merry christmas and happy new year from nyla free designs

It’s funny how an idea evolves into something completely different and works out better than you imagined. That’s what I love about the creative process. Our one concept for Christmas cards turned into three. Jamie and I had so much fun styling and playing with the small details as our vision came to life. We hope you enjoy the time lapse we captured for the “making of” our cards as well as the outcome of three designs.

Christmas Cards 2014 Christmas Candles Christmas Cards 2014

… and we wish you just that. A very MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. See you in January!

Christmas inspiration

Did you know the Christmas tree symbolizes hope throughout the winter season? As well, hope in the promise that the rest of nature too will awaken to new life in the coming spring. We’ve had a few signs of fierce winter so far, but nothing compared to last year. It’s going to be a dry and brown Christmas and I’m ok with that. I don’t need snow for the spirit of Christmas to be alive and well.

Our oldest daughter was recently in Japan and while on a break from swimming ventured into a local shopping centre. While she told us the story of seeing Christmas trees on display and hearing Christmas music while wondering the shops, she remarked “Mom, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, it’s Christmas!”. These words resonated with me as we often focus so tightly on our immediate surroundings. Around the world people celebrate in their own way with traditions and festivities, but regardless the culture, religion or climate, my hope is the spirit of peace, love and kindness will surround you and your loved ones as you embrace this magical season of Christmas.

Christmas Inspiration

Thanks to Jamie for putting together this lovely collage :)

Image credits clockwise from top right: carrying a tree, letter ‘N’ ornament, felt ornaments, glass globes, pretty tree with icicles, package adorned with pine, table top tree

the ladies gift guide 2014

It’s getting down to the wire. For the most part we’re past the point of ordering online (unless you want to pay exorbitant shipping fees), malls are packed and patience is lower than the norm. Oh what fun it is….! I feel like I’m close. Oh so close. Will do an inventory this weekend and start wrapping – my favourite!

Whether for a friend, a mom, wife, sister or daughter, we’ve compiled a gift guide of items one may not necessarily purchase for themselves. And aren’t those are the best kind of indulgences? Hope you find this list helpful in your last minute dashing around for that special someone.

the ladies gift guide 2014

1. Essie winter 2014 collection: Essie available at Shoppers Drug Mart 2. Nars velvet matte lip pencil: Sephora 3. Nest moss and mint classic candle: Mural 4. Celerie Kemble, Black & White: Chapters/Indigo 5. Downing emossed clutch: J.Crew  6. Shereen de Rousseau bracelet: Provide 7. Alba glove: Club Monaco 8. Babaton Leonardo jumpsuit: Aritzia 9. ‘hello’ iPhone 6 case: Society 6

the teen gift guide 2014

I think I’m having the most fun shopping for our teenager, oddly enough. I dare say it’s getting to the point of needing to curb my spending. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s very particular and there’s a small amount of angst as I “hope she likes it!” each time I make a purchase. In my own teenage years, I remember placing my requested items on hold at each store so my mom could pick up with ease and of course not make a mistake in the selection process. Egads!

This list contains everything from the ultimate concert tickets to Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour happening at a venue near you throughout 2015, all the way to a fabulously creative journal. I hope this gift guide provides some insight if you have a wonderfully moody and ever so particular teenager on you’re hands. May the odds be ever in your favour…

Print 1. Taylor Swift world tour: Ticketmaster 2. Washi tape: Michaels (image via A Beautiful Mess) 3. Photo clip string set: Urban Outfitters 4. Instax camera: Future Shop 5. Wreck This Journal: Chapters/Indigo 6. Banff shirt: Aritzia 7. Portable vinyl record player: Urban Outfitters

the mens gift guide 2014

I find guys amongst the toughest to buy for. Maybe because mine is, I put every other guy in the same category. Feel my pain? I asked my husband (who I will say is quite stylish) to provide shopping direction towards cool finds for guys and what’s topping the list. For your shopping convenience, he also made sure each item was available locally (for you Calgarians). Good luck! 

guys gift guide 2014

1. Cascade shirt: Filson *available at Canadian Tire 9940 MacLeod Trail S. Calgary 2. Whiskey ice balls: Canadian Tire 3. Duchamp dress socks: Harry Rosen 4. D.R. Harris Windsor shaving soap in mahogany bowl: Kent of Inglewood 5. Cashmere knit cap: Nordstroms 6. Szanto 1000 series 1005 watch: Army Surplus 7. Capital vices collection lip balm: Rebels Refinery 8. Otterdon quilted jacket: Barbour

the hipster gift guide 2014

I’ve made a pretty good dent in my Christmas shopping, how about you?  There always seems to be at least one tough to buy for person on the list so we hope to help provide you with a few new and different ideas. We’re adding more gift guides this year to assist with any shopping dilemmas you may have.  Stay tuned over the next few days as we bring you the gentlemen’s guide, one for all the lovely ladies you know, as well as ideas for the teen in your life. Sound fun? Up first we’ve enlisted the help of Jamie, our junior designer who also has a keen eye for fashion and lots of fabulous finds for that “20 something” stylish girl on your list . Happy shopping!

the 20 somethings gift guide 1. Diamond mosaic blanket/scarf: Aritzia 2. Brushed rose/ walnut leather watch: the Horse 3. The Book of Everything: Urban Outfitters 4. Olds crest crewneck: Camp Brand Goods 5. Fuji film INSTAX instant smartphone printer: Urban Outfitters 6. Erika sunglasses: Ray-Ban 7. S’well shimmer collection bottle: S’well 8. Copper tin candle: Urban Outfitters 9. Xandie leather backpack: Aritzia


chairLIFT chair revealed!

The 2014 Calgary Home + Design Show invited us to participate in a charity initiative called ChairLIFT. We chose a chair from Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta’s ReStore and upcycled it using remnants of left over fabrics and a fresh coat of paint.

chairLIFTbefore Our chair selection was carefully considered and we got to work on selecting fabrics and finish options. We played with several Rustoleum paint colours and mixed fabrics to create a stylish chair with well appointed details. We are thrilled with the outcome! Take a look at how it all evolved.  chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore

chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore Our chair is pretty, with an unexpected twist of colour and pattern, embracing our love of both. It is a “use anywhere” statement piece. chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore All entries will be exhibited and auctioned off at the Calgary Home + Design Show (September 18-21, 2014 at BMO Centre) with 100% of proceeds directly benefitting Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and ReStore. Please come out and show your support and bid on your favourite chair.

Thank you to Rustoleum for donating the fabulous and easy to use product, our wonderful upholsterer Red Eight for donating their time in re-upholstering our chair, and to our lovely client for allowing us to use remnant bits of their left over fabric.  And of course, thank you to the Calgary Home + Design Show for inviting us to be part of this exciting charity fundraiser!

Have a design dilemma? I’ll be available for Ask a Designer, Friday 1-2 and Sunday 1-2 and 3-4. Would love to see you!


fashion to interiors: tory burch fall ’14

When the email arrived in my inbox the other day from Tory, oh wait, we’re not on a first name basis (yet!) I was so drawn to the simple photography of the models against the foliage backdrop for her Fall 2014 campaign. It reminded me of the graphic nature of the iconic Beverley Hills Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper or the idea of this concept. So bold and ultimately high risk, yet entirely captivating to see such nature on the walls of a room. As always, I love the connection between fashion and interiors. Would you be so bold as to add the likes of foliage to your walls?

interiors to fashion fashion to interiors Images: Tory Burch, NY mag, Elle Decor


calgary home + design show

We’re excited to be participating in the Calgary Home + Design Show September 18-21. Come down and see us for Ask a Designer Friday from 1pm – 2pm and Sunday 1pm – 2pm and 3pm – 4pm. We’re also upcylcing a pre-loved chair to benefit Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and the Calgary ReStore. Place your bid for a great cause! We’ve had a lot of fun recreating our chair and infusing our love of colour and pattern and we’re looking forward to seeing what other designers have come up with too!

We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away! Tell us why you’d like to attend the show and what projects you’re working on. Comment below for a chance to win! We’ll draw Wednesday September 17th.

home + design show, calgary We’d love to see you there!


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.

6 ways to update your bedroom

Updating a space from top to bottom is not always an option. Perfectly good furniture is hard to justify changing it even if it is a little outdated or no longer the look you’re after. Look passed the larger pieces and into changing smaller areas for BIG impact. Here are six ways to update your bedroom without breaking the bank: ways to change your bedroom

1. Add visual interest with a graphic duvet.

2. Coloured or patterned sheets are a subtle way of bringing new life to a room.

3. If a ceiling fixture exists, replace with a fabric shade or a light with an interesting shape. Bedside tables lamps are also worth replacing.

4. A statement pillow is always worth the investment.

5. Drapery, although likely the most expensive, is a game changer and ultimately one with the largest impact.

6. If space (and budget) permit, adding an upholstered piece of furniture such as a bench, chair or chaise to a bedroom is a wonderful way to personalize and warm up the room.

Source guide: duvet I sheets I lighting I pillow I drapery I chair

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.