Author Archives: Mandy Forbes

Going Rustic

Rustic Dining Bench from Greentea Design

Roughed up finishes, natural wood, and burnished metals are all the key elements of a rustic style, but even if your home is decidedly modern these pieces can be worked in seamlessly. Here are some room examples that show off the features of rustic modern design and how you can incorporate it in your home.

Image via Automatism


When trying to create a rustic modern feel in a room look for items that have lots of texture; roughed up finishes, leather, and bedding that is begging to be touched make this room rustic, simple, and inviting.

Image via Liz Marie

Kitchen via House and Home

Natural Light

Filling a room with lots of natural light is the best way to show off the beauty of unfinished wood furniture. This is why you will often see white paint on the walls and white accents in a rustic modern home. The light from a window reflects off every surface in this dining area and the choice of transparent chairs gives a feeling of openness.

Image via Home Bunch

Earthy Materials

In a rustic modern home you will often see plenty of natural materials like stone, wood and metals. In this bathroom, unfinished wood furniture and wood beams meet a divine modern tub and the resulting atmosphere is that of a calming spa-like retreat.

Image via Just the Design

A Sense of Timelessness

By paying attention to balance old and new can blend together seamlessly, creating a space that evokes a sense of timelessness.  In this room a contemporary sofa and layout is combined with eclectic textiles and an antique coffee table for a room that is as timeless as it is beautiful.

Console Table via Greentea Design

Now that you’ve seen some inspiration here is a peak at just a couple of the pieces in our new rustic collection. This console table is made of thick beams of salvaged wood; in an entryway, or in the living room, it adds rustic beauty to a space instantly.

Unfinished Buffet via Greentea Design

This unfinished buffet has tons of storage and a rustic design that will add texture to any room.

Come down to the showroom or visit us online to see more of the collection.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Going Underground: Fabulous Basement Makeovers

image via bhg

One of the the most popular home renovation projects is finishing a basement The idea of gaining extra living space is certainly appealing and the the wealth of ideas when it comes to basements is never ending. It can also be one of the most expensive areas of your home to renovate and also the most complicated if you’re adding plumbing, electrical or waterproofing. For many the end result is well worth the effort. Here are a few basement makeovers that are truly inspirational. No gloomy dungeons or spiders here.

image via curbly

Using Space Creatively

As you’ll see, a re-finished basement doesn’t need to function as a typical rec room. This cozy bedroom retreat uses the space under the stairs beautifully. It’s warm, romantic and space efficient. What’s not to love?

image via beach house in the city

Creating Light

The number one issue most basements have is limited natural light. Putting in larger windows or installing new windows is expensive and complicated, but there are ways to maximize the light you do have without resorting to drastic measures. This beachy basement uses light colours and smartly placed recessed lighting to keep the room bright and airy feeling.

image via house and home

Rethinking Utility

I would have no problem spending all day doing laundry with a relaxing laundry room like this. The white cabinets and stainless steel make excellent use of the existing light creating an open and welcoming space.

Image via the brownstoner

I highly recommend checking out the before and after pics on this one, completely unrecognizable. These Brooklyn homeowners transformed their unfinished basement into gorgeous office space. Love the exposed brick and the light coloured plank flooring.

image via decor happy

I’ve seen my fair share of basement bathrooms that are downright terrifying. This basement bathroom is small in stature but quite glamorous. Adding a little bit of sparkle is a great way to brighten up a basement room, whether it’s by adding chrome, stainless steel or a mini-chandelier.

image via house to home

A basement kitchen can be handy to have if you plan on using your basement as a guest room or if you plan on doing lots of entertaining. The shiny surface of these cabinets and the white walls reflect light, and the layout allows for a functional island.

image via McBlog

The basement is also a great place to unleash your creativity and make it anything you want it to be. A basement slide for the kids into a colourful playroom is a surefire way to make the subterranean fun. In fact, I think every house could use a slide.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Greening City

High Line nyc via house and gardening addicts

New York City’s High Line park is 2.3 km of landscaped public space that floats above the city on the old High Line tracks. Last time I was in New York we spent most of an afternoon exploring the park; it was a fabulous way to explore the city and it was amazing to see all the different people using the park, from wandering tourists to locals on their lunch breaks.

Today’s post is all about how people have managed to carve out a little piece of nature even in the busiest metropolises. As you will see it doesn’t just take a green thumb but also a willingness to think unconventionally.

Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai via tripify

One of the most majestic urban gardens is surely Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai. Created during the Ming Dynasty, strolling through the lush plant life and beautiful classic Chinese buildings is like stepping back in time. If you’re there see if you can spot the many sculptures, some of mythical creatures, as you make your way through the gardens many hidden spots.

Greenwall in MadridGreen Wall in Madrid via Treehugger

The Green Wall designed by Patrick Blanc is an extraordinary sight; it is almost as if you are looking at an optical illusion. The four story high garden can be found at the Caixa Forum, an arts and cultural space in the old industrial sector of Madrid.  The wall is home to 15,000 plants, proving that you don’t need to have a traditional large plot of land to create a greener city.

Brooklyn GrangeBrooklyn Grange via inhabitat

The Brooklyn Grange is the world’s largest rooftop farm, featuring 40,000 square feet of growing space for delicious produce. What I find most fascinating about large scale urban projects like this one is the vision of the people involved. To look at a concrete rooftop and see a thriving farm is amazing. Wouldn’t it be incredible if every city could have farms hidden in the sky?

Namba ParksNamba Parks in Osaka via daily tonic

In the densely populated city of Osaka there is little room for greenery, which makes spaces like Namba Parks so essential. The eight level garden is nestled between office and apartment buildings and the Namba train station.  The garden is fully integrated into its urban surroundings, providing an oasis from the chaos of city life.

BerlinPrinzessinnengarten, Berlin

The Prinzessinngarten in Berlin is a community garden built on a vacant lot that provides a place of solace, good food and community for numerous families and citizens in the city. Similar to other city parks, like The South Central Farm in L.A., the Prinzessingarten has had to fight for it’s survival, but those who love the park are working hard to ensure the garden is kept intact.

Nanyang Technological Institute in Singapore via freshome

The rooftop garden on the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technical Institute in Singapore is a perfect marriage of architecture and garden design. The gently sloping roof is the perfect place for students to study, take breaks or look for inspiration. The result is a gorgeous building that shows that nature and progress can coexist.

These are just a few of the examples of urban gardening. Does your city have a public greenspace you’d like to tell us about? If you don’t think your city has enough of the green stuff then get planting. As you can see, rooftops, abandoned lots, and even walls can be places to grow.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Culture | Tagged , , ,

A Spring Table

image via mochatini

Who cares that there is a negative wind chill in the double digits and snow on the ground outside? It’s officially spring! and that’s as good an excuse as any to throw a party. Here are some table setting ideas that are a breath of fresh spring air, because whether you’re hosting Easter dinner or a spring-themed brunch, a perfect meal begins with a well dressed table.

image via on Sutton Place

No spring soiree is complete without flowers. You don’t need to spend a small fortune at the florists to style a table full of flowers. A few supermarket bouquets and some pretty jars or simple vases are all you really need. Put a handful of flowers in each container, the result is unfussy and pretty.

Sissinghurst Castle Dinner Plate from anthropologie

Sometimes all you need to create a spectacular table is the right set of dishes. These painterly plates from Anthropologie are bursting with spring blooms. I’m envisioning these with crisp white linens and gold plated utensils.

image via intimate weddings

A single colour like white, yellow, or in this case, Robin’s Egg blue, is a good starting point when designing a table. Making a bird’s nest out of twigs or grass is an easy way to create a quick centerpiece. The beauty of painted eggs, or even the simplicity of unadorned eggs, makes a lovely substitute for flowers.

image via house and home

A tempting dessert table is a lovely way to turn a meal into a special occasion. Pastel coloured treats and vintage serving platters are a dreamy combo for Easter brunch or dinner. If you don’t own a cakestand here is a great tutorial for making one out of vintage dishes.

image via Red Sole Diary

Of course, you can always ditch the pastels and go bold; lemon yellow and sky blue evoke spring in much the same way, plus they are invigorating. The tulips are definitely in keeping with the casual, fun-loving vibe of this table.

family photo eggs from a subtle revelry

For a family breakfast or brunch I love this idea of personalized photo eggs for place orders. Such a cute way to decorate. Plus it’s a good excuse to dust off those egg cups and put them to use.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Posted in Culture, Design | Tagged , ,

Statement Floors

black slate via plastolux

Today on the blog we’re looking at some unique flooring options that really make a statement.

What’s beneath your feet can be just as important as what’s on your walls when it comes to making an impression. Miles above standard hardwood or laminate, these floors are show stoppers. Maybe these examples will even spark some ideas the next time you’re in renovation mode.

glass floorsglass floors via the fancy

Walking on Glass

Kind of like being at the top of a really tall building and looking down, or in a glass bottomed boat, the glass floors in this townhome are slightly unnerving but also exhilarating. They also complement this homes gorgeous architecture, don’t you think?

painted green flooringlime green floors via apartment therapy

Shock of Colour

There’s something about this look of bright floors with stark white walls that I really like. If you have hardwood that’s in less than perfect shape this is a great way to cover it up while making a real statement. Hot pink floor anyone?

traditional tile floor in an ultra modern kitchenkitchen tile via lark & linen


This kitchen tile is beautiful but I think what really makes it stand out is the more traditional pattern alongside a thoroughly modern kitchen. It goes to show that often the unexpected option can create the biggest impact.

herringbone floorsherringbone floors via the beautiful soup

Seeing a Pattern

These herringbone floors washed in natural light are just lovely. Laying regular hardwood floors can be a real pain, so I can only imagine how much effort went into this impeccable design. There is something about this room that is so peaceful.

painted pattern floorspainted floors via design inspiration

An Artistic Touch

I’ve seen so many inspiring examples of painted floors lately but I’m always curious just how long you can keep them looking nice. It sure is a great way to add some visual interest to a room though; the oversized pattern on this painted floor is just stunning.

wood grained porcelain floorswood grained porcelain floors via housing zone

Au Natural

Materials such as slate, wood and stone are great when you’re trying to achieve a zen bathroom. I love these porcelain tiles that are wood grained to mimic the look of hardwood while being practical in a bathroom.

Where would you rather make a statement in your home, on the floors, on the walls or through your furnishing choices?

Happy Friday Everyone!

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