home: an enchanted forest (florian)

IMG_2395Hey! My name is Wren and I am so excited to share my home with you today! I live in a three-bedroom home on an acreage with my handsome husband, beautiful children, and a menagerie of animals. I am a photographer/musician/designer and I have a blog called “Florian“. There I mainly post my photographs, with little ramblings about life. Thanks so very much to Emory for inviting me to come over and show some photos of our place. It has been a big project for our family for the past few years and so it is nice to be at the point where we can share some of our progress. There is still a ton left to do, but it’s home for us for now and we love it! Hope you enjoy.

IMG_2373Where is your home located?

Our home is located in a beautiful little forest near a meandering stream with a wooden bridge running over it. There are woods, fields and orchards all around, with amazing views from the nearby hilltops. The big old trees standing around our home shade us nicely in summer and keep us cool. Then they thin their leaves enough in the fall and winter to let lots of sunlight in when we need it the most.

IMG_2375Wild animals wander through our property all year round and we have enough space to have a large vegetable garden in the back (with a fence around it of course). We also like to have bonfires and camp-outs in the farthest reach of our property that makes us feel like we are far away from it all.  I even have a swing up there that I like to visit whenever I need a few moments to unwind and feel like a kid again. We also have the perfect toboggan hill for the winter, which I am pretty sure is the main reason our kids agreed to our place when we first saw it! It’s a pretty great location with lots of natural beauty and of course the necessary amenities within close reach. We looked a long time before buying our home and really thought about what we wanted from our property. I think we lucked out and found a great spot for our family for right now.

IMG_2710IMG_2363What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

I think my motto is “home is where the heart lies”. I have moved and travelled a lot throughout the years so ‘home’ has meant a lot of different things at different points in my life. (Once I got married and had kids, I kept on moving only with more stuff and people to tow along!) Because I have lived in so many places and homes, I think my approach to making a house into home has become pretty straightforward. Home for me is wherever my husband and kids are, where we make our space comfortable and functional, and where we create memories together. I like to set up my furniture, art and instruments right away whenever we settle into a new space, which makes things feel familiar. But it is honestly not about stuff for me when I think of home. It is more about the feelings of nostalgia that you get whenever you bake an old cookie recipe from your childhood. Or when you smell wood smoke and remember all those times you sat by a wood stove or bonfire with the ones you love. It’s how you feel when you get out decorations from the attic to get ready for the holidays. That is ‘home’ to me. The good stuff in life that you share with the people you love the most. It’s also a safe place to relax and unwind away from it all. We named our property “the hide out” for a reason. It’s a place that we feel hidden away and happy in, with space to play and to work on projects, celebrate holidays and enjoy our time together. 

IMG_2292What kinds of things influence your design style?

I am a fan of mid-century modern and Scandinavian design, so I tend to gravitate towards that look. We also have a lot of different eras of vintage furniture and collectibles in our home, which set a certain tone with their aesthetic and colour palettes. As far as an overall look in a space, I love the graphic quality of black and whites with bright colour thrown in to contrast. I think my tastes in design are pretty similar whether it be in home design, photography, or fashion, etc. My photos are the best (I think) when they are more graphic looking, I wear a lot of black and white in my wardrobe, and I have noticed that my home is increasingly looking more like this as well. I have been told that I am “daring with colour” in my home, which I suppose is true in some ways. However, most of our walls are white, except for an occasional accent wall. The floors are also all painted/tiled/carpeted white throughout the house. This was a choice I made because I knew that it would allow the space to breathe and feel light, as well as leave room for the colourful pieces that I wanted to showcase. (And no, it isn’t super hard to keep clean! It requires about the same level of cleaning as any floor surface does.)

IMG_2297A really colourful choice that I made was on my kitchen cupboards which are from Poggenpohl. The colour they are is called “fluorite” from a line the company did based on minerals. Essentially it is this delicious citrus green. I loved them the minute I saw them, but I think some people would shy away from putting in such strong colour on so much area. They work really well though and add a lot of life to the space. We had all white walls initially in the kitchen, but I pushed for the main wall to be painted black and I am so happy that we did it. It makes the space feel substantial and shows off the chrome and stainless steel in the room (like my industrial sink!).

IMG_2327Change is good with design, and honestly I think that the evolution of a space is often the most interesting part. I have found that too much of one style tends to make a space into more of a museum than a livable home. I really like the sparseness and space of mid-century modern, but it has proven to be a bit too cold for daily life with a family. My husband and kids have pushed for more soft furnishings, so we have compromised a bit on some of our furniture. I have gotten rid of some of the vintage pieces that I loved, but were not comfy or durable enough to keep. Our bright blue couch is a departure from the usual style/shape I choose in furniture, but it is super cozy and perfect for curling up on with a good book, so it works great for our family room.

IMG_2306Having kids and pets also adds a lot of clutter and commotion to life which has led me to realize that striving for a ‘perfect’ room with pristine furniture and no toys/books/art supplies/shoes laying about is like shoveling in a snow storm. I am not going to ever get it finished, no matter how hard I try!  I do daydream of all white furniture with lots of teak, but my puppy likes to chew wood and my kids have spilled on almost every piece of furniture I own. I guess my design style is best summed up as “aspiring for clean/functional/fun- with a good dose of having a family friendly surfaces.” 

IMG_2760What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

Other than my family, which I could never live without, I suppose my favourite items in my home are my musical instruments. We have moved far and wide and left behind many a sofa/chair/coffee table, but we always take our instruments. My husband and I are both musicians and have built up a collection of instruments that we play regularly and are, I think, a beautiful part of our space.  I feel like it is home when we get the instruments all set up and arranged. The drum kit takes up a lot of space but I also just feel that I want to live in a house that has a drum kit in it. Our kids love playing music too, which I think is invaluable for them to experience. They have learned to feel comfortable around things like violins, banjos and sitars from an early age, which I hope will lead them to having music in their lives as they grow. It’s something we really value in our home. It makes our house feel more like a ‘home’ to me whenever we play music together. 

IMG_2286Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

Well, our home has been a real “labour of love” for our family. We bought it a couple of years ago and have worked incredibly hard on it since then. I mentioned earlier that we loved the property and surroundings when we found our place. The other part of that story is that the house itself was in terrible condition and needed an immense amount of work to get it up to current living standards. We literally started out camping in a tent for a few days when we moved in because the house was in such dire straights. But with a lot of elbow grease, a couple of large dumpsters, and lots of dreams we have been able to make our house into a space that works for our family. There were definitely moments where I thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, but it has all been a great learning experience that allowed us to make our house into what we want and need. We had some excellent work done by electricians/gas fitters/installers etc. on the things that needed inspection and certification, but other than that we have done a lot ourselves. This has meant that we get to think about what we are doing and make sure it works, which is wonderful. But, it has also meant that things have taken a bit longer because it’s been us doing it rather than some big crew rushing though. Sometimes we had to wait to do something because it was outside of what our budget would allow. Or we had to find the right materials and it took a lot longer to do that than we had planned. Often we had to stop and reassess where we were heading with a plan and decide if we were making the right choices. It was harder than I first thought to make some of the decisions, although it was super fun at other moments too. I would say that the kitchen part was the worst for me simply because it is such a central part of our home and it seemed to take so very long to complete. I knew what I wanted with the lay out and design, but it was a process to get it all set up. (It took forever to find a fridge that fit properly and didn’t take over the entire space!!) In the interim, we still had to make meals in it, which was pretty tough some days.

IMG_2305Overall, our home has become a lot of what I envisioned when I first saw it. It is open and bright and looks out onto our property with big windows. The children’s rooms are finished enough that I feel good about them, finally!!  My bathtub is exactly the big and luxurious type that I wanted; I just had to wait a little while for it. The plans that we have for the rest of our home are exciting to look forward to. We have worked hard on this house with our little budget and our big hopes and dreams, and it has taught me a lot. I have grand designs for an art cabin in the back of our property where I can write, paint and play music. I am hoping that next spring it will be time to get that project going. I know that it will be a snap to do compared to what the rest of the house has been. I feel like we can do pretty much anything now due to all that we have accomplished.

IMG_2740As I said before, there is still a ton to do on our house, but it is getting there and we are really loving what we have made it into. I suppose that that is what I would say is the biggest thing I’ve taken away from this whole experience; dream big, work hard and keep your chin up. Things tend to work out all right if you do those three things. Yay!! for dreaming big! 

IMG_2285Thanks so much Emory for inviting me to share my little home! It was so much fun!

Love Wren.

If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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home: an american familial haven (blue eye diy)

Things I love and my husband hates!Guys, please welcome Letisha and her lovely and oh-so-comforting American home to Hello, Scarlett Blog. Letisha’s blog, Blue Eye DIY, is self-described as “where lipstick meets sawdust.” It is there where you can find the most amazing creative projects to beautify your home. I hope that you enjoy touring her home and reading her thoughtful answers as much as I did! I think that her domicile sounds like nothing more than a little slice of heaven.

Emory

Life in Every Space and Color!!1. Where is your home located?

Home?  Boy that a good question!  I have moved quite a bit so the idea of “home” has evolved for me.  If you would have asked me this question 5 years ago I would have said “anywhere my kids and are.”  Now my kids are starting their own lives and making their own homes.  So I have had to reevaluate.  I think about the moments that I am most happy, when I am most at peace.  Those moments are when I have finished a good day of work, I am relaxed with my husband and dogs and eating food I don’t let myself feel guilty about.  That is home!

Memories2. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

I wish I had a unique perspective to offer, but I really think home is about love and laughter not necessarily the location.  My son is leaving for his first “home,” it will be a tent in Nepal as he helps individuals rebuild after the earthquake.  I imagine him laughing, crying, sleeping, eating, working, playing music or cards … in his little tent.  Meanwhile back here in the states I will hang pictures on my walls, cook meals, watch tv, play cards, complain about slow internet … in my house.  Both are filled with love, both are a beautiful home.

My Personal Junk Yard3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

When I am designing my own home, I say my style is if Marilyn Monroe married Davey Crockett.  By that I mean, I love a bit of femininity and glam blended with rustic and distressed items.  I also LOVE to reuse or repurpose any item that I possibly can.  I believe everything should be purposeful if it takes a place in our home.  Even if its purpose is just to bring us joy!

Mirror and Brush 4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

My favorite item is an antique mirror and brush set my husband gave me for my first birthday with him.  I told him a story of watching an old movie where the handsome man marries the town ugly duckling.  He told her she was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.  For their wedding gift he gave her a mirror so she could see the beauty in herself. 

My Memory DrawerTwo things [that I could never live without],  first, my memory drawer.  I have saved mementos and collectibles over the years from my children and courtship.  These items make me laugh and remind me of when my kids thought I was cool!  

The second thing is my personal junk yard.  I just love my junk!  I have an addiction with all things old, dingy and discarded!

The Hubby's Guitar5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

When I decided to become and interior designer it was originally because I loved color and making spaces attractive.  As I have grown and had more experience in the field I have learned that what I love more than that is making people feel alive, comfortable and finally excited about their homes.  In my home I try to keep that same attitude.  I love to see my husbands guitar around, doggy’s toys, even the painting in my living room that my husband hates!  Because all these things mean that “WE” live here.

Daughter and DoggiesLetisha

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kinfolk recipe : simple tortilla española

Kinfolk_Vol15_LunchBoxTortilla-1Simple Tortilla Española (Kinfolk Magazine)

Also known as a spanish omelet, this tasty dish can be prepared the night before and will provide all the carbohydrates and protein you need to make it through the rest of your workday.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small Yukon Gold potato (about 1/4 pound/115 grams), peeled, quartered and cut into 1/8-inch (3-millimeter) slices
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 large eggs
Pinch of nutmeg

Method:

In a 10-inch (25-centimeter) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potato and onion and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and onions are translucent and very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and onions to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs with the nutmeg and pour them into the pan. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, then spread the potato and onion mixture over half of the eggs in an even layer. Continue cooking until the edges are set and the top is almost set but still moist, 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a spatula, fold the omelet in half to cover the filling, and then fold in half again. Remove the torta from the skillet and let it cool, then cut it in half and pack for lunch.

Tortilla Recipe - Kinfolk 1Recipe & Food Styling by Diana Yen. Top Photograph by Alice Gao. Prop Styling by Glen Proebstel. Bottom Photograph by Emory Ann Kurysh.

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top tips for buying wedding rings (randor jewellery)

pic-2Top tips for buying wedding rings

The engagement ring is one of the most thought-about pieces of jewellery one will ever buy. It has to be perfect, right? But what about the wedding ring? It’s just as important! After all, it will spend forever on your beloved’s finger, snuggled right up against that engagement ring you took weeks to pick out. So, how do you find the perfect wedding ring? Here are some top tips to make buying that important piece of jewellery as effortless and fun as possible.

Know your budget

Once you get inside that jewellery store it’s very easy to be tempted to spend more than you can necessarily afford. Because of that, it’s important to go into shopping for your wedding ring with a clear idea of what you can afford. As a general guideline, consider allotting about 3-4 percent of your total wedding budget to your rings. The more you can afford to spend on your wedding, the more you can afford to spend on your rings, and vice versa. Having a budget before you step foot in the store will help you to stay focused. Don’t look at rings you can’t afford! Remember, there are beautiful choices at every price point.

pic-3Be metal savvy

There was a time when most weddings came in a choice of either gold or, well, gold. Nowadays, there are so many choices in terms of metals it can be daunting to make a decision. However, familiarizing yourself with the options can help narrow down your choices. Gold is still the most popular choice for wedding bands, but these days gold isn’t just gold. There is rose gold, white gold and traditional yellow gold to choose from. Then there is platinum (a more pricey choice) and titanium, which offers a more budget-friendly choice. Budget isn’t the only consideration when choosing metals, however. Certain metals look more complementary on certain skin tones. In addition, some people’s skin is more sensitive to certain metals than others, so you should take that into consideration as well. Finally, personal preference should always guide the choice as well.

Look for a deal

Never buy in the first store you visit. Even if you end up circling back to that store to buy the ring you saw on your first trip out, it’s always a good idea to visit more than one store to look for the perfect ring at the perfect price.

pic-1Rings don’t have to match

Although it is common for brides- and grooms-to-be to purchase rings in a set, it’s not necessary to do so. Each person’s ring should reflect his or her own personality and taste, and that could mean that they don’t necessarily match. This is also true of cases where perhaps one ring is a family heirloom and the other is a new purchase. It may be impossible to truly match one ring to the other, but by choosing rings that match each person’s personality the result will be a set of rings that is truly unique to the couple.

When it comes to wedding rings Toronto stores have an abundance to offer. There’s something for everyone!

Randor Jewellery

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home: a modern cape cod homestead (nine apple trees)

c4u3is18vS2CJvyT6K0M6F_WfQV7Z9O1QKLyKl33x7cThere are only a handful of blogs and bloggers that I have been following, or who have followed me, since almost the outset of HSB. One such person who has been a constant is Chris from the blog Nine Apple TreesHis Ohio home, in which he shares with his beautiful family, is one that I admire greatly. He is not shy in posting about the hardships in regards to acreage life, while also celebrating his achievements with the same candour. His blog is a realistic look on rural life, and not an edited or glorified one that most bloggers become a casualty of (myself included). From his beekeeping adventures, to renovating their sustainable home, and more, Chris is a great storyteller and photographer. I couldn’t imagine doing this series without him.

Emory

wGvFthMvdd4I_mQGHhBZnjD6lKCZggohIQYtQsTWn-A1. Where is your home located?

Our home is located between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. While we’ve only been in our home for three years, my wife and I have lived within a few miles of the area basically our whole lives. The village has a rural feel but we are within twenty minutes of two major city centers. Living in a national park is a dream come true for us.

Wdbq5QusejaY-ONWlcAGsFx_dWhGzCSqHgqzHs4-gl4,6pzdcly1GjGSMHrelAf6YD4kO0A7tH4ybyKKNBX7JlwbmiWghEl3FJN9Yq0pqvK1uEhE9toAsRsy4jWXDDlVs42. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’? 

This is our third house we’ve had together, all of which we built new. I think the idea of turning a house into a “home” takes time. Home is really about the experiences and memories that become tied to a place. It was difficult leaving our last home because that’s where the boys were born, and we lived there for over seven years. It felt comfortable. Of all the things to worry about, or be challenged by in life, home has been a constant. I think people find comfort in the constants in their lives. For us, comfort is found in the place we live.

ToqTx_1qYmePCMNvFNbPn5j6CDCUgPTvg3VWElRO_6g,3HN4DHB5tttqTLRa4vYQ3Sq9mqyxV2Q3olKTRd5meMcLD_BF5lWtsXCPYoogM4TUDNAygv85alsGjpJ9IzQuDI3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

We have been fortunate that our design tastes are totally in sync. We like a laid back, eclectic, contemporary feel. We hired an architect to design our house. The modern cape cod style home he created is uniquely ours, and fits into the rural landscape. I like to think it evokes the industrial architecture of the area’s historic paper mills and train stations in the proportions of the building – the house is very long and tall.

bIOiuWy0itKpKQwQz9HRx7FZmvpPfQjH3XRC61PPeVcWe tried to infuse a little of that industrial vibe with faux steel beams in the kitchen and repurposed welding-tank light fixtures in the dining room. My favorite trick is we used a cohesive paint palette with rich, yet subtle, earthy colors. We weren’t afraid to paint different colors on different walls. We even painted the kitchen ceiling. There’s no reason all four walls need to be the same color.

TsHhrHzqLNIYS0QHYZpEQY8efV12erB1SM1eWaiOTjgI’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that nature inspires our design decisions as well. We try to balance the man made with natural: framed dried leaves the boys collected for example. The only wallpaper in the house, in the half bath, has a floral pattern. And the fireplace mantel is made from a cherry tree we had to cut down during construction.

ADloUGBzaCsfYyoEMChSPqqCM2brwoMO6j348pkAa28,_CpJ6OdmpV16fqyNj2oUKc5UBppax3-ShN_DoCLLaYg4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

Honestly, for me it’d actually have to be the yard outside. We have six acres and we’ve left most of it natural. I know that’s not an item, but I’ve come to know all the plants and trees, as strange as that sounds. We get attached to the living things on our land; we’ve been known to move shrubs from one residence to the next with mixed results.

E42UnjjqVZhNrcRaiUSrEafdWIku6_dXvogBHDkCxb4,Na32arBojFzpVzFJUBXkdbGErJ8qxczJmZojbkwMD_YAs for items, we have a lot of junk that we’ve moved from house to house. The more we accumulate, the less meaning it has, to me at least.

SO5dNkK95eYXH9UXWhQgEr_wN-cw4XU9wm2lKzXTUJ0,AzyU44RdwUZQwB2LsX10BWlvqjHjEzPWDEGQVhkiSaEI will say though when we designed the house we purposefully did not make a formal dining room. Our “fancy” dining room table gets used every day for every meal, and that’s by design. It will wear over the years and gain a character all its own. We bought it new, years ago, and I’d say that it has been a good constant to have. Whether it’s just a family dinner, business meeting or catching up with old friends, you can usually find it happening around the dining table.

3QNSXA3Eot634Y2oJJAZcTahLt1QlTdU_1I0wFakH9Egm7DuDUb_tXOt7MVUnIXSdBdnj-J1zgs2lFTNx6dC8M,WxGfMfdAPbAcx7At79iM0UfHVPEORvVhEyfh2xELezA5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

A major influence on our house and home life is environmental sustainability. The house is Energy Star certified, and we factor in the environment in every house related decision. My favorite example is our water supply is one hundred percent rainwater. It was amazing to take that first shower knowing that the water had fallen from the sky just a few hours ago. The house has been designed and built in a way that eventually we could live completely off the grid if we wanted to.

aNVZo8x1sIBr0cNdS3nmqK_iBkSvH0LJqNaw5kin6m8,tUcc6ouvgIYPBxkPvogZ43sKYgCLR6vDTX83aj0ks9QWe actually both work from home, and we built the house with an art studio for each of us. Beyond that we just wanted a place where our children could grow up around nature. We were worried about leaving suburbia with its sidewalks and kids everywhere, but we think it’s one of the best decisions we ever made.

Our home is the place where we live, work and play.

SltJNwjCgvgX28SCudieoU8UYNWkB_38Ha3cwOxAsdY,1Vg0zlICgmZ3d-jDcl-AsBP7rTulroftOKcd3Ip0xwUChris

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