Choosing a Paint Colour for Our Master Bedroom

Dear readers. It’s been a while since I’ve written on the blog consistently, and a lot has been happening in the past year.  I launched my wardrobe styling business (in-person/virtual), traveled abroad, and purchased a house with my boyfriend. Being a homeowner is new for me, as is living with another person. I hope to explore some of these changes on the blog, along with my style posts, with the hopes of learning from you. This is a big step and a big responsibility, and while I have lots to learn, it is also an exciting new adventure.

With bedroom furniture arriving on October 25th, our first task was to select a paint colour for our master bedroom. It’s currently a soft green, which is lovely but won’t work well with our duvet and furniture.

I fell in love with this gorgeous bedding from Simons, a collection created by interior designer Samantha Pynn. It’s sophisticated, neutral, and will allow us to pull in many different secondary colours. The duvet cover is a natural linen and the tassels are black, white, and grey. My boyfriend was convinced we needed to purchase a wooden bed, so after comparing prices, and looking at store after store in our community, we purchased the Quinden bedroom set from Tepperman’s. To be honest, I’m not thrilled it’s a full bedroom set we purchased. I’m not a fan of everything matching, especially in a small room. But you can’t really beat the price, especially as we got a significant discount. As a first-time homeowner, price does matter, and I will do my best, over time, to layer in some more vintage and unique pieces.

 

From the colour decks provided at Benjamin Moore, I narrowed down our room choices to two colours: Violet Mist and Abalone.

According to their website, Violet Mist is described “as fleeting as the mist hanging over a garden in the early morning hours, this sweet shade of violet has the softest grey undertone.”

violetmist

From the photos I could find on other design blogs, this colour is absolutely gorgeous. It is slightly feminine, which suits my personality. I also love how crisp the colour looks against white, but also seems to work with wood tones.

The-Decorologist-lavendar-bedroom

{Walls} Violet Mist by Benjamin Moore {Ceiling} Whisper Violet by Benjamin Moore at The Decorologist

Abalone is described as “a never-fail neutral that is an instant classic, and is as charming in a cottage as it is distinctive in a grand estate.”

abalone

When I placed this colour next to the Samantha Pynn bedding, it looked stunning. It pulled out the subtle brownish-grey undertones in the linen while complementing the overall look.  It also looks great with blues, which is a colour I hope to layer in throughout our entire main floor.

abalonedesktop

{Walls} Abalone by Benjamin Moore at The Creativity Exchange.

After going back and forth, I finally chose Abalone for our bedroom. While I haven’t painted yet (stay tuned for a photo on Instagram), after reading about the colour more, it also seems to have a subtle lavender undertone. I’m excited to give this a try, and it if doesn’t work out, at least it’s just paint. I can choose again, and learn from my mistakes.

Which colour would you have picked? Violet Mist or Abalone? Comment below.

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Express Yourself: Using Clothing to Showcase your Unique Characteristics.

Since the earliest centuries, clothing has been used by people to characterize themselves. Textiles have represented our development as a society, reflecting which materials were available and the technologies mastered in each decade. This is as true today as it was in the past. Clothing even has a social significance suggesting characteristics of an individual’s lifestyle before ever starting a conversation.  For example, some occupations can be identified by their uniforms, celebrations by a guest’s attire, or ambitions by an employee’s chosen garments.

Moral of the story?

Express yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to become?

We are all individuals with unique facial features, body shapes, and lifestyles. We must dress to suit our own personalities. As such, it is important to study the self. Determine what suits you and what does not; find the colors that flatter and emphasize your uniqueness; and, when shopping, pay particular attention to the fit of your garments.

According to Christian Dior, “simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money.” It is possible to be elegant without spending a fortune on clothes if you choose items that suit your personality. The rules of fashion? There are no rules, only guidelines that aim to flatter your singularity.

So take charge lovelies. Wear what complements you. And do not be afraid to mix your mall finds with those pieces that are completely individual.

You have a story to tell. Share it with the world.

Fashion Kickstarted on Kickstarter!

Happy weekend local lovelies! Are you enjoying this bout of good weather? I know I am! And with each passing day we get a bit closer to spring. Yahoo! This change in temperature has got me thinking it’s time to kickstart our spring plans…to look fabulous of course!  Hence the topic of this weeks post is on Kickstarter, a crowd funding site.

Kick Starter is a new way to fund creative projects, housing everything from films and games to music, design and fashion! Are you the type who likes to be a part of something big? To be a trend leader, not follower? Then this is the site for you! While it may not be considered the most conventional way to shop…there will definitely be a delay in you receiving anything from the site, you have the opportunity to support something grassroots and truly unique.

Anyone can put up a project on Kickstarter, should it meet their criteria. Then, if people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. The creator sets a list of gifts they will provide to the pledger (aka a t-shirt for a $25 pledge), related to the project. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing! The creator rather gets the total amount they asked for, or no one gets anything. To date, 44% of projects have reached their funding goals! Very cool!

They even make it easy to see and support projects going on in your own community. Check out this clever pen from Waterloo, Canada that had 14, 253 backers pledge $817,164 to get the project going (hey they only asked for $14,000!) . Search around and have some fun! You will be amazed at what people are coming up with.

pen

In terms of fashion, there are plenty of upcoming brands looking for your support, in exchange for something brilliant. While, options to fund are limited in Canada at the moment (see options here)  worldwide there are plenty of projects worth pledging.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Clays Really Simple Sandals

clays sandals

Kinda Fancy Bikinis – An SF Surf Company

kindafancybikini

The Bang Wrangler – Headbands that stay put in the Water

bangwrangler

The Amsterdam – Vintage Style Handlebar Bag

amsterdam

Rhea Footwear – with Extreme Anti-Slip Technology

rheaboots

You can finally feel like you’re on something  like the “Dragons Den” or “Sharktank,” with way less of an investment! Happy exploring!

A Stylish Start-Up

Kitchener-Waterloo is one of Canada’s top start-up communities. Boasting 2 universities and a college, there is no shortage of tech talent living here. While most tech start-ups are over my head (they are all impressive though!), Tulip Retail is one I can appreciate and understand. Tulip Retail promises to change shopping…..for the better!

The tech start-up, located in downtown Kitchener’s The Tannery Building is working with major retailers to provide shoppers with a seamless retail experience across all available shopping channels including in-store, online, via the telephone, etc.  Now that I can get behind!

tulipretail

So what types of “problems” is Tulip Retail looking to solve?

  1. Getting you the merchandise you want. We’ve all been in this situation. You fall in love with a pair of shoes, but the store only has them in a size 7. You think you need a size 8, so you talk to the check-out clerk and they say a store 30 minutes away has them. You now have 2 options: A) go pick up the pair yourself from the store or B) have it shipped to the current store you’re in for a later pick-up. Which do you choose? Shoppers can’t always tell, from a website, what inventory a store has. They may have the correct size of an item but not the right colour. Tulip Retail asks, why can’t they just ship the item you want to your house?
  2. Speeding up the Check-out Line:  As many can relate, just coming out of the holiday season, check-out lines can be long and brutal. Is there a way to speed up the process? Tulip Retail says yes. Why couldn’t the clerk who helped you a few minutes ago be equipped with an ipad and process the sale right there on the spot?

This is the future of retail. The combination of online and mobile shopping technology with an in-store shopping experience.

Tulip Retail was founded by Ali Asaria, who also founded Well.ca, Canada’s largest online health, baby and beauty store, in Guelph, ON. Obviously, Asaria has a passion for retail….and technology. His goal is to simplify the shopping experience whether it be ordering from the web and picking items up in store or ordering inside the store and having items shipped home. He must be onto something as Asaria recently raised 2.4 million in seed funding from a variety of prominent investors, including the founder of wordpress.com. Impressive!

ShoppingAt present, Tulip Retail is doing its research, going onto retail shop floors and watching the interactions between customers and customer service representatives. Tulip then looks to develop software that will integrate with what the retailer already has, but will help improve the customer experience. While the software is just in the development stage, I’m looking forward to seeing it in action… connecting physical stores and websites. Everything is in one spot, not disconnected (hey, where are those American eagle jeans I ordered on sale…there has to be a pair in store somewhere!).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to shop and the current retail environment isn’t awful. But, there definitely could be some improvements. Let’s hope Tulip Retail is able to help solve some of these issues, so we can get back to what we love…getting deals and looking/feeling fabulous.

All the best.

Image courtesy of ZippyCart.

Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Style Maven Should Know

vintagesunniesI recently stumbled upon a website full of fantastic tips and tricks for the stylish woman! While their article featured 101 hints every girl should know, I’ve listed here what I feel are the top take-homes for the everyday lady (they are also the most helpful!).

Give these a try and may you always look fabulous:

  1. Despite what it says on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand. To dry it, use a salad spinner, which releases excess water in seconds.
  2. Wash new jeans twice before taking them to the tailor. Why? Because jeans will always shrink in length when washed.
  3. The secret to well-fitting everyday clothes is Lycra. The formulas to look for: 95% cotton/5% Lycra spandex for T-shirts, and at least 2% Lycra for jeans to hold their shape.
  4. “Always organize your clothes going light to dark from left to right in your closet. Your eye will follow the color and thus help you stay organized.” — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too.
  5. “If you don’t have time to try on jeans in the store, try the Neck Method: You can determine your size by placing the waistline of the jeans around the diameter of your neck. If the waistline of the pant comfortably meets at back of your neck, then the jeans will fit.”— Sarah Ahmed, Creative Director, DL1961 Premium Denim
    (must give this a try asap!)
  6. Cut down your closet by 25% by asking yourself this one question: “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?” If the answer’s no, out it goes. — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too.
  7. Never put your swimwear in the washing machine, and always hand dry. The machine will damage the suit and it will lose its elasticity. The only exception: At the end of the summer or vacation, wash your swimwear in lingerie washing bags on the gentle cycle with a bit if Drift or Woolite. But only after many wears.” —Shoshanna Gruss, Designer
  8. Dressy occasions aren’t the time to play with trends, so know your silhouette and stick to it to always look your best. Perfect example: Sofia Vergara knows she looks good in mermaid dresses, and always chooses variations of the shape on red carpets.
  9. “Never put a garment on immediately after ironing, as this can actually cause new wrinkles to form. Instead, let it sit for five minutes to set the press.” — Althea Harper, Designer and Rowenta Brand Ambassador
  10. The best way to de-fuzz a sweater: use a pumice stone.
  11. Spray tights with sticky (read: cheap) hairspray to avoid holes and runs.
  12. If you don’t feel like trying on a dress but still want to see where the hem will hit you, align the shoulder seam exactly with your shoulder bone (not your collarbone).
  13. Revamp an old coat by swapping out the buttons and having a tailor replace the lining with something eye-catching, like a pattern or a bright color.
  14. Break in stiff or too-snug shoes by slipping them on with socks and blasting your feet with a hot hairdryer.
  15. To stop squeaky shoes, remove the insole and apply Vaseline or WD-40 before replacing it.
  16. When you’re shopping for a jacket, coat, or blazer, pay attention to the fit around the shoulders. While a tailor can tweak pretty much everything about the fit of a jacket—from tapering the waist to shortening it—they can’t change the shoulders. Make sure the seams sit perfectly at the bony tops of your shoulders.
  17. Everyday bras should be replaced every three to six months, as that’s when they start to lose elasticity and support.
  18. Ideally, a pencil skirt should hit just at the top of your knee. Any lower and it will start to shorten your leg.
  19. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting, stylish winter coat. You can be wearing pajamas underneath and you’ll still look perfectly put together.
  20. Don’t buy items you know you won’t properly care for. For example, if you know you’re never going to hand-wash that delicate cami or beaded sweater, don’t buy it.
  21. To achieve the perfectly effortless cuffed sleeve, keep the top button (which is called the gauntlet) buttoned while you roll.
  22. Freeze jeans inside a plastic bag for two days to zap odor without running them through the washing machine.
  23. Looking for an easy trick to make your bare legs look longer? Try pumps the same color of your skin, which gives give the illusion that your legs extend a few extra inches.
  24. A modern trick to looking like the most effortlessly stylish girl in the room: Pair dressy bottoms (a velvet maxi, a leather or beaded skirt, silk pants) with a worn gray crew-neck sweatshirt or T-shirt.
  25. When it doubt, always choose the smaller denim size, since jeans stretch with wear.
  26. The easiest way to make your closet look organized: Buy all the same hangers for everything–same color, same shape.
  27. If you can’t fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably, it’s probably too tight.
  28. Pile on good accessories—scarves, sunglasses, hats, statement jewelry—to instantly transform even the most basic outfit.
  29. If you’re unsure about an impulse or sale purchase, leave it at the store. If you’re still thinking about it when you wake up the next day, buy it.
  30. There’s nothing cooler than sticking to a signature style you know looks good on you. Slaves to fashion are never chic!

Intrigued? For the full list of 101 visit the StyleCaster’s website.

Do you use any of these tips regularly? Or did you learn something new?

I am most excited to try #5 the jean fitting tip as there are times (aka boxing day) where the prices are right but the changing room lines are just too long (I’m sure you can relate :)), and #6 to clean out my closet for fall.

Image courtesy of crossingilandmono at tumblr.