hello!neighbor - hayley and greg

When I first started this feature on my blog I had no idea how many houses I would be able to run. I had a small list in my head of friends and friends of friends that I knew I could approach and hoped that maybe I would get 10-12 houses. Luckily for me (and you!) I now get people contacting me about featuring their home. That's what happened this month with Hayley and Greg. One of their friends who works for the Canada-wide online magazine Vitamin Daily emailed me about this great home she knew in the Parkdale neighbourhood. After seeing a few photos, I knew it was a house I had to feature. I love how airy and bright it is. Of course, the benefit to me, beyond having another great house to feature, is that I get to know more and more people in my neighbourhood. I should also mention that since we shot this story Hayley and Greg have welcomed son Cy to the world. Congratulations!

Enjoy the tour!

Names: Hayley and Greg

Occupation: Journalists

How long have you lived in your home?

Two and a half years.

Any kids or pets?

Our first baby will be joining us any day now. {Note: Cy Thomas was born on May 6th!}

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

Hayley: Right now it’s the kids’ room. It’s a pretty sweet spot for sewing and imagining good times to come.

Greg: The kitchen. Hayley takes care of making the house feel homey. My main contributions are dishes and dinner.

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

Hayley: Our house hadn’t been touched since the former owners bought it 35 years go, and it had the orange carpet and Astro Turf to prove it. We tackled a bunch of projects in the first couple years, and there’s a lot more we’ll focus on eventually, but I’m so weary of reno-dirt at the moment that I can’t really think about any of it.

Greg: I can’t believe she wrote that. Trust me – she’s concocting all sorts of plans that we can’t afford.

How did you end up living in Parkdale?

Hayley: If you live in Toronto it seems like your allegiance is either on the west or east side of the Don Valley Parkway, and since our first apartment was in the Annex, our western bias is pretty well set. Our best friends are also Parkdalians so that’s where we targeted our house search. More pals have moved into the neighbourhood since we bought our house, and I love that we can wander over for a porch-visit or to watch a basketball game and be home in less than five minutes.

Greg: Our best friends live around the corner from us so we just naturally gravitated toward the neighbourhood. I was skeptical at first, but really love it now. If we’re going out to grab something to eat, I love having the dual options of Roncesvalles and Queen West. I can run and/or bike to work.

What is your favorite moment/object in your home?

Hayley: It’s a tie between mornings and early evenings, especially in the spring when winter finally takes off. The natural light we get in here just makes you feel good.

Greg: In the summer, on the porch with coffee and the paper. Hayley also had the foresight to push for a functional, but also comfortable, office. I’m surprised how much time I spend in there, but it’s a great place to get lost in a book, or in deep thought.

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

Hayley: My mom has filled my parents’ home with old photos and objects that embody our family’s history and the people she loves. My style is a more streamlined, pared down version of her eclectic mix, but it’s in the same spirit.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Hayley: Cherry Bomb on Roncesvalles for coffee and people watching, then a slow cruise home through the antique shops on Queen West.

Greg: Inter Steer, Loons, Mother India, Sorauren Park for a game of Frisbee in the summer or shinny in the winter.

What are you reading at the moment?

Hayley: Anything that might help me and my little buddy-to-be to survive the first three months of motherhood. After that, Perez Hilton.

Greg: I just finished Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer and moved on to the Mayo Clinic’s guide to the first-year of parenthood.

Any links, acknowledgements?

Hayley: Hmm… a big shout-out to the army of friends and relatives we bribed with beer and pizza to help us demolish walls and spruce up this big ol’ semi after we moved in. Every single room needed fresh paint. The vinyl wallpaper in the stairwells designed to look like (fake) fake-wood paneling was especially amazing. We owe them big time.

Greg: I’m really impressed with the level of volunteerism – especially the people behind the Wabash Building Society. It’s really heartening to see so many people care so much about their neighbours.

Thanks Hayley and Greg.

I'll be back here later on today with the winner of the Abstract Expressionist tickets to The Art Gallery of Ontario.

All photos by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book