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2013/07/12 / Shanan


Is it weird that I’ve been reading classic kid’s books and coveting the interiors?

Image above: The Old Lady had taste.  Euro-cozy-meets-Dorothy-Draper living room from The Travels of Babar (Jean de Brunhoff).


An over-the-top mix of jewel-tones accented by pops of acid yellow.  Not sure what little Pepito thinks of his bedroom but I’d sleep there.  From Madeline in London (Ludwig Bemelmans).


Cheery, earthy pattern mixing with a grounding of white.  And that couch!  Rewind four years and call Domino magazine. From Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (William Steig).  [UPDATE: look at this feature from Emma Robertson’s wonderful blog, Emmadime – it’s the Sylvester sofa/rug combo!]


This poor child may be largely raised by the maid and stuck in a bizarre WASP-y time warp, but I do love the fuchsia armchair with the powder blue rug.  From A Child’s Garden of Verses (Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrations by Hilda Boswell).


The perfect guest room: matching vintage beds, pretty wallpaper, herringbone floors.  Another page from The Travels of Babar.


A classic, now and forever. From The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Clement Hurd).

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2013/07/03 / Shanan


Hola, lovers.  I can’t contain it any longer; our deck revamp is nearly complete and I wanted to share a small sneak peek.

The main construction project on the deck was the railing — the previous one was rickety and, well, pretty ordinary-looking.  Here’s what this same angle looked like pre-teardown:


What’s with the random log on that table?  I don’t know, but it’s looking at me all Twin-Peaks-like and it’s making me uncomfortable.

Chris built a horizontal-slat cedar railing that wraps all the way around the deck, with a section of glass paneling to open up the view.  We raised the height on this one ‘backdrop’ wall for increased privacy.  Those horses can be so g*damned nosey.


We installed a sail overhead, which provides shade and gives nice definition to the outdoor space.  Bulb lights are from Target.

That old wooden furniture from the ‘before’ shot didn’t miraculously transform itself into a kicky vintage wrought patio iron set.


We switched it out for this set, which has now been passed on through three generations of my family and has been spray-painted at least half a dozen times.  I decided to go bright (in service of my Tropicalia deck fantasy) and although hot pink and lavender may serve as grounds for divorce amongst less enlightened couples, Chris (claims he) likes them just fine.



Stay tuned for the rest of the reveal.  More plants, a homemade outdoor rug, and sweet lord have mercy, some new siding on the back of the house.

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2013/07/01 / Shanan


Happy Canada Day!  It’s ironic (although perhaps not unexpected) that the times I’ve felt most patriotic were probably while I was living in the States, away from home.  But I’m happy to be on solid ground here again for the long haul.

Proudly made in Canada:

1. Smythe metallic white gold sharp shoulder blazer, Ssense.   /   2. Drip maple syrup in blonde, Drake General Store.   /   3. Onedge lounge chair in natural, Brothers Dressler.   /   4. Smokey Quartz V by Carly Waito, oil on masonite, Narwhal Projects.   /   5. Visions album by Grimes, via Pitchfork.   /   6. Pector ring, N. Historiae.

True north strong and free, b*tches.

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2013/06/25 / Shanan


Oh come on now, I’m just kidding.  Sort of.

(Sweet jesus, I birthed a baby in that bed)

I’m still mildly embarrassed posting my snaps of our house but my mantra this week comes from Cher, who says that “until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”  Sing it.

Bedrooms often seem to be an afterthought in the everyday decorating scheme of things because you can close the door and nobody else ever has to see them.  But we live in a split-level bungalow situation and our room is on the same floor as the rest of our living space (it’s also right near the main bathroom, and has windows that overlook a deck-walk-through area so if you’re OUTSIDE you can also potentially see in), so no excuses, gotta make that bed.

I think we’ve done a relatively nice job of it thus far (my photography and duvet-de-wrinkling skills notwithstanding) but I’m getting that restless decor syndrome.  Oh, the dreaded RDS.  Hashtag FirstWorld Problems.  Something’s missing…


It certainly wasn’t conscious, but I must have had this Miles Redd-designed bedroom (from my much beloved and now defunct Domino magazine) in mind when I put my scheme together.  The graphic rug paired with the feminine wallpaper, the clean lines of the bed, the pops of jewel tone.  Call me, Miles.


Then I discovered this spread, from the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Inside Out magazine (styling by Jason Grant, photography by Lauren Bamford).  A wrought-iron bed painted in neon:  A. good idea; B. crazy idea.  Or C. crazy good idea?

My alternative option is probably just to hang a piece of art behind the bed (possibly… a large-scale photographic print of a cockatoo).  Or, new pillows.  What do you think?

Our bedroom sources:

Bed – Ikea (similar-ish here)

RugStockholm, the workhorse classic from Ikea

Nightstands – I designed them, and Chris built them

Lamps – finds from a fruitful trip to HomeSense

Ottoman – vintage, recovered in emerald green velvet by my wonderful mother

WallpaperTopsy Turvy paper from Carla Venticinique-Osborn + Over & Over, from Anthropologie.  This is the MOST beautiful and quirky design.

Bedding – Pillow and cases from West Elm, duvet cover from Cuddledown (I got shiv’d on duty fees having that one sent to Canada. Why so difficult to find nice duvet covers here?)


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2013/06/14 / Shanan


A colour pairing post?  Yes, I’m going there.  Neon yellow, acid lemon, pink, peach, nude… call them what you want.  Maybe it’s so 2012 (gasp!) but I still love this fresh, summery palette for interiors and wardrobe.

Images above: Christian Siriano SS12 collection look, neon and nude Maggie large frame envelope clutch from Colette by Colette Hayman, child’s patchwork quilt dress by Harriet & Daughters on Etsy.


Teen bedroom for SF Decorator Showcase 2012, designed by Em Design Interiors.  Left image by Alex Amend for Houzz; right image by Helynn Ospina via SFGirlbyBay.  And in case you wanted to know: wallpaper on the ceiling by Timothy Sue, ‘Compass’ chandelier by Apparatus Studio.



Images above: Inside Out Magazine, Nov/Dec 2011 issue.  Photos by Sam McAdam, styling by Vanessa Colyer Tay.  Via Fancy! New Zealand Design Blog.

Inside Out is a great magazine out of Australia; it seems that every time I come across styling or interiors photography I like these days, it’s always from Australia.  Something in the water (besides weird creatures that will kill you)?