Thursday, January 31, 2013

My new favourite store

A couple of weeks ago I finally stopped into FOC! Furniture On Consignment.  A friend told me about this store and said that she found out about it from one of Sarah Richardson's sources lists. It's in Leaside, just down the road from the HomeSense there.

I popped in and loved a LOT of what I saw. Unfortunately not a lot of it has a place in my home, but there were some incredible pieces that I have to share with you.
 This goldleaf and glass desk is GORGEOUS. Asking price: $550...aka...quite the deal.

And now for the absolute steal...this is Ethan Allan...and was listed at $400. $400!! I can't even find a coffee table I like for $400. If I had a dressing room (or a house big enough for a dressing room) this would be going in it. For. Sure.

This was a very cool coffee table, but has a green leather inset on the top of it (and is too solid for my living room) but it could look fantastic in the right spot.

Are you going to go and check it out? I'll definitely be going back regularly!

Monday, January 28, 2013

IDS 2013 - Recap

This past weekend was the Interior Design Show (IDS) in Toronto...if your twitter or instagram feed is anything like me, it was probably blowing up with #IDS info. I went to the opening gala on Thursday night and snapped some shots of the things that grabbed my attention.

Para Paints

This was hilarious...just a couple of models in our attention!

Everyone was swooning over this copper tub...sorry folks - for display only, not for sale.

What caught your attention?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday faves - coloured pencils

I'm writing this in advance because last night was the IDS2013 gala...I'm sure that I had a great time and won't be writing a blog post at 7am the morning following...but I did have something fun to share so I decided to schedule it in advance to share the love.

Without further ado - happy Friday (as I'm writing this I WISH it was Friday already...I'm positive "present" me is glad it's finally here). 

Sometimes the stuff at Anthropologie just isn't me...I'm more profesh then hippie, and given that I work 5 days a week as a Corporate-Connie most of my closet leans towards work clothes. I am on Anthro's email list because I like their pretty stuff, and this week's email about pencil skirts GOT ME. Love these and am definitely digging all the colour.

And with that I bid adieu; Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

IKEA does it again

I'm on a mailing list for IKEA product launches and am always surprised with at least a few things that pop up! They've done it again with some amazing products coming out in February. I love how they're pushing some of the usual IKEA style boundaries, including putting in DIY tips in their catalogue, and taking some IKEA hack ideas and turning them into products they sell for customers who aren't so crafty. (PS - I'm not paid or otherwise compensated for this...I just really think these products are cool).

Here are some new products that caught my eye:
 PROMENAD designed by Malin Åkerblom
I love blue and white dishes...and will definitely have to check these out

BILLY bookcase with OpenBooks pattern (limited edition) 
This is a great reminder that you can completely change a bookcase by adding fabric, wallpaper, or paint to the inside of it (or just go to IKEA to buy one done for you!)

 PALLRA boxes - patterned on the inside, fabric covered on the outside. I LOVE these.
KVITTRA boxes, designed by: Anna Salander.

Start the car, Start the car!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Living room chair - after!

I hope you all had a great weekend...mine was pretty relaxing with a big highlight: we picked up our re-upholstered chair this weekend...and it looks AMAZING! I wanted to wait to post it until I had the right pillow for it (remember I posted this gorgeous one? Yah, still can't justify that cost), but I just can't wait to post it. It is gorgeous.

If you remember, we nabbed this chair off Craigslist:
I commissioned the lovely Lindsey from Recreated to re-do the chair for me. She moonlights in reupholstery at Re:Style Studio and did a wonderful job on our's the finished product:
Fabulous, non?

Here are some more shots of the details:
That double piping around the foot is perfection...

 more amazing double piping nice...

Isn't it handsome?

Chair: craigslist
Re-Upholstery: Lindsey from Recreated
Fabric: Eurofab

Friday, January 18, 2013

My new toy {DSLR camera}

Christmas was good to me in many ways, and one of them was a hand-me-down DSLR camera from my dad!

Last year I made an effort to take better photos with my point and shoot camera. While I think it improved my photos a lot, point and shoots are just not as powerful (i.e. fancy) as full fledged DSLRs. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to get my hands on this fancy one.

But now...I have to learn how to use it! I've signed up for a course with Toronto's school board (Wednesday was my first class! I thought I might be in the wrong place when the instructor spent 10 minutes on how to get photos onto your computer, but then we were allowed to take out our cameras and "discover" them a little bit). 

There are many tips on Pinterest, but do you have any go to tips?  What's the best way to learn the basiscs?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quebec City {the views + the skiing}

Yesterday I posted all about the food in Quebec City (so good!). Today I'll show more photos of some of the beautiful scenery we saw while we were there. To start, we checked into our hotel (The Hilton Quebec City) located beside Parliament and just outside of the walled "Vieux Quebec".
View of Parliament from our hotel room

We went skiing at Le Massif the second day we were there - conditions were amazing and we made it to the mountain for "first tracks". The moutain is really unique in that most skiiers will start at the summit - you arrive, put your equipment on and off you go - no waiting for lifts until you ski to the bottom! That said, there was really good flow on the moutain and it never seemed too busy.
One of the other best parts of Le Massif is that it's like you're skiing into the fleuve (Fleuve St Laurent).
We spent the rest of our time in the city wandering and exploring...our usual travel approach :) And yes, there was TONS of snow (and it was COLD! We picked a great day for skiing, around -10C, but the next day was -25C with the wind!). If you haven't been to Quebec City I highly recommend it, it was great to do a winter vacation in a place where winter is what it's all about.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Quebec City {the food}

The Mr. and I escaped to Quebec City over the holidays. Neither of us had been, which is surprising since we both grew up in Ottawa. It definitely met our expectations and we loved the little sense of Europe it gave (the closest you can get within driving distance!).

The food in Quebec City was delicious! We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Le Pain Beni - their menu is focused on gourmet local winter comfort food (and I'm not talking poutine). The Mr. had deer and I had lamb - both were phenomenal. We also went to the Bar St Laurent in the Chateau Frontenac for a drink (a must-do in the city).
 1 - Le Pain Beni; 2 - Le Petit Cochon Dingue; 3 - Chez L'Autre; 4 - Le Petit Cochon Dingue; 5 - Chez L'Autre

Another food highlight was the little cafe we found - Le Petit Cochon Dingue (The Crazy Little Pig). The first morning we went there (yes, we went twice in 3 days) we got pain au chocolats (aka chocolatines aka chocolate croissants) directly out of the oven. They were heaven.
After a hard day of skiing, we rewarded ourselves with this (followed by a dinner at St Hubert! Not everything needs to be high class to be good :) )

For dinner on our last night we went to Chez L'Autre, a snazzy little place we saw while walking around. We had classic steak frites and the meal did not disappoint!

Check back tomorrow for more photos from Quebec City and our ski adventure at Le Massif!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Foodie files: Foolproof

How was your weekend?? Our car thermometer read 16 C on Saturday AND Sunday this weekend - bliss for the middle of January! It was lovely...good chance to open the windows in the house a bit, and drive around with the sunroof fully open!

We also cooked up a storm this weekend - between hardwood floor shopping (you saw my 2013 goals, right?) great entertainment like Miss America (so worth checking out the tweets under #MissAmerica for a good laugh) and the Golden Globe red carpet, we managed to cook a lot of great food (good enough that I want to brag about it on the interwebs...)

I made two recipes from Ina Garten's Foolproof cookbook - I got this for Christmas and if these two recipes (and others' instagram feeds) are any indication, the whole book is indeed foolproof.

Roasted balsamic beet salad - this was delish! Very similar to a beet salad I've made on my own accord, but with arugula, which is always a good addition

Ina's Winter Minestrone soup - sooo good! Very hearty (read: filling) and flavourful. I even got to use turkey broth my mom groze for my from Christmas! Recipe here.

These next two aren't from the cookbook, but are tasty none the less!
Blueberry + cranberry oat muffins

Homemade pizza (credit to the chef, the Mr!) with sausage, onion, basil, spinach, gruyere, and parma cheese. SOOOO good. Will be making this again..

Now we're back to the week but at least we had some soup leftovers for lunch! The rest of the soup (pre-spinach) is in the freezer for another day (it makes a ton!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 goals {big hairy audacious ones!)

It's fully 2013 now and I have a feeling it's going to be a good year! At the end of last year (aka last week) I posted about our progress on 2012 goals, so now I think it's time to take a look forward to what we hope to do (design/house-wise at least) for 2013. Here are the main things on our radar...

1. Finish the living room

You can see our progress so far here and here...This goal sounds easy…but I am one particular (ok picky) girl.  Finding the right furniture is tough and I'm still on the lookout for the right coffee table. This project will likely include painting after goal 2 comes along...

2. Flooring
See that carpet in the photo above? The goal is to get rid of it! We have hardwood floors throughout the 2nd level of our house, and a mish mash on the main floor (ugly peachy tile in the entry and kitchen, very lacquered Brazilian cherry hardwood in the dining room, and carpet in the living room). Overall not a great combo - we are looking to put hardwood throughout the main floor with new tile in the entry and kitchen (buh-bye peach!). Flooring is bigger than just flooring of course - beyond the absolute mess of doing it while we live there we will be replacing all of the trim as well (currently we only have 2 original baseboards so we aren't committing a grave crime against house character or anything...but will be happy to have matching baseboards!).

3.  Bathroom Reno
Our bathroom is not too bad aesthetically (it was a different story when we moved in) but it is so so narrow! Not the easiest "room" to use when two people are trying to get ready for bed at the same time. We plan on pushing out the wall (taking some space from our guest room) to widen the room (and make way for a REAL vanity). No reconfiguration of the space since moving the stack isn't in the plans, but gaining the extra room will make a huge difference...and re-doing the original bath/shower so we can get a shower head that is above 5'5" high :)

4. First Sundays
I'm hoping to keep a good amount of balance for 2013 (doesn't everyone strive for this??) One way I am going to try to accomplish this is with "First Sundays" - On the first Sunday of every month, I'm going to treat it like Sundays used to be when stores weren't open and you didn't spend the whole day running around. One day per month really isn't the end of the world, and I'm hoping this will help with relaxation and balance. 12 Sundays in the year...will I be able to do it? (so far so good for January).

What are your 2013 goals?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

InteriorGroupie turns 2!

Today marks 2 years that I've been blogging!

Happy Blogiversary, InteriorGroupie :)

Time flies...thanks for reading and following along the adventures for the past two years!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kitchen continued...microwave and backsplash

I bragged about my kitchen being done in my 2012 goal recap post...and that was mostly true, but we still had (have) a couple of things we wanted to upgrade.

Here's what we had before (after our kitchen reno was completed last spring):
The Mr. really wanted a project to take on over a couple of days he had off before the holidays. We ventured out to Pilo appliances where we got our fridge and bought an over-the-range microwave. VERY exciting for us since we love to cook and currently do not have a hood fan (that lovely beef Wellington we made for Christmas made the house smell like beef for a couple of days!). I like good cooking smells in my house before I eat but not the day after :)

The Mr. re-did the wiring for the microwave as I mentioned in this post, and then spent time putting up the bracket and the cabinet for the microwave.

From there we knew we HAD to wrap the backsplash around behind and beside the stove (is anything simple actually simple??).

We were initially going to do a different tile behind the stove, but once we opted for the over-the range microwave instead of a stand alone hood fan, we thought it made most sense to carry through the bevelled subway tile we have in the rest of the kitchen. Now it looks like it was always done at one time!
We are now one step closer to actually finishing the kitchen (final step is to find and buy a stainless steel gas stove)!
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