Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Tempted to Touch

My most recent design endeavor was to remodel a lobby area for a mid-town Toronto residential building that would reflect the hip demographic of its residents. I have re-done a few lobbies over the years, but wanted to make this one special. Since the building recently underwent renovations to it's exterior with a modern approach, I wanted to create a space that would mirror the contemporary touches, yet staying with classic finishes. The result included an astonishing detailed art-wall crafted by my finest carpenter and artisan. The natural walnut wall not only adds warmth to the space - its installed in an enveloping parabola - but also gives the space an edge to the formerly insipid lobby. The geometric forms really pop against the circular patterns, which immediately draws the eye, and invites you to stay a while. And if you get a chance to touch the piece of art, you'll relish how smooth each square is - like a fine French polish.
Before: The paneling had been white washed which damaged the integrity of the finish

Monday, 15 July 2013

Lounging updated

In many of my commercial projects I'm updating a space that maybe hasn't been touched for a decade or two - the spaces are thus under-utilized and an eyesore. The transformation of these two lounges, in twin buildings in mid-town Toronto, caused great excitement, in a good way...Now the spaces are being used by many who never knew it existed in their building(s) before.

Before r.: Lounge 1 - seating for 5 maximum, Lounge 1 - the library was an essential to work into the new design, Lounge 2 - left over furniture

My aim was to make the spaces warm and cozy, using quality finishes the residents expect. I gave each lounge the same elements in finishes and furniture pieces, but in different scales since the size of the rooms were not the same. The wall units were custom built by my master carpenter using walnut - the continuous grains on the cabinet doors is the detail you appreciate of his work. The sofas have a luxurious feel of velvet, yet are of commercial grade and can stand up to wear - they're over 9' long, taking full advantage of the space, and making sure there's room for everyone. With large scale carpet tiles the floor never needs to look tired from stains - just pick it up and exchange it for a new one!

Lounge 1: The library of books are now hidden inside the cabinet

Lounge 1: Seating for at least eight

Lounge 1: Love the juxtaposition of the driftwood lamp against the refined fabrics

Lounge 2: Smaller in scale, but just as inviting to lounge in

Guest suites in Forest Hill

What do you do when one of the most desired areas of Toronto needs hotel space, but there isn't one in sight? Well, the owners of these twin buildings asked if I could transform a few under utilized spaces into their own version of a boutique hotel. What started off as six suites turned into five - we merged two rooms to create a large family suite, enough to sleep six.

One of the asks was to allow changing of the bedding per season, so I had custom cushions made to suit any mood - the fabrics allow for mixing and matching in a few combinations. Hotel quality light fixtures were used to accommodate the work traveler that may need to power up at the desk or by the bedside, and each room had space for a bistro table and two chairs, sometimes a desk and sometimes both.

The result is a comfortable and fresh feel for all the spaces.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Still loving NYC

Does two years in a row make for an 'Annual Jaunt'?...Well, I'm surely going to try to make a tradition of it if I can.
This trip was more business than pleasure however. With only one night and two days in the big city, I had a full agenda. First stop was the Boutique Design show at the Javits Centre, where I was hoping to be inspired and of course wanted to see the latest in hospitality furniture and finishes. The booths were filled with exotic finishes, statement pieces paired together with other statement pieces, details upon details, yet it all worked wonderfully - a feast for the eyes!
Here are a few shots of things I found interesting.

Tartan tiles!...amazing micro tiles
Modern interpretation with sass!
Looks like iron fretwork but it's a wood composite - laser cut

Again, interesting things can happen when you can laser a material - this is Corian

Love the graphic punch of this headboard
Addicted to colour - a retail display