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.


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.


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.


get to know: nate berkus

With the launch of ‘The Nate Berkus Show”, produced by Harpo and premiering on NBC, September 13th, 2010 we are celebrating ‘Nate Day’ where design & decor bloggers are giving their thoughts on Nate, today ~ June 14th, 2010.

I am excited that the show will be about more than design, because essentially, so is Nate.

Not bad looking :)

Let’s just cut to the chase and make it clear right off the hop. We all know that many women would say that Nate Berkus is easy on the eyes, has a killer smile and oooooh that hair! Enough said.


For as long as I can remember, I have always thought of Nate Berkus as someone who is easy to talk to, someone who listens and also cares, exactly what an interior designer should be. The fact that we are entrusted with our clients personal spaces is something that should be respected and taken as a privilege. Anytime that I have seen Nate in action he does just that. He is sensitive to the needs and wants of those he works with, yet at the same time offering them an inspiring space.


Nate is an extraordinary interior designer, TV personality, designer of his own line of home wares, author of Home Rules and Sirius Satellite radio host. All this, and he is self-taught! A testament to hard work, learning on the job and having some key people in his life to support and encourage along the way.


With a smile on his face, Nate approaches each project willingly and ready to make a difference to someone’s home. He embraces each project, no matter the budget and sets forth to change their space in a way that will change their life. Nate gets fully involved in a project getting very hands on in every sort of way, even taking care of kids so Mom can relax while her home is being made over. Quite a guy!

Nate Berkus creates a modern, efficient kitchen in his own home.

I love Nate’s personal home! The mix of textures, statement pieces of furniture and simple accessories creates a warm home with personality and interest.

Nate Berkus’s redecorated living area.


Nate designs beautiful rooms that are tailored to each and every client. I wouldn’t say that he has a distinct style and I appreciate him more because of that. He reaches into the clients lifestyle and creates a space that reflects their personality. He is respectful of budget and proves that you can have a successful space with a moderate amount of money.


Nate encourages learning and finding things that inspire us to be better people. Approaching life with a sense of discovery and pushing yourself to try new things, gives us an enriched life because of it and he challenges us to “love the life we live”.


He is a people person. Viewers trust Nate to bring positive change to their lives and because Nate shares his own personal experiences in an honest way, people feel a connection to him through everything he has shared and gone through.

Kind and Generous.

Not only an interior designer, Nate is a humanitarian. Willing to give of his time and finances to help, support and encourage efforts not even related to design, he shows his true compassion for people, animals and social issues around the globe.


He has a unique approach to his designs that allows him to be accessible. Not many celebrity interior designers can say the same thing. He makes it possible for people to have a beautiful home regardless of budget.


Nate Berkus is definitely stylish. Not only in his interiors, the way he dresses, but also in his personality. He has a love for life, a desire to help people and a passion for great design.

He is an inspiration in so many ways, to so many people!

Nate, here with Oprah in New Orleans helping families after Hurricane Katrina. Angel Lane neighborhood portrait.

The Cloud family's living room The living space of one of the homes made over on Angel Lane.

As an interior designer, it is natural to take inspirations from others. Thank you for sharing your talent with us and for inspiring us on so many levels. Congratulations Nate on your new show! I’m really looking forward to watching it and maybe, just maybe being in the audience one day ~ would be such a thrill!

* All images from Oprah.com.

* Thanks to the infamous Moggit Girls who have also inspired us, and by way of Twitter pulled this day together. Their efforts have snowballed into an amazing group of over 100 Design & Decor bloggers participating in this ‘Nate Day’ blog affair. There are so many talented bloggers! You can see the others here.


get to know: sir paul smith

My husband brought home this bottle of Evian water the other day and I was reminded of two things: one, that design is indeed everywhere and two, how much I love the designs of Paul Smith. His iconic colourful swirl pattern is classic and as you can see works effortlessly on a glass bottle as well as an area carpet.

Begrudgingly, Paul started work at a clothing warehouse in London England, however he had ambitions of being a racing cyclist. A terrible accident ended that dream and his career in fashion was born. Night classes to learn tailoring and introductions to some key people in the industry gave him his start. Now he is an international label known not only for his fashion collections but also interiors, collaborating with such companies as Cappellini, Maharam and The Rug Company.

I would love to have a piece of his Swirl pattern somewhere in my home. For now, I will happily display my bottles of water.



Swirl pattern area carpet for The Rug Company.

No 9

Paul Smith’s store, No. 9, Albermarle Street opened in the fall of 2005. “The aim was to create a shop that would showcase a varied selection of original and unique antiques, objects, art and curiosities sourced from around the world.”

“I have been a collector of ‘things’ for years and am very excited to have finally found a shop for these wonderful, individual pieces. The shop will be an odd mix, but that will make it utterly exciting all the time” Paul Smith

“The shop has a constantly changing and unexpected combination of treasures. While some are original pieces others are given a new lease of life with a Paul Smith twist. All items share the fact that they are unique.”

Source: http://paulsmith.co.uk/