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high point spring 2015 highlights

zoe bios creative I’ve just returned home from my first visit to High Point market in almost 20 years. My overall focus of this trip was to simply absorb and be inspired however I took away so much more. First of all, the market is huge. Several buildings with several floors, filled with furniture, accessories and everything in between. Secondly, it provides the means of seeing product in person. Sit testing, touching fabrics, opening drawers are just a few of the benefits of in person visits. Lastly, it challenges us to get out of our everyday bubble and consider new ideas and approaches to design, gaining inspiration from the vendors who take great pride in recreating their showrooms every market. It’s THE mecca for interior design and home furnishings and if you’re in the field and haven’t been, I highly recommend you find a way to add this event to your Fall calendar.

My highlights included Zoe Bios Creative (top), Natural Curiosities, Dunes and Duchess, Design Legacy, Mirth Studio and Vanguard. I couldn’t help but take note of the theme of colour and pattern throughout these showrooms, definitely two areas I am passionate about in our design work.
natural curiosities dunes and duchess design legacy mirth studios vanguard Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

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how to layer carpets

One of my favourite ways to add texture and interest to a room is to layer area carpets. It’s an unexpected addition and one that seems to surprise most as I learned on the set of Breakfast Television. Here are a few great tips:

1. Start big: Fill your room with the largest possible base layer.

2. Go flat: The bottom layer should be a flat or tight weave. You’ll be adding at least one other layer so starting thin ensures the thickness doesn’t reach trip-able proportions.

3. Texturize: Texture on texture is a great approach. Contrast shag with a woven jute to add warmth and visual interest.

4. Add impact: With the base layer neutral and natural, take your next layer up a notch by adding colour and pattern, or both!

5. Go bold: Layer pattern on pattern for a “collector’s” feel to your space. Combine similar style area carpets with complimentary colour schemes for high level interest and impact.

Overall, have fun and take risks. If you’ve found the perfect area carpet or a small work of art, but the overall size is too small or it’s the size you can afford, layering is a great way to work it into your space.

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

 

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a day in the life: install sourcing

a day in the life installation sourcing We’re preparing for a large installation in Canmore tomorrow! Last week we hit the shops for more fabulous finds, one being the Reclaimed Trading Co. We found wonderful accessories, furniture and some old moulds we’re going to use as wall decor. There are many treasures to be had here! And no those are not pizza boxes :) it’s an armful of frames for a fun gallery wall. Stay tuned for more! 
day in the life installation sourcing day in the life installation sourcing day in the life installation sourcing a day in the life installation sourcing Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

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project reveal: classic living room

Living Room There is so much excitement on install day. Seeing the vision come together is as thrilling for us as it is for our clients. While the larger pieces have been selected months ago, it’s the finishing touches, accessories and artwork that really put a stamp of completion on a space.

The jumping off point for this room was our clients Barry Weiss artwork. We married simple fabrics, textural furniture with a patterned area carpet and drapery for interest.  
Samples Living Room Close Up Living Room The result is a classic, sophisticated and welcoming room suitable for entertaining everyone from grandchildren to friends!

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

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lately loving: black & white buffalo check

black and white gingham I’m quite fond of classic black and white patterns. “Lately loving” has seen bold stripes so far and there’s more to come. This week we’re drawing inspiration from black and white buffalo check. Gingham, a name commonly associated with this pattern, refers to the cotton fabric used to make clothing or small house hold wares such as casual shirts and dresses, table cloths or napkins. Buffalo check (the actual name of the pattern), was named after the designer’s herd of buffalo, has been around since the late 1800’s and typically consists of two contrasting colours. Don’t let his classic pattern be pigeon holed into a cutesy, country theme as it is bold, graphic and positively current in design and fashion today.

Image credits: restaurant l dress l wallpaper l bathing suit l dining room l chair l skirt Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

 

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Olga Korper Gallery

Olga1 After a morning at the Toronto Interior Design Show this past January, I joined a fantastic group of designers for an afternoon gallery tour. Our first stop was Olga Korper Gallery. Our guide, Olga’s granddaughter Taiga, so vibrant and incredibly passionate about the art and artists gracing their space. Olga’s gallery is a special place as it is a live-work environment, where creativity oozes around every corner and it would seem that old souls gather with a cappuccino or glass of wine in the casual seating area. Olga4 From Olga’s personal collection: artist Yoshi Sankawa. Olga5 “Lobby” by artist Lynne Cohen l “Gdansk” by artist Sigalit Landau Olga3 There are no “accessories” in this home, only artifacts and collected treasures. Skull by artist: Tim Whiten vignettes1 The main space at the Olga Korper Gallery juxtaposes raw industrial and crisp white walls allowing the art to speak volumes in the space.  Olga6 Olga2 The main exhibition during our visit was by Marianne Lovink, a Canadian sculpture, now based out of Philadelphia. Her work evokes a scientific whimsy, a rare collection of ordinary objects, much like Wunderkammer (or Cabinet of Curiosities), not literally a cabinet, rather a collection of magical and mystical items inspired by organisms and elements of the natural world.   Olga7 I was quite take by these neon words tucked in a light filled corner of the gallery. “Once, I saw” by artist Barbara Steinman

Thank you Olga, for welcoming us into your fantastic gallery and living space. And to Taiga for your passionate approach to art, one that I’m sure inspires many.

Be further inspired by Olga Korper and see more of her fantastic live/work gallery space in this House and Home video feature and if you find yourself in Toronto, a visit to her gallery is a must.

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

 

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before & after: family room bookshelf styling

Family Room We have a blank canvas of open shelves awaiting embelishments in this modern family room. At this stage of the design process we apply the finishing touches, arriving with bags and boxes of carefully selected accessories to outfit the room. The styling stage requires a thoughtful approach and a discerning eye in an effort to bring a space to life. See how it all unfolds in this colourful family room in our time lapse video.

Family Room Family Room Music credit: What So Not, How High You Are (Branchez Remix)

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

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lately loving: wide black & white stripes

black and white stripes Admittedly I am always drawn to stripes and the black and white kind are my favourite. The graphic nature and bold expression of this classic combination is one I could find an excuse to add to an outfit or room any day!

Image credits: skirt l area carpet l agenda l bowl l tile l flower

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

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lately loving: modern windsor chairs

windsor chair Dating back to the 16th century it is safe to say the “Windsor chair” is a classic. It is unknown as to their official origin however some speculate they were named after the town of Windsor which became the centre for trading in the early 1700’s. Other names include stick-back or comb-back chairs, however the construction of all styles are similar. The seat is the integrity of the chair providing strength to both the legs and back, both are securely fastened into the thickness of the seat.
windsor chair windsor chair It’s ability to meld into any environment, the Windsor chair provides comfort and a classic form available in an array of colours and stains. Suitable in a kitchen, a desk chair or a dining room, it’s casual elegance and simple lines make it an easy choice and one that will never go out of style. 
windsor chair windsor chair windsor chair Image credits: House and Home l dezeen magazine l Domaine Home l Desire to Inspire l decorpad l facilisimo Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

 

 

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february office vibes

designers, nyla free designs We made it through February! You never know what this month is going to bring, especially with the weather. For Calgary it’s been mostly plus temps and little to no snow, and yet it’s been a flurry of activity in the Nyla Free Designs studio. Jackie and I realized we were dressed the same prior to a big presentation last week so of course had to snap a photo. Our office has been somewhat upside down as of late with all we have going on and there were a few days we could barely see the floor. So many drool worthy materials!

We’re excited for March, the promise of Spring and feel blessed and inspired with the projects we have on the go.  designer materials I didn’t watch the Grammy’s this year but one thing I absolutely love are the collaborative arrangements amongst the musicians. If you haven’t seen Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” with Annie Lennox, it’s a must see. She is so incredibly cool.

March has started like a lamb here in Calgary which if the old saying is true, we’ll be out like a lion. Taking each day as it comes and welcoming the another new month. Is it just me or is time flying?? Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,

 

 

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powder room inspiration

Powder Room Inspiration The proverbial saying “the shoemakers son always goes barefoot” is ringing so true for me right now.

We had an unexpected toilet leak in our main floor powder room last October. We immediately started the demolition process to unveil any further damage. We patched the space to a degree, however I saw this as an opportunity to make over the powder room from it’s original “builder basic” feel.

It’s now February, and the bathroom is still unusable. So yes… the family of a skilled or knowledgeable person are often the last to benefit from their expertise.

Making decisions for my own home is tough. I see so much, love so much and projects tend to become a work in progress.

I do however have a vision in mind and sometimes putting it out there is the first step in moving forward, so here goes!

1. I’m drawing inspiration from DesignLoveFest’s recent desktop wallpaper 2. I am loving this light fixture option 3. Thinking a mother of pearl framed mirror 4. Having a hard time selecting anything other than a brass faucet 5. Varying shades of navy blue herringbone tiles are the one thing installed and looking fabulous. Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,