Consider this an official warning:
This post is long with LOTS of photos. Way too many photos.
But what can I say, we are right smack dab in the middle of renovating the new house and I am nostalgic about our old home. And miss having a relatively finished space. In a billion words and photos, I'm giving you the grand tour of the heart of the old condo, including how it evolved over our years there. Enjoy, and sorry about the length!
In case you missed the overall tour of our Simcoe Street condo, pop on over here to check it out. You can also get a closer look at the master bedroom and the kitchen and bathrooms if you'd like.
Back to the living/dining room. This room underwent quite a lot of change while we were there. We never ended up replacing the old furniture we brought with us to Toronto when we moved from New York, but changes in accessories, accents, and other details helped the space evolve into something that felt more us by the time we left.
First, come on in the front door...
We have a small metal cabinet that held umbrellas and hats and mitts and all that, and otherwise not much going on in this tiny entryway. But we liked that it provided a little landing spot before you came into our main room.
We played a lot of musical artwork. Pictured above you can see a shot of the ocean that one of Matt's friends took near where we used to live in Los Angeles (that feels like a million years ago!). He blew it up, framed it, and gave it to us as a wedding gift. So sweet!
Anyway let's step into the main living/dining room (also, our play room and home office all in one - we had no space!). Here is how it looked just before we moved.
The couch was a super cheap one that we bought when I first moved to New York City. It is now a stained beige microfiber mess. Benjamin was a baby that spat up all.the.time. The couch did not hold up well. I can't wait to replace it, but budget being what it is, it will soon reside in our new house's basement. Maybe one day we can upgrade. For now, at least it is comfy!
Here are some pics of the house from a couple of years ago or so. Little changes made big differences.
See how the mirror and sconces really changed that wall? (Also, note that this was pre-baby, and Ben's room was still a home office at that point! Ignore that we've begun setting up for a party in this shot).
And a few more from memory lane. I really hadn't found my style yet. Yikes.
(CLICK READ MORE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS & SOURCES)
The rug was way too small for the space... but we worked with what we could for a while.
And here's another way of seeing how little changes helped. Simple before and afters of a few parts of the room. Don't you love before and afters? (Read about the photos around the china cabinet here and the reading corner here).
And a few other random shots from the room's past:
You'll notice we used to have a dresser in there, which was replaced with a bookshelf. We found the dresser did not work well for Benjamin once he was crawling around. He would lose toys under it all the time and bump his head trying to retrieve them. So we swapped it with the bookshelf in our master bedroom.
Here is how the bookshelf looked when we first put it in the room. Then, once Ben could pull himself up and reach things on the upper shelves, we moved all of the breakables and heavy books and used it just for toy storage.
Are you a weirdo like me who likes to see what people are putting on their open bookshelves? Always such a tricky thing when you genuinely need them to hold stuff - everything from your cookbooks to your kid's toys - for storage purposes (i.e. not all decorative) AND want them to look okay. Here was our attempt at it...
(This cute little mouse caddy will have lots of new friends from his product line in our new playroom. We ordered a bunch of their storage stuff recently! More on that here).
Let's jump back to right before we moved. Here is the dining side of the room. The sconces we added made such a huge difference in the space.
Behind the table, you'll see a shoe shelf turned miniature home office. It held office essential office supplies, our router and external hardrive, and papers we needed. Uh, and a basket of House Beautiful and Elle Decor. Every home office needs that, right?
And that completes the tour!
Below are sources. If I missed something you're interested in just let me know!
Rug - HomeSense
Green pillows - by Ralph Lauren, from HomeSense
Blue pillows - Pottery Barn, about 4 years ago
Black ikat pillows - Etsy, seller Milk and Cookies (only $20!)
Dining table and dark chairs - from Macy's, purchased in 2007
White dining chairs - ikea
China cabinet - by Martha Stewart, from Macy's in 2007
China - by Vera Wang, mainly Vera Lace Platinum (with a few pieces from other patterns)
Antique metal "JHM" box - NYC thrift find. See here for more on this piece.
Storage boxes above entertainment unit - Ikea Kvarnik boxes
NYC poster - Ork Posters
NYC poster frame - Ikea
Framed bird art - Pottery Barn, about ten years ago
Frames around china cabinet - Ikea ribba frames
Mat by front door - West Elm
Small metal cabinet by front door - HomeSense
Decanters - mix of thrift store antiques, Pottery Barn, and Monique Lhullier from Bloomingdales
Tray for decanters - Ikea
Painting above decanters - HomeSense
Curtains - Cameron panels by Pottery Barn
Magazine basket - HomeSense
Toy Basket - Blue one from HomeSense, grey one from RH Baby and Child, mouse from 3 Sprouts Organic
Round end table - a free hand me down