Thursday, July 23, 2015

Michelle Lloyd's White and Natural Summer Cottage

 One thing that living in Canada has taught me is how to maximize every moment of warm weather that comes along. One the biggest tools many Canadians employ to do this is the Summer Cottage. A space away from the hustle and bustle of the city to get away and soak in the beautiful Canadian countryside - calm lake settings, and lush greenery punctuated with wild flowers (yes, it's not always snowing up here!) I've also discovered that the term 'cottage' can really range from anything from veritable country mansion with all the bells and whistles to a tiny shack of a structure, and everything in between. Wherever you fall on the range of cottages out there, it's nice to know that beachy summer style can really be achieved at any budget (provided, of course, that you can first purchase said cottage). A great example is the beachy glamorous cottage of Michelle Lloyd Bermann (one half of the design firm Lloyd Ralphs Design, the creative duo who were previously Club Monaco design executives). Michelle's cottage packs in the feeling of exotic vacation style into a simple, minimal and modern rustic space. There are a few tips you can take from here to translate this feeling into your own space (cottage or otherwise). 

The space has been painted from top to bottom in crisp white paint and decorated in just white and natural wood tones. This unites any mismatched pieces and this continuity also makes the space feel so much more soothing. 

Moroccan lanterns and small accents add a bit of exotic flair to the all white space. Just a couple brightly coloured pillows add a punch of colour (and fun!)

 Natural raffia and jute punctuate an all white bedroom. Linearbox shades add a mid of minimal modern edge to the more traditional bedside lamps (also painted white) which mirror the small floated shelves below.

In the bathroom, grass mats are adhered to the walls - a very effective and inexpensive alternative to grasscloth. Little accents like the lanterns and woven stool with crisp white towels atop make the space feel spa like and luxurious.

The feelings continues right out onto the deck with natural grass sun umbrellas and white furniture. No budget for a fancy patio set? Plush pillows on the floor can create a lounge-y feeling. Little details here, like the risers between the levels on the natural wood deck being painted white really pull the look together for a crisp cohesive feeling.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

La Dolce Vita by Gray Malin

One of my fondest summer memories in the recent past was going on an impromptu trip to Italy with my two sisters. It was brief but we soaked up every moment of all the beauty around us - from the architecture, art and natural landscape as well as the time spent together, just the three of us. We'd arrived and spent a couple days in Rome, and having a very limited amount of time, needed to pick just one more destination on the trip. Having taken in quite a lot of architecture and history in Rome, we decided to head south to the Amalfi coast for a day in Naples, searching for the ultimate authentic Italian pizza and another day in Sorrento, which was picture perfect Mediterranean bliss! 

Photographer Gray Malin's series La Dolce Vita take me back to that day. They really feel like summer in a frame. They bring this fresh feeling as well as a dose of fun to any space. 

Monterosso, Cinque Terre  adds a burst of colour to an entrance. 

Orange chairs, South Beach adds a whimsical pop of colour to this sweet nursery featured on Lauren Conrad's website. You can find it here.

Here are a few other favourites of mine from Gray's Dolce Vita series - all of them are currently on sale (for over 30% off!) at One King's Lane, and would make the perfect summer treat for your space - and carry that feeling on through colder months ahead too!

All images by Gray Malin - see more of his work on his site here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White and bright kitchen and dining by Studio McGee

A bonus to my new daily regime of spending several hours a day feeding my baby, has been an extensive amount of time spent perusing the web - particularly Pinterest and Instagram, they make for such an easy, leisurely scroll. In these web travels, I've been able to discover some real gems that were brand new to me or that I'd previously not fully explored. One of these was designer Shea McGee and her work at Studio McGee. Beautifully blending classic and contemporary styles, her work feels bright, fresh and contemporary and not overwrought or flashy or austerely modern. A nice reminder that great design is often just simple and pretty, not overly complex. Definitely one to follow!

 One of my favourite space in her growing portfolio is the recent Robin Road Reno - particularly the kitchen and its adjoining dining space. 

Bright and light filled, the kitchen is spacious and filled with lots of practical storage. The all white space is warmed up with a wood island counter top and brass hardware used throughout. 

This kitchen workspace is defined with its contrasting grey painted finish, but unified with the rest of the kitchen with its matching brass hardware.

A washer and dryer are neatly tucked away in built in cupboard spaces for a completely streamlined look. 

A little entry nook has little built in bench with storage below. The area is warmed up with a woven rug.

The glass fronted cabinets by the sink create a lovely space for display and stop the kitchen from becoming overbearing with too many cabinet doors. Flowing off the kitchen is the dining area. One of my favourite features is the fireplace between the two, making it able to be enjoyed from both the kitchen and dining areas, as well as the adjoining living room. 

I loved the carved legs of this classic wood dining tables, especially paired with simple modern white dining chairs. An upright piano is tucked in the wall with built in shelves above. I thought placing the piano in this built in nook was so clever! Pianos can often be difficult pieces to place, but this keeps it a focal point -looking striking against the crisp white walls and built ins, but still unobtrusive, tucked away in line with the fireplace.

All photos by Studio McGee 
Visit the original post here for a full tour and 'Before' photos of the space.