Local Home Decor

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Aug 22, 2008 4:55 PM
Hooked Wall Hangings
Bruce Simms lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, but he is busy continuing an artistic tradition that was once a crucial source of income in his native St. Anthony. Bruce hooks beautiful mats depicting scenes of Newfoundland and Labrador in the style carried out in the days of the Grenfell Mission, which began around the turn of the 20th century. In addition to bringing much-needed medical services to Labrador and northern Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell also encouraged social change. Among Grenfell's efforts was establishing a robust handicraft industry that created an extra source of income for families who so badly needed it. Their quality and intricate detail made the mats highly sought after back then, and this traditional folk art remains prized today. Bruce won an Arts and Letters Award last year for his hooked mat, "Homestead," and in recent years he's been teaching others about this time-honoured tradition, through Memorial University's Division of Lifelong Learning. Each mat is handmade with wool and burlap by Bruce, who guarantees that each is a one-of-a-kind work of art. For more information, or to purchase, contact Bruce at marie.simms@gmail.com.

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HandmadeImage Wooden Crafts
Chapel Arm Woodcrafts was began in 1995 as a home-based hobby business for Gordon and Theresa Reid. Today the Reids' business, located in a modern studio in Chapel Arm, Trinity Bay, offers everything from wooden vases and candlesticks (shown left) to bowls, ornate furniture and a wide range of custom work finished to complement any decor. The wood is harvested locally from indigenous species including birch and aspen, resulting in beautiful, original designs that have a pinch of local flair. For more information, or to purchase, visit www.chapelarmwoodcrafts.com.

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Hand-paintedImage Rocks
As a child, did you ever paint rocks to pass the time during those warm summer days? Julie Murphy of Glovertown, Newfoundland, has taken this pastime and turned it into beautiful folk art with her business, Salty Rocks and Seagirt Designs. Using traditional dwelling types commonly found throughout Newfoundland and Labrador as inspiration, Julie transforms ordinary Newfoundland rock into colorfully quirky rowhouses, saltboxes and fishing stages. Perfect for dressing up your mantle, these painted rocks truly are a little piece of home. For more information, or to purchase, call the Downhome mail order line at 1-888-588-6353.

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TimeImage Well Wasted
To make a house feel more like a home, it must suit both our needs and our sense of style. If you feel interior decorating is a daunting task, visit www.seemydesign.com for a helping hand. Unsure if beige accents will complement the shade of blue paint you've chosen for your walls? Or maybe you'd like to see what sort of furniture would suit your current colours best. You may mix and match paint colours (in a variety of finishes) with floor types, furniture, blinds, rugs and more to see a living room decorated to your specifications - before you even buy a can of paint. You'll also find guidance for laying out a room and advice on what to consider when choosing flooring, lighting, window coverings and much more.