Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Favorite Glimpses Into Canadian Homes

For Allowing Us a Peek Into Private Spaces
Located Thoughout the Provinces 

In the previous post, I took you along on a walkabout of Québec City. Sadly, I didn't get an invitation to visit inside any of those beautiful French-inspired residential abodes, but thanks to regional magazines, I found some lovely rooms to show.

The panels immediately caught my eye in this room.
There's a lot of wood in this space, and the striking panel pattern breaks it up for me in an interesting way. (Canada's Style at Home)
Beside the dog lounging comfortably on the sofa, I also liked the idea of using two coffee tables here.The light-weight chairs flanking the fireplace provide extra seating, and their symmetry weighted with the two iron tables seem to help balance out the heavier pieces in the room. What do you think? ( Canada's Style at Home)

 I especially like the color and pattern used in this space, along with the built-in bookcase and low-hanging painting. Look at the slight incline of the blue chairs -- perfect spots for reading and relaxing. Warm and inviting, don't you think? Canadian House and Home)

I really like the low-level daybed fronting the white-painted radiator. 
Nice subtle camouflage. And since the room is mostly solid, I enjoy seeing the patterned curtain panels. (Canda's Style at Home)

A favorite space. Very warm, casual with subtle elegance. Again, I like the low-level daybed here near the fireplace that also allows easy viewing by guests sitting in different areas of the room. (Canadian House and Home)

Modern Country. Easy-living style. The openness under the dining table makes the room seem cleaner and larger, too. (Canada's Style at Home)

Love the arched doorway almost hidden from view -- in the right-hand corner. 
I like the honey-combed backsplash at the stove, along with the string of copper pots. And, of course, the pièce de résistance is the island. (Canada's Style at Home)

For a whole different kind of house, check out this House of Stone located in Portugal:

 It made Forbe's list of the top five camouflaged homes. 
Another -- plus the link -- on Love Where You Live's Facebook page;
go here

IF you're a fan of Joni Webb (Cote de Texas) -- and who isn't, right?!! -- then you'll want to check out the June article in Coast Magazine. Thank you, Joni, for you help and great tips!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

French Detailing: Québec City Doors and Windows Distinguish One House From Another

When Strolling the Streets of the Captial City 
-- of the French Canadian Province of Québec --
I noticed the homes were basically boxed-shaped featuring either sloping or mansard roofs,
and they all had numerous windows.

A few of the roof tops include dropped ladders in Québec City. They're primarily used today for decoration, but in earlier times they served the purpose of providing access to put out chimney fires. 

Many of the stone houses were once covered in plaster; it served as a mortar to hold the rocks in place. This house below shows some of the original plaster -- or stucco -- removed:

Roof tops are often decorative, constructed of corrugated wood, a plain or imprinted tin, or copper that's now aged to a nice greenish patina.

Many of the windows are double-paned. And interior and exterior panes typically wear a different color to impart a sense of depth.


Simple to elaborate doorways and windows give each home a distinctive personality. 
Notice the inlaid brick crowns, the ornate moldings, rich and bold colors, the large street numbers, and other embellishments. Some of the smaller doorways, I am guessing, lead to old root cellars. So, while the basic architecture remains consistent, it's the windows and doors that create the most memorable first impressions. I was captivated, as you will 
see . . . .

More French Canadian designs to come....au revoir

Friday, May 11, 2012

Decorating Details By Designers For the Bath -- Ceiling -- Floors -- and Windows

When Touring the Recent and Most Fabulous
Pink Ribbon House in Houston, A Few Details 
 Stopped Me in My Tracks . . .
Yes, it's a nice moment when you enter a show house and find yourself pausing over a small -- or large detail -- so much so that you want to take the idea home with you.

This powder room is anything but predictable.
A lunar silver-grey linen silk fabric by Romo  gathers around the sink basin.

#1 -- Love the Sink and Wallpaper
 Designer Trish Dodson chose for the Powder Room

 Pewter sink....
by Linkasink and was purchased at Lighting Inc Hardware and Plumbing in Houston.

The paper-backed and painted burlap wallpaper is by Falls and Company.

#2 -- Love the sweet wispy monogrammed window covering
in the kitchen study. Designers Molly Levitt* and Mollie Oshman oversaw this space.

Window covering by DJ Draperies in Houston.
(condolences to the Levitt family on the death of Molly Levitt in March.)

#3 -- The Dining Room Floor! 
Loved the Stenciled Floor by Segreto Finishes.

#4 -- Love the Interesting Ceilings
Thanks to Architect Hollenbeck and Associates and Builder Levitt Partnership.

Family room designed by Bennett Design Group.

Hanging above the foyer.

Just back from Québec!
And I'm looking forward to posting images taken when there!
See you soon!! Thank you -- merci beaucoup -- for stopping by today.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Outdoor Shower That Whets Your Creative Side

Wisconsin Artists Mary Anne Wise
and Arne Nyen 
Share a Quick Tutorial on Building an Outdoor Shower
Mary Anne and Arne offer a refreshing take on constructing an outdoor shower. And, as temperatures begin to rise almost everywhere, you might find inspiration in what this creative couple did.

 The couple's daughter, Phoebe, takes a moment to refresh in the completed project.

Before launching into what they did, which includes photos that they provided, let me introduce you quickly to this talented duo. I got to know them a few years ago, via email, after touring Joan and Jerry Herring's amazing abode in Houston. The Herrings (their new place: (Black Bird Farm) are photographers and artists. Plus, they are great supporters of all artists! Inside their home at the time, they had a chair similar to the one below that caught my eye:

 Arne harvests wood on his farm in Western, Wisconsin to design, create and construct unique chairs and stools.
For information about his work, go here.

One thing led to another -- and after showing some of their crafts to some editors -- their home and art pieces were featured in the now defunct (sorry to say) Country Home magazine (November 2006). So, periodically, we "touch base." And, so, just in time for summer-time heat retreats, I give you the shower they constructed last year:

Their Outdoor Shower 

Commentary and information provided by Mary Anne:

Dimensions: interior shower 'room': 7'6" diameter.  Wall height: 6'2"  
Construction Time: 11 weeks
Materials: The walls are constructed with metal lath, recycled metal pipes, cement, Mississippi mussel shells. The mussel shells were collected (dead, washed ashore) along the shores of Lk Pepin on the Mississippi River. There are about 51 species of freshwater mussels that live in the Upper Mississippi River. The shells were once prized by the Mother-of-Pearl button industry (there were button factories from Ill-WI). Today the button factories are long gone and all of the mussel species are threatened by the tiny, invasive zebra mussel.

Laying out the shape of the shower walls with a garden hose. Then laying down recycled re-bar to re-enforce the cement floor and 'tie' the floors to the wall. 

 Getting atop a high ladder to pound the pipes into the ground . . . the pipes support the armature of the metal lath walls. The cement was applied to the metal lath.

Having poured the floor, we then waited for the cement to cure. The next step was to finish adding the metal lath to the desired wall height & begin to apply concrete to the exterior walls.

Having affixed the last of the metal lath to the desired wall height, we then applied concrete, by hand, to the exterior walls.

We completed the exterior walls with a single window and door-less entryway. Once the exterior walls were cured, and the structure became solid,  we were ready to begin the interior walls.

We embedded mussel shells into the cement at the same time as 'laying-up' the interior walls.

The completed entryway:

The completed interior "room" with the shower head installed. It works!

Mary Anne shared some news about what's going on now in her world of arts and crafts. I will show that in another post, sometime in the future. In the meantime, check out her rugs by going hereHere's one of my favorites of hers:

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