Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IDS12 Highlight: The Piero Lissoni Lounge

This year, Toronto's Interior Design Show was a veritable fanfare of bright colour (lots of Tangerine Tango!), overscaled, eye-catching displays and lots of heavy wood and industrial pieces each clambering for your attention - in contrast, the space that stood out most to me was an oasis of calm in this sea of colour. Italian designer and architect Piero Lissoni was the show's inaugural International Guest of Honour and his creation was a soothing neutral lounge bathed in light both from the skylights above and from within with it's crisp white walls and pale oak floors. All white spaces can sometimes feel a little austere or clinical, but this one had an inviting laid back feeling with it's plump low slung sofas and even lower marble slab coffee tables.

The entire space was encompassed by built in bookshelves filled to the brim with books all of which had their spines facing inward or covers removed. I loved the warm, wood-like texture this brought to the space (although I have to say, this may not be the most practical library ideas- locating your favourite books in a hurry would be an absolute nightmare!) Of course, one of my favourite elements of the space was the incorporation of several African pieces from Snob which added a layer of interest to the space and stopped it from looking too dull or sterile.

There's a great sense of balance between the busy texture of the bookshelves and the clean lines of the furniture. Nothing overpowers the other.  The unexpected addition of rich plum in the corner throws the space a little off adds just the right element of surprise to the space to give it a bit of that Italian edge. This space proves that neutral does not have to be boring, and sometimes the quieter statements can be the strongest ones.

"The scope of work for our studio is to be children for our whole lives - it's a playground."

Piero Lissoni

{All photos taken by Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators - see the rest of her IDS coverage here}

Friday, January 27, 2012

Intoxicating, ethereal: Lysanne Pepin

Every now and then you have one of those delicious moments when a piece of art stops you in your tracks and draws you in. That's exactly how I felt when I recently discovered Lysanne Pepin's beautiful work through an especially design savvy colleague with an incredible eye. Haunting, ethereal, intoxicating - there's a wonderfully dreamy quality about the pieces that I find completely captivating. Based on video images and photography of an underwater ballet, Montreal based artist Lysanne uses several mediums to create each piece, which are painted onto wood boards. I love how she has allowed the wood grain to show through giving a natural, watery effect. The sensual quality of the images would make them perfect for a bedroom, or any space that would allow you to drift off staring at them on end.

{Photos: Lysanne Pepin}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cool contrast

It's amazing how just a pop of deep red can add a bit of fire to a space, even amongst a dozen shades of grey. The striking contrast between the cool concrete and glossy vibrant red adds a bit of edge, and I think Kate would add major style points to any space. 

Today marks the start of Toronto's Interior Design Show 2012 , looking forward to seeing some fresh new approaches, innovative ideas and a few cool contrasts within the mix. Follow me on Twitter  for a few sneak peaks of the show.

{Photo: Thomas Loof for Australian Vogue Living}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A tranquil haven

A soft, neutral palette seems like a perfect pick on an overcast day like today - definitely a more comfortable version of bringing the outdoors in, but still appealing to that subdued mood that darker days bring. The creamy white walls blend into the pickled white floors seamlessly, making the whole space feel lighter and giving each piece of furniture and art the feeling of being showcased.  

The rough red brick and reclaimed wood give the kitchen a feeling of warmth and comfort, in this space that otherwise reads quite cool.

The soft colour of the wide planked floors by Danish wood flooring company, Dinesen really create an atmosphere of calm and tranquility. 

{Photos: Dinesen via Style Files}

Monday, January 23, 2012

Working inspiration 23.1.12

You can't use up creativity. The more you use
 the more you have.
                                                           Maya Angelou

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just add colour {above and below}

Sometimes it can be tricky trying to figure out exactly where to start when adding a pop of colour in an all white space. While part of the 'pop' comes from the fact that the burst of colour is a little unexpected,  you also want to avoid it seeming too random or disconnected from the rest of the space. I love this clever trick used by designer Kelly Behun (watch this space for more on her work later), by painting the ceiling in this sunny shade that complements the yellow accent cushions below, it creates a tight cohesive look - and a bit of an unexpected surprise when you look up.

{Photos: Kelly Behun, discovered via Desire to Inspire}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Iconic style: The Bouvier Sisters

Long before the Middletons, there were two sisters who captivated the world with their glamorous lives and elegant style. The Bouvier sisters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill were famous for their trademark brunette locks, slim figures and classic, tailored style. Their style epitomized the East Coast's upper class, with their town and country sensibility - equally comfortable in glamorous ballgowns and riding boots with jodhpurs. Their glamorous social calendars and frequent jet-setting drew international attention and many admiring fans of their fashion sense which was copied by women worldwide and influenced mass manufacturers and the fashion scene of the era. It's quite remarkable how much this influence continues today and easily some of these looks would fit in even fifty years later. A excellent example of enduring, classic style.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Neutral territory iii

Call me boring, but while I often 'vacation' in bright colour, I always love coming home to basic neutrals. While black and white will always be my go to staple, softening it up with earthy neutrals- taupe, grey and beige - give the space a calming tone - the perfect retreat from the chaos of colour, noise and pattern of life in the the busy city.

I love how the gold interior of the pendant lamps compliments the warm wood panels. Despite the very slick design, the space still has an inviting warmth which makes an interesting contrast with the crisp white and glass panelled cupboard doors. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Paper Shop

Beautiful paper and stationery has always been one of my favourite little luxuries in life. This simple art form carries so much meaning and is a wonderful way to elevate the most simple of everyday objects. My newest paper love is the brand new product line by Our Paper Shop by Bre Radermacher and Emma Robertson. Their crisp design, bold fonts and charming graphics made me an instant fan and have me thinking that this just might be my new paper shop too.

{Photos: Our Paper Shop discovered at Miss Moss}

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life in colour: Burnham Design

Perhaps it's the drab exterior of winter, but I think I've been craving a burst of colour. As soon as I saw this Bronson Canyon home designed by Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design, it felt like a little boost of California sunshine. The feeling is fresh and fun, with lots of personality and little interesting details throughout. There's a daring juxtaposition of colours, patterns and styles that creates a certain playfulness and makes the space feel casual and approachable. The unstuffy style is just perfect for entertaining, relaxing and all the life that happens in between.


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