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

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Accentuated

What would the French language be without accents? Why do accents even exist, aside from the comedic appearance of a hat on top of an assortment of letters? Although I can’t stand here and say to you with a straight face that I’m fluent in the language of love, there’s still an inkling of an answer in my mind: to guide us through the twirls and leaps of each sentence, accentuating the romanticism I envision when someone speaks French.

And how are rooms any different than languages? A room can divulge whole stories to you that otherwise would have remained quiet, because seeing how people choose to surround themselves in a place they identify as home reveals the comforts they can’t live without, be it a single picture frame with a pair of familiar eyes staring back at them, or whole galleries to keep them company.

The details lie in the accents people choose to display, as though they are surrendering bits and pieces of themselves to those allowed in.

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A white wall has always seemed to be the perfect, and most literal, blank canvas for a room to show off details that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. Take the vertical row of pegs, all perfectly aligned with the hanging light as if they were pointing our eyes towards it. White walls have always been my weakness for this reason, because they do so while washing the whole room over in what I feel is such purity.

But if you’re like me, this weakness may have shifted. I am proud to announce I have a new unforgivable weakness – a block of colour against a set of white walls that has such depth and moodiness and warmth all at the same time that to sit anywhere in its vicinity I’d feel as though I was in a sea, or a night sky in the last of its hours before the sun rises.

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Aside from how charming this little boy looks, and really quite proud with his overwhelmingly large collar extending over his cardigan, the most striking part of this photo is where he is placed. An unconventional placement of artwork is deliberate, bold, and unabashedly inviting.

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And so I meet my original weakness again, but this time it’s not the block of colour surprising me but the copper fixture to hang elegant and minimalist garments. If only I had clothes that I didn’t, from time to time, want to hide away from any peaking eyes, including my own. Although, can you really blame me? That sweater with two moth holes from three years ago will definitely be perfect for something. 😉

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You know how I can tell this was chosen by a man? Because any real man is never really sick of playing with dinosaurs, even if he pretends it’s just a bookend for visitors. Although, to be fair, as a real-life woman, I wholeheartedly advocate any need for a toy dinosaur in my room. 

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Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of choosing all of the special details that give a room a story is that any one detail that may be the feature accent for you won’t be for another. That chalkboard, for most, could be the “accent winner” because it’s obviously the most hilarious way to keep your routine in check, but for my music-lover boyfriend sitting next to me, it’s most likely the pair of headphones waiting to be slipped on just next to it.

Everyone will indulge in a different part of a room if done right. In my opinion, anyway.

What’s a bit of your room you couldn’t do without? For me, it’s a face-off between a summer scarf draped between two hooks as a sort of hippy-dippy headboard, and a poster of a sunlit forest that literally soothes my core with a glance. 

*m