i gigi

A long, long time ago, I blogged about i gigi general store. And in recent months I've been eagerly awaiting their site relaunch, with e-commerce. So far, the online shop component of their site is sparsely stocked (here's hoping that expands). But still, there's so much eye candy here. Between their clothing and household items, I'm in heaven. And the first house in their portfolio... Can I move in now?!

Hardware

Hardware is one of those Toronto stores I don't get to very often, but when I do I always find something that inspires. On my last visit, I saw the letterpress tray sideboard shown here and I'm so glad they had a picture on their website so I could show you! It was amazing in person. Looking at their website again had me thinking about what they might offer for beds... Maybe a trip is in order. Actually, strike that, I need to save a little (or a lot) first!

Canvas

Based on this picture alone, I'm pretty sure I'm going to covet everything from Canvas once they launch their online shop.

Glimpes of home

Some little corners of my newly painted apartment...


More on Flickr

Carrier Company

For a girl who lives downtown in a one-bedroom apartment, I have a ridiculous fixation on gardening paraphernalia. Norfolk-based Carrier Company is fuel to my fire. Do I really need a Kindling Sack? Likely no. Do I want one? Yessir! And Potato Bags should clearly be mine. Not to mention, pails and aprons, market bags and log carriers.

The George in Rye

I went to bed last night, my place a better version and my body feeling a worse version of normal. And glad as I am to have my place done, I'm feeling thoroughly zapped from this decorating and cleaning marathon. What I need is a mini-break from my mini-break. I think The George in Rye would be a lovely place to spend a quiet few days, sleeping and reading and eating.

Cute lingerie

I'm not a huge Anthropologie fan, but I love these two lingerie sets.

Sunday

Thank you all for your lovely birthday wishes! I'm always a big baby about my birthday and when people invariably forget it, my feelings are bruised easily. But all your lovely comments and tweets and e-mails made me feel special!


It was a low key day. I went for coffee and bought this long awaited book and new bathroom accessories. I painted and painted and painted until I ached. I'm in love with Benjamin Moore Natura - no VOCs, no smell, perfect coverage and flow. As I type, I'm taking a break from putting everything back together, vacuuming and polishing. I still have to paint my bathroom, but that's going to go super fast as it's a tiny space.

And tomorrow, I hope to slow down a lot, get some writing done and maybe take some photos to show you. Toronto was a mess this weekend so I was glad to play homebody and hide from all the G20 craziness. Hoping to normalize and coast through a three-day week, to a Canada Day long weekend!

How was your weekend?

Image from Twig Hutchinson

Friday!

A four day weekend for Janey! Can you believe it? I'm so happy that I'm not even letting the fact that it was supposed to be a two week vacation and this is my poor consolation prize get to me. Nor am I letting the fact that I'll be working on lots of freelance stuff while I'm off get to me. Four days without commuting to a suburban office equals bliss.


Instead, I'm excited to lash through painting my place and have a lovely fresh, tidy apartment. I'm looking forward to buying little finishing touches. And polishing up the glass on all my pictures before I rehang them. And buying flowers and arranging them and standing back and thinking, that's pretty. And that feeling of going out and then coming back and seeing the place and noticing everything anew and liking it.

It's also my 34th birthday on Saturday, aka Janemageddon. There's a full moon and lunar eclipse on the very day, which will mean high jinx of some sort for me. It's already been an odd week, with me feeling strangely emotional and an earthquake shaking up our office (my first earthquake experience). So, I'm preparing for anything. And by preparing, I mean looking up cocktail recipes.

I hope your weekend is perfection. Thanks for reading my little blog. It makes me very happy to have you here.

Image credits: 1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled

Rabens Saloner

Most of Rabens Saloner's collection is manufactured in the Far East out of little workrooms and family businesses. Village dressmakers, leather smiths and legions of knitting grandmas contribute to every new collection. I love this. And I love the easy looks too.

Inspiration

I'm sometimes incredibly dense. Which explains why I've only just discovered the "Archive" link on my Tumblr. I love scrolling through the images and seeing, in one sweeping glance, the overall mood and aesthetic. It's also helping to guide those purchases I've been labouring over. I literally find myself thinking, would this fit in with all those other images? If yes, I know I'm staying true to what I consistently love.

Mint Velvet

Some beautiful, soft, romantic looks from Mint Velvet.

Four Etsy Faves

I'm feeling a bit blue as I type. It's been a difficult few days and I've been doing battle with mood and wearing myself out. I threw myself into painting and that distracted me a little, but when it was done, I was there in the middle of all that mess, still feeling blue and frustrated at the mess. So, I decided to cheer myself up with a little Etsy eye candy. Here's what I found and love...


Product information: Jug Light from tbDsf / 5 Wheelthrown Bottles in Greys from Sara Paloma / Church - Miniature Wood Town from Says the Tree / Gold Leather Boho Bag from Patkas

Jewelry display

I feel like I'm getting closer with my decor decisions. Of course, getting closers means getting ready to spend some moola, which makes me nervous on a whole other level. At times like this, I like to distract myself with something small, inexpensive, easy to execute. Bring on jewelry display!I know it's better for jewelry to be stored carefully away, but the truth is, if it's out of sight, I'll stop wearing it. Of course, I like everything orderly, so it has to be both accessible and tidy. I love these inspiring shots.

How do you store and display your jewelry?



Images via my Tumblr, originally sourced from the following blogs: 1. Lobster and Swan 2. Daydream Lily 3. Luphia Loves 4. Remodelista. Please click through for full credit.

Nautical style

I love everything about this photo by Corrie Bond... especially the model's rosy glow and her nautical style.

Painting not posting

I spent the weekend painting and working. I did get out on Saturday, before the humidity kicked into killer, and saw those nightstands (if you haven't voted, please do!) and also got myself a little something something at Hollace Cluny.


I don't have pictures to show you yet, but they had just got in these amazing silk and cotton cushion covers woven by women in Afghanistan. They were literally just unpacking them as I was in the store and hadn't even priced them, so I couldn't take them home with me. But I put a pair on hold. The colours were the most vibrant jewel tones ever. I did walk out with one thing. Funny, since I included a rip-off of it in my inspiration sets. But I splurged on a Jielde Signal lamp. It's still in its box until I finish painting, but I'm very excited about this purchase!

How was your weekend?

Nightstand poll!

Yesterday, as promised, I took a stroll down Yonge St and at Constantine found some amazing options for bedside tables. I didn't make an order because I needed to do some measurements first. But then, when I got home, I took another look at the supplier website and found myself distracted by different styles. I slept on it last night and have narrowed my choice down to two.


I tend to look for signs in names, so Berkeley (the Irish philosopher and fellow Trinner) has my heart. The wood is also grey (yes, the picture here is colour), which of course is a big hit for me. But I do love the curves of Isabella. I think Isabella is one I would admire elsewhere, but Berkeley is really me. But I want to know what you think. Leave a comment or vote below!





Both pieces from Bungalow5, sold through Constantine in Toronto.

Friday!

It wasn't a great week, but it went relatively fast. There seems to be lots of stress around right now. I try to shake it off, but I'm pretty sensitive even when I'm not directly in the line of fire myself. I came home each night looking for consolation in small things, only to feel exhausted. So while I'd love to write a post about how renewing the weekend will be, how I'll check things off lists and sleep perfect sleeps, I'll be working most of it and the bit that's leftover will go by too fast.


Still, there were some lovely moments this week too: I was visiting over on Apt 34 and took myself on a little flight of fancy (where I'd like to be right now). Read it here. And this post inspired me to make some time to learn something new and material. The problem with working with words is that you don't have something to reveal at the end of it. You just shed words onto pages. In Dublin, darkroom printing used to give me that more tactile outlet, but good luck finding a great FB darkroom set-up these days. So, I think I need something new to sink my teeth into. Time away from words.


I know it's already two weeks old, but I keep going back and looking at Nikole's apartment. She's endlessly inspiring. And this post made me want to go canoeing in a mountain lake. I think Constança's flower arrangements are really lovely. And speaking of lovely things, I've had this lemon cake starred in my reader for weeks now and my mouth waters every time I scroll past it. I'm counting down the days until the release of this book (in fact I keep checking bookstores to see if they might have accidentally put it on display early). But, in the meantime, there's a new issue of Brick to enjoy.

Do you have anything nice planned for the weekend? I hope it's slow and lovely.

Image credits: 1. peruMB-6, 2. Untitled, 3. pure morning., 4. Untitled

Howe London

Absolutely stunning upholstery from Howe London. Can you imagine how much I love this chaise? So much my toes curl. Swoon.

Rhubarb and rosewater mascarpone cake

I think you deserve something sweet today. I found this cake in an old edition of Vogue Australia Entertaining & Travel (vol 34, no 5) and thought it might tickle your fancy.


Photographed by Petrina Tinslay, styled by Jo Carmichael.

Ahoy!

Chelsea blogged this gorgeous scarf from Madewell today and I hopped on over and found this ahoy striped sweater. I'm sure you already know this, but they have e-Commerce now. Eep!

A poem for Wednesday

Sometimes, when I'm all caught up in the importance of finding the perfect table or lamp or arrangement of books, I realize that it's not really any of those things that's needling me. It's really a craving for the simplest thing. And it's in those moments that I savour the easiest of pleasures; the sun on eyelids, or splashing crisp water on my face on a hot day, or the smell of a fresh-cut stem. And the more sensitive to those simple things I become, the more I want of them. I wake up and crave them around me: Crisp sheets and cool floors under bare feet, perfect leafy breezes and lemons.

In every small thing, I look for that moment and when it comes I drink it in. And when it doesn't come, I want to race on to the next moment and find it there instead. It feels like the soundest form of greediness: Greediness for simple beauties. And it makes all the material cravings seem so hollow and silly and futile. But still I'm happy to have them both, because it makes me see how much there can be as well as how little there needs to be. I need to hang on to that. This is by Raymond Carver...

At Least
I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world—
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every colour under the sun
that cut the water as they pass
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions.
I hate to seem greedy—I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what's going to happen.

Tricia Foley

These stunning images, photographed by Jeff McNamara, are from Tricia Foley's At Home in the Country collection. Visit her website and portfolio for endless inspiration!

Summer bedroom

Wouldn't it be nice to wake up and walk outside and dive right in? I may have given up my dreams of being close to the sea (for now) but I've completely transferred them on to having a pool, which may be more practical, but it's just as unlikely to happen. Being a water baby ain't easy...


Image via Skona Hem

Eve Gravel

My friend Laura turned me on to Montreal-based Eve Gravel and I found plenty of cute dresses to tickle my fancy. Thanks Laura!

Weekend inspiration

I spent the weekend decluttering and rearranging, trying to free up space in my apartment so I can identify what I need and want. Honestly, I don't think you can start to visualize how to decorate a space until you get rid of the clutter and clean it. It also helps you with the functional assessment: E.g. Do you need more storage? I'm feeling more on track than I was before. I've come up with a wishlist of items that will serve as my starting point for shopping.


This is how I always shop (for both clothes and decor). I just find an example of something I love regardless of the retailer or the price and then I go searching for something that gives me the same special feeling and fits my budget. I always find it easier to have something in my mind's eye when I walk into a store and it gives me the confidence that it will work, because I've preconceived it.


Of course, a better decorator can make that assessment on the fly, but I don't trust myself not to get dazzled and distracted in a store. And, as Margot has said, it's a decorating fallacy that things will all come together just because you love them (unless you have a very rigid and consistent aesthetic). And the bed... the thing that started all this? I want to check out this yes (yes, it's upholstered and from a mass retailer, which makes me a big fat hypocrite), but it was also the one used in this home, which I adore.

Product inspiration, first set: Goodman light (for hallway) from Circa Lighting / English roll-arm sofa from Restoration Hardware / Bobbin chair from Phoebe Howard / Pipa side table from Oly. Product inspiration, second set: Atelier accent task lamp from Restoration Hardware / Hot-Rolled Steel Coffee Table from Stylegarage / Table linens from Fog Linen, via Mjolk / Zinc nightstand from Restoration Hardware.

Friday!

It's been a rainy, gloomy week in Toronto and my bed has been begging me to stay a little longer every morning. And every evening, I've been in a cleaning frenzy into the wee hours. So, needless to say, I'm happy for a weekend.

All that's been on my mind this week is decor; paint colours, floorplans, inspiration boards. I thought I had a breakthrough at work yesterday for my bedroom only to get home and find it won't work. But the other breakthrough I had the night before should stick. Sigh. I know I'm obsessing, but I'm kindof addicted to it.


I've got some company coming over this weekend, which is the only thing that will stop me tearing my whole place asunder, so a very good thing. I think I'm going to make some Sgroppino for us. I haven't really thought beyond that, but I'm sure there'll be shopping and searching, moodboard making and budget crunching.

Aside from my decor daze, I've been in decent form. I've been sticking to my diet, exercise and budget, so I'm feeling good. I'm still crazy busy with work, haven't made any of the changes I need to there. Saying no to work is a real challenge for me. Of course, I'll be working this weekend too.

What have you got planned? I hope the weather's less glum where you are! And if there's salty water, I hope you swim in it. I can almost smell it!

Image credits 1. Pollock Holes, Clare, 2. feather, 3. Wood pile., 4. Untitled

Finding my style, afresh

Last night, I came home frustrated about decor. So, I went back to basics and listed the components of a room: Wall colour / wallpaper, window treatments, floor treatments / rugs, lighting, furniture, upholstered furniture and, of course, accessories. I looked through the Domino decorating book, magazines and books. And I looked through my Tumblr. I listed what I love, what I hate and what I'm stuck with in my apartment.

I took inventory of what I already own and grabbed images of those things I love. I also grabbed images of the things I know I want and love. Then I stood back and assessed the blanks. Sometimes, I find looking at images of other people's complete, and beautiful spaces so entirely confusing. I start to think I want a total change, to think I'm doing everything wrong, to I think I've gone down the wrong decor path. It's too easy to not trust your own style.


But, I'm really fairly consistent: Rustic, modern, bookish, character. I go for greys, neutrals, classic rustic patina. I max out on accessorizing. I like piles of books and abundant flowers, groups of ceramics and vases. I'm no Kelly Hoppen and I'm no Rita Konig either. Though I'll look at rooms by both and adore them.

There are some things I'd like to replace. For example, I shouldn't be too hung up about choosing a bed that complements my chest of drawers, because I don't like my chest of drawers that much. I don't like my coffee table much either. And some accessories I'm no longer in love with were bullying me in directions I don't want to go (like my bullet planter).


I've given up being frustrated with this process. I think it's more than the bed that was bugging me. The bed was just a tipping point because as well as being a hefty style statement, it represents such a hefty investment. Now, I feel like I'm getting back to brass tacks and looking at what's really important. Sometimes a little reductio in decorating goes a long way. Now, I'm having fun again!

All images from my Tumblr sourced from the following blogs. Top set: My Scandinavian Retreat / Auburn & Ivory / Remodelista / Brabourne Farm Second set:  Four Walls and a Roof / Apartment Therapy / Oh So Beautiful Paper / Brabourne Farm. Please click through for full credit.

Upla

I blogged before about Upla, but their e-store is now open and I'm so excited! For Liberty-lovers there's even a Liberty option.

Bedroom

I literally could not sleep thinking about my bedroom last night. I know I'm making mountains out of molehills, but I'm so sick of it not being done. It's close enough that I can taste it and I think that's what's getting to me. However, the big stumbling block is still the bed. Remember this one (because I decided I hated beds)? Now I think that works fine in pictures but in the real world, I'd walk into the room and think, where's the headboard?


Then I considered this uber-bed. But I saw it in person last night and ruled it out. Then I was thinking upholstered, but my inner voice screams "hotel chic" when I see upholstered beds and, of course, I hate "hotel chic".


I think as much as the bed is the issue, the stores are too. I really want to walk into a shop and buy a bed from the person who made it. I want it to be a treasured piece to me not because I spent x-number of dollars on it and feel locked in to the purchase, but because I care about its maker. I want a bed I can tell a story about. Unfortunately, stories can be pricey little things. Especially when your search is confined to the city. There's a premium on stories downtown.


But, I've got my fingers crossed on a couple of sources I haven't scoped out yet. I'm hoping that this isn't one of those things that has become difficult for no good reason and that I soon settle on something! On the upside, isn't it apparent how well those zinc nightstands fit my style? I have to find something similar!

All images from my Tumblr sourced from the following blogs. Top row: Remodelista and {this is glamorous} / Second row:
{this is glamorous} and {this is glamorous}  / Bottom row: Bliss and Coco + Kelley. Please click through for full credit.

A poem for Tuesday

My mental snapshots of home crystallize in the summer months. Sometimes, I used to wander from where I worked  and sit by the Grand Canal. I'd always think of Patrick Kavanagh, though I never sat on his bench. I preferred to leave him alone and sit on my own myself. Canal Bank Walk is one of those poems we learned by heart in school; "stilly greeny" always makes me happy.

Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin
'Erected to the memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'
O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
Of mid-July. No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges -
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb - just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

Summer from Brora

I love everything about this look, from the model's hair to the perfect dress. Oh Brora, when you get it right, you get it so right!

Heath

I've been obsessed with this teapot from Heath for a long time. Maybe I'll buy it as a little June present for myself!