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valentine’s all year long

I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s a tad over done for me and why do we limit all the fuss to one day a year aside from anniversaries, birthdays or other momentous occasions?

I bought these prints for a little girls room yesterday and while they do have an underlying Valentine’s theme, I think they are perfectly adorable, and why not celebrate candy hearts and kisses all year long?

sweet valentines, etsy Pretty in pink: the bedding and paint colour already in place. serena and lily girls bedding

As of late, I’ve been more conscious of supporting smaller businesses so sourcing wall decor and accessories via avenues such as etsy is not only cost effective, you also get something off the beaten path and I love the idea of supporting a ‘little shop’.

Check out more of amanda catherine designs on etsy.

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.

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a day in the life: vancouver project

Last fall I embarked on a distance project in Vancouver, outfitting a condo top to bottom. I flew out for a day to visit the site and start the sourcing process. By the end of this week it will be complete and I’m looking forward to seeing our vision come together. Thursday I’ll share a sneak peek at the colours and concept but for now, here’s a look at a day in the life…

vancouver flight, nyla free designs Caught the first flight out of the day.

sunrise, mid-flight, nyla free designs Watched the sunrise during my flight.

layers and layers, nyla free designs Arrived at Layers and Layers.

sourcing fabrics, layers and layers, vancouver project, nyla free designs A busy morning sourcing fabrics and furniture.

granville street, vancouver, nyla free designs Took a cab to Granville Street. Vancouver is still so green in October.

Granville Found furniture pieces and accessories in Granville shops.

vancouver, harbour, granville street bridge, nyla free designs Walked across the Granville Street Bridge to Yaletown.

Yaletown More furniture and accessory sourcing in Yaletown.

vancouver, library, nyla free designs Walked to site via the Vancouver Public Library.

HatsBoots Arrived at site and re-connected with Sharon from Layers and Layers to see the space and site measure.

before, vancouver project, nyla free designs The before.

vancouver skytrain, nyla free designs Homeward bound. Caught the sky train back to the airport.

Watch for more sneak peeks via instagram, twitter or facebook later this week!

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.

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sneak peek: new office design inspirations

While we’ve moved into our new office, there’s still lots to do in order to bring it’s personality to life, but I thought it would be fun to share an inspiration board of the pieces we’re using in the space. Embracing the utilitarian concept of Calgary’s old military base, we’ve gone vintage 50’s with mid-century modern meets school house and bursts of colour on the side. One of my favorite pieces are the vintage swim bins, 25 wire baskets encased in a worn, kelly green metal frame. Perfect for client samples!

nyla free designs office inspiration board Rest assured we’ll show you the completed space when we’re all done.

1. Swim bins via Queen West Antiques, image via Shawn Hoke Photography, 2. Modern weave handled baskets via West Elm 3. Harmon pendant via Restoration Hardware 4. Vintage Eames management chair via Queen West Antiques 5. Weathered oak laminate flooring via Mannington 6. Eames marble top dining table via Queen West Antiques similar to Saarinen Tulip table shown 7. Bauhaus side chair via Restoration Hardware 8. Emory single wall sconce via Schoolhouse Electric 9. Industrial task tables lamps via West Elm 10. Rhapsody wool woven rug via Dash & Albert.

 

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.

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exciting news! a new home for nyla free designs

I’ve got new digs! I know many of you have been wondering what I’ve been up to and how I’m doing. It’s been a challenging few months but I’ve started the new year off with lots of excitement, development and changes in my business. Things are happening, they are really happening. We’re not completely ready to show you the inside of our humble abode quite yet but we will. Promise.

Along with our new office, we’re expanding. Brita is the newest member of our team and will be managing the office (and me for that matter!). She is stylish, smart, savvy and I’m thrilled to have her on board.

Our new space is industrial chic as it was once the Canadian Forces Base in Calgary, before it moved north to Edmonton. The building is nostalgic with terrazzo floors in the hallway, exposed pipes and hollow sounding stairwells. It’s a small space in a large building amongst other creatives and exactly what I need right now in order to take my business to the next level.

nyla free designs I can’t wait to welcome you inside!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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trend spotting at design junction: linear

If you’ve ever attended a trade show, you know the overwhelming desire to take it all in and absorb as much as you possibly can in the short time you’re there. Every turn is an encounter with a new product or inspiring idea. My hope when walking a show is to not only find new products or inspirations for a client or project, but to also keep an eye out for emerging trends or a common thread from booth to booth.

Line: a straight or curved continuous extent of length without breadth, a contour or outline considered as a feature of design or composition.

During our BlogTour trip to the London Design Festival, I found a common linear theme among several products and displays at design junction, including lighting, furniture and accessories. These specific items stood out for me because of their line and composition but the brands themselves are absolutely worth checking out.

Secto Design company’s Octo 4240 pendant

Modern Windsor Chairs by Sitting Firm

when objects work‘ Vincent Van Duysen collection of pottery

Autoban: Nest lounge chair and Tulip family lamps.

Benjamin Hubert furniture and linear wall display.

Montis small side tables and floor poufs and pillows.

LZF lighting

EOQ‘s Brahma pendant design junction is committed to design excellence and strives to find a balance between creativity and the commercial world. Now in it’s second year, the show has grown so exponentially since their launch they required a new venue. Located in the Sorting Office, a raw warehouse/studio style site which embraces a casual and friendly atmosphere to engage with suppliers and product designers. Over three floors and 12,000 + sq.ft of space, design junction features over 100 international brands both large and small and creates a sense of ‘design culture’ among its participants.

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.

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before and after: bathroom renovation

I’m always amazed when I look back at the before photos at the end of a project. I kind of forget what things were like before the walls came down and floors torn up because soon into the start of a project the end result is already in my mind. The photos speak volumes to the changes and confirm the decisions made along the way to better the space. This project is no exception. A long time client of mine recognized it was time to not only update her basement bathroom from a style perspective but create a space far more efficient and practical then what she currently had.

The ‘before’ bathroom was a divided space, a sink/vanity area out in the open (notice the carpet!) and through the door, a shower, toilet and additional sink. Not practical and certainly lacking in style, my clients requested a makeover.  On the list: create a stylish, yet practical bathroom with tub, shower, vanity AND storage. With the bathroom 6′ wide by 10′ long and still a rather small space, decisions had to be made carefully and thoughtfully. We also needed to take into consideration the grandchildren who would use this space as it is close to the ‘play room’ and TV watching area of the home.

If you’d like to see our initial concept please visit the bathroom reno sneak peek.

AFTER!

The tub was one of our first selections, a Victoria & Albert free standing beauty. We offset the white tub with black granite tiles on the wall to create a dramatic visual from the doorway as well as a surface with easy maintenance for any splashing from the tub. After all, creating drama in a space need not compromise practicality.

We opted to make the surface area of the custom vanity smaller in order to accommodate a pantry style unit, floor to ceiling, offering the space a huge amount of storage. To give a more spacious feel we lifted the vanity off the floor allowing the tile to continue to the wall. This a great tip in making spaces feel larger!

Because this bathroom is in a basement we needed to deal with a foundation wall we could not move. Embracing the ‘issue’ we created a ledge for display and decorative storage. Renovations do bring about surprises but finding creative solutions will often yield great results.

The bathroom is also a mix of masculine and feminine touches and rich textures. We used cafe mocha colours along with dramatic black, yet softened the space with finishing touches of pinks and a hint of red. Along with the graphic black and white geometric prints, three custom canvases from Bijou et Boheme‘s shop Wink of Pink add the perfect amount of softness in the space. If you’re not familiar with Christine’s new shop you must check it out. Please!

We used a mix of natural stone and porcelain tiles, a give and take approach to the budget. The natural stone mosaic ‘area rug’ is surrounded by less expensive 12″ x 12″ porcelain tiles to offset the costs and allow the carpet to take center stage. Natural stone in the shower adds texture and interest, a great visual through the glass shower walls….

….which is another way to create an open and spacious feel in a small bathroom. This way the site line is not impeded by walls and the flow of natural light carries throughout the space, even with such a small window.

Let’s recap: Here are 5 tips for a small space bathroom renovation

  • use glass to create an open feel and let natural light flow through the space
  • lift vanities off the floor to make the floor space feel larger
  • use height to your benefit with ledges, shelves and floor to ceiling storage
  • custom cabinetry yields the ideal size and depth to suit your space
  • bring drama and impact into a small space by mixing textures and adding high contrast such as black and white.

I’m pretty thrilled with the results, as is my client. And that my friends is a great feeling!

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.

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colour inspirations: jcrew fall 2012

Have you started Fall shopping yet? During our trip to Santa Monica I definitely took advantage of being near a few stores we don’t have here, or at least close by. JCrew, of course being one them. I nearly died when we first walked by the store on the Promenade only to see the windows covered with a sign saying, “we’re renovating”. It’s seriously one of my favourite stores, ever! so I held back my tears and moved on. Thankfully it opened a few days later so I was able to feast my eyes on lots of new pretty merchandise. Needless to say I did a little damage.

Admittedly some of the outfits JCrew styles and puts together are out of my comfort zone, however I sure do appreciate the mix and match approach with unexpected colour combos and decorative details.

This ‘berry coloured” vignette caught my eye and of course very on-trend for fall in home decor. Love the bright colour combinations and pretty details of polka dots, florals and sparkly touches. Why not add this same feel to your home this fall? Here are some simple ideas and inspirations for you to update your room, JCrew style.

1. Ohau grape pillow from Weego Home 2. Daff merino wool felt box in colour mallow from Provide 3. Rina Menardi low bowl colour blue from Provide 4. DVF ikat blanket 5. Ralph Lauren Dustin Dodecahedron table lamp for Circa Lighting 6. Kate Spade “make headlines make mischief” mug 7. “How I Remember” watercolour on paper by Diane for Serena and Lily.

Paint colours: Benjamin Moore Wenge AF-180, Benjamin Moore Peony 2079-30, Farrow & Ball Buff 20, Benjamin Moore Midnight Navy 4012

Paint colour images via: House Beautiful

Image via: Elle Decor

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.

 

 

 

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blanco: cerana series fireclay sink

The detail in interior design is wide spread. It starts from the concept. Whether a decorative project, full scale renovation or new build, the decision making process begins at the onset and continues right through to the final styling stage. There are choices made for function, some aesthetic and others where both are top of mind.

With stainless steel being the most popular choice, a sink is typically considered a utilitarian object, one that serves a purpose rather than a decorative detail. Not necessarily a focal point of the kitchen, one decides upon width to fit the existing cabinet, bowl sizes and depth as function prevails over the overall look.

Ready to think outside the box?

Blanco has introduced a fireclay sink called CERANA. A modern approach to a century old technique, Cerana has a unique ability to suit modern and traditional design styles with the flip of a side, all while boasting the durability of a surface that won’t stain, chip or fade. Brilliant if you ask me!

Blanco has created a video to share more about the process of this versatile apron sink. You’ll see more of it’s craft and gain an appreciation for the handmade quality of each piece. If you’re in the midst of, or considering a kitchen renovation, this sink is worth a second glance as it offers a functional size and depth while keeping style at the forefront.

Unlike decorative objects that come and go, a sink or faucet is a purchase to stand the test of time. Making a classic choice without compromising design and style is always the perfect choice.

While Blanco carries a wide variety of sinks and faucets for your kitchen and bathroom renovation needs, this sink in particular is one of my new favourites. Now, who’s ready for a kitchen renovation so I can spec this sink?!

Here’s how you can stay connected with Blanco: Canadian website, American website, UK website, facebook, twitter, pinterest and of course they’re a huge supporter and sponsor of BlogTour.

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.