Carmen - a lover or a fighter?

This'll have to be quick-sticks for me, since I'm about to slap some fresh-caught Chinook salmon on the grill and uncork a lovely red - It's been that kind of day. I did want to taken a sec to share my favouritest (I know, it's not a word) lamp that I spotted at the ICFF a while back. It's Carmen from FontanaArte, and comes in the lovely table version below, as well as a pendant option too.

I think it's the witty shape, and the crisp lines in white powder-coated steel that make me just love it so. Funnily enough Héctor Serrano, the designer behind Carmen, was inspired by medieval armour, but if you ask me I see more of a frilly bathing cap thing happening. To each their own I guess. Oh, and I also scored a snap of Serrano's notebook with his initial sketches for the line. Don't you love getting a peek into the creative process?


Crushing on Binic

Yep, I'm a card-carrying lampaholic, so when confronted with the quirky cuteness of Foscarini's new table lamp called Binic it was lamp-love at first sight. Ionna Vautrin, the designer behind the diminutive light, was inspired by both a particular kind of small lighthouse found on the coast of Brittany and 'wind socks', those doohickeys used for ventilation on ships. Check out the pics below, and then watch the super little video to follow Ionna's design process and see how Binic went from an idea to reality. Hmmm, I think I want one in every colour...

Checking out the details

I've already posted here about The House Hotel, a cool Autoban designed spot I'd stayed in in Istanbul a while back. Well, I thought it would be kind of nice to share some of the interesting design details of the hotel with you, snapped by me early one morning before any of the other guests were up and about (otherwise they might've thought me kind of odd, crouching down to capture a snap of the hallway floor, lol).

Here we go then - A closer look at the white and gold chandelier, there were a couple of different variations scattered around, including a lovely gold and beige one in the hotel's front hall. Next up, the enamelled steel and glass wardrobe that was in each room, inside was a small two drawer unit for all your foldable bits and pieces. Outside the rooms, each room number was cut out of brass and then spotlit. Staying in the hallway check out the stone floor (I'm loving the pattern), and then finally, topping it all off, you can see the hexagon pattern of the floor mirrored in a suspended trellis panel at the ceiling.

Guest blog / Julia Black: Mr. Dixon's emeralds

Julia Black: One of Arren's faves, Mr. Tom Dixon, has gone and done it again. He's wowed the design industry with a new pair of sculptural light fixtures to add to his Pressed Glass Family. Bead and Top, the soon-to-hit-the-marketplace duo, have been creating quite a buzz (word is, they'll be available late July through ABC Home) and, consistent to Mr. Dixon’s industrial style, they reveal the honest imperfections of a manufacturing process originally conceived to make car headlights and glass electrical insulators. The two distinct shapes have a gorgeous heft and smashing green cast to them, and strike me as jewelry for your ceiling. I can totally see them hanging in spectacular clusters and, with that green hue, they make me feel very Dorothy in the Emerald City.

To read more posts from Julia click here, and click here to check out her cool blog.

Like candy, but for your house

Don't these pendant lights by Danish designer Rie Elise Larsen remind you of Jujubes? Love the colour (they're painted metal) and of course, the brilliantly coloured fabric-covered electrical cords (don't get me started on how hard that cord is to find in North America). Anyways, Rie Elise Larsen is a fave of mine since she's completely unafraid of saturated and sugary bright colours. Click here to see her whole line, including a brill selection of textile and paper goods, and click here to see her gorgeously styled and completely inspirational look book...


Off and on

I'm not sure whether it's this unseasonably warm weather (the back door is wide open and Spot is in the garden digging holes to Timbuktu), but my get up and go has got up and went. I'm totally in the mood to start this long weekend early with a quick snooze on the sofa, lol, but in the meantime, there's cool stuff worth sharing! Sprout and Slide are the latest in lighting from Jonathan Adler. The shades, realised in a beatifully matte unglazed porcelain, pick up on his Relief collection of pottery with organic references and simple forms. Lovely. For more on Jonathan, click here to read a 5 quick questions interview with him. And, have you hooked up with him on Facebook yet? Check in here to find tons of behind-the-scenes shots of his work in progress, as well as witty Daily Adlerisms


Guest blog / Julia Black: Step into the cage

Julia Black: I’d like you to intro you to my good friend Dean, the guy behind Lampcage. I know him as a great lighting designer with the an admirable ability to find broken and battered materials - often scored from junkyards or a smart bit of curbside pickup - and revive them into stunningly classic sconces, pendants and lamps for both indoors and out. That scrap metal he finds is dragged back to his studio (it's in the back of his showroom- totally worth a peek inside), where he begins welding, working, and reconfiguring it into v. special pieces. Wander around his store, and you'll spot lighting (for sure, lol) plus a phenomenal collection of accessories and architectural ornaments that he's salvaged in his travels. And remember, a quick word and Dean is happy to work with you on any custom piece you care to dream up, plus he has the snappy ability to re-wire and re-work any old lighting you'd like to bring him. I guess I'm giving away a bit of an inside secret here, but Dean is one of the best lighting and design trades I've come to know over the years, and he's a firm fave of mine!

To read more posts from Julia click here, and to check out her cool blog click here.



Yep, the last couple of weeks have been, shall we say, major (to quote Ms. Victoria Beckham). Basically we rocked out and got just about everything finished on the house. Seriously. Everything. I am exhausted, as is my other half, and oh, since we weren't quite busy enough we brought home an impossibly cute Whippet puppy on Sunday.

So, what with the arrival of Spot the Whippet, painting, painting and more painting, furniture deliveries out the wazoo, wallpaper going up and hanging artwork, not forgeting the nailbiting time I had watching Dan and Craig of Mieda Design gingerly maneuver a 10ft long upholstered headboard up the stairs - well - no time to regularly post. Anyhoo, I'm back at it and sharing a taste one of my current fave lighting collections. It's called Havana, is designed by the always witty Jonathan Adler for Robert Abbey, and is available from quite a few spots across the country. Apart from lusting over that 3-Light floor lamp (I so have the perfect spot for it), there's another piece I totally fancy; the desk lamp. Take a boo here to see it, and the rest of an online gallery for the Style Scout feature I do for the National Post's Post Homes section.



Chandeliers have legs

When, oh when, will the chandelier go away? If you ask me they won't, at least for quite a while, since they've definitely snuck into our design vernacular. The fixtures below would definitely fall into the Showstopper lighting category, and are my current faves if you're on the hunt for something unusual that has lashes of character. The first two are new from Currey & Co, and have a bizarre Victorian Goth vibe (yes, they're black painted shell, and yes, there's a beyond fabulous matching console and mirror too). The second two are from Oly and are the definition of modern romance - pretty but not too frothy - and come in clear, blush, amber, plum, and of course white. Oly is available at South Hill Home, and contact Currey & Co here to check in on Canadian retailers.


No acid wash, but...

I blogged about Successful Living From Diesel, Diesel Jean's new furniture line with Italian manufacturer Moroso, over on Posted Homes the other day (take a read here). At the time there was talk about the lighting side of the collection, designed by Diesel and manufactured by Foscarini, but no snaps had surfaced. So, after a bit of noodling online I've discovered enough worth sharing. The lighting has the same vibe as the furniture - young, laid back and edgy - just check out the sweet lightning bolt pull on the Graf table lamp in the first shot below. Picking up from the furniture's rock and roll direction you'll see the Cage pendant and table lamps (that look like mics), images of mixing boards and amps on the Graf lamp shade, punky metal on the Studs lamp base, and crunched facets on the Rock pendant. Oh, and of course Diesel hooked up a music video to launch the line... lol. Click here for a list of Canadian dealers for Foscarini.


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Light reading

Another day shooting on The Style Department, a hot one for sure; with the mercury hitting 30C. The space looked lovely by the time we were all done (such a talented bunch makining it all happen), and it's always a pleasure to work with Suzanne Dimma.

Tonight, before heading out on the town, I wanted to post a great lighting resource - Niche Modern. Their pendants are outstanding, and we'll be in the market for something stunning in the new place. Hmmm... The Plum tint of the Pharos pendant is so on trend.