January 23, 2012

    Recently we joined the Houzz community, and quickly became quite involved in it. Members can download inspirational photos from all over the world, find products and also ask questions to other members and designers. We created 2 ideabooks already – make sure to click on the link below, and once you are there, click on the ‘article’ icon on the very right top to make sure you can read up on the Ins and Outs on Countertops!

    Happy New Year – A January Update

    January 18, 2012

    Can it really have been 5 months since our last entry???? Gees….

    First of all – A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you! May it be filled with positive experiences, inspiration, love – all the good stuff….

    Time flies, and we have been busy, so this is just a quick summary of what has happened since September.

    Fairfield Eye Care Center
    This was a TV worthy 10 day renovation ( stay realistic and keep in mind that we typically don’t pay double and tripple shift TV crews to work all day and all night!) of a 1970′s eyewear store which, in a previous life, turned out to have been a barber shop ( I found out the hard way – there were a number of still life waterpipes buried in the wall, and NO water shut off!).
    We made it happen, and it is now a fashionable, elegant yet cheerful environment worthy to showcase the one-of-a-kind collection of German and Parisian eye-’candy’!
    The store comes with an optometrist office as well as it’s own workshop, and owners Sang and Meki along with the fabulous Lisa will be happy to outfit you with a stunning pair of glasses.

    Fairfield Eye Care

    Venture Navy Education Center, Esquimalt – The Gunroom BarWell, well, well – our first endeavour of working for the government. 3 years in the making, we are finally seeing a nautically themed bar almost completed (another week or two to go – yeay!). Of course we approached the task of designing the space a bit different – none of this “dark wood, slate and large split rock fireplace” kind of thing, that seems to be so ubiquous everywhere I go. (A hint for bar, restaurant and hotel owners – PLEASE, do yourself and your customers a favour and hire US!! Going out in Victoria could be so much more interesting!!)
    My dearest partner in crime – Kim – has a very personal relationship to the navy (having been a military wife for 15 odd years and such), and I have the suspicion that for the first time in the 4 1/2 years that she has been with THE SKY IS THE LIMIT she was a bit doubtful if I, a total landmouse, could pull it off and do this prestigious military establishment visual justice.
    We will take photos, so that you can judge for yourself, but I can say that I myself are already thrilled to bits with how it came together!
    It feels a bit like being on a ship (go figure), with riftcut oak, mahagony, some brass, porthole windows, lots of blackened steel, and a flamming red and illuminated smokestack!

    Gunroom Bar

    The condo reno from hell
    Every designer and contractor will have at least one of those in their life- and I think that is all right, as we can all learn from this experience. However, the lovely clients who endure this ordeal with a composed grace that I will be eternally grateful for, really do not deserve this!
    Everything that could possibly go wrong, did – and still does. That’s totally unfortunate, I for one am heart broken over that, but it will make a very good story at a later point. It will be one of those picturebook accounts of what to expect when renovating, which is always amusing when one is only listening to it.
    Just to say that much – no matter how fantastic a crew one has, and never mind how organised and well prepared one is – life has a way of keeping you humble…

    Nanoose Bay
    Now, that is a great project which kept the creative juices flowing those past months. It started innocently enough, with a client from Calgary asking if I wanted to have a look at their home up island.
    It turned out to be a rather large make over and a fantastic challenge to create a true West Coast home with flowing shapes, lots of texture and playing with finishes in a rather artistic manner.
    Construction is now well underway, and we will report on the outcome later in the summer.


    That one is pretty much done, and I am waiting for furniture to come in so that we can do a 2 day photoshoot. This is also a very exciting showcase of the way I really like to approach design – despite the huge scale the kitchen feels like the cabinetry is dancing in the space, and the mix of materials and colours throughout the house is a joy to see and touch.


    The ‘spec-house-in-new-neighbourhood-turned-custom-residence’ will make another great story.
    It’s a great example of how one can turn one of those non-descript builder homes ( in my native tongue I would call this a 08/15 house, but that’s a different story) into a piece of applied art.
    Very modern, it is very different from all the other before mentioned interiors, and I can’t wait to get some good pictures…
    Again, we are waiting for furniture – the Bombo bar chairs we ordered came in from Italy – but in the wrong colour – so we have to wait yet another 2 months. The sofa from France should be here anytime soon now, though!


    comox 2

    What else…
    And Martin Zemp from Zee Design is finishing off this magical kids playroom, that all of us grown ups really want to hang out in….I have been told that the 2 lucky girls insist on getting dressed in front of that princess mirror ( which is in fact a mirror laminate which can’t break) every day!

    Cinderella Mirror

    We were busy between Christmas and New Year – that ONE week a year that people in the construction business can usually take off …
    I assisted Jo Ann Richards from Works Photography who was in charge of taking about 20 (!!!!) pictures each of 2 of our projects for a book on kitchen design. 20! – on a ‘normal’ photoshoot day we might get 10 or so….But we had a tight deadline and needed to get it done…
    But then again – our work in a book!! yeay!

    Photoshoot for book

    I also got Jo Ann to take new pictures of my face…

    my new face....

    And then we were asked to do the architectural design for a new custom residence in a kind of New England style, and that had to happen in that week as well.

    New England Style

    Other than that we have a bunch of renovations to plan,and it looks like it’s going to be a busy year.

    We will do some lectures and seminars at this year’s CHBA Home Show as well, which is in April.
    Watch out for schedules and press releases for this event!

    That’s it for this time – I hope to be able to spend some time writing in the near future!

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