26 December 2012

If I Were a Casting Director...

Sarah Polley as Bette Davis

Mia Kirshner as Debbie Reynolds

Anne Hathaway as Liza Minnelli

Calista Flockhart as Audrey Hepburn

Images: Pinterest.

21 December 2012

Teal Walls: The Sequel

Last December, I wrote this post about my love for teal walls. A year later, I'm still mad about the color. In a minimalist room, it gives the eye something bold to look at; while in a room full of objects (like the one above), it creates a rich background to accentuate the beauty of each item. On one wall or in an entire room, there's no shame in peacock blue.

09 December 2012

Christmas Decor

After decorating the shop for Christmas, I don't have much energy left to decorate my home for the holidays. So little touches of Christmas in a few chosen spots of the house are the most I will manage -- some fairy lights, a few sprigs of green, a small creche with figurines from Provence and one big tree with vintage ornaments. My goal is to remember the season without being visually assaulted by it. It's also kinder on the wallet and less traumatic to pack up a month later.

Images: BBC Homes & Antiques magazine, January 2010. Garden of SimpleChic DecoCanadian House & Home, November 2010. Country Homes & Interiors, December 2010. Canadian House & Home, November 2010.

09 November 2012

History in Pictures

I've recently taken to browsing the history section of Pinterest with fascination at the images that I'm finding. Some (like the giant fallen sequoia tree above) bring up more questions than they answer -- How? Why? What next? Others feature an event in history that I knew about but never paused to consider the details. Sometimes it helps to remember where we once were (child labor, world war...) to appreciate the gains we have made. And sometimes you just need to wonder at the human capacity for both genius and stupidity.

 Children sleeping in the London underground during WW II

WW II war dogs

Child laborers in a textile mill

The construction of the Statue of Liberty in France

Unboxing the Statue of Liberty

After a house fire in Montreal, the building facade is thick with ice

Victorian bathing huts to preserve the modesty of naked bathers

Skyscraper window washers

Images: Pinterest.

28 October 2012

Cabin or Lodge Style


With hurricane Sandy making its way up the east coast, many of us are avoiding making plans for the next couple of days and instead counting on staying in and hunkering down. Lodge style is all about making the indoors cozy when conditions outdoors are less than hospitable. The look is achieved with Pendleton blankets within easy reach, wood floors layered with rugs, collections of antlers, sporting paraphernalia hung on walls and at least one fireplace with logs set ablaze. On a side note: a good friend once told me that love is like a fire -- it needs air to live. Fuss with it too much or leave it alone and it will die out. To avoid the cabin fever that sometimes comes with being stuck indoors too long with loved ones, it may be necessary to run outside every now and then. There's nothing like getting soaked by rain and jostled by heavy winds to make close but warm quarters inviting again.

Images: House Beautiful magazine, February 2011 issue. Canadian House & Home, August 2010 issue. British Homes & Gardens, November 2010 issue. Cote Paris magazine, April/May 2011 issue. Country Living magazine, July/August 2010 issue and unknown issue.

12 October 2012

Leather Chairs

Now that the weather is cooling, I find my tastes returning to the materials that I most associate with winter living -- tweed, wool, cashmere and leather. I am a vegetarian for more reasons than one, so it seems incompatible for me to be a fan of leather goods. But my feeling is that since vintage leather items have been around longer than I have, I would rather see them gracing someone's home than decaying in a landfill somewhere. I am particularly fond of leather club chairs as they are often associated with gentlemen's club style (see this post for more details). I first encountered them at the Paris flea market at Porte de Clignancourt. The leather was cracked and the stuffing coming through, but I loved their masculine lines. The green air force chairs below have a completely different silhouette, but they would be a unique alternative to classic club chairs. I'm not a smoker but these beauties almost make me want to say, "bring on the cigars."

Images: British Homes & Gardens magazine, November 2011 issue. BBC Homes & Antiques magazine, November 2011 issue. Marie Claire Maison, May/June 2011 issue. Cote Paris, May 2011 issue. BBC Homes & Antiques magazine, July 2010 issue.

23 September 2012


Until I was 12, my favorite color was purple. Any birthday gift that involved lavender, mauve or lilac was a hit. Then we moved to England and for four years I wore a school uniform of grey skirt, grey blouse, purple tie and purple wool jacket. I haven't touched the color since then. But recently I happened upon a photo of a home library with deep purple walls and, all of a sudden, I saw the possibilities. Sadly, I cannot retrace my steps to find that photo (damn Pinterest and my addiction to it!)  But these beauties help to make me rethink purple altogether. Looks like I'm going to have to find a new color to hate.

14 September 2012

Shop: Pass the Baton

It's been many years since I lived in Tokyo, and back then my idea of the ultimate shopping experience was Kiddy Land -- a 5-story department store full of toys. If I were lucky enough to find myself back in Japan, my first shopping stop would have to be Pass the Baton. Both an online and brick-and-mortar shop, Pass the Baton celebrates personal culture. Every consigned item is displayed with the name of the consignor and a little story about the item's history. Sellers also have the option of donating the proceeds from their item to charity. Beyond being a brilliant concept, everything is beautifully displayed to accentuate the value of objects that have enjoyed a previous life and haven't just emerged from a box or factory.

Images: Pass the Baton.
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