hello!neighbor - breanna & viator

I'm so happy to kick off a new season of Hello! Neighbor posts with this house tour. I profiled Bre of Scout & Catalogue fame last month when she offered up one of her navajo pouches as a giveaway. When we went by to see her studio I knew immediately that we should also shoot her house for a Hello! Neighbor feature. She and her boyfriend, V, have kindly answered all my questions (some of which are new) and have also agreed to show their faces. The idea of including a photograph of the homeowners was something I was toying with last year and I think it's a nice touch. It brings another dimension to the house tours. So thank you Bre & V for being the first! Oh and if you haven't done so already stop by the Scout & Catalogue store and see the new Spring 2011 Collection. I'm definitely going to pick up one of these and probably one of these. So hard to choose - I like it all! Enjoy the tour!


Breanna and Viator


Bre: I run the accessories label Scout & Catalogue.

V: Translator, S&C intern, server.

How long have you lived in your home?

4 months.

Any kids or pets?

Bre: One cat named Mouse.

V: She is our recently adopted cat from the Humane Society. She is a slender cat, other than her Garfield sized pot belly that she shows off when she naps on her back.

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

Bre: I work from home so I send most of my time in the studio (aka. the second bedroom).

V: Probably Bre's studio. That''s where I've managed to carve out a little work space for my laptop, amongst her pyramids of leather, textiles and tumble weeds of thread.

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

Bre: Yes, we would own it instead of renting. We live in a great character apartment that could use some serious TLC but it doesn't make sense to really get in there and change things when it's not your own place.

V: We do love our old Georgian home very much, but there were a few late 80's renovations done that we wish were restorations instead. In the near future we would love to purchase a place where we could really warrant going in and making the changes we want.

How did you end up living in Parkdale?

V: It really came about by looking for a large 2 bedroom online. Although we were both familiar with the city before moving here last summer, neither of us had a real feel for the neighbourhood. We found a place online that sounded great, and looked good in pictures, and when we came to see it, we both fell in love with the house, and with the beautiful Parkdale street on which it sits.

Bre: We noticed that in Parkdale we ended up getting way more for less. The neighborhood is a little rough around the edges but it has a heart of gold and has been really good to us.

What is your favorite moment/object in your home?

V: My favourite "moment" was the first week we moved in. Although the experience of moving can be daunting, I always find it rejuvenating. That initial week was my favourite because this is Bre's and my first Canadian home together - a wonderful new beginning.

Bre: I love our giant picnic table that V found for free online and then fixed up for us. It holds a ton of people and many a good dinner has been eaten on it.

Where did you come up with the name for your company?

Bre: I am originally from Vancouver but moved to Toronto from Mexico where V and I lived for a little over a year. While I was there I noticed that I was constantly writing the same things about my new surroundings to friends and family and decided it would be easier to have a blog where I could write something once and everyone could access it. I called my blog Scout & Catalogue because I felt as though I was observing a new culture (scouting) and recording my findings (cataloguing). When I began to work with fabrics and dyes I talked about the process on my blog and the name stuck.

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

Bre: I think I am mainly inspired by my surroundings. My line Scout & Catalogue changed drastically when I moved from Mexico back to Canada and I believe that it has evolved differently in Toronto than it would have in Vancouver. I am, always, inspired by the west coast but am also enjoying novelties like snow and gorgeous old architecture. I am also pretty much constantly online reading blogs which clearly affects my aesthetic.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Bre: Vancouver - going home is always the best.

V: The ocean. Although I prefer when it is a tropical one, any time I am near the waterfront, I feel a true sense of belonging.

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

V: A set of assembly instructions; I really love knowing exactly how something should be done, yet I opt for my own opinion and decision of how it should actually be done.

Bre: One object seems almost impossible to define! I would say that the objects I treasure most are ones that have been given to me by family and have a sense of history to them. If that leads you to believe that I have a tendency to be over sentimental you would be very very right. It must be the Pisces in me...

What are you reading at the moment?

Bre: This is going to make me sound like such a Scout & Catalogue keener - I'm reading 'Colour' by Victoria Finaly. It takes you through the history of all the colours in the paintbox one at a time. I've recently begun incorporating natural dyes into my line and have just discovered that one of my favorite dyes was once harvested by out-of-work pirates in South America. The book is definitely adding a whole new romanticism to my weekly dye sessions...

V: Other than online literature, I read the occasional Globe and Mail.

All photographs with the exception of couple portrait by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book.

Couple portrait by Bre.
Photograph in image 9 by Debbie Carlos.

hello!neighbor - jenny

This is the tenth Hello! Neighbour post I have done and with each one I reach a little further out from my network of friends to discover new homes and places. I first learned about Jenny Francis from her blog which I came across when looking for a web designer (not only is she an architect but a graphic designer as well). She had a post about a Parkdale Victorian which immediately caught my eye. I loved the images of the exposed timber wood ceiling and cutout in the hallway and immediately started wondering if I could do the same thing to my Parkdale Victorian. Then a few months later, I was flipping through an issue of DesignLines magazine when I spotted not only the same beautiful ceiling but a long horizontal mirror that looked eerily familiar. I knew that mirror, it was a vintage find that got away! I was so upset about missing out on that mirror that I actually blogged about it here. I now knew not only who owned the beautiful Victorian house but the mirror as well, none other than Jenny Francis, herself. So, I reached out and sent her an email and asked her if we could tour her house. Of course, she said yes. Enjoy the tour!


Jenny Francis, principal and owner of Jenny Francis Design



How long have you lived in your home?

5 years

Any animals, kids?

2 charcoal grey cats

What is your favorite room?

The ground floor living/dining room. We have had fantastic dinner parties at this long table. It feels good to be in it.

What is your favorite object/thing/moment in your home?

The custom pieces that I have designed are special to me, such as the cocktail tables and the walnut dresser in the bedroom.

What are your future plans for the home?

Additional renovations are planned, for the exterior of the house, the upstairs (new bathroom, new custom closets) and we are considering turning the laneway garage into a little studio.

Anything you would change?

Yes certainly - the house is small and so every design move must be considered very carefully - we haven't touched certain areas yet but refinements are definitely planned.

Best thing about living in Parkdale?

It's a vibrant neighborhood, with a wonderful mix of cultures. It feels as though it's constantly changing and improving, which generates an energy that is exciting to be a part of.

What original feature(s) of your home will you never get rid of?

One of the nice things about the house is that none of the original interior partitions or finishes were precious, and so we could strip things back to a crisp, clean new space. The house is solid and well proportioned, but other than that, there is little we would hesitate to change. We would never get rid of the amazing douglas fir joists that we have exposed in the ceiling though - the wood is beautiful.

Thanks Jenny for letting us inside your home! I'm happy the mirror went to a good home. It looks absolutely perfect above your dresser. It was obviously meant to be.

All photographs by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book.


Image 1
- Wicker couch: InAbstracto
- Brass edged cocktail table: Custom designed by Jenny Francis for Hotel Le Germain
- Ottoman: 3rd Uncle for the Drake Hotel
Image 2
- Coat hook: Eames Hang-It-All
- Scarf: Virginia Johnson
Image 3
- Baskets: Hollace Cluny
- Jielde Lamp: Inside Modern Living
- Framed photo: framing by Soho Framing
Image 4
- Rolling bar cart: vintage stand, custom corian top
- Stool: Tolix
- Chair: vintage, reupholstered by The Big Stuff
- Mirror: from Chatelet
- Blanket: from Istanbul textiles market
- Pillow: from Fluf
Image 5
- Stools: Tolix
- Chairs: Caban
Image 6
- Brass edged cafe table: Custom designed by Jenny Francis for Hotel Le Germain
Image 7
- Mirror: vintage from Queen West Antiques
- Walnut dresser: custom, designed by Jenny Francis
- Side chair: vintage, from Machine Age Modern
- Pillows: Assorted, from Fluf, Caban, Dwell Studio
- Basket: West Elm
Image 8
- Framed prints: Top by George Taxali, bottom - lino cut bookplates
- Lamp, stool, case: all vintage
- Bedspread: from Istanbul textiles market
Image 9
- Mirror and framed photo: framed by Soho Framing
- Light: combination of vintage parts
- Dresser: vintage from Bungalow
Image 10
- Rolling table: vintage stand, custom solid walnut top