Sunday, 24 August 2014

Turning inspiration into reality

Breakfast nook with "new", old curtains.
We all do it. Copy and "steal", that is. Whether it's a great look, clever design solutions or a twist on something tried and true, inspiration is everywhere, and summer is an especially good time to refill our idea banks.

Here are three ideas that I've brought into my home this summer. None of them major or revolutionary, quite the contrary. But they all strike a chord with the style I like for my home. Rather than copying the ideas "right off", I've tried to add a personal twist to make them more "mine".

Let's have a look.
Here's the inspiration shot in an interior designed by

1) In a previous post this summer, I talked about skipping window treatments all together, to let more light and greenery in. While I love the idea, I also like the simple and fresh look of white curtains. I wanted to try a concept using black ribbons to break up all the white. Seeing it in House & Home's special edition "Decorating with white" this summer finally convinced me to take out the sewing machine. I attached three narrow ribbons onto the existing curtains, which instantly added a graphic, contemporary punch to my breakfast nook.

Wall display from CB2 in Toronto.
2) As soon as I spotted this display in the CB2 store in Toronto,  I knew it would be perfect for my patio. "It can't be hard to make", I thought, and a couple of weeks later, with a few wooden boards and some help, I created my own slatted structure.

What I especially like about it is that the display can be changed indefinitely simply by adding, removing or changing the location of the pots.

My pots are from Target and have holes on the back and perch from nails in the slats. The pots from CB2 have a wire hanging arrangement, which allows for even more versatility. The galvanized steel also looks better than the plastic ones I used, I think, so I'll keep my eyes open for something similar.

Here's my version of the display. There is still 
room for more plants!

Shelf from CB2.
3) During the same visit to CB2, I also saw this wall shelf that I was drawn to for the same reasons as the plant display: it's flexibility. I also like how the irregular pattern of the steel ledges and rods almost make it look like a piece of art in itself. Did I make my own, you wonder? No, in this case I just bought it. Fast and easy!   

What has inspired you this summer?

Here's my take on it.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Colour the way to your home

Photo: Houzz. Midcentury Exterior by Encinitas
Interior Designers & Decorators Erik Gilmer
"People keep using the back door, but I want them to come in through the front entrance."

No matter how many times my client told her friends, the small door off the deck of her Trout Lake home had become the primary entry. A peek outside revealed why; the back door had an easier access on this perched property, and nothing outside made one entry stand out over the other.

How could we change the traffic path to this home without making costly adjustments to stairs and landscaping?

With paint, of course!

Decorators bright designlab..
The first suggestion I gave my client was to paint the front door an eye-catching colour. Given the home's contemporary, playful vibe, I thought a happy yellow or orange would look great. My client was on board for yellow. So far so good.

But a happy door doesn't do the trick on its own. It needs a context. So I recommended placing oversized flower pots at the top of the steep stairs leading down to the cheery front door. The colour of the flowers? Yellow, of course!

I also suggested a coat of yellow paint on the stair railings, and yellow flowers at the foot of the stairs.
Photo: Houzz. Contemporary Entry by

See how we've started a theme here?

Sunflowers, with their majestic and contemporary look would be a great choice for the foot of the stairs! I envision them in an oversized, rectangular box casually leaning towards the sundrenched wall of the stair landing.

Finally, to complete the traffic path, I suggested placing yellow flowers also by the front door, a few feet away.

With a clear colour code established, there should be little mistake in the future which door guests should use.

As always, a little paint goes a long way!