September 24, 2010

High contrast walls and trim seem to be all over the place lately, and I can't help but be seduced by all the interiors I am seeing with black walls and stark white trim. The most recent incarnation is Victoria's new home, which was featured in the debut issue of Rue Magazine.

People are often so afraid of dark colours, and are reluctant to use them in their homes. I think Victoria's place is a great example of how bright and open a space can look, while having a dramatic wall colour.

So I've been inspired, and I think this is the route I am going to take with our home office.

I guess part of this all came about when I saw one of my favorite lamps hanging in a store yesterday. The Random light by Moooi has been seen in lots of great interiors over the past few years, and I really adore it. And I think it would look smashing in a high contrast space.

We have a dining room table that we got as a floor model clearance 5 years ago. Unfortunately it was too big for our condo, and has been living at my in laws house all this time. But now I'd like to use it as a big desk for the office. The table has a slight Asian styling to it, and is make of solid elm, like the example shown above, which has a really lovely grain to it.

To top off that desk? While an AJ Desk lamp would be perfect. But might be a bit indulgent at this point. I guess we will have to see how we do with the budget in the rest of the space.

I have always wanted a big inspiration tack board to pin up images, and I think a big burlap one would look great. And would be very budget conscious.

I haven't yet mentioned the greatest feature of the room, which is an existing fireplace with an original decorative metal grate. It's fantastic, but currently surrounded with a terra cotta colour glazed tile, and topped with a wimpy mantle. Instead wouldn't a slab of this marble be gorgeous! Again, it's a bit riche for us right now. But a girl can dream right?

September 19, 2010

One of the most important spaces for the new house is going to be the entryway. I'm keen to get this room finished quickly, as it will create a great sense of arrival and will set the tone for the rest of the house. The space is small, but I want to fill it with lots of personality. I've decided to start off the space by wallpapering it in Wilderness by Ferm Living.

This has been one of my favourite papers from Ferm for a long time, and I am thrilled about using it in the new space. I love how the pattern has natural references, but also feels like a splattered paint effect. Another reason I think it is great, it that it will reference all the big trees and greenery out on the street. Also, it's gold!

While browsing Lonny mag's website this week, I found some great inspiration images for furnishing and accessorizing the entry.

I love this antique dresser. If I could find something like this in Calgary, I think this would be just perfect. The antique mirror is lovely too.

I think that art will be an important feature of the entry, and I love painterly landscapes like in the picture above. Also, that blue wall is amazing. I have that paint colour pegged for another room in the house.

Again, just a nice arrangement of objects. We have a closet in the adjacent room, so we don't need any coat or shoe storage. I think a tray like the one seen above would be a nice catch all for keys and things you empty out of your pockets as you arrive home. I also want to use the space to display a lot of our books, as we don't have many opportunities to in other rooms of the house.

One thing I am still uncertain about is the lighting. The entry has 9' ceilings, so I'm not really sure how much you will actually see the fixture, as it will be directly above your head. I was initially considering a ceiling mount schoolhouse style fixture, but then I thought about the clear glass bell jars from Niche that I posted last week. I don't want the lighting to feel like an afterthought, but it has to be simple so as to not compete with everything else in the space.

September 15, 2010

Recently, I was introduced to a great lighting company called Niche Modern. This company specializes in modern hand blown glass fixtures, in a variety of unique shapes and colours. Here's a little quote from their website that perfectly sums up what their brand represents:

"We believe that good, solid design is found in the ironic joining together of contrasting elements, simple lines and luscious colors. You can see the exchange of light and darkness, strength and delicacy, edge and elegance at play in all of our products."

They offer a variety of single pendant styles and also feature chandeliers, and pendant clusters. See more of their product line here.

September 13, 2010

Things are about to get a whole lot more exciting and busy around here! We bought this sweet house over the weekend, and are so excited to move into our new home. I can't believe how fast this has all transpired. But here we are.

So stay tuned, as we slowly transform it and make it our own.

September 9, 2010

Earlier this week I tweeted about this headboard featured in the film A Single Man, that I think will serve as the starting point for my new bedroom design:

The shape is a great balance between something that is decorative, but still clean at the same time. It doesn't feel overtly feminine, just soft around the edges. Now to source the fabric!

For those that are interested in the fabric pictured above, it is Tilbury Lapis by Laura Ashley from Kravet. Heather over at Habitually Chic did some research over on her blog.

I have always loved this fabric. It is the Katana pattern by Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks by Lee Jofa. This colourway is particularly striking, and I'd love to bring pops of that pinky coral into the bedroom.

This is the Folia pattern from Sanderson. This would be a much fresher feel, and I think my existing nightstands would look fabulous with it.

I love the movement of this pattern. It is called Richter and is by Schumacher.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Looks like I've got a lot of research to do.
Whenever I took a break from packing this weekend, I spent the time perusing the internet for new fabrics and wallcoverings. Lets just say my supplier list is quite a bit heftier now. One of my favorites was MissPrint from the UK.


Dandelion Mobile


Muscat Small

The papers have a mid century vibe to them, which I am really attracted to. The teal and gold number at the top is just fantastic. All papers are handmade and silkscreened in the West London studio or Yvonne and Rebecca Drury, who make up MissPrint. See more papers, or the rest of their offerings here.

September 6, 2010

I first heard about Anna-Wili Highfield on an episode of Anthropologie's Man Shops Globe. She is an artist from Sydney, Australia who makes animal sculptures from torn paper. Paper is one of my favourite materials. I love seeing something so simple be transformed into such an exquistie sculpture.

I particularly adore the birds in flight, but she does several different poses, and even does horse and cow heads. You can find her paper sculpture portfolio here.

Here's a clip of her from Man Shops Globe:

September 4, 2010

It is all I can do to not think about the new house, that still doesn't exist at this point. To help bide the time I started sourcing for all the new pieces we will need to furnish the place. I said I wanted blues for the living room, so I pulled together a couple of things to create an inspiration board:

1. Herringbone Wool Area Rug from Ikea
2. Dandelion Clocks Fabric from Sanderson
3. Flokati Cushion
4. Petrie Sofa in Ink Upholstery, from Crate and Barrel
5. Neo Bunching Cube, from Crate and Barrel
6. Moreno Nesting Tables, from Crate and Barrel

This is an image from the latest Lonny Magazine. I love the abstract painting above the sofa, and think something like this would look great with everything else I've pulled together. Also, that lamp is fab.

1. I have a pair of midcentury armchairs that I am planning on refinishing in a dark wood stain and reupholstering. I'd like a tweed or wool upholstery.
2. Saarinen Side Table, from Knoll
3. Noguchi Coffee Table, from Herman Miller
4. Lola Ottoman by Anne Kyyro Quinn

Oh, I can't wait!

September 2, 2010

Wow, the moment of change is upon us! Late last night we signed on the dotted line and sold our sweet little condo. Woo! And now my stomach is twisting and turning with all the stuff we have to get done to be out of here in a very short timeline. And through all that anxiousness, we have to start looking for a house. And we have to make a very big commitment. And designers are notoriously bad at committing to anything for themselves. So this should be interesting.

In the meantime, I'm turning to my photo inspiration archives to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm afraid I don't know all the sources for these images, some of them are pretty old.

from Emersonmade's home at design*sponge

by Tommy Smythe of Sarah Richardson Design

Okay, that actually makes me feel worse.

For the palette of the new house, I'm thinking a foundation of soft greys and browns. I want the living room to be a tones of charcoals and blues, and I know I want a room with that hit of bright yellow. Stay tuned!

September 1, 2010

I've been feeling less and less inspired by many of the homes I find on the web these days. So many interiors that I am coming across seem to feature the same sort of ideas over and over again, and not much is looking unique anymore. I have seen so many cluttered, collection filled, flea market sourced, filled to the brim with tchotchkes homes that I can't stand it anymore. Plus: white walls, yep, painted floors, yep. I get it.

(And here is where you can call me a complete hypocrite, because chances are I will paint walls white, and try painted floors too. So bookmark this post. I promise.)

It was such a refreshing change to see this beautiful interior from Tamizo Architects Group in Poland. I love the restrained palette of white and black, with the pale natural wood tones. I love how graphic the space is, but remains soft with the sheer curtains. For me, this is a perfect play of contrasts.

The design also perfectly balances the weight of each element. I love the tension of the large black light shades over the dining table.

Those stairs are simply sublime.

I also think that it is a great showcase of how black can be used in an interior and not swallow the space in its darkness.

To see more pictures, or learn more about Tamizo Architects Group, see here.

via Notcot. Photo's all by Tamizo Architects Group.