Archive for April, 2014

Design Tip : Precision

Clean, modern design starts with precision work behind the walls. This is the master ensuite in phase 1 of our Percival Lofts project. To get it all right – and be true to modern design phrases like “trim less sliding glass doors”, “concealed hardware” and “flush mounted tile and millwork” – takes extra care in the design and drawing stages so the studs and rough-ins are in exactly the right place. And that’s exactly what we do as designers: we start at the end and work backwards – so the contractor can start correctly at the beginning.

Design Tip : Consistency

A home tells many stories, but they should be from the same book.

Our clients at this heather park residence have decidedly modern aesthetic even though the home they purchased was recently renovated in the craftsman style. Unfortunately, that reno included a monolithic contemporary fireplace ( before photo on our Facebook page)that just didn’t fit with the craftsman house or the modern furniture we are about to install.So we designed this craftsman fireplace to fade quietly into the background. the millwork matches wainscotting and the marble echoes a new pastry island in the adjacent kitchen. Now the house has a single historical narrative, so the new residents can start telling their own story.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 5

For our final big day of Milan Design Week we searched out the more obscure desinations – filled with students and young designers showing their work and hoping to be discovered. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed with street-cred edginess that is quite absent from the fairgrounds. And there were a lot of beards.

Sites are scattered throughout the city so we made good use of the metro and the city bike sharing program to pack in as much as possible. Here are a few highlights:


Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 4

Our fourth day of Milan Design week was spent in the centre of the city, popping into showrooms and galleries. The buzz in the city is intense as quiet side streets and courtyards become overflow areas for pop-up bars and temporary exhibition spaces. The fun part is seeing students and young designers showing their work and ideas a few feet away from the biggest names in the business.

And with weather that feels like a Vancouver summer we made the most of taking in some city sites as well.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 3

We took in more furniture on our second day at the fairgrounds as well as the International Bathroom Furniture Exposition – two halls dedicated to plumbing fixtures, vanities, lighting and tiles.

As designers we are always intrigued about process – how did a designer develop a new concept from idea to prototype to a commercial product. Several manufactures showed the design process as well as a series of prototypes that hint to the products we will see in years to come.

One of the highlights of the fair is spotting some of the superstars of the design world in the city and at the fair, and today didn’t disappoint. Jaime Hayon was being interviewed at our morning cafe, Erwin Bouroullec was at the Magis stand and Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby were at the Knoll stand. While their handlers keep them well protected we were still able to get some insight into their design perspective.


Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 2

We headed to the fairgrounds today, starting with the key exhibition “Where Architects Live.” The exhibit presented how eight of the world’s most prominent architects live in their own homes and cities through different conceptual spaces, each with a video of the architect giving a personal account. The intriguing aspect of the exhibit is that these are the people who are shaping the built environment across the planet and how we can see their influence trickle down to the lives of millions, if not billions of people.

Then we hit Eurocucina, the kitchen fair. While many of the big manufacturers were absent, there was a lot to see in how the kitchen functions as a machine today and in the future.

And of course we rounded out the day with a good dose of modern furniture from our favourite brands showing at the fair.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 – Day 1

We arrived in central Milan at 8:30pm and hit the ground running, starting at the Baccarat cocktail event at San Carpoforo. The crystal clear crystal juxtaposed against faded frescos and peeling plaster set the tone for a dramatic and moody event filled with the who’s who of design. Marcel Wanders was the first person we nearly bumped into at the front door. It’s everything one would expect from the French luxury brand.Next was the Ingo Maurer exhibition titled Il Laboratorio / The Atelier at the Spazio Krizia. We had an extensive personal tour from Peter Wachowich, a five year veteran with Ingo Maurer who is now based in Vancouver. While the lighting and installations are always lighthearted, the research and technology that goes into them is at the cutting edge of lighting design. Most of the exhibition showcased products that are in the exploration stages, and not yet ready for production. The exciting thing is to see the future of lighting design – as well as a glimpse into the process of creating new products.

— at Brera Design District.