Shopping for new furnishings is fun. Nerve-wracking. Overwhelming at times, but essentially, fun. I am often hired to eliminate the nerve-wracking and overwhelming part. And, to save the time, money and hassle of making the wrong choice. This is how I do it.
I wanted to share this wool rug from West Elm because it’s the final piece we’ve selected for a condo project that I’ve been working on for the past month. I love that it’s wool. The pattern is large, but will provide the perfect ground for the room it is anchoring.
It’s that time of year again! The team from Uniquities have just returned with sixty tons of antique and vintage finds from their last trip to Europe. I took a tour though this week and found a few very cool pieces. These are three of my favourites, but there is so much to see. I highly recommend a visit to the showroom.
Something I’ve been doing for five years, and love, is writing about design and architecture for Avenue. The October 2013 issue is now on the website and I wanted to share the piece I did on an amazing transformation in Whistler by architect Robert Pashuk.
This was a great story to write for many reasons. First, it’s a great project and those are always good stories to tell. However, the interviews with the Filipchuk family and with Robert were also wonderful. You could feel how passionate everyone was about the work that was done. When that kind of enthusiasm and care goes into a project you can always feel it in the finished product.
I think the most stunning element of the home is the lantern-effect created by the windows facing onto the forest behind the property. You can see the images on Avenue’s website.
What aspect do you like best?
This is the next installment of a series on the elements of design. These are the basic principles that underpin what is visually pleasing and how to create a certain feeling and mood with the design choices that are made. The topic of this post is Colour.
Creating a well-balanced colour scheme does a lot for setting the mood and feeling of a space. Understanding how colour works also allows you to use it to show off a bit of personality.
Companies, such as Pantone, spend their time mapping these trends in society and then distill their findings. We are currently having an Emerald year, in case you wondered.
The tones and hues you choose for your home can connect you to favourite places, food or objects. They can even complement your skin tone and make you look amazing in your home.
There is more to know about colour than can possibly be stuffed into this post, but here is some basic information to help you understand how it works.
Primary, Secondary and Tertiary
We all learned about the primary colours of red, blue and yellow in grade school. These are the foundation of every other colour and they cannot be mixed or formed by other colour combinations.
A colour wheel, like the one pictured at the top of this post, is a great tool for understanding how colours are categorized and how they relate to one another.
It is in the secondary colours (purple, green and orange) and tertiary colours (combinations of primary and secondary colours like orange-red, or green-yellow) where things get really interesting because you can play with the colours to create some really fun combinations like blues that are warm, or reds that are cool.
Warm and Cool
Speaking of which, what exactly does warm and cool mean? Red and yellow and the combinations they make are called warm colours, because they most closely emulate things we associate with warmth, like the sun. Blues and greens fall into the cool camp for the opposite reason.
There is no one universally agreed point on a colour wheel where warm and cool start and stop, but it’s generally the division between the orange and blue, or yellow and purple — depending on who you ask.
Shades and Tints
How light or dark a colour appears on a scale from white to black is it’s value. You can lighten a colour by tinting it, or adding white, and darken it with the addition of black.
Colour in Interiors
Every colour has specific properties and so the choice to use it, or not, will do different things to the space. Warm colours are energizing, passionate and positive. Cool colours are more calming, relaxed and reserved.
Warm colours seem to move in, or come closer in perspective while cool colours “recede” or seem to move away. If you are trying to make a space feel bigger, choose a cool paint colour. If you want it to be cozy and nest-like, opt for the warm tone.
The other thing to always, always remember is that colours are formed from light. Remember those experiments putting light waves through a prism? What this means is that different types of light will alter the way a colour looks. That pale blue-grey you love in one light, might appear more green or even purple in another. Always test your paint in the space before committing an entire gallon to the wall. It’s cheap insurance that you’ll love the finished product.
I’ve created an Elements: Colour Pinterest board with a few ideas around colour. Check it out.
What colours are you drawn to? What do you like about them?
I don’t normally talk about upcoming events on the blog, but this one is too good not to share!
The New Craft Coalition is holding a show and sale on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26. This is a curated sale of work by some very fine Calgary artisans and craftspeople at Festival Hall (home of the Calgary Folk Festival) in Inglewood.
If you want high-quality, original pieces that are locally-made, this is the place you must be this weekend.
Also, since Friday is International Artist Day (and the first time it’s been celebrated in Calgary), I can’t think of a better way to support our local talent than to discover them and collect from them.
Which artists are you most interested to see?
All through my neighbourhood people are dressing up their houses for Halloween. There are ghosts hanging from trees, skeletons nailed to the door, cobwebs on the hedges and lots and lots of ribbons of yellow and black Do-Not-Enter tape strung around. [Read more...]
I’m currently considering this Crate & Barrel sofa for a client’s vacation home. I love the bench cushion and the layers of pillows. It’s casual and cozy without veering into sloppy. Even better, it fits the budget. What a great place to curl up and read a book!
What do you look for in relaxed furnishings?
Lines might sound like a basic and boring element of design, but they are incredibly useful tools. This post introduces the ways they can be used in creating interiors, but first a quick description.