[design]: Another Apartment E-Design


Client (a couple) wanted something modern and warm using wood. In bedroom we used fabric as a wallpaper (flower) and wallpaper in the hallway with built-in storage.

There were couple of options presented to client in the living room:

[home]: "Quality" Appliances


When I complained about my day including toaster dying couple of days ago, I assumed that I already wrote about my ongoing drama with our stove.  As you can see from our original walk-through of our house appliances were different colour, different styles - but as we did not have definite plans at the time about what to do with kitchen - it did not bother us. Until the fridge broke down a year in...

As we embarked on a fridge search we decided to use found sales and deals to also replace our stove and dishwasher. We ended up with:

Electrolux French Door Fridge

I really liked how industrial handles looked, wanted bottom freezer drawers and french door for the fridge. Purposely we did not want ice-maker as we knew that most fridges were prone to issues and we don't really need/use it as much. When it ice-maker version was delivered by mistake, we returned it.

REVIEW: Within a year a shelf broke (more specifically it separated from the bracket). We were told that we needed to pay for new one - we ended up using good glue and had no issues with it.  Unfortunately that was not the only problem - basically plastic around freezer doors started breaking until it completely fell off couple of weeks ago. While the function is not affected - it is very visible and makes the fridge look terrible. 

While I was searching for photo of the fridge to include here - ran into numerous bad reviews of this fridge - mostly due to defective ice-maker. It appears that there is a class action suit against Electrolux in NY state about it. 

VERDICT: Not worth the money and I would never buy it again.

Bosch Bar Handle Dishwasher - Stainless Steel

We went with this dishwasher as we liked the handle, look and Bosch dishwashers had good reviews. 

REVIEW: Issue we ran into was smell when not in use. I've always assumed that this was something that we have done, but found recently that it has to do with design and setup of the dishwasher. Lately we've been using it more so the smell is less noticeable. 

VERDICT: So far so good - we are happy with performance so far.

Electrolux Electric Induction Cooktop and Double Oven Stove

We liked that this stove had double oven (even though to this date I am yet to use them both). It is sleek, has racks that extend out and has that industrial look we found in other appliances. I was worried a bit about maintenance, but it proved to be a breeze.

REVIEW: While maintenance is very easy, it seems there are too many electrical problems with this stove. My problem started last year when E15 error code appeared with constant beeping making the stove unusable. I've unplugged it at the time, left it for an hour, plugged it back in and used it fine until about 2 months ago when same issue happened - only this time it would not go away.

When we opened it up we found that one of the circuits had a problem - it fried connection to lower oven which we never used! Go figure! I was happy that there was a problem as I found that there were too many people chucking this stove to garbage as they could not pinpoint the problem and were replacing parts (expensive parts) one by one only to conclude that sinking more money will not solve the problem. 

Electrolux appears unfortunately to be totally useless and unhelpful based on these comments and it does not look like they are stepping up to address this problem - similarly to their ice-maker problem with the fridge. 

For last couple of weeks we've been using a plug-in single burner stove and had no oven - cooking was much fun! Part finally arrived yesterday and we replaced it right away! E15 again !!!! Stove is unplugged again - this time with no clear indication where and what the problem might be. 

VERDICT: I will never buy Electrolux appliance again. These purchases were not cheap and idea was to buy better quality product without shelling $10K on a stove to have some piece of mind. Well, that is the last thing we got.

[home]: Powder Room In Progress


Here are powder room before photos that we took during our house walk-through some four years ago.

While the updates are done yet - I have roman/blind to add to it - here are a few in progress (or almost done) photos. While I had planned to paint the vanity at some point - I gave up on it when we decided to completely renovate our whole first floor. 

Some of the updates include replacing towel racks, replacing mirror and sconces.

towel racks - Home Sense
towels - Home Sense
glass canister - Home Sense
stones - Chapters/Indigo
shells - our own
hand soap - Home Sense

wall sconce - Home Depot
vase - Crate and Barrel
candle - Chapters/Indigo
mirror - Ikea

[home]: Living Room Wall


Today just wasn't my day.. It started off with toaster not working - it seems everything that we purchased in last couple of years in the kitchen is breaking down even as we spent more on better quality stuff. Then I broke a plate - don't remember when I've done that before. And things just continued from there..

I've managed to put up couple of pictures in our powder room even though it took me forever and too many trial and errors to get them right - I am either suffering from baby brain or not working has affected me already... I felt really happy to finalize what I planned for powder room, only to feel completely defeated when third knob on our vanity would not come off - even when hubby tried. Now we have two crystal knobs and one old gold.

Here is to finishing the day on a nicer note - our little gallery wall in the living room. Years ago I was into matching decor - now I look for more unexpected elements - but these work well for me and I don't want to change them. 

Tomorrow is another day...

[home]: Master Bedroom In Progress


As I mentioned in many other posts, a lot of our house is work in progress - either we are doing some renovations, decorating, or planning new renovations. Master bedroom is no exception. One one hand it is work in progress as we will be adding a wall separating part of the room to create a nursery, depending on when we actually do this, we need to add a crib and create space for new baby that is coming shortly (yes, not done yet!), then adding decor including all the pictures and finally fixing our bed. 

I've purchased a headboard some years ago that is currently behind our bed. I never liked mattress sets and prefer having a mattress on top of wooden slats, but in all of this time we did not get to creating the box to hold it nor did I find exactly what I wanted to buy. I think I've decided on a solution, but now need to work on it...

In the meantime, we finally put up our curtains which we used to have in family room but since we got different ones, these ones will work nicely in our bedroom. First one is clearance from Pottery Barn - I just love linen and these are lined. I've must have made a mistake somewhere when washing/drying them as they don't line up that well anymore, as you can kind of see on the side of it. Second one is from Ikea - yes, probably everyone had these at some point - and while I don't like getting something that is so recognizable - these are really good value for money (defined as: quality material for least amount of money).

To finish off this little corner - there is nightstand from Restoration Hardware Outlet that we got at clearance plus 40% discount. Finally, lamp is from Home Sense from couple of years ago. 

This is the other side of our bedroom (room is long about 23 feet). On the left hand side we had a crib for our youngest up until a month ago. Bench in the window is from Home Sense from a few years ago and it is flanked by closets where we replaced doors. Area rug is there temporarily and it is from Home Sense from a few years back as well.

Here is another look at closets (3 in total) first looking at before photo from our first viewing of the house:

Here is the after one - changes include ripping out carpet and replacing with laminate floor, replacing closet doors, paint.

We have two windows in the room, one of the each side. Street one allows us to see river, and the other one looks onto backyard. My daugther arranged pillows below - large fur ones are from Restoration Hardware, smaller fur ones from Chapters/Indigo and silk middle one is from Home Sense from several years ago.

[decor]: Weekly Roundup

Similarly to the last weekly roundup there is not too much to report which is why this is more like a bi-weekly roundup at the moment. All the stores are in between sales and not having their new merchandise in yet and I probably missed out on a some clearances as I found couple of stores like Crate and Barrel almost completely unrecognizable - almost none of the items I noticed on last visit were there - I can only assume they were sold out. 

I don't have any photos but I managed to snap couple of pillows from Chapters/Indigo that were on sale which is a good thing as in another one of their stores there were none left. 

Home Sense - a few interesting pieces caught my eye. Bottom right photo is of Uberhaus chandeliers - so it seems that Home Sense now has Rona brand as well.. surprising and interesting..

Again I ran into some interesting art at  Home Sense.. Saw couple of French Shabby Chic Mannequin Body Form stands (I guess that is how they are called). Not my cup of tea (they creep me out a bit to have them in a home) but nice to see them in the store.

I am also not very big on artificial flowers, but these caught my eyes - a flower here and there - especially these ones would look great.

Last week made a trip to Restoration Hardware Outlet. There was more merchandise but sale was only $20 off for every $100 spent. Key is running into right items at the right discount...

I really like this Vintage Schoolhouse desk for playroom. I saw it when sale was 30% off making it about $250 which I think is great  for this piece. Sadly not a priority right now... Bottom left - headboard on clearance - they always have a number of bed frames and headboards...

They also had a few great sofas, sectional, chairs. Chaise was on clearance (yellow tag) for about $1500 plus additional discount that changes weekly.

Target stores are fairly empty as clearance items are pretty much sold out but new ones are slowly trickling in. One big pet peeve I have with all Target stores here is that employees leave their carts in the middle of the isles while they are not there. I've ran into this on my every visit, every store... Those dark blue cabinets would be interesting as my son's night table, especially as they are on sale. I like the colour but I am a bit afraid of glass in his room... Clocks for his room - but there is a point when one can overdo things - this is one of those..

That's it for decor finds.. What else were we doing this week?

Enjoying my mom's flowers and admiring how grapes are growing:

Watching new flowers in our front yard, moving trampoline around in the backyard, playdates in between camps...

Our own garage sale - first one in this house (second one in total).. My girls were helping me, younger one was crying every time someone would buy a toy.. 

A to-do and a project on the go and on my mind.. Need some additional support for tomatoes and other plants in our garden which has grown tremendously. I am looking for foam to build my own cushion for a bench.

That's it for this week. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

[home]: Sleeping Arrangements


When we moved into our house just about 4 years ago there was 4 of us using 3 bedrooms. Couple of years later we had a little girl and while we were expecting we considered extending our second floor over garage to add another room. In fact, we were thinking of rebuilding our roof to give it some height and get rid of the flat roof. 

We went as far as making some preliminary plans and drawings as can be seen in below picture. Of course, then came the reality of getting a few quotes including architectural drawings and a myriad of people with opinions if we should do this.  We consulted couple of real estate agents who, in retrospect, were probably biased as they just wanted us to sell and buy new, a few builders recommending to build new house so our headache persisted for some 8 months.

We finally settled on doing minimum improvements that would 1. give us a nicer and healthier house to live in, and 2. increase property value if we decided to sell. As a result, addition and roof rebuild were out. Our house is about 2900 sq. ft. and we never felt that we did not have enough space overall - it is really just a question of deciding on sleeping arrangements especially now with 4th child on the way and making some much needed renovations in the house.

Couple of years ago I've searched for inspiration on incorporating baby room in our master but did not really find anything to win me over. Since then, that baby is now toddler and with new baby needing space, we decided to move our little toddler to one of the other rooms to share with brother or sister. Well - each had its pros and cons - so we decided to try them first. We were unsure if the move will even work, if she will find it hard to move from our room. Well - it all went great, so much more than we expected or even hoped for. She went in her sister's room - who really does not use this room for much more than sleeping or occasional reading. We were gifted a second crib which we are using as her toddler bed for now.

Baby will go into our room for now and we do have some plans of adding a wall to our room with double pocket glass doors to section the area off which can be used as either nursery or reading room, or whatever people do in their master rooms... 

This way we would get a decent size bedroom for baby but would not get into extensive rework of the floorplan. For resale value we will not be loosing much, if we even would not gain, as it would give an off area of decent size (some 9.5x12 ft). Depending on how long we stay in this house - we might even kids into this room and we could take one of the smaller bedrooms for us. We do have a room in a basement, but I am not really inclined sending any of the kids there - so I am in the process of decorating it as a guest room/my paint area/office... Yes, another started, never finished project that hopefully I will complete just that I can take pictures for a post.

Any interesting sleeping or bedroom dilemmas in your life? How did you address them? How did it work out?

[style]: Girl Room Inspirations


Reading my posts up to now it would seem that I am obsessed with my son's room (which I have been!) but now that I feel like I am close to somewhat of the finish line with his room, I am turning my attention elsewhere - my eldest who is 9 going on 14 it seems. I have not been paying too much attention to her room as it was mostly done - even though since we painted it 1.5 year ago (wow, that long ago) I've neglected to put up any of the wall decorations as I wanted to make some changes to reflect her growing up but never got around to it.

All of that time I was dreading that she might ask me for "Monster High" or some other theme - as she went through that phase, but luckily nothing like that happened. I am not sure how to define her age now - I guess she is entering that "pre-teen" definition and while I don't like styles that are overly defined - there was a need to take her room from some of the "little girl" phase to some of the "pre-teen" one. What defines each style - I'll try to get to in another post. In the meantime, here are some of the inspirations or just photos of girl rooms that I really like.


Common theme is shots of strong colour and a bit of whimsy.. Now only to find a way to achieve it with current furnishings and decor...