Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is this your Colour of the Year?

Well, turquoise has never been a colour that I've worked with too much in my 10 years designing homes for clients.  But according to Pantone, the world authority on colour, it's the bees knees for 2010.  The wholly under appreciated and often maligned turquoise was named Colour of the Year by the institute.  So what happens when a colour is plucked from obscurity and catapulted into super stardom?  Well it starts showing up in all the right places, that's what.

Nono is an extraordinarily unique wallpaper producer setting trends in wallpaper and fabric worldwide.  They are bold and brilliant and they are all over the turquoise trend with their Oriental Moon paper pulled from their recently revealed New Oriental line of products.  Paired with soft greens and white suddenly turquoise is sexy and sophisticated.  This is not your Aunt Minny's wallpaper.  But please, for the love of all that is good in design, use restraint when selecting a paper of this importance.  As the madly beloved Mies van der Rohe said, "Less is More".  


Don't you just want to reach out and rub your hands all over this amazing handblown glass pendant light?  Made by Dominic Nicholas, this pendant is the height of luxury for any room in your house.  Definitely over an island or a prep area but what about a bathroom.  This is the luxurious and decadent jewelry that makes a room simply fantastic

Dominic Nicholas

So what to do with the new darling of the design world.  What if your newfound love simultaneously delights you and leaves you shuddering in fear?  Try using it in all white room as the main accent colour.  Can you say HOT?  Turquoise is also delightfully whimsical when paired with chocolate brown.  As you've already seen, green is very happy to be near turquoise but only lighter shades of green.  Too dark and they'll be fighting for the spotlight.  Not a very nice way to treat our star of the year.  
If you decide that you just can't do it.  No way could you ever bring yourself to purchase even that little pillow or throw then just do what all good shoppers some shoes!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Loving The Buddha

Before I moved to Vancouver, I lived in Ontario where I ran an Interior Design business as well as a retail store. The store was, well, it was great. I'm just gonna come right out and say it. I loved everything about it. We carried furniture, lighting, kitchenware and the greatest array of artisan work from artists across Canada.

It was during my search for these outstanding and unique pieces that I came across the Buddha Bowl. Colourful, stylish and practical. What's not to love? I was smitten so I bought bowls. Lots and lots of bowls. And I sold bowls. Lots and lots of bowls. On weeks when we weren't busy I would joke with the staff that I would next time around open a Buddha Bowl store. They sold no matter how slow the rest of the business was.

When we made the decision to move I stocked up on those bowls as though we were a family of 15. In retrospect it probably didn't make the most sense to pay to ship these bowls across the country when the bowls themselves are created less than an hour from where I currently live. Ah well. No regrets when it comes to the Buddha.

Check out Flavour Design at for the entire sampling of goodies.

Colour, Colour, Colour

Photo from House & Home Magazine

With the onset of spring comes the reawakening of our passion for colour. Away with the drab and dreary. It's time to be swaddled in sunshine yellow and grass green and sea blue and red and pink and on and on. My daughter always asks me what my favourite colour is and then stares dumbfounded when I tell her I don't have one. I love all the colours I try to explain but that does not suffice. I must commit and proudly announce to the world that "I love pink". If that colour should change the following day this is perfectly okay. It's just about the commitment at that particular moment.

This is not unlike a colour consultation that I would do with a client. It's hard to do it but you must commit. You can't change your mind the following day so it's a little trickier. Clients will be found in one camp or the other...those who love colour and those who are terrified of colour. Do you know which one you are? Believe it or not, the more difficult of the 2 is the client who loves colour. It's hard to contain that enthusiasm and develop a palette for the home that is livable and peaceful while being fun and adventurous enough for these colour enthusiasts.

So what to do if you're one of those that never met a colour you didn't love? Start by analyzing your room. There are colour cues all around you...look hard and you will see them. What colour exists that will not be leaving? Do you have a green sofa that you won't be able to part with anytime soon? Do you have eye catching art that demands to be the star of the room? Whatever it is, use this as your cue for the direction of the room's palette. If your green furniture is staying put, learn how to work with it. If you want a big punch of colour in addition to your green sofa consider a Harmonious colour scheme. These are ones that chose colours that are side by side on the colour wheel. These allow you to use more than one (usually 3) colours that are vibrant and bold but it still remains peaceful and easy to live with. Don't forget to add lots of neutrals to these rooms. Grey, black and white are perfect for calming the loud and the bold.

Tune in again soon for more tips on colour and design.

Great Design for Under $30


Who wouldn't want these awesome little bowls in their kitchen? The perfect cooking companion and devilishly good looking at the same time. Find them at for $29.00

We all love Kate Spade, right? Now we can
entertain with style AND on a budget.
These adorable coasters sell for $20 for a set of 4.

Pebble tea lights made from certified organic bamboo. Made to resemble river rocks they are the perfect hostess gift. Buy 2 sets so you have one for yourself as well. Set of 4 for $15.00. Check them out at

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Birth of the Blog

Welcome to The Design Pages. I offer you my most humble gratitude for visiting me and will be forever indebted to you if you become a follower. There may be candy given out later as well but I won't swear to anything right now.
So why a blog? I'm preparing myself to answer the question from family and friends so here it is...I've got a lot to say, plain and simple. For those of you who already know me you know very well that design is my life. Not just my means of earning a few bucks but an obsession and a passion. I am the person who notices all the design details in the really bad movies. I am the person who will redecorate your bookshelf while you go to freshen up my glass of wine and I am the person that simply can't leave the furniture alone in my house. It's a disease.
So enough of the talk. Let me introduce myself in the most important way which is through my love of design. These are just some of the things that I love:

1/ Knoll Barcelona Chair

I hate to start this way but I have to say that I'm really sick of all the knock off Barcelona chairs that I see today. Yes, I can see why companies are knocking it off, it's a great chair. The unfortunate thing is that the chair that is knocked off doesn't feel like a Barcelona chair and for the most part it doesn't look like a Barcelona chair. It's all the in details and only the licensed version is the real thing.

2/ Awesome Chandeliers

Just as with the perfect little dress there must be the perfect bling so goes the chandelier to the room. Lighting in general is essential to all good design but the chandelier can be the accessory to a room that makes it sparkle and look like a superstar instead of a dowdy housewife. It doesn't need to cost a lot either. Pick one up at a garage sale and transform it into a piece of art.

2/ Danish Teak Furniture

I have acquired a couple of very beautiful teak pieces over the last few years and love them every day. I will not remind myself of how many times my mother offered me her teak dining set and bedroom set when I was a 20-something. I lived in a 1 bedroom city apartment and had neither the room nor the inclination to include teak furniture into my "I'm way too cool for teak" look that I had going on. Don't even ask where those pieces ended up.

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