March 25, 2014:

Obsessed

I need this for beside my desk. While I love and adore my spots, and I'm entirely terrified about putting something on them I think this may be the PERFECT piece of art to go there.

I love being obsessed with beautiful things. Finding that "Gotta Have It" piece or jumping off point for a room or a house for that matter is essential. That's when you know you are hooked and committed. Feeling your way through a design plan viscerally is my preferred working style. If it is too logical, too calculated the results are often flat. 

I want our clients to have a torrid love affair with something in their home.

Debauchery. I love it.

Wanten need. Must have it.

Jump and the net will appear has been my motto for forever. I think this speaks to that.

March 24, 2014:

Looking Forward to a Kick Ass Week

I am feeling very determined. This winter has not beaten me yet (and frankly I feel guilty even complaining about it seeing as every time I've left Toronto, I have missed some sort of Snowpocalypse and I've left quite a few times). I think it's been wearing everyone one down so I've decided to kick start this week. Spring baby. It's here. I'm looking forward to new projects on the roster and putting a few we've been tinkering with into full gear.

Our #LongBranch project has got tile DOWN! This is very exciting. It's really starting to take shape and I couldn't be more excited for our client who is also a very good friend. Walking through her house last week I was up on the second floor. It felt so familiar to me and I had this moment of thinking back to what the house was like before we renovated it. It was at that point that it occurred to me that I couldn't be remembering the old house because, the old house DID NOT have a second floor. Crazy. I have looked at these plans for so long, it actually felt like I'd already been in this room. I think this is totally auspicious and speaks to how much we have nailed the design for our client.

The first coat of paint is up and even that looks amazing. I cannot wait to see the Guest Bath on the 2nd floor and powder room final paint done. We've planned some unexpected twists to each. Okay the powder room isn't all that unexpected, you know I need to have a navy room but we're doing it in a gloss. We're also painting the sunroom navy because it's mostly a garden glass ceiling with very little wall space. Tons of light. The bathroom though... well I will leave that a surprise a bit longer.

I'll give you a teaser though with the tile in!

I am. The sun is shining, the birds (yes the goddamn birds - my husband has one of those sleep things that sets off birds chirping into your room and I woke up at the first tweet tweet and started my day. I'm working on the enthusiastically part still) twirping and a great chat with my friend Jonathan. 

This is pretty exciting stuff. If it does not excite you, why exactly are you on here again? My favourite on a budget item may be 4x4 ceramic tile laid in a brick pattern with only very slim grout lines. 

Now to decide on if we do navy grout or stick with white. This may capture my mood regarding grout....

March 21, 2014:

The Business of Creating

We have been working on a nursery for a baby girl for our #Nobscot project. Now please keep in mind, we've done the entire house. We had a pretty easy time with almost every room in this 7000 sq ft house - I mean sure we debated sofa fabrics FOR. LIKE. EVER. and a few lights really had us debating a whole new world order but for the most part, we blinked and it was all selected.

The nursery not so much.

Sometimes when you do a house this big, it's hard to fall in love with every fabric for every piece in every room. Some rooms have to settle for a serious like others, it just has to work. I often tell clients that we can't be wild and in love with everything. Somethings have to be a solid relationship builder or foundation piece on which we will layer LOVES. If you plan on living with these pieces for a decade, you shouldn't be too hot and heavy or else you'll burn out. A solid plan means being able to go the distance. I do believe your sofa should be much like your spouse. Sturdy, Reliable and a safe haven after a long shitty day. You can quote me on that.

So we found a million wallpapers we liked but we were not feeling many of the fabrics. Well Celia and I were loving a few - some her more than me. The client, loved the wallpapers but not the fabrics. Then she broke the news to us, she hates horses. I should add that she respects the beasts themselves but too many years spent mucking out stalls, she doesn't want them adorning her baby's nursery. I can't really fight her on this.

As far as process goes, I like to start with the fabric and I actually like to throw them all over the table, the floor, drape them over chairs hell I'll pin them up if we need to figure out how they will hang even. It's a visceral way to design and more organic. I can't believe people put things on boards in this day and age. So stiff, so NOT how to feel the vibe being created. If clients can touch and feel vs just see, they believe. They will buy. My beautifully styled office - well looks like a fabric and wallpaper bomb went off.

I freaking love it.

If you want to see what we are playing at with the fabrics - check out my instagram. Don't just stalk me though - FOLLOW me. Join the conversation.

A beautiful mess.

March 20, 2014:

That Je Ne Sais Quoi Piece….

Whenever I'm asked about my go to piece or how to set a room/house apart from others I usually find that my answer involves something along the lines of "shopping the client's house" to discover the pieces that will enable me to tell the story of the client all the better. Now sometimes, this proves difficult as the client doesn't have a treasure trove of heirlooms that have been passed down generation after generation or they haven't spent much time travelling to far off places as they been elsewhile occupied.  I love when clients don't think that they have anything worth using but Celia and I are jumping up and down at the chance to use X and Y. Love those surprises. Now when we have a bookcase to fill we often find ourselves walking the aisles of a Home Sense, Home Goods or a Target but I have to say this is not my ideal. These stores are great for filler pieces but we've found of late that we are at the mercy of the retailer and their current season/trends. Ugh. We tried to go to West Elm for a client before Christmas and all the decoratives were mercury glass it seemed. I don't want the built ins to feel like Christmas all year round. I'm usually a few seasons ahead colour wise than most retailers and finding the right palette for what I'm after can also prove to be difficult.

Lately I've been scouring 1stdibs and antique shops for "New to the Client Conversation Pieces." I think these to be better investments even if they do tend to run a bit higher price wise. I don't want my projects to feel mass market and while I'm pretty good at mixing and matching from retailers to hit the right price point, I really want our work to grow in it's original, bespoke feel and therefore, finding that "Je Ne Sais Quoi" piece is what I strive for.

I love a chair that doesn't match in a room. Even in a hallway, a chair such as this Savonarola Chair makes such a statement. I think this would be PERFECT in our den. Yes, I'm committed to practicing this in my own home. I'd stack books on the seat and use it as a table personally.

Louis Phillipe Chests are my weakness. The burl, the marble. I want to use this in the Master Bedroom at our #Hurndale project. The classic lines and rich burl texture will juxtapose with the newness of the upholstered bed and it's tailoredness.

These Neoclassic Napolean III lamps are JUST what I've been looking for for our #Lakefield family room project. We already have a red sectional but these are the PERFECT red shades if ever I saw them. They have a rich sophistication which will create the perfect foil to the more contemporary furntiure and tie into the more classic fireplace design with cast stone.

Love me a Federal Convex Mirror. This one is a English Regency which is a bit more unusual - more feminine in fact and would also work in our #Lakefield project rather nicely especially with those lamps. We've got one at our #Hurndale project and I adore it.

I think this pair of Bagues sconces would be PERFECT in our #Nobscot dining room. They are a wee bit pricey but less than the wallpaper so maybe they are worth suggesting?

This 19th Century Syrian Inlaid Table on a tripod base is well... exquisite. I don't have anywhere at the moment that I can use it but I am hopeful. As a centre hall table can you imagine????

These Rose Medallion Porcelain Urns - on a bookcase can you just??? Imagine them on a magenta high gloss bookcase or built ins? I swoon. It's the perfect amount of Je Ne Said Quoi - n'est pas?

March 18, 2014:

MHD Rug Collection and Chloe Magazine

Working on a Rug collection for the last two years now has been both exhilerating and exhausting. There are so many details and so much hurry up and waiting it really blows the mind. All of this is building toward something but you're never entirely sure of what that is - so there is some frustration and a huge learning curve.

What I have done though, is slow the process down. We put out our natural hair on  hide rugs initially because they were the easiest to work with and we were developing our relationship with our manufacturer. We then tried some colour options and this was a hit and miss.  Some we nailed it, others not so much and so it was here that the learning process began. We had to establish a language of colour for our hides and that is unfolding as we speak.

What I am most excited about however, is our new collection. We've worked on a bunch of different designs that will be made using wool, silk, carving, and some flat weaves. We'll still be doing hides but the colour for me is the key. It is what will set us apart from all the other hides. There are a lot of differences in a good hide vs one you will find at a big box retailer or a sale site so it's definitely buyer beware. Double stitching is important as is a suede backing sewn on to the hide.

But let's talk about the pretty. It's here to share and it's a little sneak peek of both our #Brooklin project and the hides that we've been working on. These along with the new collection should be available on our brand new website which we are THIS close to being finished with. Talk about patience of a saint. oy. We worked with the amazingly talented Lisa Petrole (photographer) and Liz Yu (stylist and makeup guru) and the team from Chloe for their Spring 2014 issue. It's a killer issue. The cover alone is Coffee Table Styling Worthy. Amazing.

The feature is Here but please check out a copy of the magazine which is available across North America!

I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to be a hand model. Silicon lotion was involved so my hands didn't look dried out, the odd angle I had to hold them in... it was truly a lesson on the littlest of details. Mind Blown!