Two late nights working and a full day of photo & video shoots yesterday and I am darn tuckered out but wait - today we have an installation!!! ::puts head gently on desk:: Apparently, according to my husband he woke me up and said it’s 7:20am this morning and I promptly started snoring about a minute later. He found that bit of information rather humorous. Sigh.
On top of that there has been a horrible scandal up here in Canada - regarding a much beloved radio show host, whom I adored but certain truths have come to light and well it’s left a lump in one’s belly to be honest. So I’m not feeling especially witty, hilarious on top of being dog tired however I’ll indulge in a little sneak peek from our #Sawmill install last week until I’ve had sufficient coffee to return to my relentlessly chipper self.
We worked with an artist who hand painted the Grisaille paper in the dining room. Truly bespoke. The Living and Dining Room were opened up a few years back to make for a more spacious entertaining space - they were once a series of rooms connected together with french doors. The problem however was that they ran into each other and the traditional and classical furniture pieces just felt like they were in a showroom vs actual rooms. We added plaster columns with corinthian caps to give us a place to stop the paper and start the living room. The grey white we chose is to me the exact colour of natural plaster and we made sure to paint the living room the same colour so your eye keeps moving. It’s truly one of the most perfect grey whites we’ve ever used.
We call this the Birds’ Guest Room. It’s funny how rooms develop little pet names or nicknames in our office. The client had the bed and the Dwell Studio bedding, we just ramped it up a notch to finish it off.
Pierre Frey sure does make beautiful wallpaper. Smelly as hell but beautiful. If you choose to install some of their papers, the clients will need to move out if they are at all sensitive. Word to the wise.
This settee was fought for. I love in large living rooms, having little conversation areas. There was a console table and a rather stern looking throne chair here facing the kitchen. Great for contemplating what you’ve done wrong when placed there in a time out. Not so great for lounging or chatting. The clients had lowered the windows on the bay to just above the floor to take in their amazing backyard and were worried that the settee would block it. It doesn’t. the view is maintained and can be all the more enjoyed.
The photo I opened with is from Raji RM & Associates. It’s from the Kips Bay Showhouse a few years back and I was immediately struck by it’s beauty and the contrast between light and dark. When I walked into the master bath in this house I immediately thought of this mural. I tracked it down and as luck would have it, it is something she has on her site for sale. They were great to work with and it is installed and it is EXACTLY what the space needed and has come to life exactly how it looked in my head. Truly spectacular.
Just so you can see I don’t ALWAYS paint the wood. I add grasscloth.
Before I dive in to what trends are coming down the pipe, I wanted to get a few housekeeping items out of the way. I am giving not ONE, not TWO, but THREE talks this November - ACROSS Canada! Starting this coming weekend, I will be in Halifax appearing as part of the Dine by Design East event in support of design education at NSCAD University through the Amber Harkins Memorial Scholarship Fund. My talk is on Sunday. If you want more information about the events there this weekend including my talk please visit their website HERE.
On November 19th I am giving the Key Note presentation for #IDMC - Interior Design Master Class. DXV is sponsoring this Key Note which is on the HOT TOPIC of “How to Make Money” in the design industry. It is a full day event with amazing sponsors and I am also going to be mediating a Design Panel on - DESIGNER DISASTERS with my friends and colleagues Jonathan Legate and Alison Habermehl. Trust me, I could talk for several hours straight on the stupid and costly mistakes I’ve made over the years. I’ve got scars people SCARS!!!!
The topic is SO noteworthy, I’m taking it on the road out to Vancouver on November 27th and will be sharing the stage with Tracy Ayton, Nyla Free and my darling Corey Klassen. Our Vancouver Hosts are the always delightful Layers and Layers Ladies (say that six times fast) Yvonne & Sharon. WOWSAS HUH? For ticket information in either Toronto or Vancouver (or both, let’s be real my talks are almost always impromptu & shit gets real when you put a microphone in my hand and you’re guaranteed to get a new take from talk to talk…) please visit HERE to purchase tickets.
Alright let’s talk colour. As I assured you back in the spring and probably before that after I got back from Barcelona last fall, RED is going to be making a huge comeback. It’s already started to happen in fashion and home decor is hot on it’s trail. I’m going to go one step beyond that and say that the next big colour statement is going to be twofold. Malachite was made popular again a few years ago and it’s evolving into a rich deep olive and the updated Hunter Green which is less yellow and more blue than before. It’s not quite peacock, though that is popular it’s deep, rich and super saturated. It’s mutable in that some will see it as blue green while others will just see it as a dark hunter approaching black. This is going to be huge. Oxblood is coming back and I’ve seen it paired with mustard which you know I will hate because green/red/yellow is CONDIMENT DECORATING so I’ll be skipping that Triad. I prefer working with mutable hues because they help to blur the lines that some colour schemes create. That’s a whole lot of theory I’m glossing over but I stand firm in my colour trends. I’m even wearing deep olive cashmere as I type this.
Now let’s be fair, I had to curate the hell out of this. There was a little bit of green here and there no one was rushing to overdose on it but it is there to be found. While I would normally say that I’m drawn to more vivid hues and jewel tones, I am liking the idea of mixing more vivid accents with the Olive/Hunter/Peacock for a fresher look. Turquoise would be amazing paired with any of these. I opt for Turquoise because it stays in the Analogous zone. Same with a rich citrine. Purple and mauve have historically been paired with this hue in the fabric industry and I’m trying to stay away from that though I can’t deny that a mauve/grey/olive could be beautiful it just has to be done carefully to avoid feeling too traditional and too Grama/Stuffy. Pretty awesome though don’t you think? A great way to update for fall/winter.
Opening Photo Credit: Eiwy Ahlund
Opening Photo Credit: Red Dresses - Richard Rutledge from Hamburg Kennedy
Still decompressing post Market and I thought I’d do a recap of my Favourite Finds at market - beyond just the spots that I StyleSpotted. I’ll touch on a few here but if you want to see my Collection of Spots check out my Pinterest Board HERE.
I don’t start out with an overall theme/concept when it comes to spotting. I prefer to spot a few things and visit a plethora of booths/showrooms to get a big picture sense of the vibe that is happening and then dive in. I happened upon my “Trend du Jour” pretty quickly this market. I opted to skip the Materials Trend, or the Motif Trend in favour of something that speaks more directly to my brand - “Strong Feminine” and “Modern Trad” quickly became what I was hunting for. If the pieces spoke to either of these brand pillars I was in like Flynn.
I know I wasn’t going to show a spot but that sofa is totally worth it. You need a big house/room to fit it because of the depth but FARK it is gorgeous.
This entire vignette. What is not to love. Inspiration for our #MadisonDecoration #DiningRoom.
The amazing Sarah Parker told me that this is the desk from The Good Wife - I believe it is Eli Gold’s. I love Alan Cummings. I love Eli Gold. The Good Wife is the most underrated amazing show ever.
BURL BURL BURL I’ve never met a burl I didn’t love.
Usually you see this base on an upholstered stool. This was a great and unexpected twist. John Richard did not disappoint in the slightest. They were never on my radar. They so are now.
If this console were slightly smaller it would already be on it’s way to my house.
Likewise, if this were slightly shallower my house.
This mirror may very well be on it’s way to my house. You can’t appreciate the scale of it in this pic. It is HUGE.
I got to play dress up with the amazing Caroline Furs. I need this hat. NEED. Caroline Furs deals with the Hudson Bay Co. here in Toronto exclusively. Rumour has it a Pop Up Shop is happening this Saturday at the Queen St store. Run don’t walk.
I freaking love this triptych.
This series is amaze balls.
I may need a few Niermann Weeks chandies in my house. They are not light on the pocketbook but SO Worth it!
I kinda think I need one of these for my office. It would save me from having to say “Just because you don’t see the Tiara, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist…” I would just have to point.
Much like the David in Florence, I wasn’t supposed to take pictures of these but I am a rebel and I did. They are amazing. The entire showroom was amazing. I can’t say who because well I wasn’t supposed to be taking pictures. All of their artwork is on acrylic and floats out from the wall frameless. STELLAR.
I Went. Saw. Conquered. (and took a shit ton of selfies) This market, we opted for what we ended up calling “Slow Market…” We took our time, visited, revisited and engaged with friends and suppliers both new & established. The goal was to be more present and engaged instead of rushing through showrooms in a blur and leave feeling like we missed so much or wondering what it was we actually saw. I went to market with my friend and colleague Alison Habermehl of Habermehl Design Group based in Waterloo, ON. Vendor after vendor was shocked that two female designers were A) good friends and B) travelled together - which really was eye opening. The fact that we choose to have a friendship and share our sources/resources seemed to really take people by surprise. What does that say about our industry I ask you… I’ll leave you with that.
We averaged about 17,000 steps each of the six days we were there. We got the handle on work/meal consumption and I can safely say that this market, we did not go hungry or fall into bed at the end of the day, on an empty stomach - exhausted. We did fall into bed exhausted but at least we had something to eat.
We saw SO much. The introductions at this market weren’t as shocking as previous spring markets and by shocking I mean, fall over I can’t believe I get to buy this sort of shocking. We saw GREAT things, don’t think that we didn’t but I felt that this market was building on previous ones and we found a few amazing holes in our repertoire of vendors that were filled. I thought I would share some of these finds over the next week here on the blog - under specific categories. A few ground rules though…
Along with many other designers, I choose to take time away from my business and travel to market. This costs me both in lost time (which is money) with clients and of course the travel expenses associated with getting there and staying there. This is an investment I make in my business. This market I was a Style Spotter again, and my spots are available HERE. These are the only pieces that you will see that Iist the vendor of. This is deliberate. I get asked on Instagram about where individual pieces are from and the answer is always the same - they are available through my studio. Now I don’t sell to the general public a piece here or there - I design homes. So the way you get them, is to hire my firm to design your house or a complete room in your house. I know that I love to design and while it seems like a really great way to pass the time, I do it first and foremost to make money. I spend money to make money. That’s how it works. Some will call me a biotch for saying this out loud but they can sod off. Designers go to markets all around the world for inspiration, connection and to establish relationships with vendors that enable them to provide a luxury service to their clients. They marry their talents, expertise and know how with these resources. THIS IS WHAT INTERIOR DESIGN & DECORATING is all about. It’s not about shopping. It’s not about getting things for cheaper. It’s not about a discount. It’s much more intricate and complex and it’s one of the reasons why hiring a designer will always save you money and get you better results than you could achieve on your own.
::steps down from soapbox::
Let’s talk about the Best Seats in the House…
This tufted tub chair was divine. I love a tub chair. I love tufting. This one hit all of the must haves.
This tufted settee was a stunning colour, a ridiculously comfortable seat (though at the end of six days, I’d argue I was having a hard time deciding on if it was actually comfortable or if I was just a beggar and no longer choosey - I am going with the former on this one though). It was also ridiculously affordable.
Also highly memorable for the comfort factor was this chair but the cost on this one - you could buy several of those settees.
A plethora of amazing outdoor seating was found.
I’m sure this chair will remind you of the chairs that Ikea discontinued. It was very much a more sophisticated version and came with a significantly bigger price tag.
I totally NEED this chair in my own home. PRONTO.
This dining chair pair - Hands down, the most comfortable dining chair I’ve ever sat in. They narrowly edged out a chair we used in our #Nobscot project and my own Louis chairs. But only just. The entire vignette they belonged to made me gasp and was definitely in my top #HPMKT moments.
I totally have a project for this settee. Need to get the green light on it though. I mean it’s divine isn’t it???
Here it is in a linen fabric. I DIE. ( I prefer the velvet but the colour of this version of it made me welp)
One of the most comfortable club chairs I’ve ever sat in.
I will break my rule on the no sharing with the new colour way of my fave dragon fabric from Wesley Hall. I love Wesley Hall. Their entire team. Their products. Their affiliations. Their munchies. Their libations. Their hospitality and warmth. THE BEST.
I am so glad that someone is making a chair that is similar to the one that William Sonoma Home used to make.
We just put these brass/velvet slipper chairs in our #PalmSprings #Cactus project and have specified them for our #MadisonDecoration project. We want them in an amazing chevron velvet but the clients aren’t as enthralled with the fabric choice… I’m hoping you can help me persuade them.
and in the charcoal velvet. GORGEOUS but can you imagine them in a pattern???
We’ll be using this accent chair quite a bit I imagine. LOVE. It was stupendously comfortable too. Maybe my office??? I literally could post all week just about seating I loved but hopefully you’ll be seeing more of these selections in upcoming projects yes???