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Monday, November 30, 2009

A different kind of Christmas tree

I'm starting to really catch the holiday spirit, getting really excited about getting all dressed up for holiday parties, eating special holiday treats and spending some extra time with my favourite people in the world. Right now I'm typing away from my local Starbucks as we've lost the electricity in our apartment - hopefully it'll be back up and running soon enough, but for the minute I'm enjoying some beautiful holiday classics. Nat King Cole's 'The Christmas Song' has always been the first on my holiday play list - his deliciously rich voice sparks of Christmas for my every year and I'll always play it while baking or decorating for the holidays.

As I may have mentioned, I absolutely adore Christmas and love jumping wholeheartedly into all the festivities. This year, however, I'm toying with the idea of a Christmas tree alternative for our tiny apartment. While beautiful boughs and lights are a must, I'm loving some of these beautiful, smaller-scaled alternatives perfect for smaller spaces.

This simple little tree adorned with white paper doves is a elegant option - and would work beautifully with my all-white decor.
(As long as Javier doesn't decide to wreak havoc with the doves,
he's has a thing for paper lately - naughty little devil...)

Really love this beautiful little holiday gorgeous ensemble by Toronto designer Lindsay Mens - silver holiday branches + mini Christmas bulbs + a chance to show off sparkly jewels = one very glamorous little holiday vignette.
{P.S. Find this beautiful branch candelabra in Toronto at Pavilion.}

Another simple alternative - whispy thin silver reeds with sparkly silver ornaments add a bit of festive cheer to any small corner (especially with presents below :) )

A love this charming little Christmas tree, full of warm holiday wishes from loved ones. Very simple to achieve with some festive holiday ribbon + holiday cards + a few little decorations thrown in for good measure. Now I just need some holiday mail (hint...)

This is one of my favourite options - delicate branches adorned with glass ornaments in silver in gold stand out against the bright winter light. This could also be a beautiful centre piece for a holiday gathering.

I'd love to know, what are some of your holiday decorating traditions?

{Photos: 1- CountryLiving, 2-Photographer:Stacey Brandford for CanadianHouse+Home, 3- MarieClaireMaison via automatism,
4- CountryLiving, 5- Photographer:Ted Yarwood for CanadianHouse+Home}

Saturday, November 28, 2009

'The Holiday' Tradition

Christmas is undoubtably my favourite holiday, the whole magic of the season just capitvates me - the beauty of sparkling lights, the offerings of goodwill and lightening of spirits, but also the special traditions you develop over the years. Some going back decades, some more recently.


One of mine has been to watch 'The Holiday" every year with my sisters since we first saw it. I have such a fond memory of a magical December evening with my sisters and watching this movie together. I remember looking across at them and realising we were all smiling as we watched. One of the things I loved most about the movie was the fantastic sets. I could always see myself living in Amanda's L.A home with it's clean modern style, gorgeous fuschia bougainvillea (reminds me of the home I grew up in), and orchids, orchids everywhere! (Although I fear they'd commit suicide in my house...) Right now, I rather feel like escaping to Iris's delightfully cozy English cottage in Surrey.


The space is immediately warm and inviting, warm soft light draws you in.
Exposed beams add a rustic touch, rich tapestry rugs, hanging lanterns and lamps umbrellas, a light jacket and green Hunter boots have you all set to go out and enjoy the countryside.



The space is packed full of English country charm - adorable little vignettes and personal details everywhere you look. It's even decorated for the holidays! Normally I'm an all white lights kind of girl, but here I just love the Santa Christmas lights and bright red bulbs.

(Doesn't Cameron's outfit and that gorgeous creamy sweater just look so cozy?)

Probably my favourite feature of this inviting cottage are the fireplaces in almost every room - can't you just imagine catching up with a loved one over a warm cup of tea beside the fire right in the kitchen after a long walk in the common?

A vintage wrought iron bed, extra quilts, baskets of chopped wood for the fire and books, books, books - the perfect spot to get all cozy and cuddle in for the evening (or for the season!)

No room for another fireplace in the bathroom - is this the most adorable bath tub ever?
I think quite possibly so...

I love the charm of this cottage, but there were so many little little details in this film that have me smitten, I'll be sharing some more as well as some details from Amanda's home in L.A a little later.

This little movie tradition has become one of the things that start off the holidays to me,
can't wait to watch it again this year!

Hope you're all enjoying a lovely weekend!
xo

{Photos from: HookedonHouses (an amazing source for so many favourite films!) , AllMoviePhotos}



Friday, November 27, 2009

Good morning: coffee + a thought...


{Photos:1-Unknown, 2-createdbyALifeMoreFabulous, 3-PeanutonFlickr}

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Vist by Kate Spade

Having the time to get together and catch up with close friends and family is the best thing about the holidays. Far too often we're swept up in the busy-ness of life, time with our loved ones often ends up being relegated to quick phone calls and hurried meetings. Holidays remind us to take a moment to pause and look around us, to be thoughtful and thankful.


Happy reunions - and immediate smile that grows when you see those familiar faces,
the happy laughs and hugs that follow...



Having the time to catch up, relax and reconnect. Sharing secret thoughts and wishes.


A toast - to life, love and happy occasions!


And of course, posing (often begrudgingly) for those family photos that capture all those moments and make you smile to look back on.


To all my American friends, hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving!

{Photos: VisitingTennessee, KateSpadePaperPursuitsviaTechnicolorPostcards}

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A spot of black + white

Just a spot of black and white on a rather grey day.
(yes, the black + white addiction continues...)

A dramatic bedroom by designer, Larry Laslo. Charcoal walls in the bedroom
and white carrera marble in the bathroom - so striking!


Spots, stripes and tea - three favourite things from Kate Spade.


P.S - More lovely black + white
A gorgeous apartment that has me wanting to move to Sweden
Pia's simple, lovely Paris apartment

{Photos:1-3 - LarryLasloDesigns, 4- JohnnyMillerforKateSpade}

A fond farewell + Hermès in the air

Javier and I were enjoying a beautiful walk outside in the crisp autumn air when I saw it - floating above us like a lovely Hermès balloon - one lone autumn leaf - bright flame orange, so delicate and perfect in every way.




The perfect farewell to a magical autumn.

{Photo: Hermesad2006}

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A yellow Christmas...

Boughs and wreaths and ribbons in reds and greens have started to pop up all over town. Sequins and glitter dazzle in soft twinkling lights. While I'll always love the tradition behind red and green palette, the thought of stepping out of the box and personalizing with an unconventional colour made me instantly happy. A simple white Christmas tree adorned with bright yellow balls make a big statement. Why not decorate in the colour you love the most, or that best suits your current decor. Lee Kleinhelter's white and yellow theme would certainly make the season merry and bright (below and bottom) .




This would be my suggestion for a perfect holiday place setting at Lee's bright, beautiful space. A napkin bow? A perfect simple, chic accessory and functional too!


{Photos: 1,3- LeeKleinhelter'shomeinCottageLivingDec'08viaShelter, 2- viaMySweetRandomness}

Monday, November 23, 2009

Colour Escapades: Black + White + Yellow

A bold and energetic combination for a Monday morning simple black and white with big jolts of bright yellow make you instantly alert, perhaps an alternative to your morning coffee. The room is a study of contrasts - simple black and white against bright colour, the intricately carved chairs against the simple pedestal table, the ornate gold leaf mirror against the simple white wall and decor, the intricate mosaic pattern of the chest against the simple black and white tiles.


This dining area in the home of photographer Henry Wilson clearly demonstrates two things that he is passionate about - Indian interiors and ultra modernism. I think showcasing your passions in life throughout your home always guarantees your house will make you happy. You're constantly surrounded by things you love.


The two bright yellow canvases immediately catch your eye and create a form a distinct colour theme along with the bright oncidium orchids. This is an easy way to tie your decor together when working on a budget, a few impactful accents - maybe even your own DIY canvas art, are the perfect way to tie everything together.

These gorgeous carved dining chairs are like pieces of sculpture. I love the idea of each piece being able to stand on its own as a beautiful piece of art.


{Photos:Henry'sWilson'sLondonhomefromInteriorsblog}

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Weekends always hold such an air of excitement and freedom that you can never really achieve on any other week day. All of a sudden the door is open to fun and frolic.
But first, there's important business at hand.
On my weekend list of things to do:

1. Lots of calls to make, catching up with old friends and preparing for a night out.
(Disco dancing this evening.)

2. Patrolling the park in a leopard print coat and eating Cracker Jack.
(I'm on squirrel duty.)

3. Finally finding the perfect hat.
(or lamp shade)

4. Putting my best face forward and hitting the town in style.
(arm in arm)

5. Perfecting the pillow fight
(and later - the pillow talk.)

A woman's work is never done...

Hope you're off to a sparkling, fun-filled weekend!


{Photos:CarlaBruniandToddGordonby MichaelO'BrienforNewYorkMagazineAugust89}

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Afternoon sunlight...

The cold rainy day outside has me longing to escape to the warm autumn afternoon sunlight of yesterday, streaming in through every window leaving everything with a soft glow.


Hope that wherever you are today, you're sunny on the inside :)
xo

{Photos: Flickr}

Chanel + Ballet

We just spent a lovely evening watching The Sleeping Beauty performed by the Canadian National Ballet last night and it was so beautiful. Really. My mind is still a-twirl with visions of sparkles and tulle so I thought I'd share something beautiful and ballet.





Take a moment to pause and enjoy something beautiful. Watch these two clips and savour the beauty of the subtle, graceful movements ...

This amazing tutu was handmade with thousands of feathers for the English National Ballet's season of Ballet Russes. Senior principal dancer, Elena Glurdjidze wore the tutu in a private performance at the Chanel headquarters of The Dying Swan.

- Watch Dying Swan performed at Chanel
- more of Karl Lagerfeld's work with baller dancers here

{Photos:Chanel.com}

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lovely Pia's Paris apartment

The lovely Pia Jane Bijkerk is an stylist, photographer and author of Paris, Made by Hand. Having grown up in Australia and travelled extensively through the world and divides her time between Amsterdam, Paris and Sydney. She currently lives on a houseboat in Amsterdam where she is completing her anticipated second book, Amsterdam, Made by Hand. Her Paris apartment, however, captured me moment I saw it (just look at the fanciful heart made of fairy lights and ribbons as her headboard, below).


Pia's lovely space just seems to have a magical quality about it. While she sticks with a simple, neutral palette (lots of black and white!), it's filled with whimsical, romantic details in every corner, like the ethereal floating parasol above the bed as a light fixture. Beautiful chandeliers and lighting seem to appear in every room in her home. It shows Pia's meticulous attention to detail and is also a clever tactic of hers to maximize on one of the best features of her apartment - the high ceilings and ornate crown molding. (Also, an easy detail to use in a rental.)

Pia's clever use of space and impactful details in her kitchen were especially inspiring to me. I have the smallest kitchen in the whole world, or at least whole of Toronto :). I wouldn't have thought of using a chandelier in this small space but it works beautifully and also draws the eye up, giving the illusion of extra height and space. A very simple graphic black and white pattern is used throughout the room, adding some extra interest, but not overwhelming the space with busy patterns and details.


Ah - truly a romantic space - a lovely lounger, crafted from two old palettes that Pia has found and painted white, then mounted onto casters, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the light pouring in or the view from the balcony. Across the glass doors is a song in progress Pia has written for her love, French Boy. Très charmant.

Rather than fight the moody, dark wood in the living area, Pia has played it up with a rich wood dining set and lush tropical plants. A long black fringe becomes a very simple - but very impactful romantic chandelier.

Again in the bathroom - a delightfully pretty floral garland chandelier from Artecnic - in black to keep perfectly with the black and white theme. One of these has been on my wishlist for quite a while. In Toronto, find your at Quasi Modi, or online here.

Pia's Paris apartment is a magical retreat, but so simply executed. When you look closely, nothing is very extravagant or expensive, chosen pieces with a little DIY know-how and artistic details. A very simple black and white palette easily unites the space and adds a sense of flow. For extra information from Pia on the details of this space, click here.

{Photos from Pia's Paris apartment Before and After on DesignSponge, PiaJaneBijkerk and HouseBeautifulviaPiaJaneBijkerk}
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