Monday, March 31, 2008

Colourful kitchens united!!

Well, ask and you shall least amongst bloggers! I invited you to send me photos of your painted kitchen cabinetry , and I received some beauties!! There is obviously not a tidal wave of folks with painted cabinetry in hues other than white or cream, but I was happy to see that there are others, like me, who enjoy a little colour in the kitchen!! I have come to the realization that painting your cabinetry a definitive colour is not for the faint of takes a bit of guts, creativity and is definitely not for those who fear committment or for those who have imminent resale on the brain! To that point I can relate: we have sold a number of homes over the years and this is only my second kitchen with painted cabinets in a less neutral shade. The last one sold on the first showing, however, so if I ever sell this home, I am hopeful that my penchant for blue will not be a hindrance. Since I designed my present kitchen's colour scheme for the decorator in me, and not the stager, my fingers are crossed. After all, "it's only paint" as they say!!

kitchen photos (above and below) are from Mary at Little Red House

According to Mary: "You asked for pics of our painted cabinets. Here are a few. Mine are a sort of soft yellow, with an antique glaze on top."

Well, Mary, I think your kitchen looks straight out of a magazine and I'd wrestle you for that apron sink!! Your attention to detail is impeccable and all I can say is: perfection!!


This colourful kitchen belongs to B.J. from the blog, Sweet Nothings. She emailed me that she, too, had found inspiration from this Better Homes and Garden image:

...and had, in fact, used it as her inspiration for her own lovely kitchen. She sent me this photo montage to show the design process she went through to achieve the kitchen of her dreams. I love the red and cream and have had that particular Better Homes and Gardens photo in my inspiration scrapbook for years! B.J. nailed the look on the head and yet, managed to inject her own great style into the finished room!

Penny, from Lavender Hills Studio sent me this photo of her painted cabinetry.

In this case, it is not in her kitchen, but her bathroom...same difference, in my opinion. Look at the glorious, red antiquing treatment she gave to her vanity. Knowing Penny, I thought there might be a little mosaic action somewhere, but every artist knows which canvas best suits her! As for painted, mosaic perfection, check out this feast for the eyes...

Wouldn't this look pretty in my kitchen??!!

(photo: Lavendar Hill Studio )

A black kitchen is not for everyone, but this black kitchen definitely qualifies as gutsy and stylish. I love cream with black, and have done cream, antiqued cabinets combined with a black island in a previous home of ours. I loved it for its simplicity and timeless qualities, but I must confess, I am really enjoying experimenting with more unique colour schemes!

black kitchen photo: source unknown


This gorgeous kitchen belongs to my brother and sister-in-law. My jaw dropped when I laid eyes on it for the first time this past fall. My sil, Denise, describes the colour of her cabinetry as the peel of a fresh ginger root...and that describes it bang on! Her island is an olivey-green which contrasts beautifully with the earthy yellow shade of the cabinets. Theirs is the kitchen of their dreams!


Heather from Cottage Dreaming:

"I love painted cabinets. Mine are painted green with an antique wash (bottom half); and the upper half are cream with a wash."...Heather

I cannot believe the decorating talent out here in blogland. Honestly, who knew there was so much inspiration at one's fingertips? For those who (gasp!!) do not buy magazines...I reluctantly admit that there really is no need, if you are willing to do a little bit of blog searching. Just take a look at Heather's (from Cottage dreaming) kitchen. ~~Sigh~~Isn't this beautiful?? Her painted cabinetry reinforces my belief that it is a perfect alternative to traditional cabinetry finishes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Little Helper...

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter - if only the weather had been as glorious as it was today! I think Spring officially began today - and very welcome it was too! Despite the wonderful weather, it's been all hands on deck here with preparations for our forthcoming website update, when there will be a huge amount of vintage stock and Man Made goodies added to the shop.

After enjoying a few hours in the sunshine, Dennis helped us select some fabrics for our bags and cushions and gave this lovely old 50s primula barkcloth a high five! (Perhaps that should be a 'high four'!!!)

But it all proved to be too much like hard work for him and he soon succumbed to the land of nod...

I hope you all have a lovely week!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Me and Sindy...Sindy and me

I'm a Barbie a Barbie world, definitely. However, it wasn't always that way. Before I fell under Barbie's spell, I was a whole-hearted Sindy girl. As far as I can remember, I received my first Sindy doll in the early eighties, as a gift from my mum at Christmastime.
photo recreation: "me" receiving a Sindy treasure!!

This collection is not mine...but I wish it was!!

Sindy started out as a British girl, but "came to America" in the early eighties, via Marx toys, who took over for Pedigree. My Sindy was blond like me, and had rosebud lips, a realistic physique (Sindy was innocent, not sexy, like Barbie) and she looked to be shy like I was, so I immediately identified with her. From that first Sindy doll, my Sindy collection grew to include a kitchen sink where the water really came from the tap (via a pumping action); a stove (with burners that lit up and a rotisserie that revolved); a bedside table with attached, working lamp; a dining table and hutch that came filled with a silver service, cutlery, dishes, and glassware...even candelabra! My sister and I often received the same pieces for our collection, but sometimes Mum bought us different pieces, and we'd ooh and aah over one another's new furniture or accessory, secretly wishing it were our own.
My sister, Wendy, took better care of her pieces than I did (although I wasn't bad), so at the end of our childhood, I was dismayed that my dining table had become damaged over the years, but I was at a loss to get a new one. Lo and behold, I recently stumbled upon a "new" one at a vintage store and gleefully picked it up for the sweet price of $25.oo...not bad, considering the price on the box (from Kmart) shows the original cost as being $13.99 (some thirty years ago...oyy, that makes me feel old!!). The young girl in me feels restored Sindy collection is again intact, and I even lucked upon a new Sindy doll (albeit a brunette) for only $5!! I am a happy Sindy collector again, and the guilt I felt for damaging Sindy's table and chairs has been assuaged.

Have a look at my childhood friend, Sindy, and all her decorative finery. The silver service even comes with the tiniest pat of butter in the silver butter dish. Does a toy come any better than that??

**If you are a Sindy fan, or simply want to find out more about Sindy, check out this great website:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A dash of colour in the kitchen...

I have painted kitchen cabinets. Apparently, I am in very good company. While browsing an English decor website, I stumbled upon the most beautiful kitchens with cabinetry painted in the freshest and prettiest of colours. Painted cabinetry is definitely gaining in popularity, however most homeowners "play it safe" and go for white or cream paint when selecting a finish. Some may add antiquing, but around these parts, I know of very few people who share my penchant for swathing their cabinetry in an actual colour. Who knew I'd have to cross the Atlantic to find kindred spirits...maybe it's within me to do this, given my heritage, but I'm willing to guess that there are a few like me on this side of the ocean who have stepped out of the confines of safety and painted their cabinetry glorious shades of colour. If so, I want to hear from you: send me your link to the photos of your kitchen and/or email me your photos (if you don't have a blog), and I will post all of your colourful kitchens later in the week.

I can't wait to see who shares my love of painted cabinets and who knows, maybe we'll encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. After all, our colourful kitchens certainly can't be accused of being cookie-cutter kitchens, can they??

Okay, a pink AGA range...ack!! I want one!!!!
Oh, and that pink cabinet...I'll have one of those, too!!
Look at this sea of pastel blue...heavenly, no?

I love this blue island...

Some green and yellow, too!! So pretty...

all above photos: House to

above photo: source unknownphoto:


...and then my blue kitchen...again...I really need to take some updated photos...

***edited to add: email me your photos at

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My makeover...

Well, what do you think?? I am so happy with the new look Shannon from Eight Crazy gave to my blog! I have been a fan of Shannon's creativity for quite a while now (have you seen the birthdays she throws her children??) and when I popped on over to her new design website after seeing this sweet bird/nest banner at Kim's, I knew I just had to make it mine!!

Poor Shannon, she was sooo patient with me and my "tweaking this" and "trying that" requests...well, I just hope she will still "take my calls" after this whole process!! So far, she hasn't blocked me from her blog, so hopefully I'm still "in" with her!! If you think your blog could use a facelift of its own, then head on over and see what she has available. She has also done custom designs for clients, so if it's a new look you want, then she's your gal!!

Thanks Shannon!!!! Shannon...??

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greener on the other side...

above photo:

above photo:

In this case, it's true...things really are greener on the other side of me. You see, after visiting Angela of Cottage Magpie and hearing of her challenge to post lovely images in green, I glanced around my home and realized there's not a whole lot of green goin' on! I guess I never noticed, but I did manage to round up a few images of my own and delved into my inspiration photos for some others. Hmmm, guess I just might have to look into "the other side" and inject some green into my home's colour palette!!
Green Hill...near me...
my very favourite of my few green things!

my mudroom lockers

green polka brighten up my camper!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The perfect Easter...with Matthew Mead

Nobody does it better, that's just the way it least from a decorative standpoint!! I was perusing Matthew Mead's archives over at his website, and found myself drooling over his Spring 2007 offerings, drenched in the most lovely shades of robin's egg blue and , quite fittingly, chocolate brown. The way those two shades complement each other is perfection, and so pleasing to the eye...not to mention how the chocolate bunnies make me feel like delving into my children's Easter baskets and nipping a few eggs from them!

One can only imagine how lovely the Easter baskets Matthew and his wife likely created for their children when they were small. If they looked half as appealing as the Easter offerings on his website, they were lucky children, indeed!! Then again, do kids ever notice anything like that when chocolate is melting between their fingers and trickling out from the corners of their mouths?? I doubt it...and thus there is hope for the rest of us mere mortals...unless you have raised chocolate snobs like me!!

Don't you just love the blue jelly beans in the glasses??

(all photos: Matthew Mead Style)