JAPAN'S "DANISH MODERN MEETS DESERT CALM"

Every time I stumble across this first photo on Pinterest I'm flooded with inspiration. Inspiration for my own home, for my work in other homes and creative projects. It's funny actually. The photo isn't even a wide interior shot -  it's merely the tail end of a very large room. However, it's just enough to see a light-filled room, high ceilings, wood framed folding doors and baseboards laced with danish furniture and black modern accents. A combination of elements that drives me crazy with excitement. Another blogger coined the phrase "danish modern meets desert calm" to describe the space. I never could quite nail down my own personal style in words, but if I had to, I think think this phrase sums it up just perfectly. The original source of these images has disappeared but what is left of the link description leads me to believe this home is located in Japan - a nice little surprise. 

One day I will own a cactus this tall. 

Eames around the dining table and guessing that's a Hans Wagner in the back. Also, windows and doors for days. 

Mid century inspired kitchen. 

Another Hans Wagner to die for 

CURRENTLY MUSING

Inspired by lakeside cocktails, linens, summer fragrances, bike rides, bare legs and watermelon juice. 

 

The idea of spending summer days in this perfect little Scandinavian summer home. 

The idea of spending summer days in this perfect little Scandinavian summer home

Some Sea Mist Hair Spray for beachy waves. 

Some Sea Mist Hair Spray for beachy waves. 

 Plant hangers from hangers. 

 Plant hangers from hangers. 

Pretty spotted nesting bowls (for the pretty summer home). 

Pretty spotted nesting bowls (for the pretty summer home). 

An oversized basket bag for weekend getaways. . 

An oversized basket bag for weekend getaways. . 

A bag I imagine  Jane Birkin would have packed for a weekend getaway in the French country side. 

A bag I imagine  Jane Birkin would have packed for a weekend getaway in the French country side. 

A good use of small space. 

A good use of small space. 

This exotic light fixture. 

This exotic light fixture

A collection of handmade fair-trade Ethiopian cotton bath sheets. 

A collection of handmade fair-trade Ethiopian cotton bath sheets

Comfortable animal printed sandals by Marni. 

Comfortable animal printed sandals by Marni

For summer day dreams, a beautiful mobile like this one. 

For summer day dreams, a beautiful mobile like this one

REKINDLE

I currently have the most beautiful stack of well-crafted wood in my kitchen thanks to rekindle. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the brand recently, and instantly fell in love with their aesthetic and the minimal design of their serving plates, platters and ceramic tumblers. 

rekindle is a Toronto based studio founded by designer Devin Schaffner who crafts quality goods made of natural materials for the home. rekindle aims to achieve a level of quality that is intended to last a lifetime and improve with age, ideally to be passed on from generation to generation as an heirloom.

Schaffner on the evolution of rekindle - "I'd been asking myself and peers questions pertaining to longevity, emotional connection, beauty, among many other things relating to the products we purchase and cherish. I distilled all of this down to the idea that if we want to counter disposability in our society, we need to be emotionally connected to the items we have in our lives."

I too am of the belief that less is more in most aspects of life and gravitate towards timeless items like rekindle's designs. It's nice to come across a brand grounded in simplicity and the conviction that surrounding ourselves with high-quality products can increase the quality of our lives and elevate the everyday.


Shown above is rekindle's - Feast Cutting Platter, the All Plate (small, medium & large) and the ceramic Arenal Cup.

To see more, visit - rekindleyourlife.ca

7 TIPS TO REPOTTING YOUR INDOOR PLANTS

It is one of the most ideal times of the year to give your indoor plants a little extra TLC. Wilting leaves, yellowing, roots surfacing above the soil, deformation, or water draining too quickly through soil are all telltale signs that a plant is no longer happy in it's current home. Over time, the soil your plants live in loses essential nutrients and the ability to hold water. While this is happening, the soil depletes and the plants' root system continues to grow until they take up the entire space in the pot and begin to coil. This is referred to as "root-bound" or "pot-bound." If ignored, this lack of root space will without fail lead to a very unhappy, sick plant.

Leading up to spring, a few of my beloved plants were beginning to show some signs of stress. I knew that repotting can often be a bit of a traumatic experience for plants so I sought out the expert advice of Adam Mallory from Crown Flora Studio. If you've had the pleasure of visiting their botanical oasis here in Toronto, you'll understand exactly why I headed to their studio. The following are Mallory's insiders tips to help you make all the right indoor repotting moves and have your plants singing your praises.



7 TIPS TO REPOTTING YOUR INDOOR PLANTS


1. CHOOSE THE BEST TIME OF YEAR.

Take a moment to think about what type of plant you are working with. It's wise to repot at the beginning of a plant's active growth period. For most plants this means you will want to repot in the spring. With plants that bloom in the winter, you'll want to consider repotting in the fall after their dormant period and right before their active growth.

2. WATER IN ADVANCE.

Make sure to give your plant a thorough watering several days in advance. This will stabilize the plant's vitality for the upcoming move and help to loosen the soil for an easier transfer.

3. PICK THE PERFECT POT.

While it can be fun to choose a pot based on aesthetics, it is important the pot lives up to the plant's needs. Plastic, metal, glass and terra cotta all breathe and retain moisture differently which will have an impact on plant based on how dry or moist they like to be. Terra cotta is always a smart choice as it is porous, adapts well to different climates and has built-in drainage. Consider adding a layer of stones to the bottom of a pot that does not have a hole/holes
already built in. Also, make sure to choose a comfortable fit for your beloved botanical friend. Opting for something too small could hinder your plants growth, while choosing a pot too large will only encourage the roots to overgrow. A good rule of thumb is to choose a new pot no more than 2 inches wider at the rim than the old pot.

4. THINK SOIL OPTIONS.

Just as it is important to choose the right time of year and pot, it is equally important to give some thought to the potting mix you choose. Be specific to the type of plant you are working with. There are soils for plants that like a dry environment like succulents and cacti, and soils for tropical plants who like to live in an environment with more moisture. Choosing the right soil will give your plant a longer, happier life.

5. REMOVE THE PLANT + BREAK UP THE ROOT SYSTEM.

If the plant has lived in that pot for some time, it could be a little difficult to remove it from it's current home. Turn your plant and the pot on it's side and gently ease the plant out - do your best to not "ruffle it's feathers" too much here. You may need a tool to help with this. If so, take your trowel or a knife around the edge of the pot to loosen things up. After you have removed it from it's old pot, you'll want to break up the root system with your hands. This will help to establish its roots, quite literally, in its new home.

6. REPLANT + REPOT.

Now it's time to replant and repot! Partly fill the new container with potting mix, center your plant in the new pot and fill in around the plant with additional mix. Pat the soil down around the edges of the pot, but ensure not to pack down the soil too firmly - you want to give your plant some breathing room and allow it the space to settle.

7. POST REPOTTING CONSIDERATIONS.

Repotting is an exhausting experience for a plant. Consider everything in moderation afterwards to help the plant adjust. Too much light can be harsh on a weakened plant, even if they typically like a lot of sun. It's best to find a bright, but not fully sunny spot, for the plant to to adjust for the first week. You'll want to water your plant immediately after repotting, but don't overwater so much that the soil is soggy. Give it a good week before watering again. Lastly, if you choose to fertilize your plants, wait at least a month to avoid fertilizer burn on any roots have been freshly exposed or pruned in the move.

SUNGLASSES SS15

If you haven't already, you're probably starting to take stock of your summer wardrobe. Asking yourself questions like - what shorts do I have? Do I own breezy, yet professional options for work? Do I need to buy more tank tops? What shoes was my wardrobe missing last summer? And the big one I've been considering - what sunglasses are worth investing in? 

Sunglasses are the quintessential summer accessory. They bring the cool to business wear, elevate casual outfits, provide sun protection, and often  become an everyday fixture on your face. Which is a pretty big deal if you think about it. So, while I've been shopping around and considering what sunglasses will make a great new addition to my wardrobe, I've pulled a few standout frames from a couple of my favourite eyewear brands.


ILLESTEVA - classic styles with contemporary aesthetics, handmade made in France and Italy.


KREWE - modern, iconic frames, handmade in New Orleans.


KAREN WALKER - a New Zealand designer inspired by modern chic styles.


SUN BUDDIES - a line from Sweden with bold, classic frames and a modern edge. 


THIERRY LASSRY - frames for the fashionista, designed in France. 

CROWN FLORA STUDIO

Strolling through Parkdale is one of my favourite things to do in Toronto. An artistic neighbourhood filled with delicious coffee, great vintage shopping, and a few of the best boutiques and studios in the city. 

An absolute must on the Parkdale tour is a stop at the beautiful and inspiring studio of Crown Flora. While handbags and plants may sound like an unlikely combination, one visit to Crown Flora Studio and you'll see why botanicals and textiles work so well in tandem. The creativity behind the founders and designers of the studio, Adam Mallory and Davis Khounnoraj, knows no bounds. Terrariums, custom floral arrangements, wax leather and leather bags, candles and variety of interactive workshops can all be found under one very magical roof. 

Crown Flora's philosophy: "We are not your average flower shop - one day we are making terrariums and the next it's candles! We like to keep things fresh (no pun intended) and reinvent ourselves daily."

I was lucky enough to receive Mallory's professional advice on repotting houseplants during my latest visit. Repotting can be a stressful experience for a plant, and so a few things should be considered during the process to help the plant adjust. Tune in next week for the insiders' guide to repotting!



ROASTED BEET JALAPENO & TEMPEH SANDWICH

I shared a Jalapeno Paprika Hemp Spread recipe the other week and mentioned I made a pretty epic sandwich that featured this spread. It was fun to get a bit creative with a sandwich by adding roasted beets, tempeh, and of course that zippy spread. I have a hard time calling this one a recipe - think of it simply as inspiration for a truly delicious sandwich.

ROASTED BEET JALAPENO & TEMPEH SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS: (yields 2 servings)

  • 4 slices, organic sourdough bread
  • 4 slices tempeh
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 red beet, roasted
  • 1 cup carrot, sprialized or grated
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch sea salt

JALAPENO PAPRIKA HEMP SPREAD:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 green jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Wash and slice beet, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 45 min.

2. While beets are roasting make the Jalapeno Paprika Hemp Spread by following this recipe.  Set aside. 

3. Wash and dry sprouts, wash and sprialize or grate carrot and slice avocado. Set aside.

4. Pan fry tempeh in olive oil until golden brown on both sides.

5. Slice bread, spread Jalapeno Paprika Hemp Spread on both slices of bread, and layer beets, tempeh, avocado, carrots, and sprouts. 

TOTOKAELO

Every once and awhile I stumble across something that gets me super jazzed and beyond inspired. Most recently is was Totokaelo, for their curation of beautiful garments, spot on accessories and clean and simple styling.

Totokaelo on their process: 

"We represent artists and designers whom we believe to have an independent and thoughtful sense of beauty. We believe the art and objects a person chooses for their life are a reflection of values and perspective. We hope to provide a unique point of view that attracts those of similar mind."

I love this refreshing point of view on concept living. 

Visiti- totokaelo.com 

EPIPHYTES BY DOSSOFIORITO

I have to admit, I had to look up the word "epiphyte" to fully understand this collection of hanging planters. So to clear it up for anyone else in the dark, "an epiphyte is a plant that grows harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree), and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and debris accumulating around it, instead of the structure to which it is fastened". 

Dossofiorito is a studio based in Verona, founded by designers Livia Rossi and Gianluca Giabardo, that develops projects with the aim to achieve a more comprehensive approach to the design practice. Their latest project Epiphytes, is a collection of hanging glazed ceramic vases that takes an alternative approach to the potted epiphyte houseplants, by allowing the roots to be exposed and grow around the container as they would in a forest. 

In this project Dossofioritto invites us to, "rethink the relationship with indoor nature in terms of a cohabitation more respectful and attentive to the needs of the plant. It, although domesticated, can be free to express itself in its natural bearing."

My new discovery of epiphytes seems like the perfect excuse to bring home a new plant - something I can never resist! 

 

MOOD BOARD: APRIL

It feels like spring has finally arrived and is here to stay! The weather was absolutely stunning in Toronto this past weekend. It was nice to see the streets full of pedestrians, patios packed, bikes on the road, and the parks sprinkled with blankets, frisbees and dogs again. 

Feeling inspired by this spring air, pastels, airy spaces and breezy looks - a mood board for April.