Monday, 28 September 2009

Vignettes 101: with examples by David Hicks

Let’s start with the basics – Vignette 101

Pronunciation: \vin-ˈyet, vēn

Function: noun

Etymology: French, from Middle French vignete, from diminutive of vigne vine — more at vine

Date: 1611


-A decorative design placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter of a book or along the border of a page.

-Any brief composition or self‐contained passage.

-Merriam Webster Dictionary

I believe that any decorative project is not complete without those important details which communicate the owners' real and authentic personality. The careful positioning of the artwork, the display of meaningful collections or the placement of decorative objects all provide the visual and emotional declaration of the home owners living quarters.

The following design vignettes provide a selection of examples that have been successfully applied in the homes designed by the late master of design, David Hicks.

This vignette is carefully planned, it has a strong focal point and the pieces are placed in a trianglular shape. The strong colour in the painting frames the most important piece and focuses the attention on it. The rest of the pieces are all in the same colour tones but with different textures and sizes, creating visual interest while maintaining a focus on the urn.


This is a great example of an asymmetrical vignette. The main focal point is the Greek warrior. The black lines of the painting and the angle of the lamp creates an invisible line that directs attention towards the Greek warrior. The rest of the elements are a combination of yellow, orange, and coral (an analogous colour scheme) ceramics that reflect light.



You can see some of the same elements being used in this vignette however it tells a different story. Firstly you can see that the side table and the credenza host different vignettes. The connection between the two vignettes is being made through the use of complementary colour schemes.

The next vignette is one of my personal favourites; the black high gloss walls reflect light, while the mirror reflects other aspects of the room. The rest of the elements in the vignette are absorbing light. This vignette also shows that you can make a vignette out of almost anything – in this case a unique collection of mineral crystals.


The next vignette complements the wallpaper and becomes part of the graphic architecture created by the soft visual textures. The marble pieces and the flowers add a sense of romanticism to the space.


This is definitely one of the most interesting vignettes I have ever seen. The Greek archeological pieces are carefully placed with museum quality inside of a transparent acrylic cube. The soft light in the background view frames the vignette.


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Eye Candy of the Week – Wally Hermès Yachts

Wally Hermès Yachts - WHY is the result of the joint-venture signed in June 2008 between Hermès and Wally, to develop a new type of motor yacht redefining the art of living on the sea. The iconic Parisian house and the iconic Monaco yacht brand formed an equal partnership whereby each company is fully involved in all aspects of the conception and design of each project. - Press Release.

I am always amazed in how Hermès takes something so classically beautiful and creates an equally, if not more stunning, modern version.

Why-Yatch-2WHY - The Yacht

Why-YatchWHY - The Yacht

Dimensions & capacity

58 m length

38 m beam

2,400 tons displacement

12 guests

20 crew

3,400 m² living areas


12 knots cruising speed

14 knots maximum speed

Constant cruising speed up to Sea Force 4

Long range autonomy 4 Atlantic crossings

Promenade on deck 130 m long x 3 m wide

Swimming pool with thermo regulated water 25 m long

Green Energy

900 m² Thermophotovoltaic panels

2,000 kWh stored energy

Last-generation batteries (LiFePO4)

Renewable energy production 500 kWh/day

Lost thermal energy recovered 1,500 kWh/day

Annual equivalent fuel saving 160,000 liters

Design and Development

WHY Design Team

Pierre-Alexis Dumas - Artistic Director, Hermès

Luca Bassani Antivari - President and CEO, Wally

Gabriele Pezzini - Design Director, Hermès

Mauro Sculli - Naval Architect

Roar Ramde, Ramform - Naval Engineering

Denis Montel, RDAI - Interior Architecture

Why-Master The Master Bedroom at WHY – The Yacht

Why-Yatch-3 Guest Area at WHY – The Yacht

Why-Yatch-4 Common Area at WHY – The Yacht

Why-Yatch-5 Common Area at WHY – The Yacht


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 21 September 2009

Chinoiserie – A Trend with Staying Power

Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying “Chinese-esque”, refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences of an imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrast of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer-like materials and decoration. - Wikipedia.

Chinoiserie acts as a traditional and sophisticated dress for these oriental antiques. It adds an instant air of elegance and personality to an otherwise simple piece. Authentic calligraphic art pieces with their own soul. Used by European Monarchs in their palaces during the baroque and rococo styles (17th century) this decorative theme is coming back with a new twist and new shapes that have reinvented a classic for today’s decor trend.

I have always been a fan of Chinoiserie. It always adds a sense of patina and authenticity to any space. It reads well with modern styles and with traditional styles. Its revival is more apparent every day.

Chinoiserie 001

Meade Design Group Studio

In our studio we included some furniture pieces with Chinoiserie elements to upscale our space. The first piece is a Tea Table with claw and ball foot (circa 1800) paired with an antique chair of the period upholstered in David Hicks Mint motif and Barbara Barry Bee Line Fabric window treatments. This is a great example of how good Chinoiserie looks paired with geometric shapes.

Chinoiserie 003 Meade Design Group Studio

This piece is an antique cabinet that we paired with a modern Dogale glass bowl and some Fornasetti plates. Chinoiserie also reads well with Surrealistic motifs.

image Dining Room Design by Amie de Toro

I really like the juxtaposition of the exquisite Chinoiserie hand painted wallpaper against the modern light fixture from Modernica and the traditional dining set with a kelly green geometric pattern by Duralee.

image Coco Chanel’s Apartment

These screens at Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon Apartment complement the scale of the room and and bring a refined sense of sophistication to the living room entrance.

image Jasper Conran Chinoiserie – Bone China

Jasper Conran Chinoiserie Green and White Fine Bone China features an exotic design of graceful birds and delicate flora and fauna. Classically inspired yet modern in appeal.

image Paradise Background by Quadrille

This Fabric represents a modern approach that the industry is bringing to the Chinoiserie. A cool interpretation of a Toile du Jouy in silhouette.

image De Gournay Wallpaper

Chinoiserie don’t need to be boring or formal – Here is another great example of De Gournay Wallpaper where a bright yellow will cheer you up on the gloomiest of days.

Tell us your thoughts about this ongoing trend.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Eye Candy of the Week – Palm Beach Host Chair



Palm Beach Host Chair



Allan Knight



Allan Knight and Associates



3-inch acrylic leg
nickel nail head trim, welt cord
28 x 31 x 46 h, 19 sh
COM 4-1/2 yds 54'' w plain



If you are fan of the Ghost Chair, but you want something with a bit more comfort and more visual weight - This chair is for you.  It looks like it is floating in the space yet it also has so much presence.


This would be a unique element in a contemporary room or a modern element in a traditional setting.  This is what I call a truly transitional piece.  The best of two worlds in one single chair.





MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Friday, 11 September 2009

Icon of Design – Monique Lhuillier



 Monique Lhuillier


Renowned designer Monique Lhuillier is best known for her ubër feminine, airy, sophisticated and romantic wedding gowns. Her designs are perfectly suited to the young, modern and trendy bride who wants to maintain a sense of sophisticated elegance – including Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson, Pink, Jewel, and most recently, Heidi Montag. Her ready-to-wear collection has even been a favourite for style-icon Sarah Jessica Parker.


montag pratt marry 11 260409

Heidi Montag in a Monique Lhuillier Gown


Monique combines clean, crisp silks with layers of chiffon or details in lace, crystals, velvets and even feathers. Although her designs are often in shades of white (understandably), she creates interest with textures and interesting shapes while maintaining a modern, feminine quality.


evening wear

Evening Wear Collection by Monique Lhuillier


One can see that Monique appears to draw her inspiration from an array of sources, vintage designs, worldly motifs, and like most artists – nature and the world that surrounds her.

Monique’s line of wedding gowns has expanded to include bridesmaid dresses, evening wear and even a line of Barbie dolls. Last year she also created a line to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the infamous plastic plaything in the pink aisle; this move seemed to bring new life and colour to her designs and seemed to bring out more of Monique’s own personality beyond her sophisticated bridal frocks.



Barbie 50th Birthday Fashion Show – Models Gown by Monique Lhuillier


We have interpreted Monique’s fashion into our latest “Icon of Design” entry, where we create an interior design scheme inspired by a fashion designer’s collection.

We translated her designs as being feminine, yet clean. Items adorned with dainty details, light and airy draped fabric, romantic, sophisticated, a variety of textures and accents including velvets, silks, chiffons, feathers, lace, ruffles, and even crystals – we aimed to create a base translated from her beloved wedding gowns and add fun pops of personality to represent the woman behind the line.


Cole and Son Wallpaper 83-3011Cole & Son - Available through Meade Design Group 


Accent Wall: 83/3011 by Cole & Son, an intricate and feminine pattern in girlie colours creates interest and visual texture.

Paint Colour: Hedron (32-30, an almost white with a hint of warm mauve-pink), by Pratt & Lambert, a match to the lightest colour in the wallpaper above.


Sheers1 Image courtesy of Gianetti Architects

Custom Drapery for your home available through Meade Design Group


Window Treatments: Layered, crisp, off-white sheers softening the light and adding a little privacy while upholding the soft and feminine look.


Alexa Desire - Chintz

Chintz & Company



Jonathan AdlerBespoke - Pier 1


The Alexa Desire Sofa in a slightly shimmering ivory velvet to add simple yet sophisticated glam, we would swap out the orange silk pillows shown in this image and replace them with some of Jonathan Adler’s Custom Monogram Pillows and a few of Pier 1’s Ruffled pillows for texture, mixed in with some solid pink silk pillows (available at Bespoke) to maintain the sophisticated, clean look.


Special Edition Ghost Chair - Kartell



Perpendicular at either side of the sofa we would have to include Kartell’s limited edition Ghost Chairs to commemorate Monique’s line for Barbie, with a depiction of the doll herself, and tinted her signature colour.



Oly Studio


Two Pipa side tables in front of the sofa create an interesting alternative to the typical coffee table.


Lace Cut Media Storage Unit - Brocade Home

Brocade Home


A Lace-Cut entertainment console from Brocade home adds more light and airy femininity.


Custom JA Rug

Jonathan Adler


Underneath it all we would lay one of Jonathan Adler’s new custom rugs.


Versailles Chandelier - Woodson and Rummerfields

Woodson & Rummerfield's


… and above it all we would hang two of these chandeliers from Woodson & Rummerfield’s (one over each Pipa table).


Dressmakers Form - Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware


As an accent we would love to see a dressmaker’s form in one corner, such as this model from Restoration hardware.


carthage lantern - Maison Luxe

Maison Luxe


Cocoon Vase

Tivoli Home





Lamp   Nest of Grand Traverse


… and some accessories such as this Carthage Lantern from Maison Luxe or some vintage books and vogue magazines with a glass detail such as these cool vases from Tivoli Home (which we totally see with a nice, full, pink peony in it) and Ikea, or this lamp from Nest of Grand Traverse which give pops of colour to create a perfectly balanced vignette amongst the light backdrop.


vintage daybed - The Cross

The Cross


To complete the look in other areas of the house we would recommend something like this vintage daybed in her bedroom from The Cross


Pattern Bent Wood Chair (High gloss white) - Brocade Home

Brocade Home 


… This Pattern Bent Wood Chair from Brocade Home


galaxy_star_mirror - Woodson and Rummerfields

Woodson & Rummerfield's


… and this great Galaxy Mirror from Woodson & Rummerfield’s.




MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A Cool Event!

isaiah hs - aug 08

Isaiah Bell


I have always believed that we need to support our local talent, this gentleman is also a young talent that needs us, as a community, to help him achieve his dreams.   The next step in his career is to move to Calgary for a residency with the Calgary Opera in October.  I will be spending my Thursday evening supporting Isaiah and getting my cultural fix.   I hope to see you there!


Fairfield United Church (Fairfield and Moss),

September 10 at 7:30, entry by generous-donation (lol)

Victoria BC, Canada


Victoria tenor and composer Isaiah Bell is about to relocate to Calgary this fall for the Emerging Artist program at Calgary Opera. Before leaving in late September, he and pianist Robert Holliston are coming together to offer a recital of some of their favourite music.

Part of the program is Schumann's magical song cycle Liederkreis op. 39, which Isaiah recently performed at Canada's 2009 National Music Festival, in which he was awarded 1st place, as well as the Jan Simons' Award for Song Interpretation.  Times Colonist Article

Though he may be best known in Victoria for his over-the-top operatic composition/production attempts, during the last six years Isaiah has performed as a vocal soloist with virtually every major musical ensemble in the Greater Victoria area, including the Victoria Symphony, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Civic Orchestra of Victoria, the UVic Orchestra and Chorus, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, the Victoria Choral Society, CappriCCio Vocal Ensemble, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Salt Spring Island's Bach on the Rock, the Linden Singers, the UVic Lieder Singers and UVic's Phoenix Theatre, as well as various groups in Western Canada and the United States."

“Admission to this special concert is by donation, with donations going to help me buy a piano to practice on in Calgary, a couple of necessary opera scores, new headshots and a suit that doesn't suck (I cannot describe how desperately needed this last item is! My current one is too small for me, and is, literally, being held together by threads). Please come and support!”  - Isaiah Bell

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Friday, 4 September 2009


When we started blogging we didn’t have a clue of what we were going to write about. We made a list of ideas and started to write about our personal experiences, everyday life in the studio, and eventually evolved into interviewing some of the best designers in the world, translating the styles of our favourite icons of design, and featuring trends and eye candies of the week.


And now, here we are at 200 entries and we feel that we have really hit our stride. Our blog has taken on a voice and life of it’s own, and is truly unique. It just keeps getting better and we are so excited for our future in blogging.

Before we get to the goods, we want to say THANK YOU!!! once again for all of the support we have received from readers, designers, and advertisers. It has been a great experience and blogging has become a part of our inspiration, friendships and has even become a therapy of sorts (lol).

cake 200 entries 006 We almost caught on fire for this shot

To celebrate we thought we needed a cake full of sparklers (we have a bad influence on each other when it comes to sweets lol – Echito liked this one in particular because it was called “Strawberry Princess”), but more importantly, we wanted to share our favourite, top 15 entries with all of our readers (in chronological order to show our growth - aside from the top pick at the end which needed it’s own special place).

We hope you enjoy them!


image Maria Celia T de Meade – AKA Chelita

This was my second entry and probably still one of my most personal entries. Hint! Hint! No magazines have asked me for an interview yet (lol)


imageInés & Philippine

Small world – since I found my lost relatives in Spain I have established a cool pen pal friendship with them and I get really excited to see how far Inés and Philippine have gone with their designs - Meade Pride!


imageMeade Design Group – Studio

A big – I repeat, BIG accomplishment for our company. Our creative laboratory is stunning and we truly enjoy working here every day. We really put our heart and soul into the renovation and are so proud that it has been so well received



A fun entry – inspiration is everywhere!


image Coco Chanel

Who knew that more than a year after this post that there would be a movie in the making – we feel like we must have been very forward thinking (lol). It is so much to take inspiration from the runway and translate it into an interior style.


image Barbara Barry

What an honour, and how fun it was to have the opportunity to meet Barbara Barry and to have a 15 minute conversation with her. She has always been an inspiration to us. This evening of course, led to an interview with Barbara on the blog a short time later.



Open House

A continuation of our pride towards our design studio, this entry was special in it’s own right however, because we were able to share our completed studio with our colleagues, family and friends – and enjoying it together over some great food and drink doesn’t hurt of course!


image GRRRRRRRRRRR! Iván as Jesús Godzilla

This must be the point where we have almost become too comfortable with our blog (lol), but we think our readers really enjoy these light-hearted entries. It’s these kinds of posts that show who we really are and although we are a professional firm, we do know how to let loose and have fun on occasion.

Plus, it won me concert tickets to go see Beyonce in Vancouver so it was totally worth exposing my silly side to the world!


image Iván Meade - Peep! Peep!

Simply because I was such an adorable child.


image Echito Eaton cutting her naughty cake

This may have been the most fun event we have held at the studio, we felt the evening went so perfectly, the time flew by with all of the great games and stories. So many laughs, beautiful (pink) decor, delicious food, drink and treats (what would a celebration for Echito be without some Oooh La La cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries?), and not to mention the excellent attendees.



A more serious entry but we really did think it was important for people to know how to help their company succeed in trying times. It was also a bit therapeutic for us, we were able to get a lot of things off of our chests, people often are blind to the value of what designers can do for them. Looking back, it is also a great showcase of our work!


imageTobi Fairley, Iván Meade, Patricia Gray

Another successful event (reviewing theses posts, it totally makes sense that we would expand our services to include event planning!) with a gracious and inspiring guest of honour It was our pleasure to host the event and facilitate a gathering of our closest design friends and colleagues.


image Mies, Nilly, Willy & Echito Pepito

These cute and weird little creatures are full of personality, and made with love. We are so proud of Sarita for her successful new business venture. Willy, Nilly, Mies and Echito Pepito all have a special place in our hearts and homes.


We feel as though these interviews really put our blog on the map and we cannot thank our interviewees enough for taking the time to participate. No matter hoe many interviews we have and are going to be able to obtain in the future - It doesn’t get any less exciting to get a phone call or e-mail from one of our design idols!



image Ivan as the big bad wolf and Echito as Red Riding Hood

As one can see, we have a strong fondness for all things fun, silly, and willy nilly. We got so much positive feedback with this post, and had so much fun doing it that we just may have to make it an annual thing!

Hope you enjoyed the blog highlights – we look forward to sharing many more posts with you, and hope that you keep reading!

Thanks again from Meade Design Group!

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011