Posts in colour
Find Your Last-Minute Holiday Gifts!

My clients love when I curate their accessories and decor, finding just the right piece for every room in their homes. In fact, a good part of my job is spent shopping, which I love! And now you can find some of my best finds on my own online shop here!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Opened just a few weeks ago, the shop includes accessories, pillows, tabletop, and of course fabulous holiday decor! One of the most popular things on the shop has been a collection of felted animals and figures - I love them so much that I wanted everyone to be able to have one (or more!).

 A felted reindeer from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

A felted reindeer from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

I’m especially fond of the little gnomes with their overgrown beards and huge hats! They make great last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers!

 Scandinavian Large Gnome from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Scandinavian Large Gnome from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

I’m also asked all the time for recommendations on great home decor - so of course I included my favorite pillows, chambray table linens, and glass hurricanes.

 Cut Velvet Striped Pillow from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cut Velvet Striped Pillow from Cynthia Ferguson Designs

The shop is curated to showcase my love of colour, collections, and whimsy! Drop in to finish up your holiday shopping, and let me know which items are your faves!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

4 Tips for Setting Your Holiday Table

I absolutely love having family and friends visit during the holidays! Planning those dinner parties and get-togethers are half the fun for me, but I know some people find it to be stressful. The key is to not try to make everything perfect, but to enjoy every moment! So I’ve put together 4 of my best tips to set a stress-free - and gorgeous! - holiday table:

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

1. Mix high and low.

I like to use three categories of items on my tables: current, vintage, and precious. Current could be something you picked up at a store that isn’t necessarily expensive, but you love it! Vintage could be china you inherited from your grandmother, or a great piece of silver you found at an antique store. And precious - well that’s something that holds more sentimental value than monetary value. Then it’s all layered on the table; it makes the look approachable, but still special!!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

2. Fresh flowers.

Always have fresh flowers or greenery on the table. It could be a bouquet professionally done, or a bunch of seasonal flowers from your local market, or even fresh-cut greenery. If budget is tight, spread the bunch of flowers out by using single bud vases lined down the middle of the table for greater visual impact!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

3. Make it personal.

If it’s a family gathering, use some vintage pieces passed down to you. If it’s a bunch of friends gathering, make simple place cards, tie ribbon to the back of each chair, and thread the place card through the ribbon

 One of my own collections!

One of my own collections!

4. Use your collections.

There is nothing better than a collection. Maybe it’s a collection of salt and pepper shakers. Maybe a collection of monogrammed napkin. Perhaps a collection of mini nutcrackers. Use your collections to make your table about you and your personality. People are gathering around your table because they want to spend time with you. Show them a little about you through your collections. Don’t have a collection? Start on by searching on Etsy or going to your local thrift store. Start with what speaks to you and go from there!

Use these tips to create new memories this holiday season - and remember to have FUN!!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Design Inspiration: The Art World

To stay creative and at the top of my game, I love to find inspiration in colour, shape, pattern, and textures. And the one place that fills up my creative tank fastest is an art gallery or museum! I’m fascinated by paintings, sculptures, drawings - every part of the art world inspires me!

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There is something incredible about art - the conversation it initiates, the emotion it generates, the memories it calls up....and then there is the discussion about the artist. What were they thinking and feeling when they first took brush to canvas. What were they trying to communicate? Am I experiencing their piece in the way that was intended?

I was absolutely obsessed with the art in a hotel I stayed at earlier this year, like the piece above! I drove the staff crazy as I appeared at their desk every day with a new inquiry about the piece I saw here and the piece I saw there and their sconces and their desk chair....it went on and on! Let’s just say I seemed to have had a taxi to the airport a lot faster than everyone else oddly.

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I loved the texture and pattern play on this magnificent wall! The art installation was so stunning that I had to remind myself to keep my hands in my pockets so I wouldn’t touch it! But wouldn’t this be magnificent in a client’s home?!

I am inspired to get my paints out again after seeing this gorgeous piece! Look at these incredible stripes and colours!! This installation from Sean Scully can be enjoyed near Mexico City at Cuadra San Cristobal 

Sometimes it just takes one piece of art to capture your interest in a space and make it sing! This artist Gordon Shadrach is from Toronto, and his paintings stop you in your tracks you as you walk into a room!

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Keep your eyes open, because you never know where you’ll spy amazing art! This incredible mural was painted in the parking lot of a restaurant and I was mesmerized! Look at all the patterns the artist incorporated!

Art is so personal. So individual. Remember to get out to your local gallery more often and start a conversation. Stir your emotions. Enjoy the experience!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Putting Colour in the Kitchen
 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

If you pay attention to trends in the home, you’ve probably noticed the movement away from all-white kitchens to more colour in the kitchen! I love colour, so this is a trend that I embrace completely! But I also understand that some people are nervous about using bright hues in their home, so here are steps to help you get into the colour groove!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

If you’re not sure about making a big commitment to colour, try adding just a touch of something bright, like these bold red stools I used in a condo kitchen. It’s a great pop of colour, but can easily be changed out as your taste changes!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

If you’re feeling a little bolder, start with a cream colour rather than white and complement it with lovely purpley shades! This creamy colour is warm and inviting, and much less stark than white. It’s the perfect palette for cooking up something delicious!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

If you’re ready to embrace the rainbow, it’s best to start with a colour you love. Blue is regularly rated as the world’s favourite colour, and for good reason. It’s a calming, soothing tone that has been proven to spark creativity! It’s easier to be surrounded by colour if it’s one that makes you happy, so keep that in mind as you choose your kitchen palette.

So are YOU ready to embrace colour in the kitchen?! Tell me why (or why not) in the comments!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Creating a Room from Scratch

When I was asked to design a vignette for Rooms with a View at Southport Congregational Church in Connecticut, I was thrilled! It’s a showcase for charity and for the interior designers who are invited to participate - and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. We each had a 6’ x 8’ room - a small box really - that we needed to transform into a WOW moment!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

I treated it like any room I design, and started with a sketch. I wanted a cozy breakfast room that would be perfect for gathering with family during the upcoming holidays! To create the coziness, I wanted to use warm colours and fabulous textures!

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As you can see above, we really did start with a box. That tiny-looking space needed to be transformed - and quickly - into a showstopper!

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The gorgeous Farrow & Ball colours were the first thing we put into our space - where I used a deep moody hue on the walls and a lovely blush-like colour on the ceiling! You can also see that the sconces are in place and the furniture has all been delivered at this point!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs for Rooms with a View

Cynthia Ferguson Designs for Rooms with a View

Finally, the big reveal - and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out! The warm colours, fabulous fabrics, and layered accessories definitely created that cozy effect that I was going for!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

The glow in the room is enhanced by this gorgeous fixture from Circa Lighting and the light reflected off of that lacquered ceiling featuring a colour from Farrow & Ball that’s never been used in a showhouse before!

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I was lucky enough to travel to North Carolina as I was planning my vignette, visiting Replacements Ltd. to select the tabletop I wanted to use!

You can see my final selections of stunning tableware from Replacements here on the breakfast table. I can’t tell you how much it means to have partners and sponsors for events like this! I also worked with Lee Jofa, Acquisitions, and Kravet to create this space.

So what do you think about my cozy little breakfast nook and the design process? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Design Inspiration: Checking Out Hotels

I have been traveling almost non-stop for weeks, and while I’m thrilled to be home this weekend, I also love staying in unique and gorgeous boutique hotels around the world! I get so much inspiration from the design of the lobby, the rooms, and even the outdoor areas!

 An original installation in a hotel in the Bahamas

An original installation in a hotel in the Bahamas

A colour combination like the purples and blues in the hotel above can spark a new idea for a client’s home, too!

 Firmdale Hotel, London

Firmdale Hotel, London

Kit Kemp is a designer who knows her way around patterns and bold colour, so when a client sent me the photo above of the Kemp-designed Firmdale Hotel as an inspiration shot for her home, I knew we were going to get along famously!

 Chicago hotel

Chicago hotel

This incredible historic hotel in Chicago had me looking up - WAY up - for a gorgeous classic design. The timeless details here are endlessly fascinating to me!

 Beverly Hills Hilton

Beverly Hills Hilton

When I stayed at the Beverly Hills Hilton earlier this year, I was obsessed with the living garden wall in the Wilshire Garden! I want to create one like this for my clients - or maybe just for me!

 The Plymouth Miami

The Plymouth Miami

And I am DYING to create outdoor cabanas for a client’s pool area! There’s nothing chicer than a hidden spot with fabrics blowing in the breeze!

Really, inspiration like this is one of the biggest reasons that I love to travel! What are some of your favorite destinations? Let me know!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Creating a Showhouse Inside a Showroom

I was so excited to be asked to participate in a HUGE project at High Point Market this week! The Market is like Fashion Week for home furnishings – it’s the largest trade show in the world for furniture. Alden Parkes, one of the exhibitors, asked 7 design teams (including me!) to create an actual showhouse in their showroom at Market. Each of us was assigned several rooms and a theme – mine was Modern Glamour.

 My moodboard for one of the spaces in the Showhouse in a Showroom

My moodboard for one of the spaces in the Showhouse in a Showroom

Using Alden Parkes’ furniture, we were tasked to create any look we wanted! We also were able to choose products from major sponsors like Replacements, Eastern Accents, and Capa Rugs. You can see my mood board above, and an initial sketch below!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

I was also SOOO lucky to have sponsors in my own spaces, including Lee Jofa, Hot Skwash, Kravet, Kayce Hughes, Hot Skwash, and Circa Lighting.

 Cynthia Ferguson for Alden Parkes

Cynthia Ferguson for Alden Parkes

The final result was a colorful and sophisticated space that was so much fun to put together! I think it says Modern Glamour, don’t you? And wait until I show you the rooms by the other interior designers!

 Cynthia Ferguson for Alden Parkes

Cynthia Ferguson for Alden Parkes

Thank you SO much to Alden Parkes for giving me such an amazing opportunity – I had a blast!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

4 Tips for a Better Bedside Manner

Whether you have a lot of overnight guests, or you just want to create a better oasis in your own bedroom, there is an art to creating a bedroom that will send you off to dreamland! I’ve designed literally hundreds of bedrooms, and here are my 4 tips that work every time:

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

1. Create Calm.

Did you know that your blood pressure will actually go down by looking at the colour blue?! It’s true, and that’s why it’s such a fabulous colour to use in a bedroom, like the one I designed above. Use the most calming colours you can, like white, gray, pale green. And create a little oasis by adding flowers, books, and maybe even a candle to the bedside table. Whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed!

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2. Layer the Light.

When interior designers like me use this term, we’re talking about having a lot of light sources in a room, from bright to quiet. Bedside lights – like this amazing sconce I saw in a hotel in the Bahamas – give you just enough light to read, but not enough to make the room too bright.

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

3. Invest in the Best.

There are 2 things that are so important to invest in when it comes to a bedroom: your mattress and your linens. You will spend one-third of your entire life in bed, so you’d better be comfortable while you’re there! How the mattress feels is entirely up to your body type and your sleeping style, so be sure you test-drive as many as you can in the store. And get the linens that feel the way you want them to! For example, if you get too warm when you sleep, then be sure you go for natural fibers like bamboo, silk, and cotton to keep you cool.

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

4. Block It

Most everyone sleeps better if you can block a lot of the light in the room. I like to use light-blocking draperies floor to ceiling to really get the room as dark as possible in the evenings.

Try these tips to create welcoming rooms for your guests, and to help you create a quiet respite from your stressful day!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Designer Inspiration: Dining and Decor

Next week it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada – a time to gather with friends and family over a fabulous feast and a gorgeous table! I love to design not only a gorgeous room, but also a great tablescape for my guests and I pull inspiration from so many sources. As I travel, I get a lot of great ideas from restaurants around the world – for colours, design ideas, or for table settings!

 This restaurant in Majorca has me dreaming of a non-traditional Thanksgiving tablescape!

This restaurant in Majorca has me dreaming of a non-traditional Thanksgiving tablescape!

For example, a recent trip to Majorca has me thinking about gorgeous cobalt glassware and plates for a more non-traditional Thanksgiving table! Can I just say that the lavender planted near our table also was a heavenly experience? Maybe I should add a few springs to my centerpiece!

 A restaurant in Denmark designed by Vernon Panton.

A restaurant in Denmark designed by Vernon Panton.

Speaking of non-traditional colours, I’m crazy for this mix of purples, blues, and oranges in a restaurant in Denmark, designed by Vernon Panton! The lighting and that incredible ceiling installation are inspiring some ideas not only for a party at my house, but also a design I’m cooking up for my client’s dining room.

 A private dining room at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, featuring a Damien Hirst!

A private dining room at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, featuring a Damien Hirst!

I was lucky enough to enjoy a fantastic dinner at Cecconi’s West Hollywood, in a private dining room that included this beautiful Damien Hirst! The orange in this piece is more in line with a fall-themed Thanksgiving, but I also am inspired by the tiny butterflies that flutter across the painting. I may have to pull out my butterfly-patterned china!

The next time you’re dining out, consider the decor as much as you do the menu – you never know where you might find your next inspiring idea!

Until next time,

- cynthia

Creating Colour
  Design by Lucy Harris, featuring Christopher Farr wallcovering

Design by Lucy Harris, featuring Christopher Farr wallcovering

I’m so inspired by fabrics and the designers who create them! One of my favourite companies is Christopher Farr Cloth, a London-based textile design studio that believes in “old world” craftsmanship. And one of the patterns I absolutely love from them is Carnival by Michael Szell. You can see it below in a Chelsea penthouse by designer Lucy Harris.

I love creating my own colours and patterns – those custom designs give my interiors a unique look that fit my clients’ personalities and lifestyle
— Cynthia Ferguson

Christopher Farr also allows designers to custom-colour their fabrics – so I took the plunge with the Carnival pattern, mixing a deep purple with pink and green. You can see the start of the colouring process below before all the green and other details have been added. And here is the final fabric in full colour running on the press as it finishes the process!

 My Burberry colorway!

My Burberry colorway!

But the most astonishing part of this story? Christopher Farr liked the Blueberry colourway so much that they added it to their textile design line! Pinch me! I’m so excited that it’s on the website and hanging in showrooms, ready to buy today!

Textile being run

I love creating my own colours and patterns – those custom designs give my interiors a unique look that fit my clients’ personalities and lifestyles! It’s a win-win!

See more of my colourful creations in my portfolio of interiors, tour our portfolio!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Colour Inspiration
  My client’s gorgeous white kitchen with that pop of pink!

My client’s gorgeous white kitchen with that pop of pink!

I love injecting colour into the spaces I design! That could be a full colour splash in a room, or a bright punch in a neutral space. In this all-white kitchen I designed, I wanted to add a dramatic spot of colour to give the design a kick. And that hot pick fabric on the chairs was the first thing that came to mind.

But how do designers like me find our colour inspirations? It can come from anywhere, but for me, fabrics and trims always spark my imagination.

Cynthia Ferguson Yarn

The bright yarns above grabbed my attention as I was shopping one day – especially the pinks and purples.

Cynthia Ferguson Cashmere

Even this rainbow display of wraps drew my eye right to the bright pinks at the end of the row.

Cynthia Ferguson Napkins

A display of dinner napkins, like these from Sferra, also made me feel in the pink!

Cynthia Ferguson Florals

What really clinched it was this bouquet of white and hot pink flowers – the perfect color combination.

I found the white Louis XVI side chairs at a local flea market (can you believe it?), and chose the solid fabric from Kravet and the lovely geometric pattern from Manuel Canovas. The result is a chic kitchen that serves up a bright punch!

PS – See more of my interiors and the colours I love on my portfolio.

-Cynthia