Monday, December 12, 2011

Lake Shore Project Reveal....

Just over a year ago I was contact by an awesome couple who bought their first downtown Toronto condo together. They both loved the location, the building, the view and the open concept of their 650 sq/ft condo. What they did not love was decor/set-up the previous owners were living in. This is very typical and usually the cause of most people's anxiety/ sleepless nights / questioning themselves about their new purchase. This is the perfect time to hire a designer, even just for a consultation it will save you years off your life but putting your mind ease. This is exactly what my clients did, they hired a professional - so smart they were.
Seriously, wouldn't this give you a headache too......

The furniture is way to big and over scaled for this space, not mention it hides the amazing 36th floor view.

P.S...People stop buying sofas that look like over stuffed garbage bags...please!

Although the dining table is a good size it shows no personality, can you say boringggg?

I know the condo is small but the desk, the messy desk should never EVER be a focal point.

Before even taking possession of their property, emails went back and forth and I reassured them that regardless of the mess the condo is in now it will be perfect for them once we're done. We had a site visit before closing and pretty much knew where we were going in terms of design. My clients are a young vibrant couple who love to entertain and really wanted their space the reflect their lifestyle and personality.
So that is exactly what I gave them;
a fun space, not to serious not to stuffy but grown up enough for a mature engaged couple
(who by the way got engaged during our planning stages, see good design makes EVERYTHING better).

Better, right? We all think so!

Custom Pillows give the West Elm  Sofa a unique look.

Custom Chairs - with contrasting fabric give the set a modern vibe

Hello Wallpaper!!! to.die.for 

Another project by Erica Gelman
House of Design  

Friday, November 18, 2011

My flippin' Moment

Like a child who's just been told they're flying off to Disneyland to meet Micky & Mimmy, I too I live for events where I can meet my idols, my designer rock stars!  Needless to say,  when I found out about the Jeff Lewis event at Elte  I was beyond excited!! And very similar to a child's reaction when they finnnnnally get their "Micky Mouse moment" all of a sudden their world changes, mine does too, even if only for those few minutes there is this overload of happiness that you never want to end. 

The evening was Fab!! 
 While trying to catch every word Jeff was saying I was really effected by his humble and sincere presence. He was honest and spoke direct about the industry;
 the good, the bad and the ugly.

A key moment last night was Mr. Lewis brought to the table his client experiences. My favourite line of the evening was when he bluntly said
"I finished my remodel and the clients put their crappy furniture in it".
That really hit home for me.I realized the that no matter who your clientele is funds are never endless and people may run out of money by the time the house is ready for decor.
Everyone has a budget. 

Another amazing insight, Jeff spoke about his rare case of 'celebrity'. He was actually  'discovered', one of those once in a million unusual instances. I almost dropped to the floor.  Does that actually happen?? In the back of my mind I'm eternally optimistic and dream that one day I too can be discovered.
BUT then I think to myself...does that actually happen?
Don't you need to know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone?
Don't get me wrong though, it's not something that I'll ever stop trying to achieve I just don't think it will ever 'fall into my lap'.  Good for Jeff though, it leaves hope for the rest of us designers.

And as a self proclaimed "up and coming designer" getting to hear the pros speak so candidly about their personal triumphs and tribulations makes me feel like there is so much out there just waiting for this up and comer to discover;
 my own path to success.

The stunning Tracy Moore of City Line interviewing Jeff Lewis & Jenni Pulos 

The were hilarious, blunt and so real! 

Meet & Greet: Me and My Partner in Crime / Hubby Eric

THE super star Designer of my time Mr. Brian Gluckstein 



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Project Reveal....Hunt Club Private Residence

If you follow along with my blog you'll see a recent post titled "A playground for Aristocrats". My client, a very polished and sophisticated bachelor was living in a unique loft space that required some assistance to transform the area into an environment that would match his refined lifestyle. The previous post was a sneak peak at our next project; the kitchen, but before we were able to tackle that undertaking we needed to complete his not-so urbane living room.

Here are some before pics....

We kept the stunning citrus green wool rug from Elte and his existing custom gray sofa. Everything else needed to be re-done, re-upholstered & re-designed! Instead of the rug being such an intense focal point I wanted it to be a more subtle pop of colour and incorporate it into the smaller elements of the room for consistancy. My client wanted to make sure the historic relevance was still visable so we brought in some masculin accents and kept the backdrop still very neutral. My favourite combination with the wasabi green is a stunning mid-night blue; its dark and intense but not over's perfect!


The After

Another project by House of Design


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Part Two: Are you a minimalist?
min·i·mal·ist  (mn-m-lst)
1. One who advocates a moderate or conservative approach, action, or policy, as in a political or governmental organization.
2. A practitioner of minimalism.
1. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or in the style of minimalism.
2. Being or providing a bare minimum of what is necessary.

  • Is clutter your worst nightmare? 
  • Are you attracted to neutrals and tend to only purchase basics? 
  • When you look at your wardrobe is it the structure and fine details that appeals to you most and not the embellishments? 
  • Do you consider accessories a waist of time? 
Perhaps you're a minimalist? 

Is this your ideal wardrobe a collection of timeless classics compiled of simplistic tones and colors that are understated and unpretentious. 

Could this be your dream home....

 Is this you? 
If not, come back for The Minimalist's polar opposite....GLAM Design 


Monday, September 26, 2011

what kind of interior are you?

Have you ever walked into a clothing store with one of your shopping partners when they spot an article of clothing, pull it out and call out to you; "you need to try this on, it's so you" , you both look at the masterpiece and sigh in ahhhhh.
Why is it that a floral shirt or a bubble skirt or even a slim-fitted blazer can be so "YOU", but I'm yet to hear anyone ever say "oh wow, that credenza has your name written all over it", excluding your designer of course, they know it's so YOU even before you do.

Is your style staple a crisp white skirt and tailored jeans or are you the one always overdressed in your glitz and stilettos? Do you consider an outfit unfinished without a statement necklace? or do you prefer to be more demure and understated? Is your idea of shop therapy a day of vintage rummaging? At some point in our lives we all figure out who we are and try to exude our personality with fashion. That said, you may still be evolving and growing as a person and therefore your style may and will change with you. Same goes for design and decor. The way we express our fashion style is usually a direct translation of our own character and luckily it's now that easy to convey that same persona in our interior design.

Have you ever walked into someones home whose personality is "larger than life" but their living room looks like an ad for a retirement village? It's probable because they couldn't commit to finding their interior style so they just gathered a few pieces together and called it "eclectic".  Don't be that person!

This week I will be showcasing
The Fashion Section meets The Interior Design Department.
Let me introduce you to your perfect interior match. Find something that appeals to your senses, the same way that you would decide to purchase that leather jacket or those funky rainbow boots; it's because you are drawn to it.
Discover those elements of design that you are drawn to and own it and live within it.

Here's what's in the forecast......

images via 

PS.....I've been so tied up lately That my blog has been alittle neglected BUT I'm back


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baby M's Designer Nursery: Sneak Peak

Being a designer sometimes requires you to also be a mind reader. I know, that's a crazy difficult task but hey, we're up for the challenge! In all honesty though sometimes a designer just needs to be able to pick up on words and transform them into a vision and ultimately a creation. Often this is the case when your client can't emphasize the vocabulary needed to explain their visual thoughts. That said, this is the situation we as designers are put in more often than not, it's in our job description... must be telepathic.


However, emotion is much more valuable in design than words may be. That is why my samples are my lifesavers! I may throws fancy "design vocabulary" my clients way and I may even use words that don't translate into English for them, "monochromatic" what? BUT the moment a client touches a piece of fabric or lay their eyes on 'that' sofa, the one they had always dreamed of or even the space planning they couldn't figure out for months just somehow fits like a perfect puzzle their emotions go into sensory overload, a light goes off and all of sudden that mumbo-jumbo design terminology all starts to somehow make sense.

That's exactly the reaction I had when baby M's mother-to-be saw all the fabric and wallpaper samples I had presented to her (refer to last weeks post). It was that moment she knew her dream nursery would very soon become a reality.

Here is the very FIRST sneak peak of Baby M's Designer Nursery

If you've been following along, great! If not catch up... :)

Thank you so much for all the love & support!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Playground for Aristocrats?!?!

"A contemporary lounge that possesses all the masculine aspects of the Hunt Club yet a livable environment that's warm and inviting"
a descriptive statement that started it all.

My client, a young professional knew precisely what he wanted when he had asked me to design his already remarkable space. Like most young professionals, he didn't have the time nor the patience to source, shop and create - so he did a huge favour to himself and hired a designer! His future self would have thanked him for being so kind. We began by simply finishing what he had already started, turning his bachelor pad into a stylish home.

His residence was truly unique, an address of distinction; the original "Eglinton Hunt Club". This was a playground for aristocrats and fellow nobles. A place where the upper class would entertain themselves with activities such as hunting foxes and riding horses (oh how I would have loved to have been a fly on these walls 100 years ago). The building was also used for the Royal CDN air force but transformed in 2003 to one of the most luxurious condo/loft conversions anywhere in Toronto.

With such character embed in the building, I instinctively knew that my design would need to capture the historic significance yet showcase a more modern approach to designed living.

We've merged from great room decor onto the planning stages of his kitchen project. My concept is to play up the harmonic rhythm between natural stone, metal, glass & organic wood elements while incorporating luxurious fabrics and finishes.

This while truly be a delicious kitchen!!!

I hope you enjoyed and keep following along .... this may be a long journey but I'll be updating and giving away "sneak peeks".  


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday {Inspirations}

Happy Hump Day!!!

Is it still Hump Day if it follows a long weekend? I'm not sure but at least this is a short week, well for those of us lucky enough to get a Civic Holiday
thanx Canadian Government.  

This Wednesday Inspiration is the an example of classic beauty.
A colour palette that always looks fresh, vibrant and current. It is one of my favourite combinations because it can be used as high contrast with equal proportion or subtle hits if used as a grounding device.


Entre si vous plait
This grand entrance just feels like a French Maison. So bold and daring yet intimately inviting.

I love a graphic floor pattern and this one is a definite winner. But, what makes this a design success is the minimal use of colour & accessories;
 the repetition of high gloss black on the doors and soft white walls unify this bold pattern and keep it looking like a classic black & white palette.

If I can add my two cents in though... I'd love to see an oversized coloured vase used as a point of interest.

Thank you for visiting...........


Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby M's Designer Nursery: Update

If you're following along on my journey then you'll know I'm designing my very good friends/client's nursery. You haven't missed much though...
perfect timing!

After my effective motivational/inspirational style search I had presented the images to my clients anticipating I would broaden there horizons and they would have a better understanding of the different avenues we could take. Surprisingly they didn't fall in love with any of the rooms. However, I was thrilled...yes thrilled with that response. If you fall in love with a space and want to duplicate it then why would you hire a designer? you pretty much don't need me (and FYI I enjoy being needed). I want my clients to allow me to build a room where they feel special and unique and feel like it was truly designed for them. The images are purely a starting point.

I asked Baby M's anxious parents to entirely ignore all the obvious elements in the "inspirational" nurseries and focus on something that jumped out at them; I wasn't really looking for much just a speckle of something/anything...
YES that's a very technical design term; "Speckle of something".

And a "speckle" they found. They were drawn to the modern gray nursery; 
it was vivid and like nothing they've ever seen and that is exactly the fundamentals they wanted to implement in their/my design.

Lo and behold this is what my magical sourcing powers produced.....


VIOLET!! we're ditching the Pink and going straight to Purple - so fashion forward

Wallpaper samples - I know very non typical "baby" choices but I told you it's
a Designer Nursery
Wallpaper is by far my favourite go-to accent/statement piece in any room
(from the fun nursery to the formal living room you can't go wrong)

Fabric: We've got fabrics for bedding, drapery & many options so little space

OH did I mention we're doing custom bedding???
The bumper, the bed skirt & the blanket are all
ONE OF A KIND - Erica Gelman Originals

 If you want to see what our final selections are you'll have to some back to the blog for Update #3 -

Coming up on next week's update: sneak peak of the ridiculously fabulous crib they've selected.

I hope you enjoyed and I'd LOVE your feedback......


Thursday, July 28, 2011

{Shut the front door...on your way out}

This bathroom was waaaaaaay to stunning not to share!

You could not ask for a more subtle form of luxury in your bathing suite.
 There's polished marble laid in a herringbone pattern, a Crystal chandelier which hangs over the bathtub who's walls are adorned with sparking mosaic tiles...WOW
And can we take a look at the chrome nail head door details?
I believe that's a first for me.


This ensuite definitely deserves a "Shut the Front Door"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday {Inspirations}

Happy Hump Day!!

I feel like there is no better day than Wednesday to get a little inspired. I mean after all it 's the middle of the week and we're all back to our regular work structure and full on back in the swing of things...or is it just me that tasks two whole days to get myself together?

Today I've come across a truly unbelievable walk-in closet which has inspired to nag I mean 'suggest' to my husband that I too get one of these.

Can you imagine the shoe and handbag collection this closet is home to? Besides the glamour and glitz this interior also has some amazing design particulars. For instance, the makeup vanity - what a brilliant idea to do your hair and makeup right in your very own dressing room. And which girl or guy wouldn't love a space that feels like a slice of Paris a Parisian haut-couture boutique to be exact. It's all in the details; subtle pastel hues, minimal pattern and lots of rich textures.

This closet belongs to the exceptionally lucky Maleiah Rogers married to Ryan Rogers, grandson of Mary Kay skincare line founder.  
This is my perfect Wednesday Inspiration...


Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday = 4 more days until Friday

It's Monday...doesn't everyone hate Mondays?

That is me every Monday Morning...its true ask my husband he'll vouch for me

Monday means  the end of our relaxation, the final chapter, the conclusion, the finale of two wonderful days also known as 'the weekend'. I call them magical days because anything can happen, it's a completely unpredictable time where we get out of our daily routine / comfort zone and anticipate only the best for the next 48 hours. This past weekend my hubby & I spent two days relaxing at one of our best friend's cottages' up north. It's a place with generations of history and full of stories with spontaneous moments that have happened time and time again. A cottage or summer home (as some would call it) is a place that defines family and friends and the memories it creates lasts beyond a lifetime.  This particular cottage is your classic nostalgic summer home;  it's adorned with family portraits and newspaper clipping dating back to years before my time. The walls are covered with memorabilia and antique possessions almost everything has a story behind it. The cottage itself is very small and cozy yet it can easily hold the dozens of people who show up there on any given weekend. This particular weekend they hosted about 150 + people for their second annual 'Rock the Dock' fundraiser, honouring their dad who passed away in 2008. The party was a huge success and we had a blast.

<> This is the fab dock - full of ppl as usual.
That's my husband Eric, Me (in the middle) and our very good friend Jay (who's family owns the cottage)

My weekend escape got me thinking about how far cottages / summer homes have come in the last decade. It is no longer a place that accepts only hand-me-downs in replacement of new furnishings and the idea of a worn out & tired kitchen & bathroom are a thing of the past. They have evolved into sophisticated retreats and true weekend gateways. With their standards being on a much high level than ever before property owners are infusing their spaces with the same detail and pride as they would their 'weekday' homes. We are getting a more residential feel but with the same luxury and stylized features as you would in your own personal "hotel".

Here are my top pics and easy ways to have these looks in your fabulous
cottage and/or weekend home....Enjoy!

Welcome to the future of cottage living!

Hanging pot & pans, open shelves and a large island are the key components to a casual kitchen and a place where your guests can feel right at home. This layout lets everyone assemble around the island and lets your friends and family know exactly where the dishes are for the BBQ!
The kitchen is the heart of the home and doubles as the gathering place both in the city and at the cottage.
Whether you're cooling off in the pool or plunging in the lake there is no better way to relax and dry off then in one of these over sized wicker sun beds.


Cube Sky Cottage is located near the , architect.

Every room in this cottage has a view but not just any view; it's serene and lush and full of pure nature. This is what I would call a perfect execution of a modern atmosphere set in the rustic wilderness.
I'd leave my everyday residence to reside here any day.

If you have a more traditional style in the city then change it up for your weekends. Furnish your cottage with clean lines and simple decor. Keep it easy and light and that's the feeling you'll encase yourself in.

Can you say... Luxury???
I feel like this should be a cottage somewhere far far away...maybe in the south of France, perhaps Monaco?
Wherever it is it is the definition of fabulous! From the lumber panels ceilings to the crystal chandelier and down to the herringbone wood floors this is certainly not your classic cabin.

If you wanted to recreate this type of bedroom in your own weekend home you'll need to think hotel linens, monochromatic hues and delicate finishes.

It's probably not in Ontario but wouldn't this work perfectly in your Moskoka Room? Or any other sun room you may have in your cottage/summer home.
It's warm and inviting with all the comfort you can ask for. This is definitely a gathering space where I can see a crowd of people lounging on the huge sectional taking in the view. It can also be the cozy spot in the winter where you grab your hot coco and enjoy the scenery.

The key to this cozy environment is layering fabric on top of fabric. It's about taking in the colour palette from the outdoors so the floor to ceiling windows have no indoor competition.

via www.

This is a true vision!
Created by my all-time favourite designer Mary McDonald

I'm sure those sea shells cost Ms. McDonald's client a small fortune but it doesn't have to. Gather all the hard shells you can find, both by the water or in one of the little antique shops and create a welcome vignette for your guests.
Also, don't you just LOVE the use of non-predictable cottage colours..I'm loving the Vibrant Orange.

Thanks for reading...