Goodwill Find

Check out this awesome octagon shaped mirror I found at Goodwill yesterday:

Price? $15. Yup. $15 dollars. And it's not flimsy and light - it's nice and solid with a solid wood back. I can't fathom why someone would not want this and give it away (literally) but - their loss my gain! If I waited until today to buy it I could have gotten it for 50% off! But, it may not have been there if I went back today - so, you know - sometimes when you see a good deal you just have to grab it and try not to get too greedy ;) It will be perfect in my bedroom! Don't you just love when things start to come together...


Houston, we have a direction.

After months & months of being direction-less I FINALLY feel like I have a direction for my bedroom. When I saw the top image I immediately fell in love and thought "I wish my room looked like that! I could sleep there!" and my thoughts started going in all sorts of directions on how I could get that look in my room and interpret the space to reflect me. And the bottom image, well it was love at first sight when I saw those drawers. Perfection!

My debate on deciding how to decorate my room has mostly been: light & fresh or dark & moody - I don't know if it's the Spring weather & all of the gorgeous natural light pouring into my apartment making everything brighter and shinier lol...but I seem to have decided on light & fresh.

So there you have it - I plan on doing up a quick inspiration board to get my thoughts out and I will definitely share it here so you can see how I interpret these two images into my new bedroom look - I can't wait to get started!

*top image seen here bottom image from here

I Said I Wouldn't...But I Did.

I kinda promised myself that I'd never buy faux flowers for my apartment. I mean, you never really hear anybody say anything good, or blog anything good, about faux flowers do you? (And yes I will call them faux flowers for this post because 'faux' sounds much better than 'fake' don't you think?)

Well, today I bought faux flowers and...I kinda love them.

I've been thinking of buying some for a while to put in my monkey vase. I liked the idea of it looking like he was holding a bunch of tightly packed flowers...but I could just never bring myself to buying any. Well, today I finally decided to just 'do it.' Buy some faux flowers and at least see how they look. And if they looked horrible I could just toss them. The most I'd be out was 1 or 2 bucks.

Here's the result:

I picked the peonies...I loved how full they were. I bought 2 bunches - each bunch $1



Not bad right? I simply cut the 'stems' to make them shorter and tucked in one entire bunch into the vase.  I really kinda love the way it looks :)

I loved it so much that I decided to spread the other bunch around the apartment...

Some on my bookshelf...

Some in the bathroom...

I love the bits of hot pink splashed around the apartment, so Spring-like! So yes, I'm kinda on the faux flower wagon but don't worry - I won't get out of hand! I think in small doses like this - it's okay. Oh, and here's a couple of quick tips just in case you're thinking of joining me on this wagon ;) (1) Pick a fuller flower - like a peonie...or bunch together flowers that aren't so full to get a fuller look. (2) Stick to one type of flower - when you're faking it, don't try and do too much and call too much attention to it. Let it be "quietly confident" instead of "screaming for attention" (3) Try to get flowers that are closed...meaning the faux stamen isn't showing. Stamen on flowers always look like fake hard plastic because...it is fake hard plastic. (4) Cut off the leaves, or pick vase where you can't see them, or pack them closely together so the leaves don't show. They don't look real....at all. (5) Fabric, I think, looks more realistic than plastic.

Now - who of you are brave enough to admit you have faux flowers in YOUR home? Come on...

My name is Kay and I have fake...errr FAUX flowers in my home :)


Toronto Neighbourhood Poster from Ork!

About a year ago when I first saw the City Neighborhood Posters by Ork Posters I became immediately smitten.

see here

seen here

seen here

seen here

They only had a handful of neighborhoods at the time (all US) and I wished they had a Toronto one so I could, you know, represent for my 'hood. I loved the concept & execution of the posters so much I even debated ordering the NYC one - but then they announced they'd be making a Toronto one and I decided to hold off....

And look! Isn't it great. (& yes, Toronto does have a lot of neighbourhoods! ) I love the detail they went into to get all of the neighbourhoods...even the smaller ones. It's not yet available to order on the site but I imagine it must be really close to ready. I can't wait to order & frame it! (available here)


Weekend Plans

Yikes! I totally almost forgot that Earth Hour is taking place tomorrow. My plan was to go to dinner with a girl friend and then finally go see Avatar (FINALLY!)...so while I won't be completely in the dark...I kinda will? That still counts right? This weekend I also plan on giving myself an at home facial, washing my hair (a much longer process than you may think), and my mother has asked me to paint her kitchen. Yeah, she really did. I casually said - I feel like painting something...meaning somewhere in MY apartment and she took that as a sign that I wanted to paint her kitchen - which is due for a new paint job. We'll see about that.

What are your plans?


Your Questions Answered

Waaaaay back in January I asked if any of you had any questions for me - and some of you did! So I wanted to ensure I answered them because I did not forget and I appreciate you taking the time to comment/write/ask. So here goes.... :)

Me on a camel in Egypt '07

Mandy asked: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your style/how you decorate? What's your favorite TV show? What's your favourite meal to cook?

Hmmm fun questions! I think the biggest influence on my style/how I decorate is travel & different cultures. I LOVE travel and learning about different cultures and it's something I try to incorporate into my apartment in accessories, details & finishing touches....even with some of the colours I choose. I love interiors that have ethnic touches and pieces from around the world. My favourite TV show - that's a tough one! I watch a lot of TV. I love Cold Case & watch a lot of CSI (all 3 versions). I'm also not above reality TV - I like Project Runway (PLEASE don't say who wins - here in Canada we are behind by about 3 or 4 episodes!) and if anyone follows my tweets you'll see I tweet a lot about America's Next Top Model on Wednesday nights lol...and I really love Modern Family - so funny! My favourite meal to cook is probably curry chicken (Jamaican style) & mashed potatoes - I'm a pretty simple gal.

Katelin asked: What's your next big decorating project? I always love seeing what you come up with.

Thanks Katelin! My next project is my bedroom. It has remained UNTOUCHED since I moved in (1 year ago). It's crying out for attention and as much I desperately want to do something...I can't decide what I want to do in there. Dark & moody or light & airy....I'm so confused. But I did buy this duvet cover which is huge & I plan on using it to make a padded headboard...or curtains. Or maybe a bed skirt. See? Confused.

Ceecee asked: Well...have you met up with anyone you've met online? (bloggers/commenters) is it something you are willing to do if presented with the opportunity?

I've only had the opportunity to meet up with 1 other blogger so far - I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that I'm in Canada and a lot of my blog readers (according to my stats) are in the U.S. Earlier this year I met up with Nicole from So Haute while she was in Toronto for work. I'm a fan of her blog so it was nice to finally meet up with someone after having followed their blog and exchanged emails. I'm totally willing to meet up with bloggers/commenters. Meeting at least 3 in person is actually on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days - so if anyone wants to meet up drop me an email! I'd love to go to one of those huge blogger meet up thingys but they are always held in the U.S. and not some place I can get to easily (like NYC).

Mrs. Limestone asked: I always meant to ask you this but did you change your blog name? Or for that matter why have more than one blog? Just wondering what your thought process is.

Hmmm. Not too sure what name change you're referring to because there has been a few...but not in a while - so I'll try and address them all :) Waaaay back when I started blogging the blog was called "I'm Not Really A Diva" and it had the matching blogspot address. Then when I decided I wanted to have more of a design focus and I actually moved into my first (& current apartment) I re-named the blog "Apartment 412, etc" - I think that was about a year ago. Then when I got a new look for the blog in November 2009 I wanted the blog name and blogspot address to be the same - which leads us to the current Apartment #412. So it was a natural kind of progression. However, at the beginning of this year I did start a new blog called Ice Cream & Peonies. It's a separate blog and it's a bit more personal - it's basically where I post anything BUT design/decor. My thought process in creating that blog was to have this one remain more design focused and another that is more personal. I wasn't certain how to incorporate my more personal thoughts/posts into this blog and to be honest - didn't feel that some readers would be interested in all of a sudden reading more personal posts when the primary focus had always been design...and I totally get that. So I thought it'd be better to have a different blog for that.

Anna of the blog Door Sixteen's small kitchen solution

Shella asked: What are your biggest inspirations (in regards to design, blogging, life in general)?

My biggest inspirations in regards to design are travel (see first question above) and also seeing how regular everyday people like me decorate their homes - that's why I love blogging! Don't get me wrong, I find inspiration in design magazines but I love seeing how people without millions of dollars or access to professional designers or 'to trade only' fabric decorate their homes. How they come up with solutions to issues that I have too (like incorporating a desk into your small living space or adding interest to a plain box of an apartment with zero architectural detail...) And with so many design blogs - updated every day, and constant house tours on blog/sites like Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge, inspiration is everywhere!

Nicole's chic living room (blog So Haute)

Jason's small but stylish condo (blog These Roving Eyes)

My biggest inspiration in regards to blogging? Hmmm. I don't really have a blogger inspiration. I have tons of blogs I adore and find inspiring (for a variety of reasons) but I don't think they inspire the way I blog...(I hope that answers the question? or did I get the question wrong?)

My biggest inspiration in life in general? Whoa! Let's see. I'm really inspired by people who are living their lives passionately - who have the guts to do what they love and are making some kind of a difference in the world at large. I'm inspired by my sister who is one of the hardest working, most genuine & giving person you'll ever meet. I'm inspired by Maryam of the blog My Marrakesh who is doing exactly what I'd love to be doing in 10 years. I'm inspired by people like the author/founder of Room to Read John Wood and the founder of Charity: Water Scott Harrison. I'm inspired by many, many people...

taken with my iPhone...

Maria asked: I would love to read the whole quote that is up in your living room, painted on, what looks like canvas..? Did you write/make that yourself?

Yes I did make that myself! I blogged the entire thing and you can read the tutorial here. I couldn't decide on just one quote (and then I got the idea to do lines from songs I like too) - so it's a combination of a bunch of quotes/lines from songs and I did it so they kinda run into one another...no punctuation. Here are the lines/quotes I used - separated & with punctuation:

"Forget about trying to get through the storms, life is about learning to dance in the rain." (a quote I read from R&B singer Tamia)
"Express yourself. Don't repress yourself." (Lyrics from Madonna's Human Nature - one of my fave Madonna songs)
"Make it work." (Timm Gunn)
"Nothing happens until you decide." (Oprah)
"I am unwritten. I'm undefined. Can't read my mind. I'm just beginning the pens in my hand - ending unplanned." (Lyrics from Natasha Beddingfield's Unwritten)

And I haven't finished it yet but the final quote (once finished) will read: "Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can come together." (Marilyn Monroe)

I'm actually thinking of doing another canvas with just ONE quote or the lyrics from ONE song and hanging it somewhere else in my apartment. High impact, low cost :)

Seen at my local thrift store - could've kicked myself that I was too late to grab it up!

Anonymous asked: Hi there Kay, I was just wondering where you tend to do your "thrifting" here in Canada?

I search craigslist quite a bit (scored my bamboo chair on cl) and one of my favourite thrift stores is GUFF - they get great items and the prices are pretty fair. Occasionally I'll stop at a yard sale or two in the warmer months (scored this and this at one). But, by far, my favourite place to thrift is my local Value Village. The majority of things I've found & blogged I've found there. If you want to know which VV email me as I'd like it to remain my little hidden place :) but here's a tip: when going to the bigger chain thrift stores like Goodwill or Value Village go to the ones that AREN'T in the trendy/hip areas. Usually thrift stores in trendy/hip/fashionable areas have NOTHING and if they do get something worth salvaging it's gone in the blink of an eye. People in those areas know what they have and aren't likely to just give it away. However, if you go to one that isn't necessarily in the most fashionable area...or one in the suburbs - you'll find great stuff because usually people don't know what they have and just give it away. Or it's people (older or younger) cleaning out their attic/basement and getting rid of 'junk' or their grandparents stuff...that's when you find amazing stuff at even more amazing prices!

Whew! That was fun. If any of you have any more questions feel free to ask & I'll answer them in the future.

Polka Dot meets Animal Print

Most of you know my bathroom currently looks like this:

see full post here

I like it - but for the past few weeks I've been dreaming of this wallpaper as seen in Lonny Magazine:

see here

It's kind of fabulous and, as the article reads, reminds me of a cross between a polka dot and an animal print. According to the accompanying article it's from Albert Hadley - but I can't find it...and I have a feeling if I do it will be 'to trade only.'

So....anyone know where to either find it OR something very similar?


New Textile Collection From Ikea

Have you guys heard about the new Vilmie textile collection from Ikea? I absolutely can not wait for it to hit stores - which should be sometime this Spring. It's inspired by Africa and I specifically have my eyes on the black & white cushions which will be perfect to bring the ethnic feel that I really want in my living space.




I, for one, hate when blogs I enjoy aren't updated frequently. When bloggers seemingly all of a sudden drop off the face of the earth for days...let alone weeks (and in some cases months!). But, like every blogger who's neglected their blog for a while, life happened/happens. I've just been really uninspired lately in anything to do with decor (the HORROR! lol) or DIY and as a result have majorily neglected my blog. My little blog that I really do enjoy so much and have met such wonderful people, if only virtually, through. I have been reading YOUR blogs but haven't really been commenting much (so NOT like me).

But I feel something shifting. Maybe it's the nice weather...the approach of Spring. The vibrant colourful pictures of interiors that are starting to pop up everywhere...yup, I'm starting to feel re-inspired...and crafty.

So I hope you're still here & reading because I feel the blog posts coming on...

image found here


be inspired

Some of Canada's most popular, talented & well known artists got together to re-record Canadian (Somalian born) rapper K'naan's song Wavin' Flag (which I spoke about here) for Haiti.

Artists you may recognize (& may or may not have known are Canadian): K'naan, Drake, Justin Bieber, Kardinal Offishall, Nelly Furtado, Fefe Dobson, Jay Malinowski (of Bedouin Soundclash), Esthero, Avril Lavigne, Nikki Yanofsky, Jully Black, Sam Roberts, The Canadian Tenors, and many many others (50 in total). Click any of the linked names to go to music videos you may recognize - so many talented Canadian artists - I wish I could share/introduce you to them with you all!

Everytime I hear it I get goosebumps. Don't get me wrong - I know other artists from other countries have come together to record songs for Haiti and I'm really happy about it all - I mean, it's for a good cause so every thing helps. But this just feels a bit different. It feels inspiring. And it was done kinda low key. No big media frenzy. So Canadian, eh?

I love it.

& you'll probably be hearing this song lots as it has also been re-recorded to act as the official song for the 2010 World Cup. You gotta listen to that version too. You'll want to get the flag from whatever country you're from and wave it around lol. Sweet.

Have a great weekend all!