Old Stuff

I love old stuff. I really do. My mother once said to me, “Thank god for you, or we’d all just pitch the family history in the garbage!” Which is why I have all my great-grandmother’s Sunday-school attendance cards from the turn of the LAST century…. (see: “hoarder”)

My fella still thinks it’s hilarious that, when his mum offered me one of her mother’s two engagement rings, I chose the one with the smaller diamond. It was older, y’see. It is truly stunning and is one of my most treasured possessions.  I don’t care about the diamond, I care about the history.


At IDS2013, a very groovy local store, Metropolis, had a booth filled with their gorgeous reclaimed & repurposed industrial bits and bobs. Here is a vignette that caught my eye. I’d love one of those vintage Vegas-style letters with the light bulbs, wouldn’t you?

Have a great weekend!


Patio Weather

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly patio weather where I live (we just got walloped with enough snow that we got a snow day!), but it is patio weather in some parts of the world, so I thought I’d share an inspiring space with you to get you dreaming of warm days and evenings.

I was thrilled to see a display by a local company I love, Earth Inc., at IDS 2013 a couple of weeks back.  They always create the most inspiring and idyllic spaces, and though their aesthetic is more modern than mine, I was quite taken with this patio.

What I love about this space is that it really is an outdoor room. I like the hard surfaces– all those bricks! And I love the cage lights and reclaimed wooden table-top and bench, mixed with the metal stools and industrial elements.


I am not a big gardener, so this little, low-maintenance space with its worn bricks and enormous, suspended “fire-pit” made from some kind of reclaimed, gigantic industrial basket really appeals to me. I love the rusty chain and the oversized metal basket that looks like it came from a smelting facility, even though I know that those plants and wooden slats surrounding it wouldn’t stand a chance if anyone were to ever actually light the fire!


The space is small– maybe 10 x 15 feet– and represents a pretty typical city yard here in Toronto. It would be easy to borrow a few good ideas from this installation. For example, want a garden and a fire pit? Why not suspend the latter above the former? Rather than going for the full-on kettle of wood, why not hang an oversized antique bird cage and fill it with candles? Same pretty effect, less likely to char the surroundings…

A Sweet Idea

One of the best things about IDS 2013 was seeing all the clever styling ideas. Here is one you could use for a party or to style your kitchen counter or shelves.
(You could use this idea in your kitchen, but I’d just end up snarfing all the treats, leaving sad, empty, reproachful jars as evidence — er, on display…. This is strictly a party decor idea in my world, I’m afraid.)


It’s quick, it’s easy and it would cost pennies– you could get the containers at the dollar store or use mason jars. The little scraps of fabric (to match your party theme/kitchen decor) could be tied on with ribbon or twine if you are not up for crafting up the custom fasteners. I think raw-edged strips of coordinating fabric pinned on with pretty, oversized gold safety pins would look darling. Send ’em home with your guests as a party favour!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Meet the Designer


How clever is her logo?

The very best thing about my day job is the teenagers. And then they grow up and into their gifts and talents and, sometimes, if we are very lucky, we get to see where their journeys take them. Such was the case this past weekend at IDS2013, when BMad and I got to see and chat with Jess Tasker, talented owner and designer at Trunk Studio Design.

It was great to see her after 10 years (!) and to see her truly beautiful designs.
She has had a lot of great press lately and deservedly so.


Here is what her website has to say about her beautiful work:

Trunk Studio blends the clean lines of the Danish Modern furniture tradition with a new Canadian aesthetic. Designer Jess Tasker works with Nova Scotian woodshops to ensure her designs transition seamlessly from paper to their functional form. Her designs are inspired by Canadian culture and landscape, while also incorporating aspects of her Danish ancestry. Trunk Studio was accepted into the Studio North section of the Interior Design Show (IDS 2013) where the Station Chair, Scout Side Table and a ‘yet-to-be-unveiled’ Toque Wall Rack will make their debut on the Canadian and International design scenes.

Designs are subtle, yet creative as she plays with angles and mixes wood species. Pieces must be aesthetically pleasing but also functional and long-lasting. Much like hand-stitched quilts, the character shines through in the details. In other words, the patterns put on display by the wood grain and the design elements engaged. By working with small woodshops to produce her furniture, she is able to insure that pieces are built to a high standard of quality. Trunk Studio pieces are essentially functional works of art.


The furniture is gorgeous to look at, but what you can’t tell from the photos is how beautifully it is made; the quality of the joinery and the finish of the wood is divine. The pieces are sturdy and durable, as well as lovely to look at. I wish you could feel how silky and perfect the finish is. I wish you could feel how comfy the chairs are!
The craftsmanship is exacting and each piece really is a work of art.



I love the way the furniture hearkens back to Danish mid-century design; the blue fabric is even a re-issue of Danish mid-century fabric. If I were buying, I’d get a Station Chair with upholstery made from 100% wool blankets manufactured by a P.E.I. family — talk about Canadian!




This past Saturday, BMad and I spent a very enjoyable day at IDS2013, the International Design Show.
There was so very much to see and I wore out my phone battery with taking photos! I am still feeling giddy and dizzy with ideas and inspiration. Can’t wait to share some of them with you here.

To begin, I found some very exciting paint options (Oh, how I love to paint up flea market finds!), including a 102 year-old company of which I had never heard before. The woman at the General Paint booth was very helpful, informative and generous. She was so very passionate about paint– I felt I’d found a kindred spirit!


BMad’s book– a promotional gift from General Paint.

When she learned that BMad is an artist, she gave him a gorgeous book in which the company’s trend forecasts for 2013 are detailed. What you cannot tell from my photos (he loaned me the book for blogging purposes and I am loathe to give it back– it’s so very pretty!), is that the various paint swatches are textured to mimic the finish of the paint and the surfaces on which one might use that particular finish. Isn’t that smart?


I am excited to try out this new brand of paint on some upcoming projects.
In the meantime, here are some of the stunning images from the book.

Each trend section includes some inspiration photos. This jelly mould illustration makes me swoon!

Each trend section includes some inspiration photos. This jelly mould illustration makes me swoon!

Here is the trend, "Refine," taken in part from the  jelly mould inspiration.

Here is the trend, “Refine,” taken in part from the jelly mould inspiration. Love these colours.

The inspiration for the "Rebirth" trend.

The inspiration for the “Rebirth” & “Renew” trends.

I love this inspiration image for the "Renew" trend.

I love this inspiration image for the “Renew” trend.

The "Renew" palette.

The “Renew” palette. My favourite– am dying to use some of these!

This is my favourite image in the book. Breathtaking, no?