I think we experienced all types of weather extremes in Ontario this month. I feel I leave the house every morning with several layers, not knowing if I am going to be cold or hot, such is the annual entry into spring.
I have welcomed the rain, even although at times it has felt like a deluge, and rendered Reba ponging slightly of wet dog, but my garden has been so dry after the crazy high temps earlier in the month that it has been very much needed.
I love to see the first spring bulbs emerge somewhat sleepy from my garden beds, I am always surprised that they made it through both winter and the sabotaging squirrels who chop the heads of my tulips with such precision, I feel it’s an Olympic-level sport for them.
I really do think that medals and cups in the form of walnuts and peanuts are awarded.
Between them, the raccoons and Reba, our tiny (sometimes not so tiny) golden doodle I am simply grateful that anything manages to bloom at all. But that is the resilience of nature. All winter long whilst we are contending with the snow and ice, our garden may look dormant but it’s busy resting knowing that as soon as the temperature allows, it will flourish.
At this time of year, I am always drawn to shades of blush and soft pink. It’s a colour that not many would associate with me – green, mulberry, ochre and linen are the core shades I wear and like to live immersed in, but blush pink always has my heart in the months of April and May.
Pink feels fresh and new at this time of year and sometimes you just need some pretty to make you smile. Pink goes with lighter-weight clothing and layers and as I delve into my bi-annual closet edit I think I even saw some pink in here.
This week I had the utmost pleasure to take part in a discussion centered around sustainability. It was hosted at The Lobby which is an extension of Heaps Estrin Realty.
This space (which is the former location of Hopson Grace) offers premier concierge services along with retail products, a rotating art gallery and an event space. It really is quite unique.
Currently featured on the main floor is a pop-up shop for Fogo Island. This inn is certainly on my must visit list, the island’s whole ethos is dedicated to sustainability – its people, its traditions, and its crafts. Many of the furniture pieces, patchwork quilts and knitwear are on show and available for purchase in the lobby until the end of spring.
With Earth Day falling in April, it was the perfect time to host a discussion on exploring sustainability. I learned some staggering facts; did you know that 40% of the waste created globally comes from the construction industry and 10% comes from the interior design industry? It’s enough to make you nauseous.
My panel co-hosts were Sarah Grant of Goldfinch Energy. Sarah is a MURB certified energy advisor and performs energy audits of her clients’ homes and best advises them on how to get away from fossil fuels – goodbye gas furnace and gas hot water tank and hello heat pump and electric water tank. Her talk was so insightful, I would certainly replace my gas burning heating systems with electric and with her assistance.
Next on the panel was Trevor Wallace of Reflect Architecture. I was interested in Trevor’s insight into how best to insulate our homes – neither Trevor nor Sarah rated spray foam and preferred batting. Both spoke about the inflexibility of the material (if you want to go back and move an electrical or plumbing feed) and I have to agree. Trevor spoke about really being clear about how you want to live and how much space you really need.
Both Sarah and Trevor spoke about windows and how a double pane window is probably the better way to go if you are renovating or simply replacing an existing window, triple pane are only credible and worth the sharp increase in price if the wall its being placed into is also new.
Last but not least was me! I spoke about selecting the right materials to support you and your lifestyle. Regardless of whether a material is ”green” I am a strong believer that if you love something, if it meets your needs, feeds your soul, then this is a sustainable option for you.
I spoke at length about living without friction – friction wears us down, tires us out and causes us to replace things before their expiry date. Friction results in the industry I love and work in generating a lot of the worlds waste – not 50% (as some of the waste generated will be through things meeting their expiry date) but I would guess 25% of the global waste is generated through friction – bad products, misinformed decisions, and poor installations.
Cailey Heaps lead the panel discussion and asked insightful questions that kept the talk flowing throughout the night, thank you to all who attended, who listened intently and asked really good questions of us all.
It’s enough to make you want to hire all four of us professionals!
We had a quick chat about upcycling during the panel and I spoke briefly about how this was the ignition for the Studio Cushions on our website. Every project we work on does result in some fabric offcuts and we now make use of them by turning them into gorgeous cushions and giving all profits to charity at the end of the year.
New to the Shop this month are linen and cotton tote bags – perfect for summer vacations and lazy days by the dock. Made in Montreal from ethically sourced materials with a portion of all sales going to The Yellow Door charity by the maker Colenti, these are great pieces to grab now.
New cushions have also landed in very limited quantities so if you love something grab it immediately as it’s made from an off-cut.
May brings a design trip to New York for me, it’s my annual pilgrimage to see all things design – there is ICFF design show, a Kips Bay showhome and several new and repeat showrooms to visit as well as an opportunity to catch up in person with friends and vendors alike.
Stay tuned to Instagram for all that is catching my eye and I will summarize all in next months newsletter.
Have a wonderful May. Thank you for your continued support and reading.
Giving credit & thanks and some more musings while I am at it!
Tutu Lights, Café Constance Montreal, by Atelier Zebulon Perron – are these not just divine. See more on GGI Pinterest board Lighting or read the full article in Dezeen, Nina Ricci Resort 2014 – all the flowers! GGI Pinterest board fashion, Gallery Bookcase, source unknown, GGI Pinterest board Millwork, Ranunculus, so pretty in pink, image sourced from Fig and Bloom, GGI Pinterest board Plants , Montage of all things pretty in pink that are catching my eye currently – Pink striped skirt by Silvia Tcherassi, GGI Pinterest Board fashion, Her Bedroom – Gillian Gillies Interiors, photography Virginia Macdonald, styling Me & Mo, Project Lytton, Blush door, source unknown, GGI Pinterest Board pink, Figs galore, Sand for days – Morocco by Sebastian Holmer, The Flat Earth Suite, Fogo Island , New Studio Cushions by Gillian Gillies Interiors, The Lobby Exploring Responsible Home Design for a Sustainable Future
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