A Downton Abbey-Inspired Tree Topper


Christmas day is almost a week away; my time is being crunched and I seem to be getting more stressed over shopping, prepping and organizing the house for all the holiday parties and the big day ahead. I want everything to be easy… and still stylish so I’ve come up with some inspiring decor touches that you and/or your kids can have fun doing in little time and with little money.

Each day until Christmas I will post a simple & stylish holiday decor idea that can help get your home in holiday-shape over the next nine days. All projects are affordable and easy (level 1). We will celebrate day four of the ‘Twelve-Daze‘ series with a tree-topper idea that is fun and breaks all tradition! Goodbye traditional angels and stars… and hello to an era gone by…

A Downton Abbey tree topper:


Needed: Black top hat (found at vintage shops or party-supply retailers), a long red scarf from the Dollar store & your tree!

Assembly is easy: Place the hat at the top of the tree. For safety reasons, make sure it is clear of all lights. Tilt/angle the hat to give it some character. Wrap the red scarf around the tree on an angle. If you wish, purchase many scarves and continue wrapping them down the tree; similar to winding garland around the tree.

Here’s some other unconventional tree topper ideas (not my pictures):


A Crown!


F6660894Beautiful glass antlers!



A bird’s nest theme!

I hope you have fun with this one- SO many people have come to my house and commented on the top of the tree. Now the next thing to consider… how to out-do this idea for next year!

I look forward to posting another simple idea tomorrow- HINT: Christmas Project for DAZE #7 will most likely include some vodka; just in time for Christmas parties – see you tomorrow with another easy-breezy holi-dazed project! Enjoy! KL

Time To Warm Up Those Floors!

Woke up today and realized that soon, there will be a need to get the furnace roaring to keep the house warm at night. As I walked into the bathroom I was immediately woken up by the freezing stone tiles on the floor- BRRR! Time for some heat and a few bath mats scattered around to warm up those chilly-toed mornings. Here’s a list of some whimsical mats featured today in my Design Centre column in Metro News Canada; which would you choose to have underfoot?

Bath mats




Empower yourslef every morning and remeber: You are a natural beauty! ‘I Woke Up Like This’ Bath Mat, $42, UrbanOutfitters





Shower yourself with the ultimate preppy bath accessory. Lacoste Bath Mat, $50, TheBay




Have a whale of a time while pampering yourself, Victorian Whale Bat Mat, $58, Anthropologie




design-centre-wash-bath-mat.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoBest trending hashtag for the day; Microdry Memory #WASH Bath Mat, $15, BedBathAndBeyond





This one’s a magnet for sailors. Marine Anchor Bath Mat, $20, Simons






Get your Darth-Vader clean. Star Wars Bath Rug, $35, Sears

My Boathouse-Inspired Guest Room

On the top floor of my historical Victorian townhouse was a small, quirky bedroom with a little bathroom attached. I always wondered who could live in such a tiny bedroom (10′ x 10′) and use such a little bathroom (3′ x 10′). One night, due to renovations of my own master bedroom; I had to sleep in this strange, unused room. When I woke up the next morning I had an entire design- plan worked out in my head; I would create a boathouse-style bedroom with attached ensuite!

The BEFORE bedroom and bathroom:

Guest 3rd floor


I decided the simplest and enconomical way to treat the walls was to add a 5′ tall beaded board panelling to the bottom half of the walls- that would save me money and only have to plaster the top half and ceiling. The old carpeting was removed and Pergo laminate flooring was added for two reasons; it could be installed into both the bedroom and bath areas, and I found one that had a ‘paint-scraped’ look- yet be very, very durable and easy to clean. I opened up the tiny entry to the bathroom and used difused glass doors, painted the upper walls and the ceiling the same colour. I used Benjamin Moore’s Smokey Green  which is green on a sunny day, blue on a cloudy day and grey at night – I love the way the colour changes the mood of the space. I added a wall-hung sink to give the room a boathouse-industrial vibe and create more visual space as you walk in the bath area. I kept all the wood tones sunwashed in colour and used nautical-white inspried bedding and towels and accessories.

The AFTER bedroom and bathroom:

Guest KL2


Designer trick: the beaded board panelling was only 5′ tall, so I built-in a display shelf at the 5 foot mark to hide the seam between the lower and upper piece.


Guest KL4


Desigenr trick: painting the upper walls and ceilings the more dramatic (darker toned) colour allowed me to have a lot of white in the room without having all white walls. The room is actually a lot brighter than if the walls had been painted all Smokey Green.




Designer trick: all the doors to the bedroom and bath have reeded/diffused glass panels which allow light to pour in and visually make the entire space look larger. the laminate flooring was a perfect choice for looks and durability. The slim electric fireplace not only adds addiitonal heat in the winter, but acts as a tall console to display items.



Guest KL3


I hope you have enjoyed a tour of my little boathouse-inspired guest room. If you liked this then please join my blog below. Cheers!