Thursday, November 24, 2011

A home for autumn: Harriet Maxwell-Macdonald

While nothing beats the fanfare of colour in our autumn here in North America, there's something about British interiors that feels quintessentially autumnal. While I remain in love with Ochre co-owner Harriet Maxwell-Macdonald's New York loft in soft greys and lavender, her previous home in London feels perfect for this season. This home perfectly balances that fine line between clean modern and cozy country charm.
Honey coloured wood, warm gold and soft muted shades give this space a luminous glow that feels so inviting. With multiple fireplaces, cozy reading nooks and a seemingly endless supply of books, I'm quite tempted to hibernate here all winter long.

{Photos: Elizabeth Zeschin for Domino magazine, 1-3 via Katy Elliot, 4 - via Habitually Chic}

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspiration for the new week 21.11.11

Feeling very excited as we've just booked a little pre-holiday vacation, (the first in a very long time!) Can't wait to kick back and savour a little sunshine...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An ethereal light

There's something ethereal and a little bit magic about the Impressions series from the husband and wife photography duo Ted Leeming and Morag Paterson. The way they've captured light in the landscape of the Scottish hills is nothing short of spectacular. They have a haunting, luminous quality that makes you feel like you could just stare at them for hours on end (and I think I have), watching the play between shadows and light.

You can purchase limited edition prints of these photographs here.

{All photos: Leeming and Paterson}

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Real-life style in black + white

While it's hard to resist a professionally designed and crafted space, I often find myself most inspired by creative 'real-life' spaces (not that the other ones are imaginary ;) ) . Design*Sponge's Sneak Peek series is always a favourite source of mine for spaces that leave me inspired to use some of the ideas in my own home, using pieces at a palatable price point and  illustrating how sometimes the arrangement of the pieces is what has the biggest impact of all. The recent Sneak Peek of illustrator Bernadette Pascua and fashion photographer Andrew Stinson's apartment in Williamsburg, Brroklyn has remained firmly stuck in my mind since I first saw it. Simple, artful arrangements in my favourite palette of all - black and white is right up my alley and has left me inspired to revamp a few corners of my own space.

Light, airy and serene - love the long lumbar pillow in black and white, I've been a little fixated on these lately.

Very simple frames, artfully arranged.

Love the unexpected placement of this deco era bar underneath the lucite console. The colours of boxed set of books and painting above are an exact match and really bring this little vignette together beautifully.

Another unexpected arrangement - art hung right underneath the coat hooks - why not?

A moody black boudoir and a rather glamorous deco dressing table accented throughout 
with little touches of gold.

A charming little outdoor space, with an equally charming little furry friend - just perfect.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 25th Anniversary Canadian House and Home

This November, Canadian House and Home celebrates its 25th anniversary. It would be almost impossible to calculate the number of hours I've spent over the years pouring through its pages, my mind swirling with inspiration, feeling inspired to transform the little corners of my world into something beautiful. Growing up as in Zimbabwe, these issues were a rare treat and each was savoured and treasured for an exorbitant amount of time. It was undoubtedly one of my earliest design influences and I continue to be excited and inspired as I've followed along in their journey. As a Canadian I'm always proud of our Canadian House and Home and really feel they do a fantastic job of showcasing just how stylish and creative we Canadians really are, and beyond that, covering some of the best in design around the globe.

So as a very small tribute, here are a few of my favourite moments from Canadian House and Home.
Congratulations on 25 years! Here's to many, many more!

Sabrina Linn's glamorous retro inspired loft.
{Photos: Michael Graydon for Canadian House and Home}

{Photos: Virginia MacDonald for Canadian House and Home, March 2011}


A personal all-time favourite - make up artist Kate Best's all white loft space.
{Photos: Canadian House and Home September 2002, Photos by George Whiteside,
Styling by Suzanne Dimma}

all white,modern,minimal,kate best,canadian house and home,weimaraner

{Photo: Virginia MacDonald for Canadian House and Home, August 2009}

Tommy Smythe's playful and preppy living room.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All white + natural

All white spaces are often a little misunderstood. While they can sometimes appear a little flat or static on the surface, a really successful all white space is actually layered with tonnes of subtle shades and textures that keep it interesting. What Scandinavians seem to know so well is that one of the keys to creating a calm and soothing all white space is to incorporate a lot of natural elements - rough hewn wood, natural jute and indoor plants, preventing the space from starting to feel a little sterile. The obsession with all white is inherently Scandinavian - with their long, bright summers and very limited daylight hours during winter, there is a cultural obsession with capturing that summer brightness and making it last through the year.

Tine Kjeldsen owns the Danish homewares brand Tine K, her home on Funen Island near Odense in Denmark is definitely true to this Scandinavian stereotype. Bathed in bright white walls, floors and ceilings it feels calm and airy. Its charm comes from the accessories from Tine's own collections - plush velvet pillows, ruched fabric lamp shades, natural wood and sofa upholstered pieces in shades of plum and soft grey.

The seamless all-white walls and floors make this narrow space feel spacious and airy.

Tine's home is layered with lots of personal touches and accessories that tell a story about the home's unhabitants and make it so much more interesting.

Little touches of lilac, mauve and plum together with natural wood and wicker, soften the space and give it a romantic, rustic feeling.

While the windows have all been left bare, the lamps all have upholstered shades for a warm glow in the evening.

Soft rugs and natural woven baskets give the space a bit more of a relaxed tone.

The kitchen completely opens up into the dining area, with a small nook carved out as a workspace. Rather than try to get another dining area right in the kitchen space, this makes the space feel so much larger and creates a great sense of flow in these busy traffic areas in a family home.

Love these simple leather handles - a bit of a rugged, rustic touch to the otherwise slick white kitchen.

{Photos: Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer for Elle Decoration UK, March 2010 via White Carousel}

Monday, November 7, 2011

A thought for the new week 7.11.11

I've seen this quote a few times recently and am starting to feel that I should pay attention and take note.

 So, for a Monday and for those moments when it's not so easy...

 {Photo: Cote Ouest via dress, design, decor}

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty pieces in white + gold {Shan Annabelle Valla}

I was quite smitten when I recently discovered the beautiful ceramic pieces by London based artist Shan Annabelle Valla. Strikingly simple with a bit of a playful twist on simple classic pieces. There were so many pieces I loved from her collections, so expect to see her featured here again, but for today I wanted to feature these beautiful porcelain milk bottles. Each handcast from an original English milk bottle, and glazed on the inside so that you can use them to carry liquids. Topped with a 10K gold luster stopper or a little gold finch, they are a glamorous twist on an everyday object.  Put them on display or be a little more decadent and use them to hold your milk or cream in the fridge to add a little extra luxury to the everyday.

A new neutral? Aubergine in Autumn

There's something that seems quite rich yet mysterious about deep, sensual aubergine tones, especially when found in plush velvet upholstery. Somehow it feels like an upgraded neutral here, paired with natural jute rugs. A rich and unexpected alternative to a charcoal or chocolate brown, still quite versatile and not overpowering. The romantic chandelier, elegant French style chairs and little touches of leopard print add a bit of glamorous, sexy appeal.

{Photos: Mary McGee}

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Warm + Sultry

With the sharp chill in the air drawing us indoors, there's a strong pull towards warmer tones, plush textures and luxurious comfort. The Rees Roberts firm seems to have captured this feeling so beautifully in this Park Avenue apartment - the soft and sultry tones of dusky, pale lilac, soft orange and warm taupe, rich wood, luxurious tactile fabrics and an overall sense of calm that seems so seductive to retreat to on a cold November evening.

I'm not always an advocate of paint effects on wall (bad 80's flashbacks), but this simple geometric design has turned the entire wall into a subtle work of art.

The graphic black and white fabric on a single occasional chair packs just the right amount of punch in this otherwise muted space.

{All photos: Rees Roberts}


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