Understanding Change

Over the years we have shared many moments together here on this blog on the topic of “change”.          Change ..

I have written numerous times about how I enjoy “change”

 “I like change and I like to change often“ talking about my 6th living room sofa.

“I like to change up my holiday décor each year” never adhering to any traditions.

“I change the linens and accessories in my bedroom” often!   master bedroom changes

To some of you this probably sounds like way too much work.

I’ve suggested to you on numerous occasions,

“Go ahead, change it up.  Embrace the new.  Take the ‘Mod’ from MODMISSY and “Mod-ify”!

Well here’s the thing…..I recently found myself ‘eating’ those words!

This past year I experienced a huge change in my life – I became gluten-free.

And if there’s one thing you should know about me is that wheat/gluten played a large part in my diet and lifestyle.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all about bread, pasta and baked goods.

In fact one of my very first blog posts was Stand With Style April 2011 where I wrote that life gets better and tastes better when things are elevated.  Like my delicious homemade Buttermilk Apple Cake.  (made with wheat flour!)  elevate your

It has been a big adjustment figuring out what to put on my dessert tray, in my pasta bowl and my bread basket.

Definitely a year of learning and maybe now I am a bit more understanding of how ‘change’ is not always an easy experience.

I am adapting though; can you tell which chocolate cake is the gluten-free version!!??  Gluten free chocolate cake

Bon Appetit!

All images via MODMISSY

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Earth Day 2015

Today is Earth Day.

A day when over a billion people in more than 192 countries give thanks to our tiny orb and demonstrate awareness in support for the environment.

This year my nod to Earth Day occurred on my way to the recycle box.

In an “OMG” moment I realized that something I had barely used I was throwing out. Truly a blatant waste of the earth’s resources!  Sinful right?

The item plaguing me with guilt was a fabric sample brochure from Keilhauer; a company whose corporate goal is to be ‘environmentally benign’. Far be it for me to mess with a company Mission Statement!

Surely I could think of some way to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.

Back in the house I went with brochure in hand.

And got my creative juices flowing.

Keilhauer Haven fabric

I started with this,

I really liked these,  felted wool

Tried this,     Keilhauer Haven

But then was inspired by this,     Colour inspiration

Came up with this,     Haven Keilhauer

Which finally ended up looking like this,   Haven art

Let’s all try to make the 3R’s part of our daily lives.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!

All images via Modmissy

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

IDS15 – Interior Design Show 2015

Last weekend was Toronto’s Interior Design Show.

Innovative design, inspirational exhibits and influential speakers make for an event not to be missed.

Each year exhibitors try to cook up some new eye candy with booth displays that are truly notable and statement worthy.

It’s always an exciting show.

I toured the show for 2 days and took lots of photos.

Here are just a few.

Paint colours were demonstrated in a variety of styles by Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball and Para Paints.     IDS15 Benjamin Moore

Colour was definitely the theme at the Smeg booth with these colourful 50’s-style retro refrigerators.  IDS15 Smeg

‘Retro’ was present in a big way as evidenced at the Hauser booth with colour, scalloped skirting and flower-power.  IDS15 Hauser

And at the Roche-Bobois booth the sofa originally designed in the 1970’s by Hans Hopfer has maintained a lasting sense of style and ‘inventiveness’ due to its infinite compositions and fabric. Loved the fabric created by well-known designer Jean Paul Gaultier.  IDS15 Roche Bobois

And you could feel the ‘groove’ at Missoni Home with the riot of colour, iconic fabrics and the renowned zigzag.  IDS15 Missoni Home

I loved the Montauk Sofa booth, it was so fun.  I mean literally you can only re-invent a room display so many times!  IDS15 Montauk Sofa

The new SEKTION kitchen line from IKEA was introduced at the show with Canadian home décor magazines, House and Home and Style at Home along with IKEA creating 3 different kitchen layouts.  Very similar, very different.  Very inspiring!IDS15 IKEA SektionIDS15 House and HomeIDS15 Style at Home

Bathroom fixtures abound but PierDeco Design takes ‘sitting on the throne’ one step further with their Aquamobilia line!  IDS15 PierDeco Design

And don’t forget to look up; there are many amazing light fixtures. IDS15 LightingAnd on a playful note, Canadian designer Philippe Malouin appealed to the child in all of us with this interactive swing set at the Caesarstone display.  Yup that’s right….a full scale swing with each seat made from a different sample of Caesarstone!IDS15 Caesarstone

I have barely introduced you to the many amazing exhibits that were present.

Absolutely a show not to miss!

All images by MODMISSY

Merry Christmas

Ho ho ho!  Here we go.

Tis Christmas time again!

As you know I love the season but I have a hard time with all the decorations (read clutter) in my home.

But alas I found a solution.

This year I am hosting Christmas dinner at my home.  I wanted all of us to celebrate together so we built one long table that would seat 20.  We had to rearrange the furniture in the living room so everyone could move around freely.  (Nothing worse than being stuck in a corner and 10 people having to get up and move when you decide that a 2nd helping of mashed potatoes and gravy would be nice!)  Christmas Table

This arrangement of furniture meant there was no space for a Christmas tree!

Oh darn.

Don’t worry I did not ‘Scrooge’-out, instead I placed my fully decorated Christmas tree in the front porch!  Everyone at the table can still see the tree.  Sans needles and mess.  Perfect!   Christmas Tree

And then creativity struck, I wrapped the gifts and tied them all up with a bow and wouldn’t you know – a Christmas tree appeared!   Christmas Tree of Gifts

And on that note a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

See you in the New Year.

Santa Claus

XXXOOO

 

All images via MODMISSY

What’s in a Name?

“What’s in a name?”

That iconic question asked by many.

But none so famous as that asked by Shakespeare’s Juliet when it came to her lover Romeo,

 “O Romeo, Romeo!  Wherefore art thou Romeo?  Deny thy father and refuse thy name;”

A conundrum for sure as the name meant (spoiler alert!) death for the star-crossed lovers.

Names are important.

Just as Juliet asked, “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet?” would a name of an item influence your choice or sway your decision?

The reason I ask is that while flipping through a recent Sears® catalogue I found it interesting the names now used for colour choices of décor items such as furniture, linens and drapery.

(Boring) beige is now named Moon Rock, Bamboo Beige and Shiitake Mushroom conjuring up something more contemporary.   Shitake Mushrooms

 

(Mundane) grey has been pumped up to Volcanic Grey, Molten Lead and Fossil Grey.  Feel the excitement!?      Fossil Grey

 

(Blah) brown is now Earth and Dark Fudge.  Sound yummier?             Dark Fudge

 

(Stale) green has become Shale Green and Smokey Sage.  Sexier?Shale GreenEven the automotive icon, Porsche® known for its truly distinctive design and breathtaking dynamics has given emotional impact to yellow with the 2014 colour option Racing Yellow.  Porsche Racing YellowCan’t you just feel the race-inspired colour philosophy!?

Got me swooning!

All images designed my Modmissy

Sold In A Day

Recently I staged a home for Real Estate sale that sold in a day.

And it sold for well over asking!

I’m going to credit that very quick and prosperous sale in huge part due to my staging services.

(Hey, when the horn can be tooted, toot it!)

Yes, the home had great bones but was buried in the ‘stuff’ of hectic daily living!

Often when I arrive on the scene the home is in a state of disarray whereby I must then ‘turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse’.

Or…take an ogre and turn it into a princess!

bad hair day

Fortunately I love what I do so when I first walked into this home I was not daunted but rather excited.  Actually excitement is what I put into the home.  I try to create a space that has energy; positive energy.  And a vibe that says, “I want to live here”.

Livingroom before Livingroom before

Living Room afterLivingroom after

Dining Room beforeDining Room before

Dining Room afterDining Room after

Kitchen before  Kitchen before

 

Kitchen after  Kitchen after

Bedroom before bdrm before staging

Before after bdrm after staging  All images via Modmissy

 

 

Sofas of My Past

Are we products of our youth or formed by our surroundings?

Do past memories influence decisions in our lives today?

My case in point – the sofa.

I can still vividly recall the sofas of my youth and the impact their design had on me.

For real!

My first childhood friend was a child of parents newly emigrated from Italy.  They barely spoke English but their hard work and commitment to success in this new country was strong.  They took pride in ownership of their home and its contents.  I remember their sofa.  We would sit on it while we watched cartoons, drinking Brio cola and eating Nutella® sandwiches.  It was soft beige in colour but I could not tell you what the fabric content was as I actually never felt it – the sofa was covered in plastic.  The entire sofa was actually upholstered with clear plastic shielding the decorative fabric.  So no matter if we spilled our Brio colas or dropped our Nutella sandwiches the plastic protected that sofa! Plastic upholstered sofa

My next childhood friend had a green sofa that we sat on hour after hour while listening to records on the family Hi-Fi record player (my friend loved music).  But for the life of me I could not figure out how to sit on that sofa without falling off.  Truly!  The fabric on this sofa was polyester – 1st generation polyester and slippery as hell.  If you sat on the sofa the seat cushions would slip forward and soon you would find yourself sitting on the floor.  Or at least I would, my friend’s family had somehow figured out the secret behind keeping the cushions from sliding.                     1970 sofa

My teenage friend was a child of parents newly emigrated from Germany.  Now they had a very different sofa.  Or at least different from what I had at home.  Their living room was all decorated in teak.  Teak sofa, teak chairs.  My friend’s living room was the essence of Danish design; very ‘Mid-Century Modern’ as it is called today.  I admired it then and I just had the opportunity to once again admire it after a recent visit to my friend’s parents’ home and it still looks wonderful.               Danishteakclassics

So in retrospect, I have never had a sofa covered in plastic although I do occasionally in summer throw a sheet over my leather sofa to prevent sticking.  I avoid synthetic fabrics on my sofas and prefer natural fabrics – linens, cottons, leather and wool.  And I am smitten with all things Mid-Century!

Images: 1. www.multiplemayhemmamma.com 2. www.ancientpoint.com
3. ww.danishteakclassics.com

      

Not Your Grandmother’s Wallpaper

On a recent visit to my favourite paint store (everyone should have a ‘favourite’ paint store with knowledgeable staff, great products and lots of inspiration) to have some custom tinted paint for an outdoor project (details to follow) I noticed that there were some new wallpaper sample books.

And I mean new, as in edgy, sexy wallpaper samples.  Definitely not your Grandma’s kind of wallpaper!

I know that fashion is cyclical and although these wallpaper samples may have been similar in some ways to styles of the past, these newest wallpapers are ‘pumped up’ about a 100 notches.

So what was hip and bold for the 1970’s as seen in this wallpaper sample from a client’s home (before renovation),              Wallpaper 1970s

And the norm for the wallpaper of the 1950’s as found in my home under old wallboard,  Wallpaper 1950s

The newest wallpapers are taking walls by storm     Wallpaper striped

No longer being seen in only traditional or classic-style rooms; wallpaper presents a modern visage in a contemporary space.    Wallpaper Chevron

Wallpaper modernAnd it’s about marketing – these contemporary wallpapers are presented in books akin to glossy design magazines with fashion-forward photography.

I suddenly found myself re-thinking my sentiments on wallpaper.  When we moved into our home 15 years ago about 90% of the walls and ceilings were covered in wallpaper.  I couldn’t get rid of the stuff fast enough!

But now…..who knows, maybe a feature wall in striking contemporary wallpaper might just be the detail I’m looking for.

‘Hang’ here for details to follow!

All images via Modmissy

Image 3, 4, 5:  Metropolis by Michalsky Living