Monday, June 25, 2012

Trompe L'oeil

The genesis of this amazing technique (French for "deceive the eye") started in the Baroque Period but was perfected in the Renaissance with special credit to Italian painters and their murals.

Andea Palladio mural

In the present time, we are seeing a huge resurgence of this style in corky, fun and fascinating wallpapers.

Basically, the desired effect is to achieve a sense of perspective or 3D on a flat wall.

Mineheart Wallpaper

The new trend is to mimic different textures so that the occupants of the room walk up to the wall and touch it.

Chesterfield wallpaper - Mineheart

Wall Panelling - Mineheart

My fave:

Wrought Iron - Mineheart

The current trends nowadays is to appeal to materials making brick, wood planks and concrete very popular:

NLXL Wallpaper

Tom Haga Wallpaper

Finally, the "trompe L'oeil" effect trend is also moving downwards to under our feet. Companies are now manufacturing rugs and carpets with the same visual effect. However, there is a VERY fine line between "cool" and "tacky":

Urban Outfitters rug

Lastly, in the digital era that we live in, we are seeing photographs digitally applied on wallpaper as well as digitally created images.

One company here in Toronto, Rollout, does exactly that! You bring your high resolution picture and next thing you know, it's on your headboard or accent wall :-)

Rollout custom wallpaper

Theo Flamenbaum
- Style + Function + Love + You -

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Theo's Top Summer must-haves

Summer is here and it's by far my favourite season.
Long days, ice cream, days on the island or the beach, tank tops and flip flops!
Also, every design/decor magazine last month, and this one, had their lists for Summer's favourites. What's in, what's to buy, what's hot. Well, after a lot of bed time reading and a lot of looking around, here it is: the first Theo's top must-haves for the Summer!

1- PEARL - Outdoors LED sphere lamp

They come in 4 colours and are waterproof, energy efficient, rechargeable and WIRELESS! (I loathe wires).
dimension: 9.8" diameter.  Only available through wholesalers.
Why I like it: because of the soft glow! and because it's wireless, again!

2- Lanterns

Ok, so if the Pearl is not your thing, if is is too modern, large lanterns with pillar candles are the way to go when adding a warm touch of lighting to your backyard, patio or balcony.
This season I am particularly fond of :
- West Elm's cute recycled glass ones for tea lights

cute and earthy

- Crate and Barrel traditional Brynn Lantern (for a pillar candles)

handsome and stylish

Whichever you prefer, make sure to also get some citronella tea candles to keep the bugs away from sunset to ...   sunrise?!

3- Geneva sound system

Because we are only humans and deserve a little "Bossa Nova" or a nice chill soundtrack when having our friends over for brunch of cocktails, right?!

Geneva has a stylish collection of speakers, my favourite is the walnut with a pedestal: 

They also come in red, white and black.

4- Outdoors fabric from the Windsor Smith Collection by Joanne Fabrics

This collection will add visual interest with its popping colours and bold graphics. Lots of geometric patterns and vivid colour schemes. 

Attention: Only available through designers.

5 - Bath & Body Works - Spearmint and Eucalyptus - Stress Relief collection 

Hmmm smells like Heaven! It's the freshest, most soothing scent for the body and home with the scented candles too.

Have a set of the hand soap and lotion in your powder room for your guests:

And finally, top it all off with a selfish treat and enjoy the sugar scrub in a cold-lukewarm rain shower :-) 

No, seriously! Go buy it!

Alright part 2:

6- Oversized/Tall planters and Herbs garden

I like them everywhere! Front door, backyear, or in a balcony.
Tall planters give a vertical application to space deprived or a a large one:

 It also creates a fresh and pleasant "vignette" for a front door or backyard door:

 Finally, in a back yard, it can delineate spaces:

West Elm had these lovely ones:

And I also particularly like the concrete ones as well  (available at most large nurseries, garden stores):

Not done yet!
Nothing is more lovely than a fresh herbs garden:
These modular planters are from Good Erdle and would be perfect for your basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley... you name it!

7- A cedar deck

Just the best wood (unless you have the cash to go with teak) for a deck. It's polished yet earthy and super easy to maintain!

And if you live in a condo, it's so much "cleaner" and sophisticated:

8- Acrylic glasses for outdoors

It's dish-washable and you can take on day trips/picnics too!
CB2 has a cute collection and is well priced too. Including Martini glasses, yumm!

9- Restoration Hardware Belvedere Outdoors Furniture collection

The pieces come in 3 different wood stains in teak and many fabrics to choose from.
Fabrics are sunlight and waterproof.

10- Fresh cut Summer Flowers

Embracing Summer's floral gifts, indulge in beautiful flower arrangements using the ones that bloom in the summer.

My faves:

White and pink lilies:

Golden Sunflowers:

Mauve Alliums:

That's it folks. I hope that you found some inspiration, ideas and good suggestions. Let me know which ones you will take up on and show me.
Have an amazing Summer :-)

Theo Flamenbaum
- Style + Function + Love + You -