We finally finished painting the downstairs hallway. I'm really happy with it. Since it's already a dark corner we decided painting it a light colour was best. We used the same paint as we did in the living/entertainment room. The results are great! The walls are all fixed up now and the light colour just adds a bit of depth to the hallway compared to the stark white walls. Now on to painting the entryway the same colour!
It's a nice light colour, but adds a bit of richness to the downstairs hallway!
Check out this neat company's products, Mayice. I really love their use of simple materials and clean lines.
Marta Alonso Yebra and Imanol Calderón Elósegui are two architects from Spain that have developed their own careers separately before joining forces as Mayice. Their unsteady spirit has led both to work in areas as diverse as aromatic and flexible material developing, book writing, stand and pavilion design, magazine art direction and more. Their multidisciplinary ways define Mayice as a brand. They even have their own investigation lab! Mayice is architecture, visual art, and much more.
Over the weekend I make some strawberry cupcakes/muffins! I say they are both cupcakes and muffins because they are sweet like cupcakes, but I prefer them without icing, so it's a bit more like eating a muffin. These are great to have as a little dessert, as they are made with real strawberries and are nice and sweet. Such a great treat!
How To Make
Makes 12 Muffins
Here is a little bit of geekyness for the day! I have been looking for this Architecture Lego Studio set for awhile now. It's actually not available in Canada, and I happened to be in the Chicago Architecture Foundation store, while in Chicago, and there is was! It comes with an awesome book too all about the history of architecture and current architecture. I'm looking forward to making lots of exciting projects.
Here is a couple of photos from my first creation with the Lego set!
Just thought I would share this amazing house built in Victoria, B.C. It was designed by architect Keith Baker. I love all the attention to detail in this house, and the bright openness of it.
Check out lots more photos here of this great Canadian house.
Last week we spent five days in downtown Chicago. It was a lot of fun to explore, and the city is so great with lots of green spaces. Here's what we got up to.
We arrived in Chicago mid afternoon. After checking into the historic hotel, now the Hilton Chicago, we went for a walk down to the water. We ended up staying at this hotel because Jeff's conference was located in here and his work payed for it, added bonus! All the way from Michigan Ave., which the hotel is on, down to the water is all park area. It is quite beautiful and fun to walk around.
We followed the lake front path all the way around to the Navy Pier, which we thought might be neat to see, but we were disappointed. Maybe it was partly because they were under construction, but it really was just a tourist trap of overpriced restaurants. We couldn't understand why it was so busy! We had the worst restaurant experience of my entire life. We picked a place farther along the pier away from the crowds, maybe that was our mistake. The place was kind of dirty, and the service was terrible. First off the hostess took awhile to pick a drink menu for us that wasn't dirty or crumbled, and then once we were seated forgot to give it to us. Then our waitress didn't know what was on the drink menu, and didn't seem to have to sense to go grab one for us. Once we got the drinks sorted out, we wanted to order food (it didn't help that I was starving by this time), and it took us, literally, 45 minutes to get her attention! The food took forever, and was so expensive for what we got. However, it was surprisingly pretty tasty (or was it because we were starving). Once we finally got our bill, she tried our credit card and told us it didn't work (however we used it through out the rest of trip just fine). And she forgot to give us our receipt. So basically we had the ditziest waitress of all time! Luckily the rest of the trip was great!
Today we visited the Art Institute of Chicago. They have a great modern art collection, with a huge section on cubism. A great place to visit, and the building it's self has really interesting architecture. In the evening we tried the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. After reading lots of reviews we decided to try Lou Malnati Restaurant's pizza. It was really gooey and great! Not quite what I think of as pizza, but yummy as it's own new type of food.
After lunch we visited the Shedd Aquarium on the so called museum campus. Lots to explore as it is a fairly large aquarium. I enjoyed how they created atmosphere in the different areas by using objects to make you feel like you are in that location. Lots of different species from around the world to view. Overall, a pretty fun experience, it was just so crowded! For dinner we went to Weber Grill Restaurant. Yes, the same company as the BBQs and they actually make everything on the BBQ too. The kitchen is open and you can see all the different types of BBQs they cook on. The food was fabulous, cooked to perfection!
Today we just did some shopping/window shopping up at the Magnificent Mile, which is basically a long stretch of a street with every shop imaginable on it. Later on in the afternoon we went for a walk to see the famous bean in Millennium Park. It's actually a lot of fun to stand beside and look up into it. Amazing how a simple object can be so interesting!
Today I went for a long walk and visited the Adler Planetarium, which is the oldest planetarium in the USA. I was actually more fascinated with the building it's self and it's location, than the actual exhibits inside. It's neat inside as well, although I didn't have time to go to one of the shows which might have been better, but still worth a look. However, if you find yourself down there walk around the building and the area. The planetarium sits out on a peninsula with amazing views, and there is a large beach to explore as well. Chicago was a fun city to visit and (except for our first waitress) everyone was super kind and friendly.
We have been working on our downstairs over the last little while. Still a few more things left to do, such as paint the walls, but we have updated all the doors. We spent a week painting the doors white and fixing them up. We then changed the old hinges and the gold door knobs for matching new ones, like the ones we already added upstairs. It's just a little change to an outsider, but for Jeff and I it makes a big difference. We are tried of seeing gold everywhere! It is slowing disappearing, not too many gold objects left to change. The newly painted doors gives the hallway a fresh look that feels like new. Next up, painting the walls!
I came across these designers from Australia that have created some really neat objects. Check them out: DesignByThem
Who they are:
DesignByThem was launched in 2006 by cofounders Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson with the mission of creating an Australian design brand.
The collection includes Nicholas and Sarah's designs alongside the work of other great Australian designers including Tommy Cehak and Stefan Lie.
Good design makes our lives more enjoyable and appreciative of our environment.
Good design is for everyone.
Design education is imperative to driving a more innovative and sustainable society.
DesignByThem brings together and represents the talent of Australian designers in a playful collection of fun and functional objects.
All products are designed in Australia with a sensitivity to time and the environment.
We are here in the windy city, Chicago! I have never been here, and probably wouldn't have thought of coming here either, but I'm certainly enjoying myself now that I am. Jeff had a conference for work in downtown Chicago and I thought I would tag along. While he has been working all day, I have been exploring this neat city. So many amazing museums here, and yummy food. More on our favourite sites soon!
Spring is finally here, and that means practically living outside for us! Since this is the case, in order to keep us out there it has to be just as comfortable as inside the house. Here are a few ideas to make your outdoor living space as appealing as your living room. Just add sun!
Top 5 Tips
Here are just a few ways to make more use out of your yard or outdoor space. We even did this on our balcony at the condo, which created an extra room for us during the warmer months.
No matter how good the furniture looks out on your deck, if it's not comfortable no one will linger for long. Try out lots of chairs and couches before buying any. Decide if it's something you can sit on for long periods of time. Just because it's outside furniture doesn't mean you should be giving up comfort.
Add details to your deck, balcony, yard to make it look decorated. Once you have your main pieces of furniture picked out, add lots of decor and lighting to create ambience. Fun lanterns, string lighting, potted plants, throw pillows, and blankets for cooler evenings.
3. Inside Outside
Think of your outdoor space as another living room. Pick furniture that resembles inside pieces, such as couches instead of folding yard chairs. Or a nice dinning table, instead of a plastic alternative. Keep this idea in mind when decorating, and you will have a wonderful outdoor oasis.
Despite all this talk of creating an inside space outside, the furniture used is different than your pieces inside the house. Your furniture from inside won't stand up to the elements. If your space is covered from rain you can be a bit more flexible, but I would still bring it inside for the winter months. Outdoor furniture is made of materials meant to be outside, and the good news is there are so many great pieces to choose from these days.
5. Have Fun
One of the great things about decorating an outdoor space is you can use more fun patterns and colours then you might inside your house. Bright colours and big patterns go well with the summer sun and the green of a garden. Decorating an outdoor space isn't a serious experience. Just have fun with it!