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friday link love: firsts

This weekend we’re preparing for our youngest daughters first dance competition. While dancing is nothing new to her, the competition part is. To me too! We make a great team however, as she is patient and able to sit still, and I have found a new skill in the hair and make up category.

photo This week she had a family in-line skating night at the school. I went along to watch while others joined in the fun, one of which was a little boy’s grandmother. It was her first time on skates and she had the biggest smile on her face. She fell a few times but laughed and got back up. Holding the hand of her daughter-in-law she shuffled around the gym floor to the music relishing in her accomplishment.  I had a smile on my face the entire time I watched her. How great for her to embrace this new activity.

It’s easy to experience things for the first time where you’re young and let’s face it, the level of appreciation is not always there. When was the last time you tried something new and put yourself in a vulnerable position? My link love this week is a must see video of a first ever flight for two senior ladies. It will have you laughing, crying and will re-affirm that you’re never too old to try something new.

Happy weekend!

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modernism week: double decker bus tour

While Modernism Week was filled with fabulous tours and events, the double decker bus tour was a highlight of our trip. Sitting on the top deck in the open air taking in all the sites was most enjoyable. Add in the education and concepts of the architecture and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Our tour guide was witty, informative and kept us completely engaged with plenty of humor and insights into the lives of those who helped give Palm Springs it’s vibe. I highly recommend a tour if you’re in Palm Springs for Modernism Week.

A comment from our guide resonated with me…

“Homes are not good because of the era they were built. Going through a thoughtful design process, inside and out, will yield a well built home no matter the year.”

I find myself wondering when the approach to architecture and design became a little less thoughtful. The so called “strip malls” that line our streets have no appreciation to design or architecture. Is that too harsh? During the 50′s and 60′s in Palm Springs, even gas stations hired architects to design their buildings and noticeably stand out as forms of architecture to be admired. I wish the same were true today.

Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour Palm Springs Modernism Week #yycmodsquad It was so inspiring to see the attention to detail and influences many architects brought to Palm Springs. An approach so special to this city.

Above is our #yycmodsquad contingent. Left to right: me!, Lori Andrews, LeAnne Bunnell, Jacqueline Corea, Sarah Ward.

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.

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from our home to yours…. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It’s a quieter Christmas for us this year and I have to admit I miss the houseful of people, the constant food preparation and the bottomless coffee pot. We only have one who fully believes in the magic of it all now and the other who is shifting into those teenage years where the Spirit seems somewhat lost. I always get a little more emotional this time of year. Perhaps it’s the recap and reminiscing of the year gone by, the appreciation of the life I live or most importantly the family that surrounds me. It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment to sit and be still. Life is going by at lightening speed and feels like yesterday that our oldest daughter toddled around the house yet now looks me in the eye. I’m holding onto the wonder our youngest still has and hope it lasts a few years more. One of my favorite Christmas movies is Polar Express and the message to BELIEVE. Whatever you believe, may you be filled with the Spirit of Christmas, surrounded by love and many blessings. MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours.

Christmas table setting, nyla free designs Christmas table setting, nyla free designs Christmas table setting, nyla free designs Christmas table setting, nyla free designs Christmas table setting, nyla free designs

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*All photos by Nyla Free Designs Inc.

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.

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friday link love: working hard

This week I feel like I turned a corner. The kind of corner that takes you from a busy and crowded, inner city street with sky scraping towers to a street where the buildings are not as tall and overwhelming, the people are less rushed and you can breathe a little more. I like this new street. Found this quote on Riches for Rags this week and it resonated with me. Yep, hard work is hard…but worth it, no?

opportunity quote, thomas edison As you go into the weekend I hope you’ll enjoy some of my favourite links this week and take time to sit, unwind and breathe in some Fall fresh air.

A great post on the best photo apps for your phone.

Thought these antique quilt ottomans were very cool.

Attention design bloggers! The line up of 2014 BlogTours has been announced.

The Inspired Home is a very thought provoking (and beautiful!) book on the way we design and decorate our homes.

Obsessed with dark teal.

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.

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thoughts and ponderings: on turning 40

Today is the first day of my 41st year.

That’s right, yesterday was my big 4-0. What is it about this number that causes such emotion and mostly it seems in a negative way? I admit, I haven’t been looking forward to it, but now that the day has come and gone I’m ready to embrace being part of the ’40-something’ crowd. If I have my dear friends to compare to (you know who you are!) then I have much to look forward to and more to be thankful for. Besides, you were a significant part of making my 30′s pretty darn awesome.

special dinner at mercato kelly green handbag box of chocolates tiffany's little blue box I had an amazing birthday complete with loved ones, whether in person or messages from afar, generous gifts given from the heart and an incredible amount of laughs.

I don’t feel “over the hill”… I feel blessed, I look at my family and feel overwhelmed with love, I feel inspired by what I’ve accomplished so far and what the future holds and I feel incredibly fortunate to have the friends I have. You can’t put a price on these things at any age, however I find as I get older I grow to appreciate each blessing more and more. There is nothing to take for granted in this life. I have all I could possibly ask for…and more.

So cheers to the next decade and all that it has in store. I hear 40 is the new fabulous.

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.

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summer vacation bliss

Some people refer to today as “the most wonderful time of the year”. I don’t buy in and never have. I relish in summer whether it’s the pace, vacations, warmer and longer days…I can’t get enough of it. I also enjoy having my kids around more and less of the hectic schedule that will ensue now that school is in and the activities get rolling. I could honestly use another few weeks, but I digress…

We stayed fairly close to home this summer, enjoying Alberta and our neighboring friends in British Columbia. We really are lucky to live where we live, so close to all this incredible landscape. Here are a few pics to tell the tale of our summer, and like our daughter said earlier today, “summer…don’t leave us now”. I couldn’t agree more.

Vancouver British Columbia Canada Woodward's Building Vancouver We Heart Vancouver Water Bottle vacay7 Fairmont Hot Springs Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

From pre-school to grad school and everything in between, here’s to the start of another school year! Hoping you have some wonderful summer memories too.

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 through Design in a Box.

 

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a pause from interior design: calgary flood 2013

On Thursday I was in a meeting with a client when we learned Calgary was in a state of local emergency due to potential flooding of the rivers that run through our city. At 2:20pm my client received a phone call from her husband indicating they needed to evacuate their home by 3pm so as you can imagine she bolted from the office.

I didn’t think much of it other than precautionary. I picked up my kids from school and decided to make my way down to the pool a little earlier than normal just in case traffic was bad.

When we arrived at the pool they were shutting it down. Again, I figured for precautionary measures since it is close to the river so we drove home amidst the mass exodus from downtown.

Watching the news that evening raised a little more concern, and then a lot more. We received notice schools would be closed Friday which in Calgary is unprecedented since I can’t remember ever having a snow day. I called my sister-in-law and mother-in-law who both live fairly close to the river to check in and they said all was well at their end. An hour later I had seven family members at my door needing a place to stay as their neighborhood had been added to the mandatory evacuation list which was now at 26 communities, roughly 75,000 people.

Friday morning I woke up to a text from my client saying “my house is ruined”. I nearly cried. I turned on the news and was stunned at the state of Calgary. It was under water.

It’s been an emotional weekend. Moments of shock, uncertainty, and almost no words to describe the feelings. It all happened so fast.

The outpouring of volunteers, police, firefighters, city officials, Mayor Nenshi and the band of togetherness in the city over these last few days has been amazing and inspiring to say the least, however I would have expected nothing less. This is Calgary.

Our home is high on a hill and has been untouched by any of the flooding concerns. We are so grateful. Outlying communities such as High River, Canmore and Bragg Creek have been devastated by the flood and my heart goes out to all those who have lost not only their homes but loved ones during these unforgettable days.

So interior design aside for today, here is a glimpse into the magnitude of the Flood of 2013 in the area of Bowness as well as downtown Calgary.

The river invited itself into the streets of Calgary, neighborhoods, homes and businesses, but we will rise above.

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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 through Design in a Box.

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getting my life back

The best way to describe the last four months of 2012 is “all consuming”. The intensity, work load, stress, sleepless nights and lack of appetite really took it’s toll. After returning from BlogTour London, things escalated from manageable, to overwhelm, to ‘something’s gotta give’. I just. Couldn’t. Do. It. All.

stressedMOM There I said it. It’s hard to admit.

My blog and social media presence was the first to go. I didn’t have the time nor head space to manage it. I had to shift my priorities and in doing so, realized I needed to evaluate my business. In any growing business, there comes a point when a decision needs to be made and a client was the one who really made me think. “You need to decide if you’re going to stay small and turn work away, or grow your business and hire the support to do so”, was what she said. These words resonated with me and put a new perspective on the next chapter for my business.

What is the next chapter? Well, it involves growing up and moving out. Setting boundaries, asking for help and adding support where needed will allow me to get my life back. It’s also about learning, prioritizing and spending time ON my business as well as IN it, as I love the relationships and creativity that comes with each project. I am blessed to work with amazing clients.

I’m also excited to get back to social media and my blog. I value these platforms and am grateful for the way they have propelled my business. In the coming weeks I’ll be updating you on what’s happening behind the scenes with Nyla Free Designs, sharing completed projects from the Fall and up and coming projects, sneak peek’s and inspirations. I have lots to share!

So… here’s to a new chapter.

Image source.

 

 

 

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a night to remember: a hike for maggie’s centres

It was cold. It was raining. We were exhausted. The truth is I could have thought of a million reasons not to go. But, I knew I should. I knew in my heart this was important. We bundled up and hopped in a cab. Upon arrival the rain stopped. Upon arrival at Leadenhall Market, I was overwhelmed not only by the architecture, but the people. This was bigger than me, much bigger than my selfishness, feeling cold or tired. My emotion moved towards excitement as I drew off the energy of the crowd and those I was with. We were serious about our walk! From left to right: Patti Johnson – Patti Johnson Interiors, me, Erin Tye – Modenus, Vitania Liscio – Verdigris Vie, Veronika Miller – Modenus. Photo taken by Cheryl Kees Clendenon – Details and Design.

We set out on the hike, moving at a snails pace. 10,000 + people were participating, walking for loved ones. A walk to end this evil we call cancer. A walk to support Maggie’s Centers, a facility of care for those dealing with the words, “you have cancer” and the ones who are caring for them.

We slowly made our way. First stop was Tower of London, a historically eerie spectacle. I was in awe of it’s size and daunting aura. And then… Tower Bridge. A take my breath away moment. I walked across the bridge in amazement. I wanted to take in every moment, every step, every ounce of history embodied in it. We moved slowly amidst others standing in wonder, taking photographs, sharing smiles. Memories.

We made our way to the top of a new City Hall building. The elevator doors opened to a choir singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and we took in the spectacular view of the Tower Bridge from the observation deck. I began chatting with a woman who was walking in memory of five, yes five loved ones she recently lost. She was convicted, sad, strong. I held back my tears. We said good bye but I won’t ever forget her. Cancer affects us all. It robs us of loved ones and friends too soon.

The BlogTour team made our way along the River Thames, admiring architecture and chatting. Getting to know each other. I have a quote on my bulletin board “celebrate what you don’t have”. I have much to be thankful for. I am blessed. Turn the table and consider what you don’t have. I have my health. I don’t have cancer. Celebrate.

However, millions do. Maggie’s is there to help, to support, to encourage and lift you up when you’re world is crumbling down. We need more Maggie’s in the world. They are critical in the assistance of overcoming this illness. A tower of strength.

Riding the London Eye was an amazing experience. The view, spectacular. The world so big, yet so small when people join together with a common bond of hope.

Walking with my BlogTour friends, in support of Maggie’s Centres was priceless. It made me realize there’s more to give. It made me think I should get more involved. It gave me hope that we’ll find a cure.

Thank you Maggie’s for all you are doing in support of those with cancer, for embracing BlogTour and inviting us to walk alongside you in this fight.

For more photos of the night hike, and to see how you can support Maggie’s please visit the website. Information about Night Hike 2013 is already posted. Anyone care to jump the pond and go for a walk?

 

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blogging, or not…

While on a flight home from Toronto a few weeks ago I created a blog calendar. Browsing photos and ideas, I wrote a topic for each day until the end of March. Thrilled with myself, I opened my calendar Monday morning to admire my work and……nothing. In fact my whole calendar had been wiped out. All Nyla Free Designs work entries were now non existent. #cuethetears

After a two hour visit to the Apple store ‘special projects’ division and the nice young man bearing bad news early in the morning I walked away trying to remember my entire January. iCloud, you failed me.

My oldest daughter, bless her, loves to talk and the best part is she tells me everything. So a recent conversation goes something like this:

A: “Oh Mom, I hope you don’t mind if I deleted your meetings off our iPad”

Me: “What do you mean, deleted?”

A: “You know, ‘meeting with Judy’…things like that.”

Me: “So you deleted everything in the calendar that was mine?”

A: “Um, well, ohhhh….”

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at. Well, iCloud is working perfectly fine amongst all Apple products in our household. Good news.

I re-created my blog calendar but as I look at what I’m ‘supposed’ to be blogging about tonight, it’s just not coming to me. The pretty pictures are there, but nothing else. No substance or giant level of inspiration. Sometimes you gotta leave it alone and walk away. Am I right?

Blog calendars are a great idea and I will endeavor to use mine, however….and that’s a BIG however. If it’s not right it’s not right and I’m not going to force it, for tonight anyway.

Do you use a blog calendar? How does it work for you? Any advice you can offer? How do you organize your blogs?

I love the dialogue a blog can bring so comment away and let me know your thoughts. And thanks for listening :)

Image via: ohmydeer‘s etsy shop

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.