Saturday
Mar302013

happy easter flowers!

One of the fringe benefits of my styling gig is getting to take home flowers after a shoot. Well, this weekend it is bumper to bumper blooms chez Austin thanks to back to back floral shoots. On Wednesday, our place was the location for a floral story schedded for the July issue of House & Home. I was working with the most talented Virginia Macdonald - what a treat. I cannot wait for you to see.

 

Then first thing Thursday morning it was down to 299 Queen St. W. in Toronto to The Marilyn Denis Show for a segment on spring floral arrangements. It felt like I did the segment in 30 seconds so I have no idea what came out of my mouth - HA! The whole team there is so great to work with. I must confess though, my fave aspect is getting my makeup done. It just makes me feel so pampered and I rarely indulge in such things on my own (which I realize is dumb).

I got most of the supplies for the segment at the Real Canadian Superstore. I popped by today and sure enough the place is stocked with potted bulbs, tons of mixed arrangements, and of course they always have great vases and other vessels. I like the white ceramics in the serveware dept. even better than the clear glass vases. And the best part - nothing I used was over $20. So if you haven't decorated for Easter yet, click here to watch the vid and then head out to the Superstore.

OK, now I'm off to make some bouquets to bring to my Dad and Mom and her nursing home buddies.

Joyeuses Pâques!

Sunday
Mar102013

more daybed love

Just wanted to drop by to draw your attention to these two cuties. I won't wax on again about my longstanding love affair with the daybed, but if you are unfamiliar you can hop over to this post to get up to speed. 

First up is this fantastic piece from West Elm. It's part of the Parsons line of furniture -- which is all genius. The styling here is very pretty as well (except for those lame cushions on the floor on the left -- what's up with those? How come nobody in creative said -- what's up with those, let's photoshop them out.) But I digress. I could also see this done up with some pretty block prints.

...like the lovely Chatri quilt and sham combo from John Robshaw. And speaking of block print quilts I've got a little beef with West Elm over its discontinuation of almost all of its print quilts. Makes me sad. If you are quick you'll still find some for sale on the web site.

And here's the Parsons daybed all naked so you can see the bonus -- a trundle bed. Yay, so perfect! 

And then there's this excellent piece, the Jamie daybed, from West Elm's sibling PB Teen. I don't mind revealing that it's a bit of a favourite secret source. No need for kids or teens in your life to find good stuff there. The task lighting, carpets and some of the bedding all have appeal beyond the teen demographic. Mind you, the styling here definitely says "teen".

It's much easier to imagine the possibilities of this thing -- and to see its virtues more clearly -- when it's stripped back. Love that it has a back (so much better if you need it to do double duty as a sofa) and because it's upholstered and slipcovered it looks a bit more substantial than the WE version. This one comes in full (shown) or twin size. 

For the record, one of my favourite daybeds seen in editorial:

This is the NYC studio of Ellen O'Neill. The daybed is upholstered in a muted toile but what I really love is the undoneness of this styling. We in the print biz can't often get away with this sort of thing. But O'Neill is a styling superstar. Trust me, if you consume design you've seen her work often and her own homes even more. I tip my hat to her, to photographer Thomas Loof and to House Beautiful for this wonderful editorial. You can see the rest of it here

PS. Just in case you were wondering, this is not a sponsored post. No posts here are sponsored, ever. I take no advertising and I write what I like. That's all.

 

 

Saturday
Feb092013

vintage fine objects - my favourites

I could go on and on about my blogging delinquency, but I will not. So here I am with the biggest news to hit the Austins in quite some time. Voilà above is Mr. A's new venture, which opened on the coldest day of the year in Toronto's Corktown neighbourhood. The space, I must say, is the perfect backdrop for his vision: double-fronted window, south-facing, high-ceilinged. Mr. A and his crew even managed to reveal much of the building's original 120-year-old flooring in all it's beat-to-heck glory. 

The sign design above and his biz cards are the work of graphic design wizard Ashleigh Schouwerwou. They are the perfect iteration of Mr. A's aesthetic. Ashleigh is the typography whisperer - check out her cool new paper goods line Paper Society Co.

So anyhoo, back to Vintage Fine Objects. Here's a little tour of some of my favourite things. First up, that mirror, that commode. The mirror is a French Empire split column mirror that I find to be handsome and understated yet so grand thanks to its massive scale. Cylinder commodes are rare and versatile little creatures that are incredible examples of the cabinetmaker's art. I marvel at the curve of the wood. Love these in a bathroom or as a bar cabinet or bedside table. I told you - versatile! (and um, the floor!)

Dear mass-market furniture company based in California (you know who I mean), never in a million years will your "craftsmen" be able to replicate the authenticity of a true classic club chair. There are a pair of these. They are really from Europe. They are beautiful.

This desk. Rosewood. Mid-century. Chair to go with. Eat your heart out Don Draper.

Mr. A and I both have a thing for old art gallery posters. This one is super cool. He also has one for a Rothko exhibit. It rocks. Then there's that art on the right -- no idea how to describe that. I have a love/hate relationship with it. And those nifty little black and white stools - Mr. A has those custom made. Simple and perfect.

Mr. Acorn here is a little cutie. It's a lidded box that's hand-carved and one of the gems from Mr. A's collection of smalls.

This sexy beast is one of a pair once owned by Canadian interior design legend Ray Staples - you can see it in the background of this pic of Ray from 1989 (and yes, a leopard pillow is just what this chair needs!). Ray was a big fan and supporter of Mr. A and it makes me a bit sad that she didn't get to see this new achievement of his. But her chairs are here and I think she'd be proud of that. She would have said "You've done good kid!"

PS That wallpaper! Mr. A's idea for a show-stopping accent wall leads your eye into the two rear rooms. Well-played Mr. A. And the carpet - want that for our Tweed place. It's classic seagrass from Reznick Carpets.

Visit the new space at 328 Queen St. E. in Toronto, 416-686-5614, or here on the Internets: vintagefineobjects.com ; or follow him on the Twitter here.