news and appearances

Wed. April 15, 2015

I'll be a featured speaker at:
What doesn't break you makes you stronger.

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, Peterborough, Ont.

Buy tickets here.

Feb. 11-17, 2015


Oct. 16-20, 2014



#AustinSuite decorating

Here's our jumping off point. Even though our condominium suite is far from decorated, the artwork is really coming together. One friday night a few months ago we just went for it. No measuring. No level. Just hanging hardware, a hammer, wine and some high volume tunes. We used a hanging method we call "eyeballing it." This piece was one of the first we put up. Since it's a longtime favourite, we gave it pride of place. All the others fell into place around it. Now I think this piece is about to become the inspiration for our new design scheme. Specifically that ugly mossy green colour. I'm so in love with that colour.

Also in my inspo files are a whole mess of pics of this restaurant in Paris. Monsieur Bleu was designed by Joseph Dirand -- current hotshot on the scene. (As an aside, I walked by the Toronto restaurant Lee the other day and they have replicated this design exactly. That's so offside as far as I'm concerned. Inspiration is one thing, but you've got to give it your own spin. Not cool Susur et. al. Not cool.) For me it's all about those greens. I'm stealing that idea of using several shades, some even a tad clashy. I'm also inspired by the antiqued mirror, lighting and green and black marbles. 

I'm also crushing on Zak Profera's place now. Love that fabric of his on the chair cushions. Hoping the folks at  Y&Co. can hook me up with some of that. I think some middle ground between the sexy resto in Paris and this NYC place might be the stylistic sweet spot for #AustinSuite. Are you following Zak on Insta or Pinterest? I highly recommend. Love his eye and of course his adorable Shiba Inu, Shinji. Check out the Zak + Fox web site.

Our current dining chairs are courtesy of Mr. A's eagle eye and shopping genius. Love these. I think they'd be great with diff shades of green velvet or mohair seats. Mr. A likes the black leather as is. We'll see who wins that one...

Not loving our current dining table situation. It's just the trusty old IKEA Meltorp. It's fine. Just fine. But we do have a vintage white tulip table that might be ripe for reinvention so it looks more like the one above. I'd just spray paint the base myself. Love this green marble top. Need to price that out and see if it's in the realm of reality. If the tabletop were green I'd prob leave the chair seats black.

 Need to paint the interior of our entry door black ASAP. Like this. 

Speaking of doors, we currently have a coat closet that has hideous sliding mirror doors. They're taller than the nearby bathroom door and also lacking hardware. They are heavy and awkward to move back and forth. I loathe those doors. Would love to figure out a disappearing jib door situation for that...

Existing lever handles are the work of the normcore devil -- they are of the swirly brushed white metal variety :::shudders::: They'll go too. Maybe something like these above. Or antique brass? Hmmm.






Brass desk lamp is another Mr. A find. Wicked cool. The one on the right is our bathroom sconce by Flos. Love it too. I got that one at Gabriel Ross.

I have a bit of hankering for one of the lights in this new IC collection from Flos. Love that you can choose from floor, table, pendant or sconces all with this suspended light ball design. It's fun and makes me think of a balloon. Maybe a pair of bedside lamps? Or one floor lamp for the living room?

Storage is a major bugaboo right now. I thought I could tackle one area at a time, but I now realize I have to plan new clothes closet systems at the same time as I redesign the entry coat closet and some version of wall-mounted cupboards for the bedroom. I'm waiting with bated breath for the new IKEA kitchen system to hit stores. That's what I'll use (shown above) for the bedroom. 

If you can believe it we have room for only one comfy armchair. We have a petite club chair now, but I've got the chief furniture buyer on the lookout for something with more style -- like these Edward Wormley gems that cost a bajillion dollars. The sofa is a conundrum. Prob not in the budget to switch it, but not sure how to make a white slipcovered William Birch sofa work in this scheme. Like I said, a conundrum.

We've both always wanted a mobile. Mr. A actually found us a series of discs not unlike these -- ours are in bronze and gold -- we just have to figure out how to make them into a mobile. I skipped that day in physics class. Don't think I can DIY that.

So here it is all written down. Will be interesting to see if I can manage to stay focussed on this look or if I change my mind along the way.

photo credits:

1. Margot Ausitn. 2. Monsieur Bleu. 3. Brittany Ambridge. 4. Margot Austin. 5. Haus London.  6. Elisabeth Heier. 7. Andrew Skurman Architects. 8. Low Price Door Knobs. 9. Margot Austing/Flos. 10. Flos. 11. Elisabeth Heier. 12. Mid2Mod. 13. Corinne Van Havre.



put a tuque on it.

Or rather, put it in a tuque. Here's a little idea: Buy yourself a pot of heather (or other seasonally appropriate plant). Remove the heinous paper wrap it came in. Place a saucer inside an upsidedown tuque. Place the plastic pot inside the tuque and arrange the tuque to conceal the soil. Done.

Dear American friends, Please accept this word as our gift to you. Love, Canada. Please feel free to stop referring to these items a beanies or knit caps or stocking caps. Tuque. It's a very good word.

And speaking of tuques, you've seen all the Pinterest posts on how to knit or crochet a cover for a stool? Pffft, forget that action. Pop a tuque on it. These three stools are covered with hats. Seriously, it's the most ridiculously easy DIY I've ever done. I mean, even the point of being a tad embarassing. But so friggin' cute, no? 

photos: 1. Me. 2. Mark Burstyn.



Hello #BlogTourCali

This is it. Today's the day. It has been 44 days since I last saw an ocean (Atlantic) and today I am Pacific-bound. No, I'm not running away to be a surfer. But a girl can dream...

Instead, this place above is first up on the itinerary for a packed junket called #BlogTourCali. Pictured is the airplane hangar that is home to the West Edge Design Fair. Should be cool. The trip is being organized by the good folks a Modenus. I'll be joining a group of designers and design bloggers from many far-flung locales. We'll take in the design show, then head up Hwy 1 all the way to San Fran. Check this link for a peek at the itinerary. We'll be stopping for a bit of spa-ing and wine-sipping along the way. I will be sure not to order the Merlot and I will try to refrain from quoting Sideways at every opportunity (I LOVE that movie -- except for the violent beating part). 

I'll be social-mediaing the heck out of this trip so please follow me over at Twitter and Insta and join me in a prayer that my data roaming package covers all my posts. (Who's the parton saint of data roaming? Googling that next.)

Meanwhile, here are a few items I'm keeping my eyes peeled for at the festival:

This thing, my friends, delivers the coffee beverage of your dreams with just a few touches to your smart device. Of course it does. Leave it to the Danes. It's the Scanomat Top Brewer.

Sexy lighting is pretty much a guarantee at a design fair. These look interesting, but will they pass the Margot's Lighting Must List. The list consists of one item: must actually emit a decent amount of light. You'd be surprised how much fancy modern lighting is actually rather useless in the function department. These look promising. They are Tripp Lights by Pelle.

It's like the love child of a Scandi safari chair and a normcore American plastic woven patio chair of days gone by. I want to give it the sit test. It's the Rod & Weave Chair by Eric Trine. I bet it makes that great creaky leather sound.

And yes, a toilet. But not just any toilet. This is the very handsome Fitzgerald from my friends at DXV, a new brand from American Standard. I met this collection at the Interior Design here in Toronto in January. At that time I didn't need a new toilet. But since moving into #AustinSuite I've been thinking the bathroom may be next on the makeover list. (after a suitable interval to receover from the stressy ickiness of our kitchen reno) Thing is, the existing toilet is perfectly excellent in function. It's just that it has the aestethic appeal of an orthopedic shoe. Also, how the lackadaisical clearner in me yearns for the ease of a skirted trapway. (PS, after you check out the DXV site, join me in a little chuckle over the fact that this company refers to its design collections as "movements". Tee hee: "Movements". Get it? I like to think that someone there has a cute sense of humour. But maybe I just need to grow up.)

And lastly, I'm playing this on repeat to power through my to do list before departure. It's "We Come Running" by Youngblood Hawke and The West Los Angeles Children's Choir. Please enjoy: