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2014/05/26 / Shanan


It feels like it’s been awhile since we tackled any major decorating projects in our house, but the time has come to whip out and make use of the many rooms I’ve pinned and then never, ever looked at again!  There are renos going on in our walk-out basement as we speak and it’s finally going to emerge as a functional, beautiful space, and not just an entire floor dedicated to housing our random overflow of crap (I’m ignoring what is perhaps the larger issue, which is where said overflow of crap will live when this is all done).

I’ll take some photos of the space in progress (right now it’s all drywall dust and electrical sockets), but naturally I’m moving right ahead to dreaming of the finished product.  We’ll have a family room with a new working fireplace, our TV (which has been more or less sitting in a closet for the last two years), and some form of built-in shelving along one wall to showcase all our books and mementoes. I’ve been collecting inspiration for built-ins and these are some of my favourite possibilities.

Image above: Ugh, this gridded rainbow bookshelf is pretty over-the-top rad, right?  NYC apartment tour via A Cup of Jo. Photo by Alpha Smoot, styling by Kendra Smoot.


Sophie Holt (managing director of Australian brand Country Road)’s built-ins in grey/green look sophisticated and unusual. From Belle, Feb/March 2013, via Great Dane Furniture.


The drama of a really dark bookshelf definitely has its appeal – especially since the rest of our room will be a lot lighter (blonde wood floors, cream sofa, etc). I hate to not properly credit photos, but I couldn’t find the source for this one.

low shelving

Now on to the classics… I love the relaxed feel of this low-slung horizontal shelving with storage drawers and cabinets at the bottom.  We’ll likely need to utilize the space going up the wall for all our books, but this is such a nice minimalist shelving solution. Photo by Paul Massey via House to Home.


Simple white bookshelves temper the crazy a little bit in the Wrubel family house, via Our Style Stories.  Not that I have an issue with the crazy.


Clean, classic shelving with that all-important closed storage at the bottom.  The styling on these is great – a nice mix of objects, photos, and books.  From the Brooklyn cottage home of Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol, via Apartment Therapy.

Decisions, decisions…

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2014/05/16 / Shanan


Lately, I’ve been finding myself drawn to the somewhat crazy resurgence in the popularity of woven textile art.  A million years ago these commonly took the form of macramé owls, rendered in écru and brown wools, hanging in living rooms with wall-to-wall shag carpeting.  I think you know what I’m talking about here.

I always appreciate a traditional skill-based medium made to feel modern again, and these weavings feel especially beautiful and current if you picture them living in more minimal settings – their inherent warmth and texture really plays well with contemporary furnishings and white walls.  They’re just such a great mixture of art, design, and craft; colour, pattern and composition. One of each, please.

Image above: weaving in shades of cream and blush by Maryanne Moodie.

Heddle and Needle blink wall hanging weaving

‘Blink’ weaving by Heddle and Needle.

Minna cabin fever weaving wall hanging

‘Cabin Fever’ weaving by Minna.


Wall hanging by Julie Thevenot.

Hazel and Hunter red desert weaving wall hanging

‘Red Desert’ weaving by Hazel and Hunter.

Brook and Lyn Palm Tree Park weaving wall hanging

‘Palm Tree Bark’ weaving by Brook & Lyn.

vintage fiber art wall hanging the brick house

Vintage fiber art (had to include one example of the real old deal) from The Brick House.

All Roads weavings wall hanging

‘Founders Weaving’ and ‘Mini Triangle’ by All Roads.

Can you see past the ’70s hangover and picture one of these in your home now?  Are you as oddly tempted as I am to try your hand at making one (yes, yes, a possible fool’s errand)?

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2014/04/16 / Shanan


Sometimes I use Pinterest for collecting ideas and images and objects that feel fitting of a particular theme… it’s not practical, just more about conjuring up a mood from disparate things and seeing where, from a visual vantage point, it may lead.

I was reminded of a few boards I have going and thought I’d do a little virtual collaging (a process which is surprisingly therapeutic…).  The theme today is…


1.  Nomad necklace by Djurdjica Kesic, made from recycled timber, 18K gold, linen thread.

2.  Hunter perfume by MCMC Fragrances, via Cisthene.

3.  Marcel Dzama, You Gotta Make Room for the New Ones, 2005. Ink and watercolour on paper. Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery.

4.  Kate MacDowellCasualty, 2009. Hand built porcelain, glaze.

5.  Calf-hair Chelsea boot in warm caramel from Madewell (last season).

6.  Furniture combining cast aluminium and wood by Hilla Shamia.

7.  “You are Going to Die” article by Tim Kreider for the NYT. Illustration by Daehyun Kim.

8.  Tiny colour block Legacy bag by J.W. Hulme.

9.  Encyclopedia of Flowers, Flower Works by Makoto Azuma, photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki, published by Lars Müller.

10.  Natural gift wrap ideas from Artifact Uprising.

11.  Katherine Wolkoff, Deer Beds, 2009. Photograph.

(oh ps, are you following The Symmetric on Pinterest?)

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2014/04/07 / Shanan


Could these be any more beautiful?  Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi takes his cues from folklore and nature to create these striking collections of shawls, blankets, and silk scarves.  They’re like ancient tapestries made modern with creepy crawlies and great colour palettes.  We still have some chilly nights looming ahead, yeah?

Image above: Lambswool ‘bees’ blanket in blue.

klaus haapaniemi silk scarf spider

Wool and silk ‘spider’ scarf with hand-knotted fringe.

Klaus Haapaniemi silk batflowers

Heavy silk crepe ‘bat and flowers’ scarf.

Klaus Haapaniemi bees blanket peach

Lambswool ‘bees’ blanket in peach.

Klaus Haapaniemi throw bird

Lambswool and silk ‘bird’ throw.

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2014/03/31 / Shanan


I think we’ve reached the dénouement –  don’t let that door hit your ass on the way out, winter.

We’ve been diligently preparing for this moment by  putting out our maple syrup buckets, collecting the many snow shovels we have strewn about our yard, and completing some small painting projects around the house.  A few extra pop-pop-pops of colour have managed, quite miraculously, to put a spring in our step.

Image above: Those fireplace logs weren’t getting much play anymore so they received the paint and gold-leaf treatment last weekend.

cobalt blue painted chair DIY

This old farm chair was in pretty rough shape, but got a new lease on life with a covering of cobalt blue.

painted kick plate kitchen bright

I painted the kickplate on our kitchen island awhile ago and I still love how it emits this bright little pop of colour in an unexpected place.

Got any of your own projects on the go in anticipation of warmer days and greener pastures?