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.
I started with this,
I really liked these,
But then was inspired by this,
Came up with this,
Which finally ended up looking like this,
Let’s all try to make the 3R’s part of our daily lives.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Mother Nature seems to be confused offering 12 degree temps (54 degree Fahrenheit) in June.
So I thought it would be OK to talk about fur – mostly fun faux fur.
I have had this photo in my inspiration folder for some time, a tear-out from Style at Home magazine. The magazine made mention of statement pieces like the well-styled bookcases, the hide rug, table and vase – which are all very lovely. But who could ignore that outstanding/amazing flokati-covered chair. Not Me!!!!
Another chair that caught my attention is The Cutie Chair by Munna Design of Portugal whose mission is to ‘transform emotion into products’. The Cutie Chair with its faux fur and gold leaf legs certainly fills me with emotions of happiness!
The Ciprio designed by Fernando e Humberto Campana for Edra is a wonderfully playful iconic piece. The settee has 9 cushions fixed to an invisible metal tube frame, stuffed with Gellyfoam® and covered in ‘ecological fur ‘available in different fur lengths. Fun, fun, fun!
This chair seen on houzz.com is a Mid Century Modern classic piece covered in faux fur. Serious but not too serious.
So I decided to do my own version of a faux fur covered chair. I went with yellow to give a pop of colour in a very white guest room plus it matched one of The Hudson Bay stripes in the Point Blanket. My family have coined it the ‘Big Bird Chair’ (à la Sesame Street).
I believe my setting and scenery had everything to do with my inspiration – sitting in the backyard, feet up, warm dappled sun shining through the canopy of trees and a cuppa tea by my side. I was reading my July issue of Canadian House and Home magazine and came across a photo in an article titled Relaxed Seaside Living.
I loved this calm, neutral living room with slipcovered furniture, sculptural rope floor lamp, lots of weathered wood and organic textures. But there was one particular detail that caught my eye.
So I was inspired to DIY.
And in the wink of a D-eye-Y this was my creation…..
My Canadian Flag pillow. Perfect for my ‘Relaxed Lakeside Living’!
This past holiday my family (25 in total) did the gift exchange/swap thing – everyone brings a wrapped (hence the secret) gift with an approximate value of $10. Depending on the number you pull from a hat you then chose when it is your turn to unwrap one gift or steal from a gift that has already been unwrapped and revealed.
Fun and chaotic, sometimes even turning into a bit of a ‘sport’!
This year in true Modmissy style I decided I had to create a ‘one-of-a-kind’ gift that reflected me. Chocolates are de-lish and lottery tickets could be $$$$$$ but just not my style.
Here is what I decided to create.
I started with this. A Ralph Lauren oxford shirt that I decided my husband no longer needed!
And then with some black and white houndstooth check fabric I started to create. Any guesses?
A few cuts and stitches later this was the end product. A Ralph Lauren oxford pillow!
The front of the pillow was the Ralph Lauren shirt complete with the pocket and logo plus I changed the white buttons to black for more interest. The back of the pillow was the houndstooth with the Ralph Lauren label that I removed from the inside of the shirt at the neck and re-sewed on to the pillow.
I always get ahead of myself or rather get ahead of the project. Whenever my husband and I renovate (and we have been doing that for over 20 years!) he is still in the ‘bust and build’ state while I am already decorating the space.
We are on track renovating our cottage, the drywall is up and the new window is in, the kitchen cabinets are assembled and the countertop is ordered. But way before all this I have been buying fabric, rugs, furniture accessories etc. all the little touches that will coordinate the final presentation. Make the finished space just ‘right’.
I pulled together my inspiration board which is always helpful to visualize the space.
I pictured our cottage done in white, warm wood, sisal and hits of blue to give a pop of colour to the space. I choose Benjamin Moore Oxford White CC-30 for the walls (new drywall) which is a nice bright white. The long wall across from the windows is paneled in pine. The sofa is an existing Bauhaus sectional that we have had for years and works really well in the space. The sectional is in a neutral weave fabric of which I replaced the back cushion covers with natural canvas. I bought a new area carpet – IKEA Tårnby, a natural fibre carpet that has a great textural appeal giving the room a warm organic look.
To keep the room bright I bought 3 coordinating fabrics that I will sew into cushions for the sofa. Crisp blue and white fabrics with lots of white accessories in the room will give a fresh, lakeside feel to the cottage interior. I decided to replace the existing large upholstered (red) chair as its size was not appropriate for the space. I wanted something light coloured and airier in appearance. On Craigslist I found a leather IKEA Poäng chair (wish it was an Alvar Aalto Lounge Chair! – check out my previous post here) which I thought would be perfect for the room. Gotta love Craigslist!
Ok…..so I had it all figured out. I knew exactly in my mind how this space was going to look. WRONG!!!!
This past weekend when we started to put the furniture, carpet, etc. back into the cottage I realized the room looked nothing like my inspiration board. I think my biggest miscalculation was the light. The natural light that floods the room from all the windows changes the sense of the room. The colours – paint and fabric, the furniture etc. all read very different.
When the weather starts getting warmer I change all the linens and accessories in my bedroom. The room faces west and receives the hot afternoon sun so my summer bedroom gets the all-white treatment giving both a cooler look and feel.
Layers of white cotton linens on the bed give a ‘cool as cotton’ sensation. I made the duvet cover from 2 sheets that we (hubby and I) brought back from Venice while travelling through Europe many years ago. Hubby carried these king-sized sheets plus 2 cotton tablecloths in his knapsack for a month! (had to throw out some of his clothing to fit them in!!) The cotton chenille fringed bedspread is vintage and originates from the same era as my beloved orange lamps. The cushions from West Elm provide the pop of colour on the bed.
The bergere chair is slipcovered in white cotton and the art above the dresser is exchanged for a white mirror.
My otherwise contemporary home gets a shabby chic makeover in the bedroom. Bring on the summer!
Yesterday I wrote about my front porch and how in summertime it is my oasis. Today I thought I would share some other porches. Enjoy.
Nothing says ‘hazy, lazy days of summer’ better than a porch swing. This one from Better Homes and Garden magazine is the ideal spot for an afternoon nap with its green and white ticking on a watermelon colour swing piled deep with vintage-inspired floral pillows. Languor away!
Wicker, rockers and wood suggests a country cottage feel. This porch from Canadian House and Home says “you’ve arrived”, now sit back and unwind.
Nothing says ‘calm and cool’ like a porch decorated in blue and white. This porch’s appeal is the combination of indoor furniture – a drop leaf dining table and mirror, mixed with director’s chairs and vintage finds. Cut flowers from the garden appeals to the senses with both beauty and scent.
A porch doesn’t have to be big to be great. Carving out a spot needn’t be about large square footage but rather any nook can fit the bill. This porch from Houzz shows how a small space, appropriate sized furniture and a great view is a perfect recipe for ‘drinks at five’.
While away the day drifting into a dreamy evening on this all white porch. The mixture of a white wicker settee with an industrial-style coffee table provides a nice contrast. But what I really loved was the unique table. This large white table top sitting on 2 huge white bases combined with wooden benches is a fabulous update of the age-old ‘picnic’ table.
So…..where will you be spending your lazy, hazy days and relaxed evenings of summer? Let me know.
Images: 1,3,5 – Better Homes and Garden 2 – Canadian House and Home 4 – Houzz
I love going to fabric stores. It is like an overload on the senses – looking, touching and imagining. As I walk amongst the bolts of fabric, admiring the many beautiful fabrics, running my hands along them to feel them, my mind starts racing trying to envision where I could use them all. So many gorgeous fabrics – not enough projects!
On a recent fabric store adventure I came across this fabulous orange/white fabric that I fell in love with – I bought 2 yards.
I decided to use the fabric for seat cushions on the chairs in my enclosed front porch. My sewing skills gained from grade 7/8 Home Ec. are fairly rudimentary but I can sew cushion covers.
My front porch spring/summer cushions were looking faded and boring so the new orange/white gives the needed punch. The patterned pillows which coordinated perfectly came from HomeSense thanks to a good friend who found them for me! The twig furniture (hubby and I made many years ago), lots of potted flowers, good lighting to read with and candles in the evening makes this porch my summer oasis.
Donald “Duck” Dunn, the legendary bass guitarist of Booker T. and the MG’s died this past weekend at the age of 70. Dunn was notable for his 1960’s recordings with Booker T and as a session bassist for Stax Records. It was Dunn’s bass lines recorded on many songs of the 1960’s that gave the world its ‘groove’; Otis Redding’s “Respect”, Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign”. The influence of this ‘groovy’ music also had a large impact on fashion and décor of the 1960’s as you can see in these photos.
The popular Better Homes and Garden Decorating Ideas was the magazine of the time that captured home décor as seen in this 1960 issue.
Colour blocking and swirls were very popular for patterns of fabrics as seen in everything from furniture to clothing. The Rive Droite chair designed by Patrick Norguet covered in Pucci fabric.
Airline stewardesses circa 1960.
The lava lamp was invented in 1963.
‘Mid-Century Modern’ furniture was in full swing with Eames, Platner, and Panton to name a few creating the design classics of the 20th century.
This white Panton Chair designed in the 1960’s feels very similar to these ‘mod’ Go Go Boots designed by Clark Shoes in the 1960’s.
Fringes on lamp shades, doorway curtains and clothing were all the rage. Tie-dye, shag carpet, peace signs were signs of the times also. As we bid a final farewell to Donald “Duck” Dunn his legacy will live on forever in the music and the ‘groovy’ influences of that music that reverberated into décor and fashion.