Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bitossi Meridian Wall Clock + New Studio

 I recently made a purchase of a fabulous ceramic 
Bitossi Meridian Wall Clock.
Designed by American George Nelson with clock components by
 The Howard Miller Clock Company.
Made in Italy in the 1950's.
(purchased at my favorite Toronto store, Eclectisaurus)

It adorns a wall in my new studio/guest room.

Once our new bathroom was completed work was started 
on this room; located in the part of the house that 
formerly housed our old bathroom 
plus a small back bedroom.

This wall shelf will be a fun rotating display of favorite decorative finds.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Brilliant Grandmother Continued

I have posted about my grandmother, Emme Frankenberg, before.
She was a huge influence in my life and I'm sure the reason I pursued the arts.
The top painting is a self portrait.
It has always been one of my favorite paintings. Of anyone's.
I adore the assured gaze in her eyes,
the robust hollyhocks surrounding her, the blush in her cheeks...
the painting below is another favorite.
this is of a model who posed for her.
I love the economy of detail. She was able to distill the light and dark down to
it's essence thus avoiding any distractions.
the coloration of seamless neutrals allows the viewer to look into the soul
of the subject...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The New Bathroom!

Well, it's finally done; our brand new bathroom, revealed! Overall, I'm am extremely pleased with the result. The look embodies the sleek calm I was after. Nothing trendy or showy; just quality materials with a simple level of detail keeping the look classic & contemporary.
I am very proud of my husband and I as a team. I chose all the finishes and fixtures. He did all the labour except for the tiling.

Since this bathroom was created from scratch in a different location than the old bathroom everything needed to be done. Plumbing, electrical, walls and even a new ceiling were done by my husband with a little bit of assist at times from our 2 daughters, aged 22 & 25. They learned a lot in the process as well which was great!

My starting point was the Duravit sink/vanity and cabinet. Once I saw them in a photo on their website I knew that was the look I was after. I could have kept looking; after all, these had to come from Germany with a wait time of 2-3 months. Knowing however, that the options would be endless and I would become more confused the more I looked; I just went for my first choice.

From there I sourced floor tile and found the perfect porcelain that had the same warm grey tones in it. Done. I was quite sure the feature wall would be a mosaic tile and found the right watery colourway I was after. Done. To merge the floor and feature wall tile I went with a basic white subway tile; affordable and you can't go wrong with a classic was my rationale...

Chosen wall colour is the lovely 'Cloud White' from Benjamin Moore. It creates a nice subtle depth and warm contrast to the stark white in the subway tiles and fixtures.

The print on the wall by the door is by the fabulous Toronto shop, Field Guided. It has the airy, non-distinct quality I was after. It creates a subtle focal point for the eye to rest on. There are a few details yet to come. I've sourced a fabulous Braun wall clock in white & grey that I want to hang over the door. As well, some more new towels and bath products to adorn the space and create a luxurious feel will be added. We gradually will have to 'believe' this new space... funny but the other night went my husband got up to use the bathroom he went down the hall to the old one! (it will be dis-mantled in the near future and be merged with a back bedroom to create one big office for me). Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rosenthal Vase- Rosemonde Nairac

I was extremely happy yesterday when I came across this vase at a Goodwill store that I had not bothered to visit for a couple of months.

It was one of those Saturdays when I had to nudge myself out the door. Time after time in recent months I had, I felt, wasted gas driving around to thrift stores to only come across the same old tired junk in place after place. There is however the awareness that this business is inherently random and to succeed you have to be consistent and forge ahead. Whenever I have come across a great find it has always taken me off-guard; coming out of the blue in a sense. The usual outcome is to find nothing. That becomes your default expectation. That's a good thing too because otherwise you would be constantly disappointed.

Back to this vase. It was starting to snow; did I really want to drive the extra 10 minutes to the far flung Goodwill to see more cheap brass lamps with pleated shades, old computer keyboards, shelves of clear glass florist's vases, worn teflon pans... yup, 95% of thrift store inventory. Luckily my instincts said, "go for it". After wandering up and down a few isles this beauty caught my eye. Standing proud in it's quality porcelain and striking colours I knew what it was. A mint, 12" Rosenthal Studio-Linie Vase.

In the 1950's Rosenthal and some other German porcelain manufacturers decided to take on modernizing the existing ceramics market. Looking beyond the conservative English ceramics and influenced by the Bauhaus Movement and Modernism, they hired designers such as Raymond Loewy who, from 1952-1961 designed dinnerware for the company.

In 1961 they introduced Studio-Linie and commissioned a series of world famous & influential designers to redefine the shape, form and decoration of it's porcelain. The slogan was and is, "Uniquely of Our Time" and allows for an ongoing definition of contemporary style. This vase looks to me to be from the early 1980's although I have not been able to officially date it.

I love the colours in this piece. Although I am not "a collector" I feel somewhat tempted to add to this vase and create a grouping with other Studio-Linie pieces. The generous white field creates an airiness that allows for combining additional vessels...

I will keep up the good search and hopefully serendipitously find another piece or two...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eclectisaurus- Toronto Store Watch

This is a post on my favorite vintage furnishings shop in Toronto: Eclectisaurus.
The owner, Leslie, has an amazing eye and doesn't compromise. If she doesn't personally like and believe in a piece it will not end up on her shelves.

She acquires her stock from varied sources and as she becomes more and more known in the design community some excellent pieces are brought directly to her. She is passionate about her work and the never ending quest for finding the best of the best for her shop.

In the bleak grey light of winter, walking into this vintage store is positively uplifting; color, texture, shape and form, whimsy and elegance are all on show as your eyes rest on one lovely vignette after another.

She is a master of display and of course has great material to work with. This space is not static; you can go in on a weekly basis and always have something new to behold. Her prices being exceedingly fair, stock moves quickly.

If you live in, or are visiting Toronto be sure to check out this very special Cabbagetown Shop...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bathroom Renovation Post #3

I thought I would do a quick post on the look of the new bathroom.
This wall mount vanity plus the mirrored cabinet above it are what we have ordered.
It is made by Duravit and is coming from Germany. (we also are getting the small wall shelf shown in the background).
I fell in love with the simple lines of these pieces. The mirrored cabinet has side lights built in which is also great for our small space;
the fact that we don't have to install separate wall sconces will minimize visual clutter.

If all goes according to plan these pieces will be arriving by late Feb.- early March.
The tilers will make a template so they can go ahead with installing the wall tile
before they arrive.

I must say it's nerve wracking making all these design decisions and
I am hoping it all works out!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bathroom Renovation Post #2

Here we are at the not so sexy part of the reno.
it is however, where most of the labor happens and thank goodness my husband is
super handy and able to to all the plumbing! yay to the male brain! (ok, of course women can do this too and he even says it's not that hard but I guess I really don't WANT to know how to do this stuff)...

anyway; plumbing is pretty well done and now the drywall is starting to happen. it should go quickly (quicker?) at this stage...
the tilers are due to come in 9 days time. that still makes me rather nervous- does this look like it will be ready for tiling by then to you?