design

screened porch

Exciting times for our little corner of Prince Edward Island. Mr. A and I are hatching plans for a screened porch addition onto the back of the cottage. Very simple. Like a semi-exterior room. All the good breezes but none of the mosquitoes. Those blasted wee beasties can really hamper your exterior living on the island. I'm obsessing on Pinterest looking for inspiration. The structure itself will be dead simple: walls up to chair height and then panels of screen. Probably a lean-to roof. The inside will be the real design challenge. I want the space to fulfill a million functions: lounge, dining, game-playing and sleeping. Furnishing it wil be a challenge. The structure will go up soon and then in May it's full steam ahead to get it ready for 2014 entertaining! Here are some of my inspiration images:

The structure will likely be something like this (but smaller), but the lower portion of walls will be closed in - prob with beadboard. Interior will be painted white, floor likely grey, exactly as the main cottage.

The structure is about right but daybeds look a tad austere, no?

The ceiling height here is to die for, but sadly out of the question for us. I love vintage wicker furniture and will be keeping my eyes peeled for some mismatched pieces. I soooo loathe that brown plastic woven faux wicker shiz. It will be banned.

These DIY sleeping porch beds are from the folks at Martha. I'd love to be able to cook something up like this that could do double duty -- L-shaped sofa and twin beds as needed.

This is my fave porch design of all time, as you may know: a Tom Scheerer room with a smattering of my favourite Peter Dunham Figs fabric. As much as I love that fabric I don't feel it's quite right for my PEI space. Stripes will be my go-to more likely.

sources: 1: Courtney Bishop Design. 2:Kay Douglass  3: Allison Ramsey Architect 4: Lisa Hubbard Photography. 5: Tom Scheerer.

philippe starck in his own words

I was cleaning up digital files today and uncovered a gem. It is a transcript from an interview I conducted a few years ago with the one and only Philippe Starck. He was in Toronto to discuss his collaboration with local developer Peter Freed on a condo project at 75 Portland. I sat in a small office in Mr. Freed's penthouse suite and met face to face with one of the world's greatest design geniuses. A career highlight to be sure. He is everything you imagine him to be. Before you begin reading, promise me you will do so in a Fench accent. When you see the word designer, please read it as deee-zine-air. When you see lover, read it as luuu-vair, every the must be read as zee...So, without anymore fanfare here it is, copied and pasted below.

et voilà:

"For me to be comfortable I need only the person I love the most. I don’t need things. I don’t need a car, I can walk. I don’t need new shoes, I have some already.

If you design a chair and it is not comfortable, then it is not a chair it is a sculpture and you are an artist. Me, I am not an artist I am a designer. When I design something it has a clear function. Sure not all designs are as successful as we would like.

I always work in extremes – never in the middle. I think diagonally. I may design a 200 million dollar yacht or a 2 dollar baby bottle. The yacht will be fabulous and the baby bottle will be better than the others. When I work on the yacht it is like a laboratory. During that work I experiment with materials, ideas and ways to do the other projects. It’s diagonal thinking.

I believe in democratic design.

I design these places around the world for my tribe, people who like me who believe in good design. I think of it as helping people who are making the most important purchase of their lifetime – a place to live. Toronto is a lively city. It is cosmopolitan

I believe in intelligence and humour. In humour there is great intelligence. It’s humour that sets us apart from the rest of the animals. We came from a single cell and now we are the smart monkeys and who knows what next. But in humour there is everything – all emotions, life and death.

What is my greatest project? The one that comes next. What’s next is always the biggest and the best and the most exciting."

Dear James Dyson,

We have to break up. I have loved you and your vacuums for many years, but it's over. I now love another. This is quite possibly the coolest vacuum ever -- designed by Pia Wallén (a Swede, natch) for Electrolux for Skandium in the UK. Touted as one of the world's quietest -- no word on how efficient, but who cares when it looks this good?