eDesign: Modern in Rio

Recently I was contacted by a fantastic man, whom we will call V. V is beginning a new chapter in his life, and is building a new home to live in. He will be the sole occupant the majority of the time, with occasional visits from his children. He wanted to keep the interior modern, sleek and minimal, but still incorporate warm.

The architecture of this home is fantastic, and we wanted to let the surfaces be the stars here. In a smaller home, using upgraded building materials can actually be more cost effective – there is very little ornamentation required when everything is already beautiful!

V was drawn to the contrast of concrete and warm wood, and loved the idea of punctuating that combination with black-toned and raw steel metals. He was particularly concerned with what color to choose for his walls. Although he loved dark greys, V wanted to ensure there would be enough light in the space.

Here is a floorpan of V’s fabulous new home:


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This is an interesting layout from a design standpoint. The home itself is rectangular, with the cooking, dining and living spaces wrapped around the bedroom space.  In effect, it is a cube within a cube.

This offers us a way to incorporate the dark grey walls effectively. By placing the dark grey onto the interior and exterior of the bedroom wall only, and pairing it with a complementary grey-white on the remaining walls, we do several things. One, we enhance the architecture, emphasizing the well-thought out design. We delineate the public and private areas of the home effectively. We keep the lighter, outer walls in the areas that will be used primarily during the day, and the darker walls on the areas used most in the evening. We are able to bounce light through the living room and into the entry and dining area, where there will be little direct daylight. The electronics will be placed onto the darker wall separating the living space and bedroom, which will allow them to work in seamlessly, rather than contrast sharply against a pale wall.


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V loved this plan! He wanted to move forward, and also requested an accent color which would pair well with the floor tiles (already chosen) and “Frejo” wood, which would be used for shelving, cabinetry, etc through the space.

I put together this color board for Ivan, using Sherwin Williams selections, as it was readily available to him:


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The Freja wood, used for cabinetry, shelving, etc ranges in tone from almost blond to quite dark, often with orange undertones.

You can see the floor tile, while grey, skews quite warm.

Dovetail, SW 7018, Is the perfect warm grey to pair with the flooring/wood selection. We would wrap it around the outside of the bedroom “cube” and along the interior walls of the bedroom as well.

Snowbound, SW 7004, is the most beautiful pale grey-white. It’s modern and timeless. This would be used on the remaining walls and trim.

Robust Orange, SW 6628 would be absolutely stunning on the entrance door.


This was a color consultation, and so V and I did discuss furniture direction, just not specifics. Cognac leather would work very well here, perhaps in a lounge chair, as would the classic black men’s sofa that V preferred – on point, V!

It was a pleasure working with V. He knew what he wanted, was true to his own design loves, and will have a phenomenal home to begin his next chapter in. Recently received an eDesign rare treat – progress photos of V’s home during construction – Snowbound looking gorgeous on the walls – Thank you V!!






Increasingly I find myself working with male clients who have incredible design instincts, and am loving it. Hope you enjoyed! The posts have been rather sparse lately, but the sun is finally shining here, and must take advantage when possible, yes?

Cheers! am



Design 101: How To Use the Rule of Three’s in Your Home

Whether you are looking to add a grouping to a hallway or simply accessorize a small bureau, creating the perfect vignette is as simple as one-two-three. Designers know that everything looks better in groups of three, and I’m going to show you how to apply that to your home. Ready?

Let’s make this a visual demonstration, because pictures are so much more fun, yes?

Here is a basic space…


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I’m feeling rather beach-house-beatnik today, so let’s lose the basic with Sanderson’s Flamingo Wallpaper…


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Hang a couple of ah-mazing macrame hanging chairs (need!)… and a rug to cozy it up a little…



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You may want to sit here as is, but it looks a little unfinished, right? What happens if we add a table? Voila – we have created a trio…….


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The wall paper is bold enough that we could probably skip art, but we definitely need to fix in the space love the table, and again, we are offered an opportunity to layer in some interest by using a grouping of three gorgeous pendant lights…


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The hanging chairs offer a unique challenges – with no legs to fill in the space below the chairs, that table needs some backup. How about a stack of floor pillows and some magazines? We have three items, and three pillows. One pillow, or just a few magazines would read as clutter, but using a stack is intentional.  Then add three items to top your table. See how they work together?



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Lastly, small accessories like the pillow define the focal point – our fabulous chairs, where a you can spend some time with your favourite soul, human or fluffy…


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There are other ways the rule of three is working here, as well… we’ve used a palette of primarily three colors – aqua, greyed-down pinks and white, with small amounts of grey and black thrown in to ground these candy hues. We’ve emphasized three heights of the space, eye level (lighting), seat level, and floor level. Finally, we’ve brought in three main textures – smooth glossy terrazzo, stone, and glass, then tactile macrame, and soft wools and velvets.


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Does that illustrate the rule of three’s for you? Still have questions? Fire away! I’ll be here, sipping a chai latte with my pup 🙂

x am





Houseplants 101: The Best 3 Plants Anyone Can Grow!

In last months newsletter, I promised a post on the easiest to grow, most beneficial houseplants and here, my lovelies, it is 🙂

10 Rooms Design | The Best 3 Plants anyone Can Grow!



For those of us that may have thumbs that are closer to black than green, choosing plants is more dreaded than exciting. This lovely, full, green, gorgeousness comes in the front door, we place it in the perfect pot, water it (or most of the time, anyway, ahem…) and within weeks it is a shrivelled up reminder of our lethal gardening skills. I did belong to this category once, and I can tell you, there is hope!

So how can you have better success with your plants? Some plants are definitely harder to grow than others, but the real problem is that we aren’t choosing the right plants for the right spots, and they require different care. What I have learned along the way is that here are two big considerations, light and water.

First, let’s talk water. Every plant, every plant, does better if you put it into a pot that allows for drainage out the bottom, then a second pot/saucer that prevents the water from ruining your brand-new herringbone floors 🙂 The plant will soak up the water it needs and the excess will drain. No more overwatering!

Second, sun. Put a plant that needs full sun (almost all day) into the corner of a room and it will sulk away into oblivion… this means choosing plants that will get the light they need wherever you are placing them. Those little sticks in the pots have all this information on them, and if they don’t, just ask – plant lovers really enjoy sharing their tips. Sometimes we are forced to pass up a really gorgeous option, but there is no point in replacing and replacing when we could choose the right thing first off, is there? Trust me, the answer is no – let’s just say they know me by name at the local greenhouse!


I thought today that I would introduce you to a few favourites I use all the time, they are super-easy to care for and clean the air well. Also, these should pose no threat to children or pets, but always ask when purchasing if any part of the plant is poisonous – you’d be surprised how many common houseplants pose a danger to our little ones. Philodendron’s, for example, are beautiful but poisonous, and are used commonly as house plants.



First off, the hardiest plant I know, the spider plant. These super air-cleaners will live forever, and just keep on sending out “babies” that you can start new plants from. Really, I received one of these as a gift from a neighbour when we were first married, and now my Sisters, Mother and friends all have stocks of spider plants from that one little starter. These are excellent in a hanging planter, I’ve included a few gorgeous ones below…


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Next, the snake plant, hardiest version being “mother-in-laws-tongue”. This beauty will start out as a smaller sculptural potted plant, then grow to 3-4 feet high. It shines in a pot/stand combination. They like indirect light, but will work with some direct light as well. The most important thing is to watch your water – let them dry out between waterings. Super easy!


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Here is your sun lover – Aloe Vera. Place these in full sun, water deeply when the soil slightly dry to the touch. I try to incorporate an aloe in every home I work on, because they are the first thing we reach for to treat a burn or scrape here. The healing powers of this plant are incredible. They are fairly slow growing, so these are usually a window plant.


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Does that help anyone? I can do another post with some other faves, but these are my three go-to plants. Please let me know if you try them and they grow for you!!

x am