Surround yourself in style. Live it. Wear it. Be it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


We're off, with some fashionable frocks and minds ready to gobble up every juicy morsel of decadent design at IDS11, Canada's largest contemporary design fair, held over the next few days in Toronto.

The Opening Night Party is always buzzing with fresh excitement. Live entertainment, celebrity designers, elaborate displays, food stations and wine bars can be found amidst a sea of fashionably attired guests. Although it's all about colour this year, this sophisticated crowd is generally looking very chic in black. It will be interesting to see if this year's look is different!
Some highlights will be:

 Displays from 18 Karat, a company with accessories that are elaborately textural and interesting in scale.

 Luminart lighting, such as this beautifully dramatic "Sophe" fixture.

Moooi is an innovative company known for it's whimsical, striking designs, under the direction of genius designer Marcel Wanders. Above is the 5'Oclock Chair.

Para paints has just launched Sarah Richardson's colour palette, and we were excited to recieve the kit from a local paint store this week! We'll have to ask her about her 3 faves!

Speaking of Sarah, the series 'SIBLING REVELRY' will feature design siblings and their lives, including  Sarah Richardson and her designer brother, Theo, who is part of the highly successful New York based design firm Rich Brilliant Willing.

Washington D.C. based designer, Darryl Carter, will also be a featured speaker at the show.
His classic fresh designs can be found on the pages of  Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, and several other publications, and beyond writing his own book, "The New Traditional", his stunning style can be seen in his designs for Thomasville.

Designer Allegra Hicks, known for making kaftans fashionable, will be another speaker, focusing on her design of textiles and her life. Beyond creating luxurious fabrics for Lee Jofa, she is designing rugs for The Rug Company, and has also written a book entitled "Allegra Hicks: An Eye For Design".

Lee Jofa Fabrics

Needless to say, it will be an inspiring and informative weekend! With so much eye candy in one place, we're going to gorge ourselves. The best part: a design binge is calorie, sugar, carb, and fat-free!
We already see the IDS marketing people are using Pantone's colour of the year, Honeysuckle, in 
the ads...we're curious to see what else will be hot pink!  

Once we're back and the wonderful design ideas are organized into our files, we'll let you know the details!
Thanks to for the images.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Housewears Design Projects -Some Highlights of 2010

It's been a very busy year in the Housewears hive, and so many readers have wanted to know what we've been up to.With little time to blog and many projects on the go, we certainly need to offer you a sneak peek at a few of the jobs we've completed. Some of our clients are bashful, so photos aren't always taken. Other jobs aren't complete, and are not quite photo-ready.
However, here is some of the work completed by Housewears this year.

master bathroom design by Housewears, photo by Max Wedge
entry hall design by Housewears, photo by Max Wedge

bathroom design by Housewears. An unsightly sump pump door in this basement  is concealed by artfully arranged cedar planks.

Abstract art hung in this window enhances privacy and distracts diners from the unappealing view in this dining room. Design by Housewears
A wide custom banquette bench was created to surround this table in a lounge area, reminding the homeowner of leisurely vacations in Morocco.

A complete kitchen makeover. Design by Housewears, Photo by Max Wedge

Complete customization of furniture was needed to suit the scale of this family room. Design by Housewears, photo by Max Wedge

Design by Housewears, Photo by Max Wedge
Design by Housewears
Design by Housewears/photo by Max Wedge

Design by Housewears

Design by Housewears

Thanks for stopping in to view our work. Some of these photos will be featured in the local Winter Issue of OUR HOMES MAGAZINE, to be released in January. We are dedicated to our work and we truly love what we do! The holiday gift for us is reflecting on our designs and feeling happy about what we've done, and having ecstatic clients who tell others and keep coming back. Here's hoping you feel happy about something this year, and that 2011 will be filled with many positive opportunities!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Design Trend: Stripes and Stripes Forever

Photo via

It's sad to see the final days of summer flutter away, but truth be told, this summer has been a bit of a 3-ring circus. I've succumbed to the realization that many working mothers are essentially part clown: we put on our make-up, step into our big fancy shoes, and we juggle all day long...clients, appointments, paperwork, children, meals, household tasks....the list goes on and on.  Toss in my flooded basement, a child with a broken hand, an assistant on crutches and it's over the top. A best attempt is always made to carefully balance all balls in the air with synchronicity, but toss another ball in and it's a recipe for chaos.

Atomix by Nike Savvas

Hence, dear readers, from time to time the Blog ball has to be left on the floor for a spell. Fortunately, the affinity for writing has seduced this silly clown back into the blogworld, and with a newly restored basement and kids back in school, here I am, spinning ideas around once again for your entertainment. 
Welcome back to the Big Top!

Jean Paul Gaultier debuted his Stripe collection of furniture this year for Roche Bobois. Photo via Whitewall magazine.

 While on this circus subject, as of late, those bold tent stripes have been inspiration for dramatic and showstopping looks in fashion and decor this summer, and the trend is still strong for 2011.

Viceroy Hotel, by Kelly Wearstler, photo via candacerose

Stripes are lining accessory store shelves and winding down runways, and this classic pattern certainly deserves a second look!

June 2010 issue of Home Accents Today
The sensuous Kate Moss in Isabel Marant's ad campaign for fall/Winter 2010-2011, via Fabsugar
The Devil's Cloth via Amazon

A curious little book, written by Michel Pastoureau, entitled,' The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes ' details the historical significance of stripes and their meanings. From prisoners to mimes to patriotism and pajamas, stripes depict a strange combination of naughtiness and goodness. The point is, stripes are timeless and worthy of our attention!

photo via Chapman Interiors
 This traditional vertical striped wall looks fresh in chartreuse yellow paired with a modern charcoal grey headboard.
Masland broadloom Carpet, the Confection collection, in Candy Corn.
Housewears recently utilized this stunning carpet for a dramatic and cozy teen recreation room.

 Osborne and Little fabric makes a traditional stripe modern.
Collette Ward Interiors.
Inspirational stripes set the stage for big thinking in the Lego Development conference Room.

Striped effects can be made with a variety of repeated linear materials, such as wood flooring, and contrasting ceiling beams as shown in this gorgeous white space.

Andy Warhol Pop Stripe rug adds instant warmth and verve to this space. photo via Atticmag

                                    photo via Decorati, Upper East Side Residence by Robert Passal
Vertical stripes on walls give a space a traditional feel, whereas horizontal lines evoke a
 contemporary edge.

Nate Berkus via Cote de Texas
This striped rug creates the largest statement in this office.

Simple in principle, stripes are a powerful pattern that makes sense in almost any situation, and works with virtually any other pattern. This linear look adds subtle depth or bold drama, allowing one to combine unique colours and make them all work together harmoniously. A green sofa and an orange chair can instantly look like best friends with pillows, draperies or wallpaper in stripes that incorporate those same hues.
A fabulous bathroom by designer Eric Cohler

Martha Stewart via

Stripes have had negative connotations, as we all remember for Martha Stewart! Prison stripes are not considered 'a good thing'. However, Gwen Stefani and Sienna Miller make very chic jailbirds in these fabulous frocks!

Stripes have the magic to elongate, widen, and disguise figure flaws, distracting the eye.
The same goes for a room: ceilings can look higher, a narrow room can be widened, a small room can appear enlarged with stripes. Our eyes  naturally follow the linear pattern to enhance a focal point, or distract us from an architectural flaw.

The ultimate getaway bag: Louis Vuitton mon monogram

Stripes transcend this hallway from HousetoHome

Striped room via Jordan Guide Design
Big impact in a small space with this amazing wallpaper, hung both vertically and horizontally.
photo via Metropolitan Home
A feature wall can be created with a 'barcode' pattern of stripes, harmonizing any colour palette, as in these photos above and below.

photo via Decorpad.
photo via Escapade
The striped window treatment makes this Hermes-inspired room bold and unforgettable!

photo via Decorpad.
A simple bordered edge on a window treatment elevates this roman shade to greatness. Contrasting piping and borders on draperies and upholstery add a stunning finishing touch to a spare, clean look.

Photo via Decorpad.
Chevron stripes are another bold pattern that adds modern impact. This gorgeous yellow and white chevron rug is  brilliant tension against the knarled organic table base.

            Want to add the power of stripes? This great Zigzag Rug is available in 3 colours at West Elm.

A little natural stripe, as in zebra, can add great interest to decor as in the photos above and below, but proceed with caution: the type of zebra fabric should be a very realistic-looking pattern, or made of actual fur! 

We often think of stripes for summer, with canvas awnings, parisian mimes, and nautical looks, but the linear look for fall is to die for with these hot ensembles!

Kate Spade Coat, fall 2010
Missoni dress via Neiman Marcus
Ali Ro rugby striped dress via Saks Fifth Avenue
Neiman Marcus' White+Warren ombre link knit scarf and cardigan
Alexander McQueen Tiger Print knit dress via Neiman Marcus

                           Kenzo 2010-2011 via

                                                Guiseppe Zanotti boot via Neiman Marcus

Herve Leger fall 2010 via

Sarah Richardson via addicted 2

Often, a few striped accents are all that is needed to create big impact. The bench cover, pillows and chair offer big drama, even without the pale pink horizontal stripes on the wall in this hotel room.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Stripes aren't leaving the runway anytime soon. Resort collections for 2011 show fresh colours and fun stripes like this sundress from Ferragamo, and note the gorgeous contrasting detail on the bag.

photo via glamourai

Hope you've enjoyed our collection of stripes! Thanks for your patience with this clown's precarious act! As the leaves turn colours this season, and the air becomes brisk, I'll continue juggling, wearing my makeup, my big shoes, and my cozy striped sweater!