Thursday, June 27, 2013


Hey everyone...I wanted to share with you an amazing nautical inspired interior.  I have been a huge fan of Cottage Company Interiors for years now.  And I do mean years.  Ever since I saw a little cottage that they built with an amazing dutch door I was hooked:

What I loved most about this little cottage was how perfectly compact and functional this kitchen is.  Even though it is tiny it is stylish and functional.  This very kitchen got me hooked on Apron Front Sinks.

Over the years I have kept my eye on Cottage Country Interiors.  They are the "quintessential" cottage style.For those of us that love cottage style they tick all the boxes.

I came across an interior I hadn't seen of theirs before.  It is full of nautical style.  And it is full of White and Navy.  I LOVE IT!!

Oh that bathroom!!  If I were to duplicate it I would use the following paint colours:

Hale Navy HC-154 BM

And either of the following whites-depending on the lighting and so forth.......

Decorators White CC-20 BM

Chantilly Lace 2121-70/OC-65 BM

I can't even begin to tell you how the Navy and White in this lovely home sends me to my happy place.  I don't think I will EVER tire of Navy and White.  How about you??

Have a great day everyone.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Hey Everyone....just a very quick posting today.  Remember yesterdays posting on End Grain and Face Grain?  Well, I saw another pic I wanted to share with you all:

I just had to share this with you all. Love, Love the Butcher Block top for the Island.  What I really like about this kitchen is all the textures and colours.  Although subtle...the colours work lovely together.  The orange undertone in the flooring and the Butcher Top work really nicely with the grays of the wall colour, cabinetry and the chevron tile.  Oh that Chevron Tile......Stunning!!  I love how natural they have left the wood  top.  They have applied an oil to bring out the natural richness in the wood.  This one really ticks all the boxes for me.

Have a great day everyone.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Hey Everyone, I came across an amazing kitchen the other day and it got me thinking about Butcher Block.  And more specifically End Grain and Face Grain.  What are they really?  Well..... they truly are exactly how they sound.  When cutting the wood, if you see the cut end that is End Grain.  If you see the long grained side that is Face Grain.  If you were to cut the tree in half lengthwise and see inside that is "the face".  As I said, I saw a kitchen.........

Isn't this kitchen gorgeous?  I love how the designer has incorporated elements beautifully.  I love how the butcher block has/is the same tone as the brick, as is the hardwood used.  This is a great example of someone who understands undertones.  Here orange is the undertone found in the brick, butcher block and the hardwood.  And on top of that the Designer has used a Complimentary Colour scheme to perfection.  In case you didn't terms of colours  being Complimentary they are opposite on the colour wheel.  Here he has used blue and orange.  Not only is the colour in this kitchen amazing, but, the tone is as well.  The blue used is neither too bright nor too greyed down.  This kitchen is such a great example to show many elements in design-LOVE IT!!! terms of Butcher block, why would one want to pick one over the other??  For most of us that would use wood as a Counter Top, most would choose based on aesthetics.  When it comes to grain, most people out there have a very firm opinion on the type of grain they like.  I myself love both.  It would really have to depend on the type of wood, colour, depth of grain , etc....for me to pick either.  However, most have a definite like or dislike for either.  If you were to choose either it would be perfectly fine for a counter top for Cabinetry or an Island.  In fact my Island has a face grain wood top that we purchased from Ikea nearly 9 yrs ago!  It has held up beautifully.  And let me tell you we are NOT easy on that wood.  It gets very abused.  However, that is the beauty of wood.  It can get banged up and you either leave it or you can fix it (for the most part).
Where Butcher Block and the type of grain it is comes into play is when you are talking about it's Utility.  There are two reasons......One is that if you want a thick top say more than 1 1/2", you would most likely have to have end grain.  If you would want one that is say 4" or 5" you would definitely want Butcher Block. You can make Butcher Block just about any thickness.  Not only is it more economical, it is more stable than if you were to have a face grain piece at 3" or more.  And did I mention the cost??
Another reason is the inherent stability of End Grain.  That is why you will find it in "Butcher" shops or other places that would chop on the surface of the wood.  You can chop away on that top and it will hold up way better than if you were to whack away on a Face Grain top.
But, like I said, for those of us where aesthetics is why we are choosing a Wood Top, it really comes down to what you like.  Both will perform fine.  You may have some issues with the wood slightly splitting in a face grain, however, this should be minor.
I truly love Butcher Block Counters.  They have been around for quite some time.  However, it seems that those of us here in North America are playing catch up when it comes to this great material.  They have been very popular in Europe for years.  They are especially popular in the UK.  There is just something so lovely about Wood Counter Tops.  They are warm to the touch, hold up really well and impart a visual warmth to a space.

Examples of End Grain:

This is such a great example of how different woods will give a particular look.  This Butcher Block is made of Maple.  Can you see the almost luminescence that the wood imparts.  Maple can sometimes give off this "glow" for a lack of a better term.  It looks so amazing in this end cut block.

Look how gorgeous this Island Counter is!  I love the fact that they went with a very thick top.  You couldn't have done that with a face grain my friends.  GORGEOUS!!

I really like the edge detailing on this top.  Have you ever noticed that when you see wood used as a Counter Top it almost always has a square edge detail??  However, that isn't the case here.  They have an Ogee detailing.  That is a VERY difficult thing to execute...let me tell you!  Especially when you are talking about end grain, it can be very difficult to get a smooth curved cut.  An Ogee detailing is all about curves and carving as it were.  The wood when it is being cut to create such an edge has a tendency to "rip" or better yet the blade "bites" at the wood.  This gives the wood a very chopped or "chewed" appearance.  Someone with some skill and a VERY sharp blade created this great edge detail here.

I love it when a kitchen has multiple materials used as Counter Tops.  Here the designer has used wood in an area where people will be sitting and eating.  This is much more comfortable to sit at than sitting at a counter made of stone.  It will feel much warmer to the arms that will inevitably be leaning or resting there.  Plus it has the added bonus of being visually more interesting than using just one material.

Face Grain:

I love that Red Island!!!  Such a statement.  I too love how they stained the top to better go with the hardwood.  Those are some great legs!!

Again, mixing of materials adds so much to this space.  This space could have been much colder if not for the addition of the wood Counter.

This is such a great example of how you CAN have a cut out for an under mount sink with wood.  As long as you seal the cut edge of the sink cut out you will be fine.  Since the cut edge is now a cut end grain this will absorb water VERY readily due to the inherent properties of end grain wood.  Just seal it within an inch of it's life and you will be gold.

How amazingly uber pretty is this??  The grain of the Island is awesome.

The Island is indeed face grained wood.  This is about as thick for face grain as you can get.  Think of it as a bunch of 2x4's glued together and sanded beautifully.

Although at first glance one may think that this is end grain it is not.  I really love the stain colour used on it.  Just beautiful!!!

So there you have it.......End Grain and Face Grain.....Which one are you??
Have an awesome day everyone.


Friday, June 21, 2013


Hey Everyone!!  Hope all is well in your world today.  It is 23C here with a light breeze and I couldn't be happier!!!
I was thinking long and hard about colour over the last day or too....and it got me thinking about others that state...."NO FAIL COLOUR SCHEMES", "NO FAIL PAINT COLOUR".  Is there such a thing??  For me the problem is context.  I don't care what colour someone on some show or some blog or some magazine talks about, unless you have context it really is for naught.  Are there some colours that may be more neutral than others?  Yes.  Are there some colours that in the scheme of things  that are less offensive than others. Yes!  But for someone in a magazine to state unequivocally that "this colour is no fail.....".....well that is where they loose me.
Don't get me wrong..... I love looking at what other people are talking about when it comes to colour.  I will be the first to get palpitations when I see a great colour scheme put together, however, it really has to relate to what is in YOUR OWN SPACE.
I myself am NOT an expert, however, I think I have learned enough over the course of the years through experience, learning and trial and error that I consider myself very learned when it comes to colour.
To me when I hear about NO FAIL... well that should be a starting place.  Am I saying that that particular colour won't work in your home- absolutely not.  What I am saying is arm yourself with some common sense when it comes to these claims.  Take that NO FAIL colour and see how it looks in YOUR home.  Does it relate to YOUR space?  UNDERTONE IS EVERYTHING. AND HOW DOES IT RELATE TO WHAT IS IN YOUR SPACE??

I know that I have at length, gone on and on about the 'evils" of Benjamin Moore-Cloud White.  Is it evil??....well no.  In fact in the right circumstances it will work just fine.  However, when I hear a designer say it is their "go to, no fail",  well, that sets my teeth on edge.  One colour will NEVER work in every instance.  Put that Cloud White as a trim next to a colour such as BM Gray Cashmere 2138-60 or Camouflage 2143-40 and well....yikes.  The undertone from the Cloud White is all wrong for such a colour:

Cloud White CC-40 BM

Gray Cashmere 2138-60 BM

Camouflage 2143-40 BM

A much better  trim colour would be:

Simply White 2143-70 BM

I know that I pick on Cloud White but it is a great example of a colour that is so overused and is thought to be "NO FAIL".

I myself would have to say that there is NO colour that is NO FAIL.  However, that being said I feel a better way to perhaps describe such a scenario would be 'A NEUTRAL THAT WILL GET YOU BY".  There are times when someone has to move into a house and it HAS  to be painted and they are desperate to pick a colour.  I would of course say wait.  However, there is such a thing as life and sometimes life doesn't allow for the "ideal".  In that case a very neutral colour is the way to go- again is it NO FAIL?? Absolutely not!

Are there colours that I feel are less offensive than others and MAY work if one has to pick a colour without some context:

If you want a fairly neutral gray then Wickham Gray or Stonington Gray may work as it doesn't have a strong undertone as compared to other grays:

Wickham Gray HC-171 BM

Stonington Gray HC-170 BM

Are these the absolute best grays ever to be created- NO.  However, they are fairly Neutral and don't "scream" a huge undertone like that of Templeton Gray HC-161  or Chelsea Gray HC-168:

Templeton Gray HC161 BM

Chelsea Gray HC-168 BM

If I had to pick a white for a room that did not have a strong undertone to it I would have to pick:

Chantilly Lace OC-65 BM

Decorator's White CC-20 BM

These 2 would be great in a more Contemporary Setting. Whereas Oxford White.........

Oxford White CC-30 BM

would be fabulous for a more beachy setting.

You also have to remember that depending on which direction a room faces or the undertone in your furniture or the predominant colour in a rug....this will determine what colour(s) you should be picking.  Is this earth shatteringly new??  NOPE!!  However, I feel that it is a very important detail that gets swept under the rug in an attempt to look cool, be hip or pick a colour fast and dirty like.

So many times people will get hung up on what colour is used in a particular room and can't let it go.  Well first of all...rooms look different in print or online than in real life.  What colour looks awesome in a room online may look absolutely hideous in your room.  What I am saying is use it as a starting point.  Love that colour from that room or from the mouth of a certain designer....but apply it to YOUR LIFE, YOUR WAY.

As an example.... I love Bird's Egg 2051-60.  It is such a lovely watery blue.  LOVE IT!!  But just say that in a particular room my "stuff" has just a little more green in it.  Well then I may want to look at Antiguan Sky 2040-60.  I love Birds Egg, however, Antiguan Sky would work better.  The colour YOU pick has to relate to YOUR stuff.

Birds Eggs 2051-60 BM

Antiguan Sky 2040-60 BM

It may be hard to tell on a monitor, however, Antiguan Sky has more green in it than Bird's Egg.

So the next time you see "NO FAIL", take it with a grain of salt.  By all means use it as a starting place, but don't take it as an absolute.

Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Hey Everyone.....dreaming of classic Coastal Cottage........Beach Eye Candy...........

Just a little snap shot of what is to come.  Love beach style....really I do.
Have a great day everyone.