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One Room Challenge | Fall 2019 | Healthy Master Bedroom Makeover | The Big Reveal

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve always believed in the power of interior design to transform the quality of our lives. It’s why I do what I do. And yet, every time I transform a space in my own home I’m reminded of it so personally, so experientially, that my passion for the power of design is deepened and renewed.

This is especially true with our Healthy Master Bedroom Makeover. Seeing the combined focus of wellness and beauty come together to create a space that is healthy yet sophisticated; non-toxic yet sexy; chic yet sustainable; mindful yet elegant? Well, it makes my heart sing. And yet even as I say that and complete this project, I firmly believe there is a lot of room for growth in the design industry when it comes to Wellness For The Home.

We need more products that meet what I consider to be the true standard for beauty: healthy for the planet, healthy for the people making them, and healthy for the people living with them. We need more products that are healthy but don’t look healthy in the “I just came from the health food store wearing my wool socks and Birkenstocks” kind of way. Not that we shouldn’t go to the health food store or wear wool socks or Birks! But we should be able to satisfy our desire to live healthy and sustainable lives while also creating sophisticated and luxurious spaces that soothe the senses and inspire our souls. That to me is the true definition of sanctuary.

And that is what our new Master Bedroom is for us: a sanctuary. I love being in this room. I love all the layers and textures and beautiful lines. I love the curves of the chandelier and table lamps and how that connects with the gestural movement in the art I created. I love the warmth of the gorgeous Tulu rug and the heavy linen drapes with their beautiful marbelized leading edge trim. I love the edge of the decorative pillows and mix of original art. I love the inky black walls and the cocoon-like intimacy they create. I love love love crawling into bed at night under our perfectly crisp, organic sheets onto our super comfortable healthy, custom organic mattress. I love the sophistication of our bed and nightstands and paneling and all the styling details. I love looking up at the radiant texture and sheen of our wallpapered ceiling and that alabaster statement piece. I truly love every single detail, and I am so grateful this room is finally complete!

If, like me, you’ve been leaving your bedroom to the bottom of your designer to-do list, please let me encourage you to make it a priority. The psychological benefits of having a thoughtfully designed sanctuary to which you can retreat at the end of the day are truly powerful. When you make that sanctuary not just beautiful, but also as non-toxic as possible, you are also supporting the healing powers of sleep in untold and deeply meaningful ways.

I am truly and endlessly grateful to my friend Reid of Will Reid Interiors for capturing these images of our little sanctuary. Reid, you are a delight to work with, pure art and heart, and I’m so grateful to call you my friend (who will zhush the styling and try 4 different lenses and even climb inside closets to get the perfect shot). You are incredible. Thank you for being my partner in design reveal crime.

I also want to express my endless gratitude and thanks to all of the brands who have partnered with me to make this healthy sanctuary a reality. Your faith in me and your willingness to tell this meaningful story with me – a story of beauty and wellness for the home – means more than I will ever be able to fully express.

Please take time to get to know these brands and their products. I’ve curated them with great love and intention, and I truly believe them to be exceptional. I hope this project and these partners inspire you to create your own healthy, beautiful sanctuaries. I sincerely believe you’ll find it to be life-changing.

Lastly, do check out the reveals of all of the other One Room Challenge participants! Get inspired! Start thinking about what space you want to design next in your own nest. Think about the values you want to live by, the lifestyle you want to architect and the story you want to tell. These questions will be the foundation for creating a home that is the perfect backdrop for making beautiful memories with the ones you love.

SOURCE GUIDE

One-of-A-Kind Tulu Wool Rug | King’s House Oriental Rugs

Wall Paneling, Baseboards, Crown + Backband | Metrie

EMF Shielding Paint | Woremor

Coal Black Wall Paint | Fusion Mineral Paint

Metallic Grasscloth Wallpaper | York Wallcoverings

Alabaster Chandelier | Corbett Lighting

Linen Drapery Panels | Tonic Living

Leading Edge Trim on Drapery | Pindler

Nightstands | Bernhardt

Table Lamps | Hudson Valley Lighting 

Pair of Large Abstract Mixed Media Works on Paper | Sarah Walker

Large Abstract Painting on Paper | Zoe Pawlak

Small Watercolour Abstract | Sonya Spilkin

Frames | Framed & Matted

Small Oil On Canvas Painting in Stand | Biernot

Custom Bed | Design: Sarah Walker of The Curated House; Velvet: Crypton; Fabrication: Whittington & Co.

Custom Organic Mattress | Obasan

Organic Sheets, Shams + Duvet Cover | White Terry Home

Embroidered Linen on Euro Pillows | Pulp Design Studios for S. Harris

Long Graffito Bolster Pillow | Arianna Belle

Striped Wool Tasseled Turkish Souk Blanket | The Vintage Rug Shop

Studded Ceramic Vase | Montana Labelle

Raw Edged Alabaster Tray | Verona Privé

Studded Brass Bracelet | Addison Weeks

Faux Shagreen Box | West Elm

Porcupin Quills (in vintage silver julep cup) | Ngala Trading

Small Horn Tealight Holder (holding white ranunculus) | Ngala Trading

Vintage Leather Books | Paris Flea Markets

Crystal Geodes + Bone-Handled Calligraphy Brush | The Curated House

By |November 7th, 2019|3 Comments

One Room Challenge | Fall 2019 | Master Bedroom Makeover | Bring In The Layers

“The details are not the details, they make the design.”

– Charles Eames

There are many phases to any given design project, and I’m happy to say that 5 weeks into our Healthy Master Bedroom Makeover, we are past the messy middle and starting to get to the good stuff. This is where the vision for the space starts to come into focus and anxiety gives way to excitement. Well, mostly. There’s still much to be done and of course photos to be taken for the big reveal, but I’m getting excited for all of it and can’t wait to share the finished space with you soon!

LAYERING IN LUXURIOUS LIGHTING

As I mentioned at the start of this project, we have modest 8′ ceilings in our Master Bedroom. This means a few things: one is that there’s not a lot of space above the headboard for art, especially when you factor in appropriately proportioned panelling and crown moulding.

The second is that some might shy away from dropping a large statement fixture in the middle of the room out of fear of making the room feel too small. This, my friends, would be a huge mistake. In fact, I’ve decided to allow this alabaster Serenity statement chandelier from Corbett Lighting do the work of both lighting and art as the visual anchor over the bed, and I can’t wait to show you how it looks installed next week.

Noah came for a chat in bed with me after Graham installed this beauty, and unprompted he commented on how the scale, natural materiality and luminescence of this fixture make our bedroom feel so thoughtfully connected and intimately beautiful. In this case, the scale is working for us and actually makes the room feel bigger.

(Side note: I don’t know too many 16 year old boys who will make such sophisticated observations. He’s a seriously cool kid.)

To compliment the elegant and slightly contemporary edge of the alabaster discs in the Serenity, I’ve chosen a pair of Caton table lamps from Hudson Valley Lighting for our nightstands.

The Caton is not super tall at 17 1/4″ high, which is exactly what I wanted so that I could layer artwork behind them casually leaned against the wall. Their solid crystal base glows when they’re turned on, adding to their simple elegance. I just love the Caton’s curvy silhouette and her effortless elegance. Definitely my kind of girl (I mean, table lamp).

FORM MEETS FUNCTION IN OUR NIGHTSTANDS

With our bedroom being as small as it is and our love for a king sized bed being as real as it is, we needed to find nightstands that could work hard and look really good doing it. Specifically, we needed nightstands that were a max of 36″ wide and had three large and functional drawers to house all our folded bits and pieces. We have a large closet that spans the entire wall across from our bed, but no room for a dresser otherwise, so our nightstands essentially function as dressers for us.

Let me tell you, the options for nightstands in the 26-36″ wide dimension range are hard to find. Manufacturers just don’t seem to understand this need in the market, that is apart from my friends at Bernhardt who have several options that meet these parameters and totally saved the day with their Clarendon nightstand which is the perfect fit for our space!

The custom bed frame wound up a few inches wider than originally designed, but the Clarendon still fits perfectly and gives us the additional storage we need for a truly functional bedroom.

ORIGINAL ART FOR EXPRESSIVE STORYTELLING

As mentioned, my plan for the art is to layer a pair of pieces behind each of the table lamps. When searching for options, I found myself not wanting to disrespect an artist by hiding half of their work. I also found myself itching to put my art background to work and create again, so I set my hand to creating this pair – The Unwinding and Unexpected Peace – for our space.

Thank you to all of you on Instagram who affirmed me in re-engaging in art making. Based on your feedback, I plan to make some works available for sale in the coming weeks, so watch for that. In the meantime, I’m super excited to get these two framed up in their custom Framed & Matted frames and layered in place behind the lamps. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow.

Even more exciting is the gorgeous original work on paper that the beautiful human Zoe Pawlak sent me.

Entitled “Just Some Partial Darkness,” it speaks to Zoe’s understanding of the human struggle for meaning and beauty. Not all of life is light, and yet as Leonard Cohen says, the cracks are how the light gets in. This has been so painfully true for me on my health journey. I’ve been transformed in so many ways by wrestling with the darkness, and I believe I’ll be coming out the other side of Lyme Disease a much stronger, more resilient person than if I’d never walked this path. This beautiful piece by Zoe will be a daily reminder of that resilient hope, and I love that I’ll see it every morning when I wake up.

EXPRESSING STYLE WITH TEXTILES

As you know, the base of this room is very neutral, albeit richly textural. Given that the room is small and the vibe I’m after is sexy and moody, I didn’t want to overwhelm the space with too much pattern. That said, the textiles on the bed are where I’m having some fun, starting with this insanely gorgeous embroidered linen by my friends Beth and Carolina from Pulp Studios. Their whole collection for S.Harris is stunning (and they’ll be releasing a second collection soon – I’m already obsessed), but Hidalgo had my heart from hello.

To layer in front of these stunning embroidered beauties, I’ve got an extra wide bolster from the absolute pillow queen Arianna Belle.

I don’t want to show you the whole thing yet so as not to spoil the surprise, but suffice it to say these textiles are definitely going to bring a sexy, sophisticated edge to this space.

To finish the bed, I’m going to layer a tasseled Turkish Souk Blanket from my friend Brittany at The Vintage Rug Shop over the end of our gorgeous White Terry duvet cover. The goal is layered and luxe and a bit of a traveled vibe, and I can’t wait to finally put it all together!

Apart from styling the nightstands, that is truly it, my friends! Those are the last loving layers that will make this Healthy Master Bedroom Makeover as pretty as she is restful. We are sooo close now I can taste it, and the taste is pretty sweet!

Be sure to check in on the progress of the other One Room Challenge participants and mark your calendars for the big reveal next Thursday! I truly cannot wait.

By |October 31st, 2019|0 Comments

One Room Challenge | Fall 2019 | Week 4 | Choosing An Organic Mattress + Bedding

“Sleep is the best meditation.”

– the Dalai Lama

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like Friday is Thursday because it’s all just been such a blur? That’s me this week after returning from an incredible week at High Point. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the highlights on my Stories, but there’s honestly so much more I haven’t posted yet because the pace at Market is just so full-on. I led a Design Influencer’s tour on the Saturday for the loveliest group of designers; moderated a panel on Sunday with Barclay Butera, Julia Buckingham, Scot Meacham Wood and Nicole White; and hosted a Wellness In Design event with Cisco and Crypton on Monday. Add in all of the showroom visits, dinners, media moments and parties and it was a bit of a designer ironman event. That said, it was one of those trips where I ended up having the most profound conversations with everyone I sat next to – from waiting at the airport to my flights each way to literally every event I attended in between – so it was an awesome week and super validating in many ways.

Along with all of the inspiration, I also managed to get myself a sinus infection (probably unwittingly collected it on the flight down) and am still working on breaking up with it. I may or may not have a funny story to tell about my reaction to some sinus meds I took one day, but I’ll save that for another time. Suffice it to say, today still feels like Thursday to me, so I hope you’ll all forgive me for sharing my Week 4 update a day late.

CUSTOMIZING AN ORGANIC MATTRESS FOR A DREAMY NIGHT’S SLEEP

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be sleeping in my own bed again! The beds at The Proximity are honestly great, but they still don’t hold a candle to my luxurious Obasan mattress, and I’m so excited to finally tell you about it. It took me a long time to decide on the right mattress for our bedroom. I was like Goldilocks, trying out as many organic mattresses as I could at the various trade showrooms and design shows. To my surprise, many of the organic mattresses out there were either greenwashed (containing just one element that was organic yet being branded as totally healthy while secretly not) or just not comfortable. My goal was to find a mattress that contained no metal springs based on Dr. Klinghardt’s research about metal conducting electricity into our bodies and disturbing our sleep cycles, so anything with an internal coil system was immediately off the table. From there, I wanted organic rubber-derived latex foam, organic wool to replace the toxic fire retardants that are sprayed on all conventional mattresses, and organic cotton for the cover. That list narrowed my search pretty quickly, and when I added in the goal of a sustainably made product that was as local as possible, there were really only a few options left.

Gratefully, my friend Ashli from Whittington introduced me to Obasan and I immediately knew I’d found what I was looking for.

“Customization is undoubtedly one of my favourite design luxuries.”

Not only does Obasan check every one of my boxes – locally made in Ottawa from organic latex, wool and cotton with no metal springs – they also customize each mattress to the way you sleep. Customization is undoubtedly one of my favourite design luxuries, just like I believe personalized medicine is the way of the future. No two people are exactly alike, so what works for me might not work for you. Obasan’s founder Jean Corriveau understands that very well, and has created a system that allows you to refine your mattress for the perfect night’s sleep, every night.

When your Obasan mattress arrives, you’ll receive several rolled components. These make for less waste in packaging and also make the mattress much easier to deliver.

Once unfurled, you’ll see that each component is clearly labeled.

To begin assembly, lay out the organic cotton and wool mattress cover over your Obasan foundation and insert the firm base layer first.

The mid layer is the customizable layer where you can choose between soft, medium or firm density foam in 6 different zones (head, torso and legs on both sides of the bed).

For some side sleepers, soft at the head, medium at the torso and firm at the legs works well. We tried that and I honestly felt like the Princess and The Pea because I could actually feel a slight slope downwards towards my head based on the gradient in density. Yes, my “canary in the design mines” body is sensitive, but given that Dr. Klinghardt recommends a slope downward towards your feet to encourage drainage of the glymphatic system (lymphatic system for your brain), we next tried firm at the head, medium for torso and soft for feet. Again, I felt like a fairytale character, because my feet felt strangely restless with this configuration. After several nights trying every possible combination, I realized that my body simply needs a totally firm mid layer from top to bottom, so Jonathan sent us 4 more grids to complete the mid layer with only firm latex foam. At last, Princess Goldilocks had her perfect mattress (I say “Princess Goldilocks” because I basically felt like all the fairytale characters combined at this point!).

Once you’ve established your perfect configuration of the middle layer, you add the top layer and zip up the organic cotton and wool cover for a perfect finish.

Having had the opportunity to truly experience my Obasan before writing about it, I can tell you with absolute confidence that this is a luxuriously high quality mattress that will enhance your health and wellbeing with an incredibly comfortable, non-toxic night’s sleep. Knowing that sleeping on a standard, flame retardant-soaked mattress is essentially like sleeping on a bed of gasoline, our Obasan mattress gives me so much peace of mind, and I can’t wait to get both of our boys sleeping on one as well.

GOTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC SHEETS SO SOFT YOU’LL SKIP YOUR PYJAMAS

After going to such lengths to ensure we found the healthiest, most sustainable and comfortable mattress possible, we couldn’t finish it with just any sheets. I had honestly been searching high and low for some time for GOTS certified organic sheets that looked and felt luxurious.

You see, there seems to be this misnomer in the design world that if you want organic products, you also want a really relaxed and casual aesthetic. If you know me, you know I’m a luxury designer always looking to marry a continental European influence with a layered sense of story and a bit of edgy glamour, so wrinkly linen-blend sheeting just doesn’t work for me. For my future cottage, perhaps, but definitely not for this sexy, moody master makeover.

Enter White Terry by my friend Nicole Bernstein.

Nicole and I met over a year ago, and I knew immediately that I’d found a kindred spirit. Like me, Nicole is passionate about caring for the planet. She’s also passionate about creating beautiful, healthy homes that nurture wellbeing. As a New Yorker who married a Canadian and transplanted to Toronto, she found herself shocked at how few options Canadians had for gorgeous organic bedding.

Not one to sit idly by waiting for someone else to fill the gap, Nicole leveraged her passion and her business degree and dove headfirst into creating a luxurious, organic, sustainable collection of bed linens. She’s gained a huge amount of buzz in a very short period of time with her effortlessly elegant product (think Jessica Mulroney and Jillian Harris sleeping on these sheets), and for good reason. Nicole understands that we want it all: luxurious bedding that’s as healthy for the planet as it is for our families. She’s even thrown in free express shipping across the US and Canada, because who wants to wait on this goodness arriving at your door!

Ultimately, my only real decision on the sheet set and duvet cover is the colour.White Snow is a classic, crisp hotel white, but I’m favouring the Warm Sand which is a very subtle off-white. That hit of warmth will just play so nicely against the radiant tones of the York wallpapered ceiling and the King’s House Tulu rug. I cannot wait to add this layer of luxury to our already organic bed for an even healthier, happier sleep sanctuary!

There’s still so much to do this coming week as we round the corner to the finish line on this One Room Challenge. I have art to create, original art to frame, nightstands to install and style, lighting, decorative pillows and additional textiles to install, and all the loving finishing touches that will make this master bedroom sing. Be sure to check out what the other ORC participants are up to and check back with me next Thursday for a lot of delicious details.

In the meantime, happy weekend!

By |October 25th, 2019|0 Comments