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... 

April 14, 2014:

She-Rahhhh and other Monday Morning Ramblings

I was going to say musings but truth be told, that would require intelligent thought which is still eluding me post High Point market a bit. I'm off to meet our #LongBranch client this morning to see if the pantry does in fact, infringe upon the living room. Toilet stacks really messing things up but can you imagine the mess if we didn't have??? Hard to sell that one as fun but entirely necessary does seem to work. You see there are lots of totally unglamorous decisions that have to be made or that are made for you as is the case in this instance.

Swung by our #Madisonave project this weekend too because I just needed to see the foyer floor. After I took this picture they pulled it out again, trying to get it all to line up perfectly so. It's one of the reasons why I'm very very very particular about which tiler we use on a design project. A whisper of arrogance or profession that they are a designer aka tile know it all and I refuse to work with them. Pride in their work is one thing but my experience with undesirable tilers has always ended badly for the client and the stone for that matter. #ripitout #followtheplanStan

It's a busy week ahead. A reminder that I'm giving a talk on #GettingPublished at Gresham House on Weds morning thanks to Juice Marketing's #IDMC14. If you are interested in attending please go HERE to register. Also if you are in the biz you may be interested in THIS article I wrote for NYIAD.

Hope your week is off to a brilliant start. We had an early 1st Seder last night and I think I'm still in a lamb coma.

A "Went to Church" kinda tile moment.

Our wallpaper plans have been dashed in this bathroom. Sigh.

So I had to go to this room to recover my sorrow.

I know, I know. Now I'm just showing off.

April 11, 2014:

#StyleSpotting at #HPMKT Spring 2014

This market pleased me. It pleased me greatly. It solidified that the style of decorating that I have been pursuing wholeheartedly for the last five years, is in fact, making a gigantic comeback. That is not to boast, it's just that my preferred style of decorating is about to get a whole lotta love from media and the public at large and this makes me incredibly happy. I am SO glad to see clean, simple lines and minimalism GONE. It's so cold. It's antiseptic to me. Canada needs a giant kick in the ass to be honest.

TRADITIONAL does not mean Old Lady. I mean to some it does for sure and no disrespect to Granny but..... do I even have to finish that sentence? I mean really? You know it when you see it.

The New Traditional for sure, harkens back but it does so with grand gestures and ever so smartly timed moments of stillness, that allows the OOMPH space to breathe. What do I mean? Well if you think of Mario Buatta - the Prince O' Chintz - he would take a bold and saucy pattern and then repeat it everywhere in a room - from the floor to the walls, to the drapery and the furniture. It made a huge statement, no doubt about that but it could be overwhelming. You needed scale and architecture to achieve. The modern twist on this would be say to put the pattern on the drapery, the furniture and then opt for something solid say a grasscloth (textured) to balance it out and opt for a different scale of pattern on the floor to compliment without overwhelming.

Here's a taste of what I saw that falls into the Category of what I like to call Modern Traditional.

Ohhh before I do - a little housekeeping. I may or may not share where certain pieces are from. As a Stylespotter, I was asked to spot 25 pieces which I have posted to a Pinterest board for public consumption. These are totally fair game. I have had people on my instagram feed not only share the supplier (despite my not specifying) and some have even @ their clients and proceeded to have a full blown design consultation on my instagram. This is NOT kosher. It's terrible form and the tackiest of the tacky as far as I am concerned. Imposing on other designers is also not cool - they got on a plane and at great expense travelled to North Carolina giving up precious time away from their businesses and their paying clients to enrich the experience they offer as luxury service providers. This is their intellectual property that they have paid for in more ways than just cash - my knees are still recovering.  Now there are other suppliers that I love and adore and I myself have ascertained their commitment to providing trade only product so I am often more willing to share and give them the love. There are still pieces of that belong to them that I keep to myself because in the Immortal Words of Kenny Rogers (and his pre-plastic surgery face) "You Gotta Know When To Hold 'Em..." There were several pieces at this show that my colleagues and I agreed to NOT share. My policy regarding sharing info when asked is thusly:

  • Does said person interact with me regularly on social media? 
  • Does this person only ask me for my sources?
  • Did s/he ask nicely?
  • Do I or can I follow this person back?

If I interact regularly, I'm happy to share. But I will often do so offline and privately. If this person always asks but no gives in return. Well you can guess how far that goes. Sometimes a nice request, if I'm in a good and sharing mood yields positive results. Depends on what else has happened on my instagram feed that day ha ha ha. If the person is a private user then I will not share. Private Users on instagram I give the side eye to. Not cool. Not kosher. Share and share alike. If it is not worth sharing, then why bother having an account on there. Seems silly to me. That's what other sites are for.

So without further ado...

The scale of this fixture may not be immediately obvious but it was huge. And I died over it.

The Moderne coffee table from Bernhardt. I would classify it as transitional on it's own but pair it with a more tradtional sofa like the one below and it makes for a very interesting space. I'd probably opt for a more traditional persian underneath it with this sofa.

The scallops on this sofa are both contemporary and vintage in their feel. I love the dichotomy of it. The spotted fabric also has it straddling the line between vintage and modern while the chinoiserie pillow adds in another mod trad feel given it's scale.

A traditional slipper chair that goes both ways. The stripe is both contemporary and trad depending on what you put it with. They were also disarmingly comfortable. New from Celerie Kemble whom I had the pleasure of meeting. She was incredibly fun and down to earth too. My kinda gal.

These wall sconces were off the charts. Adore.

This suite from Bernhardt was deliciously formal but not pretentious. Simple elegance. You could do a lot with this and I'm not usually a fan of a matching suite but this one is very well done.

I spotted the Adler table by Celerie Kemble because it had a vintage feel to it, amazing scale and it wasn't espresso. I adore burl and tortoise shell finishes. The daybeds were just amazing. Too bad it was about as deep as my entire den or I'd have ordered it on the spot!!

This green velvet is very trad to me in colour and texture but the contemporary art piece and simplicity of styling made it feel entirely of the moment. Skirted sofas and fringe trim are on the way back too. In case you need to prepare yourself.

April 10, 2014:

Stylespotting AND Advice for New Designers…

Hola my people I am back. North Carolina was great and if you were one of the four people who unfollowed me from instagram because I was jamming your feed with too much eye candy well, it's your loss. It was a terrific five days and I walked pretty much the equivalent of the entire state and back again but so so so worth it.

I will try and share my favourites beyond just the pieces that I style spotted but I will summarize here for you the trends that will be hitting the marketplace. This is different than trendspotting from one year to the next because these pieces are already in production or are about to be but I will do a humble brag and tell you what I'm forecasting as huge in the next few years...

But before I get to that, I have recently been asked to write a monthly blog series for NYIAD - the New York Institute for Art and Design in NYC. My first article has just been published and I would appreciate it greatly if you would give it a little perusal. I thought I'd start off my series with a little piece on "Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was Starting Out In Design..." Please click HERE to read it. I would love your feedback!

So to the Trends.... 

  • 1) Modern Traditional is HERE. It's not coming back quietly either. 
  • 2) Texture - specifically SHAGREEN is everywhere.
  • 3) Gold/Brass - barely saw anything else
  • 4) Navy/Cobalt continue to be all the rage (duh)
  • 5) Floral - especially overscaled patterns
  • 6) Chinoiserie - it's abundant and I am THRILLED.

As for my prediction on what will be huge in very short order... RED. A Blue Red - deep, rich, saturated. It will be what navy/cobalt is today. My guess is that it will start to trickle in early next year but 2-3 yrs from now it will be a big player.

Please make sure to follow my Pinterest board of my top 25 picks from High Point that I Style Spotted. You can follow HERE and I would love it if you repinned them to your own boards! You can also see my overflow on my instagram feed HERE.

Embellishment at Bernhardt.

Glamour at Hendredon

Antiques given new life with Modern History.