vintage fine objects

Here's a little tip for those of you who catch up with me here rather than on the Twitters or the FB. There's big news chez Austin (even bigger than our mini basement reno). Last week my Mr. A. launched his latest antiques business right here on the Internets. Vintage Fine Objects is his latest commercial-meets-creative outlet. On the new site Mr. A is sorting his wares into groups that reflect his favourite design profiles. He's also having great fun compiling Featured collections, which are kind of like mini gallery exhibits. It's early days yet – a few widgets and tools are yet to come – but I assure you he's very much open for business and he's got lots up his sleeve (and in a full storage space)!  

Here's where to find him:

web site:



downstairs bathroom reno

The M word crept into my life recently: mold ((((shudders)))). You know on the TV shows when they see a few specs of mold on drywall and then the whole team stops. The homeowners are told to move out. The Hazmat team arrives in white jumpsuits to get it all out and save the day. Ya, well, that's not how it goes down in real life. In real life you pop on a paper mask, grab a pry bar and a drywall saw and cut that dark nasty stuff out and leave it in the driveway. Then you call a contractor. Well, the assessment is in and with the help of a team of experts we are launching a multi-pronged defense against the onslaught of water and unwanted resulting fungi. The upshot: we need a new bathroom on our lower level.

I've been pinning like a madwoman and racing around to the big box stores. My top criteria: cheap. Next on my list: black floor, white walls, and oh yes, cheap. I lucked into finding this great detailed post on Door Sixteen. This golden oldie circa 2009 by Anna Dorfman is exactement the look I'm going for. Truthfully I think this is one of the very best DIY blog posts ever in the history of the universe. Helpful detail shots, originality, incredibly detailed background info plus great comments and thoughtful answers. Ms. Dorfman has a new fan in me. So, here's her bathroom. Now, go see the rest of Door Sixteen.


margot austin, tissue box stylist

So, here's something funny. I came across this box the other day and it sure looked familiar. Well, turns out I can add tissue box packaging stylist to my resume. Here's the original:


These are actually two separate shots that I styled as a mirror image of each other. They were for a budget-focused accessories story that ran in a magazine where I once worked ;-) The expensive stuff is on the left and the similar items with lower price tags are on the right. To be frank it was so long ago that I cringe a little when I look at it. That's pretty common for stylists. You look back and see everything you woulda/shoulda done differently. I remember I was trying to capture a little of the glamour of a Jan Showers moment but with an icy wintery twist -- it was a January issue. Looks a little bare to me and VERY studio - not real at all. Anyhoo, looks like Scotties used the image on the left but had it flipped on the box. Interesting.

And don't forget, by purchasing this box from this collection you "Enjoy the most sophisticated and feminine designs." :-)

all photos by daniel harrison 

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