Since moving out of home eight years ago, I’ve lived in three places; the unit I bought with my husband (though we weren’t married back then), an apartment in Southbank, Melbourne and now our apartment in Toronto.
The big difference about moving to the apartment here in Toronto versus the other two, is that we were starting from scratch. We literally moved here with two suitcases each, which were mostly filled with clothes (and in my case books and makeup). So we had the opportunity to deck the apartment out the way we wanted to within the confines of our budget.
|The Melbourne Clock|
We’ve already had a few lots of family come to visit and the common comment on our apartment is that it feels so loved and homey. I take that as a great compliment since we ended up with quite a bit of IKEA furniture since we needed to make the money stretch as far as possible.
So I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite things about the way we’ve turned our apartment into a cosy, loved and lived-in home.
The Melbourne Clock
We have only one clock in the house and it’s not set to local time, oddly enough. This clock always shows what time it is back home so we know if it’s okay to call, text or Skype with our family and friends.
My Coffee Station
|Robot coffee machine|
I have this gorgeous red Nespresso machine (which I think kind of looks like a robot – do you agree?), a nice silver frothing jug, a ceramic pot with all the coffee pods and these lovely blue mugs which are the perfect cappuccino size. While I’m also a big tea drinker (and I have a shelf dedicated to all my tea-related things) my morning coffee is a ritual I’ll never give up. It helps me start my day on a positive note.
My ‘all good things’ shrine
There’s a spot atop the bookshelf next to my writing desk which holds all the things that make me happy. There’s a stuffed llama (one of three now in my house!), a hunk of amethyst that I bought at my first visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, a picture of my grandmother, a motivation tin, the succulent my husband bought me when I signed with Harlequin Blaze, two little stones with the words ‘trust’ and ‘success’ on them that were a gift from my mother and a tiny gold unicorn that was a gift from my sister. Whenever I’m feeling lost, or homesick, or like my writing is terrible; I go to this area. It’s filled with love from the most important people in my life and no matter how stressed I am, this is my happy place.
|Our lovely tranquil bedroom canvas|
Bare walls make me sad. And while money is not flush enough for me to afford anything expensive, we’ve taken every effort to fill our walls with things that have meaning to us. There’s a huge map where we mark off all the places we travel to, some cute and inexpensive prints from cities around the world, a set of photographs from my favourite places in Melbourne (which were also a gift from a dear friend) and this beautiful canvas in our bedroom. It’s the odd one out, style-wise but the second I saw it I knew it would be the perfect thing to make our bedroom feel tranquil and beautiful.
I love that our house is dotted with funny things that remind us of the people we love and the places we’ve been. There’s a Lego statue of Liberty, a Starbucks mug from Washington with the Whitehouse on it, a strange arty print I picked up in Montreal and of course, just for kicks, we have three blue T-Rex candle holders. Our place is quirky, cosy and totally us.
What are your favourite mementos or things around your house?
Love your robot, Stefanie. Where would we be without our coffee machines? We've got photo boards and paintings, coasters and dishes, from our travels, and other eclectic things like my giraffe statues making our rooms feel comfortable and fun.ReplyDelete
It would be a sad life without coffee!! The giraffe statues sound very cool, I love quirky things like that to spruce up a room :)Delete
Thank you Stefanie that was lovely seeing your special things I have lots of little things around as well photos of family and friends little knicks and knacks from family and friends around to look at and bring back memories :) and make me smileReplyDelete
Photos are always a nice touch, especially when we don't get to see family and friends all that often! If it puts a smile on your face then that's a great thing :)Delete
Stef, I absolutely agree with you on the coffee front- although we have a stovetop coffee pot I ritually fill every morning rather than a Nespresso- otherwise my day would get off to a very bad start! It's so lovely to see you've made your house into a special home, surrounding yourself with such personal things. We have some poster prints we bought from Vietnam on our walls and a gorgeous fabric wall hanging we bought in India. I also have lots of buddhas around the place from different places in Asia and other fabrics and pictures we bought while on our travels. In my hall I have three pencil drawings my late step-dad did of our house which are very special too. Always nice to have things around that remind you of happy times!ReplyDelete
It's nice to walk through the house and see all those reminders of travels, isn't it? I love the sound of the home made drawings! My dad did a set of paintings for us when we were back at home, which were still life paintings of coffee cups and he painted the actual cups according to what type of coffee our family members drink. I miss having that in the house!Delete
Stef, your place sounds wonderful. I think books make a place seem comfy, and I smile when I'm browsing our bookshelves. I've also got a few gifts on my desk as I write that make me smile (plus a recent RBY award that makes me grin). Often though, it's the view out our big windows towards the pool and the trees that makes me smile most.ReplyDelete
Nothing like having a beautiful view is there? The windows can be the best piece of art in the house :)Delete
I love the idea of your Melbourne clock, Stefanie! Cool idea.ReplyDelete
We have a bunch of different stuff from our travels over the years strewn around the house. At the moment I can look just to my right at this years calendar on my wall. We make one every year online and each month has a feature pic from our travels. This year's calendar are all pics from our canal boat trip in the UK last year. I have a feeling next years is going to be my New York trip :-)
Also, we have two kids, they make a place a home with all their junk everywhere pretty damn quick, let me tell you :-)
I love the calendar idea, that's so creative! Such a nice way to remember all your travels.Delete
Ha! I don't have any kids, but I can certainly imagine. No doubt I did the same thing to my mum before I moved out of home :)
beautiful! I'm more moose and orange and black because of the harley...lolReplyDelete
Thanks! That sounds like an excellent combination :DDelete
Your apartment sound funky and gorgeous, Stef -- and I LOVE the idea of the Melbourne clock. :-) I am SO not an interior designer, but me and Mr Douglas have grand plans of making up some canvas prints from photos we've taken from our overseas travels, which will be a lovely reminder of our happy travels. And like you I have a few "special" things around my desk that make me smile. Love them to bits. :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks Michelle :) The canvas sounds like a great idea! I love personal things like that, anything that puts a smile on your face when you walk past it is a good idea.Delete
Love the robot coffee maker. Love the Melbourne clock and it doesn't actually seem unusual - as long as visitors aren't using it to figure out when to get somewhere on time locally.ReplyDelete
I love the look of Ikea furniture from what I've seen online.
I hear you on making a home your own. Although I've been living alone for about 10 years now I haven't really had a chance to start furnishing with furniture I want, need and like. I've started working on that since I finished my degree almost two years ago but it's a slow gradual process. Made slower by the fact I want to decorate with hot pink, lime green, navy blue and a very specific yellow that I'm not sure what the shade is but know when I see it. (I wouldn't paint an entire room in any of those colours, but would use them either for a feature wall or for things like that actual furniture, picture frames)
Thanks Lyn! We've had a few people come to the house and point out that the time is wrong on our clock LOL But they all the story behind it when we explain what it's for :)Delete
That sounds like a very cool colour combination!! I could just imagine all those beautiful accents working so well together. We kept our colours fairly simple: white and grey with red as our feature colour and the occasional splash of teal blue.
I hope you get to make your place exactly the way you want it :)
Stefanie, your apartment sounds gorgeous! And I love the sound of your happy place with the knick knacks associated with people you love and who bring love to you.ReplyDelete
The hutch in our dining room probably does that for us - it has an odd collection of china in it. The big spaghetti bowl from my mother in law, a willow pattern bowl that belonged to my greatgrandmother, a London-map teapot we bought back from England, a couple of horse ornaments that I've had for years and years and years that were gifts from my parents, a golf trophy that was my hubby's uncle's. I also have a slightly weird collection of vegetable pottery that I'm very fond of - a cauliflower jug, an onion teapot, an asparagus tureen, a pumpkin storage jar... I had them in the hutch as well but now I've put them on shelves around the house - coz they make me smile!
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