Friday, February 29, 2008

Unique Hotels: Part 2

Last week I brought you the Kirkenes Snowhotel -- a marvellous hotel built of snow and ice in Norwegian Lapland. This week, we're heading off to Brazil, to dream over the Ariau Amazon Towers, a uniquely fabulous resort located 35 miles from Manuas, Brazil . The Ariau is a hotel where you can truly have a room with a view, and then some! Built among the Amazon treetops, each of the Ariau's towers are joined together by four miles of wooden catwalks. Monkeys, parrots, macaws, and butterflies are everywhere, and I imagine the noise is tremendous! There is a large, circular dining room of polished tropical woods, serving amazing tropical fruits, warm Brazilian pastries, breads, cheeses, and strong Brazilian coffee for breakfast, and equally delicious fare for lunch and dinner. And, the rooms, where you wake up every morning, high among the trees, with beautiful panoramic views, and lovely tropical sounds -- well, they are to die for! Here are some pictures of the Ariau to put you in a sunny, happy mood. I hope you all have fabulous weekends, and I'll see you next Friday with another installment of Unique Hotels! Until Monday!

For more information on Ariau Amazon Towers, you can also visit

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I just got home and found out Terri Sapienza at THE WASHINGTON POST has picked My Designing Life for this week's Blogwatch

Wow! I can't believe it -- I feel totally honoured and soooooo excited. This is just too amazing! Thanks Terri and congratulations to Pink Wallpaper and Desire to Inspire for sharing in the honour! What a fabulous way to finish off the week. I won't be able to sleep!!

BTW, the great photo above is by Glen Bowman, courtesy of flickr. I think it captures this moment perfectly!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Andrew King: Part 2

There is good news for Ottawa art fans this cold, February night! Ottawa artist, Andrew King has just launched his first solo art exhibit at the Terence Robert Gallery, 531 Sussex Drive, in Ottawa. Here are some examples of his new works -- as quirky, delightful, and animated as ever! Enjoy, and do pop by if you can. The exhibition runs until March 5th.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Unique hotels: Part 1

Apparently not all hotels are made of wood and other prefabricated materials -- some are made of ice and snow! In Norwegian Lapland -- two hours north of Oslo by air -- the fabulous Kirkenes Snowhotel features 21 rooms made of snow and ice. Guests are treated to real beds in each suite, surrounded by gorgeous snow sculptures; very warm, Artic designed sleeping bags; and lovely warm lighting to offset the colder room temperatures. When it's time for dinner, meals are served in an adjoining wooden structure, with local foods including fresh salmon, whitefish, and cloudberries. And, if you are in need of warming up, there is a Scandinavian sauna by a nearby lake, just a short walk from your suite. Here are some gorgeous images of the Snowhotel suites to brighten your day. And stay tuned ... next Friday, I'll be bringing you another unique hotel -- just for fun! Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Goodbye plain walls: Hello Moffat Bailie

When I think of extraordinary walls and ceilings, I think immediately of Moffat Bailie Walls - a fabulous Ottawa-based company owned by Sarah Moffat. I first met Sarah two years ago at an event where she and Susan Bailie were showcasing Moffat Bailie's brilliant work. Their hardcopy portfolio was outstanding -- overflowing with beautiful images incorporating glazing and Venetian plastering techniques, as well as gold and metallic leafing --a technique where microthin metal is applied to a surface, whether it's a wall, ceiling, pillar, etc. Quite frankly, walls have never been the same to me since, because I know there's always more that can be done -- especially under Sarah and Susan's skilled hands. Here are a few examples of Moffat Bailie's fabulous work. I guarantee after seeing them, you'll never look at walls, ceilings, or pillars in quite the same way.

Brown and gold leaf cover the walls and curved ceiling of Ottawa's Siam Bistro, a lovely Thai restaurant on Wellington Street.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Moffat. More images on Siam Bistro's web site.

Absinthe Cafe, Ottawa
Photo courtesy of Sarah Moffat .

Photo courtesy of Sarah Moffat.

Gold Leafing.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Moffat.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Moffat.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Burakkii Collection: Sara Seggie

Imagine ...

It's 10 PM on a Friday night and you're relaxing in your spacious, contemporary living room after a demanding week ...
A fire crackles gently in the fireplace, and gleaming, dark mahogany floors reflect its golden light ...
Through floor to ceiling clear glass windows, you see snow gently falling ...

You sit back luxuriously on your Roche-Bobois sofa, outfitted in the most neutral of fabrics, and glance contentedly at your surroundings, relishing the sense of peace and modern elegance. Finally, your eye comes to rest on this magnificent work of art ...

And you stop ... as always dazzled by the commanding presence of this colourful, modern mosaic wall hanging which so perfectly complements the room's spacious simplicity ...

And, you realize, once again, how lucky you were to find this unique piece -- which is part of Canadian modern mosaic artist, Sara Seggie's, newly launched Burakkii Collection ...

Enjoy everyone, and I hope your weekends are as blissful as the one above! See you Monday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mosaic Tile

If you're thinking of renovating a bathroom, you might want to incorporate some mosaic tile into your design. Here are some absolutely fabulous examples, courtesy of the Ann Sack's Web site. I absolutely love the first, but my favourite is most definitely the second with the floral floor tile. Just like wallpaper, mosaic tile makes a huge statement. And, importantly, it is perfect in both smaller and larger spaces. So, even if it's not feasible to use alot, incorporating some provides quite the dramatic touch.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Glasswork by Robert Moeller

I have a six year old and a three year old (read: bedlam at dinner), so I don't get many chances to entertain with gorgeous dishes. But, if I did, (and a girl can dream, right!), I'd definitely be including Robert Moeller's sushi dishes and platters in my repertoire. Lucky for me, Robert lives just north of Ottawa, in the village of Wakefield. But, for anyone living outside the area who loves his glasswork as much as I do, Robert ships outside Canada, too. So, lucky everyone, I guess! Happy viewing!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rice Denmark

It's snowing again tonight. Cold, wet flakes which probably will be freezing rain by tomorrow morning. Yippee!! I need a holiday, but can't take one. I need sun, but it's gone on holiday, too! So, I'm turning to Rice for my colour fix and beautiful interior photos, to boot. Rice is popping up on a few great design blogs lately -- notably Hidden in France and decor8, but I feel compelled to get in on the action, too. I just love all the colour against white and the cheerfullness of Rice products and images. Here are a few photos from the Rice website to take your mind away from dreary winter (if that's the season you're in). BTW, all Rice products are designed and developed in Denmark, and are produced in the third world with respect for people, so it's hard to go wrong here! Happy colour!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Pod Hotel - New York City

Designing small spaces can often be challenging. Where to put the bed? Where to put the closet? And what about the television!? ... The Pod Hotel in New York City takes small and makes it work really well. It's all about maximum use of space, in a hip, funky, tech atmosphere -- perfect for the stylish and economical traveller. And, best of all, it's located in the heart of NYC's Midtown East neighbourhood. Check it out! I already know where I'll be staying next time I'm in NYC! (BTW, all images below are from The Pod Hotel's website.) Have a great weekend, everyone!