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DHgate has all for travelling


Saturday stalking

I need 48 hours in one day. I have so much going on at the moment. A full time day job and the blog for one. The painter comes in just over a week and there is still  a lot of prep work to do. I'm trying to finish a "quick" redo of my kitchen (Ha! Quick! That's a joke!) and the day to day cooking, cleaning and shopping goes on and on. I'm trying to finish a painting to go in a group exhibition here in Ipswich next month and there has been a door sitting on trestles waiting to be painted for 2 weeks now. I have no normal Saturday post ready to go and 3 loads of washing to do. Sound familiar? I know what I'll do! Real estate stalking post. Good idea. A warehouse perhaps? How about this one in South Yarra, Melbourne? It has a red TV room. I swear it's the strangest thing I've seen this week. Strange but kind of cool. The words "red rum, red rum" keep popping into my head. See I'm rambling. Time to go.

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A "green" home

I am a huge fan of many of the new online magazines that have popped up lately, and Pure Green Magazine is no exception - particularly because it's Canadian! Celine, the editor-in-chief, kindly sent along photos of the home featured in their latest issue. It is a historic home in Toronto's Rosedale neighbourhood built in 1901 and is now enjoyed by a family of 5. The homeowner works as a corporate sustainability consultant so when the house was purchased (it had been divided into several apartments), energy efficiency was paramount on the list of improvements. The home was retrofitted with a geothermal system and wherever possible, green interior finishes were chosen....mind you, some historical details were preserved such as stained glass windows. It is now a beautiful home that was completed less than a year ago and I imagine the family is enjoying every inch of it. (Photos below by Erin Monett of Ever Images).

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Soviet era apartment makeover in Riga

After yesterday's amazing renovation I thought I'd share another. This time though it's teeny tiny and on a shoe string budget. Alexey emailed to share this soviet era apartment re-do by interior decorator Natalja Radchenko in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The apartment belongs to a middle aged Russian literature teacher who has inherited it from his parents and who had quite an utopian idea to transform a one bedroom 40 sq m living space located in a depressing soviet project building into something at least slightly resembling Riga old town last century apartments with high ceilings and wooden floors. Her main goals were to create (an illusion) of space and not to lose apartment’s functionality.

What she did:

- Eliminated all the doors, leaving only one – to the bathroom;
- Created wide openings;
- Optically expanded space with wide cornices and plinths;
- Chose neutral tones for walls and black varnish for the floor.

The result:

- Dining room/space with kitchen work space;
- Living room, semi-integrated into bedroom (owner’s requirement);
- Small dark corridor transformed into wide hall leading to dining/kitchen, where wall is turned into a kind of gallery of owner’s family relics;
- Tiny wardrobe between bedroom and entrance hall.
In addition to small size, another obstacle was that the owner had a very limited budget. Hence, not a single piece of furniture is just bought (except for kitchen appliances and bathroom); almost every item is redone and redesigned. For example, a sofa in a living room is bought in a second hand furniture store (and was originally disgustingly pink), bed - on the closing hotel auction, dinner table is inherited from owner’s parents, and almost all of the lamps are found on furniture dumps. Visual appearance of every item was changed via being repainted, overlayed with another fabric, accessorized. It was not a classical restoration, rather an ironical one – e.g. chair in the hall is overlayed with canvas bag fabric.

First time visitors claim that the effect of entering the apartment from a dark claustrophobic staircase is probably similar to entering Narnia chronicles wardrobe – the contrast is astonishing.

So much more after the jump! Definitely not what comes to mind when the words "soviet era" are used. Inspiring renovation. Natalja's website is under construction but I'm sure Alexey will let us know when it's live.

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Jessica's miraculous renovation

Jessica emailed the other day with a photo of her dog for pets on furniture. Alot of the room was visible in the photo and I nearly passed out. Turns out Jessica lives in the most incredible Brooklyn brownstone I think I've ever seen. I begged her to let me blog her home - and to my relief she agreed. She sent along some info, along with before and after photos.

The home was built in 1887 and Jessica purchased it in 2007. When we purchased the house, all of the original details were intact however everything was in need of attention. Although the house had never been multi-family, there were kitchens on several floors. The façade was badly decayed. All of the mechanicals were outdated.

Work started about a year after we purchased the house and is just now nearly completed. The garden is our next project. Basically, almost everything has been “touched”. There are all new bathrooms, a new kitchen, a restored copper skylight, new mechanicals . . . In terms of new construction, we built a copper-roofed room to replace an unattractive records room that had been built in 1925 on the foundation of the demolished conservatory for the Brooklyn Public Library offices. We followed the lines of the conservatory, using the existing curved base and the original plans that we found at the DOB.  Two of the parlor parquet floors were damaged beyond repair and have been replaced. The heavily patterned parquet of the front parlor was discovered under carpet and linoleum tile and has been restored. A new curved iron stair has been added under the skylight to replace a narrow servant’s stair to the basement.

The details of this home are jaw-dropping. What I would give to have 1/8 of the spectacular architecture of this home in my own. Jessica has done an awesome job decorating her home I might add. In her own words: I want to mention that I am not "really" an interior designer. I did design and furnish this house. I am a life-long thrifter and a junk store junkie and much of my furniture was acquired this way. I have even been known to pull a few things from the neighborhood trash. My friends have been encouraging me to do this professionally. Well, YOU GO GIRL!!! (Many more photos after the jump)

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Quickie 2

I warned you! More from the dark side. The Milan loft of furniture designer Rodolfo Dordoni via AT Casa. This is more me. Still undecided on the oversized humanoid sculpture (this coming from a woman with a life size Mary and Jesus statue, a 3m Papua New Guinea spirit post and a Tiwi burial pole) but the rest is perfect. Soon I too shall be welcomed home each day by a darkling den.

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