Monday, January 31, 2011

Press: Style at Home Mural

Yay. On Twitter IDS 2011 lists the Style at Home mural as a favourite of the show.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

IDS 11 Opening Night Party

Janet, Jennifer, and me

Me goofing around in front of my mural which I created for the Style at Home booth

More goofing with Margot Austin

The lovely Arren Williams with a fabulous orange pocket square
and one half of the talented Brothers Dressler duo.

John + Julie from Mjolk (what a gorgeous couple!)

Erin McLaughlin, Kevin Austin, and Vanessa Bottoni at the very colourful Style at Home Booth

and the wonderful + always dapper Tommy Smythe.
Just love those tortoise shell glasses.

The IDS Opening Night Party tonight was a complete blast.
Highlights included checking out the booths with pals Kim, Jenn, and Janet, enjoying the Thompson Hotel's mac and cheese, (yum) admiring Arren William's orange pocket square, goofing around with Margot + Kevin Austin and meeting Tommy Smythe.

ps. I will write a post on the process behind creating the mural in the next few days.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Press: Style at Home blog

Senior Design Editor and Stylist Margot Austin wrote a nice post about me + the mural I have created for the Style at Home booth at the Interior Design Show (IDS). The show opens this Thursday!

Great podcast: The Age of Persuasian on cbc

Great episode last week on the Age of Persuasion on Luxury Advertising.
Some key lines from Terry O'Reilly:
Madison Avenue is aware you are actually two people: The person you are and the person you want to be. Luxury Advertisers are only interested in the latter.
Celebrities are prestige delivery systems.
You can listen to the full program here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In my office: Inspiration board

Mood/ Inspiration Board in my office

Close up 1

Picture of Lotta Jansdotter working
Polkee dots
Reminder from Marcel Proust to Eliminate Habit!
16th Century playing card from the V+A Museum

Close up 2
Photo of visit with Denyse Schmidt (Total Mentor)
Postcard from Scott with Tibor Kalman's M+Co clock
Photo of juicy Otomi quilts from Mexico (they require a separate post!)

Close up 3
My illustration for Macalaster Today
Postcard from Rug Company of Paul Smith rug
Christmas card from talented neighbour Jeff
Benjamin Moore bright orange paint chips

Close up 4
Postcard from Charlotte Salomon's exhibit from AGO
(a wonderful show)

My office with morning light (Note: Not finished yet!!)

Inspiration: Cindiloowho/Jaiden's Petals

Shop Exterior. Can't ya feel the soul?

The floors are a great example of the owners' ingenuity with humble materials and belief in living within one's means. They look very ' vintage scandinavian' but are in fact just plywood painted white!

Love love this mix of textures: Tin ceiling, chalkboard and gorgeous cabinet with leaded doors.

A gorgeous floral arrangement.

Custom table built by Stefano.
He also makes harvest tables, sideboards, console tables, hutches + cabinets. Yum.

One of Stefano's custom cabinets. Love this piece.
Would love to have a piece like this for storage in my loft. A nice contrast to the cement!
(However with my slobby tendencies the glass doors are probably not the most sensible option!)

Was excited to learn from Stephano's flickr stream that he was the one responsible for all of the furniture for the beautiful Quaff cafe!

The long counter below looks straight out of a Parisian patisserie.

The tables made from reclaimed wood.
Look great juxtaposed with the modern chairs.

One of my favourite shops to visit in the city is Cindiloowho/Jaiden's Petals at 130 Ossington Ave. Jaiden's Petals is a floral boutique run by Dani Elwell. In the back is the furniture shop Cindiloohoo which carries flea market finds + beautiful furniture pieces made by Dani's husband Stefano Dalbello. All of the pieces are made from reclaimed lumber from dumpsters, auctions, and demolished farmhouses and barns. (love that)

On her blog Dani lists 'a walk in the past/head in the future' and 'living within our means' as inspirations. She also encourages her readers to reclaim, re-work, re-make and re-adore! These values come through loud + clear in the shop and imbue the space with a wonderful, soulful feeling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sketch: Balance

A sketch I did for the Financial Post's Personal finance section.
The article focused on a woman who was struggling to balance her spending and saving.
As is often the case I find the composition more interesting + sophisticated looking when the head is cut off!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Social Network wins big

Am pleased The Social Network took home so many Golden Globes on Sunday.
If you visit the site you can now watch short videos on all of the creative minds behind the film including Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher and Trent Reznor who wrote the beautiful dark score that I can't stop listening to. I found the commentaries very insightful.

In related news... Don't you think Jesse Eisenberg is one of the sexiest men alive? See pic below.
What - am I twelve?

Friday, January 14, 2011


On meeting Kate Spade

Kate in her office.
She's holding up a card which I made for her.

The first thing you see upon entering the office are these 3 clocks.
Kate was born in Kansas City, Lives in New York and draws inspiration from Paris.
I thought very clever.

While waiting for Kate to arrive this beaming young woman (undoubtedly an unpaid intern!) offers me a drink in a fabulous polka dot glass. Kate knows how to treat her guests.

Kate, Me and Winnifred Gallagher (Author of It's in The Bag which I illustrated)
Very bad hair day for me.

A salon wall at the time in Kate's store on Broome Street.

Below are the pics of Kate + Andy's home from The Selby.

Living room
Lots of intense primary colours mixed with the black

Wow. What a gorgeous vestibule. Check out those herringbone floors.

Lots of cozy corners with good lighting and lots of black.
Love the art collection - I think it's all Hugo Guiness.

This week through the lovely blog A Perfect Gray I discovered that Kate and Andy Spade's apt was featured on The Selby. Good God!
The multi layered space filled with cozy lighting, tons of art and bold pops of colour is quite drool worthy. Looking at the pics reminded me of seeing her amazing office + meeting her back in 2006 when I was in NYC doing research on a book on handbags.
I decided it was high time I shared some pics from that day!

As corny as it sounds Kate + Andy are two of the most creatively juicy people I have ever met. I feel I'm still drawing inspiration from that visit in January 06.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

File under Wish I thought of that

Should I work for free? Flow chart.
Another funny + spot on creation from smarty pants designer Jessica Hische.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WOW: What a mix

Marie Olsson Nylander's house in Arlid Sweden.
Love love the mix of textures + styles.
via The Swedish website Mixr

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is how I feel about grocery shopping

A friend of mine -who frequently sees the inside of my (empty) fridge- bought me this tote. Love.

Thoughts on flooring: What would the Bauhaus do?

Ok so the floor obsession continues. I find myself continuing to look at floors everywhere.
This is the floor in Urban Outfitters changeroom!

The Floor at Comrags
Love the variation in texture

New floor in Zab's condo

Samples of engineered flooring manufactured to look old for that rustic cabin look!

Because I gravitate towards old beat up materials I finally figured out that perhaps what I should be going for is a floor of reclaimed wood. Alas a visit to the flooring store revealed that this is a very impractical option for me because with cement floors a sub floor needs to be installed first = lots o' expense. Consequently my contractor directed me towards some new engineered floors that are manufactured to mimic the reclaimed floors.
Yee Oldy floor Characteristics = wide planks of 4, 5 + 7 inches + a hand scraped surface.

Some of these look quite great but after some thought (and reviewing my notes on modernism from my Art history lectures!) I think a more authentic choice would be a new wooden floor that can be beat up by me in it's own time - not by some employees in a factory.
I think a new floor would be more true to the space as well. After all I'm not living in a 18 century castle - I'm living in a brand new condo with a very utilitarian feel. I think the modernists would approve but I also welcome your thoughts on this matter! Don't hold back Decor enthusiasts. xo.

And the Winners of the Give Away are...

Julia Bolchakova and Jaime!

Thanks so much to everybody who entered. Your suggestions were very helpful and your enthusiasm was heartwarming. Thanks for all your kind words + support.
Alanna xo

ps. My next Give Away will be in the early spring so Stay Tuned.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dinner at Mika's

Dinner with the girls (Mika, Alison and Hazel)
Nourishment for the mind + body.

Close up. Yum.

Decor Note: Anyone who has a copy of Proust's Questionnaire in their bathroom gets top marks with me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

George Sand on Happiness

"One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness - simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain."

--- George Sand

via swiss miss via The Happiness Project (which is a great site)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sketch: King George III

Sketched while watching the movie.
I love drawing figures from 18th century. The white wigs + outfits lend themselves to lots of squiggles. ps. Saw the King's Speech over the Holidays. Me thought overrated!