Thursday, 29 September 2011

I Heart Telephone Tables!

Growing up in Unionville, ON I loved walking to Main Street and poking around shops like the Queen's Pantry or Glass Chimney Antiques with my Mum. I was mesmerized by everything from old mirrored compacts and dolls to photos of the Dionne Quintuplets. Even now, as much as I enjoy watching Antique Roadshow with Marc here and there, I'm no expert...

That being said I still love discovering old treasures and if I had a money tree I'd be scouting pieces left and right. One of the first items on my must-have list? A telephone table!

I don't currently have space for this kind of piece - also known as gossip benches - but there is something so endearing about them, they're definitely on my "one day" list!

And while today's smartphones are a far cry from the stationary telephones that these were intended for (and I don't think many people would bother storing a clunky phonebook in the drawers or shelves) they would make for excellent seats and small storage spaces, depending on the design.

There are absolutely beautiful vintage models out there that would be perfect fixer-uppers for your living room or entry way, but also several modern spins, as well.


Do any of these pieces stand out to you? Would you add one to your home?


Monday, 26 September 2011

Missing Photos

For some reason some people were able to view my photos today and others not. I'm not sure why that might be (again, newbie) but at any rate, here are the few photos that encapsulate my slow process of putting together a solid photo collage in our bedroom...

At first I did a little brainstorming about what frames and objects I had around the house and did a little doodling on my iPad with them in mind. I don't even know the name of the app I use, but I do this a lot... sometimes to help visualize my ideas and sometimes to help Marc see what I see...

After that I gathered all of the pieces together and laid them out, but it still didn't feel right... I thought maybe it would all come together when I finally got around to printing out photos (remember regularly printing out photos?), but still no dice... 

And  like I said earlier today, I decided to simplify the whole project by using just these framed photos and take a pass on the extra objects for now... 

We've yet to hang anything, but I have a feeling this combo will look great against our grey feature wall and I can't wait to see how it looks! 

Shannon over at What's Up Whimsy had the great idea of using wrapping paper cut-outs to measure and map out her little gallery (see her great results here!) and I think I just might have to do the same! 


P.S. Happy Birthday Caitie!!! Xo

My Lovely Weekend

This was technically the first fall weekend of the year and it was fantastic! 

I had a great dinner with Marc's fam and friends Friday, headed north Saturday to attend my friends' first Applestock concert and got some sun yesterday watching Marc's soccer game at Lamport Stadium. Not too shabby!


After so much running around all weekend, I was exhausted and just wanted to stay in bed... so I did!

I managed to hang out all night, watching TV and fiddling around with a million frames and photos, basically trying to map out the collage I'm creating above our bed.

When I started planning this a while back I thought I'd include some objects as well as frames (mirrors, the carved top of my old jewelry box, etc.) but even my iPad-doodled designs never felt quite right...

Since the bulkhead atop the grey feature wall in our bedroom really eats up some height, I started to get the feeling that perhaps less really is more, and I should keep it simple.

Now nothing has actually been hung on the wall yet, and I may still have a change of heart or two, but progress is progress and this was more than enough for a Sunday night!



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Simple Pleasures - Vintage Pyrex

My good friend and former Production Design prof Greg Chown is many things... an Art Director, Storyboard Artist, Teacher, Blogger and, among other things, a long time collector.

Comic books, old radios and speakers, vintage bikes, and probably several other antiques, I'm sure, which I don't even know about...

When I first got my own place, Greg presented me with a housewarming gift that revealed yet another of his obsessions (and subsequently, mine)... wrapped in newspaper and hidden in his backpack were two Vintage Pyrex Bowls with my name on them!

At first it was the classic yellow and green of the Primary Colours nesting set, followed shortly thereafter by the smaller red and blue. I was thrilled!

Several Sunday trips to the St. Lawrence Market later, I am now the lucky owner of yet another a small blue bowl, a medium bright yellow, and one medium light green from the Spring Blossom set.

Not only that, now that I live with Marc, we have two more from the Mushroom Forest Fancies collection that used to belong to his Grandma Bell!

I use them for everything - chips, popcorn, my homemade guacamole and more - and I absolutely love the colour and the life they bring to our kitchen and home!

Check out Greg's fantastic blog here for more great vintage finds and amazing 'then and now' shots from all over Toronto! And for more on Pyrex check out what other collectors have come up with on Pyrex Love.
...and thanks to Mum for this latest addition to my collection! :)


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Where to Begin?

Moving, as it usually is, was pretty rough for us.

It's difficult to stay organized and not get too overwhelmed when you're just moving yourself, but relocating both of us and all of our things into one apartment was a massive and exhausting undertaking.

Several weekends and zipcars rentals later, we had everything squished into the place and were drowning in a sea of stuff. Since I like nothing more than to nest and settle in the moment I get anywhere, I truly couldn't wait to get organized.

It took quite a while to unpack but we finally got there, and once we had, all I could think about was decorating... but where to begin??

I'd always liked this print that hung in my dad and stepmum's house, it was from my grandfather Tom Sewell's collection Enigma of the Mill. He took this photograph and many more like it in abandoned sugar mills on Maui, where he lives and works. 

These shots are so unique and I thought this one in particular could add a gorgeous splash of colour to any space, so when I finally asked Tom for a copy he ended up sending me the exact oversized print that hung in his exhibit.

Before I knew it, I had the first inkling of a colour scheme - straight from paradise! 

I absolutely love bright colours and not only would this print be the perfect antidote to the neutral beige walls in our living room, but it had great sentimental value and would look awesome with lots of surrounding wood finishes, which I also happen to love.

Purple, punches of turquoise, and a little complimentary yellow here and there for good measure... I wasn't sure how it would all come together, but it was a start!


Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday, Friday, kickin' it on...

Well, it's Friday, which marks the beginning of the weekend and the end of NofW's first week online!

I'll admit it's been a while since I've put myself out there and tried something new, but I'm already glad I did. The kudos and encouragement I've already received from family, friends and co-workers has been really motivating, so THANK YOU to all of you who have followed along!

As you saw earlier this week, our little apartment has good bones but needed some serious TLC... 

Check in next week to follow along as I start sharing some of the baby steps (and I mean baby steps) that we've taken en route to personalizing this humble abode!

Have a terrific weekend :)
Nook of Wellington

Thursday, 15 September 2011

In Honour of TIFF

In honour of the 36th Toronto International Film Festival that's taking place right now, I thought I'd post a little something about one of my favourite and relatively cheap types of decor. Movie Posters!

No, I don't mean the John Belushi Animal House print that most of us hung in our dorm rooms (guilty)... I'm talking about uniquely and professionally mounted promotional posters and prints from classic films and favourites.


What I like about mounted posters is that they can really add to a space by reflecting one's personality, interests, or style. 
Are you huge into Sci-Fi? Love surfing or riding your Harley on the weekends? Perhaps you're just a pop culture junkie or history buff? No matter what you're into, the opportunities to express different sides of yourself with movie posters are endless.

In our case, Marc and I both went to film school, met each other while working on a production, and are big movie fans in general, which his original Star Wars and my Jaws poster indirectly reflect. Of course, now I'm wishing we had a second bedroom or office to hang them in, but c'est la vie...

Not only can you find an endless selection of posters and many ways to mount them, but since these pieces are cheaper than fine art, why not display different ones throughout the year?

Have you hung or would you consider hanging movie posters in your home?  Do tell! 


    Wednesday, 14 September 2011

    Diamond in the Rough...?

    When Marc and I decided to move in together we both had a decent amount of "must haves" on our list. Never in a million years did I think we'd find a gem like this, which met almost all of them, and after only three different viewings, at that!

    This place pretty much had it all...
    • Great price
    • Enough square footage for two
    • Had an outdoor space
    • En-suite stacked laundry
    • Included a parking spot
    • The neighbourhood was perfect - walking distance to TTC, restaurants and bars, shopping, movies, the waterfront, parks
    • Around the corner from family and friends
    • Etc. etc. etc.

    But, of course, nothing is perfect and I knew immediately it would need some work or "warming up". Here is my laundry list of issues with our beloved apartment:
    • The finishes weren't very impressive, many super cheap looking
    • The walls were all painted in neutral colours (super bland) and weren't very well painted either
    • Limited storage space 
    • Limited natural light due to a narrow, townhouse type floor plan
    • The laminate "hard wood" floors ran the wrong way (obviously not a big deal, but still...)
    • The former tenants left the backyard fairly mangy 
    • Etc. etc. etc. 

    Fortunately we had enough sense to see that the good outweighed the not so good... we scooped it up in a hurry and haven't looked back!

    Here are a few "before" photos of the space as we first saw it...

    ...would you have seen the same potential that we did?


    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    My First Apartment

    Soon enough I'll show and tell you plenty about our home, but first I thought it might be best to share a little about where I was coming from when Marc and I decided to move in together.

    Two years ago when I moved into my first apartment I was absolutely elated and, above all, relieved...

    Those who know me well know the frustration and weariness I experienced when I was in what I affectionately refer to as my 'nomad' phase (those of you who don't know me can read about it here!) but alas, it came to an end when I finally handed over first and last on a brand spanking new "junior one bedroom" condo at King & Spadina!

    It was close to work, clean, safe, had ensuite laundry, nine foot ceilings, and it was mine all mine. The only problem was that all of this comes at a price... before I knew it I was "rent poor".

    I had an amazing apartment, sure, but I could barely afford to leave it, let alone decorate or furnish it the way I wanted to! Suddenly floor to ceiling windows and an amazing location didn't seem to matter much.

    As luck would have it, Marc and I decided to move in together towards the end of my one year lease (though I would have had to move anyway) and we found a great apartment at a fanstastic price!

    Now, trust me, our first apartment is a far cry from the stark, pristine condo I had, but with a wood-burning fireplace and little backyard, it immediately felt a lot more like home than I ever could have imagined...'s just a shame I couldn't take that concrete feature wall with me ;)


    Monday, 12 September 2011

    New Kid on the Block

    Welcome to my first Nook of Wellington post!

    My name is Krista Illies. I'm in my mid-twenties and living in downtown Toronto with my boyfriend Marc after years of student apartments and couch surfing.

    Throughout that time I’d dream of a place to call my own, where I could decorate and play hostess to my many loved ones... and now that I’ve got exactly that, the fun has just begun!

    There's one problem though, and I'm sure that many of you out there have the same issue.  My love for furniture, design and all of the many related magazines and blogs out there leaves me with big ideas and lots of them... too many for a modest budget!

    Here at NofW you can follow along as I try to to balance out what I want (okay, what we want) vs. what’s worth our while as we turn our little rental apartment into a home!

    Check in to see the additions and changes we make to our space - both big and small - and bear with me as I daydream about the millions of styles and treasures out there that I've got filed under “one day...”

    Stay tuned and thank you for your support as Nook of Wellington finds its feet!