Halloween Decoration

Here's an idea. If you're planning a Halloween party tonight, why not make it chic with some DIY Halloween decorations. They don't have to cost a lot but they can make a great impact.

These little ceramic birds were only one dollar each.

bird decor
bird decor

Add a little black and silver paint, and voila! Some eerie birds to complement your space.

bird decor
bird decor

These birds are perfect perched somewhere high looking down at your guests.

bird decor
bird decor


Slate fireplaces look better naked

I was recently reading a post on Apartment Therapy on someone asking how to hang a picture in the middle of a slate fireplace. I cringed when I read that her friends "suggested drilling into the grout which would be an easy fix".

Slate fireplace

Here's the thing : As a general rule, if the slate on a fireplace goes all the way to the ceiling, my advice is leave it alone. It was designed to be a focal point and stand alone.

I would also avoid adding a wood mantle on it. Most of the time, it just doesn't fit and very often it's just going to accumulate clutter, causing the fireplace to "disappear" behind it.

Slate fireplace
Slate fireplace

photos : Ash Creek , Wardlow

Not every vertical surface in your home need something on it. In the case of a slate fireplace, less is more.

Slate fireplace
Slate fireplace

photos : Indoor & Outdoor Fireplace Design, hgtv


Tangram shelving

source : Wikipedia

Remember Tangrams? Ever played with them when you were younger? The concept behind this game was very simple: create various silhouettes from seven basic geometric shapes (usually a square, a rhomb and five triangles). This game could occupy a kid with a big imagination for hours, creating a cat, a bunny, a person, a house, or more.

Tangram shelving Lago
source : Lago

This concept can now be integrated in interior space, thanks to the creativity of Italian furniture designers at Lago . They created a modular wall shelving system that enable people to create various shapes on their wall while storing books, DVD, etc. This system is perfect for those who like to change things around, since it can take as many shapes as you can imagine.

Tangram shelving LagoTangram shelving Lago
source : Lago

See, shelves don’t have to be boring.

2009-10-26 UPDATE : A couple months after I first posted this, I got the opportunity to integrate a Lago inspired shelving system in the room of a teenage girl, while working for a TV makeover show for teens back when I was in Montreal. Since she liked horses a lot, I decided to design a horse shaped tangram shelving system for her. The carpenter made it out of MDF and we painted it turquoise. It turned out great as you can see below. It gave her an original space to store CDs, stuffed animals and books.

Mechant Changement M2JL STUDIO Tangram Shelving

Mechant Changement M2JL STUDIO Tangram Shelving

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Sculpture : An Awesome New Shower Head by VADO

VADO recently added a new and really neat designer shower head to their collection. Called Sculpture, it has of six flexible tentacles that allow the users to twist and shape each tentacle into the desired position for the ultimate shower experience. This shower head can be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall.

photos: trendir, vado

This shower head looks like the nicer cousin of the robot sentinels from The Matrix. It would be interesting if the next version of this shower head would have robotized tentacles that extend and retract, change the temperature and pressure of the water as needed with voice command, all that with a choice of LED lights. Now that's futuristic!

photo tompop

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Ice Hotel: the ultimate green building?


What is a green building? According to the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC), there are 5 levels of “greenness”: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or Certified. The level of greenness is determine though a point rating system that evaluates the building based on five main categories:

- Sustainable sites
- Water efficiency
- Energy and atmosphere
- Materials and resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality

There are quite a few rules to follow when it comes to determining if a building is green or not, but I can’t help but think that the ice hotels (in Quebec and in Sweden) deserves some recognition.

When you consider the fact that traditional buildings are guilty of producing a large portion of the trash that ends up in landfills, the ice hotel and surrounding buildings are pretty innocent. I believe they are made entirely of snow and ice, a very sustainable product. Even the furniture and details such as the candelabras in the chapel, and the shot glasses in the bar are made of ice.

Ice Hotel construction siteIce Hotel exterior
Ice Hotel N'ICE ClubIce Hotel N'ICE Club ice shot glass
Ice Hotel ChapelIce Hotel Chapel

Photo by Etolane via Flickr

All in all, the site seems pretty sustainable. I don’t think that any of the buildings affect the environment in a negative way. As far as water efficiency, since these building are temporary, I doubt they use a lot of water in the building. For energy usage, except for the stoves, there isn’t much energy used. Materials and resources are for the most part sustainable, recyclable, reusable and/or natural. Lastly, as far as indoor air quality is concerned, since most of the indoor is made of natural material, I would guess that it must be good. I’m curious to know what their real rating would be. Nevertheless, I still think they deserve some form of recognition.


Bright and coloful space inspired by Semiramis Hotel

If you're looking into turning your space into a bright and colorful home look no further than to Semiramis Hotel in Athens for inspiration. Designed by Karim Rashid, it's a bright, fun and happy space with lots of curves and funky items.

Semirami hotel

Semirami hotel

It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg to get a similar feel in your own space. First you need to paint most of your walls white and one accent wall using a bright color. Then you can purchase various items at a relatively low cost, as shown below.

Semirami hotel inspired Mood Board M2JL :: STUDIO

[1] The Tullsta chair ($149.00, IKEA) can be recovered with a bold flower pattern slip cover shown here in Uniki Red ($235.00, Bemz) [2] Add a splash of pink on your wall with these Sarita curtain ($9.99, IKEA) [3] The white Klippan four-seater sofa ($469.99, IKEA) would definitely fit the bill with it's clean lines[4] A green high pile rug would add some warmth to your space ($69.99, IKEA)[5] The new funky Svara table lamp adds whimsy and personality ($149.99, IKEA) [6] Green mounted wall cabinets, reminiscent of the balconies of the hotel would allow for more hidden storage in order to minimize clutter ($199.00, CB2)[7] Bright colored round vases would ($2.99 ea. ,IKEA)[8] The orange Karlstad Swivel armchair will add some fun additional seating ($449.00, IKEA).

Semirami hotel inspired Mood Board M2JL :: STUDIO

[1]. If you're extending the look into the kitchen, some green stools would look fantastic against a glossy white counter ($165.00,Zone) [2] The Docksta dining table ($279.99, IKEA) and the Tobias chairs ($129.99 ea. IKEA) would fit perfectly with this style because of their curvy shape. It would be interesting to tint the chairs pink so the light still passes through [3] A free standing minimalist orange bookcase would stand out well against a white wall ($189.00,CB2)[4] Depending on the backdrop you could also use a white coffee table ($499.00, Structube) [5] or a bright yellow side table against the white sofa. (150.00$,Zone)

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Beautiful solid wood furniture by IZM

I recently discovered izm, a really neat modern and minimalist furniture making company from Alberta,Canada. The line consists of a solid wood line designed and built to be collected and passed down. Designers Jerad Mack and Shane Pawluk created a collection of contemporary hardwood furniture inspired by the landscape of the Canadian Prairies, where they are from.

Izm has a beautiful collection of solid wood pieces including a low profile audio-visual unit, low and hi dressers that come in various configurations, original coffee and side tables, a bench (all shown below) and more.

Visualizm by Izm
Visualizm by Izm
Lo S by Izm
Hi S by Izm
Darwinizm by Izm
Darwinizm by Izm
Darwinizm by Izm


Water Ball Ripples Concept Tap


Water Ball Ripples is a really cool & modern bathroom faucet designed by Smith Newnam. The design looks awesome, and you’ll certainly fall in love with it once you see the pictures To control the Ripple faucet, you maneuver an electronically-secured metal ball on top of the faucet’s frosted glass surface. Moving the ball in or out from the center controls water pressure. Moving it around controls temperature. A flash heating system ensures that water in the water channel isn’t hot until it’s ready to be mixed, which prevents scolding.

The surface glows red or blue to show how hot or cold it is. But unfortunately it’s just a concept right now!


Stylish baby furniture


Babies are cute, but most baby furniture… not so much. Thankfully some cool dads from bloom created beautifully designed pieces that will live up to your stylish expectations!

Introducing the Coco PlexistyleTM baby lounger, the coco stylewoodTM baby lounger, the frescoTM Contemporary chair, and the fresco loftTM contemporary baby chair.

bloom baby loungerbloom baby lounger
bloom baby lounger
bloom baby high chairrbloom baby high chair
bloom baby high chair

These baby chairs are genius! They can accommodate babies from the day they are born to the age of 2. Talk about a good investment! And they can be purchased in Montreal at Boutique Pinkieblue.


400 sq.ft. condo

I thought about participating in a new local trade show (Ottawa's Home and Design show) to have my own booth and came up with this cool concept. Using a standard 20 x 20 space, I would build a life-sized, fully furnished bachelor pad. Very often, if you want to live in the city on a relatively tight budget, you have to compromise on square footage, but it doesn't mean that you have to compromise on style and function. It's just a bit more challenging to furnish.
M2JL :: STUDIO trade show booth design

Here's an overview of what I had in mind. Inspired by a existing condo project (360 lofts) I chose the smallest unit to create a functional space. As you can see, it's a very small open space.
360 Lofts Unit 103

Based on the existing floor plan, one of the first changes is to replace the doors in order to gain more space.The doors to the washroom and to the laundry closet (on the side of the water heater) would be replaced by modern pocket doors (or surface sliding doors). I would also replace the entrance's closet door and the second laundry closet door with bi-fold doors. Gidea has really nice glass pocket and bi-fold doors that are in line with this concept.
M2JL STUDIO replacing the doors plan

The color palette inside and outside is light and airy. The main colors are light grays and white with accents of turquoise and medium brown.
M2JL :: STUDIO mood board
M2JL :: STUDIO mood board

Inside the unit, there is no wardrobe so I would use the wall on the right to install a wall to wall wardrobe/entertainment unit using pieces such as the PAX wardrobe from IKEA with the sliding glass door panels. A sofa bed like the Salema sleeper sofa or the Jenna sleeper sofa from EQ3. On the side in the kitchen area I would use upper cabinets with glass doors. Smaller under counter fridge like the cool drawers from Izona. I would also bring the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to maximize storage.
M2JL :: STUDIO mood board

In order to maximize usage of a small space, items with dual function are essential. In this case, a sofa sleeper, a counter that doubles as a table, a wardrobe that also serves as an entertainment unit are various solutions to make the most out of a small space.
M2JL STUDIO layout plan bachelor unit