Saturday, February 27, 2010 cute!

rouge has had a busy week with lots on the go. Last week I attended a baby shower for a wonderful mom-to-be. We were celebrating the fact that this fine family will soon have a very welcomed addition. They are finally close to the successful end of the long and bumpy road called adoption!

I did a little reconnaissance over coffee the week before to get some hints about what kinds of design elements they had in mind for the baby’s room. Here’s what I gave as a gift to help inspire the room. It’s a little project that makes for a great baby shower gift, but could easily be adapted to fit any kid’s room.

• I used an old frame I had been hanging on to because I liked its wide sides and square shape. No glass required for this project!

• Next, I glued stiff back felt panels to create the backdrop for the piece. Stiff felt is the best choice for this because it’s more solid and easier to get a smooth, tight seam and clean edges to perfectly fit the frame.

• Then, I cut out all the shapes that I wanted to include on various colored felt.

• For the bird, I found an outline online, printed it on paper, cut it out and used that as a stencil to make a felt version.

• For the flowers, I glued paper flower shapes to the backside of my felt pieces and let dry. Then, I cut out the felt flowers, using the paper shape as my guide.

• I cut three pieces of grosgrain ribbon to represent tree trunks.

• Next, I laid out all the pieces and moved them around until I found a design I was happy with.

• The last step is to spray glue them all in place and let dry.

This is a quick and easy project that was fun to do. I’m thrilled that the mom-to-be liked it and is excited to add it to the new baby’s room because it fits within the planned design scheme.

Most importantly, I’m honoured to think that in some small way this will help welcome the new addition into the family.

Welcome, little Laney, can’t wait to met you!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

lighten up

This month’s Home Stagers Atlantic meeting was held at Living Lighting (6417 Lady Hammond Road) in Halifax. I always enjoy going into lighting showrooms…bright, warm, and loads to look at. Maybe it’s the season where we all need a little (or a lot!) more light in our lives!

We covered a lot of topics, but here are a few tips that I thought were most interesting and could have the biggest impact in your space…

• Consider outside landscape lighting for your home. There are now many options in low voltage, no electrician required, systems that easily plug into any outdoor receptacle.

• For the inside, think dimmers. Switch as many of your wall switches to dimmers for a cost effective (approx $7/ each) way to add some flexibility and variation to your existing lighting. Can you say mood lighting?

• When designing or updating a room, remember to think about layering your lighting. Google it…it’s what’s most talked about in terms of lighting and design tips. It’s not a new idea, it’s just that people are finally catching on. Table lamps and floor lamps are not just for your living room or bedrooms anymore…they work in entrances, foyers, hallways, kitchens…etc.

Here are some fast facts and tidbits that will make you sound like a pro when you casually bring them up in conversation:

• In California, there is a new bylaw that states you have to have at least 5 rooms in your house have to have energy efficient lighting (LED, fluorescents). Way to go Cali!

CFL bulbs have a 3 hour start up time…when you flick your switch, it’s like starting a jet engine where all the power and energy goes into turning them on. They take no power to run. That means there is no energy or cost savings in switching them on and off every time you enter or leave a room. It’s better to leave them on for 3 hours.

Halogens are perfect for bathrooms and are what’s used in hair salons & makeup counters because they are the closest to natural light. These are the white lights that have more light output and are energy efficient.

LED lights last forever. And they don’t cost anything to burn. But the initial cost is still high, so they are not mainstream yet. Phillip’s launched an LED bulb in the US that screws into your regular base. They are $80/each and not available in Canada. That sounds like a lot (and it is!), but you only ever buy one…over a lifetime (they really do last forever)…you do the math! In Canada, we are still stuck with the blue-ish light like the first generation of Christmas lights. But hang on, they are coming.

Hope that gives you a few things to think about this week…so lighten up, would ‘ya?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

a little love...

{rouge note: I know this is totally off topic, but I just can’t help myself. Last week was design your own fabrics, this week is design your own shoes. How incredible is that?!? A little love on Valentine’s day, I’d say! (thanks again I’ll be back next week with more from the home staging and redesign world, but until then…get to work on creating your dreamy shoes! I'm thinking red...}

Sydney-based online shoe retailer Shoes of Prey ( is directing the design-your-own trend towards stylish, custom-made women's shoes.

Launched in October, Shoes of Prey's simple, online design tool puts bespoke shoes just a few clicks away for women wanting to design their dream shoes and have them hand-crafted to match their requirements. Customers choose the style, heel type, heel height, adornments and colours, and select from raw materials including calf skin, snake skin, fish skin, silk and more, which makes for a near infinite number of possible combinations.

Prices range from AUD 195 for ballet flats to AUD 300 for 4½-inch heels. International shipping is available, and the shoes take about six weeks to arrive. The service is backed by a generous returns policy which guarantees that if the shoes don't fit, Shoes of Prey will remake them until they do; and if the customer doesn't like the design, they can send the shoes back for a full refund or have a new design made for them free of charge.

Friday, February 5, 2010

design your own fabric

{rouge note: we learned about an interesting new company this week that makes custom fabrics for you…it’s eco-friendly and it’s all done online (thanks!). Check it out…}

Consumers have already shown that they're interested in designing their own dresses, T-shirts and duvets—to name just a few—so it's not surprising to see the trend spread from finished goods to the raw materials that underlie them. Recently one of our spotters alerted us to another design-your-own fabric opportunity in the United States.

North Carolina-based Spoonflower ( lets users design and print their own fabrics for just USD 18 per yard with no minimum order; custom swatches cost USD 5. After a closed beta launch in May, the Spoonflower community now boasts more than 10,000 crafters around the world who upload their own designs and use fabric to make quilts, clothes, pillows, dolls, blankets, handbags, framed textile art and more.

When Spoonflower comes out of beta, it plans to allow fabric designers to sell their fabrics on the site, it says. In the meantime, users are selling their creations on Etsy, as well as participating in Spoonflower's Fabric-of-the-Week contest, the winners of which are chosen through community voting. Winning fabrics are offered for sale for exactly one week through Spoonflower's own Etsy shop, and their designers are rewarded with five yards of free fabric.

It's not yet clear how Spoonflower's marketplace feature will work, but allowing users to earn cash for their creations is critical. If there's anything Generation C(ontent) consumers love more than the ability to design it themselves, it's the ability to be compensated for their output. Long live Generation C(ash)!