Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holidays 2016 ~ indigo Edition

Hello Wednesday! December is only 1 day away and the holiday is almost upon us.  It's oh-so-festive everywhere with twinkling lights on trees, shop windows dressed in bright and bold colors, and the Christmas classic, ice skating rink at City Hall, is on for winter 2016!

To celebrate the arrival of December, I am kicking start a month of Christmas with one of the best previews in town, indigo: The Holiday Shop!   

"Make It Merry: every gift tells a story" is the punch line at Indigo and I simply couldn't agree more.  Just as we try our best to pick the most perfect gifts for our friends and family, the buyers and the product development team at indigo also spent months to curate their holiday collections to ensure each item is specifically selected to put a smile on your face.

Before you throw your first holiday party this season (and if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home), here is how you can create your own Christmas Village with the most serene ceramic houses, whimsical snow globes, Frasier Fir scented candles, and colorful stockings + stocking stuffers!

For this holiday season, I want the classic Jingle Bells and how fun is the magic tree?

You will also have to set the table for your upcoming holiday party and check out this causal yet elegant dining room filled with festive touches!

From plaid accents (LOVE the measuring cups), super chic cheese board with leather strap, glass and brass jam jar, Moose and Deer wall decor, to fun black & white Canada mug + one from every Province, indigo has everything you need to wow your guests and be the best host in town!  

Of course we also need to decorate the tree and this year, why not go all out with the natural,enchanted forest theme with adorable buddies from the animal kingdom?

Now it's time for gifts for me .... well I meant "him". 

I just can't say no to plaid and loving the army green for guys, especially when these patterns are paired with the Ted Baker watches.  Looking for a fun read? Check out The Modern Man Guide!   

Now that we have selected the gifts for everyone, let's get them wrapped up in style.  I am so inspired with all the fresh ideas at indigo thanks to its amazing gift wrapping collection and how about using an ornament (or two) on your wrap this season? 

In case you are still looking for fabulous gift ideas, check out these ones hand selected by Heather herself!

Happy holiday shopping everyone! What's on your wish list #MAKEITMERRY this year?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#OOAKX16 ~ Giveaway Winner!

Hello Tuesday! Thanks for all the comments on the One of A Kind Christmas Show post and we have a winner!

Congrats Linda! You are the winner of the tickets giveaway.  Please provide me your contact info and the lovely ladies at #OOAKX16 will have the pair of tickets set aside for you! Enjoy the show and please share with us of your favourites!

Late night shopping is this Thursday and the party continues until 11pm!  Maybe I will see you there!

Friday, November 25, 2016

#OOAKX16 + #Giveaway!

Hello Friday!  Winter is definitely in town and you know what it means? The One of A Kind Show is in Toronto to kick start the holiday season!  I love unique, handcrafted, and authentic creations and if you are like me (looking to check off that gift list fast), #OOAKX16 is definitely where you want to be over the next 12 days!

With the mission to promote creativity and handmade excellence, One of a Kind strives to provide a marketplace to connect the makers and the buyers who share the following principles: 
  • SUPPORT the handmade revolution
  • MAKERS make it better 
  • DEFY the everyday

With Christmas shopping in mind, I headed straight to my favorite textile artisan, Avril Loreti.

From paper goods, tea towels, table runners to pillows and handkerchiefs, Avril has injected her signature pastel palettes and whimsical motifs that will purely put a smile on anyone's face.  For the holiday season, why not get a new stocking and it's only available at #OOAKX16!

Love Avril's flowers for an extra festive touch and the growth chart is just perfect for my niece.

As for my two nephews, I am loving these brilliantly colorful toys from ENFTLG.  Designed to encourage kids to think outside the box, the boys will love the memory game and the balancing game in the winter and the pom pom slingshot and the swinger when spring arrives!

My father-in-law loves tea (and so do I), so I had to stop by Tealish Fine Teas.  With so many flavors to choose from, I would love to know which ones are your top picks?  I simply couldn't resist the aroma of the Pomegranate Goji and Chris is crazy about the Electric Earl Grey from the Gourmet collection.  As for my in-laws, I think it will have to be the Canadian collection.

One fantastic thing about the One of a Kind is that you just never know who you will meet and be inspired by.  At #OOAKX16, Pulp Function had me at Hello!  First-timer at the show, their booth is a total standout!

Don't you just love these adorable marquees? The doggies and the clouds totally got me hooked and custom work is also available ... just name your letters or animals!

I have been a fan of succulents for awhile now (since I can't seem to keep anything else alive), so can you imagine my excitement when I saw the geometric spheres in natural concrete by Double L Decor?  For only $25, you are all set to jump start a chic indoor oasis right at home!  I may just have to go back to pick up the Flat Icosahedron Planter too.  

Streamline design + natural wood is right up my alley these days (wink at my kitchen at One Room Challenge?), and that's exactly what rekindle delivers. I love the cleanline, simplistic design aesthetic of their products and how beautifully the different wood tones play off each other.  And their styling: spot on!

I am dying over the wooden plates (available in maple and walnut + 3 sizes) and the arenal cup match striker + match discard dish, especially when they are so practical and versatile as illustrated in rekindle's product galleries.

Santa are you reading this?

Now I may need to wait to hear back from Santa, but one of you and your Plus 1 will be going to the One of A Kind Christmas show!  That's right, I am hosting a #giveaway and all you need to do is to tell me the artisans you want to check out at #OOAKX16.

The giveaway runs until 11:59pm of Monday November 28th and the winner will be announced on Tuesday November 29th.  I think I will have to head back to pick up more of my favorites!  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Featured at ~ Recent Loves

Hello Monday! Hope you all are staying warm as we went from nice fall weather right into winter over the last 48 hours.  I guess we did have it good so far in Toronto and it's almost the end of November after all ... and I will be in Vienna in less than 1 month! CAN'T WAIT ... especially for the Christmas Markets!

As my next #eurovacay countdown continues and before I start thinking about my next #OneRoomChallenge, I want to share with you some recent loves from my favorite magazine + brands!

image courtesy of Style at Home
The Small Space Issue is packed with inspiring ideas and ingenious solutions to help us living large with limited square footage.  My condo was featured in Style at Home 4 years ago and as most people tend to shy away from bold patterns and colors in small spaces, I'd say the dining room is the perfect place to step outside your comfort zone and do what your heart desires!

I have also been dreaming to give my dining room a makeover lately ... will keep you posted on that in 2017. 

image courtesy of Style at Home

And as I flipped through the pages of the Small Space Issue, look at what I have found: an image of Chris' condo not yet published!  I love this shot by Donna showcasing the stunning Bocci pendants, the elegant Brizo Faucet, my beautiful stools by Sarah Richardson, and of course the DIY barn board detail (from Stikwood) on the island!

image courtesy of Style at Home

You have also seen a fair bit of my kitchen makeover for One Room Challenge:

image courtesy of Stephani Buchman
Look at what Alanna forwarded me this weekend: we are on thanks to her Big Pear!

image courtesy of
Thanks so much House Beautiful to include my kitchen as part of your favorites from Guest Participants: 

via House Beautiful 
You all know I love treasure hunting and especially at HomeSense.  I love the fact that you just never know what you may find and I rarely leave the store empty-handed.  So when the lovely ladies at HomeSense asked me to team up for a brilliant campaign in the fall for the very reason, how could I say no right?

For that particular shopping trip, I was looking for quartz / crystal accessories.  As you can see, I found what I was looking for ... and then some, including these brightly coloured lucite trays (on clearance!) and the most delicious elderflower sparkling beverage!    

Love the promotion in October and check out these fun images!

Thanks so much for dropping by and it's all about the Holidays on DesignMaze from here on.  Come back on Thursday to see my first Christmas special of 2016.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Behind The Scenes

Hello Wednesday! Thanks so much for all your love and support on Week 6 of One Room Challenge and I couldn't be happier with the transformation we achieved in 6 short weeks.  I am obviously extremely jealous of my client who gets to come home to this elegant and chic kitchen everyday ... a far cry from its dark espresso former self.

Getting here in 6 weeks most certainly wasn't a walk in the park and I thought it would be fun to share some behind-the-scenes moments on how we manage to cross the finish line in style.

A freshly painted kitchen with sleek hardware + backsplash gave this kitchen a whole new personality.  To get here though, we had gone through a few hurdles and the following tips may come in handy if you would like to try this at home. 

1.  Though the doors were sent to be professionally sprayed, the cabinet gables needed to be painted on site.  You could hire a painter to do it for you but with budget constraint, my client decided to handle the task herself.  

Be prepare to live with an "open concept" kitchen without doors, as most sprayer will take at least two weeks to complete the job.  You won't want to rush this process as it does take some time for the paint to cure.  

2.  Primer and paint may sounds simple to some, but for my client who has never painted anything in her life (sorry I didn't provide her with full detailed instruction), it quickly turned into a daunting task as the primer was applied too thick.  An electric sander + a trio painting team came to the rescue and we finished up the paint job.

3.  If you are planning to replace the existing hardware (i.e from pull to knob), you will want to fill the holes before the doors are being sprayed.  Most sprayers will take care of that for you but you have to communicate the request VERY EXPLICITLY!

In our case, I had talked to my guy over the phone of what we wanted to do (color, sheen, holes filled) and my client delivered the doors shortly after.  Two weeks later the doors were ready and my client noticed the holes were not filled.  At that moment, we had 2 options:
  • get the doors resprayed with holes filled this time (budget will be doubled
  • source a different hardware that works with the existing holes
Luckily Lew's hardware (available at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware) comes in a variety of sizes and one works brilliantly with our doors.  Phew ... it could be an expensive case of miscommunication.

Custom built-in is dreamy and when it is done right, the piece fits like a glove and you wouldn't be able to achieve the same custom look from buying a piece from the furniture stores.  

Here comes the fun part: measure once (by you), measure twice (by the trade), pick the finish + place your order, and allow 2 extra weeks for unexpected delays.

In our case, I had done my sketch done and picked the veneer around week 1.  The wood worker promised the entire job will be done in one week.  I insisted he would his measurement on site (instead of relying on mine) as the last thing I want is to discover that newly made custom piece doesn't fit!

A slight communication delay between the client and the wood worker resulted in:
  • the veneer I originally picked was no longer available
  • option #2 was cutting the delivery time too close for comfort
  • option #3 was not my top pick but it would meet our deadline

To keep the project moving, I have asked the guy to build us the shelves first for fitting and hardware mounting in order to keep the installation of tiles and wall sconces on schedule.  If we had waited for the unit and shelves to be completely finished before tiling and grouting the wall, the kitchen wouldn't be ready for reveal on Week 6. 

It took a lot of effort to get here, but what we have accomplished is worth all the sweat and tears.

Ahhh the breakfast nook: a calm and serene view isn't it? I love everything at this corner and especially the owl from The Animal Print Shop

Well ... here is the part no one knows about.  I almost had a heart attack when the adorable owl print was crushed due to a machine malfunction at the framing shop a few days before the photo shoot.  Heart broken + in shocked, the amazing ladies at The Animal Print Shop was able to send me a replacement via overnight delivery so we had just enough time to get it framed for the final reveal.   

At last we are ready for the big day: Photo Shoot with Stephani! I have been through a few photo shoots myself but the stylists were always there to work their magic with the photographer while I snapped behind-the-scene pictures.  I had so much fun playing stylist for the day and didn't even take many pictures with my phone!

Here are a few I managed to capture during the shoot: 

Love this "action" shot by Stephani!

Thanks again Linda for hosting One Room Challenge with House Beautiful.  The positive energies and the supports from the #ORC community were tremendous.  For those who are debating for the Spring 2017 Challenge: DO IT and here is an informative survival guide (Thanks Sarah!) you will want to read!