Location: Little Italy — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Size: Around 1500 square feet
Years lived in: 7 — rented
In a city with notoriously high housing costs, what's a creative type to do? Rebecca, a comedian and writer, has done as any smart girl would and learned to embrace her less-than-ideal rental unit and make it into a home she can love in spite of its shortcomings. The daughter of a diplomat, Rebecca dusted off her childhood treasures collected from far-away locales and put them on display along with some beautiful artwork. The result is a slightly bohemian, at times woodsy, and always light-hearted home that makes guests feel instantly welcome and makes Rebecca happy.
Rebecca's apartment is on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a semi-detached house in the heart of Little Italy. The 2nd floor features the kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms occupied by roommates. In the living room, the cool-hued walls take on a misty, ethereal quality as the light is filtered through gauzy curtains. The furniture in the living room and throughout the rest of the apartment is decidedly unfussy. Vintage throws and folksy touches add charm and interest. Alongside her impressive art collection – which covers an eclectic range of styles and media – Rebecca hangs vintage toys and collectibles that prompt conversation or, at least, a smile. In her run-of-the-mill renter's kitchen, Rebecca has livened up and personalized it using small but effective touches. On her refrigerator, an array of hand-drawn sketches, notes, and magnets attest to Rebecca's comic career.
Rebecca's bedroom and studio/office space is up a set of narrow stairs on the 3rd floor. Her playful side is on full display in her office, where creepy childhood art projects and current-day ruminations are used as decoration, inviting play and rearrangement according to her whim. In Rebecca's bedroom, the darker green walls, lush plants and South Asian art lend a dreamy and exotic air to the room, while the cottagey quilt and other Canadian touches bring it back down to earth. Rebecca's cute and quirky home proves once again that in decor it's not money spent that counts – it's inventiveness and personality.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Cottage/Arts and Crafts Shack.
Inspiration: My parents' house / wood / nature / the accidental beauty that comes from making do.
Favorite Element: A painting I bought of a fox dressed as a hunter. A chair someone gave me 2 weeks ago … I LOVE it and they were going to throw it out.
Biggest Challenge: WIRES!!! There are almost no outlets in this apartment which means a lot of extension cords … WIRES everywhere!! Balancing wall art JUST so.
What Friends Say: 'I love your place.' 'I love your art.' 'Your place is so cozy.' 'Can I have a glass of water?'
Biggest Embarrassment: Dust Bunnies. The floors really need re-doing.
Proudest DIY: I have a few pieces of furniture that I found on the street, broken. I fixed them real good. Now I can use them!!
Biggest Indulgence: That fox art I was talking about earlier.
Best Advice: My place isn't really sophisticated, but I like it and it makes me happy. Make your place happy for you, not happy for others. It's like how you look best in what you feel comfortable in, not what looks best on the hanger.
Dream Sources: Antique stores.
• Friends/Relatives/Cheap Antique shops/the Sidewalk/ and of course, Ikea.
• Coffee table was my grandparents'
• TV stand came from my brother
• All chairs from friends
• Art: Many of the pieces belonged to my grandparents. The Fox Hunter by Melinda Josie was purchased at Magic Pony Art Gallery in Toronto. The painting of the two boys is by my friend Miho Kajioka. Some work is by Etsy artist Julia Pott, and a couple pieces were bought from random antique/second hand stores.
• Table from friend
• Breakfast Burrito painting by my friend Sarah Lazarovic
• Frog Art by family friend Ken Kox
• TV Stand was grandparents'
• Dresser from Ikea
Images: Abby Cook
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