Crank Up the Curb Appeal

Earlier this week we had Andrew from Lusso Glass replace our front door with these wrought iron panels. Don’t let Andrew’s young appearance mislead you. My professional instinct asked me to give him a chance when we first met him. He was very well organized, and sincere in helping potential customers make their own decision. It turned out that our tummy was right: he did a fantastic job on the day of installation, and before that he constantly kept us up-to-date on our custom order.

So here we present you with our new entrance door. We chose Listral Glass for its simple yet elegant and functional (privacy) characteristics; and Ulysses – a custom design wrought iron insert. I wanted ours to be different from our neighbours’ — don’t people just get tired of those mass-produced, imported styles like Juliana or Luna? We chose Antique Bronze (Oil Rubbed Bronze) handlesets to match the door hardware in the rest of our house.
I couldn’t believe I found a Moorish Tile pattern rug here in Canada! I kicked myself for not buying the one from Pottery Barn before they discontinued it. You’d never guess where I got it from, yes, who would guess it’s from Home Depot? This 32×48″ rug now serves as a doormat in the foyer. Now that the doors are in, the next step is to pick a paint color (or two) for the garage and the front door. I am still debating whether to paint both the same color, or paint garage door a lighter shade (such as taupe or beige) then front door darker color (such as charcoal or espresso). I will post some pictures when we finish this task. Stay tuned.
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Feeling Nostalgic

It’s been over two years since I last painted. Lately as home reno projects started to wind down, it’s about time for me to pick up my brushes and polish my strokes. Not trying to be too aggressive (surely at this time I wouldn’t be able to start with a sophisticated painting like “Paris Walk – Snow” I did in 2008), I started slowly with these two silhouette paintings named “Feeling Nostalgic – Chandelier Silhouettes“. This is what the paintings look like inside the family room. The grayish blue color echos the drapery in the dining room. It gives some visual continuance as you walk from the living room into the dining room. I am not a big fan of creating knock-your-socks-off type of visual excitement — on the contrary, everything has to have its place and in good balance.
I came across these hot water bottles at a houseware store, and I just had to take some pictures. The last time I saw them was at my grandma’s house when I was 11. At that time in China some people still burned coal to boil water (and it took a loong time), so there was a need to constantly keep hot water warm. Today we just switch on the electrical kettle and water will be boiled in minutes. I miss those days when people took (and made) time to get what they wanted.

Dining Room Makeover

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished from computers these days. I pretty much planned out our entire dining room makeover from my PC: from mapping out wainscoting/appliques from PowerPoint, to visualizing a gallery wall from Photoshop by plugging in different photos.
This was designed in PowerPoint for one of the walls in the dining room. It allowed us to plan well before we started cutting those chair rails. It also helped minimize wastes. Remember, measure twice, cut once.

And…ta da! This is what our dining room looks like after wainscoting, a fresh coat of paint and new blue-grey silk drapes! Wall color is Behr Stable Hay in satin finish. Wainscoting was painted in a custom shade of white in semi-gloss sheen. The drapery panels are from Fabricland. I added linings to pump up the volume. Stable Hay paint was too gold/warm for me so I added the grayish blue drapes to tone it down.

This was mapped out in Photoshop. I was able to move photos around to achieve visual balance before I put these frames on the wall.

Dining room from another angle. I received a lot of compliments from the new gallery wall. It certainly has become the new attention-grabber.