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The Vault Files’ Home Tour

This right here is proof that big style doesn’t necessarily equate big space. Gaby’s Toronto abode may be small, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up tenfold in beautiful details. With photos from our beloved Heidi Lau, we couldn’t squeeze all the lovely in one post, so you definitely want to peruse through the rest. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to give my bedroom a coat of black paint!

From Gaby… What I love the most about the living room is that it’s inviting and comfy. I like people to feel comfortable and at ease, and I think that I achieved that with the living room. Whether I’m just hanging out with friends, playing with my son, reading or working, I love how relaxed I feel in this space and I love the view of the city, both during the day and night.

For a long time I didn’t have any coffee table in this space and I was surprised at how big of a difference it makes. It really grounds the space and not only it’s great for entertaining but for working too! 

I was seriously obsessed (still am!) with the Thibaut tanzania wallpaper but it was just way off the budget, so I thought, why not try to recreate it myself? Worst case scenario I’d just paint over it, plus, since it’s an irregular pattern, you really can’t make a mistake, right? I’m so glad it turned out! I actually think it turned out better than what I thought, so every time I come home I feel super happy and proud when I see it. Proves that there’s always a way to get what you want with a little creativity and effort ;)

The bench is the perfect size for this small entryway, and it’s there for practical purposes as we take our shoes off when we come home. 

I love to entertain and have people over, so even though this table may seem big for the space, I wouldn’t get rid of it for anything in the world! It’s great for entertaining large groups, for working, tackling handy projects… I constantly get reminded how great it is to have a big dinning table! The rug is probably my favourite rug in the apartment, and the chairs are a great find from Ikea, yeap, most people find that surprising too!

I joined the ladies on the One Room Challenge to “transform” this little powder room into something prettier and I’m glad I took the challenge because this bathroom really needed some love. I love the drama of a black wall and the unexpected gallery wall takes it up a notch ;) It’s incredible what a little bit of paint and some decor touches can do.

I’m all about black and white and a tiny bit of colour here and there so I guess it’s safe to say that the colours in my bedroom are a true representation of my style. I have changed the pillows so many times, but it’s been a year with this combo and I’m still in love with it like I was on the first day I got them so I guess I’ve found myself! 

After seeing so many great spaces with black walls all over Pinterest and online publications, and after seeing the results of painting the powder room black, I decided to go for it for my bedroom and I’ve never regretted the decision. Though I have to confess, I was afraid at first given how small the space is, but fortunately I get lots of natural light and it seems to work. Now if I could just find a cream juju hat to hang over the bed, I’d be set! :)

When you’re on a budget, a little creativity goes a long way, so I covered the top of this super simple ikea bedside table with marble contact paper and changed the knob for a more modern look. I couldn’t love the results any more! 

Photography: Heidi Lau | Blogger: The Vault Files

West Elm Torres Runner | Target Bench | Aurelia Coral Pillow | Black Rooster Sunburst Mirror | DIY painted wall | Ampersand Studio Be present Print

Serena & Lily Broad Stripe Dhurrie | Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone | Anthropologie Encased Elephant Hook | Rejuvenation Brass Cover plates | Rejuveantion Mission Drawer Pulls | Illume Gilded Amberleaf candle | Waterstone Succulent | Rifle & Paper Good Luck Clover card | New York Postcard | Zebra print from watercolor by Splodge Podge | Indigo Gold Letter B | Max Wagner Pink Balloon Photo | Jaime Derringer Bright Abstract Print | La Paperie Print Shop Balloons over Manhattan | Twamies Togl Print | NYC Taxi card | The Vault Files Shop Two Pink peonies | Splodge Podge Feather Print from Painting | Amber Alexander Feathers card | Amber Alexander Dragonfly Print | The Vault Files Peony Print | Idea Bookshelf Print | La Paperie Print Shop Paris Photography | Syndey Opera House card | The Vault Files Pink Ranunculus | Green Snake by me | Idea Bookshelf Print 

Esale rugs persian rug | Pier One Table | Ikea Chairs | West Elm Capiz Chandelier | West Elm white ceramic vases | Ikea picture ledges | West Elm Acacia console table | Target Gold Lamp | Ikea Tree Poster | Sydney Postcard | The Vault Files lemons print | The Vault Files Beach Umbrellas print | Kelly Wearstler Card | Idea Bookshelf Print | Jennifer Flannigan Art | The Vault Files Lemons and clementines print | Kate Long Stevenson Painting | Cocoa & Hearts Painting | Bench bought in Kuala Lumpur

West Elm Tillary Sectional Sofa | West Elm Studded pillow | Mimosa Lane pillow | Be Still Grey Ikat Pillows | Stone Textile Studio Grey diamond Pillow | Gypsia Blue Ikat Pillows | Ikea White Cushion cover | Koshi Black and White Art Prints | Hand painted abstract art | Ikea Coffee Table | West Elm Souk Rug | West Elm Square Tray | Domino Book | Tom Ford Book | Nate Berkus Things That Matter Book | Taschen MODA Book | Dwell Studio Bronze Urchin | The Sartorialist Closer Book | Jennifer Flannigan paintings | Jenny Andrews-Anderson Painting | Moroccan Pouf | Ikea Ribba Frames

Ikea bedside table with marble contact paper | West Elm Small Pillar Lamp | The Vault Files Flower print | Jonathan Adler Zebra Dish  Bowl | CB2 clear console | CB2 chair | Made by Girl Influential Print | The Vault Files flower print | West Elm Marble Shelf | Aurelia Kelly Wearstler Confetti Cream Cushion Pillows | Aurelia Kelly Wearstler Bengal Bazaar Apricot Lumbar Pillow | Anthropologie Knob | Target glass vase | Ikea Hemnes Dresser (painted) | Restoration Hardware Faux Fur Throw

Behind the Blog: The Vault Files

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the sweet Gaby of the fashion and lifestyle blog, The Vault Files, on multiple occasions. Which means that I can personally attest to the fact that she’s kind of the best. She’s always exquisitely dressed, at the ready to offer some great blogging advice, and I feel lucky to call her a friend! With photos from Heidi Lau, we’ve gone behind the blog (and it’s oh so good!)

SMP: Tell us a little about The Vault Files!
I like to believe that The Vault Files is a peek into my life and how I live it. I have a passion for fashion, healthy leaving, fitness, decor, and all things creative, so I try to share these passions with my readers to hopefully motivate them! Whereas it’s a recipe that I love, a great online find, personal styling tips, or just my thoughts on how to live a meaningful life, I like creating a positive space that I hope is inspiring for others.

SMP: What made you decide to start a blog?
I know this is totally cliché and boring, but the answer is no other than the opportunity of having a creative outlet. I was in a position where I wasn’t going to be able to work for 18 months or so, and I had just graduated from Fashion Marketing so I thought that blogging was a great alternative to put to practice what I had just learnt, to somehow fulfill my passion for fashion, and to do something meaningful for me.

SMP: What’s one thing you’ve learnt along the way?
Since I started the blog I’ve learnt so many things! It’s been a learning experience at so many levels and that’s exactly one of the things I love most about it.

SMP: If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I’d do anything differently as I feel like I’ve grown both as a person and as blogger in this process and I wouldn’t be the blogger I am today if it wasn’t for the experience, the ups and downs, and the mistakes. Having said that, I wish I would have started my blog on WordPress!

SMP: One piece of advice you’d give to a blogger just starting out?
On a personal note I’d say to find your own voice, and once you find it, keep it and to stay true to who you are and your values. I think it’s super important to avoid comparing yourself to what others are doing, and always be consistent, hard working, and network as much as possible. If you enjoy blogging and you believe in yourself, keep doing it even at times when you think no one is reading. The hard work will eventually pay off and you’ll grow as a person and as a blogger while doing so, so never give up!

On the technical side, I think that no matter what category your blog falls in, starting on WordPress, investing in a good camera, and learning photoshop are great pillars!

SMP: Your most embarrassing blog moment?
I honestly can’t recall one. I’m sure I’ve made a ton of mistakes, but that’s how you learn right? Now, don’t make me look back at my archives, I really don’t want to look at those early days layouts ;)

SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel your blog was going to thrive?
I hope there’s more in the future for The Vault Files, but being able to land a couple of projects because of the blog has been amazing and everything you dream for. The fact that I’m here today, sharing my home and some words is pretty big for me :)

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of time?
I’m a neutrals girl at heart, so this question is an easy one: Black and/or White. For both decor and fashion, you can never go wrong with the classics.

SMP: One thing you simply can’t live with out?
Taking photos is one of my favourite things to do and it gives me tremendous pleasure and joy, so I’m going to say my camera. And because I would be lost without my computer, my MacBook Pro is just as important :)

SMP: Three things every woman should have in her closet?
One great black bag, a perfect fitting black blazer that can dress up your jeans-and-tee outfit, and a black dress you can always count on!

SMP: Your favourite online design resource?
Lately I’ve been enjoying Domaine a lot. I also like Rue Mag and of course Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy.

Photography: Heidi Lau | Blogger: The Vault Files

Mini Donut Holes + Homemade Bread from Martha Stewart + Macy’s

We are constantly inspired by Martha Stewart, whether she’s whipping up something tasty, or creating the latest and greatest for her front door. When we found out she was teaming up with Macy’s on a series of how-to videos, we couldn’t contain our excitement. We’ve asked Martha to share a few of her recipes, and she gracefully obliged.  First up in this series: mini donut holes and homemade bread, all made in a Martha Stewart Collection enameled cast iron pots, available only at Macy’s.

Yep, our mouths are watering too! So we obviously couldn’t leave out the recipes. That would just be wrong!


INGREDIENTS  for the donuts
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
Canola oil, for frying
Lemon Curd, chilled

for the lemon curd
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

DIRECTIONS for the donuts
STEP 1 | In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir together yeast and milk; let stand until yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Sift together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt, then add to yeast mixture; mix on low speed until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Continue mixing on low 3 minutes more. Add butter, a tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition and until butter is fully incorporated and dough is soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Increase speed to medium, continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes more.

STEP 2 | Remove dough from bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

STEP 3 | Lightly flour a baking sheet; set aside. On a well-floured work surface, roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 1¼-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out doughnuts. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until they’ve doubled in height and feel puffy and pillowy, about 45 minutes.

STEP 4 | Fill a large, heavy-bottomed enameled cast iron braiser with oil to a depth of 3 inches; heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, place doughnuts in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd them. Fry until golden brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes; turn with a chopstick and continue frying on remaining side until golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to a wire rack set over a baking sheet until cool enough to handle.

STEP 5 | Place remaining cup of sugar in a small bowl. Toss doughnuts in sugar, one at a time, to coat evenly. Return doughnuts to paper towel-lined baking sheet to cool completely.

STEP 6 | Transfer lemon curd to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip; set aside.

STEP 7 | Poke a hole in the side of each cooled doughnut and fill with lemon curd; serve immediately.

for the lemon curd
STEP 1 | In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.

STEP 2 | Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).

STEP 3 | Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool. Cook’s Note:  To store lemon curd, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.


3 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
1 3/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes aged Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups pitted 1/4-inch-thick slices green Spanish olives
1 1/2 cups cool water (55 to 65 degrees), plus more as needed

STEP 1 | In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast; stir in cheese and olives. Add water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds, adding additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and surface becomes dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.

STEP 2 | Generously flour work surface; scrape dough onto work surface. Lightly flour hands, a bowl scraper, or a spatula and lift edges of dough toward the center. Nudge and tuck edges of dough to make round.

STEP 3 | Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and generously dust with flour. Gently place dough on parchment, seam-side down. If dough is tacky, lightly dust top with flour. Cover dough loosely with wax paper and two clean kitchen towels. Let down stand in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

STEP 4 | Gently poke dough with your finger; dough should hold the impression. If it springs back, let rise 15 minutes more.

STEP 5 | Ten minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 475 degrees on a conventional oven (450 degrees on a convection oven) with a rack in the lower third. Place a covered 3 1/2-quart cast-iron or enameled cast iron pot (with plastic handle removed and screw hole plugged with aluminum foil) in center of rack.

STEP 6 | Using pot holders, carefully remove preheated enameled cast iron pot from oven and uncover. Uncover bread and loosen bottom with a large spatula. With the aid of the parchment paper, invert bread into preheated enameled cast iron pot so that it is seam-side up. Cover enameled cast iron pot and transfer to oven; bake for 25 minutes.

MACY’S PRODUCTS USED: 1. Martha Stewart Collection Pot Holder | 2. Martha Stewart Collection What’s Cooking Oven Mitt | 3. Martha Stewart Collection Bamboo Paddle Cutting Board | 4. Martha Stewart Collection Food Storage Canister, Vintage | 5. Martha Stewart Collection Measuring Spoons | 6. Martha Stewart Collection Mixing Bowls, Set of 5 Ceramic | 7. Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Pots | 8. Martha Stewart Collection Serveware, Scalloped Cake Stand and Dome | 9. Martha Stewart Collection Set of 3 Silicone Beachwood Utensils