84 Square feet gives a whole new meaning to downsizing


This is Dee Williams's tiny solar powered 84 square foot home which sits in her friends back yard. Dee is quite the inspiration with her 305 possessions and lack of running water. What you see in the photos below is the entire home. After a serious illness Dee implemented some radical lifestyle changes which prompted her to build this 84 square foot home. You can read her story here
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Ice Cream Vending Machine

Isn't this amazing? 
Soft ice cream in a vending machine in Japan. 
Flavors like rose, lavender, sweet potato, green tea and brown rice to name a few. 
So cool! 

Upcycled wood patio furniture

This picture has three of my favorite things in it - upcycled wood, sand and ocean! From what I can tell this furniture has been made from upcycled pallets and I just love it! Getting some ideas though, might have to start up the saw this weekend lol!!

I don't know the source of this picture. I found it on Pinterest and the link was to a website that didn't have any attached url so if you know where it comes from please let me know!! 

DIY: Cake Plate

I have been looking for a cake plate since forever but I haven't had any success finding one that I like. They are all too big, too small, too fancy, too plain (are you getting the vibe that I'm a bit like goldilocks!) so I finally decided to make my own. 

First I found a nice glass candle holder at Zone Maison which became the base of my cake plate. 


Then I looked for a simple glass plate, like this one that I found at Benix, which could be glued to the glass base. 


Oddly enough, the candle base, which I had not brought with me, ended up fitting perfectly into the grooves on the bottom of the plate so I didn't need to glue it if I didn't want to. However, as cake plates are large and somewhat unwieldy, I decided to use glue dots to secure the plate to the base. This makes it easy to remove the plate from the base and store it. If you wanted the plate to be permanently glued to the base you could use a glue gun to secure it. 

Materials:

1 glass candle base
1 glass plate (either desert or dinner plate)
glue dots or glue gun

Instructions:

Place glue dots along the top of the candle base. If using a glue gun, spread glue along the top of the candle base. Place plate on top and press down to secure. 

And now you have your fabulous cake plate! 


Woodland Retreat - A steel cabin on stilts?

After clients asked for a "virtually indestructible" cabin in the woods (read National Park) that could be left uninhabited for weeks at a time, Seattle architect Tom Kundig, came up with the above. Since the cabin needed to be both secure and weatherproof, Kundig designed a steel exterior that slides across the windows and a floor raised up on stilts to prevent flooding. Very cool. You can read all about it here

Jewelry Designer Claire Vessot gets a Feng Shui makeover

After the makeover - Winter setting

A Designer is really only as good as their clients will allow them to be. The more open and adaptable the client is the better the result. In this case I got really lucky because my client Claire Vessot - the former lead Designer for ELLE jewelry - was open to massive change and gave me carte blanche to create something that better suited her personality. 

Within the first 5 min of meeting Claire you know that she is a woman with great taste and has an eye for detail. Characteristics which also make her such a good jewelry designer. When I first went to Claire's home it was filled with antiques and personal mementos and was very dark. This didn't match her at all. Claire's personal effervescence is something to behold. She is so uplifting and kind, I think she literally shines. As such I wanted her living space to reflect that.  

After the makeover - right side 

I decided to create a light and airy space filled with textures and lots of shiny accessories to reiterate her jewelry designs. Since Claire liked her antiques but was essentially a contemporary designer, I thought that a blend of the two styles would be perfect for her. 

This is Claire's living room before 

The dark leather couches were replaced with cream ones, tables were installed on both sides of the fireplace along with mirrors and table lamps. Shimmering gold curtains were added and the fireplace surround was created. The fireplace surround was the one element that Claire was unsure of but I convinced her that it would make the fireplace look less imposing and would blend better with the new decor. I'm happy to report that Claire is thrilled with the result.  

I'm also a big fan of having both a winter and a summer look due to our extreme climate. So in the winter the throws are heavier and the accessories more geared towards cocooning (books, candles). But come summer time I want to take advantage of all the sunshine so I added lighter accessories and more metallics to make everything sparkle - just like Claire. 

After the makeover - Summer setting 

Claire's dining room was very dark and felt somewhat cramped even though it was quite a large room. There were heavy curtains on the windows, dark wood furnishings and the ceiling was painted brown. The dark brown paint underneath the chair rails also made the room feel very heavy visually. 

Claire's dining room before




Claire's dining room Before

Claire and I discussed a few different ideas on how to improve the space but in the end we both felt that the removal of the wall between the kitchen and dining room was the best option. This would enlarge the space and create a much better flow of energy as well as afford Claire a view of her backyard and the exposed brick wall in the kitchen. As you can see by the after picture, the effect was enormous. Suddenly you felt like you were in a whole different place. The ceiling was painted a light gray and we added crown mouldings. Next we painted the walls in a neutral beige with the bottom half of the chair rail in a darker gray to recall the ceiling. The heavy curtains were traded in for some lighter, shimmering gray ones and a new crystal chandelier was installed to brighten up the room and create a cozy setting at night. A floor lamp and lighter accessories were added as well as a mirror to reflect the back garden. On a whim, Claire went and changed her table to a round one and added some chairs she had in storage which became the final touch to the transformation.  

After the makeover - Dining room 





The last part in the transformation of Claire's home is the kitchen and is slated to be done later on this year. As Claire just recently started her own freelance company her design website is not finished. However you can reach Claire and her award winning jewelry design services at Vessot design,  www.vessot.com   

Claire's kitchen - a work in progress

Indoor Outdoor Living room - Part 2

The continuous pelting of snow in my City has made me crave spring even more than usual this year so I am living vicariously through my blog in the hopes that one day I will see grass. I know that I have posted a few spaces over the last while of rooms that have had either a great view of the outdoors or that are open to the outdoors. This is my favorite type of room - one where you are somewhat sheltered but which is a part of nature. In this example I especially love the Asian feel to the outdoor arrangement. The tall grasses, Japanese maple, raised pond and pea gravel really give the garden a lot of visual interest without being too busy.
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