Olga Korper Gallery

Olga1 After a morning at the Toronto Interior Design Show this past January, I joined a fantastic group of designers for an afternoon gallery tour. Our first stop was Olga Korper Gallery. Our guide, Olga’s granddaughter Taiga, so vibrant and incredibly passionate about the art and artists gracing their space. Olga’s gallery is a special place as it is a live-work environment, where creativity oozes around every corner and it would seem that old souls gather with a cappuccino or glass of wine in the casual seating area. Olga4 From Olga’s personal collection: artist Yoshi Sankawa. Olga5 “Lobby” by artist Lynne Cohen l “Gdansk” by artist Sigalit Landau Olga3 There are no “accessories” in this home, only artifacts and collected treasures. Skull by artist: Tim Whiten vignettes1 The main space at the Olga Korper Gallery juxtaposes raw industrial and crisp white walls allowing the art to speak volumes in the space.  Olga6 Olga2 The main exhibition during our visit was by Marianne Lovink, a Canadian sculpture, now based out of Philadelphia. Her work evokes a scientific whimsy, a rare collection of ordinary objects, much like Wunderkammer (or Cabinet of Curiosities), not literally a cabinet, rather a collection of magical and mystical items inspired by organisms and elements of the natural world.   Olga7 I was quite take by these neon words tucked in a light filled corner of the gallery. “Once, I saw” by artist Barbara Steinman

Thank you Olga, for welcoming us into your fantastic gallery and living space. And to Taiga for your passionate approach to art, one that I’m sure inspires many.

Be further inspired by Olga Korper and see more of her fantastic live/work gallery space in this House and Home video feature and if you find yourself in Toronto, a visit to her gallery is a must.

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,



before & after: family room bookshelf styling

Family Room We have a blank canvas of open shelves awaiting embelishments in this modern family room. At this stage of the design process we apply the finishing touches, arriving with bags and boxes of carefully selected accessories to outfit the room. The styling stage requires a thoughtful approach and a discerning eye in an effort to bring a space to life. See how it all unfolds in this colourful family room in our time lapse video.

Family Room Family Room Music credit: What So Not, How High You Are (Branchez Remix)

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,


lately loving: wide black & white stripes

black and white stripes Admittedly I am always drawn to stripes and the black and white kind are my favourite. The graphic nature and bold expression of this classic combination is one I could find an excuse to add to an outfit or room any day!

Image credits: skirt l area carpet l agenda l bowl l tile l flower

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,


lately loving: modern windsor chairs

windsor chair Dating back to the 16th century it is safe to say the “Windsor chair” is a classic. It is unknown as to their official origin however some speculate they were named after the town of Windsor which became the centre for trading in the early 1700’s. Other names include stick-back or comb-back chairs, however the construction of all styles are similar. The seat is the integrity of the chair providing strength to both the legs and back, both are securely fastened into the thickness of the seat.
windsor chair windsor chair It’s ability to meld into any environment, the Windsor chair provides comfort and a classic form available in an array of colours and stains. Suitable in a kitchen, a desk chair or a dining room, it’s casual elegance and simple lines make it an easy choice and one that will never go out of style. 
windsor chair windsor chair windsor chair Image credits: House and Home l dezeen magazine l Domaine Home l Desire to Inspire l decorpad l facilisimo Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,




february office vibes

designers, nyla free designs We made it through February! You never know what this month is going to bring, especially with the weather. For Calgary it’s been mostly plus temps and little to no snow, and yet it’s been a flurry of activity in the Nyla Free Designs studio. Jackie and I realized we were dressed the same prior to a big presentation last week so of course had to snap a photo. Our office has been somewhat upside down as of late with all we have going on and there were a few days we could barely see the floor. So many drool worthy materials!

We’re excited for March, the promise of Spring and feel blessed and inspired with the projects we have on the go.  designer materials I didn’t watch the Grammy’s this year but one thing I absolutely love are the collaborative arrangements amongst the musicians. If you haven’t seen Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” with Annie Lennox, it’s a must see. She is so incredibly cool.

March has started like a lamb here in Calgary which if the old saying is true, we’ll be out like a lion. Taking each day as it comes and welcoming the another new month. Is it just me or is time flying?? Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,




powder room inspiration

Powder Room Inspiration The proverbial saying “the shoemakers son always goes barefoot” is ringing so true for me right now.

We had an unexpected toilet leak in our main floor powder room last October. We immediately started the demolition process to unveil any further damage. We patched the space to a degree, however I saw this as an opportunity to make over the powder room from it’s original “builder basic” feel.

It’s now February, and the bathroom is still unusable. So yes… the family of a skilled or knowledgeable person are often the last to benefit from their expertise.

Making decisions for my own home is tough. I see so much, love so much and projects tend to become a work in progress.

I do however have a vision in mind and sometimes putting it out there is the first step in moving forward, so here goes!

1. I’m drawing inspiration from DesignLoveFest’s recent desktop wallpaper 2. I am loving this light fixture option 3. Thinking a mother of pearl framed mirror 4. Having a hard time selecting anything other than a brass faucet 5. Varying shades of navy blue herringbone tiles are the one thing installed and looking fabulous. Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,


IDS15 recap

IDS15, interior design show, toronto I once I had someone say to me “I wish you would post in the moment as opposed to weeks (or months!) later”. Well here I go again, posting well after attending the interior design show in Toronto. I’m ok with it though. For me I prefer to write a quality post, reflective of my thoughts and insights and sometimes that doesn’t come right away and I also like to make it pretty. So I hope you find these such posts worth the wait :)

Each year I attend the interior design show I come away with new connections, product and inspirations. There are high expectations to wow us and woo us with anything and everything new and exciting and us designers can be a tough crowd. The way I see it is there’s always something to take away from an event like this, large or small it’s worth going. Here are just a few of my new finds and takeaways from this years interior design show.

Le Pattern: A refreshingly different Canadian company specializing in fine European fabrics, wallpaper, wallcoverings and custom drapery.

1925 Workbench: A dynamic husband and wife team designing and building furniture, doors, and barn door hardware. Made in Canada!

Slik: Boutique market bathtubs and basins in a matte white finish.

Mettro Source: Porcelain and ceramic tiles in a myriad of textures and patterns.

Ikea: Crushing the stereotype with it’s “is this IKEA??” booth designs.

Leah Phillips Design: Debuting her collection at IDS15, Leah is a Toronto based textile designer specializing in print to order fabrics and wallpapers with a whimsical sophistication.

I hope you click on the above links and take a closer look at their product lines and perhaps find a new connection yourself.


Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,


before and after: master bathroom

Ensuite Materials The second of two bathrooms to be renovated in an effort to bring them up to date and more functional is revealed today. You may recall the teen bathroom we shared previously with much room for improvement with regards to function and aesthetics. For the adults of the home, their vision was to have a room of solace and relaxation with a fresh approach to materials and space utilization. The ‘before’ space is dark and dated, ready for a revamp! BELFORDensuitebefore EnsuiteDrawingDetails The room feels significantly larger by removing the glass block and opening the shower visually with glass framed walls. The selection of lighter tiles and the freestanding tub also opens the space and provides light to flow freely and brighten the room.

Tile was an important detail in the ensuite, not only from a function perspective but also a way of adding interest and texture in the design. We had several areas where varying tile sizes and thicknesses met each other and those areas required careful details to confirm placement and our intention for the overall look. There are six different tiles in this bathroom, however the result is seamless and textural yet still quiet and subdued in colour. A refreshing space to start and end the day.  Nyla Free Designs, Ensuite Renovation EnsuiteTub2 EnsuiteCloseUps EnsuiteTub EnsuiteShower Interior Design: Nyla Free Designs Inc. Construction: Foothills Renovations Photography: Phil Crozier Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,





lately loving: plywood

Plywood With the industrial feel alive and well in interiors, and lighter wood making a resurgence, plywood is showing it’s face on the forefront of design, not just behind the scenes. The pale and raw material is becoming a selection, not just a base of construction. It has an architectural element and of course is extremely budget savvy. Plywood verges on being stark and cold in it’s raw state even though it is wood, and it’s use in these spaces certainly dictate simple environments. Is there a place for it in modern day North American interiors or does the overall appeal lean more towards a European Scandinavia feel?

Jamie is loving the modern and organic offering of these spaces. How about you?

Image sources clockwise from top left: shelving with pegs, chair, plywood clad room, platform bed, closet, window openings Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,



friday link love and the dress that got away

polka dots Hello friends! My time in Toronto so far has been fabulous. Our first night here we wandered over to the Hudson’s Bay on Young St., the Canadian flagship store so you can image it’s size. We found ourselves in “the Room“, a high end boutique known for it’s haute couture fashion since 1937. We drooled over the fabrics, tailoring, vivid colour and pattern.  No sooner were the words “I need a dress” out of my mouth and we were in the lovely hands of ‘gown guy’ escorting us around. I did find three to try on and made my way to the fitting room. The one, an Armani stunner, considerably discounted and provided that moment when you look at yourself in the mirror and feel like you could be on the red carpet. The crowd cheered and applauded and we all took in the moment. It was special. Likely the first and last time I will ever have an Armani dress on as I walked away to “think about it”. It’s not 100% right and even at the sale price it was a serious dent in my pocket book. And so the search continues…

Happy Friday and enjoy this weekend reading!

2014 trends that are sticking around.

If you’re resolving to be better organized this year, this is a great article on what to keep, what to pitch.

Check out these stunning floors.

 Turtleneck hair? I love this!

Hot off the press…the new David Burdeny show at Herringer Kiss Gallery

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,


office happenings at nyla free designs

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset We are settling into the groove of the new year and have a lot of planning going on right now. Lists and lists are being made from a client perspective as well as business development. January is perfect for setting goals and intentions and we’re doing exactly that. Mother Nature has been gracious with warm weather and sunshine and we’ve had the office window open to let the fresh air in. There’s new colour and material inspiration on our pinboard and some cool tunes on the playlist. From clothing to music, inspirations and overall vibe, this is part of our day.

basket of fabrics january inspiration board, nyla free designs We hope you’re having a great week!

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,