I am VERY excited today to bring you the first installment in a new series on The Symmetric, which I am calling ‘Natural Habitat.’ I mentioned last week that one of my goals for the site was to profile creative, interesting women. It started with wanting to do my own brand of the ubiquitous house tour but it’s starting to come together as something a little more intimate, I think, than I was expecting. I tend to get transfixed by the overall ‘vibe’ of a home and then, all the little details that make it so. I never tire of looking at all the glossies but here I wanted to focus on something a bit more real, on spaces that are more or less unstyled and truly lived in.
I am also endlessly fascinated by routines and the quirks that emerge from a glimpse into where someone lives. This time, the conversation usually starts with the mundane, the small steps that take a person through the motions of the everyday and subtly mould and propel them towards the biggies – their personal philosophies, their careers, their sense of self. Whew. Do you need some air? Let’s pace ourselves here.
Kristin Somborac is my first subject, the guinea pig if you will. She is an old friend of Chris’ and we connected when she was pregnant with her first baby; we were neighbours in Toronto at the time and I helped her paint a mural in the nursery. I find Kristin disarming because she is exceedingly easy to talk to and has a subtle, sweet naiveté about her, while at the same time being a very direct person and actually quite tough. She doesn’t take sh*t from anyone. To wit, she may also be the only individual I’ve seen in real life who can pull off harem pants.
Kristin, her husband Rob and their two boys, Miša (4) and Paavo (1) live in downtown Toronto’s west end neighbourhood of Parkdale. Their place is nestled inside an amazing little courtyard of historical townhouses, complete with antique gas lanterns and climbing ivy. When I visited Kristin she was home for the morning with Paavo.
“Rob is in film, he’s a focus puller. I was in film for about 15 years but I really changed things in order to have children and now I’m embarking on my latest venture, which is working as a creative director/fashion consultant and stylist. I really wanted to have a job which would allow me more time with my family, instead of being on set 14 hours a day! Being a stylist feels so natural in terms of a next step that I don’t really worry about the fact that I am starting a new career at this stage of life with two kids.
I knew that I needed to have a job which was driven by creativity but at the same time I love the organizational aspect in work. I think it gives me a feeling of control. Once you have children there is so much you can’t control and you have to let go. And I have really been craving the feeling of accomplishment which comes from finishing a project, which has been a big part of motivating me to move forward.”