October 22, 2012:

#SpruceStreet Living & Dining

We are working on a new project in our hood. Victorian homes have such charm but they are also a challenge. Our task for this project is to open up the two rooms to expand the overall mainfloor space. Initially the client wanted us to blow away all the walls, but with twins, it means you need places to store/hide things so taking out all of the walls would not be practical in the long run.

What we are doing however, is switching the living and dining room spaces. The dining room will be used for more formal occasions vs. daily meals so going the extra distance to get there isn't exactly a hardship. The current dining room is the bigger of the two rooms so it makes sense to make that into the living space and taking down the walls that bind it.

We're going to close in the stairwell to the basement so that we can build in a TV. I am very excited about this design solution.

However, the true excitement comes from the cabinetry that we've designed for the dining room. I saw these bookcases from the Richmond Showhouse in the US designed by Bridget Beari and I was immediately smitten and wanted to incorporate a similar design into what we are calling the Dining Library for our Spruce Street project.

 
 
 

I mean HELLO LOVVVAHHHHHHHH right?? It's insane. I jump clapped when this came across my facebook feed one day. Holy SHITXSTICKS It is FABULOUS.

 
 
 

We also need to incorporate a bookcase/desk area into the living space for the client who works from home. It's a tricky proposition given that we don't have a wealth of room but we DO have a lot of height to work with. I like the way this bookcase has a desk in front of it, but in our case, to save space, we'll incorporate a drop down desk top that integrates into the bookcase itself. Perfect to house a laptop.

 
 
 

The clients have a family friend who wants to make the dining table for them. They wanted a natural table but I feared it would be too rustic until I saw this bad boy. Hello Inspiration. We are so after this..... It's polished and sophisticated all the while playfully modern. LOVE.

 
 
 

October 19, 2012:

Getting Back on the Blogging Horse

Wowsas a vacation can really wreak havoc on one's blogging!! But I'm back baby I'm back!!!

I don't even know where to begin except to say that MAN I had a great time in Florence and Rome. You may have noticed I took a pic or two over on instagram...

I also undertook a Herculian effort to find a pair of cognac brown riding boots that would fit my calves.  It turned out to be a full 10 day challenge which saw me trying on boots in every store there was to be had in Rome. It finally ended in my absolute last chance store in Campo Fiore. The last day alone, I must have hunted for close to 8 hours. It was insane. But my efforts did pay off!

 
 
 

 
 
 

I've waited what feels a lifetime to own this purse. I first saw it in a croco by Nancy Gonzalvez in Bergdorfs about five years ago. It was a small fortune that would only be paid by selling an organ or two on the black market. Had my husband left me alone for a few more minutes, I would have talked myself into the purchase. He arrived in the nick of time and thwarted my whipping out my AMEX. It has haunted me since and then in Florence, I walked into a store and there it was, this time in Patent.

Did you hear the angels singing? Ya, I did. I also heard my friend Sue's voice saying, "Don't leave a purchase behind in Italy, you will regret it." So I whipped out the card and bought it. Happy 40th Birthday to Me!!! (I'm milking it for the rest of the year, my birthday that is...) It's breathtaking this bag. I am a content and happy woman. For now.

 
 
 

Oh and if you are in Canada, check out the latest issue of Canadian Family!! My family and my Christmakah decor are featured in the latest issue!! The uber talented Angus Ferguson shot our house last November and I'm absolutely beyond ecstatic with how it turned out. Thank you again to Jen Reynolds and her entire team. Top Notch!!

 
 

October 16, 2012:

Last Full Day In Rome

Every time I think I'll have lots of time to blog while I'm away I fail horribly, miserably in fact. Just too darn tired.

Today is our last day in this spectacular heaven on earth. It's also my last day to try and track down the boots of my dreams here. I only hope that walking all over the city doesn't cause my feet/legs to swell making my quest all the more difficult. I'm positive that bootmakers are sadists who refuse to consider that the majority of the world does not have calves 12" or smaller in diameter. Bastards they are the lot of them.

I'm looking forward to getting home and back to work though. I know I'm a bit nuts right?

Spent a bit of time hanging with Moses.

Then there's this old place.

But time with this guy (not to mention my husband and bestie) has/have been the best of all.

October 12, 2012:

Roma Roma the Sequel

Ciao Ciao my people.

Rome continues to be awe-inspiring and leg muscle cramping. We are walking until we literally collapse each day so it's taking up most if not all of my brain power come the end of the day. Also, if I haven't mentioned, sleeping has been a challenge because of the never ending traffic, street cleaning and garbage collecting that happens pretty much at the very moment I've fallen asleep. Oh and last night, it poured rain so  all that noise was drowned out (THANK THE GODS) only to have some asshat hit the buzzer to our flat in the wee hours which yet again, jolted me awake.

So it's like I'm back with a newborn again sleep deprivation wise. Not ideal but fortunately, ROME makes up for that.

My pictures are flooding the gates at instagram if you want to follow along @meredithheron over there. I think I've crashed their servers a few times.

We are heading to Trastavere today and the Jewish Ghetto. Tomorrow Florence. I think. The Forum and the Colliseum come Monday. Or something like that. See, I can't even keep it straight and it was all plotted out during breakfast. Oh jeez it's almost lunch over here.

Best bathrooms of the trip so far go to the St Regis Rome. Holy Hannah Marble Greatness.

Oh and I should advise you if you are in Canada our Christmas spread is now on the stands in this month's Canadian Family issue. We shot it last fall with Angus Ferguson who Luke is now obsessed with. So thrilled with how it turned out despite the fact that we're talking Christmas in October while I'm in hot Italy. HA!!! Will share pics when I'm back!!!

October 09, 2012:

Roma Roma

So we arrived relatively unscathed to Rome. I mean there was the "Surprise" at the airport when we discovered that my husband had missed the AlItalia website registering my ticket to Meredith Ann instead of Meredith A. Heron. Yes that was fun. Did you know that two out of your three names on you passport is NOT enough to get you on the plane even with the pleading eyes of a 3yr old by your side? Fortunately, someone in Rome made the call to correct the error (despite having to reissue ALL of our tickets) when they could have said tough luck, buy another ticket in the correct name.

Now before you go thinking I was born with a horseshoe up my butt, I didn't get an ounce of sleep on the plane. Nottablinkorawink. Fun times. Oh and the moment I was drifting off, I was jolted back to reality with a lovely Italian accent quietly requesting via announcement "Is there a Doctor on the Plane by Chance?"  "Oh freaking great," I thought, "We're flying with the Grimm Reaper."  Apparently my pessimism overcame it and the person survived, despite the congestive heart failure (pure speculation).

We also managed to survive a train & then subway/metro experience to our flat. Rome doesn't scream "ACCESSIBLE." Not every station is equipped for a wheelchair let alone a stroller. Fortunately, Metro Employees turn a blind eye when a Momma disregards the No Stroller on the Escalator signs and wheels her bambino onto it. Needless to say, I got quite the workout.

Our flat is lovely. 4th floor Antique Elevator that Luke adores (Momma prefers to take the marble stairs). The Metro outside our door along with Mercatos, Piazza with a playground for Luke. Our best friends arrived late afternoon to join us here and we set off to do a quick exploration. We went to Piazza de Popolo, wandered around to the Villa Medici, carried a recently crashed baby in a stroller down the Spanish Steps (no small feat given the number of pedlars accosting us with lasers at our feet which at night is distracting and not great on ancient marble steps warn away and uneven)...

Thanks to free wifi courtesy of Louis Vuitton and Guess Jeans we located the best restaurant in the area which was full so we ended up at another bistro. Despite being slower than molasses causing us to miss any chance of making the Metro back before they closed at midnight we had a wonderful dinner and stayed up late enough to get ourselves on to Rome time. We left the restaurant and wound our way up to of all places, the Trevi Fountain.

HOLY FARKIN SHITBALLS OF MARBLE.

Why didn't anyone tell me/warn me/insist I get my ass over to Rome to see the Trevi Fountain before?? I mean it is jaw droppingly beautiful. Spectacular.Epic. I mean the word epic was created to describe the Trevi Fountain. Well not necessarily describe it, it's not quite enough to adequately convey the awesome. But for real. It was insanely awesome the closer you got to it. 

It was so stunning, it got me over the trauma that are public washrooms in Rome. Oh yes, there will be a Roma Loo story and thensome for sure. I promise you.

Ciao.

 

No end of insanely inspiring architecture around here. If you are on my facebook you will note that I'm NOT a fan of the proposed Frank Gehry Takes On King Street in Toronto plan. I'm not into Gaudi-esque architecture. I'm a fan of the classics. We need more not less of this in Toronto.

You're going to see a lot of door hardware. Simply put, the Romans know doors and door hardware.

I rest my case.

BOOM.

Trevi Fountain. I must visit daily I think.