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Work and Life

I am in a “Rethink: The Way We Live” Frame of Mind

rethink the way we live book :: photo by Mikkel Vang

I was so inspired after reading a post by Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind where she talked of Rethink: The Way We Live that I decided to write this post. As a design blogger, I struggled with the same conscience questions than Erin enumerated in her post. This is why I wrote posts about “Things that work”, design ideas for small spaces, dual duty products and repurposing old things.

At home, I like to be surrounded by beautiful things that work. Although I wrote about interior design trends, I only update the look of my own interior every 6 to 7 years. I still enjoy my old kitchen and I kept my 12-years old master bathroom when we renovated the upstairs two years ago to make spaces for my son. I can’t justify throwing out things that are fully operational, still look good and in good shape. I prefer to invest in furniture that will last, which is why I try to wait instead of heading to IKEA for a quick fix. Don’t get me wrong, I shop at IKEA but it is mostly for accessories and tableware. Continue Reading


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


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


Nursery Trend: Owls

owl nursery decor

Owls have swooped as a major design trend, spotted in fashion, textiles and décor. They’re even proving a popular choice for kids rooms and nurseries (just check out Kim’s preview of her baby boy’s nursery for a peek at how she’s incorporating them) since they’re relatively gender-neutral and cute without being too “baby”.

If you’re weary of using a trend as the main decorating theme for your child’s room – should they or you grow bored of it too soon – you can still add special touches with accessories. But there’s really no need to worry about owls being a passing fad: they’ve symbolized wisdom, mystery and protection for thousands of years.

To add a focal point to an otherwise neutral room, removable vinyl wall decals provide all the whimsicality of a hand-painted mural without the commitment.

Owl Accessories

It’s the little details that give a room heart and there is no shortage of adorable – and affordable –  owl accessories available. Wooden and leather details like those shown below add texture to the room and are sure to become treasured keepsakes.

Inexpensive artwork adds charm to a baby’s room and can be swapped out as the child grows or as your taste changes. Etsy is a goldmine of up-and-coming artists offering clever, affordable prints like the “Owl Love You Forever” shown below in the colour of year, honeysuckle.

owl nursery decor

Soft toys and furnishings are the only way to go in a nursery and allow you to add a pop of colour. Cushions, mobiles, stuffed bookends or a fleece blanket customized with baby’s name help to personalize the room. They also make wonderful gifts since the parents-to-be will likely be concentrating their budget on furniture and other major purchases for baby.

owl cushion mobile

owl blanket bookends

+ Tree with Two Owls Wall Decal from SimpleShapes, $74
+ Owl on Tree Wall Decal from NouWall, $68
+ Owl Wall Hook from Cocoon Couture, $89
+ Pink Wooden Owl Bookends from Penny Scallan Design, $49.95
+ French Counting Cards (avail. in several other languages) from Children Inspired Design, $22 (set of 10)
+ Owl Love You Forever Art Print from Oh Louise Designs, $12
+ Bamboo Owl Clock from Decoylab, $78
+ Peppermint Owl Mobile ($85) and Frosty Pink Owl Cushion ($65) from Jolie Petite Chose
+ Personalized Baby Blanket from Admiral Road, $59
+ Owl Stuffed Animal ($36) and Aqua Owl Picture Frame ($40) from Dwell Studio
+ Owl Bookends from Pottery Barn Kids, $29


Home Decor Trend: Mauve, Lilac and Berry Tones

mauve lilac and berry tones :: fall 2010 home trend

mauve lilac and berry tones :: fall 2010 home trend

I wrote a fall trend report for Style Sheet by where grellow was the center of the attention. Another trend that is worth noting is the mauve, lilac and berry tones trend. I touched it on my fall 2010 trends for HGTV with a few accessories. Let’s explore it further.

Furniture, pendant lamps, art prints and paint colors enable you to let in those nice red-blueish tones. I prefer the mauve and lilac to last year’s purple. I feel that it is easier to coordinate. I am fond of the glass pendant lighting collection by Niche Modern. It has a unique, industrial yet sophisticated design, especially in that rich tone. We see a lot of black or grey used as accent color with this color palette.

Traditional Style

plum trend used with traditional style furniture

Plum, mauve and lilac are not reserved for the modern style. It applies as well with traditional style decor. On the October 2010 issue of Living etc., they show the crocus Zephirine wallpaper next to a stunning blue sofa. The result is awesome.

+ EVRT Studio – Atlas Oats Print $120 to $160 USD at 2Modern
+ Niche Modern’s Plum Pendant Lighting $440 to $1,195
Inhabit Plankton Pillow $60 – $68
+ Moire Tibet Pendant by Shine Labs $350
+ Suzanne Lounge Seating for Kids $1,726 – $4,064
+ Designers Guild’s Zephirine Wallcoverings – color: crocus – photo by Damien Russell for Living etc.
Fox Point Armchair $615 painted in Martha Stewart Living Paint in Blueberry Pie $ 25 a gallon


The Feminine Side of Outdoor Furniture and Fermob

pink and blue garden furniture :: tablabri by fermob

French people, like many residents of European countries, are not afraid to infuse bold colors in their decor. They also do it in a tasteful way. The latest example is the April-May 2009 issue of Coté Sud, which is dedicated to the feminine side of summer. The mood of the cover says it all.

Another reason the cover caught my eye is Tablabri by Fermob. Tablabri was designed as a twist on the classic outdoor dining table and a parasol. It is practical too since you can store the poles and the canvas when not in use in a space situated under the tabletop.

fermob colorful garden furniture

Many dining tables and outdoor chairs from Fermob can be folded. It is practical when you like to host sit-down dinner for 20. Furniture, which likes gardens, which like colors is the motto of Fermob. Therefore, you will not surprise when I tell you that all the outdoor furniture pieces are available in 24 colors.

More Outdoor Design Ideas for Spring-Summer 2009

The outdoor space does not show sign of fatigue. Do not restrict your backyard accessories to the traditional look of outdoor furniture. Outdoor lights is one area where they are so much options than in the space. I will explore outdoor lighting on another post. For now, take a look of these photos from two backyards in France.

colorful gardens :: cote ouest and  cote paris

Consider the background surfaces before selecting the colors of your furniture. You can color block one wall and keep the other walls and the deck neutral to support your decor. See how great it looks on this Parisian terrace. Mixing shades of pink and purple works well against a green foliage backdrop and a sandy deck.

+ Talabri £1120 at Made in Design
+ Fermob
+ Images from Coté Sud, Coté Paris and Coté Ouest