An Ella Fitzgerald Christmas

Our favourite part of the holidays is gathering with our friends and family around the table. There’s nothing we love more than creating a warm and inviting ambiance. Flickering candles, the smell of fresh greenery and rich colours are the key ingredients for a memorable night that pleases all the senses. We want our table to evoke that nostalgic and decadent feeling that Christmas brings. Picture yourself sitting around our table with the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background, a fire crackling- glowing, and drinks flowing. This year we were invited to decorate a table as part of Ayoko Design’s event called Table Stories. Here is a little peek at the table we designed and a guide on how you too can decorate a table this holiday season.

Simple steps to recreate this in your own home are as follows:

  1. Start with a theme/ inspiration:

    For us, our whimsical gold rimmed animal themed plates were the start. We drew golds and dark greys from this main plate by layering gold and dark grey underneath. We then added pops another pop of gold with our cutlery and drinking glasses. Our main plate became the inspiration and we created the theme of warm and cozy yet still elegant and glamourous.

  2. Find greenery:

    We pulled greenery from all different sources. The main part of our greenery was actually fake but it gave us a base to work from so we didn’t blow the bank. We then tied in beautiful strands of pine and fur in all sections as well as eucalyptus (of course- I can’t remember a project we’ve done without it). We then added beautiful pops of a beautiful burgundy flower that we honestly don’t remember the name of. Feel free to cut the strands to any size you want and then tuck and weave them into your main garland to make it feel as full as possible!

  3. Candles:

    ALWAYS. Do we need to say more?

  4. Add varying heights:

    Height is always necessary but also keep in mind your guests will be sitting across from each other and (hopefully) will want to see one another while the conversation is flowing. Height can be added towards the ends of the table and is important in creating visual interest.

  5. Twinkly light:

    Yes, candles are not enough. Ambience is a big thing friends and we are trying to help you out. The strands of twinkly lights will last you for years and are battery operated! Feel free to intertwine these throughout your strands of garland.

A Little Paint Advice

Picking paint colours is tricky. Not only do you have to pick a colour you like but you have to ensure the undertone is right for the room and heaven forbid you pick a colour that's soooo last year (just kidding- but did you hear that beige is making a comeback?). I'm sure many of you have also learned that one colour may look good on the internet, but not so good in your own house. If the idea of going to a paint store on your own seems like a daunting task, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve to help you out.

Peek Inside Your Closet


My first and FAVOURITE piece of advice for picking a paint colour is to look in your closet. If you're someone who wears black and white everyday, you'll probably feel uneasy painting your house yellow. When I look at my wardrobe, the main colours that it is made up of are, black, grey, white, green and blue. So it's not shocking that those are also the paint colours in my house. Paint your house the colours that you feel most comfortable around. It's a sure way to make your house feel most like YOU.

Decide on a Feeling

Pinpoint how you want the space to make you feel. Inspired, relaxed, calm? I could go on and on about the psychology of colour but here are the basic facts. Every colour sparks specific feelings. I'm going to generalize colours into two categories- warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours (Reds, Oranges, Yellows, etc.) can make you feel energized, cheerful and optimistic. However, warm colours can also have negative effects. Red and yellow can increase your appetite (this is why fast food restaurants LOVE these colours). Red can also increase blood pressure, while yellow can make people lose their temper. Warm colours can be very intense for some, which is why they are best used sparingly or as accent colours. If you really do love warm tones but don't want the room to feel too overwhelming, pick the lightest shade possible!

Cool colours (Blues, Greens, Purples, Greys, Browns, etc.) can make a room feel serene, sophisticated and even safe. Blues and greens are great for creating relaxing and calming spaces. Purple is known as a very luxurious colour and when done in a lighter shades (like lavender) can also act as a peaceful neutral. Last but certainly not least, browns and greys are both great neutrals that can evoke feelings of comfort, security and warmth.

Understand Your Natural Lighting

Don't underestimate natural lighting, it can drastically change the colour of paint. I'm going to get a little technical on you here. If your room is northern facing, opt for a warmer colour to offset the cooler light tones. For southern facing rooms, opt for cooler tones if you want to make the room feel less hot. Basically, don't paint your southern facing room orange unless you want to make it feel like Winnipeg in the middle of the summer on plus 33 day. You know what I'm talking about. Also, if you've been wondering why your lovely all white room feels like a sterile insane asylum in the dead of the winter, it's quite possible that you have a northern facing room! If you really want to paint your northern facing room white, see if you can find a white with a warmer undertone (stay far away from anything in the blue family).


Don't Dismiss Artificial Light

After you take into consideration your natural light, it's now time to think about the artificial light that is in your space. If you have a blue light bulb, it may make your white look cold. The same goes for a yellow light bulb. It can bring out any purple undertones that are in your room. Undertones play a huge role in paint colours. The easiest way to get the purest paint colour possible is to switch out any bulbs that have undertones for pure white bulbs.

A Little Grey Advice

Grey is definitely one the most popular colours of this decade but picking the right grey isn't that easy. Because grey is a shade, it will pick up on any nearby tones. For instance, I have hardwood floors that have an orange undertone, so it was next to impossible to find a grey that didn't look blue next to them. Remember that handy dandy colour wheel from elementary? If so, then I'm sure that you remember that blue and orange are complimentary colours. This basically means that greys that have any blue undertones look SUPER blue and my floors looked SUPER orange (ick). The key to finding the perfect grey (or any paint colour really) is to find a colour with similar undertones or to pick something without any obvious complimentary colour. Finding a subtle green undertone is also a good way to mute orange floors.

Take Risks

I'm not saying paint your whole bedroom fuchsia, but don't be afraid to take risks. I struggled about painting my whole bedroom navy blue, but in the end taking that risk paid off and it's one of my favourite rooms. The easiest way to dip your toes into the wild world of colour is buy a tester pod (you can pick these up at Home Depot). Paint a square on your wall and live with it for a few days (you can also paint a square on a large piece of paper if you don't want to make a commitment right away). This is also a great way to test out a couple of colours. Last but not least, if you still don't have any idea on what paint colour to pick- shoot us an email, we'd love to help you out.

Until next time... Jen





Moving Out Essentials


Honestly, looking for the perfect place is tough. Don’t get me wrong… life at my parent’s home is fantastic but a strong urge to move out has (finally) kicked in. Have you ever looked for the right place? The advertised pictures (if there is any) are horrible. I can't tell if they have posted the same wall photo 5 times, or if they are different rooms... especially when there is no furniture defining the space. For myself, a small one bedroom would be fine but it needs to be a well lit space, include parking, be closer to work and preferably have a strong wifi connection. Oh, and did I mention a place to do laundry?

So now you might ask, when is the right time to move out? Answer, I DON’T KNOW. But if you do know, please help a girl out. What I do know is, there is no better time than the present to start collecting the essentials to move out with. Here are some guidelines on what to buy, what to wait on and what to hoard before moving out.

The Small Things: 

Let's get real, go ahead and collect all your cutlery, glassware and dinnerware. This is a quick way to save money down the road. When you’re moved out and paying rent, you’ll wish you could afford those cute wineglasses; so why not buy them now?

Here’s a quick run down on some small but essential things to get:

  • Glassware
  • Dinnerware
  • Cutlery
  • Kitchen Essentials like salt and pepper shakers, cutting boards, knives, paper towel holder, prep bowls, etc.
  • Towels (neutrals are always a good choice)
  • Bedding
  • Small Appliances (Blender, Vacuum, Iron, Toaster, Kettle, etc.)

Timeless & Neutral Pieces:

Something to keep in mind when buying is if your style changes frequently. If you feel an item may be “trendy” at the moment, it may not be the best item to buy ahead of time. However things, like art, are always a good thing to pick up. Collecting art over time helps create a curated look. As long as the size isn’t too large, then it should work in any space. Plus, you can always decorate around it or use it as an inspiration for the space. Another thing you can pick up is small accessories like throw pillows. I will add that buying throw pillows ahead of time may be jumping the gun but I am definitely guilty of doing this. I can’t help but pick up cute throw pillows here and there, but I make sure that they are neutral so that they will work anywhere.

Hold Off On Buying:

  • Big furniture pieces- Bedroom Furniture, Dining room Table and Couches. Who knows what colours will be in your space, especially if you decide to rent! Plus, do you really want to risk having that California King sized bed not fit through your bedroom door? 
  • Bathroom accessories- Tooth brush holders, shelves, soap dispensers, etc. Those aren’t a huge expense and can be purchased quickly once you are in your space. 
  • Organizers- Cutlery drawer inserts and closet organizers. Drawers and closets come in varying sizes and one size does not fit all.

What are some essentials that you wish you had when you moved out? And to all those moving out, good luck finding your perfect place, hopefully I will find mine as well!

Shortly after writing this but, before posting it. Bliss has been found and my new space will soon be filled with all the beautiful things. Photos to come soon!


Local Makers Gift Guide

Lately we've seen a lot of gift guides out there but we thought we'd do things a little different. We love all the local talent that Winnipeg has so we thought we'd give our favourite makers a little love, all while helping you find the perfect gift this holiday season!

J&JLocal Makers.jpg

1. Solid Colour Toque with Pom Pom by Knits 'N Knots- The perfect gift for those in your life who are always cold.

2. Neighbourhood Honey by Beeproject Apiaries- Let someone know just how sweet they are by giving them the gift of honey. This honey set features different honeys made in neighbourhoods throughout Winnipeg!

3. Chunky Knit Sweater by Coal and Canary- Not only can you wear a knit sweater but your home can smell like one too. Cozy, no?

4. Gold Espresso Mug by Mud + Stone- The perfect gift for the person in your life who loves a little glitz. This mug features 22kt gold splatter. Trust us, it's even more beautiful in real life. 

5. Space Cats by Meg Does Pottery - Who wouldn't want a Space Cat for a present? Need I say more? 

6. Hibernate Spray by Rogue Wood Supply- Give someone the gift of rest with the hibernate spray. It helps promote a bedtime ritual and uses aromatherapy to create a relaxing environment.

7. Wood Sign by JS Letter Co. - The perfect piece for the home decor lover, also customizable!