Set a Fabulous Table and Help Fight Cancer

Okay ladies -
here is your opportunity to create your dream dining space!

 sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society,
is looking for 33 designers to transform 
the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Centre (Toronto)
 into a magical setting for this FIRST annual event.

Perhaps you will be inspired by the sunshine yellow of their flower, the daffodil..

Follow the link to get involved :) or pass this along, please.
We have all lost someone to cancer,
but maybe one day that will change.

Thanks to Krista of the Hopeless Chest and her Mum for getting this event up and running -
hope it's uber successful and the beginning of a must-attend annual event.

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Blackberry or iPhone?


I've never been into video games.
I have an iPod.
I love my blackberry.

(the excuses because I use BBM so much reasons for why I didn't make the switch to an iPhone earlier)

I use a mac.
I present images to clients all the time.
My rollerball broke. Again.

The time had come to say goodbye to my blackberry and, have to say, I am in app heaven!

Started with the Benjamin Moore, 
the wonder app that scans any surface and color matches it to one of their paint hues..
then ColorSnap from Sherwin-Williams,
 which can customize color with lightness, saturation and hue features..

I'm sure you all have iHandy Level iPhone app, this is really cool.
Your phone can tell you if the art you are installing in your clients home is perfectly level - LOVE it!

Got the really useful MacBox Units iPhone app -
 converts measurements from metric to imperial, among others things -
perfect for a Canadian designer who does work for my lovely neighbors to the south :)

The Handyman DIY app is fantastic for recording the measurements of a room,
 and itemizes all the plugs, switches and so on..
it allows you to organize lists of materials, tasks, etc for each room - so helpful!

Now I'm looking at the Mark On Call app for floor plan genius, 
and apparently it lets you scan any finish and skin it onto any item in your online pic-
this would be so helpful for color visualization.
Anyone tried it?

Must admit, friday night, when my blackberry was about to sigh it's last, exhausted breath,
panic set in a little.. 
but now that I have crossed over to the dark side,
all I can say is - 
WHY did I wait so long?!!!

1 2 3 4 5 6

What side of the fence to you live on?
Any words of wisdom to pass on to the new girl?

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Weekend Color: Perfect Accent Color Lighting

Here's something to brighten up your day, literally!

The Wooden Lamp Company was started by Claire Pendarves when she couldn't convince a lighting manufacturer to send her a single screw she needed to fix her lamp-
they told her to throw away the entire thing and they would send out a replacement.

Frustrated by the amount of metal waste that she was witnessing,
and the lack of interesting alternatives,
she began creating wooden lamps in fresh colors.

Keeping production runs short means new colors/fabrics are always popping up.

 Claire's goal: "to bring you unusual and individual lamps which are the next best thing to bespoke".

I think she's done it!

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Color With A Light Hand

Some people love white walls.
If that is what makes you happy, then go for it!
I think color with a light hand can be just as effective in setting a mood.

This is one of my favourite homes of all time, 
and the walls are very pale whites.
Black, white and neutrals are used almost exclusively,
 allowing a huge range of wood tones to shine amongst rich maroon and botanical bits.

Such gorgeous vignettes, non?
I can't choose a favourite!
and the art in the dining area is so richly saturated.. love..

What do you think?
Can color be just a effective in small doses?
Or do you prefer your color on your walls?

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Color Post: How Texture and Sheen Affect Color Choices

I've had this image floating around in my mind for a bit now.
When I first saw it, I remember
thinking how much I wanted to step into the other side and be bathed in that pink perfection.
This was a room at the Mondrian Scottsdale, which, sadly, does not exist any longer.

(Before you delve into this post, I'm giving you fair warning that it is pretty technical and wordy,
but it's something I explain to clients, and this helps to understand color a bit better.
I've tried to limit the scientific boring bits :)

This tinted mirror illustrates beautifully the idea of reflected light and color -
 the pink acting as a lens to the reflection.
This coloration could have almost been achieved by a vibrant sunset, with all the rosy color of the light coming into the space reflected back off the white finishes present here.

The color of an object is not contained within the object.
The color is the result of our eyes interpreting the light
 which is being reflected back by that object.

How does that work?
The light spectrum consists of a range of frequencies,
each of which corresponds to a specific color.
When visible light shines upon an object and a specific frequency is absorbed,
that color will not make it to our eyes.
Any visible light that is not absorbed and is reflected back to us
will contribute to the appearance of the object.

This means when you see orange, for example, 
all the colors (blue) except red and yellow are being absorbed by that object,
 and the orange is being reflected back to you.

A turquoise object is absorbing all the red, and some yellow,
and is reflecting back blue and some yellow.

Easy to understand, right?
So how does this affect color choices within your space?

With high gloss accessories everywhere
and more and more clients exploring the idea of high gloss walls,
texture and sheen are a hot color topics.
You may not ever consider color a HOT topic :)
but in my color-obsessed universe.. it is!

Texture and sheen control the amount of reflected light and color an object sends back to our eyes.

The amount of sheen upon an object determines 
how much of that color is reflected and how much is absorbed.
A flat finish paint or textile absorbs more light, because the surface is rough and the light is refracted back in many directions. This makes the color appears darker.

A high sheen means a smooth surface, therefore more light is reflected. 
The color is more difficult for your eye to interpret 
because of the white light shining back toward your eye,
the result being that the color appears lighter than it actually is.

This affects your color choices in two main ways -

First, color distortion - the velvet your sofa is being upholstered in and the color for your walls
 may look identical in small swatches and samples,
 but they will appear differently in your space because of the sheen difference.
It is very important to bring in samples on your walls/furnishings/floors when using a high sheen finish to ensure the color appears as you would like it.
The end result will be different in every space because of the amount of light and the finishes around it.

Second, the reflected light and color - remember how your eye sees reflected light as color?
We see white when all the color wavelengths are present and being reflected back.
But what happens if you place a white sofa in a green room?
Why does the white take on a greenish hue?
This is because the white will not absorb the green wavelengths that are being directed
 at it from the green on the walls - they reflect it back to you.
The same will happen to a yellow sofa in a green room - they will reflect back the green wavelengths, causing the yellow to become cooler than it actually is.

This means that when choosing the textures and finishes for a color scheme
 you must be aware that the colors will reflect back onto the other elements in the room,
 and how much so is controlled by the finish and amount of light present.

Thats a bit of information overload, isn't it?!

Did I ramble too much or did you get the main point?
Sheen and texture affect color by affecting the amount of reflected light and color.

Do these posts help you to understand color a bit more easily?
That's my hope :)

I will be working on a whole series of posts in the next couple of months
 dealing with how to choose a color palette in your space.
Next week I'll post the overview :)

Hope you'll pop by!

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Interior Design's Best Green Project of the Year

The Burgess Group office, designed by the architectural firm SmithGroup,
has won Interior Design Magazine's title of Best Green Project of the Year.

I would love to work in this space.

The slate wall runs throughout the office.
Apple green and burnt orange accents inspire creativity and energize.

The company placed the employee lounge in the coveted corner office location 
so that everyone gets to enjoy this view.
A cork passageway leads to the design lab.

The conference room and meeting/eating room both use glass for sound absorption
that allows the maximum amount of light passage.
An additional wall of back painted glass in the eating/meeting room can be used as a white board,
and the conferences rooms tables is constructed of back-painted glass -
both enhancing light reflection.

A thoughtful design shows how much this company cares about employee satisfaction
 and I bet their productivity shows it.

This is one article you may want to leave lying around your office :)

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Giveaway! Home Show Tix

If you are in the Toronto area and would like to go to the National Home Show 
you are in luck!
The show has generously provided me with a few sets of free weekday tickets to give away - yay!

The show takes place February 18-27,
at the Direct Energy Centre in the Ex.
There will heaps of celebrity guests, 
including Debbie Travis, Colin and Justin, and Brian Baeumler..

Need help with decorating?
 Don't forget to bring pics (and a floor plan with dimensions)
of a space you're struggling with -
onsite designers will help you solve your design dilemmas.

Planning a reno?
Meet builders for a one-on-one construction consultation-
these guys will give you the advice you need before starting your project.

I am looking forward to the two model homes presented by PolygHome and Quality Homes.

and inspiration at the garden area,
 we are re-buiding our deck this summer and doing some landscaping...

For a full listing of all the show highlights and exhibitors,
 head over to the National Home Show Site.
But don't forget to enter first!

All I ask is that you leave me a comment telling me 
what painting projects you have planned for this year, including colors..
because I'd really like to know what YOU are loving right now!

Comments open until next Sunday, 
the winners will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, January 31.

good luck - x

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The Great Clean Out - The Posts Are In!

It's here!

A massive thank you going out to the talented ladies who participated in the Great Clean Out -
we thought that commiting to an organization post together would motivate us and so it did!

I received your pics, but have not yet read the posts that go along with them,
and am dying to read the stories of these makeovers.
Here is a little of what you can expect at each blog..

Drumroll please...

Barbara of Hodgepodge 

Have you ever wanted to re-arrange your entire home -
change the purpose of each room to what is really should be?
I have.. and then I go back to whatever I am doing!
Barb is boldly undertaking a huge refresher at her place - I so admire her efforts.
She is sharing a bit of "games room" re-organization with us...
always wanted a games room, it sounds so grand :)

Carissa has done such a great job of incorporating storage into her library.
Library... another grand room!
The before really wasn't so bad, but I love how the after frames out a perfect niche for her piano.
And I've requested her paint choices because I LOVE them :)
This is a room I could spend some time in.

Have to say, Abby has kept me laughing through this process, 
and I know her post is going to crack me up!
Abby is in the process of selling her home, 
so she had a bit of a head start :)
because she has just recently gone through the painful de-clutter process..
but every girl has a cupboard somewhere that irks her,
and Abby conquered hers this weekend!

Kerry is kind of my hero.
I always had a dream of buying an old house and redoing it.
Kerry and her husband are doing just that, 
so I don't think this organization post scared her one bit!
Kerry is also expecting,
and so a great big hug to you - Kerry,
for all your efforts - 
love how your laundry/craft room turned out!

Christine of Bijou and Boheme

Oh, Christine.
Somehow I knew that a closet makeover in your home would end up being 
better styled and more chic than most people's living rooms!
How happy my shoes would be to live in this bit of pretty.
Thank you for inspiring me to make my hall closet my next project!

The 10 Rooms Head Office

Just recently relocated my office/craft room in my home, and there was ZERO organization.
I was really procrastinating, but having an end date meant eventually I had to get going.
So relieved that it is done, it is so freeing to let go of all that excess "stuff"
and get organized!

Thanks again to all you wonderful "organizistas" -
it was so much fun to do this post with all of you!
Hope that everyone is inspired by all the hard work that went on,
and by how happy we are to tick a job off the to-do list.

If you are in the process of an organization project,
share the pics when you are finished and I'll post them!
I've got heaps of other closets and drawers that need "the treatment" :)

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