hello neighbor - maarit

For this month's Hello! Neighbor, we're taking a it of a detour. Instead of a family home in my neighborhood we're taking a look at a condo built in 1978 in the heart of downtown Toronto not far from The Art Gallery of Ontario. The space belongs to Maarit and her husband. Maarit owns the online Etsy store Modern Squirrel and fills her home with her found treasures (until they find a place into your home!) It's a great lesson in how to add personality to a small space. Enjoy the tour!

Names: Maarit and her husband!


Occupation: Owner and operator of the Etsy vintage shop ModernSquirrel.

Kids, pets?: Nope.


Year Home was Built: 1978.

How long have you lived in your home?

My husband bought the condo 6 years ago and I moved in 1.5 years ago.


What’s your favorite room and why?

Our balcony in the Summer is great for meals. It's so private, has a great view, and is perfect for candlelit meals. Of course, the ping pong room in our building also gets a lot of attention.


How did you find your home?

He was looking for something very centrally-located and this was such a unique unit, previously owned by an interior designer who did a lot of renovations, but in an older building with lots of character like a large and secluded second-story courtyard. It has a great outdoor pool that we use almost every day.


Where do you get your inspiration from?

It's hard to say. I love all sorts of things and I find that when you put together these disparate things that you all love they will go well together in some way.  I always try to have all kinds of collections on show and spend quite a bit of time reading interior design magazines, especially British and Australian.


How did you end up living your neighbourhood?

I actually moved here from Estonia about 2 years ago, fell in love, got married, and stayed. But we live downtown because of the convenience.


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

When I first moved in it was a bit of a bachelor pad. I've slowly transformed it into a warmer space, adding more colour and hanging more artwork.  Sometimes it's a struggle convincing my husband that a $5 estate sale artwork will be just perfect, but he usually comes around. If it doesn't end up working, I can always sell it!


What would your dream house look like?

Some place with history, with plenty of space for entertaining and displaying vintage finds. I'm imagining tall ceilings and white walls begging for colour. Also, a great coffee shop within walking distance would be essential.


What was the last thing your purchased for your home?

I love all the things that I buy for my vintage shop, so I'm really glad that I get to have them in my home and enjoy them before they sell. The last thing I bought was a Tom Smith raku pottery mug. I found it in a thrift store, loved it, but couldn't figure out the signature until hours later when I realized I've seen his work before at an auction house. It's beautiful and lifts my spirits instantly, so I made sure to display it somewhere where I see it often.


Thanks Maarit (and husband) for inviting us into your home!

All photos by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book