Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Win Dream House

HGTV has come up with one of the best offers US citizens and residents can ever think of. Coming up with the best dream houses in the most exotic locations, you may just be tempted to take part in the sweepstakes. There are constant prize offers from HGTV and one can apply online which is not a difficult process. The option of applying by post is also there. In case you need any ideas about the styles of houses they are offering, you can browse the website and have a look at the photos of different houses with different floor plans.

Hgtv Dream House: Dream Home

Each floor plan is tagged as HGTV Dream home 2010 or HGTV Dream home 2009 etc. You can follow up these tags and look into the details of the floor plan and also the facilities that come along. This is a great fortune to be won if you get lucky. The dream homes are all offered with spacious rooms and enough bathrooms and bedrooms. The kitchen is all furnished and comes with the latest facilities one can expect.

Hgtv Dream House: Your Balcony

Some of the houses are offered with a nice front yard, foyer, kitchen etc. There are even houses offered with a home theatre.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Project: Urban Rooftop Deck

Earlier this summer a favorite client of mine decided to embark on a rooftop deck renovation,,,,which presented me with the opporunity to collaborate on this little project with one of Toronto's most sought after landscape designers, Terry Ryan of Cubic Yard Design. Terry's impressive porfolio is full of sophisticated contemporary exteriors - which was exactly what we were after for this urban oasis in the sky. After one successful design meeting together, Terry turned out a design plan that incorporated everything we had envisioned and beyond. He was immediately given the go-ahead and within the following week my client and I had ordered all the furniture, lighting, bbq and planters. Now we just had to wait for Terry and his team to do all the work ; )

To give you a better visual of where this cool new rooftop deck is being built, remember this gallery wall installation I posted about several months ago here,,,well its located on this landing that leads up to the third level in this condo and out to............ a spacious deck. You can see this staircase in the plan view at the top of this post. The condo itself was a complete gut and reno I designed almost 2 years ago, everything was completely rebuilt and upgraded before my clients moved-in, except for the large 3rd floor deck (a big job!).

The clients own travel photos are newly displayed on the tall staircase wall that you leads you up to the third level of the unit.

The tall long staricase wall is clad in thin ledgestone veneer, it suits the strong horizontal lines of the 70's architecture of the building. The stair treads and risers were all custom made from antique reclaimed ash which is the main flooring throughout the condo. On the far right out of view of this shot, at the end of the stone wall is a framed glass door that leads out to the deck.

The view at the top of the 3rd floor looking down to the landing before the gallery wall was hung. Directly to the left and not pictured is a run of lower white cabinetry with stainless steel counter and integrated sink complete with wine fridge, all ready and waiting to serve guests on the rooftop. Above the cabinetry its all window, overlooking the deck.

And THIS is a glimpse at all the new elements that we're using to create this chic outdoor living space that will await you at the top of these stairs....

1. ) Teak dining table by DWR. 2.) Queen dining chairs by Tusche Seating 3.) Belvedere teak sofa from Restoration Hardware 4.) Belvedere lounge chair (fabric not as shown) by Restoration Hardware 5.) Belevedere teak end tables by RH 6.) Oversize planters by DWR 7.) Thin stone veneer ledgestone wall cladding by Ciot. 8.) Custom horizontal cedar cladding and planter boxes by Cubic Yard Design 9.) Painted built-in cabinetry by Cubic Yard Design.

But the key to this design plan is the single chaise lounge also part of the Belvedere collection from R.H. One of the many requirements for the space was to include not only lounge seating, dining, storage, outdoor cooking, herb garden and planters,,,,it also had to have room for a sunbed. Terry had the genious idea of positioning this chaise lounge to function as a multipurpose coffee table/ottoman AND sunbed. The chaise is designed with the same base as the sofa and lounge chairs, when in the fully reclined position, its perfect height for a coffee table. Here's a look at in the upright position..

It's beautifully designed with a hydrolic lift mechanism for super easy operation...the homeowner can simply raise the backrest whenever she wants to bask in the sun (completely covered in SPF of course).

Back in the fully reclined position it makes the perfect ottoman,,,,,and located right where you see the seam in the cushions will be placed a custom 'cuff' style stainless steel tray that will slide on over top of the cushion concealing this seam and offering a solid surface to place food and drinks. Brilliant!!!!

While the homeowner has been away at her cottage for most of the summer and while I was on my East Coast vacation,,,Terry and his crew have been sweating away (literally!) and the entire deck will be ready for its inaugural cocktail party in less than 2 weeks. I stopped by today to check in on the progress,,,,

Visits like this are like 10 Christmas's all at once, even though it was about 120 degrees today! So exciting to see all the new stuff together. The furniture has been on site for a few weeks and I've been busy sourcing some fun fabrics for extra toss cushions.

Once all the finishing details are complete I'll be sure to post some before and after photos, show you all of my favorite features and tell you about all the special design details Terry used. There was a rather large obstacle to be dealt with (huge overhead concrete beam) thats been transformed into a beautiful architectural feature. Its really going to be quite a special space when its all done and I can't wait to experience it in person.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get Lucky With HGTV Dream Home

Get Lucky With HGTV Dream Home

You get your dreams to come true with HGTV Dream home. They have different floor plans explained on their website along with description of location and also the list of facilities available with the home you would prefer to have for yourself. There are many give away prizes with HGTV Dream home to be won. You can just try your luck and win your dream home with spacious rooms and all the facilities which you can’t even imagine to purchase in a lifetime.

Hgtv Dream House: Get Lucky !!!

The kitchens look exotic with the finest cabinets and woodwork. You get to win a home theatre and also there are three bathrooms, three bedrooms in some of the prizes. You need to be aware of the rules just in case you want to know if you are eligible for the lucky draw. All US citizens and residents are eligible to apply as long as they are above 21 years of age.

Hgtv Dream House: Your Dream?

The process of application is very easy. People who are interested can easily apply online by visiting their website or even by post. The postal address details are also clearly mentioned. The contest is usually open for around 50 days. One must apply within the period of time and also make sure all personal information is accurate and legal.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Win Your Dream House

Win Your Dream House Through HGTV

You can try your luck on sweepstakes through HGTV to win your dream house now. You just need to enter the homepage of HGTV and click on sweepstakes and look for ongoing contests. But still HGTV have great deals on dream homes. The layout for HGTV Dream home 2011 is already out. You can check their homepage and get to know about all the different deals available.

Hgtv Dream House: Win your Dream House

You might just be the lucky winner if you take a chance. There are even clear floor plans mentioned for HGTV Dream home 2010 which will have a mix of southwestern architecture with a blend of modern design. You can just feel greedy about having such a big dream home for you and your family with three bathrooms, three bedrooms, a home office, gourmet kitchen and much more to add on.

Hgtv Dream House: Hgtv House

If you are the lover of mountains, then just move ahead with dreaming your plans with HGTV Dream home 2010 in the midst of San Pedro Mountains.

Hgtv Dream House: Live the Dream

There is a whole diagram of the floor plan given on the website. You can even view older floor plans of HGTV Dream home 2008 and 2007. There are also videos of different rooms displayed on the website.

Six Objects De Vie

To say I was thrilled when Michelle of a Schematic Life asked me to participate in her new regular feature called "Six Objects De Vie" would be an understatement!  Michelle has been a reader of my blog for some time and her comments always make my day.  When I first started discovering design blogs, Michelle's impressed me like no other.  A fellow Canadian, not only is she a successful interior designer she's also an extremely talented artist - her dreamy interior renderings have become her trademark and the best you will see in the industry.  She also generously shares her talent for rendering by teaching readers her techniques thru step by step video tutorials posted on her blog - talk about a labour of love!  She's been very encouraging to me and has inspired me to dust off my markers and start sketching and rendering on a more regular basis.  If you haven't visited a Schematic Life yet,,,,its a must, Michelle's interiors portfolio and her renderings are a visual joy.

Thanks Michelle for featuring me today in your Six Objects De Vie,  It was a lot of fun although I found it almost impossible to only pick six!!

Here's a sneak peek at no.5, click on over here to see the rest.

Top Image:  Room Design by Steven Gambrel, Rendering by Michelle Morelan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

East Coat Road Trip: The Final Days

The final days of our trip we travelled across the Eastern Shore of N.S. and headed over to Cape Breton Island.  We didn't do too much sightseeing along the eastern shore (not much to see on this route), but we visited a couple of beautful beaches.  Our first stop early one morning was at Clam Bay Beach, from the parking lot a trail leads you thru a wooded area that was covered in the most gorgeous green moss....

Thru the trail in the woods you arrived at a large modern facility that housed washrooms, changerooms showers and an interpretation centre.  I loved the modern architecture and the weathered grey siding...

We later spoke with other long time visitors to NS and locals who never knew this beach or facility existed....

There was a long wooden boardwalk from the building to the beach and even the railings were constructed in this simple modern style....

The only other people at the beach were the life guards who were just getting set up for the day....

The lifeguard huts designed in the same style as the public facilities....

A gorgeous wide sandy beach, all to ourselves....we stayed for about an hour and still no one else was there when we left, and it was the weekend!

And after staying overnight at a very remote, small inn (that was suprisingly noisy considering it was in the middle of nowhere!!?),,,,,we woke to a spectacular view, then headed on to our next destination on Cape Breton Island...

Back on the road, we passed a few more colourful boats...

A lighthouse or two....

And we arrived at a charming inn located in the Margaree Valley on Cape Breton Island where we spent the next few days.  It's a huge piece of property that used to be a fly fishing camp in years gone by,,,now it operates as an Inn but is still popular for fly fishing enthusiasts.  

This place is quirky, and charming and completely authentic.  Their dining room is reknown for their incredible food and its Living Room and Barn are famous for hosting local musicians, Celtic music is in their blood here and its hard to find a restaurant or pub that doesn't have live local talent every night of the week.  It was the most incredible experience being treated to these intimate performances each evening,,,traditional Scottish fiddle tunes that bring tears to your eyes.

Unfortunately what this placed oozed in charm it lacked in technology!  No phones or WiFi in our cabin and we had no cell service anywhere on the island.  This was our only connection with the outside world so I was a bit stressed (normally not a problem when on vacation but I had a few installations happening back at home and I had promised to be available!).

The view from our cabin.....there were acres of pasture with lots of horses...

The view in our cabin!  The screen porch actually, I totally loved this hanging swing : )

Green rolling pastures and mountainous valleys everywhere....

The cabot trail was so breathtaking but so vast I found that I just couldn't capture it on camera. The road ahead as it ascended....

Out one side of the car the towering rocky shore.....

On the other side of the car looking inland,,,the never ending valleys...

We reached the very tip of the island beyond the Cabot Trail on a steep, windy dirt road I don't ever want to travel again,,,feared for my life several times (not kidding).

Stunning views just went on and on.....

We left Cape Breton a few days later and headed on to PEI, it was a really brief visit!  We arrived late one evening and then awoke the next morning (in really bad accommodations) to black stormy sky and heavy rain......and no reservations, again.  I was weary at this point, the thought of searching for yet another place to stay was more than I was up for.  We saw the confederation bridge and on a whim decided to head for home, we'd save PEI for another time.

This was my first trip to the East Coast but it definitely won't be my last, I am totally and completely taken with its unique style and the beautiful landscape.  I think its a paradise for Designer's and foodies alike. Not only is there stunning ocean views and valleys and forests, its the freshest cleanest air I have ever breathed, the freshest most delicious food I've ever had and the most charming character homes I've ever seen.  It was a bit of a whirlwind tour so on my next trip there I look forward to doing some serious exploring!


All Photos:  Carol Reed

Hgtv Green House

Go green with hgtv green house

During the building time of HGTV green homes, a number of factors were emphasized and kept in mind. These targeted areas were sustainable site, energy and atmosphere, innovation and design, location and linkages, awareness and education, indoor environmental quality and materials and resources. In the hgtv green homes, it was seen that how much is the sustainability of the house. The aim to build the home is to make it energy efficient so that the residents can maintain good health. While planning, two things were kept in mind.

Hgtv Dream House: Kitchen

First being the integrated project planning. In this, the energy experts, designers, and construction specialists work together so that the approach towards the project can be kept comprehensive.

Hgtv Dream House: Green Style

Second step is the durability planning. Here all the issues that deal with the durability of the home are dealt with. These issues need to be taken during the construction of the house. The durability of the design is increased by controlling the growth of pests and the water level outside and inside the house.

Hgtv Dream House: Green House

Green homes are the perfect hgtv dream house where you can enjoy life at its best. Sustainable homes are the perfect options for a greener future where you can save your resources and make them available to the further generations. Everything that is useful to you should be available in the vicinity to your green home so that you do not have to face any inconvenience. This idea works perfectly well for the people who are concerned about the future of the energy resources.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

East Coat Road Trip: Day 7

Boathouse at Peggy's Cove

And on the 7th day,,,,we travelled from Mahone Bay to somewhere unknown on the East Shore.  Along the way we visited Chester, Peggy's Cove, a couple of Beaches, a couple of fishing villages....and we drove thru Halifax and Dartmouth and into no man's land.  I call it no-man's-land because when you travel along the small secondary coastal highway east of Halifax towards Cape Breton,,,,its vastly unpopulated wildnerness, in fact the landscape looks very much like northern ontario.  You can travel for hours without seeing much of anything except the odd gas station.

The pics below are in reverse order, and begin where we ended our day of sightseeing.... at Peggy's Cove around 6:30.  You either have to visit late in the day or at the crack of dawn if you want to avoid herds of people.  I actually didn't take too many photos at the lighthouse because it was next to impossible to get any shots without all the tourists included!

On the road into Peggy's Cove we stopped at this small inlet which had some beautiful views...

I'm obsessed with these weathered grey buildings along the rocky shore and can't stop wanting to photograph them!

A little further down the road before getting to Peggy's Cove was the Swiss Air Flight Memorial Monument,,,,,,it was a breathtaking spot that brought tears to your eyes.  I can't imagine a more peaceful place for reflection, there was a spiritual vibe present that was almost tangeable.

The monument itself was made from a large round stone that had been split and angled outwards toward the sea with benches inbetween, the flat face sides of the stone were engraved with memorials.  I thought it was so beautifully designed, it looked like it belonged as part of the landscape...

You could see Peggy's Cove from the monument

I spent more time photographing the buildings around Peggy's Cove than I did of the lighthouse, this building in fact (also seen in first photo) I must have taken a hundred shots of, then later the next day I realized it was the same image on the cover of our Frommer's guide, without the colourful boat. 

I've never seen rock elevations like this anywhere before.....so smooth and clean with all these distinctive wrinkle-like lines.

The only shot I could get of the actual lighthouse without hundreds of people in the way was in this reflection...

Earlier in the day somewhere between Chester and Peggy's cove we stopped at this little fishing port, these fluorescent buoys were so bright they were blinding to look at in person.

The quintessential Nova Scotian beach bordered by tall wispy grass.....

Early in the day we stopped in Chester, a picture perfect coastal town with magnificent views and elegant homes.  The town itself doesn't have parking, or sidewalks, or public washrooms,,and the visitors information centre was located on the highway outside of the town.  All of this gave us the distinct feeling the residents weren't too fond of tourists here unless you came by boat.  We didn't stay long...

On the highway just before hitting Chester we stopped in a fantastic antiques barn, I could easily have spent half the day here.  I instantly fell in love with the grey jam cupboard and from the moment we left I regretted not buying it.  I'm going to follow-up and see if they'll ship it to me...

Inside the cupboard were all kinds of little treasures...

On the other side of Chester on the same highway was another antique barn also filled to the rafters with great stuff!!

I really really wanted to take these twin spool beds home with me...

The bridge into Halifax.  After our visit to Peggy's Cove, we continued East and drove right thru Halifax and Dartmouth.  I just wasn't in the mood to stop in a bustling urban centre but little did we know as we headed onwards we were headed into no man's land - without any further hotel reservations, not one.  We were about to discover that the road less travelled has no cell phone towers or WiFi.  This would be the beginning of the end of our gloriously wonderful road trip....

And everyday from this point on,,,I dreamed of the lovely, comfortable B&B's we left behind....

All Photos:  Carol Reed