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design tips: table setting ideas

If you stopped by earlier this week and read about my visit to the Cooking Room in Red Deer then you may have been expecting this post. I shared a few ideas for setting an outdoor table during the class and promised the group I’d do a post showing more. I used only the items I had at the class and worked a little mix and match magic, all with melamine/outdoor worthy products from Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Canadian Tire, the Bay and Superstore. I infused a little southwestern flavour into the colours and patterns to keep with the menu of the class but these ideas can be applied to any style or season for that matter. There really are so many options to play around with so the moral of this story is to have fun and embrace hosting a backyard BBQ or dinner party setting a casual table without compromising style.

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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project sneak peek: old fashioned with a twist

As a designer I often find myself overflowing with creativity. I have been blessed with wonderful clients and exciting projects over the years and this one is no exception. This project is pushing me to use that extra dose of creativity and I’m loving it. We’ve been working with existing antiques and a certain nostalgia to bring this little girls room to life in an old fashioned way, but with a twist of modern. I realized I’m missing the drapery fabric in this collage so you’ll have to wait for the room reveal to see it. Until then, here’s a sneak peek at the story so far.

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: sharing ideas on outdoor decorating

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of sharing outdoor decorating ideas at the Cooking Room in Red Deer, Alberta, a cooking school where students are treated to educational culinary classes from September to May with themes ranging from Thai to Indian. For this class the menu was a southwestern fusion, a perfect fit for a summertime party.

I was first asked to participate in a class over the holidays sharing quick and easy decorating tips for entertaining. It was such a hit, a second class transpired for the summer. Here are a few photos from the evening showing the fabulous classroom space as well as a peek at the loot I took with me. Stay tuned for Thursday’s post where I’ve got 10 snapshots of place setting ideas, some of which I shared at the class.

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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friday fashion file: island style

I’m off to a tropical island today! Can’t wait to warm up after all the rain we’ve been having in Calgary. I’ll be on assignment for Dabble to bring you the best in design, travel and food for an upcoming issue. I thought I’d bring a little ocean breeze to the blog with teals and turquoise today as we head into the weekend.

Enjoy!

1. Paint colour similar to Benjamin Moore Highlands Green, image via House Beautiful 2. I am loving the idea of decorative plates as wall decor, image via House and Home 3. Sicula scaled scarf from Anthropologie 4. Tory Burch summer collection 5. Island chandelier earings from Banana Republic

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 & after: family room makeover

Besides the kitchen, family rooms are the hub of the home and I believe a space where good design and functionality are able to live in a successful marriage of beautiful, family friendly furniture and fabrics. This room was feeling tired and ready for change. My client wanted a fresh feel all while using the existing teal velvet sofa and loveseat as well as the wall colour. I put together a palette of fabrics (see the family room sneak peek), using a mix of patterns and colour to liven up the room.

Family room before. The dog really liked the area carpet as you can see by the corner. Time for a new one! We originally intended to use the existing wood frame curved chairs but opted for new ones to achieve the right scale for the space.

Family room after. Fret work style drapery fabric from Schmacher in ivory and grey offers a much higher impact than the previous neutral solid pleats. New chairs in a classic style, upholstered in a modern speckled Designers Guild ultrasuede, ideal for easy maintenance.

New area carpet from Weavers Art, a gorgeous fresco pattern in muted colours of yellow, ivory, taupe and grey.

New art work by David Burdeny from Herringer Kiss Gallery adds a calming feel to the room, a perfect addition to this busy house but also holds sentimental value as the family has fond memories at this particular beach.

Details make a difference, especially on a coffee table. Close up shots of the table vignette and the punch of yellow is a perfect hit in small doses both here and in the Arteriors table lamp (shown above).

I love the soft mix of colour and pattern. It’s a stylish, comfortable and welcoming environment suited to lounging in front of the television, reading a book or gathering with friends.

Up next is a master bedroom re-vamp. We’ve just started ordering furniture so stay tuned for more!

 

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: gucci

I couldn’t help but be drawn to this vignette in Gucci on 5th Avenue in New York City. It has the allure of travel and far away places. Tailored and textured, simple and classic, I imagined what a room might look like built around this image. Inspiration is everywhere. Whether in fashion, nature, vacations, I could go on. If it impacts you in that moment, chances are it will do the same in a room scheme. Listen to the ooohs and ahhhhs within to provide ideas for your home.

I took the bottom photo at ABC Carpet & Home. It’s a textured wall with incredible depth and colour. Doesn’t it work well with the Gucci image above? I love them together and in fact, I think the ‘wall’ image would make an amazing area carpet to work with the scheme of furniture. Hello?! Can you stay stunning? It would cost a pretty penny but I’m positive it would make the room famous. Just a suggestion should you wish to take these ideas and make them your own.

1. Baladi Rustic Mirror from The Cross 2. Anjeo Distressed Gold Mercury Glass table lamp from Arteriors 3. Harrison two drawer file cabinet by Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair  4. Vaughn leather chair in Brighton Col. Giacomo from Crate and Barrel 5. Missoni Masuleah cushion from Provide Home 6. Auburn small stool, design by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair.

Oh…and if the adorable Gucci skirt is a little out of budget, I found a similar one at Jacob for a fraction of the cost. Definitely the look for less :)

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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design: the power of pillows

Not long ago I blogged about those who may have a pillow problem. The type who feel pillows will solve their decorating dilemmas overnight and with no success secretly have a graveyard of pillows stashed in a closet taking up valuable storage space. You know what I’m talking about right?

There’s no doubt pillows are an important finishing touch to a room but I’m here to say, get a plan. No different than creating a furniture plan for a room, pillows deserve the same attention.

Fun, personality and unexpected elements are indeed part of pulling a room together and certainly in the final details, don’t get me wrong. Not every selection needs to be planned perfectly or you risk a contrived feeling. It may also depend on the type and overall style of the room. (Have I convinced you to hire a designer yet?)

The living room featured in the April/May issue of Dabble is one where we planned the pillows. We sourced fabrics, organized sizes and mixed colour and pattern. We also created two schemes or options if you will, one for spring/summer, the other for fall/winter. Within these two colour combinations we also have a mix and match approach where a certain pillow could be used for both. The fact is, a multitude of options and combinations exist but as you can see in the photos below, varying the pillows, changes the look of the room.

With a neutral colour palette focused on textures, we incorporated pillows with pattern and colour, arranged in an asymmetrical way within a symmetrical room.

Keeping a stash of pillows in your closet or cupboard is not a bad thing providing they have a purpose and a place. So get a plan together and brighten up your sofa or bed with a little pillow love.

I admit my favorite of the two is the turquoise. Which one is yours?

ps. I’ve uploaded the images from this photo shoot into my portfolio if you’d like to see more :)

Photography by: Lori Andrews

Art credits: Painting by Barbara Milne courtesy of the Paul Kuhn Gallery, Photograph by David Burdeny courtesy of the Herringer Kiss Gallery

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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alfred sung: st. tropez collection

It’s April, so time to start thinking about spending time outdoors (if you haven’t already). If you’re dusting off your patio furniture and wondering if you need an update, let me introduce you to St. Tropez from Alfred Sung.

I first laid eyes on this new collection at the Interior Design Show in Toronto and was instantly impressed. The hit of colour, open weave pattern, fade and crack proof resin, endless configuration options and equally good for small and large outdoor spaces are all reasons why this collection is such a hit.

It’s neutral palette combines well with other neutrals and textures of course, but why not add other summery colours such as yellow, hot pink, lime green or even a print to compliment the citrus orange? So fun.

Use as an ottoman or table, the cubes are versatile pieces in check and chevron patterns. I love the attention to detail this line offers. It’s overall modern feel is flexible and easy to work with to suit your space and style.

I imagine adding over scaled planters into the scheme to complete the look. Think large resin pots filled with grasses or modern greenery.

Mix and match your way to create an outdoor oasis with the new St. Tropez collection from Alfred Sung. Available at the Bay.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home tolife 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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design details: tassles on furniture

I’m a detail person. Perhaps it comes with being a designer, but it’s the finer elements, the additions and extras that really do it for me when it comes to design and detail. During a recent trip to Los Angeles, we took a wander down the design district of La Cienega and I fell in love with the quaint boutiques with courtyards and tiny walkways between the buildings. We walked into Therien & Co., a store filled with period antiques and I couldn’t help but admire the addition of tassels to many of their pieces. This small detail hung from the keys opening doors and drawers to armoires, chests and desks. So pretty I had to share.

For me, the finishing touches really make a difference, whether it be contrast button tufting, moldings and trim or something as purely decorative as a tassel. I often think of tassels with drapery and pillows, but what a clever way of introducing them to a piece of furniture. And why not, right?

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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design notes: 4.16.12

On Friday I heard some pretty great news via AphroChic. Domino is back with a special edition of best makeovers, decorating tips and an insiders source guide. (Even us insiders love the source guides!) I can not wait to get my hands on a copy.

I admit my print magazine consumption has gone down. With blogs, online magazines and quite frankly not enough time in the day (sadly) to sit down and read through them all. IF however, Domino was still in print I’m pretty sure it would continue to grace the inside of my mailbox each month.

I’m on the hunt for this issue. If you see it around Calgary let me know! I haven’t seen it anywhere yet.

I also discovered a photo stream of Domino images on flickr that Cassandra from Coco & Kelly put together. I was so delighted to find this and honestly came across so many images I love and didn’t even realize were from Domino. There are far too many loves I couldn’t single out just one as my absolute favorite but this particular room is high on the list for sure.
• for me this is white done right. It’s warm and soft, not cold and stark.

• there is a feminine feel to the room but the clean lines and simplicity says a guy could hang out here too.

• love the combination of creams, white, soft pinks and caramel.

• the volume of this room is stunning, not to mention the Victorian details in the architecture on the ceiling and fireplace.

On a side note: I am madly in love with peonies right now. I bought two stems for a recent photo shoot and wish I’d bought an entire mound of them, and this weekend we purchased a (now empty!) tub of sweet and salty caramel ice cream that was to die for! Two images that felt right at home in the above room :)

Now, if only Metropolitan Home would resurface with a special edition…. who’s with me here?

Image credits: Warm modern living room via Domino flickr gallery Marielle 23’s photostream, Peonies via Paper Doll Romance, fireplace via flossy and me, sweet and salty caramel ice cream image via butter sugar flour

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.