Over the years, I have used urns as timeless decorative pieces for either indoor or outdoor.  There is an immediate connection to the classical architectural world and bringing this to your home can offset contemporary, clean styling  or be right at home in a  traditional one.  According to Judith Z. Cushman Hammer, teacher of furniture, industrial design and architectural history at Appalachian State University, urns have been employed as  universal symbols in furniture, the decorative arts and architecture since the Neoclassic period. 

This is the view from my art studio - I love my antique urn that I found languishing at the back of Decorum Decorative Finds.  It had been sitting there for years until I spotted it and convinced my husband that it would be the perfect centre piece for our new garden.

This textured gem of an urn will immediately add a touch of the ancient world  indoors or out.  It reminds me of the urn that I had for years in my first house - a classic Toronto Victorian with the bay window in the living room.  I placed my urn in front of the centre window with lovely draping ivy.  Nice memory.

Lovely shaped urn above and the gorgeous lion head and flora below.

Lastly, when doing some research I discovered this amazing history of the "Waterloo Urn" below.   This photograph, taken by Sir Cecil Beaton, of Queen Elizabeth standing in front of the 15 feet tall urn is from 1938 at Buckingham Palace. Carved from a 20 ton piece of Carrara marble, Napoleon laid claim to this block during his travel to make war in Russia.  Today, it is still stands at Buckingham Palace. Love.

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AuthorTheresa Casey

It is one of the pleasures of my work to create custom furnishings for my clients.  There are a variety of reasons why we take this route such as a special size requirements or material combinations, lack of availability on the retail front or the desire to have a unique piece designed especially for you.  This is the world of "Bespoke" design.  To understand how I go from an idea to the finished product, I thought I would take you through the process of how I designed the brass & terrazo coffee table below.  

 

My work always starts with my clients,  their point of view and how I interpret their needs to fit their home.  These clients are two busy professionals with three young active toddlers.  The brief was to design something that was first and foremost safe (which meant absolutely no glass, no sharp concerns), basically indestructible, beautiful, and sophisticated.  I had already designed the curved custom sofa in the room with beautiful nubbly wool fabric so I looked at materials that would complement the solid fabric and found this beautiful patterned slab stone which I combined with brass.  I then went on to develop the form  and how to make it structurally sound.

The finished product installed in the living room.  See below for initial sketches, photos from the manufacturers studio and getting it into the space.

Preliminary sketch for the coffee table.

One part of the design process of this table was the structural engineering component which ensured that this table was completely solid.

By creating an inner sleeve in brass we were able to add structural stability while keeping the design integrity.  The underside of the table would not be seen unless little ones were crawling underneath which they could safely do with this amount of structure.

Four Delivery men were required to get the table in - coordination details that come up in my world all the time.

Arrived!

The new table in the living room with a view to the dining room beyond.

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AuthorTheresa Casey

Carlos María Domínguez

 

I have had the good fortune of designing many personal libraries for myself and for my clients. It must be a common bond as from an early age I was a voracious reader and to this day always have a pile of books on my bedside.  Often, when I meet with clients, one of the first things that comes up is their books and how they want to see them in their home. It is a commonly said  that a person's books tell a lot about them and I think that that is true, just as a person's home should be a reflection of them. Below are some of my favourite libraries that I have designed over the years and as well a bit about the New York Public Library.  This  was the location for an event I attended a month ago with Benjamin Moore Paint to unveil their 2017 Color of the Year, "Shadow".   

A lovely project which housed this client's collection of 10,000.00 books in an historic home in Toronto's Rosedale.

 A young fresh approach to library for a couple starting out with a new baby.

A cozy corner in this library that is specifically featuring this client's Antique Toy Soldier Collection and history books.

Exquisite saturated colour in this library in a Toronto Edwardian home. 

Below, a some of the history of the New York Public Library:  Carrère and Hastings were the designers and constructors of the New York Public Library built the 1890s.   They studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and  infused French architectural concepts  and adapted them for New York. The result was the largest marble structure ever attempted in the United States.  More recently, the library has undergone a $300,000,000. renovation and update by the Dutch Architecture firm Mecanoo.

Original Section Drawing of The New York Public Library.

Exterior of The New York Public Library.

Details of the ceiling.

A truly inspiring space to work in!

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AuthorTheresa Casey

I was recently in New York to attend Benjamin Moore's unveiling of their color for 2017. Not only was I intrigued to find out what their color choice was I was also very excited at the venue for the evening event. It was held at the New York Public Library which has been in renovation for the past four or five years.  So for me, a win-win on both accounts.  The evening did not disappoint and before I even entered the great Library Hall  I spent a good 15 minutes wandering around looking at the beautiful Beaux Arts building. (more on the background of this building in next Friday's blog).  Onto the event and a wonderful prelude to the launch was an inspiring slideshow of what inspired this choice of the color of the year which is a smoky eggplant purple called "Shadow" No. 2117-30.  I met with one of the many researchers and designers who spent the year traveling the world looking for inspiration and digging into "the collective unconscious" to see where the Zeitgeist was and what color would be a good reflection of this. Their thinking on this color was that the world was looking for a deeper color to surround themselves with, perhaps time to reflect.  Given the recent election and year of unexpected political shifting, I for one wouldn't mind cocooning  in a room that was painted this color.  In fact, check out my client's home office done in this color.

The New York Public Library Entrance

Designers from Benjamin Moore talk about some of the imagery that helped them to arrive at the colour of the year.

My client's home office in the colour of the year - a deep rich environment for creativity at the workplace.

A nook from my bedroom in "Shadow".

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AuthorTheresa Casey