navy blue is my new hue.

i find it so interesting that my tastes are constantly changing.

lately (like in the last week) i've been obsessing with navy blue.

and not only in my home, but my wardrobe as well.

it all started when a friend of mine suggested we have a nautical themed party on a boat.  a totally rad idea, but i don't own anything even remotely nautical.  that's ok, she says, just get something blue.

hmmm, blue, good idea.  i'm already a big fan of turquoise, especially with red, so that's pretty close.  but i honestly can't say that i've ever been in love with the colour blue.

and as luck would have it, i'm working with a brand new client who is having me design his condo . . . and you guessed it, i'm painting it navy blue!

i love the navy paired with the rusty orange chairs.  it just looks so comfortable.  it's got a classical yet modern feel.  (ps. note the bookshelf.)

navy blue sharing the space with a crisp white.  probably not the best idea for family living, but oh so pretty to look at.  i especially love the tulip floor lamp. :)

so it can be tailored or rustic.  the perfect match for me.

ooh ooh, and with turquoise.  now that is hot.  and bright. and lovely.

but it's not just lovely interiors i'm drooling over.  i want to wear navy!

love this for the boat themed party . . . don't know how comfortable it would be on a boat though . . . 

i think i will wear this one on my trip to the zoo.  yep,  eating some ice cream and watching the monkeys, in my pretty navy dress.

this one is just hot.

and the same hotness!  i've just got to say that i love modcloth.com.  if you didn't know, know you know!  i would love to complete these outfits for you, but it's late. and alas, another long day tomorrow.

i'll keep you posted on the navy blue condo, i'm so excited!  can't wait to share photos!



how to love your bookshelves

i see A LOT of homes.  believe it or not, there is one very common denominator in most homes . .  . messy bookshelves!

in my humble opinion, bookshelves, whether they are stand alone or built in, are supremely neglected.  they seem to have become a catch all not only for books, but for important figurines, papers, photos, magazines and anything else you can throw at it.

bookshelves or shelving of any kinds can become focal points in the space.  grouping 2 or three freestanding bookshelves together can create the illusion of a built-in unit if you don't have one.  in some cases, having a built-in bookshelf can be overwhelming for the room, depending on the size of course. short bookcases are an option.  these days, there are all sorts of choices for bookshelves, everything from traditional tall units to funky shapes or completely unconventional.  no matter which type you choose, dressing the bookcase remains the same.

reorganizing and dressing people's bookshelves can be the most time consuming part of my job.  sometimes i have to start from scratch, other times it's just a clean up job.  here are some tips for making your bookshelves speak for themselves.

the first step is to edit out anything that doesn't belong in a bookshelf.  i always recommend removing things like binders, spiral bound notebooks and even sometimes photo albums.  photo albums that are in good condition and preferably all with the same spine are acceptable.  binders and spiral bound books belong in an office, not on display.  i believe that all books should be displayed, however, textbooks and books that may have seen better days can make the bookcase appear messy.  try making a book covers specifically for these books, to create consistency.

next, i like to group the books by size.  i don't necessarily always take the books across the shelf from largest to smallest, but i find this helps the case look neater.  sometimes i stack them too.  the most important thing to remember when dressing your bookcase is balance.  every so often, take a step back and look at your work. try to make sure that where you've placed your books doesn't feel top heavy or lopsided.  alternate the direction the books are travelling in.  this will naturally balance the groupings.  balance is key not only in the placement, but also the colours of the spine.  sometimes it can appear visually heavy if there are too many dark coloured items grouped together.  don't be afraid to switch up the direction of the books as well.  set some vertically, and some horizontally almost as a book end.  maybe on one shelf all the books are stacked horizontally.  

i like to think of dressing bookshelves as an exercise in layering.  typically i start with the books, grouping them by size and placing them on the shelves.  next, i choose my tchotchkes.

{tchotchke   [chahch-kuh]  –noun Slang .
          an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament.  a trinket or 
ornament. (From Yiddish.) :  Her whole house isfilled with tchotchkes and old photographs.  Origin: 1965–70, Americanism  < Yiddish tshatshke  < Polish czaczko bibelot, knickknack (now obsolete; compare modern cacko  withsame sense, orig. dial.); of expressive orig.}

this is my broad term for decorative accessories.  be creative with what you choose.  there really are no rules here, anything goes.  just as long as you maintain the balance.  bowls always work well on top of a stack of books.  unlit candles are another useful accessory.  if you have any small pieces of art that would fit between the shelves use them at the back of the shelf to create interest.  this is a good place to spread out some of your family photos and feature them.  baskets are also a useful tool for storage and hiding any items that you may not want on display.  any small item will work to fill in the holes and further layer the bookcase.

the last and very important word of advice that i can offer you is to pull the books forward to meet the edge of the shelf.  too often people feel the need to push the books right to the back, burying them and diminishing them.  pull everything forward and show them off!  plus, then there's a secret hiding spot behind the books for things you don't want to be visible.

so there you have it . . . show your books some love and they will repay you for years to come.  ok . . . maybe not.  but they'll be a lot easier to look at. :)



HEY! Where'd V go?

i'm here . . . exhausted and desperately trying to keep my head above water.

we've been dealing with some pretty crappy life challenges . . . death, bill collectors and our car falling apart to name just a few.  but on the plus side eli started a new job, so that definitely makes things a little bit easier.

in the more good news department i've got a lot of independent projects that i'm working on.  if i can manage to rock them, then i can potentially soon step out on my own and have my own client base.  scary but pretty awesome, right?  AND  i'm going to be writing for an online design mag, livsavvy.com.  i'll let you know when to check it out! :)

in other news, a very good friend of mine is opening up her own dance studio, so i'm lending a hand with that.  it's really making me itch to get my own place open, but i have to keep reminding myself about a thing called baby steps.  my soon-to-be-sister-in-law (tee hee!) over at W!NK vintage suggested that we open our own vintage fashion, wears and decor shop . . . the only catch of course is that we would need to live in the same city, which we don't . . . .ugh!  what a tease, that would be a perfect life!  i suppose though that i should at least get my etsy shop going, that's only been on my to do list for, i dunno, 6 months now.  maybe i should get myself an intern . . .

thanks to my good friend carrie for letting me visit her ridiculously gorgeous cottage this weekend.  the quiet was so needed.  i swear, i haven't slept so soundly in such a long time.  i needs to get me some land so i can just pitch my tent whenever i want to and be in nature.  the best part is she has a treasure trove of fantastic goodies up there, all inherited from her husbands grandparents.  i almost peed my pants when i found a jar of vintage buttons!  she let me pick 10 . . . i love her.  i'm hoping she'll let me help her when it comes time to refinish some of the furniture pieces :)

so that's a bit of an update on my end.  working my ass off as usual.  my plan is to have wwwaaayyyy more free time from work this summer so i can accomplish some of the things on my ever growing list.  because to top it all off, i have a whack-load of projects that i want to do . . . . feel like i'm losing my creativity.  so to re-inspire myself i'm going to hit up the spring trunk show at the workroom tomorrow.

1340 queen street west . . . it's free admission, free snacks AND rummage finds and handmade wears.  what better way to spend a sunday afternoon?  will i see you there?