The Best Way to Keep Clutter Under Control

  Here comes a trick question. How many baskets can a home have? The answer is… lots. If your space is small, then you need even more baskets. So no matter what number you say, the answer is more. The thing with baskets, and why I love any type of storage container, is that they keep everything organized.     Baskets are magic. They really are a chic, simple way to control clutter. Baskets add texture and warmth to a space and they make a room take on a casual air. That’s not to say you can’t use them in formal spaces. Baskets add just enough casualness to make a room appear friendly and welcoming. Crate & Barrel Baskets     One of our favourite places to pick up baskets is Crate and Barrel. They have classic shaped baskets that are beautifully handwoven. Quality baskets like these will last a long time. Any of the baskets above…

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A Visual Design Lesson…What’s good and what’s not

It’s so nice to come home. We live in Calgary now, and while I do love my adopted city, nothing beats the feeling of coming home for a visit. Every summer we make our way to Thunder Bay and get our fill of  Lake Superior, persians, Bay Street and Chippewa Park Melodrama. I love driving in this city because everything is so close. And I laugh when I hear people say, ‘Oh that’s all the way in Port Arthur and I live in Fort William’. I used to have a store on May Street, and it’s lovely when people remember me. Today when I was at Pier 1, the sales associate saw my name on the credit card and remembered me. Ha Ha…good thing the name’s the same as I probably don’t look the same as I did 15 years ago. She said she still has one of my Halloween wreaths that I made for her! How cool is that!!! When…

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Get your Cowboy On…Stampede Inspired Decor Ideas

  Howdy Partner!!! It’s Stampede Time in Calgary. That means it’s 10 full days of western hospitality. The party has started and everyone is invited. Storefronts are painted and decorated, there’s hundreds of free pancake breakfasts and everyone is decked out in plaid and cowboy hats.  Stampede attracts over 1 million visitors a year and features the world’s largest rodeo. There’s good reason why it’s called the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.     Since we’re all revved up for anything western, this week we thought we’d show how to bring a little cowboy into every home.  But Beware…don’t over do it.  It’s all about using a light hand and doing western tastefully.  Unless you’re a theme park hotel. Then I guess it’s okay if you want to create a Wild West Room.     Western decor is all about rock, wood, and metal – it has a very manly feel. Which is good. We like the masculine touches. But all…

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How to do Menswear Inspired Decor

    The boys and I went shopping to get a father’s day gift. We tossed around a few ideas…you know the typical man gifts – socks, ties, wallet, briefcase, maybe a new belt. In the end we decided to give their dad the same as last year, a collection of different beers. They like going into the cooler at Co-op Liquor store and choosing the different types. Then we always do a steak and chicken wing dinner. Really it’s what they all like. As a matter of fact, they like it so much, I often get a steak and chicken wing dinner for Mother’s Day.     All this talk about Father’s Day and men’s gifts, has me thinking about menswear inspired decor. I don’t know if it comes from living with 4 guys, but I love pinstripes, plaids, tweed, leather – basically any menswear touches. Women have always raided the boys closets, from trousers to fedoras…

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6 Simple Tips for Summer Decorating

A few years back, I bought a magnet with the word simple on it. It sits on the side of my microwave to remind me that sometimes simple is best. It’s my own take on the well known ‘less is more’. It was the architect Mies van der Rohe who adopted this phrase to explain his approach to minimalist design. I like these words because they give us permission not to go overboard, or fill every space, or for that matter, cram full every minute of the day. Basically it’s saying to keep things simple and by keeping things simple, we’re promoting quality over quantity. With summer now here, it’s a great time to adopt the simple philosophy. Here are 6 simple summer tips.     1. Have fresh flowers in the house always. It’s so easy in the summer to bring in something from the garden. A small vase of pansies or a few branches from a tree is an…

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