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April 2016 - In French they say, 'Je suis fatigué'. Fatigué is a good word to describe the state of my inspiration over the past year - or in English, fatigued.  My inspiration feels frightened. An inspiration that needs to be coaxed out of hiding and tenderly guided into the dawn of a new land.

I'm just getting revved up. I'll be in LA for the month of May hangin' with my cousin's cat Wes. Taking the PCH down from San Francisco and chillin' the heck out. Lunch reservations at Chez Panisse, helping out a friend at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, night viewing of the Stahl Residence, and dropping by my old Alma Mater the Pickwick Vintage Show on May 29th - stoked about that - I can shop it this time, (for crazy lady in Vancouver clothes).

Here's a checklist of what I've been pondering as of late:

Fashion - the elderly Chinese ladies of Vancouver (per usual), Incredible String Band, and a smidgen of Hole (MTV Awards 1995). Hey, I've met quite a few guys in Vancouver lately with great style. There's Jacob over at Nordstrom (near the Chloe bags), Nigel at Gravity Pope and Mohammed who was at Gravity Pope but is now at Blanche MacDonald. If you're into men's street style go check out the kids hanging out on their 10:30 smoke break in front of BCIT downtown then watch them drive off in their Maseratis and Bentleys at 3:30.

Architecture -  There have been 787 demolition permits issued in the District of West Vancouver since 2010 - 174 in 2015 alone (population of West Van is 43,000). You know I left West Van in 2014 - or was it 2015? I left because I was frustrated by the mowing down of all the West Coast Modern homes. Well, turns out the District has voted unanimously to curb the size of McMansions. Here are the minutes of the meeting from December 2015. Too little too late in my opinion. The City of Vancouver issued 267 demolition permits in the first three months of 2016. If Mayor Gregor Robertson is tooting the greenest city horn - let's challenge him on the effect of the demolition cycle on landfills. I lived in Pt. Grey for six months (story in my next post). It was like a ghost town - no community, no neighbours hanging out in their yards shooting the shit, no cats rolling on the sidewalk, no sound of children playing in their yards. I moved eight blocks East and what a change! I was walking down Second last night and a group of people were having a glass of wine - they invited me to join them -  I did!

That being said how long do you think this house two blocks over from me is going to sit vacant?

Interiors - I moved again in February - four times in one year.

Music - I have some playlists up on YouTube if you want to check out what I've been listening to.  Electric Moon, JJUUJJU, Federale, Moon Duo, A Place to Bury Strangers, Roy Harper, Bridget St. John, Magic Carpet and of course classical Indian music.

Personal - Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books from our childhood? I'll leave my adventure to you. Perhaps you've been following my other pages, perhaps you know my real adventure or perhaps I'm living vicariously through one you've chosen. Whichever - know this - everyone deserves a love story.

Design - I was contacted by the family of Thomas Kakinuma - the midcentury BC ceramicist that I've written about. They'd read a blog post I did and wanted to gift me a piece of his work. I went to their beautiful home and what's transpired is a wonderful friendship and a possible show at the UBC Museum of Anthropology (two year curation time but we're working on a small show in a different venue). You can see some of the images of his works I was able to photograph at his home posted over on my Facebook page.

Random - I've been so deeply moved by all the spiritually profound stolen images defaced with free hand font floating around my feeds. Please read this journal article On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit.

Thanks for sticking around - I really value your readership! 

I could use this right now - Oscar Niemeyer Chaise Lounge - from the archives

originally published July 6, 2013.

So, Oscar Niemeyer made cool furniture as well as buildings? Of course he did. Seems like most architects are budding furniture designers as well (Frank Lloyd Wright, Ron Thom). Niemeyer passed away in December 2012 - 10 days short of his 105th birthday.

The Rio Chaise Lounge was designed in 1978 in collaboration with his daughter Anna Maria Niemeyer.

Features a bent wood frame, woven cane seat, and leather headrest pillow with weighted straps.

The image shown is a 2001 reissue for sale on 1st Dibs.

1978 original for sale at $28,000 in 2013
1978 original sold at auction $22,000 in 2008
1978 original unsold at auction $5000 in 2003

images © R 20th Century

Dining dilemma

I've had at least five dining tables in the past ten years. Partially because I've moved six times in the past five years (and you've been with me for each one). What was purchased for one area doesn't fit in another area. This is what leaves me torn. I need a new table - again. I'd like to invest and get something I can keep pretty much from this day forth but seeing as we rent who knows what will happen. Our last movers trashed our teak bedroom set, smashed most of my BC ceramics, broke my alabaster table, and gouged the top of my stump table with a six inch crevasse.  What do I do? Out of all those tables a card table we had was the most versatile and the size was right for each dining room. I should look for one of those old wood ones, eh?

If I had 'my own' dining area it would go something like this:

Florence Knoll's oak or walnut topped table.

or the Wegner CH002 table

"Oh hi, we just look cool."
Jonathan Adler's Sputnik chandelier

Hoffman for Thonet cane back chairs
mixed with Wegner's Wishbone chairs

Not in my dining area but of course the Womb chair would be had. Now I'm into the flax colour. Good thing I didn't get the purple velvet one four moves ago!

Here's one of those card tables I just found on Craigslist. Thirty bones and it has a "leather top" - too bad those fantastic chairs aren't included.

Terribly Planned Circulation

I'll tell you something about renting, you get the opportunity to live in a multitude of different neighbourhoods in a multitude of different eras of dwellings - a pseudo try before you buy. As you know, we were renovicted from the place we moved into just seven months into our lease, (a long term rental my ass). We were turned down for about six or seven places we applied to rent - who the hell knows why and besides I don't really care. We finally got accepted into one - we moved all our stuff over on the 31st and within 30 minutes of stepping foot in the place - in the daylight - I gave our notice to get the hell out. Our total stay was thirteen hellish nights. What a pen of filth. Viewings only after 6pm! After 6pm because it's dark and you can't see the filth. Anyway, this dump of a building was built in 2009, I hadn't lived in anything newer than 1965 since I was nineteen and living at home with my parents. I don't think I'll ever live in anything 'new' again. Speaking of such, how can people line up to buy condos that aren't even built yet? They've never even sniffed out the place. By sniffing out I mean exactly that - smelling it. An educated nose knows the smell of particle board and cheap flooring. An educated nose knows the smell of cheap. How do people put their trust in some developer they don't even know? Developers are business people. What do businesses care about in the 21st Century? The bottom line. What's the number one rule in business? Buy low, sell high. So, to all those people I saw lined up on 41st and Cambie today to buy an unbuilt condo on a major traffic artery - all the best to you and yours.

So, where is home now? Well, I had a Quebecois/Portuguese friend who used to like to call me a WASP, I adamantly disagreed - and even more so now that I looked it up. I don't have an Anglican or Protestant bone in my body and horses and I have a mutual understanding - they don't like me and I don't like them - but we're cool like that. Let's just say I'm back at the beach, (the other place was on 8th and Cambie). I haven't lived more than two blocks from the beach in eighteen years. What's that saying, once you leave you can never go/get back?


Here I sit with all my furniture from our place in West Van. Stuff bought for our place in West Van. How the hell do you make stuff fit in a space that you didn't intend to put it? I thought I'd check out some of my interiors books to see what they had to say. That's what got me writing this post to begin with. After reading a chapter entitled Planning for Space* it got me thinking about how all these new condos lack exactly that - a plan for human comfortable space. Take these eight points on well plotted circulation for example:
  1. Can you get to the bedrooms without passing through the major group area?
  2. Can guests get to the bathroom without passing through a bedroom?
  3. Can you move through the kitchen without interfering with the cooking operations?
  4. Are hallways wide enough for two people to pass each other comfortably?
  5. Are entrance areas large enough to give a welcome to the home without dumping guests straight into the middle of a party?
  6. Are staircases wide enough to permit passage of furniture?
  7. Are doors well situated to allow for a flow of traffic and comfortable furniture arrangement?
  8. Does the home have a "heart" - where people automatically congregate? Are paths to that area unobstructed?

Now, please, memorize these points. Don't rent/buy something before you ask yourself these questions. Landlords and developers - same goes for you. It's in your best interest to keep happy, long term tenants. That being said, although the lay out sucks, I think the new place is going to be quite satisfactory. You know I'll keep you posted.

And on another, yet similar note, I went to park out front of one of my favourite little Vancouver houses today and noticed it was looking neglected. Well, it's been listed for sale  - $899,900.00. I guarantee you it's probably 100% original - and it's listed for its property only. I've posted photos of its amazing dark purple hydrangea bush on Instagram in the past.

Come visit me here:

* Faulkner, Sarah. Planning a Home. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

Don't you ask me to give you a song

What am I going to write about? I need to be inspired. I haven't seen any good design pieces or heard any original music at all lately - although I do listen to my 70s Dudes playlist usually three times a day. You know what though? The nice thing about having a blog is that it's my blog and I can write whenever and about whatever I want. It's been seven years now, eh? Seven years! I remember when I was seven. Elvis died and my family and I went and saw Star Wars on opening night at the Stanley on Granville (no, we didn't go to the movie because Elvis died). I'm a Han Solo kinda gal. Although Lando and his cape did give Han a run for his money - but just for a bit - until Han was frozen, then I felt guilty. Grade Seven, I remember Grade Seven. Mr. Coleman was my teacher and Amy was my best friend. My hair was long and feathered to the side and I liked drawing. What else? Hmm, how about the seven months in Kits before we were evicted? Yes. Seven months. Nope, not going to go into the whole ordeal. One word - Vancouver. You can look it up if you're interested.

Okay, so I finished my philosophy course at UBC. My last paper was, What is Death? I finished the course with the same GPA I had twenty years ago so at least I'm not getting any dumber. It'd been awhile since I'd last been intense so I thought it was about due time. For future reference it might be less painful to just Jiffy that on a Stanfield's to remember -  Intense (in all caps). It's the academic writing style that's painful not the thinking. I'd hoped that style had disappeared with the 20th Century but no such luck. Ah, but wait! The Writing a Romance Novel workshop I took! What a fun day that was. There were only three of us - me, an eighty year old woman, and the instructor - who by the way was awesome. I'd tell you her name but it's packed in my books from bedroom box. What I can tell you is that she's a member of the West End Writer's Club, wears blue eye shadow and used to live in the Caribbean. A Gen X'er, a Baby Boomer and a Golden Oldie. You need to remember of course that in your 20s you're living the romance novel so you don't need to know how to write it. I'm working on one in my head - or is it an autobiography? So, that Kim Gordon book. What did you think? I need to read it again. Not because it's so friggin' good but just so I can understand it better - then I'll let you know. Kind of like when I heard In Utero for the first time. Can you please tell me that Virgina Woolf isn't as pretentious as she's coming across in Moments of Being? She's Tumblr famous you know. Oh My Cat speaking of pretentious - you need to watch - no, no you have to watch Schitt's Creek. Catherine O'Hara. Can she be any cooler? The coolest Canadian in my books (and Anne Murray.)

Oh yeah. We went to a cider workshop in Mt. Vernon a couple weekends ago. I stopped paying attention after an hour into it. I cheated off Brad's notes. Joking. Those people who cheat - they don't end up making it - they fail at life. Why? Because you can't cheat reality.

Sometimes my cat Tilley smells like a Cowichan sweater. Sometimes she smells like one of those sleeping bags from the 70s. That's what she smells like right now. I love those sleeping bags. The ones with the flannel lining with images of camping scenes or ducks and guns. Hey, remember going over to a guy's house and he'd have one of those sleeping bags as a bedspread, (or was it his only blanket)? Holy mackerel what a trendsetter. 

The sun came out.

top image: Bruno Freschi for Erickson Massey, 1967, Chartwell Place, West Vancouver, BC. © stacy reynaud
bottom image: © Lucasfilm Ltd

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An Untouched 1970s A-Frame Wonder

The Gienger Residence in West Vancouver is on the market for the first time. The home has been lived in by the original owners/architects since 1971. And what a stunner it is! Is that plush carpeting I see in the living room? Look at the beautiful unstained cedar walls and exposed beams.

Original copper pendant lights and a burl bar.  I'd take the rope off the bar.
Original floor to ceiling stone fireplace and hand carved beams.
Spiral stair case and original brick kitchen. The floors look like they might have been replaced with unfortunate laminate. However, nothing appears to have been updated in the home so it could be the original hardwood floor. They're probably just well cared for as it looks like the rest of the home has been.
Are the burl table and chandelier included in the sale?
Sold me at the sunken purple bathtub! I'd rip that carpet out though. Carpet does not belong in washrooms. Gross. I'd put in a light colored heated stone floor of some sort.
There you have it. For more images check out the realtor's website. It would be a shame if the home was bought strictly to be torn down and replaced with the ever popular West Van Baroque Craftsman.


Remember these little guys?

images © North Shore Realty 

West Vancouver Home Demolition Before and After

 Remember this beautiful old gal with the solid bones and amazingly restored hardwood floors? I posted about her back in November 2013.

Well, this is what replaced her. To think the contractor told me the new home 'wasn't going to be that big'. What a friggin' ugly house.

Quote of the Week - H.P. Lovecraft

stacy reynaud

I have frequently wondered if the majority of mankind ever pause to reflect upon the occasionally titanic significance of dreams, and of the obscure world to which they belong. Beyond the Wall of Sleep

From the Archives - The Business Wardrobe

I was recently contacted by a gentleman who is changing careers. He's confident in his decision but not his current wardrobe. He asked for some suggestions on where to start. These tips are gender neutral!

let's start here:
  1. Know what you like and what you don't like. What suits you and your style of living. This particular individual didn't want a baggy suit. He liked the mod suits from the 60s but not the super skinny trousers. He told me he liked Diplo's suits, Booth's suits from Bones and Terrence Stamp's suits (see my post on his classic look here).
  2. Know your clothing's priorities and each day's sartorial demands. Meetings, luncheons, golf (an unfortunate part of business, my apologies to golfers), and the cursed casual Friday. You want to be sharp and dressed appropriately for each. What are the corner offices wearing? Take cues from them and notch it up by one.
  3. Versatility. Maintain a flexible wardrobe. Back in my retail days we were taught the foundation of the fashion equation, 2+2+2+5, (Men = two trousers, two ties, two jackets, five shirts. Women = two skirts, two trousers, two jackets, five tops).
  4. You want to be known for your unique ideas - that being said, limit it to one unique idea per outfit.
Originally published December 20, 2010.

A (Bed) Room of One's Own

image stacy reynaud

Brought up the topic of separate bedrooms this morning to be greeted with, 'Should we each have our own house too?' Geesh, sensitive.

Architectural trends reflect our culture but how far do these trends reflect our instincts?

My first thought - the shared bedroom is a socioeconomic thing. Lots of money = lots of house. Not so much money = not so much house. You know what I'm talking about so let's not go into tiny house living choices, or the cost of a 435 s.f. apartment in Vancouver, because I'm simply talking about the concept of the shared bedroom.

My second thought - brought into fruition by a comment regarding prudery - is an image of a lovely Homo erectus couple snuggled up under a musk ox blanket in front of their amber hued, crackling, cave fire. The shared bedroom now becomes a mammalian instinct. Stay warm, stay safe, have sex, (in whichever preferred order).

My next thought - Lucy and Ricky's bedroom - sure it was fictional (somewhat), and they were shown in separate beds due to TV regulations of the 1950s, but I'd argue that it was actually the result of the continuous evolution of Western socioeconomic and mammalian instinctual concepts.

Okay, let's leave it at that - I want my own bedroom and ignorance is bliss.

image: Boyd House, Ron Thom 
© Stacy Reynaud

Wallpaper is Wallpaper

The other night I dreamed of wallpaper. Well, not really. It was actually an image during a little gong meditation journey I was on.  Eighties lovers sculpture comes to life in a Fauvist equatorial rainforest (think Henri Rousseau). The backdrop was amazing and I want wallpaper like it! It was so vivid that I thought for sure I must've seen it before. I'll leave the philosophy of consciousness dialogue alone right now.

Similar vibe to this Rousseau painting.

It was black with sparsely placed tropical leaves but not palm fronds.

More like ficus leaves

and they were electric green.

This pair of tights is pretty close

but on a larger scale.

This shirt actually might be a closer fit than the tights but without the flowers and more vibrant green.

Whatever, it was a rewarding journey and I'll get hit with deja vu soon enough.

PS I hate how wallpaper isn't wallpaper anymore - according to search engines.

Another West Vancouver Significant Home Demolition

image stacy reynaud
I'm in a dysfunctional relationship - with West Vancouver. You know I moved out of West Van in July, right? I was just getting too bitter about the clash of ideas in regards to housing, being ripped off in rent, and all the bloody traffic on Marine Drive. Well, I'm moving back. 

Turns out I'm not the only one that's getting fed up though:

West Vancouver Council moved unanimously to commence community consultation and draft a bylaw that would address form and character in West Vancouver homes. Jeremy Shepherd,  North Shore News. 

You can watch the 'boisterous' council meeting on video and read the full meeting agenda from October 20th here.

Thanks to Brent Richter's Twitter feed for bringing this meeting to my attention.

I touched on this topic back in February 2014  when West Van held its first public Info Session. What came from the Info Sessions were recommendations from West Vancouver's Manager of Community Planning, Stephen Mikicich. You can read those recommendations from June 2014 here.

So, back to the title of the post. Which significant home is gone? Well, it's Dan White's Vernacular Orchard Way home that I've posted many times about, (just search Dan White up top in the search box). Mr. White is also the architect the Museum of Vancouver just finished a retrospect on.

I can't help but see the correlation to what's happening in West Vancouver to that which Alan Weintraub and Alan Hess discuss in their book, Forgotten Modern: California Houses 1940-1970.

Except for a few hometown architects (Whitney Smith, Harwell Hamilton Harris) and a few stray writers and professors (Jean Murray Bangs, Jack Hillmer, Esther McCoy) almost no one knew of them, [Charles and Henry Greene], except as relics of the past (Hess 2007, 8).

Dan White's Orchard Way Vernacular once stood here.

view from Mathers Ave.

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Please come visit me on  Instagram , Facebook and  Etsy .  April 2016 - In French they say, 'Je suis fatigué'. Fatigué is a ...