Celebrated for her wildlife documentaries, filmmaker Susan Fleming has been renovating a 1960s bungalow on eight acres of rural land near Uxbridge, a town north of Toronto, over the past decade. Fleming shares her property with two horses, a cat, a dog and occasional woodland visitors that wander in from the nearby forest, among them the coyote-wolf hybrid featured in her latest film, Meet the Coywolf , premiering Valentine's Day on CBC's The Nature of Things . Often, Fleming can spy the shy predator through the spacious windows of her recently revamped bathroom, her favourite room because of its intimate connection to the outdoors. "I'm very drawn to nature," says the 50-year-old Windsor native and graduate of Ryerson's radio and television arts program. "Everything in the room was chosen for its natural colours and shapes."
"This abstract wooden sculpture is by a local artisan named Fly Freeman; she made it for my 50th birthday. It's so beautiful because it's light and evocative. I just love it."
"Mary Noetzel, who co-owns Fifty One Antiques in Toronto, made this for the premiere of my 2009 film A Murder of Crows . Made of wood and feathers, it is a gift that means so much to me, as it commemorates both my filmmaking career and my love of nature. I am really curious to see if she has anything in the works for Meet the Coywolf. I hope so."
The snail shell
"My friend Jane Buckles, an artist, gave this to me. It's by Toronto ceramicist Maryann Cain. It brings nature directly into the space."
The tub surround
"My friend, the artist Constance Laing, lent her hand to creating the custom silver-leaf inserts for the bathtub surround using a technique called verre églomisé. It glamorizes my bathroom and also opens it up by reflecting the natural light streaming through the window."
"This is from Restoration Hardware in Toronto. I love it because I love furniture in bathrooms. It makes the room look cozy instead of cold and clinical. It holds towels and other things you don't want people to see."
"This is a Home Depot purchase, which Constance also transformed by adding an antique finish and silver finials. It's one of a kind."
"This is by a local artist named Tracy Walker. She's an illustrator and I've always loved her work. It's a piece that I commissioned for the room. It needed a pop of colour and I think she achieved that perfectly."