Design Unleashed

  • Designer Kimberley Seldon placed an enormous ancient mill stone from Italy dead centre and aligned it with the front door, immediately creating a sense of order in the space.
  • Custom arm chairs flank a metal drum which acts as a coffee table, providing a perfect perch for quiet contemplation.
  • It's not uncommon to find large columns poorly placed in new condos but again, it makes decorating a wee bit more challenging. To give the column a sense of purpose Kimberley placed a tall wooden Buddha in front of the structural feature.
  • The comfy grey sectional (Jamie Alexander) surrounds a round wood coffee table from West Elm. Colourful salmon and navy pillows from ELTE fill the space with colour.
  • Behind the sectional, a low Asian bench tucks beneath a sofa table.
  • Sculptural pieces like the Buddha and bronze leaf offer big style statements.

Interior Design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group
Photography by Ted Yarwood

Who doesn’t want to feel zen at home?

Easier said than done when you have challenging spaces to decorate—like the pie-shaped entry hall that greets you as you enter the front door of this urban condo.

The cool couple who live here had lots of ideas when it came to decorating. They wanted to display some of the treasures they’ve collected on their extensive travels for instance. But when it came to the sitting area…they were stumped. How to deal with a severely pie-shaped space?

Interview with Lidewij Edelkoort

Photo by: Ruud Van Der Peijl

Photo by: Ruud Van Der Peijl

 

DAB:You have forecasted trends for some of the biggest brands on the planet– is there one brand that you are particularly fond of? 

One of the most successful products that have come from my forecasts is the Nissan Micra, which I have helped invent since 1987. In 1993 it won Car of the Year and received numerous other prices. This was the first time that a car manufacturer had asked a trend analyst to design a car, and even though I don’t drive (!), it became a big success. It was also the first time an automotive maker truly considered lifestyle as an important tool for the conceptualization of a product. The Micra represented an emerging lifestyle that fused opposites like work and leisure, outside and inside, body and soul. Over the past three decades, I have also helped create electronics for Philips, beverages for Sprite, watches for Swatch, shoes for Camper, cosmetics for Estée Lauder, fragrances for L’Oréal and telecommunications for Siemens, among countless other products and services. Some of the most important projects in my career have been related to social movements and consumer trends for ministries and cities, notably the Dutch Ministry of Environment and Public Transport, the country’s Brabant region and for the city of Lenz in France.

DAB: What’s the next technological advancement coming in interiors, including kitchens, and how important is it to be innovative?

One of the biggest trends in kitchens these days is actually people’s love of cooking that has been taken to new heights, sometimes turning the kitchen into a creative laboratory. This means that appliances and accessories need to be much more sophisticated. Controlling temperature with precision is one such technology now accessible to everyday consumers, as seen in the new Chef Collection oven by Samsung. One can prepare different foods at different temperatures all at the same time or continue to warm something while other foods finish cooking. Other appliances such as fridges and dishwashers are turning into intuitive high-tech thinking machines, elevating the humble kitchen into a smart professional workspace.

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DAB: How does quality design enrich a person’s life?

Design is everywhere, even in places we don’t notice. It’s therefore important that design reflects our lifestyle and how people are evolving. The importance of the well-being industries has, for example, elevated scent, soap, food, textiles and accessories as well as hotels, spas and sports clubs to becoming almost spiritual places. We are able to recharge and reinvigorate ourselves in these design temples.

DAB: What do you Dabble in when you are not trend forecasting?

To be honest, everything I do and see if related to my work, so my holistic lifestyle is strongly connected to my forecasting work. But I am actually an avid cook and love reinventing dishes for my friends over the summer months when I’m travelling less. In the future, I also hope I will be able to dabble in painting!

DAB: Tell us about your trip to Canada this year and your role in helping to launch the Samsung Chef Collection?

I was invited to share some important farm-to-table lifestyle trends, which are very important for the Canadian market; especially now that the boundaries between town and country are blurring. I was happy to help launch Samsung’s Chef Collection because it’s a very well-designed high-quality group of appliances. I am especially in love with the Samsung Chef Collection 4-door refrigerator which is quite smart itself and economic energy-wise. This was actually my first public appearance ever in Canada! Toronto was inspiring since I was able to see an artistic side of the city, visiting some local design and fashion stores. I look forward to coming back again soon.

 

Savannah: Top 5 Restaurants

1  Although we can’t guarantee a ghost sighting as rumoured, at the Olde Pink House does deliver great food (try the Shrimp and Grits appetizer) and a charming atmosphere. Dine in beautifully appointed rooms and then take dessert in the  basement pub where the live music infuses the party.

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Sautéed Local Shrimp w/Country Ham Gravy & Cheddar Cheese Grits Cake

 

2   Experience southern food, boarding house style at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Come early and be prepared to wait in line for at least an hour (yup, it’s worth it!). Once inside you’ll sit family style at a table that’s set for 10 but ready to feed 20.  It’s all for sharing, so try a bit of everything, but save room for banana pudding. And mind your manners – return your dishes to the kitchen just as President Obama does when he visits.

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Home Southern cooking at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

3  A long day of exploring Savannah’s  squares earns you a treat from Leopold’s Ice Cream. Try  the Tutti Frutti and you’ll understand why Johnny Mercer wrote the famous song of the same name.

4  Looking for a taste of Manhattan in the south? Then Local 11 Ten hits the spot. Start the evening with a Gin, Lime Juice and Basil cocktail  on the upstairs patio.

5   For a great view and good food, Vic’s on the River rewards. Try southern classics like Fried Green Tomatoes and Crab Cakes . 

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Crab cakes at Vic’s on the River

 

Kimberley’s Holiday Gift Guide for Travellers

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Kimberley shares her top 5 holiday gifts for travellers on CityLine.ca.

1. Slippers from Bucky: ‘They are plush interiors, they are ballet style, they come with their own little bag, and as soon as the plane is settled and I’ve got my seatbelt on, I’m taking my shoes off and I’m putting on my Bucky’s,’ says Kimberley. ‘They’re also great for hotel rooms, too, because you don’t want to run around in your bare feet in a hotel room!’

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2. Sunscreen from Sun Bum: If you’re travelling only with carry-on luggage, how do you pack your sunscreen? ‘I found some wonderful travel-sized sunscreens from Sun Bum,’ says Kimberley. ‘You’d expect a company that comes from Cocoa Beach, Florida to know something about sun products!’
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3. SuitSuit hard case luggage: ‘One of my frustrations when I’m travelling is when you’re waiting for your bag to come off the belt and your black bag looks like everybody’s black bag! So I looked for suitcases that are really identifiable, like the ones from SuitSuit. They’re hard cases, high-impact graphics, and they’re really, really a lot of fun,’ enthuses Kimberley.
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4. Powermonkey portable charger: ‘Another dilemma that hits us when we’re travelling is how do you charge your iPod, your iPad, all the things that you want to travel with you,’ explains Kimberley. ‘So there’s a wonderful portable power charger called Powermonkey which you can pre-charge and use that to power up all your electronics and it’s a really great thing to have with you when you’re on the road.’
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5. Designer Bags on Wheels: ‘This is a wonderfully practical laptop bag that looks very stylish that has a pull-up handle so you can wheel it as a carry-on. It’s chic enough to take with you to the next home show or any kind of a weekend trip, as well,’ says Kimberley.To read more Holiday Gift Guides from the experts on CityLine, visit CityLine.ca.
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Nashville’s Top 5 Food Finds

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Nashville’s southern fare is getting a makeover, as Lena Diaz’s taste buds discovered.

Redefining Dining

1. Set in the residential neighbourhood of historic Germantown is City House, with a menu that marries Italian ingredients to traditional southern cooking. Try the chocolate pecan pie; a light shell with a chocolate, rum and pecan filling topped with coffee, caramel gelato. Hello heaven. Fun fact: Most cocktails are named after staff pets.

2. You’d never guess, with its unassuming cafeteria style setting and yellow painted cinder block walls, that Arnold’s is nearly as much an institution as the Grand Ole Opry. Come on in, grab a plastic tray and slide it towards your choice of meat and three (a Nashville tradition of 1 meat dish + 3 side dishes). Side dishes include collard greens, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread muffins to die for. Bring your stretchy pants.

3. Dinner at Margot is an herb-infused occasion where every dish from first to last leaves a fine impression. Start with an appetizer of Parmigiano Reggiano and Capriole goat cheese served with mostarda (candied fruit cooked in a spicy mustard flavoured syrup) and fresh focaccia bread; a great prelude to the daily house-made pastas.

4. Nashville’s iconic Loveless Cafe started as a pit stop in the early 1950s and, thankfully, neither the decor nor the home cookin’ has evolved. Biscuits served in a heap, waffles piled high with pecans and maple syrup; you wouldn’t want it any other way. The gift shop is a hoot; pick up a ‘Praise the Lard and pass the Biscuits’ tee shirt or some of their famous homemade jam.

5. Order a veggie lover’s taco of fried avocado with red onions, red cabbage, spicy dill sauce and cilantro at Mas Tacos. And add a cold Aqua Fresca (pineapple, cilantro and lime water) served over ice. Delicioso.

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Quebec City Gallery

Madagascar Unmasked

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Experience the wilderness of Madagascar in this travel post by guest blogger, Nellie Huang of WildJunket.com. Nellie was Dabble’s featured blogger in Issue 5‘s I Dabble In… profile.

There are few places as remote and wild as Madagascar, and even fewer that offer such fulfilling and authentic travel experiences.

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La Grand Isle (as it is known in French, meaning the big island) is like nowhere else on Earth: it is home to a unique group of endemic animals and plants which had evolved after the island’s separation from the African continent 165 million years ago. Only in this part of the world can you find cheeky lemurs, chameleons and ferocious fosas, as well as bizarre-looking baobab trees and spiny forests.

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We experienced the wilderness of Madagascar–sleeping in the forest, watching lemurs and chameleons in their natural habitat and flowing down rivers on dugout canoes.

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In the Kirindy forest, we saw the adorable grey mouse lemur upclose and personal and watched sifakas leap from one tree to another. At the Tsingy de Bemahara, we climbed sharp karst rock faces to get a awestriking view of the jungle from above. Back in the town of Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, we wandered through the colorful and bustling central market, taking in Malagasy culture. By the time we got to Morondava, we were thrilled to be feasting on cheap and delicious seafood at Chez Maggie.

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Kicking back at the laidback, empty beach town of Ifaty, where the ocean and spiny forests surround us, I’m writing this from our thatched-roof beachfront bungalow at the gorgeous Hotel Le Paradisier–the sun is setting before me and the ocean is turning from a shade of deep blue to golden. I’m blessed to be here, and can’t wait to see what more surprises Madagascar has to offer.

Madagascar is an excellent place to get in touch with raw, unspoiled nature. Read more about the wildlife, nature and beautiful people of Madagascar on Nellie’s blog, Wild Junket.

Design Express 2014: New York (Apr 30 – May 4)

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Join Kimberley Seldon for a truly unique design express experience.

~ 5 days, 4 nights ~

customized events: nothing off the tourist menu
fine accommodations: stay in the luxurious Waldorf Astoria
great design: including private home tours
shop ‘til you drop: Kimberley’s favourite design shops
delicious food & wine: amazing tastes await your arrival
good friends: that’s where you come in!

Wednesday, April 30th to Sunday, May 4th, 2013
DESIGN | ARCHITECTURE | SHOPPING | FOOD & MORE
Waldorf

 EARLY BIRD SPECIAL (before November 29th)   $3,995

Double Occupancy (Standard)   $4,495

Single Occupancy (Upgrade)   $1,295

Click to Register

 

Ottawa Gallery

Ottawa’s Top 5 Travel Experiences

Tourist attractions are plentiful in the capital city; the problem is fitting them all in.

First time visitors will want to allow several days for exploring the many museums and historical sites. Make sure to save time for a skate on the Rideau Canal.

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ABOVE: The stunning glass structure of the National Gallery of Canada is most easily identified by the ‘Maman’ spider statue in front.

1. The National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian Mint are just northwest of the bustling restaurant and shopping district known as Byward Market. The gallery focuses on Canadian art featuring works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Alex Colville, but also showcases an impressive display of American and European pieces. Pick up a newly minted or treasured souvenir after a tour at the Royal Canadian Mint.

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2. It’s hard to miss the castle-like structure that houses the Canadian Museum of Nature. Kids of every age will enjoy the natural disasters exhibits.

3. New skate chalets, found at varying intervals, make changing and resting much easier on the 7.8 km outdoor skating rink known as the Rideau Canal. After a brisk workout on the ice you’ll be able to enjoy (practically guilt free) an iconic Canadian pastry known as the beavertail. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

4. Rideau Hall is home to the Governor General of Canada and, in turn, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she’s in town. It’s the only official residence open to the public and it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re prone to royal fever.

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5. On the edge of the Rideau Canal, in the downtown core, the National Arts Centre attracts prominent theatre including Broadway productions and notable performances in a variety of mediums. Annual tickets to shows like The Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah are a family tradition for many local residents.

Great Gift Idea: Designer Bags on Wheels

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Perfect for the professional businesswoman, traveller, college girl and grandmother. The retractable handle and in-line wheels allows easy rolling capability and storage when not in use.

This is a wonderfully practical and stylis laptop bag. It has a pull-up handle so you can wheel it as a carry-on. It’s chic enough to take with you to the next home show or on a weekend trip.

Featured Image: The Ashley Set, CA$299
Distinctive elegance in an Alligator embossed tote.

For more information or to purchase a bag, visit: Designer Bags on Wheels

Travel Gift Ideas

Originally aired on Cityline.ca in November 2012.