June 2015

Why I Love White

We’ve all heard about fifty shades of grey – how about fifty shades of white!  Actually all you really need is Pratt & Lambert Designer White 33-1… Please come back!  White is fresh, clean, pure, modern, transitional, sexy, streamlined, industrial, trendy and fashionable. Oh how I love thee!  Every room should start with a base of white. In our sometimes gloomy Vancouver days why not lighten up and embrace the best color ever?  Here are a few of our favorite things about white and how you can inject this magical color in your own space.

Clean Slate

Some people think an all-white space is too sterile and bland. In fact as a designer this is one of the hardest spaces to pull off. In any case we disagree! White makes a wonderful base for any style. Think of this as a blank canvas for your space. You can choose to play with textures, small punches of color or art to really make a statement and create various effects. Those red toss cushions really pop when everything else is white. White can come across as serene, peaceful, very organic or demand attention if it’s drama you crave. White also helps create the illusion of a larger more expansive space. Great for small areas (can you say 600 sq. ft. condo?).

Texture

If you still haven’t fallen in love with white like we have, you will soon! The wonderful thing about white is the ability to play with textures. Why not have a high gloss white kitchen with beautiful white marble countertop. It’s a show stopper I assure you!  Play with tiles. Gloss on the wall and matte on the floor in the bathroom. Living spaces can be warmed up with a soft white rug beneath your sofa piled with cushions covered in various textures. If you’re still not comfortable with white yet try a white wallpaper with a bit of texture. One of our favorites by Metro wallcovering is Vescom Tonga (you should check out our washroom). It adds character and interest without being too daring!

Gallery Inspired

We’ve all been to an art gallery or a museum. Those crisp white walls make a perfect backdrop to the artwork and sculptures. Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a gallery inspired home? Try it for yourself – do you own a piece of cherished or original art? Place it on a white wall and watch it magically come to life. A popular trend is a family wall. Try framing all your photos in white on white wall and your memories will take center stage. Add some great lighting and be sure to hang at optimal viewing height and your guests are sure to be impressed.

 

What do you love about white?  How do you use it?  Have you ever met a designer that doesn’t like it?  Share your thoughts or image with us by using the hashtag #area3white

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Spa Retreat at Home

The view in the distance is perfectly still. You feel nothing but serene and tranquil. The smell of lavender, candle light and a perfectly warm bath is just what you need after a long day. Do you ever close your eyes and wish you were at a spa retreat?  A trip to the spa is usually pricey and an indulgence on special occasions. I am sure anyone would love to come home to a space where they can unwind and relax. If you are considering a bathroom renovation, here are some of our suggestions to create your dream spa retreat at home.

It’s all about the Details

Believe it or not, the details can make or break a space especially a small one. In fact, even more so in a small space! You will find that by just changing up your bathroom accessories your bathroom will instantly get an update. One of our favorite lines is Kartners bathroom accessories. We are loving the sleek and minimalist look. Have you seen the small 7-9” towel bars that are replacing the dated towel rings? Special details like a floating ledge allow you to line up candles while soaking in the tub. Recessed medicine cabinets that have electric outlets inside for your toothbrush and shaver keep the mess to a minimum. How about a recessed shower niche to keep all your toiletries organized?

Monochromatic

Look at the most relaxing spaces and spas and you will usually find a very simple, clean color palette. Cool and refreshing, mostly a play on textures to create interest. Think of purity and organic. Colors such as Sherwin Williams SW 7005 Pure White, SW 7016 Sensible Gray, SW 6197 Aloof Gray & SW 6198 Sensible Hue come to mind.

Standing in the Rain

If you’re fortunate enough and have the space, the free standing tubs and roman tub fillers are a beautiful addition to any washroom. Recently we have been requested by clients for a Japanese soaker tub – these can even include Chroma therapy and jets. Doesn’t that sound spa like? Showers don’t have to be left in the dust. How about a Hansgrohe Raindance Rainfall AIR 240 showerhead that has settings such as RainAir, Rainflow Waterfall and WhirlAir. You will never want to get dressed. It’s an incredible experience!  Retreat can become a reality.

 

What does your dream at home spa retreat look like? Show us by using the hashtag #Area3SpaRetreat

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Patio Retreat

Ahhh summer, the long warm days and endless sunshine that we long for all year. Spending evenings and weekends on a patio with your friends or just a good book and a delicious glass of sangria… Who doesn’t love that?!  With its official arrival in less than a week, it’s time to get your outdoor space ready for the season. Whether you have a small patio, a large deck or a backyard, you can easily spice it up. When it comes to an outdoor space, it’s all about the atmosphere. From lighting to textiles, there are many ways you can make your space warm and inviting. Dust off your patio furniture and read on for some of our suggestions!

Green Galore!

We are loving the use of greenery to create a retreat and add a pop of vibrant color. Get a planter, take a trip to your local nursery and create your own beautiful piece… or a few! If you live in the city, but can’t afford to give up any of that precious patio space to a planter, consider getting some wall planters and fill them with small plants such as succulents. We have found some from West Elm that we absolutely adore! Terrariums also look amazing on your patio table and then at the end of the season you can bring them indoors to enjoy.

Oh-so-touchable Textiles

Who said that textiles must stay indoors? There’s nothing like the feeling of a soft rug under your bare feet and fluffy toss cushions you can fall into. Use the outdoor rug to define your seating arrangement. Introduce a fun pattern if you dare? Retailers such as IKEA, Crate & Barrel and West Elm to name just a few have a wide range of selection to suit any style or budget.

All about Atmosphere

If there’s anything that can transform a space, it is definitely lighting. One of the most popular trends are string lights. Whether you like vintage bulbs or cute white lanterns, a string of lights can really set the mood. The best part is that you don’t have to spend much to get the effect! Add to the atmosphere by placing a few lanterns and hurricanes on your table – simple but oh-so-moody. If you have a larger budget and want something fun, Smart & Green offer a ball LED indoor-outdoor lamp that we recently specified in one of our projects. Play with lighting and you can transform your outdoor space to look like one straight out of a magazine!

What will you choose to create your perfect outdoor space this summer? Let us know or share a photo with us with the hashtag #area3patio.

 

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The Real Deal

Late nights, missed meals and countless hours spent staring bleary eyed at a screen – sound familiar? It’s the typical life of a student, a life that I know well and will be returning to in three short months. Except I am an interior design student, and school does not just consist of going to class, studying and writing exams. A typical day for me during a semester is fourteen hours spent toiling away on projects in the studio – working on group studio projects, preparing seminar presentations, making models and AutoCAD… lots of it. If you have ever come across any posts about the life of an Architecture student, you have read about my everyday struggles. While in school – if I could sleep under my desk in the studio, I would! Except all of that changed just three weeks ago when I walked through the door at Area3 and started as a junior designer for the summer.

 

It all began with a phone call at midnight from my good friend Allison (she had worked for Area3 last summer) and was helping them look for another student to help with projects this summer. Little did I know that I would get a call from Lisa the next day and start working there the very next week! As exciting as it all was, I was equally as scared. From Kwantlen Polytechnic University Interior Design alumni, I have heard that working and going to school is completely different – and it is completely true! I am getting regular amounts of sleep, eating regular meals and seeing daylight (lots of it)!

 

Working at Area3 has opened up my eyes to a different side of interior design – the “Reality” of it. In school, we start and finish entire projects in as little as three weeks. We have fictional clients, unlimited budgets and crazy concepts that you can only get away with in school – a squirrel concept loft, anyone? Every day I am at Area3 I learn something new, from timelines to budgets, not to mention real clients – it is an exciting world that I am slowly getting to know. If you asked me three weeks ago what a James Hardie plank was, I would have stared back at you with a blank expression. The world of exteriors was something I never thought I would have to know about as an Interior Designer. Something else we do not learn much about in school – is the business of interior design. It takes a lot of coordination, communication, teamwork and of course, creativity.  It takes many people to complete a project and interior designers are the important connecting link.

 

It is refreshing and exciting coming in everyday working with the amazing Area3 team. I have only been here for a few weeks, but it has been an amazing experience so far. I am looking forward to the rest of the summer here and sharing my experiences with you here on their blog! Stay tuned for the coming posts.

 

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