January 10, 2013:

Visions of 2013 Continued - Sanctuary

This year I am committed to making my own home more of a sanctuary. Again, working with Kim our Visual Strategist, I'm working on opening myself up to the flow of energy that will make this into a reality. This is of course instead of blocking said energy with my excuses, fears and sheer laziness.

Let's celebrate the fact that I interrupted this blog post to go and put my Christmas away in my house. Woowhoo who said blogging wasn't a natural incentive maker??

So we've all seen my living and dining room to death. I'm still tickled pink by the Style at Home, Canadian Family & of course HGTV & Apartment Therapy features on it. I mean come on who wouldn't be BUT I'm so over how these rooms look. I want a change. BIG TIME.

Here's what I'm thinking (Honey, if you are reading this, I'm SURE we've discussed it just nod your head and humour me will ya?)

The room needs an architectural overhaul AND it needs to be a white. I can't stomach Edgcomb Gray a minute longer. Truly. I hate it. I want moulding everywhere including crown and it needs to be white.

Art above the sofa... we have 1100 odd photos of Italy. I'm CERTAIN we can do something like this. We have some really cool shots of the Vatican if you recall. I think this would look amazing  in place of our Ikea fabric stretched on the canvas.

I need to change our sofa. DESPERATELY. I want something cozier. Now we have the Kagan slipper chairs which I love and adore in indigo wool so I don't think a dark sofa is in order but I don't know if a light one will survive. I'm open to suggestions on fabrics and colours. What I don't have an abundance of is depth. I have to keep the overall depth of the sofa to less than 34" I think that means the sofa on the right is out even though I love and adore it.

I think I want velvet I mean I do when I see both of these pictures but... I just don't know. Have I mentioned that I want to change our drapery too?  Oh and the rug is going to go in the back room. I also want to do a new dining room table and chairs. I'm over our buffet and think we need to do custom cabinetry. It's a good thing I'm visioning all of this to let the energy and the money flow in. I'm definitely going to need it.

January 08, 2013:

Inspiration to Get You Through…. #Brooklin

The hardest part of any project is the Quoting Phase. When you are building the concepts it's all fun and excitement and then you have to put numbers to these ideas and while you've picked things out with these things being considered until you start quoting out yardages and labour costs you never know. More often than not, a designer then has to resource their own design for less. It's just a sad reality of the business.

I'm used to it. I'm good at it.

I'm not above begging suppliers for special consideration in order to make something happen.

I'm currently begging on both knees from a few for our #Brooklin project. We are prepared to phase it if necessary to make things work budget wise but it will be a strategic game of Tetris to figure out the who/what/where/when/how. I assure you though, that it will be spectacular. I am so very certain of this.

I've shared a few sneaks but I haven't shared my inspiration hub... until now.

#Brooklin on Pinterest - follow the board HERE.

January 08, 2013:

Luke’s Room… the Ongoing Saga…

Luke's nursery is about to be published!!! More on that when I get the magazine in my hot little hand!! As you know, I'm planning on changing his room. I've narrowed it down to two schemes if you will. There are pluses and minuses to each.

Option number one... this one will be Red, Navy, Cream & Grey/Black with metallic pops. 

Okay I think we've narrowed down a style of bed. Luke likes the black one colour wise but the shape of the red one has appeal too. Thoughts? Both would work with a red/blue/black/cream kinda scheme non?

I mean with such a scheme we could do this with doors & trim... Fun yes??

My other thought was that I could always add ye old Scalamadre Zebra wallpaper to the accent wall too... I mean I adore it but is it done to death? I don't know if I could part with the striped accent wall. I mean I'm not at all sad to see the crib go but the thought of losing those stripes is heart wrenching.

The other option is to add green and keep the existing indigo & periwinkle. Then I could keep the existing drapery. Having said that though, I've got all sorts of fabulous bedding and blankets in the red & navy. There is also a chest in the room that is red so it would have to be painted or go if we went with green. The rest of the house is indigo & red but I am of course thinking of changing that. My bedroom is indigo and green. CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HELP!

January 06, 2013:

New Project #Brunswick

There is nothing more gratifying as I've mentioned, than seeing your own work on the glossy pages of a magazine except perhaps when someone walks into your office clutching said magazine and hires you because your work connected with them so much they had to hire you immediately.

Let me introduce you to our newest project #Brunswick. It's a fabulous old home in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood that is in the the throws of a full renovation. Bathrooms are ripped out, some walls are gone, stairs are being relocated, kitchen is getting an overhaul and then there will be the decoration of course.

The goal right now is to finalize choices for bathroom renovations so that the client can move back into the house.

Here is what we have put together thus far...

Master Bathroom. We have a free standing soaker tub, a huge walk in shower and a double vanity. We have decided to carpet the floor with the prettiest of floral marble mosaics and then to anchor it with a border in a solid Oriental White 3x6 tile. With a heated floor this will feel and look divine. We are putting the stones on the floor of the shower and then repeating the Oriental White tile on the walls in a 12x24 tile with a border in a light grey bardiligo stacked mosaic. The Robert Allen embroidered fabric will be soft romans in the two windows flanking either side of the floating tub. Carrara will be on the counters of the vanity and Whitestone by Benjamin Moore for the walls.

Here's a sketch of some concepts we were throwing out that the client approved almost before the ink was dry.

Totally making this happen x 2 above each of the sinks. I'm a VERY happy designer with this approved. I mean jump claps aren't quite enough to convey my glee.

There are two guest bedrooms on the 3rd floor. We're painting the hardwood and going for a Colorado Chalet feel in each. There will be wallpaper. ::Throws Confetti::

January 04, 2013:

A Woman’s Hell.

If you have children, you will know the lengths that one must go to to ensure that a sleeping child is never woken. I just stripped off my stack of arm candy because it makes too much noise when I type. Hell, typing is making me break into a cold sweat as my sweet lil angel sleeps on the sofa in my office. School is still out for him and he's been coming to the office with us because we are trying to cram as much in before the 8th as we possibly can. The 8th you ask? We are jetting down to Mexico for a lil RnR. They have wifi. Thank god.

I made the harrowing trek to the swimsuit shop with my stylist & friend Robin Craig this past weekend. Normally, I slip a hip flask in the bag to self-medicate through the torture but being considerly less heavy than I was a year ago, it wasn't as bad as it has been. Having a stylist along to help choose the right silhouettes & guard against a sudden moment of delusion was key. Robin quickly grasped my requirements and appreciated the shapes/lines/needs that are unique to my body type. I've forever and a day fought against stylists and sales associates who like to tell my what looks good on me or what's trendy. Umm, I'm 40. I know what suits me I just need you to help me find it or push me out of my comfort zone after you've earned my trust. Robin helped me find not one not two but THREE looks that were killer though I only bought two of the 3. One had the best sweetheart, ruched neckline in a Jade Meets Teal Meets Emerald suit but the bottoms had a roll top that wouldn't stay rolled. I didn't want to have to fuss with the bottoms when the other two suits were so easy and chic.

I am so pleased with the results, you may see shots of me in said suits on instagram in the days to come.


Thank god for filters.

Here are some inspiration shots that guided us through the process....

Not that one can live life in a black and white photo but... it does have a certain appeal. I tend to wear a big broad rimmed hat a lot in the summer sun because well I'm a redhead. I don't want my share of fine lines and wrinkles that can be prevented. I saw how my grandparents all ended up and I know that leather as skin is in my genepool if I'm not careful. Now the concept of this style of suit SEEMS ideal but if you are fuller in the hips, this style is NOT your friend I have since learned. Cutting off one's hips with a straight line is like putting wainscotting in a room at exactly the mid point of the wall height. No no no. Work the Golden Mean people including on one's hips. (Like how I worked fashion into a design tip... I'm gooooooooood and oh so modest.) I should say that the asymetrical stripes are a great pattern to flatter if they hit you in the right spot. The cone boobs, not so much.

The bottom suit is lighter than the ideal colour I tried on but the shape is great. The ruching is fabulous. GOD I think I need to walk through life in ruched everything.  

Both necklines are in my wheelhouse so to speak as is a one shoulder number. In the end, I did go with a one shoulder ruched suit with a gold belt (suit is actually black which I tend to avoid but the ruching made it work). The belt hits at the sweet spot aka hides the spot I want it to. I have a long torso so it's always a risk if there is some sort of belt. Usually ends up making me look pregnant which when you never want to look unless you are.