an unexpected blanket

A few months ago, this image stopped me in my tracks.

Obviously, the first thing I noticed was that beautiful wallpaper but the more I looked at the image the more I realized that it was actually the deliberate contrasts between all of the objects in the room that got me excited. On paper, that striped red Hudson's Bay or Pendleton blanket should not work. If I were to say to you as a designer, I have a great idea for you master bedroom. We're going to paper the walls in the most delicate, pink Chinese wallpaper and then we're going to use a traditional nailhead detailed headboard flanked by two rose-coloured, pleated shades and then to finish it all off we're going to make the bed with a red camping blanket you would probably send me packing. But it works, it actually makes the whole room much more interesting and how nice is it to see what is traditionally considered a rustic blanket in a much more luxurious setting.

Seeing this all the time gets a little boring...

Last Christmas, I received a new Hudson's Bay blanket as a present. It is something which I have always wanted. These blankets are treated like heirlooms in Canada and often passed down through generations. In recent years, I've moved away from sleeping under a duvet at night preferring the weight and feel of a wool blanket instead. As luck would have it, many of the colours that already exist in our bedroom work well with the characteristic red, green, yellow, and indigo stripes of the Hudson's Bay blanket.

Hands down, this is the most colourful room in our house! And while I'm still thinking of moving towards an overall more serene bedroom

(all this would take is a few hard days of painting) I'm quite happy with our bright and sunny bedroom, especially during the grey days of winter.

Image Credits
1) Ngoc Minh Ngo via This is Glamarous and Fondly Seen
2) Various via Re-Nest, George Interior Design and Fondly Seen.
3) my own
4) my own from Elle Decor.

cast your vote: black fireplace

Remember this post where I talked about how dangerous it can be when inspiration strikes. One of the things I really coveted from this home was the black fireplace. It got me thinking about how lovely the fireplace in our living room could look if we painted it in a midnight shade. It would really help ground our living room plus it would pick up the black in the adjoining dining room and compliment the existing living room chandelier.

I've never really been very fond of the mottled pale blue and cream tiles that surround our fireplace insert. They're not exactly attractive! The one thing they have going for them is that they are original to the house. The gold insert on the other hand, I quite like. It works well with the gold mirror and some of the other elements I have in the room. However, I think if I was going to paint it I would have to do the whole thing.

So the Cast Your Vote question this week is an easy one: should I paint my fireplace black or not?

Check out some of these other ebony fireplaces to get an idea of what I am thinking.

Living Etc.

Door Sixteen

Light Locations

Living Etc.

What do you think? I will admit I have two reservations about painting it black.

1.I would be painting over an original element of our home (an ugly one, mind you!)

2.I''m not sure how attractive painted over tiles will look. It might end up looking rather amateur and streaky. If this is the case, I would probably just go ahead and retile the fireplace surround, maybe with a black tile.

As you can see I'm really torn on this one! So, please cast your vote and tell me what you think? Should I paint it black or not?

Top image by Ditte Isager

when inspiration strikes

Sometimes you see a home and are immediately blown away by it. These are the places we file away in our memories or inspiration books and return to time and time again. Case in point, the home of Ochre owners, Harriet Maxwell Macdonald and Andrew Corrie. A few weeks back I saw photographs of their Shelter Island home in House Beautiful and fell in love with the mix of rustic wood and varying pastel shades of linens. Last night, I stumbled across what must be their New York City loft on photographer Ditte Isager's new blog/site.

There are so many elements to love here; the rough, wide plank floors, the glass chandelier, the tufted sofa, the Hans Wegner wishbone chairs, those three large windows and that beautiful, simple coffee table. More than anything it is the mood of the room I covet. It's not overly designed or styled. It's comfortable with just the right amount of show stopping pieces to make you take another look.

The dangerous thing about places like these is that my mind immediately starts churning. For example, that mirror above the fireplace would look absolutely perfect above my fireplace. Speaking of the fireplace, I love that it is all black. Hmmm, with a can of paint mine could be all black.

Take a look at the bedroom, so lovely and serene in varying shades of grey. With a little paint, some new sheets, and a thin rug over my hardwood floors I could have a bedroom like this (although that walk-in closet in the background is something I will just have to keep dreaming about.)

Add finally, how about this kitchen? Honestly, my husband is lucky I didn't walk into our kitchen after seeing this shot and start tearing the cabinets off the wall. I absolutely love the open shelving, wide black island, and Niche Modern pendant lights. I think this kitchen is the new standard for me. The one that will grace the first page of my kitchen inspiration book in case the need (opportunity) ever arises for a new kitchen.