Archive for 'Blog POSTS'

Two is better than One – Coffee Tables

Written by on 2nd December 2014 in Blog POSTS with 1 Comment

When it comes to coffee tables and small spaces I really believe two is better than one. I’ve been wanting to do tandem coffee tables  for awhile…some of my past client’s reading this might even recall my valiant attempts to sway them:) Recently one of my client’s agreed and two little square glass lovelies arrived in the mail shortly thereafter. We got around to styling them today and I love the simple mix of some of her art books with some  accessories and a small, somewhat dodgy, arrangement of berries from her yard.

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You know me, I love stylish interiors AND getting a deal for less. So, as usual I sourced a table that looks almost exactly like it’s much more expensive cousin. Full disclosure: My client painted the “Steal” tables in a flat black paint because the distressing on them wasn’t exactly to our taste. I think they look fantastic and everyone is satisfied that we didn’t pay a premium for the same look. Go team!

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If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decorating Tip #3 – Songza

Written by on 23rd November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

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My tip this week is to select some great tunes to get you in the mood to decorate. I’m obsessed with Songza (a free Music site) on my computer and my iPhone and I can tell you that the xmas playlists they have ARE the soundtrack to my holiday season!

If you’re like me you have had various colour phases with your tree decor… This year my goal is an Authentic Christmas  and so I picked the most special ornaments at random from each of my whims from Christmas past … I also enlisted an impartial third party to hang the ornaments (my two nieces) so you can be guaranteed that anything they ever made me out of macaroni is featured front and center. It’s cool, and I like it.  The only thing I would do differently is to tell them at the beginning This is NOT a race:)DSC_1214[1] 600 pix

This year I also opted to use my summer garden globe lights instead of my little Christmas strings. Those old Christmas ones were half burnt out anyway, and I like the slightly retro feel of the big fat bulbs.

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So there it is, my happy random and big bulb Christmas tree for 2014. My nieces selected the teen pop Christmas playlist from Songza while we did this holiday decorating…I didn’t know Beiber wasn’t cool anymore. Now I’m off to get the sparkles off my face.

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decoration Tip #2 – One Thing You Love

Written by on 16th November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

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No matter what your style, and no matter which holiday traditions you celebrate, there are items that we cherish during special times of the year.  Sometimes it’s a new shiny thing you fell in love with in a shop, and sometimes it’s an heirloom piece that you have loved forever. Either way, my holiday decoration tip #2 is to seek out that one piece of holiday happiness…just one, and put it on display. It’s kind of like a warm up for the real deal decorating but also a reminder that less is more, and that sticking to the things that matter most is what makes holiday decorating feel authentic.

This year I chose a new item, this Polish Pottery ornament I found at Homesense. It’s not expensive but it’s simple beauty and my Polish heritage drew me to it right away. I put it in a cool root bowl and just let it shine on its own. I can’t wait to hang it on the tree and hope that no wayward dog tails smack it down like last years carnage…but that’s another story…

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Remember that anyone can buy a sleeve of ornament balls and decorate a tree….it’s the meaningful things that matter. Even if they don’t match your decor, even if they’re super ugly clay and macaroni blobs that were made by a child in art class. Those are the keepers. One of the sweetest stories my in laws told me about my husband was that he made a clay snake in art class when tasked with making a Christmas ornament…and so, the Christmas snake was inducted into their family traditions from that day forward. Find your snake.

Tell me about your One Thing, I’d love to hear about it!

If you want some help making the place you love a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Holiday Decoration Ideas – Tip #1 Berries

Written by on 1st November 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

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Every holiday season I get lots of requests for holiday decoration ideas and I simply LOVE helping clients decorate their homes for the holidays.  Did you know that I can help with everything from tree placement and colour choices to arranging beautiful vignettes using your existing decorations?  In addition to my in home design and shopping services I also LOVE to share my tips and tricks for a beautiful holiday display…so… even if you don’t have me over for eggnog, you can still get my decorating input:)

Now, I know it has been a hot minute since Halloween so, let’s take it easy and start off slow. Remember that we are working our way up to the big enchilada and these are little steps that you can take in November to start to get in the spirit of the season…no matter which holiday you celebrate.

Let’s start now, here’s holiday Decor tip #1. Berries in a Vessel. Yep …you take some berries and put’em in someth’in. Simple Simple and beautiful. You can do this, I know you can.

Tip -  I will use the berry stems for a centerpiece now and in December I stick them in the branches of my decorated tree.  If the colour doesn’t match your tree ornaments a couple bursts of spray paint will do the trick.Fall-Berries-in-Vase

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!
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Fall 2014 Lineup for Design TV shows

Written by on 19th October 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

If you’re like me and you are bored to death with the home improvement line up on TV ….you need to check out my picks for fast paced, rude, crazy & even sexy real estate and interior design TV shows that I love watching all winter.

Thumbs Up – Genevieve’s Renovation - If you blinked in early October you probably missed Genevieve Gorder’s new show chronicling her NYC apartment renovation. In it she buys the apartment next door and blows through the walls to make a bigger apartment. Bitch stole my look! I want to hate her, but I don’t …and I happily soaked up every detail making notes for when my time comes:) It’s too bad that they showed all the episodes in the span of one week. Like I said, if you blinked you missed it. You might be able to catch some episodes on HGTV Canada online if you really want to see it. I liked it allot.

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Thumbs Up – Million Dollar Listing NYC. It’s no secret I love these handsome devils Fredrick, Ryan and Luis. They’re such jerks and they sell the most amazing apartments you have ever seen.  Maybe the fact that I’m so focused on the interiors is why I can love this show that so many others seem to hate. They’re hot, entertaining and rich…West Coast rainy night television win in my books! This one started a couple weeks ago and is on Monday Nights on Slice. It’s not too late to get hooked:)

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Starting Soon – Million Dollar Listing LA.  Even though the adorable Madison aka Malibu Ken does not appear to be in the cast this season, it’s still too tempting to pass on this amazing show of wealth on the west coast. Add in the drama between Josh and Josh and the (will they or wont they) wedding of Altman and Heather…I mean… you have to tune in.  I never miss this one and it starts Monday Oct 27th on Slice. Be there.

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I looked into Million Dollar Decorators because there hasn’t been much chatter about a third season…looks like the jury is still out and it has not been confirmed yet. I’ll be keeping an eye on this. Delicious :)

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My affection for Jeff Lewis is well known and any of his quirky shows on Bravo capture my attention. Season 8 of flipping out is being filmed although no details yet on when it will air on Bravo Canada. I’ll keep you posted.

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Thumbs Up – Rehab Addict. I have been watching Nicole Curtis restore old homes for a couple years and I was so glad to see her again this week with a new season dedicated to an old mansion in need of repair. She’s a flipper you can love. No drama…just dust. Check her out on HGTV Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays.

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I loved the American Dream Builders competition concept hosted by Nate Berkus and I tuned in faithfully this spring, but I guess the ratings were bad so NBC will not be doing a second season.  Sad.

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Thumbs Down – Jennie Garth Project.  This is really just a celebrity amateur hour. She’s not a little girl anymore so whining and acting like one is annoying to watch and her style is not a match for me. So I pass on this one.

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New Look for a Little Nook

Written by on 10th October 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

I recently designed this little nook in a small vacation condo for a tween girl.  She knew she wanted it to be white on white with fluffy bedding and not too much colour. The nook is dark without any windows, or a door for that matter, so it was a tall order to make it both function and look like a cool tween girl bedroom. I bought the little desk online and added brass castors to the legs so it can be easily moved out of the way.  This was necessary, because that’s her Murphy bed along the back wall. The great guys at Murphy Wall Beds of Canada installed this double bed perfectly and let me tell you, it was tight! I simply styled the desk and walls with a slightly bohemian flavour and placed mis-matched antique hooks all over the other wall (because there is also no closet) for hanging clothes and bags. She can roll up jeans and T-shirts in the cubbies and most importantly she has a little corner of the place that is just hers.

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the nookIf you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

 

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The Hero Work Program – 2014 is Complete

Written by on 6th October 2014 in Blog POSTS with 4 Comments

It’s not really possible to communicate how much satisfaction you get from doing something for someone else…a total stranger that you will probably never meet. But knowing that every thoughtful detail, decision and sacrifice will make a difference for a youth that is at risk makes all the hard work worth it.  If you’ve been around the blog the last few months you might have read about all my amazing clients and vendors who donated furniture and the countless trips across town to pick up used Victoria treasures from here or there. I scoured thrift stores and pillaged my own house to fill this apartment with love and warmth…with a little edge.  One volunteer said it was the perfect “college kid” apartment and that made me happy:)  I wish the very very best to whoever lives in this space and I hope they feel all the love and heart that poured into every wire, nail, floor board, pipe, drop of paint and of course the furnishings and decor…There is Love. The Hero Work Program and Paul Latour are an indomitable force in this city…get involved with the next one…you won’t regret it!

OK here’s the pics!

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I’ve had lots of questions about my design so over the next few days I will feature aspects of it and introduce you to the people and companies that made it happen:)

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Design By Donation for the Hero Work Program

Written by on 24th September 2014 in Blog POSTS with 1 Comment

You may have heard by now that I’m knee deep in an amazing project for the Threshold Housing Society of Victoria that is being undertaken by The HeroWork Program.  Hundreds of Amazing organizers and volunteers all working toward a common goal – to provide safe housing for youth at Risk. I could not be more proud to be a part of it, and I thought I’d share a little of my behind the scenes process for decorating the living and dining areas in the Threshold apartment I’m working on.

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Furnishing and decorating an apartment by donation is a tricky business but I can honestly say that being creative and scouring via Used Victoria are two things that come easily to me so it worked out rather well.  I accumulated the big pieces first and then developed a plan around them. First I got some dark IKEA bookcases, a dining table and a bonded leather couch donated by some of my design clients and vendors. What would I do without them? Amazing!

slide 1Next I tried to figure out what rug I could use to, as the Dude would say, “tie the room together” and I settled on a large red Persian rug that I had at home. I then decided that an eclectic and edgy look with mixed art mediums and some reclaimed wood was going to be the style direction. I found a few inspiration pics to help solidify the layout and the remaining pieces that I needed.

slide 2With this concept in mind I have been busy collecting books and art work, lamps and accessories in order to make the space feel like a home.  I’m excited to see how it turns out…until then you can use your imagination…here’s what it looked like a few weeks ago before the reno began.  Expect to see new paint, re-finished floors and a whole lotta awesome in less than 10 days!!

DSC_0461 re sizedI spotted this pic on Facebook, …with lots of Volunteers hard at work last weekend whoo hoo Guys Great Job!!! I’m pretty sure it’s the same apartment I’ll be working in

10682261_10153030269365166_4521073188232086173_oVolunteer today – Next weekend the sun will come out and I hope to see you there!

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The Dark Side – Be Fearless With Your Walls

Written by on 2nd September 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Lately I’ve been looking at dark paint colours for a client project and I am totally in love…so much so that I’m considering painting a room in my own house DARK.  Be fearless and bold in your own space and try a dark colour – it doesn’t have to be stuffy or traditional.  These are a few inspiring images I have collected where dark walls create a dramatic backdrop for classic, yet casual, design.

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Elaine Griffin

 

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Michelle Nussbaumer

If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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Progress at the Union in Victoria

Written by on 30th August 2014 in Blog POSTS with 0 Comments

Sometimes the smallest apartments present the biggest challenges. This 700 sq foot 2 bedroom + den condo in Chinatown is a casual, family friendly place for my clients to hang out in Victoria.

d0ac2b1d-7e0a-4cd9-b776-7112ac266b6e_zps23a466eeI used a custom sectional to fit the tiny footprint and kept the major pieces light with youthful accents.

DSC_0680 PIX 1000More updates to come from this fun project in the Union Building situated in our vibrant Chinatown!

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If you want some help making the place you live a place you love…contact me, I can help!

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