Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Home Show 2010

This past weekend I attended the National Home Show at the Direct Energy Centre.  I like to go to as many design shows & events as I can in order to keep up with what's new and exciting in the world of design.  I always look forward to viewing the Dream Home. This year the Dream Home presented by CityLine and the Toronto Star. The 2010 home will be built by Brendan Charters and Jim Cunningham of Eurodale Developments with Architect Richard Librach and project manager Kendall Christie. The interiors of this year’s home are designed by CityLine’s Janette Ewen, Ramsin Khachi, Karen Sealy, Sharon Grech and and exteriors Barry McCague Landscaping, landscaping design by Landscape Planning Ltd.  It really was quite the house - very interesting with a little of everything including a nod to the eco concerns.  Here are a few photos I took in case  you didn't make it to the show....

How about this room - very creative and different...
and this room...
It was difficult to get a good picture of this kitchen with so many people milling around constantly, but it was fantastic!  Extremely well designed and with some "glam" feaatures like the counter of crushed glass and just a little crystal thrown in under a layer of clear glass...
And my personal favourite for today's great kitchens - a post with your electrical outlets lined up but... it goes down when not in use and has a contemporary stainless cover built into your counter - now that's good design, functional and good looking!    

 When it is closed it looks just like this...


The picture above is a wonderful item for today's living -
- a built in composte container which can be lifted out and
 emptied when necessary, making prep and clean-up quick
and easy, and when not is use, it just looks like a circle of
 stainless on your counter - like the picture above

If you watch Cityline you would have seen  these items mentioned last week and here is another wonderful design for living - a decorative wall sculpture, BUT... it is actually a new take on the hot water radiators found in most older homes - WOW!  this takes on two purposes by replacing those difficult to decorate around large radiators and the bonus is that you also get wall art.  Makes me want to buy an older house just to install these.
This tiny sink could be used where there is a space issue in a small washroom

And of course we can't forget our four legged family members. The Dream Home even had a "doggy" shower in the mud room area. I would love one of those. 

Throughout the show there were many great exhibitors and here is some of what I saw...

This is a quartz countertop that looks like it is full of crystal - so beautiful and the design was interesting in that the edge was very thick and cut back towards the cabinets for a little interest.
This product is a medium density fibreboard about 1/4" thick and not too heavy.  It comes in many designs which replicate all types of wood like beadboard, wainscotting, this 24" square pattern below and many more.  It can be applied easily with adhesive to walls and ceilings.  Best of all it covers imperfections like a ceiling full of cracks, or possibly those "stipple" ceilings.  It also can be used as a backsplash.  The possibilities are limitless.  It can be painted or stained and looks just like wood panels.
Here is a ceiling covered in this product

I saw this at the IDS a few weeks ago and there was a display of 5 sheds designed as alternative use space.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of them, but when I saw this one at the Home Show I had to snap it so you could see what an innovative idea it is.  The designer used a basic shed and created a place to "get away from it all"  How splendid.

Last but not least I visited the beautiful gardens and dreamed of summer coming. There is so much more available to enhance today's outdoor living spaces which have become just as important as our indoor areas. Have a look at some fantastic garden designs......

And of course the waterfalls and ponds...

And there were outdoor fireplaces as well
A very relaxing and zen like garden spot
I liked this idea of a stone wall with a door in it but it doesn't have to go anywhere, it just gives the impression that you can go through to another space.  Great way to camoflage anything unsightly in your garden.

Lovely in the garden filled with tiny tea lights of mini lights

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Feeling Floored? - Let's Talk Flooring"

Last evening there were a group of local decorators, members of CDECA who attended a very informative presentation by Carl French, of Speers Road Broadloom , which also stocks a fabulous array of tile, wood flooring, area carpets, ceramic and so on.  There is always something new to learn about and one of a decorator's responsibilities is to keep up to date on new  products and technologies so they can pass on this information to their clients.  Carl was gracious enough to speak to our group for going on 3 hours and gave us much to think about.  This was like taking an updated course on floorings in that he explained different labels and ratings listed, which are very important especially when we are looking at the "green" issue.  Speers Road Broadloom is definitely a leader in the field in that they are members of many different advisory councils, as well as being one of the few dealers across Canada to be able to offer specific products, one in particular label - the Disney line.  Excellent service, the top brands, extremely knowledgeable staff and conections with the best installers make Speers Road Broadloom  an obvious choice for your flooring needs.   Here are a few pictures of some of their products from their showroom .....

Flooring Presentation by Carl French

Fabulous cork  
More cork

Oh, the beauty of wood!
Samples of some of the many beautiful wood floorings available

Multi toned wood flooring

 Sample of Wood Flooring with inlays around perimeter - There are other styles so you can have a very unique design

Now here's something special - it looks and feels like a ceramic/stone flooring but is not.  It is a vinyl tile that can be applied on top of current flooring such as ceramic, wood, etc.  It is attached to a special paper liner and then just laid on top of the current floor which means it could actually be removed easily in order to make repairs (if necessary) .  It then has a thin grout applied which again, makes this even more like ceramic.  It has another characteristic in that is is slightly flexible which means you can use this on floors that are not entirely level and you do not have to build a new sub-floor.  This tile is perfect in areas where you do not want to remove the old tile.

Even though we are featuring flooring materials, I couldn't resist a picture of these lovely stone wall tiles....

... and these glass tiles

A contemporary Area Carpet
Love this one! 
 Nice traditional Area Carpet
 and of course.... the softness of Broadloom.  Available in many colours, textures, fibres and eco conscious etc, etc.....
How about this fab "Shag" style carpet, it's much nicer and better made that what we had in the 70's

Dale Hickinson, beside a display of luxe Ralph Lauren carpeting which is much nicer in person that this photo.  Dale was on hand at the presentation and was responsible for our wonderful "goodie" bags full on wonderful flooring information and "chocolate".  Dale knows what we love!

Thanks again Carl and Dale for a very informative evening.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Set Decoration from the Movies....

Some of my favourite movies are also the ones with the the best set decor...  I already mentioned that one of the most loved movie sets by just about everyone that saw the movie -  is the Hampton's Beach House in Something's Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton .  Well here are some more of my other personal favourites... that is movie sets...

"The Holiday"   where Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet)  exchange houses for the holidays.  Yes another Nancy Meyers film.  Seems I like a lot of her work.  Check out some fantastic pictures of Amanda's L.A. California home.  Yes, her gorgeous home was my favourite. 

I also loved the set decor in the movie  "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" with
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt -
very elegant until they trashed it!


"The Breakup" with Vince Vaughn & Jennifer Aniston is about a couple who have been living together  in their newly purchased condo and now find their relationship is on the rocks and is ending.  They both find that one of the most difficult issues to deal with is who will get to keep the fabulous condo they share. 
In this story which is harder??  
 It's all a matter of opinion.