mschatelaine's Profile

Display Name: mschatelaine
Member Since: 4/5/07

Latest Comments...

It really breaks my heart to see the bench torn out.

Why all the work to fix squeaky stairs? If they are structurally sound, squeaks and creaks are part of the charm of an old house.

The planned tile will totally kill the character and farm of the original foyer, and of the house. I know it is Canada, but you don't need to tile the foyer of an old house in order to make it work for snow -- there are other solutions.

Sorry to be so uncharacteristically negative, but this is exactly the sort of renovation I hate to see. My husband and I always look for "virgin" houses that haven't had this sort of treatment; they are getting harder to find.

Mike & Sandie's Foyer Renovation: Demo Begins Renovation Diary
7/16/14 08:11 PM

We had a vacation like this on the Danish island of Bornholm one summer.

Jakob and Suzanne, two designers from Copenhagen, design partners and married to each other, had a little place they called Hotel du Nord in Allinge. There were a number of rooms which they rented out, mostly to returning guests who were (or became) friends over the years.

How can I begin to describe the place? Because they were such talented designers, every aspect of the place was a wonderful sybaritic experience, from the flowers in the guest rooms, to the Muji cd player in the shared bathrooms (just pull a string to make it play, and signal that the room is occupied :-)), to the furniture in the courtyard, the communal dining rooms... well, you get the gist. In fact, some of the spaces have been featured here on AT as well as on Remodelista.

Anyways, twice a week, they would host communal dinners for their guests who chose to participate. The food was glorious (of course!), but it was the society and games which made it unforgettable. It was a wonderful way of getting to know Danes, and really taking part in Danish culture. We too went down to the beach in the dark after dinner. The children took care of themselves, and we had torches, and laughter. The way it was organized was so cozy, so "hygge".

It was a magical vacation which we cherish.

Today, someone else owns the Hotel Du Nord, which can be rented out by the floor (not the room), or the building. Guests are separate, and there are no communal dinners anymore.

A Swedish Midsummer's Eve Party 12am-2am, Drinks
7/14/14 10:07 PM

I've just come back to this thread to re-read some of Hakan's posts because he provided some really great information -- and all his posts have disappeared!

AT, why were Hakan's posts deleted??

Where Can I Find Turkish-Style Towels for a Good Price? Good Questions
7/13/14 07:27 PM

I love this home -- saw it somewhere else before (NYT? AT?) -- and it is filled with fantastic and interesting original design ideas.

Kudos to you Jesa!

Where I Cook: Jesa's Incredibly Well-Organized Kitchen Kitchen Tour
7/4/14 08:51 PM

I appreciate such people too.

Although too young in the 1970s to have done any real decorating, I've had my nose in design magazines since 1972.

I've been ruminating on why I prefer the '70s as a design period, why when these sorts of time capsule pictures come up, the '70s original always seems more successful than that of the present day. Why I find the present day MCM trend cold and vapid, but the original MCM period gorgeous, joyous and complex.

It hit me when I was reading an article yesterday in the Guardian, about the death of Hipsterism. Here is part of a critique of hipsterism:

"It is a consumer identity for a generation of consumers who create nothing but an image of alterity, offer no opposition to the status quo, present no alternative to the suffocating blanket of consumer culture, and entertain not the slightest concept of rebellion. In this respect hipsterism, far from being an alternative lifestyle, floats along in the mainstream of our culture, which seeks to gather all the energy of youth and channel it into an aesthetics (and more importantly, ethics) of consumerism. And like all marketing strategies, behind the facade of plurality and choice there is only the monolith of a vast and all consuming homogeneity."

I think that it is in a nutshell, and sums up the difference between authentic '70s spaces and those of the MCM period, and today's versions. I may have been young at the time, but I do recall that it was a time when people were working through concepts and ideas, and trying to forge something new, offer individualistic visions and statements. People bought encyclopedias and belonged to book-of-the-month clubs and read the New Yorker -- they wanted to be educated, and take part in the world of ideas.

Not so now. The MCM trend now is pure consumerism, devoid of the layers of meaning which drove the original movement.

And so it is with the spec houses built by architects and developers (at least in my city) -- they are buildings informed by cold, hard-edged contemporary consumerist aesthetic. They feel vapid and empty.

Yes, I do think the 1970s were IT, and they are yet to be surpassed.

Everything Old is New Again: Red, White & Blue Interiors, Then & Now
7/4/14 08:41 PM

A limed or cerused oak finish isn't going to change the style of your cabinets, so this finish applied to traditionally styled cabinets will look more country, and applied to more modern fronts will look more sleek.

Another option to explore is lye-treating wood, which leaches out the yellow (it's available in a white lye finish too), and then finish with soap -- can do white soap finish for an even lighter look. It is a very Scandinavian finish, and personally, I find that it updates traditional cabinet shapes.

How Liming Can Save (and Update) Those Honey Oak Cabinets Kitchen Inspiration
7/3/14 06:17 PM

While this is a nice kitchen, I think that the comments on this board point to the general sense that this particular trend's day has been and gone.

Speaking for myself, I would have been excited about this kitchen if the cabinetry had been painted a high gloss red, and mismatched blue and white tiles been installed as a backsplash instead of yet more white marble.

Maybe it was that post last week about '70s design, but I find myself yearning for those sorts idiosyncratic and very personal interiors instead of the cold contemporary look favored by the current crop of designers and builders. And I can't be the only one.

Before & After: A Compact, Updated Kitchen for a Family of 5 Professional Project
6/29/14 05:34 PM

I like whole wheat flour for banana bread too; I combine all purpose whole wheat flour 50:50 with regular all-purpose flour.

I too use muscovado sugar -- but as the primary sugar because it has the most flavour.

Since my daughter is allergic to walnuts and pecans, we don't let those in the house. Instead, I've combined Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson's banana bread recipes, and use rhum-soaked golden raisins and toasted pine nuts. I never thought that golden raisins would be any good in banana bread, but they are brilliant!! They really add another dimension to the banana bread, the perfect fruitiness, and I would never have thought of using them were it not for Delia (or was it Nigella?).

That's my tip ;-)

Recipe: Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipes from The Kitchn
6/23/14 07:20 PM

The dusty rose and dusty blue thing is already happening...

Style Time Capsule: Decorating Advice from 1975
6/13/14 10:41 PM

I think certain mileus were more successful than others ;-)

But hey, two words for you: Terence Conran.

(see, it was better than you remember it!)

Style Time Capsule: Decorating Advice from 1975
6/13/14 04:14 PM

I too think the '70s were an under-appreciated design decade.

As a little kid, I was glued to Maison Francaise, and Better Homes and Gardens. Plus, we lived in Quebec, where there was a real appreciation for modern architecture -- every house in our neighbourhood was designed by a different architect, in a different style, and yet it all worked. They were modestly-sized houses, and attainable for middle class incomes. People had exciting cutting edged furniture, and made a home feel like a HOME -- with plants and textiles and art, in a way that we no longer do (so tired of the antiseptic MCM look -- just check out the Eames' home to see how it really was back then -- not stylized at all, with interesting but imperfect bits all combined together with exquisitely designed pieces).

I love how there were so many divergent styles popular concurrently in the '70s -- it was very rich. Even if it wasn't your cup of tea, it was interesting and stimulating.

Now, it seems as if we are more careful, more circumscribed. I sense a new wave with the generation coming of age, and styles will become less curated.

Style Time Capsule: Decorating Advice from 1975
6/13/14 04:08 PM

If you use lean or extra lean meat, rendering fat isn't much of an issue.

We prefer tender meatballs in our house, and so put the raw meatballs in the sauce and cook long and slow.

Another vote for grandma ;-)

Is My Grandma's Method for Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs Safe? Good Questions
6/13/14 01:33 PM

I have white damask for formal meals, but otherwise use dark grey woven jacquard dishtowels from France as napkins. I've been using them for 26 years, and although not on a daily basis, on a fairly regular basis, and they still look almost new!

My only trick is that I starch and iron them. (I also have a front loader and use Persil and a good stain remover, so maybe that?)

3 Reasons to Pack Cloth Napkins in Your Vacation Kit Travel Tips from The Kitchn
6/13/14 01:29 PM

I've taken a look at your blog, and love how you have restored your other fireplaces -- you've done a gorgeous job with them!

Given that you style is very traditional, and given what you have done with your other fireplaces, I really think that tile is the best solution. You should hunt around for fireplace tiles from that era -- you could find more colorful or exotic tiles from within that period which would fit with your fireplaces and what you are doing with your house. Hunting them down and exploring options can be lots of fun!

Ideas for Decorating Fireplaces? Good Questions
6/12/14 12:18 PM

How very kind and thoughtful you are to your friend.

I'm just an anonymous stranger, posting on a board.

Your original post felt like a slap in the face -- in the middle of chemo, I had to move to city where we knew no one. I had every side effect in the book, we were broke after 3 years of unemployment, and while sick, full of mouth sores , with shingles, neutropenic, and losing my hair, with my husband as my only support, I was hunting for work.

Right now, I have a dear friend dying of the same cancer I survived. And my best friend of 40 years, her son is battling sarcoma, and has mets. Having had cancer, I've reached out to many cancer patients, and have lost many friends. Fortunately, there are the cases like my friend's 6 year old, whose leukemia treatment has finally finished, and who is now cancer free.

I don't need anyone to patronize me -- I know I am lucky to be alive.

So to be perfectly honest, now that I have scrolled through the comments and have seen your second statement, I have to say that I was very hurt by your comments, and by those who joined in the thrashing.

As a busy mother, I have nothing to apologize for, and my life is no different from those other mothers -- we are all tired, there are not enough hours in the day, and it all goes by in a flash.

In all my years (almost 10) on AT (or any forum for that matter) I have never posted anything as harsh as I have posted to you, which should give you an indication of the nerve you touched.

I used to enjoy AT, but this... well, this leaves a very bad taste.

How to Have a Successful Week: Do These 6 Things Around the House Monday Morning
5/25/14 09:50 PM

How do you know *I* don't have cancer? You don't.

Get off your high horse judging people on boards.

How to Have a Successful Week: Do These 6 Things Around the House Monday Morning
5/25/14 09:06 PM

You lost me at "Fresh off of a relaxing weekend"...

With two kids and various music and sport classes/obligations, as well as playdates and the plethora of household responsibilities -- laundry, meal planning for the week, grocery shopping, advance cooking, and now lawn mowing and weeding to top it off, in addition to repairs and cleaning -- well, we lurch into the work week exhausted, and longing for a vacation.

How to Have a Successful Week: Do These 6 Things Around the House Monday Morning
5/25/14 08:12 AM

Whether something is authentic and organic doesn't prevent it from harboring bacteria...

As well, "miscarriages due to listeria" is not the sort of information public health organizations track. But just because these specific statistics are not tracked, doesn't mean they don't happen.

When women are pregnant, they are at higher risk from listeria and other infections because they are immunocompromised (so that they don't reject the baby), making them particularly vulnerable.

In Canada several years ago, we had a huge listeria outbreak -- many were made ill, and 23 people died -- all because a cold cut slicing machine was not cleaned properly. The outbreak had nothing to do with whether the cold cuts were organic or not.

There are listeria outbreaks in Italy, France and the rest of Europe too, just like here. But they have a different cultural attitude to risk than we do, an important point to understand when in Rome doing as the Romans do. It doesn't mean there is no risk -- just that they view it as sufficiently low so that they don't have to change their behaviour.

Yes, Pregnant Women Can Eat Good Cheese: Pregnancy-Safe Cheese Ideas for a Baby Shower The Cheesemonger
5/23/14 08:05 PM

The faucet looks like Chicago Faucet Co.

A Victorian Vintage Kitchen Meets Danish Modern Professional Project
5/18/14 10:03 AM

Just don't feel comfortable using non-stick.

Eggs are softly scrambled, and so don't stick, and off sunny side up, have enough butter to preventing them sticking. The only food that makes me reconsider nonstick cookware are pot stickers.

A post about the safety of non stick cookware would be most welcome!

(my last experience with non stick was All Clad, and I was really unhappy with how the surface deteriorated -- we threw it out because the coating was transferring to our food as it was wearing)

Nonstick Fry Pan from Le Creuset
5/17/14 02:12 PM