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Fitting Design into Fernie

By Melyssa Monfee
on November 27, 2016

 

Growing up in a small rural town doesn’t necessarily help you keep up with the latest design trends, however here in Fernie British Columbia my cabin roots, love for unique organic design, as well as believing that there is always room for improvement keeps me facing forward.

One of the differences that I believe sets us apart from our fast paced close-quarter friends from the city - aside from the ability to go months without shopping and our impatience with summer traffic -  is our need for functionality before all else. Our everyday tasks need to be quick and easy as we live our lives almost as rushed as our city counterparts – except we hurry to get outside!

Storage and organization should be pre-determined not a chore, and there needs to be a size appropriate place for every important outdoor tool: skies, bike, sled, quad etc. We need full-fledged mudrooms to keep the yard out of the living room, and we need every room in the house to have an everyday purpose - even if it means turning the dining room into an office.

The latest design trends are taking a page from our everyday book, as they all have one thing in common; real life, and bringing the outdoors in. Contrary to the renascent ‘super-sleek’ modern design direction that has been dominant over the last decade, we as consumers are going back to our roots; literally. Nature is in! From organic cork and bark wall features, to tree stump islands and curved walls, to entire organic buildings (thank you, Antoni Gaudi).

For those of us in the Elk Valley, we have been waiting for our outdoor lifestyle to have the means to come inside our homes. With the need of excess storage, simplicity, and personality our interiors can finally match our surrounds – and be magazine worthy! The tree stumps found in your neighbours’ back yard that you turned into side tables and stools are now selling out online. The grey board from the old abandoned barn a few blocks away is first choice material for five-star feature walls. Coffee tables now have the ability to fold up into a full on dining table, and even chairs folding up to a stylish mirror on the wall.

Personally, I cannot wait to see where this new age of multi-function technology takes furniture and decor, combining both organic and man-made materials to turn ideas into reality.

It is just too bad our valley climate does not allow me to create my own inside-outside house…

 

Making Your Home Your Own

By Melyssa Monfee
on May 15, 2016

           

Whether it is the nicks and dents in the hand-me-down-furnishings, or the odds and ends that your family has collected over the years, it is these details in the home that create a unique and inviting space.  Uniqueness in home décor is especially relevant in this day and age, amidst a society that values individuality.  It is those special items collected over the years that stand the test of time, create a spotlight without a bulb, and make an empty space with a roof and walls into a home.

Current design trends have moved toward straight-lines and modern spaces.  If you like the modern look, it can be challenging to integrate your own design choices.  Not to worry, there are simple tips for you to make sure that the space you create reflects your unique style.

Although it may be counterintuitive, the secret to adding that personal touch to a design is not ‘everything has to match’!  In fact, mixing different styles together brings a room to life. The heart of a room is not found by complimenting the paint on the walls.  It is the personal things on display in your home that bring life to the décor.  Those items that you have collected over the years are interesting because of their rarity.  They represent the memories that have been created over time, by you and the people you care about.

You might have a special piece that followed you all the way from Nepal.  Maybe that random cat statue was the only thing that made you both laugh that day while at Macy’s.  Of course, as a designer, I love those little, tie everything together, absolutely-made-for-this-space pieces.  But I thrive on finding those crazy-weird items that I know my client will not only love, but potentially be one of the only people to understand.

It could be a chair, a rug, tilework, or that arguably ugly painting from your estranged Uncle.  I believe that not only every house should have an eclectic personal item, but every room. It starts conversations, invites originality, and might even make your guests remark, “holy crap what is that thing!?”.   So don’t be afraid to add those strange little knick-knacks or big outrageous pieces to your new design.  Not only will it make your space gorgeous, but recognizable, your own, and most importantly: home.

             

Picking the right size table Part 2

By Paul Arcoite
on September 30, 2015

How to pick a dining table Urban SettlerTable legs are also a consideration in figuring out what your best option is… In the case of a traditional rectangular style table with four legs you need to know the space between the legs to determine how many chairs will fit along each side. This can be determined by a physical measure or with this siple formula: (The length or width of the top) – (overhang of the top x 2 + leg size x 2)

For example: A 78”L x 40”W table with an overhang of 2” at the ends and 1” on the sides , and a leg size of 3 ½”, will have 31” space between the legs at each end, and 67” between the legs on each side. This table would seat 3 per side and one per end, up to 8 people quite comfortably. It is the perfect size for a family of 4 that may often have 2 -4 guests. With two 22” extension leaves it will seat up to 14 people!

Other options include a trestle or pedestal table that can both fit more chairs easily, because the legs are out of the way.

Of course, a table must also fit the room! A general rule for fitting a table to a room is to make sure that you have 30” minimum clearance between the table and obstructions such a walls or other pieces of furniture. If the room were closed on 3 sides then I recommend a minimum of 36” clearance between the walls and the edge of the table.

A couple of suggestions to make sure your table will fit the room would be either to measure and draw a floor plan of the room with the table, or simply to mark off on the floor with masking tape where the table would be. The shape of the room will play an important role in deciding on the dimensions and shape of the table.

Next you will be ready to choose from different styles of tables; four-legged, trestle, and pedestal. Cheers!

Picking the right size table - Part 1

By Paul Arcoite
on September 24, 2015

One of the most obvious questions when ordering a custom table is how best to determine the right size and shape of table to accommodate your family and friends.

The first questions I ask clients are how many family and friends will be gathering at the table on a day-to-day basis, and how often they will have guests joining them, and how many guests are likely to join them on a regular basis? For instance, a family of four that often has 2-4 guests joining them will want to have a table that seats up to 8, preferably without the addition of extension leaves.  We generally recommend extension leaves for occasional use, or in small spaces where the optimal size of table is not possible.  

The next step is determining the right size and shape of table that will accommodate your needs and fit your home.

To determine size, factor in 18-22” per place setting. I consider 18” as  minimum (it’ll work in a pinch), while 22” is more comfortable. The size of the chair is also important in figuring out the size, as typical widths for dining chairs range from 18-24”. While you can get away with 18” per place setting, if your chairs are wider they will be the limiting factor.  More importantly,If your table size is limited by the size of your room, it is best to pick a smaller scale chair and this will obviously allow you to squeeze more chairs around a smaller table.

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