To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

So many years ago, when we moved into our current house, we basically changed every wall colour and wall surface (don't even get me started about the tissue paper that was adhered to the front hall with dark wine coloured paint). We were young, childless and feeling inspired. 

I had read a lot about the return in popularity of wallpaper, in the form of accent walls, in design magazines, and had seen how beautiful the rooms could be. When you checked the prices per roll of this wallpaper you were looking at upwards of $250 dollars a roll! Eeek... I remember at the time, Farrow & Ball was THE wallpaper to have. Absolutely gorgeous, but absolutely unattainable with one person in the household being a student and the other person with a massive student debt. 

So we sought out cheaper, but inspiring options and found it at Home Depot. At $30 a roll, we found a graphic black and white floral pattern. This was much more attainable. SOLD. 

And of course we installed it ourselves. Ahem. 

So, fast forward 8 years. We've had a lot of people come through our front door and most of them comment on the wallpaper that is visible in what we call our "front room". Anyone that has commented on it has told us how they really liked it. Loved it if you will.

We really liked it too. But then, some things really become apparent...Yarmouth is a humid community by the sea. All year round, but definitely in the summer...and paper things don't adhere as well in humidity. When you add children to the mix...(they like to pick at lifting wallpaper edges) wallpaper becomes more complicated. 

The other apparent thing is when your room is small and your wallpaper is super graphic, your wallpaper kinda rules the roost. It's been a challenging design choice to work around and basically I think that I avoided working with it. 

This week the wallpaper is coming down to make for a more neutral background for possible tenants. I am not that sad about it. But it does beg the question...should we use wallpaper in the new house?

I have thought about it some, and I see gorgeous examples of wallpaper alllll the time in design publications. So, maybe....? A powder room? An entrance?  I feel next time I want to use it in a space to give it personality but where we don't have to build a huge design story around it. I just don't have the resources. And maybe we will have a professional install it this time...and have a Venmar system. In the meantime... (click on the caption to link to the sources!)

Wallpaper by Juju (so expensive but so gorgeous!)

Wallpaper designed by Oh Joy! for Hygge & West Wallpapers (one of my favorite bloggers!)

Ok so I am cheating with this one...they are wall decals by Urban Walls 

Wallpaper by Graham & Brown (sold at Lowe's)

What do you think? Wallpaper or no wallpaper?


Monday, 27 July 2015

The other day I was reading a publication that claimed that Etsy has lost it's soul.

When I first accessed Etsy many years ago (Etsy started up in 2005), it kind of seemed like a grass roots place where people could sell their handmade or vintage wares. The author in the publication ( to be exact) indicated that Etsy has turned into a major juggernaut and has turned into a site that promotes entrepreneurship or sometimes reselling, rather than artisanship. Etsy had lost it's "indie street cred" so to speak.

I absolutely see her point.  It's easy to find items on Etsy now, that you might also see the next time you dropped by Forever 21 or Joe Fresh. Certainly Etsy has it's fair share of reselling cheaply manufactured items under a lovely, fresh looking facade.

But!.. I know individuals where Etsy allows them a stage to buyers who would not see their items otherwise! Especially individuals that live in smaller, isolated areas that don't necessarily have access to large indie craft shows, that are so popular in larger centres now a days. Also, in turn, it allows buyers in more isolated areas (i.e. me) find unique items and gifts. If you dig a little..the artisans and crafters and creators are still there.  You just have to look!

In an effort to find and promote these individuals, once per week, I hope to share some treasures that I love or inspire me. Hope you enjoy!

Have you accessed Etsy? or sold items on Etsy? Is Etsy all gone to the dogs?

(click the caption to link to the Etsy shop)
Newfoundland Dog Photography print by Francesco Formisano
Ikat Dress by Amanda Moss.  (I went to high school with her, how cool is that?)
Waxed Canvas and Leather bag by PipRobins (A native of NS!)
Geometric Pillow by Nirwa


We started planting an herb garden a few years back out of interest rather than genuine, regular use of herbs.  But that's the great introduces something new into your cooking regime. Now, we regularly grow flat leaf parsley and bunch parsley in our little potted herb garden.

So what can you make with this surplus of herb that grows so fast and lush in our temperate summer climate? Of course lots of things, but one of our summer staples with the frequent use of our barbecue is chimichurri. Chimichurri is an argentinian green sauce that adds intense flavour and depth to barbecued mains, whether it be steak, chicken, pork or fish.

It's pretty simple and it really changes up the ole meat and barbecue sauce routine. There are many recipes around, but I find a lot of them make pretty big batches. It makes for a lot of leftovers, when you have a two-adult-and-one-picky-child house hold.

Fear not! Here is my recipe for "Chimichurri for Two".  It's makes enough green sauce for approx. two pork tenderloins, steaks etc. If you have any leftovers you can use it as a marinade, in place of pesto on a sandwich, or as a dressing on a pasta or quinoa salad.

You need:

2 large handfuls of parsley (aproximately 2 cups). Large thick stems removed.
1/4 c of olive oil
1/8 c of red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove
some generous pinches of salt and pepper to taste
1/2 half a slice of red onion (optional)
a squeeze of lemon (optional)

Whiz those ingredients up in your trusty food processor, or with a stick blender until smooth. If you prefer chunky that's fine too!

They say you should only use a dry rub on the barbecue, but I used this sauce to baste my meat while barbecuing, as well as a topping for serving. Live on the edge. (Just make sure you don't cross contaminate. So not too edgy..)

Enjoy the fruits of your labour. In the meantime, I am sure parsley will become the next "superfood". Ahem. But that's another opinion for another day.

Design trend wars

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Hello! We've had a busy social weekend this weekend! Time at the beach, farmer's market, brunch at a friends and walks to the park. Isn't summer the best? We've had variable weather here in the south west, but as long as it's not snowing I am ok with it.

So I have been mulling about what style we want to stick with, when we start decorating the interior of our home. I am always reading interior design things, whether it be online, or in magazines.  I try to stick to Canadian publications, just because it's easier to source and find the things you see on their pages.

Most recently, I was reading an article by Lynda Reeves, the (in?)famous interior designer of the Canadian publication House and Home. The article was about how more traditional, extravagant style is coming back on trend. My reaction was: really??  I would never claim to be an expert on interior design, but the thought of floral chintz and finials were not inspiring to me.

Another publication was focused on the trends that were on the way out. One that stuck out to me was mid century modern.  My reaction was: really?? My husband always tells me to never read the "comments" section. But I did, and it was a lot of people that were complaining about how boring and awful mid century modern was. I will respectfully disagree.  (Can you tell what style I am leaning towards? haha).

In NS, original, mid century modern pieces are challenging to find, but it can be done.  While perusing 'kijiji' you can find some wonderful walnut and teak pieces; all the way from full dining sets to credenzas to side tables. Judging from the pictures, these pieces have been hiding in the dining rooms and basements of individuals from the actual mid-century! With down sizing, comes access to these hidden gems. There are also mid century modern inspired pieces available in stores, but the second hand pieces are so affordable and just as lovely. Our storage in our current home is non-existant, so I have to hold off on purchasing some gems for now...but hoping to be looking for some in the near future.

Looking for some mid century inspiration? Try and hold off from drooling while looking at the pieces displayed on Instagram by @sunbeam_vintage

Speaking of can find me @perkinkf :)

Isn't she the sweetest? 

What's your design style? Are you on the traditional, transitional, modern train?

Plans, Plans, Plans

Friday, 24 July 2015

          So several moons ago, A. and I started exploring house plans with our piece of land in mind. Well?...just a little bit overwhelming. It seemed that I could only find what I didn't want.
          I know I mentioned I was a speech therapist in my last post.  I work with a lot of elder individuals with mobility issues and a lot of occupational therapists! I was always sitting in meetings where the OTs were saying that the bedrooms were inaccessible because they were upstairs or they needed a ramp to get into the house or even if the bedroom could be moved downstairs, the bathroom was upstairs.  I was super determined to find an open concept modern style home that had at least one bedroom and bathroom on a main floor, so that I could still live at home when I fall, and break my hip at 80.  Yeah....that's the trouble with us Speech therapists....maybe a little Type A, planner people. Anyhow, we chose a plan, got quotes from contractors AND...then were told that instead of paying $1000 to some website for the house plan and have to get the plans altered...we were just better off paying someone to draft us some plans and get what we want up front...gah!
 task is to find someone in our small area to draft us some plans and start the quote process again.
           Any home function tips or comments for me? Do you love your main floor laundry?  Do you hate your open concept? Do you have a preference for storage solutions in it? What helps your day to day function?
           Hope this weekend is restful and restorative!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Katie P.  I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog for some time...and then? I be! 

I grew up in a small town in Newfoundland, but found myself living with my husband, A. and my little girl, E. in Yarmouth, NS. Right down in the South West. What brought us here? I am a speech language pathologist by trade and work in a regional hospital here. While I always had ideas of living in larger centres, we found a happy existence, as well as a lower cost of living, down in these parts. 

In June, 2015 we closed on a piece of lake-front land here and I am hoping to document the development and building (and maybe designing?) of the Perkins-forever home. No pressure or anything..And of course I also happen to be one of those girls that has in interest in baking, lifestyles and fashion choices...oh dear...I feel a hashtag coming on....#cliche.... but seriously.. I sincerely hope to explore my creativity and share it in a new-way-to-me. Hope this July day finds you well and warm.