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

      

Advertisements

Curbside Treasures – A Nod to Earth Day

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of Earth Day celebrated worldwide by over a billion people.

Hopefully this day makes us pause and reflect on our precious planet and in its honour do something thoughtful towards sustaining this orb of ours

Keeping the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle in mind, my nod to Earth Day (and every day) is to always being on the lookout for curbside treasures.

What say is a curbside treasure?  An item that is no longer useful to one person is walked to the curb and discovered by another person.

This ‘sharing’ of treasures results in keeping unnecessary stuff out of landfill sites.  All good.

These are some of the curbside treasures I have found over the years.

A very recent find is an Eileen Gray side table.  Amazing!               Eileen Gray End Table

The MR Chair by Mies Van Der Rohe.  I had to replace the leather but there it was – curbside                                      MR Chair

I also found a Wassily Chair which will be heading to university with my son next year.  Lucky guy.                                                       Wassily Chair

I have written many posts on my previous curbside treasures.  My purple stool.  A coveted paintingMy antique spool bed.

It always saddens me when I see something like this.  As a rule I never pick up upholstered items but a perfectly good white slipcovered chair (IKEA – Ektorp Armchair) I’m sure could have been given to someone (family/friend/student) before it was ruined curbside and destined for a landfill site.                    IKEA Ektorp Chair

My sister and brother-in-law just built a gorgeous new kitchen and were undecided about the style of new stools for their island.  While walking the dog one evening they found this curved plywood/chrome stool curbside which was a very nice stand-in until they made their final decision.                                                  Curved plywood stool

Another evening walk found this piece of art curbside by a friend of mine.  Turns out (after a long forgotten stint in his garage) the painting is worth $$$.  My friend had it professionally cleaned and re-framed and this curbside treasure now has a new life hanging on his wall.                                          Curbside Art

Have a fabulous Earth Day and please…….recycle responsibly!

All images via Modmissy

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’.

Timeless!

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

All images via Modmissy

I Don’t Understand…..

There are things in life that baffle me.

Perplex, flummox, nonplus me!

I don’t understand how the internet/cabling works – I mean how does my email blast across the world to someone 1000’s of miles away?  Instantly.

If birds fly, why can’t I?  Actually the whole flight thing is baffling.

If a dog’s owner speaks German to it will that dog understand when I speak English to it?

Puzzling right?

And here are my bewildering questions when it comes to the world of design.

Why do cushions have different backs?  “Look at my lovely 1/2-only cushion!”    Mongolian fur cushion

To me the 1/2 cushion is akin to someone dressed nicely in the front and naked in the back.  Right?                                                                 naked man

Next on the list are Pot Filler Faucets.  Very convenient to fill a pot right on the stove but how the heck do you get that very full, heavy, boiling pot to the sink afterwards?    Delta Pot Filler

Any why did it take almost 100 years for manufactures of refrigerators to design them counter depth?                                                                            fridge

And duvet covers that are sized ‘Full/Queen’.  A queen mattress is 6 inches wider than a full (double) mattress so that silly duvet cover is too large for a double and too small for a queen. Dumb!                                                                

But on a serious note I want to comment on the baffling recent world event of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  To date over 2.24 million square nautical miles have been searched looking for the plane and the missing 239 people aboard and nothing has been found.  My thoughts and heartfelt concern go out for those people and I pray they all be found alive and safe.

Images: 1. www.misi.co.uk 2. Modmissy 3. www.deltafaucet.ca 4. Modmissy

5. www.potterybarn.com

Colour of the Day – Olympic Passion Red

Have you been glued to your TV watching the Olympics?

I have.

Glued to TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many of the sports seemed to be based on speed – death defying speed!

Athletes barrel down the mountain on skis or sleds at speeds upwards of 95 km/h (150 mph) and 152 km/h (95 mph) for luge.

Speed skaters can attain speeds of up to 70 km/h (43 mph).

And figure skaters while moving at high speed jump or are thrown into the air!

Crazy right?

Do you find yourself holding your breath while watching?

So what drives these athletes to do what they do?

It has got to be PASSION!

So in honour of ‘passion’ I thought ‘red’ should be the colour of the day.

PS.  Remember to breathe! 

Alvar Aalto Flaming Red Vase

Alvar Aalto Flaming Red Vase

 

Alessi Grater with Cheese Cellar                 Alessi Grater

James Hallan Acrylic Red Chair

Red Chair

 

Wave Bookcase in Red by Vidame Creation

Wave Bookcase

 

I thought these red items looked like they could ski, skate or slide.

1. Modmissy   2. www.iittala.com   3. www.alessi.com   4. www.jameshallam.com 

5. www.greeen-store.com

My Spool Bed

A year ago I wrote about my ‘curbside treasure’ – my antique Spool Bed. (see here)   Spool Bed

I stated that “one man’s garbage, another woman’s treasure”.  ????

Well……after a bunch of (my hubby’s) elbow grease, this old spool bed that was left for garbage at the side of the road is now my cottage bedroom treasure.

Nothing short of totally dismantling, re-gluing, sanding, staining and altering to fit a bigger mattress the spool bed’s makeover is now complete.  Sweet dreams!Spool Bed

All images via Modmissy

Baby it’s Cold Outside!

Brrrrrrrrrrr!  It’s cold outside.

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!!!!  flokati covered chair

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!  Cutie Armchair by Munna Design

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!  Cipria for Edra.

This chair seen on houzz.com is a Mid Century Modern classic piece covered in faux fur.  Serious but not too serious.   houzz.com

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).

Oh well….it makes me smile!   Yellow faux fur

 

 

Stuff (and more stuff!)

I have often said that when it comes to our homes these days it is not that our homes are too small rather our lives are too big.

BULLSH*T!

I am just being diplomatic.

The truth is people have way too much stuff.  Unnecessary stuff.

I understand that we are creatures of habit and form strange attachments to our stuff but really, do we honestly need all that stuff!?

Get rid of stuff.  Donate the stuff.

If you haven’t used it lately, i.e. 6 months to 2 years, then you don’t need it.

I will never recommend the use of rubber storage bins, they only exacerbate the problem.

Take a picture. Buy yourself a 2 terabyte external hard drive and store it there.  Then get rid of the stuff.

It is a fallacy if you think your kids will want this stuff.

Garages are for cars not stuff.

Lightness of being – try it sometime.  It feels wonderful!  (-:  stuff

PS.  Can you tell I have been very busy staging/editing homes lately!

Image via Modmissy

 

Solair Chairs

I have this childhood memory of sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car while on our way to someone’s cottage. (Not sure who’s cottage – my memory’s not perfect!)

The sweltering heat of July was blowing in through the open windows (non-existent air conditioning!) causing us 4 kids crammed in the back seat to stick together but it did not matter because somehow I had won the coveted position of a window seat.  I had an unimpeded view.  Happy, happy!

On our journey I remember passing by a roadside motel, with a name something like Lakeside Motel or Three Lakes Motel, and thought it funny that there was no lake in sight although there was a pool out front.  The motel was a long, 1-storey stucco building painted bright white with green roof shingles and blue painted doors.  To the side of each blue door was a very ‘mod’ looking chair in bright orange.

I have never forgotten this image – colourful yes, but it was the groovy orange chairs that I fell in love with.

Those chairs were the Solair Chair designed by Canadians, Fabio Fabiano and Michelange Panzini in 1972.   Solair Chair

The designers were recruited by an injected-molding plastics company, Industries Provinciales Ltée, of Quebec to produce a comfortable and stylish modern indoor/outdoor chair.  The chair was designed in one weekend!  The chair fell off the ‘design radar’ for a number of years but has recently made a big comeback.  The Solair chair is now in production and distribution by Industries Emile Lachance Ltée

I recently came across these chairs for sale in a rainbow of colours at The Hudson Bay Company  in downtown Toronto. Solair Chairs

A feeling of nostalgia came over me especially when I realized that my childhood memory is now an iconic piece of Canadian design.  (The chair, not my memory!)

These chairs also reminded me of these juicy colours! Juicy Fruit

 

All images via Modmissy