Floating Artist Studio

Continuing with yesterday’s post of living aboard a house boat I’ll now share with you a peek inside the owner’s floating artist studio.

In a house boat that was built over 25 years ago and now lovingly restored by its new owner a fabulous artist studio and retreat awaits a short walk away.

Under a very mod curved ceiling and vintage inspired wood built-in cabinetry the owner has set up her drafting table, cutting table and all the other necessities required for her passion – drawing, sketching and painting.

Who wouldn’t be inspired with the view out of the wrap-around sloped windows?

There is even a kitchen where snacks and refreshments are kept close to hand.

And I even had my sketch done!

Once again a big thank you to my host for sharing her home with me and all of you.

All images via Modmissy


How to Steal a Million

Yesterday, Rotterdam’s Kunsthal Museum experienced its worst nightmare – stolen art!  In the wee hours of the morning thieves made off with 7 paintings by master artists.  Included in the heist were:

  • Monet’s 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London.
  • Henri Matisse’s 1919 Reading Girl in White and Yellow
  • Paul Gauguin’s 1898 Girl in Front of Open Window
  • Picasso’s 1971 Harlequin Head.
  • Meyer de Haan’s Self-Portrait
  • Lucian Freud’s 2002 work Woman with Eyes Closed.

Truly a terrible situation as the art was from a private collection and generously loaned to be on display for the public’s viewing.

Curious as to how the thieves could pull off such a feat in today’s world of technology and hi-tech security it made me wonder ‘how does one steal a million’?  How did Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole do it in the 1966 movie How to Steal a Million?  A romantic comedy about a woman who must steal a statue from a Paris museum to help conceal her father’s art forgeries, and the man who helps her.

If you have never watched How to Steal a Million you must.  The fashions, cars and set designs are well worth seeing.

The movie is set in France so there is great architecture to be seen.

The sweeping staircase and Baroque furniture in the home Audrey shares with her father is beautiful.

Notice the bed linens, upholstered head-board and wallpaper are all the same pattern in Audrey’s bedroom.

The curving banquette that Audrey perches upon while wearing her infamous lace mask is so fabulous.  Possibly velvet.

Of course there is lots of art to be seen.

And here is something interesting that I noticed.  Audrey Hepburn sitting at her dressing table in How to Steal a Million and looking rather pensive has an uncanny likeness to Henri Matisse’s Reading Girl in White and Yellow also looking rather pensive.

I wish all the best to the Kunsthal Museum in retrieving the stolen art.




Audrey Hepburn – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

It was over 50 years ago today, October 5th, 1961, that the much-loved movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released.  One of the greatest female screen legends, Audrey Hepburn, played Holly Golightly, a young free-spirited New York socialite.

The first time I watched the movie I had thought (or hoped) that the beautiful Holly had it all; great fashion, big dreams, lots of friends.  The world was her oyster.  Not true.  By the end of the movie I had tears rolling down my face.

Audrey Hepburn made a lasting impression on generations of people and she still does in so many ways.

She endorsed the colour pink.

She showed us how softly painted pink walls can make one look beautiful.

Audrey made ‘repurposed’ furniture look au-courant whilst lounging on her bathtub sofa in her NYC apartment in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

She has always been the perfect figure for pop-art,

And is the perfect silhouette for mega-giant IKEA to create PJÄTTERYD, a larger-than-life sized canvas of Audrey Hepburn, seen hanging in everything from hair salons to clothing shops and living rooms to dorm rooms.

We love you Audrey Hepburn.  Thanks for everything.

The legend lives on.


iYellow Wine Club at West Elm

Last night I attended iYellow Wine Club Presents+Design Series by Crush VQA Wines at West Elm.  Beautiful food was provided by Mildred’s Temple.  I sipped, noshed and strolled through West Elm – fabulous way to shop!

Believing that great design should be affordable, West Elm’s furniture collection helps create living spaces that are stylish and unique.  And while searching for inspiration in far-away places, West Elm offers accessories that have an artisanal and organic flair to them.  Since I am in the middle of a cottage reno my focus was on ‘cottage style’.  It was interesting to see how West Elm’s style could be interpreted  to a lakeside, seaside, weekend space.

I thought this collection provided a contemporary spin on a nautical blue & white theme.

I loved this bedroom setting with the mix of barn board and contemporary furniture pieces with bedding in white, blue and cinnamon.

The organic blown glass pendant lights give an artisanal feel to any space.

White and muted pottery gives a relaxed vibe to a weekend space.

Red and white vases that have a resemblance to boat buoys and colourful pottery give an air of coastal charm.

Of course I found something that would be perfect in my cottage space so this weekend I shall add a little West Elm style to my lakeside retreat.

All images via Modmissy

Metropol Parasol

Summer time to me announces ice cream season and what better way to enjoy your favourite flavour than atop a waffle cone.  Forget the Styrofoam-like cone and never out of a cup – I pay the extra $$ and always get the waffle cone.

In my neighborhood there is a small shop specializing in hand-made ice cream and last week I made a point of having my first ice cream cone of the summer season.

When I recently came across this photo of outstanding architecture I was reminded of my favourite waffle cone.

The Metropol Parasol is a unique infrastructure located in Seville, Spain in the old quarter district known as the Plaza de la Encarnacíon. The ‘Parasol’ scheme with its impressive timber/concrete/steel structure was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in 2011.  Standing at an impressive 26 metres high and 70 by 150 metres wide the building claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.  Designed in 4 levels, the underground level houses the Antiquarium where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on the site are displayed.  Level 1, the street level, is the Market and Level 2 & 3 is where the panoramic terraces and a restaurant are located.  There is also a raised winding walkway that allows for amazing views of the cityscape.

The Metropol Parasol has become a new site of ‘identification’ for Seville as one of the most fascinating cultural destinations in the world today.  Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities and tourist locale.

And now another destination to be added to my ‘Must Visit’ list!

Images via J. Mayer H.



With the warm weather now here the majority of us will be heading to a ‘big box’ store to purchase our outdoor furniture but Vondom, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture, lighting and flowerpots takes the experience to a whole new level. Vondom collaborates with the most prestigious designers and architects of the world to create a new form of understanding in outdoor decoration. “VONDOM works to create art, always in search of the natural beauty of the product, giving them their own personality, always bearing in mind the vanguard of contemporary design, simply and balance.” Here are a few pieces from the vast collection of Vondom. Enjoy!

The Pillow Collection

The Rest Collection

The Stones Collection

The Vertex Collection

The Faz Collection – used indoors here.

The Vela Collection – lit by LED lights

The Quadrat Collection

All images Vondom.com

Bedroom Art

Last week I wrote about My White Bedroom and had many inquiries from people asking about the art on the walls.

The painting above the bed was done by my son a few years ago.   Since he was quite young I enrolled him in art classes each year.  At the end of each session we had a new canvas for our walls!  This piece is titled ‘Prairie Sky”.

The other painting in the room is a large piece that I have titled,  ‘On Top of the World’.

We came to own this piece in an unusual way.  Our neighbour had this painting sitting outside their backdoor for a few weeks.  Curious as to why a nice piece of art was sitting outside in the elements we inquired – “it’s rubbish”!  The story was that this had been a wedding gift but since the marriage had ended the painting was no longer wanted.  Understandable.  So we asked if we could have it and this large, colourful piece of art became ours.  One person’s trash, another person’s treasure!  And we truly do treasure this piece of art.  My walls are painted Benjamin Moore Florentine Plaster CC-520 with the rest of the room being fairly neutral so this colourful painting provides the pop of colour.

And by the way people also asked if my space is always that tidy……YES!

All images via Modmissy

Paris in Spring

Paris in spring.  How lovely.  My friend visited Paris recently with her husband.  I was not invited as three is a crowd!  Instead each day my friend sent photos of her sightseeing adventures so in spirit I was there too traveling to all of Paris’ beautiful attractions.  The wonder of technology!  The gears are already in motion planning my ‘Paris in Spring’ adventure for next year.  In the meantime I thought I would share some of my/her photos to showcase some sights of Paris.

When one thinks of Paris the Eiffel Tower always comes to mind.

And the Eiffel Tower at night is just as beautiful.

Of course a bit of culture is always on the travel agenda.  This is a photo showing the veil of undulating glass of the restaurant in the Paris Opera House – Palais Garnier; named in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier.


One must shop in Paris.  My friend knowing I would love the streetscape and window dressing of CHANEL sent this photo just for me.  Quite dramatic isn’t it?  My friend’s husband could not figure out why this photo was taken.

When in Paris one must dine like a Parisian.  Quand à Paris il faut dîner comme un Parisien.  This is a photo of Steak Tartare with a raw egg in the middle!!  Apparently ‘we’ scraped the plate clean!

Not being able to see all the beautiful sights of Paris (in reality) my friend brought me home a ‘taste’ of Paris – French macaroons from the famous bakery Ladurée.  The decoration of the original 1862 pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and poster artist.  Cheret sought inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera.

What a great vacation!




Art – Wherever, Whatever

Art.  A word that describes a diverse range of activities.  Visual art – painting, sculpture, photography, film etc.  Interactive art – music, theatre, dance, literature etc.  Sometimes it is the simplest things in life that is art.   Last year while shopping in NYC I saw this store display of all white mannequins dressed in all white clothing. (I don’t even remember what store; there were lots!)  It was the layering of white that the stylist had assembled with pops of colour which made me stop and admire.  Art – and it was not in one of the many NYC galleries either.   I took a photo and loved the result. Reminds me of a room with all the furniture slipcovered in white and the beautiful azure blue ocean just outside the window.

Photo #1 – Modmissy, Photo #2 Houzz.com

Have a Royal Weekend!

Luxury is often associated with royalty.  But must we be royalty to indulge in royal living?  This weekend marks the 1st anniversary of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton.  To commemorate the first year of marriage, tradition calls for gifts of paper or in the UK, cotton to be exchanged.  How sweet.  Instead I thought you would rather have a glimpse into royal luxury where details like original, hand carved, gilded come to mind.  And silk, velvets and hand-woven damasks are the norm.  Soaring ceilings, grand staircases, opulent drawing rooms are everyday.

The 1st photo is of the Grand Staircase of Buckingham Palace.  Notice the magnificent gilt-bronze balustrade with detailed scroll work which is duplicated in the gilt-plaster on the walls.  And the larger-than life family portraits are grand in size too.

The next photo is the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace.  The word ‘opulence’ comes to mind here.  Large gilded mirrors, yellow silk, massive crystal chandeliers.  Notice the doorway and the detail of the trim.  Beautiful!

This is the Crimson Room of Windsor Castle.  Is the colour combination of crimson and gold not totally stunning!?  Once again, massive crystal chandeliers, gorgeous silks and an area carpet that is probably larger than the square footage of my entire home!

This is the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle.  Notice the length and shine of the very, very long table.  Like all the above photos, it is the soaring ceiling heights that have me mesmerized.

We can’t all live in Buckingham or Windsor Castle but our home/condo/apartment is our castle.  This weekend in honour of the anniversary indulge and pamper yourself with life’s luxuries.  Soak in a bath with scented soap and a stack of fluffy towels.  Drink tea out of a china tea cup and nibble on ‘petit fours’ served on silver.  Toss some silk cushions on your sofa.  Sit back and be served!  Enjoy.