Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Less is more!

Hello dear readers,

In this year end, full of glitter, glitz and lights, we are always thinking about how to outdo last year's holiday decor. Should I go with a real tree? What colour scheme should I do this year? Did I miss the Bay's Holiday Decor sale?
Well, you can stop right now! Because like the old cliché says: Less is more!

Why not go minimalist? or simple?
Let's not forget to take a breather this Holiday season and return to simplicity.

With that motto, I am showcasing a few directions one can take when deciding to go for less while searching for your Christmas tree:

Bendable copper + LED = Win!

You can mold the lights to whatever object you want! And it comes in warm yellow or cool white.
So what to do:
Get yourself a tall cylinder vase, and some branches. Wrap the wire around the branches and you got yourself a lit-up simple Christmas tree!

  • Be creative! Hanging Christmas balls on strings.

This idea is genius! Just get your Christmas balls from last year and some fishing line. You can hang them off a light fixture of attach them to the ceiling. It's airy, it's flowy, it's simple!

I love everything that is recycled, repurposed, reused! These little cuties come in 2 different sizes and complement a cool urban, condo-lofty Holiday decor.

  • Ornamental branch or log

This would look amazing over a sideboard, console table or hutch. You can pick a few of your favourite Christmas tree ornaments and hang 3 to 5 just for a little shine. This is simple and uber inexpensive.

  • Oak blocks tree and tea lights - For the handy ones or good friends with carpenters :-)

This is absolutely beautiful and completely translates the essence of simplicity. I was only able to find this for sale from a website in Australia, even though it's manufactured in Germany. But if you have some tools and a handy guy, this is totally doable with blocks of oak or any other wood, stained and nailed together. At the tip of each block, you put a tea light and ta da! Cool and unique!

So that's it! You don't need to go overboard to make a statement!
Like the plaque in my home office says: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".

Theo Flamenbaum
- Style + Function + Love + You - 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crème de la crème

Hello dear blog readers,

Today, I will talk about a colour that has stood the test of times. Cream!
It's safe, it's subtle and it's bright!
Cream is an option for everything in interiors: walls, ceiling, upholstery, drapery and window treatment and even rugs and carpeting.

I decided to pick 5 attractive, fresh and contemporary "creams" that will brighten up your space.

I would also like to mention that: the more "yellow" undertones, the warmer the colour is, and the closer to grey-white, the cooler it is.

Finally, for renters, the "creamy" road may be a great compromise that landlords will be happy with.
Enjoy :-)

1- Pittsburgh Paints - Creamy White 5122

This one is the closest to a neutral cream I found. It's almost "nude". With a slight "peachy pink" undertone, this colour will work tremendously well with any other colours in order to create a superb colour scheme.

2- Benjamin Moore - Crème Fraiche 2023-70

Definitely on a warmer side, this colour is great for ceilings and hallways because it will brighten up the space. It`s cozy yet elegant.

3- Sherwin Williams - Creamy SW 7012

Now moving over to the cool side, this toned down cream, works wonderfully with blues, purples, greys and greens .
It's also the perfect colour for walls. This colour recedes making accents pop out more.

Walls painted in SW 7012

4- Sherwin Williams - Morning Sun SW 6672

Warmer than the previous ones, great for foyers, walk-in closets and kitchens and studios.

Home Office painted in SW 6672

5- Benjamin Moore - Affinity Colours collection - Frappe AF-85

Very sophisticated, this is a very "taupey" cream. Lots of greys and undertones of brown giving an earthy twist to the family of creams. Extremely safe and neutral, it will be the perfect background colour for any room!

Living Room in BJ Frappe (AF - 85)

The bottom line is: Cream is safe! and it is easy to use with a huge array of complementary colours. You can also go warm with yellows, oranges, reds and browns. Or you may opt to cool it with greys, blues and greens.

Whichever way you go, you have to be careful not to pick a cream that is too yellow... or a cream that is basically white. Trust me, there is a right "cream"! Actually, I just gave you five ;-)

Theo Flamenbaum
- Style + Function + Love + You -

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas party table essentials

Happy Monday everyone.
So, are the Christmas parties getting lined up and dotting your calendar?
And you decided that you will host one yourself?
Throwing a party can request quite a Herculean effort. From planning and buying things, to prepping food and beverages. You also have to make sure your friends RSVP, and the list goes on.
So I won’t help you with the menu, or the food and drinks, but I will give a few recommendations on some stunning “must-haves” for your own Xmas party!

Cheese boads:

  • Slate stone cheese board - Kitchen Stuff Plus

  • A definite steal! For only $7.99 this cheese board is stylish yet practical, easy to clean and very very wallet friendly! It comes with felt footings and it’s just under 11” x 7”.

    Rich looking, the beautiful grains of the olive wood are intensified by an organic oil finish. They come in 3 different sizes and serve as beautiful decor elements when not being used. Also, they come with a leather string for hanging.

    The cool and smooth surface of marble, if refrigerated before the party, can keep the cheese and fresh fruits nice and fresh for hours on.
    It’s simple yet sophisticated! This piece comes in a matte finish that will not show as many scratches as a glossy finish would.
    Not inexpensive, but a piece you would keep for a lifetime because of its classic look and versatility!
    Remember, in Design, spending money on timeless pieces is always a good investment.

    Ice Buckets:

    • Royal Doulton "Pop in the drinks" collection

    Contemporary spin from the British quintessential house of china. It’s “grown-up and chic, but still cool. Available at the Bay, averaging $136 CAD.

    Cheap and cheerful, only $12 on Fab.com, this piece is in acrylic and dishwasher safe!. And good for outdoors for your summer parties too!

    My fave! It’s urban, it’s sleek, it’s sensual and it is shiny!
    Perfect size and double walled so that the outside wall doesn’t drip! Good news: RIGHT now on special at the Queen/Bathurst store for $32.


    Simple and inexpensive, these 3 festive centerpieces will create a focus point on your table and a more organic holiday decor for your place.
    - 1 Extra tall cylinder vase
    Your choice of 1 of the following:
    - Birch logs
    - Fresh pine tree branches and leaves with needles (I prefer Western Cedar because of its textured tips in the needles). Also remember to add water to the vase
    - Extra large pine cones with pomegranates

    I hope this article has provided you with some fresh and useful Holiday party hosting ideas.
    Have a fantastic week!

    Theo Flamenbaum

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Safari tour

    Happy Wednesday everyone,

    Hope this week is treating everybody well.
    One design trend that was a hit in the 80's has had quite a comeback: Animal prints! Either you love it or hate it.
    However, a successful design is a design that will embrace a trend and layer in a timeless and cohesive execution, therefore creating a harmonious result.

    With that in mind, I would like to feature 4 décor elements that will refer to the animal print & safari style. But it will not go overboard or give you the feeling of having an animal carcass in front of you!

    • Solid colour cow hide - preferably white
    It adds richness and beauty to a room. Uniting  the edginess of a cow hide with the softness of the solid white colour. Beiges and solid blacks work really well too.

    • Snake skin wallpaper
    Perfect if you are a lover of animal prints and want it in a big scale! Remember to be subtle. Here are 2 amazing options that will allow you to cover walls without compromising the chic element.

    Dwell Studio - Gate pattern
    This pattern is dynamic and will create an impressive feature wall

    Maya Romanoff - Slink pattern
    100% vinyl. It has texture, it has a sheen and it will make any powder room a stunner!

    • Faux fur pillows
    Restoration Hardware has a beautiful collection with 6 different colours and 2 different sizes. You can always re-use the inserts and use the faux fur pillows for Fall-Winter and a nice light silk or linen for Spring-Summer.
    My favourite colours are MINK and SABLE

    • Papier Maché animal head
    Our friends at West Elm released this fun collection in a plethora of animals ranging from rhinos to giraffes. It's a great compromise for the animal lovers that love the look but couldn't have a real animal hanging on their wall. They also have a newsprint paper version for a more urban spin on this safari vignette.

    So, you now is your turn to show your animal instinct!

    Theo Flamenbaum
    - Style + Function + Love + You 

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Stuff from Guff

    Everyone is madly in love with the series "Mad Men" and its mid-century style.
    From their clothes, hair and accessories to their furniture, the 50's-60's retro look is back with a vengeance.

    Today, I will talk about a store in our Queen Street East neighborhood called Guff.

    Situated east of Carlaw, at 1142 Queen st. East, this store is heaven for someone looking for unique pieces.
    And that's exactly what I would like to stress:
    - If you want to stay away from the mass produced, retail furniture pieces, this is the place for you to find that "pièce de  résistence" that will be unique and have personality!

    With that in mind, you might need to give some TLC to a few pieces, but overall, they are usually already refinished, so you can walk away and plop it in your space.

    I took an hour this week to take a gander and snapped some shots:

    As you can see, they have lovely pieces especially credenzas, teak chairs and tables.
    Some of the above images were already sold and that's one think to be mindful: they get stuff every day and their website is not 100% up to date due to that high turn over. However, that's a good thing because you might not find that one thing you're looking for today, but next week, it might be there just waiting for you.

    I am myself, looking for a set of 4 chairs with an upholstered back seat, like these:

    My search continues as they were sold 2 hours before I called to inquire. Boo!
    I will most certainly show the results of my search and the project I'll undertake transforming them.
    Stay tuned.

    Theo Flamenbaum
    - Style + Function + Love + You -