Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In Good Company

Andrea Case of CTV came by yesterday to interview David Dunkley, my part-time boss. He's been very busy lately, with the attention his Royal Wedding collection has been receiving.

Here's a souvenir photo of the three of us.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ta-Da! My New Home Showroom Springs Forth!*

*or What I Did This Winter (with lots of help)

What to do with a growing client list and an unnecessary spare bedroom? Repurpose the bedroom into a showroom!

That's what I decided to do, and luckily for me, the indispensable Scott let me do it. (It's his house.) Not only let me, but helped me immeasurably and, of course, indispensably.

The first hurdle was the vision. After staring at the room in its un-renovated condition for way too long, I realized I was much too close to the trees to see the forest, so to speak. Enter Barbara Quinn of Breathe360, stylist extraordinaire. She came, she saw, she figured it out. It was awe-inspiring to watch her scan the room and envision what would go where, and in such detail. We had a plan and we started to work it.

I collected four bookcases over some months through Craig's List and Kijiji to display my hats and store fabric and other supplies. For my birthday last year, Scott's present for me was a beautiful antique wardrobe, for more storage. The lovely quarter-sawn oak desk and my grandma's oak table were already in place. Scott painted the walls a cheerful, soft yellow, painted the bookcases white, created cabinets in the bottoms of the bookcases and hung pictures. I made curtains, slipcovers and an inspiration board, and we both made oodles of hat stands with leftover MDF from the cabinet doors, dowel and styrofoam balls.

Once the paint was done the energy changed dramatically. It's the sunniest room upstairs, and the yellow paint makes my heart sing. I now work in here, too, and tidy up for clients' appointments.

My liking it was all very well and good, but what would my clients think? "Oh, wow!" was the first impression of the new showroom's first visitor. Phew!

Okay, enough with the talk. On with the photos!

This is the first impression from the hallway.

This is the room before we got busy.

Hats much?

Handy to have this aptly-coloured and sized framed print waiting to be put to use.

I love my cabinets. I thought them up, and the wonderful Neil at Rona told us how to make them. Neil is awesome.

Sewing projects: curtains and window seat cover, with cutout for windowsill. Hooray for spring-tension curtains rods!

I really am a milliner, see?

The very beautiful wardrobe Scott gave me, now a storage cabinet. Inside there is a wee Ikea shelving unit stained to match. This gives me the storage I needed without having to drill holes to hang shelves, which would have been a crime in such a gorgeous piece.

My new inspiration board, with lots of family souvenirs. I'm feeling my British roots, leading up to the royal wedding.

And so farewell!

So it works! I have a pretty, functional room in my home in Toronto's Beach neighbourhood to which to welcome my clients. When can I expect to see you??

Contact me for your appointment!

Monday, 11 April 2011


David Dunkley's been to London and brought me back a particularly apt Royal Wedding souvenir, purchased, most appropriately, in a shop behind Buckingham Palace. It joins a roster of other royal souvenirs, such as a Charles & Diana tea towel and a mug and plate commemorating the Queen's coronation.

So this is what I'll be wearing as I try to stay awake in the wee small hours for the big event April 29. Because a fascinator might get mooshed against my pillows.