Gotta Run!

“Gotta run!”

The catch phrase of today.

Everybody is on the move.  Go, go, go!

Subsequently multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning.  Eating on the run, driving and texting, walking and talking on a cell phone and even applying makeup or shaving while driving.

Unfortunately in many people’s haste the once beautiful ceremony of drinking tea (or coffee),  Tea Set Whitehas been reduced to drinking from a paper cup while ‘on the run’.  And the worse part of reducing this historical ritual to a “gotta run” activity is the random placement of finished cups.            Tim Hortons coffee cupStarbucks Coffee Grande

Starbucks Coffee Cup

McCafe Coffee Cup

So today if you can take time to smell the roses tea/coffee. And please don’t litter!Tea Set SilverAll Images via MODMISSY

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Lost But Never Forgotten

Today is my cousin’s birthday.

Paul, the ‘cowboy’ as seen in this photo below, circa 1980’s, always had a big smile on his face.  Paul & ChrisUnfortunately we celebrate Paul’s birthday without him as sadly his life ended a few years ago. But our lost loved ones are always in our heart!

Paul was ‘my brother from a different mother’ as he was my mother’s identical twin sister’s son.  Rene and NornieAnd when you have 2 mothers that are so identical their offspring are bound to be close.  And Paul and I were.

Paul had a passion for antiques and the 2 of us were often attending antique auctions together.  In those days I had a penchant for antique furniture (yes it’s true!) and we would load up my car to the brim with all the great finds.

But none was as memorable as the time we purchased an antique cast iron wood stove that weighed over a ‘million’ pounds.  We loaded that behemoth beast into the back of my hatchback and drove it all the way back to the city.  Let’s just say that we were quite the sight driving down the highway with the front tires barely touching the road.  I sold that car soon after!

That wood stove still holds a big place in my heart as it is the focal point of my cottage.  It withstood the recent renovation,  Cottage renovationAnd now holds pride of place in the cottage.IMG_7007

Thanks for the memories.

Rest in peace Paul. xo

 

All Images via MODMISSY

 

 

EARTH HOUR – pass it on!!

So here’s the thing I want to state,

This Saturday night I have a hot date.

I plan on engaging in a passionate and mindful moment,

That in the grand scheme of things is all about atonement.

Of what really should be done for what lies ahead,

Because if I don’t take care there will be trouble instead.

That’s right…..it’s Earth Hour this weekend,

So lights out is what they recommend.

A worldwide movement for the planet,

In keeping our Earth healthy and well dammit!

So holler some and make a big commotion,

Spread the word and share the notion.

That 60 minutes spent in the dark,

Will hopefully become a momentous landmark

But it’s not just about one hour

It about committing to using less power

And being more ‘green’ in everything you do,

Today, tomorrow and the whole year through!

Pass it on!!!!

                  Happy Earth

All words and images via Modmissy

Religion in Décor

Tomorrow, February 28th, Pope Benedict XVI officially retires.  Since his surprise announcement to the world indicating he would be the first Pope in 6 centuries to retire the world has been in a bit of a ‘holy mess’!

I can’t say that I blame him; Pope Benedict is 85 years old!  I think the man must be feeling a little weary.  While the rest of us are hoping to retire at 65 years old or ‘freedom 55’ (if we are lucky enough) still working as an octogenarian must be exhausting.

Today in honour of His Papal-ness I thought religion in décor would be fitting.

The focal point in this room is a very large Buddha.  Fortunately it is seated upon the window seat as I read that inappropriate placement of the Buddha i.e. on the floor, is considered a sign of disrespect in many Buddhist cultures.

Buddha

 

In this photo religion in décor is taken one step further!

religious stairs

 

The Moravian Star has become a popular décor feature.  Originating in the 1830’s at the Moravian Boys’ School in Germany (possibly from a geometry lesson) the star was adopted by the Moravian Church as an Advent Symbol and also now commonly used in light fixtures.

Moravian Star Light

 

Often used interchangeably due to the fact that the population of Morocco is almost 99% Muslim is Moroccan-inspired/Islamic-inspired décor.  Seen in everything from wallpaper (1st photo) to furniture and light fixtures (2nd photo) to leather poufs (3rd photo).

Moroccan-inspired decor

 

Belief in angels is fundamental to many religions.

Angel wings in decor

And what better way to incorporate religion into décor than converting a church into a residence.  This photo is a converted church in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Church as residence

 

Images via: 1,2,5,7 www.houzz.com 3 www.shadesoflight.com; 4 www.phillipjeffries.com 6 www.thecrossdesign.com 8 www.zecc.nl

 

 

The Cottage Renovation – the after photos!

I started writing about our cottage renovation a few months back.  See start, gut, build, decor.  It was a renovation that took many months due to distance, weather and holidays.  But it is now complete.  Our initial goal was to raise the low ceiling but at the same time to create a cohesive relationship between the interior and exterior.  The cottage is truly about the nature and the ability to experience it.  In the end our renovation has given us more than just a new space.  The cottage’s clear lines and modernist approach has given us a greater appreciation of the amazing view beyond the large windows.  But more interestingly is the cohesive relationship now created within the family.   We spend more time together interacting as a family than ever before.  This is a space where we sit down together and share moments rather than racing through on the way to somewhere else.  We slow down and enjoy together.

Have a look.

The before photo minus the furniture. (Just prior to gutting)

The After photos.

We forgo the upper cabinets opting for a larger window and a better view of the lake.  The wall above the stove is presently blank but waiting for the perfect piece of art that we have yet to find.

Counter space that we did not previously have is now a place for an ‘edible’ vignette.

I chose neutral but fun pillows to keep the space calm.

We are thrilled with the outcome of this renovation and love all that this cottage now gives to us.

All images via Modmissy

Kitchen cabinets, Rug, Stools, Island, Leather Chair – IKEA http://www.ikea.com/

Hanging Light Fixtures – Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/

Chevron Cushion – Nesters http://www.nestershome.com/

Turtle Pillow, Wooden Tiered Stand – HomeSense http://www.homesense.ca/

 

 

 

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

The Edible Focal Point

When it comes to food, presentation is about 75% of the taste.  If food looks good I believe it tastes better.  We eat with our eyes first; our eyes are our first senses that are stimulated.  Similarly in home décor, a room’s focal point is the first thing we see as we ‘taste’ the room.  The room’s focal point will draw the eye and hold it there giving the eyes a place to rest making the room feel more inviting.  A focal point may be an architectural feature such as a fireplace, built-in bookcase, a picture window or a detailed wall.  If the room has no distinguishing architectural feature the focal point may be a piece of art, a mirror, or a piece of furniture.  Sometimes a focal point can even be very small but if in the right location will immediately attract your eye.  A room’s focal point is key and no more than when staging a home do those words ring true.  I once had a client whose home I was staging for real estate sale where the house had been renovated top to bottom except for the kitchen.  The homeowner had run out of time and money but had decided to sell anyway.  My challenge was to make buyers overlook the fact that the kitchen was stuck in the early ‘80’s.  So working with what I had, I ‘diffused’ the situation by creating a focal point that potential buyer eyes were immediately drawn to.  On the kitchen counter I created a vignette of a black/white ‘barista’ centre complete with biscotti.  Knowing that the strong contrasting colours would draw the buyers’ eyes to this focal point first, the barista vignette of the coffee cup/cream and sugar/white linen/bowl of biscotti etc. offered a sense of ‘welcome’, a feeling of ‘retreat’.  My intent was to create a space that appealed to the buyers’ heart.  Well that bowl of biscotti did the trick, the un-renovated kitchen was overlooked and the house was sold.  The real estate agent told me afterwards that the buyer fell in love with the house when she walked in to the kitchen and visualized herself drinking her coffee in her new space.  A true story!  So if you are wondering where to start on decorating a room, start with the focal point. Below are some photos of another kitchen before/after photos.

     

      

        Images via Modmissy