another take on our bedroom

One of the reasons our linen closet is in such a need of an overhaul is because I have a bit of an obsession with textiles. I don't think I've been on a holiday in the past ten years when I haven't brought home some sort of blanket or throw or rug. Even when I'm not on vacation I'm constantly drawn to beautiful pillows and linens. It's just my thing! moroccan bedroom-6

Of course, it is nice to use all these different textiles when I have a chance. I'm a firm believer in switching up your bed linens a couple of times of year usually with the seasons. Although I didn't plan it this way, our neutral bedroom is the perfect foil for many different textile schemes. You might remember that last winter I used a Hudson's Bay Blanket as the focal point of our bedroom.

moroccan bedroom-5

This winter I decided to pull out a cream wool bedspread I bought in Uruguay on our honeymoon. It has a chunky fringed border that looks lovely draped over a bed. I topped it with a Kantha bedspread that I purchased at a local store here in Toronto.

moroccan bedroom-3

The jumping off point for this whole darker colour scheme were these amazing Moroccan pillows I found over at Baba Souk. I've been looking for pillows like this for awhile now so I was so happy to find a reasonably priced Canadian supplier. I paired them with two Kilim pillows I picked up from The Arthur a couple of years ago, a cream Mongolian Lamb pillow from West Elm and an indigo pillow cover from Haveli Home in Toronto.

moroccan bedroom-2

That cute little woven tajine basket with the pink and navy diamonds is also from Baba Souk. I haven't quite decided where to put it yet but there is nothing I like better than storage with a lid!

moroccan bedroom-1-2

Now on to that linen closet! It really is in need of an overhaul. I'll show you what I'm dealing with in the next post.

Do you switch up your bed linens regularly?

kilim floor pillows

My good friend Liz over at The Arthur emailed me the other day to tell me that she had found two kilim pillows on one of her vintage hunts. She suggested that they might make a nice addition to my living room and wondered whether I would like to buy them before she put them up for sale on her website. Liz knows a push-over when she sees one and I easily acquiesced to her suggestion!

There’s something about floor pillows that makes a living room more relaxed and intimate. You’re kind of inviting your friends to take their shoes off and get comfortable.  They also provide great extra seating in a pinch which is definitely a plus in narrow or small living rooms like ours.

Some of my favorite rooms feature kilim floor pillows:

Artist David Bromley's home

Marie Olsson Nylander's home

But I have to admit that it was these images, from Commune designer Roman Alonso’s home, (first seen over on Simple Lovely) that convinced me that adding a couple extra kilim pillows would be a good addition to my home. I find this simple, relaxed bohemian style works well for a family (where nothing is too precious) while still having a bit of an edge.

The other thing I noticed in these photographs was the dark brown trim and woodwork. This is very common in Toronto homes and often a bone of contention for new homeowners. Many people feel in order to modernize their home they either have to paint the woodwork out or be happy decorating in a style that is suited to the period of the house. I think these photographs are proof that you can keep the dark woodwork and still have a eclectic, creative up to date home. Don't you think? Do these rooms speak to you?

Oh and if any of you out there are looking for a specific vintage treasure for your home, say a kilim pillow or vintage artwork drop Liz a line. She’s happy to do the hunting for you! What would you send her hunting for?

Photo credits:
1) The Marion House Book
2) Mikkel Vang
3) Sara Svenningrud
4,5,6) Amy Neunsinger

bohemian victorian

Sometimes things find you and sometimes they find others. As mentioned earlier, we decided to spend some of the Easter weekend antiquing. It is one of my favorite activities as you never know what you are going to find. The hunt is almost as much fun as the kill.

We found a beautiful custom made mirror that was about 6 feet long and 9 inches high. It would have looked amazing in our long hallway. However, our indecision cost us the prize. During our walk around the block discussing the merits of buying or not buying the mirror it was snatched up. Lesson learned.

The next day, I suggested we try the St. Lawrence Antique Market. Harry was more interested in the pigeons outside than the antiques inside so Myles and I took turns. As I was finishing up my search, (having successfully picked up a few small items) I spotted some Moroccan kilims rolled up on a table.

I admit that I have always been fascinated by Morocco. Iconic images like this one of Paul and Talitha Getty in Marrakech in 1969 made me want to visit.

Patrick Lichfield

Reading Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky furthered my curiosity.

Luckily, I was able to visit there back in the nineties and experience first hand the souks, casbahs, and Moroccan culture. I bought my first kilim on this trip and my fascination with Moroccan textiles and rugs has continued ever since.

I honestly did not think I was going to purchase a rug. I assumed they would be out of my reach.

I have been searching for a new rug for our hallway and the majority are in the $300-900 range. So, I was surprised when she told me the initial price. It wasn't that bad, $200 per rug. The more I talked to her the more she started to move on the price. I could sense a good deal coming my way. Without my husband around to confer with, I had to make a decision fast. With the images of the mirror that slipped away in my head I pounced. I couldn't let this deal slip away.

And wouldn't you know, it's a perfect fit.

In case you don't remember, this is what it looked like before...

A bit boring and bland.

Much more interesting. A little bohemian in my Victorian. As you can see, I have also painted the front door blue-black since the last post. I like the way all the colours are working together.

hello! neighbor - lorne & yasmin

As promised, I'm starting a new feature called Hello! Neighbor. The community I live in, called Parkdale, is home to many old and beautiful houses that have found their way into the hands of some very creative people. I'm drawn to homes that reflect the individual tastes and personalities of their owners. I think it is fascinating to see what objects people choose to surround themselves with and what makes them happy. First up is my friend and partner in crime, Yasmin. She and her husband live in a Victorian house just down the road from us...

Names

Lorne & Yasmin

Occupations

Lorne is a Photographer and Yasmin is a Prop & Wardrobe stylist as well as a Designer & Partner at Marion Melbourne (Interiors)

How long have you lived in your home?

5 years

Any animals, kids?

Yes, 2...

Neko

D'arcy

What is your favorite room?

Kitchen, definitely – it is so warm and inviting and light, you never want to leave.

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

We like to bring back souvenirs from our travels. For example large silk cushions from Thailand, a bedspread from Mexico or rugs from anywhere they make kilims. We have a gorgeous lamp from Morocco that creates beautiful shadows on the wall. It is fun to mix these exotic elements with more modern or even antique furnishings. We don’t want our house to feel like a tourist cruise around the world, but accents make interesting touches.

What are your future plans for the home?

Enlarge entry, create a 3rd floor master bedroom suite in the attic, and the backyard needs help….2 dogs and grass don’t mix very well, and the cinderblock garage could be faced with something more pleasing to the eye. Then there is the front yard…Let’s face it, these old houses are great project houses.

Anything you would change?

A couple more feet in width would be nice - a common Victorian complaint.

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

Wood burning fireplace, the stained glass, the mouldings…..and we would like to keep as many plaster walls as possible – their slight imperfections compared to drywall makes the house feel more organic.

Best thing about living in Parkdale?

It’s never boring and a lot of our friends live nearby.

How high are your ceilings?

Over 10ft on the first floor, and a little bit lower upstairs.