chair fetish

stacking wooden chairs

Okay, so if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you may have guessed that I have a bit of a chair fetish. I’ve already posted photos of this rocking chair in my front room, this wicker armchair in my back room, and these chairs around my desk, yesterday. I love chairs. Like these stacking wooden ones (above), that I bought years ago at a rummage sale. They’re perfect for my apartment because:

  • They’re wooden.
  • They’re vintage.
  • They stack, and so they take up less space when not in use.

I appreciate chairs.

another place where i create

large desk and rocking chairs

Last week I shared some photos of my back room, which I use as a studio for writing, drawing, crafting and sewing. (It also holds my books and my clothes.) As luxurious as it may seem, I actually have four places in my apartment where I can (and do) write – thanks to the portability of my laptop. In this post I’m sharing some photos of my front room, which I set up as a home office when I first moved into my apartment, and where I’m writing this post.

Above you can see what the room looks like from my front door: there’s a large industrial shelving unit that fills the entire wall to the left, a huge desk made from a cedar door placed on three filing cabinets, and several wooden chairs, including two of my collection of rocking chairs, and a vintage stenographer’s chair from the 1940s.

desk with laptop and strawberries

I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about keeping my work areas spotless and completely clear. (You should see my cubicle at work – a casual observer might not realize that anybody even works there, it’s so bare!) I’m a very visual person, and find it too distracting to have clutter or piles of papers where I’m working. The one exception is when I’m making collages – then I love having an assortment of papers and supplies spread all over the place.

two rocking chairs

Most of all, I love having beautiful views in front of me when I write. I always set up my desk / writing area facing a window, so I can rest my eyes on peaceful vistas. In this case, it’s a huge purple maple that’s growing directly outside my windows.

tree outside window

wardrobe editing

clothes to donate

So I’ve been sorting my clothes lately. If you’ve seen the photos of my closet that I posted yesterday, you’ll probably already have guessed that I’m a bit of a clothing minimalist. I own four pairs of pants, four dresses, four skirts, and a couple-dozen tops and jackets. Plus assorted undies and socks, and workout gear.

Years ago I began to dream of owning only as many clothes as would fit into one piece of carry-on luggage. I’m not quite there yet. But it will happen. The most recent iteration has involved shedding a whole colour group that began to creep into my wardrobe about three years ago – blue-green. Don’t get me wrong. I love this colour. But I’ve come to realize that I’ll never get to a workable minimalist wardrobe with too many colours that don’t go with each other. And I already have a number of pieces that I love, in blue and purple-blue. I’ve decided to stick with those colours, moving forward. They go with black and brown (the colours of my pants and skirts), and with each other, if I want to mix and match tops and sweaters.

So these tops are awaiting donation to Goodwill…

tour of my clothes closet

closet 1

Have I ever mentioned that I love my closets? I love my closets. I kind of freaked out when I moved into my current apartment, though – because the building is 80-90-100 years old, and the closets are about three feet square. I made myself a commitment, though – I would pare down my wardrobe until it fit into the closets (ideally just one – I have two, but would prefer to use the second for bed linens, quilts and pillow storage). I met that goal, but every now and then I need to do some editing of my wardrobe, because I tend to accumulate clothes. Even though I hardly ever shop for them.

closet 2

So lately I’ve been sorting and evaluating and tossing. Being a former professional organizer, I love this kind of thing. It’s like playing What Not to Wear with myself. Plus, it means I get to spend time organizing and reorganizing my clothes closet. Have I mentioned that I love my closets?

closet 3

(I think part of what I love so much about them is the aesthetic appeal of all my favorite colours in one place. Plus the beautiful objects that I own, like wooden hangers. And baskets. (Scroll down to the last photo to see the latter.) Also, I love white walls. My closets have white walls.)

closet 4

closet 5

I organize my clothes by colour, obviously. Also by type. (My four pairs of pants are at the far left, above, and my four skirts and four dresses are at the far right (top photo). And no, there’s no special reason for four each of all those things. It’s just coincidence.)

closet 6

My tops and jackets take up most of the room in the middle.

closet 7

Below are some of my shoes (I also keep several pairs in my cloakroom near my front door), a basket of my flip flops, and a basket where I store any unused wooden hangers. When I take a piece of clothing out of the closet, its hanger goes in the basket until the item of clothing returns to the closet. I don’t know why, but I hate empty hangers hanging on the rod.

closet 8

closet 9

closet 10

I also have some hooks for hanging necklaces and bags.

closet 11

These baskets hold extra blankets and quilts (I have a decent vintage quilt collection), my iron (which I never use except when I’m constructing clothing), and some lint removers. This is what my closet looks like all the time, by the way. Sometimes there’s a bunch more cat hair on the floor, but that’s about it.

closet 12

a moment

black and white vintage kitchen

Do you ever experience a moment where you just want to reach out and grab it before it gets away? Yell, “That!” and press pause? Hold onto it forever, suspended, for always? I sometimes have those moments, and surprisingly enough they often happen during very mundane, very insignificant activities. I had one Wednesday night.

From my journal:

Sitting in my kitchen. It’s 7:30 p.m.-ish. I just boiled a kettle of water. When it cools a little, I’ll enjoy a mug of hot water.

I spent some time online for about an hour. It left me feeling unsettled. I’m trying to get my equilibrium back. I sat down in my kitchen. I turned on some quiet music. A cat jumped in my lap. The other curled up behind my right shoulder, in my kitchen pass-through window.

I want more time in my life for detours – for un-doing. For non-trying. For anti-settling. I don’t need anything, right this moment.

I took both these photographs immediately after writing. The May evening light in my kitchen was perfect. Tear (below) was purring in my kitchen pass-through window.

black and white tabby cat

pantry

pantry

Yesterday I spent some time going through my iPhone photos and uploading them to my computer. I also did a few photo shoots, including this set of photos of my pantry. I’ll be publishing them soon on my lifestyle blog, Kitchen Sink Wisdom.

pepper mill and glass measuring cup

jar of white chalk

coloured chalk

canning jar lids

canning jar lids

canning jars in pantry

canning jars in pantry

canning jars holding dried goods

canning jars holding dried goods

canning jars holding dried goods

Nellie's oxygen bleach

natural cleaning supplies

natural cleaning supplies

hook

apron and bottle brushes

renewal – pulling the plug

brass drain in white porcelain sink

I love the moment when I finish washing my dishes and the sink is empty of water, and clean.

In that moment, I feel truly ready to start all over again at the next meal.

I appreciate pulling the plug.

~

See more photos of my kitchen sink here.

Photo theme for April: Renewal

kitchen sink wisdom

hand washing tomatoes

I’m really happy to share my newest blog – Kitchen Sink Wisdom. It’s a blog about home, and food, and living. I like to think of it as an online version of the simplest lifestyle magazine you can imagine – only without the annoying banner ads. Or recipes for cupcakes, next to stern articles about fitness and diet.

And with more soul. For the times when you need it.