Browsing Tag

interior design

Work and Life

Office Design: Transparent and Cheerful Panels

raw color ABN AMRO Eindhoven

Anyone who visited The Netherlands knows that the Dutch are not afraid of colorful spaces, even for the corporate office spaces. It is easy to add a punch of colors into an office space. For example, you can paint the cabinet drawers, choose a fun color for the chairs or use the color blocking technique for your room dividers. Continue Reading

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

My Tips for a Spacious and Luxurious Bathroom for Montréal en Santé Magazine

bathroom design tips :: montreal en sante spring 2013

If you are thinking about renovating or redecorating a bathroom, I invite you to read my tips on how to give your bathroom a boast in space and style on the Spring 2013 issue of Montréal en Santé. I talked about family bathrooms with a dual faucet sink, a communal shower, stylish light fixtures up to how to achieve better circulation and an airy feeling. Continue Reading

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Living in the Dark: Black, Grey and Brown Rooms

rugged chalet bedroom

It seems that black is back. So many black or charcoal grey wall caught my eye in UK home decor magazines over the last two months that it can not be a coincidence. Frankly, I felt in love with this amalgame of rustic, dramatic and character pieces.

If you examine them carefully, you could spot that these rooms share common design elements. For one thing, they all play on several shades of black. Browns, tans and beiges have a supporting role. Finally, they all mix lustre finishes with matte finishes. This is for the theory. Let’s have a look at successful black rooms.

Family Living Room in a Dutch Country House

Black panelling, whether it is applied vertically or horizontally, is popular. It looks right in this inviting country house. Have you noticed the double-sided sofa?

black and tan living room
photo credits: Renée Frinking for Living etc, December 2012

Rugged Chalet

This impressive one in the kind four-storey ski chalet in Val d’Isère is built from 100-year-old wood and reclaimed stone. But when you look at it, you don’t imagine that it is a new construction. The ski chalet is decorated in a simple, monochromatic scheme. The result is far from boring. It has a soothing effect that is comforting. And it must be gorgeous against the snow landscape.

rugged chalet dining room
photo credits: Wichmann + Bendtsen for Elle Decoration UK, December 2012

The white sofa brightens and brings contrast to the living room  but it doesn’t break the color palette.

rugged chalet kitchen and living room

rugged chalet bedroom

You can see that a lot of efforts have been put to decorate this house in a cohesive way. This is a case where uniformity was a good call.

Dining Room with Japanese Panelling

This dining room represents a mix of Scandinavian style with modern Japanese design. When we visited Japan in 2010, the Scandinavian influence was clear on furniture. I adored it then, and I still do.

japanese style panelling dining room
photo credits: House and Home, January 2013

Glamour Meets Industrial in a Dark Apartment

The next rooms are from the apartment of a guy. The floor plan has been reinvented to fit the owner’s lifestyle. The living room is impressive and make honour to the arched windows.

glamourous black living room
photo credits: Helenio Barbetta/Photofoyer for Elle Decoration UK, December 2012 

industrial chic black bedroom

As you can see there are many ways to invite the blacks, greys and browns into your decor. After seeing that it can be applied to any style, what do you think about these rooms? More importantly, would you dare to live in black?

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Lemon Sorbet is the 2013 Benjamin Moore Color of the Year

artisan trend benjamin moore

artisan trend benjamin moore

It is the time of the year where we look at color trends. Each paint maker made their own predictions but we can always see some common elements within their color palettes. This year, “greyed down” colours are in vogue. Except for the earth toned Artisan trend, the other palettes proposed by Benjamin Moore bring a subtle punch of colours to the neutral grey interiors.

The Artisan color palette gives you tips on how to update your grey walls. It is my favorite one!  My main floor is painted in two shades of grey and a rich, muted golden yellow.

Color of the Year 2013 and The Coastal Trend

coastal benjamin moore

At Benjamin Moore, the color of 2013 is Lemon Sorbet (2019-60). I like its softness. They described it as

the perfect transitional colour between the mid-tones and saturated colours seen in today’s home furnishings and the softer, lighter pastels which are emerging for 2013.

lemon sorbet wall relaxing home office design
photo credits: Benjamin Moore
You can see its soothing effect in this home office designed around a coastal theme. You could use the same palette to design a calm nursery.

Urbanite Color Trend

urbanite trend benjamin moore

Instead of the traditional black-and-white color scheme, mix a rich golden yellow with luscious navy. Marblehead gold is gorgeous. Or for a more subtle decor, update your kitchen white cabinets by pairing them with sophisticated neutral colours.

2013 urbanite color trend by benjamin moore
photo credits: Benjamin Moore

New Traditional Color Trend

A dark blue wall creates a nice backdrop for a bedroom. The key here is to keep the rest light. You can never go wrong with a chevron motif. The bedding used for this traditional bedroom is from West Elm but I wasn’t able to find it online.

new traditional color trend by benjamin moore
photo credits: Benjamin Moore

HOME + GARDEN HOME office

Office Desk Accessories: three styles

shop by color

shop by color
photo credits: Poppin

A beautifully styled desk makes me more productive because I feel better and more energized. Plus, it helps me release my creativity. I found that desk accessories make all the difference. They can transform the mood of your home office area. I propose you three ways to do that.

Shop by Color

aqua tape dispenser and pen holder
sourcing: Aqua Tape Dispenser $12 and Pen Cup $6 at Poppin

If your design is based on one color, make a stop at Poppin where you can shop by color. Their glossy plastic desk accessories will brighten your day. They also sell office furniture in the same color palette.

Go Vintage / Old Technology

Poulain Tape Dispenser
sourcing: Poulain Tape Dispenser $24 USD at Anthropologie

After the rebirth of the vintage typewriters as a wonderful decor element, we now see plenty of accessories designed around the vintage cameras, radios or TV. I like this mix of old with new technology.

mini it
sourcing: Mini It $5 USD at Connect Design

Moss Studios vintage camera bookends
photo credits: Vintage Cameras bookends by Moss Studios at Anthropologie – no longer available 

To reproduce this style, get inspired by the handmade Vintage Cameras bookends by Moss Studios or the Mini It. Do not limit yourself to desk accessories, you can use also art prints and illustrations to create this look. The Mini It is an old TV stand that can be used a mini post-it dispenser or a photo frame.

Quirky and Fun Items

Specialists say that humor, surprises, and anything that clears your mind enable you not only to relax but to solve a problem that was difficult. This is why it might be good to put on your desk accessories that are out of the ordinary.

besom holder
sourcing: Besom Holder $68 USD at Anthropologie

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Sand Box by Day, Fire Pit by Night

sand box around the fire pit

sand box around the fire pit
photo: Tongue & Groove via Houzz

I have a thing for clever use of space. And since space will only continue to be at premium, I feel that the future of the entire interior design industry passes by making better use of smaller spaces.

It is more common to show a double-duty room inside a home which is why I please to have found an example done in a backyard. It feels right to use sand instead of a stone floor around the fire pit at this property next to water. Young kids can play near their parents during the day, while the parents are comfortably relaxing in the Adirondack chairs.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Dream Closet for Men

custom closet for men

When I talk about my ultimate closet space, I usually share features that would be great for me. But what about the man in my life! He deserves a stunning space where he can neatly organize his clothes and fashion accessories.

custom closet for men
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

It is hard to beat the functional side of this closet designed for a male couple living in the iconic Habitat 67 here in Montreal.

white modern kitchen at habitat 67
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

I invite you to check the rest of their interior at Maison et Demeure (the French-speaking edition of House and Home) since their home is modernly stunning. Interior designer Maria Rosa Di Ioia of Idea Design rethought their blank canvas space. I like what she did with the space.

HOME + GARDEN KITCHEN design

Kitchen Style for the Serious Cook

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

→ Creating a Homey Restaurant-Style Kitchen with a Chef Table at Home

functional English style kitchen prep and cooking areas
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

You see plenty of pretty kitchens in magazines and online. Unfortunately, some kitchens are more beautiful than useful. I am interested by kitchens that are practical and beautiful. I found several ideas when I looked at the portfolio of Deulonder Domestic Architecture. They are is a Spanish interior design studio that cater to passionate cooks. Their kitchens fill the needs of people who really cook in their kitchen and who love to have guests over while they cook.

airy country kitchen deulonder
photos: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 2)

One common denominator in their design is how they juxtapose three main areas: the kitchen, the dining room and the butler’s pantry/serving area.

The English Home Restaurant-Style Kitchen

functional English style kitchen with a banquette dining room
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

This is unusual kitchen and dining room layout works if you like to entertain or have a large family. The kitchen itself is a mix between a galley-style kitchen and a L-shaped plan. Deulonder imagined a kitchen for a large family living on the outskirts of London or Boston. Let’s look at the ideas to steal in this stunning kitchen and dining area designed by Deulonder for Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

functional English style kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

For one thing, the fact that the kitchen/ prep / serving areas are wrapped around the dining room means that you can hire staff without jeopardizing the intimate mood of your dinner.

Secondly, you have to admire the efficiency of this kitchen. It is equipped for serious cooking. You have one big sink per prep area; which means you are never on someone else toes. There is a two-oven, four burner Viking stove with a grill and a teppanyaki. And there are plenty of the storage shelves or holes to store your large platters and baking sheets! I’m jealous!

functional English style kitchen view from the kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

The third great feature are the glass walls. Without them, the dining room would be very dark. On a bright sunny day, I imagine myself serving brunch in winter and feeling warm. Another advantage is that they cook can see what is happening with the diners. If you need to keep a wall divides your dining room from your kitchen, you could examine how you can incorporate a big window inside your wall.

If you are still convinced that it is an amazing space, look at this view from the dining room.

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

For Outdoor Entertaining

I like the room interactions of this outdoor entertaining heaven space created by Minim, another Spanish interior design studio. This project was also presented at also presented at Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

kitchen for outdoor entertaining by minim
photos: Luis Sanchez for Minim

Here a wine pantry is located between the kitchen and the terrace. You can bypass the wine pantry to access the terrace from the kitchen. This means that you can prepare your wine service out of sight and keep everything at the right temperature if you lounge outside.

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

Best of Conversations in Design 2012 (part 1): Swedish Design by Eero Koivisto

orsta gallery on a farm

orsta gallery exterior view in the day

It is not everyday that a private client sought an architect to design his own private museum. This is exactly what Anders Fasth, an avid art collector who lives on a farm with his wife Birgitta, asked Claesson Koivisto Rune to do. The result is a stunning building.

orsta gallery on a farm

The modern gallery is located next to a traditional farm home. The grandchildren of the couple can admire the brilliant structure when they play on the sand box. I like how Claesson Koivisto Rune added remarkable details to transform what could have been a standard rectangular building.

The museum sits on top of an artificial hill that was created to protect the art collection against nature. The walls at the bottom follow the curves of the hill and the roofline exhibited the inverted curve. These curves create the illusion of concave walls and add panache to what would have been otherwise a straightforward building.

orsta gallery glass beads exterior walls

Another striking element is the reflective nature of the exterior walls. Glass beads were scattered across the white painted structure using a technique developed by Swedish artist Mikael Pauli. The reflective effect can be fully experienced when the sun is at a proper angle, or at night, if you direct light beams towards the walls.

orsta gallery :: exterior walls at night with red and blue lights

You can see here the effect at night when they projected a red and a blue beam to the facade.

orsta gallery interior views

Inside, the floor plan is divided into 4 exposition rooms. The architects played again with the visitors. The two walls that you see when you enter the space are at a slight angle. It will take you a few minutes to notice. The owner wanted a fireplace. Look at the clever nook designed for the fire logs. I love the entire project.

orsta gallery plan

If you plan to pass one day by Kumla, Sweden, you could ask the Fasth for a visit. This rich man opens his private museum to visitors upon request.

Claesson Koivisto Rune is a Swedish multi-disciplinary studio that puts architecture and design on the same level. They created everyday products up to impressive buildings.

SOURCING:
+ Conversations in Design
Claesson Koivisto Rune

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

IDS 12 Preview: What I Plan to See/Do?

ids 12 conversations in design

ids 12 conversations in design

We are just a few days before the opening of IDS 12 and I can’t wait for my annual visit. I will fly the night before to be right on time for Conversations in Design. I hope to grab new ideas from the 12 internationally renowned speakers that will talk at Conversations in Design. It should be a good introduction before heading to the exhibit floor since the Conversations in Design’s theme is Trailblazers and Trendspotters.

I will start the next day with a blog and traditional media panel conversation hosted by BlogPodium. Then, it will be time to explore what is at the trade show. One exhibit that I will not miss is Studio North and Prototype, that will celebrate the 10th anniversary at IDS.

I will stay Saturday in order to attend a second design blogger event: the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup that will be held at Brassaii. Between meeting some friends, bloggers, and business partners, I would need to find the time to shop at the first CB2 store in Canada (@CB2queenwest). I’m so sorry that I couldn’t attend their opening party. It is a short drive (5 minutes by car, 25 minutes by foot) from the IDS since CB2 is located at 651 Queen Street West. Do not be surprised if you see at the airport a girl with CB2 bags.

I look forward to this short design trip. If you see me in Toronto, come to say hello. I would love to chat design and blogging with you.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Budget-Friendly Wallpaper Ideas

wallpaper diy project door panel stair riser

lilesadi wallpaper dimensions

Have you been bitten by the wallpaper bug yet? When it made its decor comeback a few years ago, wallpaper ushered in a new era of print, pattern, colour and design, and this time it seems here to stay.

Studio Lilesadi, a Netherlands-based label created by sisters Dinah and Sarah Smutny in February 2011, are a perfect example of the fresh approach to wallpaper design we’ve seen in recent years. We love the fresh, striking color combinations found in their new collection, inspired by the light and patterns found in church windows. They also create a coordinating collection of cushions and home accessories sold through their Etsy shop.

Lilesadi wallpaper collection stellar blooming

Not quite ready to commit to an entire room? Or don’t have the budget to use multiple rolls of a wallpaper you really love? Here are three modern ways to use wallpaper to make an impact in a room – without impacting your wallet.

On The Ceiling

Why should walls have all the fun? Using a wallpaper with a light-coloured background (such as those designed by Studio Lilesadi) on the ceiling can help make a room feel larger and draw the eye up. Or make a statement with a bold jewel-toned shade. A word to the wallpaper-wise: use the money you save on fewer rolls of paper to pay for professional installation.

On Panelled Doors

wallpaper diy project door panel stair riser

To add a punch of pattern or colour, dress up a panelled door. Since you’ll need less than one roll for this project, you can opt for a pricier paper with metallic or foil finishes. It’s also

On The Stairs

Entryways and halls are often last to be decorated. We love how just a few pieces of a graphic, contemporary wallpaper transforms this traditional staircase. Depending on the width and quantity of your stairs, this project can take less than one roll.

These projects are also a great way to use wallpaper remnants from other areas of your home to create a cohesive design sensibility.

Have you added wallpaper to your home? How have you used wallpaper in other DIY projects?

SOURCING:

+ Lilesadi Wallpaper and Decor
+ Wallpapered Door Panel Project, Martha Stewart
+ Wallpapered Stair Riser Project, Sunset Magazine