August 31 2016

Staging For A Magazine Vs. Styling For Living

blog1Have you ever wondered why your home looks so different from what you see in design magazines? Even if you hired a professional designer and your home is beautiful, the difference are these key factors done in a major way: scale, layering and drama. When staging a home for a photo shoot, we don’t care if it’s practical, but do ensure every angle has enough interest to be memorable and capture the reader.

blog5Behind the Scenes – Calculated Chaos
It looks worse before it looks great. When we’re styling in a way that will look stunning in a magazine or through a camera lens, we know it is mostly impractical for real life. Adding 4′ branches in a vase on top of your kitchen island would never happen (okay, maybe in my house), but in a photo it is dramatic, which is exactly what you want for a magazine feature. In the family room, we layer in pillows with interesting pattern and sometimes colour to fill in empty corners and give a sense of luxurious abundance. Another stylist trick is mixing traditional pieces with contemporary accessories to add much-needed juxtaposition in a space. blog2When It’s All Said And Done
When we’re finished styling for a shoot, we are often asked to leave the pieces we brought for styling because clients love the fresh perspective and are items they wouldn’t normally agree on us purchasing…until they see it in place. We adjust the locations to make it work for real life and give a sigh of relief that we don’t have to slug it all back to our studio! blog3We turned all the books around in the office library to simplify the look of the shelves. Obviously crazy for real life, but not for a styling.
blog4As great as these large planters look on the table, if you want to have a conversation with your kids across the table, it isn’t going to work for every day. However, it’s needed for the photoshoot so the harvest table doesn’t look like a big void in the photo.

Are you dreaming up a project that needs our design expertise? We are now booking into late fall and winter.
It’s no secret we design homes, but did you know we also design vacation homes and places of business from the ground up or that require a levelling up and rebrand boost? Keep us in mind.


July 20 2016

How To Introduce Luxury Into Your Home 

When I started my journey into the land of luxury for myself, it was surprisingly only a few years ago. I can design and procure at a higher level for my clients, that’s my job, but purchasing with this notion for myself was a whole other story. The pivotal point started with the idea that it’s impossible to design with luxury if I’m not willing to purchase these pieces for myself; it seemed hypocritical. For me, it’s about buying less but spending more on the things that truly bring me joy every time I look at it or touch them. I can say there have been no regrets when my purchases have been made in this regard: I love them enough that I have to pause before purchasing because it always stretches my price point for something special. The carefully chosen find will be of superior quality that can be seen and felt (knock-offs can’t touch it with a 10 foot pole), and it’s unique and often functional.

My stance on adding luxury in your home is not for the sake of grandeur or to spend money unnecessarily, but to take the time to choose things that add quality and interest in your home. There’s an elegance to having a few special pieces that can handle the test of time. And here are the key words – A FEW. Unless you have the means to buy luxury everything, you need to be strategic and plan ahead. Pick a few key pieces in prominent locations and spend on the best you can there. Mixing high-low is totally acceptable and the bonus is your low is elevated to a higher level when you have your luxury items mixed in.


Here are a few tips on how to get started on this path of luxury in your home:

– Replace your decorative lighting in key areas with high-quality, unique fixtures.

– Replace Kitchen and Bathroom counters with marble.

– Update drapery with custom-made.

– Update your hardware with interesting detail, scale and finish.

– Start collecting accessories of value and group them together for impact.

– Purchase a statement piece of furniture, art or mirror for each room.

blog2“Luxury is in each detail”. Hubert de Givenchy

blog1*All rooms shown are designed by Habermehl Design Group.



June 22 2016

Designing for A Maximum Life

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I’ve noticed a major trend in design spanning across commercial, hospitality and residential. These are spaces created to allow people to live a maximum life. By this I mean, we are blending all the areas in our lives, such as home, work and entertainment wherever we go. We now have the ability to do this thanks to portable technology. We are essentially curating our lifestyle so we have all the necessities and luxuries at our fingertips. We want it all; the familiarity and history of using natural materials, such as stone, wood and metals, but we also want the maximum sensory experience that the latest technology gives. We are now designing spaces that make this possible. We are already seeing virtual reality entering into our place of work, we now want to blend this experience in all areas of our lives. Soon having portable VR devices that we can hook up to our smartphones with be common place.  So why not get onboard and design the places we live and work to be seamless! We want a place to hook up to our laptops wherever we go. We want to hold a company board meeting at our private clubs with full tech support. We want to experience live feeds virtually from anywhere in the world.

We are evolving, but we still want familiarity and comfort. It’s up to designers to create spaces that still give us a sense of place and yet support the future of technology.

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Above are a few photos I used for a recent presentation for a hospitality project. These spaces are intended for a luxury private club, yet could easily be translated into our own homes.