Summer Reads

Disclaimer: I rarely preorder books. But somehow, this summer I have preordered 3! All by authors I love to follow and whose books I know I will love without even reading the description. 

Cultivate by Lara Casey

I really enjoyed Lara Casey's first book Make It Happen. She goes through her own personal story, and breaks down how she sets good goals to make what matters happen. Her second book, Cultivate (which releases tomorrow!), is 'a grace filled guide to growing an intentional life'. As someone who struggles with intention, I could not be more excited to read Lara's story and how she cultivates this life. (Bonus: she is offering tons of preorder goodies!)

Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons

This is Ruth Chou Simons first book, but I have long loved following her on Instagram and reading her posts. I love her way with words and her beautiful art. I can't wait to read her words in a full book format and delight in the artwork inside.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

I truly couldn't tell you how long I have been reading Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series - probably 10 years? (I remember it was around the time Dead Cold/A Fatal Grace came out.) Somehow every book is still magical and mysterious. The characters, the settings, the story - she truly is an exceptional mystery writer and I'm not making any plans for the week this book comes out so I can read it immediately.

Any books you've preordered or are excited to read this summer? Let me know! My summer reading list isn't quite finalized yet :)

Lighten Up

I have this notion that I would like a copper lamp. My style tends to be very traditional, but every so often I like a hit of modern.

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I first spotted this style a few years ago on Zoe's blog, and loved the modern style with the copper finish. Between the exchange and the shipping, an order from the UK was never going to happen, so I've been keeping my eyes open for options on this side of the pond. Thankfully, quite a few stores now carry similar options!

Not all of the lamps above are currently in stock unfortunately - although you might have better luck in store. I think my favourite might be the one from EQ3. I like that the base is marble, and the scale seems just right for my space.

Now just to find a place to put it :) 

Summer Travel Essentials

The past few weeks have finally begun to feel like summer! The warmer temps, chirping birds, blooming flowers - it really is so beautiful to see everything come back to life after winter. 

Whether it's up to a cottage, down to the lake, across the pond, or even just around town, summer usually involves a lot more travel for me. (I can't be the only one that hibernates all winter ;) And this summer I have a bigger-than-usual trip planned, so I've been gathering all my travel bits & bobs to make sure nothing gets forgotten.

Julep Lindsay & AlainaJoe Fresh SweaterWarby Parker Tilley SunglassesLo & Sons CatalinaLovers Tempo Earrings, 'The Summer Before the War', Anastasia Eye Shadow in Smoke, Buon Fresco, & Pink ChampagneFossil Sydney ClutchRifle Paper Co NotepadChapters Indigo PenAldo Olivetta

Simple, coordinating beauty faves (I've been loving these Anastasia eyeshadows!) make getting ready a snap.A little bit of sparkle on the ears with these cluster studs from Lovers Tempo and on the feet with shimmery sandals keep things a little more fun. A good book to read & somewhere to write down to-do's or things to remember. A wallet that doubles as a clutch for all the essentials, and a big overnight bag for when you need more than just the essentials ;) A cozy sweater to throw on in those cool summer evenings, and sunglasses to keep you protected during the day. (I've really been considering getting a pair of prescription sunglasses, and these ones from Warby Parker's summer collection might just have me sold on the idea. They have eyeglasses in addition to sunglasses if you've been on the hunt for those. And both are available online for shipping to Canada & the US - it almost seems too easy ;)

I'm sure my suitcase will magically seem to shrink as I start packing it, but I'll try to stick to only the essentials ;) 

Do you have any travel plans this summer? Anywhere exciting or just something nice & relaxing?


Skincare Standouts

Over the past few years, I've focused on improving my skin rather than covering it all up. My skin was all over the place in university, and went through quite a bad period in my final year. Since then, I've looked for products that will keep my skin calm and hydrated, while reducing breakouts and boosting radiance. It's a tall order, but I've finally found a few great stand-outs that I've repurchased again & again. My skin is happier & healthier than it's been in years, all thanks to the products below.

Caudalie Divine Oil - This was tucked into my stocking last Christmas (someone clearly knows me well ;) and I've loved using it. It smells so lovely and doesn't feel heavy on my skin. I don't love the packaging - this smaller version is just a bottle with a screw top lid, no delivery method for the oil - but that's a minor flaw I can work around.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum - I discovered this serum in 2014 and it totally changed my skin. I still get the occasional spot, but I'm always left with a red mark long after the spot is gone. This helps speed up the disappearance of the red marks and seems to brighten up the rest of my skin as well. Happy skin all round!

Fresh Rose Gel Hydrating Cream - If I could insert the praise hands emoji in here, I would! I always have a backup of this product on hand because I never want to be without it - it's that good. My skin loves this stuff - it keeps my combination skin nourished and balanced, all while smelling like a beautiful bouquet of roses. 

Fresh Rose Face Mask - The rose gel cream is more than enough to keep my skin happy, but when I have an event coming up or want to have a spa night-in, this is the mask I turn to. My makeup always applies so much better on hydrated skin, so it's the perfect treat before an event, and feels luxurious without breaking the bank.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Oil - I was given a sample of this ages ago, and I noticed a difference in my skin almost right away. It's nourishing, hydrating, and seems to calm the redness my skin is prone to. It's lightweight enough for me to wear under makeup and it smells lovely. The bottle size is a tad ridiculous, but the dropper keeps any mess at bay.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream - I love a night cream that leaves my skin looking 'plump' and hydrated when I wake up the next morning. While I certainly still have youth on my side, this cream certainly doesn't hurt either ;) This pot of goodness from Fresh leaves it hydrated, calm and nourished.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution - As a bit of a beauty lover, I can never resist trying something new. So when I read a few rave reviews of this product, I had to give it a try. In the 6 weeks or so that I've been using it, I've definitely noticed a difference in how quickly any red marks I have fade. I'll save my final thoughts for after I've finished the bottle (a little goes a long way with this!) but for now I'm really pleased with it.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Mask - As if I didn't have enough hydration from the products mentioned above! Before you think I'm bonkers for hydrated skin, this was a gift from a fellow beauty lover. I've tried several products from Clinique over the years and this fits right in - great 'workhorse' products that do what they say they will. That probably shouldn't seem so revolutionary, but in this age of Photoshopping & outrageous claims, it's refreshing to find a product that lives up to its name.

Fresh & Caudalie have become two of my favourite skincare lines - they carry products I can trust and that have helped my skin tremendously.  I feel like Fresh is best known for their sugar lip treatments and Caudalie for their Beauty Elixir, but both lines carry wonderful skincare if you're looking for something new. 

I've rounded up all the products mentioned above and linked them below for easy online shopping (& review reading ;), but most Sephora & department stores should carry Fresh, Caudalie, and Clinique. Kiehl's can be found in some department stores, and they also have retail stores throughout North America. Happy shopping!


Post contains affiliate links.

Best Reads of 2015

Hello 2016! This little old blog started 5 years ago today, which seems so crazy to me. I started Gallery No. Eight on a whim - a notion of wanting a place online to talk design and build a potential portfolio for future work. And while I'm sure I had ideas of where I hoped it would go, this little space has exceeded so many of my expectations of what blogging can do or become. No matter how long you've been following along, THANKYOU! This little space is all mine, but it wouldn't be the same without you.

On to the post! I added so many gems to my bookshelf last year, it would not be fair to keep them to myself. Whether you're looking to tidy up, love others, solve a mystery, or make it happen, there's something here you'll like.

  1. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up
  2. Daring Greatly
  3. Love Does
  4. For the Love
  5. The Finishing School
  6. Make it Happen
  7. The Nature of the Beast
  8. The Nightingale
  9. All the Light We Cannot See
  10. Suite Française
  11. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

I'm starting to build my reading list for this year, so if there's any books you loved last year, please share! Or if you have any thoughts/questions on the books above, I would love to chat more with you.

Cheers to an amazing - and well-read - 2016 ;) 


ORC - The Final Week

Oh the one room challenge. I was so excited to get this finished and share the results with you all! Serious props go out to all the ladies & gents  that complete their beautiful rooms in time - it is no small feat! As you can probably tell, I don't have a finished room for you today - a combination of things not arriving in time, terribly cloudy & grey days meaning no photos, and lets be honest, a little poor time management on my part too ;) - but I do have some updates!

Several pieces did arrive (like the jewelry stand above!) and you can even see a sneak peek of the new-to-me mirror I hung too. I had a lot of heavy black pieces on my vanity area before, and now it just feels so much lighter & brighter. I'm loving the mixed metals too.

There's a few pillows that need their stuffing & some new bedding on it's way, so watch my Instagram to see when those arrive. I'm hoping to have some sort of 'final' reveal up before the end of the year to show the whole space.

And I have to talk about Amber! Working with Amber on this was so lovely - she listened to everything I was thinking about and came back with items that were already on my wishlist (she read my mind!) and projects that I never would have thought of (but instantly loved!). It was the perfect combination of totally understanding my style and challenging me to create the best design possible. Her e-design process included an inspiration board to make sure we were both on the same page, and then the final design presentation with all the final ideas, items, where to purchase things, links to alternate options and even a few DIY projects I could tackle ;) And most of the links were even for Canadian stores! Such a nice touch to be able to shop somewhat local even if I was ordering things online. I loved loved working with Amber on this, and if you ever need help with an e-design (or in-person design if you're local to Central New York you lucky ducks), I would recommend her 100%.

That's all I have for now, but stayed tuned for more sneak peeks on Instagram & for the full reveal once everything is here. Thankyou for folllowing along! If you've ever debated the ORC, it's a totally fun way to get your butt in gear and finish a room haha I would highly recommend trying it at least once - is yolo still a thing? ;)


If you're in the mood for browsing more ORC rooms, I loved Vanessa's Parisian bedroom, Cassie's jewelbox living room, Sue's light & airy bathroom, Cassandra's fabulous dressing room, Megan's sweet lavender nursery, Sarah's perfectly mixed living room, and even though Christine didn't finish in time, I cannot wait to see her final space! #staytuned

On My Bookshelf: At Home: Sarah Style

Sarah Richardson has been one of my favourite interior designers for almost as long as I can remember. One of my first ever posts on this blog was about her, and watching Sarah's House was what inspired me to want to become an interior designer (I wasn't loving my university program at the time ;). While I chose to pursue graphic design & not interior design, I still love designing interiors and Sarah's style will always inspire me.

Her newest book, At Home: Sarah Style, is no exception. Sharing photos from her own homes (as well as past homes & family member's homes), Sarah shares her thoughts on the decisions she made and how to achieve a similar look for yourself. I can almost hear her saying the blurbs out loud - this book is totally Sarah - and the behind-the-scenes real life photos bring the spaces to life.

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The home above, which was featured in season three of Sarah's House, will always & forever be one of my favourites.

After the tour of homes, we're invited to dine with delicious recipes from Sarah's own kitchen. Divided into seasons (so smart! I love the idea of eating seasonally), Sarah shares her favourite dishes along with her twists on many family staples. I've already bookmarked numerous recipes that I can't wait to try this season - some I'm sure will turn into favourites around here too :)

I loved pouring through all the photos and reading all of Sarah's thoughts & tips for each space. If you're a fan of Sarah's, love peaking into designer's homes (always so fun to see what they do in their own space, right?), want to find some new family favourite recipes, or a combination of all three, you will love this new book.

And it's out at the perfect time of year for gifting! Wouldn't it be an awesome combo to give (or receive ;) a copy of the book and something from Sarah's new line of bedding, pillows & linens?  I love all the pieces (this reversible pillow is probably my favourite), and the price point is ridiculously good for designer fabrics.

If you want to purchase (or send a not-so-subtle hint to someone else :) you can find the book at Chapters, Amazon (CA/US) or a local bookstore near you.

A copy of At Home: Sarah Style was kindly sent to me for review purposes by the publisher. All thoughts on the book & content in this post are my own, as always.

ORC - The Details

Welcome back! This week it's all about the details for the One Room Challenge - the bits & bobs I've been collecting or am planning to purchase before the reveal. Mirrors, pillows, art, library stamps (because of course), and lots of gold :)

West Elm, Lulu & GeorgiaWisteria HomeChapters IndigoThe BayPara Paints, Farrow & BallAnnawithloveSociety6IKEAMintedbluebellgray

If you've known me or read this blog for a while, you know I have a serious affinity for watercolour florals, and no one does watercolour floral pillows better than bluebellgray. I haven't completely settled on which one I'm going to pick up, but right now, the 'Jenna' is in the lead.

I first discovered bluebellgray when Fiona's home tour appeared on Design*Sponge the same month I launched this blog, and I just remember being completely smitten with her whole home & shop. Her pillows weren't carried in Canada at the time, but I'm so glad they are now and I can't wait to get one of her pillows into my hands :) 

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There's also been a few changes to the gallery wall! Finally hung my little chalkboard shield from The Cross Design & Decor, as well as a few prints that have been sitting on the floor for an embarrassing amount of time...

ORC - The Ideas

Welcome back for another instalment of the ORC! Last week, I shared the plans, and this week, I'm sharing some of the ideas for the space. 

My vision for this bedroom is a calm, serene space filled with lots of cozy neutral colours, texture & light - a space I enjoy spending time in, getting ready in, and that is as functional as it is beautiful. Not that we're being lofty or anything ;)

Here's where I'm at so far:

  • I have all the prints for the gallery wall, just need to source a few final 'quirky' bits. I bought a mini chalkboard shield from The Cross Decor & Design while in Vancouver and I can't wait to get it up!
  • I also have an empty square frame that is begging for an agate slice in a neutral palette - any favourite sources?
  • Pillows! Plaid, floral, velvet, cable knit - having a hard time narrowing it down to just a few haha
  • Roman blinds for the window - will be such an upgrade from the basic blinds that are there now
  • Have something exciting planned for bringing some blush pink in to the space :)
  • I was looking at purchasing IKEA's Songe mirror, but it appears to be discontinued in Canada - boo! I'm planning to go on a vintage/secondhand mirror hunt this weekend, so hopefully something even better pops up.
Amber B Design - Vision Board

!!! Isn't that just a dreamy inspiration board? I reached out to Amber of Amber B Design to get some additional input for the space and I'm just in love with what she's sent so far. I was working with Amber over the summer on her new branding & website, and when I saw her most recent project reveal, I had to get her thoughts on my space. I love her work and am excited to be working with her again. (I really do miss seeing people pop up in my inbox when we finish working together :) We met at BlogPodium years ago, even though she's based out of Central New York. Crazy full circle moment, right? Above is her initial vision board for the space. We've changed a few things, but I have to keep some surprises until next week :) 

That's all I've got for this week. Lots of ideas & plans to bring together in the next 3 weeks!

You can see what everyone else is doing right here.


My Takeaways from BlogPodium 2015

How has it already been a month since BlogPodium?! The past few weeks have flown by, but I had to write down a few of the thoughts that I've been mulling over in my head since getting home. BlogPodium is always a highlight of my year and if you've ever thought about going, I would absolutely recommend it. I know that might sound a little biased since I do play a part in the BlogPodium team now, but I would still be going to each & every event even if I wasn't on the team - it's that good, promise :)

There's been 5 main themes that I keep coming back to, and I'm sharing those along with a few photos from my time in Vancouver below. 

1. Get out there. You'll never know unless you try. The first BlogPodium event I attended was mildly terrifying - what will it be like? Will I know anyone? Will it be super awkward? Is this even for me? - but it was truly the best ticket I've ever purchased. The connections, opportunities, knowledge and friends I have gained have been huge. I would absolutely not be doing what I do now without it.

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2. Share the good stuff. People can smell a fake from a mile away, so while it's completely overused these days, 'authenticity' is important. It will look different to everyone, but this I know is true: "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." I once heard someone say  that we should think of creativity & inspiration as a river - a continual source of flowing ideas - not a stagnant puddle that gets smaller every time you use up an idea. 

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3. Simplify. Focus more energy on fewer things. Your sanity & to do list will thank you ;) And those things you focus on will get better & better with your undivided attention.

photo by Vancouver Photobooth

photo by Vancouver Photobooth

Tia, Nancy, Julie, Jen, Britt, Barbara, me & Lisa - one of the best teams to work with! 

4. Find your tribe. The people you connect with online can make all the difference. (see point above!) Community is everything, and people will make all the difference to your blogging & social media experience. 

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Numbers will go up & down. Always, for any platform. Take a step back every so often and look at the big picture. Are you closer to your goal now than you were before? Then you're doing something right. And if not, regroup & try again. Everything will be alright :)

Any takeaways I missed? What were your favourite moments from BlogPodium this year? Other than the stunning backdrop of Vancouver of course ;) 


ORC - The Plans

Well hello there long neglected blog! I have several posts saved as drafts that will be published soon, but I wanted to introduce this series sooner rather than later. 

I have loved following the One Room Challenge over the past few years - especially the Canadian entries from Christine Dovey & Vanessa Francis - and have kind of wanted to join the fun. I always felt my room was too far along to count, but it's been stuck in 'almost done' limbo for a while now and I'm hoping this is the kick in the pants to get it finished.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll often see my gallery wall or other bits of my room, but trust me when I say there's a lot hidden behind the camera ;) There's a desk below my gallery wall that should really be called 'the surface upon which everything collects.' And my bedside table is really becoming more of a bookshelf...

Below is a sampling of the inspiration I've gathered for the room over the years. These are rooms that have stuck with me from the moment I saw them. The top book is Domino (a classic), the bottom left book is Style & Substance from Elle Decor, and the bottom right book is The Perfectly Imperfect Home (I adore everything about this book). There's also another image from an IKEA catalogue several years ago that I could only find online here (from this post). 

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So the plan? Finish this room! Limbo is no fun and I'm ready to clear out all the clutter and finish off this space. (There's a reason there hasn't been an update on the second gallery wall, which may or may not be because that half the art is still on the floor...)

On my to-do list:

  • Frame some final prints for the gallery wall
  • Purchase final pieces for the gallery
  • Address the window coverings
  • Clear out everything that isn't needed
  • Fresh bedding & pillows
  • The lamp/lighting situation
  • A few other bits & bobs (code for things I'm currently forgetting...)
  • Style the heck out of it!

I'll be back next Thursday with an update & to introduce a few people helping me with the project. Excited to get to work! 

To see the updates in real time, make sure you're following on Instagram! :)