Things have been moving at about a thousand miles an hour around here for a while now. [Read more…]
Fabric is a foundation of interiors. Different types of fabric have their own character and make all the difference to how a piece of furniture looks and performs. [Read more…]
Image Details (L to R): Hillhurst Kitchen Renovation, Hillhurst Kitchen Renovation, Feature Contributor: Avenue Magazine – Hiring for a Renovation, Panel at entry to Hyatt Stillwater Spa, Beakerhead 2015 Installation, Peace Bridge by Santiago Calatrava, Ice Heaving on Lake Windermere, BC, Planning, Wonderland by Jaume Plensa.
A year can feel like a long, unproductive, slogging time. Seeing it compressed into nine standout images is a great way understand how much gets accomplished and how the seemingly unconnected pieces of a puzzle form an image.
It’s also a good way to understand the spirit of something. I spend a good deal of time thinking about placemaking. When I work with a client on creating a home that they love, I am designing an environment unique to them. Seeing Calgary’s efforts at placemaking reflected so clearly in my photographs is great.
Designing a business, a life, or the inside of a home is very much like that process, too. It’s the details you fill in that create the character.
How those details are selected, collected and presented creates an energy and feeling in the space. It’s a process and a skill.
Calgary is on a very exciting journey in this respect and has made giant strides in recent years.
One example is the Peace Bridge. I’m a big fan. I know that’s not always a popular viewpoint, but I am.
It’s an iconic design.
It’s a tourist attraction that enhances one of the greatest assets in the city, the Bow River Pathway system.
It’s functional and necessary to creating walkable infrastructure. Anyone who walks or bikes knows eliminating a few kilometres on a trip makes a rather large difference, especially when it’s below zero.
The cost is a (highly visible) rounding error on the annual infrastructure budget and what the bridge contributes in terms of elevating and identifying the city is immeasurable.
It’s not just a bridge and I think many miss that point.
The second thing I love (aside from that kitchen reno project) is the nighttime image from Beakerhead.
We are so lucky to live in a talent-filled city where people can imagine, create and produce experiences that the entire community can step into. It really gives me hope for what we can become with that kind of heart and vision.
Placemaking is a process in that way. The elements that make up the whole come to define the city over time.
Individually they can make you shrug, but in collection – wow.
That’s what the 2015BestNine brought out for me.
Did you take a look at yours? What did you notice?
The electronic universe has been buzzing with the latest release of the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. In case you missed it this year’s is a double feature of Rose Quartz (13-1520) and Serenity (15-3919). The photo above snapped by my daughter gives you the general direction.
My grandfather had a name for this combination. He called it SkyBluePink. As a child I found that so funny and I think of him whenever I look up at twilight, or when there is a particularly colourful sunrise. I like that this year’s forecast has given me lots of time to reflect on someone I love and miss.
In terms of the trends though, I don’t get too worked up. If you like these colours, great. Load up. If not, meh. Wait for next year. It will be different.
Colour forecasting, like most of the what’s hot, what’s not material tends to be about trends that are happening and not a requirement for style or good taste.
A colour may be popular and not right for you for many reasons.
I believe colour is a sophisticated tool of communication. It creates a feeling or sets a tone. In some respects I believe this is what PANTONE is saying with this double feature of warm and cool tones.
It’s a metaphor for combining opposites in harmonious ways. The world could certainly use a bit of that right now.
So what to do about it? Nothing, really. If you want to be hip and you’ve got the time and resources to change it up every year. Go for it. If not, perhaps take a step back. Observe.
Decide what your agenda is for choosing a colour or palette in the first place. I find it a smarter, more sustainable way to proceed.
What are your thoughts about the PANTONE Color of the Year for 2016?
Gretchen Rubin is an author I admire. If you don’t know her she wrote the The Happiness Project, wherein she spent a year trying out the wisdom of the ages to find greater happiness in her own life. It’s created a bit of a thing for her with international bestsellers and the like. She has a lot of interesting and valuable things to say.
Something Rubin talks about are Foundation Habits, which are habits that tend make you more effective in everything you do. Creating external order is one of them and it’s kind of a big deal for me.
A routine I steadfastly stick with is making the bed. It not only looks nice, it signals a transition from the lounge-y, slow-moving mood of waking up to the more focussed energy required for the busy days of learning and working and playing that my family grinds out.
For me, this two-minute daily ritual is essential. What routines do you use to create external order? What do you think might make a difference in your home and life?