Category Archives: art

One of a Kind Christmas Show

 

I hope all my American friends had a great Turkey Day!  Thanks to your holiday yesterday, I was able to take the day off work to visit the One of a Kind Christmas Show. This year I received a Media invitation to a preview breakfast and the show.  Media?!  So cool.

OOAKS

There SO MUCH great stuff to see so in case you are planning on attending I’m going to give you a run-down of my favourites, which I’ve broken down into four overall categories: 1. Canadiana, 2. Textiles, 3. Art, 4. Kid Stuff. If you aren’t in the Toronto area, I’ve provided links to all the artisans websites and/or Etsy shops so be sure to check them out!

CANADIANA

All the artisans at the One of a Kind show are Canadians, but some really take their national pride to heart and the result are some unique pieces–identity apparel co.(website)

Identity’s brand is based on the ideals of the Canadian identity. Designed for the sophisticated male, they have an awesome collection of wool pillows, tees, bags, and hats bearing images of the queen, antlers, moose, beavers, geese, etc. If I was decorating a man cave, a few of their plaid wool pillows would be on the top of my list.

nicole tarasick (website and Etsy shop)

Nicole is a graphic designer and screen-printer whose work I first spotted at IDS 2011 (review here).  Her pillows and textiles feature Canadian airport codes and images such as the Great Lakes.  I’ve had my eye on a YYZ pillow for more than a year and I finally got one!

freshly printed (website)

Freshly Printed is a Toronto-based company producing household textiles, with a focus on environmentally conscious materials and production methods.  Their hand drawn then screen-printed products feature nostalgic images of flora, fauna, cottage life, and icons like Canadian geese.  This was just one of several booths who crafted lovely tea towels and napkins, it was hard to walk away empty handed.

vicki carruthers (website)

Vicki’s acrylic works are bright, energetic, and feature idyllic Canadian landscapes. Reminiscent of the Group of Seven, her stylized work drew me in and made me smile

TEXTILES

I don’t know if it was just me, but there were a LOT of tea towels this year. I’m not complaining, I love them, but it took a lot of self-control not to buy them all up!

avril loreti – modern home (website)

Taking inspiration from antique market excursions, art and design history, icons and concepts cherished in our collective experience, Avril’s collection features playful patterns, and bright bold colours, perfect for the modern home.  I desperately wanted one of her 72″ graphic table runners but sadly my dining table is a smidge too long.

tissage magély weaving (facebook)

The gorgeous muted colours and timeless stripes of the handwoven blankets made by Tisasage Magély Weaving were a real hit for me.  Made in Drummond, NB., this family run business creates blankets, placemats and tea towels using traditional looms.  For my friends in Ottawa, they will also be at the Originals Ottawa Christmans Craft sale from December 6 to December 16, 2012.

bookhu (website and Etsy shop)

Bookhu has a shopfront on Dundas St. West in Toronto which is filled with multidisciplinary works in wood, ceramics, and textile.  The booth at the show mostly showcased their bags, fold-over clutches, and tea towels, all of natural handmade materials. The designs and colours are just so laid-back chic.

kailey hawthorn (Etsy shop)

Kailey Hawthorn is a super sweet girl hailing from Kitchener. Her colourful and fun booth was packed with pillow, stockings, clocks, and upholstered benches in vibrant, bold, and trendy fabrics.  Kailey sells all her work on Etsy so be sure to check out her affordable home decor items.  What really piqued my interest were the upholstered ottomans and benches (crafted jointly be Kailey and her father) at really reasonable prices.  If I had hadn’t been carrying five bags already I would have left with the black and white hounds tooth ottoman (above, bottom right)!

The show runs from today to December 2nd, so you have ten more days to pop in for a visit. Give yourself at least 3-4 hours to browse the booths of all 800 artisans.  It took me about 3 hours to get through the show and to be honest I skipped almost all of the jewelry, clothing, and food vendors.

dayna_signature

Fairytales & EQ3

First off – hello!

I came across these whimsical fairytale prints a while ago and decided to share them with you today.  Because they are so cute. And so cool.  And I want one.

These prints are designed by Christian Jackson and are available at very reasonable prices via Image Kind in a variety of sizes.

I love how simple each print is, yet so perfectly representative of each fairytale.

In my mind, these posters are  perfect for adults who are young at heart and appreciative of good design.  Personally, I really want the Princess and the Pea poster. I love how the graphic stripes in muted colours draw your eyes down to the final pea and then you seen the title of the print and you think ” Aha! Clever.”

I also think any one of these prints (or more than one!) would be perfect in a nursery. Timeless. And will grow with your child.

For that reason I chose to include The Princess and the Pea print in a contest I just entered.

And here’s where I need your help: I need you to go Comment on my mood board because I would LOVE to win a $2,000 gift certificate from EQ3. The concept behind the contest was to design a mood board around your favourite EQ3 piece of furniture. I chose the modern  Karbon Swivel Chair whose style and function lend itself to an easy transition from nursing chair to living room chair.  A good, stylish investment.

So the EQ3 chair plus the Princess and the Pea print were my jumping off point for this mood board:

Soft, organic, and modern – yes?  Yes.  So please link over to Pinterest and leave a “Comment” (you need to have a Pinterest account – but who doesn’t these days?!)  Pretty please.  Our new house is looking empty and I could make very good use of a $2,000 gift certificate.

Go on now. Click here and leave a Comment.

Thank you!

 

i heart etsy

I’ve said it before (like here and here) and I’ll say it again – Etsy is awesome.  If you are looking for original and unique art at an affordable price, Etsy is THE place to shop. When I go to Etsy, I get lost for hours (virtually of course).  Here are a few of my current favourites:

Twoems

 

Ashmae (makes personalized watercolour portraits from photos)

 

Bomobob (33% off all prints now)

 

Peggy Wolf Design

 

Let me know if you have any favourite finds!

 

lucy fenton in Adore Home magazine

While {virtually} flipping through the pages of the June/July issue of Adore Home magazine I came across a fantastic spread that really called out to me. An interesting mix of bohemian, antique, contemporary, ethnic, pieces are accentuated by bold splashes of colour in pillows, art, and accessories.  Designed by Lucy Fenton of the Australian based retail shop Fenton & Fenton, this is actually a model suite for an apartment complex in Melbourne, Australia.  I’m sold!

I truly love this eclectic design. However, the element that really caught my attention was how versatile these rooms are.  Yes, the yellow bar stools are very cool, the bold stripes, ikat, and florals of the accent pillows are to die for, and the modern art is brilliant, but I can totally picture this apartment swathed in neutrals. Swap out the bold colours and patterns for some tone-on-tone blacks, greys, whites, and beiges and you’d have a very different but still beautiful look.  The versatility can be attributed to the strong design bones of the furniture: a mix of neutral and classic pieces that will stand the test of time.

If you have a few more minutes to browse, I highly recommend the following reads:

  1. June/July issue of Adore Home magazine
  2. In depth article with Lucy Fenton over on The Design Files
  3. Browse the Fenton & Fenton website and online shop (if you love Anthropologie, you’ll love this store!)

 

 

 

(images: fenton & fenton)

 

[etsy] decor ideas for nurseries and little kid’s rooms

Hey Moms. I know time is precious when you have one or more lil’ munchkins running around so I thought I’d save you some time and do a round-up of some super cute and affordable decor items for the kiddos.

Etsy is such an excellent source for access to fresh, creative, inspiring, handmade items and art. If you aren’t a regular already, I hope this post will inspire you to browse the online market-space and sign up for an account.

First I’ll start with all things girly:

1. Wall decal – Windy Tree Fabric Reusable Decal  ($87.00 USD) by trendypeasdecals

2. Print – Small Map of Canada ($20.00 USD) by englishmuffinshop

3. Pillow – Baby Pink and White Zebra Print ($35.00 USD) by MiCasaBella

4.  Print – You are so loved ($8.00 USD) by  jessgonacha

5.  Pom poms -  ($4.00 USD) by orangekisses …..(psst- you can totally make these yourself, just Google it!)

 

And for the little men in our lives:


1. Mobile – Nova Baby Mobile, in Spectrum ($68.00 USD), by thewonderlandstudio

2. Prints (set of 4) – Royal Safari Nursery Print Set – Unframed ($92.00 USD) by LeoLittleLion

3. Bunting – Vintage Little Golden Book Bunting ($30.00 USD), by collectingfeathers

4. Wall decal – Baby Zoo Lion King ($49.00 USD), by  LeoLittleLion

5. Print – Personalized ‘Big Deal’ 11.5 x 11.5 Size ($25.00 USD), by pennypeople

 

And for you parents who want to keep things strictly gender neutral, I’ll have a post next week just for you.

If you’d like some help decorating your nursery/child’s room or want more decor advice, feel free to contact me!

 

RELATED POSTS:

1. Nursery for a baby girl

2. [inspiration board] Green & brown nursery

3. [diy] Where did I come from map?

how to hang a gallery wall

Back in January I did a post on my love for gallery walls (you can read that here).  I subsequently received an email from a reader asking me how to go about hanging a gallery wall, so I thought I’d share my response with you.

Dayna,
I really enjoyed your post on gallery walls and I have a couple of questions on the do’s and don’ts  of a putting together a gallery wall.   We recently received a sketch of our baby boy, which we will have framed.  I was thinking of putting together a gallery wall around the sketch.  Can you do a gallery wall with family pictures or is it better with more abstract art?  Should there be a theme to the pictures/art pieces or does anything go?  I noticed you lined up your frames so that the whole thing is symmetrical.  Are there any “rules” around how to put the pieces together? Thanks in advance for your advice. – S.


Well, the short answer is – there are no rules.  Sorry!  Can you use family photographs?  Yes. Should you use abstract art? Sure. Can you mix family photographs and art? Of course. There are so many different styles gallery walls, it really boils down to your own personal style, what you are working with, and where you are hanging your gallery.

A traditional approach to the gallery wall is a collection of family photos. Classic. Here are a few examples:

Notice in the example above, the grouping is centered along two horizontal parallel lines. These act as guidelines for hanging the pictures above and below.  The frames are all different sizes but the common colour (black) gives it a unified look. The example below follows similar guidelines, but since all the frames are the same width and the resulting look is a little more grid-like.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the gallery wall where anything goes – mixed media, mixed frames, mixed sizes.  This also works.  To hang this type of gallery wall, I would suggest you start by deciding where you want your largest pieces to hang, then work around them (remember, the largest piece does not have to go in the centre!)


A great alternative to the gallery wall is a photo ledge (or multiple ledges).  A photo ledge is less committal since you can switch up your art any time and you won’t make multiple holes in your wall.  Space-wise, a ledge or two can be a great addition in a small space, such as a nook in the kitchen or in an entryway.

A few additional tips on gallery walls:

  • A quick way to plot out your gallery on the wall: trace your frames onto paper then tape these silhouettes up on your wall with masking tape; move them around until you are happy with the layout, then get hanging
  • For a step-by-step to hanging a gallery wall, check out the instructions over at Brooklyn Limestone
  • Ikea is a great place to purchase frames for a gallery wall. Multiple sizes in each collection, inexpensive and you can switch out your art whenever you feel like a change
  • If you have old frames hanging around the house, consider freshening them up with a new coat of paint
  • Don’t stick to photographs and art, you can also frame sentimental objects in a shadow box
  • If you need a punch of colour or pattern, consider framing a swatch of fabric or a decorative piece of paper (scrapbook paper works great)
  • If you need to supplement your current collection, Etsy is an amazing source for unique, handmade, or personalized artwork. And much of it is inexpensive!

(images: 1-made by girl, 2- pure style home, 3-house to home, 4-martha stewart, 5-decor8 , 6-hgtv, 7-ivillage, 8-design crisis, 9-the creative mama , 10-west elm, 11-me)

[diy] “where did I come from?” map

Ok, so to be upfront (in case you are looking for real advice), I’m not helping you answer the REAL “where did I come from?” question.  Ha! I have a few more years before my son starts asking about that.  Rather, I am sharing a little project I did for my son’s room, showing where exactly he came from – on the map.  And since I’m being honest, I should also say that I am not a real DIY’er.  It is more of something I admire from afar.  Not that I don’t appreciate the skill, creativity, and perseverance of DIY’ers, I do! I follow a number of DIY blogs on a daily basis (especially home reno ones), it’s just that I just don’t have the time, nor space.  So this project is an exception.

Here are a few images that inspired this project….

As a child, my sister and I had a huge map book and we would pore over it for hours, quizzing each other on all the American capitals (funny enough, I don’t remember looking at Canada). Maps are cool. And a great learning tool.

Since I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of cash on a giant map or wallpaper, my map project is scaled down in size. Anyway, isn’t saving $$ a major goal of DIY?  I already had an IKEA RIBBA frame (16″x20″) that was sitting around and while I was making an Etsy purchase for something else, I noticed this shop also sold vintage maps of Canada for only $5.00.  Score. $5.00 was the total cost of my project!

To give some real meaning to this project, I decided to use only maps that had meaning to our little family.  I made a collage using the whole map of Canada, the map of Alberta (where my man was born), the map of Ontario (where my son and I were born), and a snapshot of Montreal (where my man and I met in University).

20 minutes later I was done.  Easy! DIY is not so bad after all.

What do we think?

Now, if you aren’t into DIY but you’d like to add a small map to your child’s room, I would highly recommend checking out the Montreal-based Etsy shop English Muffin Prints & Posters.

Or if you want to go big, you could always pick up this large canvas from IKEA (78.74″x55″).

I’m not quite ready to debut the photos of my son’s room but stay tuned. For now, you can check out my inspiration board here.

(images: 1-lonny, 2-cox&cox, 3-kids room decor, 4- remodelista, 5&6-me, 7-english muffin)

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.


loving the gallery wall

Gallery walls are everywhere and I am loving them. A gallery wall is such an efficient use of a small space (or you can go nuts in a large space) and it is a great way to pull together a mix of your favourite pieces of art.  Here are a couple gorgeous examples….

via photo problem

via desire to inspire

And here are a couple more fun and vibrant examples…

via lonnymag

Having recently moved into a new space, the biggest challenge has been deciding which pieces of art I’d like to hang.  We are currently renting and plan on staying for no more than 18 months so I don’t want to make too many gaping holes in the walls.  But at the same time, I am intent on making the space ‘ours’.  As such, I decided to do a small gallery wall in our foyer with a few favourite pieces that would add a punch of welcoming colour. On a related subject, I should mention that I am a big proponent that every piece of art you own should have some personal meaning.  It doesn’t need to be expensive by any means, but whether it is a photograph you’ve taken, a postcard from an old friend, or a print you’ve picked up on vacation, the art you hang on your walls should have some special meaning or story for you. Without further ado, here is our new gallery wall (please excuse the absence of any other accessories…that is another work in progress).

1. Four years ago my man and I went to Paris for 10 amazing days.  During that time we left the city for two days to visit Reims and the Champagne region. One of our favourite champagne houses was Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin. We brought home several bottles of VCP including their ‘Paint Tin’ collection of four mini bottles. I re-purposed that tin two ways: (1) I framed the lid as shown here and(2) I potted a fern in the base of the can.  Long after the champagne was gone, this souvenir just keeps getting better!

2. I am addicted to Etsy. I really love a lot of the typography and graphic prints being made right now.  I came across this print and knew that my man would be pleased with it (he is a huge Radiohead fan) and I will admit that I love the literal meaning (I am a bit of a neat freak).

3. I picked up this mixed-media collage in Havana a couple years ago when I was visiting Cuba with my Mom.  The colours are so vibrant and it really captures the vibe Havana today (which is certain to drastically change in the near future).

So there is our gallery and why I chose the pieces I did.

We also have a Ben Mark Holzberg print hanging on an adjacent wall.  I posted about that here.

[room of the week] norwegian greys

Today I am debuting a new weekly post, a featured ‘Room of the Week’. I realize I just posted a bedroom yesterday, but I just had to share this one with you. This image was found on the blog of  interior photographer Franciskas Vakre Verden.  Though I can’t read Norwegian, I gather this is a bedroom at the Norefjell Spa & Resort in Norway.  Perhaps I have been influenced by the cool temperatures and greyness outside, but I think this bedroom exudes a perfect mix of brooding tones and bright creamy whites. I love how understated the headboard appears beneath the amazing tree print.  Book me a night in this room!

via Franciskas Vakre Verden