Posts tagged toronto
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

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

How to Artfully Display Your Collections

Collections are a part of our family history. They are a part of our history as a society. I love to collect vintage pressed, for example! I also have a lot of clients who have gathered collections, but they’re often at a loss for how to show them off in their homes. So here are some tips you can use to artfully display what you love:

First, don’t hide them! There’s nothing worse than seeing a group of favorite things hiding in the back of a cupboard or a closet, just because you didn’t know what to do with them. Collections help show your personality - so bring them out front-and-center, like these sweet owls in a Nantucket store window! I love how some are facing in and those near the window are looking out!

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Second, see if you can create a pattern with your collections. That makes it easier to display them on a wall or table, like the gorgeous pottery group I saw on a wall in Sarah Bartholomew’s Nashville design store! This is a great way to showcase a collection of plates, bowls, baskets, hats, and so many other cool things!

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Third, whenever possible, group similar things together for greater impact. I like to put my collections of pressed glass in small groups by colour or shape - it looks more organized and artful!

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Finally, the holidays are the perfect time to pull out your collections - they’re full of memories and nostalgia, which we all love this time of year. These little knitted guys always make me smile!

No matter what you collect, use these tips to create vignettes that will tell a story in your home of who you are!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

How to Have a Haute Halloween

Next week is Halloween! If you want to celebrate the fun of the day but you don’t have little kiddos, there are still so many options for getting a little spooky while staying on the more chic side of the spectrum! Here are some of my faves:

Table design by Cynthia Fergusion

Table design by Cynthia Fergusion

I found these amazing skull plates at TJX, the flatware at Crate & Barrel, and the platter at Home Sense, proving you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a gorgeous look! The black-and-gold palette gives this outdoor table a lot of drama, without a lot of kitsch.

Hudson Grace

Hudson Grace

This feather art from Hudson Grace adds intrigue and a tiny bit of spookiness, but looks incredibly chic!

Pumpkin by Hot Skwash (isn’t that the best name?!)

Pumpkin by Hot Skwash (isn’t that the best name?!)

I was at a jewelry store when I saw this fab silky pumpkin. It reminds me of one of my favorite companies, Hot Skwash! They offer beautiful pumpkins like this that will give you a luxe look for your Halloween decor.

Table design by Cynthia Ferguson

Table design by Cynthia Ferguson

And here’s a look at a dinner party I had last year at Halloween. With lots of candles, a spooky palette, and just a touch of faux webs, I created a Halloween mood that was hip and haute. 

Try these ideas to take your decor from silly to seriously sophisticated!

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

Lighting Up!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, a sign that we’re definitely close to winter and the holiday season. That also means shorter days and longer nights – a time when the lighting in your house becomes even more important! I love finding new and exciting light options for my clients. Here are a few of the top trends in lighting today:

Schoolhouse light, interior design by Cynthia Ferguson

Schoolhouse light, interior design by Cynthia Ferguson

Matte Black. Deep, dark black is a big trend in Europe and it’s starting to appear in homes here! I love the impact it makes when it’s paired with metal, like in this bedside lamp from Schoolhouse that I used in a boy’s room.

Ridgely Studio Works that looks more like an installation than a sconce!

Ridgely Studio Works that looks more like an installation than a sconce!

Free-Form Lights. Sculptural designs are taking lighting to a more artful place! I recently worked on a custom commission with Ridgely Studio Works that looks more like an installation than a sconce.

Kelly Wearstler chandelier, interior design by Cynthia Ferguson

Kelly Wearstler chandelier, interior design by Cynthia Ferguson

Wow-Worthy Chandeliers. This Kelly Wearstler design I used in a master bathroom takes the starburst or Sputnik design to a whole new level! Designed in that oh-so-trendy black, the chandelier adds drama to the decor.

Le Deun Luminaires

Le Deun Luminaires

LED Lights. LED has been a major trend for lighting manufacturers for a while, but only recently have they made them look as gorgeous as they are efficient! I’m so in love with these gorgeous gold rings from the French company Le Deun Luminaires!

Get Lit

Get Lit

Traditional Shapes. In table lamps, traditional shapes like the ginger jar you see here from Get Lit are coming back in a big way. The green colour definitely speaks to me, too!

Primavera

Primavera

Bold Color. Speaking of colour, bright pops of colour are being featured not just on the lamps bases, but also on the shades, as you can see in these pretty designs from Primavera. 

Use these ideas to light up your fall and winter days! And if you’re here in Canada, I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time,

-Cynthia