Home Reno

House update: exploring wallpaper

May 10th, 2017

It’s been awhile since we’ve featured any home renovation / decorating, and quite frankly I miss it. Thankfully we have a number of areas in our home that we’ve been living with for the last five years, that were left open to new interpretations.

Our sleeping quarters are uniquely constructed in that they are all connected via gorgeously crafted shoji style sliding doors. We did things this way because our bedrooms are on the second floor and run alongside two entry points. This internal corridor of sorts provides for more privacy and a sense of containment and intimacy that the more open entry corridor lacks.

Although it felt frivolous to have two full bathrooms, we knew we were having two children and that one day they would become teenagers. A space was created between their bedrooms that contains a bathroom and shared closet area, only accessible via their bedrooms.

I really wish that I had taken a before photo of the space but I’ll describe it for you. On one side there is a wall to wall oak closet unit from Ikea, and on the other are two Snow cabinets which flank the bathroom door. The walls were white (barely, I think the painters only did one coat of paint!) and there were two random and mismatched small carpets on the floor. On top of the dressers was a mess of boxes containing diapers and other random things, tons of jewellery, hair accessories and nik naks. The space felt unfinished, and we treated it as such, an inevitable dumping ground.

We are huge fans of the classic Swedish shop and design institution Svenskt Tenn. In particular, we have been trying to incorporate the patterns of Josef Frank into our life, with little success (at one point we had some curtains made for our daughter’s room, but a mistake was made with sizing, and our daughter was scared of the more mature print that was chosen).

We finally took the plunge and bought a couple of rolls of Josef Frank’s Vårklockor print. I looked on HomeStars for someone who would be willing to do this small job and found Vlad, who was great! He communicated well, was tidy and did a perfect job, considering this type of wallpaper is not the current convention and more tricky to work with.

WOW! It has totally transformed the space–and possibly our bedtime routine. Not only is it a joy to behold, but it’s also keeping us in line with regards to maintaining the space.

After the wallpaper was installed, we did a little shopping for accessories. The reversible blue/grey Nomad runner rug is from Ferm Living.

Finally, we were able to use our very own Doverail Mirror by Hallgeir Homstvedt, which is adjustable while the kids grow. Funny enough, the kids are still a smidge too short at this lowest setting, thanks to the taller dressers, but soon enough they will be able to start using them!

Norm jewellery stand from Menu. This is it at its most restrained…

We were at the ROM on Saturday and the kids FINALLY enjoy going into the rocks and minerals room. I almost had a problem on my hands when Elodie fixated on acquiring a gemstone for herself (she cleverly mentioned that the ROM shop would have them…I managed to keep her moving along, crisis averted). As luck would have it, this amethyst piece showed up in the shop on Monday, from one of John’s antiques orders.

Wavy Planter from Svenskt Tenn.

Plant from new local flower shop Wildhood. Elodie picked orange, Howell picked yellow.

Brass trays from Ferm Living.

 

We are super happy with the results, and will be updating two more small spaces with a splash of Josef Frank colour in the coming month.

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Living room light and pattern

December 19th, 2016

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A new Mirakel special edition pillow from Svenkst Tenn.

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Midday light on the shoji door and print by Max Papart.

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A random sculpture, copper low table and African textile from Latre.

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A kindergartener’s treasure shelf

December 17th, 2016

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This is Elodie’s bedside Aalto shelf where her treasures live.

I write this post inspired in part by this sweet photo series “Preschool Pocket Treasures”. I enjoyed reading this article because it reminded me that I shouldn’t discredit the treasures my kids find, even if they appear to be actual trash or seemingly useless randomness.

I love that she likes to keep a fresh flower in the Natalie Lahdenmaki bud vase. She goes with John to longtime Junction flower shop Martin’s, who incidentally set up in some very nice new digs near Keele, with an expanded selection of blooms and plants now available.

I also love that she just had to have the Renaud Sauvé porcelain container with moss. She kept eyeing it and finally John just told her to take it.

You may remember the Hafod Grange paperweight acquired on our trip to Iceland.

The Little Mermaid (Architect Made) was bought while in Copenhagen last spring.

John has a mild obsession with giving Elodie shells. It’s sweet.

The square blue tile is Elodie’s “favourite” (whatever that means) colour, and came off our neighbour’s exterior, as they renovate to open a new Northern Thai restaurant. Looking forward to that!

While I’m at it, plant people, what is going on with this Peace Lily? What does it need?

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Howell’s Room

December 14th, 2016

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We only have a few unresolved spaces in our home. Naturally one is the space that we won’t speak of (the laundry area aka deposit random everything here spot). The other two spaces are our kid’s rooms.

Maybe because they were in cribs, which were temporary, or maybe because we had hoped on bringing them together–Howell refuses this, classic littlest child, he wants to carve out his own path–we never really resolved their spaces. Then again, in a way, the beauty of Studio Junction’s woodwork and our desire for simplicity almost demand that we don’t interfere too much.

In the end, we seek a bit of coziness, and an element of playfulness, that is a real challenge to bring together.

In the meantime while we mull things over, we have gone plant crazy. We cannot get over how quickly and easily the plants have transformed their spaces. It’s beginning to look like a jungle.

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Howell’s room still has a black and white theme, and he recently picked out this cute panda pillow by local maker (and friend) Newmies. I let the kids pick out a pillow pal to help cozy up their beds.

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A temporary help in getting Howell more excited about his bed was letting him pick his duvet cover. This one is from Ikea, and has all the favourite toddler things on it.

I still desperately wish I could buy some bedding from Chamomile London but it’s too hard matching the sizing with North American standards,  I’m having long distance commitment problems.

Anyone find some fantastic North American bedding? It always seems too saccharine or too geometric or two trendy. You know when you have a feeling of what you want, but never ever see it anywhere (besides halfway across the world, naturally). That’s where I am.

I’d love to hear how you resolved your kid’s room conundrums!

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New Front Door

December 9th, 2016

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We are so excited to finally have a new front door to our house installed. Made by Studio Junction, it replaces a standard grey metal door. Now we have better sound insulation, as well as a better seal against the cold winter air.

The door is made of white oak, and the handle is a simple brass style, ordered via our neighbour Safe Guard Locksmith.

Unfortunately we just missed the warm weather window, so we’ll have to wait to apply a fresh coat of black Falun paint to the wood slats.

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We picked up a holiday wreath, which finishes the space nicely. I cannot express how nice it is to come home to this door. The entry way feels so much bigger as well, now that the door opens to the right.

Thank you to Studio Junction for their great work!

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Junpei Ori Paintings

May 18th, 2015

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We were introduced to Japanese painter Junpei Ori through the OEN blog, and fell in love with the compositions and charm of his work.

Many of the painting depict everyday life with a nod to Scandinavian design and lifestyle. We ended up buying a couple of paintings after seeing the OEN blog post, and after seeing a recent batch of new works decided to round out the collection with three.

The one above is a newer work with figs, these shapes are cut out and painted and placed back on the wooden canvas to give it more depth.

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These shapes remind us of Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase.

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This one is inspired by the Tea Trolley by Alvar Aalto which is one of our favorite pieces of furniture.
Also in this photo: The Spoke-back sofa by Borge Mogensen for Fredericia, a pillow from Marimekko, a Zebra pillow by Alvar Aalto for Artek, a blanket by Inga Sempe for RorosTweed and a Moroccan Berber rug. All items available from Mjolk.

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