Author

Mia Gunson

Summer in Canada has almost come and in Calgary the season can be a short one. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful, elegant and usable outdoor space to make the most of the sunny summer days and nights.

Whether you have a large yard, wood deck, stone patio or balcony, consider what you really want to be doing in that space. Is it for entertaining, playtime with the kids, feet up with book in hand or all of the above.

Outdoor living

Outdoor Furniture

Gone are the days of the simple white plastic lawn chair. Today’s choices for outdoor dining and seating are limitless. From wood to fabric, consider your needs and how much maintenance you are willing to put into your purchase.

Outdoor living

Any type of patio furniture will last longer with routine care. During cold weather seasons, when the patio is no longer in use, store your patio furniture in a garage, basement or garden shed. If you don’t have a place to store your patio furniture over the winter use a cover or tarp. It will make it last longer as the elements will damage it over time. Calgary winters will not be kind to furniture left to the elements.

During warm weather, wash seat cushions once a month with one part bleach to 10 parts warm water. And a few drops of dish detergent to the mix and let sun dry if possible. If you have wrought iron, wash and wax it a few times a year. For wood, use a gentle solution like Murphy’s Wood Soap to keep clean then oil if necessary.

Outdoor living

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If you plan on buying cushions for your outdoor furniture set also make sure that they have a high UV rating and ventilation slits to avoid sun and moisture damage. Mildew-resistant acrylic fabric is long-lasting.

Outdoor Cooking

The backyard barbeque that your Dad used to grill bratwurst and steak has had a major upgrade. Old black charcoal blocks have been replaced with clean lines, sleek looks and superior aesthetics.

Barbeques are no longer just for cooking. Just as kitchen appliances are now more than utilitarian devices, the barbeque can add a great deal to the look and aesthetics of you outdoor space. So, with the seemingly endless options for grills don’t forget to incorporate one early on in your backyard planning.

And go from this:

Outdoor living

To this:

Outdoor living

Outdoor Accents

And just because it’s the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t add beautiful accents and art to make your space even more beautiful. Hang some art. Add some decorative touches. There doesn’t need to be a distinction between inside and outside elegance.

Outdoor living

Outdoor living

Author bio:

Ana Cummings, of ANA Interiors is the only IDRC and CDECA multiple award winning show home designer in Calgary. Her work is internationally published and her studio offers full service interior design and decorating that specializes in original unable-to-leave spaces. Ana is a graduate of Mount Royal University, a member of the Calgary Design Group (CDG), Interior Décor Resources Canada (IDRC), and interim President of the Canadian Decorators’ Association Alberta Chapter (CDECA).

Feature image source: Belderbos.co.uk

You know that excitement and rush of feelings you get when you spot that perfect shoe in the window or that impeccably tailored dress you simply feel you must have? Yes, fashion designing turned into decorating gives you the same awe-like feeling only, this time around, translated into your favorite pieces of furniture.

Fashion designers turning interior is the latest and ultimate kick

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Imagine having the opportunity to sit on a fabric designed by Diane Von Furstenberg herself and actually have it a part of your interior; Giorgio Armani lines, Dolce & Gabbana vibes, Cavali extravaganza or Salvatore Ferragamo’s romanticism of space…are just some of the names that pop in our head when we think about the latest trends in interior design.

To be honest, none of us is getting really surprised with the news that fashion designers are taking it to a new level now; if anything, it was a logical stream of development, with their creative genius finding all niches that will have their creativity supported while at the same time keeping it recognizable, desired and, well, expensive.

Dolche Gabbana fashion interiors

Image credits: 1, 2

Fashion designers turned interior designers have one big advantage over “regular” interior designers; they have already built a brand for themselves, they are already an adored trademark so there is no dispute if the translation of their clothes and style into furniture would work. Even if it happens not to, they’d be allowed a few slips and have a few passes at least until they get it right. In the end – the amazement before what they managed to accomplish and the beauty of their creativity replicated onto the living space is simply stunning.

We are allowed to ask, though – what may be the motive of this transition? Is it the never-fully-satisfied-rich-and-spoiled-clients? The models? The fact they might have got bored with doing one and the same? Or is it just that there is so much creativity in them that keeping it focused to runway only doesn’t seem enough anymore? Well, whatever it is, it’s amazing and we are loving every second of it.

Christian Lacroix fashion designers
Image credits: 1, 2

If you ever get the chance to pop over to Milan, make sure you see Hotel Maison Moschino which is nothing but spectacular and Hotel Bulgari featuring such refinement and attention to detail that it’s absolutely breathtaking; when in Edinburgh, see the Missoni Hotel and if you happen to drop by Berlin, go to Schlosshotel im Grunewald, by Karl Lagerfeld. The hotel is a true reflection of its designer – gloomy but chic, stunning and utterly overwhelming. If you are feeling like you could use a bit of exotic in your life, opt for Dubai – Hotel Armani (definitely something you need to experience firsthand) or Palazzo Versace in Australia. Donatella Versace oversaw every single detail of this opulent resort and guess what? There is a Palazzo Versace Dubai, also!

Versace fashion designers trend
Image credits: 1, 2

What’s evident is that designers are either using some of their most recognizable collections for the translation to the interior design, or they are sticking to their signature colors and patterns for the added recognition. And, do they find the whole process of “designing for the furniture” hard? If anything, it’s probably challenging.

I only know how to design clothes, so in a way I ‘dressed’ the furniture”, said Gaultier for the Independent. “When I design my couture and prêt-à-porter collections, of course I supervise everything. I can sometimes have ten fittings for a couture dress until I am satisfied with it. The dresses are then made in my atelier so I can follow it beginning to end. For the furniture, which is not my domain, I had a wonderful partner in Roche Bobois who could supervise the production and turn my drawings into a reality.”

Dear interior designers, you better watch your backs because fashion designers are rapidly stepping on to your turf, and they are doing it superbly!

An interior design trend gaining popularity fast, Shabby Chic is characterized by vintage and antique furniture, accessories and extras arranged to create an opulent, yet comfy ambiance. Sometimes marked by an intentionally affected note to distinguish it from the genuine era décor, the shabby chic style plays well with most classic designs and decorative touches, such as floral details, pastel tones and wooden elements. To achieve a shabby chic feel in your home, consider one of these design ideas– we guarantee you’ll fall in love with your new home groove!

Antique-looking art frames: Chic shows in outlines too

Lavish frames and mirrors with ornate frame details and elements occupy an imposing place on shabby chic walls and add a dash of opulence to the room. For best visual impressions, you can pick up a stylish frame at the antique store or even local flea market, sand it, repaint it and hang it over a group of chairs, sofas or the mantelpiece.

Image Credits: Rachel Ashwell

Drop formal seating. A shabby chic lounging area

If you’re looking to transform your dining or living room into a piece of shabby chic bliss, consider regrouping your seating area and swapping mainstream formal chairs and sofas for style reproductions and replicas evocative of the bygone eras. If you can’t afford a major investment in new classy furnishings, you can always grab some fancy pieces at a garage sale or antiques store, or find items in your attic or basement which you’ll be able to overhaul with vintage-looking touches like rich fabrics in neutral tones and fresh paint coats.

Chase away darkness: Add a chic chandelier to the room

Every room needs decent lighting to be comfortable, cozy and pleasing to all senses, and in shabby chic, illumination options go hand in hand with style and elegance. For the vital touch of light to ward off the darkness, get a modern chandelier reproduction or find a true blue vintage piece in your attic, basement or local store with used or overhauled furnishings. A carefully selected chandelier may as well make up the visual class for other slight oversights in terms of accessories and colors of your furniture.

Image Credits:Dreamy Whites

Tableware in retro style: Linen napkins for neatness

Linen napkins and similar fine dining accessories will perfectly supplement your shabby chic tableware and bring back the spirit of classy candlelit dinners. If you don’t have linen napkins, you can always redo old tablecloths into a matching napkin set – these will go perfectly with vintage silverware.

The trademark airs of chic: Airy, graceful bedroom ambiance

Make your bedroom a place of shabby chic comfort with the help of some white linens, pastel or white furnishing accessories like framed needlework and tapestries. Also, add soft cushions with floral designs, vintage patterns and a touch of color to liven up the atmosphere and make it gracefully chic.

Image Credits: Melina Divani

Shabby chic outdoors: Garden furniture with a retro feel

In case your outdoor furnishings have gone faded and worn-out due to exposure to the elements, they will be excellent supplements to a shabby chic garden. For a snug yet chic feel in your garden, try using wicker pieces and furniture in white and pastel tones. Iron also fits the shabby chic bill well, so consider getting some elegant iron chairs for your modish backyard.

Image Credits:Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

Storage a la shabby chic: Elegance and functionality meet

For a fresh decorative touch, try using worn-out dressers and similar storage furnishings to pack your gear around your home or office. From bedrooms and living rooms to halls and dining areas, old dressers and chests with sanded-out surface will prove both functional and charmingly stylish.

A vintage kitchen: Shabby chic china and kitchenware

Retro china teacups and trays go well with the shabby chic style. For a seamless stylistic impression, go with mismatched cups and saucers placed next to bonbon trays and cute tea candles – your guests will just love the idea!