Ooh, pick me, pick me!

I just learned that some kind souls have nominated me for a Homie award!

Hosted by Apartment Therapy, it pays homage to shelter blogs. As they say, "It's not so much a competition as a celebration of the richness and awesomeness of shelter bloggers around the world. Join us, share your favorites and check out the ones you don't know."

So if you'd like to vote for me, or other home design blogs out there, please show your appreciation for them and do so now!

Awards Schedule
December 22-29 nominate your favorite
December 30-January 6 vote for top nominees
January 7 winners announced

How to work violet into your interior

With my grape-colored sofas ordered, and on their way any day now, I am chomping at the bit to start decorating my living room. But, I shall refrain until my lovely furniture arrives, as I really want to make sure the rug I find works well with the sofas and the space, now that it will be doing double duty as my dining room, too. I know, I know, rug selections should be first, but how many people in real life start from scratch, anyways? Certainly not me.

With a month to kill before our furniture arrived at our new digs last year, I spent my time repainting every room in the house, sans furniture.  And I'll be damned if I'm going to repaint the living room now. No way.

So, back to my brainstorms about what to do when decorating with purple (actually, the correct terminology is violet). It doesn't have to feel romper-roomesque just because your couches are not brown, beige, taupe, gray, or black. Here are some random images and my musings from my inspiration files:

Starting on the more dramatic side...If designer Jamie Drake can embrace violet, so can I!  Seeing his daring fuchsia settee, I certainly feel less concerned about my subdued grape fabric.

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I love the incorporation of soft blues that carry throughout the space. He certainly isn't afraid of color, you know?

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Here is a simply edible grape sectional, set off by bright pillows and artwork. I personally prefer something other than stark walls, but it sure does look bright and sunny. Ah, the wonders of photography and lighting.

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Hm, scrumptious. Very girly pink and violet, but with such a rich, luscious tone, how can you not love it.

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Sticking withe the darker tones, here's another velvet sofa, with a completely different feeling paired with blue gray wallpaper and black and white rug.

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Another take on violet with shades of gray. Quite elegant

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And here's a slightly more subdued look, with the rich eggplant walls acting like a warm hug. Very cozy.

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Violet as a neutral? How about this lovely lilac wall acting as a foil behind the persimmon fainting sofa.

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My colleague Barbara Jacobs, among other things, designs rugs. Here, she has paired a violet sofa (very similar in hue to those which I ordered, I think) with a lovely warm rug in sand and browns.

And if those were enough, here is a sampling of images suggested by my super generous colleague Kelley from Arte Styling.

I guess there -are- lots of options when it comes to decorating with violet! Once the sofas arrive (hopefully sooner than later!) I'll snap some photos of them in their new space and get your opinions on what you would do.

A new trim trend

While browsing some ezines online, I started noticing a popular trend in trim treatment.
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It's something I had seen Martha Stewart do a while back, but here's more for you. Basically, the approach is to paint out everything the same color, to provide a striking backdrop for feature items to pop against and unify the space.
I've heard traditional trim treatment referred to as a "bright white frame". In a way, it kinda is.
Unifying the trim and wall color does update and modernize more formal architectural features.
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What do you think of this painting approach? It certainly is a change. Do you like it? Hate it?

(Scrambling to get holiday preparations in order, so posts might be a bit light this week- my apologies! -Rachel)

Good reads

Has anyone read this book?

The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky
by Ellen Meloy

One reader says, "This isn’t so much a historical examination as an artistic, spiritual road-trip...how human being are drawn to the blue of water, the blue of the sky"

If you've read it, let us know what you thought! How many of you read books about color? What specifically are you drawn to?

Palettes to represent a city

Brisbane, Australia has a new logo, and a branding package to go along with.
Think for a moment about how you would brand your city with a color palette. What would you want to capture about it? San Francisco would definitely have some grays for fog, some blues for the bay... a soft muted palette, I would imagine.

Brisbane has the following new identity:In short, Brisbane is "clear blue skies", "bright sunshine", "natural surroundings", and "vibrant, exciting, optimistic" brights.
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Marketers for Brisbane explain, "The colours reflect the optimism, creativity and functionality of Brisbane, it’s people, it’s businesses, it’s spaces underpinned by its sustainable yet progressive environment" (source)

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Hm, any Australian readers out there want to weigh in? Do you think the colors successfully capture the character of their brand promise?

Thanks via source

The National - Two

Just when I thought Tina couldn't get any better...she totally does. This was the second 8 page editorial we did for the National http://www.thenational.ae/ while Tina was home. We shot this at an abandoned farmhouse by Mundare. Of course Tina Chang http://www.tinachang.ca/ shot this and Juliana Schiavinatto from the Plutino Group styled this. Eric Duffy assisted Tina and Hailey Poole assisted Juliana.  The models are Courtney Baker and Rena Donaldson from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/. This turned out better than I could possibly have anticipated! Loved it!

The National - One

Tina Chang http://www.tinachang.ca/ at her absolute BEST!!! We did this shoot for The National http://www.thenational.ae/, which is the magazine Tina happens to work for and it was quite possibly one of the coolest shooting experiences of my life! We shot in Canmore in various gorgeous locations for about 12 hours or so. Juliana Schiavinatto from Plutino Group in Toronto styled and Hailey Poole assisted her. We had some pretty unreal sample pieces from Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, and Oscar de la Renta. SO FUN! We used Ciara Tucker from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/ and she did a really fantastic job.

Leila Beauty

This is a beauty creative I did recently with Arrlin Mejia of the Foto Projekt. This is the first time I've really shot with Arrlin and she totally kicked some serious ass. Malorie Urbanovitch http://www.malorie.ca/ was kind enough to style and we were lucky enough to get Leila from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/.  I hope ou like it!

Emma J

Eric Duffy shot this, and Malorie Urbanovitch http://www.malorie.ca/ styled.  Really love this shoot, we shot Emma J from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/ in Malorie's basement and it was really a great time.

Hailey Poole

Eric Duffy shot this particular shoot, and I loooove it. We did it at Malorie's apartment, who also styled this and we shot the lovely Hailey Poole from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/. It was a great day with some of my most favorite people ever!


I did this shoot with Hailey Poole on a ridiculously hot day! It was a lot of fun and Hailey s destined to be amazing! We shot Emma from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/, who is an awesome model, and an awesome person as well! Loved working with both of them!


This was a shoot I did with Brianna Hughes http://www.briannahughes.com/, who is not only an awesome photographer but a very lovely person as well. A clean simple beauty creative done in her home. We used Riley from Mode Models http://www.modemodels.com/. Very fun!

80's retro flashback: the candy colored world of Miami Vice

The hey day of the 1980's seems to be everywhere around us these days. Skinny jeans, up-collared polo shirts, even wacky crooked haircuts. Let's just cross our fingers and toes mauve doesn't make a comeback. A quintessential icon of the 80's was the television series Miami Vice.

You might not remember much about Miami Vice other than Don Johnson's sexy stubble and slip-on sockless loafers, but you'd be hard-pressed to forget the pastel candy colors the show captured in it's visuals of Miami. Flamingo pink, lime green, Caribbean blue. Executive producer of the show, Michael Mann, had a distinct vision that was more movie than tv for his times. Taking inspiration from the ocean and bounty of art deco buildings in the area, Mann decided this was his palette, and stuck to it stringently. No earthy colors. Ever. That included all actors clothing, the cars on the road, even random buildings that had to be repainted.

A director of the show remembers, "There are certain colors you are not allowed to shoot, such as red and brown. If the script says 'A Mercedes pulls up here,' the car people will show you three or four different Mercedes. One will be white, one will be black, one will be silver. You will not get a red or brown one. Michael knows how things are going to look on camera."(source)

Always at the height of fashion, the two main character had five to eight wardrobe changes each episode, always in shades of pink, blue, green, peach, fuchsia and the show's other "approved" colors. Favorite designers included Vittorio Ricci, Gianni Versace and Hugo Boss.

And just for a chuckle, a few more stills from the show, to appreciate quality 80's aesthetics.