Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How good lighting can get you lucky...

Hello dear Blog readers,

In cel
ebration of Valentine’s Day week, I have decided to write a witty, straight to the point, edgy article on how good lighting can get you laid. Yup! As simple as that. Because it’s true, if you impress your date with good lighting, half the battle is won!

So before we get started, a little bit of lighting 101. When you think of lighting, it should have 3 functions: Ambient, task and decorative/accent lighting.
So in a few words, ambient refers to the general lighting of a room. It radiates an even, bright and comfortable level of lighting. Task lighting helps you perform a task or activity, such as washing dishes, grooming, reading etc. It should be free of glaring and shadows. Finally, decorative or accent lighting is what you used to accentuate an object or create a visual interest, such as art pieces and a textured wall.

When it comes to creating intimacy, we want to create a sexy mood. We want to create an ambiance that will be conducive for relaxation and convey a sense of romance.

  • That leads to Rule # 1: Dimmed room please! No bright lights.

It’s common sense, but there is a reasoning behind:
- We don’t want the different types of lighting overlapping and competing with one another.
- Too much lighting will cause glaring and distraction from your date. We don’t want that. We want eyes locking, stare holding.
- Pure science: It’s proven that when one of your senses is diminished, the other ones get heightened. So you sense of smell, touch, smell and hearing will be more sensitive to stimuli. Wink wink.

So we ask: what do I turn off? Well, each room has a different lighting plan, but the basic rule of thumb is to turn off the ceiling lights, which tend to be the more powerful ones in a room. And only rely on the accent and talk liking to cast a soft glow.

  • Rule # 2: Gain control! Have a dimmer control at every lighting source.

      Having dimmer switches allows to control exactly how much light you want, where you want, when you want. And to reiterate rule #1, if you only have ceiling lights in your living room or bedroom, then it gives you a chance to set it at the right intensity.

      • Rule # 3: Sexy looking light fixtures

      A sexy, curvaceous, sensual light fixture will definitely enhance the overall romantic setting of the room. Be it a sexy wall sconce or a hot light pendant dimly turned on, your date will notice it and think: wow, nice touch! And you will be scoring points my friend. But don’t turn it on at full brightness, we just want to have a little glow inside, like a firefly inside a jar.

      • Rule # 4: Candle lights!
      It’s been effective for centuries for a reason. It totally reinforces Rule number 1 by creating a sensual and soft glow. But it gives enough light that you can still see your date’s hot lips or piercing eyes.

      RULE: Stay away from scented candles. Even though they are awesome, you never know what your date is adverse to. You don’t want to use, let’s say lavender scented candles and your date goes: “Oh it reminds me of my grandma!” or, a white musk candle and you get: “that was my ex’s scent!” womp womp. Stick to big pillar, unscented candles or tealights in votives.

      Honorary mention: It’s very trendy right now to have candles inside lanterns that cast a great textured shadow on the walls. Very sexy and cool.

      • Technology: Colour therapy with Phillips Hue

      Flirting on the line tackiness, but kind of amazing, this was 2012 Forbes product of the year.
      This is a personal wireless lighting system with LED bulbs. The package is available at the Apple store and comes with 3 bulbs that you can use wherever you want: table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling fixtures. It doesn’t come cheap with a price tag of $200, but with the touch of your finger on your Iphone or Ipad, you can control all bulbs, individually or collectively, and turn them to whatever colour you want.

      Also, you can even use a photo from a memorable vacation day and recreate the lighting of that photo. You can also buy additional bulbs, it’s programmable and dimmable!

      • TIP: Theo’s personal lighting idea: portable uplights.

      Uplights are totatlly underestimated but are one sexy way to utilize lighting.
      In the living room,  have a floor lamp on dim in one corner of the room. In the opposite room, next to a wall with a large piece of Art or a tall plant, use a couple of uplights. It will either enhance that beautiful Art piece without competing with the floor lamp. Or it will cast beautiful shadows of your plant on your wall and ceiling.

      And that’s a wrap! With these great guidelines, next time you bring a date home for a night cap remember how you can, thanks to good lighting, turn that night cap into breakfast ;-)

      Theo Flamenbaum
      Style + Function + Love + You

      Monday, February 4, 2013

      A penny for your thoughts

      Hello dear blog readers,

      Today in Canada, we bid adieu to our copper friend, the penny. It costs now 1.06 cents for each penny to be made, therefore making its existence worthless and let's be honest, quite cumbersome.

      Now what to do? I mean these little red guys (often tarnished and collectively taking up space in your change purse/wallet yet yielding very little monetary value) have been part of our lives since forever.


      So I decided to feature some amazing ideas on how to incorporate those tiny coins into a fun design. In case you feel a certain emotional attachment or you are an amazing DIY'er, go crazy!

      • Accent wall 

      Using Elder's glue and hundreds, if not thousands, of pennies. Use a MDF or plywood board to avoid damage to walls.

      • Flooring
      Quite an impact created, this idea works really well in an entrance hall/foyer or a small space. It is a tedious job, so make sure you have spare patience and time.

      • Sculptures
      Endless choices and possibilities. Just remember that pennies are not malleable, so better applied on a flat surface. However, this horse just below looks amazing. Craftsmanship definitely plays a role.

      •  Backsplash
      Another way to create a unique look, however this requires sealing the backplash once all pennies have been attached and the grout is dry.

      • Gardening

      A ball of pennies will keep the slugs away from your plants and flowers. But also, the copper and zinc compound will make your hydrangeas turn blue! YAY! Science and gardening come together to our benefit!

      Bye bye pennies!

      photos from, and

      Theo Flamenbaum
      Style + Function + Love + You

      Wednesday, January 23, 2013

      Perfect pairings

      Hello dear readers,

      Recently I got my hands on a recent Benjamin Moore's fan deck called "Perfect Pairings".

      It basically groups 3 hues together, in a harmonious and cohesive way. The match can be used indoors or outdoors.

      The chips are divided into a larger hue, for the main/wall colour, and 2 smaller ones, for trims and accents.

      However, the colours in each grouping are interchangeable, so you can use the trim colour as the main one and so forth. Awesome!

      As you know, I love picking my favourite things and listing them. So if course I had to do that with this fan deck. and after much deliberation, here are the 3 best "pairings":

      • Handsome and crisp: Hale Nave HC-154/Icicle 2142-70/Stone Castle CC-396
      Perfect for the gentlemen or a room that conveys sophistication and neatness. The great thing about this dark blue and soft taupe against the crisp icicle is that it works well in a traditional as well as in a contemporary space. 

      • Eclectic and fresh: Greenmount silk HC-1/Blue Spa 2052-40/Mountain Peak White OC-121
      Perfect combo to lighten up a room or space. These colours together make up a great background for a Spring fresh bedroom or den. The contrast of the blue and the soft yellow is joyful and uplifting. 

      • Trendy and cool: Exhale AF-515/Plum Royale 2070-20/Beacon Grey 2128-60
      This deep rich plum is a hot colour right now. Elegant and moody, this family is sure to add personality and character to a space.

      Needless to say, this little fan deck is the perfect tool to find the ideal colour theme you have been dying to get right. However, sky is the limit when finding the best colour scheme. There is a lot out there, and the only rule is that it has to be right for you!

      Theo Flamenbaum
      - Style + Function + Love + You -

      Sunday, January 6, 2013

      2013 trends

      Hello dear readers,

      After a little Holiday hiatus, during which I did NOT take any holidays, I am happy to be back to my blog.
      I hope everyone had a great time during the Holidays and that 2013 will simply be a dashing one.

      New Year, new beginnings, new resolutions, new projects, new home?

      My first article of 2013 will talk about a few trends that I see being in the heart of new designs in 2013. For those thinking of renovating, acquiring a new home or perhaps just adding a new wall colour or decor, I bring 4 trends to watch out in 2013.

      • Natural Looking CaesarStone - “supernatural” collection

      Quarts/Caesarstone countertops have been the top choice for new kitchens. It’s scratch, heat and stain resistant, making it the ideal choice for all kitchens.
      Quartz/Caeserstone, however, is a man-made material using natural quartz, resin (for colour) and aggregates. It unfortunately lacks the luster and appeal of natural marble with all its veining and contrasts.

      This new “supernatural” collection is the closest thing to the marble look in the caesarstone/quartz family. Making now possible to have a stunning marble looking countertop with the super properties of ceasarstone.

      My favourite ones are:

      and Pietra Grey

      • “In” colours for 2013

      So a few weeks ago, Pantone announced “Emerald” is the colour of the year for 2013.
      I was not shocked, but pleasantly surprised, as I was seeing lots of blue and deep greens appearing on furniture, pillows and walls.
      Here are 3 colours that I see coming out to play in 2013.

      1. Jadite - SW 6459 Sherwin Williams

      1. California Blue - 2060-20

      1. Newburg Green - HC-158 Benjamin Moore

      • Wall objects/sculpture

      Art should be unique, personal and tell a story. It creates a focal point or complements a room.
      This year, more than before, we are seeing a detachment from conventional framed prints, photographs and canvases and the return of sculptures or objects attached on a wall as Art.

      The choices are endless, from window frames to metal and wood sculptures. Wall art is now all about objects, so creativity is the name of the game.

      West Elm Wall Sculptures

      Sea Urchins wall Art

      • Penny round tiles

      Whether used on foyers, bathrooms or backsplash, penny round tiles are having a huge comeback. Reminiscent  of our own Dupont Subway station, these little round tiles allow you to have a curved and seemless transition from floor to wall, without a baseboard. Also, it’s very easy to create a “rug” effect on a floor, by only using the penny round tiles on a certain area of the floor.

      And these are just a few quick trends I am forecasting for 2013.
      Time will tell ;-)

      Theo Flamenbaum
      - Style + Function + Love + You -

      Thursday, December 6, 2012

      Pantone's 2013 colour of the year - Emerald

      Hello dear readers,

      Earlier this year, in early Spring, I talked about Pantone, who they are and the colour of the year for 2012, Tangerine Tango, in this article: Colour of the year.

      Well well... it`s with lots of excitement that I announce that Pantone has released the 2013 Colour of the year: PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald!

      From their press release, Pantone explains: "Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony".
      We see a return to a jewel tone colour, suggesting luxury and sophistication. In many cultures, this is the colour of growth, renewal and prosperity!! Oh do I see people using this colour now!

      In terms of Interiors, Pantone also says:

      "Enhance your sense of well-being at home by rejuvenating the interior with Emerald paint, accents and accessories. This jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study, and bring life to a living room as an accent wall. Add a splash of color to the kitchen and dining room areas with Emerald dinnerware, stemware and appliances.
      Enliven your home with Pantone bedding, pillows, bath towels and accessories in Emerald available exclusively at jcpenney stores and on beginning Feb. 1, 2013.

      “As we re-energize our home department next spring, we are excited to partner with the leading authority on color to introduce the first-ever line of Pantone bedding and bath products,” said Paul Rutenis, jcpenney general merchandise manager for home. “The cheerful array of on-trend pieces will make it easy for customers to infuse the perfect color into any home décor.”

      I particularly love the marriage between freshness and sophistication that this colour provides indoors.
      Because this colour also has a very defined presence you can use it as little as a couple of pillows or a full wall covering to make statement.

      And even though it's still December, Pantone also takes advantage of the press release to talk about trend colous for Spring 2013:

      The choices are endless.... and it makes me want to run to a fabric store and just go nuts!

      Theo Flamenbaum
      - Style + Function + Love + You - 

      Tuesday, November 27, 2012

      Less is more!

      Hello dear readers,

      In this year end, full of glitter, glitz and lights, we are always thinking about how to outdo last year's holiday decor. Should I go with a real tree? What colour scheme should I do this year? Did I miss the Bay's Holiday Decor sale?
      Well, you can stop right now! Because like the old cliché says: Less is more!

      Why not go minimalist? or simple?
      Let's not forget to take a breather this Holiday season and return to simplicity.

      With that motto, I am showcasing a few directions one can take when deciding to go for less while searching for your Christmas tree:

      Bendable copper + LED = Win!

      You can mold the lights to whatever object you want! And it comes in warm yellow or cool white.
      So what to do:
      Get yourself a tall cylinder vase, and some branches. Wrap the wire around the branches and you got yourself a lit-up simple Christmas tree!

      • Be creative! Hanging Christmas balls on strings.

      This idea is genius! Just get your Christmas balls from last year and some fishing line. You can hang them off a light fixture of attach them to the ceiling. It's airy, it's flowy, it's simple!

      I love everything that is recycled, repurposed, reused! These little cuties come in 2 different sizes and complement a cool urban, condo-lofty Holiday decor.

      • Ornamental branch or log

      This would look amazing over a sideboard, console table or hutch. You can pick a few of your favourite Christmas tree ornaments and hang 3 to 5 just for a little shine. This is simple and uber inexpensive.

      • Oak blocks tree and tea lights - For the handy ones or good friends with carpenters :-)

      This is absolutely beautiful and completely translates the essence of simplicity. I was only able to find this for sale from a website in Australia, even though it's manufactured in Germany. But if you have some tools and a handy guy, this is totally doable with blocks of oak or any other wood, stained and nailed together. At the tip of each block, you put a tea light and ta da! Cool and unique!

      So that's it! You don't need to go overboard to make a statement!
      Like the plaque in my home office says: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".

      Theo Flamenbaum
      - Style + Function + Love + You -