Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior + Win a copy!

I received Wonder Plants 2 for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

I almost brought another plant home from the grocery store today — a darling little philodendron in a simple terracotta pot — but my basket was already weighed down with milk and tomatoes and other essentials (and non-essentials) that I’d be struggling to juggle on the bus as it was. Adding a plant to the mix seemed like a recipe for a bad end so decided to leave if (or leaf it, ha ha) for another day. And now I think it’s just as well. I’d much rather save up for a giant statement-making plant that’ll add life to the living room where we spend so much of our time. Okay maybe two giant plants. Three if I’m being honest. And for that I blame Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner. The pair wrote the book (well books) on living large with plants in Wonder Plants and Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior and the 20 stunning green interiors and plant care tips inside have me dreaming of something similar at home. We looked at Wonder Plants in 2017; here today is peek inside Wonder Plants 2Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior + Win a copy!

Hello Color: 25 Bright Ideas for DIY Decor by Rachel Mae Smith

Penguin Random House Canada sent me Hello Color in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Sometimes a book falls into your lap just when you need it and that was exactly the case with the with the one I’m talking about today. With the end of the school year not far off and the kids soon home for the summer, I’ve been stressing about finding things for us to do. Enter Hello Color: 25 Bright Ideas for DIY Decor by Rachel Mae Smith. While it’s not a kids’ book per se, it’s filled with all kinds of fun and inexpensive projects my 9- and 11-year-old would love to do with me, and even a few they could do on their own. (And not junky things either — I mean things we could actually use that would add a bit of cheer and crafts we could personalize for a thoughtful gift.) And for anyone looking how to incorporate colour into their home, there’s a colour theory 101, tips on how to create a colour scheme, and how-to’s for colourful conversation pieces for every room. Learn how to set a charming table, how to style a beautiful bookcase, how to stock a bar cart and how to photograph your projects so they’ll shine. And even if you never get around to making anything, there are pretty prints to tear out and frame that’ll add a bright pop of colour to any space. I picked three of my favourite projects in the book to show you here.  Hello Color: 25 Bright Ideas for DIY Decor by Rachel Mae Smith

My Floral Affair by Rachel Ashwell

CICO Books sent me a copy of My Floral Affair in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and from the heart. 

If we ever have a backyard where we can actually grow anything, I would love to plant a lush cutting garden and create fanciful arrangements of fresh flowers of all colours, shapes and sizes (especially fluffy peonies, also said to be Meghan Markle’s favourite) for every room of the house. But flowers don’t have to be fresh to bring life and light to a space. In her new (and tenth!) book, My Floral Affair: Whimsical Spaces and Beautiful Florals, shabby chic doyenne Rachel Ashwell shows how flower-inspired design — be it in wallpaper, lighting or architectural details — can bring drama and playfulness and calm into bloom.  My Floral Affair by Rachel Ashwell

Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner + Win a copy!

Now some of you may say plants never go out of style, but in the past couple of years their popularity in home decor and design has grown in a huge way (pun absolutely intended). Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert and Judith Baehner, is a tribute to some of of the most marvellous and magical renderings of botanical style and a primer in plant care for readers looking to enliven their spaces with the same greenery at home.  Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner + Win a copy!

Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver

This Christmas my wish list is all about feathering our nest. I’d love a Scandinavian-inspired mirror for the entry, a swoony diffuser for the living room, some kind of lighting situation for the dining room (I finally painted it white but it’s still so dim), and a big screen TV to curl up with and watch all the holiday Netflix in bed. (Santa, I’ve been really good this year!) All of which was heavily inspired by Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, the much-anticipated new release from Domino magazine editors Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver. It’s a follow-up to the 2008 release, Domino: The Book of Decorating. While the first book was all about demystifying interior design, this second one promises a deep dive into the nitty gritty of home decorating — how to use key elements from lighting to collections and everything in between to make your space your own. “Your home isn’t simply the things in it — it is more about crafting a space to share with the people you love,” the authors write. “It doesn’t need to be perfect — it just needs to be perfect for you.”  Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver

Five things from Ottawa’s new Simons

We’ve still got one more sleep before it’s open for shopping, but in this special edition of five things I’m sharing five sneak peeks at Ottawa’s new two-storey, 100,000-square-foot Simons store. It’s the anchor of the Rideau Centre‘s 230,000-square-foot expansion and the thirteenth store for the Quebec retailer. Simons CEO, Peter Simons, hosted a media preview last night in advance of the grand opening. Let’s take a look!  Five things from Ottawa’s new Simons

Chic Boutiquers At Home by Ellie Tennant

Grab a cup of tea and settle in for some major design inspo with today’s look at Ellie Tennant‘s second book, Chic Boutiquers at Home: Interiors Inspiration and Expert Advice from Creative Online Sellers. The UK-based interiors journalist takes us inside the homes of 12 designers, makers and curators known for their stylish online shops and shares a wealth of advice on how to set up your own. These are carefully curated, impeccably styled homes in New York, the Netherlands and the UK that still manage to be homey and warm, spaces designed for work, rest and play by entrepreneurs with style and substance. Show me to the guest room — I want to move in!  Chic Boutiquers At Home by Ellie Tennant

At Home: Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson

Years ago I went to a lecture at the University of Ottawa by Margaret Atwood, followed by a signing of her then-latest novel, Alias Grace. I was daunted by the opportunity to meet her (I’d seen Margaret and her daughter shopping at Jacob in Hazelton Lanes the year before but had been too shy to introduce myself) and pretty sure everyone around me could hear my heart beating out of my chest as I joined the impossibly long line to the table where she sat autographing books. Inching through Tudor Hall, I rehearsed what I’d say when I got to the front. I’d straighten my shoulders, look Margaret straight in the eye and say: “As long as you breathe, write.” (What cheese!) I don’t know if I’d read that somewhere or made it up but I thought it was poetry. Margaret would see that we were kindred spirits — she the Anne to my Diana! — and a lifelong friendship would begin. “As long as you breathe, write. As long as you breathe, write.” Round and round it went in my head. Finally Margaret was in view — five more people to go! — and a handler took my book, asked me my name, and scrawled it on a post-it note he slapped inside the front cover. Suddenly I was standing directly in front of her and she raised her head to look at me. I opened my mouth and whispered “As long as you write, breathe.” (Nooooooooo!) I felt my face flush beet-red. Margaret blinked, then lowered her head to sign and I was jostled ahead to receive my book from another one of her people. I don’t know if she even heard me, but I thought I’d die of embarrassment. My one chance to speak to slash befriend Margaret Atwood (the Margaret Atwood!) and I blew it. Royally.  At Home: Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson

Lovable Livable Home by Sherry and John Petersik

Lovable Livable Home trysmallthings

In the follow-up to their bestseller Young House Love, superstar bloggers/designers Sherry and John Petersik return with a gorgeous, relatable guide to help readers bridge the gap between how we want our homes to look, feel, and function, and how they actually do. Lovable Livable Home is one of my favourite new books for its design solutions — doable projects and quick fixes that can bring order and personality to our spaces in an hour or a few afternoons.  Lovable Livable Home by Sherry and John Petersik