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,



lately loving: swing arm wall sconces

One of my favourite decor items right now is the swing arm wall sconce. We have used them in a few of our projects lately. Versatile, functional and of course stylish, this decorative element fits into any room from modern to traditional.  Most mount to the wall without the need of an electrical box, all you need is an outlet! . Which one is your favourite?

swing arm wall sconces Source guide: 1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6

Nyla Free Designs Inc. 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 Inc. also offers online design to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.


lately loving: mint

Hello Monday! Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. Ever have those days where you think, Yay! it’s only Friday and we still have Saturday AND Sunday…so much weekend still left. Fast forward to Sunday evening and it’s back to “where did the time go?”, “it can’t possibly be Monday again already!” Yet, here we are.

Thankfully I’m stocked with chocolate which will provide some fuel. The next few weeks are going to be exciting!

The colour mint is everywhere these days. It’s not a typical colour used in interiors especially in a large scale. I love the soft and subtle wall colour in an otherwise neutral room (top) as well as a splash of colour in the kitchen cabinetry (bottom). How about the dramatic window and door trim in mint? Do you dare? Or are smaller accessories more your style?

mint interior mint mint interior Here’s to a colourful start to your week!

Victoria Sullivan Interiors, Mint chocolate chip macaroons, pencils, tea cup and saucer, Pantone 351U, mint door and window frames, My lovely things blog.


fashion to interiors: hot pink, charcoal and black

There’s still snow on the ground here, but the fact that Spring has officially arrived makes me sooooo happy.

I snapped this photo at the Bay downtown Toronto in January pining for spring during the bitter cold spell. It’s such a struggle to see new fashion hit the shops when the weather is anything but conducive to sleeveless tops and bare legs. Not to mention wearing hot pink makes you feel like a beacon against the white snow. Luckily bringing this colour scheme into your interior is much easier with no seasonal constraints. Here’s a spring inspired fashion to interiors to enjoy on this first day of Spring. I love this space!

spring 2014 fashion spring fashion to interiors Top photo is my own, interior via Nuevo Estillo

Nyla Free Designs Inc. 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 Inc. also offers an online design service to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.


BT Calgary – fall trends 2013

Fall trends this year are exciting, vibrant and easy to add into existing decor. They also mix and match well with each other so if you find yourself drawn to more than one, you’re in luck. From small accessories to renovating a room with tile, there’s something here for everyone and every budget. You’ll find me on BT Calgary this morning so tune in to learn more!

2013 fall trends jewel tones Jewel tones: throw, green vases, amber glass all Crate & Barrel. Pillow, blue vase, area carpet all Maria Tomas, paint colours foe Benjamin Moore

2013 fall trends patterned tile Patterned tile: Empire Kitchen & Bath

2013 fall trends warm metals and brass Warm metals: Lamp and ornament Maria Tomas, letter, glass box, bowl, tea lights, placemat, napkin and holder all Crate & Barrel, hardware from Banbury Lane, wallpaper Schumacher through interior designers.

2013 fall trends patterned wallpaper Patterned wallpaper: Schumacher available through interior designers.

2013 fall trends painted furniture Painted furniture: chair Crate & Barrel

Do you have a favourite?


Nyla Free Designs Inc. 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 Inc. also offers an online design service to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.


mini trend: matte black

My husband was actually the one who got me thinking about this trend or *potential* trend. He has been gawking over an Audi TT which he informed me was matte black in colour. Then he went on the hunt for black rimmed eye glasses in a matte finish. He didn’t have any luck, however what he did find was a pair of sunglasses that he then popped the lenses and replaced with his prescription lenses for everyday wear. I started to wonder if he was on to something….

A while ago I blogged about my obsession with black patent, which by the way I am still in love with. I am purely investigating the possibility of another black finish taking the stage and in more of a masculine way.

1. Absolute black honed granite has a smooth, non-reflective surface. It has a softer, warmer appearance and I recently installed it in a cottage that I worked on. 2. I love this Capiza Pendant in Matte Black available at CSN Lighting 3. How gorgeous is this Elizabeth and James matte black onyx ring? Available at Bloomingdales. 4. Moooi Smoke Chair in burnt wood finished with epoxy resin, colour black. 5. Almoco matte black flatware from Design Within Reach. Gorgeous! 6. Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses 2140 matte black ~ the ones my husband bought and turned into eye glasses by changing the lenses. They look really cool :) 7. One of my favorite furniture lines, Oly’s Priscilla, a pretty little side table in a matte black cast resin. I recently purchased this for a client and it’s beautiful! 8. Kohler Torq deck mount bridge kitchen faucet in matte black. 9. Kitchen Aid Artisan Series in imperial black. Would look great sitting on a kitchen counter. 10. The Audi TT in matte black that hubs is coveting. Swoon!

I thought this image did a great job of depicting matte black in a space with the lamp shades, fireplace surround, artwork and even the sofa offering a rich darkness to the space. It’s a room that feels warm and inviting. The black is not harsh by any means, but rather gives a smokey elegance to the space. I think I like it!


So tell me, what do you think about matte black?


mini trend: elephants

Elephants seem to be in a category all their own. They fit into any type of decor from a traditional living room to a young child’s bedroom. Elephants are exotic. They exude both sophistication and whimsy. Symbolizing wisdom, they also add a sense of mystery and character to a space. Regardless of their placement, an elephant of any kind or style will bring strength to your decor or even fashion. Go ahead! Indulge in some exotic flavor for your space.

1. John Derian 12″ decoupage square tray. 2. Elizabeth and James black sapphire, diamond & sterling silver elephant ring available at Saks Fifth Avenue. 3. Jonathan Adler ceramic elephant. 4. Banana Republic cotton elephant tote. 5. Paperweights by iomoi. 6. Birthday greeting from Cartolina Cards available at Modern Paper Goods. 7. Hand blocked linen pillow by Sue Fisher King. 8. Acrylic elephant book ends available at Neiman Marcus. 9. Vitra elephant stool. 10. Dwell Studio elephant bookshelf. 11. Ink & Wit elephant safari tea towel or wall hanging. 12. Personalized ‘peek-a-boo’ bin from Smidgebox. 13. ‘Recycled’ mixed media on panel painting by Michael Cutlip, represented by Jacana Gallery.

Left: GT House by Studio Guilherme Torres via Amy at abcddesign. Right: Anthroplogie Sept. 2010 catalogue.

http://www.elledecor.com/files/web/images/ralph-lauren-at-home-ed1010-03.jpg Ralph Lauren’s Chic Retreat. Image via Elle Decor.

I hesitate even calling this a ‘mini-trend’ as elephants can be a classic and timeless addition to any room.


mini trend: chunky knits

It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get me into a sweater and this Fall, how lovely to see this idea transfer into interiors. Adding that extra texture and knit quality may be just what your room needs to give it a warm and cozy feeling as the days start to cool off.

1. I love this knitted pouf that has the look of a big ball of yarn. 2. Throw this over sized ‘snood’ scarf around your neck for instant warmth. 3. A sweater dress is the perfect go to piece when the weather gets cool. Tights, boots and voila! 4. A cable knit sweater for your ottoman…why not? 5. Cozy up underneath one of these chunky knit blankets. 6. Switch your area rug and add one that is thick and chunky. Your bare feet will thank you!  7. A woven rope knob can add texture and warmth to an otherwise simple piece of furniture. 8. These Emu Australia boots are like a cardigan for your feet. Need I say more? 9. Cable knit floor pillow, perfect for any room.

This is just a small sampling of chunky knit items that are in stores now so it’s easy to add this mini trend into your decor (or wardrobe!). One simple item can make a significant difference to your space for Fall.

Don’t these rooms make you want to curl up under a blanket with a magazine and a cup of tea?


mini trend: cutouts

Whether in fashion, interiors or architecture, ‘cutouts’ are becoming a high rising trend. Offering a lightness and airy feel, these holes embrace the negative space of an object and create a captivating design and a statement all their own.

1. John Galliano’s first eye wear collection ~ Cutout Arm Sunglasses from Neiman Marcus. 2. Robert Lee Morris Flat Lace Ring available at Neiman Marcus. 3. Normally we strive to keep our clothes free of holes, however Vince makes it a fashion statement with this Linen Torn Sweater available at Nordstrom. 4. Oly Studio’s Pipa Cocktail Table would bring life to several styles of decor. 5. Franco Sarto Crest Shoes in stone. 6. Constantine Pewter 3″ x 3″ Tile from Metal Focus. 7. Eighteen Karat Ramen Vase available at Home Evolution. 8. Bev Hisey takes cutting edge to a new level with her die cut 100% Wool Felt River Rock Carpet. 9. This Dipped Abalone Bowl from Anthropologie has an organic quality to it as if it just come out of the ocean.

Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona Spain. Image via The Coolist*.

Mikimoto Building in Tokyo Japan. Image via ARCHizon.


mini trend: sketched

It’s as simple as a pencil and a piece of paper. Preferably, black on white or white on black. A series of lines that move across a page and become something ~ something beautiful. The idea of a sketch can often be interpreted as preliminary, the beginning of a creative process, however these designers (and several others) have chosen to make the concept of a sketch their finished product. Never underestimate the power of a simple line, and what it can develop into when creativity has it’s way.

1. Love the lines of this sofa/ settee and the simple sketched tulip: Cyrilla Banquette ~ Pure by Ami McKay 2. The very classic Woods Wallpaper from Cole & Sons 3. Blossoms headboard by Holley & Gill adds such a simple yet impressive statement to an upholstered headboard 4. Fabric by Addison House Design 5. Pencils Storage Bag by Jenna Rose 6. To me, this art offers such emotion through the movement of it’s line Daniel Schneider ~ Chandelier Series, 2001. ink on vellum 7. I have owned and loved bedding from Dwell Studio for years. Sketch (pictured) was my latest purchase for our guest room. 8. I love the bold quality of this rug, like artwork for your floor. ‘Swirl’ by Izzy Camilleri for Source UK Fashion Series.


mini trend – tiffany blue

Perhaps this is cliche as I’m sure this type of blog has been done before. This is also very close to the colour of the year announced by Pantone and I have to say I resisted it at first, however this is a colour that has been sought after since the dawn of Tiffany’s in 1837 in the form of the prized ‘little blue box’. The actual colour itself is not made available to the public, however designers are doing a great job of coming very close. We are not only seeing it in large scale forms, but in fashion, small accessories ~ even vacuum cleaners! Everyone seems to be catching on to the colour that most girls dream about, appropriately called Tiffany Blue.

1. Tiffany’s anticipated blue box 2. Kristen leather satchel from Coach 3. Knob from Anthropologie 4. Mosaic tile from Ann Sacks 5. Miele vacuum cleaner 6. Storage boxes from See Jane Work 7. Accent table from Somerset Bay 8. Watelet fabric from Designers Guild 9. DIY painted glass bottles ~ see April issue of House and Home magazine page 36 for the how to. *not available online

I love how this colour has been used to highlight the front entry door of this home. It’s cheery and bright and it says ~ “welcome, come on in!” From the archives of Domino magazine.

So if getting the infamous “blue box” from Tiffany’s is not in your future, don’t despair! Grab a can of paint, a new handbag or a few accessories and add a pop of colour to your room. Maybe, just maybe it’ll even make you want to vacuum!