Thursday, April 20, 2017

One Room Challenge Spring 2017 ~ Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of One Room Challenge hosted by Linda of Calling It Home and House Beautiful.  It's hard to believe we are mid-way through the 6 weeks challenge and what amazing talents at this spring challenge! I was inspired by many of the guests participants and wowed by the 20 featured designers and you know what, only three more weeks to go fellow #OneRoomChallenger!


So what have I been up to in Week 3 you ask? Well, the room was cleared out and what a liberating feeling to see my once packed with "collectables" dining room back to its pure glory.  


Of course here comes the painful part: seeing my beloved wallpaper coming down.  This was my first wallpaper ever, and its bold pattern and daring color had given me my first step into the design community.  It was truly sad to see it came down but I was also excited to embrace my new design direction.  


My super efficient handyman was also about to squeeze in a few minutes to install my Bocci 28.7 chandelier.  I can't wait to put up the glass bubbles once all the major pieces are in place.


Power for a pair of Horizon sconce by ANONY is also secured ... PROGRESS!


While my handyman took a couple of days to finish his other job, Chris and I got down to business to pre-paint the walls before we install my new wallpaper from Calico Wallpaper.  

You may ask why did I paint the walls if I was going to put wallpaper on top anyway.  Well, my new wallpaper is light in color and since my walls were in charcoal grey, I didn't want to take the chance that the "black" base coat may come back to haunt me in the future.  

Better be safe than sorry right? 


Are you ready to meet my new loves?  Say hi to Mist and Andromeda from Calico Wallpaper


This gorgeous ombre palette is exactly what I am after for a serene, elegant space for both working from home during the day and entertaining in the evenings.  I also love when my handyman came with his laser toy.  Though large in size (each panel is more than 50" wide and 10' tall), it was a relatively easy installation and my cousin was also there to give us a hand (while I was busy taking photos).  Thanks ChrisB!     


Are you in love with my new walls? I couldn't be happier with the result! The color is actually white at the top but I love how it looks pale pink at sunset.  


This is about it for Week 3! Still a lot to do over the next 3 weeks: 
  • install wall-mounted desk
  • assemble credenza with custom marble top
  • install sconces + special panel treatment
  • hang mirror + artwork
  • finish up the display nook 
  • install new draperies   
  • and what else? oh right accessories for styling! 


Wish me luck!! 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

One Room Challenge Spring 2017 ~ Week 2

Hello to Week 2 of Spring 2017 One Room Challenge! Being inspiring by the Croma Design Inc and Nam Dang-Mitchell Design Inc (see more of their fab projects from Week 1), my dining room is soon to take on a very different personality: from bold and vibrantly colorful to calm and modern sophistication.


This was my dining room featured on Style at Home magazine a few years back.  I am still in love with the dynamite wallpaper and what a "wow" statement it made, especially for night-time entertaining.


images courtesy of Style at Home / Donna Griffith

However, one short coming in my dining room is the lack of storage.  OK correction, there is NO storage in this dining room and for a home decor addict, it means piles of beautiful "stuff" EVERYWHERE.  You haven't seen my dining room for a while because it has slowly turned into hmmmm ... a storage locker?


To rectify this situation (I honestly can't look at this sight much longer), I have decided to incorporate as much storage in this small dining room as possible while keeping the space feeling light and airy.  I have looked in stores and online for off-the-shelf solutions that fit my must-haves: 
  • dimension: max out storage but not intrusive or bulky
  • material:  intricate mix of woods and marble
  • function: serve as sideboard for entertaining and desk for home office
  • style: sleek, contemporary and can stand the test of time
It's a tall order and for that, I've decided to go custom.  I must have gone through 10 different versions with my cabinet guy (poor him) and these are my inspirations:


I will also be using these beautiful brushed brass knobs from Lew's Hardware available at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware.  Fingers crossed these cabinets will be done in time for Week 6!



I am a big fan of wallpaper (in case you haven't noticed it yet) and to up the serene and sophistication factor in my dining room, I know I need to work with Calico Wallpaper!



Based in Brooklyn NY, Nick and Rachel, along with their talented team, create their sensational non-repeating large scale murals that:

"blend the beauty, play and abstractions of art with the functional utility of design, thereby creating a product that inspires and invigorates the backdrops of our lives." ~ calico wallpaper 


I would love to dress my entire room in Inverted Space, but keeping budget and resale in mind (the general buyers in Toronto are still rather conservative when it comes to home decor), I have opted for Mist from the Aurora collection for a soothing ombre effect for a couple of walls and an extra special treatment with Andromeda for the display nook.  Can't wait to see them both installed!


images courtesy of Calico Wallpaper 

Lighting solution is key in a dining room, especially when mine is also doubling as a home office.  I knew the Bocci 28 series will be my chandelier one day and today, my dream comes true with the 28.7.  It will be stunning in my new dining room.


images courtesy of Bocci 

Speaking about love at first sight, I fell in love with these amazing Horizon wall sconces designed by Christian + David of ANONY Studio at the Interior Design Show.


The design duo has invested a lot of time and energy in designing. sourcing, and manufacturing these showstopping fixtures locally in Toronto, and best of it all, they are an absolute bliss to work with!  Here is David sharing with us why these sconces are so special:


To make these sconces even more incredible for night-time entertaining, we will layer a pair of acrylic panels in front of the fixture to up the sculptural factor and for ambience.


images courtesy of ANONY 

Last but not least, I need a new dining table!  I know I want something classic and visually light, and immediately the Platner dining table popped in my head.


images courtesy of Design Within Reach 

Slightly too large for my space and a lot more so at the budget department, I have found a hidden treasure (literally) similar in look and scores green light on both scale and the bank book from HomeSense.  Finding fabulous for less ... no kidding!


A lot of work to be done in the next four weeks! Wish me luck and come back at Week 3 to check on my progress.  Can you feel my excitement at #OneRoomChallenge? 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One Room Challenge Spring 2017 ~ Week 1

Hello to Week 1 of Spring 2017 One Room Challenge! Time truly flies as it seems like it was only yesterday I revealed my kitchen makeover for Fall 2016 ORC.  Spring is almost here in Toronto and for those who are new to my blog, WELCOME!

My name is Tim Lam, an interior design blogger based in Toronto Canada, and have decorated some spaces I absolutely love including: vibrant condo (yay that's my home), colorful rental, rustic meets refined

image courtesy of Style at Home / Donna Griffith
Although I adore the bold and fabulous wallpaper, I am ready to embrace the challenge to re-think my dining room (roughly 100 sq. ft.) and turn it into a duo-purpose space for working from home by day and intimate dinner party at night.  It's no easy task and to make sure I am the "Happy Client" in 6 short weeks, I am getting inspired by my favourite designers.

image courtesy of Croma Design

This sophisticated dining room by Croma Design took my breath away with its perfect play of dark espresso against the subtle yet extremely attractive backdrop of white and natural wood.  Sleek and streamline in design, the space feels incredibly inviting and intimate.  Besides, light colored wood is hot, hot, hot and I've got to get some of that in my dining room.

Nam of Nam Dang-Mitchell Design Inc. is absolutely talented and I literally fell in love with every space she designed.  Effortlessly elegant and polished, Nam makes it seems so easy to put together an exquisite space thanks to her impeccable taste.  Here are a couple of her projects that made my heart skipped a beat:   

images courtesy of Nam Dang-Mitchell Design Inc.
For the Spring ORC, I want my dining room to be timeless classic with a contemporary edge.  To achieve that, I am focusing on iconic pieces from the mid-century era, statement lighting fixtures with an organic flair, and a sensational wall treatment that will blow my mind away.


Styling aside, one core element I desperately need in my dining room is practical storage (more on that next week) and I am determined to ambitiously incorporate not one but two custom storage units for this makeover.  Good that I have a fantastic relationship with my woodworker and fingers crossed they will look every bit as beautiful as these inspirational references.

images courtesy of Croma Design / House & Home
Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to share with you my design game plan at Week 2 of One Room Challenge Spring 2017.  In the meantime, you so need to say hi to the 20 featured designers and my link-up companions


Monday, April 3, 2017

#DesignmazeFun ~ One King West

Hello Monday! What a beautiful spring weekend in Toronto with gorgeous sunshine and warm breeze in the air.  Fingers crossed that winter is truly over and the spring bulbs will soon grace our landscapes.  Thanks to the luxurious One King West Hotel, Chris and I had a wonderful staycation right at home to enjoy spring and celebrate a special occasion.


Once an iconic bank in the heart of Toronto, the developer of the One King West Hotel & Residence did a phenomenon job to preserve the historical significance of the original building.  Let's take a walk inside shall we?  


The former entrance to the savings department and safety deposit vaults is now the grand entrance to welcome guests with elaborated architectural details and a hooray of crystal chandeliers! The railing of this staircase had me at hello.  What do you think?   


Marble panels, sparkling crystals, and breathtaking ceiling details, don't you wish that we still put that much attention to design elements when launching a new bank location ?


The Grand Banking Hall is an ideal venue for corporate events and weddings.  The cathedral windows, the Corinthian columns, the elegant chandeliers, I almost thought I was back in Europe!   


If you are dreaming for a contemporary space with an incredible view of the city, Fifteen Hundred is where you want to be! 


From the intimate seating arrangements, a state of the art entertainment system, to the fully retractable glass wall to welcome the outdoor in and a gas fireplace for ambience, I want to be invited to a party here! 


Here are a few of my favorite shots:


Wait ... now these are my favorite shots! What a spectacular view, and for a moment I was wondering if I was still in Toronto.  


The Fifteen Hundred also comes with a sumptuous bedroom and a luxurious bathroom.  I would love to soak in that tub one day.


Before Chris and I checked into our suite, we also took a quick tour of the Chairman's Boardroom and I was floored by every detail in this room.


As for our stay at the hotel, the Tower Premium Suites offer a separate lounge and bedroom area with panoramic views of all the city's landmarks.  


Yes that's the CN Tower right in my bedroom, and what a terrific sightline from the bedroom to the private lounge!


Look at what we have found in the kitchen! A note from the hotel to welcome us and to wish Chris a very happy birthday! 


Thanks so much for making our birthday weekend super special and judging by the big smile on Chris' face, I think we will be back at the One King West Hotel soon!