October 1st, 2014

We love using colour in the spaces we design for our clients. It can be an inexpensive way to add some character and personality into a room. Blue has always been a colour that some love and others avoid. It is often difficult to pick a blue hue that won't tire over time. Indigo is one of those hues that we use time and time again - it is sophisticated yet striking, bold yet calming. Take a look at some applications of indigo blue in the following images - it is truly an inspiring and timeless colour!

A light Chinoiserie mural stands out against the indigo wall - we love how the brass accents add a level of drama and luxury in this space. We want it in our own home.

!  (La Dolce Vita).

The varying textures in the indigo millwork, sofa and pillows make this space feel layered and dramatic. We love pairing indigo with natural woods - it is a match made in heaven! (Casey Design / Planning Group Inc. - photograph by Ted Yarwood)

The indigo pinstriped wallpaper is a foil for this antique cabinet-turned-vanity for this powder room. It pairs beautifully with the custom designed mosaic floor - so rich and lively.  (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photos by Ted Yarwood).

Two statement pieces I love! A sling chair and indigo armoire work hand in hand in this sophisticated living room space (Tumblr).

Blue, blue and more blue. We love how varying tones of blue work together to create a harmonious yet interesting space.  (Design Milk).

The rich hues of the indigo walls and the hand-carved, white oak mantle creates a foyer that looks like its been here for a hundred years. One of our favourite historical renovation projects.

(Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photos by Ted Yarwood).

We love the subtle touches of indigo in this neutral kitchen. It beautifully complements the natural wood tones in the space.  (Remodelista).

What is more bold than a velvet indigo sofa? We love how playful this room is with the bright penguin books and accessories. (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photos by Ted Yarwood).

This indigo sofa contrasts wonderfully against the red brick backdrop - inviting and rustic.  (Veronica Love Archie).

AuthorTheresa Casey

April 30, 2014

Love the textured, diamond-patterned brown floor with the graphic pillows surrounded by the white backdrop. Simply sophisticated! (DPages).

When I think of white and brown colour schemes, I think of a well-dressed French woman. A crisp white blouse, tan linen pencil skirt, smart pumps and a killer handbag. To me, whites and browns evoke a classic French woman's style.

In short, elegance with purpose. It's what I wear on days that I want the world to know I mean business. This same kind of thinking can be applied to interiors. If you are confident yet don't want to show off, if you know your style and don't want your home to speak before you do, then this kind of palette might be for you. 

In the samples below, you can see right away what I'm talking about. For me these interiors have the look of an airy Manhattan apartment on the upper Eastside - glamorous, soft, soothing and welcoming, while speaking of quiet sophistication. 

If you are that person or want to be perceived as this person, this look is for you. Interiors are always about the fantasy to which you aspire, what environment you're most comfortable in, and sometimes an elegant wardrobe can be the starting point.

A minimalistic brown and white office is so inviting and chic (Flickr).

The walnut, double vanity in combination with the creamy, white onyx floors and walls creates a glamorous soft and soothing ensuite retreat (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood).

Ethan Herringbone dinnerware by Ralph Lauren Home (Elle Decor).

The soft, multi-texutred tan and white color theme with the accent of the vintage brown metal cabinet creates a classic, calm and groovy apartment (Flickr).

The brown sofa in this country master suite with painted oak floors and travertine marble is dreamy and tranquil  (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood).

The brown and white wallpaper layered with the vintage vanity makes this powder room a knock out (Mark D Sikes).

AuthorTheresa Casey

April 4, 2014

Look how wonderful this stripped chair looks with this Damask fabric wall! (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Angus Fergusson).

Look how wonderful this stripped chair looks with this Damask fabric wall! (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Angus Fergusson).

I must say I love a stripe!  So very versatile, it adds a tailored quality to drapery, upholstery or flooring. In terms of colour, a multicoloured stripe can be used to create a sporty energetic vibe, a black-and-white stripe can give a dynamic graphic punch or a tone on tone stripe can add interest without overpowering a space. The images below show how I have used stripes to create different effects, as well as projects by others I admire. I love them all!

This traditional study has a soft, light-green palette and the striped draperies create a graphic yet warm quality (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood).

You can't go wrong with a multicolor stripe! (Oliver Yaphe)

 Wow! What a way to transform a hallway! (Elle Decor).

Love the black and white themed office with the punch of black and white stripe! (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Angus Fergusson).

Art deco era master ensuite featuring cozy, striped settee (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood).

Love this! (Tumblir).

AuthorTheresa Casey

March 7, 2014

Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood.

Our home is a 1930s brick coach house built in the middle of the Art Deco period. My husband and I wanted to reflect this period in the look of the kitchen, but we also wanted to make this kitchen highly functional, with today's best appliances and with enough space for both of us to work together.

For myself and my clients, the first thing I start with are the functional requirements of a space. Good design always starts here. A room or space can be aesthetically dressed in many ways, but the function must be at the core. In this case, the space was small and we had a number of requirements; That the space be versatile enough to be closed off to the living room when required, but opened when desired. That two people be able to work comfortably together side-by-side, and that all appliances large and small be hidden to create a clean workspace. Lastly, that the kitchen allow us to create large meals for our many dinner parties and family gatherings.

With this in mind, the inspiration for our kitchen was the 1930s luxury oceanliners. The typical kitchen aboard such a vessel is usually laid out in a highly efficient style, with longitudinal units and overhead cabinets. This makes the best use of the usually limited space with the minimum required movement between appliances. 

This was perfect for what we were trying to achieve with our kitchen. 

Plans and elevations looked for basic standard functions of the kitchen, then all the individual requirements for each of us was taken into account; like where to put the juicer, the toaster, the coffee maker, the blender and the cuisinart, which we wanted out of view. The maxim; "everything in its place and a place for everything," was our guiding principle. For example, an open shelf was inset into one of the walls to display my collection of vintage objects, artwork and special glassware .

We followed that up by mocking up the entire kitchen full scale in cardboard, something that might be considered overkill. However, it showed us three-dimensionally that two people working in the kitchen would have enough space to work side by side.

Once we established the plan we moved onto how the kitchen would look. Going back to our original inspiration, the ocean liners of that period often used luxury materials. So we chose to design the cabinets using hand selected cherrywood veneer, with each sheet carefully chosen with our cabinetmaker. It was hand finished like fine furniture (not sprayed) to give a rich luxurious finish and we combined it with natural unfinished brass, which develops a luscious patina over time. The design of the brass inset into the cherrywood achieved two things:  a visually rich combination with the cherry wood and it became the cabinet's door pulls, thus avoiding having to use standard hardware. The marble walls were selected as a foil to the solid cherry wood. The linear nature of the marble contrasted with the solid density of the cherry cabinets to create tension and boldness. I love the drama created through the high contrast of these light and dark materials!  

To keep everything clean and tucked away; the fridge, dishwasher, pantry, recycling and garbage, and the stovefan are all hidden behind cabinetry. Our appliances are all by the German company Miele and were selected because of their high-quality, as well as their European size - meaning small. One unusual appliance we installed was the steam oven. It encourages health-conscious eating - steamed fish and vegetables are staples - and it also acts as a microwave substitute to heat food. 

A sliding door allows for privacy as well as openness to the living room/dining room. 

The light fixture also has a story behind it. We try to regularly attend the Venice Art Bienniale exhibition, and on one trip we were given the name of a lady who lived outside of Venice and sold antique light fixtures. When we arrived, it could best be described as a lighting graveyard. For as far as the eye could see, she had compiled pieces of lighting fixtures in a dirt field that were to be assembled by her craftspeople. Of course, I was in heaven! I made my way through, gathering bits and pieces, and one of those bits and pieces ended up being our light fixture in the kitchen. I love bringing these types of elements into homes because they have stories and so much more meaning than buying something from a catalog. 

In the end, we absolutely love our kitchen. We feel that it is more efficient than our previous home which had a much larger kitchen, and the time we spent to analyze how we both could work in the kitchen together really paid off. We never get tired of it, and it still looks as good today as the day it was finished, each day gaining a little bit more patina and adding to the stories of our lives.

Our kitchen was featured in the March 2014 issue of House & Home.

February 21, 2014

I upholstered our basement guest room walls in black and white silk creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. No one feels hard done by sleeping here! (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Angus Ferguson)

I love the drama of all black and white interiors created solely to play on the contrast between light and dark. One of my art school teachers, John Leonard, taught me that CONTRAST was one of the most valuable tools in the artist's tool box.  Over and over I return to the truth of his statement.  The other intriguing quality of black and white interiors are their calmness. I know this seems inconsistent when I've just said that these interiors are often dramatic, but I would say that if you look through the following images you can see how these interiors draw you in and have a peaceful quality.  I would liken it to looking at black and white photos.  Somehow the lack of colour helps us to focus more clearly, and to appreciate the simplicity of the palette. Another quality that you will often find in these black and white interiors is a rich variety of textures. Let me know what you think.

Gorgeous marble wall offset with handsome black accessories creates the drama I love! (Yellowtrace)

Ticking black and white stripe Chesterfield is yummy but what's really yummy is pairing it with black velvet drapes and gold trim. (Tokyo Jinja)

This graphic basement home office featuring striped area rug, collection of black and white drawings to create an airy yet interesting work space. (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Angus Fergusson)

Villa Sorra, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, an old world take on black and white Italian style. So clean but so warm. (IIIInspired)

The client's non-functioning kitchen was redesigned to create this galley kitchen with marble counter top and backsplash that nicely contrast the dark cabinets. (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood)

I love everything in this room especially the minimal fireplace and the art on top! (Peek of Perfection)

The floating, walnut vanity in this guest ensuite leaves plenty of room for the toile fabric storage baskets below. (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood)

The ultimate in black and white styling. I can't resist. (Ark Pad)

Wall Of Frames in Slanted-Ceiling Bedroom is divine and just as strong as one large painting. (House & Home)

Are these black silk pleated walls? If so, I want them. (Ark Pad)

I did this project for a young entrepreneur over 10 years ago and it still has a classic enduring quality.  The clean, textured, sexy custom black lacquer fireplace brings focus, texture and drama to this contemporary living room. (Casey Design/Planning Group Inc. - Photo by Ted Yarwood)