Saturday, December 26, 2009


Thank you Santa for bringing us a brand new Aquaovo Ovopur water filtration system!  I've had my designer eye on one of these units for a while now and with a little help from my friend Robyn at Bergo Design, Santa was able to cross that off my wish list!!!  I simply LOVE the clean modern lines of this nature inspired, green approach to water revitalization.

The model we now own is the beautiful Ovopur on the glass stand as shown in the photo above.  A sculptural wooden stand is available as option to the glass base as are four other versions in black and a stunning signature base design made from rough-planed ash with a live edge, seen in the following pics.

If the 11L reservoire is full and filtering isn't needed for a time, you can even remove the filtration cylinder on the top and just use it as a dispenser (shown below).



Caviar: Marcato model

Caviar: Legato model

Caviar: Staccato model

Signature wood base

The Ovopur sysytem was conceived and designed in Canada but inspired by the age-old traditions of Chinese artisan stonecutters, glassblowers and ceramicists.   The egg shape is an integral part of the by design, as the curves ease the circulation and regeneration of the water and symbolizes abundance, purity, rebirth and infinity.  High quality materials like glass, porcelain and steel help preserve and revitalize the water.  The entire filtration system actually reproduces the basic filtration process of the earth's natural water cycle.  The system operates on gravity and uses no electricity and is made from sustainable, renewable and recylable materials.

Not only is this the most beautiful water filtration system I've ever seen but the addition of this sytem in our household means we'll no longer be stocking up on cases of bottled water every week and our blue bins won't be overflowing with the empty plastic bottles anymore.  Now, I'll drink to that!

All Photos:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Joy!

Yes.....these bring me JOY!  I've been on a purchasing marathon this month, and not the holiday shopping kind of marathon.  Of all the beautiful and sometimes very expensive things I come across in my daily travels............nothing makes me more excited than to find little treasures like these!!  Seriously, I was so excited when I walked into Style Garage last week and laid eyes on these beautiful solid wood ornaments, my heart skipped a beat.  Was it a coincidence that they looked strikingly similar to these beautiful wooden tops that I was just gushing over in a recent post?   I knew instantly I had to have them and bought them all on the spot (sadly they only had 3) - they were a steal at just $12 each, which brought me even more joy!

When it comes to holiday decor I'm a big fan of simple and natural - which is why i was so drawn to these sculptural wooden ornaments.   Simple enough to leave out all year round but made even more special when incorporated into holiday trimmings.  Today I'll be putting the finishing touches on my own holiday decor with fresh flowers (hopefully they'll last until Friday).  I have one of these hanging on my front door wreath and I'm sure I can find a special place for the others.....

Note to self:  remember to ask Neil if he can get more of these for me.

Photo:  Carol Reed

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Song

WARNING: Guaranteed to make you smile and give you that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling. : )

I have to thank Brad Ford, Interior Designer and blogger, for posting this video on his blog Design Therapy the other day which is the first time I'd heard this song by George Michael - fitting because i think its a bit of 'Holiday Therapy'!  He described the animation as mesmerizing and it truly is - I am crazy for this song and completely smitten with the video.

If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, this song will surely do it.   Dare I say, I think its a new classic. And ok, I'll admit it, I heart GM.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Santa......

.......All I want for Christmas are these spinning tops.

 Oh Pretty Please : )

These stunning tops simply make my head spin with joy, and are ranking pretty high on my wish list.  To commemerate the innovative design of Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller introduced these limited edition solid walnut tops in October of this year but they'll only be available for purchase until April 2010.

This collection of exclusive tops are inspired by my all time favorite design team, the Eames' giant collection of huge toys, and designed by one of my favorite porcelain studios, KleinReid.  How can I not have these these!

“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are prelude to serious ideas.”
- Charles Eames

"We drew inspiration from Ray and Charles Eames' gigantic toy collection - calling them "avid" collectors puts it mildly!  We sifted through cataloged toys, games, folk art, models - you name it - and spent an afternoon at their case study home in Pacific Palisades, CA.  We quickly fell in love with their tops, from primitive to refined, amassed from around the world (and featured in their film "Tops" of course).

Back in our studio we set to work creating shapes and making models. The trio is turned solid walnut and celebrates silhouette, material and most importantly - PLAY!  They're intriguing at rest and addictive in use."  - David Reid




This select edition of three are the first of what will be a series of 12 tops with additional designs slated for future release.  The trio are available thru Herman Miller for $199US per set and thru contacting KleinReid, however, a note on their website states they're currently out of stock.  So Santa, maybe if you call my friend at Herman Miller she may know where to find some. ; )

Herman Miller describes the tops as both classic toys and kinetic art!

For those of you who live in the Manhattan area, I'm so envious...., this weekend KleinReid is having their annual holiday sale this weekend.  This studio is at the forefront of porcelain design, (even Michelle Obama is a fan), so if you're in the area this is sure to be a treasure trove of unique "made from scratch" finds.

Photos:  and

Friday, November 27, 2009

Golden Oldies

If I had a set of antique dining chairs kicking around my basement.......... I'd be painting those babies gold this weekend!

I LOVE this mix, its sophisticated and glam and set in a contemporary or modern interior - its simply perfection.

Photo by:  Carol Reed
Chairs:  Elte

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sourcebook: September & October

ELEGANT - Ashbury Lamp from Crate & Barrel.  The glaze has a beautiful crackle finish and the shade is a gorgeous ivory silk.  The perfect accent lamp in  heavenly master bedroom. Crate & Barrel, $289

Every month I search high and low, on-line, in-store, and off the street for products and materials for my client's projects.   I make hundreds of carefully considered recommendations over the course of a month, some months its more furniture based sourcing some months its more building materials and hardware - it all just depends on my current projects.   Of course not all the options I source over the month actually make the cut.  The past two months I've been more in the sourcing stages so not as many final specifications and purchases have been made compared to recommendations.  But here’s a peek of just some of the winning picks that I’ve specified or purchased over the past 2 months,,,,,these are things my clients have purchased, things that I’ve specified for clients and things i’ve purchased for my own use.

These items are in random order and are from more than one project.  I do have to say that I'm deliberately selective in what I chose to share with you from my sourcebook as I can't give away all my secrets ; ) nor can I share all of the items I've specified for a client's project - so this is just a small sampling of things I particularly love for various reasons and items I think could be incorporated into many homes. You'll have to wait patiently for the 'After' photos to see just how these pieces were pulled together and where they now find home.

RARE FIND -  Vintge Grete Jalk coffee table from Toronto furniture store  Zig Zag

STYLISH READING - A beautiful coffee table book, from ELTE

SPLUGE -  Custom toss cushions for a sofa, made from this fabric by KRAVET called Lemon Drops, 26853.

GREAT FIND -  A moravian star fixture from Home Depot just $139.

TUB LOVE....this sleek contemporary drop-in style tub by DURAVIT from Gingers.  I love that its low profile makes it easy to get in and out of for all ages, especially in a tub/shower combo set up and its nice and low  for when mom and dad are bathing the kids.  But the best part is the price at only $456.  Honestly, I thought there was a digit was missing...


HIGH STYLE, LOW PRICE - Yes,,,,,another TOTO Acquia.  

TIMELESS -  Cararra bianca marble and noir basketweave mosaic floor tile for a bathroom.

ORGANIC - Acacia wood platter from Crate & Barrell.

CLASSIC CHOICE - Caesarstone countertop in Raven.

NATURAL TEXTURE - Seagrass ottoman from Pottery Barn.

DESIGING MINDS...think alike.   One of my best friends who is also a designer and I both have  birthday's  in the month on October.  We always get together to celebrate and usually exchange small gifts  - this year she gave me this lovely set of  Nigella Lawson measuring cups which I just ADORE, the perfect addition to the pale blue set of Nigella mixing bowls she gave me years ago.  And I gave her..........well,,,the exact same thing, but in cream!   It was truly a testament of how well we know each other and of our mutual appreciation of cooking and design. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yabu Pushelberg: The Book

I've been waiting anxiously for the arrival of Yabu Pushelberg's book which was scheduled to hit stores this week - so you can bet I'll be out this weekend trying to get my hands on one. The hardcover book is a portfolio of their projects which feature some of the world's most exclusive hotels, restaurants, retail shops and private residences. The Toronto based firm of Yabu Pushelberg have been creating timeless and artistic interiors worldwide for 30 years, with an office of 60 in Toronto and 23 in New York. Their client list includes; Four Season, W-Hotels, Carolina Herrera, Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, and Bergdoff Goodman to name a few.

I often find today that there's a lot of media hype and attention placed on very uninspired design work that's hyped as 'great design' by 'top designers' when most often its simply mediochre decorating at best. Definitely not the case here, the firm of YB epitomizes what excellence in Interior Design is all about and I think its unfortunate that this firm's work is more recognized by the public outside of Canada than it is here at home - these guys should be a household name. As one of our most talented exports, they have garnered international awards and recognition and are sought after around the world by exclusive hoteliers and restauranteurs and retailers who want nothing but the best when it comes to interior design. This firm's success is largely responsible for the reputation Canada has achieved for producing superior design talent.

Yabu Pushelberg have reached the pinnacle of success in their field and enjoy the luxury of being able to turn down jobs that other firms can only dream of one day being considered for.  It appears like they also live a jet-setting, glamourous lifestyle much like the clientele they design for and own homes in Toronto, NYC, Miami and the Hamptons, living amongst neighbours like Calvin Klein and Nicole Kidman. You'll see in the photos below; their projects have exquisite detailing using lots of exotic woods and stone, the lighting in their spaces is sheer perfection, the furniture is stunning and unique, the light fixtures always make a statement and what I love most is their passion for sourcing out local artists and craftsmen to bring one of a kind artistry to each project. I'm especially drawn to their use of artwork in their interiors and the way they often will frame a view like a piece of art.

As a designer I've admired their work since I was a student - here's a look at some of my favorite images from their website portfolio and I look forward to seeing more pages of inspiration in their new book.

St.Regis Hotel, San Francisco

St.Regis Hotel, San Francisco

Blue Fin Restaurant, NYC

Caroline Herrera boutique, NYC

W-Hotel, NYC

Tiffany's, Wall Street, NYC

Las Alcobas Hotel, Mexico City

Las Alcobas Hotel, Mexico City

Las Alcobas Hotel, Mexico City

I'm particularly drawn to the residential projects in their portfolio which feature homes in New York City, Miami and Toronto.....the photos below are of a Toronto residence which I've seen published before and if I remember correctly its also the home of Yabu and Pushelberg.

The next series of photos are of a Miami residence which I believe is Yabu and Pushelberg's personal residence in South Beach, Miami.

This last set of photos is a residence in NYC.

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg in their NYC condo
Photo by Thomas Loof, for Toronto Life Magazine

All photos except the last one from the website of Yabu Pushelberg

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