cast your vote: sarah's area rugs

My good friend Sarah (she's the mastermind behind the urban flower farm phenomenon, My Luscious Backyard, that I blogged about here) emailed me the other day asking for my opinion on some rugs for her main floor. I looked at her selections and had a hard time choosing my favourite. I emailed her back saying I liked them all and was sorry I couldn't be of more help when I suddenly thought, this would be perfect for my Cast Your Vote series! Sarah and Jesse live in an amazing house that might look a little familiar. It actually use to belong to us! A few years ago, we found ourselves looking for houses at the same time and a strange series of occurrences resulted in them buying our former home. I couldn't be happier. We now live a few blocks from each other and I get to visit my old house on a weekly basis.

Their main floor is one large, open concept space that needs two rugs to help define the zones. The first one would go here (note the large, blue painting, robin egg's blue chair, colourful throw pillows and grey sofa):

And the second one would go over here:

She is looking for budget-friendly carpets made from natural fibres and wants to avoid anything in the red or orange colour spectrum.

I know you have an opinion so please cast your vote and let Sarah know what you would choose. If you have any other suggestions, please post those as well!

Carpet Combo #1 - On the left is DwellStudio's Gate Rug ($350) and on the right is Anthropologie's Spun Stripes Rug ($398). I think this combination works well together and would pick up some of the blue accents she has going on in the room.

Carpet Combo #2 - On the left is Flor's Shaggy Sheep carpet tiles ($9.66 per square foot) and on the right is West Elm's Pebble Circle Rug ($499). This neutral combination would work well with their floors and the sofas. The Flor Shaggy Sheep carpet tiles could be configured in any shape or dimension which would give them lots of flexibility. They can also be easily cleaned which is a plus when you have small children around!

Carpet Combo #3 - On the left is Anthropologie's From-the-Grey Rug ($348) and on the right is West Elm's Bello Shag Rug ($399). I love the oval shape and crewel-work like pattern of the Anthropologie rug. While it has a bit of orange in it, I think overall the rug would look great and nicely compliment the blue tones in the room. The Bello Shag adds texture and interest without adding a competing pattern.

Carpet Combo #4 - On the left is DwellStudio's Draper Stripe ($200!) and on the right is Flor's Corrugated Rib carpet tiles ($5.57 per square foot). Again, a more neutral approach but with the graphic punch of stripes. The ribbing in the carpet tiles echoes the stripey theme.

Carpet Combo #5 - On the left is Anthropologie's Dream Menagerie rug ($298) and on the right is Flor's Feelin Groovy carpet tiles ($4.46 per square foot). I thought this colourful, playful rug from Anthropologie would be a fun addition to the area with the toys. The bright colours in the carpet would also work well with the bright throw pillows. The solid colour of the green carpet tiles compliments the animal rug nicely without competing with it.

Carpet Combo #6 - On the left is Anthropologie's Vernal Cusp Rug ($398) and on the right is West Elm's Atlas Rug ($299). Again, I thought this colour combination and pattern would work well in their home bringing out the blues and greens. And shouldn't a urban gardener have a carpet full of flowers!

What's your favorite combo? I still can't choose but if pressed would probably go for #1 or #3 (or maybe #6). Or maybe you have a different combo in mind. Please cast your vote and help Sarah decide!

michelle's cast your vote

Today readers you're in for a treat! For the first time EVER we're going to get a sneak peek inside Michelle's house of Holley & Gill fame.

She tells me that while many bloggers and readers have asked her in the past she has declined up to now. Lucky me! I'm so happy she chose The Marion House Book for her virgin experience. And to make it even better, she is asking you to help her out with her very own Cast Your Vote question. So, don't let me down, please Cast Your Vote and tell Michelle what you would do! Here's Michelle...

When I first found Emma’s blog a few months back, I immediately identified with her sharp aesthetic and vision and am now lucky enough to have been invited to put together a guest post for her here. I must come clean with you though, as while you are reading this I’ve somewhat enlisted your help, as Emma has in the past, with a decor dilemma of sorts so please bare with me. I had the chance to have brunch and shop at Montreal’s biggest craft fair called Puces Pop on one cloudy October day, with three lovely and inspiring ladies who I respect and adore. Anile, Marie-Eve, Bess and I met in a trendy breakfast spot on the Plateau called The Sparrow. Once well fed, we headed out to the old church basement around the corner for what seemed like a gathering of all the “who’s who” of the Canadian handmade trade. A feast for our eyes indeed.

While there, we met and chatted with so many notable artists and artisans who could not have been any more friendly. Many of them we recognized from seeing their work in magazines or even from profiling them on our blogs. We had almost finished winding our way through all the displays when we landed on this stunner, sat alone and tucked away in a corner. I stopped, as if in an art gallery, admiring it for what felt like quite a some time. The artist’s name was Robert Biesinger and his work was incredible.

I did not purchase it immediately. We went outside to get some air and I knew that if I were to walk away from it, I would certainly regret it. In the end, it did come home with me along with this as well.

Now here is my dilemma, the framing. We had quite a substantial wall space to cover above our sideboard and am now very happy with the proportions of this vignette. I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions on what to use for the framing of it. Black, white, metallic, with or without a mat, there are so many choices but would like to ask you for your advice!

Dear readers, please help Michelle and Cast Your Vote!

cast your vote - tilda's bedroom

I was so happy to open my mailbox last week to see an email from the lovely Tilda of the blog Madame Herve. Tilda was one of my earliest supporters, posting about The Marion House Book back in March when I first started. If you have been following her blog than you know that she is going through a major renovation of her own (spectacular) home. Tilda emailed me wondering if you, my super creative and well informed readers, could help her find a wallpaper for her master bedroom. Apparently, it is very difficult to find wallpaper in Switzerland and she is hoping that you can help her solve that problem!

Tilda has provided me with the most amazing inspiration images for her attic bedroom. She has also chosen a few wallpapers to get us started which I have added to. Please cast your vote to let us know which wallpaper you think Tilda should choose. In addition, if any of you have information about stockists or suppliers that sell wall coverings in Switzerland, let us know.

Let's begin with the colour palette Tilda has chosen:

Pretty inspiring, right? Warm, romantic and enveloping. Below is a copy of her floorplan: As you can see from the drawing, the attic is a large open-concept space that will have three functions: bedroom, mediaroom, and atelier. She has also provided me with colour selections for the atelier (see below). I thought it was important to show you both colour schemes since the rooms flow into each other and are visible from both vantage points.

I am absolutely in love with the combination of colors she has chosen. They are so rich and moody - like a Dutch masters painting come to life. I think the overall feeling of the attic is going to be quite romantic with its wood burning stove, spiral staircase, and exposed bathtub.

To give you a better idea of how the space looks, Tilda has sent along a photo of the work in progress.

Aren't those exposed beams beautiful?

Now to our challenge. Tilda would like to wallpaper only the bedroom section of her attic, the rest of the walls be painted. She is very fond of the relief or anaglypta wallpapers primarily because they can be painted any color she chooses. Here are a few she has picked out already:

This is the Supaglypta Alexander wallpaper from Wallpapers-UK

This is the Original Portland wallpaper from Wallpapers-UK

Here are a few others I found. Each of them is paintable.

Dandelion Blush wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct

Large Scrolling Leaf Superfresco wallpaper available through Graham & Brown

Martinique Superfresco wallpaper available through Graham & Brown

Tilda told me she was also open to other suggestions for wallpaper. Of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to look for some samples in her colour palette. What do you think of these ones?

Lalika wallpaper through Harlequin

Addison Damask wallpaper through Thibault

Butterfly wallpaper by Timorous Beasties

St. Antoine wallpaper by Farrow and Ball

Rosslyn wallpaper through Fabrics and Papers

Rajapur wallpaper through Fabrics and Papers

Buds wallpaper through Thibault

Bubbles wallpaper through Fabrics and Papers

Lotus wallpaper by Farrow and Ball

Romanie wallpaper through Harlequin

Michelle wallpaper through Thibault

Bird Branch wallpaper by Timorous Beasties

Lalika wallpaper through Harlequin

Tree of Life wallpaper through Timorous Beasties

Most of the wallpapers listed above are available through online sources or have suppliers in Europe. If anyone has any other leads on wallpaper suppliers that will ship to Switzerland please let us know. I know Tilda is quite partial to the paintable Anaglypta wallpapers so a source for those in Switzerland would be amazing.

And don't forget to cast your vote for your favourite wallpaper!

new kitchen lights

Way back in March I wrote about changing our kitchen lights. In fact, it was the first Cast Your Vote series I did and the response was amazing. The overall winner was the West Elm Globe Pendant Light. Well, I am pleased to say that I followed your advice. We have taken down are old green industrial lights...

and replaced them with these.

I was immediately impressed by how much lighter and airier the room seemed. The Edison bulbs in the pendants also give off a nice warm glow which counteracts some of the coldness from all the hard surfaces in our kitchen. I took these photos at night so that you could see some of the effect.

Of course, I think they really work against the black wall. Harry seems to like them too. He often points upwards and says, "bubbles". For now, I will hold on to the green industrial pendant lights as I can't part with them just yet. I'm sure I will find a spot for them somewhere down the road.