Pure JOY!

'Tis the season for JOY, PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS & FAMILY! If a beautiful, sweet and snuggly newborn doesn't sum up all of these things, I don't know what does!?!

Welcome to the world Selby - perfectly in time to remind us all of life's miracles during this special time of year!
Selby Elizabeth Maynard
December 15th, 2010
7 pounds 9 ounces & 20.5 inches long

Momma and baby are doing well and have been settling in at home with family. I can't wait to get my hands on this little piece of goodness after the holidays!

We hope you all experience the JOY, PEACE, LOVE and HAPPINESS this season brings with your FAMILIES, and send best wishes for a wonderful and healthy new year ahead!

From our families, to yours...

Festive Touches Chez Moi

I FINALLY got around to taking some pictures having my husband take some pictures of our Christmas glitz! It's a good thing he got some more camera gear as an early Christmas present and was happy to play. :)

I LOVE all things shiny, especially at Christmas, so I have lots of mercury glass and add to my collection each year. I also think my feather wreath and a white poinsettia are a must have...

{Dark olive green feather wreath layered over gilt mirror}

{Mercury glass Christmas trees on console}

{Poinsettia and mercury glass acorn on top of television cabinet}

{Clementines in vase and bulbs in urn on dining table -
 ps. I need to show off my vintage owl sugar jar! It's amazing!}

{Metallic beaded ornaments in silver dish in bathroom}

{My daughter and I made these polkadot bulbs with Martha Stewart's Smokey Quartz glitter after reading this at Deliciously Organized}

The dried orange garland turned out adorable and I think I'll make new strands each year to represent the start of our family in the good ol' orange capital of California. I sprinkled some Smokey Quartz Martha Stewart glitter on them and threaded them onto natural colored jute. The light shines beautifully through them, the glitter adds the perfect sparkle and somehow garland just pulls the whole tree together!

And here's the star of my Christmas, Rockin' around the Christmas tree! 

{She is literally dancing to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, as everytime this song comes on the radio she throws her toys to the floor and jumps into position}

Hope you're all ready for Christmas! Only more 3 days!

MEANINGful Monday: Hearth

The floor of a fireplace, which usually extends into a room and is commonly paved with brick or clad in stone, tile or concrete. {Canadian House and Home}

Winter White Wow

Toronto designer Colleen McGill really knocked it out of the park with this design featured in Style At Home! I love the simple Christmas decor set up in this space (it is a holiday issue after all), but it's the clean, winter white palette that is most dreamy. Perhaps it's more impressive to me than the regular person, as the momma to a 20-month old who hasn't seen a space so clean - and white! - in months. Twenty to be exact! 

Anyhow! I would love to live in a space just like this one, once my babies have all grown up. It is the most perfect mix of traditional architectural details and modern furnishings - a recipe I can't get enough of.

{I'm having a love-fest with this design so I'll just point out what makes my heart pitter-patter...}

love the full mirror behind the console, love the lucite console, love the modern ceiling fixture

love the window treatment hardware, love the tree

love the swanky sconces, love the warm wood floor, love the white walls with moulding

LOVE the elliptical chandelier, love the linen rug

love the bowl o' bulbs!
{All images via Style At Home}

I'm hoping to share the festive touches in my home later this week, so long as the little diva gives me a minute to take some photos! ;)

MEANINGful Monday: Newel Post

Newel post:
The large post at the beginning, at a turn, or at the end of a stair railing which the horizontal handrail and vertical balusters are attached to for stability.

And in keeping with the holiday season, I thought I'd share where I first learned what a newel post was - from my favorite family man, Clark W. Griswold!

This is my favorite holiday movie. My husband and I watch it three times a season - first on Thanksgiving to signify the start of Christmas, once mid-December with some hot spiked cider, and always with my Dad on Christmas day. Hope you're enjoying your family traditions like we are!

Meet Babar!

A couple weeks ago I spotted this adorable brass elephant at my local antique store and it was love at first sight! I haven't found a permanent spot for him yet, but I love the idea of him sitting on top of a stack of books or tucked neatly on a bookshelf.

 I thought I may be the only person who could feel such excitement for a old brass animal, UNTIL later that week I read this post over at Design Darling and then this one at EverythingLEB. Great minds think alike. And the best part, he was a meager $8!

In other news, I'm working at getting my Christmas decorating finished. My tree is up but it was missing something so I planned on making some bunting. This week the plan changed from bunting to garland - dried fruit garland to be exact! I saw a cute photo of dried lemon garland and thought how fun it would be to make some dried orange garland seeing as my family is actually going to be spending the holidays in California this year (instead of cold, icy Canada), where we happen to live in the orange capital of the state. Or so they say. 

Here's what I've got so far...

{oranges & a few persimmons}

I bought a box of clementines mostly to eat, but they are the perfectly sized for drying and hanging on the tree. I'm planning to finish this project on Friday and will share the results when I do. 

Tomorrow I am meeting the lovely, and 39-week pregnant, Emily for the installation of the Westwind project which we blogged about a few months ago here. Here's hoping that her baby doesn't decide to make her appearance in the next 24 hours! We'll keep you posted :)

Festive Facades 2010

It's officially December and time for outdoor holiday decorations, if you haven't put them up already! 

Last December I posted some decor tips and photos of some favorite holiday facades here, and after taking a look back I decided that I still love them. Definitely worth a quick look!

Canadian House & Home has a few beautiful festive facades to admire this year. I like every part of this porch - the urns have a great variety of color, texture and height. I also think the soft draping garland and large gold star above the door keep this entry looking sophisticated, but with a ounce of whimsy...

My favorite part of this design is the use of the large grapevine balls. I think these are a perfect and easy way to display more lights in your urn arrangement, and because they are available in sooooo many sizes, the design options are endless. If you're going to use only one ball in each urn, go BIG! Make sure your grapevine ball is the correct scale for your planter so it doesn't get lost and look silly. And if you choose to display multiples, work with groups of three.

I love the way this patio feels so inviting despite the snow. I think a lot of us allow our backyard areas to fall apart once the weather turns cold. But wouldn't it be much nicer to look out your window and see something like this rather than a dark and empty space?! Oh, and check out those grapevine balls....they're everywhere! 

{ps. don't forget about the magic of spray paint - if you want to add a little sparkle or color to your design, these balls would be easy to paint gold or silver, or a custom color to match your current decor.}

It is starting to feel festive around our house. We starting unloading our decorations last night and got the tree up minus some bulbs. 

Guess who was loving it?! All. Day.

MEANINGful Monday: Muntin

A strip of wood or metal separating and holding small panes of glass (lights or lites), which can be found in doors, windows and furniture.  Muntins may also be referred to as glazing bars, muntin bars, or sash bars.  {Tommy Smythe, black muntins}

Terrific Thanksgiving Tables!

Yay for Thanksgiving! I'm very excited to be taking a road-trip to Utah where I'll spend Thanksgiving with my husband and daughter at Zion & Bryce National Parks. We've rented a house and will spend our days trying to keep warm (it's going to be in the below zero F! Not C, people!) and hiking around to take some pretty photos. 

For those of you who will be spending the holiday toasty inside with great food, and greater company, here are a few table settings to inspire you. 

To start, the girls over at Urban Grace never disappoint! Here's a look at the table they designed for HGTV about incorporating metallics into your home...

{via Urban Grace}

I happen to love the next two tables for their overall clean and white designs, but also because they both incorporate Iittala Finnish crystal. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, my mum happens to have full sets of these candlesticks and glasses (not to mention the platters, pitchers, bowls, plates, etc)... 
 ...and after growing up looking at them on her table during every fancy occasion, it is GREAT to see them through fresh eyes in these modern dining settings. Can't wait to "borrow" them! :)


{via Canadian House & Home}

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, have a good one! I hope you, like myself, have many things to be thankful for!

ps. I just found out that DwellStudio holds an annual modern Thanksgiving table setting contest and you can submit your design up until the 29th. Can't wait to see the winners on the 30th! 

Shiney Surroundings

My girlfriend Alisha has been asking for my input while designing her husband's office. She has great taste, so she only requires a little guidance from GEORGE. BUT when I see her this week I am going to pressure advise her to lacquer the walls. I think it could make all the difference to his wee study, and in only the best way!

Don't you love when you have a friend who you can design one of your dream-rooms through?!

MEANINGful Monday: Stretcher

A stabilizing rail that runs horizontally between vertical furniture legs. Found on tables, chairs or sofas, stretchers come in various styles including circumferential, double and turned spindle. May also be referred to as a stretcher beam. {Lee Industries sofa}

Celebrity Designer Photo Favs

The New York Times recently had five celebrity designers choose ten of their favorite photographs from the New York Times Store's collection. 

It was fun to look through the 50 selected photos and see the personalities and styles of the designers shine through. And that's when I came up with a little game...

Match the designer to the photo!
Each designer shown above chose one of the five photos shown below. 
Can you make a match? (Answers are below)

{Green, 2006}

{Black Mask, 1967}

{Parachute Jump, Coney Island, 1946}

 {Guggenheim Interior, 2005}

{The Octopus, 1912}

There are LOTS, well 45, of other photos to look at if you're interested. And they are for sale if you find one you love.

Answers: Top to bottom - Tom Filicia, Jonathan Adler, Laura Kirar, Kelly Wearstler, Vicente Wolf

MEANINGful Monday: Marquetry

A technique used for covering surfaces (furniture, flooring, etc) with varying shapes, sizes and types of veneer to create organic patterns, designs or pictures. Pieces of veneer are adhered side-by-side to the substructure, not inlaid in it. Similar to parquetry. {Late 17th century, William & Mary period marquetry bureau}

Custom Baby!

Anyone who has watched their home transform from a nice, clean, adult living space to an overwhelming playground for BABY will appreciate this... custom swing and bouncy chair covers!!!

After inheriting a gently used swing and bouncy chair from a friend, I decided to give them new life and make them coordinate with my apartment decor at the same time... I used the existing covers as the templates and just sewed my cute fabrics right over them.

The bouncy chair required one extra step, sanding and spraying the red frame the same antique white found in the rest of the "nursette."

And after a few hours of drying, here is the bamboo bouncy chair, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby M in just 4 short weeks!!!

If you are interested in making custom baby covers, don't hesitate to contact me for pricing/lead times! (emily@georgeinteriordesign.com)

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