Seasonal Decor : 6 Easy Home Changes To Welcome Spring

Spring has arrived! I'm embracing the season change with a decor switch up. Taking the time to edit winter interiors and incorporate spring elements is easier than you'd think. It's as simple as swapping out heavier accessories for those with a lighter, airier, fresh aesthetic. 
(1) One of my favourite ways to create a sense of spring, and perhaps the most literal, is with the introduction of live elements, such as fresh flowers or bulbs. If you don't usually buy yourself flowers it doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. Grocer's tulips are cheerful and abundant. Forcing bulbs is also an inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable way to breathe spring into a space. Bulbs are typically very aromatic and can last for much longer than cut flowers and add a pop of colour to otherwise dull interiors. 
(2) Scents have a tremendous impact as well. I have several rich, spicy candles that I get out in the fall. I pack them up and swap out new ones at this time of year. Treating yourself to a fresh floral, or bright citrusy candle is such an easy way to ring in spring. In the kitchen and bathrooms, a fresh new liquid soap does wonders too. 

(3) Another quick change is to edit out heavy textures and dark elements like faux furs, velvets and woolly throws in favour of brighter, lighter weight textiles. Switching cushion covers and blankets is perhaps one of the easiest ways to visually lighten up a space.

(4) Area rugs are a consideration too. Something thick, warm, and plush brings comfort underfoot when it's cold outside. I look forward to rolling up the winter area rug in favour of a sisal or sea grass one every year. It feels reminiscent of the beach and more tropical interiors.

(5) Many of my favourite winter accessories are heavy and opaque porcelains and metals… things such as vases, candle holders, etc. Incorporating elements such as clear glass vases, and lighter semi opaque glass touches will also lighten a space. It all works together when there's a common tying visual cue, like the layering of gold elements. 
(6) Last but not least, you can take a look around your house and switch out any darker colour tones for lighter shades. I was amazed at how many things I found to switch out... black kitchen towels in favour of white striped turkish hand towels. I swapped a dark grey shower curtain and bath matt in favour of white ones. 
Do you have a tried and true way to usher spring into your home? 

1. Make organization of seasonal accessories easy by storing out of use elements in a labelled plastic bin. This will aid in the ease of switching decor up when the seasons change.
2. Keep a photo journal of your favourite decor set ups stored on your phone or iPad. Recreating vignettes will be easy with a visual prompt. 
3. Always properly clean and repair decor elements before storing. There's nothing worse than going to get your favourite throw blanket and realizing that it has a stain from last spring. 
4. Clean the dust off fall candles with dampened soft cloth and trim the wick. This will make unpacking a breeze in the fall.
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Spring Cleaning : 5 Tips For A Fresh Home

Historically and culturally, people around the world welcome spring with a deep home cleaning. In times before furnaces and vacuums, the first months of spring were typically the earliest possible time to crack open windows and doors. You would let the wind in to help carry away dust, and air out the stagnant smell from an open fire or hearth. 
It was also common to white wash (a thin paint like mixture consisting of lime and chalk) to coat interior walls that had blackened with soot over winter months. This practise obviously became obsolete, and now with innovation home cleaning has never been easier.

Our homes still gather a layer of dust when they're sealed up for the winter months. A thorough cleaning refreshes our interiors, and significantly alters our mood by washing away any residual sign of winter gloom and welcoming spring. With the right tools, tips, and cleaning product the job is actually very pleasant. 

I think many of us learn our "cleaning styles" from our parents. As a child my mom was a dedicated user of Pine-Sol. I warmly associate the smell with Saturday mornings. I was delighted to discover that Pine-Sol had worked with the International Federation of Fragrance to develop a delightful new scent called Spring Blossom that still embodies the powerful clean it's known for. The timing couldn't be more perfect, and I was excited to give it a try. 

Once opening the cap, I was hooked.  It smells amazing. Am I in my kitchen or in a garden south of France? Also, the liquid itself is pink! The loveliest shade. It makes the cleaning process feel that much more appealing. Because really, why shouldn't cleaning be pretty and inviting too? I tackled my big spring clean over the days before Easter.... we were able to relax and enjoy a fresh home over the long weekend. 
Here's some tips on how I tackle the art of spring cleaning:  
  1. First make a list and break jobs down by room and task. I start with areas needing the deepest clean --kitchen/bathrooms and work from there. Rarely used rooms, like a formal living or dining room need a less invasive cleaning than spaces used daily. I love the idea of one cleaning product being all I need for every job along with a soft cloth, sponge and mop. I made up a solution of my new Spring Blossom Pine-Sol with hot water and divided it into four buckets. Four buckets you may ask? Yes, four, a bucket for each member in my household. Secret side tip, children and husbands are excellent at cleaning too and it speeds up the process so everyone can enjoy a fresh home!
  2. In the Kitchen, work your way from top to bottom. Wipe cobwebs at the ceiling line. With a soft cloth wipe cabinet fronts *don't forget the top surface of the door, top of fridge/hoodfan. I'm short, so I can't see the dust from below and I'm always amazed at how much there is. Use a storage bin to soak oven burners, fridge bins and anything else that needs a deeper clean (add more Pine-Sol to this solution to loosen up grime). From there, work your way down and scrub the backsplash and open wall spaces, lower cabinet fronts, toe kicks and baseboards before mopping floors. Lastly, once you're done rinsing everything in the bin you can clean the sink.
  3. Don't forget lightbulbs gather dust too. A soft dampened cloth with a bit of Pine-Sol spring blossom will loosen any baked on dust and lightly scent the bulb.
  4. Slightly dampen an old pillow case with the Pine-Sol cleaning mixture to clean fan blades. This was a trick my grandmother taught me to keep the dust from falling on your face.
  5. Sharpen and disinfect your garbage disposal with ice cubes made of a 50/50 mixture of Pine-Sol and water.

This post was sponsored by Pine-Sol. All styling, advice and opinions are my own.


Holiday Floral Reveal | How To Decorate With Greenery

Hello! This is the team from Amborella Floral Studio for our first ever post on Moth Design. Erica asked if we'd like to be contributors because we work so closely together and we loved the idea.

Today we're talking about holiday florals, but first here's what we did for Erica's home.
We started in the living room with a silver dollar and evergreen garland for the fireplace.
A mixed evergreen wreath adorns the hood fan.
We created a similar but slightly thinner garland for the headboard out of the same greens.
We added in two personalized vases (Erica's own) for the bedside tables.
Amborella Holiday Floral Guide

Outdoor Items: 
  • Garland, wreaths, swags and boughs for planters can be ordered mid December and will last until Christmas Depending on weather- it'll need to stay below zero. Avoid direct sunlight if possible or you may need to replace some bits before Christmas
  • Order garland by the foot 
Fresh Floral Table Decor:
  • Pick up Dec. 23-24th for blooms to be in optimal condition for dinner with guests
  • Order in to the florist one week prior to reserve necessary florals
  • Order by colour of decor (we will do the rest)
Fresh Interior Decor:
  • Garlands last 7-10 days indoors before drying out
  • Long lasting Foliage: Eucalyptus (many varieties- seeded, silver dollar, baby blue, and feather) this will dry out but still looks pretty and will last 1 week +/-
  • Long lasting Blooms: Skimmia, cut Amaryllis, Star of Bethlehem (longest lasting blooms in flower shops- up to 3 weeks) Ilex Berry, Disbud Chrysanthemums, Leucandendron (Safari Sunset) and Brunia  
  • Bulbs: Amaryllis and Paperwhite
  • Evergreen Boughs: Cedar, Pine, Silver Fir and Juniper (available all Dec. for under $15 a bundle)
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Gift Giving + Decor Updates : The Cross Design

I've always been a fan of The Cross Design in Vancouver. A little behind the scenes info... back in 2005, when I worked with Sarah Richardson but hadn't ever even been to Vancouver; I became aware of this gem on the west coast when many of their accessories were put in the Vancouver General Hospital Lotto home that Sarah did. Since then I have had the delight of visiting more than once in person and would have to say that the style of the store is exactly my style.
I had to share because I recently received a gift and when it arrived I was delighted with the way it was wrapped with such care. It's nice to know if ordering a gift for someone the parcel arrives ready to put under the tree and the best part...this service is complimentary. The last day to order for shipping to ensure it arrives on time is midnight Wednesday December 14! Happy shopping friends!
I love these ornaments that arrived and the moroccan pouf above is from The Cross as well. 
A mini Eiffel tower and crystal votive holder dress up this little corner.
The cutest little jingle bear ornament.
This feather Cameroon Juju hat is always a reader fave. A statement piece for any room.
I stocked up on these bubble champagne flutes in advance for New Years Eve too!

My gift pick list: 


The Art of Display | The Perfect Bar Cart

I love hosting guests for any and every reason throughout the year but it seems during the holidays the number of people we entertain doubles. Sometimes you're expecting them but sometimes you're not. In the event that I have surprise visitors drop by I've always kept a properly stocked bar cart so that I'm prepared. There's something so dignified about being able to offer a well mixed cocktail in front of guests at a beautifully curated drink station. The ceremonious mixing and presentation of a signature beverage creates such an experience for your guest as well.

Here's what you will need to put your own cart together, or to fill any gaps in an existing cart:
  1. A bar cart or cabinet.
  2. Staple liquors based on drinks you'll make. A good start is bourbon (or whiskey), gin, rum, tequila, vodka, vermouth.
  3. Wine. Depending on preference. It's nice to have champagne on hand for special occasions.
  4. Mix. Soda, tonic, bitters, sugar cubes, simple syrup.
  5. Glassware. Highballs, lowballs. Stemware. 
  6. Mixing tools. Mixing pitcher and strainer, shaker, shot glasses, ice bucket, stir spoon, jigger. corkscrew, citrus press or ream, pairing knife, muddler,
  7. Small trays to organize and divide items based on purpose or use. 
  8. Quintessential cocktail recipe book like these here and here.
  9. Extras. cocktail napkins, straws, coasters.

Tips to setting up:
  1. Splurge on bottles with pretty packaging.
  2. Work decor elements, like fresh flowers or a candle and additional matches into the display.
  3. Don't be tempted to go bananas buying obscure liquors. Stick to the basics you'll actually use.
  4. Freeze raspberries in cranberry juice to serve brunch guests a more thoughtful mimosa.
  5. Be creative but stick to themes that will honour the rest of the room the cart resides in.
  6. Keep a lucite tray or two on the top shelf of your cart as your main prep surface and to keep bottles in. It will be easier to take away and pop in the dishwasher to clean up sticky rings and drips. A sticky bottle in my own home actually removed the lacquer surface of my side board and left a ring exposing the bar wood below.
  7. If there's a particular drink that's your favourite stock items for it first and indulge in the right tools to make it. For example if you love dirty martinis invest in some pretty olive picksmartini glasses and appropriate ingredients.

Of note, one of my sweet LDS friends made an amazing refreshment cart. She keeps it stocked with sparkling apple cider, san pellegrino fruit seltzers and whatever else suits the occasion.
Shop my top picks for bar carts and all other accessories broken down by column:


Holiday Hosting Made Simple : 11 Tips To Stress Free Entertaining

The holidays are a joyous time. We reflect and feel gratitude for those we hold dear, some of whom we might not see all that often. I love hosting get togethers during the holidays to ensure I see everyone.
Often times we think of entertaining as a full blown dinner party. I've found it less stressful and more fun to host gatherings that are less food centric and more about visiting. For some reason we measure ourselves in entertaining terms by how much we actually prepared and how complicated it was. The more involved the recipe the more accomplished the host. Many of us pull it off, however, I've found many end up focusing on the food and serving all night, then addressing clean up and are exhausted the next day... potentially not even having had time to really talk to all of the guests. If you've ever felt totally overwhelmed by hosting it can make you reluctant to try again.
This year I hosted an early get together with family and friends who always head out of town for the holidays. I decided with absolute certainty that I would figure out a way to make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible. I thought a drop in would be a good idea and that it would be dessert themed with a very basic array. I planned all that I would need to host the perfect event and headed to Willow Park Village. It's incredibly convenient to have every single thing I could possibly need all in one stop. The upside of shopping in a setting like this too is that it becomes a welcoming little community, people in shops remember you and are happy to see you return.
Planning was so easy. I ordered a stacked 6" on 8" cake from Crave Cupcakes and additional cupcakes for the children. I then walked two doors down to order flowers, including some for the cake at Blooms and Butterflies. In between those two stops Kate King Jewelry caught my eye and I popped in and treated myself to a new ring to match a pendant I already have. Another two doors down I picked up two Brie bakers and the next stop, some new toss cushions and a throw and the living room was ready to welcome guests.
I spoke to an expert at Springbank Cheese Company to create the best cheese pairings to compliment my other choices. I made several more stops purchasing some necessities and all of my work for gathering the right things was done in under an hour. I didn't need to prep a single thing with exception of the brie that I warmed and my signature drink. It was the easiest set up ever.
I welcomed guests to come as they please on Saturday afternoon for a quick bite and drink between a set hour window. I arranged the cake and baked goods on pretty white stands and made up the cheese board to balance the sweet. Guests sipped a Winter White Sangria recipe that I came up with and there was an alcohol free juice medley for our tiny guests. Everyone was able to make it and we ended up having the loveliest time.
Fresh eucalyptus and pear are the perfect touch to this cheese platter. 
Bud vase blooms,  fresh hand towels a scented candle are pretty vanity additions. A new liquid soap means guest won't have to fumble with a bar.
Extra blooms adorn this amazing cake and were so easy to set atop. 

From planning and set up to cleanup I've included a step by step list to hosting your own amazing get together.

11 Steps To Stress Free Entertaining:
  1. Decide on your event date. Create a guest list and evite guests, Naughty or Nice with no more than three weeks warning. This is the magic number, any longer and people forget or make alternate plans. 
  2. Create a prep list outlining food, florals, serving supplies or decorations and check it twice. 
  3. Order florals and bakery items a week in advance. This way if you have a flower or dietary request you have extra time to confirm availability or make alternate plans. Inquire as to whether they have a delivery service. I did with Crave and Blooms and Butterflies -the nominal charge was completely worth it. 
  4. For savoury items it's always an option to keep it simple. I did a warmed brie but sticking to room temperature finger foods reduces prep time, cuts back on clean up and won't require heating or utensils. You can buy cheeses, crackers, olives, etc... ahead of time to help with early organization.  
  5. If you're cohosting or you live with someone delegate some prep or cleaning jobs to them. 
  6. Pick necessities up the week of in one shot and set everything up the night before so all you have to do is address the actual food and drinks the day of.  
  7. Restock the restroom with clean towels and extra toilet paper. For an added touch I swap out our bar soap for a new liquid soap. This way guests don't have to touch communal soap.
  8. Make a signature cocktail and serve in a punch bowl or labelled jugs. Guests can help themselves to a beverage and you're free to visit. Make sure to have an alcohol free option for those driving and children. 
  9. Encourage a friend or family member to capture a few candid photos. Hosts are often too preoccupied to but the pictures are great to look back at later. 
  10. If you'd like to decorate your cake with fresh florals tack an extra bloom or two on to your order ahead of time. Keep them in a cool dark spot the day before and place them on your cake at serving time. It's such a nice added touch. 
  11. Lastly, heat your brie shortly before expecting your first guests. Any oven will act as a warming drawer if kept at 200°. Make a second warmed brie and keep covered for when guests have made their way through the first one. Then you need only take the new one out of the oven and swap your brie bakers. 
All items supplied by Willow Park Village. 
1. Cakes, cupcakes and cakestands- Crave Cupcakes 
2. All florals - Blooms and Butterflies 
3. Throw Cushions - Down Bedding
4. Pendant Necklace - Kate King Jewelry
5. Lace trimmed slip dress - Knickers and Lace
6. Children's clothing - Stephanie's Kids
7. Fir candles, throw blanket - Home Treasures and More
8. Liquid Hand Soap - Skoah
9. Brie Bakers - Compleat Cook 

This post was sponsored by Willow Park Village. All styling, advice and opinions are my own.


The Style Files : Sentaler Coats

Everyone loves a success story. I've enjoyed watching as one of my favourite Canadian labels, Sentaler, a luxury outerwear line, has risen to the top in a very short time. They're known for their Alpaca (which are sustainable, fair trade and cruelty free) wrap style coats with signature ribbed sleeve detailing. The brand is gracing magazine covers as worn by the Royal Duchess Kate Middleton (here) and on Canada's first lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (here). A year or so ago I was lucky to meet Bojana Sentaler when she had a trunk show for her coats at Holt Renfrew. She is a warm hearted, lovely person who's keen fashion sense and eye for detail is unparalleled.
Find Sentaler in store at Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom and The Bay or purchase online on their site (here).
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