Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bathroom Renovation Post #1

This photo signals the start of our upstairs bathroom renovation. Things reached a tipping point for me a few months ago. Lifting floor tiles, damaged surface on the porcelain sink and gross lighting that doesn't help looking in the mirror as we age finally got me to this point.

We moved into this house 26 (!) years ago. We raised 2 daughters who now are launched and living in their own apartments. During all those years we did small upgrades on our home every few years; adding crown molding, new hardwood floors, finishing the basement, new carpeting + paint a couple of times...

All through the years however, we never tackled The Bathroom. We moved into this century old house in the 80's- not a great decade for interior design, looking back on it. The main upstairs bathroom was never well done to begin with; cheapish materials and a bad layout too. (the tub goes along the length of the narrow space instead of across the width).

We have decided to 'go for it' in the fact that we are actually moving the LOCATION of the bathroom as well. By eliminating an unnecessary portion of hallway where the old bathroom was, this space can be opened up into a huge studio/office space for me. (yay). The new bathroom, which will be the same size as the old one, will be carved out of the middle bedroom- leaving enough space for a small office for my husband and for resale purposes, enough space for a nursery or guest bedroom for future homeowners.

Contemporary; clean + modern is the mandate for this new bathroom. Duravit fixtures are perfection in their simplicity. White, warm gray and watery aqua is the colour palette.

I will post updates as it all progresses including some before pictures which I can't bear to reveal just yet! Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kripalu Retreat

I just returned from a 2 week retreat at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts.
It was a glorious time of daily yoga,
3 meals a day of healthy organic eating,
seminars on all sorts of mind, body & spirit healing,
2 hour hikes through the woods and along the lake
meeting and chatting with people from (mostly) all over the U.S. & Canada.

my room in the newly built Annex building.
a weekend snowstorm layered the grounds in a lovely white blanket. this was the view from my window at sunrise.

snowshoeing through the woods.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Household Vignettes

this is a bit of what our house
is looking like these days.

moved the art around, brought in a new display shelf
de-cluttered + lightened up.
feels good.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cabbagetown Festival 2011 Day 2

my purchases from day #2 of the Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts show.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cabbagetown Festival 2011

my 2 purchases from day #1 of the
Cabbagetown Craft Show of 2011.


stay tuned for day #2 discoveries...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Acadia Art & Rare Books, Est. 1931

Another in my series of glimpses into stores I feel are 'done right'.
This is Acadia Books in Toronto, at 232 Queen Street East.
You can't fake this; the atmosphere created as a result of the space infused with
layer upon layer of history by way of books and art.

Every spot is utilized to give you pause to stop and perhaps flip through an old crate of postcards or maps... or perhaps just gaze at the wall of fabulous cover designs on all the coffee table books...

You could get lost in here for hours.
It is a great anecdote for high tech stress in case you are of need...
When I think of simple, obvious comparisons between... let's say digital and film photography and electronic and paper bound books... you get the idea. This is the ultimate in breathe in the old school way of information transfer. Good for the soul in my opinion!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Windemere House

The family and I just returned from a 3 night stay at the fabulous Windemere Resort in Muskoka, Ontario. We stayed in the main house in 2 rooms (so that we and our daughters could have some privacy) overlooking the gorgeous gardens. Hollyhocks in all shades of pink were in glorious bloom. I decided they were one of my favorite flowers- so majestic yet so humble somehow.
There is a lovely wraparound porch that was a perfect spot for reading in the afternoon. (I read most of Keith Richards' autobiography 'Life' while there). We also enjoyed a lunch of grazing on sushi which was divine!
There is quite a history to this resort. It began around 1890 in a family home that was expanded to serve 200 guests. It stayed in this family until 1981 when it was bought by a group of investors.
In 1996 they allowed a film crew to shoot the feature film, 'A Long Kiss Goodnight" on the premises. I believe it was a spark that started the unstoppable fire that destroyed the entire resort. An unbelievable tragedy for this historic landmark although luckily, I believe there were no fatalities. By 1997 it was completely rebuilt. (thank goodness for insurance)!

We would totally recommend this place if you were looking for a pretty luxurious, stress free break from the city. The food is excellent. Oliver and Bonacini run the food service in all the restaurants there and it was first class. The only slight disappointment were the breakfasts which were served buffet style which meant somewhat rubbery scrambled eggs and soggy french toast. On a more positive note, the beds were super comfortable with high quality pillow and linens. As they say- it's all in the details!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marimekko Sheets

Recently I spotted these Marimekko sheets for 1/2 price
at Crate + Barrel.
I finally got around to washing them and
putting them on the bed today.

I love how a minor purchase can give a room
such a significant boost!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nils Olsson Rooster

I love the robust style of this hand painted rooster
made by Nils Olsson- maker of the famous Swedish Dala Horses.

This is the first rooster I have come across although I have sold
several Dala Horses through my Etsy Shop.

So tempted to keep this as it looks so great with my
Dala Horse collection...

For now though, it's available in my Etsy Shop!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Almond Milk Latte

Mylk Uncookies on Gerrard Street East In Toronto
makes the best
Almond Milk Lattes.
Perfect indulgence on a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crabapple Tree 2011

a snapshot of the crabapple tree in our garden.
it is glorious in bloom
however it comes and goes quickly-
it has already faded and will be gone with the next rain...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paper Style

These beautiful images are from the lovely Toronto location of the Japanese Paper Place store. Purchases can be made online which opens up a wonderful opportunity to access these products if your hometown doesn't have such a store.

I love the potential all these beautiful papers offer. I find it very inspiring walking around this shop and just enjoying the colors in their organized displays. Seeing blocks of colour is very soothing and settling. Once I get to the patterned paper displays another feeling sets in. These are pre- determined beauty. I don't always know what to do with that... Some ideas do come to mind... lining a coffee table and laying glass on top perhaps.
These organized displays are a feast for the eyes...

I hope to do a series on stores I find beautiful in and of themselves. Well designed a displayed merchandise is a real art and when done well makes shopping a really pleasurable experience. The Japanese Paper Place definitely does it right!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vintage Lamp

a glorious, bright yellow ball shade lamp.
soon to be listed in my etsy shop!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wonderful Whimsy

a collection of handmade, hand painted wooden miniature characters.
these are just my kind of thing-
love their slight quirkiness and inherent tenderness...
I also love that they came from an estate sale of an eccentric collector of sorts...

Monday, January 3, 2011

House Proud 2011

A little indulgence on my part today...

Nothing radical had been done to our house in 2010 but little changes; re-arranging some furniture, de-cluttering and adding in some new, fresh pieces has been good for this old house.

A few notables: a striped wool blanket on the back of the couch from Mjolk, gorgeous large Atterby, Sweden lamp in corner, (found at a thrift store), small crochet pillow on couch from Emma Lamb, 2 vintage cat prints from Eclectisaurus, Art Deco wall shelf from Eclectic Pelican and last but not least, our ever faithful cat, Rupert!