The Colours of Oscar

Cate Blanchet in Givenchy

The Academy awards came together last night to celebrate the talented work of some of Hollywood's brightest stars.  From the young talent who have burst into the spotlight, to the seasoned professionals who have earned their moments of glory, there is something very magical about bringing together so many creative and talented minds. Over the years, the Oscars have also come to symbolize the best in fashion, colour, and design trends. Right out of New York fashion week, starlets set the tone for the year draped in couture gowns, from top fashion houses.  The dress is never stand alone, the body that wears it, the hair, make up and jewels all work to create the semblance.

My top pick for the evening by far is Cate Blanchet in a lilac Givenchy.  Second to that is Florence Welch in the lemon yellow lace Valentino gown, that looked breathtaking especially with her fiery red hair. Hally Berry adorned in crystals, and Gwyneth Paltrow keeping the gold metallic trend alive in Calvin Klein. 

Take what you will of the night in talent, fashion and colour.  For me the tone is set.  A soft subtle spring, with hints of lace and sparkle. My girl Connie, at Sogni e Sorrisi did a more detailed fashion post.  It's aways great to see how everyone interprets style. 

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab

Florence Welch in Valentino

Hally Berry in Macrchesa

Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein

Quick Escape

A vacation is nowhere in site.
And I have been looking for a quick fix, because I am feeling the toll of this long cold winter. Thankfully, a little piece of heaven can be found just a short drive away.  I think it's time to treat my self to a little Spa Day.

Photos:  Still Water Toronto

Wild Flowers


Next Life?  Floral designer.  Beautiful blooms have long been a source of pure joy especially when arranged in a bouquet as if they could last forever.   For some reason, we can't resist the temptation to pick a flower at it's peak of colour richness.  Though these bouquets look like they were assembled on a walk through a flower garden, I assure you much time and effort went into picking pots, interesting adornments, arranging colours, cascading foliage, and sprouting stems.  And the result, nothing short of spectacular.

Images from Veranda Magazine over the years.  Floral designers, Garance, Zeze and Johnathan Andrew Sage

Eco Chic - Jo Alcorn

I am so excited to bring you this new feature on Verdigris Vie called Eco Chic.  I like to think that I know a fair bit when it comes to eco - furniture and earth friendly practices, but the truth is, there is still so much to learn. So I decided to consult a very talented designer, blogger, teacher, and friend Jo Alcorn; the brains behind Whitewash and Co.  She has regular features on the Steven and Chris Show, writes her own eco-friendly blog, teaches design at a local college, and she has agreed to guide us on the path to Eco Chic.

What does Eco-friendly or GREEN even mean? With today’s market saturated with words like GREEN, eco, environmentally friendly, and healthy to the environment, consumers are overwhelmed with Marketing and Advertising campaigns that leave them even more confused than when they started. So how do we know something is really GREEN? Green washing has become the norm with this new eco movement and retail stores and manufactures are quick with making sure they use the GREEN word.
Now to be completely honest with you, GREEN in general is such a controversial topic. So every month we are going to break down products and services who say they are GREEN and expose the truth and the controversy behind it. We'll make shopping for those environmentally friendly products easier once and for all. We'll make sure that there is one stable destination of truth in this movement and one place that you know for sure will be asking the right questions.

So until next time I want to leave you with some important questions that you should be asking yourself and the product before you purchase. 1.Where is it produced? Controversy; anything shipped overseas has a higher carbon foot print so how is it really helping our environment? Make sure to weigh out the pros and cons before you hand over the cash for a product shipped from overseas, even if does say GREEN on it. 2. What glues are used within the product? Controversy; any glue that contains Formaldehyde within it has a high content of VOC’s that are constantly being released in to our air. Think of the effect it has on the air we breathe. Make sure you ask for water base solutions. And finally 3. How much does the Sales person really know?  Don’t take their word for it. Sales people in general are not necessarily the most reliable source of information, unfortunately. Make sure you do your own research on a product and the contents within before it is enters your home.

I am looking forward to taking this GREEN journey with you and to finally getting to the bottom of GREEN products and the controversy behind them.

Until next time,


Photos from Canvas, and Microsoft

Antiques in Belgium

This beautiful Belgian paradise is home to designers Alain and Brigitte Garnier.  The home dates back to 1275, and sits on 11 glorious acres of farmland.  The renovations took 8 years to complete, and was a labour of love for the couple, who also own an antique shop. 

The home has an endless array of exquisite features, from reclaimed floors, a grand entrance hall, and of course a collection of the finest antiques.  The property came with 7 buildings that date back to the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but they were all desperately in need of care. 

A nearby pig barn was converted into the kitchen, and then attached by the roof, and linked by a passageway.  The estate property can be rented out for private functions, from weddings to photoshoots.  You can visit the event site for more beautiful pictures of the grounds, and it's adjacent buildings.


All images from Veranda March 2011, Photos Miguel Flores-Vianna

A Little Sun

Yesterday, the same came out for about an hour, and I couldn't help but get a little taste of spring.  The snow is starting to melt away leaving us with some large puddles to splash in, and we can leave the house with just a jacket and feel warm enough.  I figure I should share some sunny pics and just savour the moment.  I wish I had some bright yellow accessories in my home to remind me of that warm sunshine, during the months when it disappears. Spring is just a few weeks away now.  Hope you are having a fabulous week.   

Pictures above from the portfolio of Waterleaf Interiors

Modern Subtleties

I think one of my favorite things about design today is that we are constantly redefining our style.  From over the top to the understated, the spectrum is endless.  In this Texas home, Interior Designer Jan Showers, smooths out a glamorous home, with a soft palette of colours that move throughout the house.   The beautiful light filled solarium in the image above has only touches of green, but the large palms that flank the sofa and curtains drawn to reveal the greenery beyond,  create a lush space. 

The contrast of modern art, fabrics, and some furniture paired with antiques and old glamour is brilliant.  Her style is still paired down, but each element adds a layer that fills the room.  The over sized pattern on the carpet, the curvy lines of a chair, the tufting or details in the trim.  another favorite accessory Jan likes to use is glass, especially Murano.  The photos here are from the website of the designer, but in the photos styled by Veranda, where the home is featured for March 2011, the beautiful iridescent glass is really hi lighted.

This was a collaboration between a home owner who loves forties glamour, and a designer who is knowledgeable and completely understands her clients desires. In the library below, a new energey prevails.  Deep Red lacquered walls, brass and plum.  This room is not featued in the magazine, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it.  Especially since in the opening hallway images, there is a fabulous art piece by James Nares in red.  And I wondered, where is this touch of red coming from?  Well, here it is and its a brilliant and magical touch.

March 2011 of Veranda is pretty spectacular.  I'll be featuring a few more interiors from it on Verdigris Vie int he coming weeks, but I highly recommend you picking up a copy for the archives.

Happy Love Day

Carter & Company

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley

Sara Story

Red isn't exactly the easiest colour to work with, so here are a few examples of red done right.  Contrasting with a generous dose of light colours, from white, cream to beige, really keeps your reds looking crisp  When working with bold colours, there is little room for error, so perfect the balance of colour and scale.

May your day be surrounded with love and happiness, and chocolate too!

Red or Romance?

Emilio Pucci

Elie Saab



It's the weekend of love and romance, but not all of us are hopeless romantics. Your love is out of town, or under an undiscovered rock? You would rather celebrate on one of the other weekends of the year?  If for whatever reason, your aren't celebrating the weekend with chocolates and smooches, you can still celebrate with style.  It's the perfect time to gallivant in rich reds.  Take inspiration from these designers, who are mixing shades and textures of red.

May your weekend be fun and fabulous!

High Gloss High Lights

Last week, the premiere issue of High Gloss Magazine was released to the world.   It's interesting to see how these bloggers translate their ideas into a magazine.  High Gloss Magazine is founded by Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita, and it certainly maintains the sophistication she represents.   Here are some of the high lights for me.

Striking a Balance

 Rise to the top

Feature on Napa Valley


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