advent bags....on the floor

It's almost 2am. This is where the advent bags are - my dining room floor. For the life of me, I never clued in to how LONG this bag lineup would be. And I'm not about to figure out where to hang them, or how to, tonight. I do take some comfort in that Oscar is only a year and a half - so the concept of picking 1 bag from a lineup was going to be tough. What I'll likely do is give him a bag a day, so some fun can be had. Oh - and some of you asked what I filled them with - the bags were filled with fun little trinkets from the dollar store. A rubber lizard, a colouring book - fun silly little things. Happy December 1st!! xo Linds

Stylish Small Kitchen

This is a really stylish small kitchen!  It is so good that the architecture is actually trying to absorb it!  The gentle embrace between kitchen and architecture is great with the designers taking care not to over design this space, instead simple abstract forms and contrasting colours create the impact. 
The elevated detachment from the floor only emphasises the kitchens mutually beneficial relationship with the architectural alcove!  Truly brilliant!

I'm *almost* there

I've successfully ironed on 24 numbers onto Oscar's Advent Bags. I was fully inspired by Kai Ethier for House & Home Magazine who did these. And, it only took me a full YEAR to do it. I'm not kidding you, I actually started this last year. But I suck at iron on transfers, maybe trying to peel them back too soon, and 1/2 of the project was a disaster. With December 1st creeping on me way too quickly, I managed to perfect my skills at ironing on, letting them cool off and peeling back. Like my numbers? Because freebies are fun, click here to download my design of 1 - 24 so you can do your own. Now I just have to figure out 1. what to fill them with and 2. where to hang them. :)

Frankenstein's Kitchen

Welcome to Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory!  An experimental and unconventional place where primitive looking mechanisms influence volumetric flasks and where functional enlightenment is occasionally allowed to bubble to the surface!
This is the latest solution to the green living conundrum by Phillips.  A kitchen that is a self contained organic converter, an advanced experimental processer of food waste to energy!  The Microbial Home concept features this bio-digester which turn's organic waste into methane gas which is then used to power the cooker and also converts solid waste into compost.
But unlike Frankenstein monster this creation should not be feared, after all, kitchen designers are not that scary!  This design should be celebrated as a huge step forward along the evolutionary path of kitchen design.

West Elm Holiday Picks

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

This Thursday is the Etsy night at West Elm [Blogged about here] that my shop was invited to participate in. I'm a big fan of Etsy and I'm a big fan of West Elm so the combo is pretty fantastic in my mind. As I gear up for the night, I'm making a list of some West Elm picks I want to grab while there.  xo Linds

Gingerbread House

This past Saturday, Oscar and I decorated a gingerbread house, along with one of Oscar's friends from the street. My friend and I each bought a pre-made gingerbread houses for the boys and stocked up on extra cool candy from the Bulk Barn. I whipped up some extra icing, got out my cake decorating bags (um, yes, I once took a cake decorating course with my Mom) and went to town. My idea of the perfect gingerbread house is recreating Hansel and Gretel's house. To me, that is the perfect candy house imaginable, no? Oscar kind of  went bananas on sugar (oops), watched as I decorated, and playing with his buddy. Overall, an amazing time was had by all and will surely be a tradition we continue on. Want to see how excited Oscar was with the final product? .....
Read more »

Unorthodox translation of residential kitchen design!

Enter an unorthodox translation of residential kitchen design.  A creation that is inspired by simplicity and has been adorned with a free hung underbelly of function! 
This design is abstract and edgy and may have been inspired by the no nonsense approach needed in a professional kitchen.  No need for frills or complicated social layering, just a desire to get the job done!
Arguably artistic, certainly commercially limited, this design is not for the faint hearted!  Especially considering the questionable extraction system which appears a little unrefined and clumpy for this particular approach.

New Blog Series - BlogPodium

So the big news I had to share got announced via Twitter last Friday night. The news is, Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, and Shannon from What's up Whimsy and I, have come together to create an awesome series of talks all around the topic of blogging - a new series of talks called BlogPodium. [See Jennifer's post on it here] It's pretty fantastic.
Read more »

things that make you love where you live

Do you have things that happen in your neighbourhood that just make you love where you live? This past weekend was one of those reasons. A little Santa Claus Parade for the kids - Complete with homemade floats, the local police division handing out candy canes, the Beach Citizen of the year, the high school band - Things like this are what memories are made of - for kids, and adults. :) I'm sure it takes a great deal of effort, and a lot of volunteers but it is honestly, such a great idea for a neighbourhood.

See more pictures from the parade when you click on read more
Read more »

What didn't get blogged

I've been up until 2am most nights working. Being self employed you take the work when you can, and push yourself - because around the corner there is likely going to be a slow period. It's part of the thrill of running your own business. So seeing as it's my busy season for work, my "creative" projects around the house have been put to the side for the next week. Anyhow, here is what didn't get blogged about
  • I found an old CD Cover I had designed for Markus. (Mine is the one that has the sleeping baby). I totally wish I had more time to illustrate. That is something that I've had to let slide while juggling everything.
  • Love these shoes
  • Everything in this inspiration board I want. Especially that Kate Spade bag. I'm a sucker for stripes.
  • I'm hoping you'll see an announcement from myself and Jen today - we're on the cusp of announcing something that is really very exciting.
  • We're going to our neighbourhood Santa Claus Parade this Sunday. We went last year and it's SO fun. Aubrey has to work so it's likely going to be me and Oscar party crashing on other peoples family time. ;)
Have a great weekend everyone. xo Linds

Origami Kitchen

Way back in September 2010 The Mogul featured Karim Rashid’s Origami kitchen .  This design explores how 3D door profiles can create a fascinating visual illusion which disguises the primary functional role of the kitchen. 
Functional kitchen art is fast becoming a new, trendy medium for artists and designers who do not normally operate within the KBB sector.  Their freedom of expression and unharnessed enthusiasm is changing the evolutionary path of kitchen design.
Kitchen design is changing and The Mogul loves it!!


I get a lot of e-mails about what camera I use so I thought it wouldn't be weird to show you my early Christmas gift. I used to have a Canon Rebel XTi that I've been shooting with for three years, but the camera started to malfunction a bit, and truthfully I was drooling over the features of the updated cameras for awhile. Last week, this beauty came home with me - a gorgeous Canon 60D. For the record, I have a number of cameras in my house including my "purse" camera that I toss in my bag - This camera isn't a "toss in your purse" kind of camera. This is a camera that is off limits to everyone. Even Aubrey. I've VERY territorial with my SLRs. So, the functions on it are crazy cool on this, allowing for wireless speed light control (meaning you can put your external flash somewhere else in the room, and have it go off when you want it to - wireless) This may not seem very important for the regular photographer - but for product photography that I do - this is really cool.

I got my love of photography from my Dad -  a shared joy that we have. I remember my first camera that I got, when I showed interest in photography to get a badge for Brownies. Ever since, I've been an avid photographer. I just really, really like it.
Photos I've taken over the years
Sometimes people ask me what the tricks are to good photography and I wish I could be eloquent enough to explain. This isn't a post about my photography tips - There are a lot of factors, all deserving of their own post. But, what I always tell people about (most) of my shots in our house is that one of my BIGGEST tricks is that I really try to avoid flash.  By not using your flash, you need to allow that shutter to be open just that much longer to allow more light in - so get a tripod. I don't always use the traditional tripod, I use a stack of books, chairs, tables. But having a camera on something steady when you don't have a lot of natural light is a necessity.

But sometimes what you see, is manipulated after the fact. Take for example my pumpkin shot. Shot in daylight, but even still it seemed dark. So I manipulated the levels of the photo on my computer until it seemed right. It's always easier to manipulate photos that have been shot in daylight vs. artificial light, not sure if that's because I'm a novice, or because working with lighting is just overall hard to do.

The big DSLR isn't for everyone. It's big. It's not something  you can toss in your bag (you shouldn't at least) but for someone like me that takes great joy in house shots, product photography, photographing people and events, as well as testing out differen lenses, different settings, it's the best gift ever. :)


The kitchen you own and use can be seen as a reflection of who you are and what you aspire to be.  And just like receiving a tattoo, the permanence of this outward and artistic expression of self can be the result of a lengthy and considered design process. 
Having faith in your style convictions will determine whether or not you choose a personally expressive kitchen like this.

Siding to Shaker

I met with the siding guy today to discuss the options for my house. Siding has been a compromise. Of course, I would have put brick along on the new addition to create a seamless continuation between the old and new, however, money talks. Siding is inexpensive and relatively maintenance free for years. Alas, siding it is, no ifs, ands or buts. Choosing a siding colour was also not a simple task. I keep reminding everyone, "I do interiors, not exteriors!". I have not a clue to these sorts of things. I have no problem admitting my weakness and continue to learn as the house reno moves forward.

My window frames and mullions (the grills inside the glass) are a sand colour. These were kindly donated by Starward Homes. The colour is neutral and will go with anything. I was orginally guided to match the colour of my siding with the window trim colour, but after meeting with the siding professional today, I was told otherwise. He guided me to the new "it" colour, which is called Pebble. I am trusting him on this one, but since I lacked instinct for the colour selection, I am feeling confident!

As we did a "walk through" around the house to answer all his questions, we finally made it to the front of the house. Oh, the thorn in my side. The flat faced barn facade that I have been dying to change.

You remember this before picture of the facade?
The windows have been changed, updated and are not completely installed. We discussed a frieze board (a trim around the window) or flashing (another fancy word for a similar type of trim) but the siding profesh wouldn't have it. He said that they would have to take down all the siding to make that happen! What? Seriously? So now I am left with the question...chaulk in the windows (the white gooey stuff you see around your tubs, windows, etc. to seal in the "gaps") OR consider changing the siding. Which brings me to the point of this post...

Cedar shake is actually underneath the siding currently on my house. Cedar is a naturally water resistant wood that was not only used for siding but also roofs. Cedar shake had become dated, assuming, and someone thought to cover it up.  Well, I am here to tell you, I am bringing it back! The siding guy side he would do it for a reasonable cost, and it would be the best looking option! I couldn't agree more! Now my sad face will have some interest and depth.

Current front siding.

Shaker Siding to be added.

Perhaps some of you think, Cedar shake? That is so cottage and rustic, and I don't disagree. These days, cedar shake is not the same as it use to be. I will be using a "faux" cedar shake siding that will be the same colour as the back siding. No natural cedar here, mainly because of cost and it's not necessary. Continuity is key in design; keep all the colour palette continuing through the exterior and it will merry the house elements together. Here are some examples of cedar shake exteriors....

More contemporary version of Cedar Shake.

Rustic, natural cedar shake.
Natural cedar shake.

Another DIY Advent Calendar

Image credit: Oh Happy Day
I'm working away on my advent calendar/bag project still - ALMOST done! But when I woke up this morning and read this post on Oh Happy Day, with my morning coffee, I thought it was soo good not to share. You can download the free template from Jordans site when you visit the post, and these are actually the exact same bags you can buy in my little shop. Oh, the uses of bags - the only limitations are your creativity. :) xo Linds

West Elm + Etsy Night with yours truly

The lovely folks at ETSY e-mailed me awhile back to let me know that West Elm had picked my shop* to be a part of the Holiday Handmade Night at the Toronto West Elm. Apart from the fact that I will be there, it sounds like a really fun night of shopping. If you do come, I hope you say hello! xo
*My 13x19 Prints are sold exclusively in my Etsy Shop Here

That's SICK!

This kitchen is compact and trendy conjuring up thoughts of hedonistic luxury and causing those with a soft spot for design to salivate with tactile anticipation. 
The rich timber doors have been lovingly trimmed with stainless steel and the design is off set and brilliantly asymmetrical.   Using the machined splash back as a token balancer underneath the wall unit is great and creates the perfect spot for a decanter full of port!  The elevated hobs also give the slender stainless steel worktop a third dimension.
The Mogul feels that this kitchen would be well suited to a hip London club, the kind of place that attracts affluent, upwardly mobile clientele, the kind of people who would call this kitchen “sick” by way of a street cred complement!
This kitchen is cool....this kitchen is SICK!

the official start to the holidays

Sunday was the Santa Claus parade in Toronto, which means in our house, that the Holiday Season is now officially open. We went to my parents to watch the parade (which my Dad had taped) and did the usual Stephenson Family traditions to mark the special occasion. I had tried to take more "festive" photos but we have a child that has a molar coming in. He's so unhappy - but I managed to get one shot of the little guy on my lap, in a moment of happiness. And so now, the boxes of decorations will come out of storage, and I won't feel weird about listening to Christmas music in the house. :) Do you have an official date that you consider the start to the holidays?

Pale into Insignificance!

This design is striking because it has potential to pale into insignificance.  There is a deliberate lack of contrast in this image that dissolves some of the best features so much that they are in danger of not being noticed at all.
The kitchen itself is striking, creating an unusual blend of crisp linear lines and softer geometry.  The kitchen doors are thick and wide with a polished lacquer finish which gives the design a contemporary edge, but this edge has been blunted by the introduction of a scooped, raised panel profile which is reminiscent of a more traditional door shape.  Add to this some quadrant posts a curved breakfast bar area and splash back and the blended look is complete.  The Contemporary Classic style is emphasised further by the kitchen being framed with classical architecture and resting on a beautiful herring bone floor!
If you look really closely you will see some really nice lighting above the island!  More contrast may be required though to make these features shine!

What didn't get blogged about

Happy end of the week everyone.Here is my usual end of the week post, just quickly telling you all of the things that didn't get blogged about. :)
  • We went looking at fridges for research on Wednesday. Can I tell you something? Fridges are EXPENSIVE. Well, maybe it's more like "Lindsay has expensive taste". (That would likely be more accurate.)
  • Dear Design Gods, I want this house. Maybe because they also have my Lee Jofa Fabric on the couch!
  • Um, on that note - I still can't find that Lee Jofa Fabric to buy. So bummed. (Any more tips? I just really love that particular print)
  • Canadian Tire asked me to be a part of their Holiday Decor Crew. Can't wait to share it.  

That's it. A lot of random little things this week. xo Linds

Update: Sorry, the Lee Jofa fabric links previously linked to an item in my shop, I should totally check my links before I post. It's been fixed.

Designer Tip - Teal Accents

I am not sure where my love for teal came from, but lately, all I can think about is painting a wall, or adding some sort of teal accent in my house. I am having trouble deciphering what colours to paint my house. I have no starting point. I am hoping that most of the furnishings in my apartment now, will eventually become new. For the most part, my apartment is full of hand-me-downs and my goal over the next year is to start fresh and update! I digress. Teal. It is a wonderful thing. It is a bold colour that lends itself to a traditional or modern palette.

Teal arm chairs in a rustic setting add a modern vibe. 

Teal accent wall adds a pop of colour and allows the other
accents in the room to pop!

Teal drapes create a dramatic look in this dining room
Interior design works best with continuity. Repeating colours and textures
 on the walls and sofa creates a subtle luxurious look.
Usually we see sofas with neutrals, but if you are feeling
daring, teal could be the answer!
A traditional, masculine setting with a darker velvet teal sofa.

Teal and aqua Wishbone chairs. These are one of my favourite chairs!

Take some teal and splash up your space! It will go with everything! I promise!

Happy reno reading!

Scholtès - Cathedral of Change

It can be argued that those who have vision for change can see in the dark, an ability to stand on the precipice of acceptance, stare into the black abyss of the unknown and gain inspiration from what others cannot see. These inspired moments of insight are rare and the people and institutions that experience them are few but it only takes one inspired thought to wipe the slate clean and create a movement for change.
The kitchen industry in one such area where change is beginning to occur and there is one company in particular that appears brave enough to invest in a new ideal.  Is it possible that premium appliance brand Scholtès could be putting its money where its mouth is and inciting a revolution within the kitchen industry? 
Like many companies they claim to stand for professionalism and excellence but where they are different is in the pursuit of their ideals.  Instead of opening a flagship showroom they decided to open a “Centre of Excellence”, a space that challenges what we know and presents some serious new questions.  It is clear by looking at the images released by the press office that Scholtès and designer Patricia Urquiola have taken the existing showroom model, shredded it and rebuilt the mangled wreckage into a Cathedral of change! 
Stumbling upon Scholtès for the first time it merely seemed that this was a company marketing themselves in a different way, but upon further investigation by The Mogul it appears that Scholtès actually get it!!  They understand the important role kitchen designers play in the enrichment of people’s lives.   This is a company who seem to appreciate the complexities of kitchen design, promoting a multi levelled approached which manifests itself in all kinds of ways.  Scholtès youthful approach demonstrates a passionate desire to do things differently, consciously ignoring tried and tested methods in order to encourage new ideas, models and processes.
Their unorthodox investigation into the influence of kitchen design has recently led to a dramatic performance in their Centre of Excellence.  A specially commissioned theatre piece entitled “A Moment on the Lips” explored how the kitchen can be seen as a metaphor for life!  To The Mogul this performance was a “light bulb moment”, a point of realisation, illuminating the dark design shadow lands where kitchen design had been banished and presenting a new path of recognition and understanding for kitchen designers to walk.   Brilliant! 
So here we have a company who are seeing past the products they sell, past the cabinetry and past the bottom line financials, actively exploring the social complexities of the kitchen and in doing so reshaping the commercial interface between manufacturer and end user.  Is it also possible that by doing things differently and having the ability to see answers in the dark Scholtès will become a catalyst for industry change; unwittingly educating the public and other design disciplines about the power and influence of kitchen design. 
If they manage to pull that one off The Mogul will be the first to give them a pat on the back!