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get to know: samuel heath and victoria + albert

Samuel Heath has been in business for almost two centuries. Founded with a focus in brass, it has evolved into bathroom fittings and accessories with a worldwide audience. Attention to detail in all areas from design and build to assembly and packaging, Samuel Heath takes pride in manufacturing in Birmingham to ensure quality control as well as environmental consciousness. While tradition is important, the company is driven to be a leader in the design and development of both modern and traditional faucets and fittings. These are no ordinary faucets.

Victoria + Albert bath tubs are sculpture for your bathroom floor. Freestanding tubs in classic, contemporary and premium designs, you’re sure to find a style to suit your discerning taste. Bathing has become more than a means to stay clean, it is an oasis, a quiet moment and relaxing pastime to unwind at the end of a busy day. While each tub have been designed with lines and details in mind, comfort is of utmost importance. Boasting handmade finishing details with a combination of high performance resins, Victoria + Albert is setting the bar high for beautiful, luxurious bathtubs.

The best part is, Victoria + Albert and Samuel Heath play very well together. They compliment and support each other when placed together. Kerri Russell’s bathroom in Elle Decor is the perfect example of this.

As both were sponsors of BlogTour, we were invited to tour their showrooms while at the London Design Center. Exquisite detailing, innovative in their approach to design and a supporter of bloggers and writers as we journal our way through each inspiration we see and find, I thank you both for believing in the power of blogs and welcoming us into your showroom.

Photo credits: collage of images are my photos, fairifield exposed shower via utopia kitchen & bathroom, elle decor, metallic toulouse bathtub via essential kitchen & bathroom business,

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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get to know: lapicida

“Nature does not differentiate between ‘new’ and ‘old’ – a block of limestone quarried yesterday could be over 180 million years old; anchoring even the most contemporary of homes to Earth’s genesis.” Lapicida

Simply defined as “stone cutter, quarryman”, Lapicida is mastering the art of stone. They are taking stone to new levels, pushing boundaries of what we expect and assume. I never thought the words ‘bespoke’ and ‘stone’ could be used in the same sentence. Lapicida proved me wrong during the tour of their King’s Road showroom, opening my eyes and inspiration vault of what is possible. And it’s endless….

Lapicida is combining the traditional skill sets of masonry with high-tech capabilities such as 3-D objects, scanning and automated stone working. The outcome is pure drama, creating etched patterns, inlay details and carvings of such objects from sinks to cars. Anything your heart desires.

The showroom in and of itself spoke volumes to the company’s vision and road ahead. They are leading the way in the world of stone with an ‘outside the box’ approach to all they do. The space is full of romance and grace, architectural elements and a past meets present feel, much like their reclaimed collection which is beyond gorgeous and perfect in any setting.

Budget, lifestyle and of course taste are all part of the dialogue when considering flooring, counters, walls etc. whether in limestone, marble, travertine, onyx, slate, sandstone, rock crystal or other semi-precious stones. Where possible I encourage clients to invest in stone. There is no material offering the depth and variation of natural stone. Questions often come up regarding durability and maintenance, both honest and important questions. Education is the key to making the best decision for you and your home, however I challenge you to find anything as beautiful and hard wearing as stone.

This is raw sophistication at it’s finest. Thank you Lapicida for touring us through your exquisite showroom and for being a BlogTour sponsor. The attention to detail was apparent around every corner. The knowledge and enthusiasm you brought to us is paramount in helping us talk with our clients about choosing stone and natural products.

Lapicida has plans to enter the North American market which is beyond exciting. Until then, they have a fantastic website as well as an interactive app. so please do connect with them. You can also following them on twitter and facebook.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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a night to remember: a hike for maggie’s centres

It was cold. It was raining. We were exhausted. The truth is I could have thought of a million reasons not to go. But, I knew I should. I knew in my heart this was important. We bundled up and hopped in a cab. Upon arrival the rain stopped. Upon arrival at Leadenhall Market, I was overwhelmed not only by the architecture, but the people. This was bigger than me, much bigger than my selfishness, feeling cold or tired. My emotion moved towards excitement as I drew off the energy of the crowd and those I was with. We were serious about our walk! From left to right: Patti Johnson – Patti Johnson Interiors, me, Erin Tye – Modenus, Vitania Liscio – Verdigris Vie, Veronika Miller – Modenus. Photo taken by Cheryl Kees Clendenon – Details and Design.

We set out on the hike, moving at a snails pace. 10,000 + people were participating, walking for loved ones. A walk to end this evil we call cancer. A walk to support Maggie’s Centers, a facility of care for those dealing with the words, “you have cancer” and the ones who are caring for them.

We slowly made our way. First stop was Tower of London, a historically eerie spectacle. I was in awe of it’s size and daunting aura. And then… Tower Bridge. A take my breath away moment. I walked across the bridge in amazement. I wanted to take in every moment, every step, every ounce of history embodied in it. We moved slowly amidst others standing in wonder, taking photographs, sharing smiles. Memories.

We made our way to the top of a new City Hall building. The elevator doors opened to a choir singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and we took in the spectacular view of the Tower Bridge from the observation deck. I began chatting with a woman who was walking in memory of five, yes five loved ones she recently lost. She was convicted, sad, strong. I held back my tears. We said good bye but I won’t ever forget her. Cancer affects us all. It robs us of loved ones and friends too soon.

The BlogTour team made our way along the River Thames, admiring architecture and chatting. Getting to know each other. I have a quote on my bulletin board “celebrate what you don’t have”. I have much to be thankful for. I am blessed. Turn the table and consider what you don’t have. I have my health. I don’t have cancer. Celebrate.

However, millions do. Maggie’s is there to help, to support, to encourage and lift you up when you’re world is crumbling down. We need more Maggie’s in the world. They are critical in the assistance of overcoming this illness. A tower of strength.

Riding the London Eye was an amazing experience. The view, spectacular. The world so big, yet so small when people join together with a common bond of hope.

Walking with my BlogTour friends, in support of Maggie’s Centres was priceless. It made me realize there’s more to give. It made me think I should get more involved. It gave me hope that we’ll find a cure.

Thank you Maggie’s for all you are doing in support of those with cancer, for embracing BlogTour and inviting us to walk alongside you in this fight.

For more photos of the night hike, and to see how you can support Maggie’s please visit the website. Information about Night Hike 2013 is already posted. Anyone care to jump the pond and go for a walk?

 

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get to know: and so to bed

Between the hours of three and five in the afternoon, the English are known to pause for high tea, also referred to as afternoon tea. Not only a social event, high tea is a bridge between meals to fuel the hunger pangs as eating dinner at 8pm is not uncommon.

During our visit to the showroom of And So To Bed, we were treated to the tradition of high tea (served by adorable ladies!) while admiring beautiful beds and learning the ins and outs of what makes their mattresses so incredible. It was interactive, fun and highly inspirational.

The visual appeal of the showroom was certainly a highlight. Room settings created with each style of bed and conceptualized right down to the accessories and styling made you feel you could move right in. Below, the Palais sleigh bed. With solid wood construction and a casually classic style, consider this bed in any space from modern to traditional.

Flip the coin to a formal and more opulent style, the Versailles bed is a stunning showpiece. An upholstered headboard with carved silver leaf frame confirms the attention to detail And So To Bed maintains in their product. Here, there is something for everyone and a small sampling shown above. Not only in choices of frame but also for what lies beneath and possibly the most important part of a good nights sleep, the mattress.

And So To Bed is invading the US market with their unique style and heirloom quality beds which is great news for those of us who fell in love with what we saw in London. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s time to get acquainted! For more information visit their website and contact page to get in touch.

A special thank you for hosting us, sharing your passion for beautiful beds and reaching out as a sponsor of Modenus’ BlogTour. It was a pleasure to meet you all!

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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trend spotting at design junction: linear

If you’ve ever attended a trade show, you know the overwhelming desire to take it all in and absorb as much as you possibly can in the short time you’re there. Every turn is an encounter with a new product or inspiring idea. My hope when walking a show is to not only find new products or inspirations for a client or project, but to also keep an eye out for emerging trends or a common thread from booth to booth.

Line: a straight or curved continuous extent of length without breadth, a contour or outline considered as a feature of design or composition.

During our BlogTour trip to the London Design Festival, I found a common linear theme among several products and displays at design junction, including lighting, furniture and accessories. These specific items stood out for me because of their line and composition but the brands themselves are absolutely worth checking out.

Secto Design company’s Octo 4240 pendant

Modern Windsor Chairs by Sitting Firm

when objects work‘ Vincent Van Duysen collection of pottery

Autoban: Nest lounge chair and Tulip family lamps.

Benjamin Hubert furniture and linear wall display.

Montis small side tables and floor poufs and pillows.

LZF lighting

EOQ‘s Brahma pendant design junction is committed to design excellence and strives to find a balance between creativity and the commercial world. Now in it’s second year, the show has grown so exponentially since their launch they required a new venue. Located in the Sorting Office, a raw warehouse/studio style site which embraces a casual and friendly atmosphere to engage with suppliers and product designers. Over three floors and 12,000 + sq.ft of space, design junction features over 100 international brands both large and small and creates a sense of ‘design culture’ among its participants.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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experience: london hotel citizen M

I’m kicking off the first of many BlogTour London posts with a thank you to one of our sponsors of the event, Citizen M. Let’s be honest, us designer types are a little picky when it comes to hotels. Not only do we like our ideal location, cozy beds and amenities but we love a style and aesthetic to give our sensory palette a nice hit of inspiration.

Citizen M offers all that, a savvy price point and more. While considered a boutique style hotel, the lobby area is spacious, inviting and cordons off well designed areas to mingle, eat, drink, relax, work alone or even in a group. The rooms are suitable for one to two people and have everything you need to start and end your day comfortably. I slept like a baby!

Almost everything in the hotel is digital from check-in to raising your blinds, yet this does not discount the importance of people. Any staff member I came in contact with was helpful, friendly and also worldly. I noticed several accents other than British, which added a level of sophistication and allure I loved.

In an effort to capture the mood of being there in person I ‘instagramed’ my way through the hotel. Welcome to Citizen M. Details matter! Accommodating plugs for all is simply brilliant.

They’ve even added a handmade touch to each room. Adorable.

I won’t even go into the alarm clock options. You’ll have to go there to hear for yourself, but let’s just say it’s pretty wild ;)

Are you a citizen? Watch the video below to find out.

Located in Bankside, which is ideal with easy access to tube stations and of course a cab ride is just a ‘hail’ away. Step outside the hotel lobby and walk to the River Thames with views of the magnificent London architecture.

If your travels are taking you to the likes of Amsterdam, Paris, New York or Glasgow, Citizen M has locations in these fine cities as well as London.

Thank you Citizen M for believing in BlogTour London, the importance of bloggers and what we bring to the social media scene. You were a fantastic host and a welcome place to return to at the end of our amazing and busy days.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.