November 23, 2012:

Happy Post Turkey Euphoric Bliss?


I hope if I mention that enough people will get the idea... SHOP LOCAL.

We have a huge presentation for our #Brooklin project this morning. The first go around with some ideas.... very very exciting. I love this part.

We had our first site meeting at a new project yesterday that was also pretty darn exciting. We've had a rather exciting week to say the least. Did I mention that after the break in stealing all of our computers on Sunday our building was hit by the same people again on Monday? They finished clearing out computers in another tenant's studio after they were interrupted the day before. I am on a first name basis with the local police now. Fortunately we weren't hit. The Landlords who are awesome have put some additional security measures in place since but I'm totally looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Just a reminder today is the last day to enter our give away for Kathryn Ireland's new book - Timeless Interiors. Hit the Let's Connect Button at the end of this post to leave a comment on our FB page telling us what you think to be a Timesless Interior or Classic piece! Luke will make the random draw tomorrow when we are rushing out the door for music class followed by swimming class.

Have a great one and remember - SHOP LOCAL!!!

Unless it is this and you are buying it for me of course.

November 22, 2012:

Bursting Design Bubbles vs Thinking Outside of the Box

We went to site with our contractor today to take a look at our #LongBranch project. The clients *think* they would like to eventually put a 2nd storey addition on but would prefer to renovate the main floor of the house which is techinally a sidesplit first. Our contractor delivered the bad news that in order to support the structure above, he doesn't feel we could phase it.

Shiznits. That's a poopy answer. Talk about raining on our parade.

However, looking at the house itself, there are other options that would make this phasing possible but it just doesn't involve building the entire house up. Now I can see the possibilities as can our contractor but our client, is more hesitant though she seems to be leaning to wanting to get on board our new party train. UPDATE: Cient emailed. We are going to fully investigate all options and the prices associated with each. Dun Dun DUnnnnhhhhhhhh!!!

The balance as the designer though is to open the client's mind up to all the amazing possibilities that can be all the while not making it seem like they are settling because they aren't they are just revising their initial expectations. NOT a downgrade. The client asked the contractor if I was selling her a line of BS at one point (did I mention that we are friends and this was totally in jest?). Design is always a sales job so I often have to remind others that I work for good not evil. It's times like these that knowing what your client wants/needs from a functional basis is important. Add on top of it what they hope to gain experientially from the changes and it's much easier to find solutions. Well usually. Planting a money tree never hurts either.

Here is the current floor plan. That foyer is TIGHT. The house is dark. There are long lists on both sides good and bad so we won't dwell on that but instead focus on  how best to open up the house and make it warm and inviting and family friendly.

This is the layout the client likes best. Ticks all the boxes. We are going to flip the kitchen to the dining room so that we can have a window in the kitchen as well as capitalize on the width of the house vs the current layout which doesn't give us much room to do anything. The living room will get used more if it is open to the ktichen too. 

Now because this is more of a renovation project, I'm not starting with fabrics on this one though I do have an idea on where I'd like to take that portion of the space. Instead I'm starting with THIS baby. It's a Capital Range and it's in COBALT blue. YES. COBALT BLUE!!!. I think this may be the first time I've designed a kitchen around a stove before.

Over on Pinterest I've started a #LongBranch Board (click to be connected to it). Feel free to follow along and see what gets pinned to this board. I'm occasionally repinning from the client's board but only the ideas I love!! ha ha ha This kitchen is from Urrutia Design I love the barstools. The layout is similar to what we will have to work with in this kitchen. Of course there will be much nicer pendants and backsplash....

If you are about to head into the kitchen to get Thanksgiving ready I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes the perfect kitchen. To all of our US friends & readers we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Here in Canada we had our fill a month ago and are eagerly looking forward to Christmas at this point. Of course as soon as that is over we'll be complaining about the cold. FOR. LIKE. EVER. It's a Canada thing.

November 21, 2012:

Designer Favourites

By far there are two parts of the design process that are the favourite of this designer. Colour scheme concepts/project concepts and Reveal. We are currently putting together the concepts for our #Brooklin project and I have to say, I'm having a hard time. There are TOO many fabulous options to choose from. It's a nice place to be. I've decided to just put together some fabrics according to their potential use and present these to the clients for their feedback. This will determine how and what we choose. Of course that is the plan. If they can't make a decision or love everything we are up the creek without a paddle.

It's bold. I'm going to push the envelope on this one.

Just a taste....

November 20, 2012:

#CarltonStreet Project - Style at Home Magazine

::pops cork::

It's finally here our Carlton Condo project on the pages of Style at Home!!! YOU MUST buy a copy for yourselves and of course a few for family and friends. If you are in the US you can buy the issue online but heck you might as well subscribe because IN this issue of Style at Home they have a little teaser of PROJECT KITCHEN GORGEOUS!!! It's going to be in the January issue (I've probably said this now a half dozen times but I'm just so damn excited to see #PKG in print!) which goes on sale Dec. 10th. So subscribe.

We had a shoot last week of one of our projects which will be making it to newstands March 2013 so a pretty short turnaround which we are thrilled to bits about as well.

So you wanna have a lil taste of #Carlton?? The styling which you can see in the Style at Home feature was done by Jessica Waks who was absolutely delightful to work with. She pulled together some amazing things! These shots are not from the shoot but they will give you a flavour of what the condo is about!

We mixed and matched chairs on either side of the console table when you first walk into the living space. We took down the wall between the kitchen and the main living/dining room which created a long "what the heck do you do with it space" - yes that is a technical term. So we put fabulous artwork atop a lovely console table and then to create some tension mixed up the chairs for fun. This is one of my all time favourite vignettes we've ever done.

The article in the magazine goes in to quite the detail about the managing of the VERY DIFFERENT tastes of the husband and wife duo. I was a referree at times. This backsplash though was an easy choice. It's pretty amazing.

It's a pretty big space. I love old condos for this very reason. They are generous on living space. I love how airy this feels despite being a north facing condo. 

We used a media cabinet with high gloss laminate zebrano from Ikea as our chic console here. We didn't bother installing the legs and used a cleat to hang them on the wall. I love to play spot the Ikea! Great on budget.

Those club chairs are secretly recliners aka Marriage Savers. We also faked you out with the drapery. We added the cream embroidered paisley fabric to the silk panels to make it look like we had double the drapery. First time I've ever done so. Love how it turned out.

These stools are the bombdiggity!!!! Found them on clearance at Elte. They are sex on legs if you don't mind me saying. I threw the furs on them to make them more wintery. We shot this in August and were going for a holiday feel but not Christmasy. I love to use furs on pieces to add an instant cozy feel.

Now you have to check out the rest in Style at Home!!! Run People Don't Walk!

This is the issue you want people. Now start buying.

November 19, 2012:

It’s Always Something…

This was the title of the Gala we attended on Saturday night in support of Gilda's Club - Gilda Radner's Charity Organization to support people & their families doing battle with Cancer. It was a Variety night of entertainers. We were entertained. Though, I should mention that the Sony Centre in Toronto needs to hire me to revamp their interiors which look like what you would expect to find say in a shopping mall north of um Timmins Ontario (google Timmins or Northern Ontario Shopping Malls). NOT PLEASANT.

Who knew the ironic twist attending this Gala would provide us with come Sunday.

I got an email at noon on Sunday from a client who happens to be a tenant in the same building as ours at work. They also live behind the building so they routinely pop over to the office to do work when necessary. The email was to call her ASAP as there had been a break in. Turns out, the lock to the building had been drilled out and professional CRIMINAL THIEVES had broken in, got into our suite FIRST up on the THIRD floor (can you say inside job?) and stolen all of our computers. Our client was alerted to something afoul when they smashed the office glass across the hall from hers and the client came to see what was up. The CRIMINALS fled and our client called the police who were there in a flash.

So I'm headed in to clean up the joint, file the necessary paperwork and curse ANYONE who is trying to buy a 27" iMac or FIVE for cheap on ebay/kijiji/craigslist. The police have all the serial numbers which can't be scrubbed so if you are thinking you are looking at the Steal of a Century online for Christmas purchases you actually ARE. If you and or the perps are caught, we won't be compassionate and let you go with a slap on the wrist. I'm so mad right now, I'm thinking life imprisonment on an ice flow in the Arctic sounds totally justified.

I get that it's just stuff but here's the thing, get a job - a real one. I worked for each and every one of those computers and our office. I didn't receive a helping hand. No trust fund, no overly generous relatives. I didn't marry for money. Banks are a joke. I earned them. I gave up time with my child or my family/friends to make them possible. You are a coward and a lazy ass. 

Hate to start the week off on such a sour note. I still intend to have a kick ass one and look forward to hearing from Toronto's finest that they nailed the asshats who did this. Never mess with a redhead. Promise xo.