Marianne Canada

"I keep my glue gun in a holster."

Marianne is the Special Projects Editor for She was the girl in college who saved her waitressing tips to buy a Knoll chair and the perfect vintage couch. All these years later, she still has both, and she's ever on the hunt for unique pieces to add to her home. Marianne's style is almost always vintage, rarely ever mass-produced, but still leaves room for the occasional trip to Ikea. She's not afraid to be patient, it took her 7 years to find the right rug for her living room and she's been hunting for a vintage leather chair for longer than that. Her greatest design fear? Her home looking like everyone else’s. Clean but eclectic and always, always livable.

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  • Magic Hour Cocktail
  • BLANKNYC+'Good+Vibes
  • Danae’s Sweet Potato

POSTS BY Marianne Canada

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Welcome to Design Happens’ Cocktail Week! Each day from now until July 4th we’ll be sharing our favorite summer cocktail recipes on our Facebook page and here on the blog. Join us for #HGTVHappyHour and share your favorites, too.

It’s officially the lazy, hazy days of summer, that time of year when all I really want to do is enjoy a cocktail on my deck. Or by the pool. Or the beach. You get the idea. With this mindset, it was pretty easy to come up with my player for HGTV Cocktail Week. Glamorous people of the internet, I bring you the cocktail most likely to make you friends (or friendly!): The Magic Hour.

The Magic Hour Cocktail Recipe

I can’t explain how delicious this cocktail is. The gin is herb-y, the mint and cucumber are refreshing, the fruit and lemonade add sweetness, and the secret ingredient of Aperol adds a bitter note that keeps it all oh-so-delicious and very easy to drink. The name is inspired by the “Magic Hour,” that idyllic time of day when then light makes all of your photographs look like you’ve run them through your favorite Instagram filter. It also just so happens to be the perfect time to enjoy a cocktail. Cheers!

Get this easy 5-step recipe >>

What cocktails are you sipping this summer? Let us know in the comments. And for more delicious (and gorgeous!) cocktail recipes, check out #HGTVHappyHour.

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My daughter, Lulu, recently spotted a shirt that she loved – a dip-dyed watermelon number that set her six-year-old heart a flutter. And bless her heart, I gave her the dreaded “I could totally make that” answer. If you were raised by crafty people, you’ve probably heard that one before. But I held my end of the bargain by creating this simple and oh-so-adorable watermelon shirt that she will wear all summer long. Watch the video below to see how you can make your own just in time for the Fourth of July.

easy diy watermelon shirt

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Dyeing fabric may seem daunting, but it’s so easy! I think this treatment would be really cute on a picnic blanket as well, don’t you? We are just all about some watermelon around here today!

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Have you noticed that wall hangings are just EVERYWHERE right now? I swear every single one of my favorite design blogs have mentioned them recently, and bigger retailers have jumped onto the trend as well. I’ve been mighty tempted to buy one (I mean, hello gorgeous), but being who I am, I knew I needed to try to DIY. I took the simple Josephine knot from this macrame hanging vase and turned that into this simple, chic decor piece that I’m really in love with. Watch the video to see how my friend Meg and I made the latest additions to our gallery walls.

Easy Simple Macrame Woven Wall Hanging

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I love the natural rope and neon color scheme I went with, but Meg’s black and white and neutral number has my heart, too. I’m already scheming my next textile project.

So, what do you think? Are these wall hangings better left in the 70s, or are you already sporting one on your walls? Let me know in the comments below.

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Is it just me, or are dads hard to shop for? My dad is one of those people who, if he wants something, he just gets it for himself. So this year, I’m tapping into his sentimental side with a favorite photo of my siblings and I. The twist? I’m transferring it to a slab of wood. Watch the video to see how I made this rustic-meets-retro gift.

DIY wood photo transfer for father's day gift

I think I’ve knocked it out of the park on this one, and I love the results so much I had to make one for myself! See the simple technique here:

 What are you giving dear old dad for father’s day? Tell me in the comments below.

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You’ve all been following along with the HGTV Handmade Tiki Party, haven’t you? We are halfway through the second week and I can’t begin to choose a favorite DIY. Drinks, food, fashion, lighting, even a game–this party has it all! Today we are tackling one of my favorite parts of throwing a party: the table setting. My friend Meg and I will walk you through how to make a lush, layered, and oh-so-tropical centerpiece using thrifted glassware and an unexpected addition from your closet.

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I love a long, low centerpiece that looks beautiful without blocking the view of your friends across from you. I’ll be reusing Meg’s leather leaves over and over, and using a scarf as a bottom layer basically quadruples my table linen options! What do you think of this luxurious layered look?

Tips to create a layered tropical tablescape perfect for summer entertaining.

Be sure to watch the rest of the HGTV Handmade Tiki Party videos, including the final party reveal on Friday!

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Folks, we made it. We survived our first semi-major renovation project with minimal tears, no bloodshed, and only a little bit over budget (spoiler alert: I ended up replacing the drawer and cabinet pulls in the eleventh hour and that pushed me over). After all these weeks since the kitchen “before” video I’m not going to make you wait a moment longer, so go ahead and watch the “after” video. I’ll wait.

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Oh guys, I’m not going to lie: I am in looooove with my kitchen. There’s something to be said for every detail being just as you imagined. The only problem? Now the rest of the house is in my renovation sights. No room is safe!

Marianne's Vintage Modern Kitchen Makeover - HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Read on for my source list and more photos of the finished space.


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Guys, our kitchen reno is in the home stretch, and now we are down to my favorite part: all the pretty finishing touches. I’ve been organizing our pantry, styling book shelves, and I decided to give the two chairs in the homework/breakfast area a little update. Watch the video to see how you can easily update a simple dining chair with a little spray paint and some new fabric:

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Update an old dining chair with new upholstery and spray paint
What a difference, right? I’m in love with that pink grapefruit color paired with the indigo fabric. Suddenly my little $5 chairs look like a million bucks!

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Flower arranging seems to be one of those things that mystify some people. It’s frustrating to buy a beautiful bunch of flowers, plop them in a vase, and have the results end up less than attractive, but artfully arrange florist bouquets aren’t always in the budget. Well, have no fear! Armed with some grocery store blooms, a vase, a sharp pair of scissors, and some tape, I’m going to show you how to craft your own custom floral masterpiece just in time for Mother’s Day.

Easy Flower Arranging Tips and Tricks

As long as you have a good combination of focal flowers, filler, and greenery, you can’t go wrong! See the simple steps now:

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For this arrangement, I used:

Don’t limit your arrangements to flowers from the florist — I added ferns and leaves from my yard to fill out the vases and add a personal touch.

For an extra-special touch, make the gold-leaf vases featured in the video. Get the how-to instructions here >>

What are your best tips for flower arrangements? Leave your words of wisdom in the comments below.

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Do you have a glass problem? Maybe every time you finish a jar of jam or honey, you just can’t make yourself toss the empty. Perhaps you, like me, see the beauty in a Franks Red Hot bottle (those curves!). If so, do I have the project for you. These paint-and-gold-leaf-adorned vases are so beautiful you’d never know they were rescued from the recycle bin. Watch the video to learn how to make your own:

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If you’re planning to tackle this project, let me give you a few tips:

1. Make sure to give your glass jar a good cleaning with rubbing alcohol, and let it dry completely before starting.

2. Mixing non-acetone nail polish remover with acrylic multi-surface paint gives it a pourable consistency, and if you let it dry overnight as advised, it’s perfectly safe to bake in your oven.

3. Oven-baking will cure your paint in 30 minutes, making it safe to hold water without ruining your paint job. If you’d prefer to skip the oven, let the vase cure for 21 days before using.

4. Gold leaf will last longer with a coat of sealant on top, but either way this is a handwash-only project.

DIY Mother's Day Gift Upcycled Glass Vases

Filled with flowers, I think you’ll agree, this is the perfect last minute DIY gift for Mother’s Day. I’m particularly taken with the way the gold leaf dresses up a mason jar, wouldn’t you agree?

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Ah, Mother’s Day. If you’re a mom yourself, maybe you can relate to this situation: you want to relax and enjoy your day, but hello, you have to recognize your own mom (and mother-in-law too!). This year, I’m letting my daughter Lulu take the reigns, making these beautiful leaf prints.

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Leaf Print Artwork

I’ve already got mine hanging in a gallery wall and two more in frames for the other mothers in my life. Watch the video to see how we make them:

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Are you DIYing anything for Mother’s Day? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Me and my gals at HGTV Handmade just love a good challenge, so this week we all tackled a summer classic–cool and crisp white canvas sneakers. After a lot of thought (and, I confess, while watching Big Hero Six), I zeroed in on my idea. Could I take my sharpie tie-dye idea and use that as a base for a DIY galaxy print? Watch the video to see if I hit the mark.

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These sneaks would be an excellent addition to festival fashion, but me? I think I’ll be rocking them on my deck all summer long. What do you guys think about galaxy prints? Too out there for you? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

DIY Galaxy Print Shoes for Festivals and Summer Parties

See how the rest of the HGTV Handmade crew transformed their sneakers in the White Sneaker Challenge playlist.

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It’s that time of year again: everyone is gearing up for a season full of proms, formals, weddings and more. I’m not exaggerating — all three ladies on my team are currently planning weddings (something that makes my event-planning heart sing!). So why not make a special pair of dancing shoes to celebrate these occasions? Or, you know, just a regular date night. Check these out:

DIY Heart Glitter Heels - HGTV's Design Blog Design Happens

Watch the video to see how you can add a little sparkle to a basic pair of pointed-toe shoes.

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I just love how these turned out, and they couldn’t be easier to make! I’m already planning to make a pair of flats for my little girl Lulu. What are you inspired to add glitter hearts to? Do you have any special occasions on deck this spring?

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Five years ago this month, my husband and I bought our dream house: an architect-designed seventies modern home nestled into a hillside in the middle of four acres of woods. We knew it would need some updating, but nothing was pressing and the lines of the house were swoon-worthy. We have made a few small changes, but other than the nursery, nothing on the interior has been completely updated. Until now! This week, we started a kitchen renovation.

Marianne Canada Kitchen Inspiration Collage

Of course, I have lots of Pinterest-board inspiration. Watch the video below to see the kitchen “before” and hear what I have planned.

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What is it about spring that makes us want to redo everything in the house? Am I the only one poring over Pinterest? What projects do you have on deck this year?

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This year, I’m in charge of dessert for my family’s Easter dinner. Sure, there’s a lot to love about bunny-shaped treats and classic coconut cakes, but this year, I’m thinking pizza. Egg-shaped fruit pizza, to be exact! Just look:

Easter Dessert Recipe - Egg-Shaped Fruit Pizza
This impressive-looking dessert is deceptively simple thanks to store-bought sugar cookie dough and an easy-to-make lemony whipped cream topping. Watch how it’s done.

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See, even non-bakers can totally do this! Have fun by swapping in your favorite fruit and creating your own custom design. It’s a giant blank canvas. The best part: It can double as an Easter centerpiece…until your family gobbles it up, that is.

What are you serving on your Easter table this Sunday? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

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As you guys have probably figured out by now, I just love a pretty dining table. But let’s be real: who can afford to completely trick out their table for every major holiday? I certainly can’t. With this in mind, I set out to create a fresh, pretty Easter table setting made from materials you can find at the grocery store for literally just a few bucks: Coffee filter flowers.

Make Your Own Coffee Filter Flowers

Want to make this project for your Easter table? Click through to learn how to make this project.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

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I honestly thought spring would never come. I mean lets be real, it was pretty dicey there for a while. But spring is finally here and I’m ready to welcome it to our house, starting with my front door. Can you believe I still have my Christmas wreath hanging? Insert embarrassed face emoji.

But have no fear, my front door has sprung forward with the help of this simple chalkboard door hanging. Here’s what it looks like now:

Rustic Chalkboard Door Decor - HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happens

Want to brighten up your door for the new season? Click through to watch my video and learn to make your own.


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St. Patrick’s Day is next week and I have to admit: I don’t really get into it. Sure, green is one of my favorite colors and I dream of visiting Ireland one day, but green beer and crowds? No thank you. However, there is one person in my house who LOVES St. Patrick’s Day: my daughter Lulu. She loves hunting for leprechauns, and wouldn’t dream of being caught in anything but green on the big day.

So, to protect her from any would-be pinchers out there, I’m making this eraser-stamped four leaf clover t-shirt. Adorable, right?

Make Your Own Eraser-Stamped Clover T-Shirts - HGTV Design Blog

All you need to create this project? Some paint, a T-shirt, some waxed paper and pencil with a fresh eraser. (I may have “borrowed” one of Lulu’s pony models.)  Watch the video to see how I made this cute St. Patrick’s Day DIY.

Make Your Own Clover-Stamped T-Shirt

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Spring is around the corner, but we’re not quite there yet. One upside of the winter season, though? Citrus fruits. I’ve been on a grapefruit kick and my kids can’t get enough oranges. Every bite is like a little bit of sunshine. But don’t ditch the peels after you’ve had your fill: Save them up to create an all-natural, citrus-scented cleanser.

All Natural Citrus Cleaning Spray - HGTV Crafternoon

Click through to watch the video and see how it’s done.


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I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but tassels are kind of having a moment. They have been popping up on jewelry (loving this bracelet) and clothing (this tunic makes me pine for summer), but my favorite place to see these colorful accents is in the home. Ever since my friend Emily Henderson wrote about this gorgeous guest room, I have been obsessed with that bedding. I knew I had to figure out how to DIY them.

Make Your Own Embroidery Floss Tassels

Luckily, it couldn’t be easier to make colorful tassels out of inexpensive embroidery thread. Check out my video to learn the quick technique.

See How to Make DIY Tassels

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Did you see my coworkers’ nightstands yesterday? Talk about eye candy! I love getting a peek into people’s homes. And it was PERFECT timing for me, because it just so happens that my video this week is all about my own nightstand makeover.

This week on the HGTV Handmade YouTube channel (you ARE subscribed, right?), we are all participating in a thrift store challenge. Adding to the challenge was the ice storm that hit our area—I’ve been stuck on our hill for over a week! Luckily I had the perfect entry for our challenge already in my garage: A beat-up piece of mid-century office furniture that I planned to spruce up with chalk paint and gold leaf. Watch the video to see how I did it.

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I’ve used it for a couple of projects, but I’m still just as smitten with chalk paint! Not having to sand or prime is such a time saver, and the finish with a couple of coats of wax is lovely. I also can’t get over the difference a little Rub & Buff made on the handles and legs! It’s like a brand new piece, and it makes the perfect nightstand. I added a Jonathan Adler tray to corral my must-haves, a vase with the first Lenten Roses of spring, my favorite books and a delicious smelling candle. Perfect.

Chalk Paint Nightstand With Gold Details

The Finished Navy-and-Gold Nightstand

What thrift store scores have you made recently? Tune in to HGTV Handmade every day this week to see what my partners in crime make with their thrift store finds.

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