Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beauty within the chaos

Right now, there's a cold, blustery wind blowing outside my window and thick blanket of damp snow quickly accumulating on the ground. While I'd love to wax on about the beautiful melancholy of winter, to be honest, it's actually making me feel quite miserable at the moment - so I'm taking refuge in the serenity of these slightly  abstracted natural images taken by photographer Caroline Fraser. They remind me that you can find those moments of peace within the chaos of nature, and moments of tranquility within even the most hectic of chaotic schedules. 

'everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul'.
John Muir

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At home with modern

I have to admit - I'm not always a fan of ultra-slick modern spaces. While I love their purity and clean lines, to me they very easily risk becoming austere and quite uninviting at times and I tend to lean more towards homes with a bit of character and a sense of history. More often than not these days, my busy little cauldron of a brain craves simplicity, so when I find a space that is simple and understated, but still interesting, my inner modernist sings! To me this home designed by Pulltab Design in New York strikes that delicate balance. Soft, gauzy curtains float in front of slick black framed windows; high gloss surfaces contrast with a natural living wall of plants (one of my most favourite features) and calm all white is balanced with little pops of colour. Clever, innovative and full of little surprises (like the tables that pull down from high gloss panels on the wall) while it still reads slick and modern, this home has plenty of features to keep me interested. I believe this is what it would take for me to feel comfortable and at home with slick modern.

I don't normally consider myself much of a 'red' person but I absolutely love this glossy red little feature wall that is revealed when you pull the table down from the panel in the wall - very smart use of space!  

Some clever stylist found just the right red bowl to coordinate with the panel on the lower level. 

So clever for a small space! A wall panel lifts up to form a small table, perfect for your morning cup of coffee or an impromptu game of chess.

{All photos: Elizabeth Felicella for Pulltab Design via The Contemporist}

Sunday, February 26, 2012

{Oscar} Inspiration for the new week 27.2.12

Have faith in your dreams and someday,
          Your rainbow will come smiling through,
No matter how your heart is grieving,
If you keep on believing,
The dreams that you wish will come true.
-  Cinderella

{Photos: Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 1956 Academy Awards,
 taken by Allan Grant for Time and Life Pictures}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A natural instinct

What Scandinavians always seem to achieve so effortlessly is a inherent sense of balance and calm. I think this is largely due to their focus on soothing natural palettes and materials. Several times I've laughed when discussing colour palettes with clients who have said their like 'natural palettes' but are shocked and confused if I suggest all white, I always reply, 'We live in Canada, of course all white is a 'natural palette'. All white with accents in black conjures up images of a snow covered landscape with bare trees that appear black against the crisp white. Clearly the Scandinavians have taken their natural surroundings to heart and feel quite at ease with all white. This provides a quiet background for another Scandinavian obsession - natural wood. This adds the much needed warmth for the cool all white environment.

The home of Danish designer Hanne Berzant whose nature inspired line By Nord, embodies these Scandinavian sensibilities beautifully. Images of Scandinavian wildlife adorn the pieces from her collection throughout the home and bring a little bit of the outdoors into this natural environment. 


* Love this easy idea- paint simple black polka dots on a white paper lantern, for a little hit of pattern.

{Photos: Heidi Lerkenfeldt, Styling Pernille Vest and Bolette Kiaer/ Linnea Press for Living Etc February 2012}

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{Family Day} Angelina + Maddox

In celebration of all the weird and wonderful things that make a family...


"I know why families were created with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed."
Anais Nin

{Photos: Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair, May 2004}

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nestled in the French Alps: Chalet Béranger

Nestled in the French Alps, waits a traditional wooden chalet with an unexpected modern twist. Chalet Béranger by French designer and interior architect Noé Duchaufour Lawrance keeps the classic rustic atmosphere of the ski chalet with wood clad interiors throughout, but instead of the traditional warm wood tones, he has opted for a soothing soft grey wood, its silvery tone matches the outside environment. The space itself has an internal contrast - while Noé has stayed true to the traditional geometrical design of an Alpen chalet, inside many of the walls are undulating with soft curves and very few hard lines. There's a distinctly quiet atmosphere throughout the space, to allow you to relax and fully take in the spectacular view that surrounds it.

{Photos: Vincent Le Roux for Noé Duchaufour Lawrance}

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A fine balance

Always love art that's a little unexpected - this quirky vintage photo on a plate fits that bill. Created by Jeff Koons for Sotheby's Art Production Fund's Works on Whatever limited edition series.  Far too pretty to eat on in my opinion, I'd love to see it hanging as an interesting addition to a gallery wall of framed art or even just in a little corner all on its own. 

{Photo: James Ewing, Courtesy of the Art Production Fund, via Vogue}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kelly Behun: Soho Penthouse

Call me a bit of a Scrooge, but I've never really been much of one for Valentine's Day. While I love the idea of a day intended to reflect on and celebrate the ones we love, the mass commercialization of the holiday has put me off a bit. That being said, I'm definitely a romantic at heart, and while I don't really like the notion of forced romance, we all could definitely use a little more in our daily lives and this day is perhaps a good reminder of this. So today, rather than force the issue, I thought I'd share an interior for those looking for more of a 'Valentines-Lite' approach.

The notion of 'romantic interiors' always conjures up images of a warm, luxurious atmosphere. While I may not be one to go all out, little hints of romance really brighten the everyday, show consideration and of course, often include flowers. I think this Soho Penthouse designed by Kelly Behun and Natasha Ziff has the perfect understated modern romantic feel. Cool, clean and contemporary with just a few little hints of luxurious textures (plush throws and velvet upholstery), pretty floral arrangements (always love the elegance and purity of white roses) and of course, an obligatory dash of red. Throw in a box of chocolates and that would be all I need for the perfect romantic atmosphere.

P.S. As you can probably tell, I'm a little besotted with designer Kelly Behun's beautiful work at the moment, so couldn't resist sharing another one of her stunning spaces.
See more of her work here, and at her website.

{Photos: Kelly Behun}

Monday, February 13, 2012

Inspiration for the new week {on love}

Love is always bestowed as a gift — freely, willingly, and without expectation … 
We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.
- Leo Buscaglia

{Photos: 1- J Crew catalog; 2- Mario Testino for Vogue}

Friday, February 10, 2012

Brightly coloured clutches

Remember these chic little clutches from Ela? Well I haven't stopped lusting away after them but now, it seems my decision has only become more difficult as they've added a rainbow of new candy coloured hues to their M.I.L.C.K. clutch collection to choose from. The perfect pop of colour to pair with my mostly neutral wardrobe. 
Decisions, decisions...

{Photos: ela}

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kelly Behun: Greenwich Village Townhouse

Kelly Behun is undoubtedly my favourite designer discovery so far this year. Her work is crisp, contemporary, sophisticated and never boring, and of course her devotion to all-white made me an instant fan. I almost wasn't sure where to start in sharing her work, but I selected this space for its beautiful play between the crisp white and warm wood that felt just perfect for mid-winter. The space is dynamic, with lots of play between the different pieces, each a work of art in their own right. Yet despite this curated quality, it still feels comfortable and approachable - a great example of living with and enjoying beautiful objects. 


{Photos: Kelly Behun}

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Astrological vignettes

I've never been one to dwell much on astrology and rarely remember to check my horoscope (although admittedly I have been quite fascinated by some rather interesting coincidences... not in daily forecasts but rather the general traits attributed to each sign), however, I really enjoyed the styling of these little astrological vignettes by Russh magazine to accompany Susan Miller's horoscopes. See if you can guess which sign each is attributed to, and while you're at it, you may want to check out what the year ahead holds in store for you, I have to say I was quite please with mine :).

{Photos: Russh magazine via SH}


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