(All photos courtesy of Scarlet O’neill)
She boasts an Instagram following of 63.1K followers (at time of press) — people who flock to her page and website to follow her pretty-as-can-be, pastel-infused lifestyle and to soak up her radiant, sunshiny energy.
Recently, she got rid of her King West studio to upgrade into a more kid- and dog-friendly home in High Park.
The 27-year-old mom-to-be got this place to share with her baby-to-come and her two rescue dogs: Mylk and Honey.
Her recent FLARE magazine article "Single mother by choice," which told the story of her choice to have a baby using a donor, went viral. And CTV's The Social recently shared her story as its lead hot topic.
Earlier this summer, Alyssa invited me into her home for a chill girls' night. And as soon as I walked in, I knew I had to share her magical home — which she refers to as #heaveninhighpark — with you, dear readers.
She made this home her own by not only making it a pastel dream come to life, but also by taking it on as a DIY. She restored all the floors herself, did the painting and wallpaper, and outfitted it with all the right fixings to make it a welcoming, cozy space for her growing family and for the visitors she entertains.
So, I sat down with Alyssa to get the scoop on why she chose this area, how she came up with the hashtag inspired by her home, and the playful ways she personalized the space — like putting a doggy webcam in her laundry room (more on that below ...)
Home is _______.
Where the fluff is … And by “the fluff” I mean all the pets.
Flowers and as many spots to lounge with a good book as possible are also mandatory.
What attracted you to this home and this specific area?
Let’s be real, finding an apartment in Toronto is a total nightmare. So I would have settled just about anywhere if I found an apartment that looked like this.
I didn’t actually even apply for this home. I applied to another listing and the landlord gave me a sneak peek at his other property before it came into the rental market instead.
I’ve always loved being as close to nature as possible being from B.C., so High Park seemed like a good way to get more green in my life without leaving the city entirely.
Your home has its own hashtag #heaveninhighpark. Why did you decide to create a hashtag for your home — and what does ‘Heaven in High Park,’ mean to you?
Being a blogger, everything has a hashtag! It’s sort of mandatory in my line of work: pets, children, boyfriends everything and everyone gets a hashtag!
I think everyone loves the scene in the Sex and the City movie where Carrie and Big find their heaven apartment. And that’s how I felt walking into this space. So I used heaven in my hashtag.
It really feels like a secret slice of real estate heaven in this city!
As you were prepping to move into your new home, I followed along by watching your Insta stories as you and your friends restored the floors, painted the walls, and basically totally DIY’d the space. Can you list off all of the things you changed to your house?
Oh man, so much!
Every single surface was painted “marshmallow white,” including all of the dark wood details in every room.
I switched out most of the light fixtures for vintage chandeliers, ripped up carpet and painted the original wood floors white, painted the fireplace grate, added Urban Walls decals to some of the spaces …
The list is honestly endless.
The last task on my list is painting the front door pink, but still working on the landlord for that one.
Why did you do all those things yourself as opposed to just hiring someone?
There were jobs where someone had to be hired, like the kitchen reno.
I had the entire kitchen demolished and rebuilt, which is so not within my skill set.
For smaller tasks like painting though, why wouldn’t you get your hands dirty? I believe all good things take work, and you’ll always feel better about a project when you (and your friends) have put love and sweat into it.
You rented the house with a guest bedroom, with the plan that it will one day be the baby-to-be’s nursery. Have you started planning out how you want to design the nursery? Is there a certain vibe or mood you’d like to stick to?
Of course, the baby room is totally planned out in my head. It has been since before conception!
The theme will be magical. A sort of “anything you dream of can happen vibe.”
My amazingly talented friend @makemovesvintage has already sourced some one-of-a-kind items for the space, like a vintage star-shaped chandelier and unicorn mirror. My bestie Johanna of @blousesandhouses is painting a pink night sky mural on the ceiling.
Expect the unexpected!
Do you need to make any changes to baby-proof the home?
I don’t believe in that too much. But we’ll see what baby gets into once he/she gets here!
Baby gates on all the stairs will definitely be a must down the line.
How many square feet is the space? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms?
I’m honestly not sure about square footage. But it’s quadruple the size of my last condo. Two beds, two baths!
How would you describe the style and vibe of your home?
An enchanted pastel escape hidden amongst the grey and gloom of the big smoke.
You’re a self-professed pastel junkie and your home showcases that to a tee. Talk to me about your personal style and how you went about personalizing the home to make it you.
It’s impossible for me not to let everything I touch become reflective of my personal style — even the contents of my fridge are usually nicely branded with pastel touches!
I am unapologetically curated. And when it comes to home decor I’ve been collecting special pieces for years, waiting for the day when I’d have the space to style my treasures properly.
Though I had a lot of space to fill, I bought very little when moving into this home. The pink couch from Target and my @makemovesvintage custom headboard were the two big splurges. I also got some really special Moroccan items from @mashimoosh.
What are your favourite tools to make homemade food in the kitchen? And how do you stick to healthy lifestyle when you always seem to be on the go?
I’m definitely not always healthy, but I do my best!
My Vitamix is crucial for daily smoothies. And recently I got the cutest pink Hurom slow juicer, which makes getting my veggies in a lot easier.
My click and grow has also been a huge asset. You can grow herbs and veggies right inside your apartment so fast, and it’s totally foolproof.
What’s your fave places in Toronto to bring Mylk and Honey?
Toronto isn’t the most dog-friendly city, so we don’t get to hang out on patios as much as I’d like. We spend most of our days hiking the trails in High Park!
What are your fave spots in the city to workout, grab a coffee or go out with friends to?
Workouts are Misfit Studio, Good Space Yoga or Soul Cycle.
Coffee is more likely to be tea for me, and there’s nowhere better than Kitten and the Bear. I don’t ever go OUT out, but when I go out for dinner I love Grey Gardens or Patois.
How have you made the space homey for your two rescue dogs? And talk to me a bit about why you placed that doggy webcam in your laundry room.
The dogs really have the run of the house.
I literally got a king size bed so we all had more room to cuddle together!
The laundry room is sort of “their room” in the house. But let’s be real, they go everywhere I do.
The dog webcam lets me check in on Mylk when he gets separation anxiety … It seems to help to be able to talk to him and throw him a treat.