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???
Tuesday was a crazy kinda day. Not in that it was overly busy or filled with appointments but it was just filled with countless oddities or situations that needed to be handled, explained, re-explained and then there was just the plain ol’ cray. Patience was required as was prudence and thoughtfulness. I was faced with one situation that was an unexpected speed bump, but it turned itself around (with some of that patience and thoughtful consideration) and became an opportunity. Proposals have been a full time job of late, which I am always grateful for but what I am noticing is that a streamlining is happening along with a confident forthright attitude. With social media these days, everyone is an expert, a genius, a tour de force, a dynamo - so much smoke so many mirrors. It’s hard to keep things straight. What I am really enjoying about MHD these days is our ability to cut through it all and not only deliver but to convey how we intend to succinctly and directly without blowing smoke up anyone’s butt. Likeminded individuals in the industry recognize and appreciate this and the support is both generous and inspiring. It makes the wins all the more enjoyable and the losses bearable and often humorous. Now I know I’m sounding a bit philosophical and I assure you that this was not the intent of this post. In all of the “takin’ care of business” I happened to check in on a little experiment I was running on Social Media. You see, about two weeks ago a friend of mine, Melissa from @VerandaInterior thought she’d give me a little boost in my sad and lagging instagram followers. Apparently if you post a picture of the same vignettes over and over again you can amass tens of thousands of followers but I couldn’t crack 3000. Melissa is super talented and a custom home designer/builder with her husband in Calgary. She did a Follow @meredithheron without telling me and suddenly I was gaining somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 followers ever minute. I literally gained 1000 new followers within 24 hrs and I had to share this anomaly with friends Brian Patrick Flynn and Christian May who have been remarking about the saga of cracking 3000 followers and then the ensuing loss of followers for no apparent reason at all. This ongoing dialogue between them on fb has amused me to no end. Part of Melissa’s, who has over 10K followers, instructions to me were to limit my posts and to only post great pictures of my work specifically Kitchens and Bathrooms. Delete posts that didn’t get over 100 likes and well I set out to follow this for a 2 week period to see what the results were. I didn’t gain anywhere near the followers I did after her initial Follow Suggestion but I gained steadily at least another 100 or so. Until that is I cracked 3400 followers then it started yo yo-ing much like Brian and Christian had noticed. I was restraining myself. No cute Luke pictures, I wasn’t posting my Biking to Work Chic outfits, hell I wasn’t even instagramming Asa’s FOOD THAT IS GOD which there was an abundance of in the last week. I noticed Tuesday morning that I had 12 new followers but when I looked at my overall, clearly I had lost 15. This after a weekend with a few pics of Luke, a couple of selfies and one outfit post. Now, I recognize that Instagram followers really, truly are like your Klout score. If you are a fashion blogger, you can have 100K even if you dress like a dork on a good day. I mean people are fickle beasts what can I say… I share UHHHmazing design porn and pfft nada. So I thought enough. Screw the followers, I’m going to post what I want, when I want and to hell with the totals. So I posted this picture.
I sent a note and tagged Brian in it - because I knew that he would appreciate the sentiment!! Rally!!! But then this person I didn’t even know who was following commented with the following:
“You’re talented, I like pics of kids but you’re an asshole.”
I shit you not. Out of farking left field. Please note that the person who this was originally from is a Twerker. I mean could it BE any more tongue in cheek? I think not… Anyway…. I looked at the person’s name and profile and while the name sort of reminded me of something I was unsure. OF COURSE when I clicked on the profile it was a Private User. No one who calls you an asshole is going to have a public profile right??? It’s like the code of all trolls. MUST HAVE PRIVATE ACCOUNT. But then I remembered why the person seemed somewhat possibly familiar. This person followed me on twitter and apparently took great umbrage with something I said over there (again) and declared that I was going to lose a follower over there on the twitter where I have over 14,000 followers so ya know, it’s one. It’s not like 15 while I slept right?? (insert sarcasm font) So this got me laughing actually. You unfollow me on twitter because I offended you with some rambling of mine or thought and yet you follow me on instagram? GO ONNNNNN Well I couldn’t stop laughing about it all afternoon. It actually made me introspective regarding the use of the word ASSHOLE. Asshole to me is a pretty personal slight. I feel you have to have been threatened physically or mentally by someone at relative close proximity to you, to warrant the term asshole. For example, I was almost run off the road last week by a TTC Bus TWICE. That driver - IS AN ASSHOLE (it was the same driver, same route, same location). Sarah Palin - ASSHOLE. She hasn’t caused me close proximity harm but she is so offensive that I feel that mental distress has been caused and is a fair slur to associate with her. Doug Ford - ASSHOLE Rob Ford - Fucking Moron - you see the term moron implies that he partly can’t help it. He was born that way. And of course there is this…
Pun intended there Alicia. I am sure you will enjoy that. And this…
Because really, the whole experiment on social media was me NOT being myself and while my numbers went up marginally on their own, they didn’t dramatically surge and if having to be someone who only posts perfection of her work (which it often is) and only kitchens and bathrooms good god I may as well shut down the account. That is not me. And if some person who has never met me thinks me an asshole well…
and there’s this which really makes a certain point when you think about it….
But frankly, there are bigger and better things to worry about. I mean Martha Stewart is THROWING DOWN with Gwyneth and her Goopy Goop. I mean Martha is Consciously Coupling Pies why Gwynny is eating macro and doing god knows what with god knows who all the while consciously UNCOUPLING with Chris Martin who is coupling consciously or otherwise with JLAW and then there are the freaking hackers who are posting naked pictures which really is a sex crime. I mean PRIORITIES PEOPLE PRIORITIES.
Semantics. I tell all new clients that working out the semantics in our designer/client relationship are a cornerstone to establishing solid and fruitful communication. If someone says they love modern well I need to know what modern means to them. Clearly the same is for stalkers. While it would be nice to know what exactly constitutes an asshole to some and a moron or a twit to others, I frankly would rather worry about exactly how much a client doesn’t love flowers as I try and convince them that putting that floral explosion of painterly heaven over their new custom curved settee for their living room. If that makes me an asshole well then, I’m an asshole… or maybe I just have feline tendencies with +/- 3400 give or take followers on instagram who enjoy watching as I go about my day. But not like in the creepy stalking kinda way…