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.

Thursday
Nov222012

skyfall date night

Mr. A and I enjoyed a fun date night to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. It was a date of the classic dinner-and-a-movie variety. Dinner: Lovely atmosphere, killer glass of big red, but the pizza? Meh. I believe Queen Margherita pizza to be a victim of too much hype. Didn't live up. Mr. A agrees.

Then it was onto the next item on the night's agenda: Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, I assure you, lives up to the hype. It's fantastic fun. Here is my small tribute to some of the details that made it for me.

First, the star of the movie...Mr. Craig? No. That suit. Yes! God bless Tom Ford for that dinner suit. First of all it's midnight blue rather than black -- a stroke of genius on the blue-eyed Mr. Craig. Skinny fit, silk shawl lapel, piqué shirt (the texture of the shirt cloth reads beautifully on the closeups on the big screen). Some people appreciate the big screen for the sound, the special effects yada yada. Me, I relish how it reveals the fabric of a tuxedo shirt.

This is the real moment of glory for that tux. Choreographed like a fashion runway presentation. Methinks the Tom Ford team might have had a hand in that...ps remember how we first saw Mr. C in the suit in this vid (ah, bless):

Generally Bond women are clad in all sorts of trampy nonsense. So this was a refreshing sight. Silk blouse, camel belt, pencil skirt, and done. Beautiful and sexy and tasteful. This is Naomie Harris. 

If you ask me the J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Dark Poppy is a dead ringer. 

The carpets in the market in Turkey: to die for! It's so hard to browse the merch when there's a motorcycle chase scene in he way. Oh well. Still, keep your eyes peeled. 

And please join me to appreciate Judi Dench as M. The character is as icy and powerful as they come. It's so brilliant to have an older woman in this part. I just love Judi Dench - weirdly, she kind of reminds me of my Mom (who I assure you is not the least icy). It's the stature, short white hair, kind eyes (even when she's playing a cool character, Dame Judi cannot erase the softness and kindness of her eyes). Also, the role I most associate her with is Iris Murdoch, in the biopic Iris. It was a heart-wrenching movie about a brilliant mind destroyed by the ravages of dementia. In real life, Dame Judi is losing her sight to macular degeneration, my Mom is too. My Mom is also an M - Margaret Bernadette. This Bond pic is a great one for Judi Dench and for M. 

Can you spot that little dude on M's desk?

You also might know I have a thing for bulldogs. Sure, my main occupation is with the French variety, but I pretty much love all the smooshy faced K9s. And I've been known to display a bulldog figurine or two...This dude is named Jack and he's made by the good people at Royal Doulton. I'll include the link, but don't bother, they are sold out, of course.

This is the new blood. He's all Jimmy-from-Quadrophenia-meets-Matthew Broderick-from-War Games and I think he's a doll. He also happens to drink Earl Grey tea and play Scrabble...This is Ben Whishaw.

A Black Watch tartan blanket plays a supporting role alongside, or on the lap of, M. Love it. Already own it.

...And then there's this. Aanother killer stone house, Duntrune Castle (known as Skyfall in the movie), dropped in front of my eyes - and this one nestled in the misty rolling hills of Scotland. Gorgeous.

I'm pretty sure there's a law in Britain that everyone must own a Barbour coat. Bond's Barbour fits just as snuggly as his dinner suit jacket. Perfect.

 

 

 

Sunday
Nov112012

my dream house

Now, don't get me wrong, I consider myself to be quite fortunate. It's true that Mr. A and I call 3 different properties home. When I say it out loud, or if it just happens to come up in conversation, it sounds wildly extravagant - like we hang with Conrad and Babs and Galen and Hils. We don't. During the recent Sandy/US election news cycle there was a joke Twitter account for Mitt Romney and one of the tweets was: "Those in Sandy's path, now is the time to evacuate to your 2nd or 3rd homes." I chuckled at the pretension and then thought...oh, wait...

While our "portfolio of properties" is far from Romneyesque, I love each one. But I do still dream of other types of properties and wonder if one day I might call one of them home. Call it an occupational hazard. Among my fantasies is a Haussmann-style Paris apartment, a mews house in any S or SW post code in London (actually, any place in London), a raw loft space anywhere, a converted barn by the ocean. And last, but not least by any means, is a centre hall plan stone house. So you can imagine my goosebumps when I clicked the Twitter link to this beauty posted by fellow lover of smushy-faced dogs and realtor, Douglas Hotte.

Hello gorgeous!. Here are the deets:

 

This Spectacular Rare Century Stone Home Built In 1861 With Newer High Efficiency Geothermal Heating/Cooling On 5.8 Acres In Northumberland Only 90 Min To Gta. 3 Plus 1 Bedrooms, Very Large Principal Rooms, Grand Foyer, Deep Windows, Built Ins, Servants Staircase, 2' Thick Stone Walls! Private Side Porch, Original Plank Flooring, Double Car Garage, Drive And Garden Shed.

Price: $529,000

 

I die. This place is located in the charming town of Warkworth, ON, 90mins from Toronto and also just a hop, skip and jump to my family members in Peterborough and Oshawa. It comes with a John Deere tractor. Please join me for a tour. 

Looks like there was some sort of portico on it at one point. Love the front door colour. Sad to see the gothic window replaced with a combo of arch-top shutters and a rectangular window. Getting the right window in there would be job 1.

A charming private side porch with a gravel walk. The perfect spot for tea, hot or iced depending on the season. 

Those windows, that stone.

Simple. Perfect. 

They could throw in that high boy, too! Handsome devil.

The room needs a pair of wing chairs or old leather club chairs by the wood stove. Done and done.

Upstairs landing for the main stairs.

I love old things but a clawfoot tub with a shower - been there, done that, not a fan. Almost always leads to a case of "attack of the shower curtain." But I'd endure it to live here.

One of the 2 secondary bedrooms. A bit museumy but look at those bones!

Et voila, le Master. It's a whopping 25ft by 16 ft. Amazeballs.

 And this little treat in the corner - the secondary staircase, which leads directly from the master bedroom down to the main level. 

A home office located on the main floor to the right of the entry. Needs books, books and books. 

And so my lovelies, by now are you thinking, hmmm, where's a photo of the kitchen? That's the most exciting part of this house. Because, you see, the answer is that no photos of the kitchen are posted. You know what that means in the real estate world: the kitchen is a wreck and/or needs a complete re-do. To me, this is the home's ultimate enticement. Cast your eyes upon the floor plan:

There exists an odd excuse for a kitchen in the back left corner of the main floor. But of course that simply wouldn't suffice. This home is crying out for the modern country kitchen of my dreams. It needs the Plain English treatment tout suite. Without a single doubt I am the girl for this design job. Truthfully, I have already begun the design in my head. I may or may not have started a private board in Pinterest devoted to it...

And for a little icing on the cake, here are the vistas:

To see the full listing or to buy this for me for Christmas à la Miracle on 34th St., please see the featured listings section of Caldwell Banker rep Douglas Hotte's web site.

 

 

 

 

 

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 105 Next 3 Entries »