Mixed Metallic

I went back and forth about how I was going to decorate my home this Christmas Season...

Black and Copper or Turquoise and Silver or Green and Gold.....I couldn't make up my mind. Then I realized there seemed to be a common trend....in every combination I was considering, I was planning on using a metallic. Soooo.......after much contemplation.....I went with MIXED METALLIC! 

Bronze, Copper, Silver and Gold have been sprinkled around my home, bringing shimmer and sparkle for the Holidays! I've also mixed in natural elements such as wood, fur and pine cones for a truly Rustic Glam effect.

See below how you could win a metallic piece for your home!


As a way to welcome in the Christmas and Holiday Season and to celebrate the wonderful year it has been for Rustic Retrievals, I want to help bring some metallic charm into your home!


I'm always torn between Gold and Silver and when I saw these two pieces (Stag/Deer Decor) I was instantly drawn to them both.

The Gold Stag is more rustic traditional and I can see it in a front entry to hang keys, a purse or a scarf on.

The Silver Stag is a more Rustic Modern piece and I would hang it in a bedroom and use it to hang/display pretty baubles.

Now...here's your chance to win one of these Stags to add to your home decor!

Here's what you have to do (it's super easy):

1. "Share" this post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc with the hashtag #goldstag or #silverstag (whichever is your favourite and the one you'd like to win).

2. Comment below, noting that you've shared this post. In your post include which Stag you'd like to win and where you'd use it in your home.

There....that's all! Done and Done!

Best of luck to you all! Winners will be announced next Sunday December 8, 2013.



**All photos are property of Ardis McDonald/ Rustic Retrievals

Holidays in a New Home - Part Two

Time to move onto the inside...

Our first Christmas after the fire was in the farmhouse my parent's were renting while they finalized plans to build this new house. I will admit...that Christmas was full of mixed emotions. We are a family of sentimentality....we had and lost over 50 years of ornaments and decorations from family and loved ones. Every year, decorating the tree turned into a walk down memory lane as we put ornaments on the tree that held such significant meaning...especially the ornaments from those loved ones we have lost. Those will never....ever.. be replaced. But..I still have the memories of  decorating those trees, those ornaments and the significance they had. And...this first Christmas in the new house was a chance to start new traditions and make new memories while remembering and reminiscing about old ones.

As long as I can remember, we always had multi-coloured lights on the tree and that tradition continued in the new home. There's something so cheerful about the reds, greens and blues glistening through the branches.

As upsetting as it was to lose our family's ornaments, we did our best to turn that into a positive by constantly being on  the search for new ones...ones that reminded us of Christmases past but also brought something new to our Holidays as well.

Remember C.A.L.M from previous posts..... We saw these ornaments and just had to get them (oh...and my Mom LOVES decorating with red at the Holidays too)...These were perfect for more than one reason!

We just loved these vintage-look ornaments for the tree (they were actually gift tags that we decided to put on the tree instead). Those shimmery snowflakes were also a must have as my Mom collects snowflakes. 

So after picking the perfect tree, hanging the lights, arranging the decorations (a few times)......VOILA!!

This is the front entry... We used a combination of red, white and grey with a piece of artwork that symbolizes our summers on Lake of the Woods. 

Pinecones, painted feathers, Holiday ornaments, Christmas crackers.....they all worked together sooo well!

Another close up of the tree...I see a bit of a theme...red...white...and snowflakes.

Then there's this guy...the official Gift Guard.....with his new squeaker (he got to open a gift a wee bit early).

We then realized that we'd mayyybbbeee purchased a few too many decorations. We also decided that we wanted to keep a bit of a theme on the big tree...soooo.....I brought my smaller tree from my house and a second tree was decorated! A new tradition in the new house...2 trees!

This one had a more rustic and cottagey theme....it was covered in antlers, deer, moose, bears, plaid, fisher-snowmen, tackleboxes, burlap....This truly was for my Dad...

This guy is my favorite....Something about him reminds me of my Dad...I think it's the boots...(my Dad also collects moose)..


This was in a card my parent's had received from one of their friends...it just seemed so very appropriate and suited the mood perfectly! 

"Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the world".

Looking back through these photos from last Christmas brought a huge smile to my face....and also a few tears. So many memories came flooding back...not just from last Christmas...but from all of them. One thing that I will always keep very close to my heart is my family....without family, for me, there would be no Holidays...no Christmas. They are what truly 'make it' for me.....


**All photos are property of Rustic Retrievals/Ardis McDonald.

Holidays in a New Home - Part One

Last Christmas was my parent's first Christmas in their new home so needless to say, I wanted it to be perfect both outside and inside!! 

We have always been a family who had the perspective that less is more when it comes to decor. 

Keep it simple....Keep it natural ...... 

My Mom had bought these fantastic planters at a store called The Garage Home Decor in Belmore, ON (I too have a set) and as you can see, they were/are the perfect base for the holiday urns I put together for them.

I took a set of "snippers" (my technical term for branch clippers) and off to the bush I went to cut the greenery. I used a mix of cedar, spruce, pine and red willow. I even used some teasels I found on the edge of the old horse pasture. I added a little bit of shimmer with some silver accents, but other than that, the greenery was the star of the show!


The front door was flanked by the planters overflowing with natural greenery and a simple swag of greens hung from the door. We found a gorgeous antique toboggan at a local shop as well as a wooden angel (there's a story to our family and angels that I have told before but will tell again soon) to add to the decor. I had found the "Keep Calm and Carry On" mat at Urban Barn and seeing as our family has also always incorporated the word 'calm' in to our day-to-day lives  (see this post as to why), it was the perfect last piece of the puzzle.

The other end of the front porch was also kept simple and natural... 2 planters full of greens, white lanterns and the seating area that stays outside 365 days a year (a great spot to enjoy a morning coffee, even after a fresh snow fall).

I so wish I had remembered to take a photo after it snowed...but needless to stay, it all came together so well and looked absolutely amazing with a fresh blanket of snow.....

We went back and forth about whether to put lights in the planters....but after much discussion, we decided that we liked the more rustic and again, natural, look of the planters with the outdoor sconces shining down on them. I DEFINITELY think it was the right decision!

Once I had their outdoor decor completed...it was time to put together the planters/urn inserts for my home. I had already decided on the colours I wanted to use...the bronzy coppers, shiny chocolate brown, and some shimmery, creamy ivory. I still wanted an overall rustic look, but with a little bit of glam.....

I think I succeeded with the RUSTIC GLAM effect! What do you think?

The momentum from all the creative juices that were flowing also morphed in me completing a wreath for a friend/client of mine. She always leaves it up to me with regards to style and colour scheme and I decided to keep with the Rustic Glam vibe while completing her wreath. I used a grapevine wreath as a base, added fresh greens and them some silver sparkle..Anddd....


Again...simple, nature and rustic...with just enough sparkle and twinkle to also say "holiday"!

As you can likely tell...I realllly enjoy decorating outdoors for the Holidays/Christmas!! (yes, that is the understatement of understatements) I would LOVE to help you with your outdoor decor...whether it's a simple swag for your door or multiple planters/urns or even an online decor consult (I just need pictures of the area you are wanting to decorate), I have sooo many ideas running through my mind that I can't wait to bring to life. Send me an email to rusticretrievals@gmail.com with what you're looking for and we can go from there.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


**All photos are the property of Rustic Retrievals**

Bloggers Who Brunch..

Brunch has been a bit of a theme for me as of late....I LOVE spending lazy Sunday mornings with friends over tres yummy food, great coffee and even better conversation. So...needless to say, when I got an email from Heather, a fellow Guelphite who I met at BlogPodium, suggesting that some of us local Bloggers get together for Brunch, I was 100% in!

We met at 39 Carden Street, a newer bistro in downtown Guelph, across from City Hall. I had been there for dinner about a month ago with a friend and loved it, so I was realllly looking forward to having the chance to go back, but even more so, to meet the lovely ladies I had been emailing back and forth with!

As you enter 39 Carden, it literally draws you in! Their decor and atmosphere are the epitome of my ultimate decor aesthetic! It is the perfect amount of rustic... the leaded glass cupboard windows, the iron details in the table legs, the industrial bar stools, the chalkboard menu, the black harvest chairs...combined with just the right amount of polish and glam...the beautiful chandeliers, the vintage-look light fixtures,the tufted benches, mercury glass mirrors and white bistro chairs.

Once we all arrived, introductions had been made and we and had had a chance to `take it all in`...it was time to get down to the nitty gritty...what to order for brunch! I ended up going with the tried, tested and true....bacon and eggs (over easy)! The food...and the bottomless cup of coffee in those cobalt blue mugs, was absolutely scrumptious!

We`d settled in, food was ordered and conversation just naturally turned to learning more about eachother, chatting about some blogger `hot topics` such as Blogger vs Wordpress, Stats & Numbers but most importantly, and what I found the most interesting, was as the discussion evolved...so many similarities emerged! This is a group of women who are driven, entrepreneurial, creative, passionate, with strong opinions and we all enjoy putting our thoughts, brands and ourselves into our work and our blogs!

Here is the group of lovely #guelphblogbrunch ladies - lovely both inside and out! 

From left to right**:

The diversity of topics, writing styles and design of our blogs say a lot about each of us as individuals but I think you will also find that as a collective...our shared love of writing and our passions shine through!

I think we could have sat there all afternoon and kept talking, but then reality set in and it was time to pack up and get going. We all wandered around the bistro, snapping photos and admiring the decor. A HUGE Thank you to the staff at 39 Carden Street for being so welcoming, the amazing service, the delicious food and for allowing us to come in and make ourselves at home!

Ironically enough, the contractor responsible for crafting, designing and pulling together 39 Carden was also there having brunch. We had a chance to meet Matt Robertson of Iron Edge Design and he even shared with us some of his sourcing secrets!

Here`s Matt, the creative genius behind the reno of the bistro - I think there is quite a Chris Daughtry resemblence..**

Thank you again to Heather for organizing this..such a wonderful idea! Thank you to 39 Carden Street for having us! And thank you to all the ladies for attending and for the chance to get to know more about each of you...I am really looking forward to next month!

Cheers to brunch, cheers to blogging and cheers to a group of inspiring women!**


A New Old House...

I just recently re-activated my subscription to House Beautiful magazine (I really have to stop moving so much...I lose track of these things and had really been missing getting this magazine every month)....

My new issue arrived and let's just say, there is a kitchen in it (an no, it's not the Kitchen of the Year..though it is fantastic too) that had me absolutely drooling (if you have the new issue...keep an eye out for the copper pots).

I also follow House Beautiful on my Rustic Retrievals Facebook Page and noticed HB had posted the photo of the amazing soapstone sink in the room with the stable door (see below) and I just had to have a look at the rest of the house!

I'm sure glad I did!

The home, in Nashville Tennessee, is amazingly beautiful, airy and bright.....a fluid mix of rustic charm and southern beauty.

The following are a few of my favorite rooms and needless to say, I absolutely love this home!

Whether is was the amazing fixture/s in the staircase, the numerous soapstone sinks (LOVE how they have one double as a bar cooler), the gorgeous outdoor spaces, the immense walk-in closet, the modern stone fireplace or the kitchen that just begs you to entertain in it....every photo provides wonderful inspiration and perfectly illustrates the allure of this lovely home.


Long Weekends = Weekends Outdoors

I take every excuse I can to get outdoors (if you're a regular reader of my blog you already know this), but even more so on a summer long weekend.

Whether it's walking the beach at sunset, rollerblading a lakeside trail, horseback riding through the forest, or sitting on a patio having drinks with friends we really do need to take advantage of the short summer season we have!

We can't all get away for the weekend or a holiday and  taking that into account, why not turn your back yard into your own retreat?

Lonny Magazine has an amazing gallery of patio, deck and outdoor spaces. I have included some of my favorite and hope these inspire you to turn your home/space into your own holiday getaway space..that you get to enjoy everyday!

Patio - A gathering of chaises and a white umbrella beside a pool
LOVE everything about this space...literally EVERYTHING!

Patio - Four outdoor chairs gathered around a fire pit beside a brick wall
The chairs, the brick wall, the coziness....and of course the Hermes blankets!

Patio - French doors leading to a patio with a wicker couch and a zebra hide
Love the idea of using tall shutters for privacy....and the wicker/rattan furniture, animal print rug & french doors....

Patio - A rectangular pool with an umbrella and chaises
That pool....

Patio - Sunny outdoor living beside a pool
An outdoor fireplace!

The greenery, the brick patio and the huge expanse of windows to let the outdoors in...

Rustic stonework...

Wow....I could just wander and lounge in this atmosphere all day....

So fresh and lush....

Beachy....can almost hear the waves crashing!

A great day to night setting....

The modern pergola - like structure mixed in with the rustic details like the brick shed....

Have a seat and enjoy a latte while reading the morning paper...

Modern, Cali style....that enormous daybed!

Another perfect place for the perfect cup of coffee!

Literally a melding of the indoors and outdoors...feels like a Tuscan villa.

Cheers to a long weekend....I'm off to the lake and I hope you have the opportunity to get outdoors, relax and enjoy yourself!


Sunday Dreaming....

The weekend is flying by! As I'm having my latte and looking through Pinterest (yes, I should be doing the dishes or laundry or something...but Pinterest got me!), I saw this.....

Every single aspect of this/these rooms is the absolute essence of rustic elegance. There really are no words....

My dream home.......

The photo was credited to the Blog...PLANET DECO a homes world The blog is in French, but will allow to translate it. I must admit though, as you are enjoying this feast for the eyes, it almost makes is that much more a delicious experience to look through their gorgeous posts and stumble through the translation on your own..

Here are some more photos from their post on a cabin in Norway...

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and have a chance to take some time to relax and do some dreaming of your own!


A "Tablelift"

This is what my dining area used  to look like with a four legged table and black leather dining chairs. A more  rustic-industrial look that I had brought with me from my loft.  They were perfect for that space, but I felt that they were just a bit 'heavy' and 'clunky' for the "cottage".

I showed you the table below in one of my earlier posts. Solid oak, in really great shape and the perfect size (it has a leaf so I can expand it for when the guests start arriving!)

I also really like that it had a pedestal base which allows me to pull the chair right up under it because when you live in 800 sq ft, every inch counts!

As much as I liked the table, I really was not a fan of the oak colour....so, a "tablelift" would be in order!

I got it home and into my basement workshop....then the fun began!

But ...before I could get started, I wanted to be sure I had the proper 'tools' for the end product I wanted to achieve. I purchased a set of good brushes from Home Depot and the paint I decided to go with was from Rona's ECO Recycled Latex Paint, Velvet Finish in the Colour Ocean.

I started with a rough sand to help the first coat adhere, wiped it down with a damp cloth and then began the first coat of paint. The final look I wanted to achieve was a more rustic, imperfect finish, so if you could see the odd brush stroke here and there, that was perfect!

This is part way through the first coat..... (please excuse the mess that the workshop is currently)

Then....after a second coat and bringing the table back upstairs, here is the final product........

Even Charlie was happy with the final product (he gets himself into so many photos)...

The wool table runner is also from the same vendor at the Hanover Market. The peacock feathers in the rustic vase tied the blues in the table to the brown hardwood and the green glass in the room.

Here's a better view of the colour and the wool table runner.....

I'm a big fan of keeping my space fresh and changing out items to add variety, different textures, lines and colours. I sold my old dining table and chairs and with the great deals I was able to get for this table and new-to-me harp back chairs (you'll see more of them in future posts, but here's a sneak peak of their 'before'), changing the entire look and feel of my dining area was no extra $ out of pocket whatsoever.

If you're willing to put in a bit of time and effort, you can change the entire look and feel of your home for practically nothing but a little bit of 'elbow grease'.


Bring the outdoors in....

I spent the day outdoors on Wednesday and it made me wish I was on a ski hill somewhere or out skating on a frozen lake.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day, but absolutely frigid. I found this Ski Home in Architectural Digest that anyone would want to come home to after an equally cold day on the slopes and just sit in front of the fire with a glass of wine or hot chocolate.

The modern- rustic alpine style, combined with the breathtaking mountain views, allows the beauty of the outdoors to literally become part of the home and compliments the style perfectly.


Whether it is the soap stone fireplace or the Burma-teak marble in the master bath, the naturally inspired elements bring the attention to detail to an entirely new creative level.



I'm sitting in my living/dining room area after finishing a yummy breakfast of  frittata made with Farmer's Market fresh veggies, eggs and hashbrowns and a tres yummy latte, and am thinking I would like to re-fresh some rooms in my home.
I am a big fan of change, especially around the house and especially when it comes to keeping things fresh. So of course, where do I turn to for some inspiration but Pinterest ....

I have a lot of these pieces in my home already....rustic wooden boxes, barn board, mercury glass etc.....it's time to move them around and re-imagine the uses of theses pieces.

niceroom:    1richtungsblog
I'm looking for a new entertainment stand/console...this table would be perfect! I would like it to run the entire length of the wall that houses my tv and I may have to add some framed mirrors on either side of my tv as well!

Saddle stand entry decor
I am always on the look out for equestrian-style accessories.....I would really, really like to find an old saddle and bridle to add to my home....

I don't see anything in this picture that I don't like...the cow hyde area rug, the rustic sideboard/dresser, the exposed beams, those windows and fireplace........LOVE! I think it may be time to head to the Old Mill and get myself a new area rug....

I will always love an exposed brick wall....I had them in my loft and loved the warmth they brought. I  like this idea of painting them out in a grey/white wash...I just don't know if I would have the guts to do so...

I really like my current dining set, but again, time to refresh....I would love a rustic barn board table and these green chairs are a perfect pop of colour!

Rustic elegance...
This mix of rustic and clean lines is the look I would like to work towards in my home....
tile...love it
Rustic Simplicity for the kitchen...a piece of barn board and an iron bracket....

loving this pallet desk!
A perfect DIY...a pallet top desk...I can make it whatever size, whatever height and whatever colour I would like to suit my not overly large office...

The next few photos are some of my 'dream' home ideas...someday I will be able to incorporate these into a home I own.....

fireplace crackling #modernthanksgiving


loft and glass

Wine room

Lovely loft

library via verdigris vie & houzz, by robert hawkins architects

I hope you are all having a relaxing, lazy Sunday....Why not hop on the internet or look through some old magazines for some inspiration to re-fresh some rooms in your home!