December 30, 2009

dh designs ... is on the web!

I am totally psyched!!! 

Today I launched the website for dh designs.  This has been on my "To Do" list for a while and with one thing or another, it got postponed.  Well, during the fairly quiet holiday period I had last week, I put the keyboard and mouse to work and got 'er done! 

Check it out at

Another one crossed off the list - and before year end at that! Now ... what's next ... hmmmm ...

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Just a quick post to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!

May all of your Christmas wishes come true!

December 22, 2009

I Love Christmas Music …

And this is one of my favourites…


December 21, 2009

I'm so over Red and Green...

This year I am not feeling the "Red and Green" for my holiday decorating. 
Our tree is sporting turquoise (Pantone's colour of the year for 2010 - by the way) and apple green. 

Here are some other inspirational photos I found ...





December 19, 2009

All I want for Christmas is ….

…a paint spray gun!!!


Yep – not jewellery, not perfume, not vacations – and just for Kelly at Design Ties – not a hippopotamus  (check her post to see what I mean :) ).

When we were visiting with my sister-in-law in NB this past summer, she was all over the paint gun.  She has some very NICE pieces of furniture that have been re-finished with a paint gun, not to mention all of her interior doors, trim and some cabinets. 


Now, I’ve got several projects on my to do list (including my latest secret furniture project) that could be tackled much faster if I were to use a spray gun rather than a roller of brush.   After the dining room table project, I wasn’t too happy with the finished product.  Although I love the colour and the fact that I’m no longer serving dinner on an eyesore, it would look so much better if it was an even smooth finish.  The more I think about getting a paint spray gun, the more projects are added to the list!


So when Santa asked me “What would you like for Christmas?”, I quickly responded “A paint spray gun”.  Of course, the next question was “Which one?”.  Yikes – WHICH ONE?

A couple of hours Googling Paint Spray Guns and I’ve come up with the top two High Volume Low Pressure guns …

  • Wagner Fine Spray 2400 HVLP
  • Campbell Hausfeld HV1120 HVLP Kit

Both are supposed to be easy to use, under $100 and are well suited for painting decorative finishes, trim, furniture, cabinets and crafts.  Perfect … right up my alley.

I also tried to check out fellow bloggers who use spray guns and was cautioned by John & Sherry at Young House Love to get ALOT of practice before working on a big project as you have to get used to using it and could end up with blotchy or drippy coverage.  Hmmm – guess what I’ll be doing over the holidays ???

Sooo … have any of you used a paint spray gun?  I would love to hear your recommendations?

December 14, 2009

An Award – and some secrets (shhhhh)


Last month my blog was honoured by my friends Kelly & Victoria over at Design Ties with a “Kreativ Blogger” award.  

To receive this award I have to reveal 7 things you didn’t know about me.  Well, if you ask anyone who knows me, I’m a pretty open book, but I’ll try to come up with some goodies.  Here goes:

1 - I am a pack rat.  Yep, I’ve got closets of bags and boxes and a basement full of Rubbermaid bins, boxes and shopping bags full of stuff.   I am learning to de-clutter (as I mentioned in one of my first posts on this blog – Spring Cleaning).  It is a very healthy and cleansing process, but sometimes, just sometimes, I miss my stuff :(.


2 - Hubby and I met when we were 18 while we both lived at the local YM-YWCA.  We have been together since – a total of 33 years – married for 27 of those – and I wouldn’t trade a single day!


3 - I love to drive.  Before we moved to our current house we had a 1 hour commute to work and back.  I did not mind it all – it was my wind-down time – I would think about what happened during the day or listen to music. I love long distance road trips and have often driven a good part of our trips down east or to Florida.  I would love to try driving a racecar – just once!audiR8CT3 racecar

4 - I am a member of a group of 6 women that have been friends for 30 years.  We get together as often as we can, and once a year we take a week to get away together.  In the beginning, we camped for the weekend, then added a day or two over the years and finally graduated to a week at a cottage.  We will celebrate 25 years in 2010 and are looking for a special trip to celebrate this great milestone.


5 - I L-O-V-E Sudoku.  I play every chance I get.  I even have the app on my Blackberry.


6 - Although I have no where near the reported 3000 pairs of shoes that Imelda Marcos owned, I do have my fair share (OK a few people’s fair share) of shoes.  I haven’t counted (I’m afraid to) but most of my closets at home have a couple/ten pair, then there’s the box I have at work, the rubbermaid bins in the basement… 


7 - This probably isn’t news given the amount of time it’s taken me to respond to this award – but I procrastinate.  Not on purpose, it just comes naturally – a gift you could say (or NOT!).  Sometimes it works in my favour, but most times not.



So there you have it … 7 things you didn’t know about me. 

I know that the rules are that I should pass this award on to 7 creative bloggers who will then tell all about their 7 things, but given the busy time of year we are in, I’m going to pass on this.  Instead, I’m just going to list 7 bloggers who inspire me with their creativity – no strings attached.  My gift to you!

November 25, 2009

Painted furniture

I am soooo excited!!!!

Last week I made an awesome acquisition that I’ve been added to my ever expanding “project” list.  No pictures yet, but they are two gorgeous pieces of furniture with wonderful lines and solid construction.

Everyone I’ve told about this new project has asked “How are you going to refinish – stain or paint?”.  That’s a good question isn’t it?  question-mark1a Most pieces of furniture I have in my possession (with the exception of my newly painted pedestal table) are solid wood.  The warmth and beauty of wood brings such a natural element to a home, the simplicity or complexity of the grain, depending on the wood, being a testament to the wonder of nature.

Red%20Elm esf edu (source:
joey horton via desiretoinspire via handh 
(source: Joey Horton design via House and Home)

michael arras custom made wooden furniture via aureliababy com
(source: Michael Arras wood table via

I love the wood I have in my home.  But I also think that too much wood can clutter a space.   A room with wood floors and wood furniture and wood blinds (I am guilty of this myself) competes for your attention and doesn’t come across as cohesive.  I’ve noticed this more lately in my own home with the updated pedestal table which adds texture, contrast and colour to my dining room.  I’ve also noticed this with my current client project (the “Matawatchan Project”) planning the interior of a rebuilt 125 year old log home.  With four walls comprised of log and chinking you have to be very selective in the choice and placement of wood pieces. 

That being said, the new acquisitions will most likely be painted.  I haven’t told you what these are yet have I?  Well, I’m going to keep you in suspense for a little while longer (until I get some pictures), but I’m pretty sure you are going to be able to guess once you have a boo at my inspiration images below….

 FAYENCE-BED-MAIN-500 harvest moon company (source: harvest moon company)
(source: Pottery Barn)
pottery barn 
(source: Pottery Barn)
white alder home


So … have you guessed yet????

November 22, 2009

Giveaways galore....

And here is another blog with giveaways -- ALOT of them!!!  Check out As Good As Cake for an entire month (yes ONE whole month) of giveaways!!!

November 19, 2009

A whopper of a Giveaway...

Check out this awesome giveaway on The DIY Showoff

Very cool prizes!

November 11, 2009

The Three "R"s

This past weekend a friend and I visited a local Habitat ReStore to peruse the stock.

The visit was really just out of curiosity since neither of us had been there, but within 5 minutes she had already found a light fixture that could be transformed to fit in her entrance and I was perusing the stock of interior doors, kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures. All the way home I was pondering the possibilities of reuse for several items I found there - an interior french door that could be re-used as a closet door instead of those yucky hanging sliders - kitchen cabinet doors that could replace my current ones - etc....

While we were at Habitat ReStore we learned a little about the operation that deserves sharing. These people live and breath the Three "R"s. The stores are staffed by a combination of volunteer and paid staff. They sell donated used and new items, ususally focused on home improvement (construction materials, furniture, appliances, accessories) to the general public.

Our local Habitat ReStores make enough money from their sales to cover the overhead costs of running the local Habitat for Humanity operations. In fact, they make more than enough from sales, allowing them to donate to the home builds.  This means that every dollar you and I donate to Habitat for Humanity goes directly to the home build - ALL of it! Talk about a win-win situation! And when you add in the environmental gains by reducing the amount of land-fill by over 600 tonnes annually - we're talking win-win-win!!!

Personally, I find I'm thinking more about the Three "R"s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle lately.  For quite a while I've been applying this in everyday life,
  • using metal cutlery, glass dishes and mugs at work rather than the plastic throw away stuff
  • saying NO to plastic water bottles
  • using fabric bags for groceries (of course I don't remember them until I'm halfway across the parking lot - sigh)
  • reusing plastic grocery bags for garbage and doggie walks
  • doing laundry and running the dishwasher only when I have a full load
  • turning off lights that are not required
  • donating unused clothing and household items to Goodwill
  • etc...
Recently though, I've started another recycling practice - updating previously loved furniture.  Of course this isn't a new practice - people have been doing it for years.  I remember my mother cutting an antique china cabinet in half (gasp), cutting the legs off the matching buffet (cringe) and combining the two to make a buffet/hutch, then painting it (what is she doing???) - with a beautiful re-purposed piece of furniture being the end product.  That was in the 70's - and people are doing more of it today.  Just take a look through blogland - there are sites and link parties dedicated to the refinishing, recycling and repurposing of furniture. 

Perhaps it's my foray into blogland that has lit this new fire within and my recently completed dining room table project  certainly fed the flames.  My very creative sister-in-law has certainly been an inspiration with her many beautiful projects that I wish I had pictures of so I could share with you (ahem - hint hint).

I now find I can't pass by a Salvation Army Thrift Store, Value Village, yard sales and even, yes even garbage day, without keeping the eyes peeled for that perfect piece of furniture that I can work my magic on and re-purpose.  I also spend a good portion of my blog browse time hitting posts with titles that include "DIY", "Thrift" and "Before and After", reading up on how those smart, resourceful and creative fellow bloggers are reusing, reducing and recycling.  Here are a few, that are just the tip of the iceberg...
So, in my quest for new projects, I've picked up this chair at Value Village for $14.99 that I will be painting.

Hubby - trying to outdo me (not that it's a competition), found a similar chair at a yard sale for $3.00 - and hasn't let me forget it since.

That's OK, we'll see who's laughing when I turn his chair into this .... he he he

I'm now scanning Kijiji, craigslist and similar sites for those special items that will become new family treasures!  Make sure you stay tuned for more of my Three "R"s to come!

What are you doing to practice the Three "R"s in your life?

A moment or two of silence.....

In honour of our fallen protectors....

November 6, 2009

The colour ORANGE

With the cooler weather upon us and the occasion of Halloween just past, I thought it would be fun to do a post about the colour ORANGE  Up here in the eastern part of Canada, we have an abundance of ORANGE this time of the year (well we did a week or so ago…). 
Pumpkins, mums and a multitude of colourful leaves (that need raking – sigh…) from trees and plants that are getting ready for their winters rest. 
2999619195_1f2cba9a6d flikr 
Sometimes I wish I could do the same –
image one nice looooong sleep after which you awaken to sunshine, warmth and new growth :)
But I digress … I have been struggling with ORANGE in my own home for some time – remember my post about the colour BLUE and how it was my favourite colour and that my dining room would be painted BLUE regardless of the mood created.  Well, if BLUE is my favourite colour, ORANGE is a close second. 
If you read Kelly’s post on DesignTies this week you’d see that they are opposites on the colour wheel, so not a coincidence apparently.  My struggle is that I love the deeper darker oranges – along the rusty lines – and would love to have this colour in my dining room too – but two distinctly different moods would be created – one a fresh, clean, light mood with the BLUE – and the other a warm, spicy, tropical mood with the rusty ORANGE.
So to help in this decision I decided to do a little research into ORANGE.
Some history on the colour name found on Wikipedia – ORANGE is named after the orange fruit, 
but before the first recorded use of ORANGE as a colour (court of King Henry VIII in 1512) the colour was referred to as “geoluhread” which means yellow-red.
On the colour wheel, ORANGE is between yellow and red and is opposite and complementary to BLUE (yeah BLUE)! 
In North America, the Engineering field uses ORANGE for it’s academic dress.  ORANGE is the national colour of the Netherlands, which dates back to the name of their royal family - Orange-Nassau – who used to own the principality of ORANGE.  The colour continues to be significant in modern day Dutch society, with many national sports teams sporting ORANGE uniforms.  Most geographical uses of ORANGE can be traced back to 17th century Dutch mariners.  Ireland’s use of the word ORANGE is traced back to William of ORANGE the English King, the grandson of William the Silent a Dutch head of state.
ORANGE can be found on the national flags of Ireland, India, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.  ORANGE is the official colour of many political parties throughout the world and has religious connotations for Hindus.  Deluxe International ORANGE is the colour of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge:
The word ORANGE is one of the few words in the English language that doesn’t rhyme with anything – try it ….
Of course ORANGE and black are the colours of our recently celebrated Hallowe’en – mainly because pumpkins are ORANGE and the night is black … mwaah haaa haaa haaa
In decorating, ORANGE denotes energy and warmth, but is slightly less aggressive than red due to the yellow cheerfulness.  ORANGE is a warm colour and can stimulate emotions, activity  and the appetite.  ORANGE also encourages socialization.  Even so, ORANGE is one of the most controversial colours and usually sparks immediate reactions in people who either “love it” or “hate it” – more so than any other colour.
Let’s have look at some rooms that have used ORANGE …
(Well – this is too weird, as I’m writing this I’m watching Jane Lockhart paint a room ORANGE …. eerie huh?)

38-Nono-Living-Room-Design-Lg--gt_full_width_landscape channel4 com
030309_orangeblackviaapartmenttherapy william waldron sohaute
( - Photo via William Waldron for sohaute)
Orange_Dining_Set_from_Pottery_Barn willowdecor
( – Pottery Barn via Willow Decor)
Now this is the “ORANGE” I’m thinking of for my dining room ---
atla-071808-colour apartmenttherapy
How about some ORANGE furniture?
 carlchaffeeorangetable 1stdibscom
(Carl Chaffee Orange Slice Table –
(Hollywood Chair –
(Orange Slice Chair –
Some ORANGE artwork…
orange stephanocorso flickr
( – Stephano Corso)
(Woman in Orange –
Some ORANGE accessories …
I can see myself carrying this bag …
oliviaharrissm plaqueziptote wwwluxistcom
(Olivia Harris Zip Tote –
Driving THIS Car …un-huh –that’s what I”m talkin’ about!
(Orange Porsche –
And finally some ORANGE scenery …
orangemoon2 home hiway net
orange-sailboat-gipstein-393836-sw nat geog
Well, I don’t think that helped at all - now I’m really struggling with my ORANGE vs BLUE decision … 
What do you think?
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