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Designer furnishings for you

In The Hot Seat – Designer Furnishings

The annual Las Vegas Market — a world class exhibition and debut, featuring international furniture, decor, and design retailers all under one roof — is coming up this July in, you guessed it, Las Vegas.

If it's trendy, coveted, beloved, and desired, you can guarantee it will be there.

Below are some of the very best and exceptionally "in" must-have pieces you can expect to see in print and in the media as we speak.


This Vancouver, Canada based company is burning through the pages of all the major design mags, and once you visit their website or see their product in person, there's no question 18karat is a design heavy hitter.

An import and retail company specializing in contemporary interior design accessories and furniture, 18karat follows a simple and contemporary design aesthetic.

Practising ethically responsible trade, while maintaining the highest level of quality and style, their dipped spire vases, anemone platters, and selenite votive holders are in high demand throughout the design world.


I'm absolutely loving the exotic-industrial vibe happening at the moment that features spaces with lovely one-off pieces like dining and cocktail tables made from highly polished steel bases, and buttery smooth exotic wood slab tops.

These pieces look absolutely stunning in rooms that are simple and organic or light and airy feeling, and complement schemes of linen, cream, woolly gray, silver, and pearly white.


Ikat, Moroccan-inspired, and beveled are three top area rugs you'll find gracing the floors of featured homes everywhere, thanks to the myriad of options available online and in stores now.

Furniture feeling a little bland? Throw down an eye-popping textile in one of these punchy patterns, and see how instantly your room is transformed.


Nothing screams sensual sophistication louder than an amazingly designed wine rack (even better if it’s within your very own wine room) and there are plenty out there at the moment that fit the bill.

Forget little crates and wire baskets that sit on the floor; you want something bold, suspended, sleek and chic looking. The perfect accessory for any adult space, a gorgeously outfitted wine feature is definitely next level design.


Fit for a king, these early Egyptian-designed pieces are making their way into transitional, and contemporary bedrooms everywhere.

Those with a penchant for low, clean lines will love the sleeker look a platform bed can lend a space, making them ideal for rooms with gorgeous views, or smaller spaces in need of some visual expansion.


Design blogs to follow

Interior design blogs to follow

Some of the best design and decorating advice isn't found in splashy magazines or on decadent TV shows.

It's found on every-day Internet blogs, written by DIYers and self-made design aficionados who've tried, tested, and triumphed some of the savviest and inspiring design ideas all on their own.

I’ve come up with a little list of a few personal faves; design blogs are addicting, you've been warned.


Sherry and husband John, live in Richmond, Virginia; their blog is basically their very own DIY diary.

Over five years and 2,500 plus posts later, it has slowly grown from a fun hobby into a full time job, surprising no one more than Sherry and John themselves. Not claiming to be experts, but rather DIY "dorks" who like to learn as they go, they share their adventures and misadventures with the world one project at a time.


Dana thought she had life all figured out — that was until she achieved all of her life goals.

Now, 14 years after marrying her college sweetheart, she and her "Handy Husband" have sold their McMansion and are taking on the deconstruction/reconstruction of a 1950s ranch-style home...complete with termites, shag carpeting, and boring builder-basics.

A pharmacist with a passion for interior design, Dana blogs about messes, mistakes, and miracles on the journey to the house of her dreams.


If you ever wanted to play designer, here's your chance. Olioboard is an online, interior design moodboard creator, where users can create 2D and 3D room designs using real products from all their favourite brands.

You can also join their community of home decor lovers who chat, compete in design challenges, and have fun experimenting with interior design.


Design*Sponge is a snazzy design blog run by Brooklyn-based writer Grace Bonney.

Launched in August 2004, the site updates 6-8 times per day and was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times.

Design*Sponge attracts a diverse group of devoted readers across the globe, has 75,000 daily readers on the main site, over 127,000 plus RSS readers, 405,000 plus Twitter followers and 70,000 plus Facebook followers.


Gemma and hubby Dan work in public health and tech, but they both have a secret love for doing projects around the house.

In late 2009, after visiting over 20 houses and browsing countless real estate listings, they finally found the perfect fit: a three-bed, two-bath, red brick bungalow with tons of potential.

Now they're transforming the house from super boring to super sweet, one step at a time on a shoe-string budget.


Chris loves Julia, the blog, unofficially (officially?) started back in 2009 as a platform for Julia to write and share photos and stories with family members and close friends. 

In April 2011, when she and Chris bought their first home — a definite fixer upper — the real fun/work/blog began. She now blogs five days a week about the happenings around the house: home decor, design, DIY with an occasional foodie post from Chris thrown in.

Packed with projects, Julia shares daily details of their DIY feats and failures, discovering a lot more than just their close friends and family are along for the ride. 

6 design must-haves

I'm always on the hunt for what’s hot and in demand; here are six top must-have design staples this very minute…

Textured Walls

This isn't a new trend; textured walls have been the go-to for dramatic flair for several years. But now we're seeing larger, and bolder applications taking center stage.

Wood block, modular panels, metallic finished wall coverings... it's all about scale and inviting an element of the unexpected into your spaces.

Amazing Light Fixtures           

Nothing makes more of a room statement than a sculptural light fixture.

This minute’s must-haves are in the form of dramatic and over-sized works of luminary art. Feature lighting (especially in large or tall foyers, over dining tables, or hung high above an open staircase) begs to be over the top and stunning.

If you're wavering on the edge of classic or high-impact, make the jump and go for the impressive selection.


Fabrics, area rugs, pillows, and throws... a kick back to vintage and classic geometric pattern and design is in full swing. Bold in colour and even bigger in scale, geo designs are taking over.

Mix them into spaces that need additional energy and a quick pattern pick-me-up.

Wall Dividers

Incorporating decorative wall dividers is a great way to section off your space without blocking the views, while adding a vertical element of surprise to your interior atmosphere. 

Again, a great place to add some geometric patterning, wall dividers come in all shapes and sizes, free-standing or stationary, with a bevy of abstract or classic designs.

Global Safari

Organic and natural design elements are truly timeless ways to show a softer side to design and decorating. Perfect for those who love a little bit of leather, exotic wood, hide, stone and shell... modern safari style is simple and luxurious looking all at once.

Focus on textures and gorgeous finishes like mother of pearl, African horn, teak, suede, buffed silvers and soft rose golds, and you'll wind up with simply stunning interiors.

See Through

Being risqué is quite alright when it comes to your coffee and end tables. Going clear and going see through is hot, and has been off and on for years.

Not only does a glass or Lucite table top add a contemporary angle to your spaces, it allows smaller rooms to feel larger by being able to see through to the floor.

Glass tables are also fantastic if you have an eye-catching area rug you don't want to cover up, something to consider if you're in the market for something new.


Great backsplash tile ideas

There are so many fun and gorgeous details you can add to your home in the process of infusing highlights and polish, and to me a kitchen just doesn’t seem complete without a backsplash of some sorts.

In a practical sense, it protects the wall from moisture and food splashes, but it's also prime space to showcase your style personality.

Your main objective when selecting the right backsplash tile or material can either be to tie all the shades and tones in the cabinets, counter, and floor together, or to simply add one exceptional feature to your kitchen and let is shine.


Metallic penny-rounds have always been a favourite of mine — elegant and quirky, they make a solid statement in any space. Kitchens with stainless appliances (and even those without) get an added boost with this finish and smooth texture.

Frequently, the familiar philosophy less is more applies to this gem of a splash idea; you don't need to do the entire backsplash in this material to have great impact. Consider doing a vertical strip behind a cook top, or up in behind a designer exhaust system.

A little bit of pop is all you'll need with these.


Timeless, classic, serene, and sometimes even whimsical, a glass mosaic tile looks gorgeous in kitchens needing a boost in the sparkle and polish departments.

Reflecting under cabinet lighting or daylight as it streams in through your windows, glass tile instantly opens up and expands the kitchen, much like how a mirror would.

Easy to clean and non-absorbent, glass tile comes in individual pieces, or assembled on a mesh backing in a manageable sheet for easier installation.


If you love the look of glass, stone, and metal, but can't commit to just one material, why not consider finding a mosaic that integrates one or two, or even three, of these materials?

There are a vast array of mixed-material mosaics out there now, so blending stainless with marble or travertine is perfect for traditional kitchens needing a bit of a modern edge, or contemporary kitchens requiring just a touch of timeless.


Call it a fad, call it a throwback to the 70s, geometric patterns and textures are back and they're big. Starbursts, zigzags, cubes... some of the more exclusive tile brands are offering clients something more than just pretty looking porcelain.

You can take your kitchen to an entirely new level with the help from a bright and sassy geometric tile.


Earthy and everlasting are two great adjectives that come to mind when I think of a natural-stone tile.

The pattern and flow found in stones like marble, slate, and tumbled travertine is organic and rich, making them perfect choices for kitchens that have more of a rustic and texturized esthetic.

Play with the size and direction of your stone tile; replace 4" x 4" or 6" x 6" standard sizes with something large scale, or with a blend of varying sizes.

Multi-sized subway styles look amazing run horizontally and even vertically under your upper cabinets. And if it's in the budget, consider using slabs instead of tile; a section of wall washed in gorgeous stone is simply mesmerizing.

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About the Author

A graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, Crispin Butterfield launched Urban Theory Interior Design in 2003 and has since been featured in Canada’s Style At Home magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and the National Post.

She’s a master in designing residential and commercial soul-hugging spaces clients relish showing up to, socializing in, and especially love coming home to.

She and her team work with clients from conceptualization to completion, providing full scale service with authenticity, innovation, and lots of personality.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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