What is Art?

I love this foyer.  The simple but striking red and blue striped runner creates a strong presence amidst the white backdrop.  Bold but elemental in design; a real show-stopper.

Right?  Wouldn’t you agree? Voice of Fire Actually it’s not a foyer and it’s not a runner but rather the powerful vertical painting, Voice of Fire, acrylic on canvas, 1967, by Barnet Newman hanging in the National Gallery of Canada.  Voice of Fire (1)I visited the National Gallery this past weekend and had a chance to sit in Gallery C214, where this 8 ft. x 18 ft. painting hangs.  The walls in this gallery soar to almost 40 feet high toward a room-length skylight and when the National Gallery was built in 1988 it was decided that an “assertive anchor” was needed for this space.

Assertive indeed!  When the painting first appeared in the National Gallery it created huge controversy.  “How could 3 simple stripes cost $1.8 million?”

And many asked, “Is this really art?”

After viewing this painting I headed towards the area of International Art where the Old Masters paintings hang.  I came across this painting by Nicolas Poussin, The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus, 1628–1629. The Martyrdom of St Eramus

This oil on canvas painting with its ‘forceful diagonals, rich colours and strong light effects’ definitely has history as it is almost 400 years old but I ask you, “does disembowelment make for art!!??”  (Yes I’m talking about the ripping out of a person’s intestines.  Yikes!)

Voice of Fire may be controversial but isn’t The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus offensive?

So I ask you “what is the definition of art”…..????

It’s all about interpretation I suppose.

And oh by the way Voice of Fire is now valued at more than $40 million!

PS.  If you find yourself in Ottawa check out the National Gallery of Canada and see for yourself.National Gallery of Canada


All images by MODMISSY

A New Year, A New Beginning

Welcome 2015!

A brand new year is upon us.  Fresh and full of opportunities.

Anything and everything lies ahead.  It’s exciting!

So instead of writing about binding New Year resolutions I thought the year should be about encouragement and breaking free or as Ralph Waldo Emerson remarked,     Ralph Waldo.

Be unique.  Create your own.  Spider Web

Climb great heights,  

Reach for the top,  Toronto Skyline

Make your space sing with colour – choose a colour that’s outside your comfort zone, Space

After all, 2 of the industry leaders in the world of colour, Pantone and Benjamin Moore, announced their Colour of the Year 2015 – total opposites on the colour wheel.  So anything goes!  Colour of the Year

Find your balance,  Stonehenge

Take time to smell the roses,  Rose

Find your happy!   (a ’66 Chevy Impala)  66 Chevy Impala


But honestly, at the end of the day it’s all about finding your peace, Peace

Here’s hoping that 2015 is a stellar year.


All images via MODMISSY


Happy Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day of celebration worldwide.

While being a Mother is the most important job it is also the world’s toughest job.

The job requires excellent negotiation and interpersonal skills.

Ability to wear many hats – degree in medicine, finance and the culinary arts.

Work in a chaotic environment while keeping up a happy disposition.

This is an all-encompassing position.  Working 24 hours a day 365 days a year.   No breaks, no holidays.

And by the way there is no monetary payment.

But it is the best job!

Yesterday my son surprised me with brunch at the water’s edge.

My #1 set up a bistro table and 2 chairs complete with tablecloth and glass plates at Lake Ontario overlooking the Toronto skyline which by the way is the location where I shot the photo for my blog headline picture.

The view was sensational, the menu was delish, and the company was perfect!           Toronto Skyline


To all the Mothers worldwide I say thank you.

Killer Curves

While doing a little spring cleaning the other day I came across my favourite ‘night on the town’, black leather shoes.

Killer shoes!

Black shoes

These are statement shoes – they enter the room before I do!

As I admired these beautiful shoes with curves in all the right places with a sexy elongated shape I realized they reminded me of something else.

The iconic LC4 Chaise Longue designed by Le Corbusier.                Le Corbusier Chaise Longue


This tubular, elongated, body-hugging, black leather chaise is a ‘killer’ piece of furniture.

It’s sexy in a ‘Mad Men’ sort of way and makes a big statement in any setting.

Designed in 1928, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, (1887 – 1965) better known as Le Corbusier, was an architect, designer, urban planner, writer and painter.

Incredible that this piece of furniture was designed over 85 years ago yet by today’s standard is still considered to be ‘modern’.


Wonder what my shoes will be thought of in 85 years!?

All images via Modmissy

The Magic is in the Mix

I love fashion.

Whether it’s fashion in décor or clothing both give me great visual happiness!

A very symbiotic relationship exists between the two – what’s hot on the runway will influence what’s ‘on trend’ in home décor.

I came across this blurb recently in a  J. Crew catalogue that I thought summed it up well.  And although Jenna Lyons, Creative Director for J.Crew is referring to clothing it easily parallels into décor.

Check it out.


We LOVE colorblocking……..    www.bebitalia.com

And pattern mixing……..     www.telegraph.co.uk

We think it’s better to clash than to match………   www.houzz.com

We like to break the rules and appreciate a good surprise……..  www.davidchurchill.co.uk

We temper tomboy with heels………  www.artisticdesignsforliving.com

We pair old with new………    www.lda-architects.com Boston

Matte with shine……..   www.houzz.com .

High with low……..   www.freshome.com

Don’t believe there is just one way to wear an outfit…….   www.nuevo-estilo.es


Images via:

1. www.bebitalia.com  2.  www.telegraph.co.uk  3.  www.houzz.com                                4.  www.davidchurchill.co.uk  5.  www.artisticdesignsforliving.com  6.  www.lda-architects.com  7.  www.houzz.com  8.  www.freshome.com  9.  www.nuevo-estilo.es

Feathering the Nest

This summer above our garage door a nest was built and three birds were born.   Baby bird

For weeks the parents flew in and out feeding and caring for their precious offspring.  These young birds had insatiable appetites and the parents never seemed to stop working.   Hungry Birds.

Then one day I noticed the young birds had ventured outside the nest.  Leaving the Nest.

And the next moment the nest was on the ground and all the birds had flown.   Birds Nest.

Hatched, raised and flown.  Gone.

In my last post I mentioned that my son is now living away at university – born, raised and flown the nest.  Gone.

So, where did 18 years go?

It was only yesterday that he was born.  And what felt like a mere 5 minutes ago that he was learning to walk, talk and then heading off to Kindergarten.  Time flies doesn’t it!?

I have to believe that my years of parenting have given him wings and the ability to soar.  Made him want to venture beyond his very comfortable nest.

But I miss him big time!!

And now there is a void in the house with empty rooms and spaces where my son once occupied.

But instead of feeling sad every time I walk past these ‘gaps’………I decided to re-decorate.

I ‘feathered the nest’ for me!

High atop on the 3rd floor of my home I turned my son’s study into my space of relaxation and comfort.   Feathering the Nest.

Let me tell you there is nothing better than lying on a comfy chaise with a view out the window, my favourite books, pictures of loved ones and the remote in my hand.


All images via Modmissy

Oh Look…..it’s Me!

I went for a bike ride yesterday along Toronto’s waterfront bike trail.

Absolutely perfect weather and no crowds.

The bike trail was all mine to enjoy; very peaceful.  I pedaled along with nary a thought in my head.

Until I was quickly brought back down to earth when I saw a vision of myself posted on a billboard.



The likeness was uncanny even to me!                          Condo Billboard.

I’ve written previously about billboards, (see here) specifically billboards advertising new home developments with images of happy, smiling people living charmed lives but I never imagined I would be one of those people.

But there I was (or at least someone who looked a lot like me) rolling along the bike path, part of a new, vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood pictured in a huge billboard for all to see.  I had become that common face, the ‘this could be you’ person, living a life full of opportunities.  Charmed.

The billboard was part of the hoarding surrounding the upcoming Bayside Development.  The condos are being built directly on Toronto’s inner harbour of Lake Ontario transforming an underutilized, industrial area into an active and diverse mixed-use community and thriving waterfront destination.  With great views of the lake and a prime location to downtown Toronto who wouldn’t live a charmed life here.   Bayside Development

Toronto Inner Harbour

Fabulous, but am I ready for condo life yet!?

All images via Modmissy

A Focus on Space

Yesterday I attended a focus group for the Brother® Business Smart™ all-in-one printer; the MFC-J4510DW. 

Brother MFC-J4510DW


With the ultimate combination of printer, scanner, copier, fax and wireless networking this piece of technology has it all.  Including great looks!

But while attending yesterday’s very informative event it occurred to me that I have not been using my Brother® Business Smart™ to its best capabilities.  Although it occupies valuable real estate on my desk I have been ‘under’ using this all-in-one printer.  I have since changed that.  And love it now even more!

This got me thinking about our homes.  Do we use them to their best or are there rooms/spaces that we ‘under’ use? 

I often say that space is highly overrated.  What good is having a lot of it when we don’t use it??

I like having my formal dining room but how often do I use it?  My TV is in my media room so I don’t really ‘hang’ in my living room.  The guest room is for guests.  I seem to never leave my kitchen as it is the hub of the house which means that I don’t use my other rooms. 

So I have started to re-think some of my space.


All images via Modmissy

St Lucia

Recently returned from a fabulous Caribbean holiday in beautiful St. Lucia – a holiday of sunshine and colour!

St Lucia


I hung out for a week with my teenage son and had a lot of fun.

Modmissy in St LuciaThe resort we stayed at had a very relaxed vibe and I attribute that a lot to the style of the lodgings.  All the accommodations were cabana-style with lofted ceilings, white painted bead board on the interior and a view to the garden and/or ocean.  The cabanas were colourfully painted on the outside; turquoise, orange, yellow, green and blue.

St Lucia

St Lucia is a very photographic island with beautiful topography.  One of the best ways to see the island is aboard the water so we took a ride aboard a catamaran and sailed up and down the coastline.

St Lucia catamaran

Is there anything more beautiful than a white sail against a blue sky?  Truly the reason why we try to capture the feeling of ‘nautical’ in design.

Setting sail!

The majestic twin Peaks ‘The Pitons’ are amazing and not only is the local beer named in their honour but the St Lucia flag is designed with them in mind. Pitons St Lucia

During the day if we weren’t bobbing in one of the 7 pools the resort had to offer we were lounging on the beach.  St Lucia beach

The affinity pool with the swim-up bar was the place to be at cocktail hour!  Infinity Pool

And nothing like water and palm trees to make for the most outstanding sunsets!  St Lucia sunset


All images via Modmissy

A Day at the Spa

Do you like going to the spa?

Being personally pampered and indulged in all things comforting, calming and relaxing.  Totally therapeutic – right?

I had a few girlfriends ask if I would like to join them for a day at the spa during my week of ‘stay-cation’.

I declined.

I am not a spa girl.

A Day at the Spa

For me my ‘therapy’ is visual.  I would rather spend a day strolling about just looking and seeing.

Often that ‘looking’ involves retail, admiring window displays and set designs that constantly change to reflect colour and trends.  I love to visit art galleries and see the beauty there.  I like to walk about different neighborhoods admiring homes.  I enjoy walking around downtown viewing the architecture of commercial buildings, skyscrapers – both historical and modern. 

I have come to realize that I am not a ‘spa’ girl but rather I am a ‘spatial’ girl! 

Here is what I saw while on my stay-cation. 

An early morning walk to Lake Ontario revealed a scene of tranquil beauty. 

Lake Ontario Toronto

This home renovation made me smile with its colourful plywood framing.

Plywood stained boards

The beautiful blue skies made St James Cathedral seem even more magnificent.

St James Cathedral

I thought this was really cool how the glass building seemed to disappear into the blue sky!

Clouds reflecting in window

Of course a visit to the AGO is always a must even if it was to just appreciate the Henry Moore sculpture on the outside of the gallery.

Henry Moore AGO

The cantilevered portion of the OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) building in downtown Toronto always makes me pause.  And look….there’s the CN Tower peeking through!


The view from the floor to ceiling windows atop the Sheraton Centre is a great place to get a view of downtown Toronto.

Sheraton Centre, Toronto

Last week I had a wonderful stay-cation in Toronto seeing all the sites and visiting with family and friends.

All images via Modmissy excluding spa photo: www.blog.invitationbox.com