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Stocked up

June 8, 2017

Stock is such a dull name for a flower this pretty. It’s at this time of year that we see buckets full of stock at the convenience stores. I bought three bunches of soft peach stock a few days ago and put them in a tall Moroccan tea glass in the bathroom. They haven’t lasted very long, but flowers in the loo are such a treat.

 

House of letters

June 5, 2017

When I was about ten, my Mum gave me a beautiful dollhouse. It looked like the Georgian style homes in Notting Hill. I painted it the palest pink, with white trim. Inside, the walls were lemon yellow. It wasn’t a dollhouse for very long. By the time I was twelve, I stashed letters and diaries  in it. Pages and pages of handwritten poetry, confessions and teenage angst accumulated in every room. I still have the house, with all its contents. One day, I’ll re-read all the letters, and I’ll laugh and wince and well up. And if I’m ever tempted to upgrade my treasures to a grander address, it will look something like this.

Peony

June 2, 2017

A local florist told me that a decade ago peonies were like tulips –– affordable and everywhere. These days, a bunch of peonies feels like such an indulgence. They are the grande dame of blooms, and one of my most beloved, mostly because they’re here for such a short spell. The peonies in my garden are about to burst wide open, and that’s always a bit of a thrill. In the meantime, I’m going to buy myself a big bunch today. We all should.

 

 

Tile high

May 31, 2017

I appreciate the fluidity of the same wood flooring throughout a home, but if I were feeling gutsy, I might choose a tile for the kitchen. I like the contrast, and the change in atmosphere a pop of print can create. There are so many options, that’s the dizzying part, but something simple and graphic would do nicely.

Bunk off

May 30, 2017

We bought bunk beds for the children, which is a world of fun. Every time I climb aboard, I feel like Elizabeth Perkins in Big. Now I’m on the lookout for twin bedding –– something charming and soft, but not too splurgey as we all know what kid’s sheets go through. I do like the flamingo, lama and elephant prints from Martha Stewart and The Land of Nod has plenty of gorgeous bedding options, too. I adore the linens over at Robert Roller Rabbit but they are on the spendy side. Auggie, Rachel Castle and Aussie shop, Feliz design all sorts of playful prints. Give me the colourful linens over at Kip and Co. I bagsy the top bunk.

 

 

 

old school

May 29, 2017

It’s been years since I was at school, but a walk around One Spadina, UofT’s new architecture school had me imagining what it would be like to be a student again. Of course, not all learning institutions are created equal, and this one, with its clean white angles and awesome views down Spadina, is singular. I pictured myself sitting in those gothic windows, a book on Gaudi in hand. Or rushing back and forth to my locker in between building models in the splashy new wing. I love buildings that fuse old and new — that look forward and respect the past. There is something in the meeting of opposites, that when done right, feels so natural and exciting.

desert flower

May 26, 2017

I was looking at desert images after a rainfall –– the Badlands region in the American West and the Atacama Desert in Chile. In the Atacama Desert, flowers normally bloom every five to seven years. What a majestic sight to see a normally arid, barren desert bursting with colour.

in the mix

May 25, 2017

Just in case you thought three, four even, different prints was too much in one room, just look at this combination. One for the blinds, another for the curtains, and another for an armchair or an upholstered bench. Once you get going almost anything goes. The bar at Palazzo Margherita in Italy is an inspiration in its mix of painted ceilings, decadent wallpaper, graphic tile and textured brasserie chairs. Done wrong it can be dizzying, done right, it’s a dream.

 

basket case

May 24, 2017

In terms of summer bags, few things beat a basket. I kind of love Charlotte Olympia’s watermelon basket tote, but who is going to spend that kind of cash on straw fruit? We have plenty of these and we use them for everything. Becky Aranáz designs darling baskets complete with flamingos, dragonflies and tropical flowers. Sign me up. And this monogrammed cutie goes everywhere.

I just called

May 23, 2017

It occurred to me today, as I put down the phone after a 40-minute gas with my Mum, that my kids and I may never do that. We might not talk on the phone, the way my Mum and I do. The only people I talk to these days are my Mum, my brother and my friends, Izabela and Stephanie. Izabela and I could talk for up to an hour about marriage, motherhood and nuclear missiles, but if you asked either of us what the other had planned for the day, the week, we’d both be clueless. We always dive straight into the big topics. Same with Steph. In our school days, we could easily spend three hours on the phone after a full day at school together; there was always a project, party or teacher’s new perm to discuss. I think I was 14 when I got my own phone line, mostly because I was hogging the main one. It was the first bill I had to pay, and I always delayed to the second or third reminder. I had a Garfield phone, and then one of those really cool transparent ones. I hope my children do call me –– to talk about big things and frivolous things. Hubert Givenchy used to call Audrey Hepburn every now and then just to say, “hello, I was thinking about you,” and that’s pretty wonderful, too.

 

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