Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finding the Perfect Hue

Have you ever wondered how fabrics come together flawlessly?  You oooh and ahhhh over the pretty combinations and how they just seem to work together. Now, I must admit, we make it look pretty easy, don't we? But the truth is is anything but. Designers have a trained eye when it comes to selecting the perfect hues to compliment and enhance each other.

Don't believe me? Here's a little bit of proof. I introduced you to the mommy-suite/nursery we're working on and only showed you the final design choices. But do you have any tdea how long it took us to get there?



This was the fabric everyone fell in love with....


We sourced this lovely Beacon Hill cheetah print that the clients absolutely adored. We used this fabric as our jumping off point for the rest of the colour story in the room. After deciding this, we set off to find the perfect blue to match and accent the small spots inside the cheetah print to pull the colour throughout the room. Sounds simple, you say? 


When viewed individually, it was easy to pull together some options. Once compared to the Cheetah fabric, things weren't looking so easy anymore. As you can see in the array of blues above, each blue has it's own underlying tones. Some have hints of green, some have hints of brown, some have a peek of purple, some seem too grey. On top of this, different textures react differently under diverse lighting conditions.  
This happens every day where people will go to the store thinking they're buying the perfect item, but then when they get it home and compare it to the other items in their house and their different lighting, it can look completely crazy! 

In the end?


We found the perfect match as we always do. The fabrics are of similar texture and we were able to help pull the colour story throughout the space.




House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Project Bachelor Pad Gets A Nursery! Yes, You Heard Me Right!

It's always such a pleasure to hear back from past client's, especially when they were such a pleasure to deal with.  You may remember our Bachelor Pad at the Hunt Club Residence from previous posts back in 2011. Well...he's back BUT the "bachelor" is no more and is now expecting his first child!

Originally, it was meant to be a surprise for the gorgeous mommy-to-be but its hard keeping such fun secrets so now the whole family is on board. Our task is to create a tranquil yet luxurious space for the  mommy to relax in and a place for their soon-to-be bundle of joy to sleep in....do babies sleep?! Call it a nursery or call it a mommy suite, this spare bedroom with get a total design transportation.

The last thing they wanted was a traditional nursery so we're using lustrous velvets in blues and purples with a hint of fuchsia - talk about show stopping "non-nursery". Who wouldn't have sweet dreams surrounded by some of these fabrics? The mommy-to-be is super stylish herself so its not coincidence the room had to be fashion inspired and driven by the ultimate in chic. The only thing missing from this gorgeous cocktail of fabric is gold accents....oh...wait....we've got those too! It's one of those fun decorating projects where we'll see everything coming together before the baby is even gets here.

amazing, I know! 

Drapery Fabric. This water coloured peacock feathered fabric will incorporate every accent colour used through the space. It's the perfect tie 

Our first sketch, some visual inspiration. 



House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Toronto Sun #CondoChic

If you live in the Toronto area you may have picked up the Toronto Star newspaper on Friday. And, if you just so happen to find yourself flipping through the "New Homes & Condo" section then you probably may have also noticed this tiny tiny picture of me (can you hear the sarcasm)? It was a half page, jumbo size photo of moi! I was just as surprised as everyone else, so so so thankful by still totally surprised.

My article last week was all about the possibilities when designing a kitchen and believe me there are plenty. If you are considering renovating, thinking of renovating, ready to design or just gathering ideas I always say start with a plan. That plan usually comes from working with a design professional like myself and my totally brilliant design and contracting team, we'd love to hear all about these plans of yours. But in the meantime, if you didn't get a chance to read my article here it is.....

The Toronto Star - Friday June 21st, 2013 

House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Finishing Touches for Project Bedford Park

For the past couple of months we've been giving you peeks and teasers into Project Bedford Park and last Thursday was finally install day, if you're following us on instagram you may have already seen some of these beauty shots. Talk about transformation.......

Remember me? 

After a little House of Design pro touch 



This project is a perfect example of how we can work with client's existing pieces and still transform their spaces. The large cozy sectional, the warm hardwood floors and their fireplace all stayed in tacked (we are replacing the gold trim around the fireplace though). Most people will assume a designer comes in and tells their client's to get rid of everything, while that could be the case (sometimes) we do love working with client's existing pieces - if their worth keeping. This sofa was definitely worth it, a true investment piece. However, the sofa still had the standard grey cushions it came with and really lacked any kind of excitement, truthfully there was nothing wrong with them the fact that it was just dull and boring. 

And, so our smart client's hire us to wow them! We introduced them to lush velvets in deep jewel tones with accent piping and gave them some real drama. We also used large, like extremely large, so large in fact the client almost had a heart attach when they saw them (in a good way, I hope) zebra print velvet pillows to add some playful pattern in this young couple's family room. 

We also incorporated a custom wall unit, which really gave the room some presence. This unit was really a labour of love. It went through many revisions, customizations, tweeks, colour changes - you name it we did it. Our self-proclaimed "picky client's" wanted something so specific that we really had to design the perfect piece. And now it's here, installed and I can finally sleep.  It adds plenty of storage, it lets the TV hang in the right spot and overall it allows the room to feel grand.  

Usually we like to wait to have everything in and delivered in one day. This way we can accessorize, fluff, hang, set up - really put it all together. It wasn't easy (understatement) keeping them out but we kicked out asked our clients politely to leave the house and really gave them an HGTV moment. This way we can do what we do best DESIGN! We didn't let them see anything before hand, not even the custom art we completely created from scratch, kind of. 
 Nicole found a vintage map of Toronto and divided it into 16 pieces, we hung them gallery style and are now we're hoping to add lights on top. 

Here's a couple close ups of the details!
An Erica Gelman Original 
Round Diamond tufted ottoman... Swoon!

Details of this vintage 1916 map of the Greater Toronto Area.

Styling with unique accent pieces and books about fashion helps to create a story within the wall unit. Working in the clients' wedding album and other small accent pieces personalize the wall unit.


Check back soon for more pictures of finished powder room and foyer. Want more Project Bedford Park? So did we! So much that we're coming back for a kitchen renovation in the near future so stay posted for updates on that!


House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram







Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Creating a Bold Statement in Canadian Home Trends Magazine

Time is flying by this week at House of Design with new projects on the go and tons of projects in the finishing touches stage. We had the pleasure of doing another photo shoot this week for a bathroom renovation we did for one of our clients. While we don't have any pictures of that one yet, we do have some goodies for you to look at to keep you entertained.


Back in September of last year we introduced you to a new project we were working on here. It was a full house decorating project where we talked about taking a boring new build into the 21st century with show stopping formal rooms with the use of texture and colour ( dark colours, like a black, high gloss painted ceiling! ). You can see the amazing results in the Spring 2013 issue of Canadian Home Trends Magazine! But don't worry, we have a few pictures of it to share with you here to hold you over until you go pick up your own copy.

Lush velvets and silks create an instant air of luxury within the space. Getting rid of the builder's beige walls and stark white ceiling help to instantly intensify the drama in the space and create a bold statement. The walls are painted in a matte finish dark charcoal and the ceiling is done in the same colour but with a high gloss finish. Contrasted with the white mouldings, eyes are instantly drawn up, into and around the space. Using colour and shape to create focal points, this show stopping space has proven to be an amazing room to entertain in. Talk about a dramatic sensory overload! It's projects like this where the homeowner's trust and faith in our ability that make the end results really worth while. I mean, it's not every day that a client will get on board with painting the walls AND ceiling an intense deep charcoal, but what an outcome!



From the tufting on the sofa and chairs to the dramatic puddling of the drapes, this space just exudes drama. Grass cloth, bamboo and wool textures create visual interest without the use of overbearing patterns.


Go pick up your Spring issue of Canadian Home Trends magazine today for more great advice on creating a bold statement for your living space!





House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Photoshoot Day for Project Little Lady

With all of the finishing touches put on Project Little Lady, we had our amazing photographer in yesterday to do a photoshoot of the space. Although we don't have any of his pictures back yet, we do have some behind the scenes footage to share with you.

Photoshoots are not glamorous in any way shape or form. It's alot of organization and prep time and the time it takes away from us actually being the office is a killer. Poor Nicole, I had her running around the city going back and forth with deliveries starting at 8am yesterday. This was her first photoshoot with House of Design so she had no clue what she was getting herself into, I hope we didn't scare her too much. Needless to say, it's been a stressful few days but totally worth it!

And, alhough it may have been a gloomy day in the city,  everything was colourful and cheery during our shoot.  Bright and bold fuchsia pops against clean white and powerful navy accents.

Children's rooms are always a pleasure to design because you have the freedom to have fun, be playful and use colour in a way you may not in a formal space. Everything in this little lady's room was designed custom for her: the bed, the drapery, the bedding even her own wall-unit with pink crystal knobs. This is the kind of room she'll be able to grow into easily and if not, I'll live there!!


Here we made use of the little lady's book collection to accessorize her desk with. She'll definitely have lots of examples of colour and shape to learn from in this space!


Of course, a photoshoot would be nothing without an amazing photographer. Here Larry sets up to capture all of the amazing custom pieces in the space. Take a peek at this fab bed in the background!





When styling for a shoot, everything is in the details. It's the small things ( and when I say small, I mean tiny, look at these adorable shoes! No, they don't come in a size 7 unfortunately ... ) that make the biggest difference. Finding the perfect accessories turns a boring room into a photo shoot / magazine worthy room! 

After we finished shooting most of the space, we realized that the shots were missing something. We took a few pictures with the little princess we designed the room for and her adorable smile definitely lit the room up even more. You can't buy props as cute as this so we were thankful that she could be a part of it as well! We're also happy that we could create a space for this little lady to grow into!



We don't want to spoil you with too much information, so be sure to check back when we get the final photographs in! 

Thanks so much to our amazing homeowner who let us take over their house yesterday! 



House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram







Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Achromatic Drama at Project Woodvalley

Last week we left you with a little taste of what's to come for the Master Bedroom retreat at Project Woodvalley. After showing the client our vision for the space, we're finally ready to share it with all of you as well. With a layout that will make the room feel like it's own luxe boutique hotel suite, the clients will definitely feel like they are escaping their busy lives whenever they step into this Master Bedroom.

The Plan:

A classic four-poster bed will draw the eye upwards to the glamorous chandelier. New wall sconces and mouldings will help draw the eye into the space. Lush fabrics with bold patterns and textures will help to create the drama and play on our achromatic colour scheme. Monogrammed pillows will add just that extra touch of luxury. 

A small sitting area will give the clients a space to read, relax and escape. Custom chairs will add a luxurious feel in front of these bold drapes and sheers. 

A little glimpse at some of the other textiles we may use throughout the space:


That's all we can tease you with for now. Be sure to check back soon for more updates from House of Design!





House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Toronto Sun Condo Living Article: What's Your Idea of Fine Living?

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of being featured in the Toronto Sun and give some of our tips and advice about Condo Living and design. 
In Toronto today, condo buildings are popping up everywhere, and why not? It's a great way to make the most out of expensive real estate and lot spaces in the city and gives more and more young professionals a chance to afford to live in the city and save time on the commute. Though living in a condo has it's positives ( like having all of the amenities and conveniences as a hotel! ), it can be hard to turn your box shaped condo into something different than all of the others. 
Hiring a designer ( like Erica Gelman of House and Design, ahem... ) can help you maximize your space. Designers have a trained eye and know how to create visual separation or division of spaces which can help make your condo feel larger. Designers know what colours, patterns, textures, layouts and styles to use to compliment and maximize your space rather than take away from it. 

Anyway, in case you didn't get a chance to look at the article, here it is!




Keep an eye out for more of our articles in the Toronto Sun!





House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram




Spring Projects in Full Swing

Things at House of Design are heating up as the weather gets warmer and we thought we'd give you a little update on what's been going on here so far this Spring. A lot of our projects that you saw in the Planning and Design phase are now full swing into production so we're going to give you a look into what we've been doing.

 Project Bedford Park
You may recognize these before pictures of Project Bedford Park. Traditional creams and beiges throughout the Foyer and Powder Room weren't reflecting the client's more modern and clean contemporary tastes.



   


Now with new tiles, fresh paint and a more dramatic wallpaper, the space is starting to turn into the show space the clients wanted. With wainscotting under way, everything is coming along smoothly here at Bedford Park. 




Next to come for this project? The custom built in wall unit that will help add functionality and sophistication to the client's favourite room. 
( A little peek at our 3D drawing! )


Project Woodvalley
Project Woodvalley is one of our favourites here at House of Design as we have the pleasure of helping the clients redesign their whole house, room by room. With the family room, dining room, foyer, kitchen and theatre under our belt. We've been working on the second floor to give the clients the master retreat they truly deserve! Here are a few pictures of their Master Bathroom:




And here's a quick shot of the new dining chairs as well!

Next to come for this project? Our next room to tackle at Woodvalley will be the Master Bedroom. Architectural features and lighting will create emphasis on the bed wall while a seating area will give the clients space to relax and unwind. Check back for more updates on Project Woodvalley soon!


Well, now that you've seen just how much interior design can redefine your space and help your home reflect your true personality and style, what are you waiting for? Contact House of Design today to get your dream project started! 



House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram





Thursday, April 25, 2013

Introducing Project Rodeo Drive

In our last couple of posts we've introduced you to a few of the projects we have the privilege of working on here at House of Design, but there are still a few more that we'd like you to get acquainted with! It has been a busy month here with more projects on the go then ever and we think it's high time that we give you a little glimpse into another project we've been busy working on.

Project: Rodeo Drive
This is a VERY BIG project, the clients have just moved into a house and plan on renovating it from top to bottom. Our clients are completely aware of the extent of this project and have decided to complete the house in phases (which could last a few years). Right now, we're in our design phase where we discuss ALL the details and get our clients excited about whats to come. We're talking new casings, custom millwork, new floors, a custom kitchen, custom bathrooms... You name it, they're doing it - and oh boy does this house need it! The house has great bones and will be incredibly fun to work with, but currently looks like a bad rendition of 1980's Hollywood glam! Black floors, black casings around the windows, white walls... It hurts to talk about it, so I'll just share some before pictures with you so you get a better idea:


 Here we have the existing Dining & Living Room. We plan to revitalize this dining room by adding fresh casings, mouldings and coffered ceilings. A gorgeous chandelier and recessed lighting will help brighten up this seemingly dark space. New floors will run throughout the main floor creating a sense of unity and making the space feel larger!


( Just a little teaser! )




Here we have the kitchen, where we believe the show "Kitchen Nightmares" got it's title from. Consider this gutted. New gorgeous Quartz countertops, custom millwork and cabinetry that will take advantage of the height of the space, a new island with a breakfast counter and all new appliances and custom display builtins will transform this unappetizing kitchen into a true gourmet space. Updated lighting, floors and window treatments will help completely transform this kitchen!


 

A little look into our inspiration for the new direction we'll be taking this kitchen into:


Here we have the existing Master Bedroom Ensuite. Yet another very lackluster space that is in dire need of an update if it's going to provide any sort of feeling of relaxation for the new home owners. Getting rid of the outdated tub surround and replacing it with a freestanding tub will open up the space. Custom vanities and a new layout with a gorgeous glass enclosed shower will open up the space while still providing adequate storage for the homeowners! Light colours, carerra marble, custom panelling and mirrors will illuminate the space and turn it into a bathroom worthy of being called a Master Ensuite!


( A little peek into our new master ensuite plan! )


Here are a few other areas that need some addressing:


( A taste of what we have in store )





We know, it seems overwhelming, but we have the perfect solution to turn this nightmare into the house of the clients' dreams. Check back soon to see some of the finishes, fixtures and plans we have in store for Project Rodeo Drive.





House of Design by Erica Gelman is a full service Toronto based design firm. We create truly unique spaces catered to each client's specific requirements. We design, decorate and renovate from small scale to large scale residential builds.

For more information please visit www.ericagelman.com or to book a consultation please contact us at

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram