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Hello September

Hanging Prints

Hello September! So it’s been awhile since I last wrote, the past few months have been a bit of a blur with adventures in home ownership.

While taking a break from the blog, I’ve really just been focusing on nesting and trying to make the new space feel like ours.

I quickly discovered trying to do everything at once was the perfect way to burn out. So after a girls trip to Las Vegas in June, I’ve just been slowly chipping away at small projects so as not to have a DIY-meltdown.

Since then it’s been coming along nicely and at a steady, sensible pace.

Packing up the records with Lemmy Cat
I’ve noticed with this move how much I miss having an Ikea within driving distance. Before we ditched the south and headed to Northern Ontario, everywhere I’d lived (including in the UK and Slovakia) was always a stones throw away from an one; which if you’re on a budget but still after some interesting furniture or decor was always a great way to kit out a new place.

I’m kicking myself a bit now that we didn’t pick up the giant-ass 5×5 Kallax shelving unit before we left Toronto, as we’ve run out of storage space for our records. Easy enough to order online at least, but $125 shipping to the North bites. Ah well, c’est la vie.

The Kitties in their new home
Overall, I love owning our own home. The cats have settled in well and are especially enjoying the finished basement to play in. It’s still a bit overwhelming at times with all the little things that come with owning your own house vs renting, but we’re figuring it out as we go along, and holy hell has YouTube been an invaluable source!

I never thought I’d be doing various house DIY and maintenance stuff, but here I am. It feels pretty badass to accomplish and learn these new things too.

Painting the bedroom accent wall with Mata Hari from Behr Paints
So far we’ve spackled and repaired drywall, laid down flooring in the guest room, painted the master bedroom, my studio, the guest room, the front entrance, the entire basement, and the master bathroom (it sucks trying to paint around a toilet and built in vanity let me tell you). That’s a lot of painting, but what a difference a simple colour change has made in making the house feel more like our own space.

I also found it really relaxing and mediative actually, just throwing on some tunes and painting, of course with the occasional tea break.

Zola-cat helping with painting the houseThere’s still a ton to do (including finally hanging all my prints), but it’ll eventually get done. With the return of cooler weather and a good initial chunk completed with the house, I’ll be blogging again more regularly.

Hoping your Summer has been lovely, and here’s to Pumpkin-Spice-everything-season!

Haus

Decorating Tips For When You’re Renting

Decorating Tips For When You're Renting

I’ve had this blog post brewing for a bit now, and given this is our last week renting (yay!!!) I thought I should post now before the move!

Since leaving home I’ve moved around a lot, living predominately in rented accommodation be it university dorms, apartments or houses.

Though renting can give you the flexibility to not be tied down, or save you some of the headaches associated with home ownership (repairs, taxes etc), it also means you’re limited in what you can do to the property you’re living in.

So if you can’t plant a garden or paint the walls black, here are a few ideas as to how you can make any rented accommodation feel like home. A lot of these suggestions are no brainers, however when you start to thoughtfully pull together all these different elements; you’ll be surprised how easy it is to create a cohesive look for your living space (even if you can’t alter the structure itself) with these decorating tips.

WALL DECOR

If painting is a no go, there are other options for decorating your walls: tapestries, posters, framed art prints or photographs, vinyl wall decals (be careful with this one and do your research first on ease of removal!) and more.

TAPESTRIES

Have a huge ugly ass wall you need to cover up? A tapestry will do the job. Lightweight, available in a range of different sizes, and pretty much in any design or motif you could dream up.

I’m a big fan of tapestries, we’ve used a tapestry (actually the Foggy Forest Creek one shown below) to breakup the varying shades of brown in our bedroom and to create more of an ‘us’ vibe in the space.

Decorating tips - using wall tapestries
1. Mudcloth Textile Tapestry 2. Foggy Forest Creek Tapestry 3. Find Me Among the Stars Tapestry

It was super easy to put up as well. We used very small nails in the corners and a few running across the top, and it’s stayed put without issue and will be easy to remove without damage to the overall paint job in the room.

POSTERS

The cheap and cheerful option beloved of many a college or university dorm room. If you’re concerned with this looking too juvenile, opting for well designed posters will help you avoid looking like you’ve torn apart the pages of Teen Beat magazine (OT: The Teenage Bedroom Tumblr is the best. Must dig up some of my 90’s photos of my room and submit!)

Anyway, I really love re-imagined film posters like these Studio Ghibli ones –

Decorating tips - Studio Ghibli minimalist posters1. Howl’s Moving Castle 2. Spirited Away 3. Princess Mononoke

As for how to put posters up – Blu tack can be a decent option to use, but be mindful – it can sometimes leave a slight stain, which depending on how long ago your walls were painted, can range from easy to pretty involved to remove.

Whatever you do though, above all AVOID TAPE!

It may seem like a super easy way to put up posters or photos but you’ll save yourself a ton of grief if you don’t use it from the get go. No matter how carefully you intend to remove it later on, tape can and will destroy both painted or wallpapered walls.

Losing a damage deposit because of accidentally peeling off paint or ripping wallpaper sucks. Trust me on this one!

FRAMED PRINTS & PHOTOGRAPHS

I upped my game and traded in posters several years ago for framed prints and photographs and haven’t looked back. It instantly makes where you’re living feel more permanent and grown-up. Interesting second hand or vintage frames will also lend a ton of character to any dwelling.

Decorating tips - use framed art prints1. Joan of Arc 2. Warrior 3. One Step

In North America, it’s pretty standard that apartment walls are generally given a fresh coat of paint when a tenant moves out, but you’ll still want to be careful not to create massive holes in the walls when you put your pictures up. There are other options like command stripes, but having never tried them personally I can speak to how well they work.

LIGHTING

Depending where you’re renting you might be able to change the light shade on ceiling lights easily. If not additional floor lamps or room lighting of your own can help alter the ambience, as well as candles (plus they smell amazing if you get scented ones).

FURNITURE

Decorating tips - unique furniture1. Cirrus Pacific Blue Sofa 2. Diamond Pacific Blue Ottoman 3. Lignum Walnut Shelving Unit

If you’re not planning on any huge out of the country moves, investing in interesting pieces of furniture as you go a long can be a great way to define your style in your home. Whether saving for a piece from Restoration Hardware or refurbishing a second hand find, this is an excellent and practical option.

TEXTILES

That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

the rug really tied the room togetherI’m pretty obsessed with the Big Lebowski, so rugs have become an essential piece in our home (great to hide odd laminate flooring or disguise groddy carpets).

Other textiles fantastic to add character and easy to move with: interesting blankets, vibrant duvet covers, unique pillows, weirdy throws and more.

Moon Child Pillows1. Moon Child Pillow Cases 2. Magical Thinking Rag Rug in Navy

These are just a few decorating tips and ideas to get you going. I always found it kind of weird and comforting at the same time with being able to reassemble my home no matter where I went because of the textiles, prints and other items that would come with me – making home where ever I might lay my head.

Haus

Starry Nights & Cozy Homes

starry night

Winter hibernating is currently in full swing, though this year has been considerably milder than past ones in Northern Ontario. Crisp, cold nights and brilliant skies have me trying to get out a bit more for evening winter strolls. That said though, I love the feeling of coming home out of the cold to our warm, cozy wee nest and putting on a cup of tea.

I’ve been obsessing over the incredible quilts from Haptic Lab recently (also their ship kites, so cool!) They sell DIY kits as well and I’m thinking of picking up their DIY Constellation Quilt to try given it’s their easiest quilting project.  A London or Los Angeles city one would be very cool to do, but have to work myself up to those first!

Below are a few starry night inspired items for cozy winter nights at home  ❤︎

starry night haus inspire

Metallic Star Mobile * Haptic Lab Constellation Quilt * Gold Moon Phase Calendar * Cobalt Blue Yarn Bowl * Hand Crafted Victorian Earl Grey * Arabia Valencia Cup and Saucer Sets * Orrery Miniature 

Haus

Halloween Housewares

Halloween Entertaining

It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading that I love Halloween.

I remember vividly being 5 years old and helping my Dad hang paper tissue ghosts from the big tree in our front yard – the idea all his. Trick-or-treating with my little brother dressed as a skeleton, his friend a vampire, and myself a devil. Three little horrors running down the street with plastic pumpkin carriers and pillow cases, while cardboard Unicef boxes hung heavily around our necks gathering weight with every penny and quarter added.

Mom was always a bit spooky, introducing us to the original Addams Family and The Munsters. And if you asked what her favourite movie was now, she’d instantly reply “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

But I think it was Dad’s enthusiasm for the holiday over any other when I was little that really rubbed off. Having emigrated to Canada from the UK, a North American style Halloween was something completely alien to what he had experienced growing up in the North of England.

Halloween has since become more popular across the pond, though Bonfire Night still reigns supreme.

As kids our house was always done up inside and out to celebrate the season. To be honest, it was a bit tacky looking, it was the 80’s and mass produced Halloween decorations weren’t always the greatest, but it was fun and we loved it none the less.

Stumbling over the Halloween Housewares section at Williams Sonoma though is a completely different experience to those articulated cardboard cut outs from back in the day.

Just take a look, those plates and dessert stand alone I’d probably use year round.

Halloween Housewares from Williams Sonoma