A Pastel Home

I’m usually quite quick when it comes to developing a vision for a space, and most of the rooms in this new apartment were a piece of cake – except for the living room. Since moving in last year, the living and dining area of our apartment have been constantly in-flux. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really designed such a large, open space, or because we wanted to make the furniture we already had work vs. buying all new everything, but no matter how many times I shuffled items around, it just didn’t feel “finished” or “right”.

Fast forward to a whole year of living here, and Jonnie suggested maybe we just needed to buy a bigger couch. His words were a big ah-hah moment for me – as much as I loved our faux leather couch, it just wasn’t well suited to this space. We needed something bigger. We needed an Article sectional.

Article is our go-to for just about everything furniture related. A Canadian company based right here in Vancouver, they design beautifully crafted items at attainable prices. When it comes to sofas and sectionals, there was no company we could find who did it so well, and so within our budget. We were torn between so many different styles, but in the end we went simple, low, and classic, with The Abisko Sectional.

Making that one big switch made a world of difference to our living room – it finally felt intentional, like everything flowed the way it was meant to. A few extra bits and pieces helped tie it all together, like this pedestal side table and massive new terrazzo planter for our fig tree (an overdue upgrade!) Mostly though, we made use of the items I’ve had for years in different apartments, like the pink area rug and the rocking chair that originally lived in Summer’s Nursery.

I couldn’t be happier with this open, airy, modern beach bungalow-inspired space, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Like what you see? Click through here for $50 off your Article order of $200 or more!

Sources and shopping links listed below…

Shopping Links //

Article Abisko White Right Sectional 

Article Lanna Pink Round Sheepskin Pillow

Article Vardo Oyster White Side Table

Article Tuva White Terrazzo Large Planter

Article Coffee Table

Article Dining Chairs

IKEA floating shelves

IKEA dining table (sold out, similar here)

Crate and Barrel Kids Pink Floor Lamp

Pink Moroccan Pouf

Large Wool Moroccan Pouf (one of a kind, similar here)

Area Rug from Lulu and Georgia x Claire Zinnecker collection (sold out, similar here)

Paint colours from Benjamin Moore – main colour is AURA Interior Paint in Light Quartz 2011-70 Matte, tile accent colour is ADVANCE Interior Paint in Mixed Fruit 2011-50 Semi Gloss with a coat of Fresh Start Primer 046 beforehand

Surfer art by Sabina Fenn from iCanvas

Bubble Vase from Homecoming Candles

Jar Candles by Homecoming Candles

Brass wall mounted candle holders by Fredericks and Mae via. Coco Et Olive here in Vancouver

Additional planters from Ingido and Hudson and Oak

Fireplace set, vases, bookends and other details not noted are found items or vintage treasures

Click through here for $50 off your Article order of $200 or more!

Some of the items featured in this post were gifted, but my opinions remain entirely my own.

I'll Follow You Anywhere

This is likely the most impromptu travel guide on my site to date, and it comes down to the many wonders of Seattle taking me completely by surprise! Originally we had planned one night in Washington’s largest city to see Justin Bieber, and we didn’t intend on doing much else. When Justin cancelled his show the day before we were set to leave on our trip, we decided to go ahead anyway, and I immediately took to googling and Instagram hashtag searching, determined to find at least a few local gems.

I ended up with more than a few gems – Seattle is a full on treasure chest full of inventive plant-based products, charming wine bars, and delicious dining. In just 48 hours, we found so many incredible spots that I could have easily spent a full week just wandering around.

We’ll definitely be back to Seattle soon!

Scroll down for my favourite places

Stay //

Ace Hotel Seattle

Pali Hotel Seattle

The Edgewater Seattle (we stayed here and it was $$$ but worth the splurge for a special occasion!)

Shop //

Butter Home

Flora and Henri

Eats //

The London Plane

Homer (make sure you try the soft serve, and/or check out their sister restaurant Milk Drunk for ice cream down the street!)

Beecher’s Cheese

Sips //

La Dive

Marseille Wine Bar

Petite Soif Wine Bar

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Treats //

Frankie & Jo’s

General Porpoise Doughnuts

Dance //

Pony

Queer/Bar

Unicorn

Spots we didn’t get to try but want to try next time:

Big Max Burger Co.

LA Josie’s

Eden Hill Restaurant

Sabine Seattle

Eve

Taylor Shellfish

Foreign National

Stateside

Bistro Shirlee

Little Neon Taco

Cafe Flora

Shug’s Soda Fountain

Le Pichet

Atulea

Opal Studio Nails

I'll Follow You Anywhere

When I envisioned Summer’s early years, I always pictured lots of travel. She’d grow up on sandy beaches and knee-deep in snow, forever chasing a new adventure while eating whatever food was available without complaint. I had high expectations for a highly adaptable kid, and I was going to get as many flights in as I could before she turned 2 and trips became double the price.

And then 2020 threw us all a massive, coronavirus-shaped curveball, and my globetrotting toddler fantasies evaporated.

It’s been 3 years since Summer was born, and aside from a few flights from Toronto to Vancouver and back as a newborn to see family, we haven’t ever taken a proper vacation together (like so many families these past few years!) When we booked this Garrison family Disneyland trip in the early Autumn (a tradition from our own childhood that I have been so eager to pass on to Summer) we were convinced COVID was only going to get better. As cases grew we became less and less confident in our decision. I already had one “Summer’s first Disney trip” cancelled in March 2020, and by the time the holidays rolled around this past year, I had resigned myself to another cancellation.

And then, after spending Christmas Day together, one by one my entire family tested positive. With the worst having already happened, and our chances of contracting or spreading the virus again so low, we decided to move forward with the trip after all. And gosh, what a trip it was!

Taking Summer to the Happiest Place on Earth (for me that means a both California itself, and Disneyland within it) was nothing short of a dream come true. All of the magic that I’d been so lucky to experience in my childhood came to life all over again seeing it through her eyes. All of that said, there were quite a few things that were different due to travelling with toddler in COVID times, and I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks we picked up along the way:

Travel Tips

Personally I find travelling with a kid Summer’s age fairly fun, and a lot less stressful than the unpredictable baby on a plane phase. Summer was so excited to fly, and she did incredibly well on our flights. Some simple things that helped were:

  • Choosing a flight time where she was well rested. Summer does NOT nap on the go anymore, so we try to plan travel around nap time vs. inclusive of nap time. Our flight down was first thing in the morning and couldn’t have been easier – we just ran around the airport before boarding to burn some energy, and then she sat and watched a movie almost the entire time without moving. The flight back we flew late afternoon when she usually naps, expecting she’d pass out from exhaustion after 4 days of swimming, sunshine and Disneyland. Unfortunately she did not sleep, and ended up begging to get off the plane and into her bed by the end of it. Lesson learned!
  • Packing new and exciting snacks is a great way to keep your kid occupied on the plane once they get sick of watching movies / screens. Raisins, fun granola bars, cheese strings and fruit roll ups are a couple of our travel favourites, plus a lollipop for emergency meltdown moments (they keep Summer busy for the longest time!)
  • Packing a few “gifts” is a toddler travel tip passed down from a dear friend of mine, and it really works. Basically the trick is, wrap up (or just pack up) a few exciting new toys, like little books or trinkets from the dollar store. It doesn’t have to be a big investment – mostly it’s about giving them something NEW. When Summer is getting testy / bored on a flight, this has been a surefire way to calm her down and gain more calm time.
  • I can’t offer a super helpful take on travelling during COVID times – because we had tested positive so close to our trip, and had passed the 14 day recover time, we were not required to test on either side of the border. The rules on this are constantly changing, so I recommend checking both the Canada website and the website for the country you are travelling to, bu at the time we flew, we needed a positive test result and doctor’s note confirming we had recovered.

Disney Tips

For those who don’t know, I’m a Disneyland fanatic. As in, I have the castle tattooed on my body and I have been to the parks 25 times so far (I’m turning 32, if that puts it into perspective). Taking my own child to experience the magic has always been on my bucket list, so making this trip happen was a BIG deal.

  • Plan for breaks! This was a major learning curve for me, because I like to do Disney all day with no resting whatsoever (fyi my feet STILL hurt from this trip weeks later). Summer still naps, so late afternoon she crashed pretty hard and refused to sleep in the stroller. It was really helpful to travel with the grandparents because they were more than happy to take Summer back to our hotel room for a break while my sister and I rode as many adult rides as we could fit in. If you’re traveling solo and taking turns isn’t an option, I’d recommend taking an extra day in Disneyland (there are a lot more rides for toddlers in Disneyland park vs. California Adventure Park) so you don’t feel too rushed trying to get to everything when your kid is exhausted. 
  • Make sure you pack masks for your kiddos, as they do need them for some of the indoor rides if they’re ages 2 and up (this may change, but for now it’s quite seriously enforced at the park)
  • Do your shopping outside the park to avoid wasting time once you’re through the gates. Almost every store on the Disneyland property stocks the same items, save for a few specialty shops, so I recommend hitting up Downtown Disney in the evenings after the park is closed (World of Disney has the most choice anyway!) I found it particularly hard to find clothing in sizes for toddlers this time around, especially matching stuff with adult sizing, but the Disneyland hotel gift shop was actually a hidden gem full of kids sizes and styles I didn’t see anywhere else. 
  • We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel this time around because it was such a special trip for us all (and it’s nice to be “in the magic” at all times with kiddos) but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it right now. A lot of the perks that come with the price were on hold, such as early park entry for hotel guests, and a lot of the services were really lacking (we had cold water for showers most mornings!) In the future, we’ll likely save money staying at a nearby offsite hotel, but we did really love the Disneyland hotel pool, so no regrets!
  • Overall, if you are a big Disneyland fan like me, I’d suggest lowering your expectations for a visit right now. Unfortunately it felt like so much of the experience has been impacted by budget cuts and staffing issues. We had quite a few extremely negative encounters with “cast members”, many of the shows weren’t running, and a lot of the special little details from past visits were missing. Despite the changes, remember to be kind! Everyone is doing their best with the current situation, and kindness goes a long way, especially at The Happiest Place on Earth!
A Pastel Home

As previously mentioned, decorating kid’s room is by far my favourite type of styling (like, can this be my full time job down the line please?)

In this line of work, and as a mom in general, it’s easy to get sucked into buying all new everything all the time, especially after a move, but I’ve really enjoyed challenging myself to make each of Summer’s spaces so far feel different, without breaking the bank on a whole new set of furniture.

There wasn’t much I could do as far as customization in Summer’s old room because we were in a brand new condo, so when I relocated to our current older home, I was eager to add some really special touches here. I didn’t go with a theme, instead I wanted to make the decor about all of Summer’s favourite things: cats, berries, birds, rainbows, and pink! It all started with Chasing Paper’s Smitten Kitten Wallpaper – possibly the cutest wallpaper pattern I’ve ever come across, and it comes in either traditional wallpaper, or peel and stick if you’re renting and need something less permanent!

The strawberry curtains (currently out of stock) were also an awesome find that helped shape the space early on. I haven’t ever really worried about window treatments in my past homes, but this time around I’m really loving the way a beautiful curtain rod with a patterned or coloured curtain can change the feel of a space. Plus it’s easy to take them down and bring them with you next time you move.

I kept Summer’s old rug, rocking chair, the bench from my childhood room that I repainted last summer, and our beloved gold crib from Babyletto, but with the toddler bar conversion kit, which instantly turned this heirloom piece of furniture into a safe and beautiful big girl bed. I added new bedding from Crate and Kids, a canopy from Sorens House, and a swan soaring overhead in place of a mobile, a combination that makes Summer’s sleeping experience feel whimsical and new without fully replacing her crib with a bed. I

I also wanted to keep the book wall that I have re-created in each of Summer’s rooms with IKEA picture ledges, but this time it felt important to include a smaller, accessible bookshelf in the space so she can pick out and read her favourite books. I went with the Babyletto Tally Book Case from West Coast Kids, a gorgeous piece that both works in the space and looks amazing too.

And of course it wouldn’t be an RAOP rental redesign without switching out a light fixture! Originally I tried re-using the IKEA light from Summer’s old room, but it felt much too small this time around, so I invested in a gorgeous flush mount I’ve been eyeing from Mitzi and I plan to re-use the IKEA one in the hallway (if I can ever sort out what breaker that light is on…)

With so many delightful little touches, this room is the happiest place in the house, and I can’t wait to watch it change and grow as Summer grows too!

Keep scrolling for more photos, and source / shopping links

Shopping Links //

Cat Wallpaper by Chasing Paper

Crib by Babyletto with Toddler Bed add on (available for order in Canada through West Coast Kids)

Canopy from Sorens House

Bedding from Crate and Kids

Rocker by Nursery Works

Quilt from Crate and Kids (on sale!)

Swan Ceiling Decor from Freddie and Birdie Co.

Rug from Lorena Canalis

Tally Bookcase by Babyletto

Leather pouf from Mashi Moosh (similar on sale here)

Lydia Flushmount light fixture from Mitzi

Swing shelf from Winter and Vine (no longer available, similar here)

Gold curtain rod from Crate and Kids

Art by Selena Wong

Strawberry curtains from H&M

Mini piano from West Coast kids

Coffee maker from Sorens House

Custom name puzzle from Busy Puzzle

Toy Bench from my childhood (similar here)

Most books from Collage Collage

A Pastel Home

One of my favourite spaces in this apartment from the first walk through was the kitchen: with tons of space, simple white cabinets, peach-tinted floor tile, a woodblock island and cream countertops, it had all the makings of perfect pastel room, without the need for a big renovation like I did in my rental #heaveninhighpark.

It only took a few simple, renter-friendly swaps to totally transform this room. First, we took four of the cabinet doors off to create a bit of open shelving, and painted the inside with an accent colour. I started out using some old blush paint I had leftover from a furniture painting DIY awhile back, but in the end I switched to October Mist CC-550, the Benjamin Moore 2022 Colour of the Year (you can see more about that mini project here!)

Next, we swapped out the HORRIBLE massive fluorescent light fixture that came with the apartment, for a simple white pendant light, which made a huge difference in updating the room. Swapping out the cabinet knobs to these super affordable gold ones was also a quick but transformative step, and for the “wine hutch” as I fondly call it, I opted for some fun pink shell knobs to mix up the look.

Last but not least, we swapped out the old faucet for a white one, which I really only did because the old faucet was so gross and barely working (definitely not a necessary expense if you’re renting!)

Eventually I’d like to look into replacing the sink and faucet for something with a bit more impact, and maybe investing in a vintage-style SMEG fridge, but for now I’m so thrilled with the warm, cozy feeling this kitchen provides every time I walk into the room to prepare a meal or a pot of tea. Plus, everything I have done was low cost and easy to reverse, while still making a big impact!

To see more, check out the reel here.

Shopping Links //

Dinnerware, serving tray, serving bowl and linen napkins/tablecloth by Fable

Always Pan by Our Place

Glassware by Anthropologie

Cream faucet from Lowe’s

Tea Towels and candles by Homecoming

Pink shell drawer pulls (on hutch) from Etsy

Gold drawer knobs from Wayfair

Light fixture from IKEA