Late winter Flowers

I have been rather preoccupied with work the last few weeks but with the weather being so glorious right now, I had to post these images.

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Due to a very mild winter, these cheerful violas have been blooming since mid January. I plant my containers up in the autumn when pansies and violas become available at the nurseries. They bloom for a few weeks and then keep a low profile till late winter or early spring, weather dependant.

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While not as showy as the big pansies, violas are fragrant. On warmer days, I catch their fragrance when I go in or out the back door – wonderful.

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Golden Lights, Golden Nights

A favourite lighting store of mine, Pine Lighting, had the following lighting on display, the last time I went in. I would love to use these fixtures in a new home………

I have a weakness for light fixtures, and a weakness for gold and sparkle too, in the right setting. Matte gold finishes are quietly working their way back into fashion and I am delighted about it. This finish is nothing like the artificial brass opted for in the 80s and early 90s. (I have seen more than a few people shudder at the mention of that 80s look.)

This new finish is looks warm and worn, more subdued than brass. I have seen the new gold  working with organic subject matter and surfaces, like the branches in the light fixtures below.

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Maxim Lighting -Manchester 6-Light Pendant

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Maxim Lighting -Manchester 3-Light Semi-Flush

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Golden Lighting Autumn Twilight Series

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Golden Lighting – Autumn Twilight Series

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Crystal detail

Winter Interest

Garden

Winter in the garden

I know that here on the west coast of Canada, our winter weather is very gentle compared to other parts of the northern hemisphere. Winter here usually means  plenty of cold rain, shorter days and a few freezing cold spells. Making a garden interesting through all 4 seasons can be a challenge as the rains and frosts eventually finish anything that isn’t an evergreen.

It is always a bonus when a plant looks interesting for more than one period of the year. A number of roses in the garden remain interesting because of their rose hips. They will keep their colour a little longer into winter. The species roses and their close hybrids tend to show the best hips .

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Species rose hips

There are still some fantastic, flouncy seed heads on clematis Tangutica. Like feathered pompoms, c. Tangutica’s seed heads right through an old pear tree and into a rambling rose Lykefund.

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Clematis Tangutica

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Seed heads of clematis Tangutica with rose hips of Lykkefund

Blue Christmas

No one is fonder of a cream, silver and gold-decorated Christmas living room, than I, but sometimes it can be good to change the traditional up a bit and challenge the eye. I have worked with other non-traditional colour palates previous years, in decorating my own space for the holidays. I change things up a little from year to year for my own sake. Some years my eye craves something out of my usual comfort zone, as winter and the darker days settle in.

Not at all intentional, but I seem to have a selection of blue Christmas vignettes  to show this year.

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Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40, one of the best pale blues I have found for north-facing rooms.

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Benjamin Moore Overcoat CC-544 – can appear more grey than blue sometimes but the pink accessories in this vignette at The Cross Design really bring out the blue here

This window display has Benjamin Moore Flint Af-560 on the back wall. The pops of orange emphasize the blue.IMG_2128

Tables in a new Benjamin Moore product Vintage Chalk paint. More about that at a later date. Colour CC-40


Marsala Pantone Colour of the Year for 2015

Every autumn, a number of us colour lovers wait in anticipation to see what Pantone will declare as  the next colour of the year. What they choose is meant to be a predictor of all things involving colour – from nail polish to textiles. The selected colour is representative of a range, or a feel of a colour.

Marsala in reality, is a sweet fortified wine which ranges in colour from claret to a tawny brown. The colour, and its berry/wine/brick relatives, have been making a reappearance in  the world of fashion and beauty in the last 18 months so it is not a great surprise to find it in decor now, especially in the winter months.

With greys still so popular, marsala inspired colours would be perfect for adding a touch of warmth to a room. Cushions on a grey sofa or towels in a grey bathroom, they would be a welcome contrast, nestled into a cooler palette.

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Here are a few examples of marsala/wine/berry toned accessories from Urban Barn, – (local for me and affordable for many):

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Owls

I cannot go any further into late autumn without mentioning ornamental owls and accessories. They were everywhere last winter, and was advised on at least one occasion that “owls are very in this year”. Well they are still around for this winter.

Below are a sampling of owls, including one of the most popular light gray paint colours at the moment.

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Owl cushion – Urban Barn

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Ornament/Accessory – Urban Barn

Then we have Parliament Interiors, located in Gastown, Vancouver. Not only are they quite partial to stocking a few owl-centric items, they have the real birds in at least once a year for a visit from O.W.L.

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Accessories – Parliament Interiors

Old World Look in New Tile

I came across these tiles at Tierra Sol  in Burnaby a few weeks ago, when working on a completely different project. Cementine tiles look very much like salvaged treasure from an old villa, located somewhere exquisite in Europe. Made by Fioranese in Italy, Cementine tiles would be perfect for a farmhouse kitchen, a conservatory/sunroom, or perhaps wall tiles on a focal wall in a foyer. They are available in several colour ways but would also look good if mixed randomly.

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