North River Penthouse

I believe that even if you live in an rental, you should take the time to design and decorate it to your taste. Your environment affects your well being in so many different ways, so why not take the time to customize it so you live a little happier and a lot more comfortable?

I'm currently starting a new project : North River Penthouse, which is a rental, so obviously we don't want to spend too much money on it, but it can definitely use a bit more personality. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice apartment, but I find it to be a little too much on the yellow side (the floor, the wall, the cabinet).

So one of the main things will be to break that yellow and introduce other colors. In this case, we're going modern and sleek look (as much as possible) and we're taking inspiration from nature (rocks, woods, etc).

First things, first : Paint. It's the cheapest and easiest way to completely change the look and feel of a room without spending too much money. This time, we're going with grays: A light warm gray from Benjamin Moore called Gray Owl and a darker gray for a bit of contrast, also from Benjamin Moore, simply called Gray. These will be used throughout the flat.
Benjamin Moore ColorsBenjamin Moore Colors

For some reason, I love chalkboard paint. I've used the one from Benjamin Moore on several projects and I'm going to use it again on this wall. I also finally found a magnetic chalkboard paint that I will try on this project. The magnetic chalkboard is much heavier than the Benjamin Moore one. We'll see.
Chalkboard paints

The wall is pretty much ready to be painted. In this case I chose the "box" to receive the chalkboard paint. I like to use the architecture to decide where the paint is going to go.

Here's a neat little trick: When I take out the outlet covers, I always tape the corresponding screws directly on the plate to make sure I don't loose them.
Stay tuned for more coming soon :)


a vase and a faucet at the same time!



Making the most out of usable space in a restaurant


Maison NW


Awesome lights by Next

I love objects with an unusual yet simple shape that can also be used as art pieces in a room, like these lights by Next, a company based in Cologne, Germany. The principle behind the collection was for them to be "sophisticated but not elitist". In their words :

The daily necessity of illuminating a room is a challenging task. next removes light from its shapelessness and dresses it in a design of contemporary standard. The results are luminaires that create an atmosphere and radiate warmth - a perfectly shaped highlight for every room.

The collections

There are currently eight collections of lights : Alien, Blade, DNA, Cao Mao, Liquid light, Molecular light, Downlight and Birdie nam nam. Each collection contains various types of lights for the ceiling, the walls, the floor, the table and some can even be used outside.

Next light collection


Invasion from another world. It seems as if a strange creature is sliding down a rope. Gently and almost weightlessly, radiating a warm and graceful light.

Next light collection

Next light collection


One lamp - fourteen possible variations. Give one room fourteen different looks. It takes just a few moves to rearrange the three bowl-shaped shades into a new position. In the starting position all three shades form a circular shape with a diameter of approximately one meter. As they are fanned out, the lamp gradually changes into a propeller-shape that can be extended to a diameter of over two meters before the shades converge in the form of an organic triangle in the final position. - That's Blade.

Next light collection

Next light collection

Next light collection

Liquid light

Illuminated drops float weightlessly in the air, run down a wall, build a soft rain of light or melt out of the ceiling like a viscid fluid
Next light collection

Next light collection

Next light collection


By providing light close to the floor it illuminates a room in a new and unique way!

Next light collection

Birdie nam nam

Light-footed like a bird and named after Peter Sellers' "The Party", this little lamp has a porcelain head that can be turned around 360 degrees.
Next light collection


Like an organically growing structure, the complex form develops out of a surprisingly simple element.White, pink, chrome and gold plastic modules - each with three light bulbs - can be added to each other, so the lighting object can vary in size, from a single format up to a luster.

Next light collection
source : next


Let there be solar LED light !


Imagine that one of your friends just bought a house in a new residential neighborhood and invited you to come over one evening to see it. Since you’ve never been in that area of town before, you check your route on google map or mapquest and head to your friend’s place. You hop in your car or take the bus and you finally get on your friend’s street. Now it’s time to find the house. But there’s a problem: it’s nighttime! The houses are far from the curb and you can’t see the numbers on most of the houses. This can be a bit frustrating.

I have to admit I am guilty of “causing” the same “problem” to newcomers in our home. Whoever designed our porch light placed it in such a way that it’s impossible to see the house number at night. And although I have been thinking about installing a lighted house number, I just can’t. I find them a bit tacky, maybe a bit too commercial. Beside, I would much rather buy something that doesn’t use any electricity. Well, I found the solution through matterinc‘s latest product: LED solar numbers. They look quite nice and modern. Each number has its own solar panel and LED lights. They cost about $24 CND each and can be mounted on wall as shown below.

Non-lighted solar LED number  Lighted solar LED number
 Solar LED number during the day Non-lighted solar LED number

I think this is a really great product because it uses solar power (a renewable energy) and LED lights which are much more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. According to a manufacturer, the estimated time to failure (ETTF) for LED lights ranges between 10,000 and 1,000,000 hours compared to 10,000 for fluorescent lights and 1,000 to 2,000 hours for incandescent lights (Wikipedia). LED’s just might surpass fluorescent lights, plus they don’t have issues with mercury content like fluorescent light bulbs do.

There are a lot of great things that can be achieved with this product. It has a lot of potentials for very creative and environmentally friendly concepts. I can see customized panels for commercial buildings such as restaurants or night clubs downtown Montreal. Imagine all the electricity that can be saved using them instead of the standard stuff. Not to mention the diminution in light pollution!

(March 9,2009) These items are now available at Home Depot


Paid internship opportunity of a lifetime

Ever dreamed of working for House & Home magazine? If so, this might be your chance. House & Home Media and Samsung Canada are looking for a Summer Style Intern. Not only will the lucky winner be able to get a 3-month paid internship, he or she will also learn about the many faces of magazine publishing, lifestyle branding, marketing and advertising. Also they will be featured in an advertorial in Canadian House & Home and they will get to live in an all-expenses paid suite during that time!

Source: House and Home

Check out their press release below or their website for more information.

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Calling all students!

Samsung Canada and House & Home Media seek Summer Style Intern

WHAT: Samsung Canada and House & Home Media — two of Canada’s most innovative companies — kick off their search for a Summer Style Intern. One talented individual will be selected for a three-month paid internship, from June through August, where they will learn all facets of magazine publishing, lifestyle branding, marketing and advertising.

The successful applicant will be put up in a fully-furnished, all expenses paid suite in a trendy Toronto neighbourhood, including an incredible line-up of Samsung technology. The intern will be featured in a Canadian House & Home Magazine advertorial, which will highlight their experience and time at both Samsung and House & Home Media, and will document his or her experience with weekly blog posts at Houseandhome.com.

WHO: College, university or trade-school students – or recent graduates who have completed their studies within the last three years – with a flare for media, design and technology.

WHEN: Applications accepted now through March 27, 2009.

HOW: Applicants need to submit at least one of the following to explain what makes them innovative:

- A written essay (250 words or less)
- A video (3 minutes maximum)
- An illustrated or photo essay

A judging panel will narrow applications down to three semi-finalists whose submissions will be posted on Houseandhome.com. Members of the public will then be asked to vote for their favourite semi-finalist and the individual with the most votes will be awarded the internship position.

WHERE: Apply online at www.houseandhome.com/innovate.