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Stairways To Heaven

Over the years I have accumulated pictures of stairwells that I find architecturally inspirational, these are just a small sampling of my favorites. Everything from simple to otherworldly. My favorites lean towards the floating stair treads. I also love the stairs built around a tree trunk, wouldn’t that be a great way to get to a tree house instead of a ladder?! Which are your favorites? Definitely makes you think twice about getting from A to Z in a more unique way.

Enjoy the gallery.

The first is an experiment by The Fun Theory that documents the following experiment: will more people take the stairs over an escalator by making it fun to do? The group turned a set of stairs in a busy Stockholm metro station into a working piano. So cool!

Floating Stairs…





Curvy Stairs…

These stairs would be great in a Chiropractic clinic!


And while this next one could never be filmed in North America due to all the personal injury laws suits that I’m sure would emerge, it’s still super cool and let’s us release our inner child!


Slide Stairs…

Organic Stairs…

Glass Stairs…


Linear Stairs…




From Inspiration to Creation

One of the reasons why I love design so much is that each client and project are unique, so no two jobs are ever the same. Another reason is so that I can live vicariously through my clients homes. My tastes are so varied I’d have to have 6 homes to cover off all my own interests!
Grey has been a favourite colour of mine for awhile, specifically ICI’s Chinchilla White, a warm browny grey. Sadly my own home cannot be completely re-done every time I fall in love with a new colour.
The project below showcases the concept board I started with for inspiration on a recent project and the photos of the finished project so that you can see how everything was incorporated.
McPhail Concept

I love this light filled space!

We painted a 50% reduction of the wall colour on the ceiling to wrap the room in the warm grey. Adding a custom shield in frosted acrylic to the bottom of the pendant helped to diffuse some harsh glare from the exposed bulbs.

I had purchased this abstract Napolean piece for myself, thinking I could incorporate my beloved grey into my office. Sadly the painting is large and my office is small and I had to make room for annoying functional office tools, such as fabric books, paint swatches etc. Fortunately for my client it was the perfect fit, especially since they are both horse lovers. However I did ask for first right of refusal if she ever tires of it:)

Indigo Dreams Ensuite

Duplicate My Look! Check out my new indigo bathroom. Gotta love that Tile!!! Oooh ahhhh. Puts a smile on my face everyday.

Pictures to come soon.
Indigo Ensuite

My New Indigo Dreams Bedroom

Finally finished our master bedroom. Duplicate my look! Pictures to come soon!

Indigo Dreams Bedroom

Not So Mellow Yellow

Anyone else feeling the colour yellow for 2013? Hmmm…just finished my indigo dream bedroom, wonder what the hubby would say if he knew I was feeling yellow?!!

Not So Mellow Yellow

Book Art


Like many people I enjoy reading. While I enjoy the digital format for news, blogs and online magazines, I still can’t get myself curled up with my ipad to read a book. There is something special about a printed book, the smell of the pages, holding a huge volume in your hands knowing you have those pages to read each night, seeing all your favorites lining your bookshelves like a good friend waiting to welcome you in. Whatever it is I love it, I know it would be better for the environment if I didn’t and maybe I just need more time. But when I delved further into the art of books I think I just firmed up my love of them all the more.

Never one for words myself I am fascinated by the written word and I take great inspiration in how others portray the world around us and allow us to get lost in their fantastical realities. So today I am sharing my design inspiration from books, you’d be amazed at what people can do with books aside from writing them!

Here are few of my favorite and innovative ways to display books…

It might be hard to find your book but I love this bookshelf by Ron Arad.















Tumbling bookshelves…make me smile every time!















Unique Espresso Bar, a modern Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka fantasy space!




























What a cool staircase idea, I might never make it up!




























Form meets function head on with this fab bookcase chair.














Love the organic lines to this Saba Italia bookshelf


This award winning modular typographical bookcase below is a collaborative effort by the architectural design team of Eva Alessandrini and Roberto Saporiti.

This is a great design, you can take your reading corner anywhere you want! Have books, will travel!
























I had never even heard of book carving until recently and I am fascinated by it now. Carving into a discarded stacks of books, can create fantastic, landscapes and images such as the works of Brian Dettmer who is a book sculptor known for his detailed and innovative carvings as well as Guy Laramee, who definitely reinforces that books are not dead!
















This is definitely my favorite! By sculptor Guy Laramee

What Made Them Think Of That?

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since my last post! It seems like just yesterday. Everyday I ask myself when will life be settling down into a comfortable rhythm and everyday our lives seem to crazier and crazier. I live a good life surrounded by good friends, loving family, great clients I can’t complain. For the most part I bring the craziness on myself by trying to cram as much into one day as I possibly can. It doesn’t always work out so well, apparently I am not super human after all and it really is hard to juggle being a mom, wife, friend, daughter and business owner. I had good intentions to write this sooner, clean out my closet sooner, change the oil in my car sooner, go to bed sooner, lose weight sooner…the list goes on. In the end I get the job done.

I am always collecting pictures of random things I find inspirational and once again I’d like to share them with you. There’s quite a few since I’ve been collecting for awhile and I decided to split them up into separate blogs rather than plunk them all here. So this one relates to artists that inspire me and the next will be furniture that inspires me.

The first is a an artist that is inspired by topography. Matthew Cusick creates incredible works of art from Mapquest by reconfiguring roads, rivers and municipal transit systems to create intricate images that look like paintings and drawings, if looked at from distance.

"mapquest" mixed media by Matthew Cusick















Mixed media Matthew Cusick















I love the use of recycled material and these next few artists have done things I wish I thought of!

I was recently in London and discovered Ryan McElhinney who creates made to order one of kind lamps using recycled toys from his London studio. They are bonded together and coated in a high gloss lacquer. I can see this in a traditional or modern setting. I love them!

Gold Toy Lamp




















Toy Lamp























Anna-Wili Highfield is a Sydney based artist that makes sculptures of animals created from archival cotton paper, that is torn, painted, then sewn together, to create the figure of an animal.

French artist Anastassia Elias is on a roll with her Roleaux paper tube art. I think they would look awesome on shelf with the light filtering behind them. A collection would be great but they are pricy little things at 400€- 900€ per roll!

In The Park by Anastassia Elias



















Tango by Anastassia Elias











Painters by Anastassia Elias



















Always good to have a sense of humour with art. How did artist Vlad Artazov look at nails and see ballet dancers, a sore loser or surgeons? He creates simple yet brilliant vignettes using nails and screws which he then photographs. I love these!

Sore Loser by Vlad Artazov. You can just imagine this nail storming off in a huff!













Nail Surgeons by Vlad Artazov
















Nail Ballet by Vlad Artazov
























The True Nature of an Artist

Sand Tree Trunks

I seem to blather on about where I find inspiration and much to my children’s chagrin alot of it comes from the nature we are surrounded by. Ever since my kids were small I would point out the beautiful or unusually coloured hides on cows or horses as we drove by. A stunning field of sunflowers, cloud formations, hawks or a wheat blowing in a gentle breeze creating a wave of energy over the field. Now that they are 20 and 18 I still can’t prevent myself from pointing things out, they are not amused when I shriek while they are driving about the amazing field of poppies I just saw. Having said that, I do catch them every now and then telling me what the shapes of clouds remind them of or did I see that fabulous harvest moon?

Continuing that train of thought on where I find inspiration I recently came across a couple of artist who remind me of each other and have taken art from nature to a whole other level that is truly inspirational.

The first artist is British naturalist Andy Goldsworthy. Alot of his art is temporary and created outdoors if the wind blows it away, he starts over again. Because of the mortality of his art he uses photography as a form of documentation to capture the essence of his work. Talk about an “art attack”! He works with leaves, rocks, seasons, cycles, snow, ice, sticks, and organic materials. “Looking, touching, material, place and form are all inseparable from the resulting work. It is difficult to say where one stops and another begins.” Andy Goldsworthy.

Autumn Leaves by Andy Goldsworthy

Stones by Andy Goldsworthy

Snow Circles

The second artist I am already dreaming about being able to commission. His work is so organic and begs to be touched.

Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira was a student in São Paulo,when the plywood fence outside his window began to peel and fade into different layers and colors. When the fence was dismantled, he collected the remains which has now propelled and inspired him into his new dynamic and undulating creations.

I may just have to include a trip to Brazil to see these fabulous creations live!

Wood Wall sculpture by Henrique Oliveira

Henrique Oliveira

Random Design Inspiration

Everyday I am surrounded by things that inspire me.

Some are intangible items like a great quote or the flash of a smile, a cloud formation or beautiful sunset.

Others are items I come across in my design process that I save pictures of and keep them on my board to remind me of how many truly fantastic ideas there are out there. Some I would never incorporate into my designs because they are too outrageous but I love them nonetheless and others I can’t wait to find a way to interpret and look to my next client as prey to be the guinea pig.

Here are some items that I have recently collected and would love to share, they are in no particular order but it’s worth scrolling down to view all so you don’t miss any!

I can picture a whole patio or public park being done with this stylish theft and weather proof furniture. I love the classic Corbusier styling with the re-bar and cement. Designed by Swiss interior architect and designer Stefan Zwicky. Apparently the Demisch Danant gallery sold the one ton Zwicky chair for more than $40,000 so I might have to re-think the whole entire patio thing!

Cement Corbusier Chair

This great bench from the Design Labratory is really adaptable and fun. Nice when form and function meet so handsomely. This System of two/three-seater in based on self-skinning polyurethane seating elements on a steel-satin frame. Available through Sturm und plastic

Double Up Bench

Double Up Zoomorphic Design

Penny tiles are a popular look for interior flooring. Normally ceramic and glass are used to make tiles, these beautiful ‘real’ penny tiles I can’t wait to use!! OK, so some may say it’s a waste of money, I say this penny flooring truly is from heaven! As an added bonus maybe you’ll be surrounded by good luck and at the very least it will be easy to figure out your cost per square foot!. But that’s just my two cents worth. Now who can I get to lay them?

Penny Tile Flooring

Stunning Penny Floors

Looking for a softer earth friendly version try these cork penny tiles from Jelinek Cork, They are cut from recycled wine corks and take advantage of cork’s natural resiliency and water resistance to create a unique and low-impact floor.

Earth Friendly Tiles

Cork Penny Flooring

I know I’ve already blogged about unique lighting but I missed thee two beauties the last time round and they are truly unique and worth sharing. The first is for a commercial application but  can definitely see it utilized in a loft space as well. Very adaptable especially when dealing with concrete ceilings! Not only is it a light but it’s a bench as well. This modern lighting is designed by Sebastien Wierinck. Brilliant! (no pun intended)

Sebastien Wierinck Bench Lighting

Sebastien Wierinck Bench & Lighting

Here is another snake like desk lamp I love. It reminds me of something out of a Sinbad movie. It too can be yours for a meager $2,000 USD, certainly not the mass appeal snack bracket. Created by designer Ettore Cimini, I might just have to save. Very man cave chic.

Ra Desk Lamp

My last note finishes with one of those items I love but would never really incorporate (I think it would be next to impossible to keep clean so my practical side wins), but having said that it is fantastic and certainly unique. Entirely eco-friendly, this one-of-a-kind cubic Sponge Bob type chair was designed by award winning Taiwanese designer Yu-Ying Wu. Aptly named the Breathing Chair, she likens the design to tofu. This perforated foam chair transforms its shape according to the body of the sitter.

The Breathing Chair