this is where i live: melinda josie

I am happy to introduce a new series I have dreamed up for this blog: This is where I live. Personally, I rarely read home decor blogs and find myself drawn towards the homes of my friends for inspiration. I also love Apartamento magazine and the Paumes series on Stockholm apartments because, to me, they represent something beautiful that is attainable for those of us who will most likely never own our houses. Sometimes when I read home decor blogs, I feel ashamed of my home, my home which is filled with sunshine! I know that is not the intent. I often need reminders that there is no need for this sort of self-torture and self-pity: there is no shame in living modestly. A cozy home filled with personality can be ours with a good eye and good instinct, with some creativity, with careful collecting, and sometimes, with the occasional lucky hand-me-down from a family member or friend.

The series is not about the homes themselves, but rather is an extension of the sorts of pictures I take in my own home. I would like to capture the feel and character, and I hope I have been successful in this so far.

I was thrilled when Melinda allowed me to take photographs of her apartment and to be the first in this series. I know that she has photos of her home on her Flickr account, but I wanted to take my own (so she could see how I look at her apartment). I had visited her a while ago when I picked up my first batch of kitty buds fabric, and was struck by how comfortable and beautiful her apartment was. Everywhere I looked there was something interesting to look at, and when I would point at something, there was always a story to go with the object. The apartment just glows with warmth and happiness. Oh, and we are neighbours!

Melinda, an artist, lives with her fiancé Chris (also an artist, with Team Macho) and their cat Dre in a main floor apartment in a house. The apartment also has a studio space that they both share. I went over on Tuesday morning; she made me an iced coffee and served it with a delicious croissant. We chit-chatted so much that I almost forgot to take pictures. She had the cutest braids in her hair that day, and I didn't even take a picture of her! I still feel nervous and unsure with a camera, I suppose.

Some of the pictures turned out a little blurry but I hope you will enjoy them.

I love the shape of this fabric pendant that hangs off to the side of the kitchen.

Chris made this sweet letterbox with a laser cutter.

Melinda told me that this antique nurses photograph is one of her most prized possessions. There are so many incredible art works on display in their home.

Her side of the studio. This is my favourite part of the apartment. Incidentally, she is making her own wedding dress! She is also working on oil paintings for an upcoming show at Narwhal, which Carly Waito will also be in. They're pretty astonishing.

I love peeking at other people's trinkets. I spy a card that Melinda made, a Sophie, and a Coe & Waito ceramic bird.

The famous kitty buds! The needles on top came from her grandmother's house.

Cute shoes!

This vintage ornament also came from a grandparent.

This is my favourite object in their home: Scout Finch's ham costume from To Kill a Mockingbird. Chris carved it himself as a Christmas present for her. Isn't that amazing? It's perfectly balanced on those little legs.

This is Dre! He's a dreamcat, isn't he?

Melinda wrote a sweet post about the visit! Thank you, Melinda.


carly: Oh, there are lots of those bags on eBay!  I hope mine doesn't break, eek. The ashtray's text is my new life motto!

nice-etc.com / caitlin: I hope so too! And you're right, these things are really wonderful and to find more would have just been adding clutter.

Cassandra: Oh yes! We are a nice little community, ha.

K: Oh, tell me about it. Thrifting here is so hard, I can only imagine how much harder it is in NY! But it will make going back home sweeter, won't it?

stephanie renee: Yes! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has bad days. I've had so many of them lately, it's so frustrating!

taylorkitto: Thank you! Aw, I wish I had an extra for you!

Color Collective: Thank you!

Chaucee: Yes! I love them.  $4, what a steal.

rachel: Your comment made me laugh out loud! Kitty in kitty bag.  Genius.

Jenni: Oh, that's too bad! But maybe one day the cat tapestry gods will smile on you and you will find the perfect cat tapestry vest. Never lose hope!

SwanDiamondRose: I know!  Some of them are so very terrible! But I always find them so amusing, I'm glad you do too.

Zuzolińska: Yes, sometimes it's hard not to buy cheaper clothing! It's funny, in a lot of the second-hand clothing stores now you can get fast fashion for almost the same price as new! It's not very nice.

Grace: I haven't seen it! I will have to check it out.  It sounds hilarious!

katrina: Thank you! It's such a nice colour. Are you sure you can't wear it?  It looks nice on brunettes!

Malicious Mallory: Aw, you should get one! It was the last thing I needed but it makes me so happy. When I have it in my bike basket as I ride along, looking down at it makes me laugh. Nothing better! Uh... not to be an enabler.

Lexie, Little Boat: Thank you! Oh yes, I agree! I had to stop myself from going to more thrift stores. Three is quite a lot! But I wanted to find more and I knew there was more treasure to find.

Anonymous: Thank you! I was quite happy since they fit perfectly.

Hannah: Haha, I'm glad you like it!

Anna Emilia: Yes! Grandmothers have great taste. Thank you for saying hello from Finland!

Juli: I know, I have just about given up myself!  But it's hard to give up... I just get so angry when I see H&M shirts for $10, $15, and so much George brand clothing.  Oh and the ashtray came like that!  Some of the lettering is rubbing off, but it's still legible!

Siri: I hope it's there too!  The backpack version is amazing.  

Neon Relish: I almost left it behind, if you can believe that!  It was a whoppin' five dollars.


  1. So cute! That shot of the pillows makes me want to curl up and take a nap.

  2. I love this homebodies feature! As a struggling grad student, this really provides inspiration....instead of just pure yearning when I see some of the home style photos/ magazines. Thrifting for pieces has become part of a very very slow project.... the ultimate goal is to have a home with character!

  3. I am in love with the Scout Finch Ham carving. What an amazing Christmas present

  4. h, a lovely home! i am also rather taken with the ham carving! funnily enough, yesterday i was at a creative and brilliant friend's house and i took some photographs to blog. i like the name of your series too!

  5. this is so great! i know i'm going to love this series. i feel exactly the same way about home decor blogs, and much prefer to see peeks into more attainable (and charming) homes.

    that ham KILLS ME. i want it so bad.

  6. love, love, love this idea. can't say it enough. can't wait for more.

  7. The ham costume is incredible! melinda's space just looks intriguing and so personalized... I love that more than any decor-y thing!

    I adore this new series... can't wait to see more!

  8. Oh my goodness Anabela! I love this new series. Melinda's house is so sweet, just like Melinda. I think it's important to have an apartment that has unique and sentimental objects, that Scout carving is wonderful. Great photos!

  9. what a lovely idea! the photos and thoughts are beautiful!

  10. Wow - that carving of Scout is absolutely fantastic! I'm trying to convince myself that I could make one for myself!

  11. bravo anabela!!!! You have such a great eye! I love all these photos!!!
    You captured melinda's home perfectly!

  12. Great idea! I'm really looking forward to seeing more places! So much nicer and more inspiring when people do things themselves. Oh, and in my head, your apartment's super nice. I'm sure it's just as fantastic in life.

  13. Oh, oh my. What a dreamy home. I think I could just lay on that bed (or couch?) with the face pillow with Dre the kitty. I tried my best to make my apartment cozy and cute to keep my creative juices flowing, but this is only a temporary summer home and I can't go all the way with it. Sigh. Someday, right?

    P.S. I'd kill to have a little Scout wooden ham doll. Okay, not kill. But I would certainly adore receiving a treasure like that.

  14. Anonymous22.7.10

    Thanks for doing this, Anabela. I feel the same way about design and fashion and everything sometimes. And what a great place!

  15. Love it - the photos are perfect! Can't wait to see more!

  16. Very nice. Looking forward to more.

  17. Oh my goodness, that carving of Scout blew my mind!! Such a lovely and warm home, this is going to be a fantastic little feature. I totally know what you mean with design blogs, I don't want to read and invest my time in things that make me feel bad about myself (which of course is my own doing, also) and I'd much prefer to see real lived in homes anyway!

  18. i love the photos and the new series! i am hoping to continue my series of documenting studio spaces, but i am still pretty nervous with the camera too. it is hard to hang out with a friend while trying to sneak in photos and not make it awkward.

    oh and i never thought i would be able to buy a house either, but it turned out to be cheaper than renting.

  19. That's such a great idea! This is apartment voyeurism at its best. And what a handyman! That letterbox? The ham? Seriously! Makes me want to enroll in a woodworking class-or at least force my husband to!

  20. The Ham! Too good to be true, wow. I love that, and this feature. :)

  21. Really excited about this new series and can't wait to see the next installment. I love the twist on the interiors theme - it's so much more personal and interesting to encapsulate the personality of whoevers home it is :)

  22. The Ham! The nurses! Thanks for posting, and great photos :) x

  23. i'm already loving this new series! Melinda has such a lovely home, and great job on your part for taking these fantastic photos!! p.s.That nurse photograph is such a precious find!

  24. The hand-carved ham made my day!

  25. Such dreamy photos of a lovely home. Look forward to seeing more in this series!

  26. this is beautiful and you are so talented, you did a wonderful job. Her studio is absolutely gorgeous and comfy (I would have loved to be there) and you are so right that with not much money but with some creativity we can make our small and cute homes look just like the best ones on earth :)and homebodies is a great idea that I can't wait to see who's next :) I would be delighted to participate if you are looking for submissions from the other part of the world !

  27. What a great idea! I love how you can see her place through your eye. Very neat. Wonderful and delightful place too. I'm so excited about this new series!!

  28. *so. excited. for the revamped series.*
    so is everyone.

  29. So well said! How often have a felt the same way about my own rented flat, even though it is full of carefully selected treasures and gifts from talented friends.Thank you so much for bringing us this series. Melinda certainly has a wonderful eye, so many perfect details. I am looking forward to the next installment.

  30. Love love love the idea you've got to showcase friends places. We've all got friends with beautiful places that the blog world would die to see. Thank you for this!

  31. Yes! Thank you, Anabela for such a wonderful blog and for such honest commentary on subjects (this and the ones you wrote on consumerism). I've enjoyed your blog for some time and just noticed that you've made it easier to comment (more options), or am I seeing things? :)

  32. Great concept.
    Its funny, since we started blogging when I come with my camera my friends and family have these new sorts of expectations about what type of photos I'll take and what I'll do with them.
    I think it would be really hard to go into another person's home with a camera, but at least in these situations your purpose is clear.
    I admire your courage!

  33. I love the idea of you taking the pictures - I'm sure you've looked at different angles and in a new way.

    Great idea for a series!

  34. I love her cushions!

  35. Wow! This is a gorgeous house.

  36. elizabeth26.7.10

    Where does one buy the cat bud fabric?
    Also, he should sell those Scout figures. I would buy one for sure!

  37. what a lovely home ! i hope when i'm on my own my house will be as beautiful as this one

  38. Anonymous28.7.10

    what wonderful images...i really love all the details...and the face pillow is my favourite : )

  39. the wood carved ham figurine!<3<3<3 true love + melinda josie and her tiny mewing kitten bud magic. i've just fallen into the k-hole that is your pretty blog!

  40. HAM! So so awesome, I love this series of pictures, so much treasure!