Let’s Go Shopping In London

Was Wednesday’s post too pretty for you? Too whimsical? Do you crave a more industrial edge?
Or, like me, do you think that a mixture of pretty, whimsical and industrial is Just About Perfect?

While we are on the subject of pretend shopping for our pretend homes, why not pop over the pond to London Town and drop in at Retrouvius?
(Fair warning– you might want to stick your credit card in the freezer before you click on that link…)

delovelydelightful1. This angle poise lamp comes in a variety of colours. I’ll take mint, thank you.
2. In a kitchen, in a dining room, in a home office, in a living room, in a bedroom– where wouldn’t this shelving unit look great?
3. I had no idea there were such things as “numbered vintage gym hooks,” but now that I do, I think they’d be divine in a dressing room or a mud room.
4. These coat hooks, reminiscent of antlers, are pretty darned awesome.

Happy Friday, everyone.
If you need me, I’ll be picking up this gorgeous item for my pretend home in London.

 

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Ensconced

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I have big dreams of getting some really gorgeous wall-mounted articulated sconces for our TV room. The ones that have stolen my heart represent a significant financial investment.  As in, the pair will cost $770 USD, before shipping, duty, etc. We will get them someday, but for now, we want to save some cash for the bigger projects we have on the horizon.

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I have also been admiring this baby online for a while– it’s a simple IKEA hack and it looks great.
Which is why, when I stumbled on these cuties online on Sunday, I thought to myself, “Self, this might work….”

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So, I headed off to Target to check them out, figuring that
a) they would look chintzy in real life,
b) the lameness that is Canadian Target would (once again) let me down by not carrying them.
Imagine my shock  JOY when I saw not one but TWO of them, right at eye-level, and ON SALE for $18 each!
Can I get a hallelujah for Canadian Target possibly (finally) getting in the game?!
(Fingers crossed, fellow Canucks…. Seriously, the lampshade selection was AMAZING this weekend! Yay!)

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I knew I had two IKEA brackets at home, so it was a matter of using some of my favourite Command Strips
(I am in no way affiliated with the product, I just LOVE it!),
phutzing around until I was happy with the cords and the height of the sconces, screwing in the lightbulbs,
and ta-da!
I will get Edison bulbs this week, but for now I think these look pretty cute.
Also, it’s all a bit trendy, so the low-cost, easily-changed nature of these lights is perfect for a decor hound like me.

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Oh, also, M had a fit about all the white furniture and insisted we get something NOT WHITE, thus the grey couch cover. I am learning to live with it. He also (during the same incident) had a bit of a freak-out over all the artwork piled up all over the house, waiting for walls to get repaired, sanded and painted, so we decided to just hang it all up. We created a “gallery room” in our TV room and it, combined with some luscious sapphire-blue velvet curtains, really makes the space personal and cosy.
Which helps me to reconcile myself to the fact that we may now never get around to actually fixing the walls…
You can see one side of the room in these photos.

Boxing Day

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Image from Boxpark website.

Nearby where I am staying in London’s East End, on a previously neglected stretch of land by some abandoned railway tracks in trendy Shoreditch, there is the ingenious and of-the-moment Boxpark. Billed as “the world’s first pop-up mall,” you can find Boxparks in cities all over the world.  They are as simple as they are clever:  stacks of shipping containers fitted out as little retail outlets & available for rent. In Shoreditch, the top level houses restaurants & bars, the lower level is home to pop-up shops of all types.

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Image source unknown. If you know, please tell me and I’ll cite it.

In one such space, I found a collective of artisans’ works and today I want to show you the work of Nick Fraser.

Photo: mine.

Photo: mine.

I’d love one of his coat racks in aqua or white– they’d look great on raw brick or in a cottage for a more traditional look. They’d also add a bit of warmth to an ultra-modern space. You could hang coats, towels, scarves or jewellery from them.

Photos from Nick Fraser's website.

Photos from Nick Fraser’s website.

Photos from Nick Fraser's website.

Photos from Nick Fraser’s website.

 

Last One (I promise!)

Okay, I admit to being a bit obsessed with the whole Ikat look. Can’t help it– I just love it.
Ikat is the new chevron! 😉

Here is one last idea for bringing a little design tension to a room using a bright Ikat-inspired print. Once again, the sofa itself is a good starting point, blending traditional styling with a contemporary print.

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(1; 2, 3 & 4)

The pendant is a custom piece from Eclectic Revival, right here in the Junction. If you live in the Toronto area, definitely check out the shop– there are some seriously swoon-worthy lighting options for the person who likes a bit of whimsy with her industrial.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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…