Posts in travel
Island Architecture

I am so lucky to be able to work around the world - and one of my favorite design destinations is in the Bahamas! I’ve recently been working with clients on Eleuthera, which is a gorgeous island known for pink sand beaches like French Leave Beach. It is incredible to have fabulous views wherever you look while you’re designing - there’s no better inspiration!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve seen how obsessed I’ve become with island architecture. There are specific details about the design that I love - let’s take a look!

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

1. Gingerbread Trim

Traditional Colonial homes in the islands showcase a lot of gingerbread trim! I love the scrolls and pierced pieces that you see on these fabulous cottages - it gives them a one-of-a-kind look! And how charming is it with that white picket fence, too?! Sage House is one of my favorite gems on the island!

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

2. Working Shutters

So many houses today have shutters that are just decorative and don’t actually cover the windows. In the islands, working shutters are a necessity! And I love the character that they create as a design detail, too! Shutters can either open out in a traditional way, or by opening from the bottom like in the cottage above. I’m also in love with the stone wall and that cedar shake roof!

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

3. Colour!

The homes in the Bahamas are known around the world for their use of colour, so of course I would feel at home here! The pastels are breathtaking, like the peach dream above that was my “office” recently. But you’ll also see bright spots of color that grab your attention - even on churches!

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

4. Verandas and Gardens

The porches and verandas are designed for outdoor living - after all, it’s why we’re in the islands!! I’m drawn to these fabulous outdoor destinations, surrounded by an incredible array of plants, flowers, and palms!

Painting by Amos Ferguson

Painting by Amos Ferguson

See why I love the island architecture?? It’s such an iconic look in the Bahamas that it’s even featured in a painting I recently saw by celebrated Bahamas artist Amos Ferguson. I am fortunate enough to have learned about this brilliant man when I saw two of his original paintings hanging on a client’s wall.

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

And I had to show you the gorgeous St. Andrew’s Church in Wemyss settlement! All the Anglican churches on the island are painted white and red. And there are A LOT of churches for 3000 people! How incredible is that colour?!

With a gorgeous island office like this, I may not head back to Toronto until summer!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Artists and Artisans

One of my favorite things about traveling is to find artists and artisans in each of the destinations I visit! I love discovering new products and gorgeous accessories that I can use in my projects to add a unique touch. And I truly want to support amazing designers and artists who create special items! Here are a few of my favourite pieces that I’ve found this year on my travels!

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South African crafts and beads are one of my favourite finds from the High Point Market last October. The blues and greens are gorgeous, and the craftsmanship is perfection!

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I was thrilled when I walked into this new store in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera. I can neither confirm nor deny there may have been screams followed by a frenzy of fabric being unrolled. This is the real deal: beautiful screen-printed fabric made in the Bahamas! Originally started in 1966, some of the vintage patterns are being run again and various artists are now rounding out the fabric offering. Printed on a multitude of base cloths from poplin to European linen to outdoor fabric, creating endless possibilities for your projects! They have kaftans, pants, little sundresses, beach bags and clutches. Literally heaven! 

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Sophie Anderson is clearly a woman after my own heart. First of all, how stunning is this bag?! I’m crazy about the colour, the scale, the handwork - all of it! But most of all, I love that Sophie Anderson sells only bags handmade by indigenous communities of artisan women.

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My favourite discovery at the recent Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville was by far the ingenious creations of Museum Bees. These little wall hangers are created from cuts of antique frames and decorated with little pieces ....either bees, or antique coins, or acorns, or a multitude of possibilities. Each one is unique and fabulous!! Some of these may have gone home with me!!

When you travel, keep your eyes open for those small shops and unique products. You never know what incredible finds you may discover!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Design Inspiration: Water Colours

The holidays are such an incredible time to recharge and relax - especially if you can get away! One of my favourite destinations is a series of remote islands in the Caribbean. The calm, the gorgeous views - it’s the best place to spend the holidays! And who wouldn’t be inspired by these gorgeous sky and water colours?

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

The gorgeous blues and greens find their way into so many of the rooms I design! I’m not the only one who loves this palette - the colors are soothing and calming, perfect for a gorgeous interiors! They bring a little bit of your vacation home, even in the dark winter months!

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Rolling waves are incredibly soothing on these isolated beaches. You can see why I keep returning with my family for every holiday!

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

I created that feeling of movement and water with a pattern of tiles in the backsplash of this kitchen I designed!

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Even this gorgeous seating area in the middle of nowhere can be recreated in a formal dining room with the right colours and patterns.

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

Photo by Cynthia Ferguson

I used breezy drapery in a cool turquoise colour to provide that idea of calm and serenity in this Toronto dining room. It’s like a tiny moment of the islands in the middle of a snowy, busy city!

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

I love bringing these inspirational moments and colours home with me - where do YOU find your inspiration?!

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