Inspired by Elle Decor's December edition

Original photography by William Abramovitch

Have you ever found a new shelter magazine in the mail, drooled all over the cover, made yourself wait to open it until you were comfortably nestled with a cozy throw and a glass of wine, and then flip, flip, flipped to the end without being stopped by anything inside?  That did NOT happen today when I got the December Elle Decor in the mail.  I was so excited I actually put down the wine and took photos of the photos in the magazine.  I know.  There were a few homes and designs that, while I appreciated the aesthetic, did not appeal to me.  But the St. Bart's beach house of Parisian interior and furniture designer Christian Liaigre pictured above had me already feeling the humid breezes and hearing the sounds of the surf.  Who knew a beach house could be sophisticated?  I love the kitchen and the bathroom especially, and the outdoor eating area (which I didn't show - you have to look at the magazine for that one - trust me it is beautiful).

It could be that the editor Michael Boodro's letter hit the nail on the head for me - I have often wondered how I could be attracted and happy with so many different styles of design.  Shouldn't I have one signature style?  Michael says no.  Boo-yah Michael.

For example, I would have no where to put this amazing light fixture - it does not jibe at all with the things I have in my home - but I covet it none-the-less.  How does this make sense?  Sooo shiny...

My photo does not do justice to the rich, yummy, deep velvety green on this sofa in the ad for Ochre.  It is actually much darker.  I tried to find it online but no dice.  It's that amazing mossy forest green that you feel like you could fall into and dream of fairies and sprites in magical German woods.  Or something...  But when I saw it I knew immediately that THIS is going to be my colour this Christmas - this rich deep velvet green, with cream and gold and white and lots of sparkly little lights.  Think Value Village has any deep green velvet...?  Perhaps velour will do in a pinch, provided I maintain low lighting at all times.

Original photography by Eric Piasecki

Much of this "cabin" (monstrous home) in Colorado designed by Caroline Sarkozy was a little contrived for my taste - too much birch bark, antlers, and pine cladding for my liking.  But for some reason I enjoyed this cozy home office pictured above - a photo tucked away on the contents pages ...maybe I would just add some books to those shelves.

Original photography by Jean-Fran├žois Jaussaud 

Another little snapshot from the contents pages was this beautiful curved nook found in a chateau in Provence owned by the designer Pierre Yovanovitch.  The rest of the chateau was very nice in an overt modern-minimalist-luxury-in-an-historic-French-chateau kind of way, but everything about this image appeals to me much more.  The curved wooden shelves on the curved wall, the rustic dishes, the wooden-framed painting, the two-toned wall, the delicate antique rocking chair - c'est parfait.

Original photography by William Waldron

However, the home I could move into in a heartbeat and change NOTHING is this fishing cabin-turned weekend house designed by Amy Mellen, creative director for Calvin Klein Home.  Just look at the mix in this kitchen.  Sleek cabinets, faucet, stainless appliances, and Calvin Klein windsor chairs - with their modern angles and lines - pair so perfectly with the antique table, original pine floors and dark-trimmed sash windows.  And such great styling by JC Garcia Lavin!

And that bedroom is just so serene and right up my alley.  In fact, I think that might be the colour of my bedroom walls.  If only I didn't kill those weird ferns every time I buy one.  Again the mix and styling in this photo (or at least the actual photo in the magazine) are great. (Wait, wasn't that fern on the mantel before? Maybe they aren't meant to live - maybe they're just for styling!)

So thanks for letting me read the magazine for you, and thanks to Elle Decor for actually inspiring a blog post.  That's no small miracle these days!

Happy Birthday Joni Mitchell

Joni Michell 1970
Joni Mitchell has to be one of my top ten favourite musicians of all time - maybe even THE top.  Her songs are unusual and inventive; poetry set to music.  She turned 70 years old yesterday, so I thought I would post one of my favourites of her songs - I love pretty much everything about this one.  Her guitar playing is incredible, the lyrics are thoughtful and evocative, and her voice just ripples over the melody like sparkling clear water.

Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever" and I completely agree.  She is also a painter, and in fact she has said that she considers herself a "painter derailed by circumstance."  I have always felt that Joni is a true artist - a kind of human conduit for creativity of the style Elizabeth Gilbert describes in her TED talk.

I have a this theory that there is magic and mystery and music all around, available to us if we sort of shift our "frequency" to let it resonate through us.  I am sure you have felt it every now and then, no? Since I am a visual person, I see it in my head in terms of density - I imagine that some people are more opaque than others - there is just no space in them for the magic to get in or through.  Each of us are varying degrees of opacity, at different times, and artists of any vocation simply have less mass in them... they're "thinner."  Joni is a rare being that is practically transparent, or like a crystal - the magic/art not only comes through clearly, but is amplified as it shines through her.

Did that make any sense?  Did I just write all that?  Jeez, put the joint down Lisa... (although I will leave it in because, heck, were talking about Joni).

Anyway, I also want to include the lyrics to another favourite song of hers, Chelsea morning.  I always play it when I'm feeling blue, and it never fails to make me smile.  For the longest time I always had yellow curtains in the bedroom so I could wake up to a Chelsea morning. :)

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
And we'll wear it 'till the night comes

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
There's a sun show every second

Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
And the streets are paved with passersby
And pigeons fly
And papers lie
Waiting to blow away

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses
Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
And we'll talk in present tenses

When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
I will bring you incense owls by night
By candlelight
By jewel-light
If only you will stay
Pretty baby, won't you
Wake up, it's a Chelsea morning

Finally, I heard part of her interview on CBC with Jian Gomeshi yesterday and it was so interesting - she's such a weirdi-cat. Man, I love her, can you tell?

Happy Birthday Joni!