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Lessons Learned: Buy What You Love (and can afford!)

Mar 30 2012

Building a place or renovating or decorating is all about trade-offs. You can’t have everything you want – or at least I couldn’t.

So, what I would say is, invest in a few things that you really love and cut back in areas where you can get away with it. At least that was my overall philosophy.

I bought my BDDW mirror early on in the process. I knew if I pushed this off until the end, I’d never buy it. I had to cut back in other areas later on, but I love this mirror and it’s the first thing I see every time I walk into our place. So, yes, I spent a small fortune on a mirror, but for me this was a good trade-off. You can get knock-offs, but the lines and craftsmanship in this piece stand out.

I made a trade-off when it came to lighting. I really wanted a three (or four or five…) arm pendant by Lindsey Adelman. Her work is stunning and hand-made and I can see why each piece costs thousands and thousands of dollars. I just couldn’t do it. I went with three black Artek pendants instead. It’s a totally different look, but at a fraction of the cost, I couldn’t resist. Plus, I’ve always loved these pendants.

So – to each their own. Only you know your budget and what you really love. But if you’re anything like me, I think you’ll find that coveting a few special pieces will bring quite a bit of joy. Likewise, I love a good deal…and knowing that I saved big in certain spots makes me equally giddy!

BDDW Captain’s Mirror


Lindsey Adelman Lighting

Artek Pendants

Some of my favourites for another day:

Serge Mouille Lighting

Hiroshima Dining Chairs by Naoto Fukasawa

Hans Wegner seating


Bulthaup kitchen

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Dining Room: Top 10 Credenzas

Jul 3 2010

There will really not be that much to the dining room aside from a set of table and chairs and a sideboard of some sort. Any one of the pieces shown below would do quite nicely, thank you very much!

Below: BBDW has done it again with their Lake Credenza. Here shown in walnut and oxidized maple. Bottom photo care of Hulya Kolabas.
BDDW_credenza2
HulyaKolabas_BDDWCredenza

Below: Jasper Morrison designed credenza for Cappellini.
Cappellini_JasperMorrison_credenza

Below: Brest Giorno credenza designed by Giuilo Cappellini for, you guessed it, Cappellini.
Cappellini_BrestGiorno_Credenza

Below: Florence Knoll designed credenza.
Knoll_credenza1

Below: Photo from stylist Rohini Wahi
RohiniWahi_Stylist_credenza

Below: Naoto Fukasawa designed credenza for Maruni.
Maruni_credenza

Below: Photo from Blue Ant Studio blog.
Blueantstudioblog_Credenza1

Bordering an all-white kitchen, I’m inclined to add a bit of colour to our dining room. USM, Barber Osgerby and Danish company, Montana, all make nice options.

USM_Credenza
BarberOsgerby_credenza
Montanadk_credenza

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Dining Room: Top 10 Chairs

Jun 27 2010

There is no shortage of amazing dining room chairs. The ones that I love the most, however, might not be the ones that we choose. I came to this realization yesterday when my daughter wiped her tomato sauce covered hands all over our current set. What to do? Not much, I suppose. We just can’t have anything too precious at this point.

Still, that won’t stop me from sharing my top picks. Starting with Naoto Fukasawa’s Hiroshima chair. I first spotted these unbelievable chairs at Mjolk in Toronto. The wood is ridiculously smooth and I love the added comfort from the grey upholstered seat.
NaotoFukasawa_HiroshimaChair

Below: The Formstelle Morph chair by Zeitraum is seriously lovely. I particularly like the version made from American walnut with cloth upholstery. Plus, I have to say that this chair looks even better in person.
Zeitraum_Morphdiningchair

Below: The CH20 Elbow Chair was designed by Hans Wegner in 1956 and looks as current as ever. Produced by Carl Hansen & Son.
CH20_ElbowChair

Below: The Deer chair by Turkish design firm Autobahn has a great mix of style and function. It looks pretty damn good and is supposedly quite comfortable. Produced by De La Espada.
DeLaEspada_chair1

Below: Margot Chair by Dune. I love the design and the name! (Well, I’m biased, for those that know).
Dune_MargotChair

Below: A Knoll classic – the Flat Bar Brno Chair by Mies van der Rohe. I never get sick of this design and they are seriously comfortable.
Knoll_FlatBrnoChair

Below: I think with kids, the Eames Molded Plastic Side chair is a great choice. They’d be easy to clean, are surprisingly comfortable, and look great.
Eames_MoldedPlasticSideChair

Below: The chair below was designed by Belgian furniture designer, Alain Berteau. Discovered on the blog Belgchic (who in turn found it through Remodelista). How’s that for recycling?
Belgchic_AlainBerteau_Chair

Below: Ecole chair by Benjamin Hubert Studio
BenjaminHubertStudio_Ercol_GradientChair

Below: To finish things off, you must watch the making of Bernhardt’s Corvo Chairs by French designer Noe-Duchaufour-Lawrence. Whether it’s food or furniture, I love seeing where things are made. The video adds a whole new level of appreciation to this design.
CorvoChair_NoeDuchaufour-Lawrence_SightUnseenVideo

Corvo Chair by Bernhardt Design from Sight Unseen on Vimeo.

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