Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Take a Breather

If you are a freelancer working from home, you no doubt know how difficult it can be to keep your head down and stay focused on the tasks at hand.  Those moments when you're staring at last nights dirty dishes, when you can`t help but wipe down the bathroom sink because there are a couple too many watermarks on the faucet, or like me, the moments where you are trying your best to get down to business but your little feline friend has cuddle plans.   

So, when my friend Ben started telling me about this awesome new Montreal based company he started working for called Breather, I was intrigued.  Breather offers places around the city (now in Montreal and NYC and opening in other cities soon) where you can hold meetings, work in a peaceful, dirty dish free setting or just sit back relax and take a load off.  Breather spaces can be booked anywhere from 30 minutes to the entire day and is based on an hourly rate between $15 - $25.  I tested it out last night and the process is super easy!

Simply go to the app and the locations nearest you will show up on a map.  Click the location you would like to book and check the availability.  Book for the time slot that you want and voila!  You will receive a message a few minutes before your arrival with your personal unlock code.  Simply enter the code in the door and you're in!  

Through the door you will find a calm, relaxing and highly styled space to take a load off.  The interiors vary depending on the location but the overall aesthetic keeps peace and quite in mind.  There is a small seating area with books, magazines, pens, paper, a coffee maker and snacks!  (I may or may not have had one or five Tootsie Rolls...)  You'll have access to free wi-fi, a phone charger, a table and chairs and even a yoga mat should you want to channel your inner yogi.  

Go check 'em out!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

North of Brooklyn 2

Toronto’s North of Brooklyn Pizzeria has opened up a second location!  The pizza is hot and the design is even HOTTER! 

My friend Dave Dworkind was given the lucky task of designing their new restaurant from top to bottom.  He worked on everything from the logo and website to the interiors and custom furnishings.  It was one of those rare and amazing opportunities where one designer can work on all aspects and keep a certain consistency and style throughout.  Dave shared some photos of the new place with me yesterday and I couldn’t wait to hear a little more about his design process!

With this location being more of a take away and delivery spot he decided to maximize on the kitchen space and kept a small dine-in area at the front for those who want to gobble down a quick slice and be on their way.  The seating area consists of a bar area with 4 stools and a table that sits another 4.  It is in the front of the semi-basement location and the southern light streams in during the day, which Dave says makes it feel a less “basementy”. 

The clients wanted tile on the floor and walls for easy cleaning so Dave felt the ceiling was a good place to add some warmth.  During his brainstorming process Dave likes to write down a pallet of materials before getting started on the design.  For this project he added cardboard into the mix as it has an obvious relation to pizza boxes.  “I had the idea to use a staggered array of honeycomb cardboard strips with the edges exposed giving a warm, textured look to the ceiling.”  One challenged he was of course faced with was the building code’s strict flame spread ratings at exits.  “Luckily there are many non-toxic, natural products on the market that make cardboard incombustible!” 

To further emphasize the linearity of the cardboard strips, Dave lit the space with a random pattern of linear Edison bulbs with custom fixtures designed by Montreal’s Lambert & Fils.

The custom furniture including the rotating pizza stand and gorgeous iPad stand (used as the Point-of Service) were designed and built by Brother’s Dressler, a Norwegian brother duo who in Dave’s words “are killing it right now in Toronto!”

So, there you have it!  Great pizza, beautifully crafted (local) products and a kick-ass design!  If you’re in Toronto, go check it out!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Freunde Von Frenden



Freunde Von Frenden is a Berlin based interview magazine that brings you into the homes and working environments of creative people of all ages, all around the globe.  It was impossible for me to choose just one interview to share with you so check out their website for yourself and get inspired!  

Their most recent work was a collaboration with well known {and swoon worthy!} Swiss manufacturer Vitra.  This apartment in Berlin showcases Vitra products as well as products by friends and partners of FvF.  The goal is to share their idea of urban living in the age of sustainability.  The space is available as a functioning apartment as well as for events and presentations.  Check it out!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Nordic Cottage

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a slight obsession with real estate websites.  I love seeing what's on the market in different cities, how much places are listed for and how people live.  My favourite real estate agent by far is Swedish born Fantastic Frank.  They are like no other!  Their team of stylists create the most inspirational looks for their listings.
Listed now is this gorgeous cottage in Stockholm.  The architect/designer (I have emailed FF to find out who designed this house and will give credit when I know) used plywood in the most interesting and thoughtful way.  I love how some sections of ceiling are washed with the blue to emulate the sky.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Gorgeous Floors!

One challenge I'm often faced with when creating an open plan kitchen is finding the right solution for floor finishes.  When you are taking down kitchen walls often times you find a kitchen with tiled floors and the rest of the floors are hardwood.  You not only have to consider filling the space where the walls once were but also creating a harmonious flow throughout the entire area.  I tend to steer my clients in the direction of hardwood all around!  This makes the space feel like one open room rather than still feeling divided by the different floor finishes.  However, laying new wood to match the existing floors  can be a lot of work and often means that the client needs to stagger the new floor into the existing and sand and stain the entire floor.  Which also means moving all the furniture.  Not always an easy feat!  When time and budget don't allow for this our alternative is usually to lay new, updated tiles in the kitchen area and choose materials that compliment each other in the space.  Although you can still create a nice flow it has never been my preferred option.  {Until NOW!}

I've always loved the look of these redesigned Barcelona apartments where the beautifully tiled floors (often hidden over the years) are re-exposed and used as a major design element.  Although the walls are torn down creating open spaces, the original footprint can still be seen in the different floor tiles and plinths.

This mix of floor finishes is being seen in more and more interiors and I am actually converted!  Not only can the two work well together but they can become a gorgeous design feature.  Now, I actually want to mix the two!