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Spring is in the air and that usually means a few things;  Allergy season is in full gear (ACHOO!), your Instagram feed will be inundated with cherry blossom selfies, and patio season is finally upon us!!

As interior designers, we encourage our clients and homeowners to use their outdoor spaces as an extension of their homes; as a secondary living or dining room for example.  With homes today shrinking in size, it’s important to make every square foot as usable and LIVable as possible.. LIVsmart = LIVwell!

Thanks to advancements in material technology, today’s outdoor furnishings are often as comfortable and durable as their indoor counterparts. And with so many high end retailers releasing new annual collections, outdoor furnishings and accessories have never looked so fabulous!!

The CLODAGH collection in bronze hand woven resin and the HAVANA collection in all-weather resin are two of our current favorites. Well designed, and well made, both are available through Restoration Hardware.

Living the simple life is a wonderful concept and one that we often all strive for.  We all know the basic rules of buying less and purging often but it’s a lot easier said than done, for some of us at least. As designers, we often surround ourselves with the things we love; books, art, collectables and items with sentimental value…like bags and shoes (sorry-not-sorry). Ok, jokes aside…if you can live a simple and uncluttered life, kudos to you! But for the other 99.9% of us, clever, beautiful storage solutions are what we need.

What does it mean to go green in 2017? Well, while some of you might think we’re talking about expanding your environmental efforts, we’re actually referring to a Pantone colour.  The authority on colour announced late last year that Greenery 15-0343 was their selection for 2017 Colour of the Year.  They added that the yellow-green shade was a “symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” With Pantone’s strong influence permeating into all areas of design, culture and lifestyle (food, fashion, technology, etc.), expect to see a whole lot of yellowy-green goodness in the next 12+ months.

To help you join in on Pantone’s zesty Greenery year-long party, we’ve put together a list of fun, yellowy-green goods that you can wear, play with, drink…and most importantly, design and decorate with. Get ready to Go Green(ery)!!

Vivaciously Bold

When Diana Vreeland launched her scent VIVACIOUSLY BOLD in a vivaciously bold green bottle, it created quite a buzz. This is one bottle of eau de parfum you’ll want to leave out “accidentally on the guest bathroom vanity….oops!! Get yours here.

Technology

Ready to up your Instagram game? Then droning may be the thing for you. They capture stunning aerial images and breathtakingly beautiful videos. You can easily spend up to $3000+ for an advanced model or you can spend around $300 for a hobby level drone like this one by Protocol. Please note that there are some restrictions and regulations to flying drones. Before you fly, we encourage you to check out the do’s and don’ts according to your state or provincial transport authority.

Kale Daiquiri

Put down those potato chips and grab a handful of Kale! This guilt-free Kale Daiquiri not only taste good, it’s also good for you! Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day, you’ll agree that getting healthy never tasted so good! Enjoy it with a handful of potato chips…oh wait, we mean kale chips (wink-wink).

 

 

Nursery

We love this storage tote from  The land of Nod in the perfect shade of Greenery and available in two sizes, it will look perfect in a nursery along with this lovely Under the Sea Wall Art- Turtle (also from The land of Nod).

Art

There may be 50 shades of grey but we’d like to think there are 60 shades of greenery. This giclée print by Laura van Horne gives us all the evidence we need. It comes with a charcoal grey finished frame and hangs both vertically or horizontally. Available here.

The Lana Lamp

This incredibly cute Lana table lamp from Spencer Interiors is bound to light up any room. It comes with a unique magnetic felt shade that can be attached anywhere along the lamp’s metal base. The shade comes in five different colour ways but we suggest you go with moss.

Palet Storage Jar

If you’re going to steal a cookie from the cookie jar, then why not do it from one that looks smashingly gorgeous!?!  This beautiful mouth-blown Palet Storage Jar (available at Provide Home) will look great on a vanity, in a bookshelf, or on your kitchen counter. Capable of storing anything from cotton balls to cookies, this jar of green is meant to be seen!

 

The Oliver Chair

If you’re in the market for a lounge chair, may we suggest the Oliver Chair by Ralph Pucci? You are bound to receive compliments from this chair that’s dressed to impress!!

So there you have it, some simple, fun and bold ways to go Green(ery) this year.  Follow our simple guide and you’ll be the talk of the town while you’re friends will all be green with envy!

Growing up in a Chinese household and with fairly traditional parents, Chinese New Year has always been a pretty big deal. I won’t lie though, as a kid, it was all about the red envelopes (with money inside as a symbol of good luck). But as the years have passed and now that I’m an adult, Chinese New Year has become more about gaining a deeper understanding of my cultural roots and developing a greater appreciation for all things CNY – the food, the traditions, the celebrations, etc.

Traditions and Superstitions

My parents made us practice pretty much every possible CNY superstition you can think of – cleaning the house (to sweep away bad luck), not washing our hair on CNY (washes away good luck), and only speaking words of affirmation. With four other siblings in the house, the latter was a massive challenge!! If you’re planning to partake in some of these or other Chinese New Year taboos or superstitions, you still have a bit of time. Spring Festival a.k.a Chinese New Year kicks off this year with the new moon on January 28th and ends on the full moon 15 days later. Yes, that’s right, 15 full days later!!  January 28th also signifies that start to the year of the rooster.

chineseyear1-LIV

Fish symbols stand for increased prosperity

This month we are greatly inspired by the color red; found everywhere during Chinese New Year. Red symbolizes good luck and happiness. Here are 10 red items to help welcome the year of the Fire Rooster in style.

  1. These Dynasty Napkin Rings from Kim Seybert will stand out in any table setting. They come in sets of 4.
  2. The Ora Desk Lamp is a truly rare piece by Australian designer Ross Gardam. Production is limited to twenty-five individually numbered gold pieces.
  3. Enjoy this modern rendition of chopsticks made of Macassar Ebony.
  4. Yet another modern adaptation of Chinese culture, this Lucky Envelope contains teabags of Organic Long Life Green and Organic Imperial Oolong.
  5. This Capiz placemat from Kim Seybert is  perfect for anyone seeking to brighten up a family table with the spirit of the New Year.
  6. Rouge Louboutin is a signature lip color from Christian Louboutin’s Beauty collection that doubles up as a piece of jewelry sure to complement your outfit perfectly at a Chinese New Year dinner.
  7. This 62% dark chocolate rooster by Thomas Haas ushers in the Year of the Fire Rooster with a handmade creation aimed at showing respect to the tenth sign in the Chinese Zodiac.
  8. Get regal with the Harcourt 1841 Louis Philippe Glass by Baccarat for your Chinese New Year table. As an ode to a piece commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in 1841, this glass will add a royal element to your dining experience.
  9. These red napkins are from the Sferra Collection, which we ordered through Fine Linens in New York.
  10. We absolutely love the Febo High Back Dinnerchair from Maxalto. Look closely at the blanket stich details.

What are your top 10 picks for the Chinese New Year?

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