Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A tree house

I have a small obsession with tree houses. Brought on perhaps by a childhood filled with extensive tree climbing and an enduring fascination with Swiss Family Robinson. In addition to a little thatched 'wendy house' or 'play house', we actually had a simple tree house in our garden growing up. It was my most favourite place to go, even as a teenager, when I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. There's a wonderful feeling of tranquility you get up amongst the foliage, looking down at the world below, a step back - or up, rather - from all the busyness and chaos of everyday life. 

This Tree House at The Lodge on Loch Goil in Scotland, seems like a wonderfully calm retreat, up amongst the branches gazing out at the placid waters of the Loch. I found it a bit funny when I realized I'd added it to my Pinterest board under the title 'Dream Homes'. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Real life style in Queens, NY

I find nothing more inspiring that real life style achieved on a realistic, or more modest budget. Of course it would be easy enough to make a space spectacular with a huge budget for knockout furniture pieces, or customized built ins, but for most of us, that's not what we have to work with. Life on a real life budget requires you to be a little more clever. I was so impressed when I first saw Matt and Megan's apartment in Queens on A Cup of Jo, it feels bright and expansive in spite of still being a small space  and packs alot of style with carefully selected pieces and  alot of clever planning and placement. 

There's a strong retro vibe in the space, but it still feels very contemporary with clean lines and a soft neutral palette. 

Little details are well-edited and not over accessorized, which prevents the space from feeling cluttered or cramped. 

This bathroom is just dreamy - and such a clever use of space! Despite a very small footprint, it still manages to feel airy and spacious due to the open shower and the frosted glass wall. 

Despite being fairly neutral, the decor is not at all boring - the couple have a beautiful art collection on display with many pieces by personal friends. (Plus one very cute pup who would make any apartment more inviting!)

The couple shares the apartment with their twin girls, who share a nursery - and initially even shared the crib :). Love the charming little gallery wall above the crib and the bold patterned rug in this tranquil space. 

{All photos taken by Oh, Darling! Photography for Cup of Jo }

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Last week in New York...

Last week I travelled down to New York with a big agenda for fun and celebration - the lavish Indian wedding of a dear friend of my husband's, as well as my own birthday. We'd talked about this trip for a few months and were looking forward to a little extra special time together as a couple. Unexpectedly, and very last minute, plans changed. I found myself alone in Manhattan. Initially we both went through a period of extreme frustration, and I found myself wandering around fully preoccupied by my mourning what 'was supposed to happen'. What should have been a period filled with fun exploration was clouded with feelings of disappointment, frustration and even guilt. But then, something kind of wonderful happened. I remembered I actually quite like being alone. In a city surrounded by millions, I found myself savouring the solitude and slowly started to see how this situation, while not the ideal I'd had in my mind might just be alright after all. 

One thing I've learnt in life, and keep being reminded of along the way, is that life rarely conforms to any of my expectations. With family, in marriage, and in the general comedy of errors that life often presents to us - things rarely look the way you thought they would when you get there. While there's nothing wrong with planning for the future, and even getting excited about those plans, things often end up a bit differently. It's ok to feel a little disappointed. Ultimately though, the only thing that determines how happy I am is whatever is going on within the confines of my own mind. And you know what? I can have a pretty amazing time. All by myself. 

{All photos by the talented Jamie Beck of From Me to You}

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hidden pops of colour

While I've labelled myself a steadfast all-white devotee, and this is certainly true of most of my home, I can't deny the fact that deep down I really do love colour! Lots of it! In bright, bold tones and eye catching pops. I think perhaps my hesitation is the long term commitment to it on a large scale. My very favourite way to use colour in my home is in vibrant little pops - usually through art, books or the occasional throw pillow. I'm not sure why, but I often neglect the option of paint.  Adding colour through paint often conjures up images of overwhelming red walls and sometimes I have to say I find the overuse of colour to feel almost oppressive. Bright little pops are just the right fit for me - I love the idea of adding a little extra interest with a hidden little jolt of colour! Painting the inside of drawers in a cabinet, or just the edge of a plain white door seems like the perfect unexpected surprise. Not so much you'd really go tired of it, and the easiest switch if you ever do.

A crisp white door, classic brass hardware and a pop of bright tangerine!

Brightly painted drawers inside a cabinet.

P.S. This idea reminded me of this previous post - a plain white cabinet with a beautiful gold interior.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tailored and bright

One of my favourite displays at the recent Interior Design Show in Toronto this year was undoubtedly Mazen Studio's tailored bachelor pad (see photos of the space here). While it was filled with art and layered with interesting details, it still felt crisp, tailored and meticulously edited. I was delighted, although unsurprised, to find that his Leslieville, Toronto townhouse carried this same feeling. While the lines are still crisp and tailored, there's a wonderful infusion of energy through the pops of bright colour used in art, books, textiles and some of the best statement making curtains I've seen. Perhaps it's the Spring but lately I've been craving more colour in my life. Like the bright William Sonoma bedding in the previous post, I've been thinking back to these curtains constantly - something seems to be telling me at the moment that bright, colourful stripes are the way to go. Icy blue accented with bright red and navy - I don't think I would have thought of this combination but clearly it works just beautifully. I love how he's hung them extra high to really add some drama and emphasize the high ceilings. This space has the perfect balance of neutrals and bright colour; crisp, tailored details and approachable comfort.

{All photos: Mazen via Apartment Therapy}


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