Fabulous Archive


New York Inspired

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - New York Inspired

We just returned from a fabulous designorgasmic New York sourcing and scouting trip and oh my, did we find some great home fashion trends, materials and props. Who doesn’t love New York, it’s truly the epicentre of design in North America and we look forward to our semi annual creative indulgence.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - New York InspiredI have so many things to share that it’s hard to know just where to start so let’s start from the ground and work our way up. I don’t have enough naked floor space to lay all the to-die-for area carpets that Sam and I fell in love with. First from Edward Fields I loved, loved, loved the metallic threads that ran through so many of their fabulous carpets. Some appeared to be made out of the metal pot scrubbers, just like the ones that we use in our kitchens, this was a fabulous texture, available in both gold and silver . There were also countless samples that had tinsel-like metallic threads running through the otherwise organic textures and also a lot of sculpted raised carpets. Too yummy for words – I need more floor space!

For walls we swooned over antique mirror subway tiles, mirrored and ceramic patterned tiled and even wood parquet for walls. The mix of mirrored and ceramic or stone mosaic is a sexy brilliant combination- please can I have more wall space, there are so many tiles that I want to bring home.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - New York Inspired

For windows and furniture, colour was hot! Thank goodness we are seeing a return to colour. Lots of stripes, both chevron and lineal, typography inspired fabrics and skulls, yes skull motifs where every where from the fine jewelry displays at Barneys to the exclusive French fabric houses. We fell head over heels for a raw linen fabric with large printed skulls in metallic detailing. At Edelman’s Leather the fall collection consisted of laser cut skull and butterfly motifs.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - New York Inspired

Gold accent pieces shone brightly everywhere- from the apparel accessories and studded jackets at Patricia Field’s flagship store in SOHO to the designer furniture showroom floors. Gold is the hot metal this season and it looks fabulous next to all the spectacular crystal and agate pieces. Crystal, agate and gold are this season’s must have finishes. The overall look of the season, au natural elegance. I could have moved into the Ralph Lauren designer show room with the Baccarat crystal chandeliers, antlers, raw sisal, and silk carpets. The juxtaposition between easy, comfortable living and over the top opulence is far too alluring.

Speaking of seduction… you know that I’m having an affair with LED lighting, I love to back light glass for bar fronts, backsplashes and even flooring. We saw many displays that employed coloured LED’s to create fabulous ambience and design brilliance. Oh the possibilities with these new lights. Consider under-lighting furniture, wall hung mirrors or create a colour changing coffered ceiling that can change to reflect your moods. Out of the D&D building and into the vintage and antique shops, I have my eye on a one meter diameter architectural medallion of Medusa and a very old arched top safe………………….irresistible – just like the city itself. I’m already counting the days until I’m back!


Less Space Does Not Equate to Less Style

Just because you’ve downsized or live in a less-than-spacious home does not mean that you need to live with small style. Grand and fabulous style comes in packages of all size, let me share with you some of the design secrets that we use when creating fabulous smaller spaces for our clients.

Starting with the colour palette for the space when we are designing a small room we work with fewer colours but that does not mean that we work with no colour or neutrals. Dark, deep hues actually recede and can make a space look larger as long as the furniture you are using does not create a strong contrast with the walls or the floor (ie: black walls and beige furniture equals contrast!). Minimize contrast to visually enlarge a space. Monochromatic palettes work exceptionally well in a small space.

Move in the furniture and ensure that you don’t use a collection of small scale pieces. We actually use larger pieces to help create that visual illusion of a larger space. For example, in a living room we may use a pair of love seats and an oversized armoire, in a bedroom a vertically oversized headboard, a dresser and a full size chair. We are always conscientious of the floor space and design the room to leave as much visible floor area as possible by employing wall-mounted pieces such as wall mounted end tables, night stands or even book shelves where possible to help maximize the floor space which in turns keeps the room feeling larger. This trick can be used through out the home. For example, mount a wall-mounted shelf-like table in the foyer to give you a base for a mirror and a stylized place to drop your keys.

Keeping it off the floor continues into our lighting and accessory design. Instead of a floor lamp, use wall-mounted lamps. It’s important to ensure that you have enough light in any space and it’s always better to over-light than to under-light. One key trick for ensuring smaller spaces seem visually larger is to keep your horizontal surfaces like the floor – clean! We do not over-accessorize table tops and mantels, a few well-selected, high quality pieces do the trick for making the room fabulous. This can be challenging and will require constant editing by you but instead of saying no to yourself simply rotate your beloved treasures in out of the room by season. Keep throw cushions on the furniture to a minimum as well. Clutter will make any space seem smaller.

Art is a key element in all of our rooms and as impassioned art lovers, we like to make bold statements with our art. In our small spaces look for high impact display options and install one or two oversized pieces on the wall.

Magicians know the value of using mirrors in their illusions, just as designers know the trick. We often mirror an entire wall or hang a fabulous large mirror over the mantel or above a bureau to help reflect light and enlarge a space.

Keep your window treatments simple and in low contrast to the wall color. Consider wall-to-wall drapery panels, they are true miracle workers.

This week I’m sea-inspired after having just returned from Florida. We should all welcome a little coral or ‘seaspiration’ into our rooms as summer approaches. The designer ‘rule’ is the closer you are to the sea, the more seaspiration you are allowed, the further away you live the more you will need to refrain yourself to using only one or two treasures from the sea.


Creating Fabulous Outdoor Rooms

Outdoor Room Image 1

I’ve been spending every spare moment I have outside creating our outside ‘rooms’ and loving every moment of it. I think we all have a little bit of a grin on our faces now that it’s feeling like summer is actually going to arrive. Who doesn’t love the sunshine, warm summer breezes, home-made lemonade, flowers, bees, baby birds (except for the wood peckers that have bought up prime lake front real estate  by hollowing out the wooden posts that hold up our dock) and all the that summer fun. So let’s get started and make this summer fabulous by creating amazing outdoor rooms for our homes.

The best way to get started is by defining your spaces. Just as we have designated rooms inside our home we need to create designated spaces for our outdoor rooms. At our home, we have created a lounge by the water area, an intimate morning coffee sitting area, a dining area and ‘let’s have a party’ living room area. Of course, we are all limited by the amount of outdoor space we have available but plan to make the most of all your available spaces. The other limitation is the position of the house in relation to the sun, areas of activity should coordinate with the position of the sun, I like sun with my morning coffee butOutdoor Room Image 2 shade for a patio dinner party. If the position of the sun in relation to the space and desired activity are not all in full cooperation we can then plan to override the sun by using umbrellas and/or awnings. So start laying out your rooms, you may create a small area on the front porch (one or two chairs) to sit and have your morning coffee or afternoon ice tea with a girlfriend. In the back yard we have a large seating area for more friends and a separate dining and cooking space- think 360 degrees around the house, you may discover some very special spaces. The secret to great outdoor spaces is this separation of activity. Some or even all of your spaces may overlap, which is fine we will then actually divide the spaces using planted containers-how fabulous would a row of potted boxwoods, a trellis with grape vines growing up it or citrus trees look defining the living-room from the dining room. Outdoor area carpet are also useful when it comes to defining space-its amazing what proper furniture placement, potted plants, area rugs and fun accessories can create. Bottom line, get creative and define those spaces. It’s also a great idea to use white string lights to wrap the trees or the trellis with for fabulous ambience at night. Alternatively, use solar lights in the plant pots.

Position furniture just as you would for your inside rooms and ensure that the seats are comfortable and conversation is easy. Today we are blessed with a lot of affordable and readily available options when it comes to shopping for patio furniture. Sam and I also like to think ‘outside the store’. Recycle and pick up an old metal or wooden coffee table at an estate sale. Paint the wooden table a bright red with exterior paint and use it as your coffee table outside. Strip a discarded chandelier of its electrical elements and replace the bulbs with candles and hang it from an umbrella stand for a stunning effect. Turn an old tree trunk into a base for a glass topped dining table. Be creative, define your spaces, light them and accessorize with small potted plants, lanterns and even concrete or metal sculptures.


On our exterior tables we like to plant ceramic bowls and chrome trays filled with succulent plants or simply moss. We are always on the hunt for fabulous indoor finds to bring outside.