May 22, 2015

As Seen at the ADDRESS Opening Party

Last night was the opening party to celebrate ADDRESS, a collection of Vancouver designers and artisans brought together by furniture designer and maker Kate Duncan, showing for 12 days at the Waterfall Building. 

"ADDRESS is not only an assembly of fine furniture and home accessories, it represents a new way of approaching design altogether. A curated approach that reaches beyond one size-fits-all design. It’s an assembly of designers/makers, deeply dedicated to their craft presenting expertise and exceptional work."
-Kate Duncan

Participating Designers: Zoe Luyendijk, Propellor, Greenstems, Nicholas Purcell Furniture, Fabulous Furnishings, Sticks and Stones Furniture, Artemisia Metal Fabrication, Heyday Design, Lissu Linen, Hendrik Lou, Woodlot, Army of Rokosz, Troy Moth, Christine Breakell Lee, Stephanie Duek.

The exhibit is going on now through May 31, 11am- 5pm, and until 9pm on Fridays. the Waterfall Building, 1540 West 2nd Ave., Vancouver.

Here's what we saw on opening night:

Meridian 24 Pendant by Propeller
Furniture by Kate Duncan, linen sheets by Lissu Linen,
and woven blanket by Hendrik Lou

Woven items by Hendrik Lou, wall art is the Range Series by Propeller. 
Table linens by Lissu Linen, wooden cutting boards by Kate Duncan,
ceramics by Heydey Design, candles by Woodlot, and botanicals by Greenstems. Artwork by Christine Breakell Lee.

Tablescape detail.
Knives by Stephanie Dueck.
Living art wall by Greenstems.
Sideboard by Nicholas Purcell.
Pendant light by Propeller, artwork by Christine Breakell Lee,
Sideboard by Kate Duncan, tablescape items by
Heydey Design, Lissu Linen, Kate Duncan, Woodlot, and Greenstems.
42 Point light by Propeller
Benches and fire pit by Sticks & Stones Furniture.
Kate Duncan thanks the audience.
Fire pit by Sticks & Stones Furniture

5 Questions For: Alison Kent + Cindy Yu, Joue Design

Cindy Yu and Alison Kent of Vancouver's Joue Design

Names: Alison Kent + Cindy Yu
Title: Co-Owners/Lead Designers, Joue Design
Company: Joue Design, Inc.

Which of your projects are you most excited about right now?

AK: Oh, so many! I'm thrilled with our latest Summer Capsule Collection of printed silk watercolor pillows with hand-painted accents, but I am also very excited about the various collaborations we are working on for the coming seasons—both in our ongoing throw pillow collections and in expanding our lines. We are looking into bedroom and kitchen textiles, and hope to have new product out in the next year or two. As for specific details, you'll have to wait and see! We work on our upcoming designs about a year in advance, so our heads are all over the place; it’s a very exciting time for Joue Design.

CY: I love the direction we're headed creatively, and I’m proud of the steps we've taken so far with our latest collections. There's so much we're excited about for the fall and next spring that those seasons can't come soon enough. 

Tell us three words that embody your design philosophy.

CY:  Original. Art. Textiles.

What is your favorite place in the Pacific Northwest? Why?

AK: The beaches! I've always loved the beaches up and down our beautiful coasts. There’s something about the colors, waves, and clean, fresh air–even the sand is interesting! We're incredibly lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwest.

Who or what are you inspired by right now?

AK: Cindy and I were fortunate enough to take another "Joue Partner Trip" to Paris this past spring during Fashion Week. We've always loved France— Paris especially, so it's great to enjoy it together while being inspired and making time to plan our year ahead. Personally, I've just returned from a family trip to Amsterdam and Greece, which was beautiful. I was especially inspired by the history and stories behind everything. In future "Northwest" collections, I see this trip inspiring me to layer elements and ideas. I also took time during my trip to sit and paint. Sometimes, time away means time to work on stretching my artwork abilities.

CY: The environment around me always inspires me, and luckily, we live in one of the most beautiful corners of the planet. There's a catharsis in observing life around you –the colors and textures of nature and all forms of wildlife. It always brings me back to the most fundamental thing–feeling and embracing life as a human being.

What do you think of the color gray?

AK: It's very west coast! Grays, greens and blues are prevalent colors in the natural environments around us, and I love them. This will always be my home.

CY: It is a color that is abundant in my own home. Most often, I don't see life as black or white–rather, in various shades of gray. My decor is a reflection of that: a gentle, softer perspective on life. I also find that it's the color that's easiest to match with most hues –especially since every hue has a gray version.

Image Courtesy of Joue Design. 

May 21, 2015

Room of the Week: Ken Best, Synthesis Design

Category: Kitchen/Dining Room
Design: Ken Best, Synthesis Design
Location: Vancouver

Goal: Ten years ago, Synthesis Design created the architecture and interiors for this house in Vancouver’s North Shore, furnishing it with the client’s inherited traditional décor. Although it was elegant and refined, the client enjoyed casual gatherings with family and friends, and never quite felt that the interiors represented “her.”

“Flash forward 10 years, and she was expecting a crowd for the holidays,” says interior design project manager Ken Best, of Synthesis Design. “Every member of her family would be gathering for Christmas for the first time in years. It was time for a change. She contacted us for a lively and colorful shake-up that would be an updated reflection of her current tastes.”

Inspiration: “A few years ago we refurbished a barn on the same property, turning it into pool cabana and personal spa,” says Best. “The rustic feel of the space resonated with our client, and she wanted to bring it to the main house as well, albeit in a much more elegant way.”

Breakdown: Starting with classic warm white cabinetry and contrasting charcoal Caesarstone countertop, Best and his team added white bead board to back a shelf made from a reclaimed board as a refined version of the rustic look the client desired. The cabinetry was designed by Synthesis and fabricated by HF Custom Cabinets. Synthesis also designed the 8-by-8-foot custom dining table, which was fabricated by Lauten Woodworking and made from reclaimed timbers that were formerly part of an old sawmill on Vancouver Island. Over the table hangs a glamorous Robert Abbey Bling Chandelier in deep bronze.

Surrounding the table is a variety of custom seating designed by Best and his team and made by Omega Custom Furniture. The 7-foot-long benches combine white leather seats with backs upholstered in “Conduit” from Robert Allen, adding a hit of blue to the space. “The benches shine, as they are supported by their quieter surroundings,” notes Best. “This light aqua color remains popular, and is a versatile choice. If you don’t feel adventurous enough to upholster a whole furniture piece, consider bringing in the hue as a throw, toss cushion, or in the form of accessories like vases, trays, or dishware.”

The client’s favorite piece, a custom buffet built to display her crystal pieces, was stained light, bringing another element of warmth to the space. Above it hangs a cherished piece of art handed down from family.

Get the Look: “Start with a neutral envelope of soft grays, whites, and wood floors,” Best advises. “This look is about balance, being simultaneously rustic and refined. For rustic elements, consider a gray-stained or reclaimed wood dining table, or even a reclaimed wood tray or bowl at the center of a more finished table. To add a dose of color and pattern, consider statement chairs at the ends of the dining table, and keep the chairs on the sides more neutral—or, alternately, you can add patterned and richly colored drapery panels. For light fixtures and metal accessories, choose dark, or oil rubbed bronze. To me, the pairing of the oil-rubbed bronze and crystal fixture is essential to the look.” 

Images Courtesy of Tracey Ayton.

GRAY Conversations, Portland: Inspired by Travel!

To celebrate and unveil GRAY's June/July travel issue, hitting newstands soon, we gathered a group of Pacific Northwest design professionals to discuss how travel has inspired them to create. Join us June 9 from 6pm - 8pm at Tufenkian in Portland for "Inspired by Travel: Local Design, Global Influence"—a free, around-the-world-tour—no passport required.

Our panelists—working across a wide range of design disciplines, from architecture and interiors to textiles and wallpapershare images from their most inspiring trips and discuss the designs that resulted from their fresh perspectives. 

6 pm: Wine and appetizers
7 pm: Panel begins

Go HERE to reserve your spot at the panel. Space is limited, and GRAY Conversations have been filling up completelyso don't delay your RSVP. See you there!
Meet the Panelists:

Daniel Kaven, creative director, William Kaven Architecture
Kelly Ogden, director, Elk Collective
Brian Cavanaugh, principal, Architecture Building Culture
Caitlin Wilson, founder, Caitlin Wilson Design

Kelly Ogden, director, Elk Collective
Some examples of Ogden's work:
Smallwares, Portland, OR
Dream Hotel, Miami, FL

Brian Cavanaugh, principal, Architecture Building Culture
 Some examples of Cavanaugh's work:
Stubbs Residence, Seattle, WA
Vomo Island Resort, Fiji

Daniel Kaven, creative director, William Kaven Architecture
Some examples of Kaven's work:
Elements house, Mosier, OR
Interchange house, Portland, OR

Caitlin Wilson, founder, Caitlin Wilson Design.
Image courtesy Nicolle Clemetson.
Some examples of Wilson's work:

Image courtesy Brittany Lauren Photography

Image courtesy Brittany Lauren Photography

May 19, 2015

ADDRESS Opens Thursday in Vancouver

Join GRAY this Thursday night, May 21, at 6 pm as we kick off the launch party for ADDRESS, a 12-day home and design show in Vancouver that’s part gallery, part pop-up shop, and part showroom. Curated by local furniture designer and maker Kate Duncan and running from May 20-31st, ADDRESS has a unique point of view, bringing together 12 featured local designers to show their wares at the Waterfall Building, 1540 West 2nd Avenue.

The event includes interactive panel discussions, networking happy hours, and a launch party that offers a chance to meet the artists and designers in this year’s show. Bring your design-related questions to the panel discussions (panelists include Amber Kingsnorth from Mak Interiors, architect Michelle Fenton from Studio B Architects, contractor Matt Durocher from Enduring Construction, and art curator Pennylane Shen), and learn about assembling an art collection, sticking to a project budget, and tips for embracing your style as you decorate. Here are some highlights from several of the exhibitors:

British-inspired couch by Fabulous Furnishings.
Living art tablescape from Greenstems.
A living wall from Greenstems. 
Neutral knits from Hendrik.Lou.  
Handmade porcelain bowls with a vintage twist from heyday design
Chic, handcrafted cutting boards from ADDRESS organizer and producer Kate Duncan 

Live edge table from Kate Duncan