Sunday, June 28, 2009

June Peonies....

I had such a busy June that i barely had time to stop and smell the peonies, my absolute favorite flower.

Our peony bushes seemed to burst into bloom all in one day.  Unfortunately i wasn’t home much and wish i could have enjoyed them more.   June is my second favorite month of the year because i can fill the house with fresh peonies from my own garden.  But i make sure to grab a camera and capture the beauty before picking them.    Picking up the camera and spending one or two minutes taking photos in the garden (or flowers from the flower shop) is one of the least expensive ways to create instant, original art.  I order prints on-line which is much less expensive than buying my own photo paper and colour ink cartridges, and they’re ready next day on photo paper, canvas, greeting cards or post cards.   The image above will look stunning mounted in a simple white, black or silver frame,,,or transfered onto an oversized canvas.  I’ve got mutiple shots so if I want to hang a series, i’ve got lots of options in black & white or colour.  I’m still deciding what to do with this one......

I fill the house with flowers and greenery, all year long.  I tend to use a lot of branches and oversized leaves because they’re dramatic, organic, inexpensive and last a long time and nothing could be simpler to arrange.  I have a collection of vases in all shapes and sizes,  which allows me to create tall upright arrangements, low tight arrangements or full bouquets that burst out in all directions.   

After taking a few photos,  I pulled out an assortment of vases and filled the house with peonies.  

On a side table in the living room.

In a vintage mason jar in the foyer.  Nothing beats the simple beauty of peonies in a mason jar.  This particular jar is vintage 1944, and i love that embossed on the front is a crown and the words made in Canada.  Sometimes i remove all the leaves from the stems,,,,sometimes,,I don’t!

On the fireplace mantle, a single bloom in a low profile rectangular vase.  What could be simpler?  It think its a modern way to display a very traditional looking flower. 

These branches of greenery are off of a vine-like weed that grows like crazy in our backyard.

In an Alvar Aalto crystal vase, on the meeting table in my studio.

And nothing is more dramatic than blooms or leaves in a tall cylindrical vase, this one is about 20” tall and sitting on the credenza in my studio. 

After filling the house with peonies, there were loads more still in the I took some to a clients last week where i was doing a photo shoot and used them in the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms.   (More on that project in future posts)... 

A sneak peak of the master bedroom in recently completed project...

A sneak peak of the guest bathroom.

And this room wasnt’ even part of the photo shoot but I couldn’t resist putting some peonies in the room anyway.

In a matter of 2 weeks they’ve come and gone, but I’ll have photos to enjoy all year long.   Now I’m really looking forward to the hydrangeas.......   

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paradise on Earth

HGTV dream house: Paradise on earth

The HGTV is the yearly project house through American Cable Network Home and Garden Television. It is being held since 1997 and the sweepstakes starts from 1st January with the custom views and the million dollars valued showcasing of the dream home. The dream homes are located near Wyoming, South Carolina, Florida, Nehalem and Texas. The beauty of these famous places increases its value and makes it incredibly pleasant.

Hgtv Dream House: Farmhouse Table

The facilities like online HGTV provide you the opportunity to watch exactly what the viewer wants. There is also available a Green Home tour which gives the viewers best home tips for keeping it cool and green. Linda Woodrum, the Interior designer of Green Home, gives away good seven tips for keeping home green.

Hgtv Dream House: French Door

The contemporary kitchens, modern bathrooms, eclectic dining rooms, top Asian living rooms and the Elizabeth styled bedrooms are the spatiality the HDTV green homes serve.

Hgtv Dream House: Hudson Sofa

The features like Bellwood Natural American Walnut Flooring, Breakfast Nook Door, Woven host side chair, blu-ray disc player, new country farm house table, French doors, Hudson sofa, dovetail paint modern classic floor lamps, VIERA plasma HGTV and the special Victorian towel bar make it really adorable by the people who have started living in the HGTV dream homes. These specialties make it a dream home as considered the best place to live in.

Hgtv Dream House: Breakfast Nook

There are the amazing tips available for the bedroom and living rooms to make them beautiful and lively by some of the interior designers of HGTV. Designing a romantic bedroom treat and a lively living room is all available online for the customer’s choice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Condo Renovation

Master Bedroom

The first time I had an opportunity to design a home for myself was about 6 years ago. My boyfriend and I were buying our first place together and we decided to look for something we could renovate and redesign to our own specs. We found a 1980's condo on the waterfront with panoramic lake views and just 10 minutes to downtown, in original condition and ready for a complete gut. It wasn't my dream home, nor did I even design it in a style that reflects what I would want in my dream home, but it was somewhere we only intended on living for 2 or 3 years (which turned into 4). I designed it in a style that I felt suited the condo and would be appealing to buyers when it came time to sell. Although these photos are a good example of my work, they don't necessarily reflect my true personal style. I despise condo living (i need outdoor space), have a passion for simple country antiques, vintage finds and traditional architectural detailing. So buying this condo also meant we had to rent a storage unit across the street to store our oversized rustic pieces and my ever growing collection of 'great finds'.

New Open Concept Kitchen

The existing kitchen was a completely enclosed tiny U shape room, we knocked down all the walls opening it up to the lake views. The new 9 foot long island had a poured on-site concrete counter top and the back counter was stainless steel with an integrated oversize single sink. The backsplash was back painted glass that just glowed a watery blue/green colour.

Living Area

The open concept living and dining area had floor to ceiling windows and almost no wall space. The furniture was kept low to not obstruct the view. The draperies added vertical dimension and texture to the space and helped warm up the expanse of bare windows at night.

Dining Area

During the day the condo was flooded with direct sunlight so in additon to lined drapery panels, I had Hunter Douglas solar shades installed on all the windows. This helped control the temperature and protect fabrics and wood from fading. (The photo above was taken at about 10 in the morning.) It wasn't possible to install a junction box in the concrete ceiling to hang a light fixture over the dining table so i opted for a high arched floor lamp. It also swiveled so it offerred us the added bonus of being able to swing it over the coffee table in the living room if we wanted. I custom designed the dining chairs and the dining table was a freebie, a cast-off '80's meeting table from my old office, headed for the dumpster but i thought it had great lines and I loved the walnut veneer. I hauled it home just in time for our first Christmas dinner in our newly reno'd condo. I added a larger glass top to it and it comfortably seats 6, we've squeezed 8. I can't tell you how many inquiries I've had about this table and offers to purchase it. In fact its the most standard plain office meeting table there is, the style is commonly referred to as a drum table but i've always admired it for its simple lines. It pairs well with all chair styles, i often use the modern Bruno chairs or Eames side chairs with this style table.

Living/Dining Room Evening Shot
A view of the living and dining area at night, my favorite time. Large expanses of window with water views become large black walls at night, without the drapery panels the windows would look very cold and bare especially in winter.

The Views.....

The condo had floor to ceiling windows that wrapped around the perimeter of the unit, and faced south overlooking the lake and marina below. To the far right we could see the corner of one other building, which happens to be what I think is one of the most beautiful condo buildings in the city and provided a stunning architectural view.

The purchase and closing was quick, giving me only about 3 weeks to complete the design drawings and co-ordinate the start of constuction. Demolition was extensive, we removed absolutely everything, including the stippled ceilings, taking the entire unit back to the bare concrete. In a matter of a few weeks I had designed everything including 2 washrooms with custom vanities, the new open concept kitchen with custom shelving, counters and backsplash and even custom doors, casings and baseboards throughout. The entire renovation took 4 months to complete....... but the furnishing of the unit took another 2 years!

In upcoming posts I'll show more before and afters photos along with some of my design sketches and also write about what it was like having the condo featured in Canadian House & Home!

All photos above by Carol Reed

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hgtv Dream House Guide

HGTV dream house guide for choosing right whirlpool bathtub

HGTV dream house, one of the most popular TV shows in the United States has come up with a whole range of guidelines for building, refurbishing and renovating the homes of the viewers.

Hgtv Dream House: Whilpool Glass Bathtub

One of the recent guidelines is concerned over the selection of right whirlpool while making bath room renovation. According to the experts of the HGTV dream house, many people buy whirlpool and Jacuzzi without having any idea whether it will fit their bathtub or not.

Hgtv Dream House: Your Dream Bathroom

In order to make them fit with their bathtubs they have to make expensive remodeling works. To avoid such inconveniences, the experts recommend the buyers to make sure that they measure their bathroom before looking to any whirlpool design.

Hgtv Dream House: Idea for your Bathroom

Morey, an expert designer associated with HGTV dream house admits that most whirlpools are available in three standard sizes namely five feet, six feet and five-half feet. These whirlpools will usually take more space when you fit them and about half-inch on each side may be occupied by them. As a remodeling application, the bathtub whirlpool must be of a certain size that comes under the door of the bathroom.

Hgtv Dream House: Bathroom Whirlpool Style

In case, the height of the tub fits the doorway, you may require enough space to turn around the bathtub whirlpool before fitting it to its place. It is also very important to choose the tub with the right weight that suits the floor condition.

Hgtv Dream House: Hgtv Dream House Bathroom

When working with wood floors, the overall weight of the tub, the water and the people should be considered. This above guideline is very vital when making second floor installation. In some case, weak and damaged floor are required to be renovated before installing bathtubs. Some remodeling works in the bathroom become necessary when an individual thinks of installing a larger bathtub whirlpool.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

HGTV dream house giveaway sweepstakes

Dream House giveaway sweepstakes

Giveaway is something that everyone loves to get and today, the hottest and the most exciting giveaways are offered by the popular American TV channel called HGTV. HGTV dream house is one of the most famous TV shows widely watched by a good number of viewers in United States. Dream house comes up a variety of episodes that feature various home building and home renovation competitions for the participants.

Hgtv Dream House: Hgtv Dream House Giveaway

The prize of the competition is a wonderful home equipped with all the luxury features and located in one of the most exotic location. The value of the prize often reaches many million dollars and it is what that attracts a huge number of participants.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream House

The HGTV offered a dream home to the winner of the 2008 dream house contest and it was a three storey building called Islamorada, FL. The house was filled with big bay windows that allow the owner to watch the magnificence of the ocean beauty.

Hgtv Dream House: Green House

If you are dreaming to become the winner of such a house then you are required to enter the competition. You should try to put your name in the contest as much as you can as they allow participants to enter the contest for an unlimited number of times. With every entry you increase your chances of winning HGTV dream home sweepstakes.

Hgtv Dream House: Another Green House

The HGTV dream house is also going to start its 2009 contest from April 17 and the prize will be a well marvelously furnished HGTV Green Home. The house is estimated to have a price value of about $750,000 and it will be one of the best homes ever offered by HGTV. Entering your name for the contest will be a good as it is step closer in wining the grant prize. You can also get updates on HGTV Green House on the web by making some simple searches.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HGTV Dream House Garage

Dream House garage

HGTV is a perfect home and it includes all the qualities that a dream home must posses. Not only the interiors but also the exteriors of the house are made amazingly beautiful. This house include carriage house and guest quarters that upgrades this house from other villas.

Hgtv Dream House: Garage your Car

Spacious parking garage comes as a complimentary feature of HGTV dream house. This house includes a number of parking options, such as a quaint outbuilding that can easily accommodate large size sports vehicles.

Hgtv Dream House: Build your Garage

The design of the garage is made as lavish as the house itself. One of the most alluring aspects of the garage is that it includes beautiful design. Guests and the homeowners can feel flattered by the beautiful design of the HGTV dream house garage that include stylish side entrance, full size windows and lighting fixtures that are period appropriate. The interiors of the garage are also as beautiful as the exteriors. This garage offers extensive storage space to the dwellers.

Hgtv Dream House: Garage

You can store vehicles, sports equipment and garden supplies in the interiors of the HGTV dream house garage. This way the garage is not limited to only vehicle storage as you can store other miscellaneous items too in the garage.

Hgtv Dream House: Decorate your Garage

One of the most astounding aspects of the garage is that you can easily convert it into an art or craft studio and a woodshop. The only thing you are required to do is to do a slight decoration and renovation of the garage and you can make the garage look like a studio.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

HGTV Dream House Exteriors

dream house exteriors

HGTV dream house is definitely the most beautiful home made till date. You can feel like being in a palace after getting into this home. You can get amazed by not only the interiors but also with the exteriors of this very beautiful house. Primarily, HGTV dream house includes incredible patios.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream House

You can have a great time in the spectacular and beautiful patios of this house. One of the most alluring facts regarding the patios of this area is that it is surrounded by innate pines made of cedar pines.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream Home

The beds in the patios include a plethora of beautiful shrub roses and hydrangeas that can attract all those enjoying in the exteriors of this beautiful house. The beautiful patios of this home form the backyard getaway for the guests and the homeowners coming to this home.

Hgtv Dream House: Door to your Dream Home

The uniqueness of the patios of HGTV dream house lies in the fact that they beautify the exteriors of the house than never before. The exteriors of this house are extremely appealing and eye catchy. Guests can relax in the comfortable and stylish sofa set installed in the exterior of this house.

Hgtv Dream House: home Exterior

The outdoor seating arrangements are made efficient with a number of sofas that can accommodate several guests. The best thing about the sofa set is that it is extremely stylish and classy so as to allure the guests towards the well maintained exteriors of the house.

Hgtv Dream House: Home

The seating arrangements are made exclusively lavish so as to enable the guests to enjoy parties and get together there. So it can be said that the exteriors of this dream house is also as dreamy as it should be in a palace.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HGTV Dream House Patio

Dream House Patio

HGTV dream house
is what each one of us desires to own and dwell in. Cast in luxury and built with immaculate precision, the HGTV dream house makes fantasies come true and delivers with such an ambience that it renders the heart filled with pleasure and appreciation.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream Garden

Each and every nook and corner of the HGTV dream house is constructed after keeping in mind your comfort and ease so that you can have the best of times in that abode. Careful planning and designs are invested behind making the house look really spectacular. It is not merely the rooms that are given all concentration, but the exteriors like garage, garden and the patios are as well catered to.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream House View

The patios of these dream houses are bordered well by natural fences that are made by the beautiful beds that brim with shrub roses, hydrangeas and the breathtaking cedar pines.

Hgtv Dream House: Make your own Garden

Serving as the back yard gateway for the guests and you alike, the patio is given a unique characteristic of its own setting it apart in its own distinction of taste and quality. There is proper arrangement of seating for the purpose of accommodating crowds whenever there are social or friendly gatherings organized at the house.

Hgtv Dream House: Magic View from your House

In fact, there is a kitchen outside that is properly equipped and can set any good chef to envy the place. Having all the modern and all weather furnishings, the patio of the HGTV dream house is an embellishment for the exteriors of the house and fosters relaxed and luxurious social gatherings all around the year.