Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market

I have been admiring this style of candlestick holder for ages but haven’t quite found some in my price range. Between the grain, minimalist curves, and sculptural look I knew they’d find a place in my house.

Luckily, as I was shopping at the Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market this weekend, I found them! Between 3 different vendors (and two hours later!) I came home with 6 mid-century teak candleholders for under $100.

White Washed Counter Stools

I finally found some counter height stools!

I decided I wanted white to tie in the rest of the kitchen. So I set about finding something unique. I didn’t want a back on them because that would block the kitchen’s view to the backyard. These will be between the island and the window.

These tripod stools fit the bill. I love the three-legged look.

Concrete Decisions 

Our house feels like it’s going to be very grey. But I couldn’t stop at the walls. We bought two concrete pieces that I can’t wait to see in our new space. I’m head over heels for these. They’ll complement each other in our living room.

My Home Kanata – Concrete “Union” End Table:

Wicker Emporium – Vintage Concrete Coffee Table:

Dining Chair Dilemma Solved

Interior design challenge: finding what’s in your head in a store, in your budget, and working it in with what you have. I changed my mind so many times that my husband couldn’t keep things straight.

I wanted to go more mid century (see my earlier post about the Structube chairs!) but mixing too many colours and styles of wood was getting complex.

And originally I wanted them to be quite mismatched but with our formal dining space (with white wainscotting) it didn’t seem quite right.

Since we have a formal dining table I really wanted to create a more relaxed tone with the chairs.

Right now Wicker Emporium is having a 70% off sale and I found some gems for our dining set.

Two for head of table. These are more formal and less exciting.

Four for middle chairs. These are funky but surprisingly comfortable. I want to do different seat cushions. But that’s an easy swap.

Vintage Chesterfield Chair 

I’m calling this a chesterfield because of the deep buttoned, quilted leather but I’ve never seen the oak framing before. Maybe I’m wrong! Perhaps it’s early 1900s? No idea.

I found this at the Almonte Antique Market ($195) and after some cleaning I knew I could see myself reading in it.

I tried to get Levi to model but he wasn’t having any of it today.

I found a southwest print ottoman pouf that I think will work well for resting my feet while I read.

For now, it’ll hang out in the basement until we move next month.

Dining chairs: mix & matched

I think we decided on four matching chairs for the middle seats and two matching chairs for the head of the table.

I was thinking Eames & Lucite but I couldn’t get my husband on board.

These Structube chairs quickly became our new favourite for the middle spots. Comfortable, mid century modern, and a great price. I think we’ll be placing our order soon.

When you buy the wrong thing

Another fear of mine is not taking design risks because I’m scared of buying the wrong thing. (Wrong in scale, colour etc.)

Case in point: These vintage bar stools. ($20)

When I bought them I was worried they were too retro, but worth taking a chance on. Instead, they were just wrong for the purpose.

I’m looking for island height stools and, alas, this is the SECOND time I bought bar height ones. (I know what you’re thinking: Carly, buy a f*cking measuring tape already!)

So these are super fun old school bar stools and I don’t think we have a place for them.

Maybe they can be some back up chairs for when we have guests over? Maybe I’ll have to give them away? We’ll see.

My love of used things & what I bought this week

My biggest house fear is living in a space that looks like a staged model home.

There is nothing wrong with new houses! But I want my house to look lived in. And let’s face it, hand crafted items or furniture made decades earlier are usually better made.

If you look in the right place you can:

  • Do something good for the planet by reusing and repurposing great items
  • Have really well made things in your home without a big price tag

My favorite places to look include auctions, estate sales, thrift stores, antique stores–which probably come from a love of garage sales as a kid. And some of my favorite clothing pieces are second hand: my black leather jacket from Screaming Mimi’s in Manhattan, and my Dior blazer from Bungalow in Kensington Market in Toronto.

(However, some things will definitely have to be new: sofas, light fixtures, etc.)

Here’s what I found this week:

Wicker Blanket Box ($9)

This has seen better days, but I couldn’t resist it. The brass hardware IS in tip-top shape though. It has a lot of charm and I’ll probably throw a blanket over the spots that have lost their wicker wrapping.


Framed NYC map ($7)

This looks brand new, and reminds me of these Restoration Hardware prints. For some reason it was at the thrift store looking for a new home. It will go really well with our grey walls–and my love of the big apple.


Mid-Century Shopping List

I have a few things on my house wishlist that I’m starting to hunt for early.

The one thing I can’t get out of my head: some mid-century chairs. I’ve started scouring Kijiji, thrift stores, and antique markets and I found my first 2.

They’re missing a few mushroom screw hole buttons, but that’s an easy fix.



I was hoping for 6 chairs of some different shapes, but the same style, to create an eclectic look around the dining table. Here’s hoping I can find 4 more. Now I need to decide if I want 4 matching or 2 pairs. Hmmm. It will all depend on what I fall in love with next…

(The thing I’m most pleased about: they were $10 each!)