Thursday, March 26, 2015

Classic + Bold with James M. Davie Design Inc.

Hello Thursday! I hope you all enjoyed my preview of the One of a Kind Spring Show on Monday, and congrats to Jordana, Trio, and Pat for winning a pair of tickets to the show this weekend!

Speaking about one of a kind, here is a truly special home designed by James Davie for his family and get this, it is actually in Toronto! With that level of detail and sophisticated street presence, how could I have not noticed this magnificent house before? Perhaps it is time for me to venture outside of downtown financial district bubble!

image via House & Home
House & Home entitled James' feature: Grand Entrance and wow, did James ever made a huge first impression the moment he welcomes you to his home! Favoring the classic architectural elements of a traditional home, James injected bold patterns and daring colors ingeniously to liven up his historic home for the 21st century.

image via House & Home
The off-white subway tiles pairing with contrasting grouts in charcoal, the impressive millwork lacquered in high gloss blue, the sculptural yet airy chandelier, and hello to the dynamite patterned floor tiles: there is nothing typical about this traditional home!

image via House & Home
The living room is an excellent case study on how to add color and personality while honoring the characters of the century-old homes such as dark colored beams and plain white plaster walls (James might have skim-coated the walls and ceiling for the smooth finish).  By pairing neutrals with vibrant colors such as teal and fuchsia as accents, this living room feels fresh, cozy, and youthful.

image via House & Home
My favorite element, aside from the color story, has got to be the breathtaking floor to ceiling French doors (with access to the gorgeous garden) James installed around the entire living room.  Just imagine the beautiful natural light flooding the room: who says an older home has to be dark and dingy! Oh and to up the drama, not one but four oversized starburst chandeliers are placed at four corners of the room! Functional, yes.  Divine, definitely!

image via James M. Design Inc.
It is now time to check out the heart of the home: the kitchen.  In keeping with the classic elements in the rest of the home, the cabinet style, hardware, and the bead board ceiling detail all give this kitchen its original / authentic appeal.  To up the wow factor, James gave the cabinet a custom coat of lacquer, an out-of-this-world gorgeous range hood, two statement globe chandeliers over the island, and of course the patterned tiles on the floor.

images via James M. Design Inc. / House & Home
Pot light provides ample of practical lights for food preparation and it helps visually open up the space: a modern necessity in our home for both design and function.  However, pot lights would look out of place in this century home and bravo to a great come back of these sensational flush mount fixtures in antique brass! I am a huge fan and don't be surprised if you see me doing this in my own home real soon!

image via House & Home
Here are a few more detail shots of this delicious kitchen:

images via James M. Design Inc. 
Remember our colorful case study? It is happening again in the office / library / den in a hugely dramatic way with the James' signature layering of vivid colors and bold patterns.  I love the lighting fixture and the juxtaposition between the modern chrome and glass desk against the timeless classics such as the chesterfield sofa and the open side arm chairs.

images via James M. Design Inc. / House & Home
The master bedroom is tailored, masculine, and luxuriously dressed in shades of grey with rich burgundy accent.  The roaring fireplace and the cast iron chandelier remind me of the king's chamber in a castle, and that mirror: I will have to get one!

images via James M. Design Inc. / House & Home
The daring color palette continues into the master ensuite and wow on that marble floor! I have always been a big fan of tile play in the bathroom but with such beautiful natural stone, I would say lets put that on the entire floor!  Another design idea to steal here: the detail on the metal / glass shower!  

images via James M. Design Inc. / House & Home
Our last stop is the guest bathroom and it may just be the prefect inspiration for my next guest bath! the large scale stone tiles, the trim detail, the geometric patterned floor, and the deco style sconces, let's build me a guest bath already!

I fell in love with James' uses of strong colors and how they work so well throughout his home.  Here are some tips on how to pull the look together in your own home:

Before I send you off to re-imagine your home, here are few more insights from James.  Happy spring decorating! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

One of A Kind Spring Show ~ 2015 Edition + Giveaway!

Hello Monday! Spring is officially here and YAY to the arrival of the One of A Kind Spring Show coming to Toronto this weekend! With 450 Canadian artisans participating this spring, you will for sure find something unique for you and your home!

image via OOAK Show
Etsy will also be the One of A Kind Spring Show this year and since I am loving all things pastel and whimsy, I am crazy about this bright pillow in canary yellow by Dayna and hello fabulous refreshed vintage plates by Melissa

images via Etsy: Dayna Lee, The Sweet Escape
There is something about the artisans from Montreal that always capture my eyes.  For the One of a Kind Spring Show 2015, prune has won my heart with its simple, organic, and youthful aesthetic from prints, textiles to potteries.  

images via prunetextile
Now for my top picks that I would love to take home from the show this year:

images via bag, table, plant, coat rack & bird houses
Fun right? The One of A Kind Spring Show will run from Thursday March 25th to Sunday March 29th.  If you are planning to check out the show, be sure to purchase your tickets online to avoid the lineup.

Thanks to One of A Kind Show, I am giving away 3 pairs of tickets this week!  All you need to do is to check out the artisans and let me know what you want to bring home this year. It's that simple! Winners will be randomly selected on Thursday morning!

images via candle, necklace, tea towel

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Treasure Hunt ~ HomeSense Edition + More

Hello Wednesday!  It has been a while since I shared with you my favorites from HomeSense.  The truth is I have been battling with tight project deadlines and several cold / flu episodes since I returned from Europe in January.  It's hard to believe it's only March and I felt like I have been back forever!

Anyway, a friend of mine has just purchased his new condo and was looking for some help in the decorating department.  So I visited a couple of my favorite HomeSense locations and wow, the buyers have done good this season!

I have put together 3 looks for you today and first up is Urban Chic.  Inspired by the eclectic, industrial spaces featured in the magazines, I was drawn to the sharp contrast between the softness of leather and the crisp chrome base of this masculine side table.  The super cool moped art had me at hello and all guys love moped right? This classic chair is so chic thanks to the bold black and white stripes and to pull the look together, a geometric motif on this charcoal and cream dhurrie rug.

Spring is in the air (only 2 days away!) and I am loving all the pastels at HomeSense.  This refreshing look features a gorgeous velvet chair in blush and I simply couldn't resist pairing it with a minty blue linen pillow.  I have seen my fair share of ceramic stools but this one knocks it out of the park with a full on faux bamboo outfit for only $70 (exact ones go for 4 to 5 times more online)!  The scale and the colors of this peach artwork captured my heart and I am desperately trying to find a home for it.  

Who doesn't love a sunburst mirror for a hint of Hollywood glam? This one from HomeSense is sensational.  If you are looking for a pair of stylish lamps in great scale for less, these two are on clearance for $80 a pair!   

After the long and extremely cold winter we had this year, I would love to spend my entire summer up at cottage country.  Knowing that's highly unlikely (two full weeks top if I am lucky), this collection of all things nautical with sandy neutrals + navy blue is how I bring summer right inside my home.

This settee has got to be one of the most beautiful pieces I have seen at HomeSense.  Its casual elegance aesthetic makes it an instant hit on Instagram.  The colors and the energy of the artwork reminds me of the many moods of our lakes (calm, stormy, and everything in between) and hello lamps!  Let's face it, I love herringbone and may I introduce you to this incredible 5 x 8 rug for $399!

Aside from my trips to HomeSense, I was also treasure hunting on the weekend and scored a pair of faux bamboo garden chairs & a couple of throws by Nate Berkus! I love the original apple green finish and it reminds me of this colorful, palm beach inspired balcony designed by Suzanne Dimma for HGTV's The Style Dept!  Now I just need to figure out how to add coral pink to the space! 

image via
Have you been out treasure hunting? I would love to hear about your latest finds!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bek Design w/ Jana Bek

Hello Thursday! What an incredible treat Mother Nature rewarded us yesterday with sunshine and almost 10C in the afternoon! The signs that spring is really on its way have put me in the mood for all things fresh and bright.  That's why I am sharing with you my latest obsession with the amazing work by Jana Bek of Jana Bek Design.

images via Jana Bek Design
Jana is a designer from the United States and I've found myself drawn to her talents to inject colors, patterns, and textures into the beautiful spaces she created for her clients.  Take this simple elegant vignette as an example.  The curvaceous silhouette of the settee echoes the glorious arch window perfectly, a pair of fiddle leaf trees (an absolute favorite to all designers) in seagrass woven baskets, the causal yet sophisticated lantern, and of course that geometric pillow in pink by Caitlin Wilson of Caitlin Wilson Textiles, I am loving it all!

As a die-hard fan of royal blue, I simple couldn't resist this sensational hand painted brushstroke lamp in navy (crazy about the vignette by the way), and check out the design details!

images via Jana Bek Design
As it turns out, Jana also creates her sumptuous and highly versatile hand painted brushstroke lamps in a variety of colors.  Here is how one delicious lipstick red lamp adds drama and charm in three distinct looks!

images via Jana Bek Design
And if you are like me who like to switch things up at home, this classic black and white beauty is truly a spectacular addition to your space.  No matter what color palette your heart desires for this spring/ summer, this timeless design will always look current and in style.  A side note, I love the brushed brass knobs (made by Lew's Hardware in the States, available via Upper Canada Specialty Hardware in Toronto), the shagreen cabinet, and check out Jana's styling!

images via Jana Bek Design
Limitless color options aside, the shimmery metallic hues continue to dominate the home decor spectrum.  Always ahead of the crowds, Jana recently introduced three new colors to her collection: gold, copper, and rose gold.  I simply love them all!

images via Jana Bek Design
Thanks Jana for inspiring me with your work (and those fabulous lamps) and friends, which color is your favorite?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 Spring / Summer ~ Indigo Edition

Hello Tuesday! Don't you feel that we are finally at the end of this bitterly cold winter tunnel? Sunday was glorious with +5C and full sun, which made an afternoon walk at the park an absolute delight especially when I was greeted by deer and lama!  With the weather forecast promising above zero climate + sunshine for the next few days, I am totally in the mood to jump start on the planning of a couple of balcony projects and of course my annual cottage getaway!

Speaking about the lakeside retreat, I am taking you to Indigo today to check out their incredibly stylish and colorful home / decoration collections for Spring / Summer 2015.

Nothing says cottage country fun better than the classic navy & white palette with red accents + canoe motif with a magnificent forest as backdrop.  Don't believe me? Check this out!

Whether you are a fishing fan, a kayak champion, or if you are like me who just love to "lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see", Indigo has you covered from comfy and practical pillows (all covers are removable for easy cleaning in the washer), outdoor dinnerware and glasses that are every bit as charming as the ones we have in our city homes, and the perfect totes for every occasion this summer! 

Here are some of my favorite items ... and yes, I am ready for my summer getaway!

Now if the thought of jumping in the lake at the cottage is just a bit too early for you in March, how about a Spring Refresh to celebrate the return of light warm breeze with all things pastel and floral, just in time for Mother's Day?

That floral pillow with pale turquoise and bright fuchsia is calling my name, and I bet a pair of those will pop in my life this summer.

From beautiful gifts such as these organic ceramic baskets for fresh berries and pure white vases for spring blooms to the perfect note to say: Mom I love you (along with an inspiring cookbook & a delicious tea party), I have found them all at Indigo!

As for Happy Father's Day, Indigo also carries a fantastic selection for you to say: BEST DAD EVER!

From BBQ essentals (tools and gourmet sauces) to masculine copper cups + artisan beer bread mix, there is most certainly something special for your dad at Indigo.  These DIY painted paddles are fun ... but this dinner plate is truly sensational!

Thanks Heather for a fantastic spring / summer preview! Love your Top 10 Picks and I can't wait to see all these amazing products hitting the stores.

So if every summer has a story, what is the title of your best seller this summer?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2015 Spring / Summer ~ The Home Depot #SpringStartsHere

Hello Thursday! Mother Nature surely does have a good sense of humor.  After a lovely weekend and a couple of warm, sunny days, we had snow all day on Tuesday and Toronto has once again been turned into a winter wonderland.

Despite the white flakes (more like grey slush now) on the ground, we are officially 15 days away from spring and at The Home Depot, the experts in orange aprons are ready for everything you need for your next balcony makeover or a complete garden overhaul!  You have seen my dream Urban Oasis on Monday, and today we are getting inspired by my fellow curators with fabulous ideas from a colorful, whimsical garden party to a stylish, sophisticated patio lounge / dining under the stars.

First up is the talented and super creative Tiffany Pratt who is a lover of DIYs and a champion of every color of the rainbow! Please put our hands together to welcome our Creative Queen for a mega celebration of vibrant pink and lush mandarin!

Tiffany's creativity and her sharp design sense captured my eyes the moment I stepped into the space (even on set-up day).  It is hard to imagine everything in her vignette came from The Home Depot, as most of us generally associate the orange aprons with technical knowhow and practical functionalities.  Well Tiffany has completely blown my mind away with her pink insulation planter wall, custom area rugs made out of drop cloth and colorful duct tape, and terra cotta pots turn geometric wonders.

What a fantastic spot to hang out with friends for some toasty marshmallows by an outdoor campfire but hey, Tiffany is not done yet!

That's right! Just wait until you take a seat in this whimsical and cozy gazebo!

The design elements and attention to detail in this gazebo is truly incredible.  From supersized tassels as curtain tie backs (made out of rope), clusters of pillows presented as gifts (tied together with hot pink plastic tape), and the stylish and comfy woven furniture set by Martha Stewart Living, every item has been carefully selected and considered for the vignette.

Don't believe me? Check out this cross-tie stunner with string lights + a hanging planter inside the gazebo, and these super pretty and delicious cookies topped with gold flakes! Thanks so much Tiffany for such an inspiring party!

Up next is the guys' guy, handyman Chris Palmer with his ultimate manly backyard.  Chris did an amazing job combining practicality and style in his vignette that appeals to men and their plus one thanks to the earth tone palette, the masculine ground covering made out of recycled tires, a sexy lawn mower in pale avocado green, and the industrial styled string lights for a hint of romance.

photo of Chris via immrfabulous
Pride for the quality of his craftsmanship and keen eye for design, Chris built the bar from scratch with lumbers and supplies available at The Home Depot.  Pairing with lanterns, sculptural and zen-inspired greenery, and delicious maple glazed donuts with bacon, this sophisticated and masculine lounge is ready to welcome its guests.

Our last stop is this sensational outdoor dining destination curated by Heidi Richter.

The classic red & white palette is bold and fresh, and it complements the cast iron-styled dining set perfectly for a timeless, contemporary look.  The solar light lanterns with a mercury glass finish are certainly one of my must-haves for this summer, but we have got to take a look at that placemat!

Determined to outfit her vignette with absolutely everything from The Home Depot, Heidi cleverly substituted the traditional linen placemats with mosaic tiles! Come in approximately 12" x 12" with a mesh backing, these tiles are durable and the possibilities are endless.  Bravo Heidi!

images via immrfabulous & Home Depot Canada  
Thanks so much ladies and gent for such an amazing time, and a big thank you to the wonderful team at the Home Depot who'd made the 2015 Spring / Summer preview an absolute success! #SpringStartsHere

image via Sarah Stevens

Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 Spring / Summer ~ The Home Depot x DesignMaze

Hello Monday! Did you all enjoy the warm and sunny first weekend of March? It was only -2C on Sunday and the sun was out with zero wind! Yes I know that's not exactly beach weather, but that's what I get excited about after two months of bitterly cold winter.

What else got me super excited? The Home Depot Spring / Summer Preview 2015, and yours truly was part of the fantastic orange apron team!  That's right, I was one of four curators (along with Tiffany Pratt, Chris Palmer, and Heidi Richter) joining The Home Depot team to create four unique vignettes that best showcase the amazing outdoor products available at The Home Depot AND reflect our design aesthetics / personalities.

Sounds like fun right?  Here is my dream balcony with a lot of help from The Home Depot!    

Before I walk you through the vignette, I would like to show you my design concept.  With approximately 120 square feet, my main goal is to incorporate as much function and seating as possible whether it's an intimate lounging for two or an outdoor party high up in the sky.  Here are the key elements:

  • lounger set that can be easily converted into a sectional by placing one ottoman between the two chairs (clever right?)
  • bistro chairs in pale blue by Martha Stewart Living (of course I need a little Martha in the balcony)
  • contemporary planters, made by recycled materials, throughout the space for greenery and spring blooms (tulips and hyacinths are my favorites
  • creamy white drapery panels for a refreshing & stylish cabana look
  • faux grass ground covering (so you don't even remember you are in the concrete jungle)
  • trellis for your very own herb garden
  • arbor and string lights for a dramatic entrance and a romantic starry night

From Plan to reality, these were the magic moments on set-up day with packing tape, spray paint, and a lot of organization to make sure everything looked absolutely perfect.  A huge thank you to Chris who climbed up the super tall ladder and made my drapery + string light dream possible!   

Ready for the final reveal? Welcome to my Urban Oasis!

image via immrfabulous
The photographer has done an amazing job to capture the essence of my vignette and the colors turned out beautifully.

Here comes the photos I took with my little iPhone.  The natural light made my vignette looked sensational in person, but my photos were totally washed out thanks to the huge window as my backdrop.

The faux grass didn't make it in time for the preview, so we got a couple of striped options as our foundation to set a graphic, contemporary tone.  I loved how they made the bright canary yellow popped and I am crazy about these super cool string lights with an industrial vibe (brand new at The Home Depot in 2015).    

The key to a personalize vignette (so your guests no longer feel like they are in a showroom or preview) is to dress it as if you actually live there.  For example, the drapery panels created a serene and cozy private sanctuary and acted as a divider from the main door.  The water fountain, the flush plants, and the geometric patterns on pillows amplified the hip South Beach pool party look.  To make sure the BBQ didn't look like the odd man out, a little checker napkin and a handsome tong did the trick.

Of course cut tulips and delicious treats are always my party favourites!            

Thanks so much for joining me for a super fun and beautiful kick-off to Spring 2015.  Come back on Thursday for a special tour to be inspired by my fellow curators!

Happy Monday friends! xx  

Oh and winner announcement to the Sarah Style giveaway! Jordana you are the lucky girl to this colorful inspiration book! Congrats!