Monday, 30 August 2010

Colour Harmony Guide – Circa 1965


As designers, we work with colour all the time and one of our main tools of the trade is the colour fans.  Each company has there own style and system but it is quite cool to see what was in use many years ago.


Last week, I received another great present – yes, from the same aunt who gave me the Cosmopolitan covers not too long ago, which inspired my entry Cosmopolitan Magazine Then and Now


IMG_2652 Sherwin-Williams Colour Harmony Guide



Centennial Edition



A classic exercise in colour - Which of the Greens on the page is darker?

Believe it or not they are the same!


IMG_2654Oooooooh! – Beautiful Interiors



I had my fair share of this kind of room as before shots in my interior design projects in Victoria BC. I think this was a very popular colour combo back in the day.  Avocado fridges anyone?


IMG_2656 Would you be comfortable dining in this room?


IMG_2657 This room totally reminds me of the work by David Hicks – Have you noticed the lack of green fabrics lately – You can find green in fabrics but not solid green fabrics.


IMG_2658 And this room could totally be done by Jonathan Adler


IMG_2659 Retro Vibe – Love the use of the 3 cubes and the yellow accent chair


The colour catalogue has these cool cut-outs to see the colour trends of 1965.  Colours like Alligator or Casablanca were the big hits.  Not too far from what is going to be trendy in the near future.


IMG_2660 Alligator Accent 1736



Casablanca Accent 553


By the way the gift came slightly incomplete there is a little bit of damage including a missing back – Gotta love that aunt with all her wonderful “treasures”.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Eye Candy of the Week – Alessi Cocktail Shaker





Alessi Cocktail Shaker



Sylvia Stave






18/20 Mirror polished stainless steel



H:18cm; Dia:13.8cm



Capacity : 100cl



This piece was manufactured for the first time between 1920 and 1930 by the C.G.Hallbergs, a Swedish company. The design of this cocktail shaker is a contrast of forms - it has a large spherical body and slender handle which makes it very sexy.


Now manufactured by Alessi Officina this polished stainless steel cocktail shaker is a true classic in every sense of the word.


Dirty Gin Martinis, anyone?



Scrumptious !!!

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 23 August 2010

In Conversation with Kimberley Seldon

 imageKimberley Seldon


Toronto-based interior designer Kimberley Seldon is famous for her vivacious personality and presence within the design community. Kimberley's firm, Kimberley Seldon Design Group specializes in a full range of residential and commercial design services across Canada and the US. The projects are always unique, but definitely recognizable as Kimberley's warm and comfortable style.


Interiors aside, Kimberley has become quite a design guru; her award winning, 15+ year career has earned Kimberley the position of Decorating Editor for Style at Home Magazine. She has also penned a couple of books, "500 Ideas for Small Spaces" and "Kimberley Seldon's Business of Design" in addition to being featured in O Magazine, House & Home Magazine, The Tyra Banks Show Website, and the book "Spectacular Homes of Toronto". Kimberley also has a career in television, including multiple appearances on CityLine as a design expert and on HSN to promote her line of home décor products "Kimberley Seldon Home", she has also hosted three television series including "Design for Living with Kimberley Seldon" and has had great success as a public speaker with various seminars and keynote speeches.


Kimberley's interiors, furniture line with Brentwood Classics, media projects and on line magazine ( have all come together to form the brand that fans throughout Canada and the US have come to know and trust.


I am very pleased to have the opportunity to gain some insight as to Kimberley's opinions on design, please read on to get in on the conversation…


Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?


Kimberley Seldon - Frankly, it was painful for everyone in the family. My mother let me choose the new, shag carpeting for our home in LA.  I was 10 years old, so naturally I chose a different colour for every room in the house.  Whoa - was that a mistake!


image Timeless Beauty by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - You always respect the traditional with a fusion of modernity.  I believe this is what makes your style.  How do you achieve this?


Kimberley Seldon - I like to think of myself as a cerebral designer; with each project as an equation. I factor in the architecture, the site and views, and the client's wishes. Once I have all these elements in place, I know I can create a project that makes sense and style that will last.


image Classic Beauty by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - Your furniture line is exquisite - One of my favourite pieces in your furniture collection is your Skirted Ottoman, What inspired you to include a piece that is no longer commonly used in today's homes?


Kimberley Seldon - What? People aren't using ottomans? That's terrible. Where do they put their feet at the end of a hard day of work?  Where dose the dog curl up when they're reading? Please help me put an ottoman in every home across Canada.


image Ottoman 9804 by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - What do you look for in a furniture piece? Or, in other words, you are very selective in what goes into your designs, what makes a piece important enough to be used in your projects?


Kimberley Seldon - I want classic tailoring and flexibility in my pieces. I try to think of a chair or sofa working in a variety of rooms - rather than creating a "living room" sofa which is so dull.


imageClassic Beauty by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - What is your approach to lifeststyle and design?


Kimberley Seldon - I crave a well-designed life. Productive work, meaningful relationships and soulful "me" time.  Of course, life is not perfect so I'm always falling short of the mark. 


imageContemporary Classic by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - I noticed how much you love all things French, what is it that captivates you about France?


Kimberley Seldon - I love how relaxed the French are in their living rooms and their bodies. It's a confidence thing. A French person will never seek your opinion on an item of clothing or a piece of furniture.   They feel they know with certainty what the right choice is. I admire that comfort level.


Classic Beauty by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - You have accomplished something very unique with your design seminars - You have become a strong voice in the community that guides and directs the way the business of design should work.  What is the biggest thing you would like to change in the world of design?


Kimberley Seldon - Thank you for asking this question. I have a dream (sorry, I stole that line). But here's what I wish - that there was a very clear line between those who pursue design as a hobby and those who are passionate professionals. The public (and frankly the design community) are sorely misinformed when it comes to the value that a professional brings to the project.


image 30’s Glamour by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - What is the value of design ?


Kimberley Seldon -  Excellent question.  The true value of our work - or the return on the investment if you will - is always this: The client's enjoyment of their home. It's a function of beautiful aesthetics, appealing atmosphere and the ease that comes from living in a well-designed environment.

 imageEuropean Charm by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - Who would you like to design something for?


Kimberley Seldon - I'd like to design a hotel. I travel so frequently and I know exactly what an "ideal" hotel would provide its guests.


imageEuropean Charm by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - What is your newest venture in design?


Kimberley Seldon -  We are launching an on-line magazine called Dabble which allows me to focus on the travel-design aspect of my life. It's for home enthusiasts who want to experience the world's best destinations through architecture, interior design, cuisine and fine art.


image Classic Beauty by Kimberley Seldon


Iván Meade - You have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles, what would you like your legacy to be?


Kimberley Seldon - I'd like to go on record for having lived well into my 150th year.  I have a lot of things I am eager to experience still.


I invite you to visit Kimberley Seldon’s website at:



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Only Human – Open House


Join Only Human Thursday the 18th (tomorrow) at 7:00 pm for an exciting evening with BOCCI’s founder Omer Arbel - one of Canada's leading Industrial Designers. 


You can read our interview with him by clicking on the image below.




BOCCI has just launched a new chandelier/lighting system - the 28 Series - and Only Human is excited to launch these beautiful Canadian-made products right here in Victoria, BC


image Bocci Series 28.0


If you would like to attend please RSVP by clicking the Only Human logo below.



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 15 August 2010

I am Love – The Interiors

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to refresh a little bit after a hot day at the movie theatre while watching “I am Love” – In my humble opinion this is one of the best movies I have seen this year.  I can definitely see some Oscar Nominations for the film in the near future.  This is not your typical Hollywood, the cinematography is exquisite, the music score unbelievable and the interiors are beyond words.


“The film  follows an haute bourgeoisie family through changing times and fortunes, and its disruption by the force of passion. The cast is led by Tilda Swinton as Emma Recchi. Co-producers Swinton and Guadagnino developed the movie together over an 11-year period. The film is the first for which the composer John Adams has allowed his music to be used”  - Wikipedia. (I can’t write this any better than my good ally Wikipedia)


The majority of the movie was set at the “Villa Necchi Campiglio” in Milan – The rational interiors are a fantastic lesson for any design enthusiast.  I first learned about this wonderful Villa at Albarosa Simonetti’s blog – Brillante Home Decor a couple of months ago and I have been since then waiting patiently to the watch this movie.



I love the austerity of the scale and the understated elegance of this dining room.





The  height and the presence of the pocket doors in the Villa are one of my favourite memories of the movie.




The stair railing – so memorable!


imageElegant and Traditional Interiors.


imageThe pattern on the floor in San Remo.


image Beautiful wood paneling.




Thanks to the power of technology you can also have a virtual tour to the Villa. (mark 6:00)


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

In Conversation with Omer Arbel

image Omer Arbel

Listen up fellow design geeks - Vancouver design scene star, Omer Arbel is soon coming to Victoria! He is going to be the special guest at Only Human's Bocci 28 Series launch on August 19th!

We wanted to take advantage of this great opportunity and ask Omer for an interview to give you all a little background on the guest of honour, and to pick his brain about his thoughts on design and architecture.

Omer is the man behind the international firm, Bocci. As founder and creative director he has been responsible for the creation of everything from the notable 2.4 Chair, the 22 Series Plug Socket, and even the medals for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games (with Aboriginal artist, Corinne Hunt) in addition to the multitude of accessories, lighting furniture and objects available through Bocci. Most recently, Arbel has launched the 28 Series light fixtures, which is also not only the purpose of his journey to the island, but was also our first ever giveaway on the blog (which was quite a success, if I may say so myself). The firm has grown tremendously since its inception in 2005, and is now sold in over 20 countries and has a satellite office based in Berlin. Bocci products are quickly becoming a staple in interior designers and architects library.

Aside from his success with Bocci, Omer continues to create interior and architectural spaces through his namesake design firm, Omer Arbel Office, which he founded in 2005. His portfolio runs the gamut from penthouses, private residences, restaurants and retail spaces - including Vancouver's own "it" design store, Inform. One can tell that Omer is passionate about his designs and meticulously ensures that he is respecting the landscape, surroundings, and particularly, materials invloved in his projects. The firm has received many profile awards and has been favoured by the press, appearing in such publications as Maclean's, Metropolis, Architectural Record, I.D., The NY Times, Azure, Dwell, Blueprint, Attitude,and Elle Decoration. He is also a master's thesis committee member at UBC and has also been a guest critic and speaker.

Prior to all of this recent acclaim, Omer attended the University of Waterloo for the architectural program where he received his graduate degree; he got real-world experience as an apprentice under well known Vancouver architects John and Patricia Patkau, Catlan architct Enric Miralles in Barcelona. He was born in Jerusalem and moved to Vancouver as a child, where he also had a career as a professional fencer from the time he was 17 until he turned 21.

Please read on to get in on the conversation….

Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?

Omer Arbel - I built a model of the empire state building out of cardboard when I was four years old.

image 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Medals

Iván Meade - Does your Israeli heritage have any impact on your designs/design style? If so, what elements have inspired you, and how have they parlayed into your work?

Omer Arbel - no. I feel that regionalism is meaningless in the context of our culture. There is a tremendous volume of information and exchange over the net, and people travel a great deal. I think inspiration, subconscious influences, and conceptual rigor come from any number of hard to track down sources. But regional or national identity is not one of them; at least not for me.

image21.0 Series by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - How would you describe your style?

Omer Arbel - Difficult question that I usually leave critics to answer. There are certain objectives and obsessions that I can track through our work, but as with anything, an insider's view can only be that - an insider's view... with its "built in" biases and blind spots. I think our work is Romantic - I mean this not in the contemporary sense of the word - but rather in the 18th century sense of the word, stemming from Romanticism. We believe in the enigmatic emotional potential of objects and spaces... and we aim to focus and amplify this potential in our work.


image 22.0 Series by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - At the age of 34, how does it feel to have your piece, the 2.4 Chair, already considered to be a collector's item? (It can be seen in the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum, as well as several institutional and private collections and exhibitions)

Omer Arbel - It’s a bit baffling! I wish I kept a few. At the time I stopped making them because I ran out of steam and the plastic they are made of began to take its toll on my health! I did not intend to make a limited quantity of these chairs - it just ended up happening as a result of circumstance.


2.4 Chair by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What is the inspiration behind the 28 Series light fixtures and what was the process?

Omer Arbel-The process is the piece. As a practice, we try to never design form itself. Rather, we set up parameters that create form, almost on their own. In the case of the 28, we invented a fabrication process which involves cooling and heating the glass intermittently, while introducing a vacuum into the piece in a controlled manner. The shape of each piece is a result of the procedure of making it - we cannot control or predict it.

image 28.0 Series Light Fixture by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - How long did it take to conceive the 28 Series?

Omer Arbel - We worked on the design intently for about three months.

image image 8.0 Chair by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What has been the proudest moment in your career?

Omer Arbel - There have been many. Once I was walking in a side street in Barcelona, and noticed our chandelier in the window of an anonymous apartment. It made me very happy and proud to know that the piece is illuminating some stranger's home, means something to them, but that I have no knowledge of who they are, what they do, what their relationship to the chandelier is.

image 14.0 Series by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Omer Arbel - I am excited by the introduction of new technologies which enable us to manipulate materials in entirely new ways.

image image 17.1 Table by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What would be your dream project?

Omer Arbel - One day I'd like to design objects for Canadian Tire - say a portable barbecue. I'd also like to design Ferry interiors for BC Ferries. And, I'd like to be involved in a designing a major civic work - a law courts or central library building. Apart from that, there are various illustrious design houses that I'd love to design pieces for.

imageimage15.2 Penthouse by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Omer Arbel - I think that despite the great success of the industrial design projects, I am still at heart an architect. I love construction, I love building.

Iván Meade - What is the best advice (design related or otherwise) that you have ever received?

Omer Arbel - seven keys, executed perfectly on a piano, still don’t make an octave. The last key is critical!

image 1.1 Shelf by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What are 3 things you can't live without?

Omer Arbel - my bike, my AGA stove, and my Mac.

image25.0 Bench by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - What is your next design venture?

Omer Arbel - We are working on a luxury cabin on chukanut drive... and on a series of materially explorative decorative bowls.


image 4.0 Screen by Omer Arbel

Iván Meade - Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Omer Arbel -its too early to say. Ask me again in 20 years!

I Invite you to visit Omer Arbel’s websites:



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011