Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Home Inspired: Luke Edward Hall

Hello Tuesday! After a super busy One Room Challenge in spring (check out my favourite featured designers / guest participants), yours truly has finally found some time to unwind and am ready to get back into design mode before heading off to Europe for a month of #eurovacay in August.

Speaking about design inspirations and travelling to Europe, I have found the perfect space to share with you all: the cozy and eclectic home of UK designer Luke Edward Hall with his partner, Duncan Campbell.

image via The Times
Foyer is where you greet your guests, the spot for that first impression, and it sets the tone for the rest of the home.  Bold in colors + a masterful mix of art and collectibles, this foyer may be short on square footage but it most certainly lives large.

On the left of the foyer is this multipurpose, open concept dining / living / kitchen / library space.  To make the room feels larger, Luke has painted all the walls a sumptuous shade of deep sea green.  Contrary to the common approach to paint the entire room white to open / brighten up a small space, I think this darker shade works brilliantly to visually expand the physical boundary of these walls, disguises the bump-outs, and serves as a fantastic backdrop to showcase the couple's art collection.     

Luke and Duncan used to collect and sell antiques online and you can definitely see traces of that past life in their London apartment.  From quaint decor with a hint of country, streamline designs from the 50s, to a touch of luxe from the glamorous art deco era, this home is filled with all things loved and treasured by the design savvy duo.

image courtesy of The Last Magazine

image courtesy of The Guardian

Luke's love of vibrant colors led him to the choice of mustard corduroy for his sofa, a daring / unexpected choice that pops against deep green walls and it leads our eyes to the library / office nook tucked neatly away next to the kitchen.

image courtesy of Luke Edward Hall

Here is another fantastic example on how to live large in small spaces and surround yourself with all your favourite things regardless of the function of the room.  This bathroom has a pedestal sink, a freestanding tub, a separate shower (see the reflection in the mirror) and what a whimsical wallpaper + YAY to a huge flamingo print to "crown" the clawfoot tub!    To tie-in the green from the main space, glossy green subway tiles were installed in the shower and as a mini backsplash by the vanity.  The painted chair rail + wall panel combination is a smart and practical choice for moisture control, and mid-tone grey complements the heavily patterned wallpaper beautifully to add calmness and a sense of serenity.       

I LOVE this vignette and it's a bathroom! #BRAVO!

Luckily for us, Luke has created a collection of original art, limited edition of art prints, pillows, plates (available through his store), and furnishings via Anthropologie so we can add a touch of Luke's fabulously colorful & whimsy into our homes.  Here is my treasure print in my One Room Challenge dining room:

image credit: Stephani Buchman Photography
Let's check out the colorful world of Luke Edward Hall:

Are you in love with this 26 year-old UK designer yet? I have been searching for his porcelain collection online and I am very much in love with this tray.  No luck on the tray yet at this point but lucky us, Luke has generously offered three printable sketches via download.

Thanks Luke and I can't wait to check out your next collection!

image courtesy of Drake's
* All images courtesy of House & Garden, except for the above noted.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blue Earth ~ Terre Bleu

Hello Wednesday! Hope you had all a fantastic Canada Day long weekend, celebrated #Canada150 with family and friends, not to mention the delicious meals and spectacular fireworks!  Yours truly spent the long weekend in Waterloo and kick started it in style with a trip to Terre Bleu, a.k.a. lavender heaven in Milton Ontario,with Jordana of White Cabana.

Terre Bleu had me at hello the moment I walked up the front gate.  The main building looks simple yet sophisticated (LOVE that opening in the middle), modern yet inviting (thanks to the sun-kissed wooden exterior), and the view is breathtaking.   

Jordana and I met up with Ian, the owner of Terre Bleu, for a warm welcome before embarking a fun and educational tour of the organic working family farm! 

With over 40,000 lavender plants planted (in 8 varieties) over the last couple of years, I simply couldn't wait to check out the fields to see which kinds are in bloom right now!

The first stop of our tour is the distillery, and this is where all the oh-so-fragrance lavender essential oils are steamed, condensed, and then aged for 1 year to purify before being bottled.  Do you know that it takes 80kg of lavender to produce 1L of essential oil? 

The apiary is next to the distillery and Ian gave us a little preview of the hard working honeybees who give us the delightful lavender honey, another top seller at Terre Bleu.  

One our way to the Yellow Bench Trail, we stopped by the Herb Bar: a new popular spot for visitors to check out together herbs and to enjoy a fresh fruit mocktails or two. Lavender Peach Bellini or Pineapple Lavender Mojito, think I will need to try both! 

The Yellow Bench Trail is the perfect place for us busy city dwellers to slow down our minds, to live in the moment and to appreciate the beauty of nature.  Just as Lavender could ease us to sleep, relief stress, and heal small superficial wounds (with its natural disinfection quality), this short trail doesn't not only serve as a passage way to the Big Yellow Door, it is also an emporium of natural wonders (a 200 year-old cedar forest) that brings us joy and peace.        

The Big Yellow Door is one of the most photographed features at Terre Bleu.  Sitting on top of the english lavender field, this vibrant and cheerful yellow door surrounded by the sea of purple immediately caught my attention. 

"Walk through the door, your worries behind you, your joys are ahead"

What a brilliant phrase by Ian's 10 year-old daughter! 

And as we left our worries behind, I couldn't think of a more perfect spot to enjoy a cup of refreshing tea. From architectural details to attention to our needs (body and soul), Ian has thought about everything to make sure Terre Bleu is not just a working organic farm, it's also a retreat / sanctuary for all visitors.  

Of course Jordana and I couldn't resist to pose by this giant white bench.  To give you an idea how big this chair is, I decided to sit at the top!

And here we are among the blooming lavenders.  Wish I am there right now!

Did someone say this stage is THE ideal venue for wedding ceremony?  I may have to look into this one day.  I could only imagine how heavenly it would be to get married in pure serenity with a light scent of lavender.

On a slightly less sentimental occasion, who would love to sit by the patio to take in this spectacular view of full lavender glory? 

Jordana and I had selected our favorite lavender varieties at Terre Bleu.  Of course we both love Melissa, an off-white variety with light pink flowers.  As for a deep purple variety perfect for cooking (check out these special recipes) and as dried flower arrangements, I am going for Purple Bouquet.   

Now it is time to shop!  Contemporary in style, the store is dressed in creamy white walls with natural wood accents: a refined and elegant backdrop to showcase all the exquisite lavender products.  All products are made locally and infused with lavender elements from Terre Bleu.  From pure lavender honey / culinary lavender buds, french macarons, to pure essential oils / gorgeous soaps, I simply want them all!

A little design side note, don't you just love this vignette?

Check out the goodies we selected + a must-have delicious treat on every visit!  I wish Terre Bleu sells their lavender ice cream by box!

Thanks Ian for an informative and entertaining tour of Terre Bleu!  Jordana and I truly had a blast and we can't wait to visit again soon!

Summer is the official lavender season and with so events happening in July and August, you have got to visit Terre Bleu to experience the power of lavender.