Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Traditions w/ Lindsay Mens Craig

Hello Tuesday! Christmas markets in Germany are only 1 day away, and I simply can't wait to pack my bags and hop on that plane tomorrow.  The holiday spirit is absolutely amazing in Germany with every square being transformed into a Christmas market and everyone is feeling festive!

Before I kick start my vacation, here is a beautiful Christmas story by Lindsay of Sarah Richardson Design.

image via Sarah Richardson Design
I love Lindsay's home and am totally on board with her philosophy on how to decorate for the holiday: keeping the holiday decor as a continuation of your everyday lifestyle.  You don't have to go for the classic red and green Christmas palette if your favourite color is blue! 

image via Sarah Richardson Design
That Chinoiserie-inspired mirror truly incredible (for $40!!) and placing a wreath in front of it is all the feature wall needs to transpire the holiday vibe.  

I love my tree filled with ornaments.  This stunning beauty in silvery whites, pale turquoise, and bright sparkly blues is truly elegant, and what a first impression to wow the arriving guests!   

images via Sarah Richardson Design
Lacking a fireplace mantel in your home? Decorate your sideboard with a similar approach.  Some fresh greenery, a little winter berries, pine cones, and a cluster of antique brass candlesticks, now here is an idea we all could borrow to transform our own dining room!

images via Sarah Richardson Design
As for the dining room, Lindsay has kept the fundamental decor elements consistent with the rest of her home.  Exterior greenery + berry branches enhance the festive look, while the snowball votives add the extra sparkle at dinner parties.  

Another tip from Lindsay on how to display your favourite Christmas ornaments: put them in a bowl! LOVE it!    

images via Sarah Richardson Design
Decoration aside, Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year to treasure those precious moments as we celebrate the occasion with our closest friends and family.  And of course Santa's work wouldn't be done without the helps of the little ones!

images via Sarah Richardson Design
For more tips on decorating for the holiday season, here is a fun Q&A with Sarah and Tommy! 

Before I head on the plane, we also have a giveaway winner! Congrats Pat for winning the Black Rooster Decor giveaway! Please connect with me for your contact information and we will send over your Christmas presents ASAP! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Favourite Reads @ Style at Home + Holiday Magic

Hello Friday! The weekend is almost here and yours truly will be super busy (1) wrapping up a fun project, (2) meeting my friends for dinner and Christmas markets, (3) on standby for last minute work thanks to my day job, and (4) getting my haircut + packing for my trip to Europe! Wish me luck!

Anyhow, I love to bring a few magazines with me on the plane.  It's the best time to catch up on some readings and in the case of an entertaining system failure, we are talking about hours of uninterrupted inspirations from my favourite magazines.  Today, I want to share with you this masculine and modern condo designed by designer Stacey Cohen.

images via Style at Home
I like to make a statement at the entrance and loving how Stacey had the foyer painted a smokey blue grey.  Add a floating metal shelve, a vintage mid-century wood framed mirror, and a gilded gold stool, the look is eclectic and sexy.  The wood tone + gold accent also add warmth to the space.

The kitchen incorporated a two-tone cabinet scheme: creamy white and exotic wood. To up the urban, industrial vibe, Stacey picked a trio of metal T-back bar stools for a strong, sculptural statement.

Looking to save on decoration? Try to be creative and open-minded with your artwork.  IKEA is a great place for some larger scale options, but you could also framed up items with special memories such as a concert ticket, a postcard from the museum, or your kid first art: priceless!

images via Style at Home
You know I've been crazy about high gloss walls for a while and here is the ultimate solution to my obsession: back painted glass wall! Just look at that sheen in the office and the bedroom!  Love how the glass reflects light and brightens up the space, even though the feature wall is actually a smokey blue grey.

images via Style at Home
While we are talking about using color for a dramatic statement, the editors at Style at Home have shared their top favourite palettes that combine classic neutrals with bold accents in the January issue of Style at Home.  The brilliant peacock blue hand picked by Morgan captivated my attention.  Which one is your favourite?

images via Style at Home
Inspired by Morgan's brilliant blue, here are a few items I am in love with right now and since I won't be decorating my place for the holiday this year, you may very well be seeing this palette at my condo for Christmas 2015! 
skiers paper / arctic print / ginger jar print / plates / ornaments / rug / storage / mirror / chair / gnome 
Happy weekend friends! xoxo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Shopping @ Black Rooster Decor

Hello Tuesday! Are you ready for the holidays? It is only two short weeks away and if you are looking for the perfect one-stop shop to decorate your home, you have got to check out Black Rooster Decor.

Black Rooster Decor is definitely one of my favourite stores to source for beautiful furniture, stunning artwork, luxurious textile, and unique accessories.  Nina has done an incredible job curating the collection, and I get inspired every time I visit her store!  On this trip, I am crazy about this black faux leather chair, the super soft pom pom blanket, and this adorable bear from Citizen Atelier.

I wasn't kidding when I said Nina is a pure genius with her collection and check out this sensational living room vignette! That intricate metal chandelier and the shadow it cascades on the wall is divine, the gallery wall with the most mesmerizing artwork (love Citizen Atelier), and hello to the faux marble vases with a potted amaryllis: now that's the perfect hostess gift!  


Want to have a closer look at some of my favourites? I bet you do.

Now that you have decorated your show stopping living room, it's time to turn your attention to the entertaining essentials to wow your guests at your upcoming Christmas party.

Most dinner parties gravitate toward a less formal approach (especially when a larger crowd is involved), where the dining table now serves as the food and beverages central while guests mingo between the kitchen and the living room.  Such approach to entertaining allows us to elevate the way we decorate our dining table to a whole new level as we no longer have to reserve space for plate setting.  With the entire tablescape as our playground, we now can place a gold dipped parrot, a porcelain pineapple, and an adorable squirrel along side with beautiful silverware and graphic plates / trays to make a fabulous statement!

Here are a few of my favourites items in this sumptuous dining room vignette created by Nina.

I am a huge fan of anything blue and white.  If I am in town for Christmas this year, my home will be filled with blues and whites! So you could imagine my excitement when I spotted this sensational corner designated to this classic color palette.

If painting your walls or upholstering your sofa in navy blue is a bit out of your comfort zone, why not achieving the look through a collection of asian-inspired porcelain? Pairing with a black metal cabinet with clear glass doors, these blue and white vases and jars look fresh and decadent.  Of course I am also obsessed with that Moroccan mirror and the handsome striped horn bowl.  

To celebrate this holiday season, Nina has generously offered a sculptural sputnik and this super chic spotted owl as our giveaway!  To enter the contest, simple leave me a comment of what caught your eyes in today's post.  To increase your chance to take home these fellas, follow Black Rooster Decor on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and leave me separate comments to let me know you have done so.

Winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday December 16th!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

#ProjectDreamHome w/ Croma Design Inc.

Hello Thursday! Can't believe I will be in Germany and checking out the Christmas markets in less than 2 weeks.  Christmas is truly special in Europe (less shopping focused I find) and with every city square being transformed into a festive carnival, Germany is truly a dreamy place to be for the  holidays.

Speaking about heading to my dreamland for Christmas, the talented Ryan and Amy of Croma Design have given me an inspiring gift for this holiday season: a sensational kitchen plan for #ProjectDreamHome.

images via Croma Design
I have been a fan of Croma Design ever since I saw the feature of their Riverside Loft project in the Style at Home magazine.  So when Croma Design transformed Erin's kitchen into a spectacular chef-envy gourmet kitchen, I knew I have to work with the dynamic duos for my future home.  

images via Croma Design
Before I show you what Croma Design and yours truly have come up with, here is a quick reminder of what the builder has proposed.  I have made a few changes to streamline the layouts, functions, and flows in various spaces.  As for the kitchen, here are the key requirements on my wish list:

  • the longest, uninterrupted counter run possible
  • a multi-functional island that serves as the home of the microwave, the dining table for 2 - 4 people, and the buffet central when entertaining

As you can see, the builder's floor plan doesn't quite measure up.

Since #ProjectDreamHome is a pre-construction project and the builder has given me the flexibility to re-imagine the layout (within reasons), I now have the perfect opportunity to collaborate with Croma Design to sketch out the kitchen of my dreams!

Here is a game plan to my next kitchen with an efficient layout and a fine balance of style & function:

Now check out this contemporary kitchen that had me floored the moment I opened my email from Croma Design.  Smart layout of upper + lower cabinets to maximize closed storage (what Chris is after) and a stunning view from the living room, Ryan and Amy have nailed it in their first draft!

concept drawings courtesy of Croma Design
Another critical item on my wish list is a show stopping view the moment I walked into the main living space.  That means an open storage unit with treasure display capacity is key to the kitchen wall next to the master bedroom.

I initially thought that perhaps I could have an open display area at the corner (since it's a dead zone for functional cabinet anyway) and then continue with regular uppers.  Coma Design blew my mind with these floating shelves supported by metal rods hanging from the ceiling inspired by the gorgeous feature wall in the 2014 Princess Margaret Showhome designed by Brian Gluckstein.

concept drawings courtesy of Croma Design, inspiration image via Princess Margaret Show Home
As for that ultimate multi-functional island, since the builder is willing to move the plumbing from the main wall to the island, we are now able to pack the sink, the dishwasher, the microwave + a breakfast bar with seating for 3 all in one spot.

concept drawings courtesy of Croma Design
With the technical elements taken care of, I've turned my attention to the finishing touches. I know I am way early to brainstorm on the finer details but I simply couldn't help myself when I saw this sensational backsplash idea by Emily Henderson.

images via Emily Henderson
What an incredible makeover! A well detailed tile plan is required for a precise execution but since the tiles are large, it will take less time for the tiler to install and less grout lines for easy maintenance.

images via Emily Henderson
One huge bonus working with Croma Design is that Ryan and Amy totally read my mind and they came up with a palette that represents my aesthetic.  I know I want this space to be a bit more edgy, so I truly appreciate Ryan and Amy for pushing me outside of my comfort zone (a transitional look) to go for something more streamline and contemporary.

A couple of things I am debating at the moment: (1) oak floor in ash grey vs a mid-tone hardwood floor, (2) one quartz color throughout the entire kitchen vs using blizzard on the long counter and Calacatta Nuvo on the island.

What do you think?


I know I am a picky client when it comes to design finishes and it has been absolutely delightful working with Croma Design, especially when they presented me with the knobs and pulls that I had in mind for months (I am pretty sure I didn't tell them ahead of time) and offered me expert advices / evaluations on various options so I could materialize on my dream kitchen.

Croma Design offers clients with full design services and Croma Express kitchen design provides you with everything you need for your next kitchen renovation.  So whether you are planning to renovate your entire home or to re-imagine a space to better suit your needs, be sure to check out Croma Design.  I know I will be in touch with Ryan and Amy as we progress at #ProjectDreamHome. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

One of a Kind Christmas Show ~ Favourite Picks 2014

Hello Tuesday! Did you check out the One of a Kind Christmas Show on the weekend? I had a fantastic time catching up with my favourite artisans and had discovered a few amazing talents I am now obsessed with.  let's take a walk at OOAKS shall we?

Freshly Printed is a Toronto-based textile studio creating beautiful and functional quality household textiles with minimal impacts to the environment.  Hemp, organic linen and organ cotton add a touch of casual elegance to our daily lives.

These tea towels and the goose pillow had me at hello.  The towels are also customizable, making them the perfect hostess gifts for this holiday season! Stop by Freshly Printed at Booth Z01 and say hi to Jen

The talented Lindsay Stead has also turned me into a quilt obsessed fanatic with her super chic hand stitched quilts and pillows in strikingly graphic patterns.  Her booth, S51, is simple yet highly dramatic thanks to the bold black & white palette.  Love the white washed walls and that bench is a pure sensation. 

That quilt on the wall is a definite must-have and as for pillows, I am craving for that dynamite navy and cream number on the lower right corner.

Speaking about one of a kind handcrafted items, you will also have to check out Andrea Ford of re:STYLE studio at booth S12.  The stunning fabric on the Louis chair was hand-printed by Andrea and the stitch work on that bergere was put together piece by piece.  Be sure to stop by to say hi! 

Jealous of seeing all the amazing pictures by Will of Bright Bazaar during his visit to NYC last week, I am totally drawn to this edgy booth by Dave Murray with his prints reminding me of The Big Apple.

Love the energy of Dave's work, especially his bike series.  I may need to pick up the blue one for Chris!

Now that I've met a few new friends, it's time to check in with my all time favourites.  I've always loved the simplicity and asian-inspired aesthetics of Renaud Sauve of Ateliers des cent-ans, and here is his serene and elegant booth. 

The natural wood, the white porcelain, and Renuad's signature use of navy blue accent, I have long been a big fan of his work! Love the wave series and Renuad mentioned he will be coming up with an entire collection with wave in 2015.  I simply can't wait to check it out!

Here is something Chris would love: a cup set that's all about knots!  You have no idea how much time Chris and his buddies spent tying knots while camping in the summer. I may have to look into getting him a set for Christmas!

And of course we have to visit Avril and what a beautiful booth she has set up to display her colourful products!

From holiday specific items such as Christmas stockings to cheerful pillows, tea towels and napkins, I simply want them all!  That pineapple pillow is just super fun and I love that confetti stocking.  

Thanks Avril for all your hard work to create such an experience for us at the One of a Kind Christmas Show.  Your booth is brilliantly designed and it truly was a treat to the eyes.  #BRAVO!

One more stop before I let you go, the OOAKs has created a live studio with artisans demonstrating how they create their masterpieces! It surely looks like Santa's workshop to me, and be sure to check that out when you visit the OOAK Christmas show this year! 

Are you planning to visit the OOAK Christmas show this year? I would love to hear what are your favourite items! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Winter Wonderland ~ Lake Louise

Hello Thursday! Are you ready for Christmas? If you are not quite in the mood for the holidays yet, today's post is exactly what you need to jump start your Christmas spirit.  We are spending some time at Lake Louise today!

I have been to Lake Louise in early fall before and as beautiful as it was, the scenery in winter is just absolutely breathtaking.  As for the best way to pamper yourself and to enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Louise, I highly recommend staying at the Chateau Lake Louise. 

As most of the restaurants in the hotel were designed to maximize the viewing pleasure, sitting at the restaurant for a delicious meal + writing my Christmas cards was certainly one of my favourite activities.  

If you want to enjoy a quiet moment just to relax and to be amazed by beauties in nature, Lake Louise is surely the place to be in winter.  (perhaps during visit during the week ... likely less tourists)  

Here are a few of my favourite shots:

Thanks Chris for an incredible trip and what a lucky guy I am! xoxo

My favourite shot of Chris on this trip:

If you are researching for winter vacation and haven't decided on where to go yet, check out Lake Louise! 

Today is also announcement day for the One of a Kind Christmas Show ticket giveaway.  Congrats to our five winners! Please contact me via email and I will send you the electric tickets right the way!