Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An attic retreat

The past week has been a flurry of activity around here, and it seems the pace has only increased this week. I can't complain really, because there are a lot of fun and exciting things but the rapid fire pace on top of that constant lingering tiredness that new mums will understand all too well can make it feel like an endless conveyer belt of tasks at hand. (I am currently typing this one-handed, with a bouncing baby in the other!) Some exciting news is that we may or may not have found a house. I won't jinx things with a full description, but one detail I like about it is that it has an attic space. While it's definitely not an attic of this calibre, and better suited for storage (or hiding! :) ), but my thoughts went back to an 'attic of my dreams' from the inspiration files. This attic conversion is in the California home of Canadian designer Tamara Kaye-Honey. A dreamy spa-like bathroom retreat. I'd love to spend an afternoon reading and soaking in that tub - followed by a nice long nap...

Here are some of Tamara's own photos of the space, taken from a different angle and showing her campaign style vanity. You can check out her blog here, documenting the whole project from concept the execution.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let's move to Sweden instead...

My love for Scandinavian design and interiors is hardly news. And although I've known this for quite some time, and said it here many times before, I still find myself struck by how gorgeous their real estate listings are! Especially now, when I'm in the routine of looking at local listings on a daily basis it seems such a striking contrast. The architectural features - mouldings, herringbone floors, beautiful hardware - seem to come standard, and that Scandinavian knack for 'warm minimalism' make the spaces seem so expansive and clutter free, yet still warm and inviting with a mix of modern and antique pieces and lots of little personal details and accessories. 

Love the soothing soft grey/grey tone of this bedroom - and perfectly coordinated bedding.

Little details like these nickel door handles make all the difference. 

I love how large and open the entry hall is - a very functional space in itself and creates such a nice flow between the living spaces. 

Love the design of this kitchen!! Definitely one to store away in the inspiration files. The all white cabinetry combined with the white painted floor make it feel so clean and airy - and contrast beautifully with the red brick wall. The cabinet space is used very efficiently with little details like the drawers below the upper cabinets and there seems to be a decent amount of storage and a place for everything. 

Those vintage wood chairs paired with a very basic Ikea trestle table, add a bit of warmth to the stark white space and blend with the red brick to give a really homey feeling. 

Photos: Alvhem

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The dating game of house hunting

As we continue in our search for the perfect home, I find myself comparing the whole endeavour to the crazy game of dating. The emotional highs and lows, the expectation, the reality, and inevitable disappointments and yet, the need to keep the faith that the one for you is out there, and that you'll find it at the right time. Like dating, so much about real estate is about timing. 
At times you can feel like 'all the good ones are gone!', but there's always something around the corner. I remember back in my single days, the excitement and anticipation of getting ready to go out on the town with my girlfriends, and the beginning of a search can feel the same way -that feeling of the unknown and a multitude of possibilities is sometimes the most fun part. Often a simple MLS listing will be just the 'kiss to build a dream on' and my imagination is happy to build upon that dream. There have been a few times where, like a girl who starts planning her new monogram after a first date, I'll have mapped out whole renovation plans, and looking at tile options before even stepping foot into the space. When you finally arrive at the open house, you can feel a twinge of neurotic possessiveness as you see other prospective buyers also checking it out (Get away from here! This is my house!!) But the in-person visit is always when things start to get real, you can see first hand the dark little secrets that weren't revealed in those beautifully lit and staged photos. You realize it's not actually quite as big as it looked on camera, those charming moulded walls are actually filled with asbestos or there are some major repairs to be done. What seemed charming can quickly turn into a big mess! A few quirks and small setbacks can be workable, they may even 'deepen the bond' or make it more 'you', but a major structural issue or insidious defect could wreck havoc on your life. While we can't expect 'perfection', we have to keep looking out for that perfectly imperfect space that has just the right mix of must haves, nice to haves, and liveable issues. 

This home is an old listing that has long since sold (and out of my price range anyway), but would pretty much be my personal version of 'tall, dark and handsome' - a modernized Victorian, with some original charm and character, a gorgeous light grey kitchen that opens to a family living space. I think the two of us could be very happy together...