Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trends for Fall 2011

It's barely summer (especially in our neck of the woods, where the sun doesn't seem to shine anymore... but most of the design world is always focused on one season ahead of the current one, to what's next, new, and exciting. I'm going out a limb here, but below are some predictions for what I think will be trendy for Fall 2011:

-Texture- especially felt and cross-hatch patterns

Felt iPad Holder

-The color Navy- in a smoky and dark persona

Hale Navy HC154

-Horses. (don't ask)

Horse Bookend

-Sconce Lighting 

Far & Wide Sconce

-Reclaimed Wood Everything!

Mosaic Desk

Monday, June 20, 2011


Well, it's been 8 days since my latest update- pretty odd for a guy who was religiously posting twice a day for 2 months straight. But, it was a nice break. It mostly consisted of getting some tattoos, and being tattoo-obsessed for the past week or so- and pushed any interior design aspirations I had out the window for a bit. Mine and Jackie's computers also died and went to cyber heaven- hers did come back the other day through some divine manifestation. Which then posed the question- more tattoos, or new computer? I think we're still debating the economics of the issue. So, thus the lack of blogging.

That said, the "time off" freed me up to do some projects around the house- and I'll hopefully get around to posting those design journeys sooner than later. In other news, I'll be mixing the paint for some of the colors I've chosen for a design project I've been working on. It's a very cool feeling to know that people trust you to guide their backdrop for daily life. I'm pretty excited to see the results. I'm always viciously awaiting the new IKEA catalogue, among other things. It never ends.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


One of the areas of design that can easily be overlooked is function. We can get absorbed with color palettes, textures, and fun patterns- and soon forget that our homes are more than just beautiful places- they are living spaces- and the accents and furniture pieces need to help us live life more effectively. Here are some ideas of "around the house" fix ups that you can accomplish in a weekend to improve the flow and function of your home.

1. Switch up the lightbulbs. Bright lighting is essential for living efficiently and to look your best! Choose a myriad of wattages throughout the home, and while you're at it- switch your bulbs to CFLs to do something good for the environment.

2. Do you have a first aid/ emergency kit? If not, rally up some key items (water, canned food, bandages, flashlight, etc) and store it in a central location in your home- you can even cover the container in a pretty paper or fabric and set it on display!

3. Steam clean your carpets or throw rugs to eliminate any nasty microscopic pollutants that might be hanging out.

4. Your gadget drawer in your kitchen could probably use a good purging. When baking, it can be bothersome to search through a messy drawer to find a simple measuring spoon. Try this- empty the contents of your drawer into a box. Over the next two months, when you use an item from the box, you can consider it a valued tool, and put it back into the drawer. At the end of the two month span, donate the gadgets that you didn't use.

5. Clear off the top of your fridge. Find a new home for the items that live up there by making some cupboard space.

6. Make room in your medicine cabinet by disposing of expired drugs.

7. Let go of any makeup or hair product that you haven't used in the past year. Chances are, the product is past its prime, and discarding will save you from wasting time in your daily routine because there will be less junk to rummage through.

8. Vacuum under the bed and flip your mattress every three months- you'll sleep better!!

9. If you're storing old or broken appliances and electronics, it's time to take action- either fix it up, or let it go.

10. In a storage area, add instant floor space by installing wall hooks, and hang whatever tools you can.

11. Clean up the craft cupboard. It can be easy to hoard items like glitter and popsicle sticks for that potential craft that you may do someday. Assess the likelihood of you actually using the supplies, and donate what you don't need.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How To Make Your TV Disappear!

The TV can be a source of frustration- especially for those living in a small space. Aesthetically, it's not the most pleasing element in a room- especially amongst beautiful vases and orante accents. Some will purchase expensive entertainment units to hide their TV when not in use. Others will mask it by propping up a removable piece of art in front of it. But, for a cost effective and dramatic way of disguising your TV, why not paint the wall that it rests on black? Black paint will create the illusion of a solid wall, and will create a solid focal point. It especially works well if you have bulky media equipment as well. It probably won't work in all homes- ideally, it will work best if your TV is propped on a wall that is small, and accented with white and bright colors.

Color Of The Week: Willow

In front of our apartment building, there is a gigantic weeping willow tree. It creates an ominous, flowing presence that lingers outside of our front window. This color reminds me of the shadows that this tree casts in the evening- a deep silhouette with a purple unertone. I would love to see a color like this in a small space, on a feature wall, or paired with a brilliant color like bold indigo, or a saturated gold.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


What is it?
Grasscloth is a wallcovering made of woven plant fibers. It has long been used as an instant source of texture- either used as a feature wall, or on all 4 walls to allow other room accents to pop. The plant fibers generally come from  grass, jute, hemp, ramie and silk.

What rooms best suit it?
Anywhere except for a bathroom, kitchen, or other potentially moistured areas. If stained, grasscloth does not clean up nicely, so consider using it in a low-risk area, where it will make a strong statement.

Why use it?
Grasscloth evokes a sense of nature, and is a dramatic way of bringing the outdoors in. With eco-friendly products being all the rage, grasscloth is a popular wallpaper choice, due to its composition of handmade and natural properties. Take care when investing in such a product- it doesn't come cheap- so give it much thought, and plan on not changing it for a long time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reduce/ Reuse/ Recycle: Paint Cans!

If you've done any painting at home before, chances are you probably have a few old paint cans kicking around- with just a drop or two of paint left for touch ups- and are taking up a lot of room! Transfer that bit of usable paint out into smaller, airtight containers (baby food jars),  and consider one of these repurposed uses for the empty paint cans:

- drill a few drainage holes and use the can to plant some flowers

- wrap the can in decorative paper, turn it on its side, wall mount it, and use it to hold loose mail or odds and ends.

- drill a hole in the bottom, and hang them from cord lighting as a pendant.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Palette To Go: Tea Tree Style

A future palette for your home is lying right under your nose- in this bright and cheery tea towel! Picture a bright white-neutral backdrop, with a teal lamp or chair, with a gray feature wall and a couple of yellow accents- instant bliss!

Tree Tea Towel

Gardenia AF-10

Caribbean Blue Water 2055-30

Nickel 2119-50

Citron 2024-30

Friday, June 3, 2011

Color Of The Week: Chocolate Swirl

Yep, I've branched out again. Last week with Martha, this week with Behr. I don't really have anything against Behr paint- I think it's a pretty great product- but the colors are generally too flat or too bright. There's no middle ground- Except for this chocolate brown- Chocolate Swirl UL 140-3.

When Trading Spaces first manifested itself about 10 or so years ago, I remember this room that sported a brown feature wall- and it was perfect- not too green, not too red. And I've been on an impossible journey since then to find this perfect shade. This is that perfect brown. It will go with anything and work in any room- just try it and see! Match it up with some blue, green, red, yellow, orange, or white- and it will look smashing. I am confident that this brown is the perfect problem-solver for whatever your decor issue may be.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

She Sells Seashells...

Certain home decor stores and design blogs have me disheartened lately over a certain theme: The Ocean.

For whatever reason, it's considered high style to have a bathroom inspired by the nautical experience- clad with bowls of sea shells and starfish-shaped shower curtain covers, with soft peach towels and pale blue walls. *vomit*

The truth is, some things that were popular in the classy 80s/90s should probably stay there. As a young child, I remember visiting many guest bathrooms, wondering where the correlation between going to the bathroom and the ocean came into play. 

Please stray away from the ornate seashell soap pump. It likely will not enhance your bathroom experience. Let's keep the seashells in the ocean, or shaped into little hazelnut chocolates!

Paint Swatch Bookcases

If I can remember anything from Gr.10 art class, it's that there is no such thing as original art- inspiration is a borrowed concept- something that we all share. And this slice of inspiration has been blowing me away!- it's a concept that speaks to my love of hue and color, and painting furniture! The idea comes from Matt Kennedy of Port Rhombus Design. In his studio, he has recreated a paint swatch effect on bookcases, by painting individual shelves in varying hues. Brilliant! Come to think of it, I do know of some certain CD shelves that are in dire need of a makeover...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let There Be Light!

I have to admit- and I do quite often- if our living room did not have vaulted ceilings, we probably would not have bought the place we did. And now we're spoiled- and it'll be difficult to adjust to an 8 foot standard ceiling if we ever move. The downside to our vaulted ceiling design is, there is only a single light in the room- a mini track light- facing the TV. The rest of the room is very dark- and I can't even imagine what it'll be like in winter when days get short. So, enter IKEA! A few months ago, while browsing, we found the HEMMA light- in 2 colors- green and blue- the exact shades that we have featured in our home!!!


I braved a ladder the other night and mounted the hardware, which was easy enough to do.


We wanted to get some edison bulbs, but they were a bit pricy, so we ended up getting some that looked close enough, with 40W... shouldn't be too bright, right?

The extension cords flow down behind our BJURSTA storage unit, and are plugged into a Belkin Conserve- an eco-friendly power bar. The price tag on the Conserve was a bit steep... but the lights were cheap.. so, it all worked out. The Conserve comes with a remote control that you can wall mount to switch whatever electronics are plugged in up to 60 sq ft.

And yes, 2 bulbs at 40W with no covers is very bright! It definetly startled us when we turned them on! We're considering purchasing an orange and a white HEMMA to intertwine around these 2, to make it even more interesting. And, my favorite part- the on/off switch. Love it. I seem to have a habit of turning them off. and on. and off. and on. I think it's getting a bit annoying for everyone else though...