How to Make a Wedding Pennant Banner (No Sewing Required!)

Hi there!

Thanks for all the lovely comments on last week’s engagement photo post. I really appreciate it! Following along with the wedding trend, I wanted to share my latest DIY: our wedding pennant banner!

Originally, I was thinking I would sew a pennant banner for our treat table, kind of like this inspiration shot:

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But then I decided to sew table runners (stay tuned!), make signs, cake stands… and I thought about how difficult it would be to find coordinated and beautiful fabric… and realized sewing pennant banners was not for me.

Instead, saving myself a ton of time, money and effort, I went with paper. Tons more appealing options and much simpler!

Sweet treats wedding pennant banner

I spent ages pouring over different papers in Michael’s to find ones in our colour scheme that worked together, but nothing really flowed the way I wanted to. In the end, I decided to go for a pre-made pack.

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If you’re able to find a pack in your colour scheme, go for it! It’s much easier to coordinate pages that were already designed to work well together. My colours are pale pink, grey and minty soft green.

This particular set is smaller than regular cardstock at 6″ long, so all I needed to do was trim off the sides to make triangles using my scrapbook slicer (but really, scissors would work just as well, they’re just more time consuming.)

Make a pennant banner

From there, I free handed letters to make my sign. If you feel less than comfortable with writing your own, it would be easy to print off your computer at home too. I lined them up using a pencil,

Use a pencil to line up your letters

hole punched my triangles and strung them together.

Hole punch and hang your banner with string

The whole project was finished in an evening, and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Sweet treats

 

TreatsSweetWedding pennant banner

Sweet treats wedding pennant banner

For only a few hours and a $7 pack of cardstock, it was a win-win! I’ll be hanging it off our little homemade treat table at the reception :).

Have you taken any DIY shortcuts lately?

Our (Deliriously) Happy Engagement Photos

So I know the premise of my blog is specifically home and DIY based, but sometimes I can’t help but share some personal posts too. After seeing my engagement photos, I knew this would be one of those times!

Dancing engagement shoot

I wanted engagement photos, but a part of me worried that they would feel fake, or forced, or were just plain vain. I mean really, you are asking a professional photographer to come and take photos of yourself, and you’re paying good money for it! A tad bit self-involved, I have to say. Regardless, I tried it anyway.

I was nervous going into it. I literally went to two different hairstylists, rushing before our appointment because I wanted my hair to look photograph-worthy! (That’s the thing that makes me vain, isn’t it? Worse than the photos, isn’t it? Oops.) To be fair, I stupidly decided to go to a hair styling school to save money, only to spend an hour and a half on hair I could have styled better myself. Ugh. Live and learn.

As much as I rushed around the day of, it was honestly one of the most fun dates ever.

Sunset engagement photos

I remember when taking a beginner psych class in university they told us just how powerful locking eyes with someone else can be. They experimented with total strangers, asking them to do nothing but look at one another for 3 minutes without any interruption or chatter. Every time, they had positive feelings for the other person, regardless of knowing nothing about them.

Golden hours

Now imagine you’re doing that all evening with the love of your life, celebrating your upcoming marriage together. Let me tell you, it is crazy romantic.

Love

And thankfully, despite my apprehensions, on top of how great the day was, I’m thrilled with how they turned out!

We chose spots that were meaningful for us, like the park Shaun proposed in or the walkway close to our house, along the water where we take our puppy for walks. It was special, and helped put us at ease.

Pretty park engagement shoot

 

I wanted to choose someone with a style I loved, with beautiful brilliant colours, and whom I clicked with. I was so happy to find Brandie! If you’re looking for a photographer in Vancouver BC, I highly recommend her. (No, I she’s not endorsing me. I just like to share great finds when I stumble upon them.)

Engagement shoot with gorgeous colours!

I especially love the colours. Golden hour is popular for a reason and I plan on stealing away from our wedding for a few too.

Engagement shoot with sunset city background

(The colours in our second outfit somehow ended up matching the background perfectly. Not planned, at least on our part!)

Gorgeous colours

 

I was really set on a spring wedding, but school plans got in the way. I settled for a spring engagement shoot, complete with cherry blossom trees in the background.

 

Cherry blossom tree

For fun, we had Bali in a few too.

Berner love engagement shoot Puppy love

 

Had to get a few with the ring…

 

Lauren and Shaun

I tell you, so. much. fun. I felt so in love and smiling like a goof in most of my choices!

Lauren and Shaun engagement shoot

 

I recommend browsing Pinterest before going. I realized I prefer photos that are more candid and in motion than posed options, and those photos are my favourites by far.

 

Love this engagement pose!

 

I would also say that two outfits are totally worth it. I like the dress, but I’m surprised at home much I might even prefer the more casual regular look. You might feel silly changing, but I’m thankful I had both options.

Fun engagement shoot

Beautiful sunset engagement shot

(I had NO IDEA these were going to turn out so cool! Sunsets I tell you. And photographers who are clearly much more knowledgeable than my amateur experience.)

Vancouver harbour engagement photo

 

Engagement photo Gorgeous colours!

Every time I see them, they make me happy. Now I don’t look at it as vain, but that we were lucky to be able to capture such a happy time on camera.

To see Brandie’s post, or to check out her other work, check out her blog!

 

 

 

A Happy Hello in our Entry

Hi there readers! After a great weekend of staining, drilling, oiling and reorganizing, our made-over dresser is ready to share. This was one of those awesome times where my wonderful fiancé Shaun helped me pull it all together. I am getting pretty into those stay-home-and-DIY-together-dates, let me tell you (though I’m not sure he’d say the same…)

When we left off on Wednesday, I showed you the inspiration image for where I wanted to take our entry space.

Entry inspiration with pulls

Armed with my colour scheme vision, I got to work and dragged my dresser outside for a makeover. (Sorry about the exposure. I was bound and determined to get it stained and I wasn’t about to wait for the sun to cooperate with my photo opp.)

Dresser makeover before

This dresser was cheap to begin with, the extent to which I only discovered when I actually took to staining it. The drawer fronts and top are real wood, but the rest is the cheapest possible option: wood panel sides, particle board drawers, no sliders… Even the bottom curved piece in the front is, what I just discovered, plywood! Sheesh.

It has had its far share of hard times too, and it showed. Stained, damaged…

Entry Dresser makeover before

Or just straight up chewed by one bored little big puppy.

Puppy problems

To get rid of the damage, I sanded it down with some light grit sandpaper.

Sand prior to staining

Here it is with its first coat of the Varathene Espresso Stain I got from Home Depot.

First coat

I gave it another two coats (three total) with a rag and a Q-tip to get into the crevices.

I was recommended protecting it with a clear varnish, but let’s be honest, I was cheap and lazy and opted out of it. It was a cheap piece to begin with, so I wasn’t terribly particular. That being said, it needed something because once it dried it still looked rather dull and dry. I LOVED my Feed-N-Wax on other wood pieces in the past so I decided to give it a go. Worth it!

Why you should wax your wood furniture Why you need to wax your furniture

After oiling it up, Shaun took over to swap the hardware from those ugly wood knobs to crisp, modern, silver half-moon pulls. I admittedly could have handled this section too, but he’s just so much better suited to lining them up properly before drilling. (We really do have perfectly lined up and level shelves and hung prints).

Drilling for new hardware

Clearly was a good choice.

DIY an upcycled dresser

Just LOOK at how much better the top of the dresser looks compared to how it did before.

Entry Dresser makeover before

How much better is that?!

Polished dresser

Enough of the finish, let’s look at the big picture!

Furniture makeover a brand new dresser

I wasn’t so sure about the chevron wall, but clearly, such a bold choice (bold for me anyway) needed some dark pieces to ground it. I just find it handsome, somehow. All the turquoise and feminine prints needed more masculine touches, like the dresser and my ikea rug.

Ikea Soften Rug

Because I’m sure lots of you like before and afters as much as me, here’s how our space was looking just after we painted the accent wall…

Entry as a blank slate

To the inspiration image...

Entry inspiration

To now. How close did that stain come out to the dresser I was admiring?

Furniture makeover entry dresser

I’m thrilled with the results. It was worth waiting to really decide what I needed to do with it. I still of course need to find a real mirror for the space (this one is stolen from the kitchen) but it will have a very similar vibe.

And just for fuuun (And Russell Peters fans? Only a Canadian thing?), here’s a true before and after. I made the changes, but even I’m struck by how different it looks, and much changes you can make in a rental space!

Our cozy aparment entry makeover

I’m so much happier every time I look at our entry way! (Which is a lot, considering how small our place is.) It gives the first impression and I am so much more proud of my home with this cheap but effective update!

(I literally spent 8 bucks on the stain. That’s it, I even had the pulls stashed away from last summer for a project like this!)

)I’m looking forward to hosting my friends for lunch this Saturday with my inviting little entry way.

Cute apartment entry

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy the summer day :)

Use PicMonkey to Re-Imagine Your Space

Mini-bonus post today!

The moment we scored this little dresser full of storage, I knew it needed an update. Super practical, but hardly pretty.

Fast forward a few months, and I added a blue chevron wall. Why chevron? Nothing to do with our home. I just found a photo I liked on Pinterest and wanted to recreate it. Why blue? Honestly, I just had some left over paint from our hutch and thought I’d try it.

It is very unlike me to just wing it like that, especially on a project that was so much work. In retrospect, I would prefer a much much lighter blue, or even a neutral grey. That is BLUE. Note to self (and to you!): Base paint choices around pieces you already plan to use on the space. It’s much easier to find a paint colour that works with your furniture and fabric than it is to find furniture that works with your paint colour!

Thankfully though, it did felt like an improvement. As to where to go from here… I was COMPLETELY lost. (And in my Home Tour, the above photo remains.)

So I sat with it for a while. Then, I tried adding a new mirror (I stole this one from our kitchen) and a rug, but it still felt… off.

I liked the rug (in real life it’s more grey than the dark charcoal/black you see here), but as much as I like gold in other homes, this mirror just seemed to bring out the yellow in the pine and even clashed with the blue.

I figured if I stained it, the mirror would work. I tried a number of different options (the inside of the door fronts have more than few tints to them!) but nothing stuck.

But then…

I had a marvellous idea!

I’ve often seen other bloggers use Photoshop to “preview” how a certain colour would look in their space, or a piece of furniture. I never thought I’d be able to, seeing as I don’t own the program, but I realized I could easily make something happen with PicMonkey!

To decide which stain to use, I made a Mood Board Style Preview of the change. (It’s simple but effective!) Here’s how.

1. Choose an existing photo of your space and open it in the Edit a photo tab. I needed to get out my rut. To start fresh, I opted for a photo without any of the above accessories. Stripped down to the basics.

Entry as a blank slate

 

2. Find inspiration online. I went to one of my fav inspiration stores, Crate and Barrel, and found a few similar shaped dressers in various shades. Here are a couple I liked.

dresser possibilities 1 dresser possibilities 3

 

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3. Crop them to leave as little white as possible. You can open a new window and use PicMonkey again for this step, or you can just use your basic editing software that’s available on your computer. Or, if you have a Mac and are Pages-savvy, get rid of the white altogether. Save it as a separate file.

4. Add them to your picture. Using the Overlay tool on the left hand tool bar (it’s the butterfly image) click “Your Own” and upload the saved file from step 3. Scale it to size.

Here’s what I ended up choosing;

Entry inspiration

I used the back side of this dresser, a photo of my rug from Ikea’s website, and used a previous photo of the black mirror as a possible accessory. Perfect! Apparently, I needed a cool undertone to my stain. I would never have chosen that without seeing this first!

I also added some pulls for fun to see how they would work with the colour scheme I pulled together.

Entry inspiration with pulls

Is it realistic? Not at all. In fact, it looks a more than a little strange. Doesn’t matter! I found it so so helpful to imagine where to go next. I’m working on staining as we speak so make sure to check back this weekend for the full before and after!

Would you ever use this little trick for your space? How do you make decisions before pulling the trigger?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing Out Our Dining Nook

Hi all! To all my Canadian readers, I hope you’re enjoying a possible long weekend with Canada Day just around the corner!

I wanted to stop in today with to share our latest update in the kitchen. When I last shared our kitchen, it looked like this:

I was loving the accent wall, the shelves, the extra storage and the mirror, but it didn’t quite feel complete. I had decided to centre the mirror so that it would reflect the greenery outside. I find this especially helpful since ours is a plain basic apartment with windows only on the far wall, meaning this little nook is only lit by artificial light, regardless of the time of day. I needed all the natural light and bits of the outdoors I could get!

The only issue with this is that it felt a tad off balance. When I scored a narrow white bookcase as a hand-me-down, I was thrilled. Perfect fit!

Cute apartment dining area

It adds some much needed storage (it especially takes the visual weight off our heavy robin’s egg blue hutch) and balance to the dining area. It was easy to style (much simpler than last week’s floating shelves) since these were narrow shelves, very similar to an Ikea expedit.

As much as I always preferred storing books behind closed doors, I’m glad Shaun pushed to have some on display. They add a nice bit of personality, and they really reflect us (like my Le Robert dictionary and his Watership Down).

Colour blocked books

 

 

I adore this little owl. Impulse purchase from West Elm and it was totally worth it. I think he belongs alongside the books.

Library owl

To make use of the top, I also added some simple white boxes (these ones were from Ikea I believe) to store our DVD’s. Unlike books, DVD’s can never be attractive, in my opinion.

I organized them by genre and added a quick chalkboard label (from Staples Martha Stewart line) to remember which ones are which. So much cleaner than having a pile of DVD’s on top of the bookcase!

Concealed DVD storage Clean and cute DVD storage Dining room bookshelf

I also added a removable hook to the side to hang up our aprons. (As a bonus, it also helps to conceal our mini battery powered vacuum! I love having it in the kitchen: easy access for quick day to day clean up.)

Sorry about the blurry “before”:

 

Hide your battery powered mini vacuum in the kitchen for quick clean upRemovable hook

Hidden vacuum

I haven’t quite decided how to fill the bottom cupboard, as it doesn’t have any shelves. It could be a good spot for dog food, but that would require an a new tall and narrow container…  Maybe a mini pantry type storage? Or maybe it will just fit Shaun’s umpire equipment in it (because clearly, everyone needs umpire equipment..?) For now, I’m just happy knowing I have a bonus bit of unused storage space!

Personalized apartment dining room

Let’s take a look back to where it was when we started, shall we?

Kitchen before

And a few months after we moved in…

And now!

Cute apartment dining area

Sometimes I forget just how different our space looked like back in April 2013. And these things are all projects you can easily remove and some even can be taken when you move, especially if your landlord is ok with having you paint.

Renter dining room

Happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Survivor: Styling Floating Shelves

I love love love the look of floating shelves. They can add so much style and personality to a space. However, pulling off a look that is “you” without looking messy or too overdone is much easier said than done, at least for me!

Ever since I bought our credenza (over a year ago, yikes!) I wanted to add some sort of interest around it, because, all you saw before was TV TV TV.

I got some shelves a number of months ago, but it’s taken me a while to collect and tweak until I found something I liked! Continue reading to see what I learned along the way.

A Beginner's Guide to Styling Shelves

First up, I got two basic black Ikea Lack shelves and mounted them on the wall. (For their instructions, check out this link).

Ikea floating shelves

To start with, I already knew a few guidelines to keep in mind.

3 simple steps to stylish shelves

1. Stick to a colour scheme. As much as some people can pull of that eclectic colourful vibe, that is certainly not me! To keep your shelves looking tidy, especially for beginners, I stand by a colour scheme. I realize this may make me look a tad obsessive, but hey, gotta do what makes you happy!

Mine actually came up by chance: white, black, green with a bit of blue thrown in. I do have other books, but they’ve since found a new home in the kitchen (stay posted!). As soon as I added my plants, I realized our photobook back along with my green vase was perfect, so I went with it.

Which leads me to number two.

2. Add different textures. Stylists say this all the same but it makes such a difference! And once I realized plants are considered another texture? I’ll never go back!

In this vignette I have the glass candle holders and lantern, the silver frame, the smooth ceramics, the plants and the more matte textures of the books and chalkboard pot.

3. Vary heights and sizes. This is KEY for shelves. I have round shapes in the tea light holders and vases, sharp square shapes in the frames and lantern and everything varies in height to keep the eye moving.

My last tip for beginners:

4. Give it time. I had these shelves for a while before I found something that worked and that I liked. I know some bloggers manage to style shelves in an afternoon (Sherry, much?) but between my lack of experience and lack of accessories on hand (read: lack of funds), this took me a while. Be open to tweaks!

Even yesterday, it took me a few tries before I settled on something I liked.

Styled shelves 1st try

2nd try

By changing just the frames (and later, moving the bottom plant to the left of the books), the whole thing felt more balanced and purposeful.

As a little side project, I decided to paint a terracotta pot. I love the look of ceramic pots, but I really need to be saving as much as I can. This pot came in at an easy $1.50!

Chalkboard painted pot tolls

I had some leftover chalkboard paint from another project so I gave it one quick coat outside yesterday afternoon.

One coat is all you need

Super quick and easy, and I was able to add a cheeky little message in chalk. (Because let me tell you, if ever you want a plant that thrives on neglect in an apartment with little light, this is the one!!)

I'm a survivor plant pot

Here’s the wall before:

Living room before

And after in progress:

Styled floating shelves

Styled bookshelves

I’ll be sure to show the full length of the wall soon… Promise! For now, I have to share just how happy I am with how my little shelves look at night with my candles lit.

Candlelit shelves

Love is a many splendid thing    How to style a floating shelf

I'm a survivor plant pot

 

Well worth the wait! What tips can you use to tweak your shelves at home, right now?

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m glad to have had some time off from blogging because I am feeling oh so inspired to share my latest projects!

Break Time.

Hi all!

First off, thanks so much for stopping by. It means so much to me to have you here! I wanted to let you know that I’m feeling the need for a little break from blogging.

This definitely isn’t the end of L’amour chez nous, but I’m not nearly as inspired and motivated to complete projects as I usually am. I feel I’m pushing out content just because it’s “due”. As a result, my projects hardly lead to the joy I usually get out of blogging, nor are they something I’m truly proud of.

I’m feeling the need to take some time off. I’m sure it won’t be long as it won’t be long until I’m itching to change something around our home…

I’ll recharge and be back soon!

Lauren

Make a No-Sew Envelope Pillow (in less than an hour!)

These days, I’m feeling increasingly less and less motivated to DIY around our home. I think the desire to put that much work into your home comes and goes, at least for me. It’s especially hard to focus on it when I have a) hardly any budget left for it between saving for school and our wedding and b) wedding DIY’s to tackle!

But for those of you looking for a quick and easy project, check out my simple (read: lazy) way of recovering our pillow… No sewing needed! Honestly, if you can wrap a gift, you can make this pillow.

How, you might ask? The amazing discovery that is no-sew tape.

As a little word of advice, I highly highly recommend buying good quality tape. I use the above product for both my jewelry box recover and my no-sew placemats and loved it. I have since used my placemats on a very frequent basis, washing machine included, and it’s still holding strong!

The same cannot be said from my cheapo purchase from Superstore. I could feel that it wasn’t nearly as strong, and a little while later my pillow started coming undone.

Why you shouldn't use cheap no sew fabric tape

Moral of the story: forget the grocery store, just go to Michael’s!

Moving on. I started out with this pillow.

Living room nook before

It was fine, but I’ve had it for years, it was a hand-me-down from my mum, it was starting to yellow, and overall, it was a lot of white on white on beige going on. I had some extra fabric leftover from my bedroom chair recover, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The Steps: 

1. Remove the previous cover (obviously).

This pillow is looking a little worse for wear, but it’ll do!

Remove the old pillow cover

2. Prep your fabric.

Trim any frayed edges

I trimmed off any frayed edges so I wouldn’t have too much loose thread later on, and gave it a quick press (directly onto the carpet, because I’m lazy like that.)

Iron out your new fabric

2. Once your fabric is pressed, hem two sides of your fabric.

These will be the sides that “meet” when your envelope is done. I only hemmed one side in the past, but every once and a while an unfinished edge peeks through, which bothers me every time!

Just unroll your tape, and roll it onto the edges of your fabric. No sew tape acts like fabric glue, except with a double sided tape format. 

Patterns are make straight lines much easier. When hemming, just follow the pattern to keep your hem lines straight.

Tip: It’s much easier to hem something with patterned fabric like I chose here. You just need to follow the pattern to keep a straight line!

From there, I simply peeled off the white backing and folded it onto itself. Here are my newly “hemmed” edges.

Hem your edges before making your envelope pillow

Even though this tape doesn’t need heat to adhere properly, I iron them out to make the edges look crisp. Completely optional.

3. Decide where you want to attach your fabric to make the pillow.

To do so, (and this is the best part about no sew: you hardly need to think “inside out” to pull it off!) with your fabric inside out, wrap your hemmed sides towards the center, one over the other.

To know where to hem, turn your fabric inside out and fold one side over the other

Keep hold of where the fabric touches the pillow, remove the pillow and flip your fabric inside out.

Holding on to where the fabric meets, fold it right side out

Now you can see how it’s starting to look like a pillow cover! This will be where you tape your fabric together.

4. Tape or “sew” the first side together.

Where to hem your envelope pillow

Before I attached them, I pressed them just like I did my hemline. And just like your hem, tack the tape onto your fabric to hold the two pieces together.

Tape any extra loose sections to keep your work secure

Since you don’t need to worry about stitches showing through on the other side, I was pretty liberal with my tape use. I added some to the extra bit of fabric to keep it extra secure.

5. Finish the other side.

From here, you’ll probably have quite a bit of extra fabric. Trim off any access.

Once your first side is sewn, trim off excess fabric on the other side

From here, I put my pillow insert inside to gauge where I would need to tape on the other side. I held on to that same spot and took out my pillow. Where you would like your pillow cover to end, fold the fabric and fold inThen, I folded the fabric in onto itself to where my hand had held on, careful to match the other side. Once my fabric was folded in, I taped it together. Easy!

Use no sew fabric tape for a super easy pillow cover

6. Admire your work (ie: your wrapping job.)

Finished no sew envelope pillow

Is it a wildly fancy work of art? No. Does it do the trick? Absolutely! If you want a quick and easy update for only the cost of your fabric and some tape (I think mine was about 5 bucks), this is your project!

Living room nook before Living room reading nook

Granted, the before and after doesn’t boast any huge changes, since both pillows were blac and white, but I for one am very happy with the results. I love the modern look of the pattern beside my mid-century modern credenza.

How to make a no sew pillow

Have you ever tried no-sew tape? What projects did you use yours for? If not, I highly recommend it! So much easier than fussing with a sewing machine :)

 

 

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Happy Easter! I hope you got a bit of time off to spend with your family. I had the chance to give my last bridesmaid invite yesterday, which means it’s just in time to share it with you!

Even before I got engaged, I thought about how I would want to ask my friends to stand beside me on my wedding day. I’m all about enjoying the process, and not just the day, so why not do something special for the girls who are closest to me?

I originally thought about leaving flowers and a card on each of their doorsteps like Jenny Stephans Hobick did for her friends one May Day, but as the majority of them live in apartments (or across the ocean!) and one of my bridesmaids doesn’t even like flowers (I don’t understand it, but to each their own :), so instead I settled on simple pictures, cards and cookies.

Bridesmaid invitation

First, I searched for cards. I thought about writing them myself, but I wanted them to look special… I ended up splurging for these lovely cards from MarryGrams Etsy Shop.

I can't say I do without you card

She has a lovely pearly sheen to her cards and the envelopes and are great quality. I would absolutely recommend her stationary!

If nothing else, buy a card to share all the things you love about them and why you really couldn’t do it without them. My MOH (maid of honour, if you’re new to the wedding blog thing) almost teared up!

Next, I made these brownie cookies (honestly one of the best recipes I’ve ever tried!) and wrapped them in cellophane bags from Michael’s. Tip: Don’t add in any chocolate chips as they tend to smear in the bag.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Tape ribbon to the top of the bag.

Wrapping cookies step 1: tape ribbon to the top of the bag

Tape ribbon to the top of the bag

2. Roll the top of the bag around the ribbon.Wrapping cookies step 2: Roll plastic bag around the ribbon

3. Keep rolling until you reach your cookies and the top of the bag is stiffly wrapped around the ribbon.Keep rolling until you reach your cookies and the top of the bag is stiffly wrapped around the ribbon. 

4. Tie a bow!

Wrapping cookies step 5: Tie your ribbon in a bow!

You’ll find an step-by-step photo that’s easy to pin at the bottom of the post. How cute do they look with my little card?

Bridesmaid invitation cookies

To make them even more personal, I decided to add photos of my girlfriends and I throughout our friendship.

I especially enjoyed doing this for my friend living overseas… There’s just something special about receiving actual mail. This way she’s still involved, even though she’s miles away! Plus, she always has some photos to look at if ever she’s feeling lonely :).

I can't say I do without you!

Will you be my bridesmaid  Be my bridesmaid 

I hope I’ve inspired you to do something fun for your friends when you think about asking them to be a bridesmaid! I know it made it just that much more special for me.

Have a wonderful week!

How to wrap cookies in a clear bag with ribbon

Rental Inspiration: 5 of my Favourite Spaces

Ever find yourself super inspired at the beginning of a project, only to find yourself losing steam a few months down the road?

Let me tell you, I often end up feeling that way. My apartment is no exception. It’s hard to stay in love with your place when you spend far too much time browsing pictures of beautiful homes on Pinterest.

Here’s the issue. My apartment is simple. It’s basic, void of any glamour or architectural charm. That being said, I have seen so many plain old apartments like mine, so I can’t possibly be alone!

For all of you in the same basic box like me, I decided to make a round up of my favourite rented spaces. If you look closely, you’ll see that none of these homes have particularly amazing bones, but these renters have done an amazing job with them!

1. Colourful and Eclectic

This has been one of my all time favourite apartments for quite some time. In fact, this accent inspired my own chevron wall in our entry!

I love her mix of vintage and unique pieces with big box store basics like her expedit shelves in her little office nook. And even though her living room is small, she does a great job making it feel cosy instead of cramped with this small scale white sofa and ottoman.

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2. Mid-Century Modern Mix

I’m a huge fan of adding clean lined mid-century modern pieces and this home is no exception. I would never have thought of putting a dresser in the living room, especially of making it do double duty as a mini bar! Plus, that gallery wall? Fantastic.

What comes off as character in her home I bet wasn’t nearly as nice in her first walk through. She adds just the right amount of modern with those industrial kitchen chairs and crisp striped shower curtain (below) that it comes off looking charming and purposeful.

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3. Feminine Glam

Do you not LOVE that living room? If I was the only one living in our space, I would definitely want to add more shots of pink like she has.

Even though it reads girly, it’s still tasteful. And somehow she manages to pull it off in a tiny little rectangle studio. Talk about smart furniture and layout choices.

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Also, I love love love that little secretary desk, especially the way she placed it on it’s side to create a divide between her “bedroom” and her living area. I might have to pick one up before I go back to school next year…

4. Unique New York

Let’s really talk “blank boxes”, shall we?

This is Joanna Goddard’s living room (if you haven’t read her blog, I strongly urge you to check it out!) before Emily Henderson had her way with it.

Can you BELIEVE that’s the same space? Now we’re not all professional sought after designers, nor is this really my personal style per se, but you can’t ignore how fabulous this transformation is.

Emily didn’t even paint the walls, yet she pulls together a unique and welcoming family space. Just think of what a basic bookshelf like this could do for your walls!

5. Gorgeous Pastel Townhome

If I could have anyone design my home, it would be Sarah Dorsey. She has done AMAZING things with this basic town home, most of which was built by her and her hubby! She blows my mind.

That gorgeous backdrop in her bedroom? Handmade.

So much of the personality she added to the space are her own creations or upcycled pieces. The chairs, the word art, the bookcases… I believe those curtains are even created from her own stencil. You must take a look at her blog!

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And the most surprising part? She makes it look that great, with carpet. I STRUGGLE making do with our carpet. Hardwood is like a good pair of jeans. So much easier to create a look with depth and interest. Carpet is like black pants. It can look nice, but mostly it ends up looking flat, in my opinion. With all her varied elements of texture and colour, you forget she even has carpet in her home!

I hope these little virtual tours have inspired you like they have me in my own home! I may just have enough motivation to tackle our layout issues in the living room…

Have a wonderful week!