DIY PAGE BUNTING

IMG_7504A few months ago, I attended an event at Centrale Culinaire, and couldn’t take my eyes off the incredibly simple-yet-striking buntings that hung across the room. I decided to steal the idea and recreate them in my own home. I’ve always loved old books and how they draw in all the senses- the faded yellow pages, that sweet vanilla-tobacco scent, the feel of the paper wearing thin… so using them as decor was really appealing to me. Tearing pages out of a book might seem sacrilegious to some, but rest assured, I found this book in the trash and I’m pretty sure no one was really dying to read it anyway (sorry to all the Emile Zola fans out there!).
IMG_7589The materials needed are pretty basic: old book, string, craft glue. The process is super easy and you’ll have a cool wall decoration in no time!

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I tried it out on both our grey bedroom wall and my pink office/boudoir/studio. Which do you prefer?

IMG_7554IMG_7608PS: can someone in the candle industry please make a candle that smells like old books? Or is that gross? Think about it: Dyptique, Vieux Livres.

Tips for a gallery wall you’ll love

gallery wall littlekokomo.com

It took a little more effort than expected, but our gallery wall is finally complete. I love how it makes the living room feel so much more cozy and colourful, and an extension of ourselves (Josh and I) in a way. Here are 8 pointers I’m sharing from my own experience:
1) Select the right spot: Preferably somewhere well-lit, but not in direct sunlight as the colours in the artwork can fade and the reflection will bounce off the glass. It will have more of an impact if it’s the central focus of a room, so the wall that is most visible when entering the room is usually a good choice.
gallery wall littlekokomo.com2) Choose art or pieces that are meaningful to you: signed autograph, concert tickets, a child’s doodle, inside jokes… pieces that hold happy memories will conjure up good feelings when you look at them. I’m pretty fond of my Mick Jagger autograph from 1979, passed down from Josh’s mom. I also love objects that were collected during our travels, such as the alligator head from New Orleans.  Continue Reading ›

DIY Painted Billy Bookcase

billy bookcase painted little kokomo

One day, I’d love to go to a beautiful furniture store like West Elm, Montauk Sofa, or Crate and Barrel, hand them an entire paycheck, and say “One bookcase, please”. Until then, I’ll keep taking old pieces of furniture and doing my best to transform them into something decent. This Ikea Billy bookcase was in our storage room long enough for the colour to fade in the sun to an unfortunate shade of off-white. We nicknamed it “Pit Stain”, since it looks like that white shirt you give up on for the same reasons. But with just a bit of work, it looks like new! So long, Pit Stain.
bookshelfbeforeGetting rid of the holes for the adjustable shelves made it look a little higher end right away. I used a spackle tool and Polyfilla to cover them up. It dried pretty fast, then I wiped any excess off with a damp cloth till the surface was smooth.
billy bookcase painted little kokomoI used basic latex eggshell paint by Benjamin Moore that I had leftover from a previous project, nothing fancy. I removed all the shelves and did 2 coats of white paint with a roller. I didn’t remove the back because it didn’t look sturdy enough to survive any pulling, so I just taped the inner edges and painted 2 coats of turquoise with a brush.  It seems to be holding up! I’d mention the paint colour, but I actually mixed 2 leftover colours had lying around (Pelican Grey and Mermaid Green).
billy bookcase painted little kokomo P.S: I have more books, I just kept it empty for show here.
 Have a lovely long weekend, all my Canadian friends!

Genius idea: Coffee Ice Cubes

coffeeicecubes

I’ve tried making iced coffee in the past and it just didn’t turn out right; too watery, not enough flavour, somewhat lukewarm and the sugar still grainy at the bottom. Last summer, I finally found the right formula that lets me enjoy gourmet iced coffee without leaving the house: coffee ice cubes! They keep your coffee strong as they melt, so you can sip at your own pace with losing that bold delicious flavour.

Note: this requires freezing time, so plan it a day ahead

What you will need:
-Good quality strong coffee
-Espresso maker (I use a stovetop Bialetti: cheap and makes a strong cup) *If you don’t have an espresso maker, a strong batch of filtered coffee will do)
-Ice cube tray + freezer
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Directions: Make the coffee in the espresso maker as you normally would. Let it cool. Pour it into the ice cube tray and freeze it for several hours. One cup of coffee makes about 8 large/standard ice cubes. I used 4 ice cubes per serving.

When you want your coffee in the morning, heat some on the stove again. If you are adding sugar, put it in your glass and stir in a little bit of hot coffee so that it dissolves. Next, add the coffee ice cubes (as many as you can fit – I used 3 at first) and then add the rest of the coffee. Then one more ice cube (the others will start to melt). Stir carefully, add milk if you wish. Top with whip cream and cocoa powder if you’re feeling extra fancy. Enjoy!
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Easy half-moon nails

My hands feel extra fancy these days with the combination gold half moons + Tiffany blue on my nails. The colours conveniently divert my eyes from the dry winter skin that only some warm weather will eventually cure. Thanks to these French manicure adhesives that a roommate gave me, the process was easy. Easy like Sunday morning.

You will need:
-a solid colour nail polish
-a metallic nail polish
Sally Hansen French Manicure Kit adhesives (although if you have binder protectors lying around, those will do the trick)
-base coat (optional)

1) Start by applying the base coat. Follow with 2 thin coats of solid nail polish, letting each dry really well in between and after.
2) When you think your nails are dry, do a test-try on one nail with an adhesive: apply it check if the polish comes off when you peel it.

IMG_10633) Good to go? Then add adhesives just below midway on your nails. Gently press into the sides to ensure a clean line. (I tend to reuse mine, that’s why some have paint on them).
4) Paint a thin coat of metallic polish, starting from your nail bed going upwards  (it’s ok if some gets on the adhesive)
Tiffany blue + gold half moon nails

5) When dry, carefully remove adhesives and marvel at your hands!
Tiffany blue + gold half moon nailsThis pretty antique dish that I keep jewelry in is what led to the inspiration. Nail colours are Revlon Gold Coin (cheap!) and Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver.

DIY gift idea: baking mix in a jar

As promised, here is the DIY gift based on yesterday’s recipe. Whether you need a gift for a host, a friend who loves baked goods, or a person who is always on the run, I’m sure you know someone who would appreciate this.

You will need:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unrefined light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips Continue Reading ›