For the past few months we’ve been updating our bedroom and I’m really excited for the latest addition: the bed! I’ve been sharing about the process since we started it last Fall, including painting and adding wall decals (which made such a difference right there alone- scroll to the bottom of this post for photos of the process along the way) and there are just a few finishing touches left. In some ways it’s great to have those weekend warrior projects that you finish all at once, but sometimes it’s just not doable: not enough time/ budget/ keeping the kids occupied while you try to work, etc., so we’ve been working away as we’ve had the time and budget to do so. View Post
If you’ve been drooling over the chunky knit blankets all over Instagram and Pinterest, you’re not alone. I’ve been wanting to splurge on one for myself for a while, and when I saw this beauty by Leo & Bea at my friend Piya’s shop, The Handpicked Home, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. These blankets are gorgeous! And with Mother’s Day coming up it’s the perfect time to splurge on one for yourself or drop some hints to the hubby.
But before I gush about these beautiful blankets too much, I should also mention that the lady behind the business, Dani, is one inspiring lady. Not only has she drawn creative inspiration from her late Mother who was an art teacher, she’s also created a beautiful business out of a challenging experience. Instead of letting things get her down, she is full of energy and optimism which shines through (and why I gave this post the title I did). I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with Dani, and even more so as she has kindly offered up one of her beautiful blankets to giveaway to a blog reader.
When you scroll down to enter, I hope you’ll also take the time to read a little more about Dani and Leo & Bea (how she chose the name will tug at your heartstrings). My blanket from Leo & Bea is something special that I’d like to keep clean and free of stains (we all need something that is just our own, free from the evidence of crumbs and handprints kids leave everywhere) but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying lots of snuggles and cozying up with my loved ones in it, because life’s about the moments and memories more than anything else.
Here’s a little about Danielle and why you’ll fall even more in love with Leo & Bea
Danielle (or Dani as she likes to be called) lost both of her parents to Cancer, losing her Mom when she was 15 and her Dad when she was 25. Her Mom was an art teacher, and is the person who Dani draws inspiration from, helping her explore her new creative career. Originally from Nova Scotia, Dani moved to BC 15 years ago and taught herself to arm knit after being laid off from her career as an Optometric Technician, a position she’d help for 9 years. Instead of being discouraged, she took it as an opportunity to explore her creative side and created Leo & Bea, naming her business after her maternal grandparents, Leo and Beatrice. While she never knew her Nana, she has fond memories of her Grandfather who outlived his wife and only child, and who ‘lived and loved with all his heart’.
In addition to knitting and macrame, Dani also paints. It’s during the time that she’s creating that she feels close to her Mom, which is part of why she’s so passionate about what she does. Her strong spirit and optimism shine through and I find her mantra a good reminder for when life gets challenging, something she’s drawn upon after each of her parents’ passing: Even when we fall down, it’s forward. Dust yourself off and keep moving forward. When you see Dani’s work, it’s no surprise it’s as beautiful as it is, given the person who created it. Sometimes you meet people who breath fresh air into things, and Dani is one of them, her positive energy is contagious. A big thank you to Dani for giving me the chance to get to know her and work together. This post has meant more to me than the photos show- it’s given me a fresh perspective I really needed, and reminded me to take a step back to reflect on what I have to be grateful for.
If you’d like to see some of Dani’s other beautiful work- including her arm knit blankets- visit Leo & Bea on Etsy and follow them on Instagram for workshop info, sales, contests, and more.
Want to wrap yourself up in one of these beautiful knits?
Enter below for your chance to win one of Leo & Bea’s arm knit blankets!
Decorating Ari’s room has been a work in progress for a while but a lot of fun for me. We knew that we would keep the nursery the same and make the 3rd bedroom Ari’s when it came time to have another baby, giving us a blank canvas to work with. It took us a little while to pick out paint colours, but once that was done the walls and the bed were my jumping- off point for everything else. It wasn’t until about 2 months ago, when we took down the crib and set up her bed, that it felt ‘finished’. Her room really has been a labour of love, and I loved searching for the furniture and everything else that’s gone into it. I also love how well everything came together within a pretty tight budget: her vanity and bookshelf were Craigslist finds that my Dad refinished, her bed was bought on sale, as was her duvet set, there’s a few garage sale finds, and the curtains, pillows, and a few other items were bought at Homesense (who doesn’t love Homesense???). Added into the mix are some sentimental items, gifts, and a few DIY projects. I loved it when I’d find something and add it to the room, layer by layer. Decorating within a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your vision, you just have to get a little creative. I loved creating a fun space for Ari and how her room turned out. We love snuggling up on her bed or in the reading corner and going through piles of books- it’s somewhere we all love to spend time and most importantly that she loves too. Source info for some of the photos is included at the end of the post. <3
Let’s be honest, when you’re married with kids keeping the romance alive can get pushed down the list (hands up, who looks at their bed and yearns for more zzzzzs?). Our bed is usually a pile of blankets, pillows, books, and kid’s toys. A cozy, comfy nest it may be, but a sanctuary it is not. And I’ll confess: I love how a made- up bed looks, but rarely make ours. It’s just one of those things that has inevitably become less of a priority.
But we can all dream of a perfectly tidy and styled bedroom can’t we? Calming, cozy, and serene are three words I like to think about when it comes to this particular room of the house. And I think this room might have that covered. Thanks to Old Barn Rescue, I had the chance to style a bedroom around their ‘Mr & Mrs’ pillow shams which totally had me thinking back to my wedding registry and all of the fun I had picking out things for our home. I love having accents in a room that compliment the overall style while showing the individual personalities of the occupants. For example, using the same lamps but different night stands for a more masculine/ feminine touch. I hope you like these photos as much as I liked having an excuse to decorate this room! See below for all the details.
About Old Barn Rescue
The story behind the company goes like this: In 2003 a barn on one of the co- founders’ family farm had to be torn down, (the inspiration for the name), and rather than letting the 120- year- old wood go to the landfill, the co- founders gathered it up and started creating unique pieces using reclaimed materials. They now source materials from a variety of sources to create upcycled vintage- inspired signs and decor. The company also offers vinyl wall decals and recently added clothing and fabric decor items to their stock. In Spring of this year the brand added their Threads line and now offers everything from onesies, t- shirts, pillow shams, and more featuring their heat- pressed vinyl designs. All of the products are lovingly handmade using vintage and new materials.
Bedroom Styling Tips:
Make it cozy– Blankets and pillows are an inexpensive way to add colour and texture, plus are super cozy to snuggle into. This is the room you sleep in after all, and you want it to be somewhere you love to curl up.
Easy update- If you don’t want to invest in an entire new set of bedding, sheets, etc, buy some new pillow shams as a simple way to freshen the look of your bed. They are an easy item to replace and there are lots of options out there to suit your style. The same goes for your nightstands: swap them out and pair with some new lamps for a quick and simple update.
Colour vs texture- A classic styling tip: If you love lots of colour, keep the shapes and textures in the room simple, so it doesn’t become visually overwhelming. The opposite is true if you like a simple/ monochromatic palette: add in textures and shapes to create visual interest (think faux- fur, fabric textures, and accent materials such as glass and wood for starters).
Show your personality- It’s your bedroom, so enjoy having some fun! Add in details that show you and your hubby’s tastes. To avoid it becoming too busy/ cluttered, pick accents that compliment each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the bed (see tip #3 above). Storage containers such as crates and boxes can also help store items to avoid mess and clutter.
At the end of 2014 I was given the opportunity to work with Invaluable.com, an online auction that sells art among other items, to create a room around a painting available from their site. Since I love art & design I was excited to take up the challenge. I chose this hot pink painting of Audrey Hepburn and decided to create a bedroom that combined retro glam & modern style. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your stylish young lady or are treating yourself to a bedroom makeover, who better to turn to for inspiration than a style icon? As Ms. Hepburn famously said, “happy girls are the prettiest”, and a cozy place to get your beauty sleep is a great place to start.
So in honour of Audrey & her timeless glamour, here’s the room I designed. See below for details.