Being a Designer Takes Guts & Vision

One of my readers sent me these photos from their new place in cottage country, which is located 2 1/2 hours from downtown Toronto.
Being a Designer Takes Guts & Vision

See this spiral chandelier (above)? I couldn't find the big one on-line but this one is 6 feet long and 4 ft wide. To get it inside their cottage, the sliding glass doors had to be removed. To get it installed, four men and a scissor lift. To go through that to get a chandelier installed? You need to know beyond a doubt that it will look amazing! Hopefully I'll get some updated pictures later!
Being a Designer Takes Guts & Vision
The fireplace stone was recently installed and after many rounds of testing colours and moving them around on big samples, they will paint all the pine panelling (except the wood trim and the window wall) HC-105 Rockport Gray.

The couple (one of whom is a designer) said it currently feels like they are in a coffin, because there's way too much pine.

I love that they are leaving the window wall untouched and all the rest of the wood trim to keep the cottage feel.
Being a Designer Takes Guts & Vision
Here's a view from their boat.

Being a Designer Takes Guts & Vision
The view from inside the cottage.

What a stunning, picture post card setting!

So then I got to thinking, what have I done as a designer that took guts and vision?

Here's a few on my list:

1. I was 30 years old and decided I had to be creative or die. So I went to work at a paint store tinting paint, selling and conducting colour consultations.

Over and over and over, until I got really good at it.

Working in a paint store is NOT glamorous. When you're 20, it's fine, late 30's? That took guts.

2. Got myself fired a lot until out of pure survival, I created a colour blog. Then much to my surprise and delight, got really successful doing it!

3. Patricia Kramer recommended me to the Dean at Vancouver Community College as a colour theory instructor to teach a 10 week course as part of their interior design program.

I was advised that I could write the entire curriculum. So I did. And taught it for 3 years until I left to teach my own three day colour training.

4. Custom furniture and drapery. I do 99% of my OWN check measures on all hard window coverings and drapery for my clients. I had a designer show me how to do it years ago with one client and I've done it myself ever since. Considering how expensive custom window coverings are, that's gutsy.

5. Ordering a sunflower yellow sofa for my living room. Whenever I see a space where strong colour has been used to great effect, I think that takes guts.

Now over to you, my lovelies, what's the gutsiest thing you've ever done?

What's Trending in 2013

What's Trending in 2013

What's Trending in 2013
In case you were wondering (I'm sure you weren't), I changed about 5 times before we got this photo for this article in BC Home & Garden about trends. And because you can't see it, here's what I said:

"Colour is going back to the 50s and the 60s," says colour expert, author and stylist Maria Killam. "We're seeing so much bright colour out there".

Killam singles out cornflower blue has her favourite from this emerging colour palette. Although gray remains a popular pick for walls and furniture, accent colours are getting livelier, which means layering brighter blues over your trendy neutrals.

What's Trending in 2013
"The thing to note about these bright colours is that they really work best with a crisp backdrop", says Killam. A cornflower blue, tangerine orange or raspberry accent doesn't sit well in a space filled with warm tones like caramels, golds and browns; it needs the cool compatibility of greys, blacks and whites, she adds.

Despite grey's massive popularity, Killam refers to it as a "debilitating colour" when overused. "People gravitate toward the trendy neutral and they decorate their whole house in it", she says.

Shades of grey come to life when you introduce bright pops of colour, but a few throw pillows or vases aren't enough for a powerful accent like cornflower blue.

"You need to have small, medium and large accents of the same colour", says Killam. She recommends buying several matching picture frames, for example, IKEA's 20 inch square Ribba frames, painting them an accent colour, fitting  them with custom mats and then filling them with postcard sized pictures to match. Be playful with your accents by spreading them around your space, because in the end, colour is meant to be fun.

Story by Kristen Hilderman, BC Home & Garden Magazine
What's Trending in 2013
Blues are definitely hot! Peacock blue is currently everywhere and every time I suggest it, my clients get excited.
What's Trending in 2013

What's Trending in 2013
I recently specified this lamp for a clients sitting area in a master bedroom and it was beautiful with toss cushions to match.
Colour Trends
Emerald Green, which is a blue based green was Pantone's pick for 2013. I am loving it in this image paired with a bright apple green shade.