April 28, 2010

One of my favourite lighting suppliers is Schoolhouse Electric Co who specialize in vintage style fixtures. The company uses a series of restored moulds, and creates every piece through a hand crafted process that closely replicates the way these fixtures would have originally been produced. They are also well constructed, using heavy gauge solid brass which is finished with a hand applied patina, and all the shades are individually handblown. And in addition to being beautiful and high quality, they are incredibly well priced.

Recently they launched a collection that they collaborated on with one of my favourite artists, Yellena James, on their first artist series collection. The fixtures all feature beautiful glass shades with Yellena's drawings.

Today, an email hit my inbox announcing their new vintage brass finish, as if their line wasn't lovely enough.

I first heard about Schoolhouse from Anna at Door 16, who used their fixtures in her bathroom and bedroom, where they look just lovely in her Newburgh home.

April 24, 2010

A few months ago, I was reading a lot of fashion blogs and discovering a lot of great fashion and shoe lines. This one shoe line in particular really caught my eye with their edgy, and architectural designs, and their affordable price tag was just icing on the cake. But, I didn't save the link in my book marks. For months I have been scouring archives of different blogs looking for the link to this shoe store. No such luck. Then today I was out shopping and decided to stop into a new shoe boutique, and guess what was sitting on their shelves!

So I introduce to you, my favourites shoe brand: United Nude Shoes

Now available in Calgary at NC Shoes.

April 22, 2010

This is so stunning:


The Miu Miu model is my fave.

I would embed the video if I could, but it's really best viewed on the site.

April 21, 2010

Oh my, this is a sad and neglected place these last few weeks. I guess life just got a bit hectic, this past weekend we went to Coachella, which was really fantastic, and now I'm playing a bit of catchup. So it might take a bit to get back to regular posting.

So to fill this space a little longer, I wanted to share a link to a music website that I have been enjoying as of late, La Blogotheque:

April 8, 2010

This is my favourite band right now, and in 10 days I get to see them at Coachella!

April 6, 2010

One of my favourite local artists is Lisa Brawn. She does wood cut blocks in cherry, walnut, or salvaged Douglas Fir that she then paints, creating these vivid depictions of different people and animals. I love the simplicity of the solid blocks of colour outlined with the graphic black cutting patterns. The majority of her work features famous icons, and she has done series that include Country Singers, Old Hollywood Film Stars, Circus Freaks, and the 1972 Phone Company Employees. Last year she was commissioned to do this portrait above of Morran, Camilla Engman's dog. You can view more of her incredible portfolio on her website.

Part of the Canadiana Series

April 4, 2010

This is my absolute favourite salad, and I have been eating it a lot over the past few weeks. And it's perfect for an easy Easter lunch, to save room for the the dinner you will likely eat later today. Plus, it's pink!

Crunchy Salad:

1 Bulb of Fennel
1 Gala Apple
1 Beet
Juice of Half a Lemon
Olive Oil
Blue Cheese to Taste

Cut the tops off the fennel, slice in half, and cut out the core. Thinly slice the fennel as thinly as you can with a knife, and place in a large bowl. Core the apple, cut into slices and cut into julienne strips. I like to leave the skin on the apple, as it adds to the colour of the salad, but you can peel it if you would like. Take the top off the beet, peel, slice thinly and cut into julienne strips. Add the apple and beet strips to the fennel. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the salad, with a drizzle of olive oil. You don't want to add a lot of liquid, as it is really only intended as a light seasoning, and to help stop everything from browning. Crumble the blue cheese and add half to the salad. Toss to mix the salad. The tossing process helps to break up the blue cheese and distribute it through the salad, so you get the flavour throughout. Serve and top with the remaining blue cheese. Makes about 4 servings.

Note: So you don't like blue cheese? You can just add it at the end, or omit it entirely. The salad is still great without it. Also, this salad is great with lightly toasted walnuts added.

April 2, 2010

Designer Profile: Kelly Wearstler

Private Residence

Maison 140

You can't really discuss interior design contemporaries without bringing Kelly Wearstler into the conversation. Wearstler is one of the most recognized names in interior design today. Renowned for her work on luxurious resorts, Wearstler has establish an eclectic, oft imitated style that combines a generous mix of pattern and colour, over-scale objects, and references from a variety of cultures and historical periods.

The Tides South Beach

The Tides South Beach

For me, she is the designer I both love and loathe. It's clear that she works with huge budget figures, for a wide variety of luxury clients. There is a great deal of experimentation in the interiors she creates, and Wearstler must be credited with creating a great working relationship with her clients, enabling them to trust her incredible vision.

Viceroy Santa Monica

Viceroy Santa Monica


While her style is over the top, I think that smaller scale designers, such as myself, can take a lot of inspiration from Wearstler's work. The first thing you immediately notice about her interiors is her incredible use of bold colour palettes. Normally we see very restrained, sophisticated palettes in luxury interiors, but KW throws all those rules out the window. The majority of her work features the singular use of a particular colour, or section of the colour wheel, to help punctuate the space. This creates a great amount of contrast and even tension, depending on the rest of the palette used in the space.

Private Residence

Viceroy Palm Springs

Another area where Wearstler excels is in her dramatic use of patterns. Her interiors feature incredible panelling details, dramatic floor patterns, bold wall coverings, and sumptuous fabrics. A wide variety of materials are engaged to contribute to the eclectic nature of the space. This is an area where Wearstler is really a trailblazer, as she does not restrict herself to commercially available patterns such as fabrics or wall coverings. Instead, she insists on custom designing patterned wall, ceiling and floor installations which push the design of the interior to it's outer limits.

Viceroy Anguilla
Private Residence

The last item I wanted to touch on are the marvellous installations of accessories that Wearstler creates. There is so much stuff to look at in these spaces, and every item appears to be hand picked and adeptly arranged with equally unique objects d'art. It is these final details that help to make the spaces really special.

Viceroy Miami

Viceroy Miami

Kelly Wearstler has written 3 books, Modern Glamour, Domicilium Decoratus, and most recently, Hue. She has been featured in countless magazines and publications, awarded a variety of accolades and served as a judge on Bravo's Top Design. She also has a dedicated boutique in Bergdorf Goodman, and has collaborated with brands such as Lee Jofa, and The Rug Company. You can learn more about Kelly and her firm at her website.

One thing you won't find there is that she was the Playmate for the September 1994 issue of Playboy. But you can find that info here. Hee hee.

April 1, 2010

So, remember this post? Yeah, when I said I should take on Maggie's challenge and do three things on my life list in a month? Here's an update:

No. 67: Make a Camilla Engman crochet character. This is the first item that I thought of when I decided to take on the challenge. I mean really, how hard could crochet be? Turns out, pretty hard. Especially when the book doesn't really give you great directions on the project you are attempting. Don't get me wrong, Stitch & Bitch Crochet gives good directions for general crochet instructions. However, this pattern required you to do a spiral stitch, and to do the stitches in an atypical way. So, I tried to persevere. I attempted to start maybe 8 or 9 times. I could do the first three chain stitches. I could combine them to start the circle, but from there everything fell apart. And it just got increasingly frustrating. So I think I was a bit ambitious to think I could figure it out on my own, and that maybe a trip to a stitch and bitch night my be in order.

No. 79: Refinish a Piece of Furniture. I have a pair of midcentury teak chairs that I picked up at a flea market a few years ago. And Margot was a puppy at the time, so she proceeded to treat them as a bit of a chew toy. They weren't in fantastic condition to start with, but they definitely need some attention now. So the plan is to strip them down, stain them dark, and add some new upholstery to the cushions. The trouble is, March isn't a great time to decide on a project like this. I can't exactly sit on the balcony sanding these things off in early spring. The weather is just too inconsistent. And this is a multi-day project, which I am notoriously bad at getting done in a reasonable timeframe.

Am I making excuses? All to say that I didn't do anything on my life list this past month, and essentially failed miserably at the challenge.

However, I have been preoccupied. With another life list item really. No. 44: Buy my own house and then spend time making it into exactly what we want. We have been checking the MLS and driving by potential properties all month. We haven't consulted the bank about preauthorization, or a realtor about getting out current condo into saleable shape. But we keep having mini love affairs with properties from afar. So hopefully that item will be getting underway shortly. Fingers crossed.