Monday, March 17, 2014

Adaptable Furniture: InFLUX


Just had to do a quick post about this new furniture available in Ottawa!  From the MKDB website:

The adaptive furniture of the future will be more like an ecology of organisms. 

inFLUX is set to launch MKDB Studio in the direction of product design through fostering symbiotic business values along with ecological and social sustainability. We aim to expand the line of products, of which inFLUX is the first, that embody the philosophy of the company and creates homes that foster harmony, communities, environment, and planet.


Made with:  Baltic plywood, Natural Latex and Linen!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

home sweet home - part 2 (from 2013)








Spring is only two short months away!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Need Help! Stylists Please Apply!


Are you feeling it?  All those pretty online designing blogs and those riveting home decorating shows.  I certainly am. It's that crazy pressure to have our house better styled.  Well... maybe it's not pressure for me per se, but rather a desire to have a pretty home.  And it is not that I want a really STYLED home - I gravitate towards the styling that looks effortless, that looks like well curated home from a well-traveled life. Similar to what is seen in Emma Reddington's Marion House Book project: 52 objects in her home or the casual vibe that Kelly Deck created for this home in Vancouver.


Why didn`t someone tell me to look for great objects when I was travelling?  Then take into account the desire to make sustainable, environmental purchases and that less is more - it's enough to make someone give up for good.  There are definitely options such as flea market finds or artisan show pieces or a great souvenir from a local weekend trip but that means sourcing over time and perhaps even over distance. And I have always appreciated Amber's thoughts on this also - in terms of beautiful but utilitarian pieces.

There are some great sustainably-minded options in Ottawa when redesigning -- renovating rooms from:

Linda Chapman

Moneca Kaiser

Vert Design

Healthiest Home

Eco Ace

but they focus on building, design, flow and/or construction.  Sadly not the "styling" help that we are looking for.

We've emailed quite a few design firms and some are too expensive and others just pass on the opportunity (one was more into helping new home buyers, another felt that our money could be better used elsewhere) and another -- although they helped with the concept of redesigning our first floor by drawing up a new floor plan -- hasn't been able to help with the details (i.e. which lamp would be best, what colour of rug, etc.). We did get help on choosing a great warm white for our walls and suggestions on a base for our new dining room light but we had to source out light choices ourselves and we looked through reams of fabrics before deciding on one for our living room curtains. Where are the designers who bring sustainable, organic fabric swatches to your home?


All Images from Style At Home (June 2011) - Kelly Deck, Interior Designer

Would love to know your thoughts - take on this?  Perhaps you have some suggestions or know of someone who would be happy to work with us slowly over months and years...  And share with me what has worked for you!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

full disclosure re: wardrobe - Part Two

Beyond adding some basics to my closet (as discussed in the first part of this series), I've realized (not surprisingly) that I need to look at what pieces I DO TURN to on a REGULAR basis for WORK and for CASUAL events.  It makes sense to continue focusing on these pieces for new purchases in the future.  So here are my tried and true:

1. brown batwing top (similar to the We3 Kimono top shown 2nd row, 1st image below) - I'm always wearing this - it makes everything look a bit dressier but it's as comfortable as a tee.  Also you don't have to wash it much as you are never sweating directly on the fabric (also a great top for public speaking!)
2. Myco Anna grey jacket (shown 2nd row, Middle image) I've had this forever and still find it a favorite piece.  I got lucky as my boyfriend (now husband) bought it even though I was eyeing a Myco patchwork full-on sweater. He thought this would be more versatile.  Here it's paired with a blue tee but lately I've been wearing it with the next piece listed - a grey tunic.
3. long grey smoking lily tunic (not shown - this is an unexpected great layering piece!) - I seriously am planning on writing to Smoking Lily to see if they will bring this top back.  I wear it with the grey jacket as mentioned but it also paired well with the Smythe jacket purchased.  It's this incredibly light-weight wool and has a funnel neck that gathers nicely in the front.
4. two Fink tunics (bought a second in grey) (shown 3rd row, 1st image) - love, love, love this - wear it both in the summer and with a long-sleeve layer in the winter.  I changed three times for a gelato double date this summer and finally ended up with this - a fun yet sophisticated look with jeans.  LOVE.
5. blue short sleeve loose tunic (from victoire) - sadly I cut out the tag so don't know who designed it.  this is one of those flowy, sheer tops like the one pictured (2nd row, 3rd image) but again it pairs nice with a tank top or a long sleeve top in the winter and always makes a simple chic statement.
6. two Smythe jackets (gold one shown - 1st row, 3rd image) - two blazers that go great with jeans and over dresses and with slacks.  The gold one is linen and my other is wool so I have seasonal options.  These are made in Canada and I'm looking forward to wearing both for many years to come.
7. black embroidered button-down cotton blouse (not shown) - bought this at Mark's Work Wearhouse - when I can't find something online or around town that is sustainable, I turn to Mark's for basic purchases.  They seem to be one store that still sells cotton (pants, shirts, sweaters).  Again I'm still wearing this one shirt I bought there years ago - wish I could have four in different colours.
8. Two dresses: Synergy and Tangente (1st and 3rd rows) - for me dresses are very hit and miss but these two were hits. Very simple A-line skirts to even a more pencil-line silhouette and a top that doesn't have a low-neckline.
9. Elements long sleeved boat neck tops by HT Natural:  I have two - I wish I had ten.  They are a thin layered organic cotton, viscose bamboo blend that have really withstood the test of time.  These two I wrote about here were different styles from the boat neck and surprisingly they all have very different fits.  The boat neck was the best both in fit and in fabric and the neck style is more sophisticated.  I've received compliments on this shirt.  (HT Naturals is defunct as a clothing store but the owners have now being working on creating a whole new sustainable fabric: Craillar.)

Interestingly enough I went back to BGGO (where I purchases the brown bat wing top) just to see if she still sold similar items and she was shocked that I was still wearing it and that it was in great condition.  This is only a three to four year old purchase.  Really?  You don't think people wear their clothes that long?  Sadly she didn't have anything like it and wasn't making any Fair-Trade purchases any more.  And that is what prompted me to buy the We3 top.  (It IS very similar I am happy to say!)


I've also worn the two other pieces shown - the fuscia wrap (was a favorite of mine at school - great to wrap around basic tees) and the Ile Aiye shrug (which I just found out doubles as a round scarf!)

I found that I wore both the Fink top and the brown batwing top so much that it made sense to invest in a second piece.  I'm also thinking about purchasing a second Myco Anna jacket.  This exercise is also helping me see what silhouettes I enjoy wearing in dresses (not surprising that I was drawn to the Tangente dress with the kimono like sleeves!)  I did have to take in the Tangente dress when I got it (it was supposed to be custom fit but with the loose fitting top it didn't translate well to custom sizes).  But I find it a great staple for work now!

For now I'm going to limit purchases to a couple of layering pieces, any pants that are a great fit (those are so hard to find) and when needed invest in some pieces I know I will get wear from - similar to my favorites above.  If you have any styling secrets or wardrobe stories do share them with me!!

Heartfelt Wardrobe: Part One Here