Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shots of bright colour

I often shy away from using much colour while decorating, in favour of calm all white spaces or soft neutrals. However, there's no denying the energy and sheer happiness that doses of bright colour bring. This beautiful Paris apartment is evidence of that. But of course, what better background to show off colour than all white?







A bright spot in a rather dull, grey day...


{All photos: Amador Toril, via French by Design}


Monday, November 29, 2010

Gifting: Glitter pie

Here's one to file under 'Best Gift Ideas for Kids' - I love finding creative and non-commercialized gifts to give to the children in my life. So often these days I feel that kids are too 'plugged in' and don't get to enjoy the creative, imaginative game-playing that filled so much of my own childhood. My eyes lit up when I discovered these fantastic packages from Glitter Pie - a mini art studio in a box! With flowers, feather, butterflies, sequins and glitter plus all the necessary supplies to inspire little artists of all ages (above 5). Maybe you'll even get a piece of art as a thank you. 







{Photos: Glitter Pie discovered at a Toronto favourite, The Paper Place}


Things we love by Kate Spade









Yes, as with all things Kate Spade I love each of these things - but the one at the bottom was what I loved most - their partnership with Women for Women an organization devoted to helping women survivors of warfare re-build their lives. A special selection of Kate Spade products are produced by women in areas such as Afghanistan and Bosnia, offering them employment and marketable skills. Support this very worthwhile project buying something pretty for Kate Spade or through a donation to this worthwhile organization here.

Read more about the collaboration at the blog here.

 
{Photos: Kate Spade via Adorn Inc}

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little pre-holiday give-away: Favourite Canadian design magazines





Last weekend, I was thrilled to attend the Canadian Design Blogger's Meetup, catching up with some favourite bloggers, meeting some brand new friends and discovering new blogs to fall in love with. It was incredible to realize how much talent is here, just around the corner. The evening was topped off with an amazing little gift bag filled with fun little treats. A very big thank you to sponsors GK Hair and Delta faucets for making the evening possible.

One of my favourite items in the gift bags - copies of the lastest issues of Canadian favourites - Style at Home and Canadian House and Home magazine. I'm always excited to show off fantastic Canadian talent so as a little pre-holiday treat, I wanted to share these copies with some of you that may not have regular access to them.  Just leave a comment below and I will randomly select 3 readers to receive an issue each. Post the give-away on your Facebook or Twitter page, then let me know for an extra entry.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kar's Hotel : lace + light

Today we had our first snowfall - just a few white flakes floating in the sky, disappearing before they touched the ground. I have to say, I am quite looking forward to the first walk after a fresh snowfall at night - everything seems so still and quiet, the sparkling snow shimmering against the dark night sky - pure magic!

The delicate white lattice of Kars Hotel in Turkey reminded me of snowflake patterns and wintery white magic. Silhouetted against the soft lights indoors and the inky black sky.




Wishing you all a happy weekend + a little winter magic!


{Photos: Kar's Hotel in Turkey discovered at Living with White }


Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Review: Wallpaper - The Ultimate Guide by Charlotte Abrahams

As the weather turns cooler and the days are shorter, more than ever we find ourselves craving the warmth and comfort of rich patterns, colours and textures. Wallpaper is always a rich way to add these elements to a space and make a big impact, instantly creating a tone or atmosphere. While it's currently back at the forefront of interior fashions, it's actually been used for centuries (Britain's earlier known wallpaper dates back to 1509) and has remained a staple in classic English and French decor. Respected style writer Charlotte Abrahams takes readers through the 500 year history from the early 'Dominoes' printed from wooden blocks and carbon ink, the the graphic patterns, plush textures and metallic prints of today.

Charlotte's guide is an invaluable source on the plethora of styles and types of wallpaper available and the multitude of ways to use them. With practical tips and tricks for installing the paper and creative ideas to use it in unconventional ways - using just a small panel, or using a cutout graphic such as an animal silhouette, or even taking it off the walls and using it to dress up cabinets and furniture. It definitely opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that I'd previously overlooked.



With hundred of full size colour samples of some of the most influential prints, this book will send your mind reeling with all the possibilities to explore.Whether you're searching for inspiration for a current project, or simply a design lover exploring this beautiful art form, no doubt this book will become a go-to reference. 



Thursday, November 25, 2010

A British twist


Designer Stephanie Lees who runs the Toronto studio Eye Spy has described her own style as "warm, understated mix of the contemporary and the timeless with a hit of whimsy". In her own home, she wanted to create a space to house her beautiful collection of mid-century modern pieces with a strong sense of refined English style as 'a playful nod to the famed townhouses in London'. The result is bright, warm and full of personality. My favourite corner - the bright peacock blue chairs and Madeline Weinrib Dhurrie rug paired with the a George Nelson bubble lamp and the sleek Mies van der Rohe Barcelona coffee table - refreshing and a little bit quirky.
 



Just as in many London townhouses, Stephanie's kitchen is located in the basement.



{Original article: Helen Racanelli; Photos: Mark Burstyn for Style at Home}

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A bold rebrand in black + white : Claridge's Hotel, London


The task of designing a complete overhaul for the famed Claridge's Hotel was no doubt quite daunting for London design firm Construct, but after over two years worth of work the results are simply stunning. Crisp black and white stripes and jade accents provide a modern update for this historic hotel, which has been open over 100 years. Bold and eye-catching yet still true to the hotel's classic, timeless style. The coordinating toys, gifts and accessories will no doubt be delighting guests from all generations for many years to come.













{Photos: 1 - Construct London, 2-8 Creative Review discovered via here}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Simple + lovely: a place-setting


As the holiday season rapidly approaches, I'm only just starting to think about decorating for the holidays. It can often difficult to commit to one colour theme or style with so many beautiful options available, but when I saw these photos I was reminded that most often, the simplest ideas are the best. This simple place setting in black, white and silver with a touch of greenery works perfectly for me, especially since most of my home follows this palette already, so I think I'll use this as my inspiration point to start holiday decorating.






{Photos: Jen Curtis for Southern Weddings, via B Dunlap and Once Wed}


Crisp + cozy in black, white + grey

A most soothingly simple palette - black, white and grey, accented in silver used throughout the space. The result is crisp yet cozy. Sleek and modern, yet filled with country charm and collected ethnic treasures. The owner Elizabeth Sortsøe, owns Sortsøe Interiors a furniture and accessories shop in Copenhagen, Denmark, where some of the beautiful pieces in her home can be found.









{Photos: Case Study, featured in Habitania magazine, via French by Design}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stella McCartney's Country Retreat

While I claim to decidedly a city person, I often find myself craving the solace and tranquility of spending a little time in the country (it's just the suburbs I'm afraid of!). Something about the quiet and space and being closer to nature just seems to clear my mind, I can feel the tension melting away and my body starting to feel looser, lighter. For me, the ideal situation would be to have a bit of both, a home conveniently in the city to 'be a part of it all' and a country retreat to flee to and regain a little sanity at the end of a long week.

Stella McCartney country retreat is a veritable haven. “I grew up in the country, and I like being isolated,” says Stella. “So when I see a building on the horizon, I want to plant a tree in front of it. That’s my natural instinct.” Their handsome red brick Georgian home is encompassed by a "a garden within a garden within a garden" - beautiful mix of more formal, manicured gardens with edged pathways and sculpted hedges and the more relaxed and haphazard style of a traditional English country garden, all surrounded by green rolling hills.






As in her fashion designs, Stella does not care for red or yellow and is drawn instead to the dusty pastels she loves—in fact, she even gave her gardener Tyler fabric swatches when they were planning the plantings. “You don’t always get what you want,” she says, laughing. “We had tulips that were supposed to be white, and they opened yellow. I couldn’t look at them. I was literally like the Queen from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: ‘Paint them white!’







For their wedding in 2003, Stella and husband Alasdhair Willis asked their guests to give trees in lieu of gifts. Gwyneth Paltrow gave copper beeches. American relatives gave redwoods. Valentino and Tom Ford each grandly sent allées of linden trees from Germany. They used these to create a heart shaped copse.










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