fashion Archive


Designer Gift Ideas

Cheryll Gillespie, Designer Gift Ideas

As much as I love Christmas, the spirit of the season, the glitz, the sparkle, the cheer and the festivities, the one element that I’m not fond of is all the shopping. I’m sure you’re like me, I love to give presents and do so constantly throughout the year, when I see something that is perfect for someone special, I buy it and give generously, but if I’m forced to buy and don’t have any ideas what to get them, then I’m not fond of just buying something for the sake of having a gift to give.

To help with your hard-to-buy-for someone’s, here are a few of my designer ideas that could solve the problem of that difficult to give to person or the person who has it all. For me, gifts are about those extras, those luxury pieces that we wouldn’t buy for ourselves so with that in mind here are a few holiday gift-giving suggestions.

I’m in love with these little festive bird houses and all my girlfriends love them almost as much as the feathered friends do.

Cheryll Gillespie, Designer Gift IdeasA beautiful coffee table book on art, design, architecture, fashion or photography is an always welcomed gift. Consider the persons room colour palette and buy a book that will work with the colour palette in the space. Just a designer note, when you are giving any gift for the home, always purchase with the home owner’s colour palette and style in mind, even for gifts as simple as a bunch of flowers. My friends know that I prefer all white while some of my girlfriends prefer pink or oranges.

Both my daughter and I, are ring-loving girls and we adore a big sparkly hunk of fabulous on our fingers. Give a wonderful piece of custom jewelry to the girl who almost has it all. An over the top glamourous clutch for those special evenings is another you-cant-go-wrong gift. Think loads of sparkle, pearls and a little rock and roll edge.

Especially this time of year, we all need an amazing ice bucket to keep that bottle of champagne chilled as we entertain for the evening. Look for buckets covered in faux croc leather or handles adorned with semi-precious crystals.

Have custom table linens made. It can be as simple as taking ready-made napkins and a table cloth into your local embroidery shop and having the home owner’s initials monogrammed onto the pieces. Speaking of monogrammed items, there is still time to give beautiful monogramed or custom stemware or stationary as a gift.

A collection of wonderful ornate ornaments that suite the receivers personal style is also a fun and unique gift that will truly be something cherished for generations to come. It’s not the price tag that makes a gift special, it’s the time and thoughtfulness it took to choose the perfect gift that’s has been memorably acquired for those special people in your world. Now that’s gifting,and living, fabulously.


Inspired Window Fashion

inspired window fashion

One of our workrooms in Asia truly inspired me this past trip with great ideas for valances and drapery. Every designer knows the value of great window treatments. Dress the windows and suddenly the room feels complete, like icing on a cake, they are the sweet topping that make a piece irresistible. Drapery softens the edges of a space, frames the view and confirms a focal point. But often window coverings can have that ‘same old same old’ feel to them. Its imperative that we find the perfect fabrics for our windows but trimming them is just as important. Swag, boxed, ruffled valances and drapery panels all take one a youthful edgy feel when swathed with chain, fabric flowers, feathers, pearls and zippers, yes zippers. I loved what I saw and can’t wait to bring some of these ideas home.

Inspired Window Dressing 2For a modern space, how about simply hanging strips of chain instead of fabric for drapery? If you want a moveable drape hang individual chains from a traverse rod, if the ability to slide the chain to one side or the other is unimportant then cup hooks hung from the underside of the drapery box at evenly spaced intervals will do the trick. Still loving the embellished chain-feel, you can loop chain across the top of your billowing white sheers or even between your damask swags. If chain is a little to edgy for your room how about strands of pearls or glass beads instead? Fine jewelry chain is available by the spool at crafts stores and can also be used to create stunning valances or even drapery tiebacks, so many possibilities!

When I was in art school some of my favorite projects were of mixed media so I’m still drawn to the use of un-conventional and the mixing of materials in design applications. The valance sewn from silver zippers is brilliant perfect for a kitchen, family room or even a super modern great room. I can also envision fabulous white sheer drapery panels with a single large scale zipper sewn vertically on the center split of the drape-not quite as hard edged as a valance made from zippers but still edgy and super sexy. Speaking of sexy, you will also find stands of rhinestones at the craft store in varying width, these also work magically as trimming for drapery panels and valances or maybe even on a lampshade.

Inspired Window Dressing 3On a softer note I loved the addition of peacock feathers to drapery panels and also the use of the ruffled flowers. Sewn onto table linens or drapery panels this is a fabulous idea for a Hollywood regency styled feminine space. Imagine tone on tone or sheer drapery panels heavily weighted with the sexy flowers at the base of the panels and then a much lighter smattering of flowers as the panels reach the ceiling.

I love it when we get create and start to think outside the box or I guess outside the traditional valance box-pun intended, it is this thinking that makes our rooms fabulous and uniquely our own.

Love is in the air as Valentines Day approaches, so this weekend lets add a few designer touches of love to your rooms. In the kitchen fill a glass urn or canister with candy hearts (did you know that you can customize and custom color your own M&Ms-imagine the possibilities). On the sofa add a heart inspired pillow and in the bottom of the powder room sink lay three glass hearts.


Christmas List

Christmas List Image

Have you finished your holiday shopping? I didn’t think so, so I’m hoping that this list may be timely inspiration for those with creative flair and a passion for home on your list.

Finding the perfect gift for all the fabulous people on your list can be challenging and who wants an uninspired necktie or a sweater under their tree? One thing that I always welcome as a gift is a fabulous coffee table book-honestly Sam and I can’t get enough books and sometimes these are hard items to justify purchasing for yourself as a limited edition or coveted hardcover can certainly be expensive. Vintage and antique books are also welcome additions to our library shelves. Has designer tools a great book looks fabulous on the end table next to a favorite living room or bedside chair. A coffee table book looks great on the coffee table of course. Our favorite topics include books on design, architecture, travel, cooking and of course fashion.  Books we love this year include the new Mary McDonald Interiors not only for its content but for the fabulous gold lettering on the spine, (yes, my books coordinate and work with the room) The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture.

Fabulous faux fur shawls and throws are rich warm and cuddly additions to the end of the bed, arm of a sofa or favorite chair. A delicious addition to a fabulous space: look for black mink for an art deco or traditionally styled room, fox for a country manor or white mink for a friend with a glamorous bedroom.

Email and texting are just too easy and we just don’t take the time to send hand written notes these days, which I think is a real shame. Personalized stationary is great gift that look luxurious on everyone’s desk. Grab your shopping list and head to your favorite craft or office supply store (most stores that order wedding stationary will also do personalized stationary) or just open up the laptop and look for a supplier on line and trust me there are plenty and start ordering. Inexpensive and thoughtful, I love this idea.

Here’s a rock solid idea. How about a beautiful chunk of crystal or amethyst or even graphite. Flipping through your favorite shelter magazine you undoubtedly notice amazing chunks of rock sitting beautiful on horizontal surfaces in the most spectacular rooms. We love finding fabulous pieces of rock to bring home a welcome treasure that will always be in style and will never go stale.

Linen dinner napkins are a great gift especially when you take the time to have them monogrammed with the families initials. We monogram all the time, table linens, bathrobes and even pillow cases. It take the ordinary and creates the fabulous-god is in the details and it’s these little touches that take the gift from good to wow.

Nothing feels more fabulous to give a gift that you are really proud of and that you know will be loved and adored for years to come-that’s fabulous living!

Scent is the number one route to our brains memory center- conjure fabulous visions of Christmases gone past by filling your home with the scent of the season. Candles and essential oils such as pine, cinnamon and citrus are right in seasons and don’t forget to blend a couple of scents together. Rooms should always appeal to all five of our senses.