Monday, November 2, 2009

Foyer and Upper Hall.

After many trips to local home furnishing stores and art galleries, I was finally able to dress a couple of plain walls with some framed art.

Interestingly, when I met a friend for lunch last week, he happened to ask about how to pick out art for his home. He lives with his wife and two kids in a 6000+ sq ft mansion, yet he doesn't even know where to start when it comes to selecting paintings or framed art. I gave him the following suggestions:

1. Pick out a style of art to complement the overall style and theme of your house: for example, if your furniture has boxy, clean lines and it's made of MDF coupled with some metal framework, chances are you should be looking for art with metal frame or plain soho poster frames. The art itself can be black-n-white photography, minimalist fine art such as Mark Rothko's prints.

But if you have a lot of solid wood furniture like we do, original oil painting with gold-leaf frame will spice up the classiness. If your overall style is transitional, then I suggest you invest in some unique and vintage art prints with champagne-leaf frames.

2. Pick out the overall color tone of your furniture and accessories. If you are putting up a focal piece, try to pick out all the major colors in that room in the painting/art. If you are filling up some blank wall space, try to look for color tones in the art that either complement the overall color tone (e.g. muted green goes well with gold, champagne or seagreen), or do the opposite to give that "pop" or "wow" factor (e.g. fuschia pink with chartreuse, the color combination you can only find in some orchids!).

As usual, here are some pictures.

My birthday present from Anthony (xoxo): Silver Leaf Hall Chest (in the upper hall)

Upper Hall-1
Upper Hall-2: love my faux-douglas fir plan in swirl shape on a silver leaf urn.

Framed Art along staircase

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Family Room

This weekend we finally had some time to finish up our family room. In addition to adding crown moulding and re-painting the room, we added an sunburst mirror over mantle, roll down area rug, mirror and floor lamps to pull the room together. Black mirror with gold-leaf trim: add some weight to the left-side of the room to balance off the black couch on the opposite side. I made all the cushions myself! The whole room has a fresh but muted gold tone.

It took me a long time to find this faux bamboo tripod lamp, which looks much like a chrome floor lamp from Meurice Collection by Robert Abbey - Jonathan Adler. The Meurice easily costs $500, and how much did I pay? A mere $115!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Investor Itch

It doesn't take us seven years to feel the itch. Shortly after we moved into our new house, with a couple of rooms still yet to be filled with furniture on order, we've picked up another investment property in the Leaside neighbourhood. Just when the thrill of new home owner starts to taper off, the sense of loss called for this type of behaviour.

Over the past two years we've been contemplating the idea of buying a few investment properties: either for long-term rental or flip at time of closing. Similar to all other major life events of ours, it didn't take us long (over a weekend, to be exact) to decide on
Scenic on Eglinton. We've committed ourselves to a 876 sq ft corner unit with 1 bedroom + den + a humongous balcony. You must be laughing...yes, the entire unit is only the size of our current kitchen! The unit faces north where Sunnybrook Park is. The closing date is slated to be Sept 2011, but will very likely be delayed to the following year.

View looking North where Sunnybrook Park is.
View looking Northeast where Leslie & DVP is.
Salt-water Pool: how many condo buildings in Toronto have salt-water pool?
Bathroom with standard features
Bedroom with standard features, all suites have 9' ceiling.
Kitchen with standard features (except for the lights over island)

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a Month!

It has been a crazy month since we moved into our new house. I happen to have some down time today, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post an's now or never, that's how busy our life has been. We've certainly been keeping our friends and family anxious to see what our new house looks like. I wish I had some photos to share but my "good" camera is being repaired for a power valve failure so I haven't been able to take any good pictures. Plus half of the house is still empty as I am taking my time to buy furniture that will eventually fit into our overall design themes.

Speaking of furniture, we've just finalized our order this past weekend for a dining set, which includes a Restoration Hardware Double Pedestal Dining Table that can sit up to 10 people (my Dad is going to love this as he has always been a "big dinner" guy), 8 chairs including 2 armchairs for hosts, and a sideboard. All is made solid mahogany stained in dark brown. Since they are being custom made for us to our dimensions, we won't get them until mid November however hopefully in time for our Christmas dinner. We also look to host housewarming parties for friends then if we don't go on vacation outside of the country.
Dining TableOval Back Dining Chairs with X Details


Monday, April 6, 2009

Moorish Tile Pattern, Sea Green and Hibiscus Pink

This past few weeks for me has been the research for window coverings, fabric, rugs and color schemes of each room in the house. I've come to realize that I don't really need to stick to any particular look/style but to mix things in new ways. The "style" I am intrigued to can be expressed more from how things are assembled, and then presented with a sense of harmony and balance. It's truly great to be able to design based on C&J's Home Heist's scale, but for someone like me who has been accumulating stuff over years might find a way out to design like Suzanne Dimma.

This is the color scheme I am using for the family room. Wallpaper ($295 per 10m roll) is from Farrow & Ball.

Moorish tile pattern cushion ($40 each) and area rug ($399) from Pottery Barn. These ones have been discontinued and it took me quite a while to track down some sellers in the States.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greenpark's Princess Margaret Hospital Lottery Grand Prizes Are Back!

I guess slow market barely made a dent in a deep pocket like Greenpark. They continue to support Princess Margaret Hospital's Home Lottery with grand prizes ranging from 630K to 2.6M.

I am not a big fan of this year's design styles, probably because I am too Heisted by Colin & Justin! There are only a few spots here and there worth commenting.

I like the faux-windows/light boxes next to the fireplace. Colin and Justin made similar arrangements for a basement with very limited natural lighting.

This is another trick I learnt from last night's C&J episode. By pushing the moulding around the wall taller than half wall (e.g. 5 ft), it makes the ceiling looks so much higher.

Instead of shower curtain, glass sliding door makes a small bathroom so much more spacious. I might just do the same for one of the smaller ensuites in the new house. My only concern is that by doing so, it makes the shower very utilitarian, but it does lose that spa-comfort-soothing touch.

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