Hey yes it is me, I fell off the blogging wagon almost as soon as I got back on. Busy doesn’t really cut it at the moment as I am blessed with a wonderful overflow of opportunities. Opportunities that include giving back - I’m flying out to Halifax to participate in this year’s Dine by Design East event on Weds. (I’ll be on Global’s morning show in Halifax early Thursday morning, then there is the gala and I’m speaking both Saturday and Sunday including a talk on Liveable Luxury). Next week is #IDMC15 and while registration may almost be closed at least for the VIP portion, I think Wendy is still accepting registrations for the event itself or the Live Stream. I’ve been working on that presentation which has me worried that I only have two hours to really talk about how to excel within the Interior Design Industry by marching to the beat of your own drum, how to establish a rhythm or hell even work up into a waltz if you are so inclined. I always find putting these talks together to be so cathartic and helpful in establishing my own new goals.
We also have some major project presentations upcoming and are about to pull back the throttle on a few others that are seriously ready to take off.
As far as my deep thoughts go they are tending toward more bespoke, more customization, richer hues and a more sophisticated air if you will. Our designs are really moving to next level stuff and that excites me. I feel energized by some of the new directions we are heading in - which include more contemporary statements. Luxurious, Elegant and spaces you want to sink your teeth into and just stare at. Truly. I always strive to have our clients connect on a visceral level. I routinely maul fabrics with my face and hands because I feel them more than I see them. I am compelled to love them. I really do believe that in some cases, fabrics CHOOSE me. They speak a language that others cannot. I feel similarly about marble too. For those who think that Silestone or such doesn’t stain - come to my bathroom at my studio and have a look see. Marble is always the better option in my opinion. ALWAYS.
So here is a teaser on what we are connecting with on a deeper level and taking our projects to levels we have only dreamed about until now.
This sectional from Hickory Chair is to DIE for. The fabric good god. Perfect shade of green. Green, Teal, Tourmaline, Oxidized Copper that has Patina
The photo on the left was taken by Asa in Rome when we were there a few years ago. It has been a constant source of palette inspiration for me. The gloves are Gianfranco Ferre and they are a few seasons old but I keep looking for them. The other photo was uploaded by a user on Pinterest and I haven’t been able to hunt down but the lighting makes for the right mood in my books.
I’ve been totally obsessed with this space by Studio Sofield. The man is a genius and the palette here is liquid. The lacquer on the walls is utterly divine as is the silk velvet on the daybed. We found the silk velvet and I feel as if I can bear to be parted from it for more than a few minutes. I must touch it. I caress my face with it. I realize that I’m not a normal person but nor do I strive for such things. I love bright colours they are fun but this… this just takes me to another place.
Likewise, I’m specifying these sconces for a special project. I mean SHUT THE FRONT DOOR fabulous is an understatement. I texted them to my friend Melissa out in Calgary earlier today and there was swearing. A WHOLE LOTTA FUCKS were being given lets just say that….
Back in the spring, our contractor referred us to clients of his that needed a designer to assist them with the main floor of their home. Meeting them, it was one of those things where you just know you are meant to be their designer. For me, it’s often a huge DING DING DING when our senses of humour mesh well together. That’s how I know that we’ll have fun and that’s my goal. I want to have fun working with people on making their houses into homes that they love. If we can’t have fun together, what’s the point you know?
As I mentioned, we are tackling the main floor of this house - starting with the kitchen and then moving into the dining room which needs a wine cellar display built in as well. Of course, my eye is roving to updates in the living room and powder room as well and heck why don’t we make the foyer a bit more WOW while we are at it. The kitchen though is going to be a jewel. After our presentation of the design, the clients sent me an email and said they had high expectations for what they were going to see but we blew those away. Now THAT is a great email to get! We are headed out to pick out stone this week so I’ll be sure to share that once we’ve found it but until then… here’s a taste of what we are looking at for their home.
Currently, the kitchen is a dark, galley kitchen. I love galley kitchens but you have to really think them through!! Now you may notice from the drawing that we are doing the upper cabinets in a darker colour - we are looking at a Heather or Iris in a gloss lacquer for the upper cabinets with a very unusual door profile. I can’t wait. The base cabinets will be in a creamy chalk colour and have flat fronts with killer hardware. We’re looking at a hammered silver apron front sink too. GAH.
Here is a our palette. Smoky, sexy and sultry but the kitchen will not be dark. I of course headed straight over to Mr Steve Gambrel for inspiration.
We want to put in a banquette in this kitchen for a variety of reasons but I think smoky, sexy and sultry pretty much sums them up. Again, Mr Gambrel can do no wrong. Instead of lacquering the walls though, we’re looking at a watercolour stripe wallpaper that runs on the horizontal. I think it will be relish.
Lighting is super important in this kitchen. It needs to be bright. Smart lighting under cabinet for sure, but I would like the opportunity to add in interesting light fixtures to bookcases, walls and of course as pendants to really make a statement.
Opening Photo: We are using this fabric in a different colour way as a jumping off point but when I ordered in an extra sample of it this arrived. I am so in love with this fabric I just can’t even.
Okay it’s not really of the moment, it’s more like my life long obsession but I really think that it has hit it’s MOMENT. It’s a hard colour to describe because people see it differently - a mutable shade/tint/tone depending on where you start from. Some call it cornflower, others call it periwinkle. Others still call it grey or Iris or delft. If you have watched Game of Thrones, I think White Walker Blue would be pretty accurate. I’m obsessed and it’s a huge influence of mine for upcoming fabric and wallpaper collections. A MUST.
November Skies is one of my faves. It’s a tricky colour though. You can’t lacquer with this without knowing the colour components and how they will react to sheen.
This kitchen by Michael Quinn is EVERYTHING. A total source of inspiration for our #CotswoldHouse project.
The tile story definitely has a blue stone/iris vibe.
Oh would you looky here… a major sneak peek of somethin somethin….. #jfmeredithheron #nextcollection
Steven Gambrel. My Hero.
So if you walk on down past Iris you get into something inkier. This palette speaks to me so much. Also, my nephew’s track was featured on So You Think You Can Dance. AMAZING.
A hit of this ink really adds a great punctuation point to a space. This is a sneak of our #YorkMills project which is 95% installed and ready for a close up.
#DoradoBeach got some ink too. LOVE IT. If you look quickly the contrast creates Iris.
Opening Photo: Credit
Hello My People. I AM BACK. I took a wee bit of a blog-holiday and as part of our stay-cation this summer I vacated when it came to schedules and such. Truth be told, we are really busy with new projects, new team members and I’ve been immersing myself in my zone of genius. It’s been very good for the creative soul.
Where to start… well we have new projects as I mentioned and a bit of news. Our dear and beloved Celia has flown the coop. After almost five years of working with us she decided the time to jump on to bigger and hopefully more creative endeavours presented itself - she got in to Parsons in NYC and moved!!! We are so very sad to see her go but are totally going to take her up on her offer to keep working with us on our NYC #RYE #MtHolly project!!! Now we had planned on having a new team member join us growing the team, but Natasha’s arrival has meant that I don’t really have to worry about desk space and computer hook ups. We’ve joked that she is the new Vanessa and Vanessa is the new Celia. Natasha has moved across the country to join us and I don’t think we’ve scared her off in the last two weeks… she showed up for work again today and has even acquired a bicycle. #bicylechic has never looked better!!!
New project wise - well if you’ve been following along on Instagram you’ll have seen hashtags for #BeechAve, #Bessborough, #Soudan and #PennDr. These are all new residential projects that are surprisingly in Toronto! We are still working away on our #DoradoBeach in Puerto Rico - ZOMG the sneak peeks of some of the installs there are killing me. We are planning on heading down to install in October. We are likewise hard at work on #Rye #MtHolly and #Coaldale in NY and Alberta respectively and have creative underway for our #Naples project. Our #ScrivenerSq project is really shaping up as is our #CotswoldHouse project out in Winnipeg. #PennDr had demolition start last week - HOORAY! and #BeechAve is starting in the next two weeks. Here is a little taste of what we have in store for #BeechAve.
My fancy dancy little sketches amuse me so!! This project is in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. As a former resident, I must say I love working in the Beach. I think it’s the proximity to water and the close knit feel in the hood that makes it so enjoyable. The housing stock ain’t too shabby either. This house is a 3 storey, classic turn of the century home that has lots of character but needs to be re-imagined for a growing family of THREE boys. Having just had my stepson leave for Law School, I still remember him barreling down narrow hallways without thinking that his growing shoulders now needed to share the space. One time I dove head long into the coat closet under the stairs to avoid being body checked by him. I foresee this being an issue in the future for this family!!!
I also know that many young families often overlook or neglect the adult spaces in favour of kid-friendly zones. With our fabrics (and OH MY GOD WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE OUR NEXT COLLECTION) for JF Fabrics made with Crypton Home we don’t have to worry about sacrificing look and feel for wearability. NO NEED FOR MICROFIBRE ANYTHING OR LEATHER ANYTHING!!! I want to make the Living Room a space where adults can relax and enjoy themselves even when they aren’t actually in the room. The adjacent family room will be a kid zone and we’ll add a window seat with a games table and chairs adjacent to the sectional they already own and build in some cabinetry to hide all the things that need to be hidden. We’re looking at a floor plan option that will have you able to enter the kitchen from the foyer instead of jogging through the family room to get to it. A worthwhile investment I think!
The second floor is getting a complete overhaul. Two of the three boys’ rooms are having awkward dormer style closets pulled out in favour of a more open floor plan. Of course we’ll have to build back in some storage but from having my own son, hanging is not nearly as important as drawer space for boys. We also have to start anew with the bathroom. A compact but no less chic vanity will be custom made. I like to chamfer the corners especially with small spaces. Less awkward to work around.
The two smaller rooms as I mentioned will have their built in closets removed and I’ve suggested that we look to build in bunks for both with added drawer space on the bottom. Each bunk will have it’s own light and we can look to add drapery now or later to provide privacy and prevent reading at night from disturbing one’s bunk mate. This will give us a lot of floor space to either add a dresser in or build in as required.
The bigger bedroom of the three won’t get a bunk, but this young man does get built ins. We’ll add in some hanging on either side of the desk area concealed behind doors - even if it is for seasonal coats and such for all the boys. More built in drawers and then we have room to put a dresser on the wall adjacent or in the area with the bed. Smart, functional and ridiculously good looking. Kinda how I like my men if you consider my husband and my son!!! The parentals are getting their own floor - we’re still working on the logistics up there but we are thinking sanctuary, dressing room and a luxurious master ensuite. We are also finalizing plans for the kitchen and the basement/laundry room.
Opening Photo: Michael Valdez @mikevaldez on instagram