Author Archives: Emma - The Marion House Book

inspired by

Filed under inspired by, shopping for

I don’t know about you but for me, shelving can make a room all by itself. Especially when it is gorgeously styled, I call it “shelving art”. A mix match of artsy objects or a fun collection can really make a statement. Here are a few examples for you to get inspired by!



1. Elle Interior  2. April and May Studio  3. Bolig Pluss 4. A House in the Hills 5. Originally from Urban Outfitters 6. I’m Revolting 

Curated by Stephanie from Baba Souk


hello!neighbor – avryll

Filed under hello! neighbor

Today I have an beautiful, colourful loft for you to feast your eyes on! I was going to say it was a first for the Hello! Neighbor series when I remembered that I have in fact ran one other loft space. There are actually quite a few original raw industrial spaces in the neighbourhood of Parkdale. Many of these have now been made into converted living spaces. And you can see why! With their soaring ceilings, expansive windows and original brick walls they make pretty  impressive homes.

Enjoy the tour!

Name - Avryll McNair

Occupation - Realtor


Kids, pets?

Coltrane (amazing hound dog – 4yrs), Blue (cat – 10yrs), Martha (cat 21 yrs)

Year Place was Built

Registered as a condo corporation in fall 2007


How long have you lived in your home?

I moved in January 2008 after some initial renovation.


What’s your favorite room and why?

Only 3 rooms and it’s a tie! The bedroom because, I love the brick, the incredible closet space & that it’s cozy like a fox den.  The living/dining/kitchen, because there’s a strong sense of the industrial heritage of the building, and it’s a spectacular showcase for the artwork I’ve collected over the years.


How did you find your home?

It was a spontaneous purchase.  I had a great space previously where I lived for 11 years, I was willing to move only if/when I found an authentic loft with parking, a separate office & outdoor space.  I wasn’t really looking for myself but I stumbled across the plans for this while researching for a client (who was not interested in this space).  I think this unit had been sold then came available when someone backed out due to construction delays on the building….. the plans resonated with me, I knew this would be the right next step for me.


Where do you get your inspiration from?

I studied industrial design at OCAD and I’ve always drawn inspiration from various places:  travel, fashion (not necessarily trends), design magazines, products, homes I visit while working, my friends & their homes.  I’m passionate about highly functional small spaces and in my mind, I constantly redesign places I visit for optimal efficiency.  My clients can attest to how passionate I am about clever storage solutions!


How did you end up living in Parkdale?

I consider myself a Parkdale pioneer!  I moved to this neighbourhood in 1992 when I came to Toronto for school, it was very different them but still had a wonderful sense of community.  I was 1 of 3 girls planning to live together who must have looked lost while heading to view an apartment in the east end (now a very desirable neighbourhood).  2 bicycle police stopped us to offer directions, when we told them we were looking for an apartment they grabbed our map and circled a few neighbourhoods where they “would let their sisters live”…… one of them lived in Roncesvalles and gave it a great review so we concentrated our search in this area.  2 years ago the house we rented came up for sale and our old apartment looked almost exactly the same 19 years later!


What did your home look like when you first saw it? What work have you done on it to make it your own?

It’s been an evolution, although it was a new condo when I bought, I treated it as raw space knowing I would want to upgrade the builder’s finishes and change things to improve function for the way I live (read a minimalist in denial of hoarding tendencies + pet enthusiast).  Over the years I have chipped away at various projects: I polished the concrete floors which are now smooth as silk and so easy to keep clean with all these animals!  I renovated the kitchen to improve scale, function & aesthetic, added storage in the bedroom, the custom built-in that doubles as closet + office in the den, renovated everything but the tub & shower in the bathroom.


 What would your dream house look like?

Which dream house?  The farm house, the cottage, the industrial conversion or the classic downtown Victorian….. with an art background, I’m always dreaming!  I’m working on the next house now, it has some Scandinavian influence with great light, open concept, durable & natural finishes, a bit softer overall.


What was the last thing you purchased for your home?

Linen bedding

Thanks Avryll!

All photos by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book.


moodboard – flower power

Filed under moodboards

Friends, I think I’m getting there. I feel like I can almost hold my head above water now. The new routine of waking up early, getting the kids dressed and fed, commuting to work and then coming home after a super busy day is finally starting to feel normal. As one person commented to me this week it’s really just about getting use to a new schedule. Of course, we’ve been aided by a small village. Grandparents, friends and even strangers have all lent a hand in the past month and made the transition easier. Next week my plan is to try and serve more than just soup for dinner!

march moodboard-1Somewhere in this mix I managed to shoot a moodboard for HGTV. I was aiming for bright and bold florals but somehow ended up with a moodier, romantic palette. I blame it on April showers. I don’t know what it is like where you live but here it has been nothing but grey.

Have any of you made a new start lately? How are you working through the transition?


beautiful brass

Filed under beautiful objects

Many of you might know Canadian designer Martha Sturdy. She’s been creating bold, sculptural pieces since 1978. Her work is paired down and minimal and illustrates a great appreciation for material and proportion. If you have ever visited the rugged West Coast of Canada than you will understand her work. I have personally always lusted after her resin pieces and hope one day that one of her works will find it’s way into my home.

Her latest collection called Rivet is made from individually crafted brass accent pieces in limited editions. They are in a word – stunning.


In signature Sturdy style, this collection presents bowls, and chargers in epic proportions with bowls 10” tall and chargers up to 48” in diameter.



The piece de resistance is a 36” circular coffee table carefully executed with riveted seams and castors and is generously proportioned to appropriately demonstrate the intricate details of the finish. The patina is ever evolving.

Brass Rivet Coffee Table 36 inch (1)A thing of beauty, no?