traditional Archive


It’s in the Details

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, It's in the Details


We are just wrapping a fabulous renovation project on what was a typical 1990’s two story home. In a few days, our clients will move into what is now a jaw dropping beautiful shabby chic masterpiece. One of the least expensive yet most ‘mood’ changing details that we did on this home is to add plaster and polyurethane mouldings, medallions and wall carvings.

This is something you can do yourself as a weekend project. All this project requires is a creative eye, a tube of caulking, painters tape, wall paint and of course, the architectural adornment pieces.

Traditional, transitional or contemporary, I love to employ ceiling medallions. They make every light fixture feel grander and more important in a room, they can also help to make a fixture feel more proportionally correct for the room as all too often I find that the light fixture chosen is bit too small for the scale of the room and the other pieces of furniture that have been brought into the space. Remove the fixture, add a little PL to the back of the medallion and rehang the fixture, it’s as easy that. Ceiling medallions can also enable you to move light fixtures or replace a pot light with a hanging fixture as they can hide ceiling damage or mounting holes. Not only do they look fabulous but it is cheaper, less messy and much faster than bringing in a stippler to refinish the ceiling.

When it comes to wall features using plaster or polyurethane pieces, find the center of the wall using your tape measure and mark the correct height and location with a pencil (don’t use pen as it will bleed through the paint) by tracing the corners of the piece. Then a few dollops of PL on the back of the piece place on the wall and hold in place with the painters tape. When the PL is dry, remove the tape, caulk the edges and paint with your wall or trim paint.

In this renovation, I wanted to give the living room a sense of greater height so I added plaster details to the top of the window frame, they sit just under the crown molding so now, when I can hang my drapery from the ceiling the room will feel as if it is blessed with high ceilings and wonderful architectural bones. More plaster detail was added to the plain arch detail between the living and the dining room and its supporting pillars. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the results, simply yummy!

Speaking of yummy details, in the kitchen, I didn’t want to use a valance or drapery on the window behind the sink so I simply added more architectural moldings to refine and finish the look. To quote my client when she first saw it ” I nearly lost my marbles”!

Add some molding to your rooms this weekend for a fabulously chic look and feel.


Shiny Stuff

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - Shiny Stuff

I admit, I have a weakness for bright, shiny, new things. Like most girls, I love patent leather shoes, big sparkly diamond rings, crystal chandeliers, rhinestone embellishments and all that glitters.

Yesterday, I was ecstatic over finally finding the perfect drapery fabric for my bedroom. One may think that a designer would have no challenges whatsoever doing her own house but let me tell you, we probably stress more than you do over personal spaces. We are exposed to new ideas and new products on a daily basis and the over-anaylization of our private spaces can be daunting. Friends keep asking when I will finish my rooms and I have consistently exclaimed “when I find the perfect pieces”. I have always stressed to clients and peers alike that I would rather leave a space void of detail than put something less than perfect or settle for less than fabulous. When I find it, I will know.

After a year of scouring fabric showrooms from New York to Paris to Milan I finally found ‘my’ bedroom drapery fabric, a crystal studded velvet-absolutely fabulous! With my high gloss white lacquer walls, white alligator leather bed, and white Mongolian sheep fur covered chaise it will be outstanding. At the best furniture and textile shows around the globe, I have noticed a distinct trend toward sparkle.

Amazing crystal lighting fixtures that are both modern and traditional; the arms are traditional crystal light fixtures but they appear suspended from the air by tiny wires that stem from a modern mount-LED lights have presented designers with incredible opportunities with respect to designs that we just couldn’t do with traditional bulbs and wiring restraints.

Traditional motifs and crystal details are seen embedded on case goods, such as buffets and dressers. Antique hardware is used on ultra modern cabinetry. Fabric and wallpapers are filled with shiny details such as embroidery, crystal studding and glass beading, even organic grass clothes are weaved with silver or gold metallic threads. Upholstered wall treatments are also gaining approval from even the most discerning tastemakers. Leather or fabric panels that are detailed with crystal hardware. And of course, there is lots of shine and sparkle in the accessory department. Even art has not escaped this trend, I love the traditional painted portraits that are finished with the object of the painting wearing a real crystal necklace.

My design philosophy has always been to use what you love, mix it up between traditional and modern, organic and synthetic. Too much sparkle is as ineffective as too little. Life and good design is all about creating the perfect balance. This weekend look around your rooms to see where they could use a little influx of sparkle. Perhaps, a new lighting fixture, a crystal table lamp, rhinestone adorned throw cushions or even a new dining buffet that sparkles with detail or look to wall paper the powder room or your bedroom.


Black and White Girl

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Black and White Girl

I’ve always been a black and white girl. Love, love, love the classic combination and I am simply thrilled to see that black and white pieces are front and center in home fashion trends for spring 2013. From lighting fixtures to cabinetry, black and white comes home whether you are living in a traditional, transitional or contemporary space. Black and white always works.

It’s a ‘no brainer’ to stay on trend with the addition of a few accessory pieces such as some funky vases or graphic throw cushions in the fabulously elegant and timeless colour combination of black and white. I fell in love with some black and white mix and match urns in stripes, polka dots, geometrics and solids that will look outstanding set on top of a fireplace mantel or above an armoire, grouped together in odd numbers. Add some floor art under the sofa or dining table in a brilliant black and white pattern or simply toss around some throw cushions. Get creative and replace a lamp or chandelier shades with pleated black and white shades or go the gusto and slip cover an ottoman or even the dining chairs in a black and white pinstripe for a more masculine feel. Black and white, the two ‘non colour colours’ work with virtually every and any colour combination so no need to hesitate. I especially love the look of black, white and gold right now. Even small spaces such as bathrooms can use a black and white makeover. If you, like most of us, have white toilets, sinks and bathtubs consider painting the bathroom walls black. Hang some black and white patterned towels on the towel racks, place one of the fabulous polka doted urns on the counter with mix and matched soap and hand lotion and you’ve just created a ‘wow’ bathroom with huge impact. Moving on – if you are tired of your plain old white cabinets in the kitchen, then lets paint the walls black and replace the back splash with a great black and white patterned tile – maybe a harlequin diamond pattern or a fun black and white herringbone. Your white dishes will still work brilliantly so just add a few black and white patterned side plates and serving pieces to tie everything together. The everyday cabinets go glam with the addition of black so you may even want to replace the dining table or your hanging pendant light with a crystal chandelier with or without black and white shades.

Of course you know I love to use black and white photography and one big trend that is happening now is to replace prints with high gloss life sized black and white photography. Consider enlarging one of your own photos or look for a great piece in a gallery or your favorite designer haunt. On side tables and nightstands always go with black and white framed prints, which just look more glamourous and timeless.

A touch of this classic combination will bring a modern feel to any space. Fabulous!