Spoonflower favourites

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September 16th 2014

I’ve mentioned Spoonflower a few times on this blog. It’s an amazing resource for original fabric, wallpaper and giftwrap and I just adore the concept. Essentially, Spoonflower allows individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper, decals and gift wrap. They have a huge community of creative folks who create unique designs that can then be printed on the medium of your choice. You can even select the type of fabric that you would prefer (Eco canvas? Combed cotton? Organic Cotton Knit?). I recently ordered a wallpaper sample on the site and I’m hoping it will be perfect for Theo’s future bedroom. I’ve spent a lot of time browsing patterns on Spoonflower and I’ve inevitably grown to have some favourite designers.

I wanted to share some of them with you because I know that not everyone has hours to devote to this kind of hard “research”. These are the shops I’ve bookmarked under “Children’s Rooms” but I think that they would suit both the young and young at heart.

Andrea LaurenScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.44.48 AM

Tavish and RoseScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.43.01 AM

DollopScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.41.21 AM

Theresa RizzutoScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.45.40 AM

Sanne Te LooScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.49.38 AM

Lauren M HoltonScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.51.04 AM

WikstenScreen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.52.49 AM

 

 

Ask Lake Jane

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September 15th 2014

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Let me begin by stating that this is not a exactly a “standard” Ask Lake Jane post as I will be paraphrasing the gyst of the homeowner’s questions and issues with his condo. It’s also the first time that I get to share some actual Before and After pictures of an interior design consultation I did. This one, for my friend Bruno, happened last Fall – long before I even began the Ask Lake Jane feature on this blog. But I finally got around to asking Bruno for the pictures from the shoot we did and I thought that they could make a fun Ask Lake Jane post since Bruno had decorating questions and I had some answers. Even better, he let me implement them and then took lovely photographs of the end result.

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Bruno asked me to come to his place last Fall to see the new condo he had purchased in Montreal’s Mile-Ex neighbourhood. The condo is in an old garment factory and the developers did a great job of finding a balance between the building’s original features and the tenants’ modern sensibilities. It had great architectural details, very high ceilings and an open, airy floor concept. Like many bachelors, Bruno moved in and kind of placed his furniture where the previous owners had placed their furniture. He also hung art wherever he found a nail and was hanging onto old pieces that he didn’t particularly care for. He recognized that the place needed some fine-tuning and that certain aspects needed to be more functional. Specifically, Bruno wanted:

  • More storage in the tiny kitchen
  • More seating in the living and dining areas
  • A place to eat/entertain
  • Some advice on how to add personality/colour to this large white space

Bruno had a small budget to buy key furniture pieces and accessories. In about 48 hours, Bruno and I shopped and styled his condo. The transformation isn’t dramatic but I think it’s a great example of how some small changes can have a big impact.

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See what I mean about small changes? To make the living area feel warmer, I recommended that Bruno invest in a new rug that would contrast with the couch (we found this one at IKEA). The old rug was nice but when paired with white walls and a beige couch, it washed everything out.

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To buy ourselves more floor space, we hung the bicycle on the brick wall behind the couch. Bruno, an avid cyclist, has a beautiful bicycle and I thought we should use it as art. When your ceilings are over 10 feet high, you can afford to hang art up high! Bruno splurged on a beautiful handmade wood bicycle hook from Montreal’s L’A.R.B.R.E. The hook not only looks beautiful but it also makes it very easy to hang a bicycle for everyday use. We tied in the green of the bike with some inexpensive throw cushions and a great wool throw I found at Value Village for $10.

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Furniture-wise, I suggested we look for a bench to use as a coffee table. His living room was so narrow that a square or round coffee table would be too substantial. I found this bench at a second hand store for $10!! We also added an IKEA Stockholm chair to the space because it could be easily added to the dining table if needed and its delicate frame was perfect for an open yet narrow space. The old faux-antique floor lamp was replaced with a new chrome lamp from West Elm. I loved the industrial feel of this lamp and how the metal matched the bike. Plus, we were fortunate to get the floor model – #discount!

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Like many of my clients, Bruno was at a loss when it came to styling the built-in shelves. The TV was resting on the ground, a bird clock filled in the middle space and various books, knick knacks and frames were squeezed into the cubbies. First, we said goodbye to the bird clock. Then, I recommended that we hang the TV at eye-level (when seated on the couch), break up the books and create a faux-fireplace on the bottom using a pine plank and some white candles. DVDs and magazines were stored in wooden wine creates purchased at the liquor store for $5 a pop.

I managed to convince Bruno to buy a plant. We went with a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue plant because they’re cheap, impossible to kill and amazing for air filtration. I also just love how they look.

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By carefully editing the shelves, we were able to really showcase Bruno’s collections, including his art. We hung a print above the television to further fill in the empty nook and to add height.

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Bruno loves to have friends over but his tiny kitchen island wasn’t exactly ideal for dinner parties. We bought a great drop-leaf table that tied in the white and wood from the living room. To add some colour to the dining space, I suggested we hang some of Bruno’s beautiful art prints using vintage dry cleaning hangers (an ode to the building he lives in). All we did was spray glue thin wood strips to the top and bottom of the prints. We then attached small metal hooks to the hangers and hooked those onto metal hoops I had screwed into the hangers.

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The lack of storage in the kitchen was also an issue for Bruno. He was hesitant to add more shelving because he didn’t know what wood to go with, as he disliked the dark wood cabinets. I don’t worry too much about matching wood. I love to mismatch wood, as long as there’s plenty of white to counter it. I chose this inexpensive shelving unit in a natural wood finish and hung it quite high up on the wall to balance out the height of the bicycle. It now holds Bruno’s glassware and everyday plates – as well as a cute succulent I transplanted in a colourful can we bought at the Chinese food shop.

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The final project was not exactly in Bruno’s plans. I mentioned that the staircase was painted an odd hospital green colour (we’re friends so I can say these things to him). He hadn’t even thought twice about it but once I pointed it out, he agreed that it wasn’t ideal. I suggested we paint everything white to match the walls but paint the wall railing a glossy black. This would create an interesting line that would draw the eye upward and tie in all the black accents we had included in the space. Again, a small detail that made a huge difference.

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A big thanks to Bruno for allowing me boss him around for an entire weekend and for sharing these beautiful pictures with us! Merci Bruno! 

 

{Photo credit: Bruno Florin}

 

 

Weekend Links

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September 12th 2014

13 new Montreal restaurants to watch for in Fall 2014. I’m especially excited about Tejano and Lavanderia!

Have you seen Gideon’s Army? It’s a really eye-opening documentary on Netflix. Highly recommend it.

A cute wooden toys gift guide.

I love simple pasta dishes like this, especially when it’s tomato season.

My parents went to see Lorde in concert last night (no joke). I don’t know how to feel about this. Perhaps they should read this article: 5 Ways to Tell If You Are a Hipster Parent.

 

Have a great weekend! xo

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Ostwald Helgason x ALDO

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September 11th 2014

The ALDO Rise FW14 collaboration is out and it’s a goodie. The shoe brand has collaborated with London-based fashion brand Ostwald Helgason, known for its contemporary, art inspired clothing. Their collection for ALDO features both shoes and handbags. I’m not sure that I would wear the shoes but I am nuts about those handbags! The maroon Lily caryall must be mine…

 

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