Convert it: The Ace Hotel LA

Good Morning!

This morning in my Convert It series, I’m sharing the adaptive reuse of the United Artist’s building and theatre in Los Angeles which was recently converted into the Ace Hotel.  This theatre building was the flagship for United Artist’s Circut’s West Coast operations. The United Artist’s Circut was started when director D. W. Griffith and screen stars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin broke from the studios to form UA  in order to gain complete control over the creation, production and distribution of their work.

The building, built in the mid 1920’s in the Spanish Gothic style, includes a thirteen-story steel-framed office tower which was designed by Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, and the UA theatre  designed by C. Howard Crane.

The office building above the theater was occupied for many years by Texaco.  In 1989, the building was bought by the University Cathedral Church of Dr. Gene Scott, and it served as the headquarters of the church until 2011. You will note on the right side of the picture below, sticking out from the back of the building part of a “Jesus Saves” neon light that is a remnant of the previous owner, which remains there today.

The restoration and design the new Ace Hotel was led by the LA design collective Commune.  From the modern style rooms to the morrocan-esque rooftop patio, they have merged the gothic/early art deco feel with a modern LA hipster vibe.  And surprisingly, it works really, really well.




The newly restored 1600-seat theatre.

Photos  1 to 3 via the LA Conservancy Website (from the LA Public Library), Photos 4 to 12 via Remoldelista, Photo 13 via Commune, Photo 14 via Curbed

An amazing upgrade and re-design.  I love the entryway, the interesting lighting and the super stylish rooftop patio.  It is no surprise that this adaptive re-use project won the LA Conservancy Preservation Award this year.  You can learn more about the history and significance of the building on the LA Conservancy website.  And you can find a lot more pictures of the hotel and theatre space in the posts by Remodelista (here and here), and Curbed.


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Amazing Spaces: California Beach House

Good Morning!

I’ve got the beach houses and cottages on the brain these days.  Probably because I’m going to be at my cottage in a little over a week.  I’m all for a more rustic lived-in look when it comes to summer homes.  Obviously there is a scale of rustic, some are closer to homes than cottage cabin, but I appreciate rustic elements  This California beach house designed by owners Erin Martin and Kim Dempster, while certainly not totally rustic, has a light and casual feel.  The combination of both new and vintage decor elements give it a true “put your feet up and chill out” vibe.

Lovely, right?  And let’s be honest, with that view, I could be living in a cardboard box and it wouldn’t matter much.  I can almost hear the sounds of the surf. You can check out the rest of the images over at House Beautiful.


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Last Week’s Loves – July 14 to 20th, 2014

Good Morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a last week’s loves post, so I thought I would get back to it this morning!  Here we go….

I loved these tips on how to style your coffee table from Coco & Kelley last week.

I always love reading Lynne Knowlton’s blog, and I really enjoyed all the avocado tips and tricks she shared last week in this post.  As usual, there was just the right amount of hilarity balanced with helpful information.

My family’s cottage is on the ocean so I spent a good chunk of my childhood summer days playing at the beach.  I also recall having to hose myself down with freezing cold water when home to ensure that we didn’t trek a whole bunch of sand inside the cottage.  So, this DIY outdoor heated shower found on Poppytalk last week would have been a welcome addition at our cottage!

I love cherries, but I have to say I hardly ever cook or bake with them.  However, after seeing this post over at Camille Styles of the 10 best cherry desserts, I’m inspired to start!

 That’s it for today!  What inspired you last week?


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Upholstered Walls

 Good Morning!

I would love to live in a padded room.   Although some days I do feel like I’m beating my head against a wall and could use a soft spot to do it, I’m not talking about that kind of padded room.  I’m talking about upholstered walls. Being a part-time upholsterer, I’m always looking for interesting ways to use upholstery, and this certainly falls into that category.  I love the texture that they bring to a space.  Some are very overt with large tufting or finished with nail-head trim, while others are quite subtle.  But whatever the type, they are a great addition to a space.


photos via (1,2,3,4,5,6)

What do you think of upholstered walls?  Is it something you would do in your space?


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Tasty Bite: Blueberry Cornmeal Cobbler

Good Morning,

Today I’m sharing with you my version of the cover recipe from the August issue of Canadian Living.  This month it’s another excellent summer dessert idea, blueberry cornmeal cobbler.

Blueberry Cornmeal Cobbler

I was lucky enough to share the creation of this recipe with my friend Jen, who also generously offered her her kitchen (which has a lot more space than mine!) for this blueberry extravaganza.  It is definitely more fun to cook with someone else, and having another person makes it possible to take “action shots” while doing it.   We also used Jen’s DSLR camera for the photos since I recently lost my camera and have been getting by with my iPhone.  So, if the photos seem better than usual, you will know why!

Step 1 copy

One new ingredient that we used as part of this recipe was almond extract.  Have you ever smelled that stuff? So good.  Seriously, I now want to make more recipes that have it  just so I can smell it more often.

Step 2 copy

This was my first cobbler.  The only cobbler I’ve had any dealings with have been with the shoe kind.  In fact, I was so unfamiliar with the term that when I was talking about it I kept calling it a blueberry crumble.  Sure, I have heard of peach cobbler.  You know, the kind you picture people in the deep south eating while sipping on mint juleps?  But I’d never tried one. All this to say I really had no idea what I was making until it was made.


You would think that the doughy topping would have clued me into the fact that I was making something quite unlike a crumble, but no.

Step 3 copy

Regardless of what we were making, the recipe was really easy to follow with very few steps.

in for cooking

Here is Jen anxiously awaiting the bubbling blueberry treat she sees in the oven.

Jen watching

And It sure was pretty when we first took it out of the oven.

cooked 1


Now to to try it….



The blueberry base was very flavourful and the cake crust was cooked perfectly.  I will say, that considering I had crumble on the brain,  the final result was not what I was expecting.  The topping was slightly heavier and more cake-like than I thought it would be, but still good and the cornmeal added a great texture.  The recipe is really easy to whip up, so would be great if you find yourself having to bring a dessert somewhere at the last minute.  If you want to try out this recipe you can find it here, or pick up a copy of this month’s Canadian Living magazine.

Have a great day!


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*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

A Martha’s Vineyard Farmhouse

Good Morning!

When I stumbled upon the farmhouse of New York restaurateur Keith McNally (of Balthazar restaurant) in Elle Decor,  it reminded me of some of the older farmhouses in New Brunswick.  Though this one is located in posh Martha’s Vineyard, you wouldn’t know it as his renovation has kept the property rustic and simple. But genuinely beautiful.  They raise animals, grow produce and even make their own goat cheese here.  And the gardens are amazing.  I just had to share this lovely spot with you.

all photo via Elle Decor; photography by Simon Upton

Pretty great, huh?  What a great place for kids too.  I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.


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Traditional Lobster Dinner

Good Morning!

Maybe it’s because I’ll be heading home soon, or maybe because I just attended my friend’s annual Canada Day lobster party but I totally have my favourite crustaceans on the brain these days.  I loooove lobster.  It is my favourite meal.   And the word meal is key here.  I’m talking traditional east coast lobsters were caught morning, true lobster “dinner”.  I almost never order a lobster meal in a restaurant (except maybe a lobster roll….).  It just doesn’t feel (or taste) the same if I’m not at my cottage in New Brunswick.   Today I’m sharing all things lobster, and more specifically what you need to pull of a decent lobster dinner.  But first some….

Lobster Fun Facts!

  • Although lobster can be various different colours in the ocean; all turn red when cooked because all color dyes get destroyed while cooking except the red dye.
  • Despite popular belief, lobsters do they do not scream when you cook them.  Lobsters do not have vocal chords. Any sound you hear could be that of air escaping from the lobster’s body cavity as it expands from heating.
  • The teeth of the lobster are in its stomach, which is a very short distance from the mouth.
  • Lobsters “smell” their food by using the four small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that cover their bodies.
  • The greenish brown stuff you fin in the inside of the lobster is is the tomalley or tamali, which functions like the liver, pancreas and intestines in the lobster. Many people find this delicious to eat (like my dad).  I don’t mind it but usually scrap it off.
  • It takes 5 to 7 years for a lobster to grow to legal size in the ocean. A lobster at legal size will weigh approximately 1 pound.

You can find more fun facts here and here.

71698698_7463bed230_z Photo via Flikr Creative common (man pikin)

Now what do you serve at a lobster dinner?  Well, with the lobster is the main event and doesn’t need much else.  But there are few things that are important….

1. Melted butter with lemon…lobster is the perfect vehicle for butter, am I right?  And without  the squeeze of lemon it’s just not the same for me.

lemon and butter copy Photos via Flikr Creative common (Casey Bisson and Troy Tolley)

2. Fresh rolls

rolls Photo via Flikr Creative common (dithie)

3.  Coleslaw or Potato Salad…or both!

7714149634_c28eff2b08_z Photo via Flikr Creative common ( Feministjulie

4. And if you NEED more vegetables (who has room with all the lobster and butter?), corn on the cob works well.

3898162422_5f36eb52bb_z Photo via Flikr Creative common (Keith McDuffee)

And that is it!  So simple, right?  An amazing meal with very actual little food prep required. However, if you are going to host a TRUE lobster dinner, there are a few essential tools you’ll want to have for the table.

lobster DInner table essentials


1.  The shell cracker:  The claw shells can be pretty hard so a few shell crackers are important.  The one is from Canadian company  Paderno.

2. The seafood pick: Forks won’t cut it when trying to get that last last teensy bit of lobster out of the shell (and lord knows you CANNOT leave anything behind).  You need a seafood pick.  I like this one from Crate and Barrel because it has a pick AND a scoop.

3. A large bowl:  For the shells.  You can’t  make room on your plate for more lobster with the shell(s) still sitting there now can you?  This one from Emile Henry will do the trick.

4. Napkins:  You are eating in large part with your hands.  You’ll need napkins like these from Pier 1 Imports.

5. The butter warmer:  This may be the most important tool.  What is lobster without warm melted butter?  Sure, you can throw it in the microwave every 10 mins to keep it warm, but why not use a butter warmer right on the table (like this Crate and Barrel one)? Then you can stay at the table and enjoy your feast!

6. and 7. The lobster bib and tablecloth:  As noted above, this meal can be messy, which I think is part of the fun.  However, less fun if you ruin your shirt.  Therefore, the bib is essential for me.  And how AWESOME are these ones from Canadian textile designer Avril Loretti?  Love.  And on the mess topic, if you are going to bother using a tablecloth, I would go with a plastic/vinyl like this one.  If you use a cloth one make sure it is washable.

And there it is for you, the lobster dinner basics.  AND now I’m hungry.


Last Week’s Loves – June 30th to July 6th, 2014

Good Morning!

Before I get into my last week’s loves, I need to wish one of my lovely blogger friends a very Happy Birthday.  You know when you meet someone and you think, this person is just a genuinely GOOD person?  Well, that is how I felt immediately when I met Christine Dovey of Bijou and Boheme. Despite her immense talent as a designer/stylist/artist, she is humble, gracious and still seems surprised by her success.  So Ms. Bijou I hope you have a lovely day and a spectacular #giftoffancy night with your awesome-sock-wearin’ husband.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Fuzzy pics that’s all I have….)

Now back to my loves of last week!

Miss Sheralee over at Escapade shared this lovely modern country home designed by architect Christopher Simmonds in  Gatineau Hills, Quebec.  Really love the both the space and the setting.  Check out more photos and info, here.

Gatineau Hills, Quebec, designed by Canadian architect Christopher Simmonds – See more at:
Gatineau Hills, Quebec, designed by Canadian architect Christopher Simmonds – See more at:


I really enjoyed this read from Erin at Design for Mankind on the Small Things.  An interesting look at the things we focus on during an upsetting situations and a good reminder to not let that cloud all the rest of the good stuff.

This affogato recipe found here over at Camille Styles (by Annette Joseph) looks scrumptious. It’s like a coffee ice cream float….on crack.  The good kind.

This is glamourous shared some photos of the super low-key Olivia Polermo and German model  Johannes Huebl.  So low-key that the bride wore separates!  But obviously still looked stunning.  I love this casual look for the nuptials.  You can see more photos and get the goods here.



Have a great day!


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Fashion Friday: Summer Weekend

Good Morning!

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before,  but I find casual outfits difficult.  Let me re-phase that. I find NICE casual outfits difficult. I work in an office and have lots of dresses that are dressier and more corporate, and then I have LOTS of SUPER-casual clothes such as sweatpants (love) and workout clothes. I’m just not great at dressing in the middle.  I’m a dress person, so the summer is a bit easier as the weather allows for casual dresses. Now the the outfit I’ve put together today isn’t totally causal (baby steps people, baby steps) but it could work for a summer party, or dinner with friends on a patio.

Summer Weekend

I love the fun pattern in the skirt paired with the bright tank.  And then the sandals and bag really add the casual feel to it.  If you want to see the details of this outfit (or any others) you can find them here on my Polyvore.

What are your go to summer casual pieces?


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Decor Scheme for My Backyard Update

Good Morning!

I’ve been working on getting my backyard/patio cleaned up over the last few weeks, and I’m making some changes to the space. Nothing drastic, just some updates while using the furniture I already have.

You may have seen my recent post about painting my exterior door. After getting lots of opinions from you (thank you!), I’ve decided on the blue, more specifically Para Paints Bluenose (P2116-03).



 That decision led me to a create a nautical-ish navy/red scheme. I’ve done a round-up on what I have already and what I will need to complete my look.

backyard copy

What I have (clockwise from the top left):

1. Red and white cushion by Colin and Justin from Marshall’s, which goes with my…

2. ÄPPLARÖ bench from the IKEA  

3. Blue Cynthia Rowley table runner, which will go on my…

4. ÄPPLARÖ gateleg table from IKEA.  

5. 2 rattan lounge chairs from IKEA which they no longer carry but look similar to these ones, and have creamy white cushions

6. 2 Nisse white laquer folding chairs from IKEA

What I need (clockwise from the top left):

1. Patio lights!  The string kind. Simple ones I can drape around my patio or in my garden for extra light. Like these Allen & Ross ones from Lowe’s.

2. I have some throw pillows but I need some fabric to make new covers. And these 3 fabrics from Tonic Living will be perfect! (Small Ikat Dot in Navy, 10 oz Canvas in red, Starfish in Navy)

3. My door painted in Para paints bluenose

4. Good quality stake lighting for my garden. The solar ones that I currently have are terrible and don’t emit enough light, but I don’t want to have to run a cord across my yard from my deck so I’m stuck with solar.  I like the look of these copper ones from Westinghouse. But I’ll definitely want to be sure the ones I buy give off sufficient light.

So what do you think of the scheme?  Any suggestions?  Any recommendations for good stake lighting that actually gives off good light?  Let me know!

Have a great day!


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