Friday, December 16, 2011

Country, city, summer, choices!

If you know me, you know that I love weddings - weddings of all sorts, sizes and styles - and I have been dreaming of the day when I could finally pay the cashier for the stack of bridal magazines while proudly displaying my engagement ring.

When Derek and I got engaged this year, on my birthday (one of the best days of my life), I was so excited to begin planning our wedding.  Originally I dreamed of a romantic backyard wedding at my parents' house, with a vintage flare.  I was picturing a crisp white tent, a pastel colour pallet and vintage tea tins used as flower vases and me in a tea-length wedding dress with amazing shoes.

Here are some images I used as inspiration for my dream backyard wedding (mostly found through Pinterest...please tell me you have an account and are as obsessed as I am!)

Tea tin vases compliments of Martha Stewart of course.

  I love the vibe I'm feeling from this homey picture from Green Wedding Shoes.

If my table looked half as good as this one, I would be one happy bride.

A backyard wedding is not complete without strings of glowing white lights.

There are a ton of dresses I love, but this photo makes me drool - found on The Cinderella Project.

Alas, my backyard wedding was not meant to be.  Even though the idea makes me so excited and happy, it would be a ton of work for many people other than myself.  And probably pretty expensive once all is said and done.  Also, we were pushing the wedding date to summer 2013 so that we could move into our condo first (July 2012). That would add up to an almost 2-year engagement.  Something that doesn't really bother me, but Derek is obviously really anxious to call me his wife :)

SO!  On to our new favourite wedding idea - An intimate evening cocktail party at one of our favourite downtown restaurants....on New Year's Eve 2012!!!  

We are in love with the idea of a cozy evening affair with our closest friends and family.  The fact that we can ring in the New Year together will also be a bonus (not to mention add lots of sparkle and cheer to the décor and theme!)

Here are some venues we are considering (in no particular order)
As of today I have spoken to the event coordinators at Eighteen and Fraser Café.  We have a meeting at Fraser Café next Tuesday and I am really looking forward to it.  Here is why:

  • Fraser Café is located in New Edinburgh, our soon-to-be neighbourhood, which we are in love with.  I like the idea of keeping the wedding personal, so having our wedding a block away from where we live seems perfect.  
  • Fraser Café has amazing food.  We have only been once, but it was definitely one of our top 3 dining experiences.  They are known for using seasonal and local ingredients and their menu includes a "chef surprise" which is exactly that - a spontaneous creation made by the chef!  Really cool, if you ask me.
  • They have recently added a private dining area beside their restaurant called Table 40.  It can seat up to 45 people for a sit-down meal and can accommodate more for a cocktail party.  This room is beautifully designed, from the pictures I have seen on facebook, and has it's own entrance, bar and washrooms.
  • Best of all, there is no fee for renting the space.  We pay for the food and drinks and that's it!  Since they have this extra space and will not have to shut down their restaurant (unlike some of our other options) they won't lose out on their regular business.  
Now that we are planning a winter wedding, here are some pictures that I am finding very inspiring:

I love this colour pallet - blush, neutrals, with some sparkle for the NYE festivities.  Very soft and romantic.  I think it would be easily attainable also.

Here are some ideas on how to add woods-y neutrals.  I think the pine cones are perfect for adding a natural and organic element with texture (and a bit of Christmas). 

I thought a tea-bar for the backyard wedding would have been really nice, but then I stumbled across this hot coco bar which I love even more!  How fun and delicious would this be for after dinner along with a selection of liquors?

There would still be lots of opportunity for DIY touches - I think this looks pretty simple and straight forward from Martha Stewart.

I am still planning on going with a tea-length wedding dress.  I love this look.  The bonus of having an indoor wedding - wearing whatever shoes I like since I won't have to worry about my heels sinking into the grass :)

As of right now, I do not have any solid plans - just a lot of crazy ideas bouncing around in my head.  Once we settle on our date and location I think details should fall into place more easily.  We also need to discuss budget...ewww, don't you hate that word?  We both know that we want to keep costs as minimal as possible, so I will be trying my best to come up with ingenious ways to do so.

Any feedback, suggestions, ideas for a NYE wedding?  I know some people who are against mixing engagements and weddings with birthdays and holidays, but it seems as though we are already on that track...I think it just doubles the excitement and celebration!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Junior - it's what we have named our Christmas tree this year.  Maybe we have a thing for naming items in our home?  We picked her up at the corner of Montreal Rd and St Laurent Blvd in Vanier.  Yea, I just said that....

I think the whole process of selecting the tree and getting her in the car took about 30 seconds.  It was hilarious.  We parked the car, walked into the roped off area with all the trees, tried to negotiate a price for about 5 seconds (we only had $40 cash), looked at 2 trees, chose the second one and left....probably without getting a deal.

It might have  had something to do with the fact that we had a fresh pizza from Louis' in the car.  In our opinion, Louis' has the BEST pizza in the world.  If you haven't been, you have to go.  Our favourite is half Hawaiian and half combination on thin crust.

Anyways, we love her and I couldn't wait to get her in the door and decorate her!  I think Derek could sense my excitement and kindly allowed me to take the lead on decorating our tree this year.  What a guy....or maybe he was just more interested in the pizza....

Over the past couple weeks I have been (secretly) collecting ornaments over my lunch hour...mostly from the Zellers downtown on Sparks St.  Do you know how cheap and pretty their ornaments are?  Not to mention I also discovered that they carry an Alfred Sung line of clothing and I picked up a couple tops for under $15 each!

The colour scheme I was going for this year was silver sparkles with mostly pink and some green ornaments.  We have a lot of purple in our home decor right now, so it fit right in.  

It took us a few minutes to get her set up in the tree stand - I will admit this was somewhat stressful.  Then I poured way too much water in the base and we had a mini flood.  But that was after we had to remove some bottom branches with my brand new Cuisinart scissors.

She is only 5 feet tall, so she fits in the apartment perfectly.  I love the way she turned out and the glow coming from the white lights.  It makes everything so cozy.  

One of my favourite new additions are the matching love birds I placed at the top underneath my disco ball star.  

I was trying to experiment with the settings on my camera to get the best picture.  I actually found some of the best pictures came from my phone.

Putting up the Christmas tree is definitely a key activity in getting into the Christmas spirit.  I've been to a few parties so far this December, including Derek's work party at Le Chateau Laurier this past Saturday (amazing), but I'm finding it difficult to get in the mood without snow.  I am really hoping for a white Christmas and some cooler temperatures so that the outdoor rinks can freeze...not to mention the canal.  If it's going to be cold and dark outside all winter, I at least want to be able enjoy some winter activities!  You with me?!

I hope everyone is having a really great Christmas season so you guys have your trees and decoration up yet?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Small space...many seats

Has anyone heard of the Make Room by Urban Barn?  It's a really amazing online tool I discovered which allows you to create floor plans for any room you like!  The dimensions of your space are entered into the system, and from there you can do anything....

  • add windows, doors, closets, staircases, etc.
  • choose flooring finishes
  • insert furniture
  • include details such as electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, fire places, vents, etc.

As we anxiously await our move-in date (July 2, 2012) I have been doing a lot of window shopping for furniture.  We probably won't make many purchases until we actually move in and get a feel for the space, but we are also keeping our eyes peeled for sales...boxing day is coming up!  If we see something that we really love and think will work with the style and feel we are going for,  we can always store it at my parents' house (and cross our fingers it fits and works in the condo).  

The style we are both into right now is modern with clean lines and shiny accents, and some antique/rustic pieces to add warmth and texture.  I love colour and try to infuse it with pillows, throws, accents, art, and fresh flowers (when Derek buys them for me...).  I keep the basic pieces and wall colours pretty neutral.

Here is a picture of our condo's floor plan:

And here is the floor plan I've created using the Make Room tool for the Living/Dining Room:

Through the online room planner, I was able to insert symbols which represent furniture that I'm currently interested in.  By going to the stores' websites I am able to input the furniture dimensions to ensure they will fit in my space.  Then I can play around with the layout to see what I like best.  I am continuously changing the placement of furniture and adding/removing pieces. 

Here are a couple pieces of furniture that I'm really excited about....

Allow me to introduce Cedric.  

We love him.  He has clean lines, is the perfect colour grey, with slightly feminine tufted details and is a full 89 inches long - that is almost 7 and a half feet!!!  I used an only converter for that btw....  Derek and I actually first met him in person at Urban Barn in the Market and immediately feel in love.  He's really comfortable and we figure 4 people could definitely sit very comfortably together on this couch.  Plus, it's not a bad bed for overnighters.    

We think he is perfect for our condo because he does not have a bulky back or arms which take up space and will add a lot of seating while still looking chic.  At $999.99 we think he's a pretty good bang for our buck (maybe cheaper if he goes on sale).  And how fun it will be to dress him up with colourful and textured pillows!?!?

PS - I also love that his name is Cedric.

Next up, we have Europa!  The extendible glass table which reaches a full 79.5 inches in length.

If you look at the floor plan I've created, I think she will fit perfectly over top of an area rug, and act as a good divider between the kitchen and living room.  We will be able to hang a light fixture above the dining table which will also help identify the dining space.  

She's long and narrow which will allow for maximum seating, without being bulky and her shiny chrome plated and steel frame will pick up on the shiny hardware we will have in the kitchen.  The glass top won't take up any visual space which will help keep things light and airy - an important aspect, in my opinion, when decorating a small space.  

We haven't seen any dining chairs we are in love with, so I will keep you posted on that.  We definitely want something comfortable and inviting, and definitely versatile since it's right beside the living room furniture and not in a closed off dining space.

Here are some looks I love:

I love that these chairs look beautiful from all angels 
found here

these look very comfortable and the tufting matches Cedric the couch
found here

I like the idea of having larger matching head chairs 
found here

As for what else is going in the living/dining room.  I would love:
  • a hutch or book case for the wall behind the dining table
  • a low bench dividing the dining and living room
  • 2 comfortable sitting chairs to face Cedric
  • a large coffee table

As I mentioned, we would like to add some rustic wood pieces into the mix, and I think the coffee table is the great piece to take that on.  I really like the look of these:

found here  

found here

found here

We haven't decided if we will put the TV on the wall in the living room or squeeze it into the den with a sofa. We think it's a decision we will need to make once we've moved in and can get a feel for the space.  At least we have options - even with only 760 square feet!

Anyone else taking on the challenge of fitting as much seating as possible into a small space, or mixing modern with rustic pieces?

Until next time!