Thursday, April 23, 2015

One-Stop Shopping Destination ~ ELTE MARKET

Hello Thursday!  The weather surely was unpredictable the last few days.  From bright sunny sky to thunder with hail hitting ground, I am honestly a bit jealous of my friends at the west coast and their cherry blossoms.

Just as the weather, my body has suddenly decided to go on strike.  The stress at work and my obsession with design often result in sleepless nights and requires some superhuman prioritization skills to get it all done.  Well ... guess I am no longer 26 and that an intense back and shoulder pain has kept me in bed for the last few days.

Since I am sitting at home, I figure why not let my fingers do a little looking around on the internet and before I know it, I have arrived at ELTE Market.

image via ELTE Market
ELTE Market is a refined industrial space where style, quality, trend and affordability meet.  With 50,000 square feet to showcase exquisite designs and craftsmanship, the collection at ELTE Market is curated by trendsetters and design experts to look after your every needs including rugs, furniture, home decor, lighting and bedding.  Best of all, everything is in stock! Forget about waiting 8 weeks for delivery.

image via ELTE Market
image via ELTE Market
While shopping online (yes, ELTE Market is also open 24/7 online), I have put together two looks with absolutely everything from ELTE Market ... a little play of his and her faves (or perhaps sleek city living vs elegant country chic all for myself!).   

I believe in keeping the stables as classic as possible and then have fun with accent pieces and accessories.  The timeless statement pieces for the two looks are: the Atom ceiling light, the London Eight 7" tailored sofa, the Danville square cocktail table, and the Bicycle Diptych.  

images via ELTE Market
For the Mad Men inspired room, I have gone all black & white for a sophisticated bachelor look.  The stylish director table lamp + the sexy Exeter end table (wrapped in leather with nickel nailhead trim) are the perfect duo to pair with the luxurious sofa by Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams.  I have picked out three iconic chair options (frankly I couldn't decide which one I like more ... so why not have all three!): AveryWanda, and Charlotte.  Which one is your favorite?

No room is completed without a rug and accessories.  I have selected Ikaria for its art deco flair and the bold pattern adds energy and life to the look.  Throw in a little shimmer thanks to the sparkle pillow, a matte black with copper bowl, and an extra sculptural fun via the metal Geo sculpture, I know a few gentlemen who are ready to move in!

Now for Look #2, I was inspired by the elegance and gracefulness of an incredibly talented designer, Barbara Barry.  Her rooms are light, sophisticated, inviting, and here are the collection I shopped at ELTE Market.

The Crandel end table and the Satin Steel table lamp exude femininity with those slender legs and lamp shade in the most delicate shade of peach.  The light blue linen and light oak legs of the Mika chair had me at hello, while the Armand LL Chair with the creamy white faux fur seat screams Hollywood!  To ground the space I have selected ELK City in ivory ... really who doesn't like a good geometric pattern right?  To wrap up the look, I added the plush snakeskin pillow in pale lavender, the herringbone throw in lemon grass, a gold star objet, and a few pink tulip bundles.

What do you think? I think it's time for you to check out ELTE Market!  The sofa event is on right now, don't miss out!

image via ELTE Market

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sarah's Rental Cottage ~ Master Bedroom

Hello Monday! Did you enjoy the absolutely beautiful weather on Saturday? It was almost 20C in Toronto with bright blue sky, and I soaked up all the sun I could in the garden! I don't know about you but the warm breeze and sun-kissed skin have definitely put me in the mood for summer.

Speaking about summer, are you looking for inspirations to spruce up your cottage this year? Sarah and Tommy are back for a head to toe transformation of a dated cottage and today, we are checking out the Master Bedroom makeover.

images courtesy of HGTV Canada
There was really nothing "wrong" with the fundamentals in the master bedroom.  It has a great layout, charming panels and high ceiling, mid-century bedside tables for style + plenty of storage, and the large floor to ceiling windows transform this room into a treehouse.

So what's not working here?  The wall to wall (and ceiling) pine panels make the room looks dark, the floor is structurally sound but needs refinishing, and the window frames with moss growth suggest possible moisture issue / damage.

Want to see the master bedroom? I bet you do!

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
To make this master a bedroom of your dreams, here is are a few of the key elements:

images via: lamp / fan / dressers / bedding / fabrics / mirror / round mirror / chair / table / paint
A fresh coat of white paints on the walls make this treehouse light and airy.  The classic mid-century bedside tables have been refreshed with white paints and stainless steel table tops.  The floor is painted a serene shade of blue grey to echo the crisp, clear bay.  A collection of sumptuous and durable fabrics from Tonic Living provide a dynamite mix between graphic and delicate patterns.  A vintage rattan oval table is an ultimate stylish space saver, and with pairing with a couple of high-back armchairs from IKEA, where do I sign up for this romantic breakfast for two?

To make sure the space is bright and inviting, Sarah and Tommy added a pair of round mirrors above the oval table + a starburst mirror from Vintage Fine Objects (one of my faves in Toronto) over the bed for visual interest and to reflect lights.  The bedside table lamps and the floor lamp create a cozy ambience in the evenings.  

The finished room (and the view) is pretty spectacular right? 

images courtesy of Sarah Richardson Design
Before I leave you dreaming about your own cottage makeover, here is an interview Sarah did with Global TV about Sarah's Rental Cottage.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Open House Overhaul w/ Sam Pynn ~ The Tale of Two Bathrooms & More

Hello Wednesday! Spring is finally here and you know what that means? Hot housing market and open houses at every corner! Are you shopping for a new home or about to put your home on the market this spring? I'd gone through my fair share of open houses (around 80) when shopping for my condo and Chris' condo last year, and I have to say most of them had very little staging. For the ones there were staged, they didn't leave me with a strong impression.

To be fair, I generally prefer a well-maintained but dated home so I could put my own design stamp on it without worrying the expensive re-construction bill (and hopefully to get it for less since most other people would like a turn-key home).  Now if your home is about to be on the market and you want a quick sale at top dollar, you have got to watch Sam's brand new show at HGTV Canada, Open House Overhaul.

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Week after week, Sam helps ill-presented homes to reach their full potentials, just in time for the next open house.  The timeline is tight, the transformation is dramatic, and the reward ... let just say the home owners were more than please with Sam's designer magic!

Here is a family home with mismatched furnishings from the past couple of decades.  Can you see pass the taupe walls, the grandma style sofas, and the brown leather ottoman and think this could be a bright and stylish room?
image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Not all buyers are imaginative and making your home appealing to most buyers (without exercising their imagination) is key to selling your home fast and at top dollar.  So here is what Sam's done: a fresh coat of paint, re-position of furniture layout, and of course far more stylish and classic furnitures, this living room is now elegant yet inviting.  Who wouldn't want to lounge in this room?

The freshly painted white walls and light colored furnishings make the room feels so much larger and brighter.  The pair of statement lamps and a grouping of artwork set this house apart from other builder basic cookie cutter competitions.  If there is nothing wrong with your furniture, invest in a new removable slipcover or freshen up the piece with a coat of paint.  You will be amazing by how the little details impress the prospective buyers.

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Another tip from Sam is that when staging your home for sale, you want to present a life style.  You don't want it too personal because that may make it difficult for the buyers to connect themselves to your home.

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Take this open concept dining / living + kitchen main floor as an example.  Once a taupe space with pine furniture, now it screams cozy and chic thanks to the oversized but airy lighting fixture, sophisticated black and white palette for the dining set, elegant full height drapery panels (the room feels so much taller), and the kitchen looks brand new now that it blends in seamlessly to the adjacent spaces.

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Kitchen and bathroom sell houses.  After tackling the main floor, Sam turns her attention to the two bathrooms on the second floor.  Here is the main bath:

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
And this is the main bath with a complete facelift featuring:

  • vanity with two drawers
  • luxe marble floor
  • gorgeous wallpaper 
  • soft roman blind
  • silver round mirror 
I love this bathroom!

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Our last stop at this open house is the ensuite bathroom.  

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
First thing first, Sam gives this ensuite the privacy it deserves by adding sliding barn door.  To max out on storage without sacrificing style, Sam installed a 30" floating vanity and medicine cabinets.  The track system on the glass shower echoes the contemporary sliding door.

As for my favorite elements in this ensuite, I am crazy about the rain shower head + handheld shower system, the dynamite patterned stone floor, and a shot of delicate blush on the bench.  This bathroom now feels like a spa!  

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Want to learn some more bathroom tips? Here is Sam's top advice on Bathrooms.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sarah's Rental Cottage ~ Living Room

Hello Monday! The weekend was glorious with hours of bright sunshine and 18C!!  I don't know about you but I am totally ready to welcome summer back into my life.  One of my favorite getaways in the summer is to spend a week at the cottage with friends. Soaking up the sun by the deck, swimming in the fresh cool lake, sitting by the camp fire for s'mores, can't you tell I have already packed my bag and ready to go right now?

While I may still have to wait for cottage country to warm up a tad bit, Sarah's Cottage Rental is absolutely ready for business at HGTV Canada.  Sarah and Alexander (and their two girls) love spending their summer at the cottage: mesmerize by the beauty of natural and live responsively with electricity powered by the sun.  So when the couple saw the "for sale" sign up at a private island with a chic mid-century inspired house, Alexander couldn't resist the rare opportunity to become a landlord and Sarah (along side with Tommy) of course wouldn't say no to work her magic transforming this ugly duckling.

images courtesy of HGTV Canada
This dated cottage has some great features: open concept living space with a pass through to the kitchen AND a functional wood burning fireplace, master bedroom with a view from heaven, second bedroom with two bunk beds, and a spacious storage with bathroom rough-ins waiting to be re-imagined as an extra bedroom + ensuite!

Today, Sarah and Tommy are tackling the living room and here comes the "as-is":

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
As for the transformation plan, these are the key elements Sarah and Tommy addressed in this living room makeover:
  • teal ceiling: charming and full of character, but it makes the room feels dark and the ceiling seems low
  • built-in seating: fabulous original details (it's a pull out bed!), but the cushions and mattress smile like "old dust"
  • wood burning stone fireplace: major score at a cottage, but no one wants to sit there at its current state
  • natural light: the living room is filled with floor to ceiling windows from all sides, but it feels dark on a sunny day
images courtesy of HGTV Canada
As for the color palette, Sarah and Tommy draw their inspiration from nature.  This linear graphic mid-century fabric is the jumping off point for the living room.

images courtesy of HGTV Canada
With only 6 weeks to complete the project, Sarah and Tommy waste no time to make it happen:
  • a fresh coat of white freshens up all the wood panels and the ceiling
  • finalize on paint colors and green is going on the floor 
  • customize the existing built-in by turning a row of storage into a dining room bench
images courtesy of HGTV Canada
Are you ready to see the final transformation? I bet you do!

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
The freshly painted built-ins also get a softness & pattern makeover with fabrics from Tonic Living & Designer Fabrics.  A pair of vintage chairs from Vintage Fine Objects and a little sea grass pouf make the fireplace an ultimate sweet spot for Thanksgiving (or mid-August if the extreme weather in summer 2014 repeats this year).  The white & grey striped drapery panels provide an extra dose of softness and privacy (in case you have nosy neighbors boating around all day).

images courtesy of HGTV Canada

image courtesy of HGTV Canada
Good call by Sarah to trim down the storage and turn it into a bench! The dining room is perfect in the space and what an open concept cottage dream! Those chairs for $56.25 a piece + a coat of white lacquer are sensational! It is nice that Sarah and Tommy have kept some of the original flavors such as these adorable pumpkin plates.  

images courtesy of HGTV Canada
image courtesy of HGTV Canada
We all have watched too long for another inspiring project from the dynamic design duo, and here is a little preview clip for the Sarah's Rental Cottage.  You can also check out an interview on Global.  

Before I let you go, here is an interview with Sarah and Tommy at The Morning Show.  Happy Monday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Spring / Summer ~ HomeSense Edition (Part 2)

Hello Friday! The weekend is almost here and what a light show in Toronto last night! The thunder, the lightening, I hope you were not too impacted by the rainfall over the last couple of days.  With the temperature reaching double digits today, I am in full blown spring / summer mode and dreaming of an exotic destination vacation.  And that is exactly what I want to share with you today on Part 2 of the Spring / Summer Preview at HomeSense.

The HomeSense team did an amazing job to take us on a journey to Africa, showcasing a fantastic mix of textures, tribal inspired patterns (love those poufs), the statement lounge set, striking artwork, and check out the faux plants!  I tend to kill all plants at home and if you are like me, these faux plants maybe your next best friends!

This is my favourite shot from "Africa".

Turn around the corner and we have landed in Morocco!

I love layering patterns, colors, and different textiles in spaces and what an inspiring vignette at HomeSense! From the luxurious and ultra fine linens on the bed to the gorgeous brass and crystal accessories, the buyers have pampered us with the essence of Morocco classics.

This vignette has me dreaming of a fabulous dressing room.  A stylish piece of furniture to display accessories, beautiful drapery panel for privacy, a pouf inspired by Moroccan wedding blanket, and the brightly colored and richly embroidered pillow, who wouldn't want this vignette right at their home?

This little nook is so much fun and luxurious with the playful wallpaper, the curvaceous settee, a mix of patterned woven & smooth silk pillows, gold accents on the mirror and a pair of side tables, and I love the shots of minty green!  Fresh and unexpected!

Wrapping up our trip around the world with a classic nautical space and I call this "coastal affair"!

Blue and white is such a classic palette that never goes out of style.  Rather than just playing safe with the expected stripes, HomeSense has brought us chevron, ikat, graphic circle-link, and zebra!! I am crazy about those picture frames and the drapery panels, I am on a hunt for a pair!! 

Hope you enjoyed our dream destination vacation today! Now what is your summer vacation for 2015?

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 Spring / Summer ~ HomeSense Edition (Part 1)

Hello Monday! Hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend with family and friends.  Chris and I had an amazing time at Collingwood: soaking up the sun by the cafe, pampering ourselves at the spa, witnessing the awake of the forest, and celebrated my first ever easter egg hunt with an inspiring book from design genius Steven Gambrel!

Speaking about being inspired, spring/summer at HomeSense is nothing short of spectacular!  You know you are in for a treat when greeted by this striking black & white door crasher.

The lovely Tamara and Sarah at HomeSense are always on trend, both with their homes and fashion styles.  The buyers for HomeSense & Winners might have shopped together this season to capture the essence of the latest fashion trends, making a seamless transition from runway spotlights to our fabulous homes.

Here are a few key elements I am adding to my wardrobe this spring / summer, and of course a little love and xoxo are always in fashion!

Just a few steps into the preview, I was ready for a tea party! Loving all the brightly colored accessories and how they inject energy and personality to a neutral backdrop with black & white furnishings.  That chic tripod table and the glossy white lamp are on my must-have list.

From tea party to garden paradise, could you tell I was in heaven?

Trellis is no longer just a traditional stable at grandma's garden.  In fact, it's more on trend then ever to add luxe and glamour both indoor and out.  I say put the trellis up vertically, add fresh green underfoot, invest in statement furniture, introduce jewel-tone glassware, and have ourselves a sensational sunroom or a secret garden party with the best of friends.

A closer look at the core essentials in this vignette.  It's all about the mix of vibrant colors, the refined balance of patterns and solids, and lets not forget these lush mandarin trees!   I need a couple of them for my balcony!

Now if you are looking for a serene and calm relaxation sanctuary, you may just want to shrink wrap this entire vignette and pop it right at your home!

I am usually not a fan of one-stop-shop, but when the buyers at HomeSense already shopped all over the world for the best items (and bargained an incredible deal), why not just sit back and relax for the next few months to come?  Love how the canary yellow livens up the soothing blue and green palette.  

So are you ready to celebrate the arrival of spring / summer? The white snow will be melted in no time (fingers crossed) and I am planning for my next outdoor makeover!  Come back on Thursday for Part 2 of the 2015 Spring / Summer ~ HomeSense Edition.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Inspired ~ Scout Sixteen

Hello Thursday! Easter long weekend is just around the corner, and yours truly is heading to Collingwood for a much needed spa weekend to relax and rejuvenate before a super busy April + May.

When it comes to Easter, I always think of those delicious (and deadly) mini eggs and their pastel colors.  They always look so good in pictures and they are absolutely irresistible    If you know a way to eat just a few and not the entire bag in one shot, please let me know.

While we are on the topic of pastel colors + irresistible items, here is a sensational makeover by Orlando of Homepolish, transforming a blend apartment into a soulful, contemporary home for Justin of Scout Sixteen.

image via scoutsixteen
With two creative, visionary extraordinaires marring their wisdoms from both the fashion and interior design worlds under one roof, you know this makeover is going to goooood!  From laying down the foundation to fine tuning the finishing touches, looks like these boys had a lot of fun pulling it all together.

images via scoutsixteen 
If you have been following Orlando and his makeovers, you will know this vignette is curated by him. A full height open shelf unit needs lots of props and styling.  While I am not sure if all the items here are Justin's treasures, Orlando most certainly gave this vignette an "always been there" look.  Now that's no easy task in the styling world!  A little bit of old, a little bit of new, a touch of vintage, and of course Orlando has to add a fun deer head for an unexpected surprise.

images via scoutsixteen
Designing a space is really all about reflecting the owner's personality and character into a box.  This white box in NYC now screams Justin.  Multi-color hues, striking graphic patterns, and streamlined / tailored furnishings, they all reference to Justin's personality and sense of style! What a chic apartment!

images via scoutsixteen
Thanks guys for sharing this inspiring transformation and Justin, I love your hilarious videos!  Happy Easter to you both, and of course to all of you!  xx

image via scoutsixteen