Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the most delicious design

cupcakes, cookies and sweets OH MY!

Last year Monica Abramov, who just so happens to be my best friend, quite her full-time corporate career to open the most scrumptious and decadent boutique the city had ever tasted!
Monica, who is a very creative person herself knew the style she was looking for just didn't know how to execute it in terms of the interior design. Fortunately for her... I did! As we began brain storming the designs we immediately decided that the products were our major source of inspiration and that they were going to act as the stars of this production. With her baked creations named Chewy Vuittion, BurBerry, Jean Paul Bruley along with a list of others how could they not influenced our design concepts. Monica also had a great starting point and made the fearless request for PINK (and a lot of it). I was trilled she was willing to use such a daring and bold colour but knew that it could go terribly wrong if mishandled. This was going to be an upscale boutique; very glam yet fresh and modern, a space that could easily be home to elite cookie couture society.

I always start every project with a design direction...otherwise it's like exercising on the treadmill; running with no destination. And since this was a space that could handle a little fashion forward fun I had loved the idea of going Modern Gothic. I had a vision of pure white; white tables, white chairs, white wainscoting...WHITE. However, with such a dominant hue the pieces would need to be offset by dark floors and darker walls. And with all the cocoa in this boutique our intense saturation was influenced by luscious chocolate browns (only naturally). We were going to repeat this colour on the walls which would tie everything in together and give this space a coherent look. So when we found the antique brown damask wallpaper we knew it was perfect. But I couldn't forget about the PINK, it was going to be our punch of colour and act as the focal point. This said, I knew I had to place the PINK in very strategic places. My first order of business was to drop the ceiling above the service counter almost creating a bulk head effect, this draws the eye directly to the baked goods. But we weren't done yet...to give this shop a little ambient lighting we went with soft white crystal, a real touch of sophisticated style yet keeping the vibe modern & unique .
Luckily, Monica loved the concept...otherwise our 20 year friendship would have been over :)
On a serious note... I'd like to thank Monica for this amazing project!
Although I may have implemented the design it's Monica who achieves Delicious-ness daily!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Treasure Hunting

I sometimes feel like I'm the queen of Sales! There is nothing better then finding a pricey item you've been eyeing for months now miraculously in the clearance section. I feel the same way about my designer shoes too (but that for another blog..lol). Whats so good about Treasure Hunting at Home Sense, one of my favourite stores is that you feel like all your favourite items are on sale.

A few months ago I was renovating a powder room where the vanity was set to be our focal point. I needed something with impact and the way factor...oh and did I mention we were on a tight budget??? So when I walked into Home Sense one day on one of my usual weekly expeditions there I was determined to find something great. I knew the chances of me finding an actual vanity there were very slim but when my eyes met this lonely cream cabinet I knew I had found The One.

I know what you're thinking....it's NOT much to look at!!! But with a little vision and inspiration (Hey I am a Designer) I could turn this into a real prized possession AND with a $120.00 price tag I couldn't go wrong.

Without hesitation I drove the cabinet to get sprayed in with an intense black finish. A granite counter top was cut out of remnants my stone supplier had in his shop (another super savings). However the icing on the cake was finding the Brizo faucet online for half the price. BUT I wasn't done yet! The standard stainless steel handles the cabinet had come with were not up to par with my deluxe piece. I ordered crystal luminous balls which were the perfect match to its counterpart...the crystal chandelier. With all these amazing deals we also had plenty left over for the show-stopping opulent high gloss white mirror and the luxurious silk fabric which sits perfectly in the window frame.
'Budget' doesn't mean compromising style it's just a treasure hunt away!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not your Standard Kitchen

A builder's "standard" kitchen turned into a gourmet delight...

With a little space planning and tailoring the finishes of this kitchen we were able to use the builder's standard vanilla ebony cabinets with-out compromising our design vision. With an entire wall of built-ins including an industrial style fridge, this space feels more like a custom built home then a subdivision model. Because of its' wide width and open concept feel I really wanted to play up the vertical lines and make this kitchen a real showpiece. I started with the cool gray porcelain floor tiles accented with a white marble brick pattern. I continued this scheme straight up to the marble counter top which features gorgeous white lines running through it and then right up to the silver leaf mosaic backsplash.

The real pops of colour are exposed in the curio case which balances the cooking area's upper cabinets. With reds, blues and greens soring through the circular glass detailed doors it's hard to miss this focal point. The kitchen was illuminated with soft lighting over the dining area and subtle dropped pendent lights hanging over the spectacular island.

This kitchen proves that with a little imagination the ordinary can look extraordinary!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


WELCOME! Stay a while....

I've always wanted to start a blog about design so here I am sitting in front of my lap top introducing myself to the blog world! HELLO

My name is Erica Gelman and I'm an interior designer from Toronto, Ontario. I've been designing for what feels like my entire life but in reality I graduated from the Academy of Design 5 years ago where I received formal training. I find my true inspiration from everyday life and fantasy thoughts. After working as a set designer, project manager and commercial designer for local companies I took the plunge and formed House of Design in 2008 where I am the principal designer (which means I personally have complete creative control).

When I started my career I was exposed to mainly traditional design and therefore adapted that as my own style. However I learned very quickly that there was a whole other world out there and began dipping into a more contemporary technique. There was a time I found myself completely attracted to monochromatic concepts the white on white with a touch of white "hotel chic" mode, an absolute departure from my conventional taste. I needed a happy medium because it just didn't feel right! As a result I have now taken on my own approach to design; keeping things personal (whether it be my private home or my clients' spaces). My own house is very glamorous with predominantly high contrasting hues; black, white and grey, lots of sparkling chandeliers and luxurious fabrics. I have always loved old Hollywood Glamour and wanted to feel a little bit of that vibe in my own space (luckily my husband allowed me to express my creativity with out limitation..hey not every man loves a house full of pillows and trim and tassels).

I'm really excited to start sharing my design tips, my trials and tribulations with projects, my fab finds (I'm a huge fan of SALES, liquidations and promotions) and of course I'll be posting tons of pics along the way!!!!

I hope YOU Enjoy