Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Sourcebook:

This was one of several pieces of original art I purchased with a client this month.  Found at Art Interiors, Solitude by Rita Vindedzis, 12 x 48.

When I go out sourcing products and furniture for client projects, I always carry 4 things with me; a notebook, a tape measurer, a digital camera and my blackberry (soon to be 3 things when I get a new phone with integrated camera!).  

In my notebook I’ll staple samples of paint or fabrics for reference along with a list of what I need to source complete with sketches, dimensions or room layouts.  When I’m sourcing I make notes on every item i photograph, aside from the size and price etc.,,,I note whether its comfortable, sturdy, heavy, light etc... or if I’ve seen the same item at another store.  Typically I go thru one of these notebooks a month for miscellaneous projects, and if I’m working on a whole house reno, I start a sourcebook just for that project.  When the notebook is full, I keep it on file as I reference back to them quite often.  I know I could streamline this and do it all electronically,,,,but an old fashioned notebook and pencil is what I prefer for sketching quickly and attaching samples, besides the fact, if your battery on your blackberry or iphone constantly needs charging, then its back to the notebook.  It may not be a perfect system,,,but it works for me.  

Of course not all the options I’ve sourced over the month actually make the cut.  So here’s a peek into just some of the winning picks (non-custom) that I’ve specified or purchased this month,,,,,,these are things my clients have purchased, things that I’ve purchased for clients and things i’ve purchased for my own use.

Ready made frames.  I've purchased so many of these Thin Metal Frames the last couple of months for client's bathrooms, I don't think Pottery Barn has any left in stock in Toronto.  I love the wide white mats and the simple modern profile, I think the polished metal version works so well in a bathroom with traditional or contemporary plumbing fixtures.   A custom looking framed image for half the price.

Flush slab vanity drawers in Wenge wood veneer with clove stain.

Zen rectangular vessel sink by Neptune.

Cararra hexagon mosaic tile for floors in a bathroom because the shape is classic, the look is timeless, a great mix with contemporary plumbing fixtures.

Hand made ceramic subway tiles for bathroom walls, specified on several projects (I love the hand made quality vs the mass produced if the budget allows). Because they're timeless and classic and are a beautiful compliment to other marbles and stones.

A vintage teak sideboard.  This danish beauty measures over seven feet long, has gorgeous legs, antique brass corners and the drawers are the exact perfect fit for CD cases!  Simply stunning and one of my all-time favorite finds, this one's from Queen West Antiques in Toronto.

Eames Stool (left), what can I say, these are little works of art that you can use as a side table or foot stool.  This one was found at Studio Pazo in Toronto. 
Mixed media on wood under resin.  "To become" 12 x 48.
Mixd media on wood under resin.  "Secret" 48 x 60.

A client and I commissioned some original art work by artist Murray Duncan.  Samples of his work are shown above and his work is exhibited in his furniture store Hardware as well as at Parts Gallery in Toronto.  Murray does the most incredible work using mixed media under resin on wood, they have a deep high gloss finish that unfortunately just doesn't translate well in these photos.  He also does panels like these on credenza and armoire doors that are sold at his store. Totally unique & GORGEOUS!

White ceramic bird bud vase.  I spotted this at L'Atelier in Toronto and just had to buy it.  It was a perfect little finishing touch to some shelving in a clients office. (visualize this without the granny flowers.....sorry i didn't have a pic of my own.)

Woven storage boxes and magazine butlers for a home office, from West Elm.

Hardware for a bathroom vanity, Strand knob by Restoration Hardware.

Door and Drawer pulls for a kitchen island.  Contemporary pull by Richelieu.

Pair of pendant lights for over a new kitchen island.  Harmon pendant by Restoration Hardware.

Existing kitchen cabinets get new paint, BM Vapour, new hardware, Grafton pulls and knobs in oil rubbed bronze from Restoration Hardware and new Misty cararra Caesarstone counters.  This new look will give a young family of 5 a modern-traditional kitchen that will serve them beautifully for many years to come.

I've saved the best for last.....the Hemnes 4 Poster Bed by Ikea.  This bed has made it on so many top 10 lists, its become famous among design bloggers and shelter mags, its simply great value and great style.  Any other four poster bed on the market is easily 4 times the price of this one.  This spring the Hemnes bed was discontinued and by end of June Ikea had sold off their remaining inventory (at about 50% off).   But I didn't let that deter me, they call it a self-serve warehouse for a reason,,,,if everyone in the store tells you there's none left in stock, go and search the warehouse yourself to make sure.  I often find their computerized inventory is off by 2.  In this case, I went searching and much to the surprise of the staff, I managed to find not one but two Hemnes queen size beds sitting on a bottom rack with no tags.  And the best part is, when they did a price check, it was only $69!!!!!!.  Needless to say I headed for the checkout before she even finished asking me if I wanted it,,,,,all i could think of was "start the car!!".  What a steal!  And no, I don't have anywhere to put the bed right now (i've added it to my growing collection in the basement), but that's besides the point, this was a great find and one day I know I"ll find the perfect room for it.  In the meantime, I've already starting dreaming of the possibilities......