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Archives for Design Inspiration

Ordinary Objects = Fantastic Lighting

Many times a successful design counts on a certain kind of sleight-of-hand: The very best job is the one you don’t notice, because it doesn’t call attention to itself.
Lighting, in a home or business, is one of those things that’s invisible – if it’s done well. You only notice the lighting of a room if it’s too bright or too dim, not if it’s just right. You want your guests to notice only that the room feels comfortable, and that they want to come back again.

There are exceptions of course…when the lighting is like art and you want to draw attention to it instead of away from it and that is what I would like to focus on here. I have recently come across some outstanding lighting designs that I’d like to share.

This Tide Chandelier from Stuart Haygarth is pure magic, his design projects revolve around collections of found objects. I am definitely saving up for one of his masterpieces!

I first fell in love with Korean born Kwangho Lee’s work at the Toronto Interior Design Show where he knitted, knotted and wove his magic into these artful lighting creations and I have been a fan ever since. He believes that many mundane objects have boundless capabilities of transforming into something else.

This chandelier designed by Ingo Maurer is literally made up of many pieces of broken china and one of my all time favorite ceiling lights is “Blushing Zettel’z” made up of note cards carefully yet seemingly randomly dispersed.

This light sculpture is built using found vintage drinking glasses, that have been re-purposed into a beautiful chandelier by Propellor Designs available at

Propellor is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Vancouver. Their lighting collection is the first to use 100% recycled, recyclable and/or sustainable materials.

Woman Entrepeneurs

I have been nominated by RBC for the 2010 RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award!

Having a Sense of Humor with Design

Who says you have to take design seriously? I certainly don’t. I love to add elements of humour into the spaces I design. It can be a small sculpture that brings a smile to my face, it can be a product that is interactive like the Sensi Tile polymer light reflective panels that respond to your movement. Or it can be something as simple as making recycling and garbage interesting to dispose of such as the videos attached for The Fun Theory project by Volkswagen.

For me it’s often something that is just unexpected that can put a smile on my face, a whacked out colour combination or a random object that is highlighted by the fact that it is isolated.

Musical Stairs

Garbage Can with Sounds Effects

Arcade Recycling

Clean Rooms For Kids

Interactive Tile

3D Design Fun by

Graffiti Laminate by Parador

Sicis Mosaic Shoe Bath

Broken Chair Leg by Gord Peteran

Tsunami Glassworks, organic and fluid chandelier

Luxury Experiences

Welcome to my first blog! I am still learning but have tons of fabulous pictures and videos to post related to this article as soon as I figure out how…so be sure to check back!

I am so excited to be able to share with you on a more regular basis than with my quarterly newsletter. January in particular is always such a crazy month as most of the furniture and design shows take place.

First let me say that if you love architecture there is probably not a better city in the U.S than Chicago to enjoy it. Make sure you take a riverboat tour, they are a great way to see the fabulous city of skyscrapers, with each trying to reach higher than the next. It is also a great city for art lovers with the Art Institute not to be missed.

On my most recent trip to Chicago I had the pleasure of staying at the Trump International Hotel. This was luxury at it’s finest with your own personal attaché and fantastic room features including:

10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, Limestone bathrooms, Deep-soaking bathtubs, Premium shower fixtures, in-mirror TV portal, Fully-equipped kitchen (even though I wasn’t going to cook it did come in handy re-heating leftovers from Smith & Wolensky’s for a late night snack), Snaidero Italian wooden cabinetry, Stainless steel appliances Miele cooktop & dishwasher, Sub-Zero Refrigerator, surprisingly (and pleasantly) complimentary wireless Internet access and bottled water, premium toiletries, 42-inch LCD flat-screen HDTV , full universal remote to control everything from your iPod, turning off the lights from everywhere and even closing the draperies!

Standard ensuite at Trump International Chicago. Notice the in mirror TV and view of shower/bath enclosure. The wet room, what a great idea!

I fell in love with the simple things like the  Bernaudaud china from France, which I was ready to order when I got home and Googled them online but they were pretty pricey yet Donald managed to outfit every room with them!

Love these Bernardaud dishes!

Another luxury was the pillow menu. Yes that’s right, a pillow menu. You may like foam while your partner might like down or have allergies and need a synthetic pillow (a “down alternative” and completely non-allergenic). The menu consists of five types of pillows in varying degrees of density, as well as five aromatic pillows, they even have a special pillow which reduces snoring while also minimizing neck and shoulder soreness, and a pillow to purify and cleanse the body and spirit, with essential oils such as juniper, grapefruit, sandalwood, artemesia, and menthe which is said create mental clarity and enlightenment, and to enhance awareness and stimulate peaceful dreams. If you don’t sleep well there, you certainly can’t blame ‘The Donald’.

The real standout however was the spa experience. First let me say that their fitness center is larger than the one I belong to and with far better equipment, and that’s saying alot. Second, if you are lucky enough to indulge in the spa services you wont be disappointed, however you can create your own spa experience for zero investment! The fitness and spa facilities both share change rooms and the shower/steam/sauna/pool are all great but the real treat was the Kohler Shower Experience. Before you enter the Kohler shower you can select from Trump’s complimentary facial masks and essential oils to enhance your experience. Once inside you can control the water temperature, chroma therapy lights, music, body jet spray/rain shower head/hand held spray and water pressure all from the touch of the sleek digital keypad. This particular one had music programmed with thunderstorm and waterfall sounds to complete the experience. Check out the video link below!

Sleek digital control panel for DTV II

Kohler DTV II Shower Experience

Though the showers in the room were equally nice, we were all grabbing our complimentary robes and slippers and heading to the Spa for a shower! They really thought of everything, forgot your brush in the room, no worries they had everything from brushes, combs, q-tips, lotion, hair gel/mouse/spray/deodorant etc. you get the picture.

I love traveling in the U.S. because they ‘get’ customer service. The customer does come first and you don’t feel nickle and dimed. Far from it with Trump, we felt spoiled!

Blair & Aaryn with the Trump Tower in background