Mindfulness by design

Design is a tool. It can be used to provide solutions, reinvent living, or change our perception throughout space. In today’s age, we really know how to pack in a tight schedule. Though it is still important for us to remember to take the time to rest and restore our energy before we burn out. Easier said than done! Most of the time there just isn’t room for a break with a deadline hanging over our heads, errands to get done, and other people in our lives to support. So how do we create a sense of mindfulness through all this disruption?

That’s when the definition of design plays its integral role in distilling moments of relaxation. Have you ever heard the acronym, “KISS”? Maybe in an old English class? It stands for, Keep it simple stupid. Of course, designing is definitely not the same as writing an essay, nonetheless this acronym really can go a long way in many aspects of our lives. So let’s apply it to designing for mindfulness.

  1. Focused Attention

A messy space can often be a reflection of the mind. Simplify and de-clutter the spaces that surround you. The office should replicate your work, and the bedroom should replicate your personal life. Keep the gadgets out the bedroom, and your personal items at the office to a minimum. When the two spaces coincide it can be hard to stay productive while working. It can be even harder to leave the stress of work behind while trying to rest at night. The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living, is a great coffee table feature to have around the house. If you haven’t flipped through this yet, it’ll do you some serious good! Not only is it full of charming and attractive homes, there are lovely personalized stories to go along with each feature. This book provides some great tidbits on natural living and simple design.

  1. Mind is Body, and Body is Mind

When you’re slouched and sitting in a chair most hours of the day, your mind can easily get just as lazy. Hence the onset of a headache. When we are hunched over a computer, we are actually sitting in an unconscious manner and often unaware of our surroundings. Studies encourage you to make a point of getting up and moving around throughout the day. Why not walk over to your co-workers desk and talk to them instead of sending that email?People who sit a lot have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. A solution would be to check out the popular sit stand desk. A height adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working. A few of the noted benefits are increased productivity, less back pain and may lower blood sugar levels. Workplace furniture companies like Teknion, and Haworth offer plenty of intuitive alternatives for getting the job done. Even fresh air and a sense of soothing sounds can help.

  1. Stretch it Out

I’m not about to preach the benefits of yoga, because I get it. Not everyone has the time or wants to get out on a mat with a room full of strangers. However let me tell you about the benefits of stretching. Provide some space in the home with plenty of clearance, and I guarantee that if you allot 5 minutes of time a day to touch your toes and wiggle your hips, it will shortly become 10, followed by 15. It just feels that good to open things up. A clutter free home, not only feels good, but looks better as well. All you have to do is try reading one of these articles, “What yoga can teach you about entrepreneurship”, or “Why exercise is a higher priority than my business” by Entrepreneur to realize most successful people pay close attention to their health and fitness. That’s what we call good inspiration!


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Frantic Festive Finishes

Well we all know how busy the holidays get! Lots of party invites, family obligations and don’t forget all that Christmas shopping. Have you run out of time yet? One last – but critical element is the scene. Are you still scrambling for some last minute holiday decorating ideas? Don’t worry we have a few quick and modern ideas that will help to ensure your space looks festive while you have a holly jolly good time!

1) Quick fix vase ideas:

Fill a glass vase full of ornaments or flocked sugar pine cones or how about cranberries or mini birch tree cuttings and a single candle?


2) How about a no fuss Christmas tree?

Fill a floor vase with tall branches or twigs and leave au natural or hang a few ornaments of the ends? We love the simple minimalist birch LED trees like those found at Crate and Barrel or Restoration Hardware. You could cluster mini pine trees wrapped in burlap on a table or purchase a cute Charlie brown tree from your local florist. If you a modernist at heart, then why not go for a whimsical zig zag indoor or out “chrimsy warm light” tree.


3) Modern spin on that old wreath:

Go glam with the silver glitter wreath from crate & barrel. It makes a statement to any space and will create a sparkly focal for your winter wonderland. Or be a softy with the plush snowball wreath from CB2. Accessorize yours with twinkle lights or small pops of coloured ornaments to complete the look.


4) Going Geometric:

CB2 offers this modern spin on ornaments. These copper and silver framed Christmas trees will add some shine to any mantle display. Or dazzle your company with these out of this world galactic copper ornaments. These kinetic sculptures will hypnotize you as they spin and twirl in suspension, hanging from the tree or simply provide a focal on any surface.

5) Mantle Pieces:

Ever home needs a place to hang your stockings with care. Why not hang them with some style too? These metal weighted stocking hangers are one part functional and one part décor. Choose from a pair of antlers or a quaint little home which can be fitted with a candle to make your mantle merry. You can also choose to create a small village across your mantle with these porcelain cityscapes all from West elm. Want to add some life to the town? Complement your scene with silver reindeer from Crate & Barrel or acrylic polar bears from CB2. There’s nothing like a winter scene to make the season bright.

6) A Tree Topper:

You may be wondering how to top your tree after seeing the same old thing all the time.  Dont worry we’ve got you covered – how about a starburst of light at the top? Sure to bring a unique look to any tree. Or how about a dance party around the tree?Why not try the  disco ball tree topper for a little more fun? Too flashy? How about a simple silver rattan tree topper which adds a rustic yet classic look to your tree top.

7) DIY 3D snowflakes:

Why not try these DIY simple 3D paper snowflakes? We even made them in our own office which were a big hit. Might make a fun family activity.

1. Fold a square piece of paper in half diagonally, then again into a quarter. Cut three straight lines into the folded piece of paper. (The space between each cut and how many cuts you need will depend on the size of your star).

  1. Open the piece of paper and cut in half, this will become your cutting template.
  2. Fold another square piece of paper in half diagonally and place your cutting template over the top of this. Cut along the cut lines.
  3. Open the square piece of paper you have just cut and flatten. Take the inner triangle cuts and bind the ends together with glue or a stapler.
  4. Take the next triangle cut and fix those ends together but this time in the opposite direction.6. Repeat this process until all ends have been fixed together to create the first point of your star.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining 5 pieces of paper, creating 6 points to your star.
  6. Take 3 of your completed points and stick the top of the points together creating a semi-circle. Make sure that the star points are glued together facing the same direction.
  7. Repeat step 8 for the remaining 3 points of your star and staple both half’s together to secure. Your paper star is now complete!
  8. Suspend from your ceiling with a pushpin and a strand of fishing line. Add some variety by using different scales for a more dynamic look or for a more festive look, choose a coloured paper such as red, green or a frosty blue.6) Paint Swatch Christmas Trees:If you’re like most designers you should have a bunch of these lying around the house or office. If not, pop down to your local Paint or Hardware store for some colour charts. This is where you can have fun looking for some gradients or colour combos that speak to your Christmas spirit. Once you have made your choices, cut these into Christmas tree shapes and using a glue stick apply them to cards or even a wintery backdrop. You can complete the look by accessorizing your trees with paper ornaments and sticky stars. They also make great gift tags. Just don’t forget some brown swatches for trunks!


8) Wood Veneer Ornaments:

This one requires a strong hand and skills with a blade. Depending on your belief of skill level you can choose from a group of materials but cardstock, balsa wood or even a thin veneer sample will do wonders for these Scandinavian/rustic ornaments.

1. Begin by making a Christmas tree template out of paper.

2. Using this paper as your template, cut two Christmas tree shapes out of your material (balsa wood, veneer, cardstock). You have the option here to lay strips of craft paper tape across your tree to give it a snowy look, or using a glue stick coat your tree in glitter.

3. Cut a thin notch through the bottom of one tree (A) and through the top line of the other tree (B). Make sure these notches match each other in length.

4. Insert tree A into tree B and voila – your tree is complete!

Secure the pieces together with a glue gun or accessorize with a string to the top for a hanging ornament. No Time? No problem – merely display on your mantle as a small wooden forest. You can do this with any shape you wish, such as a minimal triangle to save time or any traditional Christmas shape (snowman, stars, angels) it’s up to you!


9) Warm/White Fairy lights:

Restoration hardware has a great choice of coloured lights, starry and globe LED versions that you can add into simple or frosted vase. Try an assortment of vases with these lights which are sure to add a little Christmas magic to any space. Place them on end tables, lower ones on coffee tables, or a variety across your mantle.

10)Paint Swatch Christmas Trees:

If you’re like most designers you should have a bunch of these lying around the house or office. If not, pop down to your local Paint or Hardware store for some colour charts. This is where you can have fun looking for some gradients or colour combos that speak to your Christmas spirit. Once you have made your choices, cut these into Christmas tree shapes and using a glue stick apply them to cards or even a wintery backdrop. You can complete the look by accessorizing your trees with paper ornaments and sticky stars. They also make great gift tags. Just don’t forget some brown swatches for trunks!

colour-swatch-diyWishing you all a very Merry Christmas!





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12 Days to Christmas Gift Guide

In case you don’t have it in with Santa’s elves and are still scrambling for that perfect gift idea….. look no further. From all of us at Area3, we hope you’ll find one or two of these ideas helpful so you can spend a little less time shopping and a bit more time wrapping. We have rounded up 12 of the most difficult people to buy for and sourced original ideas from local stores like Walrus, MEC, Provide, Litchfield and many more to help you out this holiday season.

For her: Every women I know loves these things – beautiful toiletries, decadent candles and of course a nice bottle of wine. Best of all we can enjoy all three at the exact same time. So if all else fails we are confident you can’t go wrong with one of these options. Orling and Wu carries a line of bath and body products called L:A Bruket which come in various scents. How about the luxurious candles that last 45 hours (my personal favorite is Lime Basil and Mandarin) from Jo Malone?  Best for last, drum roll………. the wine. Upon a recent trip to Europe I fell in love with the French Sancerre (unfortunately not as common or readily available here). Everything wine carries a few options like Domaine Foussier ‘Les Romains’ Sancerre Sauvingnon Blanc – this would be sure to put you on my “nice list”.



For him: Who wants a standard gym bag? The Red Flag Duffle bag made of a neoprene rubber is not only durable, chemical and water resistant but pretty darn stylish too! Located on 5th Ave. in Vancouver wings + horns brings a sleek industrial space to life in both its production and retail home. Their cabin fleece available in three colors (back only for the holidays) is boxing inspired and sure to be a hit. Or how about a little pampering for him? At JD’s Barbershop in Gastown along with a cut or shave, every client gets a single malt scotch as soon as they walk in. This was recently one of the top five barbershops by Vancitybuzz.



For the techie: The Apple watch series 2 complete with built in GPS, water resistant up to 50 meters and with multiple bands and faces to choose from  is sure to appeal to many on your Christmas list this year. For the techie and outdoor enthusiast on your list how about the Chip 2.0 Bluetooth compatible in-helmet speakers with simple, glove-friendly controls for audio, phone, voice command and push to talk walkie-talkie functions. This last suggestions is a bit of a tease as it’s not available yet – but too cool not to share! The Kobi is one machine with three different functions: one to mow your lawn, one to remove leaves and one to blow away snow. Check out more on the website, watch the video and stay in the loop for the next release.


For the child on your list: Osmo blocks and games are like Lego for coding. The iPad compatible game and magnetic pieces are designed to teach kids how to program. Little passports offer monthly subscriptions based on age and selection. How about the world explorer which is geared for ages 6-10. They get to discover a new country each month with souvenirs and hands on activities. The first month includes a blue suitcase along with world map, passport and online access to games and more. The classic draw-and-guess game Pictionary lets teenagers explore their drawing and sketching skills.


For the chef: Want to cook the most tender and flavorful meat ever? Be sure to add the Sous Vide to the foodie on your gift list this year. Maybe you will even get a dinner invitation? Edible Canada has a lot of great ideas like – original rubs, infused salts or gift baskets. Available at several locations you are sure to find something for the chef on your list. Getting back to basics, as we are much more consumed with what we are putting in our bodies these days; why not bake your own wholesome bread? Check out the Breville Custom loaf bread maker this model mixes dough for pizza, focaccia and pasta, as well as offers gluten free settings.


For the sports fan: Tickets to the Blue Jays game vs the Mariners. Take a trip down to Seattle and support Canada’s only baseball team. As the American League Division Champions two years in a row, the Toronto Blue Jays are sure to provide quality entertainment for your sports fan. The crowd and atmosphere in the station is electric. With 80% Blue Jays fans attending, everyone is thrilled to be there and cheer on Canada’s team. It’s an experience they won’t forget. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is stopping in Vancouver again this year! Last year the Sevens made its debut in Vancouver to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and proved to be quite the spectacle. The series includes 10 tournaments held around the world where teams compete for World Series points. Known for its action packed plays and fandom, this would be a unique opportunity for your sports fan.


For the camper on your list: Talk about fun? How about the Yalabs soft shell ice cream ball. Encourage your kids to play with their food. Simple ingredients plus 20–30 minutes of shaking and rolling equals a pint of delicious home-made ice cream. They get an outlet for their energy, you get to know exactly what they’re eating. Just the thing to put a new spin on a camping trip, barbeque or birthday. You know what tent everyone will be hanging around! Having a clean shower facility at campsites may not always be the case. Or any shower facility as a matter of fact.But if you have the Texsport Portable delux shower shelter with solar camp shower and battery powered handheld portable shower, you don’t have to wait your turn or look for coins. This is compact and mobile and great for long or short trips


For the artist: Do you know a romantic? Poet? How about the Cinema Lightbox with interchangeable letters that allow you to show off your creative side. Calm and patient? Appreciate the subtlety of color? How about the Gradient Puzzle. For the one on your list who loves to sketch – up their game with the Wacom Intuous Tablet. This sleek tablet gives you the chance to apply your hand directly to the computer. Choose from a wide array of artistic styles that are just as unique as the artist. Drawing, comic art, painting, photography and 3D character modelling are all included with free download and plug ins pack that comes with your Intuous.Bringing your creations to life is as easy as pie with free tutorials to get you started today. Have fun!


For the health nut: Do you have that friend that’s all about Zen? Why not look at this sleek, modern matte black or white aromatherapy diffuser. The benefits include reduce stress, anxiety, induce sleep and a lot more. Are you more about the experience? Then we highly recommend something like the float experience at The Float House which has many locations. Known to help you build focus, strength and expand your mind. Once you’ve completed the float why not head into the infrared sauna (my personal favorite) available at Halsa. With benefits known to improve your physical health, burn calories and release toxins, best of all you will sleep like a baby afterwards.


For the traveler:  Perfect for the avid traveler. You can power through those emails or edit a presentation on the fly with the Microsoft folding keyboard which can be simultaneously paired to any two mobile devices – an IPad, IPhone, Android device, etc. For your next flight might we suggest the Bose QuietComfort® 25 headphones. Even air travel becomes enjoyable, as engine roar gently fades away. No matter how noisy the world is, it’s just you and your music—or simply peace and quiet!


For the home: Honest simple materials make the Concrete Lamp a thing of beauty. It looks great on a desk, bookstand or end table. Perfect for any home. Need something cozy – the luxurious eco-friendly alpca wool throw is a must on any sofa, available in multiple colors (we happen to love the charcoal). Thinking of getting your hostess the tried and true Christmas poinsettia? Why not shake it up this year and get a beautiful succulent that lasts all year long? Kermodi creates a wide variety of sizes and styles.


For the Architect/ Designer on your list: The Chisel and Mouse Architectural Plaster sculptures (designed and made in England) are available locally at Goodge Place. These scenes of beauty can be mounted vertically or placed on a table top – ensured to spark conversations. Change your scale with these miniature concrete houses and various other architectural elements from the Materiallmmaterial Etsy shop. Inspired by modern styles and displaying the raw beauty of concrete, these affordable minute architectural masterpieces are sure to captivate any 3d minded individual. Build your own community as you choose from a wide selection that can be integrated to form a united courtyard.


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3 Ways Interior Design Improves Productivity

It may have never crossed your mind before, but did you know that interior design can improve your productivity? From the moment you wake up to the hours you spend at work, you have to be productive and make the most of every minute you have. There are so many ways to improve your day-to-day productivity with the help of interior design. Here are three ways:

At Work

As much as we don’t like to admit it, we spend most of our days at work and office design can greatly affect the productivity of employees. By simply having access to daylight and views, employee satisfaction goes up and so does their productivity. Being stuck in a cubicle or a stuffy office can also create stagnation. An office setting that is open and warm with spaces to collaborate can help keep productivity up when being isolated and staring at the same white wall becomes too much. A comfortable ergonomic task chair, height adjustable computer screens and personalizing your desk all help as well. For furniture inspiration look no further than Herman Miller, Steelcase and Coalesse to name a few!


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In the Kitchen

When you are finally home from a long day at work and have survived the rush-hour commute the last thing you want to do is spend more time than necessary in the kitchen preparing dinner. If you are looking into getting your kitchen redone anytime soon or are looking for a new place, make sure to keep an eye out for a “working triangle.” Without being too technical, this working triangle is formed by your stove, kitchen sink and fridge. When cooking, a good working triangle formation helps to save you time and makes it easier for you to access what you need quickly. Maximizing countertop space by having useful and accessible millwork that stores all your necessities can also help you become super productive in the kitchen and getting meals on the table in a jiffy. Watch out for smart kitchens coming your way! Everything from appliances that can be remotely accessed via your phone to virtual chefs are on the horizon.




Can you be productive while resting? No, not really, but getting a good nights sleep and being well rested sure can affect your productivity throughout the day no matter what the activity is. For those who work night shifts or are on-call, sleeping can often occur while there is still plenty of daylight. This is when window treatments in addition to a really great mattress is necessary. Your bedroom is often your private escape from the rest of your home, so having a space that is calming and can aid in your relaxation is the key. For those cold Canadian nights, might we suggest installing a fireplace? Not only is it functional, but it adds to the atmosphere. Who doesn’t love curling up to a nice fire with a glass of wine and a good book at the end of the day?



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Well Designed Everyday Objects

We don’t often realize it, but if you pause and take a moment you will notice that everything around you is designed. From the screen you are currently staring at to the chair you are inevitably sitting on, it is the product of design. Great design is often invisible – a quote that I have heard many times before. Don’t believe me? I think our most memorable experiences with design are not usually the ones that take our breath away, but the ones that we think are an epic fail and cause frustration. We love objects that are not only functional, but innovative and beautiful so we have decided to feature a few products from a couple of designers that we admire. You are sure to remember them… in a good way!

Phillipe Starck

This innovative French designer has created products, interior, industrial and architectural design that you are sure to have come across at some point in time. His well-designed objects are affordable and aligns with his “democratic design” concept. It seems Starck has designed every object under the moon from his iconic Juicy Salif juicer to glasses, watches and bathroom fixture lines. His interior design can also be found around the world in world-class hotels, restaurants, stores, bars and clubs. Not impressed yet? You can also check out some of his boat, bike, motorcycle and car designs. What doesn’t he design?

Phillipe Starck

Karim Rashid

Quirky might be the best descriptor for Karim Rashid and his designs. The Canadian-American industrial designer specializes in luxury goods, furniture, lighting, surface design, brand identity and packaging. He is bold, which is represented by his love for the color pink. His work can be described as sensual, with curves and bright colors and that are easily recognizable. You have or have seen his designs in stores. Some of his recognizable products include the Oh Chair and Garbo waste can for Umbra, bobble water bottle, watches and tableware for Alessi and lighting for Artemide, just to name a few.

Karim Rashid

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Design Icons

Studying design in school we have learned about many styles and notable designers. Surely all of them have influenced design and the way it has evolved over the past century and into what we know now. Out of all of the names we became familiar with there are always a handful that holds a special place in our heart. From iconic buildings that exemplify International Style to the chair we now see in every design magazine, these design icons have made their mark.

Mies Van der Rohe

We have mentioned him and his iconic Barcelona Pavilion before in one of our blog posts, “Top 10 Design Quotes,” but Mies’ philosophy of “less is more” is still being widely embraced today. If there is one thing we admire most about his work is his attention to detail and his careful selection of materials – exemplified in the Barcelona Pavilion. Is it fair to say that he paved the way to our appreciation for simplicity and minimalism today? We think so.

Ray & Charles Eames

Does the name sound familiar? It should! You have probably seen their namesake chairs everywhere and probably wanted one or own one. This dynamic duo did not just design iconic furniture pieces but architecture as well – such as Case Study House 8. They are best known for their groundbreaking contributions to American architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing in the 20th century.

Alvar Aalto

With work that includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware, Alvar Aalto is a well-known name. Hailed as one of Finland’s greatest architects, Aalto helped define the style and aesthetic reputation of the Scandinavian nation. Expressionist in style, his work was like art. In his entire career he designed over 500 buildings with approximately 300 built. Although most of his buildings are in Finland, some can also be found in France, Germany, Italy and in the U.S.

Florence Knoll

Founder of Knoll furniture, Florence Knoll is a talented architect and designer that studied under other great names such as Eero Saarinen and Mies Van der Rohe. She revolutionized interior space planning and is famous for her philosophy of “total design.” She approached design by embracing everything about a space – architecture, interior design, graphics, textiles and manufacturing. She set the standard in the mid 20th century and is now the standard today.

Design Icons

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10 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow For Design

There are plenty of design accounts out there on Instagram, some good, some bad, but who has the hours to go through all of them nowadays. So we have done the work for you and broken down the 10 best design influencers we think you should follow. Do you have a favorite you think we should include? #area3instagram


Oracle Fox

Fashion, Interior Design

Amanda Shadforth is well known in the fashion industry as an influential stylist, photographer, and creator. When it comes to all things minimal and black and white, be prepared to drool over her gram account for hours! Oraclefox will not disappoint a single woman out there, take our word for it.




The Aviary

Design, Local

Love feeding off the creativity of other designers and architects alike? This feed features current undertakings happening in the coworking studio space available. The Aviary keeps you connected to independent and local BC designers, as well as upcoming events and showroom exhibits.




Design Milk Everyday

Home Décor

You’re probably already following @designmilk, but have you checked out Design Milk Everyday? Everyday they showcase one single beautiful object. Find accessories and furniture with the same modern aesthetic as their sister account.





If you’re like us and you love wearing anything but colour that comes in a soft and flowing fabric, then this is just the feed for you. Figtny will have your credit card in its clutches so scroll with caution!




ADDRESS Assembly 

Design, Local

Check in with ADDRESS Assembly for showroom details and works by various contemporary creators of all realms. Founder of ADDRESS, Kate Duncan, has put together a team of exceptional local designers who go above and beyond, including Fabulous Furnishings, Cloth Studio, Pot Inc., MaK Interiors and many more.




Whiting Architects 

Interior Design, Architecture

Just Down Under, this Australia based team is definitely worth checking out for appreciators of holistic design. Whiting Architects focuses on commercial and residential projects that take on an overall simple and functional aesthetic. Their next award should be for beautiful material layering and contrast





Lighting Design, Local

Annnnnnd…let there be light! And Light is a company based out of Vancouver “with a strong belief in forward thinking, and environmentally conscious design through innovative production methods”. We’re currently loving their pipline CM2 pendant fixture, what about you?

blog photo

Home Décor, Interior Design

The Scandinavians are paving way for simplicity and minimalistic home design. Don’t believe us? Simple Form proves it all.



Not all inspiration comes from a feed of beautiful interiors, some of it needs to come from one guy capturing all things white, our favorite colour here at Area3. Wk.Ai will be your new muse. With his fragments of white frames, you’ll be itching to fill in the rest!






You finally made it through the work week and your home is looking top notch because your Instagram feed is as inspiring as ever. So let’s unwind and celebrate at yours with a beverage just as creative and chic as you are with Ashley and her refreshing cocktail recipes.


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What’s In Store For Fall

We’re in the last bit of summer now and as much as we’d like to soak it all up in complete and utter relaxation there’s a small part in each of us that must be a tad curious about this upcoming fall season of 2016. Take a peek below and start planning how you can stay on trend.

Colour’s in the Clear

Looks like colour is coming back to play! In particular, river blue and mustard yellow are getting mixed into interiors all over the place. Let’s remember to be subtle about it though and stick with accents and décor. Think upholstery, pillows, throws, and kitchen accessories. As the colder fall season approaches and change can be a little stressful to some at times, blue hues will help keep all that relaxation you did over the summer alive. Wrap yourself up in a deep blue cozy throw with your morning coffee before you start a busy day of work. As we start to see a lack of sun shining into our lives, coming home to pops of yellow here and there will reawaken and uplift any mood effortlessly. Think Mansur Gavriel’s clutches in “sun” while you check out Crate and Barrel’s new kitchen line up of accessories. Warning: Colour with caution; try not to overdo it or else we lose the effects these saturated hues have on us. Try balancing all this colour with a neutral backdrop such as white, grey, or black.

Tech-“no” living rooms

Gadgets out in the open of living rooms are no longer as cool as they used to be. Being connected and plugged into phones, laptops and televisions all day can be a lot on the mind. Did you know the average person spends approximately 8 hours a day in front of a screen? Not very cool. What is cool is having a living room to come home to and unwind your body, soul, and mind away from constant stimulation. A space where you can connect and bond with actual humans! Find a way to hide, store, or clean up your home entertainment in the living room. There are plenty of TV lifts that go inside of cabinets and extend and descend your television upon demand, and Room in Order has lots of cable management solutions like the Yamakazi cable box. Or invest in smart technology that condenses everything into one. Look out for Google Home, a small modern cylinder that works as a radio, speaker, and manages your everyday tasks. Better yet though, have no technology at all in your living room, minimize your use in front of a screen and downsize on the extent of your home entertainment entirely. Spaces where “less is more” are clearing out the clutter this fall.

Metal Detailing

Metal hardware has been just as popular as American politics, exposed, eye catching, and enticing, and it’s not going anywhere either. However, this year’s fall hardware is taking on a warmer and edgier appeal with colours like rosy copper, brushed brass, and polished gun metal. From the runway to your hallway let’s take a look at how these metals are entering our homes. Roll and Hill’s Demeter table lamp is the perfect example of these pairings; a balanced brushed brass shade set on top of half a sphere of white marble. Words don’t do its beauty justice. While we’re on the subject of brass, you’re not going to want to tidy up your belongings into drawers if they are looking as good as the Oji brass bottle openers at Litchfield in Gastown. It’s back to basics this fall, metal combined with natural and raw materials such as concrete and classic stones is your foundation. Though if you must tidy away your accessories, or trending locally made jewelry from Little Dream (hint hint they have great finds), place one of Umbra’s cute metal containers on the counter.

Now that you’ve finished reading this, can you envision all three of these trends working together in one area? Picture this: river blue and brushed brass accents and accessories in a chilled out white living room.

Fall Trends

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New & Notable Art Galleries

Great art should provoke an emotion and leave a lasting impression. Many cities have had the chance to provide the masses with this opportunity. We are very excited that Vancouver has three new galleries that are either now open or opening soon for all of us art enthusiasts to enjoy.

Audain Art Museum

Nestled in a wooded area at the base of Blackcomb Mountain near Whistler Village is the newly opened Audain Art Museum designed by architect John Patkau. The 56,000 square foot gallery features a collection of First Nations art over the last 200 years. Works of Emily Carr, E.J. Hughes, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace are permanently represented there. The building (which cost $30 million to build) and the art collection was donated by Polygon Homes’ chairman, Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa. The angular, dark metal-clad structure was designed to blend into the forest that surrounds it with only one tree removed on the site to build it. This museum is definitely a stop on your next trip to Whistler.

The Polygon Gallery

Another notable gallery designed by Patkau Architects is The Polygon Gallery located in North Vancouver. The new public art gallery is a part of the revitalization effort to turn the waterfront on the North Shore into a new cultural hub. Upon completion in 2017, the 19,000 square foot space will feature contemporary art from local Vancouver artists. The building will have space for galleries, events and community engagement and is accessible to all with affordable admission fees – $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free of charge for youth and children.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Located at West Georgia and Cambie Streets in downtown Vancouver will be the new home of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The winning design for the new building that features a wood exterior is by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and will have 85,000 square feet of exhibition space and includes a new education centre with a large 350-seat auditorium, library services and archives. The project cost is estimated at $350 million and will be underway once all the funds are raised.

New & Notable Art Galleries

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New Iconic Architecture in Vancouver

It isn’t everyday that we see an addition to Vancouver’s skyline that doesn’t include a typical rectilinear shaped tower with a glass façade. For all of us design enthusiasts, we always hope that one day a unique architectural masterpiece will rise up in Vancouver and help put us on the map as a city with an appreciation for design. To our delight we are slowly seeing some progress with some exciting new towers going up in the next few years in the downtown area. Here are the three that we are keeping an eye out for!

Vancouver House

Already under construction, Vancouver House is a game changer. Designed by the Danish design giants Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Canadian firm DIALOG, Vancouver House is the epitome of world-class architecture in Vancouver. With a triangular base that twists and expands this unique tower appears to defy gravity. Once it is completed in 2018, Vancouver House will energize the Beach Avenue and Howe Street location it sits on that has been a tight and dark wedge of space darkened by a bridge off-ramp for years. Also keep a lookout for the market-style area under the nearby Granville Street Bridge that Westbank will be implementing with a budget of 4 million dollars!

Vancouver House


Providing a distinctive new entrance into Vancouver from Stanley Park and the North Shore is the proposed jenga-like tower at 1500 West Georgia Street. Designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, this unique tower will rise up 436 feet and feature rectangular blocks that protrude out of the upper levels connecting the indoor and outdoor environment. As Bosa Properties’ most architecturally ambitious project, the building will also have green features such as solar panels and will aim for LEED Platinum certification.

Jenga Tower

Alberni by Kuma

For his first tall building in North America, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed a residential tower in Vancouver. With a curved silhouette created by two concave sides, the 43-storey condominium will be in the West End and is located near the entrance to Stanley Park. Through materiality, the design aims to convey a sense of connectivity and transparency using anodized aluminum and glass. Referencing traditional Japanese gardens, the building will be surrounded by trees and moss and reinforces the design that celebrates the presence of nature in Vancouver.

Alberni by Kuma

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