Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Very Pinterest-ing

28 Oct

These are busy times and I really have more important things to be working on, BUT, I do have a cold, and I do feel crummy, and its been eons since I last posted on my blog and this seems like a good subject and….and….well those are all the excuses I have right now for being glued to my computer for my latest compulsion – Pinterest.

   Pinterest Logo

If you work in any design-related field and don’t have a Pinterest account yet to help inspire and keep those creative juices flowing, well, shame on you!

So really this post is complete, below are some awesome pics from my Pinterest account, take a quick look – and then go go go get your own account!

Pinned Image


Pinned Image

By Bobby McAlpine (who else?!?!?)

Pinned Image

Source unkown, repinned from Rachel Halvorson on Pinterest

Pinned Image

Via HouseBeautiful

Pinned Image

Via SouthernAccents – by McalpineBoothFerrier

Pinned Image

Via ElleDecor (this actually inspired a current room I am working on – can’t wait to share – love Hague Blue!)

Pinned Image

Source unknown, repinned from Carly Mitchell

And it’s not just about design, but also crafting, baking, humour, etc. It’s all about inspiration….

Pinned Image

….via pinterest…just because…..

Pinned Image

via pinterest – almost makes me want to learn how to bake

Pinned Image

Via – I just need to think of something to bottle….

Happy Pinning!

Amy B




1stdibs addiction

28 Jun

This post is long over due – almost embarrassingly so. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day!

….having said that – I do seem to find time to check out my newest addiction a few times a week….

I am sure this is old news to most of you – but for those of you who have not been to this site – I demand you go check it out right this second….and enjoy the daydreaming!

I leave you just a couple of the dreamy items I found today….

Petrified Wood Side Table – How can you not love an item that has “1/2 million years old” stated in its description?
I saw this Jacobean inspired settee in person at Kantelberg Antiques – even more dreamy in person.
This industrial steel table has a great look to it – a fun piece.
American 19th Century folk art horse – love it.
At $40k – this tapestry doesn’t come cheap but it is beautiful. Measuring 11’6 x 7’3, this 1880’s French masterpiece would make a great drape! Think I’m nuts? – I am planning a post on my fave architect Bobby McAlpine – and you will see what I mean!

In honour of Google SketchUp

19 Nov

Well it has been an insanely busy couple weeks and I have barely had time to breathe let alone write a blog entry. I am new to the world of blogging and to those who have been at it for some time and never miss a beat, I say hats off!

As I sit here quickly sketching a free-standing window seat to submit for a quote I think to myself “thank God for SketchUp”…… so what better time than now, in my frazzled and rushed state to write a (very) quick post  in honour of one of  my favourite time-saving tools: Google SketchUp.

I started using SketchUp early on in my design career – and I thank my lucky stripes for that. A self-professed computer nerd, I loved learning new computer programs and prided myself on having a fairly extensive working knowledge of a large array of programs. I was excited to take on the challenge of SketchUp. As it turns out, there wasn’t much of a challenge at all. It was intuitive and fun to learn and has now become an integral part of my design process. Clients really appreciate being able to visualize the end result – and if I can help alleviate even 1% of the stress associated with any redecorating/designing project – its worth it! 

I love the fact that you can get a 3-D model drawn in under an hour and from that drawing you can make endless changes to not only colour and finishes but to the walls and structures themselves easily and quickly – way more efficient than hand-drawing – at least for me, anyway.

So here are some recent projects I have done in SketchUp. Note that I do use the Pro version as I wanted to integrate with AutoCAD and use the Layout function…the regular version is free! As you can see from the (admittedly poorly taken) photo at the bottom, renderings can be very accurate. I am curious who else is using SketchUp – or will be after reading this post :)

Thats it for now – I gotta get back to work!!!





Is Black the New White?

31 Oct


I adore white interiors – but if I had to pick one favorite colour – it has to be black. I dress almost exclusively in black, I drive a black car…..even my dog is black.  I find it beautiful without being flashy – and it goes with absolutely everything. And what better night than Halloween to post some of my favorite black interiors.

Note the use of black as trim – a great design choice that suits many interior styles from traditional to ultra modern. It can also look comfortable or glamorous depending on what you pair it with – so versatile. Looking through a window trimmed in black let’s the view take center stage – so a great option for windows with great views on to lovely scenery and green space. Also note the frequent use of white with black. These colours were made to go together.

Enjoy – and Happy Halloween!



Mad about Martha(‘s Kitchens) – Part 2

23 Oct

Martha’s new kitchen line, which includes 11 cabinet styles, 8 countertops and 45 pieces of cabinet hardware and is prepping to roll out at Home Depot stores in Canada and as we speak, is an intimidating endeavour – even for Martha!  Kitchens are a focus for my design studio so I am always curious to see what options are out there and reap some new inspiration for our custom designs.

My favorite, based on the images I have seen, is the Seal Harbor – and not just because it is eerily similar to a kitchen I recently designed (before seeing her cabinets I might add)! I have always had a soft spot for the “modern farmhouse” look.

For a more contemporary kitchen – the Weston fits the bill. A great look – who doesn’t love a counter wrapped down the side of an island?

I think the Lilly Pond and Maidstone are acceptable in design – but the finishes and colours shown in these promotional shots don’t do it for me.  In another finish I think the Maidstone design could be especially acceptable…the finish shown is “Fortune Cookie” – I even dislike the name. Very un-Martha-like.

Lastly we have the Ox Hill and Skylands. Perfectly nice. Now I need to go see how much these suckers cost once you get them configured to actually fit in to an existing kitchen…

Mad about Martha(‘s Kitchens) – Part 1

9 Oct Martha's Glass Cabinets
Open Shelves

Open Shelves

Pot Racks
Pot Racks
Cat Feeding Trough

Cat Feeding Trough

I have always been a big fan of Martha Stewart – not for her cooking skills, mind you, as I haven’t picked up a spatula in over a year, but for her fabulous style, envious organizational skills and her top notch business savvy. I, as I am sure many of you were as well, was super-excited to see if her kitchen cabinets would live up to the hype. At first glance, I would have to say they have.  Over the span of a few posts, because this topic is just too huge, I will go over some of my favourite kitchen marthaisms.

Today I look at some of Martha’s “Top 50 Tips” for a fabulous and functional kitchen.

For one, I don’t claim to be in any way shape or form “tidy” or organized in the realm of Martha, but I manage. I was mortified by the photos of drawer after drawer artfully organized with melon peelers, graters and small hand tools. Who needs that many tools? I guess Martha does.  Here are some of my favourites from the article:

Open Shelves – A great look for those who enjoy cleaning enough so as to not mind the additional dusting and cleaning and organization required to pull it off.

Pot Racks – Love ’em, the bigger the better – especially when “adorned” with antique copper pots.

Cat Feeding Trough – You laugh, I’m getting one.

Bird’s Beak Shelve Adjustment System – Allows for easy adjustment of shelves, not for everyone, but interesting concept (which apparently has been around forever).

Exposed Garbage Bins – If you have a suitable space at the end of an aisle or counter, I say why not. Especially in busy kitchens. While complex garbage and recycling bins systems  fully integrated into the kitchen cabinetry is all the rage – it is not always the most practical choice.

Full Glass Cabinets – Never been a fan, but this is so stunning. If you are going to show off your plates, you may as well really show them off. Looks like a greenhouse. Pretty.

Next post will delve into Martha’s Style, stay tuned!

Amy B.

Birds beak shelf system

Birds Beak for Versatility

Garbage Bins

Garbage bins displayed with pride!

Shop Talk: Teatro Verde

5 Oct


teatro verde

Teatro Verde - Picture Perfect

Whenever I find myself in the Yorkville area of Toronto on business, I try to make the time to fit in a quick visit to two of my fave local attractions:   

 Teatro Verde and Sushi Inn (yum).   

teatro verde 1

Caught my eye....

Teatro was of course filled with its usual smorgasbord of  whimsical items for the home, luxurious lotions and potions and of course an abundance of fragrant cut flowers, but today I came across something different:   

a collection of notepads to die for…..  

lacroix notebook set

Christian Lacroix notebook set - stunning...

Designed by the maximalist Parisian couturier Christian Lacroix, I was taken in by the inspired combination of floral, fauna and couture.  

And at $18.95 for a set of 4 hardcovered journals – how can one resist?  

I bet they would look smashing displayed within an oversized shadowbox on my walls……hmmmmmmmm…