Welcome to my colorful house!
My home is my canvas with colour and art everywhere, inside and out. Come and visit…
After renovating and living in 5 houses, carefully decorated with resale in mind, we bought this house in 1998. We gutted it and decorated with only us in mind as we hope to only leave in a box! Sadly, my husband was granted that wish but I’m still here, full of life and art.
I used to call its style Pee Wee Herman’s resthouse for tired circus performers. It’s still pretty colorful but after 20+ years, it's evolving and maturing. It’s pretty busy but we love it. The only white walls are in my studio.
The inspiration for the outside of my house is the wonderful shop Bunnies By The Bay in La Conner, WA. This shop used to be in a big old Victorian house with a storybook fence made of found objects and whirligigs. Mine is not quite there yet but I am still working on it…
Our front garden is quite secluded, hidden behind a big hedge. We don’t have bylaws in our town limiting the number of colors one can paint a house… so I used quite a few on the fence! Most people seem to love it and it sure makes a refreshing and amusing change from the muted stoney colors that dominate the North American landscape. Just think of the gaily painted Victorian houses of San Francisco. I don’t have the gingerbread details so I spread the jolly colors around the garden instead.
The kitchen is open plan to the dining and living room. Throughout runs a highly finished painted plywood floor (or what we locally call Roberts Creek hardwood). It used to have wide sponged green stripes but has since been painted a nice deep maroon and maybe next year, we will make a break from our beloved green and put in hardwood…
The painted floor feels like smooth linoleum, very nice on the feet but it did take much finishing. Still, it’s a great way to go if you have an active gang of kids running through and don’t want to risk an expensive hardwood floor until they leave the nest.
The banister is covered with painted and collaged plywood panels with images of Mexican Day of The Dead from a beautiful calendar. Collage elements and stamping add extra surface design to these decorative and functional panels.
Hand painted ceramic tiles run around the entire backsplash. When we were building the house, the kids and I did a bunch of these tiles for $5 each at a a local paint your own ceramic shop. What fun!
A jolly rocketship inspired by Tintin’s Adventures on the Moon and an amusing cow teapot image make working at the kitchen sink more fun.
Lampshade edge is decorated with old earrings from early days of jewelry making. Polyform clay shapes were embossed, baked then gilded before attaching dangling beads drops. I had these leftover and decided they looked just grand as a bejewelled fringe on this vintage lamp.
This piece by ceramic artist Kathleen Raven adorns my hallway. Kathleen Raven’s small vase with small skull appears in image farther up this page with the rocketship tile by kitchen sink faucet.
The pink plate has simple flowers like those in Button Bouquet sewing pattern & a nice chunky border. These ceramics were painted with ceramic underglazes onto greenware clay then glazed with clear glaze and fired at a paint-your-own ceramic shop.
The Savoy welcomes visitors into “the smallest room”. Most of the doors have mixed painted finishes but only this one has aspirations to be back in London. Something about the light in this room reminded me of the lovely marble bathrooms at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Rubber stamping on furniture
Multi-colored wooden knobs on vanity cabinet are decorated with rubber stamps of numbers and handwriting then varnished over to protect them. If you want to try this, make sure you test the varnish with the stamping inks because some inks bleed badly. Test, test, test.
Painted dresser features pirates, flying fish and imaginary islands sporting real names from places visited in our sailing days in the Caribbean. I matched the plastic wood handles to the images below them to help the handles dissolve more into the image instead of stand out.
The Art Garden
Fun and whimsy in the Art Garden with funky garden sculptures on a shoestring budget.
This plastic form used to be a mirrored disco ceiling decoration which I bought from the Swallows Nest in Gibsons. I thought it looked wonderful in the garden but after two weeks in our wet, chilly climate, all the mirrors fell off in a sheet! Yikes! It was definitely not made for the great outdoors!
So, I pulled all the mirrors off, cleaned up the piece and reattached mirrors, some broken china plates and marbles using materials suitable for our British Columbia climate.
The piece stands about 32 inches high and sends sparkles all over the garden when the sun shines on it.
Found Object Laughter Poles
The glazed ceramic pots which form the bases of these poles are filled with cement and a length of iron rebar stands up through the central holes. Each object on the pole has a hole, natural or drilled and they were just slid down the pole one on top of the other. Some weird shaped objects like the toy cars have been wired on. As they age, parts can be replaced, added or subtracted as needed.
I call them laughter poles because they just make you smile and laugh as you view them from different parts of the garden and lane.
Sabina At Sea
I had the idea for this percolating in my mind for about a year before I got around to putting it all together. The torso was part of an old store mannequin. It is mounted on a base of plywood.
The torso is covered with Liquitex modelling paste built up in layers and then painted with Liquitex acrylic paints with high lightfast qualities then with epoxy over that. The beads and crystals hang from the waist creating a waterfall effect.
The torso is removable from the base so it can be moved separately or with its base to a more weather protected place for the winter. The box is weighted inside with sandbags.
The stainless steel sphere was found at a garden center and is made to function as a fountain but not in this case. It is mounted through the drain hole in the tall glazed ceramic pot. A little silver wine stopper by South African designer Carol Boyes just popped in perfectly to the fountain hole in the center of the sphere. This is nice to look down at from our deck above or from anywhere else in the garden.
Why not have some fun? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you did have fun with your garden? You can always tone it down later if you need to put it up for sale but meantime, take it in hand and show it who’s the boss and remind it that girls just want to have fun!