Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Stone Garden.

This week, it was time to start the landscaping around the deck. We knew we wanted a more modern look so decided to go with perennial grasses and stone. I'll admit I was nervous, I love flowers and mulched gardens but felt a different look would suit the design of our deck much more. It's good to go out of your comfort zone from time to time!

First off, we did what I think was the toughest job yet: removing the sod. Luckily Stephane did most of the work. It's really heavy! Plus, where do you put it all? Currently it's hiding in a corner against the fence. It will be a job just to get it out of there!

Next we used an edging around the perimeter. Apparently this keeps the weeds away but I'll believe it when I see it. Nonetheless, it provides a nice clean edge to work with. Then we laid down a weed barrier over the whole area.

We picked up two different grass perennials at the garden center. Karl Foerster, which is a feathered reed grass and should grow 5 feet tall, providing us with some privacy on one side of the deck. We also set in some Blue Oat grass which will fill the areas in between. We cut the weed barrier, dug a hole and filled it with some nutrient rich garden soil, then planted the perennials. They looks pretty measly now but I have high hopes! (No photos of the process since we did this part on a rainy, cold evening.)

Next up, we filled the area with pea stone. Loading up the wheelbarrow, dumping and spreading. I figure we've done three tonnes at this point. Needless to say, I'm a tad sore. I was kind of in my glory though.. I love that stuff!

The lighter color is close to what it will really look like. We had done that part the night before so it's drier. The stone is wet where it has just been applied. We plan to add a small tree where Stephane is standing and a hedge along the walkway.

After fiddling around with the stone a while, raking it over and over to smooth it out, we added our simple slate walkway.

 Each piece is actually much closer together than they appear in the photos. Must be the angle of the shot.

Still more work to do yet! Check out the pile of pea stone still to use. At first we though we ordered too much but maybe not! I sort of hope not.. a pain to get rid of!!

It's been a job but we've enjoyed spending our evening outside and seeing it transition little by little. I think it's a bit Asian inspired but Stephane thinks it's Arizona chic:) Still lots to do but we're getting there! I'll be back with another update next week!

Last chance to enter the Empire Patio Furniture Covers giveaway! Go here to enter. Contest closes Friday at 10pm AST.

home-styling guest post

For Mr and Mrs Smith New Home

Hello, I'm Ana from Home-Styling and I'm thrilled to be the guest post for Ashley today. I was very happy about this challenge because in my very busy life as a, decorator, executive producer for a home makeover Tv show, creative director for an Interior Design Store, CEO for my producing company, mother and blogger, I thought I was going to have a hard time to have an idea for a special post for Ashley in such a special time of her life...

Too much stuff to think about and what to do!? I was very happy when I asked Ashley what would she like me to post about and she answered: "I'd be really interested to hear your advice on blending feminine and masculine elements in a room. It's something I'm trying to find balance with right now - i love light and airy looks - lots of white with silver
and pink, but I don't want the whole apartment to look girly and want J to love our place too."

That is a wonderful great challenge for everyone so I had a lot of fun putting it together and this is what I came up with.

So Ashley likes white, airy, stylish, feminine rooms like these with lots of

white, silver and pink.

I do not know about Mr. J's tastes, but he must be a very cool stylish man

judging by the gorgeous Pink Tie!

I think this would be a perfect mix of white, gray, black and lots of white 
and some feminine pink details.

The black and white stripes definitely make a masculine strong enough statement to add a romantic chandelier, a venetian mirror or pink chaise.
Don't you think?

Enjoy your new home Mr. and Mrs Smith!

Ana Antunes
* Thank you for sharing my passion for beautiful homes *

Photos via: Veranda, Living Etc, Pinterest

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Pearl Girl Collection...

Summer Lovelies...

The Pearl Girl Necklace

This lovely turquoise beaded necklace with a large 15 mm white fresh water pearl is the ultimate Summer Necklace with a screw closure. Stunning...

The perfect Summer Bracelet...

Gemini's Favorite Bracelet...

Bridemaid's Necklace L O V E

Personalized Gifts for your girls...

It's all about June Babies...

Crystal Quartz F A B U L O U S

Simple Bridesmaid Gifts...

The Perfect "pearl girl" Earrings

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Wall Behind the Sofa.

Here is a somewhat recent shot of the sofa in my living room. Actually, it's really not recent... the pillows have changed, the coffee table is changed, the overhead light is gone. Oh well, what I really want to draw your attention to, are the three frames behind the sofa.

I really like the linear look of the frames but I'm bored with them. Also, the ceilings are quite high and it could use a little more height. I think I will move those frames into the hallway and create a gallery wall above the couch.

A gallery wall, however, is never is easy as it seems. There is a fine line between an artful arrangement and a cluttered wall. Personally, I like mismatched frames in different sizes and finishes with a couple of paintings on canvas thrown in. The spacing is huge for me too. Too close and it's busy, too far apart and it looks skimpy. I guess the secret is just playing around with what you've got until you find one that works. I suppose that would require some patience:)

Here are some of my favorite gallery walls hung behind a sofa that I'm using as my source of inspiration.

I suppose the last one does is not a sofa but possesses a chair so beautiful, it made the cut. Do I actually own all these beautiful pieces to be hung? No, but a few so that's a start! Do I have other projects on the go that should be finished first? Sure, but I can start collecting or diy-ing in preparation.

I think it couch be very beautiful and take my living room from the calm serene space it's been to something a little more edgy and fun. Time for a change. What do you think? Any tips?

You can follow the rest of my gallery wall board on Pinterest here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giveaway: $75 of Patio Furniture Covers.

I recently snagged a great deal on some new patio chairs at Canadian Tire. They were regular $160 each and  took them home for $50 a piece! Gotta love a good deal! They are perfect for our new deck. I love the simple modern lines.

Today I am jealous because I am giving one lucky reader a $75 gift certificate for stylish, fitted outdoor patio furniture covers from Empire Patio Covers plus free shipping within Canada and the US. I would love to get some for our table and chairs and our two new ones! The winner gets to choose the size, color and style from their selections and believe me, there are plenty!

It's a great way to look after your furniture since it can sometimes be a significant investment. All of their covers are UV treated and 100% waterproof, plus they can be tied down so you don't lose them in the wind!

Don't have patio furniture? What about a BBQ cover?

I should really have one of these. Protect your car upholstery but still have your furry friend travel with you with this soft quilted bench cover. He'll be riding in style!

So... want to win some patio furniture covers? The rules are simple:

All my readers are eligible to enter. Leave a comment and tell me the one thing you would love to do with your outdoor living space (yard, deck, gardens). It's that time of year!  

Additional entries:

1. Followers get an extra entry! (Leave a separate comment)
2. Tweet about the giveaway (Leave a separate comment)
3. Blog about this giveaway (Leave a separate comment)

Lots of chances to win! Best of luck. 
Contest closes next Friday, June 1st (June already!) 10pm AST. 
Winner will be chosen using

Summer Style

There's no doubt that the summer heat has returned to Houston!  While we love the beautiful sunshine, it can be difficult to stay outside for too long. Sun dresses, braided hair, and a great sandal are staples in our summer wardrobe. Let's explore some summer styles that helps you stay cool and be fashionable!

This Jcrew outfit will beat the heat

Neon nails are sure to distract from the heat!

This combination is perfect for a summer party!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chalk It Up

Chalk isn't just for little kids anymore! Chalk is a perfect way to personalize items at your party. From personalizing place mats, to adding creativity to your save the dates, chalk is a fun way to help you do it!

Chalk invitations are hip and fun

Add a chalk RSVP for a unique way to say "YES!"

Chalk helps personalize table numbers and menus!