When a Flat Painted Wall Isn't Enough

Interior by Joseph Dirand

Here in North America we live in a postmodern world where new, slick and minimal is what many people want. Or at the very least, it's what everyone is left with to desire. Sometimes, though, all those clean hard lines and polished surfaces are just too, well, clean and polished. Where Europe has embraced their heritage and adapted their modern lifestyles to live within the classic designs of their homes, buildings and cities; North America has kept only facades of what were once amazing structures, displaying rich history through it's architecture and design. Our cities have taken down the ornate poetry of history and replaced them with steel and glass cubes. A bit dramatic, I know. But not far from the truth. Though there are many respectable exceptions to that observation, as well as many respectable reasons behind it all, we are indeed living with an abundance of flat painted walls. However, there has been a change in the tides lately, wherein appreciation for delicate classical moldings, herringbone floors and ornate decoration, is moving to the forefront of interior design and architecture. There is, of course, no shortage of the new, slick and minimal, but we are all starting to understand that there is no reason we can't live with both. 

Well versed practitioners of this sophisticated mix of design history are everywhere in architecture and design. Joseph Dirand, Jean Louis Deniot and Double G Architecture, all Paris-based design talents, are a few of the best designers of this aesthetic. Local Canadian designers like Nam Dang Mitchell and Ste. Marie Art + Design are design icons in the making for their work in modern and classic interplay. Design history was my favorite class in design school and so it goes without saying that I am a true lover of the entire spectrum and history of design. The Bauhaus Movement in Germany, Italian Brutalism, Europe and America's Midcentury Modern Era, Gothic Cathedrals of the world; you name it, I can't get enough of it. I will say that the Art Deco visual design style of the 20s, 30s and 40s is without a doubt, my favorite - but that nerd-out is for a later post. So for now, clickity click below and feast on some ridiculously awesome examples of this design approach. 

1. Interior by Jean Louis Deniot | 2 & 8. Interiors by Joseph Dirand | 3. B&B Italia - Maxalto Credenza | 4. Boboli boutique - Interior by Ste. Marie Art + Design | 5. Club Le Roy Helsinki - Interior by Joanna Laajisto | 6. Interior by Nam Dang Mitchell | 7. Interior by Gilles & Boissier | 9. Interior by Double G Architecture


Starting today I will be in and out of Once A Tree Furniture's showroom putting together my designer room showcase and preparing for the unveiling of the space this coming February 25th. If you haven't already, RSVP at marketing@onceatreefurniture.com to ensure you're on the guest list for that iconic event. Cus you know you don't want to miss it. Be sure to keep following me on Instagram @dexdolores for the behind the scenes action leading up to the big day. And lastly, if you're in dire need of some interior design guidance, go ahead and send me an email. You won't regret it. What are you waiting for?!


Happy Friday everyone!

Dexter DoloresComment
Like Pink? Great! Like Blue? Perfect.

The best of both worlds?

Oftentimes my clients are part of a couple, wherein both will have their ideas of what they want their living space to be. Sometimes one partner will want a pretty, chic and airy space, and the other will want more of a darker, saturated or moodier environment. Which leaves me the challenge of taking those two perspectives and blending them into a cohesively designed room. Such was the case with the clients of the above furniture mock-up, but I have always had an appreciation for those two spectrums of design and love it when a space can meld them together into a successfully designed room. I couldn't wait to start storming up my brain for design ideas to present to them. There were some key pieces (couch, coffee table and chevron rug) my clients had already purchased ahead of starting the project, so that made for a fantastic jumping-off point for me. I knew, as well as my clients, that we wanted to create a space that exudes a subtle sophistication with rustic charm and luxurious chic. We've since started slowly putting all the pieces together and I'm anxiously waiting for the end result when I can share with you guys how it all came together. Stay tuned for that!


Pantone's Color of the Year 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity


On to the blog topic of the day; pink and blue, but more specifically Pantone's Color of the Year: Rose Quartz & Serenity. If you clicked on the link you're probably asking yourself "But pink and blue are two different colors. Right?" Fret no more my fretting friend, your elementary color education has not failed you. 2016 will be the first year Pantone has chosen two colors, Rose Quartz & Serenity, a "warm, embracing rose tone, and a cool tranquil blue". Pantone announced this at the end of last year and since then, these two colors have been popping up everywhere in design, fashion and art. I was asked a month ago to weigh-in on a Georgia Straight article about the colors of the year so click here to check that out.

Pink has been having a moment in fashion and design for a couple of years now so it's interesting to see Pantone spotlighting pink with Rose Quartz but alongside the complimentary blue in Serenity. The combination of pink and blue is far from being a new one. Many designers have used these complementary shades to create movement and tension, as well as harmony and balance in their designs.  Before I was asked to do the article I had not looked-up Pantone's chosen colors but when I did, I was not surprised by the inclusion of pink. I (maybe) even subconsciously chose the dusty rose swivel chair in the mock-up above and threw in those two blue poufs into the mix, because pink in particular has been in vogue lately. Truthfully, that fantastic swivel chair, in my opinion, just needed to be in this particular client's home, regardless of Pantone's color authority. I like that Pantone has chosen two colors that can read either dusty or airy, rather than bright and saturated. I often design spaces that are more neutral, but I am never opposed to using color that, as Chicago and NYC-based interior designer Kara Mann has said, have some depth and dirt thrown in. To incorporate these colors into your home, try pairing them with dark upholstery and warm metals like brass, bronze or black iron to balance the sweetness. For more ways to incorporate Rose Quartz and Serenity into your decor this coming Spring, I have collected some products and interior design inspiration for your viewing pleasure below. Enjoy! (cus how could you not?) 

1. Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chair, West Elm | 2. Oliver Gustav Studio | 3. Frosted Mesh Glass Vase, West Elm | 4. Cloud Shade, Ochre Lighting | 5. Luke Irwin Norrland Rug, Anthropologie | 6. Yvonne Koné Boutique, Interior by Oliver Gustav Studio | 7. Luster Velvet Pillow Case - Dusty Blue, West Elm | 8. Interior by Steven Gambrel | 9. Rolling Cube Sculpture, CB2


Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Spread love, not cooties ;)