IDS West.

Between all the excitement of Interior Design Show West, I managed to snap a few pictures. The show was really good this year, and Becky and I left it with aching feet (the best shoes always hurt the most) and so much excitement. The phone shots are just a taste. I was too busy enjoying myself to document everything, but it was such a great show. So much eye-candy. So much potential. So many ideas. While the industry-only event was on Friday, I am quite positive a lot of designers go to the Thursday night event. The air was just buzzing with design nerd excitement. I remember at an IDIC student event, one of the speakers said something along the lines of:

When you were a kid, you were always creating, you never left anything alone: whether your wardrobe or your room, you constantly changed ‘the look.’ As a student, you practically slept under your drafting table. And as a designer, you find yourself scribbling on napkins or the backs of receipts, and you take photos everywhere… even in a restaurant washroom because you love a light fixture, or a tile repeat. When you are a designer, you live and breathe it.

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Becky talked at length with this gentleman. His pieces were beautiful. I was particularly taken with the coffee table. I opted for zebrano style wood mixed with white cabinetry (think colour-blocking) for our design office kitchen, but this stuff was insane! It was the richest colour of burnt orange and deep chocolate. And no offence to gold (I still love you), but I couldn’t get enough of the copper! Tastefully done, I think copper makes the most amazing table legs and trim especially when the wood is deep/rich.20130924-215037.jpg

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Becky will try to tell you that “we” have started a teensy tiny furniture company, but the truth is, she is the one on her tiny deck with a chop saw and a rotary sander- I’m just trying to get this Jr.Designer/Student thing figured out. We’ve managed to convince our boss to let us make a small table for the reception area and a light fixture and table for our conference room. Again, I have helped her find stacks of free wood pallets and located a Christmas tree farm that sell cheap slabs of live edge. I’ve gushed with her over ideas and found hairpin table legs, but SHE has done the actual work. And this XO joint had her bursting with excitement (as wood that is drying tends to split).

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Apologies for the awful, blurry picture with Becky ghosting in it, but sadly, it was the only one I took of this bike rim divider screen. Pretty awesome for a mancave or a boys room.

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We had VIP passes sent to our office by some of our suppliers which meant that we got free access to the event as well as VIP lounge access. It was beautifully put together, but I tend to feel strange in VIP. The two times in my life that I got VIP I was floored with the privilege and so grateful, but I’m not fancy (I tend towards silly, and silly doesn’t seem very VIP-ish) and it felt weird watching people get turned away. We ducked in and admired center-pieces, sipped some wine and then snuck out the side.

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LOVED these built in headboard lamps. Vintage work/shop lights… there is a use for absolutely everything. And it’s this kind of stuff that gets me excited!

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Reclaimed wood wall mosaics. A vertical floor to ceiling strip on a wall can look sooooo cool.

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Resin-filled stumps. Yeah. I am well aware. Look at his “Bloom Table” (click here)- this guy knows how to mix his wood with resin.

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I’m a bit of a light nerd. I really love light fixtures. The other designers at work laugh at me because I always get excited to look for lights for their projects.

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Take this idea and run with it. Imagine toys made into wall takes and spray painted on colour for a kids room.

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Mood Board: Set Sail.

I’ve wanted an anchor tattoo for quite some time (don’t worry mom, I won’t), and I have such a fondness for ropes (and the millions of knots). While we were in Fiji (an extended stop over on our way to New Zealand), we met a family who quit their jobs, sold their house in Alberta and moved down to Florida where they took sailing courses and then bought a boat and took off to live on the sea. We met them two years deep. Their boys spent the days “at sea” doing homeschool, and when they found a spot to drop anchor, they learned culture, history and made new friends all over the world. And boy, did these kids know how to play. I often wonder what growing up surrounded by technology might do to imagination. Parts of me feel sad when I see little kids staring at a screen rather than elbow-deep in paints, playdough and bits of paper.

One morning I watched these boys (both under the age of 10) beg for empty liquor bottles from the bartender. They filled them with sand, and then they took rope and tied one to each end of a stick. They took turns “spotting” each other as they bench pressed their newly created barbell.

How awesome is that?

A sailing trip is definitely on the bucket list (even if only for a few days). Being West coast girl means that I feel such a deep connection with the ocean. To tuck in and wake up surrounded by blue water is the best kind of dream.

In my design theory class last fall, my teacher was talking about places that she finds inspiration (she’s worked for some very big commercial design firms). One of them really stuck with me: cars. She pointed out the functionality that was fit into such a small space, the ergonomics and space planning (how everything is organized very intuitively), the lines and the finishes. It totally got me thinking, and that’s when I noticed boats. The concepts that can be built around the image of a beautiful boat are breath-taking. The finishes, colours and clean lines really inspire.

 

 

 

Image Sources:1.2.3.4.5.6

Tacofino Commissary.

Last month, Scotty took me out for tacos and sangria. I have not gone that gaga for an interior in a long time (I also have not been out much, but still). Fish tacos might have been my favourite food on this earth, but that was until I had yam tempura tacos and potato tacos (seriously).

The layout of this little cafe is super simple, but it’s so insanely effective. Beaten up wood tables, mason jars of cutlery, geometric table numbers, cute water bottles (that look like old liquor bottles), and then there’s the ceiling: part light installation, part cactus holder. A tangle of copper pipes hold Bocci lights and pots of succulents in a cloud over the tables. While you wait for your food, you spend your time craning your neck to stare at the ceiling.

Source: mechantdesign.blogspot.co.nz via Michelle on Pinterest

 

 

 

You can check out their menu here, and if you’re in the Vancouver area, LET’S GO!

Images: 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8

The Butterfly and the Bell Table.

A morning dose of furniture art.

Sebastian Herkner designed these sleek, elegant glass tables that almost appear to defy gravity. It is as if the metal top is floating on top of the clear base. And the jewel tones seem like a bit of a 1980’s throwback while the shape screams 1960’s modernism.

This emerald and gold combo has got to be my favourite colour combination. If you have the time to browse some really great furniture, I suggest you head on over to the Classicon Website and browse their pdf catalogues. So many good lines and very creative functionality. Trust me, you’ll be inspired: these tables are but a tip of the iceberg of this company’s wares.

Images via Classicon website

Harvest Agency

Call me crazy, but I think we can all get along. I believe it to be a devastating lie to think that everyone in the design realm has to be in competition with each other. Design is collaborative. It’s a process of problem solving; thus, it is always best to have a few extra sets of eyes to point out the things you might not have thought about.

Plus, there’s a deep sense of understanding: “yeah, I keep absolutely everything too because I think I can make something out of it” type understanding.

We’re all mad here.- Cheshire Cat

Aside from being insanely good to look at, Harvest Agency understands that it is far better to be in collaboration than in competition. Trying to make it on your own is intimidating and so so so hard. It’s great to have a team cheering you on, sharing in your successes and “at least I learned a lot” moments.

I see my future in design as being part of something bigger than myself. I’m really not looking to get famous. I just want to be inspired and enriched in the creative process. I believe in surrounding myself with like-minded people. Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m on to something.

All images via

Mood Board: Set the Table

Spring has seriously sprung over here on the Westcoast. No jacket, no sleeves, no pants (I can finally wear dresses!) kind of sprung.Spring fever has really taken over me and I am feeling so inspired by all the easter tablescapes running through me feed on Pinterest. Pastels and floral have made a major comeback in fashion and interiors, so Easter decor seems to be prettier than ever.

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It’s not just Easter that I am thinking about. I’ve got terracotta pots that could use a splash of colour and a little desk that needs to be stripped and refinished in the worst way. These little mood boards get me excited about using pastels around my own house and in projects for school.I love the unfussy nature of these images, and how unapologetically pretty a pastel palette can be.

I especially love mixing the masculine industrial style with a feminine pastel palette. Swoon.

Sources (clockwise from left): 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.16.17.18.19.20.21.22.23.24.25.26.27.

Inspiration Spark: Max Wanger

My walls have died.

Sometimes you come across something that is just so right. It sparks something. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you can feel a little fire in your belly… the prints (including polaroid scans) by Max Wanger just sparked me.

You’ll recognize this one from my last post. After seeing bri’s dining room (the image that really got me), I became an instant fan.

His use of negative space is absolutely brilliant. It tells such a different story, the ones where the image is in the bottom portion of the photo give a lofty sense to the images- like being a little kid and staring up at that huge sky, and the images off to the side bring a sense of thought into the picture, like there is lots going on inside the mind of the subject.

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The colours, and blurred lines  of his polaroid scans bring life to the images.

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Washed out, over exposed images make it seem as if the subject is disappearing- like they are in the process of transformation.

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I love the world through Max Wanger’s eyes, such an inspiration. His lifestyle photos really ignite a romance with photography. When I finish this semester, I think I’ll need to spend a day with my camera.

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All images from Max Wanger Print Shop and Blog

Little Deck.

It’s been two weeks.

I’ve given up social media for lent.

I’ve finally gotten out of the habit of mindlessly opening facebook or instagram any time I get around a computer. Can’t say I really miss facebook all that much, but Instagram, that’s my favourite.

That being said, I’ve swapped one thing for another. I used to wake up and enjoy my coffee while scrolling through my social media accounts- now, I’m on Houzz and Pinterest until I can’t take the inspiration any longer and disappear into a cloud of I’m-Making-Something-Here chaos.

So far I’ve managed to make three pieces of art for my wall; reupholster my dining room chairs, vanity stool and craft room chair; make a throw pillow; bring a lot fo gold into our apartment by spray painting candle holders, picture frames, and lamp bases, as well as fill a corner of the dining room with gold vinyl stickers. I have also cleaned out every closet in my apartment, baked a lemon pound cake and some bannock, and made two adorable necklaces out of one that I never wear.

(Scotty has been so amazed with my reawakened craftyness that, rumour has it, he’s been posting pictures of it to my Instagram)

Now I have my eye on my patio. I want to grow some veggies in pots and have a killer herb garden. I also want to pot some fragrant flowers so that they fill our bedroom, through an open window, with fragrance every night in the summer.

So far I’m thinking that I need to hit the second hand shops for pots, stands and something I can use for a lattice. And then I need to find some sort of fabric for outdoor pillows.

I have some old wicker furniture that is in great shape, but soooo faded- I think I’m going to try to repaint it (once I settle on a colour). Being that we have a south facing apartment, our balcony is the perfect place to be on a sunny day, but I wouldn’t mind a little more privacy. One person on pinterest suggested that a cheap divider could be made out of dowling and a couple canvas drop cloths from a hardware store! That brilliant idea paired with this (Martha’s Done It Again)- might be a dream come true- and maybe it’d work for some outdoor throw pillows too?

Images Via: 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9