Posts tagged toronto
Posts tagged toronto
The moment Natasha saw this apartment for the first time, she knew she had to live there. Downtown, exposed brick walls, luxurious tub, amazing rent, beautiful street, and the list goes on. When she told the landlord she needed to live there, he told her that there were tons of people who felt the same way about the place as she did. Before he made his decision, Natasha called him once more to tell him just how much she loved the apartment and how “her” it was. 20 minutes later, the place actually was hers.
Originally from Richmond Hill, Natasha moved to the city when she started studying Architecture at Ryerson. She’s been living in her apartment for 4 years now, and has no plans of moving since she loves her place so much.
When you walk into Natasha’s space, it’s like all the stress leaves your body. The lighting is perfect for the space; dimly but evenly lit with paper lanterns, Christmas lights and small-scale lamps. Every accessory and piece on display has a story and has meaning to Natasha, which means you get to know what’s important to Natasha very quickly; photography, books, comfort, family and friends. And movies, according to a very extensive VHS collection.
Natasha loves Honest Ed’s (we agree!) because of its great storage solutions. All of her storage bins and closet organizers come straight from Toronto’s best and brightest discount store. Check out her blog post on ThirtyFourSteps (her own blog) where she walks us through her spring cleaning project; there are before/after photos!
Things for free are even better than discount, don’t you think? This lovely table was found on the side of the road close to Natasha’s place. She took it home, cleaned it up, and added two new knobs to the drawers that she found in a great second-hand shop. Check out her grandmother’s amazing phone as well!
Instead of investing money in a couch, Natasha decided to take the legs off an Ikea single bed she already owned and use it as a couch. The bed fits perfectly in the space and looks amazing.
What is so great about Natasha’s apartment is that everything has meaning; from an adorable photo of her nephew (who is turning 1 soon!), to the sparkly origami swans her boss and mentor decorated her cubicle with on her last day of work for the City of Toronto, to the seashells she collected on her first trip to Halifax, everything that’s precious to her has its place and its own story.
The kitchen is compact but updated, and Natasha has made the lack of stove work by having a heavy-duty toaster oven, microwave and a hot plate. She has all of her utensils on display using a compact and efficient shelving system just beside the kitchen. She’s also added some counter space and more storage-display opportunities with an adorable portable island.
Just down the hall from the main room is a great space dressing area with lots of character. Natasha also just cleaned our her closet; see the before/after!
And that brings us to the bathroom, which is bright and airy, and has a perfect set-up for movie-watching in the soaker tub; a perfect way to end the day and this apartment tour.
How much do you love Natasha’s space? Would you be interested in doing an apartment tour yourself? We’d love to share your space with everyone; just email us!
When I’m not spending my time slinging oysters, modeling, styling interiors or simply wiling away the day holed-up in my apartment playing house, I am occasionally working in the Art Department on a film or video set. Back in December I was the Production Designer/ Art Director on the music video for Toronto artist Daniel Romano’s new single “Time Forgot (To Change My Heart)”. AND THAT VIDEO HAS FINALLY BEEN RELEASED!
As Art Director, my job is to take the concept/ story written by the director and translate that into the visual look and feel of the video. In this case, it meant designing and creating 5 different sets for each “stage of evolution” in our tongue-in-cheek Darwinian storyline. Included in this job was also costumes, props and overseeing the (AMAZING) make-up design and execution. The whole thing was shot in one day, in one studio space. No small task.
My assistant, Aleks, and I setting up “Stage 4”
This video was produced on an absolutely shoe-string budget and I think the end result shows how much love went into it. I was delighted to be asked by Director Ken Galloway to be artistically involved in this project - even if it was just because he knows I have a large supply of fur and antlers to draw from! It was, admittedly, right up my style-alley.
Cast & Crew!
I love working on set. Styling a set really requires flexing those creative, quick thinking and problem solving muscles - because no matter how much planning you do leading up to the shoot date, you never quite know what is going to go down and what challenges you’ll meet in the studio.
GARAGE SALES! Am I right?! I LOVE garage sales. (Also known as: yard sales). Many a summer Saturday of my youth was spent “garage sale-ing”. Rising early and piling into an accommodatingly large vehicle, driving from street to street, clambering in and out of the bus in a race to the treasure trove awaiting us. You win some, you lose some. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Reduce-reuse-recycle. Straight up- I want to judge you on your junk. So very many reasons to love this summer tradition. But that’s the thing about it - it is (necessarily, for us part-time snowbunnies) a seasonal past-time.
This is why I love Craigslist. It is basically an online garage sale. A place for people to put all their shit on a virtual table for the wandering passersby to spy. And spy, I do. Time and time again I am astounded by what I find on the ‘list. Too often I come across treasures I wish I could make mine, but due to space, time and budget constraints this is clearly not always possible. So instead, I will share with you my favourite deals, steals and splurges. Craigslist style.
Wanna see what I found this week?!
At $60 each or $100/pair these vintage Coca-Cola crates are a deal. They look like they are in great condition and are a rarer style than the usual box crate. You could use these for all sorts of sorting and organizing! I often see similar items priced much higher at antique shops and usually much worse for wear. Also, something to keep in mind- just like a garage sale, prices on CL are almost always negotiable!
This antique dresser is free. FREE. I don’t even feel the need to justify or explain this choice at all. But I will say this: free = guilt-free experimentation. Ever wanted to try your hand at re-finishing a piece of furniture but you were scared to fuck up granny’s heirloom hand-me-down? Find a piece like this and let the fun begin! Worst case: chalk it up to an experiment. Best case? You A.) got a wicked new piece of furniture and B.) will be more confident when refurbishing something of value. WIN-ANTIQUE-WIN.
Oh man. For real. Look at these! Theatre seats from the ’40s!
There are many reasons these are worth the splurge.
1). Um, they’re so pretty. Duh. Beautiful natural wood grain + they look to be in amazing condition.
2). If your apartment’s anything like mine, space is an issue. This a NOT a substitute for a couch, as the vendor strangely suggests. Sorry, but if I can’t “accidentally” fall asleep while doing something productive on it, then this cannot replace a couch. However, these would do wonders in a tiny, eclectic kitchen set-up. Like bench seating, this accommodates more butts in less square footage than three separate chairs could manage.
3). They fold up, too! This makes for easy in-n-out access if they live behind a table and makes for even more space saving when necessary.
4). You can’t find this at IKEA. However, you would likely spend similar dollars for a similar, simulated product.
At $295, yes, these might be a bit of a splurge for the average renter; but in this humble-renter’s opinion, well worth the extravagance. These are unique and will move easily with you to your next space.
Woah, I just realized how difficult it’s going to be for me to write about all the reasons to buy these things and then NOT buy them. This is a test.
Okay, I have a confession to make.
I like to move. I really do. After the all the heavy-lifting and messy cleaning is said and done (thanks brother and all other sexy-strong-man-friends who have ever helped me in this endeavour!) I find it to be a world of excitement. The opportunity to edit, organize and recollect all those acquired belongings! Choosing new colour schemes! Problem solving space issues! Reorganizing books and records – should they be sorted alphabetically by artist and author, or divided by genre?! I am getting the giggles just thinking about it. Moving into a new space is like a fresh start – an adventure.
Since parting ways with my childhood bedroom – known as ‘The Vampire Den’ thanks to an early teen obsession with Anne Rice; two words: burgundy velvet – I have lived in 5 different apartments. Friends say to me, ‘you always have the best apartments, how do you find them?!’ The answer is: I hunt. In fact, I relish the hunt. That’s where it all starts. Scanning the internets, keeping your ear to ground, wading through the crap. There’s a lot of crap out there. But there are also gems to be found, even in such crazy and unpleasant markets as Toronto. Oh the joys of stumbling upon a craigslist posting with such key phrases as: hardwood floors! Original mouldings! Lots of light! Built in shelves! High ceilings! Exposed brick! Affordable! (I am a dept-bearing, ex-student - for the record). Okay I might be living in a bit a dream world. Comprises always have to be made – but there ARE gems, I swear!
Spaces are and have always been very important to me. I choose to spend my time in spaces that appeal to me. A restaurant might have great food, but without that certain ambiance, how much time are you going to want to spend there? I might have the best cup of coffee in my hand, but if the shop I’m sipping in is cold and boring, suddenly that’s how my coffee starts to taste. Whether we are always and immediately aware of it or not, our surroundings play a huge role on our emotions and state of mind. So why not turn the space you spend the most time in – your home – into a place you want to keep coming back to - not just because you happened to possess the keys and it’s where you left your cat. Not just because you have to. What I love are spaces that are inviting, warm, visually stimulating and have character. I want to enjoy spending time in my apartment and I want my friends to feel the same way.
It’s easy to dismiss a rental as a place not worth putting the time, energy and money into making it your own – for exactly that reason: it isn’t your own. But I prefer to see this as an opportunity to experiment! Every new place you rent you can try new things and really figure out what works best for you. It’s a chance to define your personal style. When renting you might tend to think of your spot as a temporary holding space on your way to bigger and better things, but the fact is, that is where you live! Now! Maybe it’s only for a year or two, but that’s still a year in a life. A can of paint costs about twenty bucks. If having a purple kitchen is going to delight the hell out of you every time you come home for the next year, that’s $20 well worth spending. Get all eggplant up in thrr.
My column here on Vogue-Renting is going to be all about just this. Through sharing my current, past and future apartments I’m going to discuss the little things we can all do to make our temporary spaces into memorable homes. You’ll be all, ‘Kids! Come here, look at this picture of Grandpa and I having the best time in our purple kitchen!’ ‘Grandma, YOU had a purple kitchen?!’ ‘You bet your beige ass I did.’
Yeah. That conversation is going to be the best. Just think of all the possibilities.
Beep’s Place, Part 2
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a piece about Corey’s apartment entitled “Making Space for Collections, Hobbies, and Work Areas”, but the pictures were a little blurry. Since he’s also a wicked photographer, he took some pictures of his place in the light of day for you to check out how cool his space really is.
Also, he has an awesome storage tip for your workspace: use a napkin holder to store your laptop. We’re unsure whether this is ok for your computer, but it sure looks cool.
A blog that showcases how ridiculous the real estate market is in Toronto right now. Like a bungalo selling for just under $1 Million.
One more reason to rent right now.
Making Space for Collections, Hobbies and Work Areas
My friend Corey lives in the north end of Toronto, and spends a lot of time on collecting records, books, graphic design and writing. He just moved into his place in September, and created what I think is an awesome multi-functional set-up to incorporate his collections, hobbies and work space.
A couple of things I want to point out. You see the shelves that house the records? Those are two of those incredible Ikea shelves on top of each other that I mentioned earlier. We’ve discovered yet another way to use them.
Also, the large unit in front on the window is actually 2 desks beside each other, which proves that if you’re just a little bit creative, you can find smaller pieces that function the same way as a larger, all-in-one unit, which would probably cost tons more. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Corey got both of those desks for under $150. He’s also making use of the dead space underneath the desk by housing more collectibles and stereo equipment.
And yes, those are turntables.
Check out Corey’s portfolio - he’s an awesome graphic designer.
Lauren Thomas is a bike-riding New Brunswick expat (represent!) and cool-as-shit industrial designer based in Toronto who specializes in making small things for small spaces, which is exactly what her products over at Dimini are perfect for.
At the suggestion of photographer extraordinaire Annie France Noel (who took the awesome product shots of Lauren’s designs), Dimini is being featured and will probably be featured over and over again because:
Along with her partner Jennifer Karam, this business is the best and we highly suggest you check them out. If you like the website, you should also know that Lauren designed it by herself after reading a book on HTML. AMAZING.
P.S. Dimini also has a Tumblr so you can follow Lauren’s new projects.
Small-Space Solution for Students/Anyone Who Can Deal with a Small Bed
This was my room set-up for the first year and a half that I lived in Toronto. Straight up, beds can get expensive, and I had more important things to spend my money on (like frames and liquor). This was another Ikea buy for under $200 - the frame was $89 and the mattress was $99. My room was a decent size, but it felt huge when I used it in this daybed/lounging area kind of way. Not only did I sleep here, but I ate here, watched movies here, did my homework here, and socialized here at parties. I loved my room this way, and then I went and got a bigger bed and I could never get it right again.
Lesson learned: when you’re renting, be realistic about furniture size and function of a room. If there’s not a ton of space, make sure you have areas and spaces that can serve a few functions and look good doing it. Here’s another really great idea.
This certainly isn’t the best solution for a couple, but if you’re single and looking, having this size bed will make it less obvious if you invite someone into the boudoir since it’s kind of set up like a place to socialize. It will also provide an excuse to be really close once you get them under the covers. (I don’t know, did I just cross boundaries? Did I go too far?)
Alternatively, if you’re in a situation where you have a spare room that needs to serve as an office area and a guest bedroom, this set-up would work well too since it’s just another place to hang out by day, and an extra bed for a friend or a family member by night.
And the ambitious sequel to that last video where the Toronto pair take the book animation to the next level. My favorite part is the black and white books acting like a piano.
Also reminds me of this photo, which I’ve always admired and have repeatedly made my background over the years.