A Fabulous Night..

The Canadian Design bloggers Meetup this Saturday was a huge success! I am absolutely thrilled with the turnout, and with all the great feedback from bloggers and sponsors.  If you haven't heard, we were a full house on Saturday!  Our trio of speakers Cameron MacNeil and Lisa Murphy of House and Home, as well as Cassandra of Coco+Kelley really impressed this design savvy crowd.  But the real moment was the suprise visit from Brian Gluckstein.  He is absolutely fabulous, in every way, and truly understands the passion behind design blogging.  Here are just a few pictures of the evening, and a short teaser video too..

 Our sponsors

 Jo Alcorn Whitewash & Co (writes Eco Chic Here) and Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor

 Cassandra of Coco+Kelley and Me


  Liz from Wallpaper and Chanelle of Design Bliss

The Ottawa Girls
Maureen Coates (Modecor), Sonya Kinkade (Sonya Kinkade Design), Lisa Goulet (Lisa Goulet Design), Kelly James (JAX does design), Nicole Duguay (Solace Interiors), and Donna Hargrove (dh designs).

Brian and Me

Andrea of Ikea, Me, $1000 winner Michelle Metro of My Designer Muse and Amy of Eye See Pretty

Huge Swag Bags

Huge thanks to Amy of Eye See pretty for all her help co-ordinating, Pam of Cherish Toronto for coming early to set up, Daniella of Daniella Marie, for the graphic work and help posting on the blog, Alessia for taking pictures and Len for the video.

A little rest

I love discovering interesting details in furniture.  This canopy bed has a white flat top on it, and it looks so sophisticated. It's the modern twist in this traditional room.  It makes the brass finials up top look jewel like, and there is no need for a dramatic light fixture.

IDS was pretty happening last night, was so great to connect over beatuiful design.  I am looking forward to seeing so many of you tomorrow and the Blog Meet up!

Images Michael Smith via Architectural Digest

A Place to Chill

The Interior Design Show festivities begin tomorrow and I have a feeling it's going to be a whirl wind.  I am getting tired just thinking about it, and that's exactly what inspired this post!  The longing for a place to chill.  I mean really disconnect and unwind.  Lately I have been glued to my phone.  I am not sure these smart phones are really all that smart.  You end up working everywhere, email, texting, checking the web..  Well I do plan to disconnect for a few days next week, but until then, I'll keep you posted on what's happening!

Found these on Houzz in the portfolio of Robert Hawkins Architects

Eco-Chic - Flame Retardant

It's a new year and Eco Chic, Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co is back to keep us in the know, and break down all those eco and green terms we come across.  This month, she is uncovering what's behind fire retardant products, and if we are safe from the product that keeps us safe from fire.

Flame retardant, what does that even mean!

Flame retardant, that sounds scary, something more powerful then fire, really!! That is like the super hero of all chemicals if that is true. Which raises the question what is this chemical that can stand up against fire and keep the product protected and in tact while fire attacks it? 

I had to open with a pretty picture!

Flame retardant is important in some cases for sure, like fire fighting uniforms, certain building materials, electrical wire cloths or people who lite fire to their clothing as stunts. But is it really necessary in our homes. All I can think about is what kind of VOC’s are produced by this chemical. The most common place this chemical is found within our homes is our mattresses, right at the surface where we lay our heads for hours at a time. Originally this chemical was added due to people smoking and falling a sleep, however is it necessary to contaminated us all now in our most precious time of relaxation?

Image Source 
So what is this chemical, “Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are organobromide compounds that have an inhibitory effect on the ignition of combustible organic materials. Of the commercialized chemical flame retardants, the brominated variety are most widely used.” Oh good old Wikipedia.  Many brominated chemicals are coming under increasing criticism in their use in household furnishings and where children would come into contact with them. Some believe the chemicals, including PBDE could have harmful effects on humans and animals. Increasing concern has prompted some European countries to ban some of them, following the precautionary principle more common in Europe.[4] They are lipophilic and bioaccumulative. BFRs have been found in people all over the world” What!! Banned from Europe!! Now I am a proud Canadian, however Europe seems to always be a head of the game when it comes to security and safety of products. So this raises an eye brow even more, how dangerous is this chemical that is used on our mattresses and almost all fabric’s in hospitality spaces?

Research on laboratory animals have linked “PBDE exposure to an array of adverse health effects including thyroid hormone disruption, permanent learning and memory impairment, behavioural changes, hearing deficits, delayed puberty onset, decreased sperm count, fetal malformations and, possibly, cancer. Research in animals shows that exposure to brominated fire retardants in-utero or during infancy leads to more significant harm than exposure during adulthood, and at much lower levels. Many questions remain, but new evidence raises concerns that low levels of PBDE exposure pose a significant health risk to developing animals, and may pose a health risk to fetuses, infants and children at levels currently detected in American women.”  

I find sometimes I wish I didn’t do this research. The PBDE chemical that is used in all of our homes, hotels, restaurants and sometime our clothing is a very dangerous substance, and we have lived with this enemy for years!!! I stopped looking further into because I kept finding highly disturbing information, on how the government and society has known and allowed this chemical to enter our living spaces. Now this is the conspiracy theorist in me, but could this chemical be linked to the drug companies and them cashing in the horrible health effects that we seek medical advice on? Raises a question on why we have allowed such a chemical as the “Fire retardant”, which is a Marketing word, to even be allowed to enter our precious homes and expose our loved ones to ticking time bombs! So, the next time you lay your head down on that comfortable and warm bed of yours, stop and think, what are you exposing yourself to?? 


Look for organic and green solutions. Stay green and keep raising questions!!

Until next time,


Sources: Wikipedia, www.ewg.org

Cold Mountain

Cold mountain...warm retreat! This wonderful property is located in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, and is a breathtaking escape from ordinary life.  It's a country lodge with wood siding and a shingled roof, but with an interior that is delightfully fresh and sophisticated.  Architect Stan Dixon, envisioned and delivered the overall structure, and the interior was designed by Atlanta based Nancy Warren.  A beautiful use of field stone in the front foyer, the walkway and on the fireplace, gives to the feel of country life.  Adding lush velvets, antique furnishings, and elegant light fixtures elevates and refines the space.  Take your time soaking in the details, the modern kitchen, the console in the hallway, and the wall decor from clocks to artwork.

Find the full story at Atlanta Home Magazine

A Meetup and a Thank You

 It's been a busy January.  Next week Toronto is going to be buzzing with design inspiration, with a number of events that are centered around the Interior Design Show.  I have been quite busy myself, not just with some amazing furniture projects, but planning one of those events. The 3rd Canadian Design Blogger Meetup is taking place on Saturday January 28th at Brassaii.  This one promises to be super exciting.  With overwhelming support from sponsors, and a fabulous trio of Guest Speakers, including, Cameron MacNeil, Senior Design Editor at House and Home, Lisa Murphy Online Director at House and Home, and all the way from Seattle Cassandra LaValle of the beautiful blog Coco+Kelley.  You can catch all the hi-ligths on our blog!  Although, registration is full, there is a small wait list that I am sure we can make room for.

I also managed to squeeze in a little guest post over at Vanessa's blog, Decor Happy.  Thanks for the invitation to join these fab bloggers,  It seems, Amy of Eye See Pretty, Christine of the Glam Blog and I were all thinking of organizing one thing this January.  Pop over and find out! 

Work Space

My work space needs a major overhaul and it's pretty much all I can think of these days.  This office belongs to Barbara Westbrook, and it is a transformed 1940's cottage.  Perfect for an interior designer who is inviting clients in to sit and talk style.  But what about when your office is the front end of a factory?  I want it to be inviting and reflective of my personal style, but it needs to stand up to some major wear and tear. Furniture frequently gets moved in and out of the front space, and there is generally a lot of through traffic.  I am still thinking about the overall plan, but I had to add these images to my file because I think I can get a taste of this. 

Images Via Atlanta Homes Mag

Artful Aspen

You know I love the not so typical, the unexpected, the pleasant surprises.  Well that is exactly what I found in Veranda Magazine, when I stumbled on the pages that featured this Aspen retreat.  David Easton is the artful mind behind the interior, and it is a delightful spin on the ski lodge.  With a wonderful play on light, the home is an eclectic mix of modern, Scandinavian and even some Asian. With art pieces the homeowner collected around the world, it's the perfect apres ski setting.

Images scanned from Veranda

White Out

I completely forgot to post this yesterday, which is kind of perfect, since today we really are having a White Out.  Has winter finally hit?  I hope, so I have a skating party planned in 2 weeks, and the outdoor rink needs ice!

In the mean time, I am enjoying another kind of white out.  The kind that happens when you are brave enough to decorate in the colourless fashion. A favorite mix, is the layers of white tones, with really fabulous traditional elements that jump out at you.

Images in order from top, Country Living, House Beautiful, House and Home, Tracery Interiors


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