inspired tiling : dune by urban product

Yesterday, I discovered these beautiful tiles at a local espresso bar here in Toronto. Urban Product is the company behind them. The tiles, appropriately named Dune, can be custom made to any scale, made from hardwood, plaster or cast concrete and can be installed indoors or out. This would be a great way to incorporate texture and 'landscape' indoors. I love the idea of the hardwood tiles used instead of a headboard for my bed or to cover one entire whole wall. Gorgeous, no?  


old montreal

The best part of Montreal was Old Montreal. I hadn't visited since probably 2000. We ended up spending the most time there which resulted in a majority of my photos being taken there. Walking around there really felt like a different country altogether, it felt very, very European/French. It was so lovely. Indulging in four hour meals didn't seem strange. I could have sat in cafés, chatted and laughed all day long. The food we ate was amazing (separate post for that!). The weather was quintessential fall – bright, breezy, crisp and clear (mostly). We saw more amazing art in one small gallery in the neighbourhood than anywhere else. Just being there was inspiration. J'adore! 

If it we'rent for the unbearably cold winters and having the obstacle of not knowing how to read/write/speak French well, I would live there. At least now I am only a 5-6 hour drive away. I CANNOT wait to visit again. 


Brooklyn to Toronto in september

So the BIG news of the year in my world: I am moving to Toronto in September! It's not a city I've ever lived in. But my two sisters both live in Toronto and I have been wanting to be closer to them – particularly in light of my sister Caroline's recent house fire. I love New York dearly and will miss it here. It's been home to me for 11 and a half years. But, frankly, I need a break.

I am excited about being somewhere new and be near my family again. My dog, Lexie, will be happy to have her doggie cousins around too. No more worries of pit bull attacks – they're banned in Toronto (and the UK)! Hooray! This also means I will have this whole new, culturally-rich city to explore and share with you on my blog! I do plan on maintaining my client relationships here in New York. Technology makes it all possible these days. I've been wanting to expand my network in Canada (and, hopefully, Europe!). I also have exciting new ventures to pursue – all in an effort to steer clear of a conventional/corporate existence! 

My plan is to sublet my apartment for a few months and then see how I feel later this year. I will leave things open for now. That said, I'm looking for very cool, smart, creative Torontonian bloggers/Twitterers to follow and/or meet. Know any? Send some names or links my way via the comments section below :) 

Photo credits: 
1) Toronto skyline
2) Old City Hall building 
3) Kensington photo 
4) Dundas Street

missing vancouver

Since the start of the Winter Olympics, Vancouver has been all over the media. It's actually made me miss it a lot. It's been nice being reminded, once again, of what a beautiful place it is. I lived there for 10 years prior to my (now) 11 years in New York. My family moved there from California before I went to college. It was a beautiful place to go to school. I'm far from being a snow sport type of person, but living in a city that was flanked by both the ocean and the mountains was pretty sweet. What the Winter Olympic opening ceremonies completely failed to highlight is the very rich Asian culture that exists in Vancouver. Virtually half of the population is Asian. Needless to say, the food in Vancouver is incredible. I've told people on many occasions that when I lived in Vancouver, I ate sushi two to three times a week (as did everyone else). It's amazing and could be considered a staple. I've been lucky to have lived in cities with such amazing food!

Oh, that's right, I am Canadian :)

Dubbed as the "City of Glass", Vancouver is a city with very modern architecture on very picturesque landscape. Not visible in the first photo (behind the clouds) are the mountains where most of the Olympic events are being held – just behind downtown.

I was in Vancouver in August of 2008 for a friend's wedding and wanted to share my own images of Vancouver with you. I wish I had taken more photos.

the view from granville island
A partial view of downtown Vancouver and Granville Street Bridge from Granville Island and Burrard Inlet.

english bay
This is English Bay, the west side neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver (city beaches are nice!)

from stanley park's sea wall
Stone art from the (12 mile) seawall walk around Stanley Park (located near downtown Vancouver)

english bay towards the aquabus
More of English Bay

the aquabus at granville island
The Aqua Bus takes you from downtown Vancouver across the inlet to Granville Island.

ECIAD's design building
My alma mater: Emily Carr University of Art & Design (located on Granville Island under the Granville Street Bridge – the Vancouver equivalent to New York's Dumbo neighbourhood)

the entrance to the design building
The ECUAD design building – where I spent my college days

the old boat houses, still cute.
A view of the adorable house boats that line Granville Island

at my old alma mater with kevin :)
Interior of the ECUAD design building. That's me with my friend Kevin who I graduated with. He has lived in London for more than 12 years and we met on Granville Island one day to reminisce about our college days. I hadn't been in the building since I graduated!

roof garden of the fairmont hotel
A view of downtown buildings from a rooftop garden of The Fairmont Hotel.

the new olympic pavilion near canada place
The Olympic Pavilion (still under construction in 2008 when I took this photo)

the trees at stanley park
Stanley Park cedar trees... so beautiful.

this driftwood looked like a fish to me
This driftwood looked like a fish to me (taken along the Stanley Park seawall walk)

beachwood : a modern surf shack

This beautiful beach house was recently renovated by my friend, Jon Maltby. Jon is a fellow designer/creative director, avid surfer and old college friend of mine that lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The "surf shack" is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island (a five hour trip via ferry boat from Vancouver).

Jon designed as well as built almost everything himself. The wood used for the fireplace and headboards for the beds were recycled from the house's original siding. Structural wood was re-used to build the hearth. The loft railing was custom made in Vancouver and then transported to the house. The house is situated on what was originally an old logging camp. The original physical house was actually relocated to this location (via a barge) from the area where the Vancouver airport was built.

I love how the layout of the house takes full advantage of the view and the light. This makes me wish I had a beach house of my own. Gorgeous!

For more images, check here.