interior design

for sale: rusa bar chairs (design within reach)

TORONTO: I am selling a pair of these responsibly harvested, bar-height outdoor RUSA chairs from Design Within Reach. These chairs are less than a year old and barely used (and mostly used indoors or in storage). They retailed for $450/each without cushions and I am selling them for only $125/each including Sunbrella cushions in Linen (canvas colour, see second photo below). I am moving and will no longer have a balcony to put these in. View the RUSA Collection at DWR. The bar height table is on sale!

Please email me asap, if interested. Cash only, local pick-ups only. 




standard chair height version shown with the cushions

The RUSA Collection at Design Within Reach

the goodwin nyc : opens this week

I'm thrilled to announce that The Goodwin officially opens its doors this week. It's been an amazing project to have been part of. It's such a joy to see everything come together. A huge congratulations to owners Andre Jones, Richard Wise and the entire team!

The interiors by Larah Moravek look so fantastic. It's as gorgeous as down-to-earth gets. Warm and inviting. The space features beautifully custom-designed cozy baquettes. Larah also designed those divine lighting fixtures on the ceiling (in first photo) made from steel tubing. Materials from the original landmark building were repurposed as wood paneling for "The Grange" (back dining room/event space). Old license plates from the 30s and 40s that were found in the basement were used as wall decor. Even the buidling's old boiler tank was upcycled as a planter (seen through the back window). There was a high level of sensitivity to the building's rich history that remains in the new space. The interiors have an earthy, restrained elegance. It's been a great journey seeing all the sketches and swatches take form. It's been so exciting to take part in the design and work in tandem with such a talent.

Another reason to look forward to dining there is the menu prepared by Chef Colin Kruzic – formerly of James in Brooklyn and Bouley among others. The menus are currently available for download on The Goodwin splash page. Or if you are in New York City, definitely stop by. 

Here are a few photos below of the space (from today's Thrillist NYC write up). View a previous post on the branding/identity design development for The Goodwin here. The full website is coming soon. 

Photos above from Thrillist NYC


a new surface : the uncarved block

I have begun the (slow) decorating process of my new Toronto digs. My refusal to settle for crappy furniture has caused a slight delay in filling my place with furniture. Tough when you need furniture, want quality and on a limited budget. Needless to say, the delivery of my custom built table this week had me thrilled. Thanks to Craig Marshall of The Uncarved Block, a beautiful, live edge (or raw edge) table now sits nicely in my kitchen/dining area. Craig even let me tag along with him to shop for the perfect slab at Urban Tree Salvage. The UTS showroom was great and their pricing very reasonable. I highly recommend it if you're looking to have furniture made from local salvaged wood.The final product is precisely what I wanted. It's incredibly well made. Even the non-glossy varnish is just as I requested. It actually brought out the colour variations in the wood, which I LOVE. A lot of the slab's unique character were left in (like saw marks, natural markings). I can't seem to stop touching it! 

Although I had originally intended to have a counter height table made, after sitting and working up high for a couple of months made me realize I much prefer a normal table height. The depth of the table is perfect for my small space. The choice to have a live edge on the table adds to the organic warmth that my apartment needs. So next on the list are the chairs. I know exactly what I want and will be able to get an incredible deal on them, thanks to a designer discount! I will post an update when those are delivered. 

Thank you to Craig and Robin from The Uncarved Block!

p.s. the photos are all taken with my iPhone. I'm having some photo download issues on my camera today.


drawing on the slate

My apartment decorating is currently on a bit of a delayed schedule. But I am making some progress! I've put together some mood boards to solidify my thought process. Clearly, this grey and gold thing isn't going away anythime soon. It's the colour combo I've had on two different business cards over the past several years – including my most recent letterpress version. So why fight it?  

I have been searching deep and wide (literally) for an affordable sofa. Most of the ones I've been drawn to have been modern, some leaning toward mid-century modern. Then I unexpectedly came across this Bliss sofa, from West Elm. I knew I wanted comfort and this satisfies all my requirements: extreme comfort, deep/wide seats and grey linen fabric. It won't be available in Canada until December, so I will have to wait a bit longer. 

Over all, I want to offset the boxiness of my space with a lot of organic shapes and a lot of softness. I want to give shape to the idea of warm, organic modernism that I love so much. I've been drawn to the idea of live edged or raw edged wood for a while. The look of ABC Kitchen in NY epitomized it to me. I am currently looking into getting a custom counter table made as well as (potentially) a headboard and platform combo. It would be ideal to work with someone locally in Toronto who works with reclaimed wood slabs. I am open to suggestions!   

It's been tough to be patient with this whole process. I want to just complete this but it takes time! I'd love to hear your thoughts, esp any designers out there :) 

Images sources

(top mood board) 
Bliss sofa photo
Top right painting by Eric Blum
Slab table by BBDW 

(bottom mood board)
live-edge counter on Pinterest 
Top right painting by Eric Blum
Branches Chandelier by Brothers Dressler
Living room photo on Pinterest
Nakashima-style table on Casa Sugar




doggie proofing

In case you missed my recent blog post on my new place, the photo above shows the sliding doors into my bedroom. I discovered this week that my dog, Lexie, has since figured out how to get into my bedroom – where she's not allowed when I am not home. I came home to the doors cracked open, lots of little footprints around the entrance and a guilty-looking dog.

Any suggestions for a (simple, non-offensive looking) solution to 'lock' a non-locking set of sliding doors? Designers? Architects? Dog people? I also do not own this place, so any solutions cannot involve altering the walls. FYI, both doors slide open. 


a clean slate

I can hardly believe that after the massive upheaval my life has undergone this past year, I have finally moved into my own Toronto digs. In more ways than one, this is my clean slate. It's the official start in my new city. What proved to be a stressful process resulted in a place that's precisely what I wanted (and more). It's all thanks to a fantastic real estate agent and serendipity. Not only is this condo/building brand new, it comes with great amenities, it's very close to work and it has the all-important ensuite washer/dryer. The space also has nice finishes. I love how sunny and airy the space is despite it's relatively modest size (under 600 sq. ft + 100 sq. ft of balcony). I now understand the draw of living up high. The big balcony is perfect for admiring the VIEW. And to my New York friends, it's for A LOT less rent than anything comparable in New York City or Brooklyn. Which is amazing. 

This blank canvas is already my newest design project. I cannot wait to decorate it. As you can see, I don't really have any furniture yet! Now that I've decided to start from scratch, the possibilities are endless. All I know right now is that I will keep things very simple and very comfortable. Stylistically, warm modernism is what I am most drawn to. The older I get, the more important quality and craftsmanship become, too. The challenge will always be finding a balance between quality and price. The task of careful furniture selection is probably what I'm looking forward to the most. It's so exciting! So there will undoubtedly be upcoming (fun) blog posts on home design :) 

The west facing balcony presents a view of the lake (to the left)...

...and neighbourhood views (and the sunset!) to the right

airbnb and my temporary penthouse

I knew going into this New York trip – my first "holiday" in quite some time – that I wanted to stay somewhere nice. Not over-the-top luxury (as if I could afford that), but I wanted something less ordinary. After a search which included discounted rates through a travel insider friend, I found this gorgeous penthouse condo in Brooklyn Heights on Airbnb. The rate turned out to be less expensive than even a run-of-the-mill hotel ($107CND). It was perfectly located between quite a number of train lines and close to the wedding I planned to attend. And you know what? In real life, it looks just as it does in these photos. The space is flooded with light, thanks to the enourmous South facing windows. I had my own private bathroom. It was immaculately clean, I was given access to their washer/dryer, kitchen, living room and terrace, too. The sweet couple who own this condo have their quarters on the opposite side of the condo and really gave me a lot of privacy and were very hospitable. I was even free to bring guests in. And what a view to wake up to! 

If you're thinking of renting this gorgeous space next time you're in Brooklyn, however, I'm afraid it's too late... Over a lengthy conversation with one of the owners one morning, I learned that they've just sold the place for a cool $1.2M. As it turns out, I would be their second to last guest. 

It was such a treat getting to stay in this beautiful space during what was a really great week long visit to my old city. I highly recommend Airbnb. It's worth combing through the site for the best listings. It helped knowing the neighbourhood well already, but ask lots of questions if you don't. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again – no matter where in the world I might end up next!  

All above images via

The photos I took of the (almost) 180°view from the terrace

inspired art/interiors : the gladstone hotel

photo from

One of Toronto's more interesting hotels would have to be the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. West. I attended their 5th Birthday party this weekend – five years since it's doors opened following a major renovation. The hotel is known for the design of 37 of the rooms, each by local artists. I had the chance to see some of these rooms during the birthday open house. Room 417, the Chinoiserie Room by artist Millie Chen, I found to be one of the most interesting. The ironic chinoiserie 'wallpaper' was what captured my attention. It's more accurately a large painting. Upon closer inspection, the cast of characters are revealed. Among others, it included a tourist holding a camera, a man with a CN tower hat and a monkey with a saw. I loved the blend of cultural, historical reference and humour. 

Some other rooms I loved: the Felt Room (great perforated wool felt lamps and very tactile wall covering) 
photo on right from gladstonehotel.comThe beautifully-done Victorian-era room – Echame Flores. This room actually felt to me like somewhere unspeakably dark or deeply hidden, naughty things happen...

photo from 

The Teen Queen Room was hilariously stuck in the 80s – complete with a wall covered in 80s Teen Beat posters, unicorns and horses. The colour palette and choice of bed covering emulated the decade to a 'T.'

Check out the Gladstone Hotel website to see the rest of the rooms.

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?  


inspired warm modernism : by larah v moravek





This stunning West Village brownstone in New York city was designed by my dear, dear friend, Larah V. Moravek. I could not wait to feature her work. This coincides with the launch of her new website (which I helped bring to life). 

How GORGEOUS is this apartment? Everything from the colour palette to that fish tank that's suspended from the ceiling is breathtaking. It embodies that warm modernist aesthetic to perfection. 

My favourite details in the space would have to be: 
1)  The petrified wood slices featured on the living room walls– from the Pucci showroom
2) The suspended fish tank – has steel beams built into the ceiling to support 10,000 lbs of weight. The tank also has it's own service equipment room measuring 5x6 feet.
3) The free edge wood slab counter top in the kitchen – from Memphis Woodworking and came from a tree in Maine; intersects a marble counter top and has a 10" overhang allowing people to sit at the bar. 

Suffice it to say, I know who will be designing my own apartment one day. 

water as inspiration

Last night I attended a Toronto Fashion Week party at the recently opened Thompson Hotel. I fell in love with their chandeliers. Aren't they beautiful? The delicate individual glass droplets appear to have been inspired by water. In fact, it seemed to be a theme. Bravo to local lighting design firm, Viso for designing them. I could not look away. 

 Top photo is my own, two bottom images are via Thompson Hotel website.


inspired at madame geneva


I attended a good friend's going away party at Madame Geneva a couple of weeks ago. It was another instance where I thought: "How did I not know about this place?!?" It is a gorgeous bar. It's adjacent to and is by the people behind Double Crown next door. I believe both are designed and owned by AvroKo, the company behind Public. It's small, dark, cavernous and sexy. The kind of place you could imagine trysts would be happening at all hours of the night and any day of the week. The crowd did not look too young (a plus for me). I also love a bar with a good bar menu. This one is colonial Asian inspired and well done. I particularly liked the duck steamed buns (they are more like rolls). They were so delicious. As I sipped cocktails, devoured steamed buns and chatted with friends that night, I realized that I just found a new favourite spot.

Madame Geneva


Madame Geneva

Madame Geneva

Madame Geneva


Madame Geneva
Click on photos to see source


building on bond


Last weekend, I took a break from a photo shoot to have a late brunch with a friend at Building on Bond. There was something about this place that I just really loved. It had the look and feel of the wood shop classroom I took drawing classes in back in high school. It had the kind of laid-back neighbourhood charm only Brooklyn (former bodega space) can offer. They have everything from the flat file drawers, wood shop tools, salvaged fixtures and school chairs. The space is founded by design and construction company, Hecho, Inc. – the restaurant/bar space also houses their offices and workshop. Apparently, the place became so popular, they had to dedicate more space to the restaurant area than originally planned. My favourite part of the space were the tables that had the rolls of paper built in and held in place (as place mats, of course) by metal clamps. This place made me wish I lived on this same little corner of Brooklyn too.


inspired room for cocktails : weather up


Saturday night was all about a couple of my neighborhood favorite spots: No.7 restaurant and Weather Up bar. They never disappoint. Weather Up truly offers artfully prepared cocktails. They really take their cocktails very seriously. Having a drink made by one of their dapper bartenders could be considered a production. They move carefully, deliberately and prepare your cocktail with love – similar to they way a chef would a treasured dish. I've always loved the interior design of this tiny space. The white ceiling tiles highlight the length and shape of the room – giving it an old subway station feel. The lighting design compliments all of this and gives the space a beautiful warm glow. In addition to all this, I like that the bar attracts a variety of people which always makes things more interesting. I'm looking forward to summer months when they have their lovely back patio space open.
This bartender laughed at the photo I took because I caught him taking a quick break. I liked the contrast of the warmth of the space to the blue light glowing from his iPhone.

all photos by myturtleneck


a gem in cobble hill : henry public


Henry Public in Cobble Hill was where I spent my Saturday night this past weekend. I had been wanting to try it since they opened in the fall. Great little bar and the staff was incredibly sweet. It felt very much like an authentic nineteenth century speakeasy – which is what they were going for. Nothing about this place was pretentious. A friend in the film world tells me the producer of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Jeremy Dawson, is part owner. I can actually see this place as Wes Anderson set. Interior design aside, I also loved their well-considered (and very small) menu of comfort food. The grilled cheese sandwich with apples was so worth braving the cold for!





apotheke: great concept, great execution


My previous post about the Alembic Bar identity design reminded me of my favourite absinthe bar in Manhattan, Apotheke (which I believe, is the German word for apothecary) that opened during Fashion Week in '08. I had the privilege of going for a private event the week before it officially opened it's doors. The two names are related: an alembic is a vessel used in the distillation process often used in apothecaries or perfumeries. 
Apotheke is more than an absinthe bar. The concept behind it and the name is carried all the way through — which is what I love about it. It's more than a bar, it's a "cocktail apothecary". It's the first of it's kind. It is a place that one might find unique drink concoctions designed to soothe whatever might be ailing them. There are exotic herbs, fruit and essential oils thoughtfully infused in their (apparently, trés expensive) cocktails. Delicious, however... in more ways than one. They think of the bar as a chemistry lab or even a stage. 
The interior design carries through the concept as well. Located in a former opium den (among a host of other shady previous lives), it's history makes this place all the more intriguing. The shelf behind the bar instantly reminded me of the Fragonard Perfume Museum in Paris which I loved. I happen to go while in Paris in '05 because I was researching perfume and essential oils for a client at the time. Apotheke is the darker, sexier version of the museum. Everything from floor to ceiling was well considered without looking over the top. Even the light fixtures are made from old beakers. Love it! I had the most amazing (flaming) shot of absinthe there. I must stop by again soon. Go check it out!




The company I work for (3:SL Creative) was lucky enough to find office/studio space to share with an interior design firm called Curated. Not only do we get regular glimpses at beautifully designed rooms, we get to work out of their gorgeous space. Admittedly, I also enjoy overhearing snippets of interior design-related conversations :)  
Below is a book that Curated published to show off their work and their inspiration. I thought it was so well done, I had to share. If I had better lighting equipment and a seamless white backdrop, I would have been able to take better photos of the book. Hopefully, the images below will give you an idea. It was designed with meticulous detail. Even the "inspiration" section was printed on toothier, warmer, uncoated stock. 


Here are images from their current and past projects that I particularly liked. Love their style, the use of mid-century modern furniture as well as their use of color. Plenty of inspiration here for my future apartment. I'd love to be able to afford to hire them one day...