Some days are tougher than others. For those really heavy days, it’s nice to be able to come home, take your pants off and have a stiff drink. And sometimes your local hip bar is just too full and too loud, but you’re looking to share a drink with a friend or coworkers and so you’d like a place at home to entertain (pants on or off – that’s your preference). What I’m trying to get at is that it’s kinda awesome to be able to have a home mini bar, but it’s rarely a priority for the average person. So when the lovely folks at Chairish asked us what our perfect bar setup would be, our minds went a-racing! If you’re not familiar with Chairish it’s a an online market for those hunting and selling furniture and decor and a pretty great resource.
Neither Ang nor I have home bars. Probably because in our apartments, space is at a premium and easily taken over by furniture or boxes of objects that we intend to style with or sell. Not only is having the room for a bar setup key but so is not creating a bar that’s permanent as we both rent and don’t have that allowance. So we kept these things in mind when designing our mood board. Movable full-storage furniture with a table-top surface and nothing or little be nailed or screwed into the wall. That way our bar could be installed pretty much in any space. So here’s what we came up with. Be sure to click on the photo for a larger view.
We started off with the stools. Chairish supplied us with multiple options, of which we chose the awesome round back rattan and wicker ones and as a back up or extra pair we picked the yellow and black ’50s hairpin style ones also from Chairish. They work so well together and the yellow topped ones could always double as plant/book tables when not in use.
Next we needed a cabinet and of course because we like options we chose three! The first is an open concept steel console that shows off the profile of all the glassware and decanters. The second has locker storage and a cantilevered top that the stools can tuck under. Lastly because emerald greens and pale blues flashed before our eyes we hunted for a warm honey-maple cabinet and came up with this compact Pastoe one that is probably a tad short for a table surface but it’s sooo pretty in that minimalist way.
If you know us, then you know we love patterns and prints, especially together. So when we came across the bar cart inspiration photo just above we loved the wallpaper but the reds were not the colours we wanted. The other issue was that standard wallpaper is a more permanent application. Luckily though Hygge & West has removable wallpaper tiles and I’ve been wanting to use their Lina Rennell Marbled tile for a while now. It’s so trippy and organic like cut stone or night skies. And like I said we love pattern on pattern so we chose the beautiful triangle print rug from Oyyo, because I can’t stop crushing on their rugs! The wallpaper and rug combo can be a bit busy, so we wanted to tone it down. We added a large simple brass floor mirror and the very large graphic painting by Alan Fears, and yeah the wall art purists out there will probably disagree, but both of which should sit directly on the floor and be leaned against the wall slightly behind the cabinet/console.
Now we kind of broke the rule about not affixing anything with the light fixture we chose. We originally wanted to do a small pair or single lamp but we fell in love with this rattan cluster ceiling light from Design Lover and it gives an extra sculptural element to the setting without being too serious.
Lastly are the bar accessories. Here we pulled in more blues, greens, woods, more brass and a lil’ more pattern. There’s a stacked metal organizer to store napkins and short glasses. And of course multiple trays to protect surface tops. Below we’ve re-listed all the items with their direct links.
Rattan Stools, Yellow & Black Stools, Steel Console, Yellow Locker Cabinet, Pastoe Cabinet, Wallpaper Tile, Triangle Rug, Brass Floor Mirror, Graphic Painting, Rattan Light Fixture, Acrylic Chess Set, Brass Corkscrew Foot, Brown Vinyl Wine Bucket, Stacked Metal Organizer, Marble & Brass Round Tray, NYC Map Tray, Green Lacquered Round Trays, Wood Bar Spoon, Tri-Colour Key Swizzle Sticks, Stripe Napkins, Emerald Old Fashioned Glasses, Pale Blue Opaline Goblet Set, Keyhole Peep Show Tumblers.
We had a blast putting this together. Of course when your budget is undetermined and you have the vast internets to browse whatever your heart desires, fun is definitely had. But don’t let budgets stop you from perusing Chairish. We also found these six items that are very fashionable and reasonably priced. And we’d just like to say here that all words and ideas are our own and Chairish let us do our own thing with complete flexibility and no pressure.
With Ang and I daydreaming about accessible mini-bar setups now we’re gonna have to put this experiment into practice and create that perfect space in our homes so we too can enjoy happy hour!
Yes, we took a bit of a break from blogging. We won’t discuss how long, ’cause it’s quite embarrassing. We have been busy however, so the time has flown by – along with the summer. Boo! Anywho, there was a fully stocked storage space that needed clearing out, which took longer than we had hoped. Then our besties opened a super awesome coffee shop here in Toronto called Tandem, so we were lending a hand whenever we could.
And we’re sooo proud of them! It’s such an amazing space and they serve some of the best coffee in the city. We have a blog post coming soon all about Tandem, but if you live or are visiting Toronto go check it out right this very second. You won’t regret it! Also our mother decided after years and years of living with a half demoed kitchen, that this was the year she’d get ‘er done. We’re about a third of the way through but things are falling into place nicely and yes we will have some posts about the process. The whole renovation was kick started when we started discussing the possibility of turning a portion of her house into a summer rental, with the intent that it will help her ease into her retirement years. And it of course got us all excited because we get to help out with redecorating! It’s kinda crazy to be able to go back to your childhood home and help mould it into something more stylish, more current. There was also a bunch of travelling – Washington, D.C., and Montreal and road trips here and there (follow us on Instagram if you’re interested in our wacky travels).
So yeah, we hope you haven’t felt as if we’ve forgotten you dear readers. We’re got loads of things planned, and some pretty big changes on the horizon. All of which we promise to keep you updated on. Now get outside and enjoy this summer while it’s still around!
Obsession is the name of the game. This week here are the top 5 things I just can’t get outta my head.
1. Plants. Beautiful things grow in the sun and lately it’s been the never ending winter story. I’ve been eyeing this Laure Joliet print awhile now and finally bought it. Maybe it’ll put a cork in my constant rant about moving to California so I can be surrounded by awesome plants all year round.
2. Lucite/acrylic/plastic accessories. Again, got the need for warmer weather and the shedding of the many, many outer layers we’re still wearing (EVEN THOUGH IT’S ALMOST APRIL!) making way for lighter adornments that are way more fun.
3. Bright tomato reds and odd ‘70s greens. And yeah I know what you’re thinking, RED AND GREEN!?! Obviously not in that Christmasy kinda way. And obviously mixed in with a whack load of whites and other colours. Pale pinks, golden yellows, weird blues, burnt oranges. Hopefully these photos of gorgeous homes will convince you… or not. I don’t care, cause I like’ em!
4. Space. Yup, as in THE big black vast Space. Worn Journal Fashion Mag just had an new issue release party titled “Outer Space Glitter Face” and now i can’t get MIA’s Space outta my head. Plus the cover of the latest Golden Retriever album Seer is currently tiled on my desktop.
5. Broad City. I love so much about this show. Just watch it and you’ll understand.
via Comedy Central.
Leave it to Mecki to start the year off with a bang! Growing up our Opa & Oma sent us Mecki & Family photo post cards through out the year, mostly for holidays and birthdays. Since they passed away a couple years back, us siblings sneak/steal the cards from each other as they’ve become covetable mementos of our time with our grandparents. As each new year rolls around, this is what I have to remind myself – cherish those you hold dear and continue to make good memories.
Start your own collection! Mecki photo post card above via this ebay seller.
Whilst a thriftin’ the other day I came across this oh-so amazing “An Animal Shufflebook” deck. Made in 1971 by Golden Press for The Museum of Modern Art and created by Richard Hefter and Martin Stephen Moskof. The deck contains 52 double sided large cards with text and pictures that tell a story when shuffled or purposely picked and read like pages of a book. As I said amazing, but I think the cards speak for themselves.
Our mother stayed with me during this past weekend’s Thanksgiving festivities. Between childhood stories and family gossip she commented on how she liked my gigantic macramé plant holder. At first it took me by surprise but then we always had one or two overgrown plants hanging from net-like baskets in our living room. And she crochets and knits a lot, usually just scarves and toques though. She told me she’s had a hard time finding books and reading materials on learning to macramé, to which I pulled two books from my shelf to lend her. Ang and I have been pretty obsessed with textile art for awhile now. Dreams of making our own knotty weaved masterpieces are always at the tip of the tongue, but like most we have yet to commit. Perhaps my mom getting interested is the push we’ve been waiting for?
Textile art and especially macramé has definitely gained ground in last few years. Do a Google Image or a Pintrest search and you’ll get a plethora awesome clusters of fuzzy weaved and wrapped art in every colour you can think of. And with designers like Cathy Callahan and her lovely jewellery
and Ana Kras and her amazing strung lights.
I really like the simplicity of the England piece above. Used as a headboard, a screen or a curtain it gives tactile texture to a home space.
And have you seen this mind blowing macrame owl above by Andy Harman. I’ve been moaning about some bare walls in my place and lack of proper window treatments. With the winter nearing I may just have to start a new project!
Wow, a month sure goes by fast eh? This Sunday, Sept 15 , Ang and I will once again be selling bunches of awesome vintage decor at the Leslieville Flea along with a whack load of other vendors. And since the summer has come to a close and the cool weather is a-comin’ this might be your last chance to enjoy an outdoor event like this – so no excuses! This Sunday grab the dogs and gam-gam and head on down to Queen East and Leslie, I promise it’ll be worth it! Follow our Instagram for sneak peeks at items we’ll be bringing and if you need more deets, check out LF’s website here or their FB page.
I only got to reading the latest New York Times Style Mag yesterday, so you might have already seen the photo spread, “A Fine Balance”, about the design firm Dimore Studio and their beautiful apartment. I am in love with this space. Truly, madly, deeply. The rich yet restrained colour palette. The perfect mix of antique and vintage. And the details! My gawd the details! That moulding, and the super thin (gold leaf?) border, and the patinated brass counter, and the light fixtures! Man that’s some lovely lighting. This is A+ level decorating in my opinion and definitely inspires me to aim higher. Be sure to read the NYtimes article with more photos and check out their online portfolio for more drool worthy design. All photos taken by Henry Bourne via New York Times.
Yes, I have an addiction. I like many others am addicted to Kijiji. I can spend hours going through photos and pages, even neglecting to eat at times. My preferred method of scouring is through the app, as you can scroll and scroll and scroll, with no need to click to the next page. I am what a close friend recently referred to as ‘a kijiji machine’ and I whole heartedly agree – I am damn good at it. So while my friend was a-hunting for a new (to her) sofa, I of course joined in and took a peek at what I could find and it got me thinking about writing up a post on furnishing an imaginary room. Now my first rule about Kijiji or Craigslist hunting is to always have an open mind. Yes there is a butt load of crap out there but sometimes with just a lil’ bit o’ creativity and the DIY spirit, beautiful things can be had. Of course you can find really beautiful Danish furniture and amazing antiques in awesome condition, but more often than not they’re going to have a hefty price tag attached. For this post challenge I’ve decided that I’ll have a budget of $1000 and a list of items I need to include all found on Kijiji in the Greater Toronto Area. Bonus if I just so happen to have a surplus of money left over, which will go toward undisclosed paint/art/electronics/extra accessories. The imaginary client will allow me to style the room however I like, but to keep in mind it should be comfortable and casual. So let’s get started!
The list of items are as follows, with an approximate estimated price.
Sofa – $300
Coffee table – $75
Occasional chair – $150
Side tables up to two – $75
Rug – $150
Credenza/console – $200
Two table lamps or a combo with one table and one floor – $50
Because I get over zealous I ended up with two different versions but I used the same lamps and the TV console in both. I’ve done a lil’ mood board mockup but below in the room write-up I’ve included the original Kijiji links.
Living Room #1
Sorry I realize it looks a lil’ jumbled and wonky, between my Photoshopping skills and the often crap photos the sellers take, this is the best I could do. So we’ll start with the sofa, I wanted a leather sofa (picked for both rooms) because they’re easy to clean and age nicely, as long as they’re real leather – no bonded stuff. This one is a Lafer style sofa and is priced at $250 which includes a smaller two seater (we’ll pretend that the second one will be sold off). Seriously two sofas for such a steal of a price! Especially when Lafers can sell for soooooooo much more. Even if it’s not the real deal it has the look I wanted, comfy with a lil’ crazy ’70s vibe. The coffee table is repurposed equipment travel case priced at $50. It might be higher than I’d like but without dimensions listed I’m gonna assume it’ll work. The occasional chair is a rattan and wicker chair that would work inside or out and is priced at $75. The side tables look to be IKEA Frosta stools (not available in North American IKEAs anymore), which I know are copies of Alvar Aalto Stool 60 but I can’t forget our budget and the IKEA ones are actually pretty well made. I chose these because not only do they stack, but they double as table tops and seats. So yeah handy lil’ suckers priced at $5, not sure if this is for both but at that price I don’t mind paying per stool. The rug is an Aztec style and made in Belgium and priced at $100, I like the muted graphic design and I think over time will wear nicely. When looking for rugs my main focus is the finish of the material because I rarely like the overly shiny Chinese silks that were popular in the ’80s and ’90s. I tend to look for more weaved rugs or at least ones that I think will fade and distress nicely, and obviously I tend to like them more off beat but that doesn’t work in every setting or with every budget. The TV console is a vintage dressing table that I’ve removed the mirror with the intent to use elsewhere and is priced at a whopping $50 (so ridiculous!). I love the lil’ shelf between the drawers. Practically you could put your appleTV or whatever device you use to watch your telly but I would put some pottery or some plants or some books to style it up a bit. The pair of yellow glass lamps priced at $50 (sorry folks look like these have sold) and are so lovely and look vintage but apparently are not and they don’t come with shades but a pair of crisp white ones would work. The floor lamp is a photographer/studio lamp that I picked to bring a bit of industrial to the setting and priced at $25 it’s bang on.
In the second mood board as I said the lamps and the TV console are the same. Now I know the majority of you are going to hate this sofa, but let me make my case. Again I chose leather because of it’s easy care, although the off-white is usually a no-no for me as it can mark and stain, but in this very ’80s shape it helps to modernize the piece. Pretty much if this sofa was any other colour I’d skip it. Remember – budget, so priced at $120 it’s perfect and I’d style it up with some vintage geo print or salvaged Kilim rug pillows and there’s always the possibility to staple and tuck a printed blanket in and around the seat to bring some contrast. So I say whatever to you haters, ’cause this is the sofa I’m sticking with. The coffee table is an awesome round rattan piece that whispers Franco Albini and is priced at $55 . The occasional chair adds a pop of orange and mixes up our ’70s-’80s vibe with a punch of deco. Priced at $95 and it’s in great condition. I went with a single side table priced at $25 (sorry this too has sold!) in a gloss black and squared shape to break with the rounded lines of the coffee table and deco chair. The rug was a bit of a splurge, because they usually are, but I took a chance hoping I’d wouldn’t blow my budget. Priced at $300, I love the mix of blue and browns and the busy pattern keeps the rest of the room from looking too safe.
So with final subtotals coming in at $610 for room 1 and $720 for room 2, I’ve come under budget with money to spend making each room that much more personal. Looking at both mood boards there’s definitely a trend of mixing neutrals with patterns and a pop of colour here and ther, but also remembering to mix materials and finishes because layering is key.
Not bad if I do say so myself! I like the fact that on such a minimal budget anyone can furnish a space and not feel like they have to compromise on style. Though when buying off Kijiji/Craigslist you have to move fast, as they sometimes sell quickly! And yes, it takes work and dedication but in my opinion the end result is so friggin’ worth it.
Yes, yes y’all! Once again Ang and I will be selling our lovely goods at the Leslieville Flea, behind The Duke at Queen East and Leslie, this coming Sunday August 18 from 10-4pm. So bring your family and friends ’cause more and more awesome vendors are added to the roster and you’re bound to leave with something amazing and unique. Check out the Leslieville Flea blog for more deets and fingers crossed that the weather will be just as lovely as the last time!