Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOFA Video.....

I was asked to be an "extra" in another video recently and had some fun and met some great people.  This is a video about SOFA - Source of Furniture and Accessories, www.visitsofa.com  who deal with design professionals.  It is an amazing place and I am up there fairly regularly for seminars, trade events, sourcing for clients or working on the CDECA Window.  Great people to deal with. 

Check out the video and think of SOFA the next time  you want something fantastic.  It is open to trade only, HOWEVER, if you are working with a decorator or designer you are most welcome.  Just drop by and view the amazing showrooms but remember to bring  your designer or decorator when you want to make your purchases.

Check out the video.  I am in it about 3 times.  Here is the link.  Hope I did this right!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Electric Fireplaces have come a long way.......

This is a guest post from Jeanne Grier, Design Consultant, Stylish Fireplaces, www.stylishfireplaces.ca  by Huntington Lodge.  With the colder weather approaching I thought it was a timely article to add to my blog and Jeanne agreed .  Many of us remember the electric fireplaces of back in the day that were not so great looking nor efficient.  Well, they have come a long way and are a great addition to any space especially when you may wish to change the location, something you cannot do with wood burning or gas. Electric Fireplaces offer so much more flexibility in placement as well as they look great these days.  Please enjoy the article..... and for more information and ideas click on the link provided at the end of the post.

What’s New with Electric Fireplaces?
Today’s electric fireplaces are more stylish and realistic than ever, offering homeowners, and their builders and designers, a wealth of options for every lifestyle.  Before I share some of the latest designs, let’s review the basic features and benefits of an electric fireplace: 

  • Zero-clearance design allows installation into, or on, any material.  This means that you do not need to have a fire-proof surround, because there is nothing burning inside an electric fireplace.  If you wish to install in drywall or wood cabinetry, you may do so.
  • No combustion means no venting required.  Because there is nothing burning inside an electric fireplace, there is no need to vent it as you would with gas or wood fireplaces.  This means that you do not need to limit installation to an outside wall.
  • Plugging into a regular 120 volt outlet means easy installation.  There is no special connection required, and some models offer the option for direct-wired installation and 240 volt connections, for added flexibility.
  • Operation with or without heat means a more comfortable environment.  The flame effect in an electric fireplace may be operated with or without heat, as the heater is a separate element that does not have to be turned on when the flames are turned on.  This means that you don’t have to turn off your fireplace because the room is too hot; you simply turn off the heater and continue to enjoy your fire. 
  • Flame generation by light bulbs means greater efficiency.  The flame effect in an electric fireplace is created with light bulbs, either incandescent or LED.  It costs from less than a penny an hour, up to 3 cents per hour, to operate an electric flame without the heater.  With the heater turned on, an electric fireplace will use a maximum of only about 18 cents per hour, far less than a gas fireplace.  Plus, there is no standing pilot light required in an electric fireplace, for even greater savings. 
Now that you understand how easy it is to work with an electric fireplace, let’s take a look at the newest innovations.   
The latest Optimyst insert from Dimplex, shown here in the Thompson mantel, uses ultrasonic technology to turn cool water into mist.  When light hits the mist, it creates a realistic burning effect unequalled in the industry.  This insert is designed to fit into existing wood-burning fireplace openings, so you can easily retrofit almost any fireplace.

The fastest growing category in electric fireplaces is wall-mounted. These fireplaces are contemporary in styling, and are designed to mount on the surface of the wall, rather than mounting into the wall. This model, with a curved glass front, is from Amantii. It comes with crystals in multiple colours, as well as white stones, so you can style it to suit your d├ęcor. It has the option for heat, as with most electric fireplaces.
Linear fireplaces have become extremely popular over the past few years, perhaps in answer to the popularity of wide, wall-mounted TV’s. Very wide designs are popular in the wall-mounted category, as well as for in-wall models. This Synergy fireplace, from Dimplex, is currently the widest electric fireplace capable of being flush-mounted into all wall, while still offering a heat option. It is 50” wide by 20” high, and fits into 2x8 construction. 

Because of their zero-clearance design, electric fireplaces lend themselves to media cabinets. With a place for the TV and its components, as well as storage for DVD’s, these cabinets offer an all-in-one solution for many family rooms and basements. They come in a host of wood finishes; only this one, the Portobello from Dimplex, comes in a light painted finish. The heat from the fireplace is blown out the front vent, and will not affect the TV above. 

Presented by Jeanne Grier, Design Consultant, Stylish Fireplaces by Huntington Lodge


Top Trends from Highpoint Market.......

High Point Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 85,000 people to High Point every six months. Serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year because if you can't find it in High Point, it probably doesn't exist.  I wasn't able to attend the recent show, however was lucky enough to attend a local seminar at SOFA, www.visitsofa.com presented by well known Interior Designer, Furniture Designer & Retailer, Educator and Presenter, Jamie Alexander, www.jamiealexander.com

Jamie's topic was quite multi faceted touching on how we, as decorators and designers can improve our connections with U.S. furniture makers and getting the products to Canada with some great tips on working with the sales reps; ways to save on shipping; how many custom items are now being stocked and available immediately with shorter lead times and so much more great information.  He also shared that many manufacturers are now listening to what Designers & Decorators ask for and we have become a driving force, inspiring furniture makers.

Jamie spoke about the connection between fashion and furniture and which came first.  It's still up for debate but what isn't is the great information he shared with us on the latest trends coming out of the Highpoint Market, www.highpointmarket.org .  To enhance his talk were the great photos and his wonderful sense of humour.   He is a really fun guy!!

I will share some of the 'trends' -
  • Mixing finishes - metals the golds and silvers. 
  • Duller finishes - brushed
  • Crinkled finishes
  • Rounder lines
  • Layering
  • Accessorizing Walls with items other than Art
  • Clocks - big both on walls and tabletop.  A wall of many clocks is a current trend
  • Vintage - reclaimed but not necessarily greyed - they are doing a reclaimed look
  • Retro, metal
  • 'Fashionista' style with curved legs, seats and 'details'
  • Lots of patterns and colour
  • Wings on upholstered Headboards
  • Lots of tufting on upholstered pieces and in places like the sides of the arms, not just the backs
  • Rolled arms are much smaller
  • Mixing different styled dining chairs but keeping the same finish and fabric for interest
  • COLOUR  - very big   Blue, Orange, Purple, Neutral and so on.......
Here is a photo of one of the winners of the showroom design competition - Berhnhardt
More of what was shown at Highpoint


Did I Mention Colour.....

Yours truly and Jamie posing in the Van Gough Showroom, www.vangoughdesigns.com  who were the sponsors of this event along with offering us a lovely lunch.
Many thanks to Linda, Klara, Bernadette, Jamie and everyone else for this great event.

The GTA West Chapter ladies go shopping & sourcing.....

A little retail therapy is always a nice change for us in our busy lives.  In our professions as Decorators and Designers, we get to shop a lot when sourcing for clients but this king of shopping was just for us!!   Clothes, jewellery, accessories, what could be more fun.   The ladies took St. Jacobs and Elmira by storm last Friday and what a time we had.  Nothing could stop us, even the horrible rainy weather.

We met, at a bakery, (of course) and enjoyed some morning treats then hit the streets.  Such a great variety of clothing stores.  We all came away with some great items including including meat, cheese and sweets from the local shopkeepers as well as clothes.    I think we will be going back again sometime soon.  We also had the opportunity to check out some of the antiques, and artifacts offered so that we were keeping up for our clients.

We did break for a monthly meeting and lunch and welcomed some new members to the group.  A great time was had by all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Black and White Decor

In life there are situations where something is either black or white and then there are the grey places in between.  For those who lean towards things being either black or white in life, well there is also black and white in decor.  For those who see things as being somewhat less than black or white, but a little gray, I have already posted my 50 shades of gray earlier so now an homage to black and white which always seems so crisp and clean.....


Oops, this is really more black than black & white, but it can stay!!

 Houndstooth is big in fashion this fall and interior decorating always follows the runway...