Settle into a slower pace of life as we connect with artist and photographer Christine Flynn at her home in Prince Edward County.
We reflect on the value of long nature walks, the passive act of collecting that helps us belong to a place and daily rituals that keep us close to our community.
HH: So many Torontonians have found themselves in Prince Edward County in the last couple of years, and what’s not to love about the land and the people out there!? We’re curious, what inspired your move to PEC and what are you loving most about the pace of life in comparison to the city?
CF: When I started visiting the County on weekends, about 15 years ago, there was this instant element of nostalgia. It took me back to those formative years spent in the countryside and it immediately felt like home. We finally decided to make it our full-time residence in early 2019
When we moved here from the city, I was just ready for this new chapter: a slower pace, going back to my roots in a sense. The community I’ve found here is unparalleled—filled with good people doing what they love and with nothing to prove. It’s a place where creatives and entrepreneurs from all walks of life can belong and thrive.
HH: Your photographs have such a sense of stillness, peace and okayness about them, almost like they’re whispering, that everything is going to be alright. After a long day, what rituals do you turn to to ground and recenter?
CF: I’m all about seeking out those little moments that most people might overlook or find mundane to capture in my photos, so I'm glad to hear this resonates. It’s something of a sixth sense I've developed over the years and I think it stems from certain intentionality I've cultivated in my life.
I’m really big on turning to nature to keep my head clear and my heart full: I take my dog Charlie on hour-long beach walks almost daily, sometimes alone and other times with a friend. Those peaceful moments by the water just help me hit the reset button and decompress. In a way, it’s quite therapeutic.
HH: Susan Sontag, a writer known for her essays on art and culture, writes, “to collect photographs is to collect the world.” As an artist who is continually travelling, we’re curious, what do you collect? What little piles of things would we find wandering from room to room in your home?
CF: I definitely have that collector’s gene, which I think is what makes my interior styling point of view unique. I’m particularly fascinated with anything that looks weathered by time and like it’s got a rich history–paintings, books, ceramics, artifacts, etc. When something catches my eye, my mind immediately starts visualizing how it can be styled in a home–I’m all about creating beautiful moments with objects that have something to say.
But, I do have a special fondness for bringing elements of nature indoors… I’m a big forager and get a thrill out of finding things like an old abandoned bird’s nest in the wild and arranging it inside a gorgeous vintage cloche for a living room vignette. Or stumbling upon a dried beehive, which makes for the perfect wall embellishment. I also have a soft spot for ornamental antlers, which you can find peppered throughout my home. I think it’s these special details that make interiors more beautiful and interesting.
HH: We have such a love for good food over here at HH, what’s one of the best meals you’ve had and where were you?
CF: We’re so lucky in the County to have access to such incredible food. I’ve travelled all over the place but something about being home around friends and family makes the meals here the most special.
Although, if I had to pick a super memorable meal, I’d say the farm-to-table dinner we had at Scribe Winery in Sonoma–everything from the setting to the food, sourced directly from their garden and local farms to the flawless wine pairings were magical.
HH: Let’s imagine you just picked up a magic lamp that will grant you three wishes - what are they?
CF: Ha, I love this question! 1) First things first, teleportation. I’m a huge traveller and could certainly do without the actual journey part of a trip. 2) Another home that requires some fixing up. I’m always jonesing for a design project. 3) An endless supply of wide-brimmed hats. I never leave the house without one.
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Photograph credit Lauren Miller