. What makes this product fantastic is that all it requires is a light sanding. It has a one coat coverage. No primer, just a light sand and paint. Very simple but with fabulous results. When I finish a project I will be sure to share.

Boothbay Gray eases pain…

Over the years there have been many studies on how colour can alter peoples moods. Certain colours are used in advertising and fast food restaurants and institutions of all types for this very reason. Believe it or not, but the evidence is out there to support the fact that colour changes how people feel. 

I have found this evident in my own life. I need soothing colours because when I walk thru my front door I want a sense of calm not more busyness of the outside world. For me, this is most important in the bedroom. I have tried many colours on the walls of my various master bedrooms but everytime (for almost ten years now) I have gone back to the same colour. Boring you may think, but for me the colour makes me feel calm. The colour for me is Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray HC-165.   

  
As seen in the two photos above this wall colour can take a very different look depending on the lighting. In natural light it is more of a blue and in the evening or by lamp light it reads gray. 

In this photo below of an entry way bathed in natural light the colour very much reads like a blue.  

This is why Boothbay Gray is the perfect bedroom colour. At times it can be moody and calming but during the day slide the drapes open and let the light in and it becomes cheery. That is exactly the type of colour I need. 

I have not told many people in the past, but I suffer from Type 2 trigeminal neuralgia. For me the attacks started shortly after my 30th birthday. I had suffered migraines before but this was different and a bit terrifying a first because only the left side of my face/head would be affected. What happens for me is I awake from a dead sleep with intense pain. The pain starts off as a combination of shock-like sensations, migraine-like pain, with burning or prickling pain mixed in. Then it manifests into an unrelenting, boring, piercing pain. My episodes as I call them, last anywhere from four to eight hours. Hours which I spend in my bedroom. Most of that time I am writhing in pain or trying to sleep. I have found that Boothbay Gray on my walls helps because it is such a soothing colour. It truly helps ease my pain in those days when I would love to remove my head from my body. They say that the colour blue can create calm, reduce body temp, lower blood pressure and slows ones pulse. For me when I am in pain that is everything I need. Have I mentioned how much I love Boothbay Gray! 

Trending Furniture

I enjoy watching for trends in decor and I have seen one this year that is making me happy, happy, happy. Actually, it is something that has been trending the past few years but seems to be getting bigger and better. If you are wondering just what I am talking about … Well… It is the much loved sectional.

 
Gone are the days of the sectional crammed in the basement. It is now a show piece and in my opinion, the bigger the better. Now, don’t get me wrong , I am not talking about big, as in the big puffy arms of the 90’s with pop out recliners and cup holders. I am referring to large sleek sectionals. Ones that are tailored but still inviting. 

So when you are thinking about a family room “do-over” as my good friend Steve calls them, don’t forget to consider a sectional. Skip the couch, love seat and oversized chair and go right to that large piece of furniture that screams, curl up on me with a good book.