chatelaine - almost there!

A little while back I told you about a bedroom makeover we were working on for Chatelaine magazine. I'm happy to say it should be hitting newsstands any day now and I just wanted to fill you in on a few more details before you see the final shots. You might remember that we showed the client three different scenarios each with a common theme but a few variations: the first had hits of brass and gold that gave the room an eclectic but sophisticated feel , the second relied on heavier, ebony pieces with sculptural shapes that gave the room some ethnic flair and the last scenario introduced many organic and natural elements that gave the room a seaside feel.

And which one did the client choose...the first one with hits of brass and gold.

Once we knew this, we headed off to hunt for fabric. We knew we needed something to upholster the headboard in, some fabric for pillows and something for a bedskirt.  Since the bed was going to be the focal point of the room we knew the fabric really had to take centre stage.

We were so happy when we found the diamond fabric at the top of this image. We knew it would make the perfect headboard fabric and it really reminded us of the inspiration image the client had given us of a piece of Ikat fabric (see below). It really was the jumping off point for everything else in the room.

As you might recall, our client's bedroom is in a brand new condominium and it is a rental property so we kept physical changes to a minimum. We did however suggest that they paint one wall a rich, Aegean blue colour to add some depth to the room. The colour we chose was Benjamin Moore's Down Pour Blue and it immediately made a huge difference in the room. If our clients had owned the condo I would have suggested they paint all the walls this dark colour but I can understand their hesitancy!

Before I go,  I'll leave you with a few shots of the room in progress. Once the article hits the newsstands I'll be able to show you the full reveal.

That's all I can show you for now. Keep your eyes out for the latest issue of Chatelaine and check back soon!




chatelaine - your turn to choose

Last week I filled you in on a design project my partner Yasmin and I have been working on for Chatelaine magazine. We were given the task of making over a typical, nondescript bedroom. Today, I thought I would take you back to the beginning of the process to give you an idea of how we start a project and some of the steps we go through. Almost all projects start with a kernel of an idea, a look or an inspiration that guides the design. In this case, we were given the following images by the clients.

Sometimes we get literally hundreds of images from people and other times only a handful. To be honest, I find the fewer images we receive the easier it is for us to achieve something closer to what you want. Here it was easy to see that the clients were drawn to the colour blue. We also picked up on a feeling of wanderlust, the idea of escape or travel that was part Mediterranean in feel and part Asian. Armed with these images we set out to find some furniture, fabrics and objects that would lead the way.

{A few notes before we begin. The room we are working with has four white walls and a medium oak floor. It is a rental property so actual physical changes to the room were kept to a minimum. We decided that the best use of the clients money would be on pieces they could take with them to another home.}

We presented to the clients three different scenarios. Each with their own personality but centered around a common theme.

The first included lots of brass and gold elements which we picked up on from the chandelier in the inspiration image and the colours in the large photograph on the wall.

The second scenario relied on heavier dark wood pieces and sculptural elements that gave the room an ethnic flair.

The third included many organic and natural elements like the woven baskets and sisal rug which made the overall feel of the room more relaxed and beachy.

While the clients liked elements of all three (to a certain degree these designs can be mixed and matched) in the end they did settle on one overall direction or feeling.

Can you guess which one it is? Do you have a personal preference?

the friday files

I don't know about you, but I had a really interesting week! For awhile now, I've been working with my design partner Yasmin on a bedroom makeover for Chatelaine magazine. It all began about 6 months ago when I was on set with Virginie Martocq (the extremely talented home editor of Chatelaine) for a food shoot. We got talking about how it would be fun to makeover a typical, white box bedroom, you know, the bedroom that so many people have.

Before I knew it, we were meeting with the client who had just moved into a newly built condo in downtown Toronto. They showed us a few photos of things they liked and then we went away and came up with a plan. Since then we've been working towards the big reveal which finally happened on Wednesday. I'm really happy with the way the room turned out and can't wait to show you the final photos which of course will be revealed in the magazine.

Next week, I'm going to take you back to the beginning of the process to show you a little of where we started and how we work through designing a room. Then in a few weeks time, I'll take you behind the scenes of the photo shoot to show you some of the tricks of the trade. Finally, once the magazine comes out I'll be able to reveal the finished room.

It's really been quite the adventure!

I'm leaving you with some images from the latest issue of Living Etc. magazine. I'm absolutely in love with the colour palette of this bedroom and I certainly wouldn't mind a fireplace in my bathroom.

Have a great weekend!

Image Credits
All images from June 2011 issue of Living Etc.


bedroom revealed (pretty much!)

I wouldn't call this a fait accompli but it is pretty darn close - close enough that I'm happy to share a few photos with you all today. After two months of painting and planning and searching and shopping and sourcing our bedroom now looks like this: It's quite a switch from our former bedroom! The moment we started painting over the dark grey paint with this softer,  lighter putty colour (Benjamin Moore's Baby Fawn) the entire room opened up. It was like we suddenly had light in there again.

You might remember that I was hoping to achieve a relaxed, layered look with lots of organic elements. I knew the biggest change we had to make was to our bedframe. Luckily, I met a talented, local craftsman named Dawson around the same time. Dawson was instrumental in pulling together Rachel and Paul's country house which I showed you here a few weeks ago. When I talked to him about making us a new headboard he told me about these huge reclaimed Douglas Fir barn beams he had in his studio/barn. I fell in love with the idea of having a bedframe made out of them. I sent him a few inspiration images and some dimensions and a few weeks later the bedframe arrived. I was so happy with it that I later asked him to make a small bench for the foot of the bed out of the same wood. (You'll also notice that the Spanish Moss knob from Anthropologie got the nod!)

Rather than pushing the organic motif too far, I chose to throw an old, crusty chandelier into the mix. As you can see from the first shot, our bedroom has an old Victorian fireplace which is quite ornate and elaborate. This 6-arm French chandelier (which I got for a steal!) speaks to the architecture of the room and makes the whole space a little more interesting. (You might even call it my wart or "ugly" piece.) I'd still like to add some scissor arm wall lights to the sides of the bed but I'm waiting to find the right ones. One day, I'd also like to replace that emerald green tile with something a little more subtle but that's a whole other project!

I was also originally thinking of adding some soft, aqua pillows into the mix but then I remembered that I had these ones down in the basement that I made from an old, worn rug. Since my mandate from the beginning was to reuse and recycle whatever I could I thought I should give them a try.  On a quick trip to West Elm, I found a selection of cushions made from repurposed cotton sari's in warm shades of coral, mustard yellow and warm grey that completed the look and sealed the deal.

Finally, I found the round, wooden side table at a vintage store in Orono. It is actually an old cheese box that would have been used to age le fromage! It's the perfect height for the side of the bed and even gives us a bit of extra storage space.

Looking back on all these images, I think I came fairly close to what I was hoping to achieve. I warmed up the overall tone of the room by adding the warm metals - gold, bronze and brass and by adding the coral pillows. I'm sure over the coming weeks I will play around with everything a bit more until I get it just right but for now I'm pretty satisfied!