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Analysis

You’ve Got Mail • Kathleen Kelly’s Living Room Analysis

After so many requests, I finally bring you an analysis of You’ve Got Mail. With Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, the movie dates from 1996 when internet romance was still something very new. Who would guess we would end up swiping forever on Tinder? No, no, things were way slower, romantic a mysterious on those times.

The characters of the movie are very interesting and fun, but for me the best part of the movie is the visual. Kathleen Kelly brownstone house in NY is the coziest home in the universe, it’s been more than 20 years and we are still talking about it! Her store, The Shop Around the Corner, is a paradise of books, cute toys and lovely sparkling decorations. The way NY in the end of the 90s is captured is so captivating, the city looks so lovely and full of life. The “Starbucks” aura and Joe Fox apartment are also very on point. Seriously, filmmaker Nancy Meyers is a genius for style.

If you never watched this film stop and go watch. My analysis has lots of spoilers and revels the plot – just a warning!

But now lets get to action. Today we are going to focus on Kathleen Kelly Living Room and a tiny bit of her other rooms. The movie starts with the camera flying from outside to the inside of her house showing an overview of the space.

Looking from the window to the inside of Kathleen’s place

From the first scene you can get a glimpse of how cozy is this place. The colours are warm and harmonic, the wide door moldings have a soft and pleasant texture and all objects feels purposely mismatched in a casual, effortless vibe. This scene is already a masterpiece of composition. Notice how many planes you can see at the same time:

  • The outdoor curtains
  • The home office corner on the left
  • The washroom on the right
  • The piano room and living room behind the office
  • The entry hall light coming from the washroom window
  • The building on the other side of the street (through the window)

Lovely introduction! Now let’s check some details

Bookshelves on the home office, in the back the piano and living room

On this side of the apartment you can see this lovely cube bookshelf, Kathleen’s desk , her piano and the living room. Notice how the books are not organized, there are piles in all directions and no shelf is perfectly tidy. Everything here is intentional and this “messiness” creates the feeling of a well lived place, specially close to the desk. You get the impression that Kathleen actually reads a lot and check those books all the time.

Kathleen writes an email in her cozy desk, surrounded by books everywhere.

Above, a better view of the home office . The wooden desk and wicked magazine stand add to the warmth of the space. Notice the frame with a round in the middle – that’s actually a framed crochet dolly! Other frames around the house have lots of vintage botanical illustration. All these small details helps build Kathleen Kelly character: she is a warm person who treasure family mementos and values her history.

This bookshelf is built around the washroom and faces the piano room.

Here is another floor to ceiling bookshelf! It’s probably normal for a bookstore owner, but seriously, that’s a lot of books! Here you can see more objects and the decoration team tried to reinforce a few messages:

  • Kathleen’s love for daisies: the vase and the frames feature her favorite flower
  • Her longing for romance, symbolized by objects in pairs. Here you can see this pair of frames but her whole apartment is full of objects in pairs: table lamps, frames, candlesticks and even a painting with a couple of swans. I find this just a genius idea coming from the filmmakers!
A better view on the living room, with cube bookshelves and a floral comfy sofa

Here you have a better look on the living room and bit more of her bookshelf on this side. Again objects in pairs – notice the frames on the wall and candlesticks on the bookshelf. This sofa is an invitation to get cozy, isn’t it? I just adore this print and all the lovely cushions. The mismatched chairs give a lot of personality and bring contrast and value to the space. On the shelves some more amazing decisions from the filmmakers: here the books are more organized since they are a bit farther from the desk and you can notice a picture on the top left, that’s probably Kathleen’s enchanting mother.

When Joe Fox visits Kathleen you can get a quick glimpse of her living room

When you get to the last corner of her living room: Surprise! Another book shelf! This time it’s a smaller one, slightly less crowded and decorated with objects. Joe Fox brought some daisies for Kathleen and the green of the leaves stands out on this warm and blush frame.

So we crossed the whole living room, from window to window. Now lets get back and take a quick peak on the other corners.

Kathleen runs to check if Frank is really going away

Above, on the left you see the bookshelf that surrounds the washroom and behind it, a bit of her bedroom furniture. On the right you see her desk, the TV (she can watch it from her bed) and a bay window with another sofa. This window faces the street and is the one we “used” to get inside her house in the first scene. All spaces are integrated, except the washroom and the kitchen.

Don’t miss the details, like the pairs of pictures on the wall, or pair of objects on the shelves. I adore her desk chair and the curtains, so delicate! Also notice the lovely vintage furniture with green details, absolutely charming!

Kathleen falls in her bed after a disappointing date

Here a quick peak on her bedroom. Her bedsheets and bed cover changes throughout the movie, reflecting changes in her own life. The quilt adds to the Kathleen’s love of history and family mementos. You can see the pair of table lamps on the dresser and the painting above her bed is actually a pair of swans (you can see better in the next picture).

Kathleen and Frank watch an embarrassing TV interview

Above, the couple of swans in whole glory! Speaking about pairs, notice how her nightstand lamps are mismatched. This is to symbolize how Kathleen and Frank were not made for each other, her love life is not in perfect balance yet.

Kathleen’s love for daisies is in the first scene of the movie, before she even speaks

Should we talk about the bed linens? Throughout the movie they are are so inviting I could write another post just about her bedroom and linings, seriously! But not today! Our goal was just the living room, I’m already getting distracted!

Still we can get a very quick peak on the other spaces, above the dining room (taken with Frank’s electric typewriters), the lovely kitchen, a glimpse of the washroom and the entry hall with the amazing stained glass window. By the way, guess what is in the painting on the entry wall? Tip – it’s also a sculpture in the kitchen window. Yes you guessed right, a swan!

If you like this style you might enjoy the collection I designed based on this movie:

So what do you think about all this? Would you like to live in a place like that? Do you like this aesthetics? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Pin this!

Image Credits: Warner Bros Pictures

Director: Norah Ephron

Set Decoration: Susan Bode and Ellen Christiansen

Categories
Lifestyle

House decoration saga: a farewell

If you follow me for enough time you know how hard I worked trying to decorate our house in a cute way despite the horrendous carpet and other challenges we faced. We faced the pandemic, fluctuations in my work schedule, a super tight budget and some very strict landlord rules. Every little change required tons of effort. If you missed my saga you can read here all posts here:

The living room saga – Part 1 – Oct/2020

The living room saga – Part 2 – Mar/2021

The basement make up: Part 1 – Mar/2020

The basement make up: Part 2 – Sep/2020

Corona life – Mar/2020

The bedroom make up – Jan/2020

Updated décor and some recipes – Jan/2020

If you are expecting to see a beautiful ending to my decoration project, I’m very sorry to disappointing you but actually it’s all over now. As many of you know we moved temporarily to British Columbia (in a very soft transition between 2021 to 2022).

We sold lots of things and sent some furniture to a storage. In BC we are living a very minimalist life, since it’s a temporary arrangement and we don’t want to invest our time and energy in trying to decorate the new place.

I lived almost 8 years in Calgary, it was my first port of entry in Canada and I have a special place for this city in my heart. I made many friends who stayed there and many that moved away to new destinations. I discovered lots of cute little shops around and had good relationships with the community. I also studied illustration at AUArts and made some incredible connections with some very talented people.

In that house so many friends came for pizza, drinks in the balcony and crazy fights with the fire alarm. It was a pleasure to see the rabbits during spring time and go for walks by the river. We stayed 2 years in that house and I always thought it would be my last rented place.

I dreamed many times I would just leave that place for my own, “real” home. But moving to BC was actually really good for us. I’m very happy and I’m way more focused on my business. Having a less complicated routine is giving me more time to work on my career.

I’ll leave some pictures I took in the last days before our move.

Thanks for following this journey! I hope you had a good time reading about my decoration adventures. This project is over but since I’m designing fabrics, keep in touch to see some of my cushions, pillows and quilts. Maybe you can use them in your own decoration saga!

Categories
Jonara Academy

8 good habits for working from home

With one year of experience since the pandemic started, we should be all expert in the art of working from home.

But I feel there is always something we can improve and new tricks to be efficient are always welcome. Do you feel the same?

Here I share my good habits for working from home, I hope to hear from yours too!

1. Start the night before

Would you like to have a peaceful morning?

Start the day before:

  • Choose your clothes
  • Plan what tasks you will accomplish the next day

Waking up in the morning knowing exactly what to do gives me great peace of mind and motivation to start working.

Image: Anna Shvets

2. Get dressed and ready

Are you tired of running crazy when you have to an unexpected video call?

Stop embarrassing yourself:

  • Fix your hair and face first thing in the morning
  • Dress something comfortable but professional

When I dress professionally I feel my whole day is more productive and I love being ready in case I need to run a last minute errand or call someone on video

Image: Cottonbro

3. Clean your workspace

Got your work papers mixed with your bills and shopping lists again?

Do one thing at a time:

  • File the papers you already finished working with
  • Have a separate pile for papers not related to work

When my desk is clean and organized I don’t waste time time searching for anything. I like to clean and file papers as soon as I finish each task.

Image: Michael Burrows

4. Avoid being interrupted

Can’t focus on anything while working from home?

Stop stopping for everything:

  • If possible, ask your family to don’t enter in the room where you are working
  • Turn off notifications from all your apps

If everything fails and you still keep getting interrupted, try to do the “hard work” very early in the morning, before everybody wakes up

Image: Lascot Studio

5. Follow a schedule

Don’t have time to start or time to end your work?

Work smart, not hard:

  • Divide your day into blocks of tasks
  • Don’t stay on social media during your “production time” block!

Booking blocks of tasks is the best way to make sure I’m focused and I won’t skip important obligations

Image: Anete Lusina

6. Have a decent lunch

Are you eating in front of your computer or mobile?

Take a break to eat healthy:

  • Make a beautiful plate and look at your food instead of looking at a screen
  • Enjoy every bite and think about nutrition

Spending the whole day seated and eating from a box in front of the screen is the fastest way to lose energy and get stressed. It’s good to pause for eating!

Image: Valeria Boltneva

7. Connect with your online community

Do you spend days without talking to a human being?

Keep in touch with reality:

  • Video call friends from your industry and catch up
  • Interact with other professionals and increase your network online

While it’s nicer meeting colleagues for a coffee in person, online meetings are a true necessity during these pandemic times, don’t get isolated from your industry.

Image: Ivan Samkov

8. Know when to stop

Do you feel guilty when you are not producing?

Even machines need maintenance time!

  • Finish your work on a decent time, organize for next day and let it go
  • Plan relaxing and fun activities for your weekend.

If I’m productive in my “productive blocks” I feel I earned the right to rest and I relax guilty free. However not always we are productive and that’s ok! Relax now and organize better for tomorrow.

Image: Sam Lion

I hope you are having a great time in your home office. I love working from home and I feel I’m getting better at it! My main tips are:

  • Start the night before
  • Get dressed and ready
  • Clean your workspace
  • Avoid being interrupted
  • Follow a schedule
  • Have a decent lunch
  • Connect with your online community
  • Know when to stop

How about you? Tell me a tip on the comments!

Categories
Lifestyle

The basement make up: Part 2

Do you get upset at your house when you get back from vacations? I usually love coming back home, but I went to visit some relatives for a few days and when I got back, I found my house dark and sad. That can’t be good!

I feel house decoration is always an ongoing project. Especially if you are renting and have a tight budget. How can you make it cute and cozy without spending a ton?

I started moving some furniture in the living room. Then we decided to move some things in the kitchen as well. The basement got loaded with random things and I thought, enough is enough.

Here is my new studio / sewing room. I got this machine just before the pandemic but so far I just made face masks. I want to make a quilt for my bedroom and some clothes for me, so it will be good to be able to move around the table.

The white shelves behind the desk have been traveling around the house. They started at the studio, moved to the kitchen and now they are back to the studio. I think it looks good here. All my art supplies are now in boxes and the mess is finally hidden. The clothes rack will be used to dry projects or hang works in progress.

A few details to make everything neat. I added cute lamps to the clothes rack and re-use some baskets as storage for my yarn. The plant behind the sewing machine hides the electric cables. White cardboard boxes hide most of my art supplies and work as “vertical drawers”. And I finally got a place for my brushes and they are not spread all around anymore.

The gym is still there, on the opposite side. The main change was this white curtain to hide the furnace (it’s actually a large table cloth hanging from the ceiling). I’m still thinking what to do about the floors, but that’s ok for now.

Nowadays I rarely use this computer, so I decided to make a vertical station . It looks neat and we can watch Netflix from the treadmill. My old framed paintings and canvas are hidden behind the bamboo divider and some of our books are now on those shelves.

Here is a panoramic of the whole space. It was a battle but I think it’s done for now. If you don’t remember how it looked like before, please check The basement make up: Part 1

I still would like to cover some walls with wallpaper or fabric and hide the floors a bit more but the other parts of the house need some attention and I have my illustration projects to work on. I’m happy for now. What do you think? Leave me a message in the comments!

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Lifestyle

Corona life

Hi! I’m sorry it’s been a while since last time I posted. How much things changed in just one month! Last post I was planning to sew a quilt, organizing things for my family visit and excited about new projects. In just few weeks I lost my job, all travel is suspended and I’m in saving mode now, trying to work on projects with materials I already have. No prospect of visits, not going out. Just waiting quietly at home for all this to pass and thinking I’m lucky because I have a great house, EI will cover me for a while and I have lots I can do.

I love my cozy house

I cannot avoid feeling a bit depressed about the whole pandemic situation, but let’s talk about fun stuff: what was done this last 4 weeks.

The basement upgrade – few updates

Before all corona crisis I was able to go to Ikea and buy a few boxes and other things to organize my basement. Take a look on these adorable boxes they had.

I love my new boxes, they are so cute!

I know I’m still hoarding so many art supplies but I’ll try to slowly use my art materials or give them away. We will see. I have extra time and I hope to feel inspired again.

Still there is too much information!

I thought about stapling some fabric behind the shelves to cover the computer cables, make some curtains for the base shelf and maybe add some linen to the drawers on the left, I don’t like how everything is exposed. I’m still thinking about solutions.

Speaking about hiding ugly stuff, I’m quite glad about the new visual behind the sofa. I used 3 blinds from Ikea and now you cannot see the laundry from the office. It feels more cozy and now I also have some space to hide extra shoes behind the couch. Take a look:

The laundry totally visible before
Ikea cheap blinds now hide the laundry
And I got some room to hide shoes and other stuff behind the sofa

The last upgrade I did in the basement was to find a box with some pieces of wood floor. I simply spread around an old rug and it looks like I have new floor!

I had just 12 pieces of wood, so that’s all I could do but it looks cool!

Later I’ll add more pictures to the walls, I have tons. So far so good! A bit at a time.

Small traditional crochet table runner

I got a fine thread the other day just for fun and I actually loved! I didn’t start too ambitious, I found a pattern online for a table runner made with squares so I tried a few squares just to see how the thread works

Kinda wonky beginning

I was not sure how this was going to turn out but I was persistent and decided to keep working. What a surprise! I loved it! I like the feeling of working small stitches and also the delicate result. After a few hours of work this is what I got:

I love it! Can’t wait to get more thread and make many new pieces. I want to add crochet on everything now, towels, dishcloths, make a cover for my bed, I’m obsessed with the tiny delicate patterns. Its fun and easy, it just requires a bit of patience. However I got a huge pain in my arm and I need to be careful with my posture when I’m working. But isn’t it worth it?

Cooking life

I also did a ton of cooking during the last weeks, some are not so photogenic but it’s been fun to cook with no pressure (I have lots of time now that I’m unemployed). My husband said he is very happy with this “pandemic food”. We need to find some reason to laugh, right? Here are some highlights.

A delicious trout with vegetables and butter/lemon sauce
This super cute home made burgers in a home made bun

There was lots of other food I did, like cakes, salads, stews and even a moussaka but there were not so pretty on the picture (although they were delicious). Food has been just fine!

The dance lounge

Before the whole corona crisis I was planning to create an Arabic lounge downstairs for some of my guests. It would be an extra guest bedroom but stylish and fun. Anyways those plans are over for now. But why leave the space totally empty? I found some old coloured lamps and some Christmas lights and voila, now we have a dance lounge to enjoy during the isolation time.

It’s still messy but it’s fun!

So that’s how is how things are here at home. I’m sad about our cancelled plans, worried about vulnerable people and not very optimistic about the near future. But life goes on. I’m working on a crochet blanket and if I get motivated again I’ll paint the pictures I’ve been planning for my kitchen and bedroom for a long time. Keep in touch and stay healthy and safe. Good luck for all of us!

Categories
Lifestyle

The basement make up: Part 1

This week I finally started to organize my basement. I couldn’t finish, it will take me several weeks. Here is some before and “during” the changes. I cannot call “before and after” since it’s still a huge mess!

Before
During (aka after)

I finally bought my sewing machine!! I’m so happy. It’s exactly the one I had back in Brazil and it’s just great and cute. Take a look:

I can’t wait to use it!

My goals were open some space in my desk for the sewing machine and transform one of my monitors in a “tv” for the treadmill. The monitor works amazing and now I can watch Netflix and hear the voices and music even with the noise of the treadmill running.

Yey!

So far I squeezed most of my art supplies in that wood crate but I couldn’t find a solution for my papers. I like the big crate to hide everything, I wish I had a cabinet with doors but that’s better than nothing. Look how was my office space before:

So many supplies

It was larger and brighter but my desk was taken with both monitors and notice so many supplies on the shelves. A bit overwhelming! Also my CPU was on the floor, what always bothered me. Anyways, the new solution might be a bit darker but so far I’m happy about having a monitor for the treadmill and having some space for my sewing machine. With time I’ll add some frames on the walls and hopefully things will look more happy.

So that’s it for today! Thanks for reading and I’ll keep posting.