Through my studio window there is a maple tree that is the most perfect shade of salmon / geranium / Sahara pink, it’s really quite beautiful and not one name can accurately describe the colour, it’s a complex tree and I love the colour it brings to my workday!
Last week I wrote an Instagram post about the need to be kind and compassionate to each other. It seemed to resonate with so many of my followers. It is tricky in these polarizing and uncertain times to know what to write, what to post, and what tone to take, when truthfully, I don’t have the knowledge, ancestry, or education to comment with any authenticity.
Sometimes you just simply need to listen, but I also don’t want to appear tone deaf or ignorant. No one should live in fear, we should all feel safe in our homes as without safety, without peace of mind we truly have nothing.
Our homes are our shelter, our space to truly be ourselves, where we can be alone or share with loved ones. Where we can surround ourselves with the colours we love and the pieces that we gravitate to touch and make us smile. In this past month I have thought so much about how lucky we are to live where we do. Nowhere, no one and no country is ever perfect but to many looking on, our lives are paradise and I hold that close.
I, well Reba and I, I feel like the second stringer compared to her, were recently featured in Authority Magazine. It was a fun and lengthy interview with lots of skill testing questions.
I realized whilst reading the published article that I opened my studio in September 2004, which makes next year my twentieth year in business in Canada. How on earth did that happen!
We never did get to celebrate moving into our space in 2020 due to Covid so next year I am going to plan a fall celebration so consider this a somewhat very loose save the date card.
Anyhow back to the article, some of the skill testing questions included what five ways you can spark joy in a space, if I could start a movement to do good what would it be, and who would I most like to have breakfast with, you can read all about it here.
Some of my answers surprised me and took me back in time….like the window treatment that resembled a bobble hat. Yes I am blushing as I type this.
I keep getting bombarded on Instagram with images of the interiors of people’s kitchen cupboards and laundry rooms.
The message that keeps on being repeated is that in order to live whole lives our kitchen cupboard interiors must be filled with clear plastic packaging with printed labels without a brand name or logo in site.
Everything must fit perfectly inside and it’s also helpful if you have multiples of the same thing so that the clear plastic contents look nice and don’t cause you any distress upon opening the aforementioned door.
Now I am all for living with ease, for living without friction, but my mind boggles at all the waste, we need to buy more plastic packaging so we can throw out the original packaging that something came in?
I don’t understand it at all. My brain needs packaging to assist in finding things. I also think if you live in a busy house with multiple parties all looking for things packaging is very helpful. In our ever growing, sanitized world I like a bit of colour, a bit of texture to brighten me up when I swing open the cupboard doors.
I personally love when I am staying with someone to see the contents of their cupboards, I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination, but I love to see what people like, what kind of tea, oatmeal, olive oil, crackers they buy and for that you need to see the packages!
I pick up things on my travels, teas and spices and herbs in lovely packaging that take me back to my holidays simply by seeing the jar or box. So I say, leave the plastic jars behind along with the label makers and embrace the sometimes clashing, mismatched sizes that live peacefully behind your kitchen cupboard doors.
I recently devoured Sophie Donelson‘s latest book – Uncommon Kitchens. Former editor in chief of House Beautiful Magazine and now a speaker, author and strategist based in Montreal it’s a great book for anyone embarking on a kitchen renovation where they want their kitchen to feel like a warm and inviting decorated space. It’s also great for someone renting who may want to simply personalize their space.
All of the kitchens featured are truly timeless and all exude charm and a little kookiness. I love a kitchen with art and full-length draperies as you know. When I installed my Martha Sturdy sculpture in my kitchen back in 2017 it caused quite a stir. But why not have an art piece in a room you spend a lot of time watching your husband cook you dinner in!
I loved this quote from Laurel Consuelo Broughton a designer in LA who is featured in the book.
”Some people exercise or read or travel, but ‘house’ is also a hobby – and it’s never done. No one ever says, OK I am done reading. It’s a passion, you’re constantly doing it; there’s no destination, no end goal.”
Now I’d tweak it a little as there must be a destination or else you would end up in a pickle, but I am good with leaving a wall or corner in room blank, waiting for the perfect thing or the funds for the perfect thing.
As was the case with the Martha Sturdy sculpture in my home. I exercise, read, travel and also house and I agree it’s never done, it’s something I like to add to, and I frequently move things around especially at the change of season. Another great new book in my design library is The New Antiquarians by Michael Diaz Griffith.
I frequently hear on the news and in the design press about Gen Z decorating and wearing dupes – mass-produced copies of original pieces of furniture, art and clothing. I can’t fathom out why something so bad for the environment, something disposable that promotes over consumption is so hot with the younger generation….crickey I have just reread this statement and boy do I sound old, anyhow its true, but back to the book.
What I love about the book is that it takes us back to a slower time, it features collectors rather than consumers. Homes are edited and look like they belong to their owners. My particular favourite is the home of Camille Okhio in Brooklyn.
The walls are white, but they are decorated with beautiful textiles and her furniture is vintage and every shade of brown imaginable. I think this would be a great book for someone starting out, who doesn’t aspire to have their home look like its trending on Pinterest, but who hasn’t yet developed their sense of self. Not all spaces will appeal but it’s a good lesson in training your eye to see what you like, what draws you in and makes you pause. You may not see yourself living in many of the homes but it’s good to understand what you are drawn to.
At the time of press I shall be in Oaxaca, Mexico on the final leg of my design summit with the Design Leadership Network. Expect lots of Mexico in next month’s newsletter and hopefully some new additions for the studio shop. Hopefully you have been following along on my Instagram feed.
We have recently updated our studio shop website with tabs to make all easier to find. When we first launched, we only had a handful of things but now all are edited into types.
There is a gift tab which features bundled items at a saving that we feel would make a great gift, a now or never tab as well as our team favourites.
Our items are all small batch and hand selected and or designed by myself. I have tried everything in my own home and only once it passes my inspection do we purchase for the shop.
Items can be shipped or picked up from the studio, we can gift wrap and write a personalized card – we are here to make all easier, so please just email and ask us if you have any questions.
All profits from our cushions (that are made from offcuts donated by our clients at the end of their projects) go to a local charity. This year’s charity will be announced in our newsletter at the end of the year. As a subscriber you will now always get 24-hour advance notice on any new arrivals, and special offers and will have your own discount code to use at checkout if applicable.
Thank you for your support. Wishing you all a lovely November, stay cozy, stay kind and look after everyone.
Credits & More Misc Musings as I find it hard to say goodbye……
Hermes – the perfect image for this fall season. A potter’s wheel – a little insight into some of the artisans I will be visiting during my trip to Oaxana with the Design Leadership Network. Image sourced on Google. I know I have used this before so please forgive me, it’s a classic. New York brownstone, my fantasy home, I long for a tall skinny Victorian with stained glass arched windows that allow for a rainbow of light to penetrate every time the sun shines, this one is from a Remodelista post on brick. Photography Dustin Aksland, Elizabeth Roberts architecture. For more interior images check out Elizabeth’s Instagram page. Reba and her owner! Photography Virginia Macdonald. A lovely sage green kitchen with an assortment of goodies for all to see by Barlow & Barlow, image Homes & Gardens. Pantry delights from Homes & Gardens, GGI Pinterest Board Millwork. Pantry delights the sequel from Martin Moore, GGI Pinterest Board Kitchens. Uncommon Kitchens, Sophie Donelson. My kitchen with Martha, photos by Virginia Macdonald. The New Antiquarians by Michael Diaz Griffith. Camille Okhio, from The New Antiquarians. Oaxaca, Time Out Magazine. GGI Studio Quilted Throw – a divine addition to any space.
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