Wednesday, July 23, 2014

indigo dreams

visit my Indigo Dreams board (above) on Etsy

Ever since John and I travelled to Japan many years ago I have had an obsession with Indigo.  I picked up several items on my travels that were made using natural indigo including lots of ceramics, paper and linens.

I have been collecting some gorgeous indigo inspired finds over on my Etsy board "Indigo dreams" including beautiful Indian kantha quilts, shibori linens, and even these cool tile decals.

There is something about indigo that is dreamy and soulful yet vibrant and rich at the same time. It has been very much on-trend of late in home design showing up in rich blue-black wall paint, ikat, shibori and ombre dyed linen pillows and fabrics.

In my own home it appears in many rooms including my bedroom which is a mixture of white textiles, vintage walnut furniture, soft grey walls and pops of indigo, brass and white.

I would love to add this little slipper chair from West Elm in the mix.

button slipper chair, West Elm

and maybe this little pillow from Indigo which is on sale for a steal right now...
blue ombre pillow, Indigo

Currently, on my coffee table is this book, Nomad by Sibella Court. I adore her style, photography and of course her books. In Nomad, you see examples of indigo from her travels to Japan, India and more. So inspiring and beautiful.

If you want to know about Indigo, it's history and how it is used, Design Sponge did a post on it here including some links to further reading.

So that's all for now. Just felt like sharing some colour inspiration with you.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

designing a backyard shed

This is what we are up to right now.

Designing and building a shed... or two.

So that we stay within the size restrictions of city by-laws regarding sheds, John came up with this creative solution.

At first I had trouble envisioning two sheds in the backyard. In fact, I think my initial reaction was a face cringe. But then I began to see the potential and picture how the design could actually work well and still be visually appealing.

The space in between the sheds is what I am most excited about. I'm envisioning a little nook, shady with a stone and moss covered pathway. At the back of the nook will be a big, rustic wood bench that can serve as a potting table or a spot to use when we are entertaining outdoors. Behind the table will be the original vintage square lattice that I may paint out dark. Add some hooks and it can be used to store tools or get creative and it can be the backdrop for a little garden vignette.

The design is quite modern to fit in with the new addition at the back of the house. The addition is clad in Hardie board so we will recreate that same look using wood siding painted out in Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron.

I love the idea of stringing twinkling patio lights in between the sheds if the light fixture idea doesn't work out.

What do you think?

You can check out my backyard inspiration board on Pinterest here. The outdoor light option I showed is from Pottery Barn.

Stay tuned for more updates on this project :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

the lawn debate...

We are lucky to have a shady, green urban backyard. It's not huge, but it's cozy and lush with three large oak trees and a towering pine. Because it is a shade garden we stick to hydrangeas, hosta and ferns. I actually love the lushness of a green shady garden.


One problem we have had is with grass. It is very difficult to maintain a lawn in a yard with thirsty trees, lots of shade and urban critters like squirrels and raccoons digging away. 

There has been an ongoing debate in our house about what to do with our "lawn" which is more dirt than grass. John would love to install maintenance free faux grass {insert GASP here}. I would not. You either love the idea or you don't. I'm sorry, I just can't get past the idea of plastic grass. If grass is not meant to grow there then find something that can. So that's what I vowed to do and I did. 

Enter Clover. Your new best friend. It's green. It's soft to walk on. It's pretty. It can withstand traffic and bouts of dryness. It grows fast! I'm so excited. Who knew I'd be so excited by this?

This is our "lawn" with the new clover growing. 

Because it's a seed, we do need to add more to fill in some spaces but it's coming along quite nicely. The great thing is that when a squirrel digs away at it you can just sprinkle more seed and voila! approximately 7 days later you have green.

Clover is much more environmentally friendly than grass because it needs less water. Once it's established you (apparently) don't need to water it as much. I also learned that clover, especially red clover, is great for bee's. With declining bee populations adding a little clover seed to your lawn could help the bee's a little.

So there you go. That's my green thumb advice for your lawn. Wish me (and the clover) luck. I hope it lives up to it's reputation. I'll let you know later this summer how it's doing and whether I'm still winning the debate(wink).

PS. I bought a bag of seeds for $10 at Plant World, my local garden centre. 

Here are a few links with information on establishing clover and other lawn alternatives.

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