MiaParres

Hi.

Welcome to my Design Diary! I am so excited to connect with you & share my design & lifestyle adventures!

Something's Gotta Live
Dreaming up our apartment colour palette 

Dreaming up our apartment colour palette 

I knew from the start what colour palette I wanted to use, and finding inspiration, planning and budgeting is just the beginning....

My Golden 80-10-10 Rule

 The search for our home décor inspiration stretches across the globe, reaching far and wide…I am only kidding! Hahaha. The search for home inspiration does start at home, in our bed (because we don't have a couch yet!).

Accurate portrayal of the feeling you get when you've looked at over +10,000 Pinterest images in search of home décor inspiration  Image from Grace and Frankie, beach house from Netflix

Accurate portrayal of the feeling you get when you've looked at over +10,000 Pinterest images in search of home décor inspiration

Image from Grace and Frankie, beach house from Netflix

What I really mean is this process for me takes combining my two degrees (one in Architecture, one in Interior Design), my job at Sarah Richardson Design, my tv-time, with my true love of Muskoka cottage country, couch cuddles, pop culture references and of course, Pinterest.

 As with most of us design lovers out there, I would say the ratio is really 80-10-10. Planning and research is really %80 of my time, reviewing countless ideas that are out there, falling in love with many of them for different reasons and then becoming totally overwhelmed and changing my focus to other important things.

The planning part of the process is so key. It requires:

- Plan and plan some more - bust out the tape measure for exactly what your space is currently, making a list (I like to use a spread sheet) of what we need - now and what we're willing to wait for (custom!), creating a budget (I always add a little extra for accessories and florals because why not spoil yourself a little!), and prioritizing what are the most important and affordable items. 

And then revisiting, with %10 narrowing down what is realistic, fun, and will hopefully give the space the look, feel and functionality I’m hoping for. And %10 full-speed-ahead effort. Tackle time has got to be my favourite, and I will get there!

Helpful hint - create this as an approximate list to give yourself an overview of costs to come

 Early Bird Inspiration

 I love a good early bird special dinner, crop floral printed pants, and I have a closet full of cable knits. When looking for inspiration for our home I am constantly reminded that I have a lot in common with a 50-year-old-version of myself. Or maybe I'm just a big fan of the classics. Case in point, and I don’t think I’m alone here, I have always loved the set of Something’s Gotta Give, designed by decorator Beth Rubino.

Photography by Architectural Digest, Design by Beth Rubino

Photography by Architectural Digest, Design by Beth Rubino

 In this wickedly funny movie, Diane Keaton’s character is a 50-something Manhattan playwright has a house in the Hamptons, that is meticulously designed to suit her character. I like to think I’m drawn to the classics for a reason; perhaps it’s the history of it’s traditional roots, the archetypical family home, all with the perfect amount of whimsy and timelessness.  But I also love the proximity of a classic look to both great extravagance as well as affordable charm. And come on people, no one can resist that Jack Nicholson charm (Diane Keaton's not so bad herself!). 

Image from IMDB 

Image from IMDB 

 A Classic Character

 I’m all about the layers and dimension that this set gave it’s character in Diane Keaton, who battles it out in love and war with Jack Nicholson, who is also happens to be dating her daughter. Poking fun at life’s ridiculousness and curve balls, I love that the cozy backdrop acts as another character in the family. So I’m asking myself, how can our space (for this time in our lives, sans kids) reflect who we are?

Layers Upon Layers

 I’m inspired by the layering in the space of the film that adds a dimension to the characters that I think are integral when coming up with a design scheme for a client – it reflects who the people are in the space, and more importantly what they love to do.

 In this case Diane’s character loves to cook, collect art, and obviously, write plays. So as an avid reader, her collection of novels and books are organized based on spaces, and having gone through a divorce, even reflect her self help side. I think the whimsy of having your house reflect you in your own many facets is such a lovely aspect of a home, flaws, battles, determination and all!

 I wanted our rental space to be unafraid of the layers of who we are as a couple, the things we love to collect, the books we love drawing cooking inspiration, travel destinations, artwork, and even books that reflect a little known fact that I’m a Jewish convert.

Photo from IMDB 

Photo from IMDB 

 Netflix & Design

 It’s fantastic if you can find inspiration in the films you love to watch (I’ve seen Something’s Gotta Give countless times), as well as television – hey guys, Netflix and design?

 I mean, have you all seen Grace and Frankie? If not, it’s a must-binge. It’s united my mum and I in way I can’t describe. We're already the closest, but perhaps it’s the coming together of these two unlikely characters that have such fabulous and fun sides to them with a humour that stretches past our age difference. And it’s an excellent chuckle, even my 50-something-year-old side would agree!

 A few things I loved immediately – the beach house was designed by Beauchamp Lafontaine, and I am completely and utterly obsessed with her name to begin with! Her work cascades through three sets in the show that are just downright dreamy. The beach house has such a youthfulness to it, with its navy shutters and Serena and Lily woven chairs and rainbow blankets, but best of all it inspires gathering and kicking your feet up! That’s what I’m dreaming of when I look for the perfect space, the shell of elegance with the possibility of pure cozy chaos.

 The silly part for me is to imagine that this beach house of 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and 3896 square feet, could translate into our little space of probably just under 1200 square feet. Hah. Good luck, right? Well I am a dreamer!

Design by Muskoka Living Interiors

Design by Muskoka Living Interiors

This brings me to my Muskoka obsession, which can be summed up in one inspirational image from Muskoka Living Interiors. I’m thinking vibes, and I want all these vibes in our space, in our life, in our every day. Cottages, although normally weekend or vacation retreats, have been such a big part of my life (from summer long escapes with my dog to designing them for seasonal Canadian clients), and I quite literally want to live in a cottage all the time.  

I love the detailing behind the bookshelves and built ins, the creamy whites, the furniture layout and the sweet prints!

From these images I’m making a round of things that are key for how I want our space to function:

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	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}     (top left) Rug by Serena and Lily,  (top right) Kitchen by Allison Wilson of Sarah Richardson Design’s kitchen, featured in House and Home Magazine, (bottom left) Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild’s Country Style Martha’s Vineyard Home in Architectural Digest, (bottom right) Beach House by designers Nathan Turner and Eric Hughes from Elle Decor

(top left) Rug by Serena and Lily,  (top right) Kitchen by Allison Wilson of Sarah Richardson Design’s kitchen, featured in House and Home Magazine, (bottom left) Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild’s Country Style Martha’s Vineyard Home in Architectural Digest, (bottom right) Beach House by designers Nathan Turner and Eric Hughes from Elle Decor

-    Plan for now, buy forever – Although I love the idea of buying furniture that we can keep forever,  I want to measure, purchase and buy for the hopes of keeping it forever. Again, keeping with your desired scheme and overall vibe can really help here because then you will begin to collect pieces that are forever items (think rugs, artwork, accessories).

-       Comfort - although I’m not going to stray from the whites, I just won’t think precious, I’ll think practical and durable fabrics

-       Cozy - this means blankets, soft textures for the furniture and throws

-       Kick-your-feet-up vibes - and I mean that literally, a massive ottoman, with room for a tray, books and of course dinner! (And I won’t forget, I live with a boy, and boys can be tornados, so I’m expecting a little to a lot of wear and tear hehe)

-       Round dining table - perfect for games night! And brunches! And obviously for work, because I work from home a lot. And I want my office to be right smack dab in the middle of my favourite room.

-       Keep it beachy keen - woven chairs, textures and lots of forgiving furniture that has a beachy vibe. Woven baskets, braided,

-       Work with what the landlord gave me - making the best use of the space we have with the picture moulding, the coffered ceiling and the built ins

-       Pops of colour - in our case we both love blues, so blue tones and coastal cool colours. This can also mean metals, in this case, I'm taking a new twist for myself personally and going with warm brass tones. But I'm also not afraid to mix metals. 

For me the planning process is a lot of fun, but it can also be quite daunting at first. I am a firm believer in recognizing your hesitations, (in my case, my weakness to feel overwhelmed during this stage) and finding ways to master them.

Start with a plan, find some inspiration, make a budget and Dream Big! Can't wait to share more...

 

Painting The Town...Inspired!

Painting The Town...Inspired!

Ready, Set...Décor!

Ready, Set...Décor!