Friday, 26 December 2008

The 10 Best Champagne Flutes

One of my favourite activities for New Years Eve is to sip some fizz and of course this needs to be done with a stylish champagne flute. For the last couple of years I have had the pleasure of using my set of Iittala Essence Champagne Flutes - I think they achieve the right mix of classic and contemporary.

Here is a collection of Champagne Flutes that I think are stunning (including my litallas) - any of which will make this New Years Eve a special one and any brand of bubbly look just fine.

Mimosa Flute
Crate and Barrel

A stemless, architectural design with slender column and short, stepped base rethinks the classic flute.

Neptune - Clear Crystal Champagne Flute

Since it was established in 1764, Baccarat has continued expanding its influence, inspired in roots stemming from an ingenious handcrafted work of the highest quality, throughout the world.

Iittala Aarne Champagne Glass
Gabriel Ross

The glass designer and decorative artist Göran Hongell was one of the pioneers of the Finnish glass tradition. His blown glassware service Aarne set the trend for glass design during the 1950s, a trend which remains to this day.

Etched Florentine Champagne Flutes
Brocade Home

Ringing in the New Year has never been as stylish as with these patterned Champagne glasses. Best of all, the etched Florentine motif goes with many decors.

Inside-Out Champagne Glasses - Alissia Melka-Teichroew
Red Envelope

Conceived by Netherlands-based designer Alissia Melka-Teichroew, these handmade champagne glasses feature the iconic flute housed inside a discreet outer tube. The mouth-blown double-walled glass ensures bubbly stays crisp and cold, sip after sip.

Iittala Essence Champagne Glass by Alfredo Haberli
Gabriel Ross

Designer Alfredo Haberli utilized his background in the hotel and restaurant business to integrate an in-depth knowledge of wine with his own vision of wine appreciation in the creation of the Essence glasses; wine glasses that focus on the seductive power of wine.

Extra-tall glasses rise confidently out of equally sized flat-bottomed plates in a demonstration of thoughtful design. Together the glasses stand tall, and serenely balanced. Essence has found the essential meeting points of tradition and modernity, celebration and everyday use.

Double-Walled Champagne Glass by Welmadeproducts

Double-walled glass will keep your bubbly as cool as the parties you throw!

Edge Flute
Crate & Barrel

A tall, cylindrical bowl with a flat base has a dramatic, contemporary look that lends an elegant edge to the enjoyment of bubbly.

Float champagne flutes by Todd MacAllen and Stephanie Forsythe

The unique float champagne flutes are an elegant compliment to a fine bottle of bubbly. Cheers!

Aracnea Recycled Glass - Champagne Flute
Biome Lifestyle

A Green option. Stylish champagne flute made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass, thereby reusing our planet's waste. Additionally, each flute is unique; the glass is etched and painted by hand.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas !!!

Every year it is a special and nostalgic occasion when I set up my old Nativity scene for Christmas. This Nativity has been in my family for generations and I was the lucky one who got it as a family heirloom a couple of years ago. My great grandmother made the silk and velvet clothing and embroidered each piece by hand with gold and silver thread. The bodies were hand carved from balsa wood. They are so lifelike they appear to be miniature versions of the saints you see in any baroque church in Latin America.

Click to see the bigger picture

I come from a very traditional family (just like any other Spanish Catholic family). On Christmas day Baby Jesus was the one who brought us the presents. Santa Claus was not as popular in Mexico yet. As a kid, I remember having long conversations with the Baby Jesus. I guess I was just trying to convince him that I was such a good boy, so he would present me with gifts containing the latest Lego, He-Man or Playmobil.

I think that Christmas is made special when we remember and honor our memories and traditions from childhood. I know that my great grandmother would be proud that I'm keeping care of this family tradition.

Merry Christmas ! ¡Feliz Navidad!

Let Every Day Be Christmas...

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself .

-Norman W. Brooks

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Our Holiday Card

Our Holiday Cards have been sent and from what we have heard they have been very well received. This year we tried to create a Holiday Card that was different, fun and also environmentally friendly.

In July 2008 we had our Open House with a modern baroque theme to celebrate the completion of our studio. The invitations and signage were inspired by elements of our own studio. The background damask is the same custom pattern that is found in vinyl on our meeting room wall and the royal portrait is a black and white photograph of Salma Hayek (yes that's really her) that is framed in our work area.

After a very successful party we still had several cards left over from printing. We decided to do a more eco-friendly holiday card this year and recycle these in a fun way.

We created custom stamps of the Meade Design Group team as a prelude to what would be found inside. The same concept was applied to the regal Salma and on our home page. By adding a shiny red nose and velveteen antlers to the elegant art work from our Open House Party invitations.

We selected Mohawk Via paper for the inserts. We chose this paper not only for its lovely texture, but also because it's made from 30% recycled fiber and is manufactured with certified renewable wind-generated electricity.

All in all we feel as though we had eco-concious fun with our holiday cards and thought it would be a great story to share with our readers.


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Mercury Glass

I have always been a fan of Mercury Glass. It reflects glam, it reflects light, and it reflects a strong memory of my home back in México. Every Christmas we displayed old mercury glass ornaments in our Christmas tree, and we used to have lots of big oversize spheres made of mercury glass around (a trend that Luis Barragan the architect initiated back in the 60's and is still a common decorating solution today). Mercury Glass is also becoming a trend in table lamps and light fixtures that can be used all year round.

What is Mercury Glass ?

According to Wikipedia .- Mercury glass is the common term for silvered glass, which describes glass that was blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution, and sealed. Although mercury was originally used to provide the reflective coating for mirrors, elemental mercury was never used to create tableware. Silvered glass was free-blown, then silvered with a solution containing silver nitrate and grape sugar in solution, heated, then closed.

My Favourite Mercury Glass Ornaments

Mercury Glass Drop Ornament
West Elm

Mercury Spheres
Pottery Barn

Mercury Glass Finials
Jayson Home & Garden

Antiqued Mercury Glass Birds

Mercury Swirl Ornaments

Sea Urchin
Jayson Home & Garden

Gazing Globes
Antique Mercury Glass

Antique Mercury Glass Tiebacks
Country Living

My Favourite Mercury Glass Lamps

Mercury Glass Table Lamp
Vintage and Modern Inc

Robert Abbey Wavy Collection
Lamps Plus

Minna Table Lamp
Pottery Barn

Accuatinta Specchiata - Michele de Lucchic

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sadie's first visit to the studio

This week Sarah [ Sarita ] our Architectural Designer at Meade Design Group stopped by the studio to introduce her new baby Sadie - only 5 tender weeks old. Sadie was so adorable and so well behaved. She definitely inherited all of her "uncle" Iván's good qualities.

Sadie brought a beautiful Xmas card and some delicious peppermint pillows that are almost gone already - Thanks to Miss Bobbie who has been indulging more than anyone else. You would never know that she is the resident candy hog with that tiny little frame of hers !

Sadie MacNeill
[ the youngest member team at Meade Design Group ]

Bobbie I Echo I Sadie I Sarah I Iván

The day after we got an email from Sarah were she "elfed" us. If you are ready for some good laughs be patient and wait a little while...

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Official Victoria Gift Guide 2008

After the success of last years official gift guide we decided to hit the pavement and see what Victoria B.C. has to offer this year...

1. -The perfect present for the favorite person on your list

Meade Design Group Gift Certificates
1316-B Government Street - 250.881.1990
Available in any denomination

Meade Design Group can be used for interior and graphic design services, custom upholstery, custom window treatments, custom bedding and toss pillows, object d'art pieces and anything else you see in the upcoming Meade Design Group online store.

The most versatile gift you can give !

2.- The perfect present for the cool and hip dad or grandfather

Moooi “Smoke Armchair”
Only Human
- Market Square

Moooi's Smoke Armchair is the perfect blend of traditional styling with a modern twist. Perfect for reading 'twas The Night Before Christmas to the kids on Christmas Eve.

3. The perfect present for the hard to buy for young adult on your list

Walnut Eames Stools
Gabriel Ross - Bay Sreet

These timeless classics will never go out of style and will grow with the recipient and all of their changing design tastes. This is also a perfect gift for anyone at Meade Design Group hint ! hint !

4.- The perfect present for your mother in law

Voluspa – Frost Pinecone limited edition fragrance #62
Chintz & Co - Store Street

This festive and sophisticated room fragance comes beautifully packaged with a reusable decanter. She is sure to love you after receiving this gift.

5.- The perfect present for the favorite coworker

Oliver Hemming – “Nio” Tea Set
Capital Iron - Store Street

This stylih tea set is beautifully designed at a very reasonable price. A good example where good design doesn't need to cost a fortune.

6.- The perfect present for your wife

Fortvny Lamps
Bespoke - Market Square

These italian fixtures are elegantly designed to bring a new sense of style to your dining room or entry. Something particularly special for the most important woman in your life.

7. The perfect hostess gift

Water Flower Bouquet
Ramsey & Ramsey - 2000 Oak Bay Ave

A very versatile flower arrangment that any host or hostess will appreciate. No vase required!

8.- The perfect present for the cool and sophisticated mother or grandmother

Somma Merino Wool Throw
Bespoke - Market Square

These merino wool blankets are unbelievably soft and luxurious. Available in various muted tones and designs that will suit any home.

9.- The perfect present for the coffee aficionado

Nespresso - Coffee Maker
Home Outfitters - Langford

We have this coffee machine at the studio and it is always a big hit with our clients and colleagues. Not only does it make wonderful coffee but its striking looks don't hurt either.

10.- The perfect present for the gourmet

Tika Cutlery Set
Muffet & Louisa - Market Square

I was lucky enough to receive this set for my b-day this October and I have to say that they give the table a really great cool and relaxed atmosphere.

11.- The perfect present for your kid, your niece or nephew

DeLux animal toque
Oscar and Libby’s - 770 Fort St and 560 Johnson St (Market Square)

To keep the cheeky monkeys in your life warm and toasty this snowy season.

12.- The perfect back-up present

Votivo Candles
Only Human - Market Square
Favourite scent: Red current, no. 96

These candles are the perfect "everybody" gift. Pop into Only Human and visit our favorite design diva Christina for a few of these candles. Keep a few wrapped and ready to give in your closet for the those emergency gifting moments.

13.- The perfect present for your stockings

Hammond’s set of 3 pillow hard candies
Nicholas Randall
- 2041 Oak Bay Ave

Sarah our Architectural Designer brought us a little jar as a Xmas gift and we have to say that these candies are amazing. We are totally addicted to the little tiny pillows.

14.- The perfect present for your dog

Bark & Fitz - 2972 Jacklin Road #102

The dog in your life will love these pupcakes from Bark & Fitz. This doggie boutique has a bakery counter filled with organic & natural homemade treats for your dog. Come in with your dog - and a note to you single gentleman out there this place is filled with sexy chiquitas shopping for their dogs too !

15.- The perfect present for the new home owner

Small Art Works
Place + PS Gallery - 3690 Shelbourne Street

A beautiful piece of art will always bring life to any room.

Works by Timothy Wilson Hoey, Glenn Romasanta, Wendy Skog , Elizabeth Allen,Lisa Riehl, Rob Harrison, Cheryl Taves, Wren Katzalay, Maggie Cole, Irma Soltonovich, Lance Olsen, Jamie Drouin, Susy Raxlen, Ken Steacy, Tyler Hodgins, Lorraine Betts, John Wolfe, Trish Puckett, Laura Skagfeld.

16.- The perfect present for any baby or cute toddler

Mountain Buggy - Urban Style
Finn and Izzy - 2259 Oak Bay Avenue

Perfectly designed for city living, the Mountain Buggy - Urban is versatile, easy to use and looks great. Strolling in the park, navigating supermarket aisles or squeezing into a busy café - the Urban gives you the freedom to live life everyday.

NOTE - For Prices and availability of the products please contact the stores directly - Thanks !

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Friday, 12 December 2008

Eye Candy of the Week

Product: Vicente Wolf Blog
Designer: Vicente Wolf
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Content: Design topics, culture and every day life
Yummy Factor:
Wolf-a-licious !

This week's eye candy is a little less tangible, you can't put it in your home or buy it online but this free eye candy can definitely inspire you to do something new and different in your home. I would like to think of this eye candy of being more like a box of chocolates where its filled with all kinds of different treats instead of our usual singular lollipop or chocolate bar. In this case the treats are posts on various topics of design, culture and every day life, and the box is Vicente Wolf's new and enlightening blog.

I invite you to visit and spread the word about this exciting blog found at:

On May 28, 2008 I had the opportunity to do an interview with Vicente Wolf for Meade Design Group - The Blog. I found the experience to be very interesting and I got a real sense of his personality. Vicente seems very genuine and intelligent but he still has a great sense of humor.

If you would like to read the interview please follow the link below.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

In Conversation with Croma Design

Ryan Martin & Amy Kent - Croma Design

In February of 2007 Echo and I had the opportunity to meet Ryan and Amy, principals of Croma Design at the IDS show in Toronto. That year they had an installation called "Red Riding Hood Residence". It was a very sexy pad for a modern, chic, and sophisticated young woman.

Ryan and Amy are living proof of what a young and really talented design duo can do. Their design sensibility and their ability to create cool spaces is really inspiring for other young designers like us.

Please see our conversation with Ryan and Amy below.

Iván - What is story behind Croma, How the two of you meet?

Ryan - We met when were both at Cecconi Simone. I was new to the firm when one day the “cool kids” asked me to join them for lunch… of course Amy was one of them. We realized early on that this would work.

Red Riding Hood Residence
Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - In my own experience I have found that having a male and female working together creates the most balanced design. How do you feel this influences your works and makes you stand out from other designers?

- Amy bakes the cupcakes, I fix the truck. It’s a partnership that works well.

Jaaadu Restaurant
Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - What are your individual strengths and weaknesses?

- My strengths? I’m devilishly handsome and smart as a whip. My weaknesses? N/A

Red Riding Hood Residence
Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - What would you consider to be your partner in design’s strengths and weakness? (meow! – lol)

- Obviously, Ryan is conceited.

Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

- Unfortunately I was unable to attend the IDS (Interior Design Show) this year in Toronto (they are bringing IDS WEST to Vancouver for the first time this year) I read that you were invited to design the GE Monogram Lounge this year. Last year I was truly impressed with the concept space you did, and the branding that came along with it; the modern fairy tale concept was brilliant. What was your inspiration for this years project?

- We were inspired by a theme of “ice”: a crisp white space turned an icy blue by way of theatrical lighting. Overhead, we designed Swarovski chandeliers, which further reinforced the theme of ice as diamonds.

GE Monogram Lounge
Photographs courtesy of Croma Design

- You have been given the opportunity to create unique and creative projects for the IDS for the past 3 years. However, there is always a client to answer to. What would be your dream project given carte blanche with no client to please?

- We actually find that working within difficult parameters tends to make us more creative. However, our dream project would definitely be to design a luxury hotel.

Photographs courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - How would you describe your own living spaces? Being a designer, I know this is the project that is always being bumped down to the end of the list.

Amy - “Light”

- “Dark”

Iván - Do you have any collections, if so what?

Ryan - I have a variety of cameras which have been collected through several generations of family. My favourite is an Edwardian era collapsible Ensign that belonged to my great grandmother. I have photos of her as a young woman holding this camera.

Photographs courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - Who or what has influenced your personal design style?

Amy - For both of us, I think it was growing up in a rural environment. There is no more perfect design than that found in nature. I think you develop a sense for recognizing beauty in the built world if you have an appreciation for design in the natural world.

- What was the first experience that you had with design?

- Strangely enough we had very similar first experiences with design. We both discovered builders home plan magazines as kids and of course, re-planned the layouts of all the houses.

Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - Looking over your work in the media and in recent publications one can see that you really have a great eye for creating spaces that have beautiful symmetry and scale, are calming and livable, yet you always involve elements that are completely unexpected but blend in perfectly. They just work without looking like you tried too hard. What is your recipe for impeccable taste? In other words, what are the design elements or principles you ensure are included in every room you design?

- Our biggest priority when it comes to designing a space is the layout – if a room is laid out poorly it just won’t work no matter how good it looks. Additionally, we have an appreciation for simplicity, and a respect for materials - we’d rather let a finish be true to itself than to disguise it as something else. With everything we do, we try to avoid trends and always work on letting the Client’s personality shine through.

- For the home owners that are reading the blog where would you recommend they invest their money to create the biggest impact on their space?

- If you invest in one key quality piece whether it be a stunning Kitchen, Art, beautiful window coverings, or an Italian sofa; this can elevate the impression of the entire space.

Antonio Lupi - Bisazza Mosaico and Lolli & Memmoli
Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - What has been the most unusual request from a client?

- We have a great client who has a strong affection for his dog, and wanted a balcony built exclusively for him. It actually turned out to be a great outdoor space!

Croma Design Studio
Photograph courtesy of Croma Design

Iván - Lastly, if you could share one piece of advice or a lesson from your experiences to our readers, what would it be?

- Listen to your instincts. Choose things that you love, or that reflect your personality.

To see more of Croma Designs stunning work please visit:

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011