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Chinese New Year is upon us and people of Chinese descent around the world are prepping their red envelopes, bringing out the lucky red decor, and striving to become one with the year of the Earth Dog.

This year we decided to unpack the origins of the Chinese Zodiac using the story of the Great Race, which is the foundation for why this week will be chock-full of red-themed festivities! The story of the Great Race has been told in a variety of ways, but there remain recurring themes in all the stories.

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor – considered the first, and leader of all Chinese mythological gods – decided to host a race involving all the animals. The animals had to cross to the opposing side of a river to determine their position in the Zodiac.

First came the Cat and the Rat, who devised a plan to ride the oblivious Ox across the river. Little did the Cat know however, he didn’t really have a friend in the Rat and he was about to find out why. As soon as the Ox set off, the Rat scared the Cat off the Ox and in to the water. By the time the Cat could react, the Ox had already traveled too far ahead. This is said to be the beginning of the animosity between cats and rats, as well as cats’ loathing of getting wet.

The Ox was poised to be the first animal to complete the race, however the Rat then expeditiously leaped forward from above the Ox to effectively steal the title. The Ox was unperturbed by this so he simply eased his way to second place.

February is here and that means a new custom look for your digital devices! We’re really excited to present this month’s amalgam of inspiration ready for you to download. We featured an absolutely eye-catching floor seat by New York based designer Mario Milana, as well as incorporated some puppy love in celebration of the up-coming Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog). We hope you will join us as we #LIVthewallpaper and keep the inspiration flowing for 2018!

Today’s sophisticated consumer looks to shop in a modernist architectural space with an industrial flare. The modernist aspect of this is key, in lieu of the on-going technological revolution. With consumers having so many other options availed to them online, it is necessary to rethink the overall shopping experience. Usher in the future of retail, the ubiquitous “concept store.” Gone are the days of the overwhelming department stores. This generation wants to know where our clothes, furniture and accessories are designed and made, and more about the designers themselves. Innovative brands with unique design ideas create the experience-based alternative lovingly known as the concept store.

At LIV, we’re an eclectic bunch. We proudly celebrate the diversity that makes up the very fabric of our office culture. So when it came time for us to develop our 2017 Christmas Playlist, it was a given that our song selections would cover a gamut of musical genres and generations.   Have a look and see if your favorites made our list.

If your favorite Christmas song didn’t make our list this year, share it with us in the comments section below. We want to know what you’re listening to…and who knows, it might make our playlist next year.

May your Christmas be filled with great food, wonderful company…and banging tunes!!

The Team at LIV

December is here and that means it’s time to bring out the festive decor! This month, we feature representations of special pieces that have us immersed in the holiday spirit. The calendar consists of a Dolce Vita bar cart designed by Ceci Thompson, holding celebratory drinks; a Dara wire wreath, an exclusive Paz tree, and an Ilex berry branch. This season presents the perfect opportunity for varying forms of creativity, so festive decor is only the beginning. Stay inspired and #LIVthewallpaper with us by updating all your devices with a fresh new look for the holidays!

If you’re working in the building design profession and you haven’t heard of the name Matthew McCormick yet, you’re probably living in a hole…albeit a very nice hole. Since launching Matthew McCormick Studio in 2013 his highly acclaimed light fixtures have become a hit within our design community and his talents have been sought after worldwide.  I had the honor of working with Matthew on a project a couple of years back and I’m excited to be working with him once again. We recently met up for coffee to talk about work and engaged in a fun and inspiring Q&A session.

Matthew McCormick Photo

What sparked your interest in lighting design?

I believe lighting has always had the ability to evoke an experience and set the tone and atmosphere of a space. When it comes to decorative lighting, it also has the ability to be the centerpiece and focal point; illuminating a room with art. Although I’ve always been a bit of a tinkerer, l always had an affinity for lighting; creating sculptural pieces that came to life when you turned them on.

Our collective of designers at LIV is centred around talent and potential, and we love sharing our stories. Take a glimpse into our world and see what makes the team work together so well!

Our talent here comes from many walks of life. Come through our doors and you’ll see a buzzing studio, and sometimes a barking studio, mainly from our resident 4-legged furry friends.

As we mentioned previously, lighting is a key area in which the LIV team actualizes interesting design concepts. The Brentwood Presentation Centre is yet another location where we stretched our imagination to come up with something meaningful and eye-catching.

At its core, the lighting at BPC reflects an element of nature. The seven-chandelier showpiece design is based on the seven Asteres Planetai of ancient Greek myth, referring to the planets that are visible to the naked eye.

We welcome you to #LIVthewallpaper with us this month via some very special pieces. Our custom calendar pays homage to the Eames bird which has been a staple in design for decades, as well as the lovely Terasso shelving unit by Tony Almen and Peter Gest. To add more life to the calendar, we also included a beautiful fig tree that lives within our current work space. Hopefully, the vibrancy and richness expressed can make its way to your September and the rest of the year! Download links below.