feature store: three french hens

I couldn’t resist sharing two posts with you today. It was too hard to decide between Social Graces and this store. Both highlights during our trip to Nashville this time last year, while preparing for the launch of Dabble Mag. Three French Hens was the location of our photo shoot with St. Lola in the Fields and what we found inside was icing on the cake. Treasures galore, antiques and vintage items left me wanting to rent a u-haul and drive home with a truck load of goodies. Three French Hens is located 45 minutes outside of Nashville but well worth the drive, not only for the enthusiastic ladies who own the store but the many gems waiting to be picked up and brought home.

A little Valentine decor and display for you to enjoy today.

Happy Valentines Day!

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.




feature store: social graces

A year ago this time I was in Nashville working on the launch issue of Dabble Mag. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun. It’s been quite the year. I thought I’d go down memory lane today and highlight a favourite store we visited. Hillsboro Village is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Fabulous boutique shopping mixed with coffee shops, a gourmet pancake house and sundae parlour. What more could you ask for?

I am a huge fan and lover of stationary. Wrapping paper, note cards, gift tags, you name it, I love it, so you can only imagine how I felt when I walked through the door of Social Graces. This adorably stylish store not only carried fabulous merchandise, but the creativity in their displays had me from the sidewalk.

Jumbo paper flowers adorn the window. Stacked and hung from interesting objects like tree stumps and metal cages, merchandising becomes an art form. Pretty gift tags are displayed on top of straw in a wooden crate. Creatively displayed, wedding invitations embellish a dress form. Wrapping paper housed in bins, spools of ribbon in large glass jars. Notebooks in hanging wire baskets. I highly recommend adding Nashville to your list of places to visit. Blown away by it’s culture, modern vibe and incredibly friendly people, I can’t wait to go back. Learn more about this vibrant city in the launch issue of Dabble Mag and take a peek at ‘Dabble does Nashville – the making of’, a fun video of our time there.

(Pop over to see another Nashville store Three French Hens.)

 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.


designer eye candy: jf chen

During my recent visit to LA with my good friend Jacqueline Corea (@coreasotropa), we made a visit to JF Chen. If you’re a designer you may be familiar with JF Chen from 1st Dibs. If not, well let me introduce you.

JF Chen is a mecca of worldwide fabulousness. After entering a side door and walking up an unassuming stairwell, the minute I walked through the main doors I thought my eyes were going to pop out of their sockets. An overwhelming site lie ahead with the most incredible amount of eye candy.

Where to begin? To be honest I didn’t know where to look and I was trying to take it all in. With my head on a swivel I started snapping photos like crazy. Jacqueline soon asked what I was taking pictures of. I said, “I’m not sure. I just don’t want to miss anything!”

From mid-century modern, to asian antiques, you name it, you’re almost certain to find it here. I felt like I was inside Kelly Wearstler‘s head while wandering and you know what, she is a huge client of theirs. I die!

Here are a few images I took (out of the many) to share with you an insiders look at the amazing JF Chen.

I can’t even begin to describe the vast amount of collectibles, one of a kind pieces of furniture and artifacts that reside inside this massive two story warehouse. Visit 1st Dibs for a small sampling and stop by the store in LA to be overwhelmed in the most inspiring way.



If you read about my kind of day last week on the blog you may be wondering how it went. Exhausted after the amazing Dabble launch party I slept in a little longer than anticipated. We grabbed coffee to go and off we went to make some new discoveries.

We were lucky to take in these views from our hotel room. We started the day off in the Bloor/Yorkville area taking in a few shops close by. Next we headed east to Queen Street and Leslieville. I have been wanting to scour this area for a while now so come along and see what I found!

Walking into Kimberley Jackson is like visual comfort food. It has a warmth about the space with charming pieces all rustic and worn. Using salvaged materials, each piece is unique and has a story to tell. The windows read “we make beautiful things”, and they certainly do.

My husband visited Hardware (without me) while we were in Toronto for IDS11, and I’ve been desperate to get back there after seeing some of his snapshots. To sum it up, it’s art in functional form. Beautiful pieces of art and furniture custom built to your specific needs…or wants. It is a must visit.

If you’re looking for treasures then head to Phil’z. It’s a trove of vintage mixed with transitional and my head was turning the minute I walked in. How about that fully tufted chesterfield???

If you’re a lover of mid-century modern then Studio Pazo is the place for you. With stock selling before it reaches the sales floor, you’d better act fast. You can get updates on their fab finds by ‘liking’ them on facebook.

I found out about another great store that just opened in Leslieville, thanks to Adele from modernemotive. Check out Love the Design. They’re on twitter too! I’ll be sure to get there during another visit.

Well, that’s it. I wish I’d had more time to wander but time did not permit. The best part is, there will always be a next time and something to look forward to.


april feature store: tonic living

This month I’m featuring an online resource for fabric. There are many great fabric sources, however many only available to the design trade. Tonic Living offers a vast number of fabrics with a retro vibe available to everyone and they ship to Canada! You can order samples for $1 if you would like to ponder your selection prior to ordering. The fabrics are a nice weight and can be used for light upholstery, drapery, bedding, pillows or whatever your hearts desire. I recently purchased fabric to make a shower curtain for my daughters’ bathroom and I love it!

Spring has sprung and I don’t know about you but these fabric make me feel happy and cheerful!


march feature store: anthropologie

If you don’t know about Anthropologie, well let me intoduce you. Immerse yourself into the creatively detailed and soulful world that is ~ an escape. If you’re anything like me, you will need a considerable amount of time to take it all in. Inside you’ll find everything from clothing to furniture, bedding to door hardware. These are not just ordinary wares, and the shopping experience is almost like a flea market in a store setting. These pieces have a one-of-a-kind feel, a sense of history, a story to tell. You wouldn’t purchase your entire wardrobe from a store like this or furnish your whole home, but rest assured that a purchase from Anthropologie will add a layer to your home that will have visitors asking “where did you find that?”

Anthropologie has recently opened it’s doors in Canada with stores in Toronto and Edmonton, however they do ship nationwide.

ps. Dear Anthropologie ~ I would so appreciate if you would open a store in Calgary. Preferably downtown or in the south end. Ok thanks!


february feature store – snob

Sadly, I haven’t been to this store in person, however I was introduced to it a few years ago by a contact of mine at Elte in Toronto. It sort of fell off my radar until I saw their spectacular booth at IDS10.

Showcasing the diversity of African culture, snob is committed to bringing to life the talent of each artisan. With a celebration of South African style and a modern edge, each piece is authentic and original.

It’s hard not to fall in love with so many of their pieces!


Above: photo of booth at IDS10 floor lamp with an ostrich feather shade, horns, silk pillows, rustic tables and rock shaped tables


Above: bongo drum side table, ostrich coffee table, cow chair, rock floor pillow, mosaic rug


Above: photo of booth at IDS10, graphic print wing chair and red leather console table

Visit their website for more beautiful finds. They are lovely people at snob and are happy to help you find that special ‘story-telling’ item for your room.

Let’s hear it for snob!

Snob is located at 388 Carlaw Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada ~ (416) 778-8778


january feature store – maria tomas

Maria Tomas, located in the beltline district of Downtown Calgary is a lovely, very personable and fashion forward store. You can honestly go there and feel like you are getting something special for your home. You can browse their website and even if you are not in the Calgary area, do not despair…they ship nationwide.


Hickory Chair, Sarah Richardson, West Bros, are just a few of the lines they carry. They also have a fabulous private label drapery program that offers an affordable alternative to custom drapery.



January is their semi-annual sale with most of the store at 15% off including special orders. If you haven’t been to Maria Tomas yet, I encourage you to pop in for a visit. Even if it is for the eye candy! 1015 11th Street SW, Calgary AB (403) 233-9055.

They even have an adorable little mascot…