Designed with Colour and Travel

At the end of winter we find ourselves dreaming of escape. Grey days have us wishing we could hop a plane and explore the globe. To ease our yearning for travels, we're sharing our first home tour of 2018, a house designed with pieces from around the world. 

When you walk into Jenn's house, it's impossible to overlook the wealth of colours. In a design world where white walls are ever present, it's so refreshing to see a vibrant palette.



"When we first moved in, the whole house had dingy white walls and was really in need of paint - so we painted the whole house. I wanted colour. There are three shades of yellow, then light green, deep garnet red, baby blue in the master bathroom, shades of mauve, powder pink and then the blue and pink in the children's rooms and the bold orange in the bathroom. I love colour - I love using it to add warmth and depth; to add a feeling to a room." 

Jenn describes the way light alters paint colours throughout the day, keeping things fresh : "I love the gold in the living room with the sunlight or the lights on in the evening. It’s such a warming feeling - that’s what's great about having colour - it changes as the day changes." And as colour plays into the vibrancy of the home, so does Jenn's collection of pieces curated and discovered through her travels. 




How does travel become woven throughout your home?

I love that you can bring back a story to tell - someone can stand in front of my pictures and I can say, 'On that day we were on the Rialto bridge and it was 40°C - or that that brick is from Venice’. Bringing those elements home builds a connection to the rest of the world. That your home is this tiny place that's interconnected and not a stand alone microcosm. That and it keeps the travel bug alive in me.

What is a favourite item in your home you collected on a trip?

The hearts in my room and the hearts from churches in Italy; I saw them in Venice and wanted to find some to bring home. Even though I’m not religious, there's a feeling of reverence and grace in preserving and bringing beautiful elements back into your home.


What piece in your home is from the furthest place away?

The fabric from Asia and the ladder from France, the hearts are from Venice, it’s hard to say. 



What feelings do you want your home to evoke? For both you and your guest?

I hope when people come in they feel welcome and warm. I love entertaining with family gatherings and so it’s this … my house. I love pulling out my grandmother's silver and the dishes my mom gave me that she had when she first got married, and we’ll have 12 - 16 people all in one room. I don’t want it to feel formal, I want to be comfortable in all those spaces. 


Where do you find design inspiration? 

I look for inspiration wherever I find it. I like what I like and it tends to come together in a pretty organic way. Once you have a sense of style you coincidentally choose similar pieces. For example the deer motifs in the house - there are antlers throughout the house and pieces from local designers that all fit together. I’m very inspired by Italian and French design, in Italy it's the art elements and in France, it’s the etched glass.



When did you start collecting mirrors? 

In the past five years. I’ve always loved them, but once I had my own home and space, it was about gathering these pieces I admire and having the dark part of the mantle contrast to the reflective quality of the glass. The shapes on them, the glass itself - it's these tiny details that are so eye catching. 

What changes would you like to make in your home?

I’d love to reno the kitchen - that’s my biggest, but traveling wins out. Buying and investing in this house was a big choice so I want to find the balance of traveling with home renovations and ownership. I don’t want to sacrifice everything in my life to redo my home, not just yet. 


Which is your favourite room in the house?

I spend most of my time in the kitchen and family room, it’s an easy comfortable place. During the holidays it’s all about the living room with everyone playing music, but the family room is for curling up with a blanket, and during the summer we take advantage of the back yard. 




What is your philosophy when adding something to your home?

I like to invest in pieces. If you get something good quality it’s going to last forever. Ikea things just don’t last. When I got divorced and was on my own I vowed I wasn’t going to go the Ikea route - I wanted things that were long lasting and meant something to me. I wanted intentional pieces versus just filling space. Consequently the living room was empty for a couple of years before it was set up, but it was well worth the wait. 


Do you follow any design rules?

Nope! I have no design rules. I had a lot of things when I moved into this house so in terms of things, it was more about what I wanted - I picked the deer chair because I loved it with the linen that tied in with the rug and wanted the space to flow. I like a home that has a flow of colour or design or themes that work together. It’s too hulking to have really different pieces in every room. I’m naturally drawn to botanicals, deer - you know what you like so you need to trust that instinct versus buying something because you feel obligated. It has to be your own style or else it will come off contrived. I love that expression in a house. 


What makes a house a home? 

Being comfortable in the space - if you go into any kitchen you should look at it, open up the drawers and find the things you need. There’s this flow in a house that if you let it, makes sense. You work with the style of house to create that flow and having beautiful things that tell a story really contributes to that. I think a house is a home when someone can open up cupboards and be at ease in the space wherever in the home that is. It’s those things that tell a story and gathering them with intention. 





Blue Painting from Monte Marte
Bamboo End Tables - Propellor design
Pasankas from Prague
Carpet Family room - Calgary, and ones in the front are from Ikea. 
Ladder is from Antique Mall (originally France)
Fabric from East Asia
Urban Forest Design Studio Pottery
Tables from Propellor Design
Needlepoint - Grandmother's in original frame
Coal Scuttle - Ordered online from a shop in the United States I found through pinterest. 
Paint- Benjamin Moore
Brass Piano Light - Gifted
Deer Chair - Anthropologie
Light Fixtures are all original, towel rack original, and hung in original places on all the outside corners. 


Restoration Hardware (TV Easel, Chaise, Dining set, china cabinet, bed frame, cloches) 

Anthropologie (bar cart, deer bottle opener, candlestick holders)

Home Sense (glass cabinet, floral lights and circular table) 

Maven & Grace, Antique Mall / Markets for vintage touches

To Be Treasured; Design Majeur's 2017 Gift Guide

The Holidays are the perfect excuse to indulge in this ritual; the art of gift giving, time honoured and born from a place of affection. Small tokens of appreciation that have the ability to say so much in a simple gesture - yet the question of what can oft be perplexing. 

At the core of our little shop and subsequently this journal, we want to adorn homes with things of meaning. To be treasured and passed down. To be used and lived in. And so as we built this year's gift guide we chose pieces that delighted us, encouraged slow living and were simply downright useful. We hope this helps inspire your purchases and sparks ideas for those on your list. 





Flora Woodlot Soap / Riess Milkpan / Redecker Holed Spoon / Sydney Hale Candle / Rifle Paper Co. Card / Urbanovitch No. 1 Fragrance / Urbanovitch Earrings / Rifle Notebook Set / Bindewerk Linen Notebooks / Hornvarefabrikken Barette / Pura Overnight Garden Mask / Redecker Copper Cleaning Cloths / Rusty Thought Diamond Necklace / Vintage Compact / Peg and Awl Rolling Pin / Vintage Handkerchiefs 

(As Pictured from Top Left to Bottom Right) 




Redecker Shaving Soap / Hornvarefabrikken Letter Opener / Province Apothecary Soap / Compartes 'Nightcap' Chocolate / Vintage Woods Ribbon / Vintage Leather Cigar Box / Panforte / Huberds Shoe Grease / Redecker Clothes Brush / Daneson Bourbon Toothpicks / Hyperion Silver Necklace / Redecker Nutcracker / Peg and Awl Waxed Canvas Pencil Case / Homework Press Card / Woodlot Palo Santo    

(As Pictured from Top Left to Bottom Right) 




Vintage Pencils / Trifulot Assorted Truffles / Washi Tape / Striped Paper Straws / Redecker Children's Nail Brush / Homework Press Holiday Card / Bees Wax Tapers / Dish Cloth / Rifle Paper Co. Card / Pura Pixie & Sprite Wash / Awash Lavender Bath Salts / Bees Wax Tree Candles / Drizzle Mini Raw Honey / Maven & Grace Gift Card /  Vintage Gummed Labels Book / Sydney Hale Matches / Lakrids / Soap Satchel / Petit Wooden Redecker Toys


We sincerely hope these guides help you during this bustling season. For more inspiration find last years gift guide here or simply stop by the shop!

We are open with extended hours during the Holidays and we hope to see you soon! 

Crisp & Clean: An English Inspired Home

On a late autumn evening, crunching leaves as we tread, we found ourselves in front of a picturesque home in South Edmonton. However, the moment we crossed the threshold, we were transported to an English-inspired home. Suzanne and Ben, owners of the house for over 18 years (originally built for them) are the first to admit to it having many iterations in those nearly two decades. "Lots of different colours of paint, flooring, furniture placements. In all of our family videos it always looks very different at different stages," laughed Suzanne. 

Presently the house feels well loved and well chosen, a space that so perfectly captures its owners, as their passions are evident in every room on every floor.  For Suzanne that passion is literature and for Ben, ceramics and sculpture. Both are woven seamlessly into the minimalist monochromatic design with pops of colour that feel more intentional and vivid; it's a space that evokes calm. The perfect place to sit quietly lost in a good book, to enjoy the fragrant presence of fresh cut flowers, to feel pulled from Edmonton into another plane where phones are hushed and herbal tea is strong. 



Where do you find inspiration for designing your home?

"One of the inspirations is definitely travel and the historic homes we visit. We spend a lot of time in England, we try to stay in a lot of bed and breakfasts, and inns. The artwork is inspired by something we saw in Dorset, but truly we draw a lot of inspiration from historical homes. My colleagues have a joke they call me a biblio-pilgrim; we were just in Boston and we visited every writer's home in that area. We were in Thoreau's cabin, we were in Emerson's house, and Emily Dickinson's house. I just love some of the historic houses. Some are staged and museum-like but some are from the Georgian era with beautiful panelling and simple design I just love - they still feel like real homes. I think that definitely historic buildings have been inspiration for us. Lastly there's a British architect & designer that I really like named Ben Pentreath and there's a coziness about his place. He values simple furniture." (S)




On the note of iterations and inspiration, do you change the aesthetic of the home pretty significantly every couple of years?”

"I think we will live with this a little bit longer; it’s been a process of learning a little bit more, finding out what we like. When we first moved here we were just beginning in our careers and dealing with student stuff. We have collected a few items that we will keep for a long period of time." (S)

"It's a standing joke in our relationship when we first moved in. I said ok 'put the pictures on the wall that you'll think they will go on and you have much time as you want to put them in the right spot. Then we will nail them in and we won't ever change them.' *laughs* How wrong was I? And if you've known how many times I've stood there holding a picture. How many times we've moved the desk up and down the stairs."  (B)

"It's been fun. It's not our background, so we don't do it quickly. It's taken a lot of time and it's evolved. It's fun to experiment." (S)




The kitchen is absolutely beautiful, so bright and clean - can you share a bit about the renovation?

"We worked with AYA Kitchens for the design, all of the hardware came from Restoration Hardware. A lot of research though was Suzanne. She looked at pictures and magazines, figuring out what we liked." (B)

Any tips for keeping the space well edited?

"We have a general rule that if we haven't used it in a year, then we should probably get rid of it." (S)




Playing Favourites

Are there any pieces in your home that you love more than others? Aesthetically or for sentimental reasons?

"I love the books. I have a hard time lending them. They are like my friends - I don't want them to disappear. I also love chairs and a handful of other things, this Georgian chair, a collection of pottery from England and pieces from grandparents." (S)

Both of your careers and passions have influenced your home a lot. Was that a choice or did you just find over time you ended up surrounding yourself with those items? 

A personal mentor once said that every home should have a library and a cozy chair. I certainly decorate with books. I feel good having them around. I really like shopping for books and I like beautiful books, I care about the covers. (S)

"And I feel grateful because Suzanne is highly appreciative of my work. That I get to display it proudly in our home and that she wants to tuck some of my pieces away for our home." (B)




Apart from the things Ben's made, where do you find most of the things for your home?

"Well, there's a lot of Maven & Grace, in almost every room! There are a few furniture pieces that we picked up from Plum Home Design. A lot of it is from travel - not necessarily the bigger pieces but the smaller ones that are easier to bring back." (S)

Any final thoughts you'd like to share on your home? 

"I think it's a refuge. I like a certain degree of order. Teaching is a busy career and you can't always control what people do. It's a place that is calm and peaceful and serene. I like having a quiet place to come back to, to read, gather, lots of fun, intimate times with family." (S)



The Resource List

Picture #1: Table, Maven and Grace;Vase, Plum
Picture #2: Antique mirror, Plum; Antique platter, Maven and Grace; Ceramics, Benjamin Oswald
Picture #3: Flowers, Maven and Grace; Ceramics, Benjamin Oswald
Picture #4: Antique chair, Plum; Artwork, Sandra Stevenson; Vase, Maven and Grace
Picture #5: Picture frame, Maven and Grace; Antique dresser jar, Plum
Pictures #6-8: Table, Maven and Grace; Light fixtures, Ikea; Vase, Benjamin Oswald
Picture #9: Kettle, Le Creuset
Picture #11: Pink, grey, white plates, Anthropologie
Picture #14: Antique armchair, Plum
Picture #17: Antique brass lamp, antique sewing box, Plum
Picture #18: Antique tray, Maven and Grace, Ceramics, Benjamin Oswald
Pictures #19-20: Artwork, Sandra Stevenson
Picture #21: Antique dresser, Maven and Grace
Picture #24: Picture framing, Mill Creek Picture Framing