This Sunday July 1st marks the 145th birthday of Canada. Canada Day, originally called Dominion Day, celebrates the anniversary of the July 1st, 1867 union of colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.
It’s the day when Canadians don their red and white, fly the flag and celebrate with parades and parties. The Canadian flag adopted in 1965 is a red flag with a white square in the centre with an 11-point red maple leaf. I like the design of the Canadian flag; there is a balance to the flag that gives a sense of stability and reassurance. Good qualities for a country.
And just as important in the world of interior design is the scheme of balance. A room in our home that is in harmony gives a balanced approach to everyday living.
This seating arrangement, mirroring the design of the Canadian flag, has a balance to it that indicates comfort and reassurance – a sense of welcome.
Whether you are celebrating Canada Day or not may your weekend be full of harmony and happiness.
I always get ahead of myself or rather get ahead of the project. Whenever my husband and I renovate (and we have been doing that for over 20 years!) he is still in the ‘bust and build’ state while I am already decorating the space.
We are on track renovating our cottage, the drywall is up and the new window is in, the kitchen cabinets are assembled and the countertop is ordered. But way before all this I have been buying fabric, rugs, furniture accessories etc. all the little touches that will coordinate the final presentation. Make the finished space just ‘right’.
I pulled together my inspiration board which is always helpful to visualize the space.
I pictured our cottage done in white, warm wood, sisal and hits of blue to give a pop of colour to the space. I choose Benjamin Moore Oxford White CC-30 for the walls (new drywall) which is a nice bright white. The long wall across from the windows is paneled in pine. The sofa is an existing Bauhaus sectional that we have had for years and works really well in the space. The sectional is in a neutral weave fabric of which I replaced the back cushion covers with natural canvas. I bought a new area carpet – IKEA Tårnby, a natural fibre carpet that has a great textural appeal giving the room a warm organic look.
To keep the room bright I bought 3 coordinating fabrics that I will sew into cushions for the sofa. Crisp blue and white fabrics with lots of white accessories in the room will give a fresh, lakeside feel to the cottage interior. I decided to replace the existing large upholstered (red) chair as its size was not appropriate for the space. I wanted something light coloured and airier in appearance. On Craigslist I found a leather IKEA Poäng chair (wish it was an Alvar Aalto Lounge Chair! – check out my previous post here) which I thought would be perfect for the room. Gotta love Craigslist!
Ok…..so I had it all figured out. I knew exactly in my mind how this space was going to look. WRONG!!!!
This past weekend when we started to put the furniture, carpet, etc. back into the cottage I realized the room looked nothing like my inspiration board. I think my biggest miscalculation was the light. The natural light that floods the room from all the windows changes the sense of the room. The colours – paint and fabric, the furniture etc. all read very different.
Summer time to me announces ice cream season and what better way to enjoy your favourite flavour than atop a waffle cone. Forget the Styrofoam-like cone and never out of a cup – I pay the extra $$ and always get the waffle cone.
In my neighborhood there is a small shop specializing in hand-made ice cream and last week I made a point of having my first ice cream cone of the summer season.
When I recently came across this photo of outstanding architecture I was reminded of my favourite waffle cone.
The Metropol Parasol is a unique infrastructure located in Seville, Spain in the old quarter district known as the Plaza de la Encarnacíon. The ‘Parasol’ scheme with its impressive timber/concrete/steel structure was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in 2011. Standing at an impressive 26 metres high and 70 by 150 metres wide the building claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. Designed in 4 levels, the underground level houses the Antiquarium where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on the site are displayed. Level 1, the street level, is the Market and Level 2 & 3 is where the panoramic terraces and a restaurant are located. There is also a raised winding walkway that allows for amazing views of the cityscape.
The Metropol Parasol has become a new site of ‘identification’ for Seville as one of the most fascinating cultural destinations in the world today. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities and tourist locale.
And now another destination to be added to my ‘Must Visit’ list!
Once upon a time………the decision of choosing the ‘right’ white was no problem. Actually it never even occurred to me that more than one shade of white paint even existed!
But now I pain myself over deciding the correct shade of white paint for my walls and trim. And there are hundreds to choose from. Dover White by Sherwin-Williams, Cloud White by Benjamin Moore, Cottage White by Behr, Natural White by Sico, Cameo White by Para; the list goes on and on.
When I bought my first home years ago and had to paint the walls there was only once choice of white paint – ‘D.J. Beige’. Let me explain. I had an uncle, Donald Joseph, affectionately known as D.J., who kindly offered his painting skills to each of us when we bought our first home. D.J. would show up with his brushes, rollers, trays and gallons of paint. I never knew the name of the paint D.J. had brought or even thought to ask. It was just a ‘good’ colour that worked in all our homes. It was D.J. Beige!
But now as I try to decide on the right white to paint the new walls of our cottage renovation I am puzzled. What white will create that perfect feeling of relaxed calm lending itself to a weekend retreat that soothes the soul? (That’s a lot of pressure on a paint colour!) I think I have my colour choices narrowed down so stay tuned.
PS. Sometimes climbing a mountain is easier than choosing a paint colour!
I live in a neighborhood close to downtown Toronto nestled on Lake Ontario. In the early 1900’s the neighborhood was used as a summer retreat for Toronto residents less than 10 miles away. Large private homes and ‘cottages’ sprang up in the area which still remain standing today. Many of the homes originally built were never intended to last 100 years – but they have. Garages constructed to originally house buggies or Model T’s were narrow wooden structures built apart from the house. One of these old wooden garages belongs to a friend of mine who I have named ‘Superwoman’. Superwoman (SW) is capable of anything – she can leap tall buildings if she puts her mind to it. SW has transformed her old wooden garage into a ‘ladies lounge’ – the female version of a ‘man cave’. What SW started with was this:
At some point in the history of this garage a former owner had built a chimney and drywall the inside. (I suppose to use as a workshop.) There were remnants of old linoleum on the floor and many, many holes where raccoons and squirrels entered to take up residence. Of course SW had a lot of her own ‘junk’ in there too. But once SW decided that this valuable piece of real estate could be better used there was no stopping her. Out went the junk, the drywall was ripped down, the chimney was dismantled, the numerous holes were covered, the linoleum was pulled up etc. etc. etc. SW had her work cut out for her.
But after many months of hard work the Ladies’ Lounge is finally ready. Stay tuned for the reveal!
If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now “I love windows”!! Especially new and larger ones. During our recent cottage renovation the decision to remove the upper kitchen cabinets allowed for the kitchen window to get doubled in size. This enlarged window now makes a dark corner much brighter and gives an even better view to the lake.
The drywall finally goes up. I love new drywall too!
The 2 beams, necessary to hold the roof up will be clad in rough-hewn pine to give the appearance of logs for a more natural look.
As July draws nearer with cottage season swinging into full gear the push is on to complete this renovation. So stay tuned.
As winners went up for their awards I could feel excitement and pride in the air akin to the Oscars or the Emmy’s!! Talent is talent regardless of industry. The caliber amongst these winners is outstanding. Congratulations to all.
FURNITURE DESIGN: Waver Chair by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra, Switzerland
FURNITURE SYSTEMS DESIGN: New Logica by Gabriele Centazzo for Valcucine, Italy
LIGHTING DESIGN: 28d by Omer Arbel for Bocci, Canada
INTERIOR PRODUCTS DESIGN: Open Space, EOOS for Duravit, Germany
With the warm weather now here the majority of us will be heading to a ‘big box’ store to purchase our outdoor furniture but Vondom, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture, lighting and flowerpots takes the experience to a whole new level. Vondom collaborates with the most prestigious designers and architects of the world to create a new form of understanding in outdoor decoration. “VONDOM works to create art, always in search of the natural beauty of the product, giving them their own personality, always bearing in mind the vanguard of contemporary design, simply and balance.” Here are a few pieces from the vast collection of Vondom. Enjoy!
Winter time is ski season so the cottage renovation went on hold for a few months……..
Fortunately the snow finally melted and work was back on. Of course one thing lead to another and a small renovation became a bit larger renovation. While moving the kitchen cabinets they literally fell apart due to age. So we had to replace them. While working around the kitchen window it cracked so we had to replace it. The silver lining to all this is that it gave us the chance to re-think how we could improve the function of the kitchen/cottage. We decided that the view was more important than storage so we opted to install a larger window over the counter and forgo the upper cabinets.
While researching new kitchen cabinets we decided that the original layout was a bit awkward with the stove blocking access to the last cupboard so we decided to design the new cabinets in an L-shape configuration.
No gut job is ever nice.
A photo from an issue of Canadian House and Home magazine featuring a space with a sloped ceiling and exposed beams with the combination of whites and wood provided some inspiration.