Posts for designer

October 7 2015

Not The Jone’s Colour Palette

“All colours are the friends of their neighbours and the lovers of their opposites.”

Marc Chagall

IMG_7555My cottage is a small getaway on Lake Huron where my family and I break free from the city for many weekends in the summer. I would like to say we are blissfully unaware of the pending colder months ahead, but knowing we only have a couple of months to savour sunny and warm rainy days, makes our trips there even more special.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on colour schemes and texture and how it can bring uniqueness and merit to a design project. Since I was at the cottage this past weekend, I was excited to get outside and take a few nature shots on my iPhone to get a fresh take on colour again. I’ve grown weary of seeing the same look copied over and over again in magazines and social media. It seems the art of using beautiful colour combinations has gone amiss these days and is for the most part being overrun by trends and cheapened, watered down decorating. There’s something to be said for those who have a more sophisticated handle on colour theory and who know how to manipulate those colours with just the right textures to create breathtaking spaces. It really is an art form and one that I try to improve on every day.

I found a huge source of inspiration while on my walk. Nature gave me bold and gutsy, to soft and sensual colour and texture combinations that I will creatively draw from when choosing finishes and paint selections for my projects.
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IMG_7548Photos: Alison Habermehl

It’s brave to not do what everyone else is doing.

August 19 2015

Saeco – Gran Baristo!

One of the advantages of being a working designer and blogger is I’m sometimes asked to try out and review amazing products. This is a smart way for companies to market their products, by engaging designers or tastemakers who are consistently recommending products they love to their clients.

Recently I was given a Saeco Gran Baristo espresso machine by Philips to try out and keep for my personal use. I’ve had it for about a week and love it!

It didn’t take me long to see the quality of this machine when I lifted it into my kitchen. It has substance!IMG_6930Here it is opened and all set to go…
IMG_6935…until my husband felt the need to read all the instructions. IMG_6937Steve had the honours of trying out the first cup of coffee. He’s a happy camper.IMG_6941I have to admit I’m a bit of a coffee snob and drink it black and strong, so I can appreciate the quality. I’m willing to spend more than I care to add up over the year on a dark, organic blend. Before trying the machine, I already knew it had a good reputation from some of my peers who use it. So, for the sake of all you coffee lovers, I was pretty elated to break out of my routine of black coffee and give the different coffee options a try and review. Being used to a pretty standard coffee maker all these years, the Saeco has been easy to use, trying all the different coffee options with just a push of a button. Honestly, the hardest decision now is what kind of coffee I want in the mornings!

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So far my favourite is cappuccino, but my staff and family love the Latte Macchiato. And if coffee isn’t your thing, the other night when I couldn’t sleep, I frothed hot milk and added organic honey and Mexican vanilla, which was delicious and comforting.

Here are a few action shots.

My thoughts on the Gran Baristo? It hits the mark on several criteria I look for in a product: the price reflects the quality, it functions easily to suit my busy lifestyle and it has to look stylish.

I will definitely be recommending this machine to my clients and friends. Lucky for me, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

*Philips is another fabulous company who entrusted my humble opinion about their Saeco Gran Baristo espresso machine to the world. Please contact me if you have any further questions and I can direct you to the right people!

March 14 2015

The Modern Kitchen With Bosch and Dwell

It’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago I was in California sitting by a pool waiting for my first meeting with the Bosch and Dwell team and other designers. They were taking us out for an à la carte sunset dinner at Driftwood restaurant in Laguna Beach. I arrived at my hotel a few hours early, leaving behind minus 30 degree weather, so waiting by the pool with a glass of wine felt paramount!  IMG_3701The evening was a spectacular as I got to know the Bosch, Dwell and Finn Partner representatives. We chatted while sipping cocktails and watching the sunset. Can I go back now, please?


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Bosch and Dwell are respected in my industry as leaders in modern design and being asked to be one of eight notable designers/bloggers to attend the event was a huge honour! The real lessons began as we entered into a full day discussion and interactive learning experience at the BSH Experience and Design Center.  The main topic was The Evolution of The Modern Kitchen. I’ve had some experience using Bosch appliances in my own home and in client projects, but getting a chance to observe and communicate with some of the brains behind the business was exciting. Dwell gave us some incredible insight on where things are heading for the next generation of affluent consumers and Bosch showcased their latest products that are leading the pack. Sitting in a room with like-minded visionaries was an incredible experience.  My fellow attendees and I were able to share our own insights and exchange ideas with Bosch and Dwell media representatives, elevating our design awareness another notch.

Of course there’s no better way to learn than to do, so Bosch set us up in their state of the art kitchen for an hour or so of cooking. We broke into teams preparing our lunch from recipes created by Bosch’s head chef Adam Alper. It was a total pleasure using Bosch’s latest appliances and gaining a better understanding for the German ingenuity, precision design details and the ease of use – making cooking and clean up easy. Take a closer look at a few of the appliances we used: STEAM OVEN with flush installationthe quietest DISHWASHERSCOOKTOPS (the induction cooktop is my favourite)REFRIGERATORS (some offer customizable panels). I love the understated but refined style they give any kitchen.

You know those who own Bosch appliances appreciate function, quality and style. All important foundations for the discerning, modern cook.

Photography: Alison Habermehl