Thursday, October 8, 2015

House Hunting in Toronto pt 1

As I'd mentioned we've started on our mission to find a new home here in Toronto. The real estate market really seems to be the wild west at times with prices climbing higher all the time. I've become a little obsessed with checking out the listings on a daily basis. While I've said before that I'm looking for a fixer-upper, and I really am, I have to admit that quite often the well staged and renovated homes are often the ones that catch my eye. Of course the high priced homes are going to be top of the line and fitted out beautifully, but I've been really impressed to see some of the more moderately priced places that have been beautifully renovated and styled to impress (and sell!). 

Unfortunately all the sloped ceilings in this home make this a non option for my tall husband, but I can still admire the space and the way the opened up a bungalow into an open floor plan. That kitchen is gorgeous!

Beautiful styling in the bedrooms and bathrooms - sloped ceilings and all! Love some of the details they chose - like those large white hexagon tiles. Nice job on the flip guys! 

Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Artist Julie Gladstone

Lately I've found I stumble on some of my very best discoveries by following links on Instagram. Earlier this summer I discovered Canadian artist Julie Gladstone through Navillus Gallery, a favourite of mine. Julie's work is dynamic and quite captivating, incorporating a wide range of colours in a fresh palette. Each piece contains a multitude of tiny details in a style that reminded me of Klimt. 

Julie's recent exhibit largely centred around the theme of water and the environment.
"I attempt to beautify the banal, ugly aspects of the landscape. I try to invite the viewer in and suggest ways we can enter into a relationship with the complex issues around the changing environment."

Plastic cup in the Ocean

Ripple Effect

Coke Can in River


I'm disappointed I was unable to attend the recent Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition downtown where she had a booth including some small scale and mini pieces. But for any of you interested in following or investing in Julie's beautiful work, I definitely suggest following her on instagram @julesglad.

Monday, September 28, 2015

An inspiring row house renovation by Adams and Duke

Nothing gets me going like a good renovation story. Blame it on watching movies like the Notebook (I think the house transformation was even more exciting than the romantic storyline for me) or countless HGTV series, but the notion of finding that gem in the rough and polishing it up to create a beautiful home is the stuff of my wildest dreams. It's actually become a bit of a running joke in our household, very early in our relationship I'd taken Andrew to walk by 'my dream house' - an established old Victorian, battered by neglect and years of being used as a fraternity house, it had long been in a state of decay, to the point of decrepitude. But I only saw the potential - the original architectural details, the mouldings and an oversized plot full of weeds and tall oak trees  that extended beyond sight. This is not the only such love affair I've had, and to this day whenever we pass a completely dilapidated or half burned down mess of a home, Andrew will teasingly exclaim "Hey look Shar! Dream home!!" (Joke's on him though, some of them could actually be amazing, I know it.)

We have recently embarked on a journey of house hunting here in Toronto which is as scary as it is exciting. While the already polished gems easily catch your eye, what I'd really love is to find a bit of a fixer-upper to work on and add my own personal touch.

I was thrilled to bits to discover this project by Washington, DC based Adams and Duke. To call it merely a renovation would be a severe understatement - one would think they remodelled the bathroom or added some kitchen cabinetry, this was a veritable gut job. I don't think I'd be looking for something quite as ambitious, but I can't help but be inspired. Here are some of the (terrifying) before shots:

And now the After! Can you believe the transformation! Very simply and tastefully done in a style that's in keeping with the original architecture of the home.

Clever idea to steal - -these open book cases are a lovely alternative to the ugly columns you often see and add definition to the spaces while still keeping an open flow (and likely avoiding the hefty cost of having to add extra supports when taking out a supportive wall).

Beautiful, simple kitchen in classic all-white with subway tiles, white carrara and chrome. Large double doors open onto a back patio and allow the light to flood in.

The same classic details flow up through the second floor with stacked laundry cleverly tucked away in a hallway closet. 

The same classic styling and attention to detail was paid in the separate unit created in the basement. Lower level living never looked so good. Who knew basement dwelling could be so elegant?

One of my favourite features was the transformation of the back yard. The back patio is nothing complicated but simple and elegant. I love that they repurposed the architectural finial from the front yard and gave it a whole new life. 

Such an inspiring renovation! Just gets the wheels turning extra quickly as I review MLS listings...