Tag Archives: rustic decor

Teen Boy’s Loft

Last week I gave you a tour of our son’s bedroom and got a lovely response to it!  Thanks everyone!

This week I will show you the loft portion of the room.

Up, up we go!

Trying to get to the secret door…

You can see it’s kind of an adventure just getting up here (especially with a camera), but I think that’s half the fun for a boy!  Anything that scares the mother is usually a go with them.

Getting to the landing…

Once you make it up, you enter the boy cave.  Here it is under construction.

The ceiling is high enough for me to stand in the middle and I’m 5’7″.  Again, just like his room, there are a lot of planes and angles which makes it a kind of interesting place to be.

Yes.  That is a fairly intense shade of blue called Blueberry going on the walls.

Yes.  I did tell him he could pick his colors.

Just to warn you, there are no fancy vignettes here, or PB copycat crafts, just plain old pillows and toys and basic, plastic toy storage, and games, and a TV and other assorted necessary items for a 12 year old boy.

However, much popcorn was swept up before the taking of these pictures!!

The floor ended up being two different levels, which has proved helpful for all kinds of games.  Or jumping cars.

Up in the back corner is the little seating area.  We got him this chair and footstool for Christmas and the Ikea cushions (green and orange) are great for company!

Have I mentioned how difficult it is to photograph a loft that is painted Blueberry?  It’s not easy.

The quilt was his great-grandma’s and he has all of his essentials nearby.

Football, wooden whistle, Nerf gun to take out whoever might be coming up the ladder.

The framed pictures were a JRR Tolkien calendar that I had years ago.  I picked out my favorites and my mom had them matted and framed.  I moved them around with me for a long time when I was going to university, and now they live in Sam’s loft.  They are from some of his favorite books.  Mine too.

This is the view from the chair.

And from the top looking down to the shelf above the door.

And then the just-totally-keeping-it-real picture of what the room actually looks like today from the perch on the top of the ladder.  Some of you made comments about how neat it was for the tour.


That might be why the house tour pictures are taking so long!

Spring Mantel Inspiration

I love the anticipation of waiting for spring to arrive.

In Alberta, after a long, hard winter, we need to see some green, growing things!

I was excited the other day when I saw that there was another series of blog parties celebrating the arrival of spring.

Even though it won’t actually arrive here for another month or so at least (usually the beginning of May is when the trees leaf out), we can start to make the insides of our homes start to look like spring.

Here are some inspiring spring mantels.

I love the contrast of the green with the white with the dark chalkboard and wood.

This one is similar in feel, but with a mirror instead of a chalkboard and the addition of a ladder and some clocks.
I love that this one is a little wilder looking.  Branchy.  And we have a lot of branches around here.  So very do-able.
But some colour might be nice.  Not might be.  Would be.  Absolutely.
Branchy and colourful both.
Have you started thinking about spring for your home?
I am going to start working on the spring mantel soon, but first I’m going to go outside and take pictures of my son snowboarding down the backyard hill onto and over the jump he built with the snow we still have.
This is not a metaphor.

Bathroom Mirror

Our house has three bathrooms.  When we moved in, only one of them had a mirror.  For about a year, I’m embarrassed to admit.  That would be our son’s bathroom.

But eventually, the half bathroom on the main floor got a mirror.  A nice round Ikea mirror.  Lovely.

But it was missing something.

It was missing rope and a rusty something or other to look like it was holding the rope up.

So this is what we did.

And this is what inspired us.

Frame Out A Mirror With Rope

To get this project done, we headed to one of the local new and used shops and found a great, rusty old hook with a bit of chain on it.  When we asked the lovely gentleman who owned the shop how much, he looked at us like we were a little strange and said that if it could be any use to us, we were welcome to take it.

So we bought a couple of giant frames desperately in need of some white paint so that we were buying something.  Here is the hook and chain.

Shaun used a curtain hanger to suspend it from the wall.

Then we went to the hardware store and bought some rope.  They weren’t giving anything away there…

Here is what is looks like after it was all put together.

I love it.

And I can’t wait until my bathroom actually has a mirror, too.

(seriously, I have to put my make-up on in the closet and Shaun has to shave in our son’s bathroom… any ideas on how to make your own medicine cabinet??)

Living Room

My husband and I have spent the last few years being obsessed with all things house.  We designed our own plans, chose a site, prepared it, and with some help from a contractor (but doing the bulk of the work ourselves) built our home.  That process took about 6 years, and we moved in about a year and a half ago.

It is one amazing dream come true!

Lots and lots of hard work and many setbacks along the way, but we made it and are thrilled with the results!

I started the house building story on the blog a long time ago, and so far we have covered our first basement digging disaster, getting started a YEAR later finallyfoundation and first floor, second floor, lock-up, and starting to finish.  I also did a post on our beautiful barn wood floors.

So now to start looking at the final product and have a house tour!

Yay!  The fun stuff at last!

I thought I would start with the living room since it is the room we spend the most time in and the room that has probably changed the most already since we moved in.

Get ready for lots of pictures!

This is the living room from the stairs.  You can pretty much get the whole room in this shot except the piano is hiding behind the light fixture over the table and the curio cabinet on the right is hidden as well.

On the left is the front entry alcove and to the right is our back hallway and mudroom area.  The kitchen is open to this room on the other side of the table.

Starting on the right, you can see the curio that we redid this summer (we had a disaster on that as well, see this post for the details) and the table that I recovered with pages of Shakespeare.

Behind this next shot you can get a peek at the mudroom hallway.  All of the hooks back there are in the open.  No closets.  Just hooks and benches.

The central seating area consists of our couch and love seat and my great-grandma’s chair.  I had originally planned on recovering these couches (as they are 16 years old!!) before we moved in.  I was thinking brown leather.

Am I ever glad I didn’t do it before we moved, because once we got them in here, I realized that with the dark floors and the dark farm table, brown leather would have been a big mistake.

So I am still loving the Navajo print, and when I do get around to recovering them, it will definitely be with something light (Belgian linen would be lovely).

We love this little sitting area.  There are always kids rolling around on the floor or playing chess or Scrabble, and adults on the couches visiting and enjoying the fire.

Or reading.  That tiny little table was built by my great-grandpa.

The table in the corner is also a nice place to have a cup of tea and a visit.  It has excellent light as it is surrounded by big windows and I take a lot of pictures at that table.

The heart of the room is the fireplace and it is the reason we spend 90% of our time in here.

The antler wreath, paper trees, rusty metal star, and copper boiler lid make one lovely, rustic mantel.  The mantel itself is a piece of cedar that my grandpa planed on his sawmill for my uncle, who had brought back cedar logs from BC to build his home with.  That was 30 years ago and they still hadn’t used it, so my uncle and aunt gave us that wood as a housewarming present and it makes me think of them and my wonderful Grandpa every time I look at it.

The rest of the copper boiler holds our firewood.  Our fireplace is actually a wood burning stove that heats our house all winter, so it sees a lot of use, and that hearth warms a lot of chilly people!

To the left of the fireplace is the piano.

As you can see, we also use it for picture display.  The music stand displays our son’s latest paintings when he isn’t practicing his saxophone.

In behind the piano, tucked into the corner by a low window and my found art, is a chair for lounging, reading, napping.

And in between that little corner and the front entry is our smoking table  antique that we received as a housewarming gift from my husband’s parents.  It belonged to a great aunt on his side of the family.

It is a great little place for display and I love changing what is on it pretty regularly.

So you can see our living room is a cozy place filled with furniture that is comfortable and casual and vintage and meaningful to us.

I can’t resist a shot with my Valentine’s Day flowers in it!

I hope you enjoyed the living room tour.  Come back soon for tours of the other rooms of our home.

Hunting Vintage- Barnwood Frames

We were lucky enough to be able to build our new home a couple of years ago and were even luckier to be able to use vintage barn wood for our flooring.

This is what it looked like unfinished.

And this is what it looked like after the finish went on.

We love it so much. And yes, there is a pumpkin and a Christmas tree in this shot. We just can’t get enough of those holidays around here…

We are also thrilled to be able to have quite a pile of it leftover.

But what to do with it?

First up on my list of DIY projects with this beautiful wood is to make a couple of frames for a map and a pin board for my office gallery wall.

Here’s some inspiration.

I love the tacks on this one.

When I make them, they will probably look more like this one as I’m not going to miter the corners.

And I may or may not add a little bit of paint as well. We will see once they go up on the gallery wall.

I like to change my mind that way.

Tile Inukshuk

We like Inukshuks around here. An Inukshuk is an Inuit scupture made from stacking rocks into the shape of a person.

It means ‘we were here’.

My brother made one for us that sits by our firepit.

We then took the opportunity to incorporate one of these into our home.

When we built our house, we did a lot of the work. A. lot.

Framing, electrical and plumbing, drywalling, painting, and tiling are some of the huge jobs we (and when I say we I mean that I helped and so did my mom, but really it was my husband who did the bulk of it. You know, we.)

We got an excellent deal on our ceramic floor tile at Home Depot. It was a Canada Day special and we got all the tile we needed for our front entry, back entry, mudroom, and laundry room and three bathrooms for $300. I know. Amazing.

The tile is a lovely neutral colour that is going to stay fine forever. But we did want to jazz it up somehow, and we (there’s that we again) did that by using our sample tiles to create an inukshuk in the open space in our back entry.

Shaun spent many hours with his old friend the tile saw.

Many hours tracing out the shapes and painstakingly trimming them to look like actual stones on the floor.

But I think it was worth it, don’t you?

We had originally been considering much darker tile, so the mosaic really shows up against the lighter ceramic tile.

This is in an opening in the back entry that will never be covered by a rug so it is always on display.

We thought it was a nice way to incorporate Shaun’s culture, art, and craftsmanship into our home.

And it is always a conversation starter! What special elements do you have in your home?

Willow Trees

I have been in love with the Pottery Barn twig trees ever since I first saw them in the catalogue.



And since we had a pretty new patio and stairs leading up to our still unpainted front door, complete with empty whiskey barrels , I just knew that willow trees, DIY’d by us, would be perfect.

We just happen to have a lot of willow around these parts…

So we set out to build our own trees.  We were going to make them a little rounder than the PB ones as we were going to use willow to create hoops to attach the shorter pieces to.  The round shape would fill in the whiskey barrels nicely, too.

Just set them on blocks of wood and add a little burlap and some lights.

Ahh… the best laid plans of mice and men…

After spending a couple of hours in the bush collecting willow and hauling it back on our son’s sled (which we broke in the process), and thawing the willow in my tub overnight, spending a couple of hours twisting the willow hoops and gluing shorter cut pieces to them…. we had nothing.  As soon as we took the one we had made outside, it totally fell apart.  Apparently, hot glue will not hold willow to willow.  Do not try this!  And since we really could not see tying each willow twig to the hoops (just the gluing took forever and about a thousand twigs), we decided to use the hoops for a door wreath and the rest of the willow to tie in bunches for the barrels.

Here is our front entry now.

The burlap mimics dirt nicely, don’t you think?  Maybe it’s all the dirt.  On it.

The stump was a bit of a disaster as well.  I tried to put it in our wood burning stove, but it was too big.  So I had to run out of the house with it smoldering and throw it on the patio.

I mean, I placed it there for added detail and woodsiness.  Yeah.  That’s it.

The willow bunches I think are the right scale for the entry.  After hanging some puny little flower baskets there this summer, I’ve learned my lesson in scale.

So I guess our DIY disaster turned out ok in the end.  I’m happy with our entry and I think I can even leave it alone until spring arrives.

I’m ready to paint some furniture or sew something now.  I’ve had enough willow for a bit!

Holiday Home Tour

This is only the second year in our home.  Last year, we had just moved in September, and since I hosted Thanksgiving, and two Christmas family dinners, there really wasn’t a lot of time for anything other than just getting the tree up.

This year has been a little more relaxed.  I hosted Thanksgiving, but my brother is taking Christmas, and we are a bit more settled…so I had more time to think about these things.  Actually I’m not ready for Christmas at all (eeek!).  Maybe it’s because I’ve been too busy decorating!  Meh.  You can’t have it all!

First, I made a few ornaments, using lovely tips and tricks from fellow bloggers.

This paper wreath sits on the open railing divider between the kitchen and the stairs.

Then, continuing with the paper theme, I made these little trees.

They were sitting on the little smoking table by the front entry,

but then I moved them to the mantle.

I think they go nicely with my white antler wreath.

As well as a few little rusty elements that we already had including the barn star

…and the lid from the copper boiler that we use for firewood.

Add in some pine cones and a coal oil lamp, some bottles spruced up with some spruce and twine…

and the Christmas mantle is complete!

Our tree resides beside the fireplace in the corner and is a very traditional kind of tree with a lot of blue and silver and red and green.  We are really attached to having all the different colours of lights as well.  Some year, I may buy a second tree for trendy decorating and all white lights, but this tree is special as it has decorations given to me by my mom from the past 30 years.  It has decorations made for me by my grandmothers and my son.  Each one tells a story and it is always a joy to put it up every year and remember them all.

Here’s a star made by my dad when he was a little boy alongside a vintage Santa and vintage painted red decorations.  The silver one is new.

It’s not really about a colour scheme or style.  These ribbon balls were crafts we did with my Grandma about 20 years ago.  I also like that, as a family, we have common ornaments.

She even embroidered ornaments for us.  This is traditional Norwegian embroidery called hardangar.

These cute little cork horses were another family craft with her.  She was a glue-gunnin’ machine long before her time!

Other decorations we have around are quite traditional as well.

Snowflakes on the window.

Greenery and snowflake candle holders.

A handmade little mouse.

And a little grassy deer.

Of course, here, Mother Nature takes care of decorating the outdoors.

You really cannot beat that.  Here is our house from the road.

And here is our front step decorated for Christmas.

The willow hoops on the door were a DIY disaster (post to come) that turned into something kind of cool anyway.  I just tied them together with ribbon.

I love the texture and colour of willow.

So much so that we just tied together big bunches of it and stuck them in the whiskey barrels on either side of the front door.  Old burlap covers the styrofoam that we used to help it stand up.

I hope you enjoyed our holiday home tour and wish you a very happy holiday!



Rustic Holiday Mantel

A couple of days ago, we finally finished our antler wreath and got it hanging above the mantel.  My Christmas dreams of a white antler wreath came true!

So it really and truly was the centerpiece of the mantel for Christmas.

But I did add a few little things.  The paper trees I made.

A little greenery in the way of some spruce branches goes nicely in the bottles we found buried in the woods behind our house (which we then painted).

Makes the house smell like Christmas, too.

A little rust in the background with some pinecones and an old coal oil lamp.

Our tree is very traditional so I like that the colours on the mantel are subdued.

Of course, it is really all about the white antlers, though.

Rusty Metal Bucket Decor

Remember the rusty goodness we found in our very own backyard?

And more specifically, these?

I finally figured out something to do with some of those awesome finds.

Rustic Metal Door Bucket


Of course you just hang them and fill them with something pretty.

Stay tuned to see the finally completed front entry door hooks and keep your eye out for one of those pretty, rusty buckets, too!

Is it Friday, yet?


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