Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’re still staying cozy and warm. There’s been a thing going around this past week on Instagram that has said something like “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the sun will be setting at 7pm in 35 days.” So there’s a little hope and perspective for you. 🙂 Until then, I’m still keeping the candles flickering around the house as much as I can and it really helps. Still loving my Frasier Fir candles all around the house.
I just realized that the 5 year anniversary of my book passed a few weeks ago. What a fun, crazy experience writing that book was. I definitely learned a lot and there are about a million things that I would do differently when it comes to launching the book, but it’s a pretty neat accomplishment to have written an actual, published book. I think it’s actually published in about five languages now. Looking back, I would definitely say that the writing of the book was the easy part, but I knew nothing about how much you can/should do to get it out there and while I was totally prepared to write the book at the time (and actually really enjoyed it), it was probably not the best time in my life to be releasing a book because I just had almost zero time to dedicate to that with a toddler in the house at the time. One thing that probably contributed to the fact that I enjoyed the process so much is that my publisher didn’t end up requesting a single edit. Like, zero edits. None at all. What was published was pretty much exactly what I wrote the first time I sat down to write it, which I understand basically never happens, so I was super lucky. Anyway, I still think it’s a pretty cute and helpful book and I actually find myself looking things up in there from time to time and I still get the opportunity to chime in as an “expert” for magazine articles pretty regularly, so I like that. 🙂 You can find my book in English here on Amazon.
So here’s the question: If I have two rugs in two adjacent spaces, do I want them to be the same? I know there’s no rule that says they need to be the same, and actually I’m pretty sure they’re usually different, but do I want them to be the same? I think the more common way of going about it is to have them be similar but different, with maybe a common color, but I’m also kind of thinking that I personally might enjoy having our living room and dining room rugs be the same, especially since the furnishings are so different. We have so much dark wood in the dining room and more metal, glass, marble, upholstery, and basically everything but wood (except for the desk) in the living room. Anyway, I love our living room rug, but the dining room rug is due for a refresh, so I’m considering my options. Here are some combinations I’m looking at:
- Keep our current rug (because it’s really still in perfect condition) and pair it with this Hendesi Heriz Abalone Rug for the dining room that has been my favourite for a few months now that I’m dying to find a home for.
- The same idea, but with this Kamran Blue Quartz rug which has just a touch more blue, but would still be a more neutral partner for the current rug. That Kamran has been a best-seller lately with Creek Line House followers, so that might be swaying me a bit towards that one. 🙂
- Or maybe this Cameron Abalone Rug? It has a bit of a darker background, so it would be cozy for the dining room. Not sure if it’s a perfect match with the living room rug though.
- Maybe something totally different? I could almost see doing two of the Hendesi Heriz Abalone, or maybe I like to go for something more soft and neutral like two of these Maral Border Hazel Rugs? So many choices! I’ll keep you posted on my progress with this situation. 🙂
Once again, progress is happening on the back stairwell! I’ll try to give you a little bit more of an in-depth update soon, but the walls and the attic cavity where we’ll be putting the big cupboard for all our Christmas decor are both fully insulated. What a difference that made! The big, long shelf for my plants in front of the windows has been purchased and cut. We’ve started to trim out around the windows in preparation to close the walls in and then we’ll finally be almost ready for finishes! All I want is to see something pretty starting to come together back there at this point. 🙂 I’m so so glad I didn’t order any of the lighting yet, because I’ve been finding some great options lately. I’m definitely going to order that at the last minute and keep looking so I can find the sconces and pendant that make me as giddy as possible. I just want to love every square inch of that funny little back stairwell. That’s my goal here. 🙂 I think these simple brass sconces are probably the best choice in terms of what will be most practical for the longest, but these brass and leather ones stopped me right in my scroll when I found them. And the proportions on these (and that alabaster detail!) are just the stuff that sconce dreams are made of.
I’m pretty sure this is the wintery-est winter we’ve had in quite a few years. Is it the same for you? How are you coping? I do love getting outside in the cold, even if it’s just for a brief time, once I convince myself to get bundled and actually get out there, but it does take some convincing. Where we live though, we usually only get snow and really cold weather for very brief periods of time, so it’s kind of a novelty when it happens. We usually also have one or two really warm days every month so we get a little break. This year has been a “real” winter though. Just non-stop cold. The plus side though is that along with real, cold winter days, often comes lots of blue skies and bright sunshine, so that’s been super helpful. I try to sit in a sunbeam (just like a cat. Ha!) as often as possible and I’m still lighting a few candles on the coffee table at night when we’re watching a show and I find these things actually really help me to appreciate the magic and the specialness of the season instead of just getting through it. Also, tea. So much tea.
I’ve been getting my exercise by painting on the days when I just can’t bring myself to get outside. Have you ever noticed what good exercise painting can be? I know so many people dread painting, but I find it to be such a mood-booster. You get to see results so quickly and you see things changing right before you eyes, and you get your blood pumping too, especially if you’re using a roller. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment after painting something. I mentioned that I did my bedroom ceiling a couple of weeks ago, and that put me in such a good mood that I ended up doing the ceiling in our back hall mudroom area as well. Then I painted the closet doors in bedroom in Benjamin Moore Onyx, which was fun. Now that I’ve been thinking of it, I’m starting to come up with more and more little bite-sized painting projects I’d like to do and it’s just turning into the perfect winter pass-time. I did also end up ordering a new light fixture for the bedroom, by the way, as a reward. I wanted something simple in a warm cold to tie into some of the other gold accents I’ve been adding in there. I found this one, which seemed just perfect and was such a good deal. And then I started thinking that maybe it was a little too simple and I might be missing an opportunity to add something special in to our home at a time when we haven’t really had a chance to do a lot of the fun home stuff in quite a while. So I ordered this one and I’m feeling very excited about it, as I should be when I get to add a new light fixture. Can’t wait for it to come in!
NEWS AND FINDS
–I launched an Amazon shop! I’ve been wanting to launch an Amazon shop for years because I’ve found I really enjoy browsing through other people’s shops who have gone to the effort to put them together and see what kind of neat things they’ve found. There’s just so much to go through! Would love to hear any requests or suggestions for types of categories you’d find helpful for me to include. There’s a link to the shop in the menu at the top of this website now, so you can always find it when you want to!
-Another article that I helped out for as an “expert” was published in the January/February issue of Real Simple magazine! That’s always fun. 🙂
-Did you know that there’s a whole Ralph Lauren shop on Wayfair? It seems like a fairly small, curated collection but there are a lot of really beautiful things and I was excited to discover it. Love the texture on this woven rug, this toned-down blue and white rug (always a favourite around here), this sconce (!), and this swing-arm light. And the little ties on this neutral plaid pillow cover!
-I know this seems a bit early, but now’s the time to think about ordering Easter baskets! If you have young kids, or even older kids, I can’t recommend ordering a high-quality Easter basket for them to use year after year enough. We have a set of really nice dark wicker baskets that we got a few years ago and I get so much joy out of bringing them out a couple of weeks before Easter. They make the egg hunting just a little more fun, they’re very sturdy for collecting eggs, and they’re actually great Easter decor just sitting out on the buffet before the actual day arrives. So much better and less wasteful than buying those tacky dollar store baskets every year. I love these baskets with the cream-colored scalloped liner (that you can have monogrammed!), and these classic Peter Rabbit basket liners (here’s the basket to go with them).
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.