hello! neighbor - finn & marilyn

Happy Monday everyone. Time for a little Hello! Neighbor house tour. This month we're visiting Finn & Marilyn who live in one of the old industrial loft buildings in my neighborhood. There's a handful of these authentic live/work buildings on the edges of one of our local parks with a view out to the CN Tower. This is the first time I have showed a loft which is really exciting. Personally, I love the unfinished aesthetic of these spaces with the exposed ceilings, rough brick, and huge windows. Living in an open concept space has its own particular challenges and I think Finn & Marilyn have done an excellent job of using their square footage. This might also be the most Canadian post I have ever done! I believe there are at least three references to hockey in this post, one to canoeing and another to The Arctic. Let's hear it for Canada!

Enjoy the tour!


Finn and Marilyn


Photographer and RMT

How long have you lived in your home?

4.5 years

Any kids or pets?

No pets, but I'd love a cat and we have a baby due in March!

Is there anything you would change about your house? Future plans?

Marilyn: The front hall wallpaper and the flooring. The front hall has always felt a bit cold to me. I was so close to taking off the wall paper, but after much discussion about possible wall damage I chickened out!

Finn: White carpets are tough, so hardwood floors would be nice. We're planning on moving soon, so no ambitious plans right now.

How did you end up living in Parkdale?

Finn: I took over a friend's place on Grafton Avenue, ten years ago and loved living so close to the Antique Alley.

Marilyn: I met Finn when he was renting on Grafton Avenue five and a half years ago. We took a bike tour of the neighborhood one day and checked out some of the older loft buildings that we would like to live in and as luck would have it, we got an opportunity to buy this place shortly after. We really fell in love with the space and couldn't believe what good fortune we had!

Which room do you spend the most time in? Why?

Marilyn: It's sort of one big space, but I'd say the kitchen is where I hang out...I like to cook.

Finn: Definitely the kitchen. It's a real focal point to our place. I love to cook and love having a functioning, robust kitchen.

What is your favorite moment/object in your home?

Finn: I really love going to bed late when there's a full moon. The bedroom gets filled with a beautiful, blue light. Also fond of my double bit Best Made Axe. It commemorates the gold medal win in hockey at the Vancouver Olympics.

Marilyn: Sunday mornings in the backyard in the summer, with doors wide open, coffee and the paper. It's like a private oasis in the park. I also love our black Moooi kitchen light shade, Sapien bookcase and the colors in the smash up derby photo that Finn took.

What influences you? Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Finn: The Arctic. My cottage. Marilyn. My friends. The New York Times. Summer. Winter. Long drunken conversations with friends. Playing hockey. Canoe tripping.

Marilyn: I like to browse the vintage shops on Queen, near Roncesvalles. I also like modern design and get inspired through images and blogs.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Marilyn: The Cottage. There are places I've yet to find, but I fell in love with New York City and think about it often, especially our trip to the MoMa. I saw the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit...it was pretty rad. It really moved me.

Finn: I really do love visiting my family in the U.K. Always an adventure and always filled with love.

If you had to choose one object that best described you what would it be?

Finn: A Swiss Army knife: great at many things, master at none.

Marilyn: My bike...it's Italian and really fast.

What are you reading at the moment?

Finn: The Tropic of Hockey by Dave Bidini

Marilyn: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

Thanks Finn and Marilyn and good luck with your new home and baby!

All photographs by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book.