Posted by Cobi on Monday May 23, 2011 at 07:00 AM
In 2007 we did a major overhaul of our backyard. You may remember it from the pages of H&H. My dear friend and very talented photographer, Virginia MacDonald captured it beautifully. You’ll notice how my daughter (then 8 yrs old) wanted into every picture, and you won’t notice my son because he wouldn’t come near the camera!
Here’s the porch that we added on to the house. It’s our favourite room 3 seasons of the year (we added an electric fireplace and put plexi sheets on over the screens from late fall to early spring to extend the season).
Here’s Hito, our pearl gray Porty, weighing the consequences of sneaking some of the popcorn prop…
And there goes Charlotte…
Here’s Charlotte at the bbq which is under a retractable awning - no more holding an umbrella while flipping patties…
And here’s Charlotte at the pool’s edge - we painted it grey so the water is a little deeper shade of blue…
Our furniture is from Hauser and I love the black and white theme but plan to have some fun mixing in colourful cobistyle pillows and accessories this year.
I love this shot that Virginia snapped of Charlotte. I’d like to blow it up poster size for her room some day…
Can you imagine the size of the house this oval window came out of? We converted it to a mirror to create some interest on the pool shed/sauna wall.
This furniture isn’t special but light was so pretty we had to grab it…
These floating candle holders are for the pool - I found them at Lee Valley.
Here they are at nighttime…
Although the backyard cost ten times what I thought it would (landscaping seems to be like that) we love our backyard and use it day and night.
Looking at these pictures again makes me want to get out there and set it up for another summer of fun - we just need the sun!
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 09, 2011 at 06:59 AM
On Wednesday of this week (May 11/11) I’ll be appearing on MARILYN (CTV).
To show how colourful accessories can transform a room from drab to fab, we made-over the living room of one of the show’s producers.
The room itself is very pretty with lots of character and warm wood floors and trim.
I won’t sound snobby if I use the homeowner’s own descriptive for her existing furniture - ‘frat-house style’. The paint was in good shape but the yellowy colour looked drab against the wood trim.
Step #1 was to empty the room and that meant moving the sofa ‘directly to curb’ (where it was picked up by 2 very happy guys in a van in about an hour).
Step #2 was to give the room a coat of fresh white paint - you can’t go wrong with Benjamin Moore 967, and then we added a punch of colour to the area above the fireplace. I chose Ben. Moore Pear Green 2028-40 which is crisp and clean and serves to draw the eye even more quickly to the room’s best features. We also took the old screens off the stained glass windows so they could actually be seen - so pretty!
Step#3 colourful cobistyle accessories to the rescue. Once again I found myself loading the family van with flowers, pillows and props - I think my next business should be called: ‘decorating by the vanload’.
Actually, this shoot took two vans plus a furniture truck.
Then we had to bring in the camera and lights and tv people - of course it was dark, rainy day that only added to the drama.
Decor-Rest very kindly supplied us with the big pieces of furniture for the day. The sofas and bar are from the Steven & Chris line and the ottoman is from the cobistyle line.
The oval shaped ottoman is great for traffic flow and I love the black and white geometric for adding interest while acting as a perfect foil for other colours.
Next we hung the art and I love these two pieces from Canvas in Toronto (I’m sorry I didn’t record the artist’s names but both are Canadian).
Love the colour and impact they bring to the white walls!
Next we hung the drapery - our top selling cobistyle pattern, Caliente, looked amazing! inVU Drapery comes at a standard length of 96” and so the ready-to-wear panels went up in a snap and totally softened the frame of the window while adding welcome pattern to the room.
Next came a mix of pillows and throws in different patterns and colours that easily played off each other on the neutral sofas.
I filled the fireplace hole with cobistyle Chinese lanterns (one of my favourite accessories in the line) and they added a ton of fun to a blank space. They’ll look great at night too when lit with a tealight making the coloured fabrics glow.
I know I’ve said it a lot, but blue and white Chinese porcelain looks good with everything - such a decor classic.
And look at these little cobistyle bird bud vases, chirping on the windowsill - so cute!
The homeowner mentioned that she likes the idea of a bar in her living room and I agree. A bar is handy if you’re entertaining and even if you aren’t a big party person, it’s a great place to arrange accessories and create another focal point in the room.
Flowers add lively colour wherever you put them. I lined up my everlasting peony-in-a-glass and love the simple look of repetition.
The cobistyle white wood architectural grids look great against the green paint and add even more character to the room.
We used a purple(!) rug from IKEA to soften the seating area and as I’d hoped, the purple was very easy to live with - not too crazy at all.
I just have to show you the Before one more time for effect….
The transformation was pretty cool - it was like the room popped a couple happy pills!
Here I am shiny-faced from packing and unpacking boxes between scenes…such is the glamorous life of ‘decorator by the vanload’.