Posts Tagged ‘interior design’

CHRISTMAS DECOR AND HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING IN AN APARTMENT

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

For the very first time since we’ve moved in together (that’s 4 years now!), Allan and I decided to decorate our little apartment with Christmas decorations. And let’s face it, when I say “Allan and I”, I really mean me, since Allan would much rather be playing video games than doing holiday decorations ;) Plus, I’ll be honest — I’ve been suffering a little bit from wedding withdrawal, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to do floral arrangements, place settings and entertaining :)

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

Over the past two weeks, I’ve decorated our home space, the common room at work, and my parent’s house. I’ve been elfing it up this year for some reason! Normally we do Christmas completely over at my parent’s place as they have space to do the big tree… and while Christmas will most definitely still be over there, we are having my folks over for Christmas breakfast this year and wanted to prep the apartment in advance. I decided to do a silver and champagne Christmas theme with red accents.

Festive Flower Arrangement

Champagne and Silver Place Setting Starting to arrange flowers

 

We hosted a holiday dinner party this past weekend with Trev & Crista and Mat & Ali and managed to find some space for our pop-up table. Seating 6 around this table in our apartment is difficult, so swapped our normal computer desk for a “rolly” desk that we can roll into a different room when we have people over. Awesome! Then it was time for new place settings! I also did all the floral arrangements with fresh roses and Christmas greens.

Low Festive Flower Table Arrangement

Low flower arrangements with large red roses and berries.

Christmas Table Setting

I really like the way our place settings turned out and I think they are versatile enough to use all year round. Or do you think it would be too much for normal entertaining?

Silver Wreath

Here’s a silver wreath we used to bring some festivity to our kitchen.

Fresh Pines and Peppercorn Wreath

And my favourite… a fresh wreath with peppercorns, pinecones and tons of greens… smells so good!

Christmas Decor

Our side table was replaced with some silver Christmas trees and mercury glass candle holders…

Christmas Decor Christmas Decor and Wine

… a couple other accents here and there with reindeer and more candles.

Aftermath of Festive Dinner Party

The aftermath of our dinner party with some holiday decor on our coffee table and a festive throw blanket.

Clarifying Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Making Chocolate Decorations Making Spinach and Beets for Pasta Colouring

I find cooking for 6 people really hard to do with plated dinners, so we did quite a bit of prep the previous night. I learned how to clarify butter for the first time (awesome for searing scallops at an extremely high temperature). I also toasted the pumpkin seeds, prepped the chocolate decorations and the veggies to give the pasta some colour.

Kobe-Style Beef Short Ribs Butternut Squash Cooking Brown Butter Sage Sauce Peas and mint for the puree

The next day, we put the kobe-style marbled beef short ribs in the oven for four hours and got the butternut squash soup going. Some photos of our prep with making the sage sauce, and the minted pea puree.

Making Striped Ravioli Spinach and Beet Striped Ravioli filled with Wild Mushrooms or Butternut Squash

Allan did a really nice job with the striped raviolis. We did beet-coloured ravioli for the butternut squash filled ones, and spinach-coloured ravioli for the wild mushroom filled ones.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Oil with a Parmesan Crisp

First course: Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil, finished with a Parmesan Crisp … we always seem to make this one when other people come over! (recipe)

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Double-Smoked Bacon

Second Course: Seared Scallops in a Minted Pea Puree with Applewood Double-Smoked Bacon

Braised Beef Short Rib with Cauliflower Puree and Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Third Course: Braised Beef Short Rib in a Red Wine Reduction with Cauliflower Puree and duo of Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce (recipe)

Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration

Fourth Course: Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration and Strawberries (recipe)

Our Festive Apartment

Overall I think our dinner party went well and our apartment is looking festive! I think we’re all set for the holidays…. can’t wait for Christmas! Can you believe it’s only 2 weeks away now?

What are your holiday plans this year? Are you going to decorate your place?


OUR BEDROOM MAKEOVER (BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS)

Monday, January 25th, 2010

If you’ve been following the blog, you may remember that last year I spoke a lot about our bedroom makeover. Our apartment makeover is pretty much done now… you can see our sports room here, and our living room here… but the bedroom has always been close to my heart. I wanted it to be just perfect.

Old Place - Bedroom

Here’s a shot of our old bedroom. Although it was at our old apartment, all the components were pretty much the same. The same mattress of the floor, wooden IKEA shelf and lots of boxes!

Bedroom Design Concepts

You may also remember the post I made about our bedroom concepts way back when last year. This was the concept I came up with after lots of brainstorming and soul-searching. The bedroom is really important to me — it’s the place you wake up in to start the day, and the place you rest your mind before going to sleep. It is important to me that it imparts a sense of peace. We wanted something clean that is not too girly, although I did ask that the bedroom could be a little more feminine since the rest of the apartment is quite masculine. I think it is a good compromise, and the green is quite a neutral-gender colour.

Our new bedroom makeover! (Fisheye)

So here we go! This is the new bedroom with the makeover! I think we did a pretty good job of staying true to our concepts.

Old drawer handles Painting furniture

Here are some shots of the bedside tables and highboy under construction :)

New handles and paint finish

The biggest part of the makeover (and the most time consuming) was the furniture. We bought some old dressers and side tables in French provincial style off Craigslist and completely re-did the hardware, stripped, sanded and painted for many many weeks. The paint is a white antique lacquer finish from Mohawk, and the handles were purchased from Lee Valley. We also painted the handles with metal paint and I think they look really cool and very similar to the design concept. I’m really proud of the beautiful curvy King-size bed that we custom designed and ordered from Vancouver custom woodworker KLK Woodworking. Kelly was really amazing and built the bed that we dreamed of! It has a French style but it is still whimsical to make the room look a bit more modern. To save money, we ordered the bed unpainted and it took several more weeks of sanding and painting to finish it.

New sheets and pillows

The linens and bedding are where we really splurged though. We really pinched our pennies by buying used furniture and getting a custom bed, but the bedding was something I wanted to make sure was good quality and lasted. After months of looking around online and in stores, I FINALLY found the sheets we were looking for! We got our bedding from Terra Nova Interiors downtown. They are gorgeous Italian Sferra sheets… we purchased the “Alice” coverlet, 3 euro shams, and small green throw pillow in the front. The bed sheets underneath are from HomeSense and the two green throw pillows from the Bay.

Scalloped Pillow Texture (Sferra Linens)

I am absolutely in love with the scalloped edges and the texture of the linens!

Robert Abbey Piero Lamps

The lighting is also an important part of any room, so it took me about 6 months to find the right lamps. We finally ordered these white Robert Abbey Piero lamps from Chintz and Co downtown. I like how they are modern (following the Oversize design trend this year), but they are still timeless with a classic design (I hope!) :).

Bedside Tables

Here’s a better shot of the bedside tables we re-did and the base of the lamp. I also made the flower arrangements with silk flowers from Chintz, as well as the vase. Picture frame from HomeSense.

Candles and Highboy

Here’s a shot of the view of the bedroom if you were laying on the bed. The tallboy dresser has a flower arrangement I did from Chintz, as well as two silver and glass candlesticks from them as well. The white shelf holding the candles is from IKEA, and the candles and glass holders are from Wal-Mart. It really sets a romantic mood in the dark with lots of light! :)

Other bedside table

The other bedside table has two beautiful mirrored accessories from Nicole Jane Home. I was looking for something mirrored but couldn’t find what I was looking for from other stores. They are actually one of the few stores you can deliver interior design goodies to Canada (they are based in Vancouver!!) and they have a great selection. I literally just ordered the picture frame and jewelry box, so I haven’t even had a chance to change the default photo yet.

Our finished room!

The last finishing touch to the room is of course the picture frame, which I had mentioned in the design concepts is an absolute key to the room. It’s an image from the drive to Tofino… a peaceful forest with a rushing stream. It really brings the room together in my opinion, and I love the green in it. I learned how to custom frame a photo myself at Opus Framing on Granville Island! It’s much cheaper than ordering a frame and it’s actually quite easy to do. Highly recommended for the photographers out there.

So that’s it! The room is finally done and I think it’s pretty similar to the design concepts. I am really happy with it, and Allan and I have been sleeping in it for the past 6 months now and we really love it! :)

What do you think of the makeover?

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

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