Design Ideas - Special Fireplace

I ran across this sculpture installation that really caught my eye.  A really simple fireplace wall composition with one spectacular piece of art.  The glass wheat sculpture is designed by Canlis Glass out of Seattle, Washington.  Check it out.

Simple composition of the fireplace wall.  A contemporary fire box and open display niche sit side by side.  Wheat sculpture centered above.

Lighting is important here as it really emphasizes the overall texture of the glass.

The stems of glass are set into the base of the sculpture; which in this case also serves as the fireplace mantel.

I don't want to know how much this costs.
I would imagine that this unique glass sculpture is cost prohibitive.  But the idea of the fireplace wall can be borrowed.  Keep the composition very simple.  No need for a fancy fireplace surround with expensive stone and and an ornate mantel.  Instead just place one interesting piece of art above.  Beautiful idea.

really modern really old house design

I ran across some photos of this house I thought interesting.  Actually, I love it.  The home located in Yport in Normandy, France was designed by Franklin Azzi Architecture in Paris.

I have for some time been very interested in the blending and contrasting of old and new - of traditional and modern.  Here the focal point for the design composition is a simple brick and stone box.  This emulates old fashioned rural farm structures that can be seen throughout the French countryside.  
The ends of the box have been completely opened up - providing access to a modern flat roof covered patio.  The design of the roof clearly contrasts with the gable form.

The rear of the home has a clearly modern "addition".  The gable form itself is repeated however the design clearly distinguishes itself from the traditional box.
Ridiculous views of countryside.  The roof deck we could never do in the USA because building codes would not allow it.  Someone could fall off.
Clean and simple interior bedroom space with exposed timber framework.  The old and new again coming together.

Ron Brenner Design to be Featured in New Book

An In-Law Apartment I designed a few years ago is to be featured in an upcoming book by Michael Litchfield.  The book is called in-laws, outlaws and granny flats; and is slated to be available in bookstores and online by late February / early March.

the book can be pre-ordered at the taunton store - in-laws-outlaws-and-granny-flats

The book features a number of case studies that illustrate ways in which homeowners are creating in-law suites.  In our case study - called "Billys Place" we converted an existing garage attic space into a beautiful live able one room studio for Grandpa.

We used the volumes created by the shape of the roof and dormers to zone distinct spaces within.

The living, sitting and entry zones lie underneath the main gable.

The kitchen zone is carved into the northern dormer.
The bed zone lies within the southern dormer.
We at Simply Elegant Home Designs have created a couple of Garage / Studio Apartment designs inspired by "Billys Place".  If interested you can check them out with the links below:

New House Plan Offering - The Excelsior Cottage

Simply Elegant Home Designs is very proud to offer an amazing new house plan - the Excelsior Farmhouse Cottage; designed by Ron Brenner of Ron Brenner Architects.  The design combines elements from traditional farmhouse and contemporary cottage home styles.    

Excelsior Farmhouse Cottage - Front

Excelsior Farmhouse Cottage - Side / Rear

Excelsior Farmhouse Cottage - Living Room
This home plan’s exterior is characterized by this designer’s exquisite attention to scale, proportion, window patterns, materials and all of the details. A beautifully proportioned second story front gable and graceful columns provide a striking entry to the home.  Subtle overhangs with delicate brackets provide interesting shadow lines and help to protect the windows below.

The main floor accommodates kitchen, living and dining areas within its elegant open floor plan. Upstairs the three bedrooms, including the master suite, are neatly placed beneath an interesting roof line.  An above garage bonus room provides ample space for an additional bedroom and family flex areas.

You can visit Excelsior Farmhouse Cottage to learn more about this home design.

Mumin design inspiration

 : : love this new .dos family. visit to a home in Copenhagen. So full of inspiration from the Mumin trolls! I love the  yellow "lilla My" lamp. One day, maybe I'll own one.

Design Fancy

: : brilliant inventions by Cyprien Côté; a whalesong radio, cow extenders and an earthquake alert system. Read more about Cyprien Côté's designs on .Design Fancy on Core 77. 

Design Fancy is a series of short stories about fictional designers who make fictional things. The stories (and the objects) are by Matt Brown.

christmas decoration

 : : love the original and unique christmas decorating ideas at bloesem


: : some photos from our recent vacation to .miami. to celebrate my 30th birthday. our favorite new chairs and our favorite place to hang out on a Sunday (The Standard Hotel)

Design Museum Boston+Boston City Hall

: : I heard from so many different people about the successful opening reception for .design museum boston's. first exhibit at the Boston City Hall on Dec 10, 2010. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it at the last minute but I hope that some of you were there. I have seen the exhibit, which is open from 9-5 everyday (just head on up to the 9th floor) and it looks great! I would definitely recommend stopping by to check it out if you are in the neighborhood of government center. The focus of the exhibit is to educate the public about design from Boston and the design process. You will be sure to recognize several of the products, spaces and brands like the Boston Ballet and Oxo barware to mention a couple.  Congratulations Design Museum Boston on your first exhibit!!

A Dog's Rules for Christmas

Santa Dress

#1 A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. DON'T BITE HIM! Believe it or not, he comes bearing gifts.

#2 Don't pee on the tree.

#3 Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers.

Wishing you a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter with your dear ones two-legged or four!

Courtesy of Barking Babies

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm in Vancouver who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT in the world of Interior Design. 2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Milko packaging

: : I'm a big fan of the 'folksie' look of .Milko's. new packages. Inspired by ribbons, aprons and clothing from various regions in Sweden. Such beautiful details in the patterns!

(via .below the clouds.)

Holiday Bazaar in Brookline, MA

: : hello dear red house readers. I am so sorry for the lack of posts. I have started a new and very exciting job and have not had much time left at the end of the day to update the blog and my etsy shop. I expect to have a little bit more time on my hands next week. So please stay tuned....
In the meantime, if you live in the Boston area, I would highly recommend stopping by the holiday bazaar hosted by .Chez Terez. where you will find several of my prints for sale along with jewelery, kids hair accessories, biscottis, handmade cards and much more. Please email me for exact location.

Home for the Holidays Christmas Tree


Patricia Gray Inc is honoured to have participated along with Linda Sale Interior Design in their 3rd Annual “Home for the Holidays” fundraising initiative benefiting Canuck Place Children’s Hospice at Sutton Place Hotel. This festive fundraising initiative partnered with local Vancouver businesses to create signature trees that are showcased in the lobby of The Sutton Place Hotel for the month of December.  Please drop by and feast your eyes on the beautiful trees and cast your vote for your favourite.  Thank-you to everyone who voted for their favourite tree and helped us raise proceeds for this important cause.

2010 Sutton Xmas Tree 0032010 Sutton Xmas Tree 004
 2010 Sutton Xmas Tree 0072010 Sutton Xmas Tree 009  2010 Sutton Xmas Tree 013

The tree is decorated with handmade Canuck Jerseys for each team member, and Gingerbread Cookies to represent the Children of the World dressed in their native costumes with each holding the flag of their Country. Click here to see more pictures of the decorations. For more information, please visit Canuck Place Children’s Hospice or Sutton Place Hotel Home for the Holidays.

Photos top left to right: Patricia Gray with clients Arnold & Audrey Armstrong; Patricia Gray with client Linda McGibbon; Patricia Gray with Sara Tye, Creekside Tile; Patricia Gray with Hanan Arabatlian, Aura Interiors.

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

These Pictures Make Me Smile

I just couldn’t resist posting these pictures and words of wisdom I got in an email from my Dad today.  I usually do not read these types of emails when I receive them other than from my Dad, as he always forwards me the Best of the Best.  It made me smile and feel good, for our little furry friends really do give so much to us.  I hope that it will put a smile on your face also!


A Dog's Purpose?   (From a 6-year-old).
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly piped up ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live.
He said  “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''
The Six-year-old continued “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply
Love generously
Care deeply
Speak kindly


Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

First Snowfall in Vancouver

View from my terrace 001
View from my terrace

We had our first snow fall in the City last night. I woke up to extreme quiet and looked outside to a winter wonderland.  It is unusual for us to have snow this early in the season if at all downtown……so if this keeps up we will have fantastic ski conditions in Whistler!

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

new & improved

.after photos above
 .before photos below.

: : Welcome to the new & improved!!! I've been doing a few updates to the blog this week and finally getting my .etsy shop. up and running. Jippiee!

I hope you like the new look and logo. I am continuing to work on updating the blog.

I have also given my little studio space a new look. Check out my before and after photos.
I am so happy in my new yellow studio!

Lots of new things happening in my life. All very, very exciting!

Thank you for all your support and for all of those who have already purchased from and visited my etsy shop. I am thrilled to be able to share my designs with you!!