Decorating with WHITE

There is something fresh, pure, and utterly soothing about an “all white” colour palette.  Think about the crispness of freshly washed laundry, the purity of falling snow flakes, the soft petals of a beautiful white lily… just imagine it.  I love white for these reasons and more, and I certainly enjoy using white in my decorating projects, whether it means incorporating it as the main backdrop to colour, or simply introducing it with accent pieces. 

Image courtesy of House & Home

This image inspired me to write this post.  I love the simplicity of the white pottery, layered on the white lacquered dining table, and of course, let’s not forget the sleek, white chairs!  So clean, fresh and alluring… the perfect spot for a hearty breakfast.



Pure White Ceramic Glass: $10 to $89 at West Elm

This beautiful pottery collection is perfect as a grouping or as stand-alone pieces that can be incorporated in any room of your space.  A great way to introduce white!

Bubbles Ceramic Side Table: $129 at West Elm

How adorable is this ceramic side table?  It can really add texture, depth, and a ton a personality to any room.

Gilbert Chair: $65 at Ikea

This white stackable chair is a definite winner for an “all-white” palette.  It has a light, feel and it’s so pretty too!

Fan Coral Embroired Pillow Cover: $39 at Pottery Barn

I love this creamy white toss cushion with the coral embroidery!  It screams “summer cottage”… very uplifting!

Wave Sideboard: $779 at Structube

The wave details on this sideboard add so much texture; it could really be a focal point in the room!  I love the modern, linear shape of the piece against the flowing, three-dimensional aspect of the doors. Just fabulous! 

Smart Marble Round Coffee Table: $349 at CB2

This has got to be my favourite cocktail table ever!!! A beautiful marble top against the polished chrome finish of the base.  What a great way to use classic stone with modern design elements! 

Murano Dinnerware: $12.95 to $15.95 at Crate and Barrel

Here are the perfect white dishes, in my opinion.  Clean, simple shapes against the high gloss, iridescent finish.  I love their ability to reflect light.  Simply stunning!

White Painted Dining Table: $1150 at Casalife

This classic pedestal white table is an excellent choice for a white palette room.  It has a simple, curvy shape that fits well with modern décor, while the round form of the tabletop is the ideal conversation facilitator and perfect for squeezing in an extra person… or even two.

How do you feel about decorating with white? Have you come across the perfect piece?  Please share your thoughts!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page, Shopping | 1 Comment

Menswear fashion through the eyes of interior design

It’s a well known fact that fashion trends change continually and (in the process) influence the interior design industry immensely.  Whether the trend du j’our revolves around colour, pattern, style, or a combination of all these, fashion is always such an inspiration.  There’s something about flipping through the pages of those beloved fashion magazines that has the power to make you feel so connected and stimulated… at least it does for me!  So why not infuse some of these magical feelings into our surroundings and experience them everyday?  I certainly would…

One of the 2011 fashion trends that I’ve really been drawn to this year is the Menswear craze.  Aside from the stark, orderly structure reminiscent of a men’s suit, I also find myself very drawn to the earthy feel of this trend’s palette, the natural, raw quality of the fabrics and the sophisticated, commanding air it emanates.  To me, this fashion trend is all about effortless, uncomplicated confidence. 

Image courtesy of IN STYLE Magazine

A sea of chic grays, warm tans, and striking black and white contrast!  Here it is… the Menswear Trend!  How does it measure up in its translation to the interior design world?  Well… take a look!

The Tailor Sofa: $1999.00 at Crate and Barrel

This three-seater sofa is absolutely STUNNING! This has got to be one of the best representations of a men’s pinstripe suit ever!!!  I love the masculine feel of the fabric against the soft curvy arms.  It screams confidence without being too austere.

Solid Outdoor Woven Pillows: $20.00 to $33.00 at West Elm

Simple and organic, the earthy tones of these outdoor toss cushions are the perfect allusion to the Menswear trend. 

Iron and Steel Media Stand: $1736.00 at Casalife

 I have to say, this media unit is indeed very manly… and I don’t mean it in reference to TV watching.  This piece is actually constructed of iron and steel, a very modern, industrial take on a more traditional style. 

The Otek Stool: $ 605.00 at Casalife

How smart is this swivel stool?  I love its modern shape and the stainless steel finish of the base against this very mature, masculine houndstooth pattern.   Very chic!

The Bond Chair: Elte; visit showroom for pricing

A “man chair” all the way!  The worn brown leather against the charcoal metal frame is the perfect combination of materials and a true statement of interior design.

The Pimlico Tripod Boom Arm Lamp: Elte; visit showroom for pricing

This old-world tripod floor lamp is all about strong, solid lines with just the right hint of curvy details… a definite statement of confidence and class. 

This is my take and interpretation of the Menswear fashion trend and its effect on the design industry.  Each one of these pieces really speaks to me and truly radiates a ton of assertiveness, strength, and genuine style, making them the ideal conversation piece.

Posted in Design Trends, Fashion Forward, Home Page, Shopping | 1 Comment

Designer Spotlight: MARTHA STURDY

One of the greatest things for me about interior design is my continual discovery of remarkable artists.  A few years ago, while still very new to this amazing industry, I came across a television segment on House and Home featuring the iconic Martha Sturdy, a furniture designer and sculptor, based in Vancouver, B.C.  I was immediately blown away by her amazing talent, her use of simple lines and interpretation of organic shapes. 

I feel the same way about Martha Sturdy today… she is an absolute inspiration to me.  Her impressive work includes pieces created out of steel, brass, wood, and my favourite material, resin.  I love the translucent quality of her resin pieces…they are truly exquisite!

Here is a small sample of what Martha Sturdy has to offer.  Believe me…you won’t be disappointed!

Illuminated Lounge Chair

How gorgeous and unique is this illuminated resin lounge chair!  It’s so pure, fresh, and light.  The stunning light fixture is yet another Martha Sturdy resin creation. 

Floating Resin Coffee Table

A beautiful work of art, this resin cocktail table appears to be floating.  I love the reflective quality of the material and its warm, earthy colour.  This table can be illuminated as well… just imagine it!  What a conversation piece!

Resin Vases, Spheres, and Cocktail table

What a wonderful infusion of colour! These resin accessories are a breath of fresh air!  I love this coffee table… it looks like such a fun piece to have, not to mention the gorgeous collection of spheres and vases.

Pottery Pieces

Another example of pure, organic design…  Just lovely!

Resin Chair and Ottoman

You always need a little orange in your life and this resin chair with a matching ottoman is it!  How sleek and fun are these pieces? 

I hope you see what I see when looking at these pieces!  I think they are simply breathtaking and so unique.  I also hope to have the opportunity to use one of these works of art in my interior decorating projects one day.  Now, that would be fantastic. 

Stay tuned for more Designer Spotlight pieces!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page | Leave a comment

Gorgeous ROUND Mirrors: the trendiest accessory

Mirrors are undoubtedly one of the most useful accessories you will ever need. In fact, chances are you will never find a home without at least one mirror. Yes, they are required for grooming and dressing, but they are also great at expanding space by reflecting light and visually magnifying the size of any room instantly. Best of all, mirrors have come such a long way in terms of shape and style that they are definitely top contenders in the world of beautiful accessories. I have to say that my favourite are round mirrors… there is something about their circular, soft shape that makes them feel less utilitarian but rather more whimsical and dramatic to me. Here are five of my top picks, guaranteed to glam up any space. Take your pick!

The Amelia Mirror: $ 437.50; through designers

 This mirror is so unique and interesting.  I love the high gloss, gray finish and soft curvy shape… very trendy indeed.

The Starburst Mirror: $ 239.95; Crate and Barrel

A great homage to the good old retro days!  This mirror is a fabulous conversation piece with its stainless steel three-dimensional spokes and gold leaf centre detail.  While using it as a mirror in the traditional sense is probably not the goal, it has a ton of personality that can make any room sparkle!

The Taj Mahal Mirror: $ 447.50; through designers

The intricate and whimsical pattern of this mirror really makes a statement and would be a great focal point in any room.   I love how reminiscent it is of the Eastern culture… very pretty.

$ 472.50; through designers

Such a beautiful contrast between the dark wood and the sparkle of the mirror!  This mirror reminds of a pretty rose in bloom!

$ 397.50; through designers

I love the fact that this mirror can be used in both traditional and contemporary spaces.  The gold leaf finish speaks to lovers of tradition, while the multifaceted mirrors bring a graphic element that elevates this gorgeous mirror to modern elegance.

What are your thoughts? I’d love your opinion!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page, Shopping | 2 Comments

It’s a CHARTREUSE world!

Are you ready for a zesty colour trend?  Although not a new concept in the world of colour, chartreuse is taking its well deserved spot as one of the hottest hues for 2011.  It’s fun, it’s stimulating, it’s refreshing… wow, I feel like skipping winter and stepping right into spring!  We’ll be seeing chartreuse over and over again, not only in accessories, but also incorporated in upholstered pieces, painted furniture, paint, even kitchen cabinetry.  As lovely as it is, chartreuse is most certainly a very strong colour… you either love it or hate it, but what’s to hate???  Check out the images below, and if you’re not a chartreuse fan now, not to worry, you’ll totally become one by the end of this post.  Enjoy!

Image courtesy of CasaSugar

A lovely tufted headboard… the wonderful chartreuse certainly stands out among the lush white bedding and geometric white and grey wallpaper.   Bold statement alright!

Image courtesy of Elle Decor

Talk about drama!  This gorgeous room has so much personality.  I love the impact made by the black and white accents… it has really transformed chartreuse from pretty and fun, to all grown up!

Image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

How fresh is this kitchen?  Although the colour is bold, it pairs beautifully with the cool white walls and warm grey countertops.  It really takes it down a few notches, making it rather difficult to grow tired of it.  Hmmm, I’d love to eat in this space!

Image courtesy of Elle Decor

Wow… to me, this is the epitome of chic design.  The pale blue wall and trim colours paired with rustic accents, like the bamboo shade and the pale wood frames around the mirror and artwork, have such a soothing effect, really allowing the chartreuse painted chairs to have a striking presence in this room.  And there is that black again, seen in the furniture pieces and the beautiful pendant fixture… truly stunning!

Available at Crate and Barrel

 Pretty and simple, this ceramic lamp with a pale green base and white shade is the perfect accessory to any room that calls for a little fun.  Although not quite as yellow-green as chartreuse, it will surely add a degree of freshness into any space.

Image courtesy of House and Home; Photo by Angus Fergusson

This entryway is absolutely ready for spring.  The painted chartreuse door is just so striking against the white walls, pale flooring, and moulding details.  The striped runner, with all its pretty colours creates the perfect balance, along with the dark stained console to ground the space. 

Image courtesy of House and Home; Photo by Ted Yarwood

Oh my goodness, how gorgeous is THIS room?  Chartreuse and turquoise, the dream colour combination!  I love the drapery with the banding details… it really incorporates both colours well without being too overpowering.  The robin’s egg ceiling colour against the chartreuse wall colour is a winning combination.  I love how understated the tables are.  It’s really all about colour here… just breathtaking!

Jonathan Adler Designs

I love this pillow!  It’s fresh, it’s graphic… it’s white and chartreuse!!!

Christophen Guy

 What can I say?  Christopher Guy is the master of high style.  If this chair wasn’t a conversation piece before, it certainly is now in this punchy apple-green fabric.  I love the circle details, very dramatic indeed!

 Are you sold on chartreuse yet?  I’d love to hear all about it, so send me your thoughts!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page | Leave a comment

Amazing “Pattern-ful” Interiors

I have always had a profound attraction to beautifully decorated interiors, whether I come across them in a design magazine, TV show, or real life.  What I have repeatedly found over time is that there is nothing more striking and inspiring for me than the daring use of pattern.  I love pattern… a lot.  I would have to say that my favourite patterns are geometrics.  They are fantastic anywhere… on rugs, draperies, toss cushions, upholstery, you name it!  The graphic and rhythmic element of geometric patterns is so fresh, contemporary, and simply inviting.  Take a look at the gorgeous spaces below and feel the impact and power of pattern.

Image courtesy of House & Home: Design by Jonathan Adler; Photo by Jason Schmidt

Simple and organic, but so dramatic!  The combination of cream and chocolate brown is to die for, not to mention the high impact created by the octagonal pattern on the rug and toss cushions.  This room screams drama!  The grass cloth wallcovering infuses a subtle element of texture, together with the soft and plush coverlet.  Let’s not forget the gorgeous lamps flanking the bed in perfect harmony … and of course, it never ever hurts to add a little bit of glam and sparkle on the side, courtesy of these sleek mirrored end tables.

Image courtesy of H&H: Photo by Angus Fergusson

This beautifully executed eclectic room is just stunning!!! I love the bold purple accents on the neutral background and the gorgeous Fortuni silk pendant in gray-blue and brown tones.  This room is elegant and casual at simultaneously.  I love the patterned rug and the geometric pattern around the cream mirror frame.   The warm brown tones in of wicker, together with this pretty Moroccan-style accent table really ground the space and pull it together.  I would live in this room in a heartbeat!!!

Image courtesy of H&H: Design by Kelly Wearstler; Photo by James Waddell

A modern classic all the way!  The large geometric pattern of this area rug is definitely the focal point here and a true showstopper!  Its cool blue-gray and cream tones are such a beautiful contrast against the warm pale yellows, creams, and plum upholstery fabrics.  Fun orange accents really complete the look and make this otherwise classic room very contemporary.

Image courtesy of H&H: Photo by Donna Griffith

This bedroom is so much fun!  This green and pale yellow graphic wallpaper is so fresh and modern.  What a great mix with the more traditional pieces in the room.  I love the way black and white accents throughout the room are used to introduce linear order to an otherwise busy room.  Perfect!

Image courtesy of H&H: Photo by Michael Graydon

Beautiful use of colour and pattern! These traditional armchairs are totally updated with the use of peacock blue upholstery… and what great contrast against the sunny yellow drapery and patterned wallpaper!  The geometric rug does wonders to ground this space by providing a graphic element and simply giving classic tradition a modern twist.

These interiors scream “inspiration” to me… interior design achieved with perfection and high style.  I hope you find inspiration in them as well.  Have you ever tried introducing some pattern to your space?  Well, I think it’s time!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page | Leave a comment

Take a Seat!

Whether for lounging, dining or working, a chair is one of the most basic yet versatile pieces of furniture you will ever buy.  It’s amazing how immense the choice is out there, especially when you’re looking for something unique… something that makes a statement.  This post is dedicated exclusively to modern, uniquely designed pieces that do just that.  I’ve chosen a few select pieces to share with you that I really think are worth a look.  I wonder if you’ll feel the same way… keep reading!


The Lounge Chair - ELTE

 I love the organic shape and feel of this lounge chair!  The mix of molded plastic, wood and metal elements is truly unique.  I can picture this cool chair in a super-minimal space… what a conversation piece!

The Hopsack Upholstered Chair - CASALIFE

The epitome of modern design!  Love the warmth of the upholstery fabric against the sleekness of the chrome frame.  

The Arturo Chair - through designers

This chair is sooo fun! I love the crimson red upholstery and its curvy shape.  Sitting in this chair must feel like getting a hug!

The Shell Chair - HOLLACE CLUNY

  Clean, minimal, curvy… and on, and on, and on.  Just love it!  What else can I say?

 Any one of these chairs are sure to create interest in your space and add a little modern edge to your style.  Do you share my opinion? I’d love to hear what you think and see what cool finds you’ve come across.  Check back soon for a blog on modern dining chair options.  Take care for now!  


Posted in Design Trends, Home Page, Shopping | Leave a comment

A Healthy Dose of COLOUR

Isn’t it amazing how easily and effectively your mood can be elevated by colour? As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than a little redecorating with my favourite colours to lift my spirits and bring about happy feelings.   Of course, this can get a little expensive, especially for someone (like me) who thrives on fresh and new design ideas on a regular basis.  So sometimes, when the mood strikes and I need a little “pick me up”, I opt for the next best thing… online “window” shopping!  During one of these escapades, I came across this trendy, fun and colourful room decorated with some hot picks from CB2, and I immediately fell in love with it!  Take a peek below:

Image courtesy of CB2

I love the mixture of reds, oranges, greens, and blues, set against the neutral white walls and charcoal fabric.  I think I could spend many, many lazy afternoons cozied up on this extra wide chair! 

Want to inject some colour into your space by getting this look?  Here is a breakdown of the required items:


Vincent Twin Sleeper in Graphite: $1199.00 CAD

 I absolutely ADORE this sleek, modern chair.  Not only is it attractive seating for any room in your home, it also stores a twin size bed inside! Talk about double duty design!

Formosa Tray Table in Burnt Orange: $59.95 CAD

This super-cute table with a “red hot” tray and cool chrome frame is also very practical, being waterproof and heatproof to boot.  Perfect!

Max Ottoman in Mandarin: $ 599.00 CAD

 Wow, talk about a healthy dose of colour!  Put your feet up on this super-fun ottoman, relax and think only happy thoughts…


Camo Floor Lamp: $ 149.00 CAD

 This sleek chrome floor lamp with a lovely green shade definitely screams fresh and unexpected… a great alternative to the standard white shade. 


Scale Pillow in Green: $ 29.95 CAD

This cotton/linen rectangle pillow has nice, raised stitching on one side and is solid on the other.   The bold green colour is also very cheery, isn’t it?

Halina Pillow: $ 34.95 CAD

What a fun and funky pillow!!! Love the different hits of colour working together against the crisp white background. 


Fresh Ink Clock: $ 299.00

The ultimate accessory! I love this overscaled black and white graphic clock with bright red hour/minute hands…. very hip!

These are just a few elements that make this room so spectacular.  Even one or two of these pieces are sure to brighten and liven any room in your home, guaranteed!   Visit for these and other fresh design ideas.  Enjoy!

Posted in Design Trends, Home Page, Shopping | Leave a comment

And the Winner is??

Yesterday I had the privilege and pleasure to attend the CDECA Professional Development Day which included the the Awards Gala for the 2011 Decorating and Design Competition.  I was truly honoured to be the recepient of the Silver Award for the “Interior Decorating under $25K” category!  How amazing is that?  Keep reading to see some images of my winning design project “Cozy Guest Retreat”.  As the title suggests, this space is meant to be a welcoming oasis for guests, and I really think it does.  What do you think?  Take a look at this Before image and see for yourself.


 Check out the difference!


This is just a sneak peak into the project.  Interested in seeing the full photo album?  Visit me at and feel free to browse my portfolio.  Do you think you could spend a nice weekend in this room?  I’d love to hear your comments! 

Oh, I almost forgot… Here is my awesome award :)

Stay tuned for more design projects, tips, and how-to articles.  Ciao for now!

Posted in Before & After, Home Page | 3 Comments

MICHELLE’S CONDO: A Design Vision in the Making

I’m extremely excited to introduce to you one of my latest design projects… a trendy new condo in the heart of Downtown Toronto.  While size is typically a challenge in most condo spaces, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to work with a whopping 900 square-foot beauty!  Enthusiastic about her brand new space, my client Michelle contacted me for a design consultation realizing that, in spite of the generous size, there were definitely some design challenges to overcome.  For one thing, the layout is less than perfect… definitely NOT designed with maximized living space in mind! 

You’re invited to come along the ride as we begin this exciting process in the world of design.  I will be more than happy to share with you my trials, tribulations, and achievements as this project gets underway, revealing to you what works, what needs to change, and how to transform this blank slate into the glam, chic, liveable space it’s meant to be… a space truly worthy of the fabulous Michelle. 

The ‘Before’ shots in this post are just an introduction to the condition of the space.  Although they are not the clearest images, they should give you a good indication of the existing layout and finishes. 

Open concept living space

 The modern, clean lines of the kitchen cabinetry are perfect for the contemporary, chic design I plan to incorporate in the space.  The espresso finish is nothing short of rich and it complements the dark hardwood floors beautifully (difficult to see in this shot).  The neutral element of the grey speckled granite works well with the cabinetry and will remain.  The living area is south-facing, with a large sliding door to walk out to the balcony, allowing plenty of light to filter into this otherwise dim space. 

Living Room

In this image, you can see how perfectly the hardwood floors tie into the kitchen colour scheme.  The actual living space is rather small… the dining area is definitely bound to be a challenge here, but I’m up for it.

Kitchen/Dining space

Another image of the kitchen… although the black appliances might be too heavy in a different space, I feel that they work quite well here with this particular cabinetry.  Directly in front of the island (where the boxes are currently stacked) is the dining area.  The challenge?  It sits directly in front of the electric range!  Not very good if you’re trying to prevent your lovely upholstered dining chairs from cooking stains… I certainly have my work cut out for me in this regard!  The frosted glass sliders across the kitchen separate the second bedroom/den from the living area.  Last but not least, the track lighting above the island is neither pretty nor functional and will definitely be replaced.

Master Bedroom

This is a view of the south-facing window in the master bedroom.  The dark grey-brown broadloom is very earthy and will be kept in the space.  The challenge in this room will be dressing this large window/balcony walk-out to minimize light exposure and excessive heat produced by the sun, thus creating a comfortable sleep environment.

Second Bedroom

A view of the second bedroom:  This room will double as a home office and a guest bedroom.  The flooring also consists of the same broadloom in the master bedroom and will remain unchanged. 

Second Bedroom closet space

The closet space in the second bedroom takes up the whole wall… great for storage!  But will these sliding doors work out?  Hmmm, I have my doubts.


A little corner in the entryway… very cozy indeed!


This wall is the first thing you see as you walk into the condo unit, complete with its very own electrical panel… Very chic!

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is a good size and I’m quite happy with the finishes.  I think they’ll work just fine.  Might do a little tweaking later.  We’ll see.

Guest Bathroom

The main bathroom is very similar to its master counterpart.  Not a bad looking space!  It’ll be easy to work with… when the time comes. 

Well there you have it… This is Michelle’s condo in its raw state.  I hope my description of each area was effective, despite the amateur visual documentation.  As the project comes along I will post more images of these developments for you to see.  I can’t wait… this space has so much potential waiting to be revealed.  Certainly a decorator’s dream come true! 

Please send your questions and comments anytime… I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Bye for now!

Posted in Before & After, Home Page, In the Spotlight | 2 Comments