FROM THE STUDIO | CALM CONDO CONCEPT

Just wanted to give you a peek into a recent client project. This was an online-based project, where I provided my clients with all the information they needed to carry out the design themselves (find out more about how this works). They are first time home/condo owners, so based on what I learned about them, here's a what I came up with.

How would you define your design style?

I think I’m in a discovery phase with this right now, so it’s hard to define. I took a look at the rooms I like and noticed the following: most have neutral palettes, with a dramatic element incorporated. Lately I’ve been trying to get better at adding texture, and that might come from pattern or layering solids.  I like whites and other neutral colours. I also like almost pastel-ish blue/pink/green, but I try to avoid too much of that. 

 

BEDROOM

"I want to feel like the room is hugging us. I'd also like it to feel soft and relaxing"

LIVING ROOM

"We expect to establish a vision for the space based on the pieces we know are staying in the room, and figure out how to work in some new pieces.I want to feel like the space is integrated and cohesive. That everything fits well together."

Practicing Mindfulness

Something I've been trying to practice, more and more, is mindfulness, or living in the moment.  Although, this is actually something I'm pretty good at, I find that I get lost in my thoughts way too often. I don't stress often and I'm not afraid to take risks; my thing is losing focus and feeling like shit when I don't accomplish something. I think part of being a "creative type" comes with a side effect- a mind that is constantly in motion- going from one idea to the next in a split second. It's awesome in a way, because I'm able to dream and envision things I want for myself, (When I'm focused, and aware, my stubbornness and Will take over, and I make things happen) On the other hand, this brain of mine gets in the way of actually doing, cause all that thinking takes up a lot of time. 

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp. We can live only in the present. If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future.
— S.N. Goenka

What about you; do you ever feel like you get in the way of your own life? Maybe you suffer from anxiety, maybe a lack of confidence that holds you back; or a maybe it's a fear of taking risks. (that all kinda sounded like a self-help infomercial. sorry)  Whatever it is, I think we all let our minds play tricks on us. 

We spend so much time lost in illusion, creating scenarios in our heads, that we are actually creating our own suffering. Being in our heads stops us from focusing on what is happening now. 

For me, I wonder if it's more than just being stuck in my thoughts. I don't know, but I know I don't want to think too hard about it. A vicious cycle, I guess. I just want to be aware of when it's happening, and snap out of it. Anyway, that's where I'm at, and what I'm working on-- what I'm doing for my spirit at the moment. There are some awesome things that I really really want to see flourish, and if I just get the hell outta of my head for a bit, it'll all work out. 

image: david condotta

The Caravan Diaries: Before the Transformation

So, how lucky am I? I've been dreaming of having an old trailer (we'll use the fancy British term, caravan, instead) to jazz up and use as a hideaway and guest house for our friends. Well my neighbour (we'll call him Roger), who is also the guy we bought our house from, is somewhat of a packrat, and will take whatever he can get is hands on... mainly anything to do with vehicles. I planted the seed in his head that I "need" an old trailer, and low and behold, one year later he comes to my door with this baby. It was included in one of his Kijiji finds, but he has no use for it, so he said it's all mine-- for FREE! He asked where I wanted it, and dropped her in place on the "campsite" of our property. It's friggin' perfect.

I'm no expert in vintage caravans, but I do have a close friend who is. She paid me a visit to take a look and said it was in great condition. There are couple of bumps and bruises, but I'm totally okay with that, cause it's FREE! Roger mentioned that the dude who owned this, pretty much put the thing together himself. I'm not sure if the shell was partly built or what, but you can tell on the inside that it's a custom job. And that's not a bad thing; it just explains why there's no branding on it.

So, now I have a circa 1970's caravan, that just needs a good cleaning and some decorating magic to turn it into the perfect hideaway. It doesn't stink, there's no mould (I'm pretty sure), and there are no dead rodents in it. Bonus!

I introduce to you... Miss. Luna. I think that's what I'll call her. When you're in the caravan at night, you'll be right under the moon, under the country stars, and if you listen, you'll hear the coyote party in the near distance. It'll be quite an awesome camping adventure in Luna.

Since winter is fast approaching, I won't get started on it until the spring. I'll just take time to create a design plan and source materials. There is no budget for this project, meaning I have zero dollars set aside for it, so I'm gonna have to get crafty with my ideas and spending.  I have like 5 potential plans in my head, so I really need to narrow down what direction I want to take the design in. Do I keep with the 70's vibe? do I go bohemian? maybe super serene and neutral (neutral does not mean beige in my books, there will be no beige!) or how about high contrast black and white? but then there's the kitschy caravan look. you see how my head spins?

Regardless of the design direction, here are the main things that need to get done inside: 

camperbefore-12notes.jpg

So there she is. She's pretty cute right, and in great shape for an oldie. I totally lucked out in this situation cause:  a) she was free; b) i didn't have to scour the internet for trailers and then go on a road trip to pick her up, only to be let down cause it's probably in horrible shape and is a total gut job; c) i woke up one morning and she was sitting in place; and d) everything was so well maintained that the surfaces are almost like new. The paint and/or wallpaper should go on like butter and there are no existing floors, so that saves me from having to rip them out. I've got lots of planning to do this winter, and I can't wait for spring to come. It'll be a slow process because we've got so much planned for next season, so I'll just gradually work on Luna when I have spare time and a bit of extra cash.

I do hope you'll follow along as I transform this 1970's caravan into the hideaway I've always wanted. And when she's ready to go, you're definitely invited to spend the night with her ;)