Design

Simple DIY Holiday Décor

It’s safe to say that the holiday season has begun now that it is past Remembrance Day. You have probably been bombarded with Black Friday deals at this point and are trying not to give in the consumer culture around Christmas. Instead of going out and purchasing some new holiday décor that is probably very over-priced. Why not try and create a unique DIY décor piece? Not only is it rewarding, but it’ll be a great conversation starter at your holiday party. Never tried to DIY something before? Here are a couple simple DIY Holiday Décor pieces we found that you can tackle this weekend!

Enchanting Table Decoration

Centerpieces can make a table stunning, but that doesn’t mean that you need to put in a ton of effort. With just a handful of materials which you can gather or probably already have at home and about 20 minutes, you can create this beautiful centerpiece that is sure to create an enchanting mood to your space. All you need is a recycled can in any size you want, wet sand, foliage cuttings, pine cones, some liquid glue, and salt.

Step 1: Make your branches and pine cones snowy by coating the edges of the leaves and pine cones with glue or Mod Podge. After doing so, take a handful of salt and sprinkle it onto the fresh coat of glue. Once the glue has been coated with salt, set it aside for 10 minutes to dry. Gently brush off the excess salt once the glue has dried.

Step 2: Put some sand into the can and add water so that the sand is wet and compact it. The key is to have more sand than water.

Step 3: Arrange your snowy branches and pine cones in the can. You may need to glue some of the pine cones to the branches in order for them to stay in place. As you arrange, make sure to step back and look at your piece from various sides to ensure that the composition is right.

Step 4: If you want to add a bit more oomph to the can, you can wrap some ribbon or twine around it and maybe add a tag. Then you’re done!

*Original DIY found here 

Evergreen Stars

Another simple décor piece are these evergreen stars. They really consist of three main materials and depending on the size, you can probably don’t need to go out and purchase any supplies. You will need 10 popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks or basswood strips (12 inch), a craft knife, wood glue, cut greens and a hot glue gun with glue sticks.

Step 1: If you are using popsicle or coffee stir sticks, cut off the rounded tips.

Step 2: Create 8 spoke base by finding the center point of two sticks lay one over the other to create an X shape. Glue the two together using wood glue and repeat with another pair of sticks. Then arrange the two pairs to create 8 spoke base and them together. Let the wood glue dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: To create the star points, make a V shape with a pair of sticks and glue the point together with wood glue. Then glue the top of the V shape to two points on the 8 spoke base. Repeat until you have 8-star points.

Step 4: Cut your greenery to the lengths of each stick on your 8 point start and hot glue them down. And Voila! You are done!

*Original DIY found here

What DIY holiday décor will you be making this year? Let us know with the hashtag #area3DIYdecor

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How Does Fashion Influence The Home?

When you think about fashion what comes to mind? Probably one of your favorite fast fashion retailers such as H&M or maybe Paris Fashion Week. Perhaps your own closet just popped into your mind. You likely wouldn’t think that today’s fashion also influences the home. Don’t believe us? Think back to the Baroque era when classical music would float down enormous hallways lined with gold ornamentation, rosettes, enormous chandeliers, oil paintings, and intricate rugs. What were people wearing then? Dresses and outfits that were just as elaborate as their homes. We could use the 80s as an example, but we can spare us all those details! Keep reading for our take on the influence fashion has on home trends today!

Color & Texture

Have you ever stepped foot into an entirely pink bathroom? Then you would know the power of color trends of an era – the 1950s in this case. There is a source that all designers look to for the forecast on color trends and that would be Pantone. There is a Pantone Color of The Year which ends up becoming the color you see in trendy clothing, home décor, stationary… we could go on! Did you see a lot of purples this year? It’s because Ultra Violet was the 2018 Color of The Year! Keep a lookout for the 2019 Color of The Year if you want to stay on trend. Fabrics and knits are also influenced by the fashion industry. Wool with natural tones have been trending in fashion and have also become a staple in home furnishings. We love the heathered greys seen on fall and winter coats right now like this Cocoon Coat from Arizta. Camira’s Blazer line of upholstery fabrics echoes that trend perfectly. The creamy chunky sweaters and scarves that are making their way into your closet? Best believe that there will be a similar throw blanket on your sofa!

The Details

Detailing can make or break any piece whether it be an article of clothing, handbag, shoe, furniture or décor. Little things such as revealing or hiding the stitching or buttons can completely change the look. For a very clean and sophisticated look, we suggest looking for hidden stitching that matches the fabric and doing without extra ornament such as buttons. Are you a bit more brave and fun? Go for something more unexpected like a contrasting stitch in a bold color paired with a neutral fabric. We love that you can completely change up the look of the Yoom Soft sofa from Stylex by choosing one of their decorative stitches such as Blanket, Zig Zag or Bowtie in a matching or contrasting thread color. Are you like us and loving the simple forms and lines that are very on trend right now? Fashion-wise, we see these trends exemplified in pieces found at stores like COS and Oak+Fort. We also see these trends translated in home décor pieces also found at retailers such as Litchfield and Parliament.

What trends do you see in fashion and the home? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designfashionhome

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3 Great Vancouver Design Stores

Let’s talk home design stores! Surely you know that there is no shortage of them – especially the online retailers! Of course, there are also the affordable staples that we all flock too like  IKEA, CB2, EQ3, Article, and Structube.  What if you are looking for a more original piece? No, we are not talking about the KALLAX units from IKEA that I’m sure we all have. Let us point you in the direction of three of our favorite home design stores here in Vancouver! Here you will find a lot of great brands. I am sure you have seen many of these products scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram or reading that glossy home design magazine.

Design House

True to its name, Design House has everything well-designed that you would want for your home. I am sure you won’t be surprised to find out that many of the brands that they carry are European! If you are in the Yaletown neighborhood, make sure to pop by their store on Homer Street. You won’t miss it as it is adjacent to Marimekko Vancouver – the only Marimekko Concept Store in Canada! A perfect pairing we must say! Here you will find not only furniture but also lighting and accessories for your home and some quirky gifts such as this concrete desk set from Areaware. Some of our favorite brands which they carry select pieces off include Bludot, Alessi and Normann Copenhagen.

Vancouver Special

With the same name as the architectural style of homes that were built in Vancouver from 1965 to 1985, Vancouver Special offers everything, but cookie-cutter pieces for your home. The list of brands which they carry is extensive but curated nonetheless. Some of our absolute favorite Scandinavian brands are carried here and include Hay and Muuto. What else do we love about this store? Well, if you are looking for a modular sofa, you can custom order one like The Mags Soft from Hay and pick the upholstery you prefer. If you are looking for lighting fixtures or a few outdoor furniture pieces, make sure to take a browse through their selection! Not to mention they offer a great selection of design books, magazines, record players, toss cushions and modern succulent arrangements to name a few other items. A perfect Saturday afternoon shopping excursion.

Inform Interiors

If you have never paid Inform Interiors a visit at their showroom in Gastown on Water St., you must do so! The showroom is stunning with natural light from the skylight streaming down the central staircase which connects all three expansive floors. The pieces you find at Inform are unique, each like a piece of art – and with the quality and price tag to match. With one of the largest selections of design books and magazines, you could spend hours here. Their library is located right behind the staircase on the main floor. The shelving goes from floor to ceiling and is lined with design literature that you cannot resist. Some of the great brands you will find here are Bensen (be to check out the canyon sofa one of our favorites), B & B Italia, Bocci we could keep going……….. but better that you stop by and see for yourself.

What are your favorite home design stores in Vancouver? Let us know with the hashtag #area3homedeisgnstores

 

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Splurge or Save? Maximize Style and Save Money

Let’s face it, no one has an unlimited budget – unless they recently won the lottery. In which case, congratulations! When it comes to many big-ticket items in life there also comes a budget, such as weddings and a new home. This same concept also applies to interior design and creating fabulous high impact spaces. You absolutely could spend top dollar on everything, the question is whether that is necessary? There are certain elements you should not cut corners on – there is a fine line! To splurge or to save? That is the age-old question – keep reading for our answers on how to maximize the style in your space and save money!

Splurge

There are a handful of things that you should splurge on and the rule of thumb is to invest in the areas and things that are used the most. Think about your typical day and figure out where you spend the most time in your home. Chances are, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, bedroom and living area – those are the areas you should invest your money in. In your kitchen and bathroom, you should invest in good quality millwork. In general, millwork is always a big-ticket item, but nothing is worse than having to replace it after a few years because the material is failing or the install was not done well. Make sure you have a hardworking countertop such as quartz that comes with a warranty. The last thing you want is to be fretting over the wine that spilled on your counter and having a permanent stain after a few parties. We love the Fresh Concrete from Caesarstone. They have a visualizer tool on their website which is also very helpful if you are planning a renovation.

Which furniture in your home is most commonly used? Consider your lifestyle. Do you constantly host dinner parties? Have the gang over to watch hockey games? Do you love to hang out with your friends? We often suggest investing in a great sofa or sectional. This tends to take up a lot of visual space and is often the most utilized piece in the home. Whether you want something comfortable to relax in after a hard day? Read a book and take a nap on the weekend? A great space to entertain or a structured sofa to double as your occasional office. If furniture is constructed well with a good frame and hard-wearing upholstery, it could last you years! On that note, you should definitely splurge on pieces that impact your health such as your mattress. Spend time researching and shopping around for one that works for you (and your partner). The benefits of a good night’s sleep are priceless.

Paint is one thing that most people would not spend a bit more money on, but really should as it has a greater impact on your health that you would think. Most paints while they dry, release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Have you ever walked into an enclosed stairwell that was painted ages ago and still smells like wet paint? That is the VOCs from the solvents off-gassing. We recommend looking for a paint that has low to zero VOC content. Yes, it does cost more, but you won’t be breathing in harmful compounds all day. Note the more expensive paints often cover with fewer coats and are easier to use. So less work for you.

Save

Believe it or not, there are tons of things you can save on. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief! As we hinted at earlier, these would be the spaces that you use the least or are not often seen by guests (if that matters to you). Some spaces can be the laundry and mud room, which should be functional and can be more utilitarian. You will probably stress a bit less when you know that the kid’s sports gear has a home and easy to find before the next game. Did you know that Ikea has a storage planner online to help you design your own space?  The other areas such as the basement rec room, kids playroom and patio might be areas you can try to outfit with less costly pieces.

Another rule of thumb is to save on pieces that include the word accent – décor, furniture, and lighting. These are the items that are not 100% necessary but are nice to have to add some oomph to your space. In terms of furniture, you can save on the side tables (have you checked out some of the options from Blu Dot?), accent chairs and nightstands. Things that go on these pieces such as table lamps, toss cushions, throws (how about the chunky cable knit from CB2) and décor should very low on your spend list. Find the best possible deal by keeping an eye out for sales and clearances. If you are so inclined, you can possibly DIY or thrift some of these items too. Just remember before you go overboard that less is more and a few curated items are better than too many.

Finally, one area that you can also save on is the appliances. Yes, it is very tempting to buy the high-end refrigerator with all the neat functions, but will you really use them all? Go for something in the mid-range that suits your needs. Remember that you are paying for the bells and whistles, so make sure you will actually use them. Will you really connect the app on your phone to start the oven? Do you really need a touchscreen on the fridge door? Can you figure out what temperature to bake a pizza or do you need the appliance to program it for you? Don’t get us wrong we love the luxury brands, but if you need to stretch your money there are still options that offer function (maybe with a bit less sleek appeal).

 

What will you splurge and save on? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designsplurgeorsave

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Toronto by Design

They call it the Canadian Big Apple and in many ways, it does feel like a taste of New York City. Step into Yonge-Dundas Square and you will know what we mean! The dynamic metropolis of Toronto is a destination for those who want to experience the urban Canadian life. Perhaps Canadian cities are not on the top of your bucket list for places to travel to, but you should definitely give Toronto a chance! There are so many places to experience great design, so here are a few of our favorite places to eat, drink, see and explore. Happy adventuring!

Eat

Before heading to Toronto, always make sure to comb through Instagram to find photos of restaurants you want to visit. Believe us, your list will become super long! Unless you are spending a few weeks in Toronto, it will take some time to check them all out. There are just so many with beautiful interiors and great food! If you happen to be in the city in the warmer months, be sure to visit Lavelle and Kost. Both are situated on rooftops (with swimming pools) and have spectacular views of the city! Lavelle is in the bustling King West neighborhood and is the perfect spot to grab brunch or a drink by the pool at any time of day. We love their blue cabanas! Kost is on the 44th floor of the award-winning Bisha Hotel designed by Studio Munge. It is inspired by the Baja Peninsula and is an airy escape from the busy city below. Make sure to check out the patio and snap some up-close shots of the CN tower! If you are looking for a boutique stay, look at the Bisha Hotel! Another great place to grab a meal is Kiin – a one-of-a-kind Thai restaurant. Their take on Thai cuisine is exquisite with traditional dishes from all across Thailand. The interiors are also cozy and thoughtful with no detail missed! Be sure to look for the pink grout in the bathroom!

Drink

If there is one thing you will notice, it is that bars are alive all throughout the week in Toronto. You can find a number of them in every neighborhood and they each are special in their own way. If you have the chance, head out to Little Italy. Despite the name of the neighborhood, you can find a couple of great places for Spanish tapas and drinks. Start the night at Bar Raval and ogle at the Gaudi inspired interiors. The intimate bar is hugged from wall to ceiling in a beautiful curving wood and the light is perfectly diffused through bottles on the ceiling to set the mood. After a couple of their signature cocktails, head down the street to Bar Isabel. Grab a table be sure to order some Spanish cured meats and cheeses to pair with your wine. Their house-made sourdough bread is also delicious and if you are feeling adventurous, try the beef tongue and pork-belly! Definitely some of the best Spanish bites you will have outside of Spain. Finally, for those of you who are always on the look-out for caffeine, be sure to stop by Dineen Coffee Co.  Located in the historic Dineen building near the Old Toronto City Hall, this coffee shop is always bustling. Grab a coffee and pastry and take a seat on the red leather banquette bathed by the sun. The soaring ceilings in this space allow for a beautiful chandelier which was once in the iconic Royal York Hotel. The hand-painted tile floors coupled with the intricate millwork which span the height of the space make it seem like it, not from this century. Go early to avoid the rush!

See & Explore

If there is one street you should walk the span of, it is King Street. Lined with distinct brick buildings, you can easily walk many blocks without realizing. Not only are there lots of shops and places to eat, but also some neat parklets along the street! If you get the chance, stop by the Unzipped exhibit put on by Westbank. The admission is complimentary and once inside you will get to experience the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG). Not too far down the street is Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Ladies, if are looking to get pampered, this is the place to go! Be sure to make an appointment ahead of time as it is quite popular. At first glance, you would think that you are walking into a cocktail bar – which is in part it is! Start your salon/spa experience with a drink before you head into the main salon. Depending on which service you are getting, you will be taken into a different area – each with a distinct look and feel. It is definitely a memorable experience. Go ahead, treat yourself!

What would you want to check out in Toronto? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3DesignToronto

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Hardworking Home Office

It’s not uncommon nowadays to find people working from home. With flexible working hours and work that can be done almost anywhere, a lot of former nine-to-five office workers are now able to work remotely. For most, it simply makes sense to forgo the commute, but that also means you need a space to effectively get your tasks done. Working from home has its perks such as more time with the furry friends and kids, but the sofa and dining table is not always the solution. Let’s get down to business and go over what you need for a hardworking home office. Read on!

The Essentials

You need some horizontal working space and that does not necessarily mean you need a huge desk. Think about the kind of work that you do and assess how much space you need to do it. Maybe just a small nook with a few feet of built-in countertop is enough for you and your laptop. We have turned an unused closet into a desk and storage space for clients. Or a very cost effective solution is a piece like this shelving unit from CB2 with an integral desk, also requires minimum space. If you need a desktop monitor (or two), keyboard and some space to lay out paperwork, you will likely need a desk with some depth. Do you find that you are glued to your work for hours on end? Consider getting a height adjustable desk. Studies have found that alternating between seated and standing work throughout the day is good for your health and keeps you engaged and productive. You can find a relatively affordable option like the Skarsta from IKEA! Have a bigger budget? Why not consider Steelcase’s AirTouch height adjustable for anyone, anywhere. Already have a desk? Why not consider one of the Ergtron solutions available from Haworth. They have a variety of space-saving mounting options. Your next investment should be a good chair. A task chair that is fully adjustable should not be optional. Look for one that is height adjustable and has good lumbar support at the minimum. Your back will thank us! If you have the budget, there are some great task chairs from Herman Miller (we are partial to the Sayl which can be found in our office).

Bonus Material

Although a task lamp is usually an afterthought, it should really be one of the first few items you buy. You can get really inexpensive ones from IKEA or some really beautifully designed ones from places like Inform Interiors and YLighting ]. We like to think that a nice desk lamp is like the jewelry for your desk – and it glows! Why do you need a desk lamp? They help to reduce eye strain and if you get one that is dimmable, you can adjust it throughout the day. Of course, we cannot forget about storage. If you run your own business from home you will likely need room for filing amongst other things such as stationary, a printer, and other miscellaneous items. Do you have a small home office? Consider getting a custom millwork solution that gives you plenty of working space, open shelves, and storage behind cabinet doors. By keeping the messy clutter out of sight (but organized) you are able to make your small office feel more spacious. Need some inspiration? We designed some lovely home offices for The Smith and Berkeley Village that illustrates a hardworking home office.

 

 

What does your dream home office include? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designhomeoffice

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Living Minimally

If you have been on Pinterest or Instagram lately, you will have noticed the minimalist trend that has been going on for quite some time. It’s in offices, restaurants, and homes. We will admit that we love that look too, after all, we love white! While some may argue that it is stark and uninviting, it can also be serene. There is something about a space that is purposeful and is not cluttered with excess! So how can you achieve minimalism without going to the extreme? Keep reading for our take on living minimally.

Keep It Simple

To live we need stuff and it is simply not realistic to go on a purge this weekend and rid yourself of 90% of your belongings – minimalism is a lifestyle. In a consumerist culture fueled by websites like Amazon, it’s very easy to accumulate more. We think that the first step to minimalism is to simplify. Slowly pair down to only what you need and go from there. Take some time to go through all your stuff and organize it. You might find that you have multiples of the exact same thing or you own many items that have not seen the light of day. Before you get something new, ask yourself if you already have it or if you really need it. It is easy to act on impulse! When you do go in search for something new, choose to purchase something of quality. Invest in pieces that are well-made and will stand the test of time. If you love it, you won’t find the need to replace it with something new!

Less is More

Mies Van Der Rohe is famous for many beautiful buildings, but his philosophy of “less is more,” is what has truly resonated through time. There is something to be said about a space that is not overly ornamented but is still intriguing and functional. Although the Barcelona Pavilion is an exemplary piece of design, it isn’t a home – a space for living. No one lives in a home with only a couple of Barcelona chairs! One way to achieve that minimalist look is to cleverly hide everything with built-in millwork. If there is a purposeful spot for everything, you are able to eliminate the clutter! How else are you supposed to keep your kitchen counter clear and clean? Aesthetically, keeping with a simple palette can also make a small space feel larger. Where there are too many colors and textures your space can tend to feel crowded. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add in a layer of complexity! Stick with neutrals, play with the different shades and mix up the textures, but keep in mind that less is more! We love the Scandinavian take on minimalism where spaces, furniture pieces, and objects are crafted from quality materials. These spaces are thoughtful despite their simplicity and are warm and inviting.

How are you living minimally? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3livingminimally

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Outdoor Urban Oasis

It has been long awaited, but it is time to say hello to summer! Now that it is July it is safe to say that the Westcoast summer is starting to heat up. The days are long and mostly dry so why would you spend time indoors with the AC on? Warm weather means that it is perfect for spending your evenings and weekends outdoors. Do you live in a townhome with a little backyard or a condo with a patio? Take advantage of that special piece of real estate and create your own getaway – an outdoor urban oasis if you will! Keep reading for your essentials!

Room for Living

It’s time to give your living room a little break and take your living outside! First thing on your list to find? Some comfy lounge seating that does not involve wicker. If you have the space, invest in an outdoor sofa – no outdoor living room is complete without one! We like the casbah modular lounge seating from CB2. The simple frame topped with a thick cushion makes the pieces look light and comfortable, not to mention chic! It’s big enough to kick your feet up while reading a book or even to take a nap. Find an outdoor coffee table that’s not too big, but can accommodate a few drinks, food and maybe even a small potted plant! You can never go wrong with a bit of greenery. Also, add a couple of fun chairs like this Acapulco black egg outdoor chair from CB2  and you’re ready to have a few friends over. Got a little one who doesn’t want to be left out? Why not get them a matching chair that is kid-sized like this one from Crate & Barrel Kids.

Finishing Touches

To make your outdoor urban oasis perfect for any weather – rain or shine – make sure to get a great umbrella. We think that the ones that are cantilevered work the best as they are out of the way don’t disrupt your social space. These cantilever umbrellas from Restoration Hardware are great looking. If you have a small patio, the Bramsom/Fliso patio umbrella from IKEA is the perfect solution and won’t break the bank. Of course, for those of us who like to entertain and enjoy a few beverages on our patio why not upgrade your cooler to something stylish like CB2’s rolling cooler?  Made of cold rolled steel, comes with a drain, bottle cap opener and retro vibe, it’s sure to be a hit at any party. Lastly why not, add some stringed Edison bulb lights and a few hurricanes to set the mood. A few finishing touches could include toss cushions with a statement print like these from West Elm or these simple colorful and affordable Froson cushion covers from IKEA. Now grab that drink sit back and enjoy your evening in your outdoor retreat.

How will you outfit your outdoor urban oasis? Let us know with the hashtag #area3urbanoasis

 

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Current Obsessions

With spring always comes something fresh – be it flowers or in the design world, some new products, inspiration or ideas. We have been keeping our eye out for what’s on the horizon and have decided to share some items that have caught our eye. Keep reading on for our current obsessions!

We Love Chairs

As designers, we have many statements and a statement such as “we love chairs,” is not at all outrageous or surprising. Without chairs, life would be very different and a nice chair can make all the difference. Talk to someone who sits on the same one every single day if you don’t understand what we are talking about! Comfort is always key, but we also like the ones that are very visually appealing too. There are chairs that we love and will continue to use, but there are also some fabulous new designs!

Every year in Milan there is a furniture fair called Salone del Mobile and the one this year concluded not too long ago. Maruni a Japanese brand, released a couple new wooden chairs designed by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison. The Roundish armchair has a single piece of laminated plywood that has been bent and twisted to create an enveloping form – a beautiful fluid shape. Made using precision cutting technology, the Fugu chair is made from solid oak and has a gently curved seat and backrest that looks comfortable and classic.

Another lovely chair that made its debut at Salone del Mobile was the N01 designed by Japanese studio Nendo for Fritz Hansen. This all-wood chair with structural elements made from solid wood while other elements such as the shell are crafted using Fritz Hansen’s plywood technique and nine thin layers of veneer – and is entirely produced by hand. We love the honesty in material that comes across in it’s simple and elegant design aesthetic.

Sometimes as designers we have to work with a tight budget, but we never want to sacrifice design. Luckily, Danish brand Hay has launched a new range of minimal chairs that are as affordable (around 80 Euros) and simple as a “white T-shirt or blue jeans.” Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, the Elementaire chair is polypropylene, but is robust enough to be a long-standing object and certainly is one of the most beautiful plastic chairs we’ve seen. There’s nothing “elementary” about this chair and would look great on a patio!

Accessories for Everyday

While we can talk about chairs for days, accessories are always fun and exciting. As you are planning your upcoming summer getaway and looking for a new piece of luggage, why not customize your own? With three standard sizes, ROAM  allows you to pick from their pre-designed cases or fully customize one to your liking. You will have no problem identifying your luggage next time you’re at the airport carousel! Looking for a new piece of jewelry? We’re loving the pieces from AR.M by Anna Rosa Moschouti a Greek-Dutch architect. Crafted from her studio in Antwerp, each piece is “[focused] on the importance of thoughtful design, responsible sourcing, and honesty.” The line includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that have a neutral palette and simple geometries.

If you are a coffee and design lover – you will love the latest model by Nespresso. The Lattisma one silky white offers the perfect espresso, cappuccino, latte, and coffee with one touch, one capsule. We are so in love with this color I think it’s time for an office upgrade.

What are your current obsessions? Let us know with the hashtag #area3currentobsessions

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Renovation Checklist

Renovations are exciting yet daunting. Chances are, you have been waiting for ages to start a renovation and more and more items are getting added to the list. Some people choose to completely remodel their home in one go while others prefer to do it in small phases. There is no right or wrong as long as you have direction! If you don’t even know where to begin when planning a renovation, keep reading. We have outlined a renovation checklist for you to help you get started.

Have A Plan

Step one is to always have a plan. The three key components of this plan is a wish list, budget, and a timeline. Sit down and create a wish list – one column for what you want and another for what you need and number them according to priority. If you do not live alone, we highly suggest you do this with your partner as you will discover that your priorities may differ. The next step is to determine your budget. This is really important to do before you meet with a designer or contractor and be sure to build in some padding – at least 10% for anything unexpected. You will find that if your budget is tight, then you might only be able to knock off a couple items on that wish list or maybe it will mean that you will have to settle with a more affordable laminate instead of engineered wood floors. And of course, you need to figure out your timeline. If you only have one month before Christmas, then maybe tearing down the walls from your dining room to the kitchen isn’t the right item to tackle on your list.

Do Your Research

If you are not doing the renovation yourself, you will need to find a contractor and/or an interior designer. When looking for an interior designer, make sure they are reputable. We suggest hiring a firm or individual who is a Registered Interior Designer (RID) with experience. This important as they are not only trained and passed examinations, but also carry practicing insurance. We have two RIDs on our team here at Area 3 – Brenda and Kulpreet – who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to every project. Experienced interior designers will also have relationships with reputable contractors that they have worked with and can recommend. This can save you a lot of time. Do a walkthrough or consultation with the interior designer and contractor of your space before a contract is drawn up. There may be an initial consultation fee for this, however, their knowledge and expertise will indicate any red flags, and help you identify what needs to be taken care of. It’s also a great opportunity to see if the designer or contractor are a great fit for you and your project (after all you will be working closely together). Finally, read through and understand your contract before you sign on the dotted line! Contracts can be based on a fixed fee, a fee plus mark up, hourly or even design-build.  If you have a family member or friend who has had a successful renovation ask for a referral.

Be Prepared

Before your renovation can start there are always a few things to take care of. If you are doing a large renovation in your home you may need to move out for a duration of time. A building permit, or simple electrical or plumbing permit may be required. Be prepared this can add weeks to your project while you await approval. What will be your living arrangement? Maybe you can handle living in only half of your home, but where will the existing furniture go?  You may need to rent a storage space to house those pieces until the renovations are complete. Can you function without your kitchen and if so for how long? If you live in a Strata, be sure to clear your renovations with them. There may only be a certain time that construction is permissible due to noise and waste might need to be stored in a location. Some food for thought before you get going!

What is on your renovation wish list? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designrenovation

 

 

 

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