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No Place Like Mini - Franny's St.Clair West Village Apartment

After her evening walk, prop house and photo studio manager, Franny Alder, returns to her apartment to settle in for the evening. Since she also works as a freelance prop stylist, Franny’s 30-minute morning and evening walks are the few invariables in busy days that are often unpredictable. “I am constantly being challenged and learning new skills,” Franny says of her work, “It is not for someone who needs a schedule.” 

Franny’s challenging yet rewarding career heightens her appreciation for the St. Clair West Village apartment she calls home and in speaking about her apartment, it is clear that Franny concurs with the Hacienda motto Your Home is Your Haven. Her one-bedroom apartment is in a building that formerly housed a convenience store until her landlords bought and retrofitted the space to accommodate four apartment units.

Franny says of her work as a photo shop manager: “It is not for someone who needs a schedule.” 

When asked to describe favourite features of her home, Franny starts by saying, “I love my home, so there are several:

This apartment is the first place that I ever moved into that felt like home right away. I have the best landlords with the added bonus that I’ve gotten closer with someone I truly admire.

I have more than enough space for me, there is so much light, and the apartment has been renovated beautifully. There is secret storage everywhere, my whole kitchen was built around the cutest vintage oven, and I’m a 30-minute walk from work!”



However, a unique detail of the apartment that, for Franny, made the experience of acquiring the apartment “feel like kismet” is a small, but significant item: a brass door hook in the shape of a lady in a bathtub that hangs behind the bathroom door.

“I had the exact same hook in my old house when I lived with my parents,” Franny explains. “And I’ve never seen it anywhere else. When I mentioned it to my landlord, she said it was the only original piece from the store that they kept in the renovation.”


“I had the exact same hook in my old house when I lived with my parents. And I’ve never seen it anywhere else."

Franny’s journey to finding her perfect home was stressful. In fact, Franny says of her search “looking online was rough; I wasn’t finding anything I liked and the prices were out of control.” Following some unfortunate timing with an apartment that had been available, she found “the cutest space” on PadMapper. “It was way nicer than anything I had seen, and to my surprise it was actually posted by someone I knew. My landlord is an amazing stylist who I already knew pretty well from work, and we have a great relationship, so I reached out to her right away.”

Sadly, the apartment was already taken but the landlord recommended another, larger space that was available but not yet listed. “The new space had been theirs and she asked if I could come that night because they had shown some people at the showing for the smaller unit and a few people were interested. [The landlord] graciously agreed to meet me at 10:30 p.m. because I was on set late that night and instantly upon entering, I knew it was perfect.”



Franny has creatively made the apartment her own and describes her decorating style as “more minimal and neutral aesthetic. I try to invest in classic pieces that I’ll love for a long time. For larger pieces (furniture), I am more drawn to whites, light greys and wood, and then I like to add more colour with my accessories. That said, I definitely have some more eclectic pieces.” One such piece is Franny’s “bartender”, “an MC Hammer Barbie, the only one I kept from my childhood. He was always my favourite doll.”



Franny goes on to speak of the busiest area in her apartment. “It is definitely by my desk, which is plastered with art or little memories from people I’m close to, but every single piece makes me happy when I look at it.” 



In thinking of glassware, one might consider a glass as merely a vessel to hold liquid. Franny, however, who confesses to being “obsessed with glassware, it is something I cannot stop buying”, sees a beautiful glass as “functional decor, and I swear it makes every drink taste better.” 

Franny is also a lover of candles. “I used to be hesitant to burn my nicest ones, as if to save them for a special occasion” until convinced by a good friend that “it’s important to appreciate the little things, to find joy in a normal day wherever you can” she now “always burns the fancy candle. Closely related, I also love my matchbook collection.”

Franny goes on to speak of the busiest area in her apartment. “It is definitely by my desk, which is plastered with art or little memories from people I’m close to, but every single piece makes me happy when I look at it.”

When it comes to acquiring décor items, Franny enjoys a combination of online and in person shopping. “I’m a huge fan of Hacienda,” she says. “I think Krystin curates a beautiful collection and I’m always excited when she adds new pieces. I also enjoy scouring through second-hand stores or antique markets to find some hidden gems. I love finding local artists with one-of-a-kind pieces, hearing a bit of their personal story and feeling a connection to the artist, even if it is just through a plate.”



Franny’s story around her apartment and home décor is an inspiring one and demonstrates how the goodwill of friends, creativity, and indeed ‘kismet’ can all coincide to make acquiring and transforming your home to your haven a reality. 

-Written by Francine Fleming

 

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Comments (2)

  • Teresa on April 18, 2022

    What a great space and an inspiring article!

  • Olga on April 18, 2022

    I love this home, so many unique interesting pieces. The MC hammer Barrie is my fave. The apartment itself has so much light! What a find indeed

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