March 29, 2012

NYC - Part I - The Ace Hotel

Spending some much needed time off from work in NYC.  I love this city and wish I had spent more time out here as I've only managed two visits in the last six years.
Great signage
 I decided to stay at The Ace Hotel (20W 29th Street) which is a great boutique hotel in the historic NoMad neighbourhood.  Originally the Breslin Hotel, the interior was re-imagined by the New York firm Roman & Williams.  The rooms and lobby include vintage furniture and lighting and even the smallest details (e.g. the silkscreened bag that holds the blowdryer) help to maintain a consistent industrial chic design with a touch of playfulness. 

Pendleton blanket on the bed
Bent pipes form the "closet"
Cabinet in the bathroom
Brass fixtures and dark grout in the bathroom
Original artwork behind the bed


March 27, 2012

Happy 126th Birthday Mies!

It's Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 126th Birthday and the following Google Doodle was posted to celebrate the day:

I have to say the Barcelona Chair is one of my favourite modern design pieces by Mies van der Rohe. I first saw one in the early days of my corporate career when I visited the executive floor of one of my clients.  I was instantly impressed by its sleek design.  Now, I have an even greater appreciation for the piece as I can see the reference to the Roman Curule chair and am amazed that something so modern, and still so relevant, was created in 1929.

March 24, 2012

Just a touch of colour

I personally like a mix of neutrals and colours in a room but love to fantasize about rooms that fall a bit more on the extreme side - think all white spaces or rooms layered in saturated colours.  I've been attracted to images lately that mix those two polar opposites with loads of white space and just one bold colour.

via House to Home
by Feldman Architecture photo by Paul Dyer
via Graham & Green
styled by  Lo Bjurulf photo by Magnus Anesund

March 21, 2012

Window Treatments and Soft Furnishings

I just completed one of my courses last week and thought I would share my sample board.  The final project was to design a bedroom for a couple living in a traditional home but open to moving towards a more contemporary design aesthetic.  The room had one window and we needed to design a treatment that would block out light at night but wouldn't impede upon a radiator that was directly below the window (I designed a screened-in cover to hide the rad).  We also needed to design an upholstered headboard, bedding and an upholstered chair or bench.

The project involved a lot of drawings - floor plan and furniture layout, window wall elevations, drawings of the upholstered pieces to scale plus a perspective drawing which would detail our bedding choices. Using discontinued fabric samples from our instructor and my fabric fundamentals class, I was able to create a calming space and layered various creams and blues throughout the design.


March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung

It is the first day of Spring and it feels like summer in the TDot.  I love having wreaths on my front door to signfify the changing seasons and the following on etsy caught my eye today:
I love this paper and felt wreath by Flighty Fleurs.  It is meant for indoor use but if you're like me with a glass window on your front door, you could easily hang it from inside.  I love the warm, rich colours she's used.

The whimsy of this yarn wreath which depicts a wee meadow with little deer makes me smile.  You can find it at knock-knocking.

I think bright yellow forsythia really says Spring to me.  Elegant Holidays has a wonderful selection of wreaths.

Here is a great felt leaf wreath from Burlap + Blue.  I like the colour selection and the shape of the leaves.

March 19, 2012

Store Love - Love the Design

We are enjoying summer-like weather here in TO, and I spent Sunday afternoon wandering around my neighbourhood.  I popped by one of my favourite shops - Love the Design (1362 Queen St. East).

The shop is full of vintage pieces and artwork and definitely has an industrial / rustic flavour.  The artwork within the store is by the owner, Christine Flynn, and includes shots of the city, maps, or nature all with a glossy coat of resin.

Artwork, industrial lighting, machinery gears and glass bottles

Beautiful baskets and bottles in the window

Industrial lights on a ladder
I found a great piece of art for myself today.  It's a vintage map of Toronto from 1894 which matches the age of my house and I couldn't resist picking it up.

Vintage map of Toronto
Its new home

March 18, 2012

Fabric Fundamentals - Part II

Since this is a "fabric" class, the real focus of our design relates to the fabrics we choose.  We need to determine the characteristics of each selection to determine if it will work for the chosen application, as well as the aesthetic features of each choice.  For example, my client profile is a family with kids and pets.  I'm obviously looking for something that's durable and can easily be cleaned but that is also soft and comfortable with fun patterns and colours to suit their personality.

Here is a snapshot of my pile of fabrics to choose from:

And here is a shot of my final choices - I don't even want to try and calculate how many hours it took to get to this:

Here is my actual sample board bringing together my fabric and furniture selections:
Photo isn't great as laptop and camera are not currently speaking to each other

There were a few changes made based on my first post as sometimes you just need to see the pieces laid out to see if they actually "feel right".   I'm really happy with how it's come together and we shall see later this week what the rest of my class thinks.

March 17, 2012

Fabric Fundamentals - Part I

My last class of the semester is next week and we are presenting our final design boards.  We were able to select from eight different client profiles and each profile included the size of the room, brief description of the client and then a listing of the type of furniture and style desired for the space.  I love this approach as it allows you to pick a profile that perhaps mimics your own aesthetic.

I decided on the following client profile:

  • A family room 16' x 18'
  • The room contains a sectional sofa, a large arm chair, and a large ottoman which serves as both seating and a coffee table. Two windows in the room overlook a shaded garden.
  • Your clients have children and pets.  They are looking for a warm and welcoming design.

Not a lot of information to go on, so I've taken the liberty of injecting some humour into the design and lots of colour.  Some pieces I found on-line that I'm hoping to work into the project include:

Prairie Coffee Table from Gus Modern - via Modern Karibou
I love this piece but don't think I can make it work in the room as I need to incorporate an upholstered ottoman/coffee table.

Ekobo Tivo Bamboo Tray in Tomato - Modern Karibou
Great piece to sit on top of an upholstered coffee table to keep remote controls, magazines, etc. in one place.

Martini Side Table in Lemon by West Elm
A versatile piece that can be used as a stool and a side table - also comes in black, white and persimmon.
Industrial Pipe Rods by West Elm
I think these drapery rods are fantastic and would work well in a fun family room and a classic industrial loft.

Glass terrariums by West Elm
The accessories at West Elm never disappoint and I love this new terrarium shape.  Fun for kids to set up a little green world of their own.

Now that I've selected a few pieces for the room, it's time to start drawing the furniture layout and picking my fabric samples. Update to follow.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Quirky crochet wall hanging from Butteryfly Alley available on etsy.

March 07, 2012

Covet Garden - Issue Twenty

The latest issue of Covet Garden is out.  I love the idea of this on-line magazine - taking a peek into Toronto homes styled by the homeowners.  It's always filled with beautiful photography and this month's edition is no exception.  I encourage you to take a look.

cover photography by Jodi Pudge