Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Home Show Toronto 2016 Highlights

We had the pleasure of visiting the Toronto Fall Home Show thanks to complimentary tickets from our lovely clients. It was a much smaller exhibition compared to the National Home Show in Spring and more product focused, nevertheless we got to review some great products like the Hidden Bed options for future projects, some sleek furniture designs and fabulous lighting options. 
Can you spot the bowler hat pendant light. One of these gorgeous pendants is making it into the Birchbankwest Washroom Remodel. 

Loved these fluffy hanging chandeliers, very cool

Industrial lighting, still a favorite in our books
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Hidden beds or Murphy Beds are a solution many of our clients ask us about. Space saving solutions is what we love coming up with and we were able to review a number of suppliers at the show. Believe it or not there is a full bed hidden behind those cabinets and the workstation below. These are great options for condos or even for a home office for when you need an extra bed for guests.

Luxurious blue velvet tufted couch and chrome table, a great option for a modern space.

Am still a fan of huge round mirrors which explains why we put an Ikea Stockholm walnut finish one in our upstairs washroom. And how cute are those gymnasts on the sleek poles on the left side of the cabinet ! 

Y`all know we love brass and velvet. So no brainer with these chairs.

Great to see another supplier of Chalk based paints. This is a great option for when you are painting directly over a finished piece of furniture. See our blog post where share with you TIPS on how to use Chalk Paint.

The highlight of the show was seeing Lynne Knowlton`s vintage Air Stream completely renovated and we almost died when we heard it was up for sale ! Have ya seen her Instagram account where she showcases her tree houses, cabins and campers all beautifully decorated in her signature style and up for rent. We met Lynne`s daughter and her boyfriend and we got a chance to tell them how much of a fan we are of Lynne`s work. We then tagged Lynne in my Instagram post and she replied back! She replied back guys ! Celebrity replied back ! Excuse the fan gushing here people. Its just that I am always tickled when celebrities reply back to me on Insta - like that time Colin and Justin replied back to me too ! Yes they did ! Go follow us on INSTAGRAM if you don`t believe me.

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The decor is simple and clean with white everywhere and touches of gold. Small details like the `guardian angel`note, gold faucet and the star lantern are Lynne`s signature touches which just turns this Air Stream into a magical place to stay in. 

Excuse the hazy pix folks, we were trying to photograph the camper and take in the little details all at the same this sweet note Lynne had put up above the temp gauge.

If you liked this post then check out our other Home Show visits here where we share with you product reviews and the latest in the design world:

Other happenings at the Wilde North HQ is the photoshoot for the Jeffcoat Basement and Birchbankeast Washroom which took place earlier this week. We are dying to show you the pix which will be up on our website soon. So subscribe to our Newsletter if you want to be among the first to see them. This is definitely one makeover you don`t want to miss! 

Big Hugs

Friday, September 23, 2016

Choosing Statement Lighting

It's been a while since I did a post for the PIT STOP series and thought the timing was perfect to round up the LIGHTING options in the market right now since y'all must be getting your homes ready for the upcoming holiday season & parties. Upgrading your lighting is a quick way to bring a dramatic change to a room and with the multiple options available right now it will fit into any budget.

When it comes to Lighting the more different and unique it is, the more interest it brings to the room. Mixing up styles and finishes are very much on trend right now. For example the industrial options below do not need to go in a modern room, they would look great even in a classic/traditional setting. The key is to get the scale and proportion right for the space, a tiny chandelier over a large dining table will just not work. But if you absolutely love the chandelier and cannot live without it, then consider a trio of the same - by increasing the numbers you have then solved the proportion dilemma.

In addition to chandeliers there are various other fixtures to consider:
  • Ceiling mount lighting fixtures - for low ceilings, hallways, passages, kitchens
  • Wall mounted fixtures / Sconces - for flanking a TV or fireplace or mirror
  • Pendant lighting - for dining rooms, kitchen and washrooms (see the post where we prefer pendants in washrooms as opposed to over the mirror fixtures as it lights up your face way better)
  • Chandeliers - perfect for main areas, stairwells, dining rooms, bedrooms....really just about anywhere, even your garden (yes of course we had one in our garden up until last year)
In addition to sourcing items on line we make various pit stops to check out the fixtures in person.  So yes we practically live in lighting stores, tiles shops and Home Depot. Here are some lighting options that made an impact with us during our various pit stops:

Very nice industrial lighting spotted at Home Depot. The iron frames with naked vintage bulbs are a classic choice and would look great over a dining table. 

This funky spiked ball pendant was unique and would be great in a tall stairwell, making it the focal point.

We don't like anything too shiny and these options caught our interest as the glass/crystal had a matte finish lending a subtle elegance to the piece, plus the hexagon shape is a big favorite in our looks.

This chandelier was huge! when I say huge I mean 5 ft in diameter and with its murano-esque black glass it was absolutely stunning. I can see this piece fitting perfectly in an all white/black room.

15 years ago Dhiraj used to chant that LEDs were the future and they really have become the rage. This beautiful LED chandelier was elegant and clean with no bulbs to show. Love that the light was within the design. How ingenious!

One of my favorite chandeliers with the tear drop crystals, they come in silver or black frame options too.

This spiked version was unique and funky. Another great find for a dining room.

This huge globe crystal one was super impressive. Great for a large dining space. Because you have all that distance between the ceiling and the table you can really go up in scale for the lighting you choose here.

Loved the angles in this gold one, it would make a great addition to a Bohemian home

This was fairly large and the glass flower shaped design appealed very much to me.

Another globe! Pure Glam! 
The below lighting options were spotted at the Interior Design Show 2016 earlier this year where many Designers had their creations displayed. You can see all the pix of this show HERE.
Design by Tom Dixon, spotted at the IDS 2016

Lasvit Chandelier - spotted similar ones at Home Sense

My favorite from the show - the delicate gold rods branching out mimicking a tree, pure elegance.

This would make a great sconce option flanking artwork or a TV area.
The lighting we chose for the Berryman Residence below, where we completed the Full Service Interior Design & Decorate, was elegant and in keeping with the design scheme. The formal living room was adorned with a beautiful buff colored drum chandelier that had blown glass crystals hanging from the center opening. We selected this piece as it had the right scale for the large living room. The crystals were very pretty with shells, waves and curls in blown glass and we liked that they were not shiny (remember our anti-shine policy?). Go see the close up of the crystals on our website HERE.

The color was subtle, the crystals were subtle. Design is all about understated elegance. You cannot have everything in the room loud and shouting for attention. And that is why this piece worked beautifully as the finishing touch  to this space.

The chandelier we picked for the dining room was all kinds of awesomeness. The lengths of each string could be adjusted and the crystals were a combination of glass and cognac. Most certainly a show stopper in the room.

There are all kinds of lighting to choose from for your home, from general lighting for tasks to accent lighting for mood. Wise to pay attention to these factors when selecting statement lighting:
  • Scale & proportion is the number one criteria when picking a light fixture. A large pendant for a small table will look odd and out of proportion. Similarly a small chandelier for a large room will also look out of place. Most people have very good taste and end up buying what they love with no focus on the overall design of the space and the proportions. This is when you bring in the Pros to help you stay on track, focused and spending your money wisely on getting it right first time.
  • Height or how low the fixture will hang i.e. consider distance to the table below it, if it is in the line of traffic, there should be enough of clearance for a tall person to walk under it, etc, etc
  • Single or Multiples for those scenarios where three sconces on wall will look way better than just one. Again this is where you have to consider proportion & design when making decisions.
  • Style & Finishes for the fixture to match the overall design of the room. Mixing trends are acceptable right now as long as you consider all the other criteria.
And lastly not forgetting the all important 'Dimmers'. No light fixture should exist without a dimmer and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Dimmers allow you to control the intensity of light, softly lighting up your face and the room, bringing a moodiness and ambiance to your home.

Still stuck with what to choose for your space then give us a call and let us help you to narrow down your options. Hang around to see what lighting was installed in our latest reveal at the Jeffcoat Basement in the next few days.


Big Hugs

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What To Expect When You're Renovating

home reno
If you've never lived through a remodel before and are planning on taking on a big project, you'll be understandably nervous. What will it cost?? How long will it take?? Apart from the large expense and the excitement of seeing your space completed, you won't help but feel a little apprehension. If you know what to expect, you might be better prepared for the renovation. 

Reality TV shows have given most homeowners an unrealistic view of what a renovation will be like. Extreme Home Makeovers do not happen within a few weeks and beer budgets seldom mate well with champagne tastes. Most home shows do not ever explain the true realities of the time and expense to properly plan, design and build a quality remodel. The realities are that few clients have the big picture in mind at the start of the discussions. It is our professional duty to assist in getting them as close to their vision by bringing all the factors together.

This one is up there. There will be dust and it will migrate everywhere. Smaller or dedicated spaces can be sealed off by doors or plastic sheets. But don't kid yourself. The dust will migrate everywhere. As long as renovators and trades have to trek through your house to get to the space being renovated, the dust will travel. If not needed, shut off your HVAC system completely. In colder weather this is easier said than done. Closing off intake and supply vents in the area being renovated will help, but will not solve the problem completely. Other solutions exist such as Air handlers, Compression fit walls and Zip walls. This will however add to the cost of the renovations. Budget for a complete duct cleaning and a Maid Service to do a whole house clean up after the renovation is done.
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The noise will be incessant. Screaming saws, loud compressors and nailers will see an end to your peace and quiet. Don't count on working from home unless there is a fair distance between your Home office and the construction zone. That's just the machinery. Most construction crews are nice guys (and an occasional girl), but they tend to talk over the tools, sing loudly and quite often out of tune and often relate jokes and anecdotes that would make a sailor blush.
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If there is one thing that you should expect, it will be this. Asbestos, uneven flooring, previous poor workmanship, bad wiring and funny plumbing. Unfortunately you will not be laughing and neither will your renovator. Count on finding something that no one could have anticipated in your budget and time frame and you will be well prepared when that time comes.
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The hated relative of 'the unexpected' is the 'change order'. This is where any new or changed work is documented along with added cost. Change orders can sometimes put a final figure to an allowance that was set aside for a certain part of the renovation that could not be quantified at the start of the project. Quite often, a change order arises from items that clients decide to add or change. When you most absolutely positively have to have the Italian tile or the special order perspex sheet for the front of the bar, you can be sure a change order is on the way. Always consider that the project will run over budget and estimate a bare minimum of 10% over the contract price as a contingency. 20% if you want to be realistic. Be prepared to do some 'value' engineering if the need arises.

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It rains, snow falls, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes that custom shower door that was on a two week delivery schedule is now at 6 weeks due to high volume and production issues. You and your renovator are working from a schedule that assumes that the world is a perfect place. It's not. The resilience brought about by this knowledge will help when your schedule shifts.
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Where do we put this outlet? How high should my shower head be? What about the shower controls? What about the hardware? Satin Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Polished Brass???? Head spinning yet??? Count on making hundreds of decision as the project proceeds. Your designer and renovator will have knowledge of the standards for placement of fixtures etc., but there are times you may want some customization. Just remember, the most important decision you will be making is in the choice of who you choose to renovate your place.
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You and your spouse (or partner) may think you're on the same page financially and aesthetically until a major renovation. All the dust, noise and decision making can test your relationship in ways you did not think possible.

As in the Cherry on your Sundae or in your Black Russian....... At the end of the project, expect a couple of high impact items that will take a little longer to resolve than anything else. It may be a chandelier that arrived broken or a statement piece for the bar that has not yet arrived. The important thing is to get all the details just right, even if it takes a little longer.
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Expect that you'll want to show off your newly renovated space. We've been fortunate to have been invited to our client's 'reveal' parties. It is truly gratifying to see a well finished space filled with beautiful people enjoying themselves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Aberfoyle Antique Market Summer 2016

Our customary trip to Aberfoyle Antique Market always leaves us inspired and motivated. This time we took my sister along too and of course the kids are as much into vintage as we are so it was a happy lot that day! 

Dhiraj and Layla checking out a vintage lucite skateboard. A collection of those beautiful vintage globes would look great in a kids room 

Not sure what they've got there but they were poking around alot. Curious minds ! 
Demijohns, how I love decorating with them. We have around 11 of them and its a collection that is still growing. I use them for staging our remodels so it justifies having so many ! wink ! 

Icecream time 

Two sisters making sweet music at the market, this setting was perfect. Aberfoyle we love you for setting this up.

Of course Coachie has to come along even though its too hot for him.

These brass weighing scales would look great holding some fruit - why go with a traditional fruit bowl when you can think outside the box.

My sister bought a vintage clock and she was absolute thrilled to take back to Dubai.

I fell for this huge arched glass window and think it would look great in a dining room mounted on the wall. I absolute love architectural reclaimed elements like corbels, stained glass windows, arches, etc. and another favorite hunting grounds for us Legacy Salvage building materials where I blogged HERE about one of our visits.

Gnarled wood is so pretty, got a thing for it.

Good gosh ! this chair ! it was all soft and buttery and that leather was just perfect. Where is that million dollars when you need it the most ! 

Vintage maps are great as art, the older the better.

Old trunks would make great coffee tables

Dragon Teeth?!!!

Very cool lizard skeleton
Aberfoyle Antique Market, Brimfield Vintage show, Legacy Salvage.............these places fill our souls.
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