Festive holidays with men of style and Archie, the Brittany Spaniel
By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
We visited the Kevins at their east-end Toronto home on a weekday evening in December. They had just spent the weekend prepping their home for the holidays and for their annual festive party. We gotta say, we love how the holiday season brings out a special attention to detail and since both of the Kevins work in jobs that require an eye for style, their beautiful home gave us plenty to shoot.
Their pup, Archie, is a gorgeous Brittany Spaniel with energy to spare, a great companion for two guys with boundless energy of their own. He’s the kind of dog that looks like he’s always smiling at you, adding to the warmth that the Kevins have created in their home. A fresh holiday tree compliments their front room perfectly and with a piece of the trunk simmering with other spices on the stove, we were instantly transported to a festive holiday scene reminiscent of snowfalls and egg nog that would have made anyone excited for the season.
Kevin & Kevin tell you a bit more about their life and relationship with Archie below:
Tell us about yourself:
KEVIN H: Last year I made a career change from professional actor to real estate agent. I filled my downtime and satisfied my creative side by writing and blogging about related topics like maintenance, décor and DIY projects. The blogging started off as an element of marketing and self-promotion, but has taken on a life unto itself as a new website. Launching officially in 2015, Cupboard & Cabin will be a resource for guided making (food/recipes), doing (DIY), being (health/wellness) and dwelling (décor & home). At the core of both my work in real estate and the website/blog is that I am helping people, which is extremely gratifying.
KEVIN O: I am the co-owner of LOFT Communications + Events Inc. We are a leading corporate communications and events agency located in Liberty Village. We work with corporations on employee engagement, internal communications and events (product launches, sales meetings etc). I love what I do despite the demands and a sometimes chaotic schedule. Every project and client is different and you really never know what is coming next. We are fortunate to have a great team that enjoys what they do and always strives for excellence.
What’s your ideal weekend?
We love time at the cottage. It’s rare and although neither of us unhooks 100% from email and social media, it’s togetherness time that we really cherish and relax into. This year we got a real kick out of watching Archie swim after ducks, enjoy his first boat ride and generally be Dock Master.
If we’re not at the cottage we’re at our house, which has a rolling yard and gardens that back onto the Taylor Creek Ravine System; one of Toronto’s predominate green spaces. We’re working with a designer on a plan to realize the potential of a really relaxing outdoor entertaining space. It’s a real treat to live with this urban forest at our doorstep and a convenient necessity for our active Brittany.
We also enjoy seeing our friends on weekends, trying out new restaurants and enjoying everything our great city has to offer.
Tell us about your pet:
Ha! “Archie” is named after the comic book character because of his red hair and “freckles.” He is a purebred Brittany (Spaniel), a breed we saw profiled on a TV program. A country drive to Atta-Boy-Kennels in Thorndale ON (outside of London, ON), to “just meet the breeder and check out the dogs” turned into a deposit cheque being written on the spot and immediate preparations for his arrival two days later.
After meeting several pups, Archie was chosen because on that day, at that time, he was the most chill and laid back of the litter…he must have been having an off day (or, he knew exactly what he was doing!)
He is a truly merry scallywag; a canine version of one of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys.
How would you describe your personal style?
KEVIN H: I’m drawn to many style influences, but I’d say my personal style is vintage-chic. Whether it’s art, food, décor & accessories or clothing, I like to combine tried and true, older and practical elements with contemporary and innovative new ones.
KEVIN O: I would say my style is contemporary without being overly trendy. I like to shop and stay current but also am conscious of not dressing like I’m trying to look 21.
What inspires you?
KEVIN H: It sounds cliché, but Kevin O and Archie truly inspire me to be my best self every day. My mother, my sister and all of my grandparents inspire my affection for things that are homemade. My nieces inspire me to pass on old traditions and make new ones.
KEVIN O: I try to live a life I can be proud of – I think it’s important to give back whenever you can, to be good to those in your life as well as yourself and to treat others with the respect that you expect in return.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
KEVIN H: Traditional. Practical. Warm. Inviting.
KEVIN O: I would say much the same – we’ve tried to keep the aspects of a traditional Toronto brick 2-storey house but add modern touches through the choice of furnishings, paint and art. I like to think our home looks great but is still very practical and inviting.
Share an anecdote about your relationship with your pet:
Kevin H: We often joke that if we lived on a farm we could let Archie out and he’d come home when he was hungry, or when the streetlights came on. He’d be filthy, but no worse for wear. He leaves so many little smudges on our hearts every day that we don’t even notice the smudges he leaves elsewhere.
Kevin O: We also joke that Kevin H. is Archie’s “tough-love daddy” and I’m “fun & play daddy” — because Kevin H. works from home he is the one who does the dirty work – trims his nails, grooms & bathes him, takes him to the vet, administers any meds etc. and when I get home I get to be fun dad who is all about the walks and treats and play…all the time!
Kevin H: Right…it’s just because “I work from home” that’s it’s that way…LOL. His care is pretty balanced, but it takes two loving dads and a dog walker to keep up with Archie, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For great ideas for the home be sure to follow Kevin at Cupboard & Cabin.