Header image by Natalie Rapoport. Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia. Barcelona.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Living room is for living

At times like this it’s so nice to stay safe and warm at home. The gusty winds are huffing and puffing outside. Oh that nasty hurricane wolf Sandy! Hopfully our house will withstand this ordeal.
Pouring non stop like crazy.  Brr…
Family, home, safe  -  repeating like mantra...
I'm trying to cheer up and invite you to my home and recently renovated living room.

As much as I admire  wonderful Greet Lefevre designs of Belgian Pearls and her elegant decorating ideas and timeless style it’s just a  dream and inspirational but unattainable ideal for me.
The resent lighting collection of formidable Francine Gardner  Interieurs of L’Art de Vivre left me speechless. Her taste, style and unstoppable quest for original modern solutions with industrial twist are so fascinating as if I ever will have a duplex on the upper East side. I wish… But next time in NY I’ll definitely visit the showroom.
(Just read her comment on Heather’s Lost in Arles. What an adventuress she is going for a walk in wild wind! WOW!)

We have a very small house but eventually we’ll probably downsize to apartment when the second son leave the nest too.
This is what it looked like when we saw it for the first time with previous owners.

Meanwhile I’d love to make changes from time to time.
If you ever have seen the movie Bang Bang Sisters with Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn you probably remember the crucial scene when the Sarandon’s character opens her huge closet full of expensive numbers and has a sudden revelation: “Everything I had before was in beige!” and dives into drastic changes.

All of a sudden I wanted something in Kathryne Ireland vibrant and colorful style. But … within given budget. That means that IKEA furniture stays and the fabric and color should do the trick.
The same room just different palette. 
To find a textile in Toronto with both fabric stores chains closed is mission impossible . It leaves only garment district where one can find plenty textiles for bridesmaids gowns or ballroom contest costumes but not for curtains or upholstery.
On-line research brought me to fantastic source www.newtoto.com. They have an impressive selection, mail as many free swatches as you wish and ship promptly your order. Very affordable and the quality is excellent.
So I made myself a slipcover for the couch and shams for the pillows, covered the armchairs and repainted peachy beige walls (which I couldn’t stand any more) into subtle pastel green. Now it works perfectly with our open concept kitchen.
The only decorating element are my numerous travel pictures which act like windows and visually enlarge the room. Each vacation brings new replacements. That’s all.

But what a difference color brings! With houses built so close  the sun is rarely gracing the living room, so natural light is very occasional. I needed to withstand the general gloominess therefore the colors and nautical motives.

Now it’s distinctively different from the prevalent brown/beige/cream/gray neutrals which people mostly prefer choosing ready made, dull and predictable vignettes from the stores. I like it this way: cheerful.

I hope all and everyone who were affected  safely escaped the Hurricane Sandy hardships. So far the forecast still sounds scary for our part of the world.
Wish everyone be safe.


  1. J'aime votre note d'optimisme et j'espère que tout se passe bien pour vous et tous ceux que vous aimez...
    Merci de partager avec nous l'ensemble de vos photos. Des couleurs qui jonglent bien avec la lumière.
    Gros bisous

  2. How wonderful of you to invite us in to your lovely home--thank you! I love all of that color. I can see how it would give you strength in times like these. I hope to hear an update from you here if you can in the next few days, just so I know that all is well!!

    Gros bisous,

  3. I love love love seeing how people live. (You're so much neater than I am!) I also especially love seeing the art hung salon-style, and in this case, it's your gorgeous photography.


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