Small Updates from Ikea

So sometimes you just want to give a room a little boost, something inexpensive to bring some new life without a big overhaul.

I was cruising through the Ikea site and saw these little lovelies...

First, some great lampshades that you can pop onto an existing lamp or you can pick up the bases there, too.  These Styke Shades incorperate the current trend of photographic art morphing onto furnishings..

The flowers are pretty and graphic, the city image is perfect for a downtown spot, but look at the tree!  I love this!  May have to find a spot for it, somewhere....

Ikeas posters are always fun and the price lets you change them often.  Typography is HUGE right now, and the Bild posters offer you some fantastic choices:

as well as a great black Ny map, perfect to satisfy for craving for black without a big commitment:

You could use these like this:

Molly Sims Apartment

Via Apartment Therapy

I think the typography post could get very large :) so I will save it for next week!

Here is the last thing Ikea had that I thought was pretty cool - 
the Plank Room Divider -it's made out of banana leaves, palm leaves, seagrass and coir.
perfect to add a little textural interest to a bland wall, or as a divider for those of us lucky enough to have open space living!


til next time...
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A Dreamy Bathroom..

Just looking through all the (always) amazing pics at Desire to Inspire.
  I froze at these. 
This is my dream bathroom. 
 No plastic or mdf in sight.  
Creamy white, Stone, natural light, simple nostalgic lighting,
 a huge bench to curl up on, rustic wood shelving...
 so warm and tactile.  

I love the windows above the sinks with the mirrors in front, rare and so wonderful.

Ryann Ford

 I would love, love, love to get up to this room every morning.

til next time...

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Ebru Sidar

Love these photos by Ebru Sidar as featured on Design You Trust.

Surreal and wrapped in mystery.

I am going to have a wall of black and white photography (one day!) in our living room and her work is definitely on my wish list...

Just draws you in, doesn't it?

til next time...

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The Benjamin Moore Webinar

Yesterday was a first for me - I attended a webinar.  Have you ever done this?  Maybe I am way behind the times!  It was offered by Benjamin Moore, as a preview of their Color Pulse 2011. The theme was balance.

"BALANCE is an attribute that we all strive to live. 
Sorting the Real from the Surreal defines priorities that drive the direction for 2011, as it gives us a chance to dream of the future. 
From the rural influences to urban application, BALANCE is supported by 4 themes for COLOR PULSE 2011: The Farm, Order, Escape, and Tribe."

You can order the book detailing these design directions here for Canadians
and here if you are in the U.S.

These four themes group the major trends in design.  But how does this relate to the everyday homeowner?

The Farm is about the desire to become rooted.  More people are returning to homespun textiles, furniture.  As people try to live in ways that have less-impact on the earth, we are seeing a huge return to farmers markets, buying vintage and "pre-cyling" (buying less waste to begin with).  The colours reflect this, the creamy whites of unbleached fabrics, soft grey-brown, light peach, rose, light warms yellows, fresh green.  Warm woods, unstained, and handcrafts - knitting, macrame, stencils, embroidery. All things that remind us of a simpler time.

Sally Nencini  Come To Life Chair

Order is about the desire to have control, to structure your life and set your priorities.  This is a classic "less is more" philosophy.  Very graphic prints, geometric forms in furniture and accessories, possessions that have multiple uses and create the maximum possibilities. Circles are huge, irregular stripes, pixel patterning and color-blocking.  The colours are saturated - red, yellow, light royal, leaf green. Black and white and the entire grey scale are seen here.  Red and Black have emerged as the biggest color-combo from this group.  Clean, innovative and graphic design.

The Iconic Post-It Wall

Escape is self-explanatory.  With all that is going on around us, this is the idea that your home is a haven (thats always been my feeling).  This escape trend is light and airy design, "cloud lighting", with feminine feel.  The colors are dreamy pales, aqua, camel, pink - with pearlescent whites and grounded by dark grey and blackened lavender.  Ombre fabrics, tech fabrics that include lightening and interactive design are included here.

Cloud Lamp by Yu Fordy Fu

Tribe is "turning the me into we". This is cross-cultural design.  Having respect for your community and not just your home.  Alternative shelter, evidenced in pods, tepees, etc..  Communal public spaces.  Vivid color, teal, periwinkle, red, hot pink, light orange, magenta, lime green - combine in tribal patterns so no one color takes centre stage. The neutrals, grey, grey-brown, deep purple, camel  are the main color here with pattern accents. More organic shapes, live-edge wood furniture, huge breast-plate colorful necklaces. This is the continuing globalization of design.

The Pod by MO

Are you still there?  Are you awake?  That was a lot of rambling but I found the webinar really interesting and thought you might too!

These are trends, paths that design is choosing to take.  I think in the future we will continue to see technology become a larger part of design, and innovations in textiles and products will allow us to have beautiful spaces that relate more and have less impact on our environment.  Great news! 

til next time...
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Have you seen the work of the TO artist Anna Pantchev?
With an intense, bold colour palette she juxtaposes solid geometric forms and softer images.  It is vibrant and active work, really beautiful.

Want to see more on Anna Pantchev?  Click here...

til next time...

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Sculpture for your Outdoor Space

Went to the Interior Design Show in TO on the weekend (IDS 2010) with my eldest Daughter.  At 10 she is a budding designer - I will post pics of her room once she has completed it - you won't believe what she has done! Proud Mom :) With all the up and coming talent that was featured, and the innovative products, we found lots of inspiration for our home and I got some great ideas for clients.

This house we moved into last summer is only 3 years old, so it has really limited landscaping.  This spring we will be putting up a fence to keep our puppy, Hooch, at home where he belongs (he knows ALL the neighbours!).

So we have started to discuss plans for the yard.  Its a big spot so I'm thinking we will tackle a bit each year, this year the trees and shrubs so they start to fill in. But I need to get some elements out there to break up the green and create interest.  Voila!  How about some gorgeous sculpture?
These giant pinecones are from Artifice.

They are 4' - 6' long!
You can custom order them in stainless, mild or rusty steel.
How would that be as the focal point of a seating area?

These guys also make beautiful delicate trellises

one-of-a-kind birdbaths

wall art

Wow!  So much talent, I am literally awed by these. I have to admit I have a bit of a thing for trees.  They are so graceful, and represent strength and longevity.  I tend to gravitate towards anything "tree-ish", but thats another post!

What about you guys? Are you longing for warmer days out in the yard? Have you started to plan out your gardens?  Do you have any ideas to break up a large empty yard?

till next time...

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Blue Skies

sun, blue sky, and a balloon - what more could anyone want?

photo by Shelby Nicole of 927photography.com via flickr
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that lovely green

Perhaps it is the grey skies of winter, but despite what Pantone has to say the only colour I am craving right now is GREEN.
A fresh, leafy green.

The kind of green you could take a bite out of.

This green offers the both of best worlds.  It's invigorating, due to it's lightness and yellow tone - but it also rejuvenates, as most greens tend to relieve stress.

Couldn't we all use a little of that in January?  I think one of these living walls would be wonderful right about now.  Get some much-needed oxygen into the house (since the windows are FROZEN shut!) and bring a little bit of green into the picture...

 These are fairly easy to install indoors.
You can get one from ELT Living Walls or,
 if you are more of a DIYer, check out this post.

It's not quite the same as being here,

 but, maybe some beautiful plates would do it.
From Anthropologie, of course - can I get through a post with out them?!!

Till next time...

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A tea junkies laugh every morning...

I don't know if you guys have seen this already, but I am going to get it!  I drink about 5 cups of tea every day, most herbal, and this guy is too cute!

Sharkey Tea Infuser by Pablo Matteoda

How about you? Tea or Coffee?

till next time...

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Oh William, I Am Trying...

So I aspire to live by the quote.  You know the one. 
"Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
                                                                              - William Morris
I guess the problem is that many things are useful, really, 
and I find many, many things beautiful!

I have resolved to get my Office super-organized and streamlined this month.
It all started with the computer. It died. Apparently I somehow acquired 121 viruses including a nasty trojan horse which struck the final blow.  So off we went to Future Shop, determined to get a great deal on a little laptop - and home we came, with a new IMac.  It is truly a thing of beauty, this computer, and when I placed it ever-so-gently onto my desk everything else started to look a little, well, junky. The clear-out began. So far, this is as far as we have gotten.

The shelves are Lack, Ikea. The were here when we moved in, in another room where they didn't work, but they are lovely for my decorating books - which I rotate, there is quite a few!  The desk is an oldie, it really needs to be refinished, but it is the perfect height, has great storage and i love its simple lines and large top.  I think I may just get a piece of glass cut for the top and place some nice fabric under it for now. The bulletin board came from our previous homes kitchen, and although I like the functionality of it it always ends up full of kids pictures! 
I really need some file storage on top of my desk, and I am liking this lacquered set from West Elm. 

Lacquer Office

The upside of this organizing mania is that now I have actually organized all last years files, and went to Staples to find storage. The have all kinds of fantastic recycled paper products now.
I got file folders, a new accordion file, and some larger legal boxes for all my older files.  I'm happy they're recycled, and I actually love the colour, so its win-win buying the basics.

For Storage that stays in my office, I'm going to get these Ikea boxes in light mossy green. There will be a narrow console table under those lack shelves shortly, once I find one with a shelf to hold these guys.

I also really like these little bone boxes that west elm has for small storage on the desk.

I am torn between getting the green magazine holders from Ikea or something a little more sleek, like this one from Umbra

I always seem to have small papers on my desk, quick ideas I have a jotted down, and friends email address that needs entering, how about this funky standing clip from Anthropologie?

 It satisfies my current obsession with simple metal objects that look like they came from the depression era.  An industrial vibe.

And, of course, a rock!  A crystal, actually.  I seem to have some kind of rock in every room in the house!  Well, every office needs a paperweight, right?

As for the walls, I have a plan for all those inspiration bits and pieces that are about.  I have picked up a couple packs of wall decals that are picture frames.  Now, sometimes wall decals are great, like in a kids room, and sometimes they're not, like alot of other places.  I am going to grab a large canvas from Michaels, and create a collage using the frames.  This will give a very random assortment of eye candy some kind of organization, and flow.

That will go on this wall, so I can see it from my desk.

I would like the corkboard over my desk to take on the role of art/function, somehow this will incorperate a perpetual calendar something like this

Once it is all done, I will post pics!
Next post I will be featuring home offices that I love, do you have some that you would like to contribute?  What do you like in a home office?  Dark and wood, light and white, tons of books and mementos or sleek and minimalist?  Send me your favourites!

till next time...

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A Beautiful Ceiling Fan - is that really possible?

So our Family Room is a little different in this home.  The previous owners had the foresight to make the ground floor a little smaller than the other two.  This created a two-story family room in the basement. The rear wall of this room is almost all windows, so it lets in an incredible amount of light to the basement and main floor.  Lovely, right?  The only problem with this is that any heat we manage to get into our basement flows directly up to the upper levels.  (My office is also here, and as I write this, a small heater hums beside me!!) So we have decided to install some ceiling fans into the family room to recirculate the heat back down here.  This will cost far less than running a space heater in the office or guest room, or even using the gas fireplace each night in our family room.

The awful lights we currently have are visible not only from the family room but the dining room, as well.  This means that we need to choose something that will match our Dining Room fixture (not yet chosen!!) and look half-decent while  enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.

So herein lies the dilemma.  Which fans (two) should we choose?

We can eliminate a lot of styles right off the bat.  Definitely no light, it's twenty feet up and we have to bring in scaffolding to install these guys. Our home is not   minimal, so the Enigma from Fanimation (left) or Nebula from Living Lighting are out as well.


We could go more Traditional, which is what my Husband would like. The Circilo from Living Lighting would be his first choice.  I would agree, if our home was more like this one from Home and Garden.

There is always the more Tropical look, which may have worked in our previous home - it was full of greeny blues and wood.  This house has Ebony Bamboo floors, the walls will SOON (!!) be predominantly creamy white, and pretty much everything else in the family room will be grey, camel or black.  Not as tropical as this space from CaymanVacation.com.  I do quite like this fan from Tommy Bahama and fan with optional light from Home Depot, though.

I'm thinking something sleeker, still warm but maybe a bit less competitive with the Dining Room Chandelier (did I mention we haven't chosen that yet?!!).
I think white would disappear altogether, and that may be a little strange looking. This white one from rona is sleek and a steal - $79.00. But how about this Black and Cherry beauty from Living Lighting?  Or the slightly more ornate Silver and Cherry fan from Casablanca? Close, very close.

What I really want is warm, organic, sleek.
It needs to be beautiful without all the glitz and detail.  Simple.

Here it is, folks, the absolute winner:

The Artemis by Minka.


Unfortunately, also the most expensive.  Sigh.

Till next time..
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