Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday's Favorite Five

I have no clue where this week went, and I have no clue how it's possible that we will be in October in a matter of no time. I'm happy to be checking in with all of you today, and if you've wondered what else I've been up to this week, please do check my Dissecting the Details contributor post over on La Dolce Vita blog. I've focused on the glorious living room designs by Kevin Walsh of Bear Hill Interiors, and I'm starting off my favorite five with his design you see above - it's simply dreamy and is quickly going to be added to my 'dream home' files.

Next up, my infatuation with Gracie wallpaper continues. This example by one of my long time favorites, Christina Murphy, shows that dark and moody is a welcoming way to invite someone in to your entry way. I adore the glossy finish and the navy colorway.

This week saw the opening of the Dallas Showhouse presented by Traditional Home, I encourage you to search for the hashtag #dallasshowhouse on instagram as there are so many lovely rooms. This living room by Amy Berry shows how nicely soft blues and greens can play together:

Back to dark and moody. This next image shows a corner of a library in the J.K. Place in Florence Italy, and it just exudes style and coziness. I particularly adore the shiny surfaces of the sconces and desk lamp against the dark wood (photo via Anna Spiro).

My last image for the week is from the current issue of House Beautiful. Gwen Driscoll designed the interiors of this home, and I could not love the mantle display more. The varying vase heights and shades of pink, with tea lights in between have me thinking of the entertaining season we are all about to embark on. Wouldn't your guests be impressed? Of course it helps that the marble fireplace is a knock out as well :)

Hope you enjoyed my quick round up this week, have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Textbook Tuesday | David Hicks scrapbooks

For decades David Hicks, the most celebrated designer of his time, documented every moment of his life in collage-style scrapbooks. In this stunning compilation, his son, Ashley Hicks, has chosen over 300 of the best scrapbook pages to create David Hicks scrapbooks (from Vendome Press) set to release on September 26, 2017. I have found myself pouring over every detail of this book in the past week, it truly is a work of art.

Ashley expressed that the hardest part was there are 25 scrapbook volumes in total, and "they are cumbersome, heavy things that are falling to bits ... I've always wanted to make a more accessible version of them for the family, and myself" (

The magical effect of this collection is the fact that Ashley meticulously photographed each page in natural light on his own kitchen floor, then very carefully colour corrected every faded image digitally. He explains, "I photographed my father's 25 scrapbooks in natural light so inserts like this [below] 1958 photo of him and his pug Algy have a trompe l'oeil quality in the published book." You can literally see all the way to the edges of the pages, making you feel as if you are holding the original copy.

There are press clippings on his marriage to Lady Pamela Mountbatten (Prince Phillip's cousin), invitations to the White House, and notes from Grace Kelly. David included many family snapshots, and his own photos of people like Jackie Kennedy, and Andy Warhol.

This blue room was completed in 1968, Hicks was truly ahead of his time. His quotes strongly resonate with our lives today -  "Good taste is something you acquire. You can teach it to yourself, but you must be deeply interested. It is in no way dependent on money."

Another favorite: "Fluorescent lighting has no place in the home."

"I have always had a passion for what some people consider clashing colours. I call them vibrating colours ..."

Hicks was most often inspired by the simple things around him, for instance, the pink walls of this living room were the same shade as the lining of a thank you note's envelope:

This room below, which looks so perfectly traditional, yet so modern in it's own right - was completed in 1971 believe it or not, that's over 45 years ago:

We can see that Hick's work has left an impression on some of the most creative individuals today - Tory Burch does not shy away from admitting how much she has been influenced by his work. This bedroom below inspired the interior of the first ever Tory Burch boutique in Nolita (which showcases the same shades of orange).

And it's also nice to see Hick's has left such an impression on his own son and daughter (India, below), to the point that they've worked hard to preserve his ideas and collections, and have carried on his traditions. India is seen here with her own collection of scrapbooks:

This one is truly a volume to add to your design library if you are a true design lover! You can pre-order your copy of this historic compilation here.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday's Favorite Five

It seems I subconsciously had a bit of a running theme in the favorite photos that I saved this week ... all included insanely fabulous wallcoverings. If you've noticed lately, I have had quite an obsession with chinoiserie wallpaper and murals, and these examples are no exception. I love shades of blue and soft greys, very soothing for the bedroom or bathroom (as seen above in the stunning bathroom slathered in Gracie wallpaper - I will never tire of their handpainted works of art!).

The beautiful example below from one of my favorite Canadian designers, Elizabeth Metcalfe, is the Mary McDonald Chinois Palais for Schumacher:

This natural fiber grasscloth brings amazing texture (Phillip Jeffries):

I love this pink and blue combo by Massucco Warner Miller!

And believe it or not, there are affordable murals out there, check out Murals Sources for more details (love the dramatic curved wall here):

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! X


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tabletop Decor: Lettuce Ware

Make no mistake, dishware shaped to resemble lettuce leaves (complete with veining and tender curls) are not a trend. In fact these coveted pieces first gained popularity among the elite in 1960's-era Palm Beach, where local potter Dodie Thayer was handcrafting them. Considering that each piece took two weeks to make, she had the likes of Brooke Astor, Jackie Kennedy, C.Z. Guest, and Bunny Mellon lining up and waiting weeks to buy her goods.

It's likely that what you are seeing some of your favorite taste-maker's display and collect could be the original vintage Dodie Thayer lettuce ware. It's rare to find, and it'll cost a pretty penny - for example, Astor's 218 piece collection sold through Sotheby's for $74,500. But luckily for you and I, there are many lettuce ware options today - including Tory Burch's relaunch with Dodie Thayer where prices start around $88 for four canape plates.

The collection of Michael Lorber

Dodie showcasing her work, top right show her handwritten signature on each piece.

Dodie Thayer and Tory Burch relaunching the coveted collection

At Tory's own home

If an all-green table is too much for your liking, have no fear as vintage and new lettuce ware pieces can be found in an all-white palette as well. The veining and edging still keep the organic appeal:

Just this past Spring, Tory's collection also expanded to all-white. You get a fresh and simple look, with the playful flair of the original green still in tact:

New white lettuce ware by Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch

Or you can expertly mix the green and white patterns for a beautifully collected look, as displayed behind these lovely cobalt cabinet doors:

This purple cabbage tureen below (likely vintage), is a total statement piece in the center of the table, just look at those ruffled edges!

You can find lovely (and affordable) pieces like these below from Bordallo through The Mine:

And I love this last image, because it shows that even 1-2 small special pieces speak volumes. These lettuce ware dishes create a perfect entry table vignette, and you wouldn't have to purchase 10+ pieces to get the look. It's a fresh and modern take and a great alternative if you don't want to commit to an entire collection:

If you have to have a piece or two ... or more, there are many other sources you can scour: One Kings Lane, Etsy and eBay will have some vintage finds, and Bordallo through The Mine as well as Wayfair both have new pieces at very affordable prices.


Monday, September 11, 2017

HGTV Takes a Tour of Our Home

I'm excited to share that our home tour is featured on HGTV Canada's website today! I love the title they came up with and I find it very fitting: 'An '80s Vancouver Home Gets a Bright, Pattern-Happy Makeover.' It's always interesting to hear how others perceive and analyze your own home - I thought, boy if only they knew how much MORE pattern and color I am planning to add and layer-in as I continue with these rooms and the rooms that have yet to be completed!

And while I know you've seen the majority of the images from the HGTV article on this blog, I actually haven't posted the updated photos of Marcus' nursery here. At the time of my One Room Challenge, in desperation to finish up I took photos myself. Having Tracey Ayton come in and take professional photography of all of these rooms, including a re-take of the nursery, was such a huge blessing and I'm super thankful for her talent and fresh eyes to see the spaces in ways I hadn't before.

The article mentions that my home office (pictured as a closed door in one of the shots), is next on my decorating to-do list; the truth is it feels like SO many rooms are next on my list. Flooring and paint has been completed everywhere but we now have to decorate the Master bedroom, the upstairs hallway, and the family room. We still have construction/cabinetry needed in the Master closet, laundry room, and home office, and a FULL reno of the 1980's Master ensuite (the big-ticket item that may take a bit of time to save our pennies!). The exterior has had shingles replace the old tired stucco, but we have a bit more to do out there too. That's a whole lot more spaces to work towards and I look forward to documenting it all here with you.

To see more images, read the whole interview, and see the sources listed, head to  here. An extra special thank you to Christy Wright who authored the article and made me sound way cooler than I actually am :)

(All photography courtesy of Tracey Ayton)


Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday's Favorite Five

Happy Friday! Can you believe it's already Sept 8th? We are really diving into this month at full speed. For this week's favorite five images that stopped me in my tracks, I'm starting us off with a project from Canadian designer Anne Hepfer featured in Architectural Digest this month. Just look at that brass frame on the side chair, and the antique mirrors installed in the coffered ceiling! See the entire Toronto home here.

This powder room above was shared on Veranda magazine's instagram account this week; I loved that stunning wallcovering as well as the vanity and antique brass chair (very similar to mine that I scored on Craigslist here)!

The table vignette picture snapped by Brynn Olson Design Group struck me for a number of reason: (1) I'm a sucker for symmetry, (2) those oversized ginger jars are incredible, (3) the shades of purple combined with white flower & the mix of hydrangeas and orchids looks insanely beautiful. Oh and purples are said to be the hues of fall 2017, so watch for that as well!

Verandah House can do no wrong, and these talented ladies has been sharing gorgeous details of their installs in the past week. How lovely is this vignette? The blue & white orchid cache pot and the fabric lamp shade are my favorite details ... and the fringe on the ottomans ... and basically everything else.

Last but definitely not least, I had to save this image from the recent issue of Veranda magazine. Designed by Melanie Turner, this in my opinion, is delicate use of color at it's finest. The wallcoverings, the purple details, and those beautiful moss displays all attract my eye. See the latest issue of the mag for the full home tour.

Hope you enjoyed my favorite saves from this week, have a lovely weekend everyone!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tory Burch's Stunning Hamptons Getaway

Westerly, the 1929 Georgian house in Southampton was purchased by the ever-so-talented fashion maven Tory Burch in 2008. With the help of decorator Daniel Romualdez, the seven-acre expansive 15,000 square foot home has been transformed to it's former glory. I love that it's traditional, with it's black shutters and brick facade, in a place where white-washed coastal shingled homes are the norm. You can see all the details and many sources in the full feature at Architectural Digest here.

Just look at that boxwood in the shot that made it as the cover of this month's issue of AD:

The legendary Diego Giacometti octagonal table in the entry is adorned with a collection of lovely myrtle trees and topiaries:

And I love that you can see Tory's own personal style seamlessly extend to her shops, just look at that lovely collection of myrtles in the Madison Ave location:

And have you caught a glimpse of the Blue Notes fall collection? Tory is surely proving she is on fire right now, it's my favorite collection yet. I am head over heels for the Rosemont floral print, and particularly the Lili dress:

Head over to AD's website for all the details of this Hampton's home tour, as well as a stunning and playful video clip giving you a 'day in the life of' as well as an even better look at a few of the rooms! Enjoy Xo

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