[decor]: Builder Home Office Room


I always liked reading decorating magazines but when decorating blogs burst onto the scene, I found that they were closer aligned to my interests and I really loved following real life decorating challenges and achievements. 

Lately, it appears that blogs are starting to emulate magazines and decorated spaces look more like showrooms than those you would find in typical homes, urban and suburban. As the pendulum swings from very streamlined and modern, minimalist decor, it appears to be on the other end now, with so much "stuff" in any one photo. While decor can be sourced rather cheaply with garage sales, thrift stores and places like Target, Home Sense (Home Goods), Ikea, etc. it all still adds up - not just in terms of costs, but also accumulation of it all. Not to mention if one styles for summer and winter, follows any kind of trends, etc. 

As I was going through a garage sale this past weekend seeing perfectly fine large mercury vases that you find for at at least $30 in a regular store sold for $1, it kind of hit me - "what a waste".    While I am not a huge fan of completely minimalist space and I do love a layered look, I appreciate spaces that appear to be real, sensible and achievable on a regular budget.        

I've been holding off on some images of my parent's office room and work we've done there mostly as it is "under-styled" and is missing all those lawyers to make it magazine-worthy or "pinnable". Not anymore, as I stay true to my likes.

My parents purchased a new builder home a while back and that whole process is quite interesting so I hope to share it in one of the later posts. The layout allowed for a very small room that opens onto a covered terrace which the builder designated as an office. Since my parents had no need for an office, dilemma became what to make of this little bit of space.                                                                                                                                                                               

We settled on creating a cozy quiet space that you can use to enjoy a good book. To give the space the visual interest (and warmth on winter nights as this room is built over a garage) we went with electrical fireplace from Home Depot. It fit perfectly with very narrow wall and later mirror from Home Sense was such a good find at the right time mirroring (pun intended) colours and details (lines and ridges) of rest of decor.

[style]: Just More French Apartments


I have a few posts in draft that I need to take time to finalize and I thought that my slump would pass by now. On top of that I have a weird cold that is completely draining me (and no it is not called tween, boy, toddler and baby).

Well, to tie me over, here is some more Paris eye candy from real life homes and apartments which can be rented for short term stays:

[life]: Travel Diaries - Four Very Real Spaces


I want to conclude the first part of our Travel Diaries with some of the real life spaces I've taken quick photos of while visiting friends and family. Back in 2013 when we went on this 2.5 months trip I was not writing this blog and was not really planning any of the posts, of course, so the pictures are not of any staged places, but very real ones that caught my eye. 

Thinking back I wish I took more photos especially of some of the really neat small space solutions, fabulous cabinetry and European styles. But I felt kind of embarrassed to do so and only took a few here and there while pretending to do something else.

First up is a three-bedroom apartment of my cousin whose living/dining room looks rather masculine and moody through the choice of wall color and artwork. It appears to be more like bachelor apartment than one for family of four, but it is just a style that both she and her husband like. Children rooms and bathrooms are quite cheerful but also very stylish. 


[style]: Beautiful and Colorful but Expensive Paris Rental


Ever since I booked a rental apartment on HomeAway for our trip to France a couple of years ago, I love to troll the site for beautiful and affordable accommodation.  We stayed in hotel during our first visit to Paris back in 2009 which was in great location but could barely fit the bed we slept on. We did not mind it though as we literary only spent time there when we went to bed. During the second visit we paid about the same as we did for hotel room for better location and got much more space - extra bedroom and kitchen. We also gained on charm, we lived like locals and by using kitchen we were able to save on food as we would have only one meal a day in a restaurant.

I found this apartment located in the heart of St Germain and minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens, Boulevard St Germain, the St Sulpice church, and the Seine, on HomeAway under the featured list. Typically I don't go for featured spaces as it means that they are more expensive, and this place certainly is, but I just love how it looks. Would I rent it? At $1,300 a night, sadly no. Moderate hotels in that area go for $220/night with more expensive ones going up to $500/night. This space is big and gives you that authentic feel of living in Paris at 160m2/ 1720 sq ft, with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms but I'll just enjoy the images.

Apartment is housed in a classified 18th century building, and it has been fully renovated by its American and French owners and their talented interior architects, the Paris-based ‘double g’. It features Popham Design tiles and Danish furniture from the 1960s.