Category Archives: accessories

prepping the balcony for summer 2011

I am going to ignore the fact that there was snow on the ground yesterday morning. La la la la la. It didn’t happen.

It’s time to start planning for summer 2011!  Our condo balcony has space for exactly two medium size chairs and one side table -small but just enough room to sit out on a warm summer night to watch the sunset and have a glass of wine.  I’ve been scouring the internet for an affordable but stylish set available in Canada (sigh, the selection is so much better in the US), but I came up empty-handed because all ‘sets’ are very traditional and usually pretty ugly.  So instead, I did some picking and choosing from a few different sources and came up with three options.

There is a fairly big price difference between these sets but before you look at the prices, what do you think?

Option 1: $647.00 CAD

(1) Outdoor rug by Martha Stewart available at Home Depot, $119 CAD, (2) Garden stool available at Target, $169.99 USD (this will require a trip over to Buffalo), (3) Mojito rocker by CB2, $179 CAD (we don’t have a store yet but CB2 now ships to Canada!)

Option 2: $349.95 CAD

(1) Outdoor casbah rug by CB2, $ 99.95 CAD, (2) Nordano armchair by IKEA, $85.00 CAD, (3) Stool/table by Tikki Offi available at Modern Karibou, $79.99 CAD

Option 3: $758.00 CAD

(1) Linear outdoor rug available at Costco, $79.99 CAD, (2) Sawyer chair by CB2, $299.99 CAD, (3) Stool/table by Tikki Offi available at Modern Karibou, $79.99 CAD

Which would you choose?

lighting for everyone in the family

I am supposed to be sourcing furniture, accessories, fabric, and lighting for a school project.  However, I’ve been procrastinating for more than an hour by looking at way more lighting than I need to.  But I can’t help it!  I’ve come across too many amazing light fixtures that I can’t stop admiring. And now I’ve decided to take a full break  to do a quick post on my favourite finds.  I’ve chosen one for each member of my family…

For my son: Spectrum Pendant Shade from Urban Outfitters, $69

For me: Etch Pendant by Tom Dixon from Design Within Reach, $375

For my man: Chandelier by Lindsey Adelman, *$

I’m not sure he would necessarily want this pendant if he saw it in a retail store (even though I know it is amazing) BUT Lindsey Adelman provides down-loadable instructions on how to make this yourself so he did say he would be interested in making it for me!  (check out a finished version over at The Brick House).  *The cost is only the parts.

And finally, for our dog Lucy: Begging Buddy Lamp by Offi, available today at Zulily for $41.99


lush design love

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all.  Don’t you LOVE these pillowcases?

Speaking of LOVE, I have to tell you about this lovely little store in London (UK). Ok, since my Mom reads my blog, I should ‘fess up and say that she found this store online then showed it to me.  A truly great find. Lush Designs is located in Greenwich, where my sister is currently living, so I’m hoping she’ll read this post and bring me back a little something. *wink *wink

Here is just a selection of their whimsical, playful, vibrant products…

How cute is this tableware set?

And these greeting cards?! Fantastic. They come in sets of six and I definitely want a set.  Or two. Pop them into frames and ta-da you have yourself a fabulous little art collection!  I may have to go visit London just to get some.  Err, I mean go visit my sister and while I am there, stop in.

I highly encourage you to pop over to their site to look at the entire Lush Designs collection. Definitely check out the lampshades while you are there!

(images: all lush designs)

IDS 2011: overwhelmingly wonderful

Let me just start by saying the Interior Design Show was wonderful. And overwhelming.  I started with an initial walk-through to check out the lay of the land and to see what this year’s show had to offer. Then I ate a granola bar, listened to a panel discussion, used the washroom, took a big breath, and then back-tracked through all the exhibits.  In all fairness, I think I needed to do a third and fourth walk-through to do all the exhibitors justice.  But as I said, I was overwhelmed with all the amazing furniture, finishes, designers, and products represented. Now, if I or one of my clients was in the market for a high end kitchen with fancy-schmancy appliances, or a luxe bathroom with an uber-cool tub and hardware, I would have spent a lot more time looking at some of the fantastic new products on the market. However, that was not the case. I was just there to take it all in and get inspired. And inspired I was.

The Studio North portion of the show was my favourite (Studio North = representation of forward-thinking, edgy Canadian Design from right across the country).  Here is a round up of my favourite exhibitors….

Jean Willoughby is aToronto-based furniture and product designer is driven by a philosophy I appreciate and gravitate towards: purposeful, practical, functional, strong lines, and timeless neutrality. This curved concrete and wood side table was on display on the prototypes stage. It was very cool. Yet warm.  Loved the wood and concrete combo.

Textile designer Julie Moschenross is the creator behind the Manor 12 line. Each piece is hand printed and made here in Toronto. I loved the colours, patterns, and textures of the quilts and pillows on display.  Comfort, quality, and beauty.

Earlier this week I was introduced to the Carroll Street Woodworkers by a great post over on the marion house book so I was excited to see them at IDS.  Let me tell you, this booth was packed everytime I walked by (I walked by three times because I really loved their turned wood light fixture and had to check it out from all angles).  This desk is pretty darn cool too- cords run down the leg and quirky little buttons pop out to reveal hidden storage compartments for your pens.

My day job has nothing to do with design. At all.  When I am is my design groove I care not to think about “work” at all.  But I had to smile when I saw the designs of Nicole Tarasick today.  My client is a major Canadian airline and I’m accustomed to referring to the major Canadian cities by their airport code (Toronto=YYZ , Montreal=YUL, Vancouver=YVR, etc). Nicole’s mission is to handcraft textile goods with bold design, patriotic content and a minimal environmental footprint. Even though I don’t want to think about work when I am at home, I am thinking about purchasing one of her graphic pillows through her Etsy shop. They are just so Canadian.  I dig that.

This coffee table/dinette by TILT is an example of great design. Seriously. Hey teeny tiny condo owners, here’s a space-saving solution for you!


Montreal-based TOMA offers up everyday objects designed to infuse a little humour and whimsy into the hum-drum of daily living. How about this boot mat?  It’s 100x better than my Canadian Tire special. And offered at a very decent price at that ($45CDN). I also adore their hangars – designed to hold your coat and scarf at once.  Or better yet, just leave them hanging empty because their whimsical shape is just so pretty!

I’ll wrap this post up by declaring my delight about the Sarah & Theo Richardson “Sibling Revelry” space. I will admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the red-themed dining space but I was over-the-top-pleased that the main feature of the room was the same Holzberg Summerhill print I have hanging in my foyer. Yay me.


[inspiration board] baby girl’s nursery

I recently completed a nursery project and I thought I’d to share a bit of the design process with you. My client’s wanted to convert their small home office (8’8″x8’2″) into a nursery for their little bun in the oven.  Wishing to keep the gender a surprise for everyone including themselves, I was asked to make this space gender neutral until the little one was born.  The advantage of doing so, was that all the major expenditures (furniture and art) would be usable for the next time ’round.  As soon as the little one was born (a girl!) I added some feminine accessories.

Here are some of the design elements we discussed during the initial consultation:

Once my client and I had decided on a design direction for the nursery (modern but not stark), I came up with this design board for the nursery.  (rug + pillows added after the birth)

Stay tuned for the second installment of this posting, where I reveal the final nursery!

OB-Nursery - Baby Boy4- FINAL

[inspiration board] green & brown nursery

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on my son’s new nursery.  I am taking inspiration for the room from a fun green/brown/gray foam play mat I purchased.  I want to keep things in a natural palette, working with the espresso crib and changer he already has. To do so, I am using soft greens, browns, and whites.  To warm things up, I’ll add some wicker and linen accessories. I have settled on the room colour and that will be Benjamin Moore’s ‘Nature Lover‘. I’d like this room to grow with him and not be too babyish, so I have chosen a few owl accents.  It’s not done yet but for now, here is a preview of my design board….

Arctic Bookends

canadiana for your shelf

I first saw these Arctic bookends a few years ago in an issue of Toronto Life. Since that time, these oh-so-Canadian specimens have crossed my mind numerous times. At $180/pair I should really invest.

I would love to have such a unique pair gracing my shelves and keeping company with my mountain of books.

Created by Toronto-based designer Katherine Morley, the Arctic bookends are a throwback to the style of Lawren Harris’ icebergs. Her work will be on display at ‘Capacity‘ in January 2011.

~~~~~~~

{Lawren Harris, best known as a member of The Group of Seven, who during the early 20th century pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style and image of the Canadian landscape}

(images: 1-3 katherine morley, 4 collage by me)

Mangas2

a sweater on your floor

How cozy are these rugs and poufs?  If I had one I would want to lay around on the floor all day long…

The Mangas collection is by famed Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola.  Mangas (engl. SLEEVES) is based on a patchwork of different wool knits, to create a collection of various typologies with different shapes, going from Manga corta (short sleeve) to Manga de campana (bell-shaped sleeve). So cute, so warm, so cozy. So perfect for your cottage, or rustic loft, or just because.

All photos from GAN.

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