Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ottawa house tour: Kristen's classy two-bedroom Glebe apartment

I've taken a long break from blogging, so figured I'd come back with a major punch! Introducing my dear friend Kristen's fabulous Ottawa apartment (located in the Glebe) - the first of what will hopefully be many Ottawa house tours. Kristen has very elegant and classy personal style and that definitely comes across in her apartment. I'm very excited to feature her home on decorate it darling.

I asked Kristen to tell us a bit about her space, so without further ado, here you have her words and her beautiful photos:

Since my roommate and I moved in on Canada Day last year, I have been in love with this apartment. It has so much space and character, and it’s fantastic for hosting and having people over! According to my landlord, the building was constructed in the 1920’s or 1930’s, and since then it has aged with grace. I love how it feels so completely homey and cozy, but has an extra kick of elegance or something that more modern spaces, as beautiful and spacious as they may be, can’t capture in the same way.

I think my favorite thing about it is the choice of paint throughout the apartment -- it so completely finishes off the space, and as I'm no painter, is something I would never have gotten around to myself!

What I’ve done with it: To be honest, we’ve done very little to the bones of the space – our decorating has been all about careful furniture placement and attention to colour and detail. My roommate and I were lucky – we have very similar taste in furniture and style, so all of our separate pieces merged beautifully when we moved in. Every room has a mix of her pieces and mine, but they blend pretty seamlessly, which made setting the apartment up infinitely easier!

Each room seems to have one detail that really stands out and defines it – tall glass-paned windows in the kitchen, the mantle in the living room, the tiling in the bathroom – and we tried to place our furniture and accessories in a way that highlighted those details.

One DIY I’m pretty proud of are the sconces on either side of the mantle. When we arrived, they were painted a garish bronze. One was missing the shade, which was probably just as well, because the remaining shade was a really awful tannish-orange frosted glass monstrosity. A couple of coats of white paint and some vellum from the paper store for the shades have made all the difference in the world!

What I’d like to do with it: I’m always looking for new storage options. Old spaces are wonderful, but don’t have a lot of built-in closet space, so storage seems to be an ongoing project. I would like to see my bedroom painted (I really don’t like the yellow), as well as the TV cabinet, which really doesn’t match the rest of the room. But I actually hate painting so I have a feeling both will stay as they are! The other thing I really would like to do is introduce some green plants. Having never tended plants myself, the thought of figuring out which plants would be the best is a little daunting. Maybe this spring will be different…

If I were Kristen, I would start filling up her personal fire escape landing (accessible from her bedroom!) with potted plants. There's something about fire escape gardens that I just adore.

Thanks for the tour Kristen! To see more photos of Kristen's space, check out her flickr album.

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