Saturday, July 23, 2011

Comfort in California

I'm back from a whirlwind work excursion to LA, and the upcoming week at the office will be just as busy.  The trip was quick, but it was a pleasure to visit California and enjoy a break from Toronto's crazy hot & humid weather!!

I loved the beauty of these lit palm trees.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Deja Vu: LA Again

Monday evening I'll be heading back to Los Angeles for another quick buying trip. Knock on wood, things are going well at the store and it's time to add some new items to our mix. It will be a busy four days, but I'm hoping for just one or two hours to sneak away on my own and visit the La Cienega Design Quarter.  I've heard so much about this area from sources such as Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, and Habitually Chic.  If my plan doesn't work out (and knowing our schedule, it won't), I will have to be content just to visit the online websites of these fabulous looking design shops.
930 N. La Cienega
photo via Elle Decor

912 N. La Cienega
photo via Elle Decor

919 N. La Cienega
photo via

724 & 750 N. La Cienega

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Decision Made

I want to thank everyone who took the time to post a comment or send an email regarding which condo layout I should choose. As of 5 o'clock today, I am officially locked into an agreement to purchase a two bedroom condominium unit in a soon to be constructed project. Some people hate to purchase from a floorplan, but I am a fan (having done it once before), I love to envision the finished space in my mind. I have already started to consider my furniture layout and potential paint colours, although the finished product won't be ready for another year and a half.

I will let you in on which layout I chose, and the factors which influenced my decision. Here are the choices once again:

Suite D2
Orientation: Northeast corner
Square Footage: 874 + 41
Floor: 19th or 20th

Suite D3
Orientation: Southeast corner
Square Footage: 881 + 42
Floor: 5th or 6th

Suite D4
Orientation: Southwest corner
Square Footage: 883 + 72
Floor: 13th

Perhaps I should have pointed out in my original post that this building will be situated just east of a major highway. A highway view and the potential noise factor immediately ruled out the Southwest facing unit (D4). This is unfortunate because a Southwest exposure is generally preferred, plus this unit has the biggest balcony and is the least expensive of my three choices.

Next I should add that this condominium project will consist of three high rise buildings. The other two structures will lie to the southwest and west, with a mutual courtyard area. I overlook the courtyard in my current condominium, and although it can be pleasant, it can also be busy, with people coming and going at all hours. In the new project, the Southeast facing unit (D3) looks onto the courtyard, and is located on a lower floor. In my next home, I prefer to keep my distance from the hustle and bustle of the common areas.

The winning suite is the Northeast facing unit (D2). I am very happy with my choice, and I have compiled a list of the most important deciding factors:
  • Suites on the 20th floor feature 9' ceilings, as compared to 8' or 8'6" on lower floors.
  • East exposure on the 20th floor will capture views of the downtown Toronto skyline.
  • Entry foyer layout allows space for a console table and mirror.
  • Guest bedroom is the widest at 11'3", which provides ample space for 2 bedside tables.
  • Living area is 11' wide, as compared to 10' or 10'3", allowing for easier furniture placement and path to master bedroom.
I can't wait to get started decorating the new space!! You can look forward to inspirational photos and mood boards over the next year and half during the countdown to moving day. Thanks again to all those who "weighed in" with advice and opinions!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Home: The First 5 Episodes

Karen Sealy's design series, Summer Home, has aired 5 episodes to date, each week giving an Ontario cottage a refreshing and revitalizing design update. The family cottage is the quintessential Canadian getaway, but it can also be a lot of work to keep it up to date and functional for each generation. Karen mixes light renovations with great design to create a space that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Tip: Summer Home is casting for Season 2!! Apply now if you have a minimum budget of $5000, and your own summer home in one of these areas: Haliburton, Muskoka, Kawartha Lakes, Prince Edward County and Georgian Bay.

For ideas and inspiration you can use at your own cottage, check out these "After" photos from the first 5 episodes of Summer Home:

Episode 1:
The Snug

Episode 2:
Big Family, Big Kitchen
(Fenelon Falls)

Episode 3:
Cape Cod Cozy
(Rice Lake)

Episode 4:
Lounge Lodge

Episode 5:
Great Room Greater

Catch Summer Home on HGTV Canada,
click here for the schedule.

Photos courtesy of HGTV Canada.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heads Up: Sarah 101 Season 2 Casting Call

Yippee, folks!! Over at PRIMEVISTA, it's casting call time for the second season of Sarah Richardson's design series, Sarah 101. Can you imagine having Sarah and Tommy turn your "before" space into an "after"? Talk about a dream come true!! Not to mention that the television production will contribute $10,000 to the project!!

If you live in the greater Toronto area and you have a room with great bones and character in need of Sarah's help, get your act together and submit your application online. Good luck!!

Photo courtesty of HGTV Canada.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Condo: Please Weigh In

Whenever I'm faced with making a big decision, I like to make a list of pros and cons to help make the process easier. I'm considering the purchase of a pre-construction two bedroom condo, and although I've made the decision WHERE I want to be, I'm debating over which suite to choose. There are several units which I'm considering, and although the layouts are all very similar, they all have pros and cons.

This is where I could use your help, dear readers. Take a look at these floorplans, consider the layout, the level, and the suite orientation, and then leave a comment or send me an email with your list of pros and cons. Tell me which suite you prefer and why you think it's the best choice. Thanks for your help!!

Suite D2
Orientation: Northeast corner
Square Footage: 874 + 41
Floor: 19th or 20th

Suite D3
Orientation: Southeast corner
Square Footage: 881 + 42
Floor: 5th or 6th

Suite D4
Orientation: Southwest corner
Square Footage: 883 + 72
Floor: 13th

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Good to be Canadian

I hope you are all enjoying the Canada Day holiday today!! Since today is devoted to all things Canadian, I'd like to share some of my own snapshots taken in Toronto, many of them featuring our beloved Canadian flag.

All photos by Pamela Graham for CherishToronto.

Please do not copy without permission.