Monthly Archives: March 2012

Floor Plans: Cozy vs Open

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I suppose it’s because I’m a bit of a loner and definitely an introvert, although I love my friends and family and I do like them to come over and visit and I do love to cook for people, but I just don’t really get the passion for open floor plans and the way everyone seems to want space and layout suitable for entertaining.  Is the rest of the world really more social than I am?  I might entertain a couple of times a year, five times at the most.  I am drawn to rooms that are cozy places to curl up with my book, a window seat where I can look out into my garden and dream of spring, and I don’t want the noise and clutter of the kitchen to be viewed from the living room or the dining table.  Perhaps I need to learn not to be such a messy cook.

The other objection I have to open floor plans is the lack of wall surfaces for art and for putting shelves, pianos or desks up against.  And since I am most likely to want to read while I relax on my sofa, I need reading lamps on my side tables.  Where do I plug them in if my furniture is all floating in the middle of the room?

 

image via southernliving.com

This is pretty, and typical of popular taste.  Some homes offer a formal living room and dining room in addition to this great room concept, but when space is limited, the popular choice is still to open everything up.  I can just imagine myself buying a house and putting walls back!

And those lamps!  They are probably plugged into outlets in the floor.  That means a view of the cords from the kitchen side and limitations in furniture arrangement.

image via dexknows.com

And this just wouldn’t feel like home to me.  It looks like a hotel lobby.  I guess the open concept is why pot lights became so ubiquitous, and if they have dimmers I wouldn’t mind, but I like the coziness of lamps, not to mention the opportunity to add to the decor.  This home lacks personality.  There is no art on the walls, although that might be due to this being an image from a site about how to paint your walls in an open floor plan.  I do like the wall colour but please, put some giant textiles on that wall.

image via archithings.net

image via archithings.net

These images are from a small one bedroom apartment, so the open floor plan helps to make it feel more spacious.  I would still want to do something to get rid of that bowling alley look and to make the kitchen less visible.

It must be my antisocial nature.  I hear people say they don’t want to be in the kitchen cut off from everyone else.  I guess I am the only person on the planet who doesn’t mind that.  I like my kitchen to have a place for someone to sit and keep me company but I don’t need a whole party in there.

image via homergo.com

 

This cozy space calls to me.  I would very happily curl up with my cat and my book and my knitting here.  It looks like it’s also a good place to play with my dinosaurs and use my crayons.

image via pinterest.com

This one has my name all over it!

I am always drawn to moody colours, dim lighting (but large windows are nice) warm colours and a significant lack of white. (Not to mention those popular pops of colour)

image via updatedallas.com

I suppose since my style is colourful and cluttered in a gypsy-bohemian kind of way, I don’t like the rooms to compete with each other.  I love an eclectic kitchen full of personality and colour.  My dream kitchen would definitely have room for two cooks and a kitchen table

image via moon to moon

image via moon to moon

image via moon to moon

image via moon to moon

I wouldn’t choose exactly the colours but the general idea of this kitchen appeals to me.

image via the kitchendesigner.org

When I win the lottery I might have a kitchen like this, which is obviously spacious but has been given a cozy look and feel.  I don’t think I would put a desk right by the stove, though.

 

Paisley Passion

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If I have a favourite print is it paisley.  I loved it long before I knew what it was called; as far as I can recall I have loved it all my life.

image via marymakirae.com

At  a site called A Textile Lover’s Diary with plenty of interesting information on my favourite design.

image via A Textile Lover's Diary

There’s paisley for lovers of contemporary design. (Usually not me)

image also via Brewster wallpaper

image via kaboodle.com

Things look a little more like this chair, around my place, as I own a few paisley shawls and throws.

image via furnish.co.uk

I love faded vintage paisley and also seem particularly drawn to reds.  My ex got to keep two fantastic red and gold paisley sofas when we split.  At least I am allowed to visit and sit on them sometimes.

But I also love this mod 60s looking paisley in blue and green.  Probably, it reminds me of my childhood.  I would wallpaper a small wall in it, like a foyer or powder room.

Believe it or not, this one below is ceramic tile.  Anything that can support a design can be done in paisley.

image via seedpodstudio.gostorego.com

image via thisnext.com

I find some of my favourite images on thatbohemiangirl.tumblr.com and bohemian rooms are bound to have a dash of paisley in them.  I’ll finish of this post with some more images via thatbohemiangirl

Spring Greens in a Basket

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I have three window box style basket planters that work well sitting on the ledge of my balcony.  I’m too lazy to run out and take a photo so I have found one that shows a very similar basket to mine.

Mine are a little longer and since they have spent one or two seasons outdoors, a little less pristine looking.

This year I am going to plant them with a mixture of edible flowers and greens.  I am growing them all from seed so that means I will have to wait for them to look good, but it will be another month before I spend any time out on my balcony anyhow.

Here are some of the plants I intend to grow.

image via containergardening.about.com

I love nasturtiums.  Both leaves and flowers are edible but I love them mostly for their joyful burst of colour, their pungent-sweet scent and the lily pad like leaves.

I have grown every variety I have ever seen for sale and it’s difficult to choose a favourite.  I am growing ‘Jewel Mix’ this year and I have some left over seeds of “Tall Single’ from last year that I will add for their trailing efect.  ‘Jewel Mix’ is s dwarf variety.

Jewel Mix via osborneseed.com

And there may be some Empress of India seeds left over too.  It’s quite a stunner.

image via swallowtailgardens.com

I also like to grow spinach, swiss chard and lettuces with the nasturtiums, and to mix coloured leaves or stems into my containers.

image via grow-it-organically.com

image via containergardening.about.com

Swiss Chard via extension.oregonstate.edu

lettuce "Red Sails" via davesgarden.com

If my balcony were sunnier I would grow calendula, also known as pot marigold.  The flowers are edible but I also just find them very pretty and they make great cut flowers. I didn’t have any luck with them last year on my partially shaded balcony.

image via containergardening.about.com

http://lifeonthebalcony.com/5-ways-to-create-an-ugly-balcony-vegetable-garden/

In my image searches I found this blog posting and had a good chuckle. Just in case you are only skilled at creating beauty and you want to get on the ugly bandwagon, go ahead and check out the helpful hints there.

image via southernliving.com

image via landrethseeds.com

image via gardeninginspirations.com

image via friendsfoodreview.com

I’m Not Being Paid for This

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When I created this blog I had several names in mind but each one I entered was apparently not available.  I typed in mangotangerine sort of desperately as it is the name of my favourite beverage.  It worked so now, here I am, creating a blog named after some juice.

In searching for an image, I have found that unsurprisingly it may have a different name here in Canada than it does in the US, where it seems to be called Orange Mango.

I try not to drink too many calories so I don’t consume juice every day.  This is a treat.  It is also especially tasty in  combination with these….

It wouldn’t surprise me if a little cream or coconut milk would be nice too.

 

 

 

Something Nobody Says

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So often when I look at an image of interior design and I like it what never fails to depress me is that I cannot emulate it in my own home because I lack the splendid architecture.  Even if I owned my own home money could certainly be an obstacle to that, but currently renting an apartment is a huge impediment to my architectural desires.   I don’t live in a town full of old buildings.  That is one of the disadvantages to a small Canadian west coast town.  It’s too new. And one of the great inventions of the new world is cheap quality and shortcuts.

I’ll stop my moaning for a moment though, because I want to point out that the Emperor is naked.  So many times an image of interiors that are heralded for their great decor or design are really being substantially supported by the fantastic millwork, wood floors, large windows and the fireplace.  And don’t even get me started on beams or exposed brick walls.  I could take a room like that, throw a kilim on the floor and put a garden gnome on the mantle and be lauded for my brave minimalist style.  Certainly if I have good taste, a sense of colour and form, and get onto the trend bandwagons early, I could be considered a brilliant decorator.

I suppose it is possible for someone with very bad taste to ruin the look of a home with good bones, or to bury it in hideous things.  But one woman’s hideous is another’s fabulous.  I know this from the many design images I look at containing things I would most certainly consider to be hideous, and anyone who reads my blog knows I greatly dislike many of the trendy things.  Yes, decorative antlers, I’m talking about you.  Hello mid-century modern furniture and light fixtures.  My apologies Jonathan Adler, I’m sure your mother likes your art.

I know, I know, it is all a matter of personal taste and not everyone will like mine.  So getting back to this mater of wood floors and deep baseboards.   I just want to toss it out there, I just want us all to acknowledge, that it is easier to make such a room look good and more difficult to make it look bad.  In my contrarian sort of way, I am inclined to admire someone who can achieve the latter. Now THAT would take talent.

Eating My Words on Ikat

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I have said that I don’t much like Ikat. I have since realised that isn’t quite true.  My initial exposure to it seemed to be to the two coloured prints that were a solid colour on a white background.  I have found that I like what I call reverse Ikats, where the background is a colour and the design is white.  Or even softly blended multi-colour ikats.

image via moodfabrics.com

image via countryliving.com

Delicious ikats and rather tasty words too.