How to create a gallery wall

How to make a gallery wall

Jordan and I decided to be productive on Labour Day. We finally got up the gallery wall we’ve been wanting to do for ages! (I know, I know… we’ve been here since May and we’re still decorating.)


That’s right after we moved in – can you believe it?! What a mess! We weren’t sure what to do with the space at first until we realized all that white space above the bookcase would be great for pictures.

How to create a gallery wall

Here’s a few things I learned during the process about how to create a gallery wall that works:

  1. Make sure there’s a mix. We had a lot of photos to choose from, but we tried to mix up sizes to keep it interesting. It’s also key to have both vertical and landscape shots to ensure the whole arrangement looks balanced.
  2. Plan things out. Don’t just hang willy-nilly! We arranged all the frames on the floor first and snapped a photo when we had an arrangement we liked, that way we could replicate it on the wall without making a mess.
  3. Use strips, not nails. Gallery walls can be ever-evolving as you add new pictures or move things around. Your best bet is to use picture hanging strips which won’t ruin your walls. It’s especially key if you’re living in a condo like us and aren’t allowed to nail things! We were able to find the strips at a few stores, including Michael’s and Canadian Tire.

If you want more inspiration for a gorgeous gallery wall, check out my home decor Pinterest board or these stunning rooms below:


My living room setup!

If you read my post awhile back about decorating with a guy, then you’re in the loop about how I moved in with my boyfriend Jordan this summer and have been figuring out how home decor strategies that work for both of us. It’s a bit tricky to be honest – there’s some compromise involved, and I’ve had to figure out new storage strategies to handle a LOT of “guy stuff” (aka gaming consoles, computer cables, TV clickers, and the list goes on). Keeping things organized has been particularly key in the living room area. This is what it looked like when we first moved our stuff in: My living room

And here’s the current set up, with some pictures and pillows to soften the look:


All the furniture (couch, coffee table, rug) is from Ikea. Navy/white pillows are from Indigo, along with the organizer on the table (which would also be good for a bar cart – wish I’d bought two). Red pillows are from Homesense. Pictures are from a random assortment of stores… and the one in the top right corner is from one of our dates at an amazing local Mexican restaurant La Carnita! My living room
And here’s my new favourite purchase! A gorgeous pot from Anthropologie. Cost me a hundred bucks but it’s so worth it – the colour is stunning and I can move it to a deck/patio if I have a backyard down the road. My living room My living room

Maximizing your pre-party cleaning


I’m finally throwing a little housewarming party tonight (after moving in over 2 months ago… sshh, don’t judge) and it’s got me thinking about pre-party cleaning. There’s the rushed kind most of us do, which generally consists of scrambling last-minute to get rid of clutter before people show up. But if you’ve got more time to prepare, a big gathering at your home is the perfect opportunity to do a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of your pad and sweep/scrub some areas that normally don’t get much attention.

Kitchen sink
Did you know that your kitchen sink could be full of bacteria? Yup, it’s true – a place that you “clean” your dishes in could have 100,000 times more contamination than a bathroom sink, according to a recent study by NSF International. Seriously, yuck. If you’re having folks over for a party, you just know they’ll be milling around your kitchen, so a few days beforehand is the perfect time to give your sink a good scrub.


Lots of guests equal lots of drinks in your fridge. That’s a problem if yours is jam-packed with food – including some that may be rotting right under your nose. Empty out the whole thing if you have a free day and see what’s worth keeping (it’s probably not as much as you’d think.) Chuck out old fruit & veggies and anything past the best-before date. Also, see if you have multiple containers of the same thing started, like ketchup or salsa for instance, put it all in one container to save room. For more tips, check out Apartment Therapy’s great how-to guide for cleaning a refrigerator.

Your entire bathroom

When was the last time you reeeally cleaned your bathroom? If nothing is coming to mind, that’s a problem. An upcoming party is the perfect opportunity. Toss your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher. Clean your whole toilet (that means lifting the seat too.) Windex your mirror. And scrub your sink, counter and shower/tub with a bleach-based cleanser. The whole thing really won’t take as long as you think, and having a spotless space for your guests will feel wonderful. Bonus points if you add in a sweet smelling diffuser.

What are your tips for pre-party cleaning? Let me know in the comments!

PS: Martha Stewart, goddess of all things clean and tidy, has a great selection of cleaning guides to give you even more inspiration!

Style: Summer sales!

Summer sales1. Kate Spade bow bag 2. RW&Co polka dot scarf 3. Anthropologie netted dot pillow 4. J.Crew necklace 5. Anthropologie Ikat frame 6. RW&Co necklace 7. J.Crew espadrilles

There is so much to love in the summer sales happening right now. SO MUCH! We’ve still got lots of sunshine left so it’s a perfect time to stock up on some (much cheaper) colourful pieces for your closet or home. I’m in love with everything above, but I’m thinking I’ll snag that orange polka dot scarf in particular… it’s too cute and could actually transition into fall (eek, can’t believe I said that in July!)

Decor inspiration: Black & gold

Black and gold

1. Warsaw tray, $479.20, Decorium. 2. Flatwoven rug, $299.00, Ikea. 3. Floor pouf, $274.97, West Elm. 4. Striped loveseat, $1299.00, CB2. 5. 3-piece brass wire cube set, $16.95, CB2.

I love pops of bright colour in any living space, but you need to start with the basics before adding the extras. All these pieces tie so nicely together in black, cream and gold – neutrals, sure, but far from boring. And they’d all help provide a streamlined backdrop that’d work nicely with red pillows or lush greenery (or whatever else you have in mind). Personally, I’ve already maxed out my decorating budget, so I’ll just be getting those cute brass cubes… not the almost-$1300 love seat!


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Decor inspiration: Celebrating Canada Day

It’s the Canada Day long weekend – the perfect time to think about adding something Canadian to your decorating. It seems our country is rather chic right now and I’ve stumbled on quite a bit of Canada-themed home decor lately. My top picks below!

Watercolour print on Etsy“I love Canada” watercolour print – $16.22 on Etsy
Isn’t this gorgeous? Would be stunning with a white frame and a big mat.

Pillows at Spruce

Various Canada-themed pillows – Spruce (Photo via BlogTO)
This store recently opened in TO and I keep meaning to check it out.
They have all these fun pillows with  everything from the Great Lakes to a map of Canada!

CBC record journal at Scout

CBC hard-bound record journal – Scout
Scout, a gift shop on Roncesvalles in TO, always has adorable (and often patriotic) trinkets.
This CBC record-turned-journal is no exception. What’s more Canadian than our national broadcaster?

To all my fellow Canucks, I hope you’re enjoying this long weekend and have a chance to celebrate our lovely country on July 1! Thanks to all our readers from coast to coast!

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Decorating with your man

Over the past month, my boyfriend Jordan and I have slowly been transforming our initially empty condo into a place that feels like home. We’ve made like FOUR trips to Ikea and built the furniture ourselves, which as you all know is the most fun thing in the world, clearly. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where I reveal the fruits of our labour! But first, I wanted to write about how to decorate with a dude (without killing each other). After doing it, I’ve definitely got some tips to pass along for any folks moving in with their man.


Play some show & tell

Let’s face it, most guys don’t want to spend hours talking about pillow options or whether “Picket Fence” or “Calming Cream” is a better choice for white paint. But it’s definitely good to have a quick conversation outlining your personal tastes. If your man is social media-savvy and willing, make a joint Pinterest board where you can veto each other’s ideas and post photos of rooms you enjoy. We tried this out and it helped us get a sense of the other person’s taste without spending a cent.

Make some swaps

As you start decorating together, you’ll probably have to compromise and swap some of your personal choices for ones that suit you both. I owned some hot pink pillows and my boyfriend, not surprisingly, was not a fan. I realized I liked them because they brightened up a largely neutral colour palette… so I swapped out the notion of pink for a trendy burnt orange shade. Now, our living room doesn’t look overly feminine, but the pillows (check them out in the photo above) still provide a much-needed pop of colour.

Have some personal spaces

We all have things we love when it comes to decorating. It could be an old favourite painting or a craving for a crazy patterned rug. While you might have to keep those decorating desires in check in shared spaces, it’s a great idea to have a few areas where you can each decorate to your heart’s content. For us, that’s our office areas. He’s putting up an Indiana Jones movie print, I’m putting up a painting he kind of totally hates. Both spaces make us happy!

Ditch the idea of a “perfect” room

Yeah, sure, we all want our homes and apartments to look like something out of a magazine – but let’s be real. Those staged rooms with no cords or clutter don’t exist in real life, especially when you’re living with a guy who loves his video games or movies or any kind of technology. The sooner we (and yes, I’m talking to all of us ladies) can get over the fact that life doesn’t imitate our inspiration boards on Pinterest, the happier we’ll be living with our dudes.

Have you ever decorated a space with your significant other?
Let me know your tips for making it work in the comments!