Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Colour Inspiration: A Breath of Fresh Mint

Happy Leap Day, everyone! Today was a really interesting day. Where I live, I kept imagining February trying to "come out like a lion" since it's been pretty lamb-like this winter. It was snowing and blowing, raining and drizzling. I was laughing (to myself) all day because I pictured February giving out a big growl as if to say, "I'm still here!" although the lack of snow on the ground would suggest otherwise. This reminds me that we're almost into March which means we are that much closer to Spring. Don't you think these mint inspired colour combinations are the perfect hue for the transition from winter to spring? Mint goes perfect with both seasons. In fact, it shows off the best qualities of each: light, airy, cool, serene and playful. There's something about mint that makes you feel calm and content. It's youthful and daring, feminine and masculine. Plus it's versatile enough to be used as an entire wall, accent, feature, or in solids, stripes or patterns. And I noticed that there's "mint-speration" all around us, from walls to ceilings, buildings to ceramics -- even hair, weather, and nature give off that minty glow. What's your favourite thing about the colour mint and where do you like to use it?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cute Designs for Living & Giving: Susy Jack // Linda & Harriet

Cute little things make the world go 'round, especially when they help make our life bright and colourful. I adore these homemade designs that are perfect for the home or office to give you that special, personalized touch. How cute are the clothes-pins with the days of the week on them by Suzy Jack?! You can use them to organize your daily to-do list in a happy and cheerful way. Suzy Jack also designs pencil holders, journals, cards and desk accessories. I also loved these cute little notebooks with nautical designs on them by Linda & Harriet. Although I'm especially drawn to the anchor notebook, I really want want them all. Linda & Harriet specialize in calendars, invitations, note cards and custom stationery. Which piece from each company is your favourite?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Inspirational Homes: Julianne Moore's West Village Backyard Oasis

Images via Architectural Digest. March 2012. 

Who says that you can't have a park in the middle of a city? I couldn't help but be inspired by Julianne Moore's green oasis in her backyard, as featured in Architectural Digest's March issue. Her NYC townhouse is located in the heart of the West Village and has a very romantic appeal to it. Landscaped by Brian Sawyer, the space looks breathtaking, filled with raised beds of boxwood and ivy. Check out the image showing the two antique English stone troughs filled with moss and succulents. Check out those black accents on the house. They really capture the mood of the space. Finally, those branches - which look sort-of like a glorified beaver house - actually functions as a tree house! How cool is that? 

Living in the downtown core of a major city myself, I often feel disconnected from nature. And parks are great but sometimes they don't cut it for me. (Although I'm lucky enough to walk through a park everyday.) This verdant space makes you feel refreshed and tranquil in the middle of an urban jungle. Which backyard feature is your favourite?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seasonal Inspiration on a Cozy Sunday + My Weekly Round Up

On this rather cozy Sunday, I wanted to fire off some seasonal inspiration (a la winter!) We haven't really had that much of a snowy winter in Toronto thus far - and I'm appreciating, not complaining -- so part of me cannot believe that March will creep up on us later in the week. But as always, I think nature is one of the most glorious sources of inspiration. I loved all of these images above (but for different reasons). Which one is your favourite?

What I was Up to This Week:

1. Canadian themed home & decor got me so inspired that I wrote entries on the topic: One & Two.
2. I showed a little love for blue.
3. Storage solutions from The Pottery Barn reminded us that spring cleaning is on the way and gave the organizational folk a little excitement. 
4. Neon, the Spring/Summer 2012 colour trend, was popping up all over the place.
5. Fun, flirty, retro & colourful fabrics designed Martyn Lawrence-Bullard for Schumacher are the perfect Spring accessory.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fine Fabrics: Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher collection

Bright and colouful inspiration for the weekend: Designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard has created a line of fun, flirty and luxe fabrics for Schumacher in vividly bold colours with a bohemian twist. These fabrics are very "of the moment". Plus, they're the perfect inspiration for spring due to their bright hues and eye-catching fabrics. If you're looking for ways to make a statement on drapes or upholstery -- look no further! Martyn was inspired by his travels to exotic locations like Morocco, Turkey and India. I also like this collection because you can mix-and-match the fabrics. Don't be afraid to select your favourites and go crazy! Like the image above with the couch filled with cushions and canopy draped above. It shows fabric on top of fabric on top of fabric ... but looks stunning! What look is your personal favourite (and thanks for Canadian House & Home for the inspiration!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring/Summer Trend: Be COLOUR BOLD With Neon

 Images via Adore Magazine.
I've been noticing around the shops that neon is very "on trend" at the moment. For Spring/Summer 2012, expect to see more neon highlights in home decor and fashion. Who can't resist these bright, bold and friendly colours? Full of cheer, they're a stand-out piece for both the eye and the brain. I love the idea of using neon as a colour pop -- as a brave colour choice for a table, door or chair -- but I also think neon paint all over the room, or on a feature wall, gives the space some mighty pizzazz. It definitely makes me think of warmer weather to come. And I'm also in love with the 3 colour choices of the doors in the images above, especially when paired with a white space. I'm also a big fan of neon lacquer coffee tables (or dining-room tables!) Jonathan Adler comes to mind, since he has a magnificent orange lacquer coffee table that will melt the winter blues away. What are your experiences with neon?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet Storage Solutions from The Pottery Barn

For those of you who are storage-and-organization-obsessed (and that's a lot of us!), Spring is just around the corner and that can only mean one big thing: the annual Spring clean. This could be a rather dreaded or anticipated time in one's life, made only easier by sweet storage solutions by The Pottery Barn. You'll be particularly in love with these collections if you're a fan of "everything being in its place". And you can't complain about not knowing where anything is, with tiny shelves, cubbyholes, drawers and shelves -- everything an organization freak could ask for! Which storage space do you like best? What room in your space requires the most organizing? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brilliant Blue

Blue. It's one of my favourite colours (especially to wear!) There's something soothing and tranquil about blue, regardless of the shade. And there's so much beautiful blue inspiration all around us - from the sky and the water - that it's hard to resist. I especially loved the matching of blue hues in each of these photographs. Blue on blue on blue can be quite the heavenly combination. Which image is your favourite?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Canadiana Series - Part II

1. Antler chandelier by Restoration Hardware.
2. P'tite Poutine by Drake General Store.
3. Lawrie McIntosh & the Canadian Animal Series.
4. Adorable deer dinnerware.
5. Maplemap Hanging Lamp.
6. Fabric design by Marianne McCrea McClain, Vancouver, BC. Manufactured in Montreal ca.1945. Used to create the “Canadiana” swim suit.
7. Rug by textile designer Bev Hisey maps Canada's fresh water in gold silk.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Canadiana Series - Part I

Canadian style...what exactly is it? Depending on whom you ask, it may mean different things to different people. For me, Canadian style is as eclectic as the people who live here and the nature, beauty and animals all around. But there are some definite pieces that scream signature Canadian style:

1. Hudson's Bay Company is Canada's oldest business. It started as a fur-trading company and has established itself into a high-end brand honoring Canadian sensibilities and tastes. The signature black, red, green and yellow stripes are as familiar to Canadians as maple syrup and poutine! Cottage life is what many Canadians live for all around, whether it's swimming in the summer or skiing in the winter. We cherish all seasons (even when we're forty feet in snow!)
2. A rustic, outdoorsy feel that is warm, inviting and comfortable. With so much beauty and a vast amount of space to boot, us Canadians love the outdoors. So we bring that indoors, too!
3. Antler heads -- whether they're deer heads or moose heads as shown in the photographs above -- are popular around the globe, but they're fitting in Canada because, well... we have moose. And deer. And we're proud of it!
4. A blending of cultures. Whether we go back to our Native American roots or pay tribute to our English and French bilingualism, pairing all three makes for a stunning design combination. I love the patterns in the bottom left photo because they're reminiscent of Native American designs (especially the ottoman) with a European flare. 

So what's Canadian style to you? If you're not from Canada, what do you think of? What's the style like in your own country and how does it differ from the rest of the globe? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bohemian-Style Inspiration on a Sunny Sunday + A Week in Review

On this bright and cheerful Sunday afternoon in February -- still no snow on the ground yet -- I was inspired by these beautiful bohemian looks. Bohemian style and decor happens to be one of my personal favourites. There's something about the way the way rustic, vintage and modern pieces blend naturally and effortlessly. One of my favourite pieces of the week was the top left look. I am absolutely in love with the mural/wallpaper that blends grey, maroon, teal and and black tones. Also, how cute are the bottom photos: the bedroom with a skylight and surrounded by windows as well as the hippie-style bus (notice the plants growing on the dashboard!) These looks are colourful and cheerful enough to bring a smile to anyone's face!

My Week in Review:

1. I talked about amethyst being my colour choice for the month of February. It's sensual, regal, masculine and feminine.
2. I shared some Tudor House lovin' inspired by HGTV Magazine. 
3. Last Sunday I wrote about 5 design ideas that inspired me including Benjamin Bullin's bicycle vanity design and a bathtub made of books!
6. I shared some winter inspiration.
7. Pantone's Colour of the Year Tangerine Tango left me wanting to tango.
8. The first installment of Wallpaper Wars was between Graham & Brown's Whispers collection. Which one did you pick?
9. I shared some forest inspiration.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Forest Inspiration

Today I've been enjoying a rather lazy Saturday. Much of the time has been spent with my new addiction: Pinterest. So if you're reading this and have a Pinterest account, please follow me. My account is rather lonely (no one wants to play with him on the playground!) This lazy February Saturday, I felt inspired by nature, outdoors -- and more particularly -- forests. The lush green colours, the beautiful sounds, sights and smells, and the connection with Mother Earth. Few things can compare. Nature is one of my biggest inspirations. So taking a break from the usual tete-a-tete on interior design and home decor, I wanted to leave you some with beautiful photo inspiration. One of the pictures is of Capilano Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. And I've actually had the pleasure of walking on the bridge. (For those who have a fear of heights, it's not as scary as it looks. The bridge is relatively stable.) I hope these images leave you feeling calm, serene, and inspired.

Happy Saturday, folks!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wallpaper Wars: Graham & Brown's "Whispers" Collection

If you've been following my blog, you already know that I'm a big fan of Graham & Brown wallpapers.  So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered these flock wallpapers by iconic dutch designer Marcel Wanders on the G&B website today. Notice the faerie patterns on each piece. The wallpaper collection is designed to celebrate polarity and the art of observation. Both pieces are mysterious, whimsical and charming.

The wallpaper on the left is Forest Muses in Electric Blue whereas the wallpaper on the right is Key Muses in Black & Bronze. What's special about these wallpaper designs is that they come with a story?

Forest Muses: "Transient and daring they are camouflaged to the naked eye. It is but the soft whispers they breathe that beckon you forward. Darkness breaks and in a moment the fairies emerge dancing through the damask forest. “Closer, closer” they whisper “may we dance for you?”"

Key Muses: "Delivered by fairies on the wind the keys encompass you. Murmurs, sighs and whispers imbue the air. They speak softly to avoid being overheard. Though each is very small her secrets are tremendous. Any key is yours. Will it unlock your dreams? Your love? Your heart?"

So let the wallpaper wars begin! Which G&B wallpaper from the Whispers collection is your favourite?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Let's Talk Tangerine Tango

Let's tango! Tangerine Tango (PANTONE 17-1463) is Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2012. Fashion wise, I usually stay away from orange. I'm blonde with fair skin. Orange seems to clash with my skin tone, and I'm also hesitant to dress in bright yellows or reds. But I love the choice of a bold and daring colour this year. The elegance and cheerfulness of the ever-growing-popular orange blended with a lighter shade or red screams perfection.

There are many ways that you can incorporate tangerine tango into your design scheme:
 1. Recently, Graham & Brown released their own Tangerine Tango related wallpapers and decor. There are several reasons why I love this company: their patterns are brilliant, innovative, and they're always coming out with new trends and collections. Every time I check their website I see something new that I love. The red and tangerine colours blend brilliantly with eye-catching blacks and whites.
 2. If you're daring enough, Tangerine Tango looks awesome as a wall colour for your entire space (or you can use it as a feature wall colour). 
3. It gives such happy, upbeat vibes that it's hard to resist.
4. This elegant dining space used tangerine tango on the ceiling! I love how the colour also pops through the back of the chairs and accessories. Who knew that a ceiling could become such a statement piece?!
5. I love, love, love the idea of painting the backs of cabinets and shelves. This muted version of Tangerine Tango looks magnificent combined with a dusty rose colour.

 These patterns were inspired by 2012's Colour of the Year. As you can see, there are many avenues that you can go down when incorporating Tangerine Tango into your fabrics. My personal faves: the white-and-orange zig-zag pattern looks fresh, young, modern and fun. The scissor pattern is very cute. I can see that going over well with fashion designers, interior designers...or anyone crafty!

What do you think of Pantone's 2012 colour choice? What are some of your ideas for using Tangerine Tango?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seasonal Inspiration: All About Winter

Valentine's Day has come and gone, and that can only mean one thing: winter is more than half over. But you wouldn't know it if you lived in Toronto -- like me -- where we've been having one of the mildest winters that I have personally experienced. Rain is even foretasted for tomorrow. Keep in mind that this is mid-February in Canada, folks! Regardless, today I felt inspired by the winter's beauty: the fresh, crisp air, the clean white snow (or lack of), and the bare trees.
This quote by Albert Camms is one of my personal favourites. It's quite fitting on many levels.
Shabby-chic winter. This rustic look definitely has a winter appeal. The table looks like it has been splashed with snow. The white elements shown through the vase, candles, walls, and other accessories give the room that extra winter's touch.
 Two words to describe this space: white elegance. The chandelier is reminiscent of dripping icicles and the throw pillows remind me of soft pink roses peaking out of the snow. I love the mirrors flanked on either side of the window adding depth and light into the space.
Winter wouldn't be complete without bare branches. These centerpieces are perfect for a dining table, coffee table or mantlepiece to add in a touch of winter flare.

So what is it about winter that inspires you -- whether personally or decoratively?