Roslyn Costanzo of Style Forage

You know that friend you have that you never get to see, the one who connects with you instantly after months of separation? Roslyn is that girlfriend, a kind hearted & creative individual who I know many of you will relate to. We've been friends for 17 yrs, & now find ourselves in different cities with families of our own.

I met Roz in University & we hit it off immediately. Her love of fashion has always been evident, even in the art studio. I would wear my Grandpa's old cardigan & jeans, Roz would casually enter the room in a leopard blouse & knee boots. Her style has evolved, & I am so happy that she is sharing a bit of herself today. Her design at home mixes both modern & mid century, and her love of art is noticeable in every vignette. When I need an update on what the current trends are, I check out her website & know that with little effort I can make myself appear like I am a mom who's got it figured out. Roslyn often shops at Joe Fresh, & if you are Canadian you know that means you can do the groceries & pick up something for yourself at the same time...it's a win win!

At home this colourful painting made by Roslyn's husband Mike, hangs proudly in the dining room.

At home this colourful painting made by Roslyn's husband Mike, hangs proudly in the dining room.

Q. What is your creative background?

I've always loved art and aesthetics in general--including fashion. I majored in visual arts in undergrad where I focused on small-scale sculpture, then I did my MA in art history. Currently I'm a freelance writer, specializing in fashion and lifestyle topics, and I have a personal style blog, www.styleforage.com.

Q. Do you have a favourite piece of art in your home?

My husband is (used to be?), a painter. I guess it's better to say that he is a painter that used to have a huge studio in Hamilton where he painted large-scale pieces. One of my favourites now hangs in our dining room but hung behind the crib in the our son's nursery when all we had was a tiny "solarium" to work with in our old apartment. It's big--4' x 6'--and it was perfect because it had a huge visual impact in a room where we otherwise had very little space to work with. Plus I thought it was cool that Viggo could wake up looking at his dad's art everyday. Now it hangs in our dining room and I still love it--partly because of the sentimentality and also because it is just a really beautiful painting.

Q. Where do you feel most inspired?

I get a lot of inspiration just walking around Toronto. I love living in a place where aesthetics play a major role in everyday life, whether it be the architecture, restaurants or the street style. I find myself taking mental notes of outfits and decor ideas all the time.  

Our dining room. I got the Knoll table as commission years ago when I worked at a mid-century Modern furniture store. The vintage credenza was a gift to ourselves after our wedding, and the chairs were a clearance find at IKEA, which satisfied my desire for chairs with caning. We assembled the gallery wall from pieces that we love by our artist friends and some are by Mike, while others belonged to my grandparents. The mirror is an antique we picked up here in Toronto one day.

Our dining room. I got the Knoll table as commission years ago when I worked at a mid-century Modern furniture store. The vintage credenza was a gift to ourselves after our wedding, and the chairs were a clearance find at IKEA, which satisfied my desire for chairs with caning. We assembled the gallery wall from pieces that we love by our artist friends and some are by Mike, while others belonged to my grandparents. The mirror is an antique we picked up here in Toronto one day.

Q. How would you describe your personal style at home?

Well my home is eclectic and filled with art. My husband and I belong to an artist-run-centre in Niagara, Niagara Artists Centre, and have purchased work by several of the member artists. As far as furniture is concerned, I'm typically attracted to minimal lines and bold colours but more recently, when I was redecorating the master bedroom in our small Toronto apartment to accommodate ourselves plus the baby, I found myself drawn to crisp whites. My aim was to make the space (which I knew I'd be spending more time in once the babe arrived), feel like a peaceful retreat amidst the chaos that our cramped (toy-filled) apartment, can quickly become.

Our refreshed bedroom where I incorporated a lot of white for a peaceful, de-cluttered feel.Β 

Our refreshed bedroom where I incorporated a lot of white for a peaceful, de-cluttered feel. 

I love this corner of our home right now because of all the love that went into making the pieces we used to decorate it. The quilt was a gift when Gigi was born and is based on an abstract work by our friend and artist, Marco Cibola. My sister cross-stitched Gigi's name, and I ordered the sweet, little weaving from Canadian Etsy seller, WIOUX.

Our DIY floating bookshelf.

Other favourite pieces by Marco Cibola

Other favourite pieces by Marco Cibola

Q. What was one of the biggest challenges that you faced as you started your own business? How did you overcome that?

I always say that I'm a writer for a reason--I like to be behind the scenes--but working as a freelancer in a fairly saturated market requires a lot of hustle and networking so I'm constantly pushing myself beyond my comfort zone in that regard, which has probably been the toughest part. (I know it sounds crazy because I have a blog and am active on social media but those are just pictures--I prefer to let them do the talking!) I think I am overcoming it naturally though, just by the fact that I am becoming more comfortable with what I'm doing. For a while I didn't think of my work as a business, but rather odd jobs that I was stringing together. Now I'm proud that I have made a career for myself that allows me to do what I love while staying at home with my four year old and five month old.

shoes-sketch.jpg

Q. What are you working on now that youΒΉre most excited about?

I'm working on some holiday stories, which I always love because I really do think it's the most wonderful time of the year :). I've also got some exciting collaborations coming up on the blog. I should mention that what really excites me in terms of style, is finding great deals. I'm a shopaholic on a shoestring and I love the challenge that that presents. The collaboration that I'm most excited about is in keeping with the idea that you can look stylish no matter your clothing budget!

I want to thank Roslyn for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this post today. Take a minute & check out her website, her approach to style is affordable & classic.

http://www.styleforage.com