Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall Decorating and The Dining Room Revealed

I spent yesterday, the first day of Fall, arranging things around the dining room, getting it ready for the cooler months ahead.

Fall is such a cozy time of year and I feel like my decor reflects that change. In the summer, I find I enjoy things more airy and paired down - clean decluttered shelves, simple bouquets, light linens. Just open and fresh and light. But this changes in the Fall; cozy throws are scattered among the rooms, and candles are set out to invite us to cozy up. Colour and more natural elements are included; colouring leaves from changing trees, whimsical grapevine draped over the mantel, the rich colours of pumpkins, gourds and fresh picked apples. nuts and pine cones tucked here and there.

They all add so much warmth to the room.

As you can see, the room is no longer blue.

Everything has been brightened up with Simple White by Benjamin Moore.


Nests are displayed under glass cloches.

I loved the colour of these Maple leaves. It's such a rich green, with the golden brown keys.

Just easy cuttings tucked into a hanging basket - simple and yet beautiful.

And really, that was what I was going for. While I do enjoy a home that transforms with the seasons, I don't have boxes of stored seasonal decor. I prefer hints here and there.

Like this vine tucked on the mantel.

As you can see, I'm still hunting for a forth chair!

And you know that else, the off-centered mantel and mirror doesn't bother me in the slightest anymore! I just added a little weight on the other side and it visually balances it out.

I can't stand having to remove a million things from the table at meals. so I didn't go too crazy. The glass hurricanes can be seen through, And using the antique linen towel as a short runner means it doesn't get dirty. Ideally, I would love to have a full-length runner, but aside from having one made, I haven't found one long enough for the table. This was $20 at Christie's the other weekend.

I just picked a few gourds in muted tones.

I also kept the buffet simple.

Here I displayed a few of my favourite ironstone pieces.

This is a floor to ceiling built-in at the bottom of the staircase. It has six narrow shelves. I decided to group my brown transferware here.

And while it's not the dining room, here are just a few shots of the kitchen shelves. Again, just a few touches here and there.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The First Day of Autumn

"And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall"
Oscar Wilde

I've always been sentimental about Fall.

I love each changing of each season really, but maybe I enjoy the arrival of Autumn so much because it seems to come suddenly.

Before we realize it, it's here.

The first day of Autumn is spent decorating the house.

I couldn't have been more excited to stumble upon this local farmstand.

This is Fehrhaven Farms on Hwy 3 just outside of town. She grows the most beautiful (and grand) pumpkins I've seen at one stand.

The brilliant colours of that majestic Maple tree made it even more lovely!

I can't wait to show you what I stuffed my trunk with.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Antiquing Resources

Recently I've received quite a few inquiries about where I find information on local antique shows, sales and auctions.

I thought I would share some of these resources with you.

Most of them are local to me, but you could use similar resources for wherever you call home.

One of my favourite things to do is make day trips around our area. This is how I discover great little shops. If I come across a shop I love, one that say sells vintage finds and things, I always sign up for newsletters and emails.

This is the best way to stay informed about upcoming shows. Usually these shops participate in a few shows a year, and with other, similar vendors that I will most likely love.

Some of the shows I've discovered this way are "A Day in the Country", Augusta's, Bob and Al's Barn Sale, Two Brother's and a Barn Sale, Ball's Falls Craft Show and Oliver and Rust.

Of course, if you're lucky, some of these small scale shows will turn into regular shops, like Oliver and Rust, and then you can pop in whenever you like!

Another great resources would be the Internet. There are three resources that I use often:
Kijiji and Craigslist
Auction Find Websites

I am on Kijiji all the time. I regularly scroll through pages and pages of results for items I'm always looking for. I've snagged a few great finds on here, though it's always a little more complicated. Trying to arrange a viewing, or picking up an item is more complicated than just previewing it at auction or in a shop.

There is a website I often use for viewing listings for upcoming auctions called Here auctions are posted for my province, by town or region. Then I can view all of the details of the upcoming auctions, and often even view photos of what's up for sale. Some local auction houses are Rittenhouse Auctions, Plato Auctions and Peninsula Liquidators.

When I'm planning a day trip, I also google the towns. I try to discover articles on the best places to shop and eat. I recently came across a list of the top ten antique markets in Ontario. You can find that here. We have quite a few antique shops near us. In Niagara on the Lake there is Queen's Antiques and the Lakeshore Antique Market. In Jordan there's Creighton Antiques by appointment. Towards Fort Erie there is Augusta's. Green Barn Antiques and Antiques on the Ridge

I'm also constantly searching ebay for smaller finds like ironstone, transferware, cutlery, artwork etc. I have a US post box across the border to help with the shipping costs. It's only about 40 minutes from our home. However, with the exchange the way it is, it's not always as great of a deal in the end., so it's important to keep that in mind when bidding on an item.

Etsy is another great online resources for finding small antique "shops" and fun vintage pieces. Something quite exciting recently are the pop up handmade markets. A group of local Etsy shops all come together for a weekend. Usually there's a wide assortment of things to browse, though most of them are handmade gifts, and not necessarily vintage shops. But it's still fun. Two local ones would be The Handmade Market, and Heirlooms Artisan Market.

Then there are the larger shows. There are a couple that I love to attend each year.

Christie's happens in the Spring and Fall. I believe it's the largest antique show in Ontario, if not Canada. It's only about an hour from here, so it's not too bad. They have a website if you google them.

Then there are the shows that are in the States; Brimfield's, Springfield Antique Show and one of my favourites, The Country Living Fair.

Now, I've never attended either the Springfield of Brimfield shows, but they are on my list. The Country Living show however, I attend almost every year; sometimes in Rhinebeck, sometimes in Columbus. To be honest, I prefer the Columbus show.

When I attend these shows, I make a weekend of it. We scout out all of the best malls, markets and shops in the area, and map out a weekend of treasure hunting. If I go with Ryan, we camp, and if I go with girlfriends, we all share a hotel room and stay up late watching cheesy shows with a glass of wine and lots of giggling.

I really just spend a lot of time exploring. I'm quite intentional about searching out places to hunt and I'm not afraid of climbing through old barns and driving across the countryside to spend an afternoon at an auction or show. 

I love it.

Hopefully those few resources prove to be helpful.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Upstairs Bath - Before

I thought I would share some more before photos.

This is our upstairs bath. The second floor of our home is only above the original house. It consists of two bedrooms (for now the boys share a room), and a bathroom.

The bathroom is quite a bit more spacious than we were previously used to. It has beautiful, bright morning sunlight. It also has a large built in storage closest, which is more storage than I could possibly need. It's also quite charming with the little radiator, built in shelves and deep window above the bath.

There are however a few things that we would like to change.

Eventually, this old cast iron tub, which is deceptively deep, will be taken out and replaced with a claw foot tub. The shelving built in to the left of the tub will be removed, and a floor mounted faucet will be installed, as well as a free-standing shower. Currently there is only a hand-held shower, so this tub is used only for soaking. We use the shower on the main level. The toilet seat has also been replaced.

The fixture will be replaced, as well as a new, slightly larger vanity. Originally we talked about moving the toilet to the wall with the door, and putting a double vanity in, but it either meant cutting through the joices, or dropping the living room floor. Neither of those were something we wanted to do. So a larger vanity it is. We will also replace the mirror.

You can see the built in shelves here. They will be removed.

We will also add a few extra shelves to maximize the storage space in this closet. There is also a large storage space above this, and a drawer below.

You can tell by the peonies that these photos are actually from when we first moved. It's just taken me a while to get to them.

The door is just on the wall in the left. 

At this point, we are very thankful we didn't start ripping out the bathroom as originally planned, when we worked on the living room below. At that time it made sense to do it all at once. However, in hindsight, it would have been another huge project, and for now, we're perfectly comfortable living in it the way it is. Soon it will all be freshened up with a coat of paint.