Category: Studios + Workspace

Bright Blooms by Laura Jones

January 14, 2013

Did your weekend fly by as quickly as mine did? A little bit of work and a little bit of play with a good dose of sunshine thrown in for good measure…no complaints here! This week is sure to be busy so I thought we should start it right with some colourful blooms and a bright studio tour. Laura Jones is a still life and portrait artist in Sydney and I couldn’t help but be drawn to her boldly brushed paintings when I came across them at The Design Files last night. I think you’ll agree that they are bursting with life and I just love the intense colours and heavy brush strokes…

Laura Jones Studio via The Design Files. Photo by Carine Thevenau.

Laura Jones Studio via The Design Files. Photo by Carine Thevenau.

Do you have a busy week ahead? We’ve got lots of new and vintage product arriving almost daily at the shop which will keep us occupied. I also really need to get more organized on the home front. My hall closet is constantly overflowing (so frustrating) and I should really work on some realistic meal plans, to name a few specific things. Looks like it’s time to start some new lists…if only there were a couple of extra hours in each day!  Have a great Monday 🙂

Spruce Collective in House & Home!

January 9, 2013

Co-owning a home decor has already been a dream come true. If I had to come up with another dream, it would have to be seeing said store featured in a national magazine and, guess what? Spruce Collective is the shop feature in the February issue of Canadian House & Home!!! Ironically enough, I seem to be the last subscriber in Canada to get their copy in the mail and I’ve been stalking my local grocery store for their stash (which should be on shelves today, by the way). My mom read me the article over the phone last night though and I’m pretty much freaking out over the whole thing, in a very good way! Janis Nicolay was amazing enough to coordinate the shoot and to take the stunning photos of our shop. She’s always been such a great cheerleader and supporter of this blog and all of our endeavours here at Birch + Bird and I can’t thank her enough! Without further adieu, here’s a look at Spruce through Janis’ lens…

All photos by Janis Nicolay. Spruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

One funny note about this shoot, we had literally just decorated the entire store for Christmas the week before we heard word about the feature so we had to un-decorate (and then re-decorate again) overnight! Our storage room and even our washroom were packed to capacity with Christmas trees…using the facilities was just like being in the forest 😉 But it was well worth the effort…my new partners and I couldn’t be more thankful for such an incredible opportunity, especially so soon after opening our doors in September!

My lovely friends Aprille and Nancy even popped by to practice their modelling skills and try out our line of CeCe Caldwell’s chalk & clay paint…nice work ladies!

All photos by Janis NicolaySpruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

All photos by Janis NicolaySpruce Collective in Canadian House & Home.

Andrea, one of our fabulous customers, was kind enough to send me a picture of our spread to share with you all…

Photo by Andrea Westbrook…thanks Andie 🙂

Well, I’m headed back to the grocery store to clear their shelves of the new issue before going into work…hope you enjoyed a peek around the shop! I hope to see you there sometime soon but in the meantime, have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂


A Weekend at Spruce Collective

November 13, 2012

Hello there! It feels like I’ve been away forever, I suppose since I was offline for most of the weekend, but I’m back and feeling very refreshed and ready for the week ahead. How was your long weekend? We headed off to Science World on Saturday with Brad’s side of the family for some early-Christmas fun. on On Boxing Day, his brother’s family is making the journey from Kelowna to Australia for a one-year teaching exchange…how cool is that? We’ll miss them and their kids over the next year but are so excited to hear about their adventures Down Under! So instead of rushing around and getting presents organized early, we all decided to go spend the day together instead…memories are so much more meaningful, aren’t they? While I was out and about, things were bustling at the shop during our first drop-in class of the season. Thanks to all who joined us and we’ll definitely be doing more so stay tuned for more classes this month!

I promised you some more pictures of the shop decked out for Christmas so here are a few that I took on Friday, with more to come…

I missed a visit from some blogging friends on Saturday but am so happy that this vintage Canadian Pacific Hotel blanket found a lovely new home

Tracey Ayton Photography

Yesterday, we were closed in honour of Remembrance Day but that didn’t slow us down. We were busy moving Trove Vintage Rentals into our newly rented basement, after having new mugshots taken of each piece by Level6 Images. I don’t know if Cristal knew what she’d signed herself up for but let’s just say the U-Haul was packed to the gills! Many hands make for light work but it was a full day and I think we’ll all be a little sore tomorrow. How was your weekend? Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I’m feeling pretty far behind on that but thankfully we’ve decided to keep things simple this year. Have a great Tuesday 🙂




Collective Thinking: Shared Workspaces

July 26, 2012

Rachel and I have mentioned several times before about our longing for home workspaces of our own. Now that the kids on vacation from school it’s been especially hard for me to sit down and write (between “I want a snack!” and “can you turn the sprinkler on?” interruptions) and I’ve pulled a few more late nighters than I anticipated. I did plan on stocking up at least a few more blog topics this week while they were at their day camps but suddenly found myself very distracted with a potential business adventure and it’s BIG! I am literally chomping at the bit to tell you more but for now will have to leave you hanging, at least until some key details fall into place. But these pictures may just give you a huge hint about what’s in the works for the very near future…

Photo by Bethany Nauert for Apartment Therapy


Micasa Revista. Photo by Jake Fitzjones.

Amy Osaba Floral Workshop via 100 Layer Cake

Photo by Carina Olander for Bolig Pluss


Design Milk

Atlanta Homes via Verdigris Vie

The Globe & Mail. Design by Kelly Deck. Photo by Barry Calhoun.

Photo by Jennifer Causey for Design*Sponge

Have you had the opportunity to sit with a group of like-minded people to brainstorm and swap ideas with? I’ve been lucky enough to share plenty of creative sessions with Rachel (who I’ve been missing more than ever this week!) and casual coffee dates with other vintage sellers, bloggers and larger groups as well. It always feels great to bounce ideas off of others who “get” what you’re doing and I’m always amazed at the amount of creative inspiration that can spark from seemingly chance encounters. Fingers crossed that I’ll have many more of these meetings-of-the-minds very soon! Sorry for the cliff hanger but please stay tuned…

An Organized Work Space

January 24, 2012

Rachel and I are about to delve into our year-end bookkeeping and, while we do keep our paperwork relatively well organized, it’s always slightly overwhelming when we repeatedly put it off for a few months at a time! But tax time is drawing near and ,with Rachel about to pull up anchor, it’s high time to put this tedious task behind us.

Ikea kindly sent us some photos of their latest organizational goodies and I am loving the look of these well sorted work spaces. My desk has six roomy drawers but it’s all to easy for them to become a dumping ground for mismatched paperwork, sticky notes and other office paraphernalia these days.We’ve spoken before about our dreams of having an actual room or studio to call our own but for now I must be content to type away at my workspace in the corner of our living room. Some of these simple yet stylish desk accessories would definitely help me keep my desktop clutter to a minimum…




Whether you work from your your kitchen table or are lucky enough to have a studio space to spread out in, it’s easy for bills and other paperwork to start taking over. How do you keep your space organized? Colourful boxes, vintage crates and baskets are some of my favourite solutions…

Livet Hemma (Ikea Sweden)



Do you like a perfectly clean desktop or do you like to have inspirational images and objects on display where you can see them daily? I like a bit of both and would definitely have an inspiration board nearby, if my desk wasn’t in our shared living space. I have three calendars always on the go and love the idea of a single large chalkboard calendar to fill in each month and help keep our family organized…

Janis Nicolay. Banquet feature for Canadian House & Home.

Rue. Photo by Matthew Williams. Design by Robert + Cortney Novogratz.


House to Home via Bright.Bazaar. Photo by Dominic Blackmore.

Neutral colour schemes are so visually calming and make great backdrops for artists and other creative souls but I find some pops of colour to be much more energetic and inspiring, myself. Which do you prefer? And vintage touches always help warm up a space and add personality…

Casa de Valentina

Weekday Carnival

Style At Home

Whatever your style, I’d love to hear your tips on how you keep your workspace sorted and paperwork filed. I think it all comes down to filing things away daily rather than waiting until desk drawers can no longer close. Hmm, guess I’d better empty a couple of desk drawers today!

The Art of Display

January 7, 2011

So, we’ve been talking a lot about getting organized, purging the excess and reducing the clutter around our homes. But what to do with the knick knacks, mementos and sentimental items that you really love? Rachel and I both take pleasure in displaying our vintage treasures wherever possible….on our mantles, credenzas, table centerpieces, and more. But at what point do our “displays” become clutter? I suppose it comes down to personal opinion. To some, less is more but to others more is never enough! I’d like to think I’m somewhere in the middle, slightly to the “less” side. When redecorating, I like to empty the mantle or surface that I’m rethinking and start from scratch rather than adding more to what’s there already and I definitely lean more towards symmetry and balance.

Geninne Zlatkis is an extremely talented artist living in Queretaro, Mexico in an amazing home built by her husband, Manolo. I love her watercolor paintings and how effortless she makes the process look on her blog…I highly recommend that you take a look! She also has a lovely Etsy shop that she’s currently taking a little break from but I can’t wait ’til she opens up again! Her birds and other paintings are simply gorgeous. But back to her home….it’s a combination of modern lines with natural wood and materials that I am really drawn to these days. And what’s not to like about this open floor plan and soaring ceiling? But what I love most about Geninne’s home is how she’s managed to display art, found items and plants in such an easy and uncluttered way. Subtly and with a light hand, she’s managed to bring personality and splashes of colour into every room of her family home…

Geninne’s Art Blog

Whether you lean towards the “less” or “more” end of the scale, there are plenty of ways to display your trinkets and collections without allowing them to take over your space entirely. Containing art, books or other collections to one wall, cabinet or surface, for example, makes them a focal point and keeping the number of pieces to a minimum prevents individual items from being lost in the crowd. Rachel and I both constantly edit and rearrange our homes throughout the year and keep any out-of-rotation items stored away out of sight. Once again, these vintage crates would be perfect for such storage and easily accessible too…

Hus & Hem via Emmas Design Blogg

The Selby via Geninne’s Likes On Pinterest

Canadian House & Home

Petra Bindel via Emma’s Design Blogg

I’m a big fan of collections, and while I don’t have many on the go myself, I love seeing them displayed in other people’s homes. Rachel recently put together a lovely post about how to display collections here. Natural history and found objects are a big, not to mention economical, trend right now. My kids love collecting feathers, seashells and rocks from any of our holidays or excursions and covering them with a glass cloche dresses them up from treasure hunt find to scientific specimen, don’t you think? Hindsvik has so many fabulous vintage finds in their Etsy shop….


Mixr via French by Design. Photo by Christoper Drake/Redcover.

Rachel gave me Sibella Court’s book, Etcetera, for my birthday last year and I was so happy to add it to my book collection! Sibella’s style is definitely rooted in the More is More approach, and while I couldn’t live amongst it all myself, I really do enjoy looking through the pages of all of her amazing treasure displays and undone rooms. Walking into her home or store would be like entering a museum! I found a few pictures depicting the opposite ends of the display spectrum…which do you prefer? The white pantry and open shelving are organized perfection to me!

1. Country Living 2. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge

1. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge 2. Tine K Home via Apartment Therapy

Of course, I’m a strong believer that vintage finds can be added into any room. I love the industrial shelving mixed with milk glass and other finds in this bathroom vignette. Simple, crisp and far from cluttered. If you’re unsure of how to add vintage objects into your own home or fear it will look like Grandma’s basement when you do, I recommend starting small with framed wall art. Vintage paper goods or art, like these blown-up Canadian stamps, look wonderful framed. Choose a frame that will compliment your room decor and, voila!, easy and affordable art for your walls!

1. Rue via sfgirlbybay 2. Canadian House & Home

There’s no need to go out and buy all new accessories to freshen up your space. Sometimes all it takes is a quick shuffle, swap, and a splash of creative thinking to make your old treasures shine like new again! Think outside the box and  you’ll be surprised by the many ways you can decorate with what you already have!