Thursday, March 29, 2012

One of a Kind Spring Show 2012

The One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale kicked off yesterday. I attended the Media breakfast in the morning and was in heaven as it was provided by Cruda Cafe which specializes in raw/fresh food that is vegan and wheat and gluten-free.


(I finally installed the Instagram app on my ipad and iphone and snapped this photo of my breakfast .)

I love discovering artisans that are new to the show and these are a few of my picks.

1. Coeur de Lion Textiles:  beautiful, hand-dyed and printed fabrics including throws, pillow covers and scarves.
2. Wabi-Sabi Pottery:  It was the shade of green that made me stop and notice these handmade stoneware jars. I so wanted to purchase one!
3.  Heyday Design: I think Claire will be the hit of the show with her “modern porcelain with a vintage beat.”
4. Images of This and That: Photographic images that fit in an Ikea frame – no custom framing required so it’s easy to start your  gallery wall!

My friend Christine will be on the main stage on Sunday at 1:00 pm talking about “The Curated One of a Kind Home.”  She will be sharing her top decor picks from the show and how to incorporate them in your home.

The show is on now until Sunday, April 1 at 6 p.m.  Are you planning on attending?  You can read my past posts here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Small Paintings and Photographs (+ a Winner)

My latest ideabook for Houzz is now live.  I perused Etsy and a local art gallery to come up with 20 small paintings and photographs.  Buying “smalls” is a great way to start your art collection.





You can read the Ideabook and see sources here.

Speaking of art, the winner of the Posterjack canvas print giveaway is Amy from aDESIGNdock.  Congrats Amy! Please forward your email address to me so that I can forward on. 

Posterjack is a great resource if you want to transform your bare walls.  They can help you start  your gallery wall by printing your photos in larger sizes and printing them on canvas, metal and acrylic.  It’s really easy to upload your photos on their site and choose one of their many options.

If you need decorating advice, please contact me at vanessa(at)  I would love to work with you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Home Depot’s Match the Look Contest

I’m happy to be included with five other local design bloggers (all of whom I happen to know – and love!) in Home Depot’s Match the Look Contest which kicks off today.


match the look (this is just a screen shot. Go here to enter.)

The concept of the contest is to match each design blogger with an item/project they like from a given page of the Dreambook. There will be a different blogger each of the six weeks of the contest.  At the end of each week, the person who successfully guesses which look the blogger chose  wins a $200 Home Depot gift certificate. How cool is that? And think of what you can spend it on this Spring/Summer.

meOh look, there I am! 

Don’t you love the Dreambook?  I remember years ago travelling to different Home Depots just to find one. Now thankfully, the book is online and filled to the brim with ideas and inspiration.



This week it’s all about how to transform a space with paint – an easy and affordable update.


If you read my blog, you know that I love using paint in various projects.  But which project from the ones above do you think I chose as being my favourite?

Scroll down to the bottom of this page and make a guess.  You have to login and enter via Facebook. Contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Good luck and have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Mantel

One of the easiest places to change your decor for the seasons is the mantel (or console/shelf/ledge if you don’t have a mantel.) As you know, I change mine ALL the time!


I commissioned a painting from Andrada awhile back and recently moved it over the fireplace. It’s quite large at 40” x 40” but I requested that size as I knew it would work over the fireplace or over a console - versatile. It was in my dining room but I decided to try it leaning over the fireplace and well, it looks perfect there. I really don’t need anything else as it takes up most of the mantel. Sometimes, less is more. It has all my favourite colours – every shade of blue, pink and grey.  (I know you’re thinking “enough with the blue/blue-green already!”)

I also recently picked up this garden stool from HomeSense. I had been looking for a reasonably priced one for awhile and now with Spring here, HomeSense is just beginning to bring them in. They have them in coral and green as well. Ceramic garden stools have been around for decades but still look current – not a trend for sure.

Or you may spy one when you are out thrifting and with a can of spray paint completely transform it like this blogger did. (The After is the one on the right. :) )


I plan on changing the paint colour in this room (it’s currently Benjamin Moore’s Standish White – a happy, pale yellow) which I loved six years ago.  I would love to change the tile to something with old world charm similar to the one used in this kitchen featured in February’s House and Home. I think the tiles are too large though as there is only a few inches of tile required. Stay tuned!


Have you started decorating for Spring yet?

(I’m linking up here. )

Monday, March 19, 2012

Steven and Chris (last post, promise!)

I’m sad that March break is over! No more staying up until the wee hours and sleeping in. No more hanging out with my sweet daughter. Didn’t we have the most amazing weather last week? Back to reality.

I know some of you were asking if/when the Steven and Chris episode I was in would air again.  I’m unsure if it will in the future so here’s a link to my appearance.  (Not sure if you can view it outside of Canada – let me know.)


Here I am looking like a deer in the headlights when they threw a question at me that I wasn’t prepared for.  Note to self: Know why you started your blog.   That’s all I will say negative – we are always so hard on ourselves, aren’t we?

Here’s where they called me dynamic (now that’s more positive!):  

Fullscreen capture 19032012 125137 AM

And here’s a screen shot of the Steven and Chris home page with my living room – how cool is that?

S&C homepage

It references an article that I wrote and their web editor tweaked which you can read here.  (I have already changed the top row of the gallery wall – much happier with it now. It never stops I tell you!)

Now I wish someone else ( a magazine perhaps?) would come by and shoot some other rooms in my house so that I would have a deadline to get them finished!

I just want to say another big THANK YOU to the Steven and Chris team for this wonderful opportunity!  And congrats on your 500th show last week! Here’s to another 500!

Have a wonderful week!

(I’m extending the Posterjack giveaway another week, so if you haven’t entered, enter here.)

If you need decorating advice, please contact me at vanessa(at) (The @ is written out to avoid spammers/bots.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

For the Love of Green

I’m not one to decorate with the colour green personally but I do love the fresh vibe that it brings to a space.  In honour of today being St. Patty’s Day, here is some green inspiration for you from mint green to lime green and everything in between!


It’s almost exterior painting weather here in the North, so time to start thinking about what shade to paint your front door.



Shades of green in a kitchen designed by Feasby and Bleeks (loved Feasby’s work when she was an Editor at House and Home.) Any thoughts on the cabinet extension using MDF (think that’s what was said in the H&H video) – yay or nay?


Love this tile – it makes quite the statement!


Wish my office was always this tidy!





This new outdoor collection by West Elm (the Hoyt) isn’t green but would look stunning in your (green) backyard (and look, there are green glasses on the table…)


Margot just posted about this newly opened bakery in the Beaches and I couldn’t resist including it. Love the green door and the fact that their baked goods are natural and organic. Must visit one day!

*all images via here (except the last two)*

Thanks for all your kind emails, comments and tweets re my on air debut. I’ll put the clip on the blog on Monday! 

Happy weekend all!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Few Thank You’s!

If you are on March/Spring break, hope you are having fun!

As you know, my short (if you blink you could miss it) segment airs today on the Steven and Chris show at 2:00 EST on CBC. It also airs at various other times during the day and in all parts of the world!  Read my previous posts here  for some behind the scenes and background! 

Thanks again to all the staff at Steven and Chris. Later on today, there will be an article on their site that I wrote on gallery walls. I have included two photos here that appear in the article and will update this post with the link once it’s up.

I want to give some love to all of the suppliers, trades and artists that came through for me within a 2 week timeframe to make my home presentable for national/worldwide television.

Living Room 11397


- my new blog sponsor, the Floor Shop who provided hardwood for my daughter’s bedroom.  Stay tuned for a post from this company – just love them!

- my amazing upholsterer (who sewed slipcovers for my sofa and chairs), sewing room (who sewed drapes for my living/dining room and ribbon onto my daughter’s drapery panels),  contractor (who built the long desk in my daughter’s sewing/craft room and other odds and ends), my wallpaper hanger (who was meticulous) – please contact me through Vanessa Francis Design if you need design help with any of this!

- Lia who updated my chandelier shades by changing the fabric to a linen I purchased and adding navy trim.

- Chanee who created the graphic indigo pillow on the sofa just for me (the circle pillow is from her Fall line.)


- huge thanks to West Elm and specifically Neil (asst. store manager) for having items in stock that I could purchase. I ended up buying a couple of their jute rugs, a striped handmade ottoman (see below) and some other items.  I have never met anyone in the retail sector that bends over backwards like Neil does.  He even let me stay in my car (just outside their shipping door) while he ran in to ring everything through. Crazy!  If you haven’t visited the store, you are missing out! And if you see Neil, give him a hug – he likes hugs!

Spare Room 11518

Thanks to Kelly at K West Images for taking some photos after the shoot. Love how they turned out. There are a few more that I will share with you later!

* art: 

- I purchased new art for both art walls from local artists Robin and Jody

- and last but not least a big shout out to Posterjack who turned a photograph that my daughter took while we were on a hike into an oversized piece of art.  When she saw it, she said “is that my photo?”  I loved her reaction and love this company! 

I haven’t had a giveaway in ages, so…


Posterjack has kindly offered a Decor Happy reader an 8x12 canvas print of one of their photos (value: $44.99).  This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.  To win:

* follow Decor Happy by clicking on the “Join this Site” (with Google Friend Connect) button on the right sidebar and leave a comment.  If you are already a follower, just leave a comment. (If you don’t have a blog with your email, leave your email in the comment!)

* for an extra entry (leave a separate comment):

- tweet the giveaway mentioning @vanessajfrancis and @posterjackdotca

I will draw the winner on Monday, March 19th.  Good luck!

If you are new here, welcome!  Thanks for stopping by. The blog received some recent tweaking from the fabulous Brittany. If you are looking at designing or redesigning your blog, contact her. She was a doll to work with!

If you require design or decorating services, please contact me at vanessa(at)vanessafrancis(dot)com.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The S&C Shoot and Taping

On Monday, the Steven and Chris team were here taping a few rooms in the house: living/dining, daughter’s bedroom and her sewing/craft/hangout room.

Picnik collage

The producer (Melissa), camerawoman (Ally) and assistant (Ian) were here for about 6 hours – setting up, shooting and doing retakes.  Being on camera is more difficult than it looks!   My daughter was home sick that day so she loved observing all of the goings on and texted the photo of the cameras in her room to all of her friends.

Yesterday was the taping of the show in the studio, so I saw the taped piece which was only a few minutes long.  They didn’t end up showing two of the rooms – just the living room and my daughter’s room. That was a bit disappointing but what can you do.  That’s show biz!

Picnik collage1

My beautiful sister came along for moral support – love her to bits!  Because I was “on” the show, we had the best seats in the house.  They threw a question at me that I wasn’t prepared for and stumbled a bit (nerves and all.) So, please be kind when you watch next Tuesday!

Thanks to Melissa and the entire S&C team for this wonderful opportunity!  They are looking for blogger homes to feature so contact the show if you are interested or email me for Melissa’s contact info.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Today is the Day…

That the Steven and Chris show is taping a few rooms in my house.   Blogging has taken a back seat these past 2 weeks. 

When the Steven and Chris show called to feature my home in 2 weeks I said yes – sure, no problem, the rooms are pretty done!  Boy, was I wrong.  There were things I lived with that I wasn’t happy with (like my perfectly fine brown sofa) and couldn’t stomach the thought of being on national television showing these rooms.  Sure, I could have turned it down in hopes that I could be featured later (but they already had another blogger lined up after me and they stop taping in April.)  Sometimes, you just have to step out of your comfort zone and go for it!

So, I went about getting my trades/suppliers on board to paint, install hardwood (one room), slipcover, wallpaper, build and sew. They all delivered! Thank you to all of them.  I shopped, re-arranged my art wall, fluffed etc. 


This is a sneak peak with my new slipcovered sofas, re-arranged art wall and my beautiful new pillow from Chanee’s new Spring 2012 line.

Wish me luck!