PRETTY TECH: Valentines Wallpaper Design

Lucky you, hearts two days in a row! I think these days we’re in love with our technology more than anything so it’s appropriate to give it a pretty wallpaper for valentines. Here’s a little something I designed for Wayfair. It has a calendar to keep you in check and the 14th is lit up in red so there’s no excuses. Head over to the Wayfair Idea Lounge to download this wallpaper for all devices.

Love-Wallpaper_laptopAnd here’s a second, less pinky option if you like to be a little more flirty with your tech. Maybe you have a serious thing going – à la movie Her.  It’s ok, no judgements here.

Valentines Free Wallpaper Download

Download this laptop wallpaper here

Valentines Free Wallpaper Download

Download this wallpaper for iPhone5 or iPhone 6 here. 
Valentines Free Wallpaper Download

Download this wallpaper for your tablet here.

DESIGN: heart on

Hey lovers! Valentines is around the corner and if you don’t have a love in your life doesn’t mean you can’t get a heart on. There’s something simple and classic about a heart. I decided to keep it really simple and create some graphic heart designs for my Sweet Escape Society6 page. They happen to look really great as pillows and will make really fun accents in your space, no matter what age. Black and white for mom’s sofa and pink & red for mini-you’s bed. Or if you’re me, red & pink on the sofa all the way.

(click on photo for product link)

Thanks to Society6 you can get any of these designs printed on a whole bunch of stuff as well as a variety sized prints. I happen to think that the hearts look especially great on the wall clocks, shower curtains and tote bags. What do you think?

red pink heart design wall clock / The Sweet Escape

SHOP CLOCKS: red heart, black heart, pink heart, white heart

Can’t you just picture any of these in an all white bathroom?

red pink heart design shower curtain/ The Sweet Escape

SHOP SHOWER CURTAINS: red heart, black heart, pink heart, white heart

Any of these totes will fun-ize an outfit but also, hello! great bride or bridesmaid gift. Yup, you can cross that one off your huge wedding to-do list.
red pink heart design tote bag/ The Sweet Escape

SHOP TOTE BAGS: red heart, black heart, pink heart, white heart

Winter Fun in the Country

winter-day-in-countryHey there Monday. How was your weekend? I admit there’s some irony to me writing a winter fun post while kicking back in sunny Florida while it’s – 20˚c at home. I know, not fair. For the record I actually don’t hate winter but to me winter must come with snow. Without the snow it’s just cold and grey. I don’t know about you but since….oh I don’t know, I got my license maybe – I just haven’t truly enjoyed winter the way I used to as a kid. Remember those awesome snow days? Building snow forts? Going skating? and for my family there were lots of ski trips. It was fun! Then I started to grow up, get all too cool for school and then literally go away for school, moved to Toronto on a student budget in a city where snow doesn’t seem to stick to the ground. That’s why I was so excited to receive an invite from my friends at Nestea to actually E-N-J-O-Y winter with a day in the country followed by some delicious food & cocktails.

winter-day-in-country4

The day started off with some horseback riding. My horse was named Amy. I love when animals have total BFF human names. I didn’t find out until after I (by “I”, I’m referring to Amy) accidentally joined the group of advanced riders who can trot that Amy is a race horse. Needless to say she liked to move. I was just happy I didn’t fall off but there were some touch and go moments. Although a bit frightened for my life, I still enjoyed the experience and the scenery was so beautiful covered in a blanket of snow.

winter-day-in-country1

Another day, another horse selfie. This guy loved the camera.

winter-day-in-country11

After horseback riding we took a little spin on a hay ride. It was sunny but also pretty damn cold. It was the first time I put my Manitobah Mukluks to the test and I’m happy to say that not only do they look great, they kept my toes warm!

winter-day-in-country3

winter-day-in-country5Once we were nice and cold it was time to change locations and get some drinks in our hand and food in our belly. The folks at Nestea put together an amazing intimate tasting & cocktail menu for the group of us at a beautiful cozy barn space at Country Heritage Park in Halton Hills. I loved it. Someone I know needs to get married there. Like for real.

winter-day-in-country14

We were greeted with hot toddies and blankets then seated for a tasting full cocktails using Nestea’s two new flavours paired with some delish bites.

winter-day-in-country9

I have a whole new perspective on using Nestea to make cocktails after this. It was a pretty close race but my fav drink was the Northern TEAni. It was a tea spin on a gin & tonic. Yum! You can find the Northern TEAni recipe right here. 
winter-day-in-country13

My close second fav was the Tea Royal. I’m a sucker for anything bubbly and in gold glasses and the rosemary twist was surprisingly perfect. You can find the Tea Royal recipe right here. winter-day-in-country12

We also tried a Sake TEAni and Berry Cool TEAni. Both were also really good, although the sake is more of an acquired taste.
winter-day-in-country8It was a great day filled with some winter fun, lots of new faces and some delish drinks and bites. Melissa 1 – Winter 0.

 

SPACES: my top 10 most popular Apartment Therapy posts

I can’t believe it’s been 1 year since I’ve been contributing to Apartment Therapy. It’s been so great to share my passion for home decor with so many people through AT’s huge audience. I don’t have access to stats the same way I do my own blog so, with the exception of comments, I’m never really sure how well I’m doing. And to be honest, if I’m only looking at the comments, I can’t help but wonder. Like seriously, I can’t wrap my head around the people who take time out of their day to publicly leave negative comments. It’s home decor folks, nothing to get worked up about unless you’re crazy excited about that amazing mid-century hutch, then use as many four letter words as you want.

The editorial team shared with me my top 10 most popular posts from the last year and it was really interesting to see what the people love. It looks like I’ll be posting some more great before & afters. What do you think? Do these posts tickle your home decor fancy?

Click on the photo to read the full post.

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Small Space Living

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Decorating with string of lights

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Small Space living sleeping solutions Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Doily DIY

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Kitchen reno makeover

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: home office makeover

Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Decorating bathroom with vintage pieces

Top-10-Apartment-Therapy-posts10
Melissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Shelley's Loft home tourMelissa's Top Ten Apartment Therapy Home Decor Posts: Ways to use an attic space

DIY: a mini garden to cheer you up

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

There was a particularly grey day that was making me feel particularly blah last week. In my attempt to get my sh!it together I had good intentions to make it to yoga class for the first time in months but was embarrassingly late so………I went to Home Depot instead. Makes total sense right? Well thanks to the rows of cheerful plants I stumbled upon, it totally cheered me up! I decided that a cute mini garden would be the perfect pop of cheer for the new kitchen.

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

After I picked out some cute plants I headed to Value Village to find a shallow bowl. I found this perfect dish that saw it’s hay day circa 80’s, early 90’s for $2.99.

DIY-succulent-garden-before

I also had this little zebra kicking around from an old project and decided that this would be his new home. He was originally also a thrift store find that I spray painted white. Easy.

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

Then it’s just a matter of arranging your plants and topping them up with some fresh, high quality soil and you have yourself a bowl full of cheer!
DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

I love my new table top garden! It looks perfect in my new kitchen, which you’ll see very shortly.  It would also make a great centrepiece or lovely gift as an alternative to a bouquet of flowers.
DIY Colourful Cactus & Succulent Garden / The Sweet Escape

If you liked this project, check out our DIY project gallery for more inspiration.

KITCHEN UPDATE: DIY waterfall butcher block island

And we have crossed the finish line people! The kitchen is done! All that was left was the not-so-small job of replacing the island countertop which I was secretly not looking forward to so there was some procrastination. But with a little help from a friend and an awesome new product discovery the island is done and looking awesome.

Here’s what the island looked like before. I love the space it gives me but I was NOT loving the cheap and dated laminate counter. I’ve always loved the look of butcher block and the waterfall design and thought combining them both would be a great way to warm up all the black in the kitchen as well as tie in to the wood above the kitchen and throughout the loft. (you can see the full before pic in the original kitchen inspiration post)

DIY butcher block island BEFORE AFTER

Keep reading to see how I transformed this into that. It was quite the learning experience.

Read More →

SPACES TREND: make you blush pink

Blush Pink Home Decor trend  / The Sweet EscapeIt’s been awhile since I’ve flooded this feed with some beautiful colour inspiration. Now I don’t claim to be a big home decor trend analyst but I am smart and observant enough to notice when a certain shade of blush keeps popping up on The Sweet Escape Pinterest page. I usually gravitate towards bold and jewel-like tones but I’m really loving a pop of this soft blush in a space. At first you may not think a colour associated with a nursery would be so versatile but surprisingly it is. Its softness can be embraced with other pastels or contrasted with dramatic shades of black or complimented with bold pops of colour. And how amazing does look with other natural textures and tones like marble and copper? If you’re a bit of a colour commitment-phobe, consider adding an accessory or accent that makes you blush.

If you liked this and up for some more colour inspiration check out some other Colour Story Posts.

PRETTY TECH: Wild One wallpaper download

I’m getting back to basics this week with a few regular features that I’ve neglected recently. Weren’t you like “when the hell is Melissa going to design a new wallpaper for me?”. I know, major slacking over here in the wallpaper dept. To make it up to you I have this design for all the Wild Ones out there. It’s from this print that I designed not long ago.

Wait, there’s more! I also took the time to put ALL my wallpaper designs since the beginning of this blog in one place. It’s time to go crazy and change up that wallpaper!

Wild One Typographic Wallpaper Download by THe Sweet Escape

Download the Wild One wallpaper for your laptopWild One Typographic Wallpaper Download by THe Sweet Escape

Download the Wild One wallpaper for your iPhone 5 or iPhone 6. Wild One Typographic Wallpaper Download by THe Sweet Escape

Download the Wild One wallpaper for your tablet.

If you’re feeling and all wild & crazy, stop by The Sweet Escape Society 6 shop to see this design on all sorts of things like laptop/tablet/phone covers, pillows, mugs, shower curtains, clocks, rugs and more.

KITCHEN MAKEOVER UPDATE: how to make your own open shelving

Before & After Kitchen Makeover: How to make opening shelving / The Sweet EscapeWe are on a role people! Two kitchen makeover updates in two weeks, and I even have another one coming before the final reveal at the end of the month. We hit a little speed bump but now we’re zipping along. The idea of creating some open shelving was there from the start if you check out the original kitchen makeover inspiration so it’s great to see it come to life. I’m calling it ‘faux’ opening shelving because really all I did was remove the cupboard doors and replace the shelves with something prettier. The shelves are not free-standing and I didn’t have to disturb the integrity of the cupboard structure to make it happen. Honestly this is my favourite part of the new kitchen and it’s because it gives me a space to style pretty things.

Here’s the before side by side with the after. What a change! Also note that even after 2 years of blogging and a million projects I’m still horrible at documenting the ‘before’ properly.

Before & After Kitchen Makeover: How to make opening shelving / The Sweet EscapeSo once the cupboards were painted, lights installed, the new counter, sink & faucet were in and the tiling was done, came the beginning of the end with installing these shelves. Oh I also decided to remove the under-the-cupboard lighting. I thought the valance was too clunky and the huge florescent lights weren’t so pretty and out of date. I hope to replace it with something more modern in the near future.

Keep reading to see how I created this stylish little nook.

Read More →

MAKE SOMETHING: 5 DIY’s to try this weekend

Phew, the first week back from holidays is over! Was that hard or what? Like seriously. My To Do list grew faster than my waistline in December. Well it’s time to take a breather. If getting crafty is your zen, here’s 5 projects to inspire you.

DIY'S to try / The Sweet Escape #woodbutter #jewelry #winestopper #chopsticks

DIY TUTORIALS: 1. Jewelry Dishes / 2. Matchstick Earrings / 3. Homemade Wood Butter / 4. Geometric Bottle Stoppers / 5. Chopsticks