Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Barb at May December Home tagged me the other day -- so that means she's asked me to share seven random things about myself, and then tag seven other lucky blogging friends to do the same. The random things about myself shouldn't be an issue -- because as I said to Barb, I'm very good at random! Anyways, here are my seven, followed by the seven I tag!

1) I was born in Montreal and grew up in Burlington, Ontario -- which for those of you who don't know, is just outside of Toronto.

2) I love dancing, and am busily learning how to mambo and salsa these days!

3) I love LOTS of colour, pattern, and funky lighting!

4) I was a bouncer when I was at university. Think they liked putting the small blonde beside the big, bruising football players. Something about calming the situation down! Thank god I never got swiped!

5) I lived for a year in Australia and New Zealand, which was fabulous.

6) I'm married with two small children: a boy and a girl, who I love to bits and keep me very busy.

7) And, I love blogging, because it's terrific meeting people from all around the world, who share my passion for interior decorating, design, and art.

And, here, are the lucky ones I'm tagging, because I love their blogs and I've enjoyed getting to know them a bit over the past few months with their comments and own posts.

Felicity @ All Things Bright and Beautiful

Karen @ Alkemie

Neutral Dwelling

Jenn @ Flow

Bronwyn @ Smoke and Ochre

Brilliant Asylum

Kari & Kijsa @ Ask Kari & Kijsa

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Arevco Lighting

As many of you know, I love lighting -- almost as much as I love unique furniture. So, when I walked into Arevco Lighting this weekend, I was in seventh heaven! Check out these fabulous fixtures currently on display. I could seriously handle any one of them in my home -- especially the first, if only I had the room! For those of you lucky enough to live in Ottawa, Arevco Lighting is located at 285 Richmond Road, in Westboro (of course!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Secret passageways and hidden rooms

Imagine standing by a bookcase, and all of a sudden, it mysteriously opens. Or, leaning against a staircase, which suddenly lifts up, revealing a hidden room. These are the types of creations Steven Humble of Creative Home Engineering specializes in - fully automated, Hollywood style secret passages that you'd never know were there -- unless someone told you or you stumbled on them by accident.

When I asked Steven why he started Creative Home Engineering, he told me he's always been fascinated with secret passages and planned to have some in his own home. But, after he became a mechanical engineer, and actually started looking for someone to build some, he found there were really no companies around with the right experise. So, using his engineering and robotics background, he started a business, filling this little niche for others like himself around the world.

Well, I'm certainly glad he has, because this kind of stuff is just plain fun! Think of the possibilities if you were having your home custom built and wanted something a bit different. Forget ordinary custom cabinets; I say, build something with mystery and panache!

For your viewing pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the work of Steven Humble, of Creative Home Engineering, Tempe, Arizona... I hope you enjoy and these images inspire you to create something a bit out of the ordinary ...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wall Juice - Part 2

Happy Monday, everyone! I just want to remind you Wall Juice
is offering a 15% discount this week to My Designing Life readers on their fabulous Wall Tattoos and Phrases. So, if you've been sitting on the fence about adding some "zing" to your walls, here's your chance. Just quote interiors0108 and you'll be all set.
BTW, I just want to thank All Things Bright and Beautiful
and Desire to Inspire for teaching me how to make links to web sites. Much appreciated! Please check out these two great blogs if you haven't already.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alison Fowler

It's Saturday, and I'm back with Day 3 of Ottawa Artist Week. I do hope you're enjoying seeing some of the great art originating with artists in Ottawa. Today, I'm profiling the florals of Alison Fowler, done in fantasticly colourful acrylics -- perfect for grey, January weather like we have here today. Here are some sample images, and you can check out more of Alison's work at http://www.artbyalison.com/ If you live in Ottawa, you can also head down to Alison's solo show at The Foolish Chicken, a funky restaurant at 79 Holland Avenue. Happy rest of the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Karen Goetzinger

I'm back with Day 2 of Ottawa Artist Week, and so pleased to introduce Karen Goetzinger, a mixed media textile artist who is based here in Ottawa. I certainly don't know much about textile art -- and suspect I am not alone. But, when I first saw Karen's work last week, I thought, wow, how beautiful. I love the colours and texture, and am so impressed that much is stitched by hand. Just imagine one larger work displayed on a wall, or four arranged together. Wouldn't they make a lovely, stunning focal point -- especially if shown against low, contemporary furniture? Unfortunately, I can't show you more images right now because I'm fighting with technology and it's getting late! But, please do check out Karen's website http://www.karengoetzinger.com/ and enjoy her creative talents. There's more wonderful abstracts, and she also creates kimono-canvas which are extremely unique.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Heidi Conrod

Last night, I looked at my calendar and thought -- yikes, it's mid-January and we don't have any major holidays coming up soon. How about I proclaim this Ottawa Artist Week, just for the fun of it? And so I have, for anyone reading, at least! Over the next few days, I'm going to highlight three local artists whose works have recently caught my attention. First off is Heidi Conrod and her marvelous portraits. Heidi's work is found in numerous corporate and private collections and is currently displayed in Ottawa at the Dale Smith Gallery http://www.dalesmithgallery.com/ Please visit this website to see more beautiful examples of Heidi's work.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you get some time to do some creative outdoor designing! (Update on this creation: Unfortunately, our beach snowman, his Tropicana lotion, sombrero, and party glass are now just a pile of mush in the front yard -- kind of like poor Frosty. But, my three year old and I have lots more ideas for the next time around! And, we're accepting requests, too!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Molo Design

Wow! Molo Design in Vancouver is creating some fabulously unique furnishings these days. Check out these images of paper softseating and soft walls --both made completely out of kraft paper! There's a variety of stools available and a beautiful lounger. Plus, the stools are magnetized on one side, so you can design your own low tables, benches, stacked blocks, and other creative displays. Fabulous for loft living and wide-open spaces, and perfectly ok to sit on! For more information on Molo Design visit www.molodesign.com, email info@molodesign.com, or call 604.696.2501. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Wall Juice

I am a big fan of wallpaper and decals, and a huge fan of Ottawa-based Wall Juice and their fabulous Wall Tattoos and Phrases, perfect for contemporary and creative living. Here are a few images to wet your appetite and get the creative juices flowing. BTW, Wall Juice is relaunching their online store January 21st, and from January 21-28th, they are offering My Designing Life readers a 15% discount on all their fabulous products. Just quote interiors0108 and you'll be all set. Enjoy, and if you want to see more, go to http://www.walljuice.com/

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Floor stencilling

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had lovely holidays, and are only slowly getting back into the regular swing of things. I'm excited to be back blogging and reading everyone's inspirational ideas, and am so looking forward to a year of great design and new projects.

I'm starting off 2008 with something I've never tried before, but just love how it adds texture to a room and acts as a wonderful design accent -- floor stencilling. Floor stencilling was very popular between 1740-1840, and can still be seen today in affluent American homes built during this period. Then, as now, stencilling was used to simulate woven carpet, floorcloths, tiling, and parquet floors, at considerably lesser expense than the real thing. And, most were painted using one colour -- often black on pumpkin pine. Again, to cut down on costs.

Today, there is a growing interest in creatively accenting wood floors with paints, stains and tints, inside stencilled designs. Companies like MB Historic Decor, based in Vermont, http://www.mbhistoricdecor.com/ and Gracewood Design, in Portland, Oregon, http://www.gracewooddesign.com/ specialize in creating original and authentic stencils used in both interior and exterior designs. Though now, patterns usually incorporate one, two, or three colours.

All you have to do (it sounds so easy doesn't it?) is prepare your floor by first washing, scraping and sanding away all the old paint and varnish, then, priming it with wood primer so the paint or stain will adhere. Then, you trace your stencil onto the floor, and colour it in with cold water fabric dye that adheres well, remembering to use an almost dry brush. Once this is all done, you protect your design with floor finish.

Here are a few examples of floor stencilling I've pulled from Flickr and other sites. As you'll see, it's beautiful in smaller rooms as a stark accent, down otherwise uninteresting hallways, on stairways, as faux carpetting, and even around the pool on acid washed concrete. If anyone has taken on a project like this, and would like to share, please do, and I'll post it up so everyone can see. Or, if you're bitten by the creative bug reading this, let me know, too, and also how your project goes!

As seen on MB Historic Decor's website: Diane Nazar's finished stairs in a 21-year old, Colonial Revival farmhouse, suburban Chicago

As seen on Gracewood Design's website: photo of their studio floor when they were located in San Francisco

As seen on Gracewood Design's website: pool deck

As seen on la apartment therapy, www.apartmenttherapy.com/la

As seen on Flickr, by Kirrily Robert, stencilled floor at the B & B