April 22, 2014:

#Canmore Zee Details

I am so ridiculously excited about this project I can barely stand it. I feel that about a lot of our projects right now so you know you are in the groove when this happens. So let's get to the details.. The shape of the room is odd and that's being generous. We have to work around some unusual angles, walls built on top of foundations and niched and then others that are cut out entirely. The best defense is often an offense so that's where we are headed. I'm going to overwhelm the space with so much beauty that you can't even notice the weird angles and such. I say weird, they follow the shape of the house which is a classic alpine triangle house as I love to call them. When we were kids my dad was considering cottages and he really wanted an A - Frame one so this is my Triangle counterpart.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm obsessed with the Fromental UK's Travertine wallpaper. I got my samples today they are exquisite. Thank you Melissa!!! Now I normally loathe when people get all mood-board computery but I needed to work out some logistics and I am making an exception with this one. I will offer up a sketch though to soothe the savage purist in me. I am love love loving the chaises they really hit the mark. I wanted to juxtapose them with something a bit off the beaten path and I feel that these two Chinois stools hit the mark in terms of the right amount of tension for the space. They will make great perches to put your shoes on or if you are having a small gathering of people - a Gaggle of  Friends if you will. Or they are great for toddlers of which there is one that belongs to this clan.

Coffee table I'm a bit unsure on still only because I have to plot out the pieces on the floor plan to esnsure there is room. I am including my choices though... It really comes down to fabric for the chaises. While I love and adore the idea of a pale cream or stone for them, I am pretty sure the client will kill me. HA! I haven't ruled it out thanks to Nanotex technology though which is the new ScotchGuard but better I am told.... I'll show you the fabric scheme a bit later as I'm waiting on some fabrics still. 

My biggest decision is between a Mirror or Art above the fireplace. We're going to have to redo the mantel which I have included below in terms of inspiration... I think we can do a cheap and cheerful update on the mantel including lowering it a bit... but as I said I'm torn between a mirror and art. Art makes more sense from an enjoyment point of view but I love the drama of the mirror. It's not like you'll be able to put your lipstick on it it really... Well unless you dance on the coffee table. Ironically, one of the tables I've chosen features a ballerina on point on it. Sooooooooooo

Okay so here's the layout. Not my best sketch but you get the idea.

Pretty good interpretation of my sketch which is why I'm showing this... The client loves hammered metals. I was initially thinking I wanted a lot of brass but I think that with the wallpaper silver may be better. Rose gold will work too.

This is probably a bit too glam of a mirror but it's pretty rocking yes?

Now here it is with some art. I love the idea of the watercolour Venison - I mean it's conceivable that you could look out the windows and actually see some deer - no Moose to my knowledge.. but still!

I'm rather partial to the fireplace mantel on the right. Maybe we could do it in rose gold or copper edging???? Pretty yum yes?

So I put the stone table in the top left in the boards I did because it's only 36" or 38" in diameter. The others are bigger and I'm nervous we don't have the room. Also while I love the black grasscloth and gold table so much that it hurts, it won't work if the chaises are done in a darker fabric. Only works if we stay light or go with a heathered purpley grey. Decisions right? A good quandry to be in when what you have to choose from is gorgeous and more gorgeous. HAPPY!!!

April 21, 2014:

Sweet #Canmore

We have been fortunate to work with our #Canmore clients now for 8 years. If you are unfamiliar with Canmore it is a lovely little mountain town nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains outside of Calgary close to Banff. It is not unusual for me to get an email from our clients (who have become friends) telling me that it snowed in July.

We have revamped the exterior and did such a great job they have drive bys and their trades are regularly accosted and begged for specifics including painters. I think someone boldy showed up once and knocked on the door demanding the bold colour we put on the door (a rather striking acidic citrine). We have also tackled the living and dining rooms and now we are moving on to the Den in the basement.

Because it is an alpine home with the architecture to boot - think soaring peaks and huge windows facing the Three Sisters Mountains - we have tried to use a palette that is of the region and allows the eyes to travel out to the view instead of being overly domineering and keeping you focused indoors. When you've got that kind of real estate and view... I mean it really makes sense non? The clients also have two gorgeous Canines - to me they are giant poodle types but they are a different breed a water something or another - I'm not a dog person but they are gorgeous and we've had to design with them in mind. Good thing they are so good looking.

We are focusing on the Den because the way the house is situated, you often enter through the basement entrance and into the den given that the driveway is at a level lower than the front door. The house is on a corner and the front door is up a set of stairs but you park around the corner at the lower basement level. So we are taking this on to add oomph and wow that will then take you upstairs where we've already achieved this in spades.

It's funny that people no longer expect me to use neutrals and I do love a good mix of neutrals especially when they are done with texture, pattern and interest. Our clients also love bling and the unexpected - they also let me make most of the decisions which I rather adore. The husband is a great collaborator and often manages the local trades which is amazing as he's got some great ones who really can execute my vision given the remote locale. We have travelled there several times including our last installation and my plan is to do the same in early summer this year.

So I have one HUGE inspiration picture that is driving this design and I'm told that the sample of the wallpaper should be arriving to my office no later than Weds of this week. I am beside myself with excitement and anticipation. You ready???

I mean have you ever? Can't you Just? This room was designed by Litchen & Craig for I think it was the Kips Bay Showhouse using Fromental UK wallpaper. I am getting this paper and I am giddy with excitement.

As you can see a Heather and Charcoal grey are added to keep the palette from being too blah and this is perfect for the den because it is still a bit of a flop zone for youngest daughter and well we've discussed the dogs.

This is a hand painted mural was commissioned by designer Laura Tutun which I was sad to discover as it wasn't wallpaper that I could buy. Sigh. The client loves agate and stones both clients do in fact. Our initial concept boards (actual legit design boards) were done about 8 years ago and featured a mix of metals, capiz, shell, burl wood, stone and sumptuous fabrics. It was a timeless design we fashioned for them because it's as en vogue today as it was then and well you can see why we are so excited.

Thanks to dark denim washes and dog we may have to represent the palette more like this including an original Meredith Heron Design Rug which I teased yesterday. (Room design by Antonio Buzzeta

And this is the grand plan. Forget a traditional seating arrangement. Two chaise lounges flanking their fireplace toward the TV with an amazing coffee table between them and then some accessory stools which I think are a genius way to include seating by the door to take shoes/boots/snowshoes (ha ha ha) on and off with ease without having a separate entrance area... EXCITING! (Design by Frank Roop)

April 20, 2014:

The Week of Eating

Easter Monday - We are closed until Tuesday. Whoa...  a four day weekend YES. 

P-easter-Over has passed and wow the eating that was done means I need to seriously embrace the Kelly Wearstler I juice through the day and only eat a dinner diet and how. I love the Easter Long Weekend though - it's 4 days of nothingness that always makes me feel more recharged than a vacation. I can't quite explain why but it is a definite fave. Maybe it's because I forget about it all year until it is pretty much upon us and then it's like this surprise vacation. Who knows. I love it and I don't even really celebrate Easter that much if ever.

I think I've mentioned that as soon as I'm in a place of having NOTHING on my agenda, whether it be a long weekend or a vacation, I inevitably find myself inspired and wanting to work. That is the inherent difficulty with turning a hobby or a passion into a profession. Never feels like work. The work to me, is the proposal writing, budget crunching, logistical coordination. It's not what I call fun fun fun. I like the creative, the dreaming, the customizing and designing part of the equation. 

So what are we in the middle of creating?

What is this you ask? Well my rug collection is about to be born. The for real one. The hair on hides are great but let's be honest, they were only my toe dip into the world of rug design. Serious bidness about to come your way. I have a pattern in mind for #Canmore - colours may not have the dark indigo in them but more of a copper/gold/cream/taupe. You are shocked by this yes?

Love this coffee table idea for the space but I have my eye on a few others as well. I should probably introduce you to the space/Project in a blog come to think of it... oops. Talk about the cart before the horse. If you've been on instagram at all this weekend you'll have seen #Canmore

I've got these babies under consideration for a few projects  AND I have a Trend Report I'm putting together for #HPMKT... Think: Organic, Sculptural and well the obvious GOLD.

My Trend Report wouldn't be complete without hinting at the next big thing. What do you think that is? (I've been whispering about it for about 6months now....)

April 16, 2014:

A Raucous Start annnnd it’s Done.

This week has been raucous and a flurry of activity and all of a sudden I'm realizing that tomorrow is the last day in the work week and we're off for Easter until Tuesday of next week. WOW. Craziness. Blinked and well it's pretty much all over.

I spent Wednesday as the Guest Speaker for the Inaugural #IDMC14 the brainchild of Wendy Hicken of Juice Marketing and sponsored by the likes of Gresham House (also our lovely hosts), JF Fabrics, Delta Faucet Canada, Weavers Art,  Switch Studio (STACI!!!), Q-Design, Elm Hill Cookies (OH MY GOD I ATE A PLATE OF COOKIES AFTER MY TALK I COULDN'T STOP AT A HALF A DOZEN) and Treasures - I don't think I forgot anyone if I did well sit me in a corner and withhold the cookies from me Mea Culpa. Stephani Buchanan whom I've had the pleasure of working with, also spoke from the photographer side of the equation while I focused on the "Getting Published" side of things. Of course, you put more than one designer in a room and the conversation will always switch to "What do you charge?" and well I may have fielded a few questions which caused us to run over our alotted time. Clearly, more discussion is needed and I'm excited to be instrumental in some of these discussions. It's about time we joined forces as an industry and took matters into our own hands.

Before the week is done, I need to nail down the final plan for the nursery in our #Nobscot project, hunt down tile for our #LongBranch project after 4 boxes arrived smashed and the supplier the client purchased them through is now out of stock (phew it wasn't my smash or out of stock problem which is a nice change because usually it IS - if you see my eyebrow twitching ever, it's often tile stock related), I have to come up with a solution to our #MadisonAve client not loving the $$$ for the stone and talk him off the ledge after some "visitor" bad-mouthed marble. I just love when people have an opinion based on heresay and they share it... (insert grumpy cat face here), two proposals need to be sent out and I have a 6 page to do document as Celia has left on holiday for 2.5 weeks to Africa and Turkey (JEALOUS) and Vanessa is away celebrating her graduation from Humber's Design program! Way to go VanCam!!! EEKKKK that means I have to finish this all of solo. Ohhhm. I need a coffee IV stat. I love my team. I miss them when they aren't there and not just because they make my life so much easier. We have a great little family at MHD.

Send cookies.

Oh and a website NEEDS to be finished. Yup this one is getting a major overhaul and I'm pretty jazzed about it.

Oh and I have to finish off the concepts for the most amazing den ever for very special clients of ours out in Canmore AB. I can't wait to get this room underway. It's so exciting and our clients trust our vision completely which is always welcome.

April 15, 2014:

This Week’s Obsession

I had a thought this past weekend, our #Madison project is really starting to feel like home to me and well I can always hope to win the lottery. THAT would be so much fun. I'd probably be in traction from the excitement of it all. In the meantime though, I'm still plotting the course for my own house.

New fabrics arrived on my doorstep last week and of COURSE I'm plotzing to use #ChezMoi.

Asa if you are reading this - you may want to avert your eyes. Cover your ears and pretend you don't see/hear this.

While I love the scrolls for drapery they are a touch too much the same as what I have right now. Of course the geometric stripes below are totally different right?

Again, not entirely dissimilar to my current drapery but what about this baby on the outside of a new custom tufted ivory leather tuxedo sofa from Wesley Hall??

The floral fabric I own and is going on a sofa for our den. The ikat would be fabulous as... I'm not entirely sure what but it will be fabulous. The embrodiery would make for great romans yes??? With some fabulous green ball fringe perhaps?

A pair of these need to happen in my den as well.

Still totally smitten with this...