Won’t You Step Into My Parlor…



Please join me for a peak inside my living room

All Christmas colour is packed away and my cheery collection of lanterns once again reclaims the mantle.  I bought the three larger ones at a local thrift shop for $1.00 each.  As much as I love the ambiance of candles; I have come to learn, from experience I might add, that candles and cats are not always a happy combination.  I have three criteria that I look for in a candle holder.  
1.  Lanterns, or otherwise enclosed candle holders to prevent singed whiskers and/or tails
2.  A sturdy candle holder unlikely to be unintentionally, or otherwise, tipped over 
3.  A vessel made from a fireproof material
This last criteria has nothing to do with kitties.  Yes, it seems obvious enough not to put a burning piece of wax into a vessel that itself would burn; however, I had to learn this the hard way.  I had a collection of turned wooden candle sticks on my dining room table.  After my guests had retreated to the living room, I returned to the dining area to find my linen table cloth on fire.  The candles had burnt down into the cavity of the candlestick effectively providing an alternate source of fuel.  Apparently, I am quite calm while under duress, because after smothering the fire with the non flaming portion of the tablecloth, I was able to return to the living room without so much as skipping a beat.

Most of my colour choices for my living room are from my watercolour, Sunflowers.  Above, I have created a colour inspiration board to give you an idea of how I decorate a room.  In reality I design a little more intuitively, instinctively choosing paint and fabric that complement the artwork, but I hope the above visual helps you understand how the room came together.  When choosing a colour scheme for a room in your home, I recommend that you begin with a favourite piece of artwork, a treasured carpet, a piece of china, or even an article of clothing.  Use that as a starting point for selecting your paint colours, and determining your fabric choices.  This will help you to create a space that is meaningful to you.  And isn’t that the most important aspect of decorating a space?

 The walls are painted with Benjamin Moore Eggshell Latex Golden Straw #2152-50 and Mannequin Cream 2152-60, and the room feels sunny even on a gray day.  

When I have determined the dominant colour scheme of my room, I then begin to pick up odd bits of fabric for cushion covers.  My fabric choices run from thrifty to a little spendy.  If I’m in love with an expensive fabric, I will buy enough to make a cushion cover or two.  On the other hand, the fabric for my chair slipcovers was purchased at a buy one metre, get three free sale.  Score!   

I like a mix of textures in my home.  

Seagrass carpets

 rattan arm chairs

comfy  upholstered  furniture

 I also like to mix in a few antique pieces for interest.  I love how the fabric on the cushion on the left {above photo} picks up many colours from my artwork.  I made the cushion on the right from a thrifted sweater.

The fishing float in the above right photo belonged to my Nana and it is secured to the mantle with reusable poster tack.  It seems I like to learn things through experience, more commonly phrased as the hard way.  Of course a round orb sitting on a mantle would prove to be irresistible to my curious cat.  The good news is that fishing floats were made to be able to withstand abuse and turbulence from mother nature, and my precious float survived it’s fall off the mantle.


This is Samson.  

It’s always nice to provide spots for cat napping.  
The photo is not current, but no matter; this is where we find Sammie on many a sunny winter’s day.

 My twenty seven year old wing chairs, above, look fresh and new after I made slipcovers for them.  The fabric I used is an outdoor upholstery fabric.  I used the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric for a…wait for it… more muted look.  I know, I know.  It’s enough colour to send a lot of people running.  But my living space truly reflects me. 

I   love   pattern, colour, and texture

 You may have already noticed that the colours I love to wear are the colours that I surround myself with in my home.  I am even contemplating painting the legs on the wing chairs in my favourite shade of turquoise.
We hope you enjoyed having a peak into our living room. 


  • Reply grunge-queen January 17, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I love your chic beachy look, Sue, and so envy you for having the talent to make slipcovers! I used to find some some great upholstered furniture in thrift shops etc, and if they were somewhat scuzzy, I'd simply drape them with fabric – boho, yes, but not always crisp looking, or functional!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Hi Kelly, Boho can look amazing. The challenge I could foresee is little cats either wiggling their way underneath the slips or pulling them off all together.

  • Reply Shirl January 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Oh Sammie, too cute. Love that pic and this post of your colourful pictures. So talented you are. I have been thinking I want a lantern lately…….


  • Reply Sacramento Amate January 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

    A place of peace and harmony, jut look at your cat fast asleep, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Lovely post, my friend.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Well, I know I'm biased but I agree…he's too cute.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Yes, peace, harmony and sleeping cats. Bliss.

  • Reply A Matchy Matchy Midlife January 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Sue….do you take commissions for your watercolors??? Do you work on request??


  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I was taking commissions for my pet portraits, but things have been a little overwhelming around here recently, so I've had to decline doing them for now. But, I will take your question as a big, huge, gigantic compliment. Thank you!

  • Reply Natalie January 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Beautiful colours and decor!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting Natalie!

  • Reply Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell January 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Oh Sue, your home is beautiful. The colors look so inviting and so happy. I adore that pillow that looks like a cardigan!
    Being from the Sunflower state, Kansas, sunflowers are my favorite flower and your watercolor is wonderful!

  • Reply Cheryl January 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm such a voyeur; I love to get a glimpse of other people's homes and lives. Your living room is a wonderful reflection of you. Love, love, love the watercolour!

    I can't wait to see your chairs with their new turquoise legs. (I hope you do it!)

    Um, my living room is painted charcoal – I wonder what that says about me, eh? 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you Debbi. Aren't sunflowers just the happiest of flowers!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you so much Cheryl! Yes, you will see the chairs with their new leggings.

    Charcoal sounds velvety and sophisticated and serene. And…you live in a very brilliant part of our country; lots of sunlight bouncing off of snow. Here, we have grey skies so much of the time.

  • Reply A Matchy Matchy Midlife January 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

    ok, but when you are ready…I might have something for you! Think large scale cactus flowers….

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Oooh, I can envision those now. Gorgeous, at least in my mind, LOL.
    I'll keep you in mind Alyssa.

  • Reply Kezzie January 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Your living room is gorgeous, such a pretty place and I adore the different textures! Oooh, Samson looks so luxurious, I just want to reach into the screen and stroke him!!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    He is very, very velvety. Thanks for the compliments on my living room.

  • Reply Style Sud-Est January 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

    nice living room Sue
    I love all the textures and colors, it's wonderful
    The cat is priceless!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Yes he most certainly is priceless. I will share his little story one day.

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