Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspirations - Autumn Decor


Here are some of my current inspiration rooms.

The seasons effect my tastes so much. They have a great deal to do with my ever-evolving home. I believe that your home is never complete. I'm constantly developing my style, and tweaking it. It is being effected by my surroundings all the time. To me, it's what makes decorating fun, and what keeps it interesting.

Country Living

Obviously, rich woods paired with contrasting clean whites are always a favourite, but they seem especially Fall. I love the look of bits of nature scattered throughout a room: A small ironstone dish of collected acorns, a pumpkin or gourd tucked amongst a vignette, and maybe even a few gathered branches in a vase for a colourful arrangement.

Country Living

I find Fall to be one of my most favourite seasons to cook: Rich ingredients, comfort foods, colourful produce. This is a gorgeous pantry, perfect for housing rustic rolling pins and boards, large ironstone mixing bowls, vintage jars full of grains and flours, and baskets full of earthy carrots, potatoes and onions.


This fireplace is breathtaking! The floors are gorgeous, and the chairs are just as charming. What a perfectly cozy setting for an intimate wedding. I also love cream pillar candles. I find I burn mine nearly each night during these months because it seems to get dark so early. They make my living space cozy and inviting - perfect for knitting or reading with my tea and knitted throw.


This kitchen is bright and spacious, and more true to my kitchen tastes. There are a few little details in this particular one though that are my favourite.

1 - Those gorgeous old light fixtures.
2 - The collection of old rolling pins and how simple they look displayed on the wall.
3 - The collection of old bottles on the left counter. I wouldn't be able to live with them out on my counter, but they would look equally as lovely in a window.
4 - That door. How I love that door. It's perfect.

Country Living

And finally, collections of old classic literature. As I've mentioned before, I have been reading through all of Jane Austen's novels and I am enjoying myself immensely. In fact, I've been so inspired by their social calls and afternoon teas that my best friend and I have decided to go for high tea tomorrow at a historic hotel in Niagara on the Lake. I couldn't think of a lovelier way to spend a dreary Autumn afternoon than over a cup of perfectly served tea, complete with petite sandwiches and delicate pastries, warm scones with jam and Devonshire cream, and of course, good company. Later, we will "do town" and pop in and out of the quaint little shops, trying to avoid the rain. I'm so looking forward to it.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Road Trip Highlights - The Country Living Fair and Ohio

All Photos - The Grower's Daughter

My mother kindly reminded me this morning that I had yet to blog about our road trip down to Ohio for the Country Living Fair.

How has it already been a month since we've been back?

Well... better late than never! Here are some highlights from the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio, and a few other photos from our trip out to Charm, a quaint little town in Ohio, and a favourite vacation spot of my parents.

Now, first you have to understand that whole "Trip to Ohio" thing. When we were little girls, my parents used to take us to "visit the Amish". That's right... That was were we vacationed. At one point, they even bought all four of us little Amish dresses and bonnets. Most parents vacationed in the South, or maybe headed East, but not my parents. For years they have made annual trips down to Ohio; Charm, Ohio to be exact. It's not that I remember having a bad time there - it was always fun. But, as we've grown up, it's become a joke in our family that my parents still insist on going back to their favourite little spot.

This year, having already planned to attend the Country Living Fair, which happens to be only a couple hours from Charm, my parents convinced me to head out there with them. I took Willen and my sister along for a little road trip and honestly, I can't say I was expecting to enjoy myself as much as what I did. I mean I knew it would be fun, especially for Willen, but I didn't think I would love it nearly as much as I did.

Being only five hours away from us, it was the perfect distance for our weekend adventure. We ate at my parents favourite little restaurant each night, walked the local towns, and of course, enjoyed the best coffee and donuts in all of Holmes County. The inn we stayed at was cozy, and complete with a fireplace and jacuzzi tub (Willen was convinced he had his own personal swimming pool). The towns were nestled into big rolling hills, speckled with horses, and humming with the constant sound of buggies passing. The houses were simple and white and always in pristine condition (and always with a laundry line that seemed to go on forever!). But all the quaint, country charm and homey goodness aside, there was one particular reason I loved the trip.

The junking.

Barns full, warehouses full, even roadside sheds full! It was a constant hunt for the best hidden treasures and I came home with a car full of beautiful pieces!

The fair was a great afternoon, as always, but it really was only part of the fun, and to be honest, I can see exactly why my parents go so often.

After all, I can't wait to go back.


The fair never fails to inspire me for the soon arriving Fall season.

This booth was a great assortment of vintage industrial.

These pillows (and bag below), were a favourite handmade find.

Urban Farmhouse - Always a  favourite.

I think this year, STASH took the place of my favourite booth. There was just so much going on, and such creativity, you could spend hours browsing through her gorgeously styled booth.

Summerhouse - Another favourite, was beautiful and full of ironstone as always.
The gorgeous countryside.

And my father's favourite find. This is literally a shed on the side of the main road through Charm that is just full of the most random assortment of junk. The owner can be found repurposing old windows into garden benches, another stack of finds piled high on his old pick up. I think my father shopped there each day.

This is how we spent a lot of our time - driving around, climbing through old barns.

And of course, there was lots for Willen to do as well! In town, there was a hugely popular family farm. It was a petting farm, store, bakery, farmer's market and restaurant all in one. He spent his time there feeding ice cream cones full of pellets to the hungry little goats and chasing chickens. He was in awe of "Big Ben", the 3000lb Clydesdale and even rode his first pony, Shorty. A highlight of the trip was when we first arrived in Ohio. He stepped out of the van and in his most serious voice, he plainly greeted a local Amish man with a "Hey Cowboy.". We all nearly died laughing. It was priceless.

Friday, October 21, 2011

An Updated Living and Dining Room

All Photos - The Grower's Daughter

I wanted to share a few quick updates I've been working on in our living and dining room. They are nearly complete, there are just a few more details still needing to be finished.

First of all, I switched out our old loveseats for this loveseat and chair set that had previously been in our basement. It's the classic slip-covered Ikea sofa set. It's white, it's durable, and it looks a little more polished than the covered loveseats did. The old ones may furnish this room again one day, when I've had the chance to get them professionally refinished, but for now, this set is clean and simple - just what I was looking for.

Having sold my old trunk, I needed a replacement coffee table fast. For now, the matching poof works perfectly with a simple white tray on top.

The piano switched walls and I finally hung some artwork. I found this pair of portraits from Tattered and Torn and am happy to have found a home for them. It should be clear that I have absolutely no artwork in my house. This is something that I've always wanted to change. My husband and I both love artwork, and can appreciate good art. However, I have a very specific idea of what I love, and I've never been able to find myself something that matches that close enough. I love old landscapes and ornate frames, but we both find ourselves drawn to old, dark portraits. These two really did work perfectly. Maybe one day I will find two matching frames for them...

Space is quite limited in our living room, but we also have a large family room in our basement that houses our entertainment systems and has a cozy fireplace. I just wanted something simple and put together for our main floor. To me, this room is nice enough for a more formal sitting room, but
is still livable and inviting.

Opposite the loveseat is our armchair. This is my chair - the place where I enjoy my morning coffee and devotional, the place where I knit or read, and the place where Willen and I like to snuggle with our books before bed.

In our dining room, I got a replaced our old white pedestal table with a new one. It's slightly higher, but more narrow than the previous one, so it fits this space better. I also borrowed four wicker chairs from my sister in law. She wasn't using them... I wanted to buy the same ones new... so here they are!  I love my sister in law.

The wicker warms this previously very white space up a great deal (though you can't tell from these dark photos... it's so dreary outside and I'm lacking natural light, but it's been rainging forever!).

And finally, the last of my Limelights. The rest have all turned their dusty rose with the cold weather.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guest Post from Design Shuffle - Rustic Decor

Is anyone else feeling a little blah with all this rain?

I mean don't get me wrong... I have thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon nap with Willen, warm and cozy under our duvet. I've taken out my knitting (something to occupy me when the days get cooler) and I've begun making regular trips to the library to supply myself with an endless stack of beautiful cookbooks, inspiring back issues and of course, a few good pieces of literature.

I have also begun tackling items on my master to-do list. Things like having our furnace inspected before the winter comes, packing away summer clothes, laundering slipcovers etc... I have been feeling really productive around the house lately. 

I've even finished a great deal of my Christmas shopping for this year!

I would say I've been spending most of my time lately, however, fluffing our nest. When I think of decorating during these Fall months, I think rustic. Today I have a guest post from Susi, a writer with Design Shuffle, sharing some tips on how to add the element of rustic style to rooms in your own home.

Thanks Susi.

I’m Susi, a writer for, a great place for people passionate about design to showcase their work and to browse tens of thousands of images from interior designers from around the world. Speaking of photos, The Grower's Daughter invited us to share pics and decorating ideas for rustic décor. Elements of rustic decor add charm and a relaxed style to many rooms. Rustic décor elements are also perfect for fall decorating. Here are some of our favorite elements. Hope you enjoy!

Fall Decorating

Hostess with the Mostest via

This collage shows many elements of rustic décor: repurposed finds; natural elements; handmade and handcrafted; seasonal touches. Mason jars are workhorses of possibilities; use them as vases, storage, candles...there are endless uses.

                         Fall Decorating

Blue Velvet Chair via

Love this Mason jar chandelier. The rope and wood add more rustic charm to this charming DIY candlelier.

                           Fall Decorating

Crate and Barrel via

Natural elements are key to rustic décor. This driftwood mirror from Crate & Barrel has a rustic, beach style that would work well with a rustic or cottage décor.

                                      Fall Decorating

Pinterest via

A big design element of rustic décor is wood. This contemporary rustic bathroom has horizontal wood panels that recall a log cabin, but the fixtures are decidedly contemporary. A perfect mix for intriguing bathroom designs.

                                          Fall Decorating

The Sweetest Occasion via

Farmhouse and rustic styles are similar in their love for vintage elements. Flea market finds like wire baskets and painted and aged wood tables add rustic charm to any décor.

                                       Fall Decorating

Update Dallas via

Rustic décor in the kitchen adds an old world charm to the room. Natural stone on the walls and floor pair with aged wood beams and columns. Vintage school style lighting works well with all the rustic elements.

                  Fall Decorating

Elle Decor via

Rustic décor can also be elegant and chic. This dining room/library has the wooden beams of a barn mixed with antique arm chairs; a traditional chandelier and a farmhouse table; deep colors against creams.

                            Fall Decorating

Elle Decor via

Rustic décor elements like natural stone, wood and nods to the outdoors in the form of taxidermy mix with modern furnishings in this living room. Mixing modern and rustic makes for interesting and appealing interior designs.

For more great ideas and inspiration from interior designers across the U.S. - from San Diego interior designers to New York interior designers - check out Design Shuffle!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Baking Day - A Thanksgiving Apple Pie

All Photos - The Grower's Daughter

Tomorrow night is our second Thanksgiving dinner for my husbands side of the family.

It's going to be an intimate dinner and a nice quiet evening with family.

My mother-in-law is making the turkey and potatoes, my sister-in-law the vegetable sides, and I will be bringing desert and the stuffing (my favourite part).

We've already enjoyed a pumpkin pie so I thought I would bring something different. With our orchards full of delicious apples and luscious pears, I decided to make the most of the abundance of fruit and make an apple pie.

I've recently fallen in love with Donna Hay. Her cookbooks have quickly become a favourite of mine. The styling is gorgeous and the recipes are simple.

Today I used her recipe for Sweet Shortcrust Pastry. I then used my own recipe for Apple Pie Filling and voila! Dessert.

Here is the recipe below.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
2 cups plain flour
3 tbsp. caster (superfine) sugar
5 oz cold butter chopped
2 -3 tbsp. iced water

8 Green apples
1 tbsp. ground Cinnamon, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. plain flour
1 tbsp. water

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. raw sugar
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

In the food processor, combine sugar, flour and butter. Pulse until it's the texture of fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead dough lightly, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out 2/3 of dough and line plate. Mix filling ingredients together. Fill shell with filling and cover with remaining dough. Brush with a lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.

 I prefer the raw sugar on top to give the crust a delicious crunch!

I found this classic glass cake stand for $19 on my last trip down to Ohio. It's my new favourite.

Yesterday my husband, son and I went for a lovely afternoon hike at a local Provincial Park. It's peak time for the changing of the leaves here and we couldn't get enough of the brilliant fall colours and crisp fall air!