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.

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.

 

 

 

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