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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trash to Treasure Accent Chairs

Every time I see an old chair with good bones, I instantly turn into Smeagol from Lord Of The Rings totally obsessed with "the precious".   Its true.  I know it sounds crazy but no matter how beaten up the chair is, in my head I see it all decked out in fine fabric and looking fabulous.  Like the reupholstered chair above for instance. I love this chair.  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.....

Think about it.  You can take an old battered chair with little or no value and give it a whole new life.   Am getting drunk with power just thinking about it.  There are no limits to what one can do with a little fabric and paint. Just take a look at these make overs and you will see what I mean. Enjoy and be inspired!

Image above: chair makeover by Design Sponge reader Melissa

Image above: chair makeover by Design Sponge reader Teresa

Chair Makeover by Jessica Jones 

Image above: chair makeover by Design Sponge reader jennifer

I found this chart online and its so useful I just had to share.  It shows different types of chairs and the amount of fabric it would take to cover each piece.   

For a tutorial on doing your own chair makeover visit curbly

Sunday, February 20, 2011

All Of The Pleasure.....None Of The Guilt

So, I was browsing the net for recipes and found one of the most amazing food blogs that I've seen in a while. I am so excited to share skinnytaste with you.  This site has excellent recipes that is not only tasty but low in calories and great for your health.  The food is so delicious, your family wouldn't be able to tell that its low fat at all.  Not unless you tell them. sssssssshhhhhhhhhh.

I saw the recipe below for Asian glazed drumsticks and I just had to try it. So d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!!!  Skinnytaste rocks!  Check the site out and let me know what you think.  

Asian Glazed Drumsticks
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks  Points: 5 ww pts
Calories: 213 • Fat: 4.7 g  Protein: 27.5 g  Carb: 12.7 g  Fiber: 0.4 g  

  • 8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • Pam spray oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transferchicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

C'mon, Get Happy With Yellow!

If there is a color that embodies HAPPY, its Yellow.  I can tell you from personal experience that this is no myth.  

Years ago I had a work space that was painted a very dull and boring "oatmeal" shade of creme.  As an Artist, I just felt very uninspired and drained in that space so I decided to paint the room a warm color.  At the time I was in university and just happened to be taking a course called " The psychology of color".  It was then I discovered the many great attributes of yellow.  

The color Yellow symbolizes wisdom. It brings joy and happiness, and is a symbol of unrequited love.   It is said that people of high intellect favor yellow. Ahem... 

Try a pop of yellow in your decor to add a little drama.  With Yellow, a little goes a long way.  Monochromatic yellows work best as wall color, the brighter more concentrated yellows are very bold and may be too much on the eye.

Tip:  Use concentrated yellows on accent pieces.
Also balance this bright color with neutrals like gray, blue and dashes of black.  


Add yellow to your wardrobe for a chic modern look.. 

Just like a bright sunny day, yellow brings clarity and awareness.  Orange-yellow imparts a sense of establishment. Clean light yellow clears the mind, making it active and alert.  Tip: The shade of yellow determines its effect: Yellow-green can mean deceit, and creates a disoriented feeling.  So, exercise a little caution here.  

      Put some yellow in your life when you want:
  • Relief from 'burnout', panic, nervousness, exhaustion
  • Sharper memory and concentration skills
  • Protection from lethargy and depression during dull weather
  • Inspiration and Happiness
  • Bright and airy decor
  • Energy and renewal
  • Stimulates Appetite

Pictures courtesy of:

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Love Song - Just The Way You Are

I love this song.  If you have someone in your life who thinks of you this way you are truly blessed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

J-Lo's Fabulous New Pad

Veranda magazine did a feature on Jennifer Lopez's new California home and it is absolutely gorgeous.  Her designer, Michelle Workman really knocked it out of the park with this. 

Designer Michelle Workman says, “There are all these tones of gray, and we played with that—using a bit more of a gray-taupe here, a bit more of a gray-blue there. It’s almost like a black-and-white film from the forties.”  

Shut the front door!!!  How beautiful is this!  

“Jennifer wanted to go modern and streamlined but retain the sophistication and stylishness,” says Workman. She didn’t want to be locked into a classically French look.

Workman had already almost finished decorating the house in a château-inspired style when J-L0 changed her mind about the original design. She decided to go in another direction.  In less than three months the designer came up with a whole new design concept.   Unbelievable.

I love the color in this bedroom, so elegant and serene.  

This Headboard is by Williams Sonoma Home.

Blending different influences and periods is tricky to do but Michelle Workman nailed it.  It has both vintage and French elements while being modern, sophisticated and luxurious.  ......And its not stuffy!  Am in love.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love. Straight From The heart

If there is ever a time I thank God for being born female, its just before and on Valentine's day.  And its not for the reasons one might think.    

What makes me grateful to be a woman on Valentines day is not having the pressure and anxiety that most men feel to go beyond what they did the previous year.  To be more romantic, to buy a bigger/ better gift and to wow everyone, not just his wife or girlfriend. Especially if the gift or flowers is delivered at work.  In a lot of ways its like a competition with drastic consequences if you mess up. The gift has to be spectacular or the poor guy finds himself in the dog house, on the sofa, or enduring "the silent treatment."  Either way, there is a serious lopsided dynamic happening here that women do not experience.  

Now, I am not endorsing the inactions of inconsiderate men.   Those of you who year after year fail to let your lady know just how special she is to you, shame on you.  I suggest you get your act together and start making changes.  Like right now.  Am no Dr Phil but one thing I do know is that everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated.  If you show your spouse more love and affection, your relationship will become deeper and more fulfilling.  As a direct result, you will be a happier man and there will be peace in your home. A woman needs to feel that she is heard, loved and appreciated in her home.  Its the greatest gift you can give her.

Contrary to the commercials and marketing rhetoric, love is not measured in chocolate, red roses or karats.  Love is measured by our actions.  Our actions speak much louder than our words ever could.  I truly believe that true romance is in the little things we do for each other.  Like when your man offers to cook, do laundry or take the kids to the park just to give you a little time to relax.  Or how he remembers your likes and dislikes and tries his best to only do what you like.  Thats love. 

Some of the most romantic experiences I've had with my husband were unplanned and spur of the moment.  Like the time he stopped a public transit bus after it had already pulled off just to "kiss his wife bye" and then get right back on.  And, over the years he has surprised me with river rocks, beach glass, wild flowers, shells, sand from my favorite beach in the Bahamas and so much more.  He's a hardcore city guy and not at all outdoorsy like me so its that more special to me that he would go to these lengths to make me happy. Although I do receive expensive gifts from my husband sometimes and despite the fact that he enjoys spending money on me, I am glad that he knows that I love him.  Not the stuff.  

And Thats Amoire.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vive La Toile!

If I knew the French national anthem or could actually speak French, I would salute the French people every time I see a piece of Toile.  But, since I cant, on behalf of myself and Toile lovers world wide, I say a heartfelt, merci beaucoup!

Even if you are not familiar with the word "Toile", chances are, you have seen it before.  And, having seen it, you will not easily forget it. Yes, Toile is that memorable.  Now, I realize that my opinion may be a tad biased since Toile and I enjoy such a long and exciting relationship, but trust me, this fabric is simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
What Is Toile Exactly....
Toile, (pronounced twall) is short for Toile de Jouy, and is a fabric used in home decor.  The pattern on the fabric is repeated and traditionally depicts a fairly complex French Provincial scene that visually tells a story.  Toile is usually one-color, most often greens, brown, black, dark red, blue and sometimes magenta on a creme or white background.  Toile de juoy originated in France in the 18th century and is revered and loved for its romanticism and classic beauty. 

Today, its possible to find Toile with many different pastel backgrounds which makes it even more popular in home decor.  So, whether you prefer the traditional Toile like I do or the newer versions of this fabulous fabric, try it, Toile never disappoints.  

There is something about this fabric that is so charismatic that it gives a space a whole new personality.  It has just the right impact without being a show off.  I like that.

Toile is a very romantic fabric. The patterns exudes a certain nostalgia that just warms the heart.  With Valentine's day approaching, a touch of Toile for a table setting or perhaps your boudoir is a very cozy and refreshing look.

One of the things I love most about this fabric is its classic beauty.  And we all know that classic only gets better with time.

Because of its one-color palette and vast array of themes, Toile is a very versatile fabric.  Whether its a throw pillow, wall paper, curtain or bedspread, adding a bit of Toile to your decor will invigorate your space.  Try Toile with gingham or a check fabric for maximum drama.

I hope this post inspires you to put a little Toile in your life.   
Bonne journée!

Pictures are courtesy of:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Decorating On A Dime with Salvage & Garage Sale Finds

If you ever heard the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" and you go to Flea Markets and Garage sales, you know that this is so true.  I am always amazed by what people either throw away or sell for nickels and dimes. From chandeliers to old barn doors, mirrors, antiques and anything else you can think of, I have seen it all at a garage sale. Better still, the prices on these items are ridiculously low or even free in some cases.

I remember the very first "treasure" piece that I acquired.  It was a sad looking French wrought iron garden table.  The tarnished white paint was flaking and it had a little rust going on in some places, but to me it was gorgeous!  Luckily, my neighbor who owned it saw me admiring her table and gave it to me as a gift. Or maybe she just wanted it out of her yard, whatever the reason, I am the proud owner of that table today. Well, that was years ago but that simple experience opened my eyes to a whole new dimension in decorating.  Flea market and garage sales here I come!

Before I go any further, I must warn you that decorating with salvage pieces/garage sale finds is very addictive.  I personally know a lady who has both her house and yard full of "treasures".  Very careful selection is key here.  If you find yourself collecting toilets to plant flowers in, you my friend have gone too far.  Yes, I know it sounds funny, but people actually do this.  Perhaps the same people who coined the phrase "dumpster diving"..........  In any event, you do not want to go that far with this.  Consider yourself forewarned. Only select pieces that you already have a home or a plan for.

Here are a few ideas to inspire you and get you started. Happy collecting, and I cant wait to hear about your finds!

This shabby chic vintage sign is perfect as a wall hanging or as part of a vignette.

 Architectural wood elements are great to add rustic charm and a personalized touch.

If you see something like this and can afford it, buy it.  You cannot go wrong with this purchase.

I love this look.  So beautiful and out of the box, a great way to repurpose an old ornate frame.

This room has so much personality, and most of the pieces are "treasure" finds.
The headboard is simply divine

Assorted candle sticks and one amazing vintage mirror....exquisite.

Wrought iron pieces are a great find.  They are textural, alluring and visual interesting.

An old window/door adds so much character to a space.  Try it, you wont be disappointed.

Pictures courtesy of 

For more information on the subject check out:

You can also find

And salvage inspired items (Shabby Chic) on Amazon.