Tuesday, 31 January 2012

IDS & Blog Podium Recap!

Greetings all! 

I've got good news and bad news. 

The bad news is I'm a little behind in churning out this recap post. The good news is that, as expected, I had a terrific time this past Friday at both Blog Podium and the 2012 Interior Design Show!

All of the Blog Podium organizers, panelists and my fellow attendees were lovely, and it was a pleasure to mix and mingle with them at my first bloggers event!

The discussion was lively, interesting and it was great to be surrounded by such unique yet like-minded people, who clearly appreciate creative expression as much as they do design.

Once the hour long event was over, my wicked swag bag and I raced upstairs to the show floor and explored nearly every booth and exhibit on my own.

Hours later, here are some of the many photos and impressions I walked away with...

Right off the bat it was clear - there was definitely no shortage of tangerine tango and other orangey hues across the floor. What else would you expect for Pantone's colour of the year?!


Studio North was as drool-worthy as usual, no surprise there...

Some of the exhibits themselves were just so incredibly well designed and/or colourful, that they caught your eye and reeled you in, even if their contents weren't exactly in line with your own personal taste.

It might've just been me, but I found there was even more focus than usual on compact living this time around. I recall seeing a number of beds with built-in storage when I last attended in 2010, but nothing like the plethora of murphy beds and bunk beds I saw this time around...

Cool, eh? Not a new concept by any means, but honestly what a great idea?! Especially in condos, it seems stupid not to have these space-saving pieces.

A number of times, as I wandered around taking my millions of photos and chatting up those working the show, a number of people asked me if I was a designer, to which I'd reply with a big fat "I WISH!

Yet in saying that, I was actually surprised and delighted at the enthusiastic reception I got when I'd explain that I was there as accredited media, since I had just started my own blog back in September. 

Some people even requested my brand spanking new NofW cards so they could check back and see if I featured them in a post. Score! :)

Since this post has already gone on far too long, I'll finish up by saying that it was a fantastic day and that good times were definitely had by all!

Thank you to everyone involved, especially to all those I had the pleasure of meeting at Blog Podium. See you next time!

KLI | NofW

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

3 Days ‘til the 2012 Interior Design Show!

Morning all!

As per usual, I'm hoping the work week flies by, but this time for a very specific reason...

This Friday I'm going to attend Trade Day of the 2012 Interior Design Show and am registered to attend/participate in a panel discussion/networking event called Blog Podium!

Ottawa at Home

IDS is held not far from my place down at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and while I've attended the show before, I feel like a kid on Christmas.

There is so much to see - new appliances in every colour, fresh designs for classic pieces of furniture, green solutions, small space design, etc. etc. etc. !!!

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Apart from seeing everything this year's show has to offer, I'm pumped to meet fellow bloggers (both newbies like me and veterans) and listen to design professionals from all over discuss what's new and exciting to them.


I'll be tweeting throughout the day, so if you're interested take a peek at my photos and comments here! @Kklee6

Have a great day!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mad About Bar Carts!

As many of you may know, AMC's Mad Men is at long last returning this Spring for its long-overdue and highly anticipated fifth season.

That's right, come March 25th, the good folks over at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will be back in your living room, right where they belong.


This news may not mean much to some, but here in the Nook it's kind of a big deal...

The writing is fantastic, the cast is stellar, but as former Film Studies and Production Design student, I'm especially mesmerised by the art direction.

So, in honour of the show's return, I thought I'd dedicate this post to one of my favourite pieces of furniture that pop up in episode after episode...

The Bar Cart!

Arteriors Connaught

There's something about a bar cart that I just find really charming.

The mere idea conjures up images of a swanky cocktail party, where the host would have every kind of booze you could think of on hand, ready to fix the most obscure drinks ever ordered in a jiffy.

That's right, jiffy...


Indeed, the bar cart trend is alive and well these days, with modern options popping up left and right that really speak to the same combination of practicality and style that vintage models seem to have.

West Elm

Pottery Barn


These bar carts are attractive, useful, and quite often portable... what's not to like?!

Once again, due to space restrictions and $$$, I've got my bar cart sitting patiently on my One Day list, but man oh man... one day!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Storage Wars of Small Spaces

There's an infamous east end Toronto house that has caught the eyes of passersby for years, and thanks to the Toronto Star last week I discovered that it's up for sale for the first time in over a decade!

Photos by Susan Pigg, Toronto Star

Look familiar? This eco-friendly abode is located on Coxwell Avenue and was created by architect Rohan Walters.

I'm not actually looking to move - as you may have gathered, I'm in no position to buy a home right now and I'm quite content in my little nook for the moment!

Nonetheless, I was thrilled to finally have a sneak peek inside this unique, three storey "Box House".

While it seems like a cool place to call home (and I'm sure it is!), really the square footage is no bigger than  your average downtown condos today at a mere 800 sq feet!

As is usually the case, small spaces like this one offer very little in the way of storage, and as many urban residents know, having a compact home can very much impact your everyday life.

The way you cook, the way you clean, how frequently you get to your pile of laundry, and how productive you are every morning as you get ready for work... all of these things are affected by how well (or how poorly) you organize the space you have to work with.

Now that MLo and I have painted a couple rooms and added a few more aesthetic touches to our apartment, I'm realizing that it just might be time to turn my focus (correction, some of my focus) towards organizing the storage spaces within our home...

Here are a few spots that I can't wait to spruce up that I think will really improve the functionality of the place and, more importantly, improve the way that we function in it!

  • Under the bathroom sink
  • My bedroom drawers
  • Our entryway "closet" (aka a little corner with a shoe and coat rack that is out of sight thanks to a couple of trusty West Elm curtains!)
  • Our kitchen "junk drawer"
  • The one kitchen cupboard that has been taken hostage by millions of reusable grocery bags

What's on your short or long term organizational to do list? What have you done to make the most of your space? Do tell!


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Little Red Goes A Long Way!

Not too long ago I posted about some chairs I bought from a hotel furniture liquidation warehouse, aka "The Boutique".

My intention was always to revamp these seats ASAP but before we knew it a whole year had passed and our chairs were still covered in the same sad, faded navy fabric.

Why the delay, you might ask? I'd like to say it's because I didn't have the time, but to be honest, I didn't make the time and on top of that Marc and I couldn't agree on a colour.

I initially had my heart set on something in a blue, or even a chocolate brown to balance out the lighter walnut wood, but he wasn't having it.

He wanted red.

Red like deep movie theatre carpet red. Red like you won't find anywhere else in our apartment red, but I wasn't so sure...

Then, recalling what a champ he was about the whole turquoise bathroom thing, I decided I might have to be the one to compromise this time around.

Not only that, I searched around online for inspirational photos and realized his red (or something close to it anyway) might be exactly what we need!

[Totally Home Decor]

[Shelly's Stamping Stuff]

[Build Direct via Southern Living]

Alas we hit Queen West and agreed on a brighter shade of red in a tough and hopefully durable linen.

Then, once we busted out the power drill and picked up a new staple gun, the whole process only took about 15-20 minutes per chair!

Just getting started...


Forget it! Covering the old stuff works too!

And last but not least, the AFTER picture...

What do you think?!

I should note that we didn't fuss with matting or anything like that, so this was a very simple and inexpensive project... one that we could do all over again a year or two down the road if the mood strikes us!

Just cross your fingers that next time neither of us will break our elbows half way through!

Anyway, bottom line, Marc and I are both thrilled with the end results and a week or two later, I'm still amazed not only at how much the fabric brings the chairs to life but how much texture this small change adds to our living room.

Mission accomplished  :)


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Morning all and Happy 2012!

I hope you all had wonderful, restful holidays with your loved ones!

My break flew by, as it usually does, and it was many things... delicious, fun, family-filled, but unfortunately it wasn't particularly restful...

Marc and I made it through the marathon of family functions with flying colours but hit something of a speed bump on the 27th... aka a bad fall and a broken elbow for MLo! :(

We were heading out for a nice little afternoon at Home Depot (that's right), all excited about the projects we'd been cooking up, and BOOM! Just like that, our outing turned into a day and a half in the hospital.

True, Marc is somewhat out of commission with just one arm, but being the terrific trooper that he is, he still managed to help me out here and there with encouragement and coaching as I tackled a couple of DIYs myself!

For now I'd like to share a "few" of my favourite photos from over the break, but stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about the progress we've made here at our little Nook of Wellington... 

- KLI -