TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT CONCEPT

Check out the latest concept I've been working on for my website! I'm putting together three small residential concepts based on real floor plans from around Vancouver. I hope to specialize in stylish and unique, but often small, metro dwellings that require excellent functionality moving forward, so these will illustrate what I can offer clients looking for just that! 

For this two bedroom apartment, I'm working with high contrast neutrals, warm woods, cozy textures and abstract art to create a look that would appeal to both men and women. The kids room was created with a little girl in mind but with a few small changes it could work for either gender! I ADORE designing kids rooms! 

Stay tuned for more developments on these concepts!

XO Bryony

LIVING ROOM

DINING/KITCHEN 

MASTER BEDROOM

LITTLE GIRLS ROOM

How to Decorate a Small Space for Christmas

The holiday season is upon us! Bells are ringing, children signing, all is merry and bright.....and all that jazz! This post is for anyone hoping to dress up their small space for the holidays! 

1. Go Natural

Use natural items like greenery, berries, and pinecones to fill existing vases or bowls! Add a little greenery to the top of a table or the mantle of your fireplace! The perfect thing about these items is that they are long lasting (Think the month of December) and disposable after the holidays are over. If you're on a tight budget, you might even be able to collect a few of these items from the great outdoors! Go for a hike and see what you can find! 

Decorating for Christmas is a fun tradition! If you're living in a small space you may not have a lot of room to store decorations throughout the year. You also don't want to go overboard in small quarters or you might reduce the functionality of your space and feel overwhelmed by the extra clutter. Here are some simple tips for getting your small space festive! 

6. Get a Mini Tree!

Don't have the space for a full sized tree? Why not get a mini one instead? Many florists and nurseries carry real mini trees at this time of year and the best part is you can probably plant it somewhere after the holiday season! Make a mini sized garland and some mini paper snowflakes to hang on the branches. You can even get a set of mini twinkle lights! 

2. Make it Smell like Christmas! 

Scents have the ability to bring back good memories and improve well being. Every time I smell cloves I am reminded of the joy of opening up the Christmas chest to decorate our house as a kid (We always had a basket of pomanders in there). You can make your house smell great by brewing your own pot of Christmas potpourri on the stove (Any mix of cinnamon sticks, oranges, pine trees, and cranberries), by burning or diffusing essential oils like fir, pine, or cloves, or by burning holiday scented candles! The great part about these suggestions is that they can all be used up throughout the holiday season and they don't take up a lot of space! 

3. Candles.....Lot's of Candles! 

Candles are great for adding extra light on dark days and setting a cozy mood! They can fit on to any surface and will be used up by the time the season is through. If you're on a budget, grab candles from the dollar store and put them in existing jars, glasses, or on a serving tray!

4. Make your own Garland!

Garlands can be simple to make, cheap and disposable! Make it fun and get crafty! You could collect pinecones from outside, or cut snowflakes and stars out of printer paper and thread them on a string! The possibilities are endless but be sure to keep it simple for the best results! 

5. Get Cozy!

Make some space on the couch! A chunky wool or (faux) fur blanket is the best way to add warmth and texture to your decor. I personally love having them around all year long but they are especially nice to have during the holidays! 

Who's excited to start decorating?! December first is right around the corner! Wishing you all a fantastic holiday season full of family, friends.......and miniature Christmas trees! 

Please visit my Pinterest page here for the sources to all images and more fun decorating ideas! 

Pillow Palooza

It's a pillow party up in here.....you're invited!

There are so many fantastic decorative pillow options in my new shop that it was hard to narrow them down.....BUT I have sifted through them all to bring you my favourite twenty-five in every shade of the rainbow! Want to refresh your home without a big budget! Pillows are the easiest way to do this! Go for the flamingos! I know you waaaannnna! 

Click the links below to shop my picks! 

ROW 1

1. Coquimbo Pillow     2. Higgs Pillow      3. Abobo Pillow      4. Woolwich Pillow     5. Musgrove Pillow

ROW 2

1. Cuellar Pillow      2. Marino Pillow      3. Fitzpatrick Pillow       4. Rohrer Pillow       5. Vinton Pillow

ROW 3

1. Abanto Pillow      2. Henning Pillow    3. Friend Pillow   4. Jonestown Pillow     5. Kaplan Pillow

ROW 4

1. Kirkwood Pillow     2. Ashford Pillow   3. Kelleher Pillow    4. Bateman Pillow   5. Sublimity Pillow 

ROW 5

1. Pinecrest Pillow     2. Agira Pillow     3. Lakeshore Pillow     4. Mayorga Pillow      5. Bickford Pillow

 

PlaidFox Picks

Good quality furniture has often been overpriced and accessible to few in the past. Canadian customers have especially suffered paying high shipping costs and import duties on everything they purchase. 

But I have some exciting news! 

There is an online shop offering the latest furniture, lighting, rugs, art and decor at 30-60% off the suggested retail price AND they offer free shipping to both Canada and the US! Everyone meet PlaidFox, PlaidFox meet everyone. 

Now that you're properly acquainted here is a little more about PlaidFox. They strive to offer the best of the home design industry acquired through wholesale partnerships with companies throughout North America. Many of these products have never been seen in the Canadian market and definitely not at these prices. They offer one-of-a-kind items including original pieces of art from up-and-coming talent, limited run hand-made furniture and decor from respected craft-makers and globally acquired pieces and curiosities from various buying trips around the globe. If you think it's good now just you wait! There is so much more to come from this young company with plans to launch their own lines and new products being added every week! 

Guess what else!? 

You can now shop all of PlaidFox's amazing products directly on my site. I will be sharing my 'PlaidFox Picks' every week so that you can easily shop my style and effortlessly put rooms together just as I would! 

Want to get even better deals?

Let's work together to curate a home just for you! I'll share my trade discounts and you will save even more! Contact me here to set up a meeting and let's get started! 

Another fun thing you can do is take the PlaidFox 'Style Test' to help you narrow down the products you might be looking for. 

Click Here to Take the Style Test!

I got Mid-Century Modern and Urban Industrial.....What about you? I would say that's pretty accurate but would narrow it down a little further to say my personal style is Scandinavian Modern. 

Without further adieu, here is my first edition of PlaidFox Picks! This one has everything you need for a stylish monochromatic living and dining room! This concept illustrates my personal style mixing modern and vintage, with a focus on texture and pattern and a lot of mixed neutrals! Check the links corresponding with the letters below to shop all of my picks! 

A. Living Room Accent Chair - Florencia Accent Chair in Dark Grey - $1094 CAD - Shop Here. 

B. Decorative Pillow for the Florencia Accent Chair - $88 CAD - Shop Here. 

C. Decorative Pillow for the Living Room Sofa - Ashford Pillow - $88 CAD - Shop Here. 

D. Living Room Floor Lamp - Montevideo Floor Lamp - $780 CAD - Shop Here. * Update: As I was working on this post this floor lamp sold out. If you love it, you can wait for it to come back in stock or check out these alternates. 1. Friona Floor Lamp 2. Holmes Floor Lamp. 

E. Living Room Side Table - Oldham Side Table - $425 CAD - Shop Here. 

F. Sheepskin to drape over the Timpson Accent Chair - Arona Sheepskin in Black - $125 CAD - Shop Here. 

G. Living Room Accent Chair - Timpson Accent Chair - $663 CAD - Shop Here.

H. Decorative Cushion for the Living Room Sofa - Bickford Pillow - $88 CAD - Shop Here. 

I. Decorative Mirror for the Living Room. Combine a few to make an interesting pattern! - Bayham Mirror - $200 CAD - Shop Here. 

J. Decorative Cushion for the Living Room Sofa - Lakeshore Pillow - $50 CAD - Shop Here.

K. Accent Living Room Stool/Side Table - Buckner Stool - $700 CAD - Shop Here. 

L. Living Room Coffee Table - Jimo Coffee Table in Black - $900 CAD - Shop Here.

M. Living Room Rug - Jurupa Hide - $794 CAD - Shop Here.

N. Living Room Sofa - Shrewsbury Sofa - $7625 CAD - Shop Here. 

O. Decorative Cushion for the Living Room Sofa - Agira Pillow - $88 CAD - Shop Here. 

P. Dining Chairs for Sides of the Table ( You will need 4) - Kuwana Dining Chair in Black - $150 CAD - Shop Here. 

Q. Dining Room Pendant - Sidney Pendant - $1263 CAD - Shop Here. 

R. Dining Room Clock - Pinellas Clock - $140 - Shop Here. 

S. Dining Table - Kimbrough Dining Table - $4206 CAD - Shop Here.

T. Dining Chairs for End of Dining Table (You will need 2) - Collingdale Accent Chair - $831 CAD - Shop Here.

Living Small: My Micro Apartment in Paris

For the past five months my husband and I have lived in a pocket-sized 130 square foot apartment in Paris. We rented it from an interior designer who designs luxury yachts in Italy and who is most definitely a master of small scale design. Living in this minuscule apartment has admittedly peaked my interest so much that I too am working to make it my expertise. What draws me to this niche is the higher level of creativity and customization it takes to pull off a functional small interior. I now know first hand that living in a small space can be enjoyable with the right design and I want to help others discover that too! Today I'm taking you on a grand tour of the space and sharing my experience living in one of the smallest apartments imaginable.  

Full Measure Floorplans

Full Measure Floorplans

Here is the floor plan to give you a sense of the overall space!

On the left, we have our front entryway and closet! We came to Paris for the year with two large suitcases and a few small carry-ons. For two people, the closet space is limited so we pared our clothing and shoes down to the ones we were consistently wearing and left the rest in our suitcases. The smaller bags are also stored inside of our larger suitcases which are neatly tucked on the platform above the closet. Here you can see that the murphy-table is in the upright position and is secured to the wall with a slide bolt. The table's legs are on hinges so that they fold against the table when not in use. A small ledge underneath the table acts as a support system and as a small desk when the table is up. Most of our shoes fit under the closet space and a few of the taller ones sit under the table. 

On the right, you can see that there is a rod to hang jackets from and a few additional shelves for storage. The rod is able to extend out so that it is easier to get items out of the closet.  I am used to hanging most of my cloths at home so only being able to hang jackets was an adjustment. My wardrobe is much more casual here for that reason. 

When the table is down we bring over the "living room furniture" and use it as both a shared desk and dining table. It is actually quite a spacious table and can easily support two work stations. We both work from home so having a good workspace is important to us. 

Here we have the table back up and the murphy bed down for sleeping. It's a comfortable and simple bed with two white pillows and a duvet....What more could you need? When the bed is down it basically fills the room. As it only comes down right before we go to bed this isn't a problem. Murphy beds can transform any room into a bedroom in a flash! It's one of the best tools in the small design belt and is perfect for multi-functional rooms. 

Here we have both our kitchenette and bathroom sink. This concept took a bit of an adjustment period but makes perfect sense in a space like this. The key is keeping it really clean so that there aren't dishes sitting in the sink when you want to brush your teeth at night. Small spaces tend to force good habits like that! Our kitchen consists of a two burner stove and mini fridge. I do miss having an oven because I love to cook and bake but it's still possible to whip up great meals in here. I even managed to pull off a half decent Thanksgiving dinner! I did have to buy a little rotisserie chicken but the rest was possible! 

Under the sink we store toiletries, hand soap, dish soap and sponges. We attached a metal hook onto the existing rod to hang our dish towel up after drying dishes. Under the toiletries shelf we have a small garbage can that we take out daily. Each day we shop for groceries and then use our grocery bag to line the garbage can. Our small fridge is more than sufficient and I waste a lot less food when things can't hide in the back. I really enjoy the "daily shop" lifestyle and hope that I can continue with smaller shops at home. Luckily I live close to Granville Island Market in Vancouver! 

This is the other corner of the room when the bed is down. We tuck the lounge chair in the corner and have a small side table and lamp for bedside reading. The small table can also be used with the lounge chair when the bed is up for a nice little reading nook. 

On the left you can see our shower next to the kitchenette. We added a hanging shower caddy so that we can easily reach our bath products. Using a small shower means having one bottle of shampoo, one conditioner, and so on open at a time. If your shower is feeling cluttered at home and you are constantly picking bottles up off the shower floor, consider this idea. 

Fresh flowers always bring natural life to a space. No space is too small for flowers and I like to keep them around! Instead of keeping a vase, jars like this one work well and are multi-functional for times when you don't have flowers. 

Here we have our living room set up. The fireplace isn't functional but adds charm to the space and provides a nice shelf for the TV (even though I haven't turned it on) and some decorative mirrors. Mirrors help to make the space feel larger and I often do my makeup over here as there is better natural light. Behind the fireplace is a nook with shelving from floor to ceiling. We store books and some pantry items over there. Behind the chair is a cupboard with two shelves where we store our dishes and the rest of the pantry. We have a complete dish set for two and a few pots and pans! Sometimes I have to get creative when cooking but we make it work!

On the left you can see the shower and the toilet. This was the hardest part to get used to as it doesn't offer a lot of privacy. Not shown here is the make-shift curtain we threw up between the toilet and the shower. The barn style door is a smart solution in this case as fitting a regular door in here would be next to impossible. Not shown here are metal hooks that we hang our bath towels on to dry after a shower. 

On the right the barn door slides open to reveal our little toilet room. I'm not going to say this couldn't be bigger. It's like human origami to fit in here with the door closed. There is a small storage space in here where we keep cleaning supplies for the apartment. 

levi.jpg

In warmer months, the balcony can be used as a little work station or breakfast spot! There is nothing like having your morning coffee in the rooftops of Paris! The table also folds down so that both of us can stand out there and watch the sunset. Having a balcony is a lovely thing. To step out in the fresh air and take in the view is something I have really cherished. 

Here are some of the splendid views from the balcony. A nice view can make all the difference. Especially when it's a view of Paris!  

So there you have it! My tiny Paris apartment. Do you think you could live here? It's definitely an extreme case but it has taught me a lot about design and about myself. This experience has taught me to live with less and that's something I would never change. 

Living Small: 5 Micro Apartments

Becoming a first time home owner is a serious issue for millennials today. Student debt, high rent and disproportionately low wages are pushing home ownership farther and farther into our futures. I however, have the perfect solution for us. Micro apartments! 

When properly designed to maximize space, micro living spaces can be all that you need and more. I currently live in a 140 sq ft (not a typo!) apartment in Paris; half the size of the smallest home shown here. I can personally vouch that it is not only possible, but enjoyable. Check out the five homes below to see how good design mixed with small amounts of space can be a match made in heaven.

1. The Ultimate Man Cave By Architect Denis Svirid - 377 sq ft

I call this the ultimate man cave because it utilizes natural materials and a neutral colour palette to create a comfortable yet sophisticated space perfect for any bachelor. This space optimizes storage by building drawers into the stairs leading to the bedroom loft and taking bookshelves right to the ceiling. Hanging lights in the bedroom make for great reading lamps without the need for side tables. The office nook downstairs has a sliding door with a mirror on the other side of the door allowing you to close off this work space when necessary. Mirrors create the optical illusion of a larger space and are a great tactic to work into any small space. 

2. The Plywood Loft By Architect Ewa Czerny - 300 sq ft

This ultra stylish loft space uses texture and materials to great effect. A fun tile pattern in the entry and plywood elements make it both unique and interesting. High ceilings were utilized to build the bedroom loft over the bathroom and they took advantage of the space under the stairs for plenty of storage. Subtle pops of yellow add a nice touch to the otherwise neutral palette and unique lighting gives it flair. Floor to ceiling windows and sheer drapes allow plenty of natural light into the space which help keep it light and airy. 

3. The Colour Block Micro By Nicholas Gurney - 290 sq ft 

The highlight of this micro marvel is the use of colour to separate the space. The pops of red and yellow are a welcome burst of energy amongst the otherwise monochromatic space. I find the all black kitchen to be particularly striking yet stealth. Sliding doors can be moved to close off the sleeping area and to help keep the minimal design in tact. As always, built in storage is a key component to making the space work. 

4. The Minimalist Micro By Freaks Free Architects - 376 sq ft 

This space uses an all white interior to create a serene and peaceful space. By keeping the floor plan open and bright they create the illusion of more square footage. Plenty of built in storage allows for a minimal look with a place for everything and everything in it's place. 

5. The Storage King By Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture - 500 sq ft

This place sure knows how to maximize storage space! There is plenty of built-in storage so that everything can be tucked away making clutter a non-issue. Even the stairs were designed to be drawers! The heavy use of wood and the large sectional sofa gives the space a comfortable and inviting feel. I love the sleeping loft concept in that it provides some separation between rest and work/social areas. It adds a little more privacy to the traditional studio where the bed is simply in the corner of the room. High ceilings in these double height lofts also help to make the space feel larger in general. 

Do you think you could live in a micro space? If so, I want to design it! Let's start a micro movement! 

Living Small: Using Your Stairs To Their Fullest Potential

Have you ever considered whether or not you're taking full advantage of the storage space under your stairs? When you live in a small space, every space has to be functional and under the stairs is no exception. While many people have an open closet under the stairs, it's most likely a hodge-podge of luggage and camping gear, very few will use it to it's full potential. A truly functional under-the-stairs space should be organized, useful, and aesthetically pleasing. When planning a renovation or new-build, don't forget to consider this space as a prime storage unit and never hesitate to transform your current stair situation. Here are five ideas that might just give you a case of stair envy. 

Source: Dwell.com

Source: Dwell.com

1. Bike Storage

Got a cool looking bike? Put it front and centre with this under-the-stair storage solution. This idea keeps the bikes out of the way and adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any staircase. Finding a place for bikes in any small place is a serious conundrum. This is an amazing solution. 

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: Apartment Therapy

2. Built-In Kitchen

Who wants more counter space in their kitchen? Look no further than this idea to build your kitchen appliances and cupboards right into the stairs. This one wins in my opinion for the most useful under-the-stair idea. This is designed so that the entire space is useful and creates a really unique look. Nailed it. 

Source: Brit + Co

Source: Brit + Co

3. Coat Closet

If your entry way doesn't have a coat closet, under your stairs might be the answer. It's also the perfect way to get traffic flowing away from the door when welcoming guests so it doesn't become crowded in the entrance. The added hooks outside the closet, under the stairs, are great for hanging your daily bag or a guest's coat. This particular coat closet is awesome because it has a basket for hats and gloves, hooks to hang bags, places for shoes, and a bench to sit on. Great use of this space. 

Source: De Zeen Magazine

Source: De Zeen Magazine

4. Shelving

A simple solution for under-the-stair storage is to build open shelves right into the stairs and stairwell. They could be open and filled with books and objects or closed for a more minimal and clean look. Either way it's a modern, interesting, and functional approach to making the most out of your stairs. It works well when the shelves and walls are kept neutral and pops of colour are added through the objects themselves. There are endless options for configurations of shelving so make sure to consider what you'll be storing before deciding what type of shelving will go in.

Source: Unknown

Source: Unknown

5. Wine Storage

Being a minimalist, I don't really agree with keeping this amount of wine stored in your house, however, if wine is really important to your life, this is a great idea. Not only does it look cool, but keeps your wine organized and on hand for any occasion. After living in France for a while, I can definitely see why some might like more wine on hand and why some might like to buy in bulk with the ridiculous price of wine in Canada. In fact, I might just have to ship a few cases home after this adventure and set up a little under-the-stair wine rack. Will definitely be dealing with sticker shock when I get home in the wine department. 

I hope this has inspired you to look at every space in your home as an opportunity for storage space! 

Wishing you a well organized home,

Bryony

Maison & Objet Fall 2014 Discoveries

I was very lucky to attend the Maison & Objet show in Paris this Fall. It was definitely on my bucket list of interior design trade shows to attend and it did not disappoint! The show was massive, spanning multiple buildings with different themes like home accessories, home textiles, and ethnic chic. Many of the booths impressed me a great deal with suppliers building entire showrooms within the exposition centre. I walked around for a few days and to my surprise recognized very few of the suppliers! This was actually a great thing because I found many new European sources for beautiful products that I can put in my back pocket and use in my own projects. Below is a collection of some of my favourite new suppliers that I thought you might like to know about too! This was a show consisting of suppliers from all across Europe and I found many of my favourites to be of Scandinavian origin. 

Bloomingville

Bloomingville is a Danish company that offers a stunning collection of raw products with a Scandinavian twist and reproductions of vintage items. They focus on quality, reasonable prices, and a high level of service. The majority of the products are designed in- house with some vintage products being sourced from select suppliers. I personally adored their booth and was pretty excited when I stumbled upon it! After looking online at their collection, I know I will be sourcing items from them for many years to come! 

www.bloomingville.com

String 

The String shelving system was designed in 1949 by Swedish designer Nisse Strinning. Still going strong today, the design is modern minimalist and can be configured in endless combinations. I like how this system can be customized to fit exactly the amount of items you wish to store and can be added to over time. There are colour and finish options available to suit any home and modern open shelving is always a great look! 

www.string.se

House Doctor

House Doctor was my favourite booth at the show. It had really creative ideas and an aesthetic and colour palette I am really loving right now. The company is based in Denmark and was started by three creative siblings who together with their team, design everything in-house. They aim to be stylish, inspiring, and the source that helps you create a more personal home. I think this company is just what the Doctor ordered! 

en.housedoctor.dk

 

 

Secto 

Secto is a Finnish lighting company driven by innovation and craftsmanship. They use birch veneers to stunning effect to create pendants, lamps, and sconces. Their manufacturing process takes environmental practices into consideration and has been honed over the years to produce high quality products. Seppo Koho is the Finnish designer behind this innovative yet simple line. Personally, I love this lighting because of it's versatility. I could see these lights as a focal point in a restaurant, dining room, or bedroom.  

www.sectodesign.fi

Petite Friture

Petite Friture is a French company that brings together emerging design talent and gives them a launching pad to sell and develop their work. All of the curated items are unique conversation pieces that tell a story. My favourite is the Vertigo Pendant designed by Constance Guisset. It really caught my eye at the show and made a bold statement. The design reminds me of a floppy brimmed hat, both elegant and whimsical. Keep your eye on Petite Friture for an ever evolving collection of the latest in French industrial design. 

www.petitefriture.com

 

East Vancouver Residence

In October of 2013 I made the hard/not hard decision to start my own design firm. I always saw this as my future but took the plunge earlier then I might have imagined. After working mainly on large commercial projects, I realized my true passion lies in smaller projects with a focus on residential, hospitality, and retail design. I'm very excited to present my first complete project that was finished in July of 2014. I joined the project as the walls were being framed so I basically had a blank slate to work with. I was involved in every part of the design from concept to millwork to styling. My client was great; a bachelor with modern taste who trusted my vision yet was involved in almost every decision along the way. The result is a modern yet comfortable space perfect for entertaining friends and family. 

The kitchen features a beautiful 3" thick white quartz waterfall island countertop. We chose white carrara marble subway tile for the backsplash and added custom charcoal bar stools to add contrast. 

The open concept floor plan in the kitchen and dining room is the perfect set up for entertaining a group. Both rooms flow together with linear glass pendants and a continuing neutral palette. 

The living room features a floor to ceiling marble stone fireplace and a beautiful white cow hide rug to anchor the space. Custom sofas and Mongolian sheep fur pillows add softness and texture making it a comfortable area to relax and socialize. 

The family room off of the kitchen is a more relaxed place to watch TV and hang out. A cozy area rug and a sectional sofa make it a comfortable place to lounge with plenty of room for a group. Four black and white prints of Vancouver by Levi Groeneveld add character to the space. 

The modern master bathroom has clean lines with a floating countertop and backlit mirror. It features a beautiful grey quartz countertop and a square charcoal floor tile. 

The other side of the master bathroom features a jacuzzi tub and steam shower for the ultimate relaxation. The wall tile is a beautiful faux white marble and covers three of the walls completely.  

The focal point of this master bathroom is a photograph printed on acrylic by Levi Groeneveld. The design of the room was inspired by this piece and is one of my favourite rooms in the house. 

The shared bathroom joins the other two bedrooms with pocket doors on either side. We created a custom striped tile pattern on the walls around the double sinks to add interest and texture to the space. 

Powder rooms are fun because you can do something a little more creative with them. Nobody spends a lot of time in there so you might as well leave them with an impression. We decided to put a fun geometric floor and striped wall all while keeping the neutral palette of the house. The fun Marset pendant and carrara marble countertop add interest to the small space. 

In the master bedroom we used a geometric wall covering as the focal point on the headboard wall. A cozy rug, upholstered headboard and deluxe bedding make for a space that is both comfortable and stylish. 

The office, located just off of the great room, also features a geometric wall covering to add interest to the space. The desk offers plenty of storage and workspace for at home affairs. 

A white gallery wall in the hallway lends itself to perfectly host three beautiful pieces of art by  Levi Groeneveld . The pieces add a welcome pop of colour to the space. 

A white gallery wall in the hallway lends itself to perfectly host three beautiful pieces of art by Levi Groeneveld. The pieces add a welcome pop of colour to the space. 

Coffee table styling in the family room featuring a vintage camera and handmade concrete lightbulb. 

Close up in the office. The wall covering is called parliament windows but I thought it looked somewhat like books; perfect for an office. 

Here's me just hanging out in the kitchen, chopping up some kale and eggplant and pretending I live here. 

I'm so grateful to have worked on this project and thanks to everyone who was involved along the way. Although I am currently working in Paris for the year, I love working in the west coast style and can't wait to start my next project when I return. 

Until next time,

Bryony

For more images view my portfolio page here. 

All photos are ©copyright Levi Groeneveld Photography and cannot 
be used without permission. 

10 TIPS FOR LIVING SMALL

 Living small has become a huge interest of mine and I have taken it upon myself to become an expert in the field. Experiencing it myself was the perfect way to start my research on maximizing small spaces and living a more minimalist lifestyle. At the beginning of August we moved to Paris for one year. Just like many other giant cities with condensed populations, space is at a premium. If we wanted the same amount of space we had back home in Vancouver, the rent would be astronomical, so we decided to keep it small and settled into a 200 square foot apartment. In the first few days it became apparent that in order to make this space work, we would have to adopt some new routines. Here is what I have learned so far about living in a small space. Some of these tips can be used to great effect in larger living spaces as well for a more minimalist lifestyle. 

1. All clothing and shoes should be items that you a) love and b) wear often. Invest in quality items and only buy things you absolutely love and need. This is a constant process of evaluation and if something isn't being used it needs to either be donated, sold, or thrown out. Be ruthless in your decisions and you will never leave the house in an outfit you aren't happy with again due to the fact it was all that was left in your closet. You will also do less laundry. This has been one of my favourite changes so far. 

2. Clean and organize for 15 minutes a day. In a tiny space, being messy is not an option. You simply can't close the door to the overflowing storage room or shove your cloths under the bed. I have found taking a short break to clean and organize each day is necessary to keeping our sanity in check. Doing something each day avoids hours of doing everything at once and doesn't seem like such a chore. 

3. Shop for your food daily and eat everything you buy. North Americans are notorious for wasting hoards of food left to rot in the back of their gigantic fridges. I for one was extremely guilty of this! It was insane how much food I threw out. When your fridge is a bar fridge, you are very selective in what you can store and it is usually only enough space for one or two days of food. I can't remember the last time I actually finished a jar of jam or pickles without accidentally buying another one first. When you buy your food daily you can eat exactly what you feel like that day and it is guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. In Paris it is much easier to accomplish this as there are markets on every corner and they package their food in smaller quantities, but you could probably swing every few days in a North American lifestyle without too much trouble. 

4. Use your daily grocery bags as garbage bags. Instead of buying garbage bags here, I have been using the plastic bags as my daily garbage bag. I fill it up each day and take it down the next day. When you sleep right beside your kitchen, garbage can't be hanging around for too long before things become unpleasant. I have found the small grocery bags to be the perfect size to collect the days garbage and that way we are re-using the plastic bag instead of throwing it out or letting it pile up in a drawer. Yes, you could use a tote bag to get your groceries and buy garbage bags, but this is cheaper. 

5. Do your dishes immediately after your meal, eliminating the need for a dishwasher. Not many places in Paris have the luxury of a dishwasher. Keep dishes to a minimum and wash them after every use. In North America we all have far too many dishes taking up far too much cupboard space. If we washed them daily instead of letting them pile up in big dishwashers, we wouldn't need as many dishes. It's a vicious cycle really. 

6. Hand wash one item of clothing each day. Many apartments don't have washing machines here and even fewer have dryers. While I don't think I would give up having my own washer and dryer upon moving home, for now, I'm going to avoid the high cost of doing laundry for a daily hand wash of one item. A lot of my cloths are hand wash anyways so it works out nicely to keep on top of it daily. I will still head to the laundromat from time to time but I'm going to try to keep it to a minimum.

7. Use products (make-up, lotions, cleaners) until they are completely finished before purchasing new ones. You only have so much storage space for products and you don't need two different products that accomplish the same thing. Are you like me (pre-minimalism kick) and have 10 bottles of body lotion half used in your bathroom cupboard? I thought so. When you live in a small space it's best to stick to products you enjoy and use every day. You will save money, reduce clutter, and need less space. I would challenge you to completely purge your product hoard and start fresh. It feels good. Trust me. 

8. Mirrors make things look more spacious. Strategically placing mirrors on different walls in a small apartment can make it look twice the size. In our place there are mirrors on all of the closet doors. It gives the illusion of a continuing space and reflects light to brighten the space. 

9. Utilize multi-purpose furniture. Our sofa folds into our bed and our table folds into the wall to free up space. In such a small space you need more out of your furniture than ever before. Everything has to be easily moved and multi-functioning to warrant it's place. Function and beauty should still go hand in hand in small places but function is king. 

10. Keep clutter and unnecessary decoration to a minimum. Decorative objects aren't really an option in 200 square feet. Great art on the walls is a good idea, but keeping the small surfaces you have clear is a necessity. Focusing on great finishes, fixtures, and storage units that are permanent is key to great design in small spaces.  

I am really enjoying incorporating some of these new tactics into my increasingly minimalist lifestyle. It has been an adjustment, but will ultimately save me time and money. Time is our most valuable asset. No amount of money can buy you time so spending the day cleaning your giant house might be better spent exploring a new cafe or museum wouldn't you say? 

Until next time,

Bryony

THE SPOTLIGHT: LEVI GROENEVELD PHOTOGRAPHY

I feel truly lucky to be married to a talented photographer who can not only shoot my spaces, but fill them with magnificent artwork. Levi Groeneveld started his career fuelled by a passion for travel photography which eventually led to doing interiors and architectural photography in Vancouver where there is no shortage of beautiful spaces to shoot. Along the way he has developed a wonderful collection of abstracts and landscapes that are the beginnings of his fine art collection. As we are moving to Paris in August, Levi is taking the opportunity to develop this collection while continuing to hone his interiors and architecture skills. I look forward to all of the new work that will be created this year as we travel the globe! 

All of Levi's photographs are available for purchase and can be made with custom finishes and sizes. Everything can be shipped worldwide. Check out his website and blog for continuous updates to his collection. 

Check out a few of my favourites below, and stay tuned for future collaborations soon! 

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Contact Levi at www.levigroeneveld.com for any details! 

A Designer's Guide To Vancouver - Main Street

Welcome to the first segment in a new blog series called "A Designer's guide to...." in this case Vancouver. This series is in collaboration with my personal photographer and husband, Levi Groeneveld, a Vancouver interiors, architecture and fine art photographer. We love to travel and explore new places at home and around the world. We were inspired to start this guide as a way to share our experiences and offer inspiration to those looking to explore a new city. This Summer we are going to be living in Paris and plan to travel to many other cities throughout the year. Stay tuned for city guides from around the world as our journey unfolds. Whether it's an eclectic neighbourhood coffee shop, a trendy new restaurant, or a place to get beautifully designed home accessories, a designer's guide is here to give you a curated list of places that offer great design in all forms. 

Without further adieu, welcome to Main Street! Home to some of the city's best independent boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants. Always refreshing and lively, a day on Main is a day well spent. 

1. Le Marché St. George 

4939 St. George Street at the corner of E. 28th Ave., Vancouver BC 

A few blocks East of Main Street lies the hidden gem of Le Marché St. George. Start your day off right at this lovely neighbourhood cafe with an amazing cup of coffee and a delicious treat. The offerings are always changing but you can be sure that the daily selection will be scrumptious. One of my favourite parts of the experience was the vintage silver serving trays, spoons, and saucers they used to serve their guests. Monocle Magazine called it one of the world's best cafes. The market is charming and rustic and offers a selection of gourmet items that are worth checking out. This place is not to be missed!

2. JoJo's Place 

4376 Main Street, Vancouver BC

Calling all antique lovers! This is a great place for industrial vintage finds. Many of the pieces are restored to their former glory in-house and they do a wonderful job. The store is as eclectic as they come but you're sure to find a gem in one corner or another! 

3. Nineteen Ten Home Boutique  

4366 Main Street, Vancouver BC

As you walk down Main street be sure to pop into Nineteen Ten, a modern vintage boutique with a wonderful selection of furniture, lighting, and accessories. Beautifully designed, this store showcases it's offerings in a creative and eclectic way. If you're looking for the perfect vintage accessory, this is your place.

4. Vincent Park 

4278 Main Street, Vancouver BC

Next up is the great, Vincent Park boutique, offering a curated selection of men and women's clothing and accessories. The store has an edited design with pops of interest like a photo booth in the middle of the store. Fun! Stop here for that classic piece your wardrobe is missing, or for something a little more of the moment; they have a good mix. 

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5. Eugene Choo

3683 Main Street, Vancouver BC

If you're looking for a unique designer piece, look no further than Eugene Choo. Offering a nice mix of labels like Aigle, A.P.C., Picnic, and Henrik Vibskov, this relaxed boutique gives you both local and international options. Don't forget the Annex next door which offers a great selection of men and women's shoes and accessories. The atmosphere at Eugene Choo is friendly with lots of natural light and a simple yet curated display. Don't miss it!

6. Umeboshi Shoes

3638 Main Street, Vancouver BC

You're probably tired from shopping now so you might as well head on over to Umeboshi, take a seat in their awesome vintage theatre chairs and try on some shoes! Not just your ordinary shoe collection, these are a carefully curated selection of handcrafted beauties you need in your closet now. Do yourself a favour and invest in a well made pair of shoes that will last for many years to come. Find brands like CoclicoDieppa RestrepoArgila, Rachel Comey, and Oak Street Bootmakers on the shelves here. Finally can we please turn our attention to the miniature shoe last on the front door stopper. Squee! 

7. Vancouver Special

3612 Main Street, Vancouver BC

If you like mid-century modern design, then Vancouver Special is your kind of store. They have everything for the modern home from clocks to sofas to teapots. Take a browse at their interesting library of design and architecture books or the entries from a student design competition they currently have on display. Some brands of interest here are Braun alarm clocksMountain Beanbags, and HAY sofas. Check it!

8. Flower Factory

3604 Main Street, Vancouver BC

Look no further then their long list of awards and accolades to realize that flower factory is one of the best in the city. I can personally vouch that their work is nothing short of amazing as I worked with them for my own wedding. Stop in to browse their wide collection of flowers and succulents and be sure to check out what they're busy working on for their next event. Visiting with a friend later? Why not whip up a little bouquet and make their day. There is nothing better than fresh flowers in the home. 

9. Burdock & Co

2702 Main Street, Vancouver BC

You must be getting hungry by now so head on down to Burdock & Co for some seriously delicious food and drink. Their menu consists of share plates that change to reflect the seasonal availability of ingredients. There is a focus on sourcing local ingredients, naturalist wines, and craft beers. We tried the ricotta nettle gnudi, buttermilk fried chicken, and rosemary smoked muscles. They were all amazing but the gnudi, similar to gnocchi, is a must try. The design concept here is rough and refined. It mixes industrial elements like the lighting and bar stools with delicate tile work on the bar to achieve a space that is worth checking out in it's own right. Burdock & Co's relaxed charm and friendly service will keep you coming back on the regular! Check out the dinner menu here. 

10. Brassneck Brewery

2148 Main Street, Vancouver BC

After dinner, head down to Brassneck Brewery and taste some great local beers! Tasters come in flights of four. Pick your favourite one and hang out all night. Rotating food trucks hang outside the front door and they are happy to let you gab something and bring it in. If you like what you've tasted, grab your own growler and take some home. You can't get it anywhere else so now's the chance to stock up. Growlers are the resealable glass bottles that are taking the beer world by storm lately. There are a variety of sizes available, all adorned with some pretty awesome graphics and branding (There are also T-shirts if you like the graphics too). The staff here are friendly, knowledgeable, and happy to help you find a beer you're sure to love. The design in here is industrial with lots of reclaimed wood and concrete floors. You can check out the beer being made next store through gaps in the walls which is a feature I particularly like about the design. Brassneck Brewery is sure to cap off your adventure in a fun and lively way.

That concludes our curated tour of Main Street! This by no means is an exhaustive list of all of the great spots on Main with elements of good design. We could go on and on, but for now we'll leave it at 10 spots! Hopefully something has peaked your interest and you will get out and explore this great city! 

Enjoy!

Bryony + Levi

All photos copyright Levi Groeneveld.