Meet Architect Nicky Bruun-Meyer.
The 2-1/2 story detached house purchased and renovated by architect Nicky Bruun-Meyer is indicative of the early to mid-century era homes in the Dufferin Grove-Little Portugal neighbourhood where it is located.
“The house, built around 1915, was previously owned by a hoarder,” Nicky says of her home. “So I did quite an extensive clean-up and renovation to get it to this lovely state. I duplexed the house (originally a single-family home), so there is a rental unit on the basement and ground floors. I live on the second and third floors.”
The neighbourhood too with its many small shops, bakeries, and cafés is conducive to Nicky’s daily routine, which she describes as “all a bit of a jumble and a work in progress. As I recently started my own design practice, I am enjoying the more leisurely mornings where I can make coffee at home and start work in my PJs before getting myself ready for the day. I am more productive when I am around others,” Nicky says. “So I try to find new coffee shops to take my laptop to, or meet others for work sessions. Being a creative person, I like when my days are different, so I don’t tend to stick to a set routine.”
"The house, built around 1915, was previously owned by a hoarder. I did quite an extensive clean-up and renovation to get it to this lovely state."
In speaking of her decorating style, Nicky’s passion for home décor shines through. She describes her style as “having a bit of multiple-personality disorder as I'm constantly drawn to different aesthetics”.
This is evident in her beautifully decorated home. Nicky speaks of her love of natural textures and patterns, sense of playfulness, and finding things that are unique as being “at the root of those aesthetics”. She goes on to explain, “I love the juxtaposition of old and new and definitely have a home full of vintage and eclectic finds. I think this is what makes a house a home, the personal touches and memories associated with those objects. I like the calming nature of muted, earthy tones, but am not afraid of a pop of neon once in awhile. Most of my main furnishings are either vintage finds from various online marketplaces (i.e. Facebook or Kijiji) or hand me downs from my parents.”
She describes her style as “having a bit of multiple-personality disorder as I'm constantly drawn to different aesthetics”.
For Nicky, an important aspect to her décor is the uniqueness or individuality of items in her home. “I also love an up cycle project, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to personalize something I find second hand. I like having things in my home that I know no one else will have.”
Nicky says of favourite items in her home: “I love the art on my mantel, which is a drawing by John Brown and a black and white photograph that my dad took and developed in the 1970s. These images, along with some natural found items and textural vintage objects, make a really personal vignette. I also love the second-hand headboard that I got for about $20, which I painted a beautiful bluey-green. It has the arch shape and cane material that is currently so trendy, but I've made it one-of-a-kind for my space! I found the arched wardrobe in my front entry on Facebook Marketplace and it is the perfect focal point when you enter the house.”
Although she enjoys searching for special items from online marketplaces, Nicky prefers shopping in person. “I like to touch things and get a proper sense of quality and size.” As far as décor inspiration, Nicky says, “I currently get a lot of ideas from Instagram and Pinterest, but normally, travelling would provide the most inspiration.”
"I love the juxtaposition of old and new and definitely have a home full of vintage and eclectic finds. I think this is what makes a house a home, the personal touches and memories associated with those objects."
A lover of travel, Nicky makes an effort to bring home something special, something that will remind her of her travels to faraway places. Some of those include “carved wooden people and beaded animal sculptures from South Africa, a vintage film poster from Paris, a woven hammock from Mexico that is hanging as wall art, and a lovely embroidered and beaded textile from Bali”.
To round out her full life, Nicky engages in a variety of special interests and hobbies. “I love taking photographs, making beaded jewellery, and really any crafty thing I can do easily at my dining table! I am attempting to turn an extra room into a craft studio space with my sewing machine and other crafting tools.”
To view Nicky’s home renovation journey, visit her on Instagram @fromhorrortohygge or for her design practice, go to @pluralprojects or www.pluralprojects.ca