A Pastel Home

Just in time for the Labour Day long weekend, the massive project we’ve been working on ALL summer long is finally here: THE PATIO!

Let me start by saying the outdoor space at this home is a LOT, like easily as much space outdoors as we have indoors between the yard, back patio, front yard, front porch, and small front patio as well. The backyard came together fairly quickly and easily once I planted my veggie and flower gardens, although I have added some flowering shrubs and bushes that I hope will really expand next Spring and transform the space a bit more. The front yard garden is still a very sad outrageous mess of weeds, and other than a power wash, we decided to leave the front patio and porch as projects to think about NEXT YEAR. Which just leaves… the back patio!

When Jonnie and I first toured this apartment, we were both overwhelmed by all the potential we saw for the back deck. It’s massive, partially covered, and gets a ton of great sunshine all throughout the day. On the day we got our keys, we did another little walk around, and he casually mentioned maybe it would be nice to do some painting to brighten up the space out there (sometime down the line). Unfortunately for him, he’d said it out loud to me, and I never do things reasonably or slowly or “in time”.

Shortly after moving everything into our East Van apartment, I came up with a plan for the back patio and got to work. Benjamin Moore very kindly supplied all of the paint we needed for the project, and I thought from there, the rest would be easy! A little sanding, a bit of painting, and voila – new patio! What can I say? I have a poor sense of reality. This turned out to be the most labour intensive home project that I’ve ever embarked on, and the work ended up taking nearly the entire summer to complete. We started with sanding back in June, then moved on to extensive pressure washing, and once everything was dry and prepped, we finally started painting. Turns out, outdoor painting, with various textures and previous paint jobs and endless cracks and corners and weather restrictions is much less straightforward than say, painting an accent wall inside.

I need to give credit where it’s due here: I had a lot of help. It took me, Jonnie, my sister, and her girlfriend Emily countless hours to finally get every inch of the patio painted, from floor to ceiling beams. Luckily Benjamin Moore’s Aura Exterior paint had such good coverage that we could get away with just one coat on all the woodwork (after a light sanding) but it still took ages to get between all of the fence posts, every angle of every roof beam… you get the point! The floor painting was my favourite part – we used a product called Sure Step, which had texture built into it that both prevents future slipping, and evens out the cement. Painting over our stained, bumpy old cement flooring and watching this paint fill all of the little holes and cracks was so satisfying.

When all of the painting was finally done, all that was left to do was decorate! A jungle of plants was obviously a must, but beyond that I felt a bit stuck. I used a lot of the same IKEA furniture from my last patio setup on the North Shore, so I really just some pops of colour to bring life to this space. I’m not sure how I landed on , but it turns out almost all of their pillows can be made as outdoor throw pillows! Once I fell in love with Megan Galante’s , the rest came together. White string lights and a couple of colourful candles pulled the vibe together for both day and night, and Summer’s favourite addition was definitely her from Busy Puzzle (love that nice neutral gingham fabric).

I shared the before and after video today in my reels, but I also wanted to put together a list of sources and share our experience with this project in full on here! Let me know your favourite part in the comments below!

Scroll down for shopping links


All paint by Benjamin Moore

Floor paint (special non-slip product) here (colour is “Desert Sand”)

Outdoor paint for beams and fencing here (colour is “Peach Cooler 022”)

IKEA Outdoor Couch here

IKEA Outdoor Rug here

IKEA coffee table (similar )

IKEA side tables here (no longer available)

Miss Garden Glory Shell chair pillows here

Oui by Indigo large pedestal planter

Oui by Indigo medium pedestal planter

Society6 leopard floor pillow

Society6 sun throw pillow

Society6 leopard throw pillow

Minnidip Banana Leaf Pool here

Similar banana leaf throw blanket here

Busy Puzzle indoor / outdoor swing here

CB2 Bistro set gold table here

CB2 Bistro set pink chairs (no longer available)

*this pink shell bistro set is also so my style and so affordable

White string lights here

Paddywax arch candle holder (similar here)

IKEA gold tray (similar here)

Candles by Homecoming and Lohn

Bloomin’ Easy low maintenance plants (like my pink lemonade rose!) here

Dear Diary


It’s RAOP’s 1 year birthday today!

I honestly can’t believe time has gone by so fast and so much has happened. I figure now is as good a time as any to share the story of Random Acts of Pastel with all of you right?

Last April I was miserably working at a part time job that took way too much out of me without giving anything back. I was sad and tired all the time, but I wasn’t really sure what else to do with myself. A few months away from graduating journalism school, I already knew I didn’t want a career in news reporting or mainstream media, but I was scared and unsure to try for anything else. Basically I was stuck, scared, and unhappy.

One day I got called into a meeting at work and was treated so cruelly by one of my bosses that there was really only one thing I could do: I quit. As soon as I had left and was out of her sight, I burst into tears. I had thought about taking that leap for so long, but I never thought I’d do it without somewhere soft and safe to land.


A few months went by where I burned through my savings and spent my days lazily sulking around wondering what to do with myself. I had left my toxic workplace, but I was still stuck in a rut of self-pity and depression. I knew I wanted to find a way to get my ideas out there and get my light back, but every option seemed daunting and overwhelming, so I just continued to waste time.

One night, my incredibly inspiring and supportive partner and I were plotting to spend a night doing street art around the city (I know, such rebels huh?) and I suggested we paint things pastel to put a little more cheer and colour into the world. We could call our little movement “Random Acts of Pastel” I thought, and then suddenly everything clicked.

Though the street art portion of my plan never really happened (yet), I still like to think RAOP follows the original mandate I came up with: to add a little more colour and cheer into the world! These days, I wake up every morning with a bounce in my step, excited to dream and create and share with all of you, and I truly feel like I’m living a charmed life. Over the span of a year, I’ve gone from sitting in a rut wishing my time away to cherishing every moment up on cloud nine, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Since I already have my gift, I figure you deserve something special too, so to celebrate this wonderful occasion, I’m running a big birthday giveaway! Here’s what’s up for grabs:


1. Three handmade greeting cards // Brianne Burnell
2. A confetti OR sprinkle mug // RAOP Society 6
3. A custom pet portrait // Justine Wong
4. A magical crystal necklace // Oasis Bloom
5. A Sailor Moon Tote bag // Rosehound Apparel


*Must follow all of the listed makers on Instagram (see my account for @ links)

*Must re-gram this photo on Instagram using the #RAOPBDAYGIVEAWAY hashtag. You can do this one time each day for the duration of the contest to enter more times! (again, see my account to re-gram the correct image)

*Must comment on this post about which prize you’re most excited about!

*Tweet or pin this post and image for additional entries, and make sure to use the #RAOPBDAYGIVEAWAY hashtag so I can find your entries (and/or link to your posts in the comment section here)

This contest will run for one week, until next Friday July 11th at 6pm. One lucky winner will score all of the above prizes (aka birthday presents), and I’ll announce them in the comment section here Friday night.

U.S.A. and Canadian entries only please!

CONGRATULATIONS @Carleygeorged!!! You’re the winner!

Flower crown in the first photo by Wit and Bloom, and mini vegan strawberry lemonade cake recipe coming soon!

Get Creative


You lovelies may not know this, but I recently started my own little Society6 shop! Filled with confetti, sprinkles and mint seashells, you can order just about anything you desire from Society6. This awesome company has helped me turn all my pastel dreams into pillows, shower curtains, clocks, and more, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

I’ve already ordered a few items for myself and so far I’m really impressed by the quality (especially the pillows!), but I’m going to order some new products in the near future too to “test” out. It’s just quality control, right? Stay tuned for photos!