all wrapped up!

I must admit, I love wrapping presents as much as I love giving them. I adore wrapping paper, ribbon and any accessories to make gifts extra special. This year we opted for a chalkboard theme for our client gifting, combining black chalkboard paper, classic craft paper and red accents. We planned a few work bee days at the studio to get things packaged and wrapped. The creative juices were flowing with sketches and adornments, we couldn’t help photographing our little masterpieces.

Christmas wrapping essentials, Nyla Free DesignsChalkboard wrapping paper, Nyla Free DesignsChalkboard wrapping paper, Nyla Free DesignsI did the math and realized making caramels has been a Christmas tradition in our home for 20 years now. It started out with a few girlfriends sharing one recipe and now I make four batches all to myself for everyone from clients, suppliers, swim coaches, dance instructors, teachers, neighbors, friends and family. That amounted to just under 1000 individually cut and wrapped little morsels of goodness.

Packaging caramels, nyla free designs

Packaging caramels, nyla free designs It’s getting close to the finish line folks and I’m feeling (touch wood) pretty on top of things. I have a few more gifts to wrap and caramels to deliver but all in all, I might actually get to bed at a decent hour on Christmas Eve. Here’s hoping!

*All photos taken 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.

a day in the life: christmas decorating

Every year we decorate the home of a long time client. It is something I look forward to year after year. The fireplace is on, classical Christmas music playing and lattes in hand while we adorn their modern abode.

Last year a 14′ tree arrived instead of a 12′ tree and while incredibly majestic, we had some trouble stabilizing it. It seemed like a split second from the time I saw it leaning to the moment I pushed the vintage slipper chairs out of the way and tried to stop the tree from hitting the ground. Needless to say the tree won and down it went. Thankfully we all laughed (client included) and we were able to have the tree secured and carry on with our decorating. Phew!

This year, we’re well equipped with the man power to take on a 14′ tree being delivered this morning. Here are some outtakes and snapshots of our install last year.

christmas decor, nyla free designschristmas decor, nyla free designs christmas decor, nyla free designs christmas decor, nyla free designs christmas decor, nyla free designsIt was just too beautiful not to repeat!

*All photos are my own.

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.

christmas table setting: nyla free designs

Last year we hosted our family with a revolving door of 20 people give or take. It was an incredible amount of work but the fun out weighed the efforts by a landslide. I needed to buy additional plates and serving pieces to accommodate our guests and decided to have fun with mixing pattern and colour, all the while keeping it fresh and simple. Here’s how our dining table looked all set up prior to guests and food :)

Christmas table settings, Nyla Free DesignsChristmas table settings, Nyla Free DesignsChristmas table settings, Nyla Free Designs Setting the table is one of my favourite things to do. What plans do you have for your table this year?

*All photos are my own.

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.

design in a box: family friendly, comfortably stylish, living space and eating nook

Because design in a box is a ‘virtual’ approach to interior design I am somewhat removed from each project. I receive the submission of criteria, before photos and measurements, arrange a phone call to review and then get to work on creating the room accordingly, all without physically seeing the space. Rarely do I have the opportunity to see the after so when a Calgary design in a box client invited me over to help with finishing touches I was so thrilled with the results I had to photograph. Here’s the box of goodies she received complete with samples, room layouts and a full source guide. She followed everything to a tea! with a few minor changes and the result is a family friendly and comfortably stylish, open concept living/dining space.

design in a box, nyla free designs inc., calgary albertaWith a clean slate, the room is ready for this young family to start living and entertaining in this urban infill.

The living room BEFORE:The eating nook BEFORE:The criteria: kid-friendly, natural materials and a neutral palette with interest. With an active little boy, this space needed to suit his needs while creating a stylish space for mom and dad to relax and entertain. A calming palette of grey, cream and shades of blue along with the added interest of pattern and texture result in the perfect balance between function and style.

A completely transformed space: the AFTERdesign in a box project after, nyla free designs incdesign in a box project after, nyla free designs inc. design in a box project after, nyla free designs inc. design in a box project after, nyla free designs inc.

This particular client completed her space within roughly three months, however design in a box is designed to purchase at your own pace depending on time and budget. All sources and detailed information about each selection is provide to create a streamlined approach to achieving a successful end result. If you have any questions about whether design in a box is right for you, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Note: light fixtures, fireplace and paint colours were all existing. All other selections were provided based on the clients profile submission and budget. General sources include: Tonic Living, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Restoration Hardware.

After photos taken by Lori Andrews.

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.

before and after: modern living room

I admit this is not a typical before and after where the original space is somewhat undesired and ready for an overhaul. Rather, this is a case of a ‘re-do’ so to speak as my client was ready to embrace a new approach to the space. She was finding the sectional to be inconvenient when entertaining and not suitable for a larger group of people, and overall just ready for a change.

Before:modern living room, nyla free designs inc., sturgess architecture, calgary albertaWe embraced a conversation style seating arrangement, with one large sofa, two slipper chairs and a lounge chair and ottoman where my client often relaxes with her latte and piles of magazines right next to the warmth of the fireplace.

After: modern living room, nyla free designs inc., sturgess architecture, calgary albertaWe lightened up the area carpet from black to a traditional khotan carpet in neutral tones to flow with the terrazzo floors, limestone fireplace and concrete wall.

modern living room, nyla free designs inc., sturgess architecture, calgary albertaThe slipper chairs were purchased from 1st Dibs with the intention of re-upholstering them upon arrival. We decided to deliver them to the home as we hadn’t quite decided on a fabric, only to find we absolutely loved them in the space as is.

alexander mcqueen hummingbird pillow, rug company, modern living room, nyla free designs inc. One of my favourite additions was the needlepoint Alexander McQueen hummingbird pillow from the Rug Company we purchased at Avenue Road in Toronto.

I loved the space first time around but I have to say this new layout and selection of furniture is divine. I adore this living space and thankfully have the opportunity to visit often :)

photography by: Lori Andrews

Art collection: William Perehudoff (1919 – 2013), Brian Riley

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.

 

friday link love: making lists

Hello Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week. Did you know it’s only 8 weeks until Christmas? Regardless of it being the same day every year, it does seem to creep up on me. I’ve started planning and preparing in my mind but I have a feeling it will take a while longer to put those thoughts into action. I think this weekend I’ll start with list making over a stack of pancakes and cup of coffee in between the pool and dance studio. What’s on your plate this weekend?

pancakesHere are my fave links from the week:

These scrap wood wallpapers are so cool!

Came across this amazing site for vintage home decor and oddities.

Essential rules for shopping while traveling.

With the holiday party season fast approaching, here’s a great guide to dress codes.

The architectural detail in this home is just, WOW.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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.

diy: chalkboard mini fridge

I used to be far more into “DIY’s” (insert *before kids* here), and now it is far more limited as the perceived time and energy crushes my motivation. While the thought of it is great and always inspiring, the getting it done part is where I struggle for success. I do love making things and the feeling of accomplishment is truly so great.

When I moved into my new office space I quickly realized I would need a little fridge. I had left a space open for such a purchase however I was not keen on having a typical stainless front appliance in my school house style office.

I decided to take on the DIY of painting the front of it with chalkboard paint. After procrastinating for weeks, I received a call about photographing my office which of course lit a fire under my butt to get it done.

The longest part was waiting for the paint to dry so to speak, and all in all it was so simple, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. Isn’t that always how it goes?

Here’s the before:chalkboard fridge before diy

Supplies:
Sandpaper, painters tape, metal primer, paint brushes, rollers and trays. I purchased all of mine at Canadian Tire.chalkboard fridge supplies diychalkboard fridge in progress diyStep 1: Ensure the surface is clean
Step 2: Prepare the surface for the primer by sanding all areas with a medium grit sandpaper.
Step 3: Mask off any areas you do not wish to cover with chalkboard paint.
Step 4: Apply 2 coats of primer with a brush, allowing to dry for approximately 12 hours between each coat. Apply as even as possible and ensure all areas have been covered. Note: the primer is much runnier than expected and goes on quite thin. chalkboard fridge primed diyStep 5: Apply chalkboard paint with a small roller brush for even application. After the first coat it may look messy and uneven. Not to worry, each coat you apply will offer more coverage and eventually be a solid chalkboard surface.
Step 6: Allow 24hrs between coats. Apply as many coats as necessary to achieve a smooth finish.
Step 7: Once completely dry, prime the surface with a thin layer of chalk by rubbing a lightly chalk dusted brush all over the surface. This will make erasing and re-creating on your board easier.
Step 8: Let your creative juices flow with drawings, text or both!chalkboard fridge after diyTa-da! It turned out great. So pleased with the results.

‘After’ photo taken by Lori Andrews.

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.

 

colour inspirations: acid yellow

Just putting it out there…I want to use acid yellow in a room. Not a lot because a teeny tiny ounce of it goes a long way. It’s seasonably neutral so there’s no excuse to call it too bright, and it works in all styles so there’s no need to call it too modern. Are you brave enough? Where would you use it?

acid yellowacid yellowImages clockwise from top left: 1 2 3 4 bottom image 5.

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.

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 edisonAs 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.

dress your desk giveaway winner!

First of all, thank you to all who entered the giveaway. Whether a like, share or follow, they all mean so much and it’s how I stay connected with everyone, so THANK YOU!

Secondly, I plan to do this again soon so would love your feedback in order to make the next giveaway better. Please don’t be shy… send me your thoughts!

And last but not least, the winner of the giveaway is KIM McNEIL! CONGRATULATIONS! Please send us an email via the contact page so we can make arrangements to send your box of goodies off to you. And if you feel so inclined, would love to see a photo of your desk all dressed up with it’s new accessories.

semicolon yellow boxdesk accessories

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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 to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.