August 11, 2015

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

July 17, 2015

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!
A photo posted by Stacy �� �� �� (@bijouliving) on
There's a cool looking rug at IKEA right now. I think it'll be too dark for our room though.

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.

June 18, 2015

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.

May 26, 2015

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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February 4, 2015

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 

January 16, 2015


So, how are things? Keeping yourself occupied and sane I hope.

You know those, What I'd tell my younger self, posts you see everywhere? I won't do one of those because there's nothing I'd tell my younger self not to do. I had a very awesome younger self time. Yeah, there were moments I felt like I'd been thumped in the head by the cross section of a large halibut but whatever. No regrets here! None. Zippo. Zilch. That was my life and I think it was awesome.

Remember back in the winter of 2013 when I was working with the doctors at the UBC Mood Disorders clinic? Well, I wasn't sold on their diagnosis, (they actually couldn't determine between three), so I sought out a second opinion. After seven months waiting to get in to see a specialist, and four months of weekly appointments, which required I bring in some 'collateral', (my report cards from elementary school and high school), the specialist has finally come up with a conclusion - I was misdiagnosed bipolar, which is what I thought. She has diagnosed me with ADHD combined with a few episodes of major depression. Apparently, it's common for bipolar and ADHD to get mistaken for each other. I never went on the drugs the UBC doctor suggested. My family Dr. didn't feel the diagnosis was concrete enough either so she didn't push it and helped me seek out a second opinion. I'll tell you this though, my ADHD was making me feel like I was going crazy because I had so many things going on in my head. Seriously, your mind really doesn't stop thinking! I've been taking Wellbutrin since 2009. My Dr. prescribed it for depression and it slowed down all the talking in my head which has helped me focus. Now I only have between six to eight things going on in there when it used to be between fifteen to twenty! I'm still going to be working with the specialist, (doing cognitive behavioral therapy), every week for who knows how long. My main concern is working on how not to fall back into depression or at least how to cope if I do. That's a dark and frightening place. Read H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Outsider, in my opinion it's a good unintentional metaphor.

The thing about ADHD is you get bored quickly. Agh - so bored! One of the challenges is trying to remain 'responsible' when you just want to fuck off somewhere and do something new! I'm trying some new things for fun  - strictly fun. Not because I need a job, or need money, or have to be successful but because I want to - for fun. Fun - what is that? Being responsible shouldn't have to eliminate fun. I feel so repressed when I'm not having fun! Ever notice it really pisses some people off when you have fun? Lighten up for fuck's sake.

My fun things planned so far for January - April:
  1. philosophy classes at UBC - okay, I dropped one already - Metaphysics and Epistemology. I dropped it nineteen years ago too! Now, I'm taking one - Philosophy of Mind with Evan Thompson. I'm taking it because it's in line with my train of thought over the past year and I want to write about it. I'm thinking about going on to do my Masters but who knows. I already have a UBC degree in History, (20th Century Ideology/Intellectual History).
  2. check this one out - a creative writing workshop this weekend, How to Write a Romance Novel. Haha! Might as well! Think of the people I'll meet! I'll tell them my genre is Space Erotica.
  3. spa day at Willow Stream with my friend - how normal? Not really - not for me at least! I don't like people touching me so I'm strictly using the steam room, sauna, hot tub and cocktail menu. Shit, I just realized I don't own a bathing suit. To tell you the truth I'd be more comfortable nude than in a bathing suit.
  4. short story - I'm pulling together something around quantum consciousness, the macabre and utopia
Okay, I will tell my younger self something, don't make one of those stupid lists of things to tell your younger self when you're older.

Live well and live now.

December 16, 2014

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.

November 26, 2014

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

November 24, 2014

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.

November 5, 2014

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

October 31, 2014

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.

October 30, 2014

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.

September 19, 2014

Ingrid Bergman on the kiss

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

September 17, 2014

Not Even Mortuary Chic - a rant

Don't get me wrong - I love black clothes, it's dressing conservatively in black that kills me.

This is my second week back to work after two months off. My sparkles, velvet, embroidery and leopard print have moved to the back of my closet. My amber resin is sealed, I'm scentless, senseless and back in black. An outsider among my kind, shoved by the man to the sidelines - left to yearn for that which I know, that of which I can now only admire from the sidewalks of East Pender. Hear my cry eccentric ladies of Chinatown for it is you that I owe my inspiration (and Mr. Marc Jacobs, never you mind what I speak of).

Three things I ask myself when I shop for my everyday clothes:
Would Kate Moss wear that?
Would a crazy Chinese lady wear that?
Was it made prior to 1990?

Three things I ask myself when I shop for work clothes:
Is it black?
Would Grace Coddington wear that?
Would Kim Gordon wear that - to a funeral?

We have paid our dues and have earned the right to tart ourselves up like circus performers, burlesque queens or pole dancing hoochies (and that's just the men). We have earned our right to wear an electric-blue silk-satin blouson. Simon Doonan on ageing. ELLE Decoration October 2014

So, on this rainy day in September, I'll pull out my vintage, oversized, full length, purple, leather jacket I bought this summer and wear it with basic, boring black knowing damn well I'd rather be wearing it topped with my black felt hat, vintage embroidered Thai blouse, black brocade trousers and Officine Creative boots.

Here's some fabric inspo for you! Now go find some new pants!

September 8, 2014

Costco Couture

I've written 1374 opening paragraphs for this post and they're all turning into novels! So here it is, to the point. When you're performing professionally in front of hundreds of people don't wear your Costco jeans and old man dumpy shirt. You may think by dressing that way you're incognito and not attracting attention to yourself but frankly you are - a dumpy outfit stands out more than a well presented one.

So, I've pulled together a few inspiration looks from the Fall 2014 runway for you - now this is strictly inspiration and if I were shopping for you, you know it would be 100% vintage.

Showing some effort is hot.


 Dolce & Gabbana

 Dolce & Gabbana
 Emporio Armani
 Emporio Armani
 Ermenegildo Zegna
 Maison Martin Margiela
 Neil Barret
 Paul and Joe
 Saint Laurent
 Saint Laurent
 Saint Laurent
 Saint Laurent
 Saint Laurent
Todd Snyder