3D Functional Art

You can expect to see more and more of this in 2011, but to be honest it may take until 2012 before this type of thing really takes off! 
This kitchen design by Grattarola shows how the human imagination can manipulate the eye, to trick the brain into following the most obvious visible contours of a design, leaving the actual functional elements of the kitchen disguised...or at least less obvious!
3D kitchen art is moving from the realms of concept to the mainstream arena.  And its about time too, as for too long the simplicity of making flat kitchen doors has created an economic reason for churning them out.  This concept creates some real interest for the viewer, light and shadow just drip from every raised element, inviting you to look and investigate the design further.  This idea works brilliantly in a room that gets lots of natural light and it would also be a lighting designers dream.   
This idea is so simple and yet so effective and it could be argued that it is a little more sophisticated than hiding your kitchen behind a sliding door!
Attitudes to kitchen design are changing!  Welcome to the world of 3D functional art!
Oh yea..............check out the table leg!!!!  The Mogul thought you might like that!!  Enjoy.

Interior Design Show, Roundup of some favourites

Here are some of my favourite finds/vignettes at the Toronto Interior Design Show. The show was so large and contained so many amazing vendors! Tomorrow stay tuned for my favourite booth at IDS.
1.House and Home Magazine's booth 2.Edgewater Tile 3.John Paul & Co 4.Edgewater Tile 5. Jane Lockheart's Booth 6.Oeno Gallery 7. Snob

Interior Design Gala, Kick off dinner

This weekend is the Interior Design Show here in Toronto. To kick off the festivities 50 design bloggers and people from the Interior Design community got together for a fabulous dinner organized by Meredith Heron and Sonya Kinkade. This was one good looking bunch --- No wonder CityLine came to film.

Held at the fabulous Nota Bene it was an evening to remember. Since it was so busy and in a relatively small space, the majority of the evenings socializing (at least for me) was done from our seats during dinner. Around me I was seated with some amazing people - the awesome Lauren McPhillips and Margot Austin from Style at Home MagazineMary Taggart, the Editor for Ottawa at Home Magazine, Designer Kimberly Seldon, Arren Williams and Sonya Kinkade ...and these were just the people I was sitting beside! A few times I paused and just looked around at the guests, took a deep breath and let the moment sink in. It was surreal to be surrounded by so many people I admired and really just liked as people. Everyone else continued on to the Interior Design Show Gala afterwards, however I stepped outside, hailed a cab and happily headed home to a comfy bed and little Oscar who was waiting for me. Coming up are some photos from the IDS. xo

Photos....(1) Kimberly Seldon being filmed as she tweets (2) The venue, Nota Bene (3) The hilarious Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault (4) Margot Austin and Lauren McPhillips (5) Tracy Moore, host of Cityline filming (6) The camera guy...oh my goodness, I forget his name!

Monochrome Master Piece

The Mogul thinks that this image is great.  The understated colour within the kitchen invites a dynamic interaction with the natural light coming from the long bank of glass doors, making the kitchen change its appearance at different times of the day. 
The kitchen has been seamlessly integrated into the architecture along the back wall and the overall room is given a vibrancy though the clever placement of colourful artwork!  Kitchen, nature and interior design are amplifiers for each other giving this space a great feel! 
Really nice Job!

Eye candy for you

Today I'm off to the Interior Design Show today with little Oscar. I'm looking for interior decor inspiration, and there happens to be some appliance manufacturers at the show....our kitchen is slowly breaking down it's a good idea to do research. Appliances have come a long way, and the companies are considering style as well as function, so that you don't only get the best appliance, but one that works with your decor. I'll do a little recap of the show next week, but in the meantime here are just some eye candy posts of some images I found on Coco Peal's blog of Armonia Decors interiors.

Have a great weekend!

Mayan Kitchen

There is a great presence in this design by Saporiti Italia drawing the viewer in and presenting hidden treasures at every turn.  The main focal point of the design is the island which looks as though it has been forged by the hand of an ancient Mayan stone mason.  There is a compromise here in that the ultimate functional possibilities for the island have been purposely restricted to enable the aesthetical beauty of this monolith to be adored in all its splendor!  

But that’s not all; this design considers that the kitchen is a functional art installation and that there should be an appreciation of light and of all three dimensional planes.  Some of the doors have been etched, again reminiscent of Mayan artwork, to invite light and shadows!  Add to this mix a simple linear matrix, modern materials such as coloured glass, quartz worktops and LED lights and this kitchen is an understated functional beauty!

The Mogul Approves!

Update to our blog

Our blog has a new feature, and that is something called Disqus, a blog commenting system that allows me to directly answer, or address, specific comments on our blog. I get so much great feedback and sometimes I don't know how to say thank you.I was inspired after seeing Brynn add it to her blog.. I'd love to know what you think of it - I'm debating keeping it, but I'm liking it so far. :)

Unlike Brynn, I had issues installing it +  Kelly @blushink asked me if I needed help. Within a few short hours, Kelly had installed it for me on my blog.  So take a peek at her blog templates. If you're looking for a web redesign consider Kelly - I'm still a bit shocked at the amazing kindness in my blog & twitter friends. You are a lovely bunch.  

Wall colour .. *gasp* I said colour

Thanks for your awesome feedback and high fives on our trim project. Nothing beats posting something to come back to find super nice comments. So thank you! We have to take a pause in our trim project as Aubrey has to go back to work. We hope to finish the trim by next Wednesday. In the meantime, I'm debating colour.  Ok, so I freely admit that my idea of colour is different than many people's...I enjoy soft muted colours. So let's tackle some inspirational photos. First up, Nate Berkus. Ok...so this is a colour. I could go bold and do this. (You are laughing over on your end of the computer at the fact that this would be considered bold for me...I know it) I think it is stunning.

And had I know Jen was going to go hang out with Nate, I would have told her to bring my Benjamin Moore paint deck to try to match the colour. (Kidding)
Photo Credit the Los Angeles Times
But again there is the original inspirational photo by Carol Reed. The photo on the left has a soft blue tone to it which is right up my alley as I'm much more drawn to the cooler colours than warm tones. (Remember the kitchen bench disaster - that was when I realized I always should stick to the blues and greens in the house)

Decisions, decisions. Maybe I'll find some inspiration at the Toronto Interior Design Show this weekend.

Sneak peek at the Toronto Interior Design Show

Along with some pretty awesome people, I got to attend a little media preview of the Toronto Interior Design Show here in Toronto. (Hashtag #IDS11 on Twitter) I won't reveal tooo much of the show partially because it was still be assembled and pictures won't do it justice, but it got my heart thumping a little, excited to see some awesome brands all under one roof. And as I try to convince Aubrey to do a kitchen reno, seeing some amazing new appliances coming out onto the market, and cabinetry, well, I am going to pass out from excitement.

Here is Glenn Dixon showing us inside his room. My heart skipped  beat when I saw the trim. Umm....hello! It is gorgeous. And reaffirmed what we are doing to our Dining Room. (Patting myself on the back) And because no Canadian Blog is complete without a shout out to our favourite Sarah Richardson, and her super awesome brother Theo, who has the nicest personality that one could imagine. I love creative types. Here is a sneak peek at one of her rooms.

The interiors seem approachable and something that the consumer could integrate into their home. Check Twitter for the hashtag #IDS11 for some awesome updates from other media people that were there as they were quicker at typing and knew how to upload photos as they were walking the floor. (I'm a bit slow in that department, need to get myself an Iphone)

Adding some detailing to the Dining Room

"Decorating" has been postponed and we are tackling the Dining Room project of adding architectural interest to the room. All of the trim cost us $74 so budget wise, this was the best one to tackle right now.

Aubrey and my brother started on the trim today at noon, and six hours later they were 90% done. Aubrey has to finish off a few more pieces and then it is my turn to get out a paintbrush and paint the trim out. What else? We may possibly add a new colour above the chair rail (don't get too excited, likely a muted colour) and I'd love to also tackle new dining room chairs and a new chandelier ---- I feel that those would take the room to a whole new level of awesome.

Now that's what I call a Kitchen Island

So you are thinking of buying a kitchen for your new house.  You’ve spent a lot of time getting the design of your new house just right and you have invested a fair bit of your hard earned cash in the process...what kind of kitchen do you want, what kind of kitchen do you need.
Do you rush out and visit the local sheds who can sell you something that is definitely fit for purpose and looks quite good, or do you decide to find a kitchen designer with vision who will design a kitchen that will be an anchor onto which you will tether your new house and your future home life.
This kitchen lives up to the surrounding architecture by presenting a solid granite island that is suitable for the sacrificial slaughter of anything un-stylish or un-cool!  There is raw power in this design from the primitive use of the material to the socially impressive cost of the installation.
The Mogul loves this expression of wealth!

The Mogul Passes Judgment on the Kevin McCloud Debate!

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has angered the kitchen industry by openly criticising the relative value of furniture at different ends of the market saying it's all the same!  In his book “43 Principles of Home” he says:  "Frankly, the best made kitchens in the world are still 'carcassed out' using orientated strand board, chipboard or plywood. Structurally, there's a negligible difference in quality between the £5,000 kitchen and its £50,000 equivalent."  Below you will read The Mogul’s thoughts on this issue: (source KBB Review)
"The Kevin McCloud debate is a positive process for the kitchen industry because it is making us take a serious look at ourselves!  We all know how the cost of materials and overheads can vary, and that these factors will cause serious product price differences; but what value is given to the intellectual property of the designer?

This debate overlaps with the ongoing issue of kitchen and bathroom design quality in the UK and charging for it accordingly.   This healthy debate has started a process whereby the true value of any kitchen should be evaluated at its source; with the intellectual input and skill of the designer.

The kitchen and bathroom industry has historically fumbled with the notion that there is a value to good design and designers being rewarded for their efforts!  Skilled bespoke kitchen designers can look at each project as a piece of functional art so surely this should be given a higher value than a mass produced product sold from a pre-manufactured check list!

It’s not just about being a celebrity designer either, as there are thousands of unseen designers working in this country, putting their heart and soul into every project and not being rewarded for it!  If something is designed well, it will work well for longer and give the user greater satisfaction and value for money, even if the product was a little more expensive to begin with!!"
Oh yea, one last point!  Top marks to McCloud’s marketing people who have pulled off a master stroke here by enrolling the entire KBB Industry as spin doctors for his new book! What do they say; any publicity is good publicity!!  
To see the full debate please visit the KBB Review website http://www.kbbreview.com/

Please feel free to give The Mogul your throughts.

Imagine a Kitchen

Just imagine what is possible using Corian!!  Future Kitchens may be integrated into the surrounding architecture....Functional Kitchen Art!

Landscaping Dreams in the Dead of Winter

William Chandler of Chandler Landscaping designed this gorgeous yard featured in Style At Home's May 2010 Issue. Bill, as I know him, also did my parents yard and it is hands down, the most beautiful residential garden I have ever seen. Timeless, sophisticated and traditional would be words I think of when I see his work. I'm doing some graphic design work for Bill (his website is coming soon) and I had mentioned last Summer our dislike of our front yard. Fast forward to a week ago, and after Bill and I were wrapping up a meeting, he slips this out of a folder for me....

It's OUR yard. I was shocked. It was beautiful. I am in in love with the possibilities. Especially what he did for our walkway. Isn't that gorgeous how it isn't just straight, and it is wider - which will be fantastic for the stroller. Bill worked in plants we already had purchased like the Hydrangeas and boxwood's. The garden would be filled with lavender and Thyme and Lilacs. Although we couldn't likely do ALL of the planting right away, getting the new walkway would be an amazing improvement. Not sure if it's in our budget but we will see!  (To see our Front Landscaping wish list from last year here click here) What a perfect time of year to start dreaming of flowers and greenery.

(Main photo courtesy of Style at Home Magazine, May 2010)
Photography by Andreas Trauttmansdorff

Floating Bed...or Kitchen!

When Jan Jaap Ruijssenaars graduated from university as an architect he realised that everything within his chosen discipline was dictated by gravity!  He spent the next 6 years devising a way of defying this natural force.  The resulting platform or bed is repelled from the floor using magnets both in the floor and in the bed.  The working 1:5 model can carry a load of 80KG and the full scale model will be able to carry an impressive 900kg.    
This is an exceptional example of how someone can test the limitations of our imagination and achieve something that may change our future expectations.  The consequence of this advance may be felt in many design disciplines in the future, including kitchen design, and that is why The Mogul feels that this bed is worthy of a slot on KDTT.  The only boundary to this design is the cost!  Being estimated at $1.54 Million Dollars this design is certainly elitist, but through time it may become less expensive and more attainable...at least this shows that the idea is possible! 
The youtube link is worth a look.  Brilliant!! 

Blogger Business Cards

I didn't have business cards for our Designer Meetup a few months back and with the Toronto Interior Design Show coming up, I thought it was about time to just cross it off my list. I won't likely even hand any out, but it's nice to have our blog address written down on a card, with a little blurb about us. Do you have cards with your blog? (Cards designed by me via my Business here) See more photos of the card on my business blog.

The "Goodwill" of Blogging friends

Don't you love blog friends? Kerry e-mailed me to give me the heads up that Shannon found these chairs at Goodwill. If you know Shannon's blog you will know she does awesome Craigslist posts. Priced at $10 each they were a steal, but being a 50% off day, that made them a whopping $5. No brainer, we bought the 4 that were there. But something happened on the way home, we stopped off at my little sisters apartment to see if she could hold on to 2, so we could drive home and low and behold, they looked fabulous in her place. So two stayed with her, and 2 came home with us.

I asked Erin if she thought they would work for her house, and although she thought they wouldn't, in no time she e-mailed me this image, confirming that these chairs are indeed stylish. :)

West Elm

No idea where they will go --- I seriously should rent a storage locker as I have a tendency to collect things like chairs. I originally thought I may paint them a fun colour but the black is growing on me. And they are SUPER comfy. Love them!

Living Room Area Rug

So here is our living room carpet thought process up to date. We are looking for an area rug but have the following things to consider.

Consideration #1 - Who lives here....a baby
We have a baby that is learning to crawl --- carpet has to be somewhat soft (no sisal) Next, we have a baby that is going to spit up, eat food, and spill things. Although I won't let him eat purple Popsicles in here, I also don't want to rope off this room from him. So we have to take into consideration baby messes, which means a carpet with some pattern would be ideal. We tested the front hall carpet from Dash & Albert in here and it was perfect, but it sadly comes not large enough for this room. (Shaking fist at whoever decided to make it 8.5 feet and not 9 over at that company. You ruined everything. Boooo)

 Consideration #2 - Floor Plan

 Here is a floor plan showing you what I'm working with. What we are looking for is an area rug that is ideally between 9.5-10 feet in width, and in length, ideally would be 9 feet long as it would bring the area rug right beneath the couch. Problem is, rugs don't come in those sizes.

So here are my possible options:
(1) Get a rug cut & bound to size of exactly 9x10
(2) Get a pre made rug that is between 9/10feet in width and the lengh can be up to 12 feet. It would just go further behind the couch. We could address this possibly by bringing it to a rug company to cut, and bind. Or, we live with the extra lengh under the couch for a bit.

There you have it. I'm leaning towards Option #2 because Option #1 isn't proving to be as economical as I thought. And I freak out with custom things as I like to see how something will look in a room, before deciding. And after going to Elte and seeing some GORGEOUS rugs my heart is aching for one of them. (See this post and the first photo - aren't they divine?) Seriously, I wish someone in my family was a decorator and would just come in and do this all. It gets kind of stressful sometimes as you don't want to make a (costly) mistake.

Pink Panther in Cologne

Smile Guys...you've been Mogulled!!

Absolutely fantastic kitchen by Brigitte Kitchens...Love the colour...soft but very hedonistic!!


It is always important to consider that the kitchen is not just for cooking....it is an expression of self identity and style to be enjoyed.  The “kitchen experience” can indulge all of the five senses creating a personal catalogue of memories associated with the space. 
Surely kitchen design must be more fully appreciated as a complicated translation of human nature and therefore gain more recognition as a functional art form...  This idea is pivotal to The Mogul’s evaluation of the Kevin McCloud debate about the kitchen industry.  More on that issue later!

Dash & Albert Rug

As I mentioned in our last post we left Elte with a Dash & Albert rug. It unfortunately isn't solving our Living Room issue but it is solving our front hall issue. An indoor/outdoor rug, and not to mention stylish (and, has colour for all of you non-believers) is brightening up our front hall.  I wish it came in the right size for our living room but the largest this comes is 8.5ft and we need is at least 9. That .5 makes a difference between looking like a postage stamp, and looking right. I love, love it. The hunt for a living room carpet continues.

More from IMM Cologne

This design from Nolte Kitchens continues the trend of mixing a wood veneer finish with a pale gloss or satin finshed door to provide variety and warmth to the overall aesthetic.  This idea is extremely commercial at the moment as clients feel that more vibrant or monochrome designs, although fashionable statements of individual style, will simply not last the test of time!

Kitchen design is actually part of the fashion industry with cutting edge designs presenting themselves as a dominant feature in any personal space.  It’s about time some of the designers got a little credit!

Does The Mogul also see some asymmetrical design happening here? 

A Kitchen Fit for a King!...of Rock n Roll!

This is the kitchen that would have greeted Elvis Presley every morning!!  How things have moved on since the late 60's.  Is that carpet on the floor???

More from IMM Cologne

A nice little white number by Nobilia.  Love the etched glass and symmetrical design....with an asymmetrical twist on the base units!