LL's Bedroom Update | Urban Walls Installation How To

Earlier this year I tackled a new big boy bedroom in partnership with CIL paints, for my youngest little guy, LL (here) Ikea dresser hack (here). I love the way the room turned out but felt it could use a little more visual interest. I've always loved Urban Walls seeing stars and it dawned on me one day that this was the perfect place to put them.  I loved how it all turned out and couldn't wait to share.
Getting them up on the walls was a lot easier than I thought it would be once I figured out the math. Here's how I went about installing them:
  1. Plan Out Placement: I created an alternating pattern (on paper) that looked even and symmetrical. To do this I divided the wall in half and that measurement became my middle installation line. You always want an odd number of lines (a middle line with an even number of lines on either side) so that the boarder decals are all the same. Then I divided the remaining spaces on either side of the middle line giving myself a 2" gap around the corners, ceiling and baseboards so as not to crowd the stars. It turned out that the space divided evenly to accommodate 9 lines with stars placed all at exactly 18" apart. To create an alternating pattern I measured out placement of 5 stars in the first top first row all at 36" apart. Working my way down the wall with a level. I then started the second alternating row by dropping down 18" and measured the exact middle point between the top two star measurements in the row above (18" in from each) I made a lot of light pencil lines on the walls but this ensured that all of my measurements were exact and correct. Definitely worth the extra time it took to measure. 
  2. Map Out Placement On Walls: Once I planned and mapped out all measurements with very light pencil ticks on the walls, I then carefully cut out the star decals into individual squares and starting placing each star in its place. I aligned the 4 tips (north, south, east, west) of the stars with the pencil ticks I'd made and used painter's tape to hold them securely in place.
  3.  Erase Pencil Measurement Lines: I made quite a few marks on the walls to ensure everything was level and kept in line. I went back in after everything was secured and used an eraser to remove any trace of my measurements. *also very important make sure you brush away any of the crumbly bits the eraser leaves behind with a soft DRY cloth... you don't want a lump under your decal! 
  4. Install Decals: Now that every star was in place I was able to stand back and confirm that I was pleased with the placement and could move on to installation. To do so carefully remove the decal backing. I found the painter's tape I used held the placement of the star well enough that I could gently roll the star down and the tape kept in place perfectly with where the pencil ticks had been. I then used some force to smooth out any air bubbles over top of the protective layer on the decal. I then carefully and slowly peeled the top layer back also removing the painter's tape all in one smooth, slow steady movement.
The best part is that LL loves his room. 
Many of you asked on my instagram sneak peek where things are from so I included a good selection of sources below. The beds (most inquired about) were from Crate and Barrel and they no longer have them but I've found a few similar styles that I like just as much. 

Find your perfect Urban Walls decals (here). For Seeing Stars direct link (here)

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Simple Stylish Dresser Round Up

For The Floor

Bedding And Pillows



Weekend Project : Mini Succulent Garden

It's no secret that I struggle to keep plants alive. I discovered recently that my level of plant neglect is totally suited to succulents. I actually can keep them looking decent by simply leaving them alone.
I was inspired by images both on instagram and pinterest to create my own little mini indoor succulent gardens.
First I went and spoke to my friends at Amborella Floral studio. They helped me figure out how to go about planting them. I also bought a few succulents there. I picked up the rest at Plant another shop here in Calgary.  

Steps To Create Your Own Succulent Garden:
  1. Pick out container to hold succulents. I had this white porcelain bowl from a previous project. Gather other necessities... I used clay pellets from Ikea, miracle grow soil and then purchased the appropriate amount of succulents.  
  2. Line planter containers with an inch or two of clay pellets for drainage.
  3. On top of pellets fill in another layer of soil. 
  4. Arrange succulents giving each one a bit of breathing space and fill in area around succulents with more soil. 
  5. Mist. 
  6. Place in sun and water sparingly 1-2 teaspoons once every 2-3 weeks. 


Family Trip To The Badlands

Last weekend we decided to take the boys on a mini road trip. I was fortunate that Chevrolet Canada had given us a Cruze to try for a few days and it prompted talks of some sort of adventure. We often think of Banff or Lake Louise as our typical destinations but this time we wanted to do something new. Luke had fondly remembered going to Drumheller as a boy and suggested we make a day of it. We set out Sunday morning for the highway and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Once we arrived we went straight to the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum. Upon arrival we discovered it was Alberta Culture Days and our entrance to the museum was complimentary.
The museum visit was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. There were so many great exhibits. Once out of the museum we explored the surrounding Hoodoos a bit on foot.
Before we knew it the day was almost gone and it was time to pick up a late lunch and head back home so that our little dog, Molly wasn't alone too long.
One of the things we all joke about when travelling with children is the repeated "are we there yet?". I was happy that LL and Ethan were both entertained, there and back on their iPads with the OnStar wifi. Luke made a road trip playlist the night before and I hooked up his phone to the dash and we enjoyed listening to the built in Apple CarPlay. The Cruze was spacious and comfortable and perhaps the most impressive thing... I drove around all over for 6 days straight (including our heighway drive to Drumheller) and was shocked to discover I'd only used a half a tank of gas. It was $24 to fill up the remainder.
All in all it was a great day and given that it'll likely snow here soon, it was so nice to get away for one last beautiful fall trip.

This post was sponsored by Chevrolet Canada. All opinions are my own.


Discovery Files : The West End

We often like to explore new neighbourhoods on the weekend. Everyone I know has been talking about the West End here in Calgary, and all of the amazing things to see and do there. I hadn't ever been to this area of my city and I figured it was time to visit this up and coming community.
Another thing we love to do is to check out model suites on weekends. It's always fun and inspiring, and a great place to gather new design inspiration. I particularly love it when you stumble upon something truly fantastic. We discovered the Avenue West End Development, a beautiful building with unparalleled views overlooking the Bow River and nestled amidst the other charming spots we'd discovered.
Over the past week, I’ve been sharing my experiences in the contemporary Avenue West End show suites and established West End community to highlight the amazing perks of riverside living at its best.
We headed over with our bikes early on Saturday morning. Our first stop was Alforno for some lattes and their delicious fresh baked goods. The Alforno interior is beautiful and it was hard to leave.
Our next stop was to bike along the river. It was such a beautiful day and we couldn't believe how close in proximity the river was to the core of the West End. Myself, Luke, and the boys found ourselves wishing we could live so close to the pathways and parks along the river.
We spent some time in the suites and found ourselves so impressed with the fact that every beautiful finish, including marble accents, high end appliances, heated bathroom flooring and their stunning CresseyKitchen™, comes standard.
As an interior designer, I’m always looking for new d├ęcor inspiration and love to decorate new spaces. Avenue West End has amazing neutral backdrops throughout, making it fun to incorporate bold statement pieces like my local artwork. Having such amazing interior features like marble and glass makes creating a whole look and theme a lot of fun (and simple!). 
The building also has so many well thought out amenities, like an amazing fitness facility and a concierge (no more missed deliveries!), a dedicated bike tune-up/repair room, and a shared dog/bike wash station in the parkade (no muddy paws from river walks).
I could envision myself hosting fun Friday night gatherings in the CresseyKitchen™ , with the help of neighbouring businesses VineStyles and Janice Beaton Cheese, and enjoying laid back weekends in the contemporary suites we visited.
The seamless floorpans were well thought out and provided lots of concealed storage; which can tend to be an oversight in compact living spaces. Visit the Avenue West End site (here) to learn more.

This post was sponsored by Avenue West End. All photo, styling and opinions are my own.


The Art of Display | Copper Kitchen Accents

It's true that the rose gold and copper accent trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I believe that as our access to different things online grows so does the longevity of trends and finishes. I lovingly remember Ray Staples, a designer out of Toronto exclaiming that we could mix woods in interiors because "all the trees in the forest get along". I feel the same about mixing metals. I love how copper adds a glimmer of warmth to marble and cool metal tones, it looks incredibly distinguished with black and is so pretty against white.
I've done a serious round up of all of the best rose gold/copper accents and have included ways in which to incorporate them in your home. The great thing is that you don't necessarily need to invest a lot to get the desired look. Pick and choose your accents and layer in as much or as little as you like. There is no wrong look when it comes to adding.
In my kitchen I've had measuring spoons and cups, knives, candles and a bud vase for some time now. I haven't tired of them so I recently added new cooking/serving utensils a bodum coffee maker (which I loooove) and several other goodies.

In the lower image I deliberately went with split height salt and pepper mills. This way the pepper creates more of a focal point and visual interest. The rose gold knife block has been a favourite addition given it's functionality and beauty. I get so many compliments on them. 

I love using trays as a foundation to items on counter display. They ground things and make them appear less busy. They're also a practical choice for cleanup.

This copper Bodum was a splurge purchase last weekend. I love indulging in ways to make the mundane a little more appealing. My regular plug in coffee maker is anything but pretty but this whole set up is making mornings that much more enjoyable. 
Below I've included several more copper accents. Many of them are on my wish list. 
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Getting Personal : An Update

It's true that my blog posting over the last little while had a pocket in which I spoke much less about myself, my family and my private life. It was brought to my attention via a couple reader emails and on social media that some of you were wondering about how my personal life has changed over the last few years. I think many of you liked updates with regards to me being a single mom running a household with 5 boys. I started blogging in 2009 and my boys were all much younger (LL was just a baby). The truth is much has changed and I thought maybe it's time to share that.
My eldest three boys are all living on their own now and pursuing their dreams via music, school and work. I'm very proud. My youngest two boys, Ethan and LL are still at home with me and let's not forget our family dog, Molly who constantly keeps us entertained with her bizzare antics.
I have a boyfriend, Luke. I've been seeing him for over two years now and love that he makes me laugh every day. It's amazing how mundane tasks such as grocery shopping or preparing meals are that much more fun because we're tackling them together.
I focus less on design projects now and more on social media work and styling. I still consult on design for friends, family and past clients to keep myself fresh in that field; I also enjoy the odd project to stimulate creative ideas.
My youngest two have just returned to school. I have several campaigns I'm working on and will soon be starting out on a whole new home makeover. Everything is worn and almost every space needs some form of updating. I've already started planning for this and can't wait to share these exciting changes with you.
photo Jamie Hyatt
For those of you who wondered, thank you for reaching out and thank you for following along with me since the beginning! I hope reading this will convey a more updated vision of my family life.
xo Erica


A Serene Sleep Bedroom Update | Better Sleep Prize Winner

In follow up to my sleep post I thought I'd share a round up of my additional favourite bedroom space accessories. When it comes to designing our homes I've noticed time and time again that people leave their bedroom space to be the last on the list to address. We spend hours of our lives in bed so I'm always of the mind that we should really address this space first.
Beautiful accents make spending time in your bedroom that much more enjoyable. Here are some suggestions and below is the winner of the better sleep prize package too!

My Top 5 Bedroom Design Tips:
  1. Use a tray on your bedside table (like the marble one above) to corral extras. I keep scented candles here, matches and a strike, a lidded container so tiny earrings don't get lost, flowers when I have them, coasters, etc...
  2. I've become a huge fan of using a savvy sleepers satin pillow case (here). My hair and skin have never been better. 
  3. Investing in one good set of sheets is so important. I love my Serena and Lily ones (here). Investing in two good sets means you have a back up set and you're not stuck waiting on sheets to wash and dry to change them.  
  4. Keep a lidded water glass (here) on your side table. It's a little luxury to not have to get out of bed at 3am when you're thirsty or have a dry throat.
  5. The perfect bedside lighting makes all the difference, especially if you read in bed. Invest in something you love with the right proportions and you'll be thankful that you did.
The winner for the giveaway was comment 30 out of 42, belonging to Alanna Dunn.  Congratulations Alanna. Look out for an email from me. I read each and every comment and was delighted that so many of you liked my tips... especially the emergency bedside kit.
Hope you're all having a wonderful Saturday on this lovely long weekend. xo Erica
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