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10 posts from February 2010

February 25, 2010

The Best Eco-friendly Dream Home Kids Room Yet!

Not only is the National Home Show in Toronto a great place to get all the info you need to resolve your renovation or design dilemmas, but this year, it's also the host a Dream Home that lives up to its name.

Dream Home 2010

Dream Home Exterior

Eurodale Developments, Richard Librach Architects, CityLine and Toronto Star are all partners in this event.  This Dream Home is focused on being ecologically and economically conscious (yeay!).  Imagine a modular set of 16x16 pods that you could move, buy, sell, add, or subtract from your property as your needs change.  They even suggest alternative exterior panels to change the look of your home as your style preferences change.  These concepts of longevity and flexibility alone are two ideas that can make a big impact in future housing!

For the interior, several designers were chosen to let their skill and imagination converge.  Benjamin Moore's team of stellar design experts, Sharon Grech, Michelle Cook, and Manny Pavao, created a children's area that leave me wanting to be about five years old again. 

The design lead, Sharon Grech, shared her concept with me. "Inspired by the modern, “green” architecture of the building pods themselves and the incredible large viewing windows.  I have imagined a tree-house theme for the project. These days, kids and adults alike have to spend far more time indoors than we might like, so we need to surround ourselves with natural elements, organic textures and the earthy colours of Mother Nature. We designed the spaces with a contemporary feel balanced with true organic elements and naturally playful colours."  For this green-focused project, all paint used is Benjamin Moore's Natura.

Kids room bed view 1

The bedroom is themed around a treehouse at night with warm neutrals and pops of color.  The silhouettes of trees and animals opens the room to imagination!  Colors used: Storm AF-700 for walls and Blue Echo AF-505 for the ceiling.

_21904kids play room chairs and swings

A playroom situated across the hall has hanging swings and open space to explore.  The bright colors in the Vinyl Plank flooring compliment the Grasshopper AF-415 colored walls and Fossil AF-65 ceiling, playing on the theme of a daytime treehouse.

Kids washroom

The washroom uses Thunder AF-685 on both walls and ceilings to minimize the narrow feeling of a long space.

Kids play room laptop stations

The laptop stations in Tropical Orange 2170-20 accommodate two computers. 

Interior design divas

Look at the fabulous scale of that pendant forming a halo behind our Design Angels, Sharon and Michelle!  (Photos Courtesy of Sharon Grech)

You see what I mean?  They definitely did not have such fun rooms when I was a kid!  If you're in the Toronto area, see the Eurodale Dream Home for yourself at the National Home Show, until February 28.  After the show closes, the house will be deconstructed and preserved for future use.  Ah...the beauty of pre-fab and modular housing!

February 23, 2010

The Best Painting Project Begins With...

What does it take to keep the "pain" out of painting?  

It's really just all about planning ahead, being mindful of your goals, and having some fun! 

Sam Gaines is a very enthusiastic reporter I spoke with about about paint and how to get a project off the ground successfully.  I comfortably let my inner Paint Geek loose for these articles.  Take a look and how to pick paint and how to have a great painting day, too. 

From Flat to Gloss, Oil to Latex-- Everything you need to know about paint

Paint prep

Painting Project Success--Get the results you're after with these painting prep essentials


February 22, 2010

Color of The Year 2010

One of the most popular questions I hear is "what's the hot color this year?".  For 2010, it's Cedar Green.  Cedar Green is a vibe filled green that offers flexibility in design. 

Cedar green 2034-40

Cedar Green 2034-40 

In modern interiors, it's fresh and acts as an ambassador of many important concepts in current design trends.  Cedar Green is fresh, uninhibited and reminds us of rebirth as we start a new decade.  The family of Green has become synonymous also with the ideas of environmentalism, preservation, and reuse which are all key design considerations today.  Also, Green is a color that promotes relaxation and balance because it is in the middle of the visible spectrum of light. 

The best way I can describe the quality of the color is through Van Gogh's Irises.  Remember that lovely Impressionist painting that is void of black and filled with colors that create vibrance?  Cedar Green is similar to the color of the leaves in the irises.  So, in many ways, Cedar Green is a classic hue that looks phenomenal with navy blues, buttery yellows, or cotton-inspired whites.


Van Gogh's Irises (Source) 

The key here is flexibility.  These days, we're being more selective on how we reinvent our spaces and where we invest both time and money.  Over the last few years, Green has become a neutral, meaning, it's a color that "goes" with many other colors.  Keep your bright orange pillows or your wine and chocolate rug.  Then, try adding a splash of Cedar Green to furniture, an accent wall, or a previously dull space to liven things up quickly without having to overhaul your entire home.  Here are a couple of rooms that used Cedar Green in very different styles. 

Mid Century Modern Green
Cedar Green in a Mid 21st Century Modern inspired room

Media Green
Cedar Green and Midnight Navy create a unique exclamation of pattern in an energetic space  

February 18, 2010

Munich U-Bahn: A Colorful Metro Stop

Christian calls himself an amateur photographer.  I think his work is filled with the kind of colorful perspective that takes the viewer to the heart of the subject.  

A resident of Munich, Germany, this Spaniard has created perfect memories of many German architectural sites.  Armed with true natural talent and an open mind, Christian says his photography interests include "architectural and colourful vivid shots and I like to discover unusual angles and exploring the geometry and abstractness of the topics."

Munich U-Bahn Multi Color 1

Color blocks and photos bring an otherwise visually sterile environment to life!

Munich U-Bahn Greens

The layers of color are a fine example of monochromatic design.  Do you notice that the planes overlap in some areas?

Munich U-Bahn Blues

I'm still trying to understand this photo-- is it light or painte creating the gradient of the visible spectrum?

Munich U-Bahn Reds

Another great example of those planes of color.  They remind me of our fan decks, actually.

Vanishing point

Thought his is a metro station, I feel like I'm looking at a hallowed space.  It's luminous, endless, and gorgeous.

Are you moved yet?  I feel completely connected to his photographs.  If you do, as well, you can see more of his work here.  

February 16, 2010

Surface Magazine: Calling All Artists for $5000 and 3 Months In NYC!

Open Call Surface Mag

If you're an artist who'd rather not be starving, submit your art to Surface Magazine's 3rd Ward Event.  The competition will be juried by Carol Lee, Arts Editor at Paper Magazine, Dan Deacon, Sound Artist & Electro-acoustic Wizard, Rostarr, NYC Artist and Paolo Salvagione, Lead Design Engineer, The Long Now Foundation.
Surface Magazine hopes to draw upon emerging artists from across the globe who work in any medium! 
Submit the creative fruits of your labor to win.  The top 25 artists will also be featured in 3rd Ward's quarterly magazine and online gallery.  All you have to do is submit at least 3 samples of your work. 

Awards Surface Mag 

$5000 Award, A Solo Show, Airfare/Shipping, Residence for 3 Months in NYC, and Lots and Lots of Publicity

Just remember to enter before March 1st and to thank the little people (ahem, moi) when you win.  Good Luck!