Upholstered Walls

 Good Morning!

I would love to live in a padded room.   Although some days I do feel like I’m beating my head against a wall and could use a soft spot to do it, I’m not talking about that kind of padded room.  I’m talking about upholstered walls. Being a part-time upholsterer, I’m always looking for interesting ways to use upholstery, and this certainly falls into that category.  I love the texture that they bring to a space.  Some are very overt with large tufting or finished with nail-head trim, while others are quite subtle.  But whatever the type, they are a great addition to a space.

 

photos via (1,2,3,4,5,6)

What do you think of upholstered walls?  Is it something you would do in your space?

XO,

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A Martha’s Vineyard Farmhouse

Good Morning!

When I stumbled upon the farmhouse of New York restaurateur Keith McNally (of Balthazar restaurant) in Elle Decor,  it reminded me of some of the older farmhouses in New Brunswick.  Though this one is located in posh Martha’s Vineyard, you wouldn’t know it as his renovation has kept the property rustic and simple. But genuinely beautiful.  They raise animals, grow produce and even make their own goat cheese here.  And the gardens are amazing.  I just had to share this lovely spot with you.

all photo via Elle Decor; photography by Simon Upton

Pretty great, huh?  What a great place for kids too.  I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

XO,

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Discovery: Stan Olthuis via The Rooster Coffee House

Good Morning!

One of the many things I love about my local coffee shop, the Rooster Coffee House on Broadview Avenue, is that they also serve as a bit of an art gallery.  They support artists by featuring their work on the walls (with prices in case any of their customers are so inclined), and rotate artists regularly. Not only does having their ever-changing wallscape make for great decor, but I get to be exposed to new artists just by getting a coffee. Although I usually only get to the Rooster about once a week (sadly it’s not on my way to work), I get pretty excited when I see that the art has been changed up again.  The artist I’m going to share with you today I discovered on my most recent visit to the Rooster: Canadian artist Stan Olthuis.   After my discovery, I checked out his website.  Truly lovely works.  But I’m most drawn to his “Gowns” collection, some of which are on display at the Rooster.  Here are a few of my favourites:

IMG_3475 IMG_5453 IMG_3303_crop IMG_3189_crop IMG_3875 2013-01-23 12.45.22

Pretty great, right?  The concept is simple but the pieces are anything but that.  I love all the layers, and the shapes the dresses take in these.  I’m officially a fan.  You can see more from the collection and other on his website.  Now I just need to save my pennies so I can own one of his pieces someday.  Hope you’ve enjoyed this discovery as much as I have!

XO,

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Convert It: Sonoma Power House

Good Morning!

Today I’m sharing lovely conversion project in Sonoma, California.  Owner and designer Todd R. Cole purchased and redesigned this former PG&E power plant 17 years ago to make it his own.  It was originally converted to a home 50 years ago, by Arthur W. Foster III, who named it “the Power House”.  Cole, an avid flea market shopper, has added many eclectic details to the space while keeping many of the original elements.  For me, this  seems like the perfect space to curl up and read a book or take a nap.

Photo credit:  John Merkl   Designed by: Todd R. Cole  Via California Home Design

Lovely spot and great conversion.  You can see more pictures and learn more history of this space over at California Home Design.

Have a great day!

XO,

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Convert it: The Hudson

 Good Morning!

While I was in Victoria last month, I was strolling down the street and came across a big beautiful old building that appeared to have been restored.  Of course, this is a common occurrence in Victoria as they have done a great job preserving their historic structures.  But I was particularly curious about this one so I immediately looked it up.  It turns out it was the former Hudson’s Bay Company building which has recently been converted into a residential building.

Photos via buzz buzz home

This Georgian Revival style building was designed by Toronto architects Burke, Horwood and White and built in 1915.  As described in the “Canada’s Historic Places” website:

The palatial design and grand elevations of this four-storey Georgian Revival Style building was chosen to establish architectural permanence and portray the luxury, grandeur, and modernity of Canada’s most successful and oldest company.” 

This is picture of the building from the 1930’s.

The building was designated under British Columbia’s Community Heritage register in 1995. In 2002, the Bay department store relocated and Townline Developers bought the property in 2006.  Townline and Merrick Architects has since revitalized the building by converting it into a 152 unit condo building called The Hudson.  Retaining the original facade and some of interior elements, the store was converted in to a unique residential space.

In addition to it’s lovely exterior the building also has great out door spaces.

Photos via buzz buzz home

The building’s interior designer was by Evoke International  Design who were able to retain some of the historic interior elements of the store while making it more modern.

 

Photos via buzz buzz home

This two-bedroom condo model from the building, which was beautifully furnished and styled by The Cross Design of Vancouver, shows you just how awesome these units are.

Photos via buzz buzz home

And as you can see from my photos below the Victoria Public Market has  made it’s home on the main floor of the Hudson.  Which would be pretty amazing if you lived in the building.

 

THe Hudson 1

THe Hudson 2

What a fabulous conversion.  If I lived in Victoria I’d totally consider living here.  So much beauty and history in one space.  My only criticism is that that the big original HBC sign from the roof  isn’t incorporated somewhere.  That would make it just about perfect.

Have a great day!

 xo,

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Black Rooster Decor: Bricks and Mortar Baby

Good Morning,

Some of you may already know the amazing online store Black Rooster Decor.  They carry the most amazing collection of furniture and home decor stuff.  If I was going to try to describe the merchandise they carry I would say modern, pretty and eclectic.  Now, often when people use the word eclectic it’s just a nice a way of saying that you have a bunch of random nice stuff that doesn’t go together, but that is 100% NOT how I mean it here.  The items are so unique yet perfectly assembled that you can’t imagine that they don’t all belong in one space.  The woman behind this store is the fabulous Nina Ber-Donkor, and boy does she have a talent for curating beautiful home decor items.  Truly gifted.  Here are just  few things from the online store….

 

Marble Base Adjustable Desk Lamp

Tasmanian Berber Rug

Tiffany Nesting Trays

High Back Geo Dining Chair

 So, wanna hear some great news??? Black Rooster now has a full-blown bricks and mortar STORE!  Wanna hear the even better news?  IT’S IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD!  (1025 Queen Street East (in Toronto) near Pape Avenue).  Ok, so maybe that part is really only great for me, but this is still amazing news. I was lucky enough to attend the grand-opening party last week.  And here is a little taste of the awesomeness you can expect:

Black Rooster copy

I don’t have the details on all the items that are in these pictures (most, if not all, of them can be found in the online store), but there are a few highlights I would like to point out:

1) I NEED one of those Victorian wine stoppers. STAT.

2) All the art you see in these pictures is by my friend, the ever so talented Christine Dovey.  When she is selling like Jackson Pollock, I will be able to say “I knew her”.

3) Wishbone in a bell jar, yes please.

4) Those Moroccan style hanging pendant lights are incredible.

The point is it looks amazing.  And to top it all off the party was a blast.  Great food from County General and lots ‘o bubbly, plus amazing company.  Christine, Hollie (of the Pink Zipper)  and I closed down the place with the lovely Der-Bonker fam (from left, Nina’s lovely hubs Prince, her sweetheart of a son Elijah, Nina, her mom and her brother).

family

And when I say lots of bubbly, I mean LOTS…..like the dance party, howl with laughter, create crazy hashtags kind of lots.  Oh did I mention taking ridiculous pictures…..a like picture of me with my new C-Doves painting….

me with art

One of the artist, with the SAME painting….

artist and work

Your truly, Vanna White-ing the crap out of this fab (and really comfortable) leather lounger….

me with lounger

And the amazingly sweet Mr. Bijou and Boheme (aka Christine’s husband/Ian) showing just how comfy the leather lounger is.  Note the pink socks.  Love this guy.

mr bijou and boheme

So I think you get the gist of the kind of night we had.  I am so happy for Nina and family on their new adventure.  Now go VISIT this store definitely will not regret it!  Welcome to the east end Black Rooster!

XO,

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The Saguaro, Scottsdale

Good Morning,

I’ve been a bit absent lately while I took a mini vacation to Arizona, but I’m happy to be back this week. It was brief but the sunshine was just lovely. You hear talk about SAD (Seasonal Affectation Disorder) and I’m betting that after this winter there are lots more cases of it being reported.  How powerful the sun is in affecting mood, no? After just a few days of bright, sunny weather I feel so much more energized and excited.  I will be blogging more about my trip over the next week but today I’m focusing on the hotel where we stayed in Scottsdale: the Saguaro (pronounced “sah-wah-ro”).

Named after the famous cactus with the same name, the Saguaro was a great choice for our stay.  A boutique hotel in the heart of Scottsdale’s Old Town, it is a beautifully designed space (the work of architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiatwith) that uses fun bright colours, beautiful landscaping and unique art to create a modern southwest feel.

saguaro copy

Fun, huh? Our room was super cool but also very comfortable and the pool area was awesome with big lounging beds for basking in the sun.  We partook in a massage at the spa which was on special when we arrived at $60 for 60 mins!  Total deal.  The hotel restaurant Distrito is head up by Iron Chef Jose Garces.  We didn’t have dinner there but we did partake in the awesome poolside menu which included delicious fish tacos and we also had nachos with their homemade guacamole during happy hour in the restaurant, which were amazing. We had great service and I would recommend it to anyone staying in Scottsdale*.

Have a great day!

XO,

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*I was not paid by the Saguaro for this review or recommendation, I just enjoyed the aesthetic and experience I had there and wanted to share it with you.

Desert Dreaming

Good Morning!

In about a week I am hopping on a plane to warm the Arizona desert, and I am so excited about it.  This long Toronto winter has taken the wind out of my sails a little so I’m hoping to soak up some vitamin D and reboot.  I’ll be in Phoenix for a day and then my friend and I are heading to Scottsdale for 3 days to enjoy some sun, spa and good eats.  As much as I am an east coast, salty sea air, waves crashing on the beach kinda girl at heart, I have to admit that the desert climate is pretty ideal most of the year.  Hot but not humid in the day and slightly cooler at night. Can’t wait.

And on the topic of desert travel, today I’m sharing a gorgeous hotel which is much, much, further away than Arizona.  It’s the Desert Palm Hotel in Dubai.

Not too shabby, huh?  Did I mention there is a polo field on-site as well?  Yep.  And seriously, that bathroom alone would make me want to stay there.  Beautiful.  This is slightly higher end than the hotel we are staying in Scottsdale.  But I’m still excited.

If anyone has any Phoenix or Scottsdale recommendations, please let me know!

XO,

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A Cozy Brooklyn Brownstone

Good Morning!

Sometimes you come across a space that is just simple and comforting. One of these spaces is the apartment of Kerri Russell.  Aside from being an actress (ahem, namely the star of one of my favorite shows ever, Felicity) she obviously also has a keen eye for design. Lots of natural materials and neutral colours make her Brooklyn apartment very cozy, but its the interesting design features like the fixtures, lighting and art that give this space high style.

All photos via Elle Decor.  Photographed by William Waldron

I really, really want to have a soak in her tub….which says a lot since I don’t even like baths!  Also, all the natural light in this space is phenomenal.  Lovely indeed.

XO,

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Convert it: Boutique Hotel in Mexico City

Good Morning!

I hope you had a good long weekend! Today I’m sharing with you another fabulous conversion project, this one from from Mexico City.  Built in the 17th century, the Palace of the Counts of Miravalle is one of Mexico City’s oldest buildings.  The original home to Don Alonso de Ulibarri Davalos Bracamontes and de la Cueva, who was chancellor of the Court of the Holy Cross of the Kingdom of New Spain. Recently, Grupo Habita has given new life to the Palace by converting the building into a gorgeous boutique hotel called Downtown Mexico. This conversion is helping to revitalize the city centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exterior is built from volcanic rock, which was preserved as part of the conversion. The property features 17 rooms, a hostel, multiple restaurants, shops, a gallery and a rooftop terrace.

all photo photo from Grupo Habita via Inhabitat

Isn’t this lovely?   Obviously climate is a factor, but I love the use of all the outdoor spaces.  And it’s only $183 per night to stay there.  You can barely stay at a Holiday Inn in the centre of a North American city for that much!  Sounds like a bargain to me.  You can see more here on Inhabitat.

XO,

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