February 14, 2013:

Sugar Highs and Thensome….

I used to hate being a teacher around Valentine's Day and Halloween. In fact, it was always tempting to take the day off the day AFTER the event. I used to hold the party/sugar intake until the very end of the day so I could send home the kids and let their parents deal with the sugar rush/high.

I was very wise from an early age.

Payback I'm sure will commence now that the lil man is in school... but he is not one to gorge. THANK THE GODS. Heck, he's going to be 4 this year and we've had to force him to try his birthday cake since his 1st birthday. Kid doesn't seem to care about what he's missing out on.

I thought in lieu of too many sweets however, I'd share with you a little sneak peek of the office we've designed for our #Boston client's home. There are his and her offices. We'll be tackling his later in the year but for now here's a little sneak peek at the gorgeosity that is hers!!!

Now the designer wants the Elephant Lamp on the desk but she says that it gets in the way of actually working. Sheesh. She does say that when Elle Decor comes to shoot the rest of the house, we can put the lamp on the desk for that shot.... she's ever so considerate. 

We did a vintage chair from Palm Beach with the desk and our Manuel Canovas LOVE fabric as the cushion. Amazing arm chairs and the swishiest of ottomans.... is that an ottoman or a pouf? You decide...

Client is a stylist so we HAD to inclue a Judy doll... our fave raw silk from Threadcount as pillows on the chairs. Storibook did the drapery for us - actually these are ready mades she hemmed to perfection. I just love the whole space which is basically in a turret. Can't you just imagine how wonderful it is to work in such a space???

February 13, 2013:

Taking Our #MHDStudio Project to the Next Level

Next week I'm going to go more in depth into the design process and working with the fabulous Kitchen Designers at Home Depot. Such a pleasure. Now we've got some very unusual considerations to take into account when putting the cabinetry design together - it's not the norm because of bulkheads and just plain odd architectural features - Ultimately our space is still slightly industrial with exposed metal beams on the ceiling. Except for parts of the kitchen and the bathroom which have drywall.

But the bottom line is - how do you disguise what may be considered flaws and achieve your overall goals of a functional, dynamic and make the space feel bigger than it is?

Well, for starters, we are going to use Behr paint's Beluga - which is black and paint the walls to match the cabinetry. I will resist the urge to joke about carpet & drapery.  Okay I didn't exactly resist there. Subtle as a bull in a china shop. The idea of doing this is to reduce contrast between walls and cabinetry. We've painted black on a wall in our office and it expands the space and really adds some wow.

But in truth, the paint is really serving another purpose in this kitchen... brace yourselves things are about to get insane.

I've partnered with Griffin and Wong to come up with a silk wallpaper that is going to fill in the blank walls in the kitchen and envelope the entire bathroom. We've designed it so that all the colour is gone (ignore the birdy with the colours) instead opting for a monochromatic palette that focus on contrast and subtle shading using blues/greys.

I first collaborated with Griffin & Wong to design these panels for Project Kitchen Gorgeous #PKG. I then hand painted the silk panels to tie in the colours from the Song Sassoon design from GW. I love this pattern so it was a no brainer that this was what I wanted to work with for our studio - the artistry is impeccable and I love being able to show off two options for the same pattern.

If you'd like to have a little Song Sassoon in your life we'd be happy to work with you to create the perfect colour combination to suit your space. There are even more delicious patterns to dream about HERE.

Photo: Style at Home January 2013 issue - Photographer: Donna Griffiths Stylist: Tara Ballantine

February 13, 2013:

Blog & Dash

I wrote a blog post yesterday that was a major vent that I've decided to postpone posting. It's funny, it's somewhat articulate but I don't want the bad juju this close to Mercury Sliding Headfirst into Retrograde.


I've got installs today so it's a quick Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am kinda post. Why did that just make me think of Adam Levine? Sweet Nectar of the Gods. I have a date with him next week. SO FREAKING Excited. Actually, I'm totally getting my imaginary boyfriends on this next week. Jon Bon Jovi is singing to me on Sunday, then I've got Adam all to myself on Tuesday and I believe Mr. Rob Thomas wants to serenade me come Wednesday. Needless to say blogging next week could be a) VERY interesting b) a flurry of instagrams c) absolutely non-existent.

Just sent these off to our Brooklin client to explain my thinking on what we are going to do to hide the fugly that is Builder's Mirrors in a bathroom.

A little glam lighting action. Truth be told, it was these sconces and a foyer sconce from the same supplier that prompted my rage writing yesterday. Insisting that I make an appt with the sales rep BEFORE you will give me pricing is NOT a way to win friends and influence people Eurofase.  Not at all.

Unusual lighting choice. I'm digging it for the one boy's bathroom. It has a longer vanity and mirror. 1st born son has a smaller ensuite/vanity configuration so we'll opt for a classic double fixture for him. He's also got the North facing window = dark so a brighter light option is necessary in there. I'm thinking ahead for the hair coiffing. These boys are stylin already and they aren't even 10.

February 11, 2013:

#Spruce Sneaks

Have you felt that your world is ever so slightly off kilter? It's because the most beautiful cabinetry in the world is being installed. Just so you know. There may be sneaks coming. I'll let you know after Wednesday this week when we install a few other treats.

If you world is still feeling like it's beginning to spin out of control, we're a week out from Retrograde. I have to admit this one caught me off guard but it DOES explain how things have suddenly become slippery. You know when your hands start to get sweaty and you feel like you are losing your grip? Yup - that's what happens to me just before Retrograde. I feel this is scientifically proven because I only JUST became aware of the looming R-grade and the sweaty palm thing started last week for sure.

If you have JUST stumbled across this blog for the first time, you are undoubtedly thinking that I'm a bonafide loon who enjoyed the tribute to Bob Marley on the Grammy's a little TOO MUCH but I can assure you that I'm just plain ol' crazy most days it's part of my inherent charm I'm told.

So we've got the most delicious of pillows and drapery being installed at #Spruce, plus we've got a few little furniture pieces. The dining room should be ready ummm this month end??? Dying to see the table and the chairs. I may put up a velvet rope and charge admission when we're done.

Okay forgive the glamour that is filling your screen here. Focus on the chair itself please... ignore the rest. YES, this is our beloved Robert Allen glazed linen. It's seriously one of our all time faves. This chair has to suffice as both a working desk chair and an extra guest seat so we opted for something a bit deeper and comfy instead of a regular ol' desk chair.

BOOM!!!! Isn't it just the sexiest back EVER??? Robert Allen Naturals. God I've been jonesing to use this fabric and it has NOT disappointed in the least. The whole project is an ode to Robert Allen. I love them. I think you may have gathered that by now....

And yes, this is our Beacon Hill/Robert Allen favourite plaid ever but it's so versatile. We've used it for two ottomans and achieved entirely different looks with each. In this case, we opted to do a painted finish in Anchor Gray on the base.. moodier than our #Balsam ottoman which has a totally different vibe with the chestnut stained base. LOVE IT!

February 10, 2013:

Home Office & Boys’ Study #Brooklin

We have a monumental task assigned to us. We need to transform a regular sized bedroom from guest bedroom into a fabulous study zone for two amazing boys who will soon enough be young men. Our challenge is two fold: A) The space needs to be functional and grow with the boys B) it needs to be fabulous to match the rest of the house and C) it can't cost very much 

Now I'd love to design custom built ins for the room, rip out the carpet and put in hardwood but this is not in the cards so we will have to WERQ it. I should warn you I'm writing this blog while watching E!'s Red Carpet/Grammy's Pre Show. Lord knows what sort of verbage I'm going to employ.

Here's an example of built ins designed by my friend Dayka Robinso, in a home office. To give you an example of what this sort of built in configuration costs - you'd need to budget between $7000-$15000 to do office built ins. Of course you can end up spending way more with all sorts of fancy pull outs, drawers (they are always more expensive than regular cabinets) and things like undercabinet lighting and so on. 

Now the key to making an office space look custom without the pricetag is to stick to a contrast colour scheme that involves one primary colour and then the graphic combination of black and white. I prefer to mix a colour with all white casegoods. It provides impact and wow. I'm toying with green as the accent pop but cobalt is a contender. Of course, the other option is to do the room all white and then add a pop of colour on the chairs and accessories.

Yellow or Turquoise could also be a fun pop of colour but I find these a bit Wahh Wahhh Wahhh. Yes, Joan Rivers was just on my TV screen.

Here's a "Start the Car" mostly inspired by Ikea plan.... 

Here's a more fun version of the same. I saw the Agate Wallpaper over on Margot Austin's BLOG when she featured her husband's new store - Vintage Fine Objects. Kevin did the agate wallpaper as a feature wall and I am SMITTEN by this. How fun to do Geodes for an accent wall in a study??!!! I've picked up the black and grey that is in the wallpaper and repeated it around the space for a great graphic pop. Also, the clients love cowhide so we'll throw down a hide to hide the wall to wall carpet. When you can't replace/remove you must HIDE with HIDE. Oh dear, I should really put the wine down. We'll be sure to tally up the final room to give you an idea what the whole thing cost us!!! We're building brilliant minds in this space after all!!!