Thursday, May 31, 2012

{Fairytale Fabrics} Illustrative & Fun Fabrics With a Historical Twist

I've been noticing a more recent trend toward fabric designs that are illustrative and have a hand-drawn quality. As a result, I thought I'd show you a few of my favourites {that also have a little historical twist}. So if you're a design and history lover, you'll love this. The first two fabrics are by Pierre Frey, and the first was inspired by promotional brochures advertising holidays in the 1950s. It has a nostalgic vibe to it and is sophisticated and playful at the same time. The second arboretum textile was inspired by botanical sketches often found in children's books. I thought the textile from Zoffany featuring 19th-Century London was really cool because of all of the detail. Check it out! A beautifully drawn map of nineteenth century London with detail right down to street level! Finally, Lewis & Wood's history of birds print was designed by the 17th-Century naturalist Thomas Bewick and is charming, uplifting and all around lovely. Which one is your favourite? Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{Inspiring Spaces} Should Location Matter?

I was browsing through old magazine issues that I purchased at a thrift store when I came across these two spaces featured in the March 2009 issue of Architectural Digest magazine. But before I get into more detail about the spaces themselves, I must admit that I was torn. I liked these spaces but something wasn't fully resonating with me. Can someone have too much floral print? Is there such a thing as texture and pattern overload? You hear about it ... and these two spaces definitely demonstrate a high frequency of texture, pattern and colour. Take a minute to look at the spaces and decide whether you give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Then let me tell you their location. The first flowery house is actually in Florida and was designed by Mario Buatta. The second location is also in Florida, more specifically Key West. When reading that, I thought, "Okay, these spaces do reflect their geography. There's something tropical about both spaces." But would I feel the same way if, let's say, the spaces were in Iceland or Greenland? {Basically somewhere less exotic.} Should it even matter? And what's with all these preconceived notions that I, and others, have? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Image source ~ Architectural Digest. March 2009.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{Light Up Your Life} 3 Pendant Lights I'm Currently Loving

Happy Tuesday, gang! Today I was inspired by some things that immediately grabbed my attention in the latest issue of Style at Home magazine. My eye was drawn to so many beautiful pendant lights. Did you see the article and photos on mason jars? They remind me of my Grandma who used to have a set of mason jar mugs that we would use for cold drinks on hot summer days. I love the pendant lights made out of mason jars because they look like fireflies when lit up. Plus they make a great DIY projects! The Wooster & Jeeves top hat pendants were featured in another posting of mine a few weeks ago but I had to bring them back. They're absolutely adorable! Perfect for the male or female fashion gurus. Finally, the Zettl'z light is more of a chandelier than a pendant, but I love the bohemian chic energy to it and how it can be easily personalized. It looks messy, but in a good way {one that doesn't bother the Virgo in me anyway} and it's a cute way to keep old mementos and personalized items - and also to also show them off in trend-forward decor style. What do you think of these three different lights? Which one is your favourite?

Image sources ~ Mason Jar pendants: Houzz // Pottery Barn // Ramshackle Glam
Wooster & Jeeves top hat pendants: Trendir // Decoholic
Zettl'z:  Marvomatic // House Beautiful

Monday, May 28, 2012

{That's So May!} 10 Market Picks That Scream May

2. May flowers.
8. Pillow shams, various prints, standard size. As seen on Plum Pretty Sugar.

Can you believe that the month of May will be ending this week? In honor of this beautiful month, I've compiled a list of things that screams May {at least to me}. What do you think of when you ponder about May? For me, it's all about flowers blooming and the beginning of warm weather. People start paying more attention to their gardens, planting flowers, herb and veggies that will last them through the summer months. Also, may is all about Mother's Day, Victoria Day {in Canada} or Memorial Day {in the U.S.} so there is an energy of warmth and love that surrounds this time. I've compiled 10 market picks that remind me of May. Anything from gardening tools to rugs - most of which have a floral theme. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

{Blog Podium!} + My Week in Review

Picture this ... you walk into a decadent conference room and all around you are women {and some men} sitting at tables placed systematically around the room. All are impeccably dressed; hair done, wearing bright and colourful summer outfits, and as you enter, laughter and excited chatter fills the air. The setting is Toronto's Arcadian Court and Lofts. The view of the space is of Old City Hall. Contemporary-looking chandeliers sparkle and shimmer above you. To the right of the room is an exposed brick wall and at the front of the room is a long conference table and a podium. This is quite fitting seeing as the event you're attending is Blog Podium, a conference where bloggers, writers, vendors and businesses across Canada all come together for the purpose of collaboration, community, sharing knowledge, information - {hugs!} - and supporting each other in their unique-yet-similar paths. 

For me, one thing that made Blog Podium stand out is its encouragement to engage in social media "tweeting" during the event. While most people shy away from typing on their phones out of fear of being rude, Blog Podium organizers encouraged and supported this cyber speak. So community was not only being built in the room, but also in Cyberspace as people connected, chatted and posted via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. And yes, I was one of them!

I must admit that I did one of the worst things imaginable on the day: I forgot my camera! And I'm not fortunate to have a cell phone camera that produces high-quality images, so right off the bat, please forgive me for that. But I want to give a shout-out to the sponsors of Blog Podium: EQ3, blurb, HomeSense & The Home Depot as well as the vendors who were friendly, engaging and informative: West Elm, PARA Paints, Benjamin Moore, DECOR-Rest, sheblogs, Gluckstein Home, Posterjack, AYA Kitchens & Baths, Mango Studios {and all of the other vendors that helped make this event possible. If any were forgotten, please let me know and I'll kindly add them in}.

A big thank you to the event organizers, the lovely Lindsay Stephenson of Little House Blog and Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators, as well as Nicole Balch from Making it Lovely, Cheryl Kozoriz, Laura Muirhead, Christine Dovey from Bijou and Boheme and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault as well as all of the staff at Acadian venue for their individual involvement on the day.

What I was up to this week:

 Inspiring spaces ~ coastal cottage charm.
{1 Room, 2 Perspectives} - plates aren't for tables anymore.

Friday, May 25, 2012

{The Art of Photo Hanging} 3 Different Ways to Battle Bare Walls

Images Clockwise from the left: Apartment Therapy, Poppytalk, Domino Magazine

Just another short-but-sweet post from me today as I prepare for tomorrow's Blog Podium event. It's my first time attending and I'm excited about the knowledge that I'll be receiving, the possibilities that are within reach, and the connections I will create with fellow creative gurus. {Stay tuned for more posts about the event!} With that being said, yesterday's post was all about hanging plates on the walls. Today, it's all about tackling that boring, blank canvas {a.k.a. the dreaded blank walls that everyone seems to fear}. For many of us, blank walls mean one thing: unfinished. I've been impressed how people have chosen to hang their frames, in unique and often inspiring ways which brings forth how skilled we can be at balance, perspective, shapes and synergy. These three photos show photos hanging in different methods. Which one is your favourite? I'm partial to the bedroom scene in which framed portraits of various silhouettes seem to dance along the wall. Maybe I just like the vintage look of the space. What's your pick? Happy Thursday, gang!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{1 Room, 2 Perspectives} ~ Plates On The Wall

 Images via Elle Decoration UK

Plates aren't just for tables anymore. One design trend - and I use that term loosely - that I've been seeing quite often lately are plates from the walls. Yesterday, via Facebook, I posted a Moroccan-themed room which featured gorgeous hand-crafted plates on the walls that were painted beautiful shades of purple, pink and yellow. Today, I was inspired by these images from Elle Decoration UK simply because you get the whole perspective of the space. Although the first image depicting the plates hanging on the navy blue wall wall would have sufficed, the second image gives us deeper perspective. Just call it: 1 room, 2 perspectives. Happy Thursday, gang!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{It's All In The Details} Spring Table Setting Ideas

 Images from Canadian House and Home magazine

Check out these gorgeous Spring table settings. I love the orange and pink colour combination in the first one. The tablecloth looks like a beautiful tapestry adorned with exotic plants, flowers, palm trees - and even elephants! There's also a lot of attention to detail from the hand-written place-card to the butterfly clip on the napkin. Eggs seemed to be a recurring theme in many Spring table settings I looked at. Either decorating eggs and using them as unique place markers to using them simply as decoration the way nature intended (naked!) Keep in mind that creating your own setting for a party or event can be really simple (as shown in the last image). Just find a pretty vase and arrange flowers in it as you wish. Even simple things from the garden, like babies breath or berries, work as beautifully as expensive flowers from the florist. It's all in the details, my friends, not necessarily in the budget. Which setting is your favourite?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{Inspiring Spaces} Cottage Coastal Charm

 Photography by Thomas J. Story; Sunset Magazine

Today it's all about coastal cottage charm lovin'. Maybe because, in Canada, we're on the heels of a Victoria Day long weekend. These images are from Susan Delurgio's cozy beach house in Fairfax, California. Susan says she wanted something "carefree and simple". What separated this design to other beach-house spaces, at least for me, is the use of colour. I love the palette of blues and greens with some minty teal thrown in for a splash. The boat-wood frames and salvaged bamboo table are some of my favourite pieces. Also, how cute is the orange toaster? Who would have thought that orange, teal and bright green would be so complementary? Very bold and daring; I love it! What's your favourite thing about this cozy coastal cottage house? Happy Tuesday, folks!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

{Happy Long Weekend} + My Week in Review

Images by Carolyne Roehm

Happy Long Weekend! What are you up to? It's been an absolutely gorgeous - sunny and mild - weekend here in Toronto, a sure sign that summer is fast approaching. And you know what that means: sandals, shorts, beaches, patios, cold drinks, fireflies and more! I'm keeping it relaxed today so there is not much to report. I wanted to share these beautiful images by Carolyne Roehm for VERANDA Magazine. I love this blue themed party. Striped blue tablecloth, stools, blue-and-white dishes, flowers and vases. Oh my! What are you up to on this long weekend?

What I was up to this week:

Living in colour thanks to Vogue Living Australia
Inspiring images by Josephine Wall.
Colour inspiration: blue so good it's "royal".
Brilliant bookcases from Elle Decor.
Wallpaper Wars: Frames or Crowns & Coronets from Graham and Brown.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

{Blending East & West Style} Modern Meets Moroccan

 Images via Vogue Living Australia

I love Moroccan - and very similar to it - bohemian style. Maybe it's the colour, patterns and textures that seem to come alive through sight and touch. Just like in the "real" world, I also enjoy a blending of two cultures. In this case, modern meets Moroccan. These images come from the {almost} archive of Vogue Living Australia, which, as you know, is among one of my favourite pieces of inspiration. This space is full of rich and vibrant colour but is kept from being a colour explosion by incorporating the black and white palette and furnishings which is popular in a more modern, Western look. East-meets-West flare is very popular at the moment. I think it was Style at Home Magazine which included it as a design trend for 2012. Some of the stand-out pieces to me in this space are the Moroccan table - look at how detailed and colourful the base is - as well as the black-and-white patterned coffee table (as well as the beautiful blue dish that sits on top of it!) What are your thoughts about this space? Cheers to a Happy Weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

{Wallpaper Wars} Graham and Brown ~ Frames or Crowns: Take Your Pick!

Images via Graham and Brown

It's time for Wallpaper Wars again! Graham and Brown is one of my favourite stores for wallpaper goodies. Not only do I love their designs but I'm also a fan of their grassroots approach to business and how they support young designers and creative professionals. This installment of wallpaper wars features two entirely different designs from G&B. Which one do you prefer? Is it the playful frames wallpaper that adds an element of fun and whimsical to your space? What's cool about this design is you can actually interact with it and decide how you want to utilize it. Do you want to put up pictures and artwork that your kids created? Or how about paint directly on the frame? It's up to you! Or do you like the regal crowns and coronets wallpaper? Jewels are attached directly on the paper so it almost comes to life in front of your eyes. Perfect for the King or Queen inside of you. So with two completely different choices, which one gets your vote? Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{Design Inspiration} Brilliant Bookcases

 Images via Elle Decor

Whenever I think of books and bookcases in the home, I'm always reminded of the quote by John Waters. He says {and I'm paraphrasing} that if you go home with someone who doesn't have any books on their shelves, don't sleep with them. I'm always amused by that quote; not necessarily in a snobby way but because I find books enchanting and stimulating. (I guess I should feel that since I'm a writer myself!) Books are symbols of your interests, hobbies, travels and experiences. They can say a lot about you. For instance, part of my bookcase is covered with children's literature. I adored reading as a child - still do - and one of my many career aspirations is to inspire young people to build a love of reading. I also have many political classics like Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Aristotle from my days as a political science student in university. My spiritual and New Age books are positioned beside my books on popular culture and I still keep with me some of my favourite textbooks from school, like one on urban planning, democratic artworks and environmental geography. I hope that these images from Elle Decor inspire you to incorporate more books into your design scheme. Bookcases are also good places to display your favourite photos, nicknacks, and other memorabilia that you're connected to. You can also fake it with faux wallpaper (which I will get into in more detail in a later post). Which one of these is your favourite images? What's on your book shelves? Happy Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{Colour Inspiration} Blue So Good ... It's "Royal"

 Images {from Top to Bottom} ~ Style at Home: living room // Greg Scheidemann: lacquer dresser // Jupiter images: table // Emily Henderson: living room

I love blue. In fact, blue is one of my favourite colours (especially to wear; it's one of the best colours against my pale complexion and dark-blonde locks). I've always wondered: what makes this shade of blue good enough to be royal? Maybe the dark, more "royal" shades represent fame, wealth and fortune? Whatever the case may be, incorporating a royal blue colour palette into your space is quite simple. Even if you don't want it to look as if a royal blue bomb has exploded in your home or apartment, you can add royal blue subtly (and it still makes a big impact). A royal blue feature wall would be divine, as depicted in the image by Greg Scheidemann which features a beautiful lacquer dresser. I love the combination of royal blue, green, white and mirror. Or how about painting the bottom of the kitchen table a royal blue tone? Top it off with royal blue accents and accessories on the table. It's definitely a conversation piece and will turn that ordinary table into something extraordinary. What are your thoughts on royal blue? Happy Wednesday, gang!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{Inspiring Images} Art by Josephine Wall

Images by Josephine Wall

Bringing a splash of colour and inspiration into your world is as simple as incorporating these images by Josephine Wall into your life. Wall's work is among my personal favourites. The bright and brilliant colours, as well as the beautiful imagery, always leaves me feeling speechless. Wall portrays often mystical figures - like goddesses and fairies - as well as images depicting nature, air, water and the Zodiac. It used to be a custom of mine that I would send friends and colleagues Josephine Wall's Zodiac images on their birthday (depending on what image corresponded to their Zodiac sign). What do you think of Josephine Wall's artwork? Do you find it as inspiring as I do? Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Living in Colour

 Images from Vogue Living Australia

Those who devour Vogue Magazine monthly should check out their design-focused counterpart, Vogue Living {Australia}. The chic, sophisticated and high-gloss look of the Vogue brand effortlessly bleeds over to the pages of the home decor sister publication. Today I was inspired by colour. What I liked about these images is their cohesive theme: white backgrounds with pops of colour in the foreground; just enough to heighten the senses and invigorate the spirit without being too powerful. Lately, I've been noticing the trend of draping clothes over artwork or furnishings. In this case, a 60s mod-inspired dress is draped over a lighting fixture that's placed directly underneath the stairwell. It's unique thinking like this that makes me smile, maybe because it tells a story of the person who lives there. Don't forget about the fresh flowers to add a little bit of the beautiful outdoors indoors. One of my favourite things in these images is the yellow rotary style phone. What's yours? Happy Monday, gang!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

{Purple Palette Inspiration} + My Week in Review

Image from Veranda Magazine

This purple palette inspiration is perfect for a beautiful Sunday in May. Did you know that purple is the colour of wealth and royalty? At the same time, it represents wisdom and spirituality. In the colour world, purple is the balance between red stimulation and blue calm. I find that fascinating! What are your thoughts on this gorgeous colour? Happy Weekend!

What I was up to this week:

The art of a perfectly made bed.
Inspiring table settings for patio season.
This week's inspirational space was a "fashion-forward" design.
From magazine to market: achieving a nautical look

Saturday, May 12, 2012

{From Magazine to Market} Achieving a Nautical Look

 Top image by Oliver Gordon

There's always something cheerful, happy and upbeat about the famous nautical theme. Maybe it's because the look is a blend of both masculine and feminine energies. The colour palette of red, white and blue is strong and powerful and harmonious without being too abrasive to the eye. Today I was inspired by this chic-yet-simple nautical look photographed by Oliver Gordon for Ideal Home (many thanks to them for the inspiration!) To achieve the nautical look using simple home accessories, I've collaborated some of their market finds as well as a few of my own. Believe it or not, Amazon is a wonderful place to browse for many accessories that have a grassroots or "homegrown" touch that you may not find anywhere else. Also, don't forget about IKEA - you can always put slip-covers over their chairs to jazz them up and make them your own. Or buy accessories in red, white and blue tones and mix them up. What do you think of this nautical inspiration? I hope it makes you want to sail away!

Market Picks ~ 1. Coastal-themed crockery from Sainsbury's. 2. Cover your favourite chair in a slip-cover from Bemz. // 3. Tesco Milford ceiling lamp in red // 4. Nautical wheel through Amazon. // 5. Nautical anchor through Amazon. // 6. Kenneth Turner shell tea light candle holders. // 7. Antique brass ship anchor oil lantern by Handcrafted Model Ships.

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Inspirational Art} Piet Oudolf Landscapes

 Images by Piet Oudolf

On this beautiful Thursday morning, I'm feeling very inspired by Piet Oudolf's photography of landscapes. I've said it before - and I'll say it again - that nature is one of the best sources of inspiration (at least to me). Where else can you find natural colours that blend together in unique and unexpected ways? If you can't be in a garden or the countryside, this is the next big thing. At least you can look at the images and feel the energy; the light cascading on the flowers or the warmth of the sunlight. One thing that I love about his book Landscapes in Landscapes is that it shows colour palettes associates with some photographs, so if you're feeling really inspired by a piece you can use it in your design scheme. What do you think of these images?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

{Inspirational Spaces} Fashion-Forward Design

 Photography by Virginia Macdonald

Here's something for the fashion lovers. When I first came across jewelery designer Maryam Keyhani's home in Canadian House & Home magazine, I was blown away by how she mixes her love of fashion with an eye for home design. Maryam's space is truly a beautiful work of art. It's simple, elegant and refined. One of my favourite pieces in her Victorian home in Toronto are the hat pendants. How cute are they? In the dining space, I love how she mixed many elements that don't traditionally go together - like concrete (the bench), velvet (the chairs) and mirror (the table). Her shoes, hats and accessories aren't hidden away in wardrobes and closets, but instead, they're beautifully displayed for all to see. Looking at her artwork, you can tell this girl loves her fashion. I thought it was quite cheeky how she draped a dress over art, almost as if it were a 3-dimensional art piece. What is your favourite thing about this space? Do you love it as much as I do?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{Go Green} ~ Eco-Friendly Glassware

Photography by Angela Moore and Artecnica 

Today, it's all about green. One of my favourite colours. These eco-friendly designs made from recycled wine and bear bottles caught my attention due to their unique shapes, amazing colours and fascinating transparency. Designed by TranSglass by Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje from Artecnica, this collection of glassware allows you to reduce, reuse and recycle without compromising on quality and style. And what's great about these items is that they don't discriminate in the home; you can put them in any room and they'd look gorgeous. I'd love to see these beauties on a windowsill with the sunlight reflecting through them. What do you think of this glassware? Do you have any other eco-friendly products that you love? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{Table Manners} Inspiring Table Settings For Patio Season

 Photography by Don Freeman

Just in time for the spring and summer patio season, today's inspiration is an array of stunning serving pieces and enchanting patterns to make the most of any meal or occasion. Although each piece is unique and gorgeous in its own right, some stand-out pieces for me include: the pomegranate coloured lacquer tray (in the first photo on the right) as well as the chevron block-print napkin by Madeline Weinrib which looks fantastic paired up with the purple and blue toned dishware (shown in the third photograph). These images inspire me to mix-and-match dishware and have fun with patterns and textures. Who says that dishes and cups all have to match? How boring! The lune decanter and tumbler from Bergdoft Goodman is absolutely exquisite and would be the perfect piece to use whilst serving a cold drink to friends on a hot day. Plus, I'm loving the bohemian-inspired tableware on the bottom left photo and how gold and goblets were mixed together in the bottom right-hand table setting. It reminds me of royalty! You and your friends can be Kings and Queens for the day. How lovely! Which setting is your favourite? Cheers to a Happy Tuesday!