Wish Big: Richmond Reno Pt. 3

It’s not enough to wish, why not wish big?

While the crumbling house that I bought was far from the big and beautiful building I saw myself moving into, reimagined, I knew it could be transformed into something else, something I could call my home.

To that end I started my research, spoke to architects, interviewed some contractors, got some quotes then hired a builder.  I put all of my savings and trust on the line. In August of 2012, the next phase of this new journey began.

Click on the picture below if you’d like to see part 3 of my video digest. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1Bf5SWNH8)

Richmond St Project


Luxury Canadian Cooler

There wasn’t always enough room in my refrigerator for the oodles of prosecco that was drunk over the holidays. What was a girl to do? Use the natural Canadian cooler outdoors of course. To keep our bottles cold but not frozen, we put out a large box  lined with my sister’s vintage fur coat then tucked away the bottles of Italian bubbly…It worked like a charm!

Photo: Our Great Canadian Prosecco Cooler outside the house... #HappyNewYear


Time For A Drink

Nothing says holiday celebration more than a well stocked bar. Ok, maybe it’s just me who says that, but it is true.

When Jesus was born the Wise Men said “Mazel Tov” then threw back some rum punch and pretzels…I’m sure I read that somewhere.

The first thing I do when guests come to visit during the Christmas season is to offer a glass of Prosecco. Cold and crisp, it’s the perfect festive drink. As for the bar, I think if you can whip up at least 3 basics like Rum & Coke and 3 cocktails like a lovely Lychee Martini or Caipirinha, then your bar is in good standing.

My parents always had a stocked bar. Chris & Winnie would throw the best New Year’s Eve parties….the 31st of December is also my  Mum’s birthday which made the evening even more special…Food, drink and fun…that’s how they rolled.

 I’ve found a few beautifully stocked bars, just click on the pictures to be transported to the original web pages. Happy Holidays!

Bronson van Wyck's Bar Essential Mixers

Arrowhead Farms Drink Mixes

kathryn greeley interior designer


From the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes

God I love art. As one of those people who can’t even draw a straight line, I deeply admire the thoughtful creativity and skill of artists.

British Artist Alex Chinneck has the eye. His most recent project is titled FROM THE KNEES OF MY NOSE TO THE BELLY OF MY TOES.

His canvas is a 4 storey townhome in Margate. It appears to be losing its face. The brick, windows, front door, even the lace curtains seem to have simply lost cohesion, detached  from the rest of the house and slipped almost onto the street. The top floor, now exposed, reveals surprising decay. Chinneck told the Guardian newspaper that he loves to play with ideas of distortion and perception.

Eighteen months ago he sent out a wide appeal and was able to enlist the owners of this derelict house to participate in the art installation. The artist says that “Architecture provides a fantastic canvas for sculpture”.

The massive public art piece will be on display until next year, the house will be then turned into apartments.



The Marvel of St Pancras

The last time I was in London my sister and I paid a visit to the British Library, It is the national library of the UK. My sister was doing research, I was along for the ride. That ride of course included taking in the extraordinary architecture and gobbling up great food which London is now known for.

Around the corner from the library is  St Pancras Station. It is in a word, magnificent. To me it embodies the very best in big city redevelopment.

The busy train station designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott has been an important transportation hub for 140 years but the historic Victorian building had fallen on hard times; worn out and worn down. Over the last decade it has been subject to a massive overhaul. While it still serves as a railway station it is also home to a 5 star Marriott hotel with an amazing lobby bar and restaurant as well as residential condominiums and lofts.

Sufficeth to say, after the library we popped into the hotel, had a lovely glass of bubbly, dined on some tasty starters and took the time to feast our eyes.

Lobby, St Pancras Renaissance

Lobby, St Pancras Hotel London

Grand Staircase St Pancras

Junior Suite, St Pancras UK

I found some pictures of one of the open plan residences. It features three bedrooms spread over three levels. It was designed by T G Studio.




Ottawa Modern

What ever your thoughts on the social and political pandering in Ottawa, one has to admit that it is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities; small, regal, with plenty of historic eye candy. There is also a growing modernity in the city, arguably not in the halls of the House of Commons, but  it can be seen on some of the streets and avenues and thanks to this project by Christopher Simmonds Architect , it can also be seen on Ottawa’s waterways. This contemporary residence is built on the banks of the Ottawa River.












Beauty in an all too often ugly world

So many people with ugly thoughts and troubling behavior in the world. It’s a fact of life I guess. But we all need a counterbalance.  I choose to calm my mind and soul with beauty. People with beautiful spirits, beautiful surroundings, beautiful food and beautiful art.

Plato wrote: “Beauty is certainly a soft, smooth, slippery thing, and therefore of a nature which easily slips in and permeates our souls.”

This 1880’s beauty is in Manhattan. It is owned by  J. Crew Creative Director, Jenna Lyons.



Small and loving it

Small spaces always fascinate me. It really comes down to being smart about layout, decorative choices editing. The fact is you can live large in a small home.

This 29 square metre apartment…that’s just over 300 square feet is in Wroclaw, Poland.  There’s room to sleep, cook, bath and yes even entertain.


Graffitti or Art?

I hate most graffiti. It upsets me that people can desecrate buildings without thought or remorse. Still, I love street art.

So, where is the contradiction? I think there is a distinct difference between graffiti and “street art”.

French artist OakOak is a pure master at settling that debate. The rationale behind OakOak’s work is beautifying his surroundings.

The pictures below illustrate his artistic interactions with the city of Saint-Etienne “I wanted it to look nicer. It was an industrial city with many coal mines; now it’s in regeneration and still quite poor. But it’s easily travelled by foot with awkward aspects ideal for art. I saw shapes everywhere, and wanted to realise them,” he explains.




Restored Hardware

Restoration Hardware is one of those stores that just leave you wanting…wanting to buy that is.

In an alternate universe I’ve already told the sales associate, “I’ll take it all” That’s because the restoration Hardware life seems oh so chic, full of comfortable furniture, textured seating, romantic lighting accessories and décor that is alight and alive.

The clever people at the company have upped their game. Restoration Hardware recently opened a 40,ooo square foot masterpiece in Boston’s Historic Museum for Natural History. It’s 4 storeys of livable eye candy ready to be licked, wrapped and transported to lovely homes everywhere..


Level 01

Level 02



Peeping Terese

I’m one of those people who find unmeasured pleasure from a stroll through city neighbourhoods just as the sun goes down. It’s a time when lights are on and most curtains remain open. That’s when you can peek through windows to really see how people have decorated their own homes and live in their spaces.
I walk slowly but not too slow as I don’t want to be mistaken for a prowler.

Maybe one day someone will invite me in