Five Faves

Hi Everyone!

I hope that your fall is off to a great start! Here in Montreal we are back on a partial lockdown which means spending a lot more time at home. Thankfully being in lockdown has given me a new appreciation for my home and it has forced me to actually work on my space rather then just dream about it.  It has also forced me to learn how to prioritize my mental health and incorporate methods to relax and unwind into my lifestyle. This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada but due to the lockdown there are no gatherings allowed. While I normally enjoy a holiday meals with loved ones I have never been a fan of the standard turkey dinner. Seeing as how I am alone this year I decided to do something different, so I am channeling my inner Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and having beef ribs, jasmine rice and green beans along with a glass of my favourite red wine. I am looking forward it even if it is unique as a Thanksgiving meal. This year has been challenging in many ways, which has made me incredibly grateful for things that make me smile, that I enjoy and make me happy.  Here are five faves that I am currently loving:

84A2B29C-0F86-4AFD-BC2F-417356D84CE8

I have been a fan of Tracy Tutor since she first debuted on Million Dollar Listings Los Angeles. I have always been a fan of the show but it needed some powerful feminine energy and Tracy Tutor was the perfect addition. She has endless hustle, an incredible sense of style and is nobody’s pushover which makes for great television viewing. While her and I are in a similar age group she is who I want to be when I grow up. When I heard that Tracy had written a book I immediately ordered it. It’s an easy read, written with Tracy’s honest, hardworking, no nonsense attitude and encourages the reader to push forward despite the fear that they may be facing. And the cover is absolute goals. She looks strong, powerful and in control which is exactly how she wants the reader to feel all the while embracing their own personal fears. I enjoyed this book and will be referring to it often when I am having doubts about myself.

My best friend recently gifted me this notebook. I love the pretty mint green colour and the Coco Chanel quote is always a perfect reminder. The notebook sat on my counter for a couple of days while I thought about how I wanted to use it. One morning while listening to a podcast while getting ready for work the practice of having a gratitude journal was mentioned. I had heard of this practice before but I had never really connected with it previously. This time though, the idea of gratitude journaling sounded like just what I needed, and I now had the perfect notebook to journal in. It’s too soon to call it a habit just yet, but so far I am really enjoying this practice. I find that for me the best time to journal is right after dinner. Everyday I think about my day and find ten things that I am grateful for. Some days are easier then others, but I have found that even taking some time to consciously think about how fortunate I am to live in a safe and comfortable home, that I have clean running water and food to eat and even the fact that I woke up in the morning. These are all things that I am incredibly grateful for and have often previously taken for granted.

I love listening to podcasts in the morning and I enjoy reading Domino magazine so I was thrilled when I heard that they now had a podcast. The first guest was one of my favourite designers Kelly Wearstler so of course I was immediately hooked. My favourite episode though was the recent one with design genius Jenna Lyons. I love Jenna’s work, from her time at J Crew to her swoon worthy homes that have been featured in Domino and in Athena Calderone’s Live Beautiful. I am so excited for Jenna’s upcoming projects which include a show on HBO Max and designing hotels. This episode in many ways reinvigorated my love of design and desire to learn and grow. Love it!

All of this extra time at home has me spending a lot of time in front of the television. While this is not ideal, and I am making a conscious effort to do other things like cook and read more, there are a few shows that I am loving at the moment. Emily In Paris has gotten a lot of buzz since it was released last week. While there is a lot about this show that could use some work (how exactly is she affording all of that Chanel on her salary?), there is also a lot to enjoy. Like many, I have dreamed about moving to Paris and experiencing all the magic that the city has to offer, and this show has helped to fill my travel dreaming heart while I am in lockdown. And while I didn’t love Emily’s outfits, her boss and Camille’s wardrobes more then make up for it.
Bad Boy Billionaires India popped up as a Netflix recommendation for me this past week and I was intrigued so I added it to my list. It is only three episodes with each one profiling a different Indian billionaire’s downfall. It’s eye opening and interesting and I binged all three episodes in two days. If you are interested in seeing how people around the world got too big too fast and were unable to sustain it then this show may be of interest to you.

This is Paris is a YouTube documentary that has gotten a lot of attention. I had heard that it was quite good and thought that I would check it out for myself. I loved it. The behind the scene insight on a celebrity that is often written off or badly characterized was intriguing and a great reminder that there is often more to people then what they seem or what they are willing to show you. While my life couldn’t be more different then Paris Hilton’s I connected with the subject matter in many levels and appreciated the insight that the documentary provided. It is a worthwhile watch.

All of this time at home has me focused on my environment and how to make it as enjoyable and comfortable as I can. One thing that many overlook is the scent of a home. I have been searching for many years to find a home fragrance that I loved. The standard ones from Glade and other popular brands seemed artificial, and I have lost count of the different brands of candles that I have tried in the hopes that something would stick. While browsing a home goods shop earlier in the summer I came across Laboratorio Olfattivo’s Zen-Zero fragrance and decided to give it a try. I love the combination of ginger, cedar wood and sandalwood and it leaves my home smelling fresh, cool and comforting. I will be picking up the Zen-Zero diffuser next to help to elevate the fragrance of my home even further. The scent makes me happy and has elevated my home environment, love it!

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today! I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Inspiring Design is a renovated 140 year old terrace home in Melbourne, Australia. Terrace homes have always fascinated me. While I normally gravitate towards images of spacious homes, I am always impressed when the design of a terrace home makes the most of the limited space to create the illusion of a larger area.

As this is a heritage home, conserving the exterior of the home was important. The renovation focused on the back of the home, where the space was opened up to the back garden. The brief from the clients included an outdoor entertaining area and low maintenance garden, and that the extension should be as light filled and spacious as possible.

The result is a fluid passage thru the home and a light filled open plan that makes the most of the space. Floor to ceiling windows and glass doors along with a concrete bench that runs from the extension to the outdoor space, creates a flow between the indoor and outdoor space.

Simple, clean lines combined with natural materials such as concrete, steel and timber contrast beautifully with the historical facade of the home.

The clean and uncluttered colour palette helps to further open up the space. Book matched marble and a gorgeous statement gold hood elevate the luxe factor, while bold artwork and a few pieces of brightly coloured furniture add a fun playfulness to the home.

The sophisticated grey colour used throughout the bedroom and bathroom is both welcoming and elegant. The use of different textiles in the same colour add subtle visual interest and keep the spaces from being boring.

I especially loved the entryway to the home. Although it’s quite narrow which is normal for a terrace home, the beautiful crown moulding and archway combined with natural light streaming in from the stairwell and the back extension make an inviting entrance to this historical home. The choice in furnishings including a sculptural light and brightly coloured cabinet further elevate the welcoming vibe that is then carried throughout the home.

What do you think of this terrace home? All images via http://www.design-anthology.com and you can see more images of this Melbourne home here: https://design-anthology.com/story/henry-house

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Behind The Design with Annaliesse Kelly

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Behind the Design is very exciting for me as it is the first Canadian designer that I have featured on this series.  Annaliesse Kelly is the principal of Annaliesse Kelly Design & Consulting based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  AK Design is a full service interior design firm with a clear focus on working with their clients thru the design process to complete interiors that their clients have dreamed of and meet their needs.  The result is clean, elegant interiors that are welcoming and functional.  Without further adieu here is Stylishly Zen’s Behind the Design with Annaliesse Kelly:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in interior design? Has it always been your passion?

Always.  My mother was an interior designer and I was always hording her interior design magazines when I was growing up.AK_Haywood_Web-18

  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

I hate that question!  I like to say that we don’t sell a look we sell a service.  Function proceeds form and we focus on what works well for your home.  We collaborate with interior architects to design and plan what you need for your home to work or you.  This includes everything from floorplans, lighting details, staircases, etc.  Then we work in our esthetic of clean lines and balanced elegance.  We try to have fun with our spaces.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

Our client’s inspiration boards (we give them the tools to help to show us what they like), partners we collaborate with, trend research from social media, fashion, and travelling.20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-09

  1. What has been your most challenging project to date?

We are currently working on a project in Strathcona that is both challenging and very exciting.  The home is 100 years old and we have to be mindful of building codes that apply to historical buildings.  The lot is very small but quite high so access is difficult.  We are lifting the house to put a basement below which again comes with its own set of challenges.

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

That’s impossible to answer – it depends on the project.  A condo can take 6months and a house can be well over a year.

  1. You have worked on a variety of projects from residential to commercial, one on one with clients to development projects, do you have a favourite type of project to work on?

I enjoy them all, it’s about the people and it’s a privilege to help them.  I like different aspects for different reasons. One on one for helping people curate their dreams, development projects for branding.  It’s all a journey of discovery and forward thinking.AK_Design_1535_Vine_St_Web-13

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

My company.  I love working with people

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?Why?

NYC for the incredible design and varied architecture and businesses.  I love the colours in California.  I also love travelling to Europe, I am headed to Spain in the spring.AK_Haywood_Web-44

  1. Vancouver is a well-known wellness city; do you have any wellness practices that you have incorporated into your life to help you deliver such wonderful projects?

Go to bed at 9 and wake up at 6, exercise, good food and meditation at times.  Even just getting outside and going to a walk can help.

  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

Trust yourself, try not to compare yourself to others and think outside of the box.  Be brave!  There is so much space for everyone!20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-10

Thank you so much Annaliesse for taking the time to do this interview.  All images courtesy of Annaliesse Kelly Design.  To see more of Annaliesse’s designs please visit http://www.annaliessekellydesign.com

Thank you everyone for stopping by Stylishly Zen and I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Inspiring Design is a gorgeous Victorian home located in San Francisco.  Victorian homes have always had a special place in my heart since I saw Mrs. Doubtfire when I was younger.  When I first saw pictures of this house, I was expecting beautiful and classic design, but with each picture that I saw my jaw dropped further to the floor.  It is widely billed as the former home of actress Meg Ryan but the home has undergone quite the transformation since. When the current owners purchased the home in 2014, they hired local architect Tim Murphy to update the home which included a new kitchen, master suite, family room and upstairs lounge.   IMG_7761Murphy was able to retain a lot of the original magic of the space by keeping the gorgeous crown molding and millwork throughout the home.    IMG_7762Interior design firm Nicole Hollis was also hired early in remodel process to consult on interior finishes, hardware and custom cabinetry along with the furnishings and the majority of the decorative lighting among other things.  The front living room is particular favourite (first image).  I love the contrast of the marble accents with the chevron walnut flooring against the navy, grey and white colour palette.  IMG_7755IMG_7756The house is 7050 square feet with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms.  The blend of classic and modern throughout the home is stunning, but the incredible bay views is what really made this Victorian home stand out to me.  IMG_7759Sliding doors in the kitchen which open onto a terrace offer breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay.  The kitchen itself is a dream with a waterfall marble island, exquisite custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances.  IMG_7758Adjacent to the kitchen is the family room and the dining room, both of which offer beautiful views of the bay as well.  Aside from the beautiful view, I am completely in love with the sculptural smoked glass lighting fixture hanging above the dining room table.  Gorgeous!IMG_7757The most incredible room in this house though is on the top floor.  The upstairs lounge offers panoramic views of the city and the bay, including offering unobstructed views of Angel Islands and Alcatraz.  The lounge opens to a stunning terrace which houses a fire pit to help create a cozy atmosphere.  The views from there both day and night are fantastic and it looks like the most incredible spot to unwind with a glass of wine after a long week.  IMG_7753IMG_7752All information and images are from http://www.dwell.com and you can find more images for this gorgeous home here.  

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you are safe and have a beautiful day!  XXS

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

I’m sure that it comes as no surprise, but all of this extra time at home has me deep diving into the world of architecture and interiors.  So far I have completed Kelly Wearstler’s Master Class, read Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone from cover to cover, and I am now over halfway thru Kelly Wearstler’s Evocative Style. I am also slowing catching up on the pile of design magazines I have stacked up and I am loving all of the interior inspiration that Instagram is currently providing.  Aside from other activities that are keeping me busy while isolating, I am very happy in my design education bubble.

The gorgeous kitchen in today’s Inspiring Design is what first caught my attention.  While I had never before dreamt of a dark kitchen, with a stunning black marble island, floor to ceiling steel windows and chevron wood floor this may well be the kitchen of my dreams.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-06The Dutch Gable House by Austin Design Associates is the design firm behind the dreamy and contemporary renovation of this historic Melbourne home.  The renovation seamlessly melds the existing Edwardian and Federation details with an elegant colour and material palette and modern design.  The result is a timeless and sophisticated home that is a design lovers dream.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-03Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-21The combination of stunning materials such as Cote D’Azur marble, oak herringbone floors and titanium granite along with the steel floor to celling windows which invite an abundance of natural light, and details such as freestanding tubs and restrained decor make this home bright, inviting and chic.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-17Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-02The outdoor space is equally restrained yet inviting.  It looks like the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon with a great book and glass of rose.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-05Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-12Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-04The proverbial icing on this beautiful home are the furnishings that elevate the materials used throughout the home.  From the deep green dining chairs paired with a statement wood dining table, cool and varied lighting choices and the mix of furniture using both natural textures and sleek design, I can’t think of anything that I would change in this home.  Love it!

You can see more of this gorgeous home here.  Photo credit http://www.thelocalproject.com.au

I hope that you are all staying safe and well while social distancing, and that you have  great day! XXS