Thursday, March 31, 2011


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I booked a florist today for my daughter's wedding next February. She presented us with a cornucopia of pictures illustrating the 'pretty' she creates with fresh flora. I drooled. Is there anything more delightful than a fresh flower arrangement...any time of year.

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 If I could find my missing 'greenthumb' my home would NEVER be without fresh clusters of blooms.  Alas, I am not particularly thoughtful of my fresh cut blossoms. I also have trouble cutting the floral apron strings when my once fresh, pristine arrangement is dragging it's butt and there are more petals scattered on the table than on the stem. I have difficulty tossing them in the compost.

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For this reason, I sometimes gravitate to faux flowers.  I know, I know.... a huge faux pas to flower purists. But I ask you...can you always tell the difference, even from a short distance?
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I have included pictures of real and faux flower arrangements in this post.  Can you spot the fresh vs faux ?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As many of you already know, seven Ottawa designers were recently involved in a project called Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition in February, during Kindess Week in Ottawa. We were challenged with the task of transforming the foyer, reception area and a small store relocation at The Good Companions seniors center in downtown Ottawa. Our design team leader, Sonya Kinkade of Sonya Kinkade Design, had been approached by the Yummy Mummy Club in conjunction with The Unted Way Ottawa to undertake this project. The project, however, was to be accomplished entirely with donations and we were responsible for attracting the donors.

In a matter of weeks many donors stepped up to the challenge and provided us with construction, furniture, atrwork, fabric,  etc.  These donors are individually highlighted in seperate blog posts written by some of the designers. Please follow the Donor Spotlight list posted to the right of this post.  You will be amazed.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to my Donor Spotlight....Rockland Textiles

Rockland Textiles has been a fixture in the Ottawa area for almost 40 years. They are a local, family owned business which had it's origins in Rockland Ontario, hence the name. The original store had 2000 sq now boosts 19000sq ft of retail space showcasing fabrics.  That is a huge accomplishment for the small business it once was. 

"We specialize in all products related to home decor, with all the familiar lines of fabrics and blinds."  Rockland Textiles carry an extensive line of fabrics such as Waverly, Maxwell, Kravat and Robert Allen and also have a large notions department.  In addition, they offer workroom services for window treatments, slipcovers, upholstery and all bedding treatments. They also extend their services to include Free Shop at Home Decorating.

As you can see below, the foyer at The Good Companions had dated and uncomfortable seating. Our task was to make this area more attractive, comfortable and user friendly. Rockland Textiles answered our call for help and very generously donated custom cut, 4" medium density foam to fit the new custom made bench in the foyer.

Foyer Before 

Rockland Textiles custom cut foam ...covered

  after...the new and improved bench with finished pads

Danielle Lynn Photography
The seniors who frequent the center and the staff who work there were amazed at the transformation of the  reception area, the new store and the foyer.  Please click the following link to get more information about Rockland Textiles on their beautiful website.

The Design group, the seniors and staff at The Good Companions would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Rockland Textiles for their help in transforming the foyer of the seniors center.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The #DesignTV Interior Design Challenge!

I have been involved in the #DesignTV twitter chat hosted every Monday from 11:30-12:30, from it's inception. The chat, hosted by Jonathan Legate and Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo, has inspired many lively discussions between like minded individuals interested in every aspect of design and decor. This past Monday, we were challenged to design an eclectic, 11' X 9' multi functional space. The only requirements are that the space be used for relaxing, working, and be comfortable for overnight guests to sleep. Everything else about the space....colour, furniture, layout, finishes, accessories etc. is left up to each designer participating in the challenge.

Below, is my finished design.

I was anxious to test out my new E-Z Decorator package which had just arrived in the mail. It is a grid system that allows you to place reusable, peelable furniture and accessories from pages in a binder on to different layers of acetate. After photocopying, colour can then be applied. You may notice small numbers...these identify where each piece belongs on each page in the binder.

Back to my design:
1.  I wanted this space to showcase primary colours, black walls, and white crown, baseboards and ceiling
2.  the original hardwood floors are medium toned... I couldn't resist the faux zebra rug 
3.  soft grey wall is paramount in a small space...not overly crowded...I like negative space
4.  the adjustable stainless steel table on wheels on the left, can be utilized as a work space, dining table or bar table
5.  for the purposes of this challenge, I wanted to show the FRONT of the blue leather sofa on the reality it actually blocks one entrance to the galley kitchen on the floor plan we were should be placed facing into the space or on the window wall.  It provides general seating, can be used as seating for the adjustable stainless steel table and can be turned into a single bed...the larger model can be turned into a double bed.
6.  the two antique chairs are finished in high gloss red and upholstered in black and white toile
7.  the small retro glass topped table beside the sofa is a space saver 
8.  the brass chandelier complements the brass floor lamp and adds another metalic finish to the room
9.  the window covering is a simple lined, linen roman shade providing privacy when needed
10.the accessories were chosen to complement the primary colours evident in the room
11 .....and because the space might need a divider, I chose this shoji screen below in black and can be folded and tucked away when not in use
Overall, I was careful in chosing pieces that could be easily moved and utilized in other areas and for other functions in the room.
Thanks #DesignTV,  I had a blast designing this room, which resembles nothing I have done before....but I will surely apply in the future. Tweet you on Monday.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


On February 18th, 2011, seven Ottawa Designers descended on the The Good Companions center in downtown Ottawa with ladders, hammers, dusters and our talent.  We were there to begin the transformation of the foyer, reception area and a small store being moved to just beyond the reception area. The staff and seniors using the center required a more open, friendly and comfortable area in which to gather.  Our team leader, Sonya Kinkade of Sonya Kinkade Design had been approached in December by The Yummy Mummy Club in conjunction with The United Way to undertake this project for Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition during Kindness Week in Ottawa.

This endeavour was to be accomplished entirely with donations and sponsors from the Ottawa community. Not a small task. We needed construction, paint, furniture, accessories, flowers and a photographer to document the process. The reveal was scheduled for Feb 19th.
Many, many donors came to our aid. All of these donations will be featured in Donor Spotlight posts written by the other designers and linked on the sidebar on this blog.

I am proud to be featuring the donation from  Ottawa International Airport Authority. The Ottawa community, we have found, is committed to helping others in need and Ottawa International Airport Authority is no different. When they were approached to assist us, they came through with these wonderful, comfortable chairs.

Danielle Lynn Phtography

As Krista Kealey, VP, Communtications & Public Affairs at Ottawa International Airport Authority, so eloquently states....“The Authority and its employees have always believed in the philosophy "by the community, for the community". The airport was built with community support, and it is therefore it is the Authority's responsibility to give back. It does so in a variety of ways including through Project Clear Skies, the Authority's charitable giving program, through the annual Plane Pull Challenge, and through individual sponsorships and donations.”

"The Ottawa International Authority was established in 1997 to take over responsibility for operating the airport and developing airport lands under a 60-year lease with Transport Canada."

"Since 1997, the Authority has invested $500 million in the airport, including construction of a new terminal building and parking structure that opened in 2003, as well as several expansion projects that accommodate the nearly 4.5 million passengers that travel through the airport each year."

 “Participating in Kindness Week and supporting the Good Companion Centre is a pleasure, and it was an easy decision to make. It is very much in line with the Authority's organizational values and the donated furniture will be put to loving use by those who rely on and enjoy what the Centre has to offer.”

"The Authority recently celebrated the Ottawa Airport being named first in the world for Customer satisfaction among airports that serve between 2 and 5 million passengers. The Authority shares the honour with the entire airport campus and with the community."

More information about the Authority and Project Clear Skies can be found at
Danielle Lynn Photography 
As you can see, these two chairs are now providing a comfortable seating vignette for seniors visiting the reception area of the center. A great big THANK YOU goes out to Ottawa International Airport Authority from the design team, and the staff and seniors of The Good Companions for your generous donation. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I spied this book while shopping in downtown Toronto in the fall.  I wish I could remember the name of the store. 

I had an immediate flashback because, if my memory serves, it is the same speller that I used in public school. (Just to be clear, this speller edition had been around the block many years before my year started using it.)  Upon opening the book, however, I  discovered that it was a recycled cover with 200 new, acid free blank pages inside. What a boon.....I am and always have been in love with anything paper...especially blank paper.

I dug a little deeper into the valise displaying other books and started to examine the collection a little more closely.  And then I found this gem.  I had to have it....

On the back of the lower black band it says "A Notebook With A History.....Lovingly renovated by hand....Give it a new story."....I intend to do just that.

For more info, follow this link: finders&keepers

All pictures  for this post taken by Maureen Coates

Maureen at Modecor Muses: March 2011

Maureen at Modecor Muses