Thursday, November 26, 2009

IMAGINATION IDEATION -festive front door


The front of your home is like the wrapping on a gift. It sets the tone for all the wonder you will find inside. Decorating the outside of your home for the holidays should be fun and affordable. I thought I would help get your ideas flowing in order for you to make your home beautiful at this magical time of year. These ideas are not only for your front door area, remember your garden area and window boxes too!

You can set the tone for winter using items you may already have around the house. You may want to start with a half barrel from the garden or an urn, a collection of terra cotta pots or whatever you have laying empty in your garden. Even if you think the only pot you have is ugly, why not wrap it in burlap and tie it up with some string or ribbon! Move it to the front of your home and stuff it with branches and evergreen, holly or berries. You could even use cuttings from your own garden. Every year I use a few cuttings from my California Lilac to add into my window boxes. If it is on the front porch, try adding some old skis or snowshoes that would add height and interest. You could lean them against the wall or stick them in the flower pot along with the branches. Another great item to add height is a garden hook with a lantern hanging from it. Wouldn't it be beautiful to light a candle in your lantern to warmly greet your visitors?

Skates are another item that you could incorporate into your design. Do you have a pair that you do not use anymore or that are too small? You could set them into your barrel, if it is big enough or simply hang them outdoors for that chalet feeling.

You could decorate with so many different items. What about using a birds nest, baskets, driftwood, old cookie cutters, a tin star, galvanized buckets. Use your imagination! Try to keep to a theme and remember it is all in the details!

A toboggan is a great prop to set the scene for winter fun. You could just lean it outside the front door and hang a wreath from it or use it as a backdrop for a larger display.

Take a walk in your garden for inspiration! What about bring an old garden gate into the front garden and wrapping it with Christmas lights. I see a lot of great ideas in my own backyard that would help make a festive entry. Old wood sash windows, iron bed from my veggie garden, a white painted ladder, a set of green shutters, and a decorative iron piece.

If you have a front porch area, you may have an Adirondack chair or bench that could be dressed up for the holidays. A great way to add colour is to drape your seating area with a wool blanket. You can also incorporate any plastic holiday balls or decorations you may already have to add colour and interest to your urns full of evergreen, your window boxes or attach them to artificial greenery around your garage doors!

I encourage you to try something new this year. Decorate your front entrance for yourself and your visitors to enjoy. Do you have a bird bath in the garden?? Why not move it into the front or better yet, onto the porch and fill it with evergreens and tiny lights, a pair of skates in the center and TADA...there you have it!

Whether you go simple and elegant or you go all out, I hope that these ideas have got you excited to get out into the fresh air, to let your creativity flow and that the results bring a smile to your face!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Bling anyone? Old door knobs are a great find and can be used for so many different things. They add history and interest! Here you can see that they have been added to an Antique Iron Bed. This 3/4 size iron head and foot board would be a great start to set the tone for a guest room or cottage bedroom.

When building furniture or changing up older pieces, you can use door knobs instead of traditional pulls. The unexpected really makes a piece special! You could change up your door knobs to your bathroom or pantry! You could use the knobs to hang tab curtains or use as curtain tie backs. I have also seen a door knob attached to a wall and used to hang a picture by a beautiful thick ribbon!

Old door knobs come in all sorts of shapes and colours. These knobs are black and have been added to an old wood window that has been converted into a mirror. This restyled beauty can be used for coats, hats or jewelry. To change the look you can create this project in any colour and with any knobs.

Heather from The Fresh View Magazine purchased these glass knobs from The Passionate Home and had her handy man install them to make a grand entrance to her shed! This is not your typical shed, just look at the vintage panel doors in glossy black, WOW! Thanks for sharing Heather!

It may sound funny put I have seen many a smiling face when people see the old door knobs. They seem to surface fond memories! Take a moment and think how you can add a bit of history into your decor!

Saturday, October 10, 2009



A single chair is a great addition to any home and in any room. This chair would make a super bedside table in a small space. Just enough room for a lamp and clock and it doubles as extra

seating. This same chair would work in a family room as a side table with books and a blanket. What about in your kitchen for a plant or fresh flowers?
If you are lucky enough to find a sturdy old country chair, snap it up! Just look at the character this one from the store has! It is sturdy oak and painted a beautiful shade of blue. You could also collect your set of dining chairs one at a time and create an eclectic mix at the dining table!

Lets go outdoors, it is great extra seating when you are setting up for a garden party like the people here at I did set up something like this in my own backyard last year, but I don't think it looked quite this inviting!

This is my single chair close to my front door. It makes for extra seating indoors and a great place for the whole family to put their library books so that I do not have to search under the beds! Also convenient for Grandpa to sit and put on his shoes! A chair like this is also functional in a bathroom next to the tub or shower. It will keep your towels handy and your glass of wine within reach!

If your chair is in less than perfect condition, why not cut a hole in the seat and pot it up! This adds great interest in your garden! Or, use it at the front door to build a seasonal vignette. If you have cut a hole in the seat, fill the hole with branches, greenery and holly at Christmas. Fill it with branches and pumpkins in the fall! Decorating with one single chair creates a very relaxed style. Your chair is multi functional, easy to maneuver, practical and pretty! So remember, the next time you are treasure hunting, don't pass it up just because there is only one! Sometimes, one is all you need!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

IMAGINATION IDEATION - flea market frames


Picture Frames can be found in any thrift store, garage sale or flea market. They are affordable and one of the most inexpensive and versatile decor items. Just look at this collection of frames in all shapes and sizes. They have been uniformed by colour for huge impact. You could frame a collection of family photos or favorite prints from an old calender!

We carry an assortment of frames in the store that are painted and ready to go! Frames are not just for prints! You can have fun and frame just about anything. Here we have hung a bejeweled vintage hand mirror. You could also use an empty hanging frame to display colourful plates, a small shelf, a smaller picture, stenciled wall words or just another smaller empty frame!

I always feel lucky when I come across old gilded frames that look so beautiful just as they are. Here are a few that I have displayed on top of our piano. Another simple project is to add a mirror into your frame.

I found this frame in the back of a local antique store. The picture was one of those velvet bulls and lady in the red dress! Covered in cobwebs, my kids thought I was crazy. It used to hang above my landing in the hall but I have recently moved it into the living room where it frames my tree! It just makes me smile!

With a little bit of spray paint and chalkboard paint, look what you can create. This is also a great idea now that Christmas is coming! Hit the thrift store and make a priceless work of art for someone special! You could also add chicken wire in the frame to make a unique jewelry holder or add fabric to make a bulletin board. You can frame beautiful wallpaper, fabric or vintage linen.

While planning this weeks IDEATION, I came across this photo from She purchased this frame at a thrift store for
$17.00 and a reproduction Paris map for $20 and it is gorgeous focal point in her family room.
For the kitchen you could frame a favorite family recipe and paint the frame to match your decor. This is also a great gift idea! If your frame is thick enough you could also add some handles to each end and use it as a tray. So, before you put those old outdated pictures into the box for the Sally Ann, take another could probably RECLAIM, RESTYLE & REDECORATE!

I would love to hear about your FRAME CREATIONS, so feel free to leave a comment and share!

Thursday, September 24, 2009



I love silver trays!!! Whether flea market find or grandma's silver; sparkling or tarnished; flat or fancy, I love it all!! Hanging a collection of trays makes for a fun and unique display. You can mix and match your display with beautiful plates or pictures.

Silver trays are useful in every room. Here is a lovely display for your bathroom. You could also use these same items at your desk for your pens and pencils.

You can use your tray to display a special collection. To catch your keys and wallet or to display your jewelery.

I have a small tray by my kitchen sink to keep my dish soap and hand soap neat and tidy. This tray would also look beautiful with two cut glass dishes with candles to create a little sparkle.
Another super idea is to paint the flat part of the tray with chalkboard paint and make your own custom sign!

Janis makes the most wonderful creations out of reclaimed silver pieces. Here she has made a clock from a silver tray, added a few stenciled numbers and is displaying it on an easel. You can also see in this photo her one-of-a-kind night lights created from reclaimed silver teapots. To see more of Janis's creations visit

An easy project with big impact! This display certainly makes you feel that you are in a beach side cottage. Use your tray as a starting point to create a seasonal display for your dining or coffee table.

A silver tray can be added to any style decor and be used all year round. Look how beautiful this display looks with the Holiday balls and chandelier crystals. Halloween is around the corner, take out your old silver tray and make an arrangement with white pumpkins and candles!! Or, if you are more traditional, try some black urns, a black cast iron crow and some mini orange pumpkins! Have fun!


The Langley Good Times Cruise In is one of the largest mixed car shows in Canada and one of the top 10 in North America.

This show happens every year on the second weekend in September. This big classic car show draws in excess of 100,000 people to Langley City!

I think this would be a great opportunity to pull out the old tent and set up a display! The cars are the draw for the day but a girl can try!!

Look at this great little space we set up outside the store in the courtyard area. We did a farmhouse/lake house theme to be attractive to both the male and female visitors of the day!

Loads of vintage charm!

This jelly cupboard is great green colour and would definitely add character to any space.

This little dresser would be perfect for a boys room. We also featured local artist Ilona Fekete with her traditional folk art paintings. Her work is both colourful and fun!

I love to mix colour! The little "laptop" size fir desk is stained in a cranberry colour and looks wonderful with this robins egg blue painted oak chair! It was a beautiful sunny day and in the end it was worth the effort! After all, nothing works unless you do! Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Can you not just picture this reclaimed window hanging in a cottage bathroom?? Adding the towel bar to the bottom is such a great idea! You could also add hooks along the bottom and use it for towels or jewelery!!

Here is a reclaimed lead glass window that I use to help separate the two areas in the store. You could also use this idea if you have a pass through in your home or if you have high ceilings and you want to separate two areas in the same space. I have also seen many windows hung together to create a divider/privacy wall in a garden.
Reclaimed and Restyled, I used this window as a table top on an old singer sewing machine base. Put this table out on the patio for plants or cocktails!

Like old doors, windows can be used to build new pieces of furniture. These two windows are now the doors for this custom wall cabinet. Another idea is to hang your found window over your kitchen island as a pot rack, or over your craft table to hang drying flowers or wet artwork.

Windows come in all shapes, sizes and colour and can be used in so many different ways. No matter what your decor, an old window can be revitalized to compliment any style. This one is full of country charm!

Don't overlook the windows without the glass, just look at this organized creation! Chalkboard and bulletin board in one. Great for the craft room, kids room or mudroom!

Be creative and have fun with your ideas! You can display postcards, special quotes, photos or artwork. Use the window frame to frame a poster, a vintage quilt or a painting. Adding mirror into the frame is another popular idea.

Just look how this project shows off family photos!

Indoors or out, an old window is a great addition to any home. Last year we built this pergola in the back yard and hung these lead glass windows for interest. If you look closely, I also have windows hanging on my fence, just to add colour and texture!

So, the next time you see this...don't drive by! This is your opportunity to exercise your creativity in environmentally friendly decorating!

To view some of my customers window creations click and view the "Shared Ideas" page!