toronto life - table settings

Last week, I mentioned that I wrote a couple of stories for the special City Homes issue of Toronto Life magazine. Today I thought I would show you how the second story I worked on turned out. My challenge was to come up with five different table settings that ranged from formal to rustic to everything in between. Let me tell you, putting table settings together in your head is no easy task! Since I was pulling from a variety of stores and wasn't going to be in the studio on the day of the shoot I had to rely on photos and my intuition to bring it all together. If you've ever been on set with a prop stylist than you know they come armed with tables and tables and tables full of options that they can switch in and out until they achieve the desired look. I, on the other hand, had one shot to make it all work and in most cases never even got to see all the elements together. Luckily for me, prop stylist, Suzanne Campos was brought in to style the shoot and the talented photographic duo of Raina & Wilson were there to capture the shots.


toronto life - city homes

Back in December, the week before Christmas to be exact, I met with the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Life special interest publications, Maryam Sanati. Toronto Life, for those of you who don't live here, is a monthly magazine that covers everything that goes on in the city of Toronto from restaurants to real estate to shopping to current events. It also releases about six special interest publications a year. Maryam asked me if I would be interested in writing a couple of stories for them for their special City Homes edition of the magazine. Of course, I jumped at the chance. {By the way, do you recognize that house on the cover? It's none other than Jana and John's home from one of my Hello! Neighbor tours.)

My assignments were to find 15-20 unusual, off the beaten path decorating items for kid's bedrooms (divided into three schemes: the athletic child, the scholarly child and the artistic child) and to pull together five different tabletop settings. Today, I'll show you how the kid's room story turned out and next week I'll post about the dinnerware.

My direction was to think out of the box and come up with items that you might not normally put in a kid's room. The task was harder than it seemed! However, after driving all over the city I did come up with a few unusual treasures. For example, that soapbox car in the first image is an actual antique kid's race toy that I found at Smash. It's probably not practical for most urban sized bedrooms but if you had the space it sure would be great. Looking at the first photo you can also see how Henry's bedroom might have turned out if I had gone with moodboard number one. I think I was heavily influenced by my shopping sprees around the city for that scheme!

For the scholarly child, I love this vintage map from Post & Beam Reclamation. In fact, someone told me the other day that they saw a map like this installed as a window blind in a child's room which I thought was a smart idea.

For the artistic child, I found these great mobiles by local artist Dennis Lin. I'm very tempted to pick one of these up for the nursery as our other one was destroyed. And you can't help but love the Keith Haring rocker from The Drake General Store  - talk about a hip baby.

On a side note, the magazine also ran a few photos of our house.

It was a pleasure to have Michael Graydon come by and shoot our home. All around I'm thrilled with how the stories turned out. Thanks to everyone at Toronto Life for  making it happen. Those editors work tirelessly to bring these pages to you and they deserve a ton of credit!