Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cool Finds & Industry Trends - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Cool Finds & Industry Trends

This week I wanted to share some clever items that are great for every home, as
well as some trends that I’ve been following this season.


Want to make-over your cushions or curtains, but just can’t find the right fabric? Spoonflower.com can help with their unique custom fabrics. Simply upload a picture, clip art, or your child’s latest colouring project! There is no minimum order, and you can order sample swatches, or order your fabric by the yard (price range $18-$32).


These bendable vases are great for homes with kids, and pets. Use as a pencil holder or key dish, or turn the lid up for a bright, attractive vase! Comes in a variety of vibrant colours. Featured in the March 2009 issue of Canadian House & Home. Menu rubber vessels available at Bergo, Toronto (416) 861-1821.


Symmetry is out! You no longer have to match your cushions to your drapes, and place 1 or 2 pillows symmetrically at each end of your sofa, being sure that they match. All the rules your mother taught you, throw them away! More and more we’re seeing a variety of fabrics and trims on cushions, on the same sofa, working together.
A FEW TIPS: Balance cushions with trims with a few straight edged cushions, and be sure that the colours chosen are complimentary, but feel free to mix flowers with stripes, and checkers with paisleys. Use a variety of sizes and shapes to really spice things up.


That’s right, wallpaper is back, but before you get scared, hear me out. Today’s
wallpapers have great designs, and are easy to hang. A great way to make a
statement in any room, choose from a variety of luxurious wallpapers in a range
of colours and styles. Add texture to your wall without the hassle of faux finish
painting by choosing a paintable wallpaper. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
Where do you find it? Pretty much anywhere they sell paint, you’ll find wallpaper.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's The Bloomin' Truth? - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Many botanists believe that May is the ideal time to plant flowers and herbs, so how do you decide what to plant?

Now that the May long weekend has come and past, most believe that it is now safe to dive into your gardening. The risk of frost is minimal for this time of year, and the urge to be outside can be overwhelming. So, where do you start?

First, you need to decide if you want to plant perennials (plants that return year over year), annuals (plants that do not return each year), or a combination of both. Annuals are great for planters, but that doesn’t mean to you need to avoid these in your gardens. Of course, the more perennials in your garden, the less maintenance required each spring.


Colour—just as you would in your home, choose plants whose colours compliment each other. For example, mix lavender with daffodils, and blue iris’ with marigolds, just to name a couple.

Contrast—be sure to have a variety of sizes and shapes of plants to help fill out your garden. It is always best to have your taller plants towards the back of the garden, and your shorter ones in front. This will make fore a great look aesthetically, and will prevent your larger flowers from blocking the sun from your smaller ones.

Growing Conditions—Determine whether your garden is full sun, full shade, or partial sun (meaning that it only gets a few hours of sun each day). Be sure to choose plants that are ideal for your conditions.

Some great perennials to plant now include African daisy, gladiolus, dahlias, lilies, and lavender. Plant your warm-season annuals in May as well, including begonia, chrysanthemum, geranium, marigold, petunia and verbena.

May is also a great time to plant your fresh herbs. Most herbs are perennials, and are a great addition to any garden. They add attractive greenery to your garden, while also adding fresh flavour to your meals.

Apartment bound without a garden? Consider planting your own urban garden! Use the same techniques discussed, but on a smaller scale, using planters and window boxes.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

Monday, May 11, 2009

Make your own decorative storage boxes! - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Every home décor line seems to have their own version of a decorative storage box. You know the ones. These are those handy boxes that look beautiful on your shelves, and hide all of your clutter!! These boxes can be pricey, and you have a limited selection of designs. So, why not make these yourself? This is a great rainy day project!

Shoe Box
Wrapping Paper

The best shoe boxes are the ones that have a slightly loose fitting lid. Remember, once you cover both the lid and base in a layer of wrapping paper, the lid will fit tighter. Also be sure to choose a good quality wrapping paper. Keep your home décor in mind when choosing the paper design.

To start, center the box on the wrapping paper and trace. Next, measure each side of the box, add approximately 1 inch to each measurement, and draw your outline around the traced box, similar to Diagram A, and cut. Repeat the same steps for the lid, only adding about a 1/2 inch to each side. Next, cut and fold the paper according to Diagram A, wrap paper over each side of the box, and secure with tape. Be sure to use a strong scotch tape, or even packing tape. Tape ALL edges. Repeat for the lid.

These multi-purpose decorative boxes can now be used anywhere in the house. Label the boxes by printing a description, or a picture, of the contents on photo paper, cut to size, and use photograph corners to secure to box. TIP: Photo paper and corners are both sold at most dollar stores!

Your original boxes will stand out, and your clutter won’t. All for the price of a roll of wrapping paper (and maybe the shoes that originally came in the box).

Written by Shauna Lynn Simon, Beyond The Stage Homes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Around The House - BTSH Tip Of The Week

Give that drab, out-dated chair a fresh new contemporary style!

Have you fallen victim to second hand, hand-me-down, or simply old and outdated chairs? Perhaps you have stumbled across a great find at a yard sale or flea market, but the upholstery leaves something to be desired. If your chair has good bones, but needs a bit of an update, simply recover the chair. Don’t be scared, it’s actually quite easy!


Screwdriver (if removing seat)

Measuring Tape



Staple Gun

I always recommend removing the seat, if possible. This allows for more accurate measuring and placement, and is much less awkward. Use your measuring tape to measure end to end both horizontally, and vertically, making sure to include the depth of the chair seat as well. You will then want to add 2 inches to each measurement and calculate how much material is needed from there.

Next, visit your local fabric store to choose your fabric. If you’re unsure of how the fabric will go with the rest of your decor, you can ask the sales associate to cut you a sample swatch to take home. There is usually no charge for these. Be sure to choose a fabric that is durable and will stand up to the wear.

Once you have selected, measured, and purchased your fabric, cut all the pieces that you will need. You can do this based on your measurements, or by using a pencil to trace the existing cover/seat. Be sure to add a couple of inches to each side before you cut!

Next, place the fabric on a flat surface wrong-side up (I prefer to do this on the floor as it’s the most solid surface you’ll find). Position the seat upside down on your pre-cut fabric, being sure to center it, and staple a straight line, starting from the middle and working your way out. Next, stretch the fabric to the opposite side, and staple in the same manner, being careful to smooth the fabric as you go. For corners, fold in the corner of the fabric and staple, then fold in each side over top to form a pleat, and staple each side. For round chair covers you will need to fold over a little fabric for each staple, pleating it as you go.

Take a hammer to any staples that may not have secured fully. Trim any excess fabric to give a smooth finish.

Return seat cover to the chair, and re-screw. Tip: If the screws have worn out the drilled holes in the chair, stick a couple of toothpicks in the holes and re-screw. This will give them something to catch to.

NOTE: Solid colours are easiest to work with. If using a patterned fabric, you must be sure to keep it straight, and align the edge of the chair with the pattern. If you can’t see through the fabric easily, draw a straight line of the pattern on the back to line up with the edge of the seat.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Enjoy your newly updated chairs!

Written by Shauna Lynn Simon, Beyond The Stage Homes