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Monday
Oct062008

There's still a triffid in the house Part 2 or How retro really became rooted


So many fabulous retro rooms brimming with budding beauty that I just had to share more. Time to turn the pages once again of Decorating With Plants, A House and Garden Book, by Marybeth Little Weston,The Condé Nast Publications, Pantheon Books, New York, 1978. Now I want a ficus or maybe a traveller's palm. A boston fern for the bathroom anyone?

Sunday
Oct052008

At Kim's house

Things are a little nutty at my house, as I'm trying to get some projects finished before the kitchen renovation work needs to start. I had 2 things I was determined to complete, the renovation of my staircase to the second floor, and my basement.

I took Friday off from work to start the stairs and I managed to get them pretty much done. A couple paint touch ups and a few nail holes left to fill but I am too tired to finish it. I thought I'd show some before photos first so you can see what I've been living with since December. This first photo is what the stairs looked like for about a month after I moved in.


I ripped the carpeting off because it was so dirty (from moving in a snowstorm) and not installed properly - I almost took a tumble down them a few times. This is the horror that was underneath. Linoleum tiles, aluminum trim and lots of paint splotches.


I am dying to paint all the floors in my house white, so the stairs were no exception. I painted them white, and the staircase is now so much brighter than it was. Now if I could just figure out how to get them to clean themselves...


Here is why I am too tired to finish the stairs. Below are photos of the remnants of what was on the floor in my damp and leaky basement (there's more that has to come out but I'm too tired and need help with the rest). I am so pissed off that someone was stupid enough to decide to hide leaks by putting down layer upon layer of plywood on a damp floor. The smell once the top layer of linoleum was removed was so disgusting. The wood in some places was BLACK and crumbly. I am afraid my cats and I will get sick from the mold. I wore a mask while I was working down there but the smell was so bad I can still smell it, and I feel kind of nauseous. There are alot of annoying and poorly executed things I keep finding around this house, but this one definitively tops the list of bad judgement.

Saturday
Oct042008

Jo's place


Like Kim I realised I hadn't shared anything from my place lately. This weekend I started changing out the look in my bedroom. Fresh and bright for the hot summer months ahead. Vibrant yellow, shades of green and lots of 70s and 80s florals. Once again almost everything is from garage sales, thrift stores and eBay. The rug is IKEA on sale and great for covering the ugly grey carpet. I'm using three in a U shape around the bed. The theory is to whip stitch them together with kelly green wool but that's the theory. We stretched some retro bird of paradise fabric over a frame and it really brightens up the room. A lick of citrus green livened up the thrift shop side tables and yet another moss pot sits on a papier mache tray. My taupe bed throw is a concession to a large Labrador dog that won't take no for an answer when it comes to lying on the bed. White would be wonderful but would stay that way for a millisecond.


At the foot of the bed sit two ottomans. They were originally covered in eBay sourced fabric to go with my patchwork couch from hell but now that I've changed my scheme in the living room, they have found a home at the foot of my bed. They need their legs repainted .... white I think. Speaking of repainting what do you think of kelly green for the cane headboard? It's a small room but wonderfully bright now. A friend has helped me with the roman blinds for the bay window but do you think I can make them hang properly??!! I can't take the old hardware down. Ugly vertical blinds once hung from ceiling tracks. The problem is the tracks are GLUED to the concrete ceiling and I'm in a rental and loathe to try to pull them down. So the new shades are still a work in progress. They are fab though :) Vintage Vera fabric in fabulous greens and crisp white I scored on eBay. Maybe next time I show the room they'll be hanging beautifully.

Saturday
Oct042008

Cats

My friend B sent me a link today to this photo on Flickr, by kaylovesvintage, saying she saw it and thought of me. She knows me well. It's so cute I had to share.


While on the subject of cats, I know some of you were concerned about my friend's cat Binky who needs a new home. Sadly, she hasn't found anyone willing to take him. She has an appointment at the Humane Society Monday. I'm just praying he doesn't mind being in a cage, or they will put him to sleep. (That happened to a stray cat I took there once). That will totally break Jenny's heart, and mine. I told her if I can manage to make it through the front door (although I will be a blubbering mess, I am just typing this for crissakes), I'll visit him since I live just around the corner. I really wish I didn't already have 6 cats.

Saturday
Oct042008

WINKS

.... I'm obsessed with growing moss. Help! My home is being taken over.

WINKS - weekend links. Here we list what has come in during the week, things we've found and things we think you'll want to see. If you'd like to see your blog or website featured email us and if we think it fits with our readers we'll link you. So what's in this week?


  • Cliff Spencer is a furniture maker. His website says so. He specialises in highest quality modern and traditional cabinetry, custom furniture, green materials, finishing & refinishing. But Cliff isn't a furniture maker. He's an artist. Wood comes alive under his hands. As the website says, "When the morning sun hits the swirling grain of the wood in one of our pieces in just the right way, you’ll see a different angle, a shape, a curve you hadn’t noticed before. It’s old world craftsmanship in modern times, using only the finest joinery, built to last for generations." Live simply with beautiful artisan pieces.

  • Kim and I have been waiting for some time to introduce you to Manvi Drona-Hidalgo and her blog Mochatini. Emails back and forth and now she feels she's ready ;) "With Mochatini, I hope to share with you things that inspire me, that I am passionate about, some upcoming artists, timeless classics with modern twists, my attempts at design and other musings." Manvi is a busy woman. She also blogs for 2Modern’s Design Talk and Vogue India. Click on over and say hi! Oh and check out all the eye candy.
photograph: Annick Geenen
  • Belgian furniture designer Casimir Meubelen has launched a new website and is exhibiting his first new furniture pieces after four years of design silence. Casimir uses the symbolism of the well known I form of a building-construction as the inspiration for "The Poutrel". Find out details of the exhibition in Antwerp and discover more of his design here.

  • Up To You is the über stylish creation of brother and sister team Bill and Dimitra Doufekas. This Toronto design destination showcases funky objects and gifts housed in a shop that replicates your trendy friend's apartment. So many of their internationally sourced pieces can't be sourced anywhere else in Canada. Kim is always lamenting the lack of great design shopping in Ottawa. Maybe a short trip to Toronto will cure your blues Kim. They have an online shop as well.

  • What do you think this is? It's crusted with Swarovski crystals. Perhaps jewellery? A hair clip? A pendant? A brooch? No it's jewellery for your home.


    Yes, a crystal encrusted mural you can apply to a wall a column, a head board. Anywhere. The Saturday Décor designs and produces a unique line of home décor products — including window and wall décor, jewellery, lighting, and pendants. Duco Phangsoa emailed to introduce this concept. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. OTT definitely but just right for your own personal palace!


  • I wish emails had smells. This one had me wishing for an internet version of scratch and sniff. "Diptyque, the effortlessly chic brand from France, has the solution for your fireplace woes. French for “wood fire,” Diptyque’s Feu de Bois candle is the perfect substitution for a crackling fireplace. The earthy-but-refined candle is infused with a complex scent that is evocative of fir trees, firewood and autumn woodlands." Website is coming soon but there is a store locator. I'm so intrigued I'm off to Ollie and LLoyd in Brisbane to savour the scent.

  • Another new blog. This time from Byron Bay in Australia. (God's own country.) Paisley Peacock and Paneer combines decor (paisley and the peacock bit) and blogger Mamta Pinnell's other passion, Indian vegetarian cuisine (paneer - it's a soft cheese). Interior design and home-wares (with lots of paisleys), beautiful Byron Bay, India and vegetarian cooking! Sounds like candy for the eye and the spice for the taste buds.