[room of the week] refined elegance

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

My March 2011 issue of Architectural Digest has sat on my bedside table for a month now (read weeks ago of course!). Today I asked myself, why had another mag, or book ,or receipt, or random piece of clutter not landed on top? Why have I kept that issue in clear sight?  The answer is the cover. What a gorgeous room. What a delicate palette. What refined taste.

(image: Architectural Digest, March 2011, design by Michael S. Smith)

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another online mag to bookmark: est

March 31, 2011 2 comments

Est: Global Living with an Australian Twist launched this month.  And with the birth of another hot online magazine, you have to wonder – how long will our beloved glossies last? Love them or hate them, online magazines are a trend that is here to stay.

Here is a sneak peek of the relaxed yet stylish, trendy yet casual, vintage yet new, Australian yet global vibe of the mag:

So set aside a few minutes and peruse the first issue {here}.

And then go out and buy an Eames chair.  Yes or no?

(images: est, Issue #1)

more white kitchen inspiration

March 22, 2011 2 comments

I continuously save inspirational photos of kitchens I love.  And usually, those are white kitchens.  You may recall from my last kitchen post, I am enamored with the clean and classic look of the white kitchen.  Today I am sharing a few of my recent finds which are mostly white but there are a few new elements thrown in.  Take a look!

Absolutely love the white on white. Understated but elegant chandelier. Contrasting wooden stools.

 

This looks like a comfortable family kitchen. I especially love the modern lines of the island to contrast the traditional white cabinetry.  I’m not sold on the cream back splash and paint, I would prefer to see white subway tile or marble.

 

Simple but lovely pendants over the island.  Amazing dark floors to ground the space (what is that wood?!).  Love that marble back splash.

 

This back splash uses marble tiles. Less $$ than the solid sheets but just as much style.  The lower cabinetry is looking good in grey.

 

And finally, moving away from all white I had to include Tommy Smythe’s kitchen. The black lowers and trim are working for me.  I usually gravitate towards wood flooring but this herringbone tile looks fantastic in this kitchen.

(images: 1-julian wass, 2-buttrick wong , 3&4-style at home , 5- tommy smythe on Facebook )

 

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decorating a small rental bedroom

March 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Decorating a rental space can be a real challenge for many reasons. Among other annoyances, not being able to change any physical features like flooring, carpeting, built-in storage, counter-tops, and large fixtures are among my top peeves.  That said, if you are able to paint, know how to change a light fixture, can maximize or create storage, and have a wee bit of a vision, there is hope.

We recently moved into a rental condo with the plan of staying here 18 months.  Tops. We are very lucky because the building is brand new and we are the first tenants.  Additionally, the flooring (albeit laminate) is a nice dark wood and the kitchen and bathrooms have fantastic cupboards and counter tops.  But then there are the things we cannot change: the lack of storage space and the horrible vertical blinds in every room. Eeek.

So what do you do when you are faced with similar rental dilemmas?   Number one priority, is find out from your landlord if there is anything you can change, such as painting the walls.  A little colour can go a long way.  Next, look at your furnishings and accessories: is there anything I can add/change/remove to improve the space?.  Obviously the amount of money you want to invest is dependent on a few things, such as: How long will I live in the space?  What do I need to change/add to make it feel ‘mine’? What do I own already? How much do I care?

In previous apartments I would say that I didn’t really care,  knowing that we would be moving in a few years anyway.  7 years later I have started to care. Even though we plan on being here for only 18 months, I am tired of living in transition so I’ve decided to make a little more of an effort in this time around. Luckily, we were able to paint and my man knows how to change a light fixture. Just those two elements made a drastic change in our bedroom.  As for the other stuff, here is what I am working with:

1-Duvet and shams from  West Elm

2- Moroccan lantern from Home Sense (mine is silver)

3- Photograph of Paris by Peter Turnley from Belle Epoque

4- MALM dressers from IKEA (stay tuned for an Ikea Hack project!)

5- Knitted pouf from CB2

My plan is to purchase a few key additional pieces to pull together a complete look (as opposed to the mismatched furniture and accessories we’ve been toting along since our University days):

1- Newbury Halo Task Lamps from Pottery Barn

2- Dandypod hand-woven wall hanging by Angela Adams

3- LOVE pillowcases from Lush Designs (I’ve mentioned these before –here– and luckily my Mom is heading to London next month so I’ve placed an order for pick-up!)

4- An iconic Hudson’s Bay Company wool blanket

5- Modern Windsor chair from West Elm

6- Parsons Desk from West Elm

Combing what I have and what I want, here is what I’m going for:

Add in a few personal photographs, some plants, a small area rug (mostly for the dog), and a simple window treatment (I’m thinking something neutral with a bit of texture) and we’ll have ourselves a fine room…

Do you need help decorating your rental or small space? I can help! Click here for more information.

[room of the week] fresh design for spring

March 16, 2011 2 comments

Folks, I think its finally safe to say that spring is in the air.  Walking home from work today in the sunshine (yay daylight savings!), everything was starting to look  a little more fresh.  Even the 5 o’clock rays were giving off an energizing warmth.  In celebration of the sun, double-digit temperatures, and buds to come, here is a room full of fresh inspiration:

Loving the diffused light, soft hues, relaxed linen, and natural woods. And how about that floor lamp? Great design.

Room by Katie Leeds who is also featured in my post on “New Global” decor here.

[room of the week] Spanish bohemian guest room(s)

March 11, 2011 3 comments

Yesterday was a happy day – my April issue of Canadian House & Home arrived. I’ve only had a chance to do a quick flip through but this one image caught my eye:

What a charming nook!  Piled high with cushy colourful pillows, this alcove is the perfect spot to curl up and read a book in this home office-turned-guest room. I love the combination of the rustic desk and the modern rolling chair. And the layered colour on pattern on colour creates a casual bohemian vibe.  I thought this was the perfect room of the week.

But then I saw a second guest room in the same house:

Hello! Similar to the first guest room, this one ooozes vibrancy with a bold combination a fuchsias, greens, and pops of yellow. These gorgeous fabrics come from Kathryn Ireland‘s newest textile collection and really help the designer achieve that perfect Spanish Mexican-meets-Moroccan vibe. And look at those side table. And the art.  Love.

(image: design by Kathryn M Ireland, photography by Victoria Pearson)

 

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lighting for everyone in the family

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

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