Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cardinal House - An Impression

It was back in the fall that I went to the house and discovered that the crew had poured the concrete for our lanai {read it HERE}. I was so excited and could finally envision how incredible this part of the house was going to look.



It was the fall, the leaves were dropping and I really didn't think anything of that on our new concrete. I mean it's concrete and the weather was cool - so it is a pretty hard surface. But the mighty Maple Leaf ..... ok, and a few oak as well, they settled in not just for the winter but for good.


And this is what we have discovered on our lanai. 

 
I asked our concrete crew to leave the surface with a subtle brushed finish.




Mother Nature had a different pattern in mind. 




We have swept the lanai several times and I was afraid that the settled leaf impressions might be so slight that they would easily disappear. Thankfully the leaves nestled in enough to stay and the red clay in our yard brushes against the finish highlighting the pattern. 

Someone else may be annoyed by the imperfection in the finished concrete, but we think it couldn't have gotten more perfect if we had tried. 


Cardinal House - Almost Home

I really haven't been the best at sharing pictures of the progress at Cardinal House. Raw floor boards and insulation doesn't offer much inspiration to readers, but we are now on the final stretch with only a few weeks to go before the official move in.

With the kitchen yet to be installed and much of the finished work is covered up to protect it, the images are still limited........... but here's a quick peek at things.


I had to lift the protective covering to get this picture {so not the best image} - this is the front entry tile work. The mosaic tile with marble trim creates a mat just inside the front door. The mosaic has been grouted with a very light grey colour since this picture was taken.
The look was a risk, but one I'm glad we took. It looks great with the black doors and our new hardwood {which has saw dust on it in this picture}.

un-grouted


mosaic without grout


And the hardwood............. Richard and I are thrilled with the choice we made. And it will look so much prettier when the dust is cleaned off. These pictures were taken just as the installer finished and we were about to lay down the covering.


The space is even sweeter now with the mill work installed.



I was pretty set on the type of tile for the bathroom's  - basket weave for the master bath, water closet and main floor powder room. The guest bath has mosaic octagon on the floor with matte finish white subway tile grouted in light grey in the shower.


The floor in the master ensuite shower
the master suite shower is also a steam room

The wood mantle that Richard found once adorned Old City Hall in Toronto. The mantle is well on it's way to a new life at Cardinal House. The refinishing in Benjamin Moore Oxford White will be highlighted with Carrara marble inset trim and hearth.

before

Oh so pretty.

We decided to forgo the original plan to have a counter and cabinets custom built on one wall of the kitchen. The decision was easy when we found this antique French provincial sideboard. It will be topped with the same Carrara marble as the other kitchen counters and complimented with glass bistro shelves overhead.

before

close up detail of the AFTER

The 'list' to finish before our move in like the tango - we complete two things and then discover one more that needs doing. It's been a long road, but we are almost home.



** furniture refinishing by Domenic at Winterberry Lane.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fern and Boxwood Wreath

Sometimes I have a pin on one of my Pinterest boards that gets a lot of attention and it makes me understand that the timing was right. This one in particular is getting re-pinned often recently, and why not. The 'forever' wreath is pretty, fresh and after such a long winter we are all ready to welcome Mother Nature to our front door.

In case you missed it.............

Fern and Boxwood Wreath from Two Inspire You on Etsy

Twoinspireyou - HERE

This pretty wreath shop has some fresh designs that will surely welcome spring to your home. For more Garden Love visit my Pinterest page - HERE.



** I am not associated with this Etsy shop - simply love the designs.

All Eyes On........

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently visiting New Zealand, and this trip brings the added bonus of baby Prince George. Always generous with the crowds, William and Catherine haven't disappointed and offered more than just a quick peek at their young son. Prince George thrilled New Zealanders as he clung to his mother's hip when they descended the plane at Wellington Airport.




Comparisons were made about who George resembles the most. I think that he has the best of two attractive parents.


Catherine - George - William

Baby Prince William in the arms of his nanny and Baby Prince George with Catherine and William

I'm sure that even Prince William is accustomed to most of the attention being directed to his wife Catherine, but during this trip all eyes were on George.


Catherine's Tory Burch dress is already sold out.

It's easy to see why Kate is slim and has toned arms - George is a healthy boy to carry around.




Much of our fascination with the Duke and Duchess is with Kate's 'look' - her wardrobe choices, her hairstyle, the accessories she wears. This trip brought attention to what several media sources reported as a 'wardrobe malfunction'. The beautiful line of the red dress and coat by designer Catherine Walker was perhaps a bit too flowing in the skirt line. There have been several near mishaps with Kate's skirts,  I'm wondering when someone in the Royal circle will advise that in future the skirts include hem weights. I'm going to skip showing that picture - it gained more attention than necessary.


Catherine in Alexander McQueen coat


The cornflower blue Alexander McQueen belted coat was modified for the Duchess,  and Catherine showed that the design is both elegant and fun all in the same breath. The coat features box pleats at the back which ensures you will be as memorable leaving as arriving {not that Catherine needs assistance}.




via Chris Jackson - Getty Images

The young royals in New Zealand, and all eyes are on........ Catherine and Prince George. This doesn't come as a surprise to Prince William who is frequently giving his own admiring glances.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Get Your Pretty On



"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness.
And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. 
And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."
Coco Chanel




The thing I detest about winter {ok, besides cold and snow - oh right, that's the point of winter} is schlepping around in the winter gear. The big coat, always a scarf around my neck, layers of clothing generally in dark colours, and the boots that are warm but not the prettiest - it's all TOO much.

But with spring tip-toeing out inch by inch, it will soon be time to get your pretty on. Are you ready?
It's more than just hanging up the big coat and sprinting out the door with a fresh new perky coloured jacket on. Are you ready to catch your reflection in the glass of a shop window as you pass by?


We all have something that we must do to give us confidence in presenting ourselves. Is it always having your hair freshly styled. Or does wearing heels make you feel more feminine and pulled together. Do you stop and sweep a dusting of blush on your cheeks even just to go to the corner store.

What is it that you MUST do with your appearance to give yourself the confidence to meet destiny?







Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bloom Spring - Bloom




 "Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring." 
                                                                                                                       Terri Guillemets




Flower Carpet in Brussels

We may have a bit further to go before spring flowers begin to pop their pretty heads up through the soil, but with spring officially arriving today we are one step closer. And if your green thumbs are itchy to get going, the Canada Blooms show in Toronto is the perfect place to gather inspiration.

Floral Fashion Parade


It was windy, cold and sunny on Sunday - perfect weather conditions to send everyone off to Canada Blooms. Richard and I hustled from the car to the Direct Energy building at the CNE to join the throngs of people who were, like us, happy to smell fresh soil {you have to be an avid gardener to appreciate that}.





The Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival teamed up with the National Home Show in Toronto {Direct Energy building at the Canadian National Exhibition} - the show runs through until March 23rd.  So if you world is lacking the sweet fragrance of garden soil or home reno dust - this is the place to be.



Mannequins sprouting floral carpets in bright shades of floral buds were part of the attraction.




Sweet cakes made with magnolia leaves, gerbera daisies, and carefully placed blooms had me dreaming of a tea party in the garden.



 Can you imagine these pretty floral cakes adorning your table?


There were garden vignettes landscaped to encourage backyard planning. One of my favourites was designed by Jodi M. Liptrot and built by Vaughan Landscaping. The blend of over-grouted stone and charcoal stained wood beams offered the perfect foundation for pretty foliage around the sleepy garden.  My pictures don't do this justice .......... it was so elegant. 







As we welcome spring today and hope for warmer weather, I can't help but know that we have things a lot brighter than the residents of Port au Choix, in north western Newfoundland.

The roof of the house {in the center of the pic}  is barely peeking out under the snow drifts.

The owners of this home were away most of the winter {it's easy to understand why} -  neighbours contacted and advised them that their house was in danger of being buried in snow. So they returned home and to no avail attempted to shovel off the roof managing to leave the house before the porch collapsed from the weight.

images: Janice Gould - Canadian Press


So - Welcome Spring !

........... maybe Mother Nature can give Newfoundland an extra sprinkling of warm air.