When following interior design there are always new trends appearing and something I have seen over the last month is butterflies! Fluttering onto pillows, wallpaper, dishes and even furniture. The traditional use of framed butterflies and other insects is showing up in many well designed rooms. As with every trend it starts with someone trying it somewhere and then it gets noticed and passed on to be used by someone else and soon it becomes a full fledged trend gracing the pages of our magazines and in our stores in some form or other. As always echoing what is seen on the fashion runway's. Once I spot something I like I start noticing it everywhere,keep your eyes peeled for the next new trend!
Yesterday my brother and sister in law arrived from England and as always they came bearing gifts. Family and presents BONUS! This time my treats were my British magazines ( Livingetc and Ideal Home) and fun Union Jack STUFF my favourite was some " Bunting" pictured here. It came from a great store in Lincoln called " CALLYCO" they sell fun fabrics, ribbons, accessories and more. If you are ever in England be sure to check it out!
Bunting originated in the 17th century as a lightweight fabric used for ribbons and flags mostly on ships in the Royal Navy. When I was growing up you would see bunting at fetes, garden parties and kids birthday parties, it was a traditional, hand crafted way to decorate. Bunting is a collection of usually triangle shaped flags, a single flag is known as a " Bunt". As in everything there are variations on the theme like my bunting they are rectangles, they can be made from fabric, paper, wallpaper and even wood or tin. You can buy them or even make your own.
Hot on the heels of the Royal Wedding bunting is bountiful! I have seen it used inside and out for festive decorations but now also in design as a part of the rooms decor. It's a fun touch anywhere! Check out these great ideas.
Next time you are entertaining why not make some bunting or add some to your kids rooms- have fun with it. I'm already planning a family get together and will use my bunting around the deck outside!
A beautiful book I came across recently made me rethink the pink! In the Pink is all about an American iconic designer Dorothy Draper. She was said to have professionalized Interior Design and lead the way for women in business. She came from a wealthy family and designed lavish interiors. I haven't really been a fan of this colour since I was a teenager and had a grey and pink room. It always seemed like a youthful colour mainly used in nurseries and kids rooms. Then I started seeing it pop up in other rooms in the home and used in a modern way with appeal for all ages. There are many pinks and many combinations of it used with other colours. A soft, pale pink can be calming and soothing while a vibrant hot pink can be energizing and dramatic. Pink with black and white offers sharp contrast and makes pink glamorous not childlike. Pink and yellow together is fun and tropical, making a room come alive.
If a whole room in pink is too much just try an accent wall in fuschia or throw in some pastel pillows. Even a vase of pink peonies in an all neutral space will change the look. If your decor has more hard edges, dark woods, prominent architecture soften it with that pretty pink. It doesn't have to be Barbie's Dream House just add a touch of pink!
Take a look at these "pinkilicious" rooms!
As I mentioned pink is popping up everywhere.......
Choosing the right pink can be tricky as there are so many out there. Look around your space, think about the look you are wanting to achieve and the ratio of colour you want. Below are some great pink's from Benjamin Moore........
It's that time of year again, it's the first long weekend of the summer and we are all going crazy getting out our patio furniture and buying plants! I was out today and noticed lots of traditional iron furniture but in bright ice cream colours, alongside the resin and the wooden sets. The stores are full of colourful bamboo lanterns, Morrocan inspired items and the usual array of garden animals, buddha's and plant pots. Something new I saw is plant pots that are lit, dual purpose is always handy and saves you money! Each year I add something new to my outdoor space whether it's more plants or an extra chair or two. Last year it was turquoise adirondack chairs, this year I am spray painting my old bistro set yellow to "funk" it up for my patio. I have sprayed my lanterns many times and this year they will be turning yellow too. It's my colour of the moment! As the summer is so short we all really want to make the most of our time outdoors, lounging in the sun, dining al fresco or gardening. Your outdoor space can be treated just like the inside of your house, break it down into zones, somewhere to relax, somewhere to eat and play. Add lighting for all activities, solar lights, paper lanterns and candles. You can co-ordinate it to flow from the indoors out. My favourite colour in my house Metropolis (CC-546) from Benjamin Moore is also the colour of my deck. I have white siding and dark brown/black patio doors providing sharp contrast and then a pop of colour with the yellow. I always choose my plants for my resin planters with a colour scheme in mind, I know, I am getting a bit OCD these days! Great melamine dishes and glassware can brighten up your table, use outdoor rugs to define a space and make sure you have an umbrella for shade. Anyway it can be fun putting it all together, the options are endless, have fun with it! Have friends and family over, entertaining is more relaxed and carefree in the warm weather outside. Why not start this weekend, I am we are having a family birthday party, good food (cooked by my husband on the BBQ!), great drinks and a co-ordinated backyard space!!!
Here below are some great ideas to accesorize your outdoor space......
Make your space as unique as you are............
In my many hours of browsing through magazines and books, there are always a few things that grab my attention and won't let go! IKAT is one of those things. Several years ago I first noticed some pillows with bright, colourful, geometric patterns and from then on I saw it again and again. Sometimes it was just in the background as wallpaper or piece of framed art, other times it was front and centre as a sofa or on a bed. I have had IKAT on my wish list since then but don't have anything yet, but I will all good things come to those who wait as they say!
IKAT means `` to bind``. It is a process of tie-dying and then weaving yarn to create an intricate design for fabric.
In the and 60's and 70's we saw the Bohemian Ikat in homes and like always in design and fashion " what's old is new again!". We think it won't be back but it is in a new updated way. Traditional crafts are always popular and are adapted to be embraced by any decor. Colour and fabric make a big difference in the way you use them. For example now we see IKAT in silk and sharp strong dyed colours, not only the indigo dyed cottons and linens. The designs can be used in fabric, wallpaper, rugs and ceramics. Here are some examples.
Next time you read a design magazine or watch a makeover show look closely maybe you will see a great IKAT piece.
A room without a rug can often feel incomplete. In a space with hardwood or tile flooring, a rug is the finishing touch adding warmth, texture, colour and pattern.Sometimes the rug is the starting point for the colour scheme too. There are many styles ranging from antique orientals and French needlepoint to modern graphic. Choosing the right rug should take into account the size and shape of your room, the overall style of your home and your existing furnishings. For instance if you have a long, narrow room think about a rug with horizontal stripes to widen the space. Perhaps choose a dark rug to anchor a light colour scheme or add a circular rug to an irregularly shaped room. Another use for a great rug is to provide some sound absorption. In any room either all the furniture should fit on the rug or none of it. For instance in your dining room the table and all the chairs should sit on the rug. You should also leave some space around it don`t have the rug go wall to wall. A good plan is to leave approximately an 18 inch border if your space allows it. Here below are some great examples of rugs for all spaces.
On my wish list is this great black and white offset striped rug from IKEA, featured here in the home of design master ``Nate Berkus``. I have seen it over and over in many design magazines, it`s simple design and classic colour way makes it able to work in any space especially my house! (PLEASE!) My family room needs the warmth and texture of a rug to complete the feel of this most used space. Next to this piece my favourite rug designer is Paul Smith of England whose name is huge in the fashion world known especially for men`s suits. His designs are colourful, bold and interesting. Look below for a peek into the Paul Smith world..
Pirate's Cove Nova Scotia by Julie Smith
I have always had a fascination for trees, especially when the branches are bare and all gnarly! I know, how exciting I hear you say.... Well over the years I have taken many photos of trees upright and fallen. Some of my favourites have been of driftwood by the ocean in England and Nova Scotia. On my recent trip to Toronto I noticed how driftwood in design was popping up everywhere. It's not a new thing but its use has been reinvented in different ways. At most cottages you can see bits of nature adorning a shelf or a coffee table, but now driftwood is used in the most modern of homes, large and small giving an eclectic, simplistic feel.The best way to use it is in small doses, don't over do it filling your room with driftwood "nick nacks"! A great lamp base or a table, possibly a framed mirror or just a beautiful sculptural piece. I always have some wood in my home but I'm feeling like it's time for something new, perhaps I will even make it myself when I find pieces that have meaning and memory attached to them. Take a look at these inspirational pieces I found.
Next time you are at the cottage or on the beach take a look around you never know what you might find! (Check if you are allowed to remove it first, there are some laws about it!!)
Well , now I can cross another thing off my "Bucket List"! I finally went to a taping of "Cityline" in Toronto, and it was home day the best show of the week. I have been an avid watcher of the show for about 15 years, listening to the advice of all the great designers who are regulars on it. My favourite being Brian Gluckstein of Gluckstein Design. I also like Yanik Simard of the Toronto Interior Design Group who is a new addition to the line up. You can watch the show and dream of beautiful homes and at the same time be inspired to make or do something yourself. There are real people with real ideas that we can relate to and learn from. Working for Benjamin Moore myself I always enjoy when Sharon Grech and Leigh-Anne Allaire Perrault who are top designers for the company are on the show using products I know well and giving us great ways to use them.
I traveled down to Toronto with my good friend and fellow decorator Lisa. We are both big fans and are always telling each other about projects we have seen or something we want to try. Our first stop in the city was at Yorkdale mall to go to Crate and Barrel, one of the many stores we wish we had here. Lisa stocked up on a few goodies and I got out my camera to snap some inspiration shots! After a late dinner and a drink or two we crashed at our hotel the Hyatt Regency which I have stayed at many times, it's a convenient stop on King Street near theatres, shops and restaurants.
Crate and Barrel
The next morning we got up early and got a cab to the Cityline studio at Dundas Square. We had to be there for 9:30 am and we were escorted to the "green room" and sat and waited with many other fans. One of the staff asked if anyone had questions to ask on the show, some people came prepared with photographs of their homes. Lisa and I thought it wouldn't look too good if we asked something when we are the ones supposed to help others!! So we sat quietly until they called us down to the studio. We followed everyone in and saw Tracey Moore the host and a swarm of people, camera men, interns, floor director and so on moving the set around and getting us all sat down. I spotted Sharon Grech and Leanne Allaire-Perrault from Benjamin Moore and Scott McGillivray of `` Income Property`` and `` All American Handyman``. Everyone was chatting and having fun. I was surprised at how small the studio was and how busy. As they film they count you in and out getting you to clap and smile! The guests make it look easy as they adlib when they interact with each other and the audience. I was so busy looking around that I forgot to listen to the subject matter, so I will have to watch when it airs next week on Thursday May 5! Check it out! Here are some pictures we had taken while we were there.
After the show we walked along Queen Street West checking out all the unique stores for furniture, fabric, beads, ribbon and much more. My favourite being ``Morba`` which sells a great selection of vintage and new mid century modern pieces. All in all we had a great trip and I can`t wait to go back again!