January 30, 2009

A design dud of double-D proportions

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design
Throughout the history of interior decorating and design, there have been questionable design decisions. For example.... Avocado and harvest gold appliances. Lavender bathroom fixtures. (I grew up with both). Big & bold flowery wallpaper and upholstery fabric. Basements with dark wood panelling. All cringe-inducing designs that have happily disappeared (for the most part). But just as one bad design bites the dust, there’s a new one just waiting to take its place.....

These are boob lights:

If I ever want my boobs to experience pulsating LED action, maybe I’ll pick up a set ;-) If nothing else, they’ll be good for a laugh or two, and hubby would probably get a kick out of them :-)

These are also boob lights (which were thankfully removed from our ceiling and placed on the floor just like this by my hubby):

No pulsating LED action here – just plain old incandescent (or CFL) bulbs emitting light from glass boobs with a metal nipples.

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of boob lights – they’re everywhere. They’re pretty much the industry standard when it comes to basic builder lighting. Now, whether or not you ever noticed the striking resemblance between boob lights and real boobs, I don’t know. But I can tell you this – once you realize that a boob light looks like a real boob, the image will be burned into both your mind and retinas and you will NEVER be able to look at a boob light ever again and not see anything else but a real boob.

Just like real boobs, boob lights come in all different colours, shapes, and sizes... with big nipples, little nipples, pointy nipples, flat nipples... each one is unique in its own special way :-)

For your viewing pleasure, I give you a gallery of boob lights (all pics from

Thank You!

Victoria @ Edin Interiors
This is just a quick note to thank everyone who shared their thoughts about my business name - I really appreciate your input! As you glance around our blog, you'll notice that I've chosen to drop "Associates" and "Consulting" and go with EdinDesigns as several of you suggested - although with the two words linked. I like it better that way. :-) When I design my business cards and marketing materials, I'll be sure to put a caption under my business name that reads something like "Home Remodeling/Renovation & Decor Consultants". Feel free to pipe in with your ideas on this "sub-title". Another suggestion made by a commenter was to change the spelling of Edin to Eden - not a bad idea, but because Edin is a special family name, I'm going to keep it as is. And I won't get hung up on pronounciation!

I feel good about this!
Next step = get my business registered!

January 29, 2009

From Dream to Reality

Victoria @ Edin Interiors
Oh My God… am I really planning on starting a business in home remodelling and interior decorating without formal training or business knowledge… and in our current economy? And am I nuts?! Probably!! HaHaHa!

You know for a few years now I’ve been thinking about starting my own business but apart from sharing my ideas with friends and family, I’ve done little to make this dream a reality. Hey… it’s easy to think and talk about dreams but actually taking the necessary steps to make them a reality can be daunting and, at times, terrifying! There comes a time, though, when you have to reach for the stars… and that time for me is now. No more sitting around wishing that I could do what I dream!!

Okay. So now what?!
Pick a name, register the business, build a business plan, create a marketing strategy, identify pricing for services, establish accounts with suppliers and partnerships with contractors, find clients… yikes! And I’m sure I haven’t mentioned everything I have to do or know simply because I’m learning as I go!

I’m going to make it happen though!
Soon enough I’ll be working with people in my community to design and complete cool projects like these!!

But as they say… one step at a time.

So the first thing I have to do is register my business. And I need a business name. Here’s where you can help me out. Should I be EdinDesign Associates or EdinDesign Consultants? Share your thoughts please!

January 24, 2009

Whose Design Is It Anyway?

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design
Is there such a thing as a truly original design? Can one person “own” a design?

I was just browsing the Rate My Space web site. I saw four rooms with colour-blocked walls. They were all similar – blocks of various colours with white “grid” lines in between. A few years ago, a member of the House & Home forums painted the a similar colour block & grid wall in her daughter’s bedroom. Who came up with the idea first? Did they all copy each other? Can one of them lay claim to the design?

When you think about it, every design is based on another design. We take a design that we see and like, and then create our own interpretation of it, putting our own spin on it and giving it our own personal touches. For example – these are two of the walls in my home office (it still needs some furniture!!)

It was inspired by this nursery on Rate My Space (unfortunately, I can’t find the original post on RMS, so I can’t give proper credit to the creator of this room):

The inspiration for the letters on the nursery wall came from this bedding from DwellStudio:

And this bedding was inspired by… well, I guess the alphabet. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt over 4,700 years ago. So does that mean the ancient Egyptians get credit for these three alphabet-inspired designs?

Here's another example. This is our bed:

My husband and I came up for the plans for it and built it. We based it on an upholstered bed from Restoration Hardware and a bed that Sarah Richardson designed for a bedroom on Sarah’s House:

There are obvious similarities between the three beds, but differences as well. All three have a nailhead trim detail. The headboard corner cut-outs and legs on our bed are based on Sarah’s bed. But Sarah used a bold patterned fabric on her bed and we used a solid brown velvet.

So who owns this design? I say all of us – and none us. The beds I used as inspiration for our bed were likely inspired by other beds. In fact, Sarah had to change her original headboard design because the original wouldn’t fit up the stairs to the bedroom. Which is an example of how a design evolves as you move through a project.

Nobody can say that a design is 100% (or even 99%) theirs. Every design is a collaboration of people and ideas – from pictures in books and magazines, TV shows, Internet forums, a friend’s house, stores, hotels, nature… design inspiration is all around us and in all of us.

January 21, 2009

Creating a silk purse from a sow's ear

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design
There’s a lot more that goes into decorating a room than slapping a coat of paint on the walls and sticking in some furniture. It takes time and patience and planning and a lot of work and the willingness to admit when you’re wrong and learning from your mistakes. Having a friend who’s a professional designer doesn’t hurt either!!

Warning: Not all the pictures below are pretty!!

In the spring of 2007, I decided I HAD to decorate the living room. Mainly because it looked like this:

It was basically a mish-mash of furniture and random pieces that had nowhere else to go. I was tired of the wall colour, unhappy with the layout, and just fed up with the overall BLAH feeling it had.
I came up with a plan -- and I wanted to have wainscoting in teh room. The chair rail was already there, so we used that as a guide to install simple grid-style wainscoting.

Hubby did the installation and I did the painting – I think he got the easy job!! I also painted the ceiling gray and the walls cobalt blue.

And then I bought a couple of mirrored chests and a zebra rug to add some glam and some funk.

And then my friend Jenn (Jennifer Terhardt of Bestellt Interiors in Langley, BC) saw what I was up to and offered to help me. She thought I was going in the wrong direction with the room, and she had some ideas for me that she wanted to share.
In November 2007, Jenn came to Ottawa for a week and we spent three days together shopping like fiends. Not even snowstorms or malfunctioning cars slowed us down. We hit every HomeSense in town – more than once. Winners, The Bay, carpet stores… we were on a home décor mission!! I also had to find Jenn a new pair of long black leather gloves to replace the pair Squirt chewed and destroyed. Bad Squirt!!

By the time Jenn left town, I had a new carpet, coffee table, a sofa and two chairs on order, a big gold-framed mirror, picture frames, lamps, accessories… HomeSense is my friend!!

A couple of months later, the sofa and chairs arrived and I was ready to start putting the room together. The furniture was placed, the curtains were being made, and it was time to accessorize. Another BC friend, Hayley, flew out to Ottawa at the end of February to help me put the final touches on the room. Brave move for someone who wears open-toe shoes with bare feet year-round, snow or no snow!!! She also wanted to iron my duvet cover – how could I turn down an offer like that?!

I let her loose in the living room, and she worked her accessorizing magic. She found some of my mom’s crystal pieces tucked away in the dining room, and displayed them on the mirrored chests. She moved a clock from the family room to the table behind the sofa. She arranged the clock and armilliary sphere just so (I try really hard to keep them in their exact spots, but it isn’t easy!!) She showed me how to arrange a bouquet of tulips.

So the finishing touches were done. Now all that was left to do was empty the room completely and paint it :-O ARGH!!!!!!!!!! Me, I like to paint first and then put a room together. But Jenn told me painting has to be the LAST thing you do. Silly logic I say, but she’s the expert, so I did what I was told.

The plan was to paint the ceiling gold and the walls gray – the same colours as the curtain fabric. The gold I picked was good, the gray, not so much – as soon as I put the room back together, the newly-painted gray walls suddenly looked brown. A really nice shade of brown, but I needed gray, not brown. Grrrrr!!! So, out everything came AGAIN so I could paint the walls AGAIN.

In order to salvage the leftover wall paint, Jenn told me to try mixing it with some leftover gray paints from other projects. I poured in some of this one and a bit of that one, and the resulting colour was perfect!! Yay!! I started rolling the “new” paint onto the walls – and it was CHUNKY. WTF?!?! So I headed to the paint store with the can of my chunky paint and they were able to match my custom colour, minus the chunks.

The chunk-free paint went onto the walls, the furniture and accessories went back into the room, the mirror and frames and curtains were hung, and the chandelier was installed… FINALLY, more than a year after I came up with my original vision of the living room, it was done!! And it didn't look anything at all like my original vision!!

I added my own personal touches to the space -- the zebra bench and the purple cushions and the zebra dish. Jenn tried to talk me out of them, but I think they're awesome!!! The zebra bench is my absolute favourite piece in the room :-) All the pictures on the wall were taken on a trip to Luxembourg and Belgium, so the artwork creates a nice personal memory.

So what did I learn from my first big decorating experience?? A lot!! For starters, I just about perfected my painting technique ;-) And I learned that.... have to have lots of patience to pull a room together, because there's lots of waiting involved -- especially when you order furniture. takes a lot of time and legwork to source out just the right items, but it's definitely worth all the effort.

....I'm a most excellent shopper -- and I'm now the most popular customer at my local HomeSense :-)

...painting is the last thing you do -- even though I still think that's backwards!!

And finally, I learned to stick to my guns and make decisions that are right for me, even if other people don't agree -- purple and zebra print rock!!!! :-D

January 16, 2009

A Smidge of Creativity, Collaboration... and Where It Takes You!

Victoria @ Edin Interiors
I never imagined that I’d find myself building a home decorating and remodelling/renovation business. Who’da thunk?!

I grew up with two very talented, creative people and it never once occurred to me that I was creative too. Hey, I’m not knocking myself here… this was just my reality at the time and it never bothered me in the least. Rather, I was – and continue to be - enormously proud and in awe of Brad, our mom Laura and their extraordinary talents. Perhaps being embraced by their creativity meant that a little rubbed off on me? Or perhaps I had a smidge of my own all along…

Laura had a lot of interests, but she shared with me her love of interior decorating and houses. She was particularly fond of little “gramma grampa” houses and, as it happens, my partner and I currently live in a little house that we love (we better love it considering all the remodelling we’ve done)! I think she would love it too… once she made it up all of our stairs!! She also painted three little pictures of houses that I’ll have to take photos of and share with you all because they’re so special… one day :-)
As a child I loved watching her decorate our homes and, where I could, I would help. Sometimes that just meant helping to move the sofa with my spindly little-girl arms and legs! But as I grew older I’d get to help with the layout of furniture in a room or art on the walls; the placement of chotchkies on a shelf or china in a cabinet; the choice of fabric for the drapery or the style of wallpaper in the kitchen (we papered the walls AND ceiling in our little duplex at the top of Burma Road, Ocean Falls! Fantastic memory!!). We’d often have conversations about the flow of our home and how much better it would be if one wall was removed and possibly positioned in another place. Or we’d talk about how terrific it would be to build a deck off the dining room and install French doors. And, of course, we’d cruise neighbourhoods falling in love with houses.

The idea of having my own home one day, where I could do things like this and more, was my ultimate dream. And even though I rented for many, many years I always did a little something… everything from positioning furniture to painting rooms. I even removed carpet from one of my kitchens (yuck!) and replaced it with peel ‘n stick tiles. Debbie Travis in her Painted House told me I could do it, so I did!! Ha! Then I met Brian and soon had a place of my(our) own. Fortunately for me Brian is an agreeable sort… over the 5 years we’ve been together we’ve gutted kitchens and bathrooms, torn down and rebuilt walls, tiled floors and walls, laid laminate and hardwood floors… and Brian has done some wonderful finish carpentry while I’ve painted and painted and painted. Phew!! There’s more, but I think you get the idea!

Along the way I’ve learned something about myself: these projects I’ve designed and either performed or spearheaded are a reflection of my own personal creativity and talent. I’ve also learned something even more important: almost every project I engage in is the product of collaboration… I’m not just tapping into my own abilities but into the vision and talent of others. Together, with Laura or later with Brian, I’ve created beautiful homes.

So… that’s what I want to be at the heart of EdinDesign Interiors… a collaboration of ideas, vision and creativity. But that’s a topic for another post!!

Thanks Kelly for jumping in with the first post and breaking the proverbial ice of our new blog.
This is going to be fun!

My first post is shared in memory of
Laura Lorraine Lambert Petrie; my Mom.

Passion + Focus = Following your dreams

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design
A few years ago, Cobi Ladner said in her column in House and Home magazine that she thinks about the room she’s decorating all the time. Then when the room is done and she’s happy with it, she stops thinking about it.

I do the same thing, but on a way bigger scale – I think about decorating LOTS of rooms ALL the time!!!! I always seem to have multiple decorating projects going on – at the moment, it’s my home office, hallway, laundry/mud room, dining room, and loft. And while all these projects are going on, I’m thinking about other potential projects. It’s a good thing we have lots of rooms in our house!!

But eventually, I’ll run out of my own rooms to decorate. So, it’s time to branch out and start to decorate other people’s rooms too :-) Which is kind of scary, because I don’t have any formal training in decorating – but then, neither did Sarah Richardson when she started out, and look at her now!! Not to say that I'll ever be as famous as Sarah, but she's proof that you can be successful at whatever you do if have the drive and the desire, regardless of your background.

Recently, some friends have asked me to help them decorate rooms in their homes, which I’m REALLY looking forward to. It’s one thing to decorate for yourself when you know (or think you know!) what you want and like – it’s a whole new and different challenge to figure out what someone else wants and likes and then create a space that they’ll love.

I truly believe that if you have a real passion for something, and you watch and listen to people who are great at it, and you’re not afraid to take the chance, you can succeed. That’s why Victoria (V, as I call her) and I are both pursuing our dreams to decorate, design, and renovate. We have different interests and strengths – I enjoy the decorating and finishing touches, V enjoys the planning and executing before the decorating – so we decided to create a blog together. DesignTies will cover lots of different topics related to decoration and renovation… it’s the place where decoration and renovation come together :-)