Sunday, August 28, 2011

can you see it? do you know what I mean?

I read about this super cool website in a magazine yesterday and wanted to share it with you today…

Autodesk® Homestyler® ( is a free online home design software that brings your interior design plans to life. It’s as easy to use as “drag & drop” and has a bunch of great features including:

Layout your floor plan -- Layout rooms, size floor plans, and add in details like doors, windows, and furnishings in just minutes.
Decorate with real products -- Choose from over 22,000 generic and brand name items in the product catalog.
Experiment with options -- Try out different design ideas

Visualize your new space -- Take a high-res snapshot of your final design to see a more realistic view of how things will look.

Save & share your design -- Share your design ideas and get feedback from friends, family, design professionals, or the tradespeople you are going to work with.

The best part? You don’t have to download anything and it’s free!

I’m a very visual learner, but not a high-tech tech-y kind of gal, so this perfect for me! I suspect I’ll use this tool more than once…even if I’m not working on a specific project, it’s sort of fun to play around with it…

Is that so wrong?!

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, August 21, 2011

brighten up

Now that the renovation is done (and so awesome!), I started thinking that the kitchen needed a little something more.

It has been said that once you start renovating, you can’t stop. And I already have a list! But as I am dreaming about what I could do next, there are lots of little things that can make a big difference now.

(It has also been suggested that I may be a bit nuts about changing my own home’s design and d├ęcor!)

Regardless, here’s the perfect example. While I loved the moody purple that I painted my kitchen three years or so ago, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t be bright enough once the addition was built and the windows were moved.

So after the dust settled, I took the leap and repainted the walls a much brighter color (Benjamin Moore, poolside).
It’s a bit of a shock to my moody, calm and cozy instincts.

But it totally appeals to my love of a “vintage-y mixed with modern” vibe.

There is now a huge contrast between the walls and the black counter tops and cabinets, with stainless steel hardware and accessories. A little pop of red here and there really pulls it all together to give it a hint of a retro diner feel.
No question, that the kitchen is now more than bright enough. Can’t wait to see it in the middle of winter….

And when I get tired of it? Well…what’s the big deal about another can of paint?

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great finds online

Here's one of the blogs I follow from time to time....

It's called GUFF ( and there is something that keeps me coming back to browse again and again.

They're a used furniture store loaded with great stuff. In the mix you'll find interesting vintage finds, mid-century modern classics, re-purposed industrial pieces, and much more! (

Perhaps it's because it's just so simple...a tool that the owners of "a second-hand"store use to showcase a new, interesting arrival. Perhaps it's because there is something new posted almost every day...and to me, that feels like it must be an exciting place.

Like I'd like to just go and hang out there for a few days to catch all the action -- interesting pieces coming in the door, wondering about the crazy stories and history that comes with them, the great deals to be had if your timing is just right...

If it was located closer (it's on Queen Street East in Toronto), it would inspire me to jump in the car and scoop up some fabulous deals!

For now though, it inspires me in other ways. Vintage, teak, Danish mod....ahhhh, so fun to look at and such cool designs!

And an excellent reminder that good, solid pieces are indeed beautiful and can stand the test of time.

Happy browsing!

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Monday, August 8, 2011


I hate to think about this already...but it's time.

Fall (gulp) is really just around the corner. It was a shock to me to be out and about this weekend and realize that all the summer "seasonal" stuff is being rearranged, marked down and moved aside for Fall merchandise.

Back-to-school merchandise is offically taken over. That means if you are looking for the very best deals in outdoor furniture and accessories, now is the time. Actually, you may be a bit too late already.

To that end, let's talk about extending your time on your patio and outdoor spaces.

A patio heater (also called a mushroom or umbrella heater) is an appliance for generating radiant heat for outdoor use. You knew that, right?

Well, here's how it works: a burner on top of a post, burns LPG or propane, and directs the flames against a perforated metal screen. Heat is radiated from the surface of the screen in a circular pattern around the appliance. A reflector atop the burner reflects heat that would be otherwise lost upwards.

A newer type of patio heaters are the InfraRed Patio Heaters, which although claim to be environmentally friendly, use grid electricity. Grid electricity is 2.9 times more carbon intensive than gas.

Patio heaters became more popular with bars and restaurants first, since they extended the day and the season for their customers to sit outdoors. Now, they are becoming popular with the average homeowner and are much more readily available.
So, if you are in the market for one...there are lots of choices: table top, stand alone, hanging, ones that look like lamps, ones that look like art, and ones that even connect under your umberella. You can get propane ones, ethanal ones, and electric ones. Remember to consider where you want to put it, the radius of the heat it will throw, and of course, how it fits into your decor style!

Since I've just begun to enjoy my new, awesome deck, I'm not even close to being ready to give it up for the season. So this baby (Canadian Tire, $299.99) will be warming up my deck for weeks to come and late into the Fall. And then again in early Spring.
Until next week, enjoy the warm of the summer, but plan ahead to stay toasty even longer.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

cottage must-haves

I know it’s probably a little late…you’ve probably already got your cottage all set up for the summer and you’re well in enjoying it.

But, I have friends that just sold their lovely little cottage…and bought another lovely little cottage just down the road from the old one. So, after three years of making the other one awesome, they are starting over again…this time on a better piece of land.

I read a couple of good little articles about cottage style recently (thanks again,, and I wanted to share some thoughts.

The cottage is a cottage, not your home, so it should be treated a bit differently. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get the attention. Just the opposite, actually.

It’s the place you go to relax. It’s the place you entertain. It’s the place great family memories are made.

It’s the place you can have a more relaxed style, more whimsy, more fun. But that does indeed mean that lots of thought should be put into setting it up and organizing it just so.

My tips? It should be all about the basics. Then, build and evolve your cottage style as you go.

Here are a few cottage must-haves to start:

1.BBq – invest in a good one. It’s worth it.

2.Hammock – so important to have a quiet place to read, nap or just enjoy the scenery.

3.Adirondack chairs – comfy, sturdy and long lasting. Who doesn’t love them?

4.Fire pit – nothing better than gathering around the fire after the sun goes down to tell stories, play music and roast things (marshmallows, wieners, s’mores…and the list goes on!)

5.Cooler – drag it over to wherever the group has gathered…it means less trips in and out of the cottage and it give the feel of easy luxury when everything is so close at hand.

6.Storage – hide all the rainy day games in one neat and tidy spot. If it doubles as extra seating, a coffee table, end table, foot stool, then all the better!

7.Music – take the party to the beach, the dock, or playing inside, music is a must-have.

8.Beverage dispenser – mix up a large batch of lemonade, iced tea or even water to enjoy all day long. Make the self-serve part easy and it will ensure good hydration in the hot summer sun.

9.Dinnerware – try melamine. They are perfect for outdoor dining and they come in so many bright and bold graphics they give lots of pops of color to the table and scream summer living!

10.Beach towels – laying out on the deck or dock, taking a swim, or enjoying a quick cottage shower, you’ll need lots of these! If you’ve got kids, try color-coding them so everyone knows who’s towels are who’s. Hang some fresh ones in the room for guests, too!

Hope you enjoy the cottage…there’s at least a month left to go!

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/