autumn awesomeness

I am a devoted CBC Radio One nutter. One of my favourite programs is Tapestry. Though I lament the loss of The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony as its theme music, the show never fails to inspire and educate me. Host Mary Hynes has an interview style that I identify with. She is always truly engrossed in the words of the interviewee. If you aren't familiar with Tapestry, I will describe it loosely as a program about spirituality. But here's how the show describes itself:

"...an hour in which rabbis and poets get equal time on the topic of faith, science-fiction writers and physicist-priests ponder the great creation myths, athletes explore the hero's journey as a spiritual metaphor, and architects examine the idea of space for the soul."

Awesome. Tapestry recently did a program about Hope. One of the interviewed guests for the hour was Neil Pasricha. Neil is the blogger and author behind the 1000 Awesome Things phenomenon. The program and interview came at a time when I had begun to freshly appreciate some small but awesome things around me. All this at the height of a season I believe to be the most awesome, autumn. As a tribute to Neil and Mary, I thought I might share my own little list of awesome.

Farrow & Ball Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin poured scented candle in a glass to match the Farrow & Ball paint colour Breakfast Room Green. The scent and colour are perfection for my living room. Farrow & Ball: awesome. Jo Malone: awesome. Together: awesome x 2. The line was limited edition, so it may be tough to track these down...rare: even more awesome.

I once likened having this machine in my space to parking a Mini on my kitchen counter. It hogs a big chunk of counter space in my wee city kitchen. But oh my goodness it is quite fantastic. I've been revelling lately in the ritual of preparing lattes with this fantastic thing. The loud whir of the milk steamer is so profesh. Brings me back to my barista days at the Second Cup. Breville Barista Express: awesome. IKEA Pokal latte glass: awesome.

Last spring when I put my boots away I thought to myself "Next winter I'll likely need to shell out for a new pair of boots." Most people would revel at the thought. Me, meh. Sure, I like new boots, but I don't live and breathe for shoe/boot shopping. It was with some trepidation that I unearthed this pair from their hibernation spot. These things are 5 years old and I have worn the heck out of them every season since buying them. They've taken me through 12-hour scouting days in Toronto, and around London, New York and Paris for long tourism and trade show days. Beaten by snow, salt, rain, mud, and, as I discovered when I retrieved them, a dose of mildew. I treated them to a thorough cleaning and polishing -- I learned that from my Dad. He was in the Naval reserve and knows how to polish shoes to a high shine. I remember when I was a kid he would carefully place newspapers down every couple of weeks and methodically clean and shine every pair of his shoes. I was enthralled. I learned. My delight with these boots came partly in the process of cleaning them -- the hard-finish leather takes a shine beautifully. But the real bliss came when I put them on. It was like slipping on a perfectly worked-in baseball glove. I was transformed. Confident, stylish, authoritative, even a touch taller. My favourite old boots: awesome. The fact that they only cost $75 new and yet have lasted this long: awesome. Learning how to polish shoes from my Dad: awesome.

My bedroom. Since the room photo was taken I added the West Elm Nail Head headboard (shown above). I've been sleeping extraordinarily well lately and am very thankful for it. Today's the day when I switch it from summer to autumn mode. To do that I add velvet bed hangings to what you see. The white linen ones stay as lining for the velvet ones. The effect is cocoonlike. And considering the room has large patio doors, the fabric isn't just for show - it excludes drafts. 


One of my favourite sources for bedding is Au Lit Fine Linens. I had the privilege of meeting and working with Peggy Byron this year. She founded Au Lit, and her daughter Joanna Goodman is breathing fun new life into this incredible company. I admire both of them for their great knowledge, passion, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Their life's work is to bring beauty and quality to your home. It is a high calling. I urge you to treat yourself to something from the shop in Toronto (I have a featherbed on my must-buy list). I'm also loving Joanna's gorgeous and informative blog, Between the Sheets.

My bed: awesome. Velvet bed hangings: awesome. Au Lit Fine Linens: awesome. Between the Sheets: awesome.

Printed little gems that land magically in my mailbox. Every page inspires a new idea, a dream, a plan. J. Crew catalogue: awesome. House Beautiful: awesome.

Now please, find 54 minutes in your life, visit the Tapestry web site and have a listen to the episode called Hope (find it at the Featured Audio section on lower right of the screen). 

What is awesome to you this autumn? What do you hope for?

IDS10 favourite thing

This is by far my favourite thing at the Toronto Interior Design Show this weekend. I almost shouted EUREKA! when I saw it. Yes, as you might have guessed it's a radio, but this radio is very special. It's designed for people across the country who have their dials permanently set to CBC. As I type this I listen to the Sunday Edition on Radio One so I am one of those people. The design allows the listener to switch from CBC Radio One to Radio Two without enduring the static on the dial in between. This invention will promote marital harmony in my home. I am a Radio One gal, hubs is all Radio Two. Love the old school look, and the speaker grill that mimics the CBC logo.

Thanks for inventing the obvious Tristan Zimmermann of Science and Sons -- and I mean that as the highest compliment. All of the best designs in the world are the product of one great mind thinking up the obvious then presenting it back to us -- eg the post-it note, the power of a cyclonic vaccum. Tristan is the great mind behind Plastidermy, Phonophone and the Lift Light --  a light that you dust by flying like a kite -- I mean come on, when have you heard of such a cool thing. NEVER! Learn more about his coolness here

So back to the radio. Sadly it's only a prototype and not yet available. I WANT I WANT I WANT Here's what I propose:

1. All CBC addicts unite and donate to the cause so that manufacture can begin.

2. All Canadian citizens pay a tiny extra bit of income tax so that Canada Citizenship and Immigration can present each new Canadian citizen with one of these radios as a little welcome to Canada gift. And maybe we can get The Bay to throw in a HBC signature collection scarf. Who's with me?