Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 30, 2016

(Sponsored by Wayfair) Mornings at the Lake + My Healthy Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Zucchini Protein Brownie Recipe

When Wayfair invited me to share my ideal morning with readers, I welcomed the encouragement to get a little personal on the blog - plus I was excited for a chance to share a recipe I recently developed for a grain-free, refined sugar-free zucchini brownie.

Over the years I've been asked by readers to share more personal posts, but I've actually shied away from that a little and have become more project-focused.  Recently I've been asked to write posts about living in Northwestern Ontario, life on the lake, why I don't want kids, what I'm doing with my PhD, etc., but I just find it's so much more comfortable to write about projects and crafting.  If I'm being honest, though, my favorite posts on the blogs I read are ones where I get to know someone better and can catch a sneak peek into someone's life.  I don't know how some bloggers can bare all on the internet because even sharing something so trivial as our morning routine felt outside of my comfort zone, but this has been the nudge I needed to start incorporating more personal posts, here and there. 

Morning at the Lake

An Ideal Morning on the Lake

So what does our ideal morning look like?  That question really ties into some big life changes we've made in the last couple of years, since moving from a city with a population of nearly a million, to a rural municipality of only a couple thousand country-lovin' folk. 

Hubby and I have made it our mission to stop glorifying busy-ness, and have instead learned to live life on "lake time": when the weather is good, you enjoy it, because when you have free time it might be so foggy that the lake disappears!  The weather can turn in an instant and we've been known to drop our rakes and lawn mower in the summer and hop in the lake, mid-task, for a swim - something we've learned to do after finishing our chores in time for a sudden thunderstorm!  You learn to enjoy the good weather here, even if it runs contrary to your plans for the day!

We're pretty suited to "lake time" because neither Hubby nor I work a traditional 9-5 job, so our days vary wildly.  Sometimes we eat breakfast together, sometimes we're apart for every meal of the day.  Some mornings see us up at 3am or the crack of dawn - but don't cry for us, because sometimes we don't roll out of bed until 9.  I've lamented that I wish I could be one of those people who wakes up early naturally, instead of being jolted awake by the sound of my shrieking alarm clock.  But I'm the kind of person who will get a second wind at night and end up rearranging my closet at midnight, which makes sticking to a routine tricky; it's just not in my nature.  I've been craving more routine, though, so I've been working on committing to some kind of schedule because I have to admit that even though my body fights my desire to be an early riser (I have turned off my alarm in my sleep!), my brain loves being up early.  It's especially peaceful on the lake in the early morning and I love being awake before the sunrise - it's so invigorating! 

Hubby's unusual work schedule means that we're apart more than the average couple but then there are major perks and we see each other for huge chunks of time.  Because of this irregular schedule, when everyone else is fighting traffic or terrible weather, sometimes we're parked at our dining room table, watching the lake and eating a leisurely breakfast.  Because we don't get to eat together every day, I savor the moments when we can be together.  In the winter and spring we curl up inside, with a fire roaring, but soon we'll be having breakfast on the deck and I can't wait!  In the summer we often grab our plates and head out there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So these days, that 's my ideal morning: slow, leisurely, relaxed.

Sunset on Lake Superior
  
I've stopped feeling guilty about reading a magazine when the house is messy, or enjoying some quiet time when I should be busy.  The lake has a calming effect that lulls us into laziness and I don't mind one bit - which is a major change for a type-A person like me!    
 Reading Cottage Life
Cottage Life Magazine and a Brownie!

The other day I took this video, which is pretty much the view from the dining table:


video

Even Szuka sweetie appreciates, and is captivated by, the lake view!  She spends a lot of her day staring adorably out the window.  Sometimes she's on guard, but other times I swear she's just blissed out, taking it all in.

Komondor Watching the Lake
Lake Superior

Refined Sugar-free, Grain-Free Zucchini Brownie Recipe

Our new approach to slow(er) living has manifested itself in what we eat, too.  I definitely still indulge, every now and then (mmmm, matcha shortbread!), but both Hubs and I have taken Sarah Wilson's lessons to heart and upped our daily veggies, seriously reduced our fructose intake, swapped sugar for brown rice syrup, and I've even experimented baking with coconut and almond flours.  I've also started adding whey protein to baked treats (to make them more diabetic-friendly for my Dad). 

There has been a lot of trial and error and my poor family has bravely eaten batch after batch of gritty, squishy, baking bombs.  My experimentation has been worth it, though, because I have an arsenal of delicious, healthier treats to show for it now!  Among the winners is this zucchini cake, made with wholesome ingredients like coconut flour, zucchini, shredded coconut and cocoa powder.  The only hint of sweetness is from the brown rice syrup and chopped dates. 

Zucchini Brownie Recipe Made with Coconut Flour

There's also some whey protein powder hidden in there and, with healthy ingredients like those listed below, I feel completely justified in eating this for breakfast once in awhile!  These brownies are really filling and so moist.  I'm drooling just thinking about them.

I Quit Sugar Inspired Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter*
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (pits removed)**
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup whey protein (unsweetened, unflavored)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

*This recipe would definitely work with only 1/4 cup butter or with a healthier substitute, like coconut oil. 

**In her breakdown of sweeteners, Sarah Wilson highlights which "natural" and "healthier" sugar substitutes - like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar - actually have almost, if not as much, fructose as plain old white table sugar.  She singles out dates as well, because they contain nearly 30% fructose.  BUT, dates are high in fiber (which promotes digestion and heart health), magnesium (a natural anti-inflammatory), selenium, and potassium so I feel slightly less concerned about tossing them into this brownie recipe.  There's only a 1/2 cup in this entire recipe but if you're really concerned about the sugar intake, you could cut back on the dates and this would still be a tasty treat.

Kitchen Accoutrements (I wasn't asked to provide Wayfair links but I couldn't resist because there are some cute kitchen gadgets available):

Instructions:
  1. Sift the protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, and set aside - don't skip this step because it keeps the protein powder and coconut flour from globbing together into lumps
  2. Beat the butter and brown rice syrup with a hand mixer until creamy
  3. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla
  4. Gently stir in the sifted dry ingredients, combining thoroughly
  5. Mix in the shredded coconut, dates and zucchini until well combined
  6. Spread batter into a greased, 8" x 8" pan
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
  8. Let cool 5-10 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

Slow Living
Brown Hair with Teal Dip Dyed Ends
Healthy Brownie Recipe
Life on Lake Superior
Teal Hair - Joico Peacock Dye
Grain-free Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe
Healthy Brownie Recipe with Whey Protein Powder
Dog Wants My Chocolate Cake!

So that's a little sneak peek into our life on the lake.  It's not terribly riveting, but that's exactly how we like it!  

Thanks to Wayfair for sponsoring this post.  I was not required to link to any products or try to sell you anything at all (although I did decide to link to a few cute products to help bake the recipe I've included).  I'm so thrilled to partner with such a great brand that has a special place in my heart now that they ship to Canadians, too!
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March 29, 2016

Bathroom Update: Kohler Purist Sconces Mounted on a Sheet Mirror

Way back when I was plotting the lakehouse bathroom renovation, I fell in love with these Kohler Purist sconces and decided that I had to work them into the design.

Kohler Purist Sconce Mounted on Sheet Mirror

But there were some other must-haves that got in the way: namely, double sinks and a linen tower.  Neither left a lot of room for sconces and mirrors, so my original sconce, round mirror, sconce, round mirror, sconce idea was a no-go.  I could keep the round mirrors and do a light above them, or keep the Kohler sconces and try something crazy: mounting the lights directly on the mirror.  Turns out, I'm not the first one to try installing a sconce on a mirror and so, after rounding up some inspiration, I decided to go for it.

Well, the sheet mirror and sconces are finally installed, and I just love how they look!  I forgot just how much brighter and larger a small bathroom feels with a huge mirror - it just bounces so much light around.  I know that sheet mirrors get a bad reputation for being "builder's basic," but I just love them for a small space - and I think mounting the sconces on the glass gives the mirror a more custom look.

Sconces Installed on Large Bathroom Mirror

(For some reason in my pictures the sconces look a little wonky, but I assure you that in real life they are straight.)

Once we were committed to this idea and had ordered the sconces, I spent some time researching local places that cut custom glass.  I picked a great place that also does cool things like stained glass and textured glass - they seemed to be the most ambitious glass company in town.  Although I went to the shop prepped with measurements, they sent someone to double check - for which I am incredibly grateful.  Living in the country, we actually paid a lot (mileage/time) for this service, but it was worth it.  In their words:  it's better if they screw up the measuring!  I had recently been burned by the careless counter top place, so I was incredibly cautious about this purchase - but luckily, so was the guy who came out to measure.  I think it took him about an hour to carefully measure the placement for the holes and outlets, which he triple checked.
A standard sheet of mirror is 72" but we needed 72 3/4 (so close!) so it was a special order - which increased the time and the cost.  It was delivered and installed without any problems and was glued in place to avoid clips because I just don't like the look of mirror clips.  They did a great job cutting out the circles for the lights and the holes for the outlets.  When cleaning the glass for these photos, I did notice one fleck of imperfection under the glass but it's minuscule.

Here's a better look at the holes cut in the mirror for the sconces and outlets: 

How to Install a Sconce on Mirror
Putting an Electrical Outlet in a Mirror
Modern Take on Sheet Mirror

I didn't want the mirror to match the height of the linen tower with the mirror, which puzzled the installers.  Instead, the distance between the top of the linen tower and the top of the mirror is the same as the distance between the bottom of the linen tower and the bottom of the floating vanity.  You might not notice this detail from the hallway, but when I'm in the tub that's all I see, so this thoughtful little touch pleases my type A side:

Floating Walnut Cabinetry in Bathroom Reno

Once the mirror was affixed, we installed the light fixtures per instructions but with one caveat: we had to make sure not to crank the screws too tightly, otherwise pressure could crack the glass.  It was a two-person job but fairly straight forward.  These sconces are securely affixed, but I wouldn't want to monkey around with them.

I was really curious to see how much the back of the sconce is reflected in the glass, but it's not much at all: just a shadow really - no wires or anything show.

Kohler Purist Sconce in Vibrant Brushed Nickel

Whew!

Kohler Purist Sconce Installed

We decided to put the outlets in the mirror too.  Stashing them inside a cabinet or to the right of the vanity didn't feel practical for us (although it would have kept them out of sight).  We thought about putting them in the backsplash, but cutting into the stone seemed like a shame.  Someone suggested putting an outlet in the side of the linen tower, but cutting a hole in the walnut seemed like a shame too.  Seriously, outlets are a real bummer!  After spotting an outlet in a mirror on Pinterest, I decided that the mirror was the best spot for accessibility and hiding them somewhat.  I regret how high we put them but we were still contemplating a higher stone backsplash or maybe adding a shelf at the time, so we intentionally left (too much) wiggle room.

Modern Bathroom Makeover in Progress

Straight on, the outlet covers really blend in (I tried to snap a straight on photo without me in it!):

Mirrored Outlet Cover

But from some angles there's a green tint and if you look just the right way - and get in nice and close - you can see a shadow/reflection of the back of the mirrored outlet cover.

Mirrored Outlet Cover Reflected in Glass

I spent a long time looking for a mirrored outlet cover.  So many of them are a fake finish and I wanted actual glass.  This one was the best I could find but I don't love the bevel because I opted not to have the edge of the mirror itself beveled - it's just a clean, ground edge, for a more modern look.  Hopefully I can track down a simpler outlet cover in the future but, for now, this will do just fine.

Bathroom Progress: Quartzite Counters, Brushed Nickel, Aqua Sinks, Kohler Purist, Walnut Floating Cabinetry

I just love how the bathroom is taking shape!  We're so close to being finished.
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March 18, 2016

Bathroom Reno Update: Mid-Century Modern Inspired Cabinet Pulls

I feel like I'm doling out little morsels of bathroom reno updates at this point, but I know you're all curious to see progress in the most drawn out bathroom makeover ever!  Instead of making you wait for a big reveal (which is still at least a couple of weeks away because I'm having a tough time with my shower curtain hack and am waiting on some fabric samples), I'm sharing little updates as we finish them. 

You might remember that we had a little bit of trouble with our walnut cabinetry in the bathroom.  There was a long scratch on a drawer front so a replacement set was ordered - but there was a nearly identical scratch on the second set as well.  We think that it happened in the manufacturing, like maybe a machine grabbing the veneer on an assembly line was scuffing it.  It's difficult to get irritated because it's Canadian made and purchased from a local shop - I'm always much more patient with manufacturing problems when jobs are kept in Canada or the States.  With weeks stretching on between the delivery of each set of drawer fronts, I was getting a little antsy because I was so excited to affix the hardware!  The cabinetry place was so helpful, though, and they tried to fix the second set to save us the hassle ordering a third, but the scuff was beneath the finish, so a third set was ordered anyway.  They recently arrived, scratch-free, although the manufacturer didn't drill the holes exactly right so they are misaligned by a few millimeters.  Oy vey!  We're not the gambling type, so we're sticking with these!  They're also a smidge lighter than the rest of the cabinetry but I think they will darken up once they've been exposed to the same light.  But really, I only notice these things when I'm zoomed in taking blog photos.  Day to day, these minor imperfections are nearly imperceptible.  

Despite these teeny, tiny concerns there was major cause for celebration in the lakehouse because the replacement drawer fronts meant that we could finally install the hardware!

Contemporary cabinet pulls
Walnut cabinetry and brushed nickel hardware

We found the perfect pulls with a mid-century modern feel and a brushed finish that matches the Kohler vibrant brushed nickel perfectly.

Contemporary Antimicrobial Edge Pulls - Review
 
I first spotted the "Contemporary Antimicrobial Edge Pulls" from Richelieu in a showroom and although I spent a few months pouring over various hardware options, I couldn't find anything I loved as much as these.  You know how it is, when you keep comparing everything you find to that first, perfect thing?  These pulls became the yardstick and I decided to just get them.  Hubby's Dad is a woodworker so I asked him to order them from because he gets a trade discount.  I couldn't see prices online and I nearly fainted when I realized they would still be about $250 (for 11 pulls), but I was committed!  It seemed silly to buy cheap hardware when the other finishes in our bathroom are high quality.

Contemporary Antimicrobial Edge Pulls

The pulls didn't disappoint!  They are so pretty and coordinate so well with everything else.  I know metal mixing is on-trend, but I find it distracting - especially in small rooms like our bathroom.  There is already so much to take in, like the cheery aqua sinks, stunning quartzite stone and busy walnut grain.  These pulls are simple and un-fussy, but make the whole vanity area look pulled together and polished.

Mid-century modern inspired cabinet pulls

Before installing them, we taped them in place and experimented a little, finding the most comfortable and natural way (for us) to open everything.  After living with awkward pulls in the townhouse kitchen (smack dab in the middle of the cabinets!), we're super careful with hardware!  We walked with our eyes closed around Lee Valley when we bought the lakehouse kitchen pulls, trying to find the comfiest pulls.  We spent two days pondering placement here, but finally decided to put them in the middle of the drawers and cabinets on the vanity for uniformity, and then place them vertically on the linen tower because that felt the most convenient.

Vertical pulls on tall cabinet doors

For the linen tower, we tried putting them staggered in the same orientation as the vanity, but it was awkward opening a door when the handle was toward the hinge.  Unfortunately we had to stagger them because otherwise the doors wouldn't close (unless we widened the gap between them, but then we could see inside).  So this was the most aesthetically pleasing, but still perfectly practical, placement.  They affixed from the back, meaning there are no holes on the front of the drawers or cabinets, which was a major plus!  I don't know why, but I could not bring myself to drill into the front of this gorgeous walnut grain...

Cabinet hardware that screws to back of door
 
It's truly amazing how much time figuring out these little details takes.

I'm also seriously impressed with how long I've been able to ramble on about these cabinet pulls.  You could literally put me in front of a room full of people right now, assign me a topic at random, and I could entertain the crowd for however long you need.  An hour?  An afternoon?  I can talk forever on any subject, so whenever you read a short post around here, know that I exercised considerable restraint composing it.

Brushed nickel modern pulls

Not today, though, not today.

If you like the look of these contemporary pulls (but not the price), I did find a similar, less expensive Richelieu pull on Amazon.  This Contemporary Edge Pull is about $11 for two, and it comes in stainless or aluminum.
 
Next time I show you the bathroom, get ready for a selfie!  Mirror and sconces!  Mirror and sconces!
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March 17, 2016

Taking a HomeSelfe: An Easy Way to Assess a Home's Energy Efficiency

On some of our looooong drives home from town, Hubby and I often weigh the pros and cons of living in the country.


Pros of Living in the Country:
  • Lake view!  With ducks and otters...
  • Foxes, deer and bears mosey through our yard like we live in a Disney film
  • Well water (the water in town tastes like a swimming pool)
  • Peace and quiet
  • More land than we could afford in town 
  • Better odds of surviving the Zombie apocalypse 
  • Beautiful neighbours:


Cons of Living in the Country:
  • 35-60 minute drive into town (depending on where we're going in town/who's driving)
  • No pizza delivery
  • Mailbox that's 7 km away from the house
  • Treacherous dirt road that covers the truck in mud
  • Mud covered truck that covers my clothes in mud
  • So much mud 
  • This:


Our lists get pretty lengthy, but always in favor of living out here!  One money-saving perk was that (until recently) we had lower electricity bills than the folks in town.  While those suckers were on time of use (TOU) billing for electricity, we enjoyed less expensive tiered pricing.  TOU simply means that there are different prices for using power at different times of the day/week and the highest prices are, of course, when people are getting ready for work or making dinner at the end of the day.  In other words, when you need electricity.  This is the breakdown:



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March 11, 2016

Capitalizing on the Lake View in the Living Room

I have news that I couldn't wait to share with you, but first - a warning:  I'm about to make the lakehouse living room a little less attractive, in the name of actually living in it more enjoyably.

Hubby and I have always tried to find that perfect balance (for us) between form and function when it comes to decorating our home.  We've picked a cushy sofa over a better looking, firmer model (is it just me, or do some of the best looking sofas look hard as rocks?).  We've found ourselves eschewing the modern dining chairs I love, in favor of something incredibly derriere-friendly.  Even our most polarizing choice - open shelving in the kitchen - was made in pursuit of eking out more storage.  Of course, "function" is highly subjective and what feels practical for one family might be an absolute nightmare for another (I always wonder about the inconvenient television placement in design magazines: the homes where no chair in any room actually faces the TV)!

Hubby and I spend a lot of time thinking about how we live in our spaces and what we want from our home.  This slows down our decorating process a lot but we really want to maximize every space.  This small house stumps us sometimes because every room needs to work double or triple duty.

But we have finally committed to some big changes in the living room and they're directed by our new life by the lake.

When we bought the lakehouse, I immediately envisioned the fireplace painted charcoal grey (check!) with the television mounted above it and a mid-century modern sectional facing the new TV/fireplace and the lake.  I wanted to be able to see the fireplace during our TV binge watching sessions (read: winter hibernation), but also be able to sit, chill and just look at the lake.  I pictured us reading and sipping tea, watching the otters skitter across the ice in the winter and using the binoculars to people bird watch in the summer.  I'm making us sound like the laziest people on the planet, but I'm not shamed of loving downtime.  There's something about living lakeside that makes people really chill...

Dark Grey Painted Brick Fireplace

Despite this vision for our new lake life, after the house became ours we moved in all of our old furniture from the townhouse - our secondhand sofa, our splitting at the seams tufted ottoman, our beloved Ikea Besta wall unit, plus my pretties: the minty chair and velvet chair I had recovered - and faced all of the furniture away from the lake, toward the television.  With these pieces, we also moved a mid-century modern sectional I bought (fourth photo down in this post) on impulse the day before we moved.  Although I love it and it fit the plan, we hesitated getting it recovered and so it's been languishing in the garage.  Although Hubby initially like it, he longed for something a little more cushy.

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March 4, 2016

Turquoise + Yellow Inspiration

Just as I was bragging about a warm winter, the temperature dropped and we got a ton of snow.  Earlier this week I cleared the driveway and it was fairly cold (-29 Celsius) and windy.  No matter what direction I tried to blow the snow, I ended up with a face full of it.  When I was finally done, I was so chilled that I just crawled to the sofa and curled up with a cup of tea and treated myself to a little guilt-free Pinterest scrolling.  I pin so much, so sometimes I like to go back through my own pins and get re-inspired (and trim the fat).  This time my eye was drawn to a particular color palette: aqua and yellow spaces!  Yellow just complements aqua home decor so beautifully.

I think this aqua brick house, with its happy yellow front door (captured by Alex on the Road), might be my favorite photo of all time.  These people are my people and it's a shame they live in London because I know we'd be fast friends.  How could you not be ridiculously happy coming home to this colorful house exterior everyday?  It makes me want to paint our garage aqua instead of the charcoal grey I have planned

Aqua Brick House
Alex on the Road
As we moved from the townhouse to the lakehouse, I edited our belongings and, in the de-cluttering process, weeded out a lot of the warmer colors in favor of a cool, watery whole home palette of blues, aquas and greens.  To me, the cool colour palette is calming and relaxing.  There are so many different shades of blue, green, and turquoise that in real life the palette feels quite lively - something difficult to capture on camera, which makes many of the different shades look the same.  Despite my rigorous editing, I did, however, keep small doses of yellow and orange decor.

Aqua Kitchen Cabinets
Dark Grey Painted Fireplace
Retro Posters as Art

Despite my best editing efforts, I guess I can't help but love a little bit of yellow or orange paired with my aquas so I rounded up some inspiration because a big change is coming to the living room soon and it might just mean a splash of warm colours... 

This aqua front door looks a lot like mine, so I think I might need to track down a yellow chair for beside it.  Hmmm, maybe I should paint the siding white instead... I haven't been able to paint the exterior of the lakehouse for two years and now I'm starting the waffle.

Aqua front door
Better Homes & Gardens
Morgan Tinker's home was featured on A Beautiful Mess awhile back and I started pinning her home like crazy!  There are so many reasons to love Morgan's style:  she dyed a slip-covered Ikea sofa turquoise (awesome), has a gorgeous mint kitchen with retro touches, and has an enviably art collection.  And that retro mustard chair with hits of turquoise!

Yellow and turquoise home decor
Via A Beautiful Mess
The rooms below are from a house tour featured in Style at Home that I just love.  The home owners have a mint green stove and fridge (!!!) which I like to drool over from time to time.  The home is quite colorful and the bedroom boasts a cheery colour palette with heavy doses of teal & yellow.

Yellow and Turquoise

The room below, from Maisons Du Monde, is likely a staged space but look at the perfect pairing of teal and yellow!  I love how they mixed all of the different shades of teal and aqua.

What colors to pair with teal?
Maisons Du Monde
A mustard yellow chair looks perfect against turquoise floors!  Why, oh why, do I not have turquoise floors anywhere?  I was really smitten with the aqua floor in the townhouse laundry room

Aqua and yellow living room
Ranch 54
This mid-century modern home below is very colorful, but the palette in the living room is the most reserved of the entire home, offering up mostly yellow and aqua on a neutral background.  I love how spacious the room feels, thanks to light coloured walls, floors and furniture - plus the big windows don't hurt.

Turquoise and yellow accent colors
Home Adore
Turquoise and yellow accent colors
Home Adore
All white kitchen + pops of colour is a look I don't think I will ever tire of, no matter the trends.  I'm currently plotting the kitchen renovation because I know it will take some time to figure out the details.  I'm torn between walnut lowers, to match the bathroom, and white uppers, or just a classic, all-white space.  In this bright kitchen, the mismatched dining chairs are so fun and I love how one of them matches the backsplash perfectly.

Teal + yellow kitchen chairs
Via SF Girl by Bay
This laundry room makeover boasts bright aqua cabinetry, white paneled walls, brushed silver fixtures and beautiful Amy Butler wallpaper with a yellow and teal floral pattern.  (Picture me singing, "these are a few of my favorite things....")

Yellow and teal laundry room
Uniquely Yours or Mine
A different spin on this color combo: a bright yellow squishable sofa paired with an aqua ceiling.  I've often been tempted by an aqua ceiling because I feel like it must really bring the outdoors in - like you're sitting under the sky on a bright day.

Aqua painted ceiling
Via Desire to Inspire
The artwork sets the tone in this bedroom, which pairs bold hits of turquoise with a lot of textural neutrals and just a tiny slice of lemon.

Aqua and Yellow Coastal Bedroom Decor
Via House of Turquoise
 A yellow toaster looks cute in Melissa's kitchen (which boasts gorgeous aqua cabinets).  Sometimes it is all in the accessories!

Yellow Toaster
Hello Yellow Blog
I am so smitten with this square art, maybe because it reminds me of a painting I did, ages ago.  What a simple way to bring some colour to a space - and the wood grain peeking through the lighter colours has such a subtle, organic feel.  The bright yellow bench cushion under it is perfect.

Easy Plywood Art
Better Homes & Gardens
The spaces above all offer a BOLD burst of saturated colour, but this yellow + aqua pairing can be so soft and subtle too.  A slightly mellower take on this colour palette, this kitchen boasts soft mint cabinetry and the prettiest yellow floral wallpaper .

Mint + yellow kitchen
Zillow
In this bedroom, pale aqua pillows and a few mustard accents punch up a room of neutrals - and look so rich with those copper pendants!

Relaxed Bedroom with Copper Lights
SF Girl By Bay
Which space is your favorite?

Teal, Mint, Blush, Yellow Macarons
Jenna Rae Cakes
Can't get enough aqua?  I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to all things aqua, plus another one that just features pretty colour combos
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