Monthly Archives: June 2012

From Sea to Shining Sea: Happy Canada Day

Our country is vast, wildly different and stunningly beautiful. I am a very proud Canadian. Today I thought I’d share with you pieces of our history as we celebrate Canada Day this weekend.

Foot Race – Dawson City, YT c. 1900


Junction North and South Thompson Rivers, Kamloops BC, 1887

Cheticamp Harbour, Cape Breton, NS, c. 1914

Hockey game, McGill campus, Montreal, QC, c. 1910

Crystal Gardens, Victoria, BC, c. 1926

Trestle below Gouin’s House on Fraser River, BC, c. 1885

Gates to McGill University, McGill College Avenue, Montreal, QC, 1869

Figure skating, Banff, AB, c.1935

Thousand Islands, ON, c. 1915

Wheat near Standard, AB, c. 1920

Rustico Beach, PE, c. 1916

St. John’s, NL, 1908

Vancouver from Fairview, BC, 1904

Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, after 1906

House of Parliament, Ottawa, ON, c. 1878

Horseshoe Falls from above, Niagara, ON, 1869

Banff Springs Hotel, AB, 1904

Happy Canada Day! What do you have planned for this holiday weekend?

all photos courtesy of McCord Museum via Flickr

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Outdoor Living

Soaring ceilings, retractable glass doors and light, minimalist finishes come together to create a stunning Los Angeles home.

Could you live here?

all images via Architectural Digest

In the Kitchen: Talking Faucets

Did you know that the faucet is one of the most used elements in the kitchen?

Let’s just pause for a moment and think about that. Hands get washed. Food gets washed. Dishes get washed. You with me? The faucet gets used a lot.

Today I thought I’d share with you some things to consider in when selecting your kitchen faucet.

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How you use your faucet: Do you like a hot and cold tap to turn on and off? Do you want only one handle?

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Height: What is around your faucet? If it is in front of a window how is the window sill incorporated? Consider the surrounding elements when selecting your faucet.

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Type of Sink: You will need a different style if your sink is an undermount sink compared to a drop-in sink.

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Style: What is the style of your kitchen? Is it ultra-modern? Is it a farmhouse-style? Somewhere in between?

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Finish: Do you want stainless, chrome, brass or nickel? Polished or brushed?

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Do you want a hands-free feature where you only have to lightly touch the faucet to activate it? Do you want a soap dispenser? Do you want to be able to pull-out or pull-down the nozzle to clean a specific area?

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So many things to consider. I am working on a kitchen that is being installed right now. Can hardly wait to show you the installed faucet in the finished kitchen!

Remember when choosing your kitchen faucet choose with care and don’t cheap out. What type of faucet do you have in your house?

In the Bedroom: What goes above the bed?

We all know what goes under your head when you sleep … a pillow in case you are slow on the uptake.

But what goes above your bed? You know, that wall above you? Today I thought I’d share with you some inspiration to finish off your boudoir. Before I get to the pretty here are two key things to remember …

Scale: Make sure that whatever you hang above your bed is in proportion to the size of your bed, ceiling height and the size of the room. Teeny pictures look like accidents. Lots of teeny pictures grouped together do not. In the picture below the mirror either needs to be bigger or have a mate added.

Balance: Please, please, whatever you do make sure that your pictures or feature item are centered appropriately. And, if they are not centered make sure they are balanced on each side. Sounds simple but you wouldn’t believe how many times things look slightly off kilter.

I might have added something more over the bed in the above picture but I want to you to look at the vertical placement of the art to the left of the bed that balances out the window placement.

Now! With all that out of the way … a little pretty to inspire you today …

What do the walls behind your bed look like?

 

all images via here

 

 

 

My Gallery Wall: A Start

One of the things that I’ve had on my list for a while is to create a gallery wall with all my favourite photos of our family.

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I like the way the black frames with white mats unify the gallery. I am also a huge fan of black and white photography but for my wall kept the pictures in colour to add some kapow to the relatively neutral space. Kind of like this picture …

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My poor little staircase previously looked like this:

And now … I smile at my boys every time I go upstairs!

There are still more to add but that’s for another day!

I am very pleased with what we’ve got so far! Hanging art in your home is what truly makes the space you.

Do you have a gallery wall in your home?

 

Office Space … with a slide!

I came across a feature of the new Microsoft offices in Vienna, Austria on Desire to Inspire and just had to share it with you.

The main areas of the office are carpeted in a pattern with a linear pattern that draws the eye down the hall and creates a sense of movement.

The bold art and freestanding lighting make an ordinary boardroom unique.

This blue conference room is anything but typical!

Another ‘board’room …

I used to get made fun of for rolling my exercise ball (that I used as a chair) down the hall to meetings … this conference room comes equipped. No chairs, only balls!

Naturally, any office space isn’t fully complete until it has a slide in it!

What do you think? Anyone going to apply for a job in Microsoft’s new Vienna office?

all images from Innocad as first seen on Desire to Inspire

Jewelry Design: Miriam Haskell

I was shopping recently in one of our local boutiques and discovered the amazing vintage costume jewelry from Miriam Haskell. I’m smitten.

Her designs may be familiar to anyone who has ever played around with costume jewelry. I’m pretty sure my grandmother has a few of her pieces that I used to try on as a little girl.

She first opened her boutique in New York in 1926 and created custom collections for the society women of the time. She also designed jewelry for the likes of Coco Chanel, Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball and the Duchess of Windsor.

All Miriam Haskell pieces were and are today crafted by hand. Each element is wired to a filigree backing. One of the distinguishing features of a Miriam Haskell piece is that all the elements are woven together in such a way that you can’t see any of it underneath. One of a kind and gorgeous!

My personal favourites are the necklace designs. And, the cocktail rings. And, the bracelets. Yup, pretty much everything!

What style do you like? Do you own any vintage Miriam Haskell jewelry? I think I’d like to acquire some pieces in the not too distant future!

images via Miriam Haskell and here

I am a True Colour Expert!

I spent three days last week participating in the “True Colour Expert Workshop” with international colour consultant Maria Killam.

I took the course to ground what I intuitively knew about colour and to learn additional tools and language to better communicate with clients. And boy o boy … am I now armed with tons of ideas and tools in my decorator toolbox!

We explored the world of undertones. We talked about creating flow in your space. We talked about effective colour consultations for interior and exterior spaces. Maria put on a workshop that was a mix of lecture, hands on learning and interacting with a roomful of other decorators to share ideas and experiences.

I’ve got more for you in the weeks to come but to get you started here are three key things to know about colour in your space:

Colour can make carpet look dirty, furniture look lifeless and can make a space blah and bland. The right colour combination can turn a space from just okay to fantastic.

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Compare compare compare! Colour is relative to other colour. You can never say something is “too bright a yellow” unless you see in the context of other yellows.

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In many cases you can’t change the fixed elements in a space such as green tile or bossy granite counters. However, through effective us of colour you can choose to embrace or figure out a way to ignore these elements.

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In addition to learning Maria’s system for distinguishing undertones and comparing colour I met a wonderful group of decorators from all around Canada and the United States including Hawaii!

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Maria & I

I am seeing colour in a whole new way now. I’ve been stalking exteriors all weekend and am quickly analyzing what is working and what’s not with houses in my neighbourhood.

Watch out … I might stalk you next!

Client Office Space Complete with a Piece of History

One of my clients moved into a brand new office building at the end of last year. It is a fantastic space – on the ground floor with lots of light complete with ample parking making it very accessible for an older client base.

Can you guess what type of business he is in?

He wanted a fairly traditional space. A space that reflected the seriousness of his business but one that wasn’t intimidating to clients. We went for a neutral colour on the walls with a warm toned carpet to compliment the dark stained doors. The reception area floor was tiled in a grey slate-looking porcelain and has a massive feature wall anchored by the company signage.

History played an important role in the finishing details. A gallery wall was created using framed images from old postcards and photographs that had been collected by his clients. Imagine pictures of the Main Street of Newmarket from 1891 or a High School in Aurora from 1908. I was so lucky to share a special piece of history as we selected the pictures to be installed around the office.

They have installed a painted white board wall in their kitchen area and use it to write inspirational quotes, things to be thankful for and office announcements. I quite like the sentiment I saw this week:

The grand opening of his office is this Friday and the weather looks just perfect. I will be there with my entire family!

If you need help decorating your office space give me a call!

Flushmount Lighting: Ban the Boob

Yup … that’s right. I said ‘boob’ in the title of a blog post. And, no … this has not turned into a smut blog (even though I am currently addicted to reading smut aka “Fifty Shades of Grey”!).

What I’m talking about is those flushmount boob-like fixtures that everyone either has or has had in their home. They are cheap and quite frankly … ugly. And I am just as guilty. You see, they are rounded kinda like a boob and some even have a nipple on them.

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See what I mean? Boobies.

And, if you haven’t thought about this particular style of flushmount fixture before … sorry ’bout that!

So, why are they everywhere? Well, they are cheap. The lights above retail for $12.99 at Home Depot.

I love pendant or chandeliers but there are a lot of places in your home where they just don’t make sense height-wise as you would hit your head when walking under them! Enter flushmount fixtures. I am here to tell you that you can still find flushmount fixtures that are both stylish and economical. Let’s check some out shall we …

This one is a start: double ring with a brushed nickel finish

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Moving away from the rounded shape … this flushmount in a weathered bronze plays off the square shape in a variety of applications

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A drum shade is a great way to dress up a flushmount fixture.

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Adding circular shapes is another alternative.

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Or one of my current favourite shapes – hexagon.

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And of course, some bling!

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A semi flushmount fixture works well if you have a little extra wiggle room height-wise.

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Hopefully today’s post has inspired you to go light fixture shopping!

What do you think? Am I the only one out there who can’t stand the boob light?