Sunday, October 31, 2010

The hills are alive… in Antwerp?!

Can you believe the movie The Sound of Music is 45 years old? In honour of my most favourite movie of all time – complete with the coolest nuns ever – I give you the BEST way to brighten up your Sunday. I dare ya not to smile :-)

Need a blog makeover? Then be sure to enter my giveaway to win a FREE blog design from the super-talented Katie Lane of DreamUp Studios. To enter, click here.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Winner #1 & Bribery Giveaway #2!

mattThanks to everyone who entered my very first JAX does design giveaway, and an extra thank you to everyone who helped spread the word :-) I had so much fun reading all your answers to the Rorschach test :-) Special props to Shannon at What’s Up Whimsy for being the first one to enter AND for seeing the same thing I see – a whale! More specifically, I see a killer whale in water surrounded by icebergs and glaciers in Alaska. And more special props to Paul at Kitchen and Residential Design for the most elaborate and creative answer:

I see an homage to Marc Chagall's "The Wrestling of Jacob and the Angel" but with a Canadian twist.

The scene unfolds on the surface of a glacier and there are mountains rising in the background. Chagall's angel is in mid-flight at the lower left side. To the angel's right, there's a snow goose stretching his neck in the direction of the angel and there's a cobalt blue butterfly perched on the snow goose's beak. To the right and above the snow goose, a flock of more snow geese fly in formation in the distance.


matt close

jacob & angel ChagallMarc Chagall’s “The Wrestling of Jacob and an Angel”

Does it mean that I’m as crazy as Paul if I say I can actually kind of see it?! ;-)

Anyway, on to the important part – choosing the winner!! With no further ado, the completely random and unbiased winner of Matt LeBlanc’s fantastic abstract painting is… before I announce the winner, I swear to you, the draw was totally and completely on the up-and-up 100% unbiased. Cross my heart and hope to die, I let random,org select the winner. The only thing I did was enter number range. That’s it. So I had nothing to do with the fact that for the third time out of four giveaways, a Matt LeBlanc painting is going to a new home right here in Ottawa. And chose #4…

Maureen at MoDecor

Maureen, you are on a roll! Enjoy your new painting!

And now, on to…

Giveaway #2 – Win a free blog design from Aqua Blue Sunrise!

Don’t be too bummed if you didn’t win, because here’s another great giveaway! Katie Lane at DreamUp Studios has kindly offered one JAX does design reader a free blog design from the newest DreamUp design store, Aqua Blue Sunrise!

aqua logo[bb]

Katie will create a blog design especially for you for either Blogger or WordPress. It’s a great opportunity to freshen up your existing blog, or to get started on a new blog (and you know who you are!)

Here are a few examples of Katie’s blog designs…

katie bonnybridal katie chateaualamode katie misskissntell katie ricephoto katie southerncalisavers katie ttb

And of course, my favourite two Katie designs. DesignTies and JAX does design!

katie dt katie jax

So how can you win? Easy – seeing as my advertising budget is tiny (OK, it’s $0.00), I need your help to spread the word about JAX does design. You can:

  • Add JAX does design to your blog roll
  • Tweet about JAX
  • Blog about JAX
  • Mention JAX on your Facebook page
  • Any other way you can think of to get the word out!

Leave ONE comment for EACH WAY you spread the word about JAX. If you do five things, leave five comments. And the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win! Also, be sure to stop by DreamUp Studios and take a look at all of Katie’s great work – start planning for your own blog design!

The giveaway is open to everyone, but if don’t have a blog, make sure you leave your e-mail address or some way to contact you in your comment. Giveaway closes next Thursday, November 4th at 11:59PM and I’ll announce the winner next Friday.

Good luck!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2010

Every year, a group of interior designers in New York City decorate the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. The sale of the house raises money for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, a charity that supports children in the NY metropolitan area.

This year’s show house (the 38th) is located at 106 East 71st Street. It’s a 6 storey, 25-foot wide limestone built around 1900. If you have a spare $28.8 million, the house can be yours! Don’t have $28.8 million floating around? Me neither. But at least we can oogle over the pictures online :-) And if you’re in the NYC area, the show home is now open to the public for viewing until November 11th.

The show house is meant to inspire and show design ideas that you could incorporate into your own home. Take a look and see if you’re inspired. Let’s start in the front entry, designed by Katie Ridder. Rich dark brown and deep coral is a great colour combination. The wallpaper is Pagoda and is from Katie Ridder’s wallpaper collection.

kips entry katie ridder

This rubber & plaster floral appliqué by muralist Nina Helms looks fantastic against the dark grey wall.

kips plaster in hall nina helms

Hello blue living room! Check out those HUGE lamps! And isn’t the ottoman the coolest shape? With one of my design crushes, contrasting piping :-) Designed by Sherrill Canet Interiors.

kips lr sherrill canet interiors

I can’t help myself, I LOVE the awesome purple wallpaper in the kitchen! And the rest of the room isn’t too shabby either –- check out the great crown moulding and strié ceiling. Designed by Eve Robinson.

kips kitchen eve robinson

kips kitchen eve robinson 2

More great ceiling detailing in the dining room, designed by Cullman & Kravis. Beautiful curtains too.

kips dr cullman and kravis

Tiny bubbles… in the tub… OK, maybe glass bubbles in the tub isn’t so practical, but hanging ABOVE the tub? LOVE IT! Room designed by Ed Ku and Etienne Coffinier of Coffinier Ku Design. Glass bubbles designed by Suzan Etkin.

kips bath ed ku etienne coffinier

kips bath ed ku etienne coffinier 2

More marvelously beautiful bubbles in this living room (yes, there are TWO!).  Ku & Coffinier were inspired to use bubbles in their two rooms by this photograph by Melvin Sokolsky:


Awesome wood & lucite coffee table – great combination of earthy & glam.

kips living ku coffinier


The dressing room is an interesting mix of colours, textures, and patterns.. See how the carpet, drum stool, and air intake cover are all a similar pattern?  Designed by Darren Henault, photograph by Alex Prager.

kips dressing room darren henault

Love the colours and the wallpaper in this bedsitter designed by Elizabeth Pyne from McMillen Interior Design and Decoration. The tufting & pleating & buttons on the sofa are fantastic details. And of course, the stump table is fab! It sort of gives the feeling of being in an enchanted forest…

The master bedroom exudes Hollywood glam. LOVE the tufting on the upholstered bed. Designed by Noel Jeffrey.

kips bedroom noel jeffrey 3

The wood-paneled library was designed by Vicente Wolf. The windows are fantastic! Doesn’t it look like a warm & cozy place to curl up with a good book?

kips library

This landing has so many elements that I love, starting with the great nailhead trim detailing on the walls. The white wainscoting and chunky crown moulding contrast nicely against the dark walls and glossy black ceiling. Seriously, how cool is that ceiling?! Look at the light that it reflects, not to mention that glossy = sexy! And check out the great carpet. Designed by Robert Verdi and Deirdre D’Elia of Robert Verdi Inc.

kips landing robert verdi deirdre delia

And no $28.8 million dollar home would be complete without a spa featuring his & hers massage tables! Luxury designed by Jennifer Post.

kips spa roomImages from New York Times Home & Garden, Daily Fix, Coffinier Ku Design, and

Like what you see? Then check out lots more pictures of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House here and here and here. And read all about it in this in-depth New York Times article.

I’d move in – would you?

You have till midnight tonight to enter my giveaway to win a beautiful abstract painting by Matt LeBlanc. Go here to enter! And come back tomorrow to see if you’re the lucky winner…

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IDS11, here we come!

It’s official – eight Ottawa Decorating Divas have booked our train tickets and reserved our hotel rooms for IDS11 in Toronto. We’re going to be taking the MTCC by storm on January 27th at the Opening Night Gala!

Here are some pics from last year’s show – which, by the way, was pretty fantastic :-) There was amazing lighting…

IDS chandelier am studio 2_thumb[1]

IDS feather lamp snob 2_thumb[1]

IDS chandelier living lighting 2_thumb[1]

IDS wood floor lamp 2_thumb[1]

IDS dandelions ikea[3]

IDS moroccan style lights 1_thumb[1]  (1) AM Studio, (2) Snob, (3) Living Lighting, (4) Unknown, (5) Ikea, (6) Snob

Cool furniture, decorative items, carpets, and tiles…

IDS broken table 1_thumb[1]

IDS chair ziggys at home[3] IDS pinecone 2[3]

IDS carpet w studio 2_thumb[1]

IDS tiles saltillo_thumb[1]Unknown, Ziggy’s At Home, Unknown, W Studio, Saltillo Imports

And fantastic displays…

IDS watermarks bath_thumb[1]

IDS green kitchen_thumb[1] IDS 1Watermarks, Unknown, Studio 22 Interiors

This is just a tiny sampling of all the cool stuff you’ll see at the show. The Opening Night Gala is the first opportunity to check out IDS, and is definitely worth the price of admission.

If you’re planning to be at the show, drop me a line and let me know – it would be great to meet up with some blog & Twitter buddies :-)

If you’re looking for Hallowe’en goodies inspiration, check out this post. And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a 16” x 20” original abstract painting by Matt LeBlanc. Click here to enter!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cool & creepy cakes & cookies

I recently discovered a great baking blog by a fellow Ottawaian (or however you say it), Paula at Vanilla Bean Baker. And through Paula’s blog, I found another great baking blog, I Am Baker. (Don’t ya love how that works?) Amanda has created some of the coolest Hallowe’en cakes – she is one seriously talented baker! Check out her cool & creepy creations, starting with this red velvet cake with marshmallow buttercream ghosts:

amanda ghostcake4

amanda ghostcakeinside3

How fun are those ghosts!? And here’s more fun – check out this awesome pumpkin cake:

amanda pumpkincakes7

Cool enough, you might be thinking, but what makes it awesome? THIS makes it awesome:

amanda pumpkincakesinside7

Say it with me now – AWESOME! I have no idea how Amanda made the candle, but that is seriously cool! And she created this cake of awesomeness too:

amanda batcake13

It has a bat inside!

amanda batcakeinside13

Ghosts & pumpkins & bats not your thing? Well, then how about spiders? Lots of creepy crawly spider petits fours:

amanda spider petit fours

And here are come cute & colourful cookies created by Meaghan at The Decorated Cookie. They just happen to be in some of my favourite colours :-)

meaghan cookies  meaghan cookies 2

And one last treat from Paula at Vanilla Bean Baker – she baked and decorated these bat & moon cookies:

paula cookies

And then turned them into a fun & edible mobile:

paula bat-mobile-3

If you’d like to try out Amanda’s & Meaghan’s & Paula’s Hallowe’en cake & cookie creations, here are the recipes:

Happy baking!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a 16” x 20” original abstract painting by Matt LeBlanc. Click here to enter!

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