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Designers Collective Blog

The Palette Project #4: Parliament Hill

This is another edition of our Palette Project-- we're exploring inspiring places in Canada and the colours that make them beautiful. This week we're headed to the Nation's capital! Ottawa, ON is an interesting collection of government buildings, embassies, incredible art galleries, a lively public market, and a mix of architectural styles (just to name a few things...

The Palette Project #3: Alexander Keith’s

This is another edition of our Palette Project-- we're exploring inspiring places in Canada and the colours that make them beautiful. Beer has long been a part of the Canadian identity, going back to the first European settlers. Nestled near the waterfront in Halifax, NS is the original location of Alexander Keith's that was originally built in 1820. Over time this handsome brick building has been transformed into a flagship store and historic pub (don't worry it still brews some great small batch beer). The building itself is enclosed in a glass atrium creating a great space to reflect on the...

The Palette Project #2: Niagara Falls

This is another edition of our Palette Project-- we're exploring inspiring places in Canada and the colours that make them beautiful. We're going cross country this week, looking at the infamous and powerful Niagara Falls. Curving through the Canada/USA boarder, the Horseshoe falls is the largest of the three waterfalls that spill down the end of the Niagara Gorge.  It is one of those natural wonders that you hear before you see it-- the entire town of Niagara Falls is filled with the subtle sound of crashing water. To get close to the falls you can hop on a ferry tour...

To frame or not to frame…

What's in a frame? We're seeing a lot of clients choosing to incorporate art in their spaces and we often get questions about the best way to display paintings, photographs, and prints. We love that more and more people want to include original works in their decor-- no matter if it's a drawing by your child when they were in 3rd grade or a Group of 7 masterpiece, art is a great way to showcase personality and taste. We previously wrote a bit on how to group art works for display in the home (read here!), but we didn't touch on...

The Palette Project #1: Jack Poole Plaza

Today marks the first day of our Palette Project!  It all started like this: back in April, we collaborated with our friend Heather Ross to host a workshop on colour. We had a great time discussing colour palettes, why some things work and others don't, and making palettes of our own. One take-away from that workshop was that inspiration is quite literally everywhere—but choosing what colours to use can be tricky...

How to Downsize: Travel Edition

Travel can be a challenge… between planning itineraries, organizing transportation, and finding accommodation it takes a lot of prep to get that vacation off the ground. We know travel season is in full swing, having just come back from our design tour in LA and finalizing our tour in Baja (in addition to family vacations!) so we love a good travel tip. But what about an extra travel challenge? Have you ever gone on an extended trip without checked luggage? Could you pack for 2 weeks in Europe with just a carry-on?It’s easy to overpack… coming from a city like...

5 trends that defined our LA Design Tour

It’s been a little while since we landed back in Vancouver from our design sojourn in La La Land, but our brains are still buzzing with inspiration. We had such a great time with our design tour participants too! Each time we go to LA we make sure to explore new spaces and uncover what’s emerging in west coast design. It probably is no surprise that LA is a goldmine for innovative interior and exterior design; we made sure to add lots of opportunities to our travel itinerary to explore what’s up-and-coming in the design world (with a side of...

In the garden: harvest your efforts

With sunshine and warm temperatures in our Vancouver forecast, who isn't itching to spend more time outdoors or on a great patio? Wouldn't it be a dream to skip produce shopping and instead opt to grab fresh flowers, veggies, and herbs from your own garden? With some mellow summer music and sangria in hand, harvesting your garden can feel more like a mini vacation than another chore. Depending on what you planted you may not be ready to start harvesting your goods for a few weeks, but we thought we would share a few ideas of what to do with your plants when...

What the hygge?

Like avocado toast and geods, the Danish concept of  hygge has been growing in popularity with no signs of slowing down. It's appearing everywhere from how-to books to interior design collections and Instagram accounts (at the time of writing there are 2,033,609 posts with #hygge).We might have a general idea of what it means, maybe a quick glance at the back of a book on the hygge display at Chapters let you know it's inclusive of coziness and a feeling of well-being with a side of thick socks. Sounds lovely, no? Unlike when a 'thing' becomes popular (think of off-the-shoulder tops),...

In the garden: assemble with style

In design, it's all for nought if it doesn't look good.There are many parallels between creating indoor and outdoor spaces-- how we look at colour, texture, sight-lines, and functionality can be applied to herbs and grasses in the same way as they are to architecture and wall colours.  Gardens (from a single pot to a large yard) are a visual feature, thus they are another opportunity to showcase your style.Last week, our first “In the Garden” post was a pep talk encouraging you to start/revitalize green spaces big and small around the home. Maybe over the last few days you...