new kilim rug in hallway

You might remember that I told you a few weeks ago that we had a new kilim rug in our hallway due to the old one being moved up to Henry's room. New is probably not the right word as this carpet has been lying around in our basement for at least a year or so waiting for its rightful home. I actually purchased all three of the kilim rugs in our house (there's one in Henry's room , one in the dining room, and now this one in the hallway) at the same time at the St Lawrence Antique Market in Toronto. I paid just over $300 for all of them - an absolute steal - if you ask me.

This rug is a bit more vibrant than the one than use to reside here. However, I'm finding it really brings out the colours in the stained glass transom above our front door. I find myself delighting in its cheerfulness every time I walk down the stairs.

And here is a little before shot to remind you of what the hallway looked like with the other kilim rug.

A welcome change! Wouldn't you agree?

Image Credits:
1 - The Marion House Book
2 - Kristin Sjaarda



five paint colours to love

I would have to say that the question I get asked the most often is what colour is your fill-in-the-blank here. Sometimes it is my hallway, other times my bedroom and sometimes it is the living room or dining room. With so many choices out there I'm not surprised! It can be totally overwhelming. I've made my fair share of mistakes along the way and now I tend to stick with the same handful of colours. So today, I thought I would dish out my top five paint colours as used in my own home.

They are:

1. Chalkboard Paint - Black - I used this in the kitchen on the East wall and in the office on the East wall. Of course, I stole this idea from Jenna Lyon's fantastic home!

2. Revere Pewter - This colour is used on the upper walls in the hallway. It's a lovely, light warm grey neutral.

3. Cloud White - I use this colour everywhere. It is in our  hallway (chair rail), and nursery. It is great wherever you need a warm white.

4. Steel Wool - This is the colour of our bedroom. If I had the chance to paint it again I might go with something like Kendall Charcoal. It's a bit warmer and more inviting for a bedroom.

5. Raccoon Fur - This is the colour of our bathroom. This is one of those shades of black that has some blue in it. It has great depth and character.

(All colours by Benjamin Moore.)

As you can see, I'm drawn to black and white and the range of greys in between. I find they provide an interesting neutral back drop that you can play around with. It is rare for me to put colour on the wall (my guest bedroom excepted!) How about you? Any paint colours you use over and over again?

bohemian victorian

Sometimes things find you and sometimes they find others. As mentioned earlier, we decided to spend some of the Easter weekend antiquing. It is one of my favorite activities as you never know what you are going to find. The hunt is almost as much fun as the kill.

We found a beautiful custom made mirror that was about 6 feet long and 9 inches high. It would have looked amazing in our long hallway. However, our indecision cost us the prize. During our walk around the block discussing the merits of buying or not buying the mirror it was snatched up. Lesson learned.

The next day, I suggested we try the St. Lawrence Antique Market. Harry was more interested in the pigeons outside than the antiques inside so Myles and I took turns. As I was finishing up my search, (having successfully picked up a few small items) I spotted some Moroccan kilims rolled up on a table.

I admit that I have always been fascinated by Morocco. Iconic images like this one of Paul and Talitha Getty in Marrakech in 1969 made me want to visit.

Patrick Lichfield

Reading Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky furthered my curiosity.

Luckily, I was able to visit there back in the nineties and experience first hand the souks, casbahs, and Moroccan culture. I bought my first kilim on this trip and my fascination with Moroccan textiles and rugs has continued ever since.

I honestly did not think I was going to purchase a rug. I assumed they would be out of my reach.

I have been searching for a new rug for our hallway and the majority are in the $300-900 range. So, I was surprised when she told me the initial price. It wasn't that bad, $200 per rug. The more I talked to her the more she started to move on the price. I could sense a good deal coming my way. Without my husband around to confer with, I had to make a decision fast. With the images of the mirror that slipped away in my head I pounced. I couldn't let this deal slip away.

And wouldn't you know, it's a perfect fit.

In case you don't remember, this is what it looked like before...

A bit boring and bland.

Much more interesting. A little bohemian in my Victorian. As you can see, I have also painted the front door blue-black since the last post. I like the way all the colours are working together.

before and afters

Are you like me? Do you love a good before and after? Two years ago, this March, we moved into The Marion House. Since that time the house has gone through a lot of alterations and renovations. I have tried to document the changes along the way. The other day, as I was going through my archives I came across this selection of before and afters. What amazes me is that many of the rooms have already changed since these photographs were taken! The living room in particular looks quite different. I guess I really am a serial renovator.