Dynamic Composition

Hanging Garden


Free Fall


A Role for the Gods

In the Clear

What Comes Through

Abstract art continues to have a contemplative effect on me.  These dynamic compositions are no exception.  The depth of colour mixed with muted hues are filled with life and movement, and the moment the artist is trying to capture. 

John DiPaolo was born in New York in 1946. He earned a B.F.A. from San Francisco Art
Institute in 1974 followed by a M.A. in 1977 from San Francisco State University. Along with numerous private and corporate collections, DiPaolo’s work is also in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art where he is currently showing “Big Abstract,” 2002, a 12’ x 10’ painting that is the centerpiece of an exhibition entitled “Juicy Paint.”  This will be DiPaolo’s sixth solo show at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery.

Image Credit and Biography from Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco

Contemplating Art

Paris?  Provence?  Actually Washington.  This home has a great story.  It starts with the collaboration of a talented Designer and an inspiring client.  Robert Rea is a successful lawyer who was looking to create a space to fuel his passion for creating art, and he knew exactly who to turn to get it designer Frank Babb Randolph.  Together they combed the streets of Georgetown's antique shops to find the furnishings to fill the space.  They reworked the home and maintained many traditional European features, and kept the wall colours to bone white, so that light could play and reflect it's surroundings.

And who doesn't love a story with a happy ending?.  The painting above the sofa in the drawing room was inspired by the room's palette.  It took six months perfect and is evidence of that this home is serving it's intended purpose.  Rea's incredible art can also be found in the Susan Calloway gallery in Georgetown.

Thanks to Splendid Sass for her copies of the images, that she managed to get from Veranda Magazine where this was featured in April 2011.

This image is from Things that Inspire.

Design Social: Cityline and Dabble

It was a really busy and fun week in Toronto for Bloggers!  On Tuesday, Cityline hosted a special taping with a blogger filled audience.  Beauty, Decor, Foodies and Mummies gathered for a fun show with special guests,gifts and a surprise party at the Ritz.  It airs on Tuesday March 29th, so set your recorders this week.

Tracy Moore is a wonderful host.  She is the real deal, and really took the time to put a fun and relevant show together. 

Thursday night was another exciting night.  The official launch of Dabble Magazine, by Kimberley Seldon, was hosted at Elte in Toronto.  It was a packed.  I was texting my fellow bloggers in an attempt to try and locate them in the sea of people.  We all wish Kimberley Seldon and her amazing team at Dabble well.  That is Nyla Free on the cover. 

From Left, Christine Da Costa (Decor by Christine), Christine, (Bijou and Boheme), Lisa Ferguson, (DecorMentor) Vanessa Francis (Decor Happy), Me (the under dressed Verdigris Vie) , and right smack in the middle, Leigh Ann Allaire.

Other posts from the week and photo credits:

Cool in California

Last week, when I stumbled across the portfolio of Walker Warner Architects, I was taken back by their natural approach to building home environments.  Their portfolio boasts an impressive array of properties situated on countrysides, mountain ranges, and ocean fronts.  Modern structures that blend seamlessly into their environments.  Rich woods blended with cool natural stone, and even the fabrics selected by designer Shawback Design Associates, compliment the enduring and sustainable style. 

This cool California home is one with it's surroundings.  It is evident how much energy went into studying the existing landscape to create a natural house.  Rooms that feel like they are outdoors, but sheltered behind glass and wood beams. A truly exceptional natural space.

Architects: Walker Warner Architects
Interiors: Shawback Design Associates
Landscape: Lutsko Associates
Builder: Chesler Construction
Photography: Matthew Millman

Design Social: Another Meetup

I am really excited to share that planning for the Canadian Design Blogger Meetup is well underway.  Today it is with much excitement that we announced our first sponsor, Ikea Canada.  I really can't wait to see all the details come together. If you are a design blogger who would like to attend this fun event in TO, you can catch all the updates on our blog.  And please be sure to share the news. 

Mid Century Magic

A little mid-century magic on this Monday Morning. 
I stumbled on to these images in the portfolio of photographer Matthew Millman.  It lead me to explore the architects, Walker-Warner, who redesigned this home located in San Francisco. That of course lead me to explore the artwork that hangs over the sofa by John Di Paolo.  I'll be sharing a little more from both the architects and the artist later this week. 

Feeling Green

Feeling a little Green on St. Patrick's Day!
Have a fabulous one.

Images: Rachel Robby, Michael Kors, Valentino Shoes, kenneth Cole Cuff

Sweet Dreams

I come from a long line of linen lovers. So it’s no surprise that quite a few years back, when I was just a teenager, I was wandering through the streets of Florence, and stopped cold at a window display filled with hand stitched linens. As I pressed my nose up against the glass, I knew I had to walk in and rub my hands over these smooth sheets. As I walked into the store, I remember the glance the sales lady gave me, as in “why are you here?” But I didn’t care, I inspected each piece, touching, looking over the stitching, and patterns. I was in love. I was no fool; I knew not to inquire about the price. These were easily in the hundreds. But I did sneak a catalog into my purse, with the intention of researching when I got home.

And research I did. I found a location in North America, so that one day I would know where to find a set. I learned that the sheets were some of the best in the world and so impeccable, that even the Vatican used them. I found Frette linens are used in some of the world’s finest hotels, and that they are still hand sewn. As for thread count, well higher doesn’t mean better. Lastly, I learned that it would be a while before I owned this fine bedding with a price tag that starts well over a thousand dollars for a set.

So what is about fine bed linens that make it a must have luxury? I can tell you that for me, nothing is better than that smooth feeling on your skin, especially on a newly made bed. Crisp linens are inviting, they want you to rest and enjoy a peaceful sleep so that you can awake energized. Colour is everything; I love a clean white or soft neutral shade to keep a bedroom looking bright and fresh. As for pattern, simple is best. I love that I can have a delicate pattern on the border, or a little lace trim for my feminine side. Just enough to make it feel soft and pretty, but not so much that it decorates a space. Linens compliment a bed, and shouldn’t compete with it.

And all this adds up to a really peaceful sleep. So with that I wish you Sweet Dreams my friends.

Thanks Design DNA for inviting me to post on Frette Linens..

Eco Chic - Carbon Footprint

Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co returns for another hot topic on our path to becoming Eco Chic. 

For our next ECO topic, I thought we could get to the bottom of our Carbon Footprint. It’s not surprising that in this day and age not many people really understand what it’s all about, with so many confusing definitions and information out there the term Carbon Footprint is loosely tossed around with no real thought processes behind it. It can be defined as the amount of energy used to create or develop. Simply, if I walked in a straight line to the other side of the room I would use less energy then if I zigzagged.

When products come from overseas they typically create a larger foot print than if they are produced locally. This of course, is common sense. However there is controversy to everything and this one can be tricky. Just because something takes longer to ship does not always equal a larger Carbon Footprint. You must also explore how the product is produced and the materials that are used within.

If a North American company had to order a certain type of wood from a company overseas before they can ship it to you in another Province. The amount of energy to have both companies involved is greater then buying direct from the overseas company. Wow, I feel like I am talking math equations here. However, to really understand the power of the Carbon Footprint, you must think of it as a math formula. I know, not that glamorous or fun, however once you get it, you are completely reshaping the environmental movement.

You can see why Farmers Markets have become popular once again. Not only is it supporting your local economy but it also has the lowest Carbon Footprint. When weighing out the math formula of a Carbon Footprint you must take in to consideration the materials within the product and ask where they are from to figure out the amount of energy used. Where is the fabric produced and shipped from? Where are the trees cut? How far do they have to be shipped to manufacture into furniture? How far is the finished product from where you live?

You might be surprised to find out that most of the big retail stores that claim to be GREEN actually have the largest Footprint. This is due to the fact that in many cases they rely on multiple countries to create the materials used within, especially when the “cost” to produce in other countries can be much less. In some cases, the process that they have to create a fibre or material locally actually uses more energy than another country. A good example of this is the oil market. Canada has one of the largest oil supplies in the World; however it is very evasive to produce, which also means more expensive. This is why we rely on our relationship with our Oil friends overseas.

Calculating a carbon footprint may seem confusing, but it’s actually more time consuming. Having said that, it remains one of the best steps to becoming GREEN! The Carbon Footprint is just as important as the GREEN materials used within the product, if not more! So next time you are out shopping for a product try to determine the actual size of the carbon footprint before giving in the go ahead. To quote Kermit the frog “it isn’t easy being GREEN!”

Until next time,


Images:  whitewash & co, woodcraft, random

Sunny Santa Barbara

A little East meets West in this sun filled Santa Barbara home.  Home to a young family, the property has an easy and relaxed interior that is exceptionally inviting.  For the most part the home is streamlined, with white and natural hues, on walls and slipcovers, and then balanced with many natural wood tones.  A number of the art and furnishings are Indonesian.  Equally beautiful is the outdoor area, which is homes to numerous flowers and herbs, and event fruit trees.  Rose bushes, lavender and plentiful garden, can be picked daily. 

The window above the door and the Balinese mirror were added to increase natural light in the entryway.

I don't know how many times I have mentioned that I get weak in the knees for a fireplace in the kitchen, and this is no exception.  I do believe a raised fireplace is ideal in a kitchen, especially when everyone is seated, it's nice to it's warmth and have a view. 

Glass bottle are my latest fascination.  I have always admired how colour glass illuminates in bright spaces.  These turquoise and green pieces on the mantel, add character and charm. You can find additional photos of the interior and outdoor garden at Martha Stewart.


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