What’s in a name?

When I started writing my blog back in January I struggled to come up with a name for it. I didn’t want something too simple like ‘Michelle’s Blog’ (besides – this was taken), and wanted something that subtly indicated what my blog would be about. I read quite a few blogs and they all have great names that reference what they’re about, and are usually something a little catchy and easy to remember like StyleNorth, The Art of Doing Stuff and Bye bye, Brooklyn.

After much trial and error I came up with Sweetsuite10, and here’s why:

  • I live in a condo, which could also be referred to as an apartment or suite.
  • I wanted a descriptive word in the name, and I love the way alliteration looks and sounds.  Given I was working on my blog name late at night when I should have probably been sleeping some of the‘s’ adjectives on my list were stupendous and snazzy – luckily sanity returned and I decided on sweet. I also enjoy that both words sound the same but mean different things and are spelled differently (Yes, I’m aware I’m a bit of a nerd).
  • I would have left it at Sweetsuite, but someone else on the internet had already claimed it (Boo!), so I tacked on the number 10 to represent my unit number.

So, that’s the name I picked, and it’s great, but I’ve recently started having second thoughts as to the wisdom of my name choice. While the name sweetsuite10 is a good fit now, what happens in the future? What if down the road I move and no longer live in an apartment? Or my unit number is no longer 10?  If, for example, I was to move into a house that was number 59, would you think Sweetsuite10 was still a good fit for a blog where I’m basically write about my efforts to decorate it? (Before anyone freaks – no, I don’t have any plans to move in the near future – I’m thinking about down the road – like any good Girl Scout I’d like to be prepared).

Anyways, I though I’d put the question out there and see what everyone thinks – should I plan on keeping the name even if in future it no longer references where I’m living and decorating? Or, should I start moving towards a name change? If I do decide to change my blog name what should it be? I’m open to suggestions as given the difficulties I had coming up with my current name, any attempt to come up with another is bound to be even more arduous. So, please leave me a comment or send me an email at sweetsuite10(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know what you think – any input would be appreciated!

It Squishes Beneath My Toes

When I first moved into my condo, one of the first things I decided I needed to buy was a  rug for my living room.  I didn’t have one in my old apartment, and even if I had it wouldn’t have fit in my new 12’x16′ space.  I’d read in a few different decor magazines that if you’re starting a room from scratch it’s always better to purchase a rug first, as apparently it’s easier to match upholstery to a rug than the other way around (If you read my earlier post, I had some difficulty finding a fabric for my sofa to match my new rug so I can’t begin to imagine trying to match a rug to an upholstered piece).

I was somewhat focused in my living room rug search in that I only went to one store.  That’s right, just one.  I did however visit every single location of that store in the Greater Toronto Area (I’m not kidding, we looked at every one from Mississauga, to Scarborough and even north to Vaughan).  The store in question was HomeSense.  HomeSense is great for all sorts of things, but unfortunately for me being carless makes it a little difficult to visit.  There are a couple of locations in the city, but they just aren’t as massive and magical as the ones you can find in suburbia.  Handily my mom came to town for a week or so to help me move, so I made use of her car.  Aren’t moms wonderful??

When you go into HomeSense the rugs are hung very neatly from the walls which is great – you can flip through them quickly and see the whole rug easily – not like some carpet stores where they’re piled up on the floor and in order to see one you fold back the corner of the one above it, and invariably the only rug you’re even slightly interested in seeing is the one on the bottom, so you have to somehow lift up the 25 or so rugs above it. . . . Ugh! I get winded just thinking about it . .

Stacks of rugs vs. HomeSense’s neatly hung rugs

Anyways, back to the way HomeSense does it.  It’s so much smarter, making it easy to flip through their rugs in just a couple of minutes.  In theory, if you’re just looking for a rug as I was you could walk in, make a bee-line to the rug section, and if you don’t find anything be back out at the car in under 10 minutes.  I’ve never managed to do that.  Sigh – did I mention I think HomeSense is magical??  I’m like a kid at Disneyland – I walk through the doors and stop and stare, and can’t decide what to look at first – I’m sure I look like the spectators at Wimbledon with my head bobbing back and forth.

Does Popeye deliver?

The only problem with buying a huge rug a HomeSense is you have to get it home yourself.  Rugs are pretty heavy, and they’re rather unwieldy.  I think regular rug stores roll them up for delivery, but a rolled up 8’x11′ rug won’t fit in any car so the people at HomeSense  fold it  several times like a piece of paper, and place it on top of a cart so you can roll it out to your vehicle.  That part’s not so bad, it’s the part when you get to your destination that causes regular folk to wish they had a friend or relative who looks like Popeye.

Given that delivering rugs is oh-so fun,  my mom and I did it twice as the first one I bought looked decidedly washed out against my hardwood floor.  The second rug purchase worked much better, and thankfully it stayed on my floor once we’d heaved it into my home – have I mentioned that my condo in on the second floor in a building with no elevator?

My new rug (please ignore the 90’s lamp in the corner)

My Condo is Famous!!!

A few months ago on a brisk Sunday afternoon, my condo had a sort of meet-and-greet on the rooftop patio.  There have been a few units change hands in the past year and it was an opportunity to meet the new people (including yours truly), and hopefully put names to the faces I see in the halls.

While all the residents didn’t turn out, I did learn some very interesting things about the neighbourhood, some of the neighbours, the building, and my unit.

Interesting fact #1: The living room ceiling in my unit fell down about three owners ago.  This explains the drywall in that room vs. the plaster in the rest of the unit.

Interesting fact #2: My unit is famous!!!  In 2002 the then resident was featured on an episode of Peter Fallico’s ‘Home to Go’ which aired on HGTV in Canada.  Appearing in the second season the episode is entitled ‘Tres Thai’.

I haven’t yet figured out how to add video to a blog, so here’s the link:

HGTV – Peter Fallico’s ‘Home to Go’ – Season ‘2: Très Thai’ (This video will only be viewable in Canada – sorry)

Some things have changed a lot since the show was filmed, and some not so much:

  • The kitchen floor is the same
  • The countertop Peter Fallico put in is still here, but the cabinets are different
  • The door molding is all different, and there are now doors between the foyer and living room, and living room and dining room
  • The fake fireplace is gone
  • There is no air-conditioning unit

They don’t show the bedroom, which is too bad – it would have been interesting to see if my theory about the closet is true.  Oh well – how often do you get to see what your home looks like 8 years before you move in!!

I wonder if I could convince him to come back and redo my unit – a kind of follow-up if you will :)

Mi Casa

As I mentioned in a previous post, my condo is in a lovely Spanish Colonial style heritage building in midtown Toronto.  It’s a low-rise building with just 24 units and, as it was built in 1928, has all sorts of character that I feel is missing from newer buildings.

The Front Stairwell, and one of the Lights Flanking the Front Door

A major bonus with my unit is the room sizes are actually reasonable – my bedroom is 13’x9′, and my closet, instead of being some pokey little cube is almost 7ft long!!  Try finding that in a new-build (and actually be able to afford it).

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to describe the layout of my home in a way that would enable you to picture it and I’ve had a little trouble.  As the saying goes – ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, so here you go:

Floorplan of my condo