February 28, 2009

Loving White… With Colour!

Victoria @ Edin Interiors


Like most of my fellow Vancouver-ites I’m not crazy about snow in the city - but as I gazed out my front window on Wednesday morning all I could think of was DSC01246how beautiful our white world looked next to the lovely early morning blue sky!

See my neighbour’s quirky little purple house? That same morning it was covered and surrounded with snow and glistening in the sun. I was smitten!

All day long all I could think about was the beauty of nature’s White and sky blue, and quirky purple… and a rainbow of colours!

I’d missed my chance to take a photo of the quirky little snow-covered purple house (Maria/Colour Me Happy told me to always keep my camera in my bag – darn!), so Wednesday evening I searched the internet for photos that captured a similar White & Colour magic… I just knew that I had to share that magic with our readers!

What do you think?

(Photos from Flickr)

blue white flickr

I expanded my search to include other images in White & Colour… this is my favourite find of the evening. Love the combination!

(Photo from Flickr)

Funny enough, around the same time I was having fun searching for and thinking about White & Colour I read a post written by Hayley/Tracey at Porchlight Interiors – she was sharing some phenomenal White & Colour (and fantastic Natural) room designs by Piet Boon. I encourage you to drop by Tracey’s blog and check out all the Piet Boon spaces she shared, but these rooms in particular captured – for me - that White & Colour, snow & sky feeling that I was taken with.



Karla from “It’s the little things that make a house a home…” has this photo sitting in the profile column of her blog – such a lovely image, and a perfect example of White & Colour!

With my internet search for White & Colour almost at an end I remembered Colin & Justin’s Home Heist (HGTV Canada). How could I forget? Throughout this past season they had designed so many White & Colour spaces. I put my trusty search engine to work and found these terrific rooms!

Colin & Justin 6Colin & Justin 5 Colin & Justin 4Colin & Justin 7Colin & Justin Colin & Justin 3 Colin & Justin 2

I’m inspired to create a White & Colour room…

But first I need to find a room!

February 26, 2009

Shiny, sparkly, silvery things

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design

Crea-T-V-T posted an interesting article about a design competition organized by designboom. The theme for this particular competition is Beyond Silver. 3,566 designers from 89 different countries participated – these are just a few of the fabulously creative and beautiful entries. To see more, go here.

Liquid silver – Sono Mocci, Italy (2nd prize)

These plates really do look like candles of silver have melted down and puddled on the table. The flickering flames enhance the wonderful sparkle of the silver. Picture a bunch of these spread around a table… beautiful!!

av liquid silverThe designer says… The silver candle stand has melted. The silver liquid remains on a table and the flame has still winked. This product consists of 2 parts. The silver plate contains removal thin oil tank. The fire lead insert from the small hole of edge on the plate and reach to oil tank. Originally silver is one of the materials with the highest reflectance in every metals. It is the optimal as a light reflector of lighting. The fire of a candle reflects and shins on the body like flowing silver liquid metal. and dinner will be skillfully illuminated by it. Naturally you could use these also as a tableware plate. Enjoy your dinner.

Crop crib – Carl Pickard, UK

This fruit dish is such a fun design. I love words and letters – must be the writer in me!! ;-)

av crop cribThe designer says… This fruit bowl is a cast from solid 925 or plated silver is a collective of common fruit names, namely Apple, Orange, Pear, Plum, Banana and Peach. At an angled glance it has a curious aesthetic. On inspection it combines pop art with the post modern. A 10mm depth to the merged letters give the bowl solidity and strength whilst maintaining a cool to touch sensation. Marked by the maker on the base. Crop Crib is intended to make a statement, in BOLD!

Soap bubble salt & pepper shakers and Bubble candlesticks – Daan Brouwer, Canada

Aren’t these chubby little salt & peppers shakers adorable!? Not sure how practical they would be to use, but who cares – they’re just so darn cute!!

av bubble SP av bubble candle

The designer says… Sculptural sterling silver salt and pepper shakers shaped like soap bubbles.


Set of polished sterling silver candlestick shaped like a tower of stacked bubbles.

Illusion spoon/fork – Kris Yoo, Korea

You may need to look twice to be sure you’re using the spoon for your soup nd the fork for your spaghetti!! I wonder… which side of the plate does each of them go on?? Hmmmm…

av forkThe designer says… Looks don't mean everything. Low tech design is always hard. Usually the form has to be related with the function closely and it gives a lot of restrictions leaving the designer to become a mere stylist in some cases. I tried to use that fact backwards by giving the spoon & fork silverware set a twist putting a mask around the margins. The transparent poly carbonate outer margin is the real function while the silver part inside becomes the illusion. Without careful examination the user may use the illusion spoon as a fork or vice versa.

Spiral cake server & ice cream scoop – Adrian Magu, Australia

The lines of this piece are just so amazingly sexy!! The way they swoop and swirl and intertwine… if I had one of these, I would be eating ice cream and cake every day just so I could look at and hold this server & scoop combo!!

av scoopThe designer says… The Spiral cake server and ice cream scoop is a functional silverware set that draws influence from the forms created by spiraling objects such as sea shells and metal shavings. The designs are simple and clean and are based on a single plane that spirals to create a handle at one end and elegantly twists to create the functional scoop and server at the other. The spiraling scoop extends from the object to its use where the scoop reflects the forms created by the spiraling ice cream while carving into it. The design of the cake server cleverly doubles up as a scoop stand. The cone shaped handle of the server allows the scoop to nestle within it keeping the surface of the table clean even though both utensils have been used. This is convenient as people usually have desserts at different times after a meal, thus eliminating the need to repeatedly clean and wash in-between servings.

Gingami – Yoshifurni Sasamoto, Japan

I don’t know what you would use this for, but it’s fun to look at :-) It seems to have been inspired by a crumpled piece of aluminium foil…

av gamiThe designer says… "Gingami" is a plate with the unevenness. The surface of unevenness is more brilliant than a flat. This dish is designed to take advantage of the characteristics of silver.

Interesting Things

Victoria @ Edin Interiors

My poor fella – in my attempt last evening to come up with 6 things that were interesting enough to share with our DesignTies readers, I put him on the spot. “What’s interesting about me?” You know men… Brian looked at me silently wondering if this question was really a trap. Ha! Not surprisingly, he successfully avoided having to answer the question :-)

When I came home from work this afternoon, though, look what I found sitting on our kitchen table… the cutest little flowerpot with blooms in one of my favourite colours! Can you read what Brian has written?

“To my Sweetheart – the most interesting person I know!”


I think my Brian is a keeper, no?!

I’m about to list 6 blogs that Kelly and I enjoy reading… and we’re hoping that the writers of those blogs will play along with us and prepare lists of their own to share. We want to get to know you better!!

And if you play your cards right, you might just get some flowers with a sweet note of your own!!

Our 6 bloggers are:

Tracey @ Porchlight Interiors

Mrs. B @ Decorating a Modern Home

Cathleen @ Design by Cathleen

Linda @ Restyled Home

Fifi @ Fifi Flowers Design Decor

Brooke @ Velvet & Linen

Tracey, Mrs. B, Cathleen, Linda, Fifi, Brooke… we’re really looking forward to reading about YOU!

If you’d like to (re)read the 6 things we each shared about ourselves, here are some quick links: Kelly & Victoria

February 25, 2009

6 Things about... Victoria

To even attempt to compete (*wink*) with my blogging partner Kelly and her interesting list of 6 things unique to her would be fool-hardy; I am definitely not a descendent of royalty (nope - no mountains either), I don’t have a favourite sexy car (well… not one that I own!) and Rate My Space won’t be calling me anytime soon!! ;-) With that caveat in mind, I humbly present my 6 things. Interesting? Maybe. Regardless, you’re destined to learn a little about me for sure!


I'm a Mom.
Like many women I'm sure, I dreamed of being a Mom from the time I was a small child. What I didn't dream about was taking on this role while single! In fact, I was a single parent from the moment my son Matt was born until he was 16. I was very lucky to have the phenominal support of my Mom - and Matt's Dad has always played a role in his life. Even with that support, being a Mom has been challenging... but it's also been my greatest success. Matt will be 21 years old next week. He's intellegent, charasmatic, funny, generous, kind, talented (he's an actor) and, if I do say so myself, good looking! Let me introduce you to my son...


I'm an "army" brat - well actually, my Dad was in the US Marine Corps, and typical to the army brat lifestyle, we were regularly on the move. When I reflect back on my grade school years I remember them in connection with where my family lived. Grade 1 was spent in Oceanside and in grade 2 we lived in Twentynine Palms (both in California, the latter in the Mojave Desert). In grade 3 we were stationed in Hawaii; grade 4 was back in California (El Cajon/San Diego). There were other places before and after (even to this day I've not lived in one place longer then 3 years... but that could change!), but the one place that stands out in my mind as the most important and memorable is Ocean Falls, British Columbia, Canada. My parents had recently divorced and Mom brought us back to Canada where she took a job as an accounting clerk at the paper mill in Ocean Falls. So what makes Ocean Falls so unique and special? Well... the extremely remote (no roads in/out) and beautiful (situated in the fjords of British Columbia) town was tiny with a population at the time of no more then 1500 people on a good day. Remember... I'd just come from California - land of a mass-populace, innerstate highways and Disneyland - so you can imagine the culture shock!! In Ocean Falls I learned about people, community and above all... friendship. Unfortunately in the summer of 1980 the provinical government (the owner of Ocean Falls at the time) shut the mill down - and hence the town - and we all had to move away. Many of the wonderful old houses and apartment buildings were burned down to allow the forest to reclaim segments of the area, while other buildings were allowed to fall into ruins. The photo below was taken recently - not much is left. People still live in Ocean Falls, although not many; fishers, artisans, loggers... and there's some eco-tourism that goes on in the area. Those of us who claim a connection to Ocean Falls would all say the same thing: the Falls is a part of us!


Here's a short and sweet one...
At 17 I was in a beauty pageant - the winner represented our city and would go on to the Miss Canada pageant. Nope... I didn't win :-) But I did get to wear one of the princesses' crowns... for a few minutes anyway!!


In the fall of 2001 I moved to South Korea to teach English as a second language in a "hogwan", or private language school. What an experience! There were so many things I loved about my time in Korea: my students, my travels around the country, exploring the open markets (I discovered pigs' heads being sold in this one section of the market - I'm told people hang them at special gatherings and guests put money in the pig's mouth to bring good luck for the hosts... not 100% sure this is accurate - but it's interesting!), exploring Korean mega-department stores (oh the shopping!) and of course Korean BBQ and other delicious Korean foods like tofu soups, bibimbap and kimchi (soooo yummy! I had some kimchi in my salad today!!). I think one of my most favourite things to do, however, was to explore the old pagodas and temples. The Korean's built similar buildings to the Japanese - I'm far from an expert, but the primary difference between the two styles (apart from Japanese structures being taller) is that Koreans paint the ceiling polls supporting the roofs in stunning, detailed and colourful patterns whereas in Japan the buildings are generally kept a natural wood. It's simply beautiful!! And you know what... somehow it's even more beautiful on the extremely old temples, where the paint has worn off with time like at this building, the Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju built in 751. Still... I wonder how fabulous it would have looked if the detailing on the underside of the roof (and interior ceilings, by the way) were painted as brightly as the traditional roof-polls in my photo to the right? I loved exploring these temple grounds!


When my partner Brian and I renovated our first kitchen I confidently told him that we could tile the floor ourselves... afterall, I'd seen it done on TV and it looked pretty dooable! So we planned and prepared with that in mind. On the day that we were to start tiling the floor we set ourselves up - Brian mixed the motar and cut the first tile. Then he gave me the trowel and said, "Here you go. You said you'd watched it done on TV. Go to it." "OH!" I said in surprise. The look on his face said it all... down on my knees I got and I started tiling. To be fair, he does help from time-to-time... and he's always been my mixer of motar and grout, my tile cuter and general helper... but all of our tiling jobs have been predominately mine. Take a look at the bathroom I tiled - you'll find it in my post Bathroom Fantasies. And, of course, there are the two fireplaces I shared in another earlier post. I love tiling and I'm pretty darn good at it!! In the picture below I'm tiling in preparation for our second kitchen renovation (our current house). And in future posts (check out our March 2nd Met Monday post!) you'll get a chance to see some of my other handywork.


I'm crazy about "Circus Animal Cookies" made by Mother's Cookies!! They remind me of my childhood :-) They're overly sweet, turn your tongue pink and leave a bit of an aftertaste... but I love them!! Unfortunately these wonderful treats aren't sold in Canada, so over the years I've had to make special stops at grocery stores when ever I travel to the States where I pick up multiple bags for the cupboards back home. Bad news though!! As I was googling for images of those wonderful pink and white frosted animals today, I learned that Mother's Cookies shut down all operations :-( They're out of business!! Some possible good news... Keloggs has purchased the tradmarks and recipies of some of Mother's most loved cookies (yes, Circus Animal Cookies are one of them!). The hope is that they will produce these scruptious blobs of sugar and transfats for those of us going through sweet animal cookie withdrawl! Maybe we'll get extra lucky and they'll distribute them in Canada!!

Thanks for reading through my list of 6 things about me.
Kelly mentioned that I would tag 6 additional bloggers... I found coming up with 6 things about myself an extremely painful exercise and so I find I'm reluctant to expect it of someone else! I have to say, though, that it IS fun to read about the people who write the blogs we love to read. So if I send you a message - TAG, YOU'RE IT!!

As they say in Korea: Kam'sa'ham'nida... Thank You!

And, thank you to Maria at
Colour Me Happy for tagging Kelly and me -- this was fun :-)

6 Things about… Kelly

OK, here I go… not sure I’m interesting enough to come up with 6 things, but I’ll give it a try!!

shrewsbury 1. According to my dad (who never exaggerates when he tells a story *wink*), my great-grandfather was next-in-line to be the Duke of Shrewsbury. He didn’t want to be “royal”, so he married a cigar-smoking alcoholic bar wench and got himself disowned.

That part of the story is questionable, the rest is true… my great-grandfather was a very successful writer. Most of his books are about technology. He also wrote some books about Canadian geography. In 1910, he traveled the proposed route for the Grand Trunk Railway to scope out the potential of the land. He died of pneumonia when he was quite young (around 45, I think), and great-grandma proceeded to drink away their fortune and sold all his books for booze. She somehow managed to live to a ripe old age of 90-something.

There’s a mountain on the Alberta/BC border named after my great-grandfather, and today many of his books are only found in the Archives in Ottawa. I’m pretty sure this is where my love of writing comes from :-) Luckily, I didn’t inherit great-grandma’s love of cigars and booze ;-)

pizza 2. I LOVE PIZZA. I’ll eat pretty much any kind of pizza with anything on top. I especially love Hawaiian pizza. I also really like Thai pizza. Mmmmm, peanut sauce!! I make homemade pizza from scratch every couple of weeks. I have a great whole wheat crust recipe and a great tomato sauce recipe.

I could eat pizza every day for every meal. And really, it’s the perfect food – I mean, it covers all the food groups, right?? Grain, meat, veggie, dairy… genius!!!

3. I love NCAA college basketball. I keep saying I’m going to ditch Duke as my favourite team every time they choke, but I just can’t!! They’ve been my team since 1991. My most favourite college basketball moment ever was during the NCAA tournament in 1992. Duke was playing Kentucky. The game went into overtime. Kentucky was ahead with about 2 seconds left in overtime. Grant Hill inbounded the ball all the way down the court to Christian Laettner. And then…

4. I don’t have a middle name. My parents didn’t see any point in middle names, so my brother and I didn’t get them. I always feel gypped when I’m filling out form and have to leave the “middle name” line blank. Although a lady I worked with years ago insisted that I did have a middle name and it was Ann. I told her no, I don’t have a middle name. She told me yes you do, and it’s Ann. OK, what-ev-er!!

5. I think the 1993-1998 Mazda MX6 is the sexiest car ever. I love the lines and the fact that it’s sporty without being in-your-face. I bought an MX6 second-hand from my cousin in 1997 and had it for about 5 years. My now-hubby also had an MX6 when I met him. My creative pick-up line was “So, I hear you have an MX6…” :-) Last September, we bought a totally modded and super-sexy 1994 MX6 – SO sweet!!! We named him Sparky :-)

6. And of course, I have to include something décor-related… :-) My living room was an inspiration room on an episode of Rate My Space!!


Now it’s Victoria’s turn – and I’m giving her the responsibility of tagging 6 more bloggers!! :-)

February 24, 2009

Beautiful Tuesday

Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design

Tuesday is kind of a nothing day, don’t you think?? Monday pretty much sucks, but you feel good once it’s over. Wednesday is hump day. Thursday is faux Friday. And then it’s Friday and the weekend!! But Tuesday is just… well, Tuesday!! There really isn’t anything special about it.

So today, head on over to Brooke Giannetti’s blog, Velvet & Linen, and make this Tuesday something special by checking out the beautiful rooms that Brooke has designed :-)

February 22, 2009

Hall shook up

clip_image002Kelly @ JAX Decor & Design

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Met Monday every week :-)

My Met Monday transformation this week isn’t exactly a room… but it’s one of the biggest and most-used spaces in the house. Any guesses? It’s a hallway transformation!!

When you think about it, your hallway is an important space in your home. Most, if not all, rooms in your house likely come off of the hallway. You walk down the hallway to get from one room to another. Maybe you see your hallway when you’re sitting in your kitchen or family room. So why not make your hallway a pretty place to look at and be?!

Here are some before pics (taken in December and in mid-project, as you can see!!). The wall colour was BM Crown Point Sand…

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Victoria suggested I paint the hallway a light gray. I’ve been really into gray lately, so I took her advice and went on a search for just the right gray. After trying out lots of grays, I decided on Pratt & Lambert Windham. It’s a nice warm light gray with a subtle brown undertone. Very pretty :-)


Painting the vaulted ceiling was my least favourite part. Scaffolding = SCARY!!


That was step one of the transformation. Next, I decided it was finally time to do something I’d wanted to do for years. I wanted to paint all the white doors…


A dark chocolate brown…


I LOVE MY DARK BROWN DOORS!! They give the hallway a much richer look and feel. And the white door trim stands out much more now than it did against the white doors. The dark brown is Nunavut by Sico.

Some more shots…

clip_image022clip_image023clip_image019 RS doors3

And then there was one more project to do. I forgot to take pics of this wall before hubby started to made some changes to it:



It was a mess before – light switch on the left, thermostat just left of center, niche just right of center, doorbell box higher up on the right, electrical outlet, central vac outlet. Too much going on and nothing I could do to make it look better. Unless… we moved the thermostat to above the light switch and removed the niche altogether…


Much better!! I painted the doorbell box gray too. Now the wall was a blank slate. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. My inspiration was this wall from a room designed by Samantha Pynn, host and Creative Director of Pure Design and Design Editor for Style At Home magazine.


I created a floor-to-ceiling art gallery wall. The frames are Ribba from Ikea. I took the photos of our pets and had them enlarged and printed at Costco.

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This really is an ideal wall to feature as a gallery wall. You see it when you walk down the hallway, coming down from the stairs to the loft, and from the sofa in the family room.

So that’s my hallway transformation. Hope you enjoyed seeing the changes we made, and maybe you can take away some ideas from it for your home :-)

Now, head back on over to Between Naps on the Porch to check out some more wonderful Met Monday transformations :-)