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cobi's house

cobi’s home office - take 2

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday August 31, 2016 at 10:19 AM
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Some of you may remember the story I did about my home office back in 2009 when I was working out of our little studio in the backyard. Well we changed things up a few years ago and I’m now working inside the house in our kid’s former ‘playroom’ over the garage. It was a space that wasn’t being used much anymore and it’s simply more convenient for my business of product development and design which involves lots of schlepping. Have a look…

overall view of office towards window

Lots of shelving and nooks and crannies for all my crap - I mean stuff…

Cobi in her home office (window)

I like to leave things out so I enjoy and don’t forget them, so the open shelving is perfect for me. I call it organized chaos.

Cobi's home office jewellery sample

I’ve incorporated a lot of my favourite cobistyle products we’ve had over the years like this lamp and bulletin board…

Cobi's home office bulletin board and stationary

Tea is one of my favourite things and so there’s always a tray on the go.

Teatime in Cobi's home office

This old sofa (my grandmothers originally) is loaded up with cobistyle pillows and sometimes used for an afternoon siesta, I must admit.

Cobi's home office -sofa with pillows

This cobistyle chair from Silva Custom Furniture is a great spot to curl up with the many magazines I still purchase and tear inspirational pages from.

Blue chair and view to bedroom

The room has some original drawers that work well for office supplies. As you can see, I’ve never met a shelf or drawer I didn’t like!

Bulletin board and mags in Cobi's home office

I have the shelves labelled for different products and areas I collect images for, so that when it comes time to work on something, I always have a pile of visuals to get me started.

Cobi's home office product shelves

See how happy I look working in my home office? Haha…I actually am!

Cobi in her home office (desk)

I’m surrounded by some of my favourite things. I still dream of owning a shop some day, but this will have to do for now.

Cobi's home office samples

I’ve always been influenced by Chinatown and the beauty of the gems that are hidden there…

Cobi's home office chinese coin purses

There are a couple of closets in the room where I keep my special clothes for dressy events.

Cobi's home office Chinese jackets

I know I’m lucky to have this space to call my own.

Cobi's home office books

And I especially feel that way when I make myself a pot of afternoon tea. Thankfully this room had original plumbing and so it was easy to install a simple unit from IKEA that saves me from running down to the kitchen.

sink area in cobi's office

If you want to read more about my office, pick up the Special Organizing issue by Style at Home magazine.

Cobi's home office sink

It’s on newsstands now until mid-October.

Cobi's home office tea and cleaning trolley

I’m thinking it’s good motivation to keep my office organized so they don’t make a liar out of me!

cobi's house

the head of the bed

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday August 19, 2015 at 12:22 PM
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A lot of people compliment the turquoise velvet headboard in this picture (my own bedroom) and so I wanted to be sure you knew it is a part of the cobistyle boutique furniture collection.

cobistyle bed shot

The cobistyle Rose Headboard is available through Silva Custom Upholstery

cobistyle Silva headboard

In a ton of great fabrics and colour choices!

cobistyle fabrics at Silva

Personally, I can’t imagine any other kind of headboard than an upholstered one. Here is some visual inspiration to hit my point home:

Blue tufted headboard

Upholstered headboards say luxury like no other style of bed.

medallion print headboard

They provide an opportunity to layer more fabric in what should be the softest room in the house.

stripe headboard

They also provide another opportunity to add pattern, colour and texture!

yellow toile headboard

But best of all, they provide a great back-rest for reading and watching tv.

Beige studded headboard

I haven’t found it limiting to have a headboard in a strong colour.

Kelly Green headboard

As long as it’s a colour you love and can imagine using with a number of different palettes.

Green velvet headboard

In fact, by going with a strong colour you instantly create the focal point of the room.

Yellow headboard

And what better place than at the head of the bed!

cobistyle bed, bedding and accessories

The suggested retail price of the cobistyle Rose headboard is $1,395.00.
Click here for a list of Canadian Silva retailers who carry cobistyle furniture.

cobi's house

summer whites

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday June 23, 2015 at 06:22 AM
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Last summer we threw a party in our backyard for some neighbours who were moving away. It was a casual get-together but I wanted it to look nice.

cobi

I decided to go with a white theme and put my rather extensive milk glass collection to work.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To keep the flower budget down, I bought a few bunches of white blossoms at the grocery store and then cut mint, fern, oregano, hosta and various leaves from our garden to fill in the rest.

Greenery and flowers for Cobi's backyard party

We set up folding tables, end to end, for one long communal table and lined them with white cloths. Neighbours loaned us chairs.

Cobi Ladner's summer table

I tucked, blossoms and greenery into some of the vases and votive candles into others.

Cobi Ladner's milkglass collection

The blossoms lasted so well, we hosted a family dinner at the table the following night.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To carry the white theme further, I added some cobistyle white lanterns.

Cobi Ladner's backyard with cobistyle lantern

And mixed them with some dollar-store battery-lit ones to line the pool.

dollar store lanterns line Cobi Ladner's pool

Our patio table served as the bar.

Bar in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Garden flowers and leaves in Cobi Ladner's backyard

And an antique French baby-bath I own stood in as the cooler.

Cobi Ladner's antique french baby bath cooler

Even the white plastic cutlery looked in place with the all white theme.

Cobi Ladner's white summer party

The only colour in the backyard were some flowers dotted around the yard.

Flowers in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Who says you have to spend a fortune to throw a nice party? I don’t mean to white-wash it, but it really was as easy as a summer breeze.

Cobi Ladner's backyard

cobi's house

celebrate summer solstice

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 15, 2015 at 12:09 PM
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Why not make the Summer Solstice a reason to celebrate this weekend?

cobistyle lanterns by Cobi's pool {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) in my backyard.}

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

cobistyle lanterns brighten the garden {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) brighten the backyard.}

In 2015, the summer begins with the solstice on June 21 at 12:38 P.M. EDT.

Paper lantern's in Cobi's backyard create a party atmosphere {Paper lanterns create a party atmosphere any time of day.}

The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

floating candles at Cobi Ladner's house {Floating candles ready for the pool in my backyard.}

Ever wonder why we recognize the seasons so late compared to the climate? Although the June solstice marks the first day of astronomical summer, it’s more common for people to use meteorological definitions of seasons, making the solstice midsummer or midwinter.

Cobi Ladner's pool shed {Our pool shed/sauna is the focal point of our backyard, day or night.}

On the June solstice, the midnight sun is visible (weather permitting) throughout the night, in all areas from just south of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole.

Cobi Ladner's backyard {Outdoor lighting makes a big difference to how much you use your space at night.}

On the other side of the planet, south of the Antarctic Circle there’s Polar Night, meaning no Sunlight at all, on the June Solstice.

paper lanterns on a string of lights {Try popping paper lanterns on top of a string of Christmas light bulbs.}

The June solstice dates vary. For example, it’s on June 21 in 2015, but on June 20 in 2016. A June 22 solstice will not occur until 2203. The last time there was a June 22 solstice was in 1971. The varying dates of the solstice are mainly due to the calendar system.

backyard solar paper lanterns {There are solar powered lanterns clothed in paper on the market now.}

One of the world’s oldest examples of evidence of the Summer Solstice’s importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June Solstice.

Backyard oasis {You don’t have to have a cottage to enjoy a summer evening outside.}

I suggest starting your own tradition of inviting friends over for a backyard celebration (bring a sweater) and stay out until the sky is finally dark.

Backyard dinner {A good excuse to have some Summer fun.}

And if you feel like treating yourself (and your backyard) to a couple of fabulous lanterns, look no further!

cobistyle white metal lantern cobistyle white iron candle holder (8” high) $50.00

cobistyle mustard porcelain lantern cobistyle large (10” x 11”) porcelain lantern, $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain woven lantern cobistyle porcelain lattice lantern (14” high) $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain lantern cobistyle tall porcelain cut out lantern (18”high) $70.00

cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern (15”high) $40.00

cobistyle morrocan-style lantern cobistyle Moroccan-style lantern (19” high) $35.00

cobistyle decorative accessories are available at the best boutiques across Canada. Let me know if are looking for something in particular and we will find a store near you!

cobi's house

rose-coloured christmas

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday December 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM
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Last weekend I hosted a brunch for my oldest and dearest BFF’s (well they may not want to be called the ‘oldest’ but you know what I mean).

longer view of table

I wish I’d taken more pulled-back pictures to show off the table in context of my dining room, but I was so enthralled by the rosy glow of the set table that my pics appear to all be close range.

brunch from head of table

I layered all kinds of things in crystal, silver and rosy cranberry, and it created such a pretty effect in the daylight for a ladies luncheon.

brunch close up

A few bunches of boxwood snippets from the garden in white cobistyle tea glasses gave a touch of colour relief.

brunch - glass with boxwood

The tray from my mom’s silver tea service came in handy to corral votives and ornaments in the centre of the table and add some vintage charm.

brunch silver tray

I love it when it’s my turn to host our annual brunch because the rule is that the host provides only beverages and the rest bring the food.

brunch from corner angle

I almost feel guilty having all the fun!

overhead, light streaming

Cheers to setting many more tables for old and dear friends this holiday!

cobi's house

gung hei fat choi!

Posted by Cobi on Saturday February 01, 2014 at 08:33 PM
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Celebrating Chinese New Year has become a fun winter tradition in my house.

paper umbrellas

It’s a cheerful diversion to stave off the winter blues.

apples

And it’s a great excuse for me to play with all of my Asian-inspired cobistyle accessories!

chopsticks on side table

I mix them in with things I’ve picked up in Chinatown over the years.

Chinese new year sign over tea

Odd sets of china tea cups and plates. Did you know a shot of Whiskey in green tea is a tasty after-dinner drink?

tea

I don’t fuss over the food - bbq pork, snow peas, rice, mandarin salad and little nibblies to start.

appies

But I go to town on the table setting - my favourite part! I start with Chinese newspaper (free at the Chinese grocery store) - I love the graphics and print.

newspaper

Then layer dollar-store red woven place mats.

newspaper and red placemats

On top of those go plastic gold chargers - cheap and cheerful but they look fine under candlelight.

newspaper, red placemat, gold charger

I use brightly-coloured paper napkins because they’re easy, but I also love the look of paper with Chinese decor.

newspaper, placemat, charger, napkin

My bowls are Japanese but they work just the same and are big enough for a ‘one-bowl meal’.

bowls

cobistyle glasses with woven holders bring a natural element to the table and are the perfect size for water.

cobistyle cups

And of course I have to use cobistyle chopsticks!

cobistyle chopsticks

But I always offer cutlery along with chopsticks so everyone is comfortable.

place setting with chopstick

Little treats like fans for the girls (they love to use them at the table) and laughing Buda’s for the boys are a fun addition.

fans and Buda's

I used a dry erase marker on the cobistyle porcelain fortune cookies to turn them into place holders.

porcelain fortune cookie

And of course the table wouldn’t be complete without paper lanterns strung overhead.

paper lanterns

It’s amazing how well the colours of the Emerson cobistyle drapery panel mixed in with the colours on the table.

drapery

cobistyle lanterns run down the middle of the table and I tuck a fortune cookie into each of the mini-satin-covered take-out containers.

overall table w lanterns

When the table is done it transforms the dining room and our guests get such a surprise when they arrive.

overall table without lanterns

This year I gave the men a big special-issue Kit-Kat and the ladies a silky loot bag of Chinese candies and a cobistyle surprise.

loot bags

I hope your Year of the Horse is filled with luck, prosperity and love.

front door

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

cobi's house

family art wall

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday January 08, 2014 at 03:22 PM
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I’ve always been inspired by family photo and art walls.

pink pagoda wall cropped

The sense of a collage is more visually exciting to the eye than the usual placement of one or two pictures.

bedroom art wall

These are some of my favourites.

tumbler wall

photos up stairs

heidi wall

art wall

When we redecorated our master bedroom last year, I had a large blank wall to fill between our two windows and decided it would be a great place to showcase some of my favourite family photos and art.

photowall 42

photowall 45

Rather than deal with the commitment of hanging things directly on the wall, I splurged on 3 IKEA pictures rails ($16.99 ea.) and hung them staggered on the wall.

photo wall 36

photo wall

Then I went to work framing some pictures and pieces that were lingering around our house.

photowall 46

I thought I’d want all matching frames originally but quickly realized the variety creates interest.

picture wall

I’m really happy with the result and the fact that as the kids change I can add new shots.

photo wall 49

Now I just wish I had more room!

cobi's house

bookcase before + after

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM
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I’ve neglected our living room for the past few months. No point listing excuses why, but we use this room very little in the good-weather months and I guess it’s just too easy to ignore.

overall living room

Once the winter comes I want to make it cozy and welcoming again and so the first thing to do is reorganize the book cases.

before shot left

As you can see, Bob and I love our books and obviously I never really figured out what to do with all of them after a piano arrived in the living room last year. What a mess!!

before shot right

And so a few weeks ago I started to cull. I got rid of ones that were just too dated or redundant.

after left overall

And I added some of my favourite blue and white pieces from cobistyle.

after left closer

The repetition of the blue and white porcelain breaks up the books and adds a nicely unified decorative element.

after right overall

Plus I find blue and white looks great any time of year - with reds and oranges in the fall and at Christmas or with summery yellows and greens in the fair-weather months.

after right closer

The ginger jars are not just pretty, but make sturdy bookends.

ginger jar on tilt

And I fill planters with either real plants or fake - depending on what’s on hand.

round planter

It definitely looks better when the books have a little breathing room and something pretty to break up the monotony.

ginger jar

orchid and jar

Plus, I now have a nice big new donation to make to Goodwill!

books

cobi's house

rooms with views ~ finally

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 22, 2013 at 06:59 AM
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Almost exactly one year ago, we arrived home from our annual summer holiday in the Maritimes, and is what my son Aidan’s room looked like:

Aidan's room demolished

And this is what my daughter Charlotte’s room looked like:

Charlotte's room demolished

We were launching into a major renovation of our second floor and decided to get some of the loud, messy demolition done while we were out of the house.

If I’m to give full disclosure, you must see what our dining room looked like for 6 months. It acted as both kids closet and storage area:

dining room during reno

dining room during reno

No dinner parties here last fall!

The reno took a number of nasty turns that I am choosing to forget, but I’ll always remember that it was late fall (around the time of the torrential rain storms you may remember?) …

guys with holes cut in roof

…when we finally had two holes cut in our roof for the dormers that were being added to each of the kids rooms:

house with tarps

Funny I never noticed how lovely the leaves were last fall. I must have been distracted by the flapping of tarps in the hurricane.

With a lot of faith, hope and even more patience and rope, eventually, this…

roof tarped

turned into this…

dormers getting built

turned into this…

house in snow

And inside - Aidan’s room turned into this…

Aidan's dormer

Aidan's dormer wall

And Charlotte’s into this…

charlotte's dormer wall

Charlotte's dormer

Both kids enjoy their private spaces and bird’s eye view of the world…

Aidan 3 quarter

Aidan - short

Charlotte's dormer 3/4

Charlotte's dormer short

We talked about adding those damned dormers for almost 10 years. They do everything I knew they would - add character, light and space to rooms that felt dark and isolated, but I’m not the type of person to say I told you so.

The neighbours seems thrilled with our renovation as it stands out against all the new-builds in our area. The guys get a good chuckle out of complimenting me on my “great dormers” and the women make it all feel worthwhile when when they tell me it looks like they were always there. That’s exactly what we’d hoped - a new lease on life for a lovely older home - she’s got a few good years left in her yet.

Paint colours for anyone interested:

Boy’s room: Benjamin Moore Navajo White OC-95

Girl’s room: Benjamin Moore Cloud White OC-40 and Baby Boy Blue 2056-50

cobi's house

a peek behind the drapes

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 24, 2013 at 06:58 AM
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Earlier this year we potographed the new cobistyle drapery line at my house.

My personal stock of cobistyle everlasting flowers came in very handy …

cobistyle flowers for props

The living room had seen better days (kind of reminded me of after the presents have been opened on Christmas morning) …

livingroom mess

There are 17 choices of fabrics and patterns …

drapery choices

We shot the straight-on panel shots in my bedroom …

grey panels shot in our room

And needed to make the windows opaque …

outside shot

You’d never know the chaos surrounding one simple shot …

grey panels done

Back in the livingroom another set up was happening …

chaos + Lindsay

Hardware needed to be installed (who needs a man?) …

getting hardware up

It would have been nice to have a guy do the ironing though …

bl + wh being steamed

Photographer Michelle Peek did a wonderful job of getting the light just right - crisp and bright - on a dull day.

blue and white being shot

Amazing what you can do in two days with five strong women (one with a little helper in her tummy); one patient husband; and a fair bit of pizza.

bl+wh panel done

Visit Qdesigncentre.com if you’re interested in more information on cobistyle drapery. We’re now selling in 9 great stores across Canada and the list is growing. plus Q Design will gladly send samples out to anyone who doesn’t have a retailer nearby.

cobi's house

April showers brought May flowers

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 06:59 PM
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I’ve been to Ottawa a number of times in my life but never in the Spring.

tulips

I was so happy when a cobistyle store-event raised itself for a trip to our beautiful nation’s capital in May!

tulips and hyacinth

I’d read about the Tulip Festival and the well-known story of the Netherlands gifting us with thousands of bulbs as a thank you for safe harbouring the Dutch Royal Family during the Second World War.

tulips and daffs

But of course, like most things in life, the pictures only tell half the story - the city was alive! Not only with tulips but also crab-apple trees in bloom, live music in the parks, the beloved Senators winning…every Canadian should try to visit Ottawa in the Spring.

long shot of tulips

It was an uplifting experience, especially when I saw the cobistyle coloured tulip bed - I could have sworn they planted it just for me!

cobistyle tulips

The trip followed just a few days after we had hosted a birthday party for my sister-in-law in our backyard.

lanterns

Although the weather was glorious, it’s iffy to plant flowers in early May in Toronto.

forsythia

And truth be told, we’d already blown the budget on the bar and food!

fireplace

Rather than dole out more money on fresh-cut flowers, I decided to cull as much cobistyle from my supplies, as I could, and brighten the party up with bit of ‘everlasting beauty’.

fireplace

The party was loosely themed ‘Mexican’ and so the bright colours worked perfectly.

peonie in glass

I strategically placed containers full of cobistyle blooms and many guests commented on them, assuming they were real.

peonies in umbrella holder

Of course they would have been spectacular if they were real but so would my visa bill.

cherry blossoms

They did the trick for the party and I’m still enjoying them two weeks later! Cha Cha Cha….

muskoka chairs with peonies

Wherever you are in Canada, I hope your Spring is blooming in a very real way.

cobi's house

warm up to black and white

Posted by Cobi on Monday March 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM
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You don’t need me to tell you black and white is huge in fashion this Spring.

vogue cover

I suppose it’s always ‘in’.

audry hepburn

But I find black and white at home can be harsh, even cold, if it isn’t used with a splash of colour….

b+w striped rug

Or perfectly-imperfect naturals…

b+w dining

I like to use it outdoors for the same reasons - the sharpness works great against the organic look of nature and it’s elements…

cobi

cobi

I also love to soften a black and white scheme with warm paint colours. I used a cream in our porch and it softly glows when the sun is out or candles are lit.

cobi

cobi

Recently we installed a new stair-runner and I just realized how similar the colourings of our hall are to our porch! I guess I really do like a warm, creamy space accented with crisp black and white.

stair runner

stair runner

The runner is made from Missoni broadloom by the way, which I found at Elte in Toronto.

stair runner closer

Just as the warmth of skin colour, and softness of hair, act as a foil against black and white fashion…

b+w fashion

So too does wood…

b+w ovals runner

…cork…

office

…and natural materials, like straw and linen, in home decor…

b+w bedroom b+w living room

Even the books in this black and white room, make it more liveable and textured…

b+w living

Here’s how we’re mixing black and white cobistyle accessory pieces this spring…

bl rattan baskets

bl+wh pillow

natural poof

bl+wh houndstooth throw

rattan stool

bl+wh bowls

rattan tray

bl+wh knobs

natural bowl

blwh bulletin board

white natural baskets

And it looks like IKEA agrees - check out the way they styled this cute new little trolley in their Spring collection…

IKEA trolley

Have fun serving up a bit of black and white fashion in your house this Spring!

cobi's house

how one sad laundryroom got happy

Posted by Cobi on Monday March 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM
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When we renovated our house last year, I decided to throw in a little tune up to our laundry room.

We’re in an older home with a devoted laundry room in the basement and there was no way I could justify the cost of moving it upstairs (or find the space) but I had no trouble justifying the cost of some new tile, paint and decorative doodads to make me feel better when I’m doing the deadly deed.

God knows it needed it…

laundry before overall

So - how to spruce up a yucky laundry room without a lot ‘a moula?

1. FLOOR

I started with the floor because it looked so sad and I wanted a more permanent solution than a new coat of paint. Tiles are cheap (if you stick to standard sizes and finishes) and they come in great colours. I knew I wanted to paint the room white (for brightness) so why not have some fun with colour on the floor? I went hunting and found this 8” x 8” tile for $2.36 each and remarkably it’s called the Monocottura “Happy Series at first I thought I would just choose one colour. But when I told my daughter I liked both the Sky Blue and Apple Green, she gave me the obvious answer - “use both!”. So I bought half of what I needed in each colour, brought them home and laid them loosely out in a few different patterns until I came up with this enlarged checkerboard (less busy than a regular checkerboard) and told my contractor to lay them on the diagonal.

laundry before of floor

floor after

2. PAINT

Once the floor was down it was easy to choose paint colours. I wanted a fresh, crisp white on the walls - whiter than the warm ones I like in living spaces. I went with Benjamin Moore’s Simply White #2143-70 in the Aura Bath + Spa formula and love it. The whole room was painted in oil originally and we found that Aura paint covers it really well. I’ve now used Simply White in our basement bathroom as well and find it works anywhere you want a really pure white with no undertone. I decided to paint the existing peg board and upper shelves in the same white.

laundry before facing machines

laundryroom after towards machines

Where I had some fun was on the lower built-in cabinet and sewing cabinet. I chose a lime green to match my tiles - Benjamin Moore’s Hibiscus #2025-50 - some might find it too bright and I likely wouldn’t use such a vibrant colour in other places in my home, but it’s clean and fun and I love it here - why not have a bit of fun in a room that only I ever seem to use? (grrrr…)

green counter

3. HANGING

I like to hang clothes to dry whenever possible and so I installed 3 helpers…first this great drying rack made of hardwood, powder-coated metal and a rope pully system. It can move up and down if you have high ceilings (which I don’t) but it stays stationary just fine too. It’s from a website called www.urbanclotheslines.com

hanging gizmo in laundryroom

pully system

I also purchased an aluminum wall mounted extension drying rack to hang over my laundry tubs - really great for wet rags or anything dripping - at www.leevalley.com. I love it that it’s made in Spain!

aluminum rack

And lastly, I had my painter mount and paint a standard pegboard sold at Home Hardware for ironed shirts and the like.

white pegs

4. MENDING

I wanted to replace the puny little shelf that was on the wall when we bought the house because I’ve always loved the idea of a mending area. Somehow it makes the whole idea of mending more probable. My hope was to find a cute old shelf and paint it up with my same pint of Hibiscus but after a summer of searching antique stores (there’s lots of forlorn spice shelves out there by the way, but they were too narrow for my needs) I caved in when I found this perfectly-sized craft shelf on sale at Michael’s craft store. It’s not fancy but it does the trick and thankfully it took the paint too!

laundry before facing counter

laundryroom after facing cabinet

thread on shelf close up

Did you notice I have a little bank on the shelf? - very handy in a laundryroom for pocket change and one day I’ll crack it open and drive the kids at Starbucks crazy with my pennies.

bank in laundryroom

I also bought this great little sewing machine for quick fixes - what a steal for $69.00 at Canadian Tire - another good reason to repair - not despair!

sewing machine

5. DETAILS

I colour-copied two pages off the internet (quick google search) - one defines laundry symbols and the other is from dear Martha telling me how to get out stains. They fit into no-money IKEA frames in exactly my blue tile colour (score!) and act as functional art on either side of the shelf.

ikea frames on either side of sewing shelf

ikea frames alternative shot

Oh - and here’s a little trick. I would have liked to resurface the top of the shelf unit but I just couldn’t justify it. Still, the chipped Arborite did not say ‘happy’. As a compromise, I asked my contractor to skirt the existing top in a decorative wood trim (took him no time) and once it was painted, it added a much more finished look to the counter.

counter top trim

And so there you have it. Nothing revolutionary. Nothing hi-tech. But a happy little laundry room to call my own, even if I’m enjoying it alone (grrrr…)

cobistyle fishies in laundry room

…with my cobistyle fishies and lost socks.

land of the lost socks

cobi's house

curtains for cobistyle ~ take II

Posted by Cobi on Monday February 25, 2013 at 05:59 AM
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In case you haven’t heard, cobistyle is back in the drapery business!

I wanted to scroll you through the patterns we chose for our debut collection - starting with this fabulous blue and white ikat print - so fresh!

blue and white panel

For a little more subtle look, I love this faded paisley in denim blue and earthy red, printed on a natural, slubby linen.

paisley

Like something more crisp and colourful? We have a multi-coloured ikat that will work with many solid shades you may already have in your home.

multi-colour ikat

I love this sunny stripe - yellow, orange, pink, purple and chocolate - it changes every time you look at it. So lively!

sunny stripe

And this modern, stylized botanical, printed on a seafoam coloured chunky, woven cotton. Great for a family room or kitchen.

woven stylized botanical

This vibrant plaid feels like silk taffeta but has the durability of polyester. It’s formal but fun at the same time.

taffeta plaid

And this large scale floral botanical has it all - colour, character, life - all printed on a chunky cream cotton weave.

woven floral

If you like botanicals but a more contemporary colour palette - check out this wonderful Dijon yellow with a brown transfer pattern printed on top.

mustard botanical

If geometric’s your thing - this charcoal grey circular pattern is contemporary but soft at the same time.

charcoal geometric

I love the Moroccan pattern on this unlined, crisp white fabric - such a great update to traditional sheers!

sheer grey geometric

Here’s another fun sheer - the colour is somewhere between yellow and green - citrine! - with an embroidered fuchsia scribble pattern. So great on its own, or layered under a plain drape.

sheer scribble

Speaking of layers - we did a beautiful linen-look white sheer. Such a classic and hard to find!

white sheer

And because we loved the white so much, we also did it in natural linen-look as well. These are going in my boy’s room.

natural sheer linen

I’m a sucker for velvet and so we found four fabulous colours and lined them with a silk-lookalike for a reversible panel that is to die for.

purple silk

This is the Aubergine - so regal!

purple velvet

And the Indigo - so rich!

navy velvet

And the Citrine is gorgeous…

green velvet

And Mouse - a warm neutral for all the grey lovers out there…

mocha brown velvet

We’re also selling all of these great drapery fabrics by-the-yard in case you want to match cushions, bedding or upholstered pieces to your drapery. So where to find it? We’re hoping to have a decor store in every major centre across Canada selling this drapery by Fall and in the mean time, you’re welcome to shop it on-line at www.qdesigncentre.com.

pillow stack

Designer drapery at a fraction of the cost of custom - a welcome addition to the market, don’t you think? Now I have to decide which pattern to leave up in my living room where these pictures were taken… please post your opinion!

cobi's house

be my Chinese Valentine

Posted by Cobi on Monday February 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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Gung hay fat choy Sweetheart! This past weekend I hosted my (now annual!) Chinese New Year party but this year I merged it with Valentines to give it an even rosier glow.

lipstick and cinnamon hearts

At first I thought it would be an odd combo…

paper lanterns and valentines

…but it worked surprisingly well! Have a look…

First the invitations - I found Happy New Year cards (with pink envelops!) at T&T grocery store. They were only $1.49 each and quite beautiful. I wrote the invitation specifying “dress code: RED” and enclosed two traditional Chinese New Years envelopes with chocolate coins inside - so pretty! Walmart was even selling Chinese New Year treats in select stores this year. Bob handled the hand delivery for me.

chinese n.y. valentine invites

Next up was putting together the loot bags (my favourite : ) Inside I put a little combo of things - cinnamon hearts and candle for Valentines - soap, lipstick holder and eye glass case for Chinese New Year.

loot bag goodies

It wasn’t hard to squeeze a little cobistyle into the theme!

cobistyle eye glass cases

I couldn’t resist the Valentine Chinese take-out boxes - sold both at Walmart and Dollarama this year. Perfect!

chinese food box lootbags

Then it was time to decorate the dining room. I pulled out all of my Valentine gear (not a lot) - then I pulled out my Chinese gear (a lot - because I’ve always loved it). It’s a wacky mix but sure beats the February blahs!

tea buffet

I set up a green tea bar on my narrow buffet (note the Johnnie Walker RED which the Globe wrote is good mixed in green tea after dinner - the guys sure liked it anyway!).

table at window

I hung big cobistyle paper lanterns from my regular hurricane lanterns…

paper lanterns

And of course, filled my favourite dishes with candy…

candy in heart dish

And finally, I set the table… I had to use my cobistyle Geisha girl placecard holders even though I know they’re Japanese.

place card holders

I used the cobistyle ceramic fortune cookies to stash a homemade fortune at each person’s place and tucked them inside the cobistyle mini fabric-covered boxes.

ceramic fortune cookies and boxes

Very cute. Everyone took turns reading theirs aloud when we sat down to dinner.

c.up of fortune cookie in box

I used all the red linens I have, plain white square plates and pink paper napkins. It turned out bright and pretty with all the little bits and pieces coming together to make a fun table.

full table

Then on to food! I had a dozen of these adorable little cups that needed a purpose and so I made an easy strawberry sauce for dessert and put one on each plate.

little cups

I also put together two plates of cookies from T&T (the green tea ones are terrific!) and some chocolate covered cranberries for colour.

bar

Then I put together a bar tray to get things started, featuring Chinese beer and my ‘signature drink’ - a Tall REDhead of course!

bar

It’s 1 oz Vodka, 1oz Pom juice, ice, pomegranate seeds all mixed with some lemon lime pop - anyone know how to say Cheers in Chinese?

bar

It was a ton of fun and all that RED was a great remedy to a GREY month.

after the party...

Happy New Year Sweetheart!

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