December 30, 2010

Ground Up

One of the most comprehensive projects we've under taken this year, is a lake front summer residence in Naramata B C.  In collaboration with architectural designer Jamie Dobson, we've been able to design this home from the ground up.  Our clients had a previous cabin on the site and were very clear on their requirements for the new structure. The project program drove the design, from the inside  out.  How the interior spaces relate to each other, and to the exterior  determined the overall form.   It's been a great pleasure working on this project and I believe the results will be much more than satisfying when it's complete late 2011.  I think it's going to be a great new year! 
'A good house is a created thing made of many parts economically and meaningfully assembled.  It speaks not just of the materials from which it is made, but of the intangible rhythms, spirits, + dreams of peoples lives...... In it's parts it accommodates important human activities, yet in sum it expresses an attitude toward life.' The Place of Houses; Moore, Allen, Lyndon.

December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays

In gratitude to our tremendous clients,  who enable us to do the work we love, a donation has been made to A Loving Spoonful.  We wish you all the very best of this season, and that joy will have a place in your heart all your days.

Please note, our office will close for the holidays on December 24 . 10 returning January 5.  11.

December 11, 2010


One of the great pleasures in life is the enjoyment of wine.  Almost every project we design incorporates some accommodation for the storage and protection of it.  Cellars can be large or small, but in all cases require temperature control and fittings to display this consumable collectible.  Even for the well versed the stocking of a cellar can be a daunting task.  Many of our clients have turned to House Wine to assist in the procurement of wine that best suits their tastes and needs.  House Wine dispenses expert consultation services to improve everyones appreciation and enjoyment, of this history rich product.  Subscribe to their newsletter to stay well informed. 
The cellars pictured here are from various Robert Bailey Interiors projects.  "Come quickly, I am tasting stars"..... Dom Perignon.  Tis the season!

December 2, 2010

Casual Luxe

All aspects of this custom west coast home, were designed to suit a young active family.  Our clients direction was that the end product had to be child and pet friendly, without sacrificing grown up luxury + comfort. Natural materials dominate throughout, giving the home a casual, easy to live in / with character.  Interior design elements, materials and furnishing, were elected for their inherent visual forgiving-ness, robust construction, and easy maintenance. 
In the interconnecting stair, custom concrete treads from Solus,  are suspended off a powder coated steel structure.  Walnut and blue stone contrast with smooth plaster and large format porcelain flooring, in the principal living room.  Wear tested upholstery and waterproof leather complete the bespoke soft seating.    A chic modern home for the whole family.  You can touch.

November 25, 2010

Sense Of Place

In re-designing the rooms + suites for Opus Hotel Vancouver we fashioned a sequel to our original story, reinforcing a strong sense of place.  Where  colour and pattern are the vehicle, rather than the meaning.  Our intention was to create a dialog that does not end with the design, but begins there.  Hospitality spaces that evoke the guest's imagination, so they can write their own unique chapter.  
In a rejuvenated executive SOHO (Mike) suite, the stage is set. Every guest is remarkable, and we believe that where they stay should not only acknowledge that fact, but try to equal it.  You are here.

PS:  Design Milk blogged about their Opus Hotel stay, in 2011.  

November 14, 2010

Blurred Boundaries

In designing this pied-a'-terre for a nomadic couple who extol Mies's adage, "Less is More", we demolished the conventional two bedroom apartment back to it's concrete structure.  Re-thinking how the footprint could best be configured to suit their needs.   Blurring traditional boundaries and minimizing walls, the 'real' living space for all functions was amplified, in this very open plan.   Abundant integrated storage allows for a pristine environment where sculptural furniture can be showcased in a pop art borrowed colour scheme.

November 5, 2010


James Welling, Glass House
The prominent architect Philip Johnson was a catalyst for change throughout his long professional career.   His passion for design helped shape the face of contemporary american architecture.  Likely best know for the design of his iconic glass house (1949), set on several acres in New Canaan Connecticut.    
As an admirer of Johnson's masterpiece residence,  I was delighted to have our client purchase a work by the artist James Welling, celebrating this inspirational structure.  Drawing with light and colour, Welling produces works of abstract meditation on this transparent icon.  The selected work, floats above a smoky grey Minotti sofa and superb area rug by Jan Kath.
James Welling,  Glass House 2009, inkjet print

October 30, 2010

Tailor Made

Delivering a project of exceptional quality, for our firm most often denotes, a substantial amount all of the furniture will be custom built. There are few furniture manufacturers that can provide the attention to detail and quality control that a bespoke furniture artisan can.  A good parallel would be the difference between, 'off the rack' and 'tailor made'.  
Custom rugs throughout are by Zoe Luyendijk
This assertion was affirmed with our installation of a wonderful new project for long time clients. Furnishings for this penthouse residence were designed in a 'required scale', to balance the commodious spaces. Proportion, premium materials and precise details make these one off pieces truly 'fit' and become 'instant heirlooms'.   It's very gratifying to know they will have a long and appreciated life. Photographs (here) were taken during our installation, the full project will be explored on our web site soon.

October 16, 2010

Beautiful Machine

In his seminal work 'Towards a new Architecture (1923)',  Le Corbusier coined the phrase "a house is a machine for living". It was the dawn of design responding to the machine age.  His purist rules for a new design morality were based on function, and simplified form without ornamentation.  Almost a century later, Le Corbusier's words seem very appropriate in describing this kitchen, in a recent project of ours. Clean lines and simple details  speak of function and machine,  but luxurious and sophisticated materials say beauty and style. New modernism that's accessible, ergonomic and easy on the eyes........ plus it's a convertible.

October 9, 2010

Modern Traditions

The question of style often comes up when speaking about our work. I usually say we work in a contemporary manner.  This is really only partly true.  Although we design for contemporary lifestyles, almost everything we create has an archetype in the history of interiors.  For me the study of design chronicles is a constant  resource for every facet of our work in, advancing the anatomy of living environments. History imparts knowledge and gives permission to move the profession of design forward to a more relevant expression of our time and place.
Parzinger console tables 1940
Most of the design inspiration for this room can be attributed to period styles, yet the conclusion is a modern representation.  Two exceptional Tommi Parzinger console tables (for Charak) flank the fireplace, designed in the 1940s, their elegant simplified form is in perfect alliance with the balance of these historically influenced furnishings. In making this transitional room we considered the past to better visualize the present.  Art work Rimi Yang.

October 2, 2010

Up On The Roof

Given arguably the most spectacular position for a roof deck in Vancouver, we choose to do less and let the situation be the star. This week our office began installation of a penthouse project and started at the very top.  The deck has two distinct areas, one is designated for lounge, the second houses a setting for dining.  We started by paving the roof in a flamed sand coloured granite to create a light reflecting surface.  The lounge area is composed of two identical seating groupings.  Large scale umbrellas provide intimacy (fashioning a ceiling) under an infinite sky.  Whilst commodious furniture is set for 'al fresco' repose for one (in contemplation) or many ( for receptions). The summer weather today was as much a reward, as seeing this space come together so beautifully. Night time will be magical.

September 23, 2010

Opus Hotel's Blogger

There have been a number of projects for Opus Hotels, which we have undertaken over the last few years.  Daniel Craig, author and hotel consultant asked me about these, for the Opus Hotel Blog he orchestrates.  The blog is a favourite of mine for it's timely + insightful perspective on the world of hospitality.   You can read the interview here. 

September 11, 2010


We've had the privilege to provide interior design for some extraordinary homes, one of the most notable by renowned architect Russell Hollingsworth.  The strength of such a structure could easily be overpowering to it's inhabitants + contents.  With an empathetic response to the architecture, perception of space is unabridged, rather than parts there is unity.  In this sitting room, the custom inset sofa, Portofino chairs and Casa Armani lamps, all understand their place in design hierarchy.  Form, scale and materials contribute to a composition of continuity, and indulgent human comfort.  Empathy is a trait we could well remember to exercise more often.  

August 30, 2010


The profession of interior design is all about controlling the outcome of your intentions.  Recently we were asked to transform an existing restaurant into a limited run pop-up space.  What we conceived, is really rooted in loosing that control, and taking the role of advocate. By nature a pop-up is a 'happening', so having a space that changes throughout it's short life, was our goal.  That manifested into a stripped down studio space akin to Andy Warhol's Factory (the hip hangout for art types + other nonconformists ).  Graffiti artist Vince Dumoulin, will continue to make his mark throughout the run of ONE HUNDRED DAYS , and it begins now.

August 19, 2010

Think Pink

Pink is a much maligned colour, seen as trite and associated with pursuits lacking serious or intellectual depth.  But for me the meaning of pink is more aligned with romance + joy. When we selected materials to refresh Opus Lobby Bar (Vancouver), pink was a natural choice.  I love the way the interior colour is finding it's way to so many aspects of the brand + the new John Fluevog Porter shoes are just one stellar example.

August 13, 2010


My favorite private spaces exude a sense of peace + calm, like a deep exhale they transport you to a place of stillness.  One such project we worked on, located in a re-purposed London Mews house, is for me the embodiment of this sort of sanctuary.   The principal bedroom, and adjacent suite of rooms is exemplar, in it's understated language. Tucked under a mansard roof these quarters seem almost veiled;  do in part to the wonderful quality of light and a monochromatic material selection.   
In the bath lounge (above), a sky roof floods the room with filtered light, and large glass doors  open onto a private terrace amongst the rooftops.  The bathtub takes centre stage, while two chaise lounge afford conversation, the Sunday paper or an unscheduled nap.  A perfect oasis before or after a hurried day in this energetic city. Furnished with custom designed case and soft pieces,  Christian Liaigre lamps, tea tables by Ceccotti.  I might just clear my agenda and stay in for the day.

August 1, 2010


Designed to be experienced both visually, and by touch, the tactile quality of these ceramic walls belies their medium.  Soft edges and gentle curves in this basket weave paving, by ceramic artist Andy Blick, bring the quality of fabric to the material.  The custom colour, matt glaze further contributes to it's softness.  We accented the reserved texture with spot lighting set in deep coves, which bathes the walls accentuating delicate shadows.  Andy Blick's engaging creations were specified here in a master bath (basket weave above), and several guest baths (below), giving hard surface a whole new meaning.

July 24, 2010

Decked Out

The renowned livability of Vancouver shines even more brightly in summer. To take full advantage of this habitat, we created numerous outdoor settings, for our client's 'Pacific Modern' waterfront home. Both the architecture and the landscape design  seamlessly encourage indoor / out door living.  Walls evaporate and these exterior spaces flow effortlessly out of the interior.  Summer rooms with all the comfort, function + style, you would find inside.  Don't forget the sunscreen.

We used the same family of furniture + rugs throughout these expansive spaces, to allow for easy reconfiguration while entertaining or for changing needs. A neutral palette was selected for all furnishings which integrates beautifully with the outlook + exterior finishes.  The live edge ancient cedar dining table and benches were commissioned, specifically for this project.

July 15, 2010

Controlled Chaos

I consider myself extremely lucky to be renovating a project I worked on seven years ago.  The results of our new design refresh for Opus Hotel, rooms + suites is starting to take shape.  These signature rooms have always been 'out of bounds' in terms of most hospitality standards, and with this re-mix we are taking them even further out field.  The Opus brand is about being sexy, glamorous + 'la dolce vita'.  That mantra has informed all of our selections and reinvigorated the property, with a richer more luxurious sense of decoration.  We choose to keep much of the great bone structure in place, redressing it.  Not disregarding our past, but rather building on it, and evolving the Opus point of view.  It's sweet and soulful. 
In this vignette; an Opus Vancouver redecorated penthouse suite epitomizes our mission, a kind of controlled chaos ( state lacking predictability ), art work is by Anthony Goicolea.

July 2, 2010

More Flower Therapy

Making a home is a many layered thing.  While visiting a recently completed project, one of those layers was in full bloom.  Our favourite florist had just delivered some amazing flora + fauna creations.  Robert Munro's visceral understanding of embellishment is always perfectly aligned with the surroundings he designs for.  These artful expressions, remind us of our connection to the natural world, and instinctively recall our inherited history.   Parfait!
Extreme orchids in an organic container play against the simplicity of the glass kitchen cabinets.
Tropical colours + forms echo the large contemporary painting by Graham Gilmore.

June 1, 2010

Fresh Looks

The talented team at Burnkit ( our web site designers) have updated the site with new images of recent projects.  All photographs by Josh Dunford.  More to follow this summer.

May 27, 2010

Family Values

My earliest memories are those of dream like comfort nestled in a generously made bed.  My mother (schooled by her mother) always lavished this temple of rest, with crisp cotton, hand combed wool, and the finest feather down.   For our family beds are the preeminent luxury.  Perhaps that is why one of my most enjoyed tasks, is that of dressing this feature element in every bedroom we design.  
Fitting out a bed, brings together texture, pattern + colour, that are the unification of the room's style.  I tend to favour custom upholstery bed heads, with shams + covers in rich, soft to the touch fabrics. Sheeting and cases of Egyptian cotton or linen that are ironed to a satin sheen. 
One of our favourite sources for bed linens is Bernstein + Gold, they represent premium manufacturers such as Signoria, The Purist, plus luxurious pillows and duvets.   Sumptuous beds are an invitation to relaxation and carry with them the promise of sweet restful dreams.   
Sleep well.  Wake even better.
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