Posts for September 2014

September 29 2014

Monday Musings – Muriel Brandolini

“I like to set people free. I give them a hint and encourage them to go with their imaginations. It is the only way that new things can come true.”                            

—Designer Muriel Brandolini via Elle Decor  Jan/Feb 06 


My clients’ favourite colour is purple and they asked to have it used in their newly renovated family room. We updated the family room and adjoining kitchen from a dated ’80’s layout to an open, contemporary space. To be honest, it’s not my go-to colour of choice to decorate with, but I wanted to give them the freedom to ask and believe they can have a room that surpasses what they envisioned. Purple is a tricky colour to work with and can look garish if not used with an experienced hand. It would seem logical to limit such a bold colour to a pillow or in the artwork for a “pop” of colour that would satisfy my client. Instead, I suggested we add the colour in a major way.  We colour blocked the purple on the silk drapery and the wool area rug in the same deep amethyst colour. I knew this would work because we painted the walls white with a hint of warm grey and the wood cabinet also has a deep grey undertone. Plus we purchased classic mid-century modern pieces by Herman Miller and added black accents. This combination and the use of high-end materials allowed us to use this rich, dramatic colour fearlessly. If I didn’t let my clients feel free to to express themselves, they may not have requested using such a brave colour and this room wouldn’t have turned out so striking!

September 25 2014

Design Dilemma – Painting Wood Trim

I was at a client’s house the other night and suggested they paint their old, dark gum wood trim in their 1920’s house. You would think I asked them for their first born child! It has been a challenge since the day I started designing to convince people that painted wood actually enhances the detail of the trim and gives the home a whole new lease on life. It freshens and makes a home more current, without losing the character people covet in older homes. I know there are always exceptions to the rule, and there are situations when it would be a crime to paint over wood trim or panelling. Honestly, it has to be in amazing shape and absolutely gorgeous for it to take precedence over painting it, in my opinion.

As for my clients? Knowing the positive feedback I get from people who do paint their wood trim, made me press on. I told them to paint all the casings, baseboards, etc. and leave the doors stained for now. It will still look 90% better than leaving it all wood. They thought about it for a minute and agreed it will add interest to their quaint home and give them the updated look they desire. I know they will be thrilled! Maybe they will paint the doors in the future…or maybe not.

paint trim 1Designer Paul Corrie’s row house

paint trim 2Designer Blair Harris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Here’s an example of wood that should be left as is. Gorgeous!

hotelPalácio Ramalhete Boutique Hotel in Lisbon

Disclaimer: I know this is a touchy subject and people are very passionate about their wood trim. No hate mail please. xo

September 24 2014

Dreaming – Luxury Sheets and Tile…My Dream Team.

How amazing would it be to sleep in these D.Porthault sheets? They’re total luxury at about 2K per set!  Since this is my day to dream, I thought I would indulge and pick out the style I would dress my bed with. It’s hard to choose, but my favourite is the understated elegance of the Jour de Paris set. The crisp cotton percale with hemstitching detail in white is the perfect backdrop for the ultimate Paris hotel experience. Continuing with the theme of chic Parisian hotel, I fell in love with these Anne Sacks tiles a while ago and have been dreaming about them since. Maybe not what you would traditionally see in a Paris hotel, but I love the artisanal design and watery colour of this particular tile. It’s my version of Parisian chic. I would compliment these tiles with soft white marble floors, polished nickel faucets, vintage light fixtures and white fluffy towels. Jours de ParisAnne Sacks Tile