trend from tent london: graphic

Tent London is a multi faceted design show and considered one of the most creative events in the design calendar. It boasts over 200 established, yet up and coming interior product designers. These companies are pushing boundaries, with colour combinations and graphic patterns, a trend I spotted each and every row I traveled.

Seaside inspired, Zoe Murphy uses textiles and imagery on recycled furniture encouraging a ‘love what belongs to you’ mindset.

Vintage toys, childhood memories and travel continue to inspire the designers of Mini Moderns where they’ve mastered the art of pattern in their own voice on such items as pillows, wallpaper, fabrics, rugs and ceramics.

Luxurious bohemian patterns is all you really need to say to pique your interest of Surfacephilia. A sketched approach to the design of wallpapers, cushions, bone china and greeting cards, the depth and interest in each pattern caught my eye instantly.

It doesn’t get more classic than black and white, however award winning print design company Erica Wakerly, has taken the graphic combination and softened it. Their approach to interior textiles and wallpaper is described as ‘Modern and delicate. Distinct, but not overpowering’.

Lovers of colour and inspired by their surroundings of nature, art and fashion, Parris Wakefield Additions collection is bold and graphic. With a strong and successful background in graphic design they’ve embraced interiors with their collection of cushions, fabrics, rugs and wallpapers.

What I loved about BlogTour London and the London Design Festival was the diverse visual eye candy that did not disappoint day after day. Each show, showroom tour and not to mention BlogTour London participants, brought a different approach to design, inspiring avenues of reaching their end product as well as a style so apparently unique to everyone,  you couldn’t help but be filled with the vigor to go forth and create!

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.

vancouver condo: teaser reveal

Ok, I’m being a tease. Just one image from my Vancouver condo install is all you’re allowed. I’m keeping the rest of the project under wraps for now, however I’m sharing one of my favourite shots which gives a sneak peek of the warm, West Coast natural and airy feel of the space.

At 3:15 I was furiously snapping photos when I was supposed to be on my way to the airport by 3 to return to Calgary. Oh the things we do for photos! Thankfully, many of them turned out, and I made my flight on time.

See my day in the life post as well as the project sneak peek for more on this exciting condo we furnished and accessorized from top to bottom.

Living room

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.

sneak peek: vancouver condo

Hello! I’m off to Vancouver bright and early this morning to bring to life a condo project I started back in the fall. Delivery of all the furniture and drapery installation happens today, art and accessorizing tomorrow, flowers and final touches on Saturday. Sunday my clients will return home for the big reveal. Exciting!

Below is the inspiration behind the selections to give you a sneak peek at the overall feel. We’ve taken cues from natural elements and added touches of modern, alongside stunning colouful artwork and a city view.

If you missed Monday’s post, pop over to ‘a day in the life’ to see where it all began.

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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.

before and after: bathroom renovation

I’m always amazed when I look back at the before photos at the end of a project. I kind of forget what things were like before the walls came down and floors torn up because soon into the start of a project the end result is already in my mind. The photos speak volumes to the changes and confirm the decisions made along the way to better the space. This project is no exception. A long time client of mine recognized it was time to not only update her basement bathroom from a style perspective but create a space far more efficient and practical then what she currently had.

The ‘before’ bathroom was a divided space, a sink/vanity area out in the open (notice the carpet!) and through the door, a shower, toilet and additional sink. Not practical and certainly lacking in style, my clients requested a makeover.  On the list: create a stylish, yet practical bathroom with tub, shower, vanity AND storage. With the bathroom 6′ wide by 10′ long and still a rather small space, decisions had to be made carefully and thoughtfully. We also needed to take into consideration the grandchildren who would use this space as it is close to the ‘play room’ and TV watching area of the home.

If you’d like to see our initial concept please visit the bathroom reno sneak peek.

AFTER!

The tub was one of our first selections, a Victoria & Albert free standing beauty. We offset the white tub with black granite tiles on the wall to create a dramatic visual from the doorway as well as a surface with easy maintenance for any splashing from the tub. After all, creating drama in a space need not compromise practicality.

We opted to make the surface area of the custom vanity smaller in order to accommodate a pantry style unit, floor to ceiling, offering the space a huge amount of storage. To give a more spacious feel we lifted the vanity off the floor allowing the tile to continue to the wall. This a great tip in making spaces feel larger!

Because this bathroom is in a basement we needed to deal with a foundation wall we could not move. Embracing the ‘issue’ we created a ledge for display and decorative storage. Renovations do bring about surprises but finding creative solutions will often yield great results.

The bathroom is also a mix of masculine and feminine touches and rich textures. We used cafe mocha colours along with dramatic black, yet softened the space with finishing touches of pinks and a hint of red. Along with the graphic black and white geometric prints, three custom canvases from Bijou et Boheme‘s shop Wink of Pink add the perfect amount of softness in the space. If you’re not familiar with Christine’s new shop you must check it out. Please!

We used a mix of natural stone and porcelain tiles, a give and take approach to the budget. The natural stone mosaic ‘area rug’ is surrounded by less expensive 12″ x 12″ porcelain tiles to offset the costs and allow the carpet to take center stage. Natural stone in the shower adds texture and interest, a great visual through the glass shower walls….

….which is another way to create an open and spacious feel in a small bathroom. This way the site line is not impeded by walls and the flow of natural light carries throughout the space, even with such a small window.

Let’s recap: Here are 5 tips for a small space bathroom renovation

  • use glass to create an open feel and let natural light flow through the space
  • lift vanities off the floor to make the floor space feel larger
  • use height to your benefit with ledges, shelves and floor to ceiling storage
  • custom cabinetry yields the ideal size and depth to suit your space
  • bring drama and impact into a small space by mixing textures and adding high contrast such as black and white.

I’m pretty thrilled with the results, as is my client. And that my friends is a great feeling!

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.

project sneak peek: soft, sparkly and classic kitchen

I embarked on a kitchen renovation earlier this year with clients who were moving to Calgary. We jumped into the project with both feet doing most of the preliminary work from afar. The goal: create a family friendly, classic kitchen that’s feminine (but not too feminine!), with a hint of modern.

You can’t get much more classic than white cabinets and carrera marble counters. We combined marble on the perimeter with a heavy duty granite on the island to be the work horse of the kitchen. Looking for a touch of colour, we incorporated a bold blue in the eating area along with a soft, water-coloured drapery fabric. Sparkly touches in the lighting and hardware are the perfect feminine additions to the room, not to mention the mirrored backsplash, a beautiful element of shimmer.

Adding a hint of modern, Benjamin Moore gray owl oc-52 is the wall colour throughout the main floor with the exception of the powder and dining rooms. This soft grey and warm white colour palette infused with cool blues will be a welcome reprieve from the brown hue my clients first laid eyes on when purchasing the home. Can’t wait to reveal more! Here’s a quick conceptual sketch I did in the early stages…

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.

sneak peek: warm and romantic master bedroom

A master bedroom I’m working on is coming together. I received word yesterday the Au Lit bedding we ordered has arrived and I can’t wait to start putting the finishing touches on the room. This is an older home with pitched ceilings, dark window trims and wide plank floors. We painted the walls (and ceilings) a rich charcoal colour, and lightened the floor with a pale blue and steel patterned area carpet. Add textured linens, mirrored night tables and and a touch of turquoise and you’ve got a lovely room to retreat to, perfect for a master suite.

A grouping of some of the colours and materials we used below ~

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.

project sneak peek: old fashioned with a twist

As a designer I often find myself overflowing with creativity. I have been blessed with wonderful clients and exciting projects over the years and this one is no exception. This project is pushing me to use that extra dose of creativity and I’m loving it. We’ve been working with existing antiques and a certain nostalgia to bring this little girls room to life in an old fashioned way, but with a twist of modern. I realized I’m missing the drapery fabric in this collage so you’ll have to wait for the room reveal to see it. Until then, here’s a sneak peek at the story so far.

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.

design: the power of pillows

Not long ago I blogged about those who may have a pillow problem. The type who feel pillows will solve their decorating dilemmas overnight and with no success secretly have a graveyard of pillows stashed in a closet taking up valuable storage space. You know what I’m talking about right?

There’s no doubt pillows are an important finishing touch to a room but I’m here to say, get a plan. No different than creating a furniture plan for a room, pillows deserve the same attention.

Fun, personality and unexpected elements are indeed part of pulling a room together and certainly in the final details, don’t get me wrong. Not every selection needs to be planned perfectly or you risk a contrived feeling. It may also depend on the type and overall style of the room. (Have I convinced you to hire a designer yet?)

The living room featured in the April/May issue of Dabble is one where we planned the pillows. We sourced fabrics, organized sizes and mixed colour and pattern. We also created two schemes or options if you will, one for spring/summer, the other for fall/winter. Within these two colour combinations we also have a mix and match approach where a certain pillow could be used for both. The fact is, a multitude of options and combinations exist but as you can see in the photos below, varying the pillows, changes the look of the room.

With a neutral colour palette focused on textures, we incorporated pillows with pattern and colour, arranged in an asymmetrical way within a symmetrical room.

Keeping a stash of pillows in your closet or cupboard is not a bad thing providing they have a purpose and a place. So get a plan together and brighten up your sofa or bed with a little pillow love.

I admit my favorite of the two is the turquoise. Which one is yours?

ps. I’ve uploaded the images from this photo shoot into my portfolio if you’d like to see more :)

Photography by: Lori Andrews

Art credits: Painting by Barbara Milne courtesy of the Paul Kuhn Gallery, Photograph by David Burdeny courtesy of the Herringer Kiss Gallery

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.

 

dabble issue 6: kids bedrooms

Have you had a chance to check out Dabble Issue 6 yet? I hope so! This issue’s Reality Check is tackling Kid’s Bedrooms, offering tips and pointers on things you need to know before embarking on the task to meet the needs of your little ones no matter how old.

This bedroom belongs to my youngest daughter and for a long time it was the only completed room in the house. During the photo shoot of my bedroom for Dabble Issue 2, we had a slight delay while electricians hung my new swag lamps so Lori was quick to jump on the chance to snap shots of my girls. (You can see photos of my oldest daughters room here.)

The Sadie print from Serena and Lily was my jumping off point. I love the watermelon colour combination and the mix of patterns, but wanting to add my own touch, I introduced olive coloured polka dot sheet set from Pottery Barn that I mixed with the floral pattern. I also purchased fabric from Designer Fabrics for accent cushions and euro pillows. The petite patterned wallpaper is Designers Guild (a now discontinued print) which I used as an over sized head board, framed in wide moulding purchased from a local hardware store. I painted it matte black, added touches of silver then roughed it up with sandpaper. I attached a wall decal to give off a shadow-like visual from the chandelier.

Classic ‘headless’ shot of little ‘M’ by Lori Andrews.

The nightstands are also mismatched. The left night table is an old piece with a fresh coat of paint. I would say it acted as a telephone table at one point in time. The round one on the right is new and has a pedestal style base. I ordered this one without really realizing how much it was. Oops! Lets just say it’s a keeper ;)

The colour palette and style of this room has lasted for three years now and I don’t anticipate changing it for another three, it has so much longevity. Great for my pocketbook…not so great for my interest and desire to create and change things!

Photography by Lori Andrews, Interior Design by Nyla Free Designs a.k.a ‘Mom’

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.

 

sneak peek: family room makeover

Happy Thursday!

I’m patiently waiting for installation day on a project. The area carpet is taking longer than expected so we’re on hold until further notice. My client would like a one day transformation…and so we wait, but that’s ok, good thinks come to those who wait, right? In the meantime I’m on the hunt for accent pillows for the sofas (see large question mark below). I blogged recently about pillows and how they’re part of the styling stage, meaning one of the last details to be selected in a project. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled in hopes of finding the perfect, family friendly, yet sophisticated, not too formal, hint of colour kind of pillows. Here’s a peek at a few fabric selections and items we have on order.

1. Kaleigh Ceramic Lamp: Arteriors 2. Carved Chest: Hickory Chair 3. Area carpet: Weavers Art

We have bold pattern in drapery as well as a chair and ottoman working alongside teal velvet sofas. Contrasting this with muted colours, textures and a dose of colour…loving the yellow! It’s my goal to find one pillow and purchase four to add cohesive, not overly fussed accents to the sofa.

Tomorrow I’m headed east again but this time to New York for a shopping weekend. So excited! I’m on a mission to find pillows among many other items. Surely I’ll find something, don’t you think?!

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.