thinking ’bout my hobbit hole

I’ll be moving to TO this summer & for the following year. We’re doing it. Somehow, we found a place, I found one of two jobs, and the neighbourhood had my prerequisite of habitable coffee shops.

My boyfriend and I signed a lease to our affectionately coined “hobbit hole” – although that’s really just for kicks, we lucked out – and now, for the first time in, well, ever, I have a somewhat legitimate purpose for spending every morning in the well-decorated realities of my Pinterest feed.

My hobbit hole requires four lines of duty:

  1. Find more light. We have a few windows, and they do a pretty impressive job, thank you windows, but we need more. To offer you a picture of how much I crave light, I often find myself, inexplicably, standing in the pools of light that form anywhere in my home. If I need to stand directly in front of the window like a pyschopath, so if you someone looked up they would just see me there, closing my eyes, soaking in that Vitamin D, then so be it.
  2. What colour scheme? And is this just a Martha Stewart mentality? Do people actually decide on a colour scheme before they delve in, or do they find one piece and go from there?
  3. Create more space. There’s no denying it’s a small space (we called it hobbit hole for a reason), but ain’t nothing like some space illusions. I have read that keeping a monochromatic palette works wonders for that, and this makes intuitive sense. I’m actually quite thrilled with the idea of swirling around one or two colours on my metaphorical paint palette – perhaps a creamy blush colour, or glowing milky white.
  4. Win at thrifting/deal scavenging. Because we are both students. ‘Nuff said.

So, readers, any of you, I beseech you: what was moving into your first apartment like? How did you succeed at any of the lines of duty above?

In the meantime, #inspiration:

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Poppytalk: 10 Trends on Our Radar for 2016 (Part 1):
Paint this a splash of colour, and I’m in.

Guest bedroom makeover:

old-brand-new-blog-green-desk-space-home-office:

colorful paris penthouse designed by Fusion D / sfgirlbybay:
I will never have moldings like this on my wall in TO, but a girl can dream. Holler at me if you know of any nifty DIYs, actually.
neutral color palette via jj locations. / sfgirlbybay

//1, 2 + 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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rolling out of bed into a tub

If there are two things that can make any grey day into a day of unrequited peace, it’s a bubble bath and a nap/doze on a big, comfy bed. You just can’t go wrong with either.

Now some folks scoff at the idea of putting a tub in a bedroom, and I think it’s just because they think we’re ignoring the separation of bathrooms and bedrooms all together. No, no. That is not the case. All we are doing is taking your portal to escape reality in (aka the bath) into your bedroom. Who could have a problem with that? Suddenly you’re given so many more reminders to treat yourself on a daily basis.

And now that I think about, why the heck are we putting toilets next to baths anyway? Who came up with the idea of having a bath and a toilet squished into one room? Baths are meant for peaceful meditation. Toilets, on the other hand, cannot be made into anything escapist or peaceful. Let’s face it – they’re just pits of water that you do your business in.

Anyway, in preparation for my future dream house, I’ve found a variety of ways to mix a bath into your bedroom below, so here are a few spots that really have this dreamy, introspective, rolling-out-of-bed-into-a-tub vibe figured out.

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remodelista – great examples!//unknown//pinterest//house and home//freestanding tub inspiration //pinterest

Today, the city is covered in a thick blanket of ew-go-away fog. Sticking to that trend, I have another ew-go-away paper to tackle all day, too. At least my life’s consistent.

Rather than losing myself in the depths of New Girl episodes to shake off the bleh of today, I have a bath pouring with lavender salts and bubbles. I’m hoping to fire up my inner Ayn Rand today, so that I can emerge from the bath with a severely critical eye and the ability to write a lot of words on words on words.

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invite me over: Sherlock meets Waldo

 

To some, having a desk at the end of their bed might look like a pair of handcuffs. And I totally get that. We all want to wake up and pretend, just for a brief, glorious moment in time, that our lives really do just consist of solo coffee dates, lengthy bubble baths, and perhaps, if we’re feeling particularly motivated, matinee movies.

But if we must work, then we must do what we love (or so everybody likes to muse as though they’re telling you this information for the first time). And the fella that lives here? He’s an art expert, world traveller, and interior designer. Meet Rodman Primack. Or meet the man that leads the life we all wish we had.

Below, a peak at his enviably cultured apartment in NYC, courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Yes, we’ve seen that gnome before… this week’s Wednesday Feast was teasing you and you didn’t even know it. 😉

It’s hard to put your finger on just where in the world his style is coming from. I see Spain, Morocco, France, Belgium, even the otherworldly (I’m looking at you, gnome boy). Yet everything comes together with such clarity. His galleries are a masterfully curated example of this, featuring each corner of the world all at the same time so that we witness one fantastical scene of cultural diversity.

Primack’s playfulness with proportions seems to come naturally to him, too. Where we might expect smaller accents of color, we see paintings, plants, and light fixtures dominating the scene, unabashedly testing our limits.

The result, of course, is an apartment that sacrifices our expectations for relentlessly eclectic fun. Sherlock-meets-Waldo kind of fun. And what’s more fun than that combo?

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! Does anyone have any family/solo traditions for celebration? I’m really curious because sometimes they’re straight up hilarious/ I would like to live vicariously through you. For the past three years, Easter has been something of a semi-sweet occasion for me. On the one hand, I have the whole house to myself as my roomies flee to their respective homes, and on the other, I just think about how awesome it would be to have my seat back at home, a huge chicken and mashed potatoes filling my plate as my eyes grow four times their normal size in anticipation of eating.

Regardless, everyone seems particularly chipper during Easter weekend. Tulips, pastel colors, maybe the appearance of sun dresses if the weather permits – Easter really just doubles as one big celebration of spring, baby!

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wednesday feast 2.0

Happy wednesday, folks! If your week isn’t going the way you want it to, press the reset button. Wake up on the other side of the bed. Drink mint tea with lemon & honey instead of coffee. Dab on some red lips. Sprint for two blocks to feel like superwoman. Do a jig to your guilty pleasure on YouTube and then tackle the scariest thing on your to-do list, even if it’s just thinking about it.

Or, enjoy some mid-week inspiration with your wednesday feast.

*dezignnn*

Gnome, gnome, gnome, gnome, I repeat, gnome in the house

This space is so deliciously lived in. And I love that, because it’s so rare to see.

My instagram feed is stuffed with photos of perfectly curated lives. I trick myself into thinking that this is a reality, and, on some days, that’s nice! But on others, I need a dose of reality that looks more close to home.

I’m not saying this European sun-kissed bathroom looks anything like my reality (maybe it will one day), but it looks like an honest depiction of someone else’s. And that, my friends, is as soothing as that deep, sumptuous bath.

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*fashunnn*

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*podcast*

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If you are ever in need of girlfriend chats on the way to class, work, coffee, breakfast, ballroom dancing, get on this podcastI want to be friends with the hosts so bad – they are equal parts hilarious, witty, and feminist. Friend crushing hard.

“Multiple glasses of wine, chatting both confidence and thigh gaps plus menstruation in space. Where have you been all my life, Call Your Girlfriend?” –Holly Gordon (It’s true. The pilot episode features lotsa wine n’ giggles.)

*dessert*

Airbnb is the new food gawker. Okay, so, up front, not at all. But it is safe to say that airbnb is the foodgawker for interior design & travel. I recently found this Victorian gem in San Francisco and now fully plan on trying my hand at the aristocratic life (read: Downton Abbey life) some time.

 *receipt treat*

This illustration brought to you by a mysterious Asian pinterest board-like platform that is only for drawings and illustrations like this! Oh what you can find on internet travels.

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wednesday feast

Some people might call Wednesday the mid-week slump. I call it the mid-week pick-me-up. By Wednesday, the weekend’s plans are filling themselves in (even if that looks like no plans whatsoever, which is a bonus), I only have two snooze buttons left, and I’m comfortably situated in whatever chaos the week held.

But… it’s still Wednesday.

That’s why I’ve officially started wednesday feastsIt’s a multi-course meal of inspiration to start your day off with a pick-me-up. You start off with five-ish delightful samples of interior design that are leaving me drooling (not on your plate, don’t worry), followed by two-ish slices of fashion and a podcast to feed your brain.

Then dessert! Which can be anything, but generally a taste of another blog around the internet. And let’s be honest, we always want more dessert, so just click on the blog to keep on indulging.

And of course, a treat receipt in the form of an illustration.

Bon appétit!

*dezignnn*

living room

Funky and modern, yet oh-so-cozy.

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*fashunnnn*

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*podcast*

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NPR Invisibilia is the best. Alice and Lulu, quite simply, explore the invisible forces that shape our lives. Okay so perhaps not so simply but the way they deliver these podcasts is unlike any podcast out there – you feel like you’re right there, having a super deep but funny conversation with old friends.

So get ready for a dose of the existential.

I recommend The Power of Categories to get you started, which digs into the nature of categories and our absolute and utter dependence on them to navigate this world.

*dessert!*

The Socialite Family recently featured Charlotte & Hugo, a pair of lovers/interior architects/designers. Don’t their names alone already sound unfairly cool? But just wait until you start scrolling. Then tell me about unfair. I mean, just look at Charlotte reclining in that chair, so minx-like, and Hugo striking a pose so nonchalant you could’ve sworn you really did just interrupt them modeling.

Charlotte & Hugo’s home needs no introduction though. After all, this is the first home I’ve seen in a while that makes me want to inappropriately move in with a couple I don’t know just to be like, hey, I’m cool too. And I know I won’t be alone on that one.

The Socialite Family has a knack for tapping into the lives of the coolest families on the globe. Check out the crazy eclectic abode of Mathilde, Jerome, and their little cutie Charlotte here, as an easy example. (Although I think I’d be lying if I said these French names didn’t add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to their home, too.)

*treat receipt*

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a little tour

chezadriennetitle Everybody has that friend who defies all previously held notions of “effortlessly cool.” You know, the one who wakes up in the morning, picks out any of the perfectly classic numbers hanging in her closet and spends a little under five minutes preparing her face for the world. Everything just clicks. They just seem to get things.  For me, that friend is Adrienne, the bold-browed beauty smiling coyly below. We’ve been best friends going on a decade, which is half of my life thus far (winning at friendship, to put it bluntly), and she only embodies this stereotype more and more with each year. Should I be resentful? Hell, no, because she imparts her wisdom and unbridled inspiration on me every time I see her. This past weekend, though, my whole idea of my best friend just catapulted out of an ornate ceiling with stringed lights draped from an archway. In short, I visited her house and quickly died, went to the heaven reserved for vintage wares, crisp white walls, fireplaces-in-bedrooms, and historic architecture, and then came back to go for waffles. Her apartment almost brought tears to my eyes. So what kind of girl would I be if I didn’t share with you a home so perfect that I almost cried? Not an effortlessly cool one, let’s say that. chezadrienne

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An Etsy find from her sister, this clock was made out of recycled wood that has been stained and repurposed. This piece singlehandedly defines the room’s vibe for me. Hung just above a perfectly proper fireplace, Adrienne’s aesthetic of funky vibes mingling with opulence is the perfect greeting into her home.
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On asking why she chooses to have her (sweet n’ stylish) clothes on display: “It was originally something I bought out of necessity, but I ended up loving the way it brought colour and texture to the space; so much of what I gravitate toward is grey and boring, so having it all exposed forces me to have a little life in my room. It also makes what I own so visible – not just in the literal way – it makes me realize how much I have. It’s terrible how easily I can get caught up in feeling like I need to have new and trendy things (boo consumerism), but having it all on display is such a strong reminder not to be wasteful.”
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On what her favourite part of her room is: “I think my favourite part has to be the archway. As much as arches typically add ornate detail to a room, this one is actually pretty tacky and silly, and I love it. The original wood design was apparently so delicate that it just sort of fell apart with age, so the details were all redone in the 80s – hence the weird and silly retro spheres..”
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Galleries are so daunting to me, I don’t know why, mostly because I’m under the impression that you need real ART. Adrienne scored some vintage frames and record covers and suddenly I am rethinking my whole conception of what makes a “good” gallery. Personally, bringing in a level of intimacy and personality by displaying bits and pieces of your life – be it photos or album covers you’ve always had lying around – is much more interesting.
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“The vast majority of the items in the room are actually heirlooms and trinkets from the Granny, who passed away a few years ago. She was an incredible world traveller and collected a huge array of unique items over the years. When she died, she left all of them to my sister and I. We were all very close,and used to go over to her apartment and play dress-up with all of her costume jewels, or have fake tea parties with her ridiculously fancy silver and crystal tea sets (which I’m still not sure why she ever let us touch).”
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“The pearls, the tray, the lantern, and nearly all of the little things on the shelves belonged to her. I love having them around. It’s really comforting to come home and see little reminders of people you loved, especially in your own room. It really makes it feel like a sanctuary.”

IMG_8646 IMG_8614IMG_8641IMG_8650   Thank you, Adrienne, for letting me share your beautiful home with the world! It’s almost as cool as you are. (Yay, cheese!) Signing off, *m

gallery craving

My lack of a headboard may earn the badge of “Most Unnecessary Source of Minor Anxiety” but it’s still wreaking some serious inner turmoil. Every morning, I grab my cup o’ joe, settle in with some steaming oats, and open up Pinterest. This is where my eyes turn a subtle shade of green and my student-sized bank account starts to really grind my gears. (Do I hear an “amen”?) Every other gal in the world seems to be wearing crisp white boyfriend shirts and red lipstick, leaving their elegant stains on espresso cups at their local coffee shop, and curling into a bed with an elegantly distressed headboard behind them after a day of work. That last bit, that gets me. Because as a student, there are no funds left to squander on a headboard, no matter how dreamy it may be, and as a renter, I face limited options in putting up a fancy-shmancy art installation behind me. I am, however, on my way to curating a gallery in place of a headboard (even though I might be terrified of getting knocked out in the middle of the night thanks to only having “extra-strength” adhesive strips doing the job).

So, I’ve purchased some IKEA frames of various sizes, obviously intent on recreating some of Pinterest’s Scandi-cool scapes with framed minimalist quotes and red lipstick stains. But I also recently found a sweet assortment of vintage frames, each with knicks and scratches on the ornate wooden designs, and I’m now tempted to leave my IKEA frames under my bed permanently. (Shh.)

But here’s my biggest problem. I don’t have any flippin’ art to put in any of the flippin’ frames. Yeah, it’s a flippin’ problem. (Almost as big of a problem as my desire to say “flippin'”).

In the meantime, I’ve found a collection of galleries that I’m aspiring to. Maybe if I stare at them long enough, this will be the time when dreams come true. When all my wishes on so many stars, even an airplane or two, will just break through into a blissful reality.

Okay, getting some more coffee. Need a caffeine-induced reality check.

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This is what the collection of vintage frames I found look like. Swoon, baby, swoon!

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Look, ma! These are all my friends I made in university! Framed! They’re more fun when they have a drink in them.

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EGGS! Breaking out of the rigid frames is an excellent idea, actually.

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who’s enthusiastic about objects?

 

I recently shook virtual hands with the object enthusiast on instagram. And by that I just mean I went on to “heart” nearly every photo she has up for us to ogle at. Emily Reinhardt’s collection of ceramics injects the perfect dash of dreamy metallics and unexpected shape into everyday objects, so that we casually leave our vases on display long after the flowers have run their course.

I can imagine her work on Brooklyn street corners or African markets, on every surface in my house or artfully curated on West Elm’s store counters. I’d pluck fresh flowers daily for the sole purpose of keeping my ceramics looking as pretty as they’re meant to be. Because it’s a rare feat when the flowers look just as darling as the vase. Usually the vase is just a means to an end, but not with Emily’s feminine-meets-funky masterpieces.

Quite simply, the object enthusiast breathes new enthusiasm into the everyday objects we surround ourselves with. And to that, let’s drink (tea in a beautifully speckled pinch bowl)!

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In other news, this weekend I’ve had Prinze George’s Victor and WET’s Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl on repeat. Both vocalists have these ethereal, feminine voices and I just ache (in a non-painful, this-is-so-good kind of way) while listening. Highly suggest checking them out for your (hopefully lazy) Sundays. I’ve also managed to do zero work since Friday afternoon, which is both depressing and impressive all at the same time. The remedy? Doll yourself up and coop yourself up in a coffee shop, of course. 😉

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Lingering upon Alice Gao’s creativity

Today, I thank the world for photography. Correction, Alice Gao. Because, unfortunately, under the realm of photography is the likes of selfies, and so I can’t say I thank the whole world.

But I’m just gonna come clean and say it – selfies are such a gift. Come on, they’re super liberating. You have all the power in the world to be as pleased as you like with your photo, rather than having your face’s fate quivering in the hands of that stranger at the party who snapped you and a friend out of the blue, leaving you like a couple of deer in headlights with excessive makeup on. (What an image. I enjoy it.)

So on second thought, yes, I thank the world for photography and selfies.

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Alice Gao, though, really must be the reigning queen of this world. Or at least for me, on this day, and since I’ve found her. For example, I can’t decide whether or not I’d like to hang the finished painting alone or the photo itself of the painting still dripping from the creative process. As in, with the palette still fresh and the bottles looking as if they have given every last drop of their creative juices to the canvas at hand. And the strips of moody navy, slowly peaking towards the colour the artist was looking for. She makes her photo a piece of art, when it is itself featuring a piece of art. Now that’s ingenuity.

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And here, although these flowers look as though they’re fit for a palace or among tight circles serving high tea, the griminess of the sink and the crossing strips of metal on the window serve as a humble stage for the royally strewn stems.

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Caught mid-packaging, I see every bit of the efforts we take in creating something beautiful from head to toe for a recipient we care about. Cut string, labels messied about from choosing just the right one, stamps even. It’s as if Gao is floating in and out of our lives and pauses these moments in the most unexpected lights.

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Ah. This I adore. The composition has allowed for an immense dark sky to hover over the vibrancy of the flowers, the normalcy of morning tea. But this colour to me is not laden with grief or gloom, but blanketing comfort, lifted just enough so that we can see the light she has captured.

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I almost feel as though I’m viewing more so a portrait of a portrait than a scene of an apartment. The framing of this portrait, however asymmetrical, focuses the lady staring right back at us. The to-die-for gold and marble end table elevates her to a point of eye-level, as if we’re about to enter into an enlightening conversation with the woman before us (who I have no doubt has some bad-ass stories to tell).

ps. white brick wall alert. yes, i am swooning.

And oh my golly gee willickers, I just found her blog, Lingered Uponand I did a helluva lot more than just linger. I think I just moved in unannounced. Here’s a sneak peek of her posts, slash justification of my rudeness:

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Just everything about this outfit makes me feel like a savvy, stylin’, successful photographer.

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And just everything about this makes me want to just be her for a day. Those boots. That espresso. That style.

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Let’s make time look even more precious

For some reason, 2014 sounds about five years farther away than it should, but I’m happy to say hello to a new year (even if it knocked at my door with what seemed like a day’s notice). And even though it came quickly, the last few hours before ’13 gave its final bow were brilliant. 

Given my startled reaction to shifting the calendar year up one, I might as well have something pretty to look at while I keep count of the days, am I right?

A big ol’ moon. I’m getting starry eyed just thinking about having this in my room.il_fullxfull.509059526_erus il_fullxfull.538196432_wfto

This calendar’s a gem. il_fullxfull.527463044_tw2l

Woodland creatures, particularly that of a literally smiling deer, can brighten anyone’s day. il_fullxfull.539162261_9phs

Birdy time. And story time: I’ve had my ups and downs with how I feel about crows. You can call our relationship something of a hate-love-hate type of thing. Although now I get that these aren’t crows, because crows are all black… but I can’t leave ya hanging now, can I? Quite simply, I was stalked by a pack of five crows, and I believe they were intent on the sub in my hands. Of course, as they squawked angrily at me, I just started eating the thing faster. After it was all done, they formed a grudge because whenever I would leave my house, they still followed me. Research (always taken with a grain of salt) for you to verify that I am not exaggerrating.  precious

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