fresh flowers Archive

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Bringing Home Summer

bringing home summer, Cheryll Gillespie

This weekend is the perfect time to bring home summer. Bring on Sunday BBQ’s, Saturdays sipping a fabulous cool glass of chardonnay on the porch, weekend pool parties, collecting seashells at the beach while the sun goes down. Yes, yes, yes I am so ready to enjoy summer… but wait – my house isn’t designed for summer yet?!

This weekend bring home summer by ensuring that you give the entire house a deep and thorough cleaning. studies prove that almost seventy percent of you are in better spirits after you’ve cleaned the house so get scrubbing or even consider hiring home cleaning professionals to whip that house into summer shape with a good scrubbing top to bottom, inside and out. Focus on windows and their coverings, roll up heavy area rugs and pack away extra accessories that always seem to find their way into our rooms by accident. Recycle that already-read stack of magazines and purge tattered towels and bedding. Give your entire home a summer detox.

Next, add beautiful pops of summer colour to bring out the best in your neutral palette. Perhaps a punch of yellow with your black and white decor, or hot pink, the same shade you just used on your toes to prep your feet for summer sandals, or how about a vibrant turquoise, the quintessential summer hue that looks amazing paired with orange, red, yellow and blues, one could almost consider turquoise a summer neutral. The warm upcoming months have a flirty, youthful and fun spirit and your home should always reflect the essence of the season. Cull the winter décor and romance a few new pieces that speak of sunshine and water. Fill your bell jars with butterflies, seashells and sand. Replace photographs in frames with ones that were taken at the beach last summer and change out the coffee table book for a ‘history of bikinis’ or a book celebrating the world’s best beaches.

Add fresh flowers and even a new tropical plant to your rooms. Plants bring life and energy to a space, not to mention cleaner air and fragrance. Tropical plants can also adorn the front porch or the back patio throughout the summer. Personally, my lemon and lime trees live in the back yard all summer- we drink a lot of fresh lemonade.

Stock the pantry and the freezer with easy fixings for impromptu pool parties or margaritas in the backyard. I always have wine chilling and a pitcher of home-brewed all natural iced green tea (try using a combination of mint and green tea for delicious no-calorie summer treat) in the fridge. Flat breads are always an easy, creative and quick-to-make snack that everyone enjoys, young and old. One of our go to’s: alfredo sauce, brie or parmesan cheese, sliced pears, walnuts and arugula greens! Yum.

This summer live fabulous and take time to enjoy life at your home. After all, it is the most important space year round!

Creatively Yours,

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Flower Service

Fresh flowers are an essential element to creating that luxurious feeling at home. Living fabulously, whether it’s in a small downtown condo, a starter apartment or a sprawling estate home, bringing fresh flowers into your décor keeps you feeling like your living the dream!

Keeping at least one arrangement of fresh flowers in the house is a luxury that you deserve and yes, it can certainly be in all of our budgets. Many of our luxury clients have flower services, beautiful arrangements delivered fresh every week to their homes and elegantly placed on foyer tables, on the dining buffets, on bathroom vanities and bedside tables. Let me share with you how you too can have a flower service (created by you) for a very affordable price. Let’s start with free; free flowers fit into every budget and one of our favorite very designer looks is indeed free. A single fresh cut stem of greens or budding flowers look amazing in a beautiful glass or ceramic vase. All most any branch works so look for opportunities to prune your trees or take a walk in a near by forest or creek. Cut a stem approximately three to four feet long and bring it home. Almost any stem that you find visually appealing will work, give it a try. Cut stems, can also be purchased from your local florist, look for flowering branches and even palm prongs for a designer look.

If you prefer free bunches then look for local sources for cattails, pussy willows, and one of my personal springtime favorites, lilacs. As soon as it is lilac season there is a bouquet of these beauties on my bedside table.

Not free but incredibly affordable are the super market flowers. To ensure a designer look, don’t opt for the mixed bouquet but instead choose flowers that are all one colour, for me it’s usually white ones, even if I mix up the varieties if we keep them all one colour they look expensive but are actually very affordable. Mixing your free stems, branches, and grass cuttings with purchased flowers works well too and gives your arrangements a captivatingly creative appeal.

You don’t have to over do it with flowers either. In my powder room, I have a beautiful oversized rose bowl in which I place a single white rose. Alternatively, choose potted flowers such as hydrangeas, jasmine, which is fabulously frequent or orchids. Orchids may seem expensive initially at twenty five to fifty dollars a pot but they will remain in bloom for two to five months if properly cared for and placed in a favorable location so if you divide the initial cost by several months then this makes sense.

Always ensure that you have a few options at home with respect to vase style, size and shape to allow you to easily choose the right container for your weekly ‘pickings’. I also keep florist tape handy and use it constantly when creating my arrangements. Tape can be purchased from your local craft store. Live fabulously and spoil yourself with fresh flowers at home.

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Powder Rooms

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Powder Rooms

One of my personal favorite rooms to decorate has always been the powder room. ‘Why’ you ask? I love the shock value of an over the top room, I love the spacial dynamics (it’s small so we can use expensive materials because we won’t need much of them, so it becomes affordable to use these luxurious materials) , I love being able to use vivid colour and patterns here since we don’t have to worry about colour effecting the emotional wellbeing of a person, since they are only the room for a few minutes at a time, and I love that powder rooms are especially designed for guests so they offer a great opportunity to treat and impress all of our home’s visitors. Powder rooms can be one of the most interesting and dynamic spaces in your home.

Just before the holidays, Rock House completed a stunning traditional powder room with a hand painted Da Vinci style sketch on the muted painted walls, installed a hand carved travertine sink and a magnificent curved Rococo mirror adorned in shells complete with back lighting LED. Stunning!

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Powder RoomsAt home, my powder room is fully tiled with a white mosaic (floors, ceiling and walls), fixtures include a wall mounted white toilet, freestanding white sink with Swarovski crystal faucets and even a quartz crystal door handle.

One of the most important trends for the New Year is textured walls and the powder room is the perfect location to bring this trend home. How? Consider papering the walls with a fabulous textured paper, or hand painting on your walls, or covering the walls with stone or tile. Last week we took some stone, left over from another project and tiled around the fish tank. I knew that I could not live with the beige pink stone colour so we painted the stone a flat black. This idea could look stunning in a powder room whether you painted it black or alternatively brilliant white. You could use cultured stone or real stone as both paint up very well.

Whether you tile, stone or paper your walls don’t over look the ceiling. Paint the ‘fifth wall’ a bright hue extracted from the paper or an accent shade that will complement your stone or tile, alternatively, paper the ceiling and stone the walls. Unless you are designing an all white room, do not leave the ceiling “blank” white. Add colour or even a pattern and then hang a stunning light fixture. Complete the space with a brilliant framed mirror, search for something special or vintage, and consider mirror-framed art in the room. Leave space on the vanity for a bottle of luxurious hand cream, soap, wash towels, a candle, and fresh flowers- an inexpensive way to immediately glam up any powder room.

A stunning, yet affordable and doable project such as a powder room makeover could be a great way to kick off the New Year in style. Now that is living fabulously!

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Resolutions Designed for Fabulous Living

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Resolutions Designed for Fabulous Living

The tree has been beautifully decorated and all the halls have been decked with balls of holly, so lets start to think about our designer resolutions for the New Year.

Every year, we all make resolutions, typically to get to the gym more and to eat healthier and we should absolutely continue with these very important goals but let’s also make some resolutions that help us live fabulously. Here are just a few of our suggestions to add to your list and we do suggest you write out a list of resolutions and post it on your bulletin dream board.

• If getting to the gym more last year didn’t materialize then revamp this resolution and design a space so that you can get your workout in at home. Convert a spare bedroom or a corner of the family room into a yoga retreat, pop in a cd and let the energy flow. Yoga isnt for you? then take up belly dancing with a friend every monday night at your house via DVD or buy a spin bike and commit to bike the entire hour while The Young and The Restless is on.

• Cooking for friends and family is a real treat, start a dinner club or commit to learning a new recipe every week, think outside the recipe box and try new flavors.

• Look your best, once a week enjoy a relaxing soak in the bath tub and treat yourself to an at home facial. One of the best facials is to simply use papaya enzyme mixed with water (I got this secret when interviewing a top dermatologist on my national radio show and have used this myself at home once a week for years). Ensure you have a good supply of essential oils, sea salts, epsom salts and baking soda for the tub. If you have room in your bathroom, display a gorgeous bath bar and if you don’t then store your bath recipe in a box under the vanity for easy access. Oh ya, don’t forget the candles.

• Speaking of candles, make it a resolution to burn more this year, even when you are home alone. There is something special about the soothing light of candlelight.

• Bring home more fresh flowers or adopt a new plant. To keep the air in your home clean and healthy we recommend five medium sized plants per person.

• Iron your sheets. I know you hate ironing but sleeping on ironed sheets is one fabulous luxury that doesn’t even cost you a penny and you’ll get a better night’s rest (this is one of the reasons that we love spending the night in a great hotel bed). Once you’ve made the bed, spritz your linens with lavender oil. Sweet dreams!

• Get organized. It’s impossible to live fabulously amoungst clutter or in a disorganized space. Make it a resolution to reorganize and de clutter for a couple of hours every week.

• Enjoy more designer porn. Every week, implement one idea that you gather from your favorite shelter magazines. It could be as simple as copying the way items are arranged on a coffee table, or how flowers are displayed in a vase but try to liberate at least one idea a week that inspired you from a magazine.

• Create a musical play list for multiple occasions (easy listening, inspirational, spa, dinner party, cocktail party, christmas, romance, etc) and play it more often. A house needs music!

Happy New Year and may 2014 be your most fabulous!