Friday, July 25, 2014

Going back in magazine time and What's with the animals?

Good morning blog friends.
I have to work today. Ugh. Shouldn't there be a rule about having Friday's off in the summer and everyone could be super happy. Like a super happy worldwide Friday convention. Here's wishin'!

I am today answering one of, not the most but, one of the most asked questions I receive in emails and comments on my blog is  "What is with all the animal photos?"  "Wouldn't your space look lovely with some old windows or something instead of the tigers? Just a suggestion!" Now this post is not soley about the animal photos in our home but about what led me to the concept for this post. 

Every once in awhile I get bored of the computer, Pinterest (I know, horrors) and go hunting through my old magazines. There are only a few that I have kept every issue and my Canadian House and Home magazines are one of them. I have every issue for the last 10 years and a few sporadic ones from prior years when I was a teen.

I like to picture stare at my magazines the first round through and then go back and read all the columns and stories in the sections that interest me.
I was reading an old editor's column (August 2010 if you're interested) and her words really struck a chord with me and gave me the idea for this post.

Suzanne Dimma describes the journey she has taken to designing her space, clients spaces and finally amalgamating a space with her now husband. Learning to deal with the incredible amount of options and inspirations and knowing how to sort them for your unique space. 
The keys to Great Style as written by Suzanne Dimma
Authentic: It's okay to find inspiration in another person's work, but you have to make it your own somehow.
Unique: The most memorable spaces tell us something about the occupants
Affordable: Decorating a home shouldn't cost more than you can handle. 
Effortless: Style should fit with the way you live. Don't turn your home into a mini Versailles if you have kids, a hockey playing spouse and a lab to boot.
Confident: Above all, be bold in knowing your taste. If you choose things you love, you'll find a way to make them work together.

I think these concepts can be applied to all areas of life including the home but for this purpose we will deal with just the home. We hear it mentioned all the time that people don't understand how bloggers live in their spaces as everything looks so perfect. I always wonder if the people throwing those stones would read the blogs they make these comments to. If there were slippers scattered everywhere, dishes on the counter, laundry on the floor and toilet paper rolls a certain gray fuzzy cat digs out of the garbage and leaves all over the house like mouse trophies in the photos. Some bloggers have even written books/blogs dedicated to everything being beautiful doesn't need to be perfect.
Suzanne's words could be used to remember that we all live in our own ways with different budgets, tastes and styles.

This leads me to answer the question from above.
Trevor and I purchased our first piece by then new artist Edward Spera in 2002. It was a paper print cheetah limited edition and we carefully selected the mats and frame and were so proud of our joint purchase. It hung in my bedroom at my parents house and we would always visit his booths at fairs and go to his gallery showings at a local winery.
We got to know him over the years and when we bought our first home we saved up to purchase our first tiger "Mischief" on canvas. We had a heavily influenced African art home and that tiger sat right above our fireplace in the center of our small living room.
It was the beginning of our art collecting and Ed has since grown to be a large name in the art world locally and worldwide.


Over the years we have collected the pieces we fell in love with and placed them with pride in our home.
They aren't just random items we have placed in our home and they make this space ours. Sure sometimes, especially in the summer when everything is light and white I get the urge to trade out the tigers and replace them with windows and shutters. However, I then remember the reason that I want to do the change isn't really for me, not really. It is because at the bottom of it, it is a blog thing. No tigers would mean better more common photos. More views, more followers, more pins but less me and us.

I started this blog as a means to document our home and some of our journeys. I didn't set out to be the biggest blog and the most sponsored. Although being a stay at home blogger would be amazing, we don't want to live in a magazine. I'm sure many of you already think we do lol, but this is our home that we have picked, thrifted and purchased items to live around. 90% of the items in our home have a story behind them. We can tag team tell the tales about where we found items, how we installed them and the weird/cool people we have met along the way.
I very much realize that the African artifacts and animal paintings are different and not the norm but it is part of why I love them and if you knew us you'd know instantly we like to be a bit different.

So although not for everyone and I understand that, I mean to remain with the Authentic, Confident and Unique steps that make up the points of great style.

So now you know, and i am sure I will be asked many more times but now I can refer people to this post and hopefully it will remind even just one person that you need to love the place you call home or it is just a house with someone else's stuff and style.

Shop listing also happening more often now, not just Thursday. See what got listed yesterday.

Have a great weekend,


 a stroll thru life 


  1. LOVE this post! :) i love that you stay true to you!

  2. I love your style! If the pictures were to be window and shutters it would be nice but not as original. Thank you for sharing a personal story. Art is very personal and we choose it for all kinds of reasons and sometimes it does not match anything but you love it and that's why it's up in your home. I love your home and I'm using it to inspire my decor with my own personal touch of course.

  3. STAY TRUE TO YOU AND YOUR STYLE! You are unique and special and that's what makes your style amazing!

  4. Meg,
    You really have a great post today. You need to stay true to what you love. I feel there are not styles anymore just surround yourself with what you love and you will be happy. You go girl. Great post with a great message to everyone.

  5. I like that you are staying true to you. :) YOur pictures are always a treasure hunt for me. In a good way. I like to see all the unique treasures that may not be the focus of the picture but there is so much eye candy in each of your pictures that I love to look at them!

  6. I love your home and your style and the way you mix all the different elements together. Gorgeous.

  7. I can't believe someone even said that to you, how rude! Your home is your castle and you should decorate your castle how you want. For some reason Elivis' jungle room is piping in my mind now, ever seen it? I have and it is awesome. Infact every room of Graceland is decorated completely different and that's a cool house! I didn't see any old windows or shabby-chic there but I loved it and I love your house too. I started following your blog for you and for the way YOU decorate. Enjoy it sweetheart, after all it's your home and your the one living it and tell every one else to go sit on it. (using my nice words here, hehe). Love the story of the paintings too cool!

  8. The reason I love your blog is because your home doesn't look like everybody else's with everything all white and painted, which looks nice in pictures, but some of us like real wood and color. Stay true to your style! You have such a creative way of displaying things, and it sounds like you and your husband have a lot of fun "in the hunt" for unique items. JUST KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

  9. I've always loved your tiger and animal art!

  10. Bravo! You've got a unique style of decorating and your beautiful home looks so cozy and welcoming. You are wise beyond your years to have figured this out already!

  11. Authentic, Confident and Unique - wise words of wisdom my friend!

  12. I love it all! especially the animals. I started following your delightful blog because of the animals, the colors, the uniqueness of it all. Keep it up! it is amazing.

  13. The very first time I visited your blog, I fell instantly in love with your style. I just couldn't get enough of each picture, and I had to go over every one with a "fine tooth comb" so to speak. I didn't want to miss one single detail, and I still feel the same way, every time I read a post of yours. I can't wait to see it all again..really! Your home and everything in it, is one of my favorites. You have put it all together with your wonderful touch.There are lots of photos on pinterest, that I enjoy looking at, but seeing pictures of your home, makes me say to myself "Be still my Heart"...

  14. Beautiful, love all the animals! I would love to see your kitchen! :)

  15. Meg, ditto for me! I love your eclectic and lovely change of pace. If someone doesn't like your blog, let them know where the "unsubscribe" button is! I love that you share the unique!!

  16. Oh I so agree with the previous commenters! I LOVE your home precisely because it is so individual. I read *very* few blogs regularly because they are all a bit same-same, with everyone replicating whatever style in "in" at the time. Your home has such a quirky vitality though, and although tigers aren't my cup of tea, I love them in your home even more now that you have a shared a little of their history. I'm glad you aren't going to change anything :-)

  17. Stay your course with confidence, Meg. You rock.

  18. I love your home ! You have a wonderful style that is YOU! Stay true to yourself.......there have been times I have tried to copy a look...and I can't...because it always looks like ME !!!

  19. Meg, I read your blog because you make me laugh (that's a really good thing); you have a great sense of style; your collections are awesome and enviable (in the nicest way); you style your rooms in such an interesting and incredibly awesome way; I could never learn enough to paint furniture the way you do; and even though our styles are different, I can appreciate and learn from yours. I stayed up till 3 am one night starting at the beginning of your then MT-Tails to try and learn the origins of your African art colletction. I imagined a great trip you went on collecting artifacts, a relative who gifted you with their huge collection etc.and I find it interesting to learn that you both admire an artist and collected the work piece by piece. Our homes should reflect our interests and likes and you are staying true to yourself and have a home to be proud of at the same time. We liked rustic and cows and farmhouses before they were popular again, when many people were into the jewel tones and grape decor. Thanks for sharing Suzanne Dimma's keys to Great Style. They are certainly worth remembering.

  20. Great style! Great post! Great blog! Jane

  21. That is one of the reasons I have your blog on my regulars list... you incorporate old, unique things in crowded rooms in a very good way. Also what caught my eye were the different art and the colors you use. I think your home is absolutely wonderful! No need to explain your personal style. Hopefully your comments have not been mean. I have heard how people can get, even on blogs! Keep up with the eye candy & thank you!


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