Dreaming in Color

We asked five designers what’s on their Christmas wish lists

December 18, 2004
Lin Connery For the Calgary Herald

When we asked designers for three holiday gift wishes, they focused on life’s simple pleasures — fresh flowers every week, a Le Corbusier chair, a Miele coffee-maker, Egyptian cotton bedsheets. Who says designers have expensive tastes?
Well, OK, one of them did ask for a car. But, really, it’s a very small car — the tiniest one Mercedes makes.
Speaking of gifts, the designers have one for our readers — free advice about decorating trends for the new year.
Here they are, giving and hoping to receive:

Karyn Elliott, Albertine Design and Crazy House Home Staging

Elliott envisions herself at Christmas lounging on her Le Corbusier, with unlimited java and Oprah on demand.
Make hers a Miele Coffee System. The CVA2000 is programmed to deliver perfectly brewed coffee, espresso and latte, decaffeinated and more. Next on her list is a 12-inch location-free Sony television she can carry anywhere. “I won’t miss a moment of Oprah while I make myself that decaffeinated cappuccino (with a sticky bun) and then go for a soak in my hot tub.” With Internet access, “it allows me to catch up on e-mail while having a cappuccino in a cafe or watch my own DVDs in a luxury five-star hotel room.” Her third wish? “The classic of classics, Le Corbusier’s LC4 by Cassina — one of the most famous lounge chairs ever designed. Pure style! I have wanted this chair for years,” she says. She’ll take hers in pony-skin with a chrome frame, thanks. The price is $2,986 US, plus tax. And no knock-offs from your elves, Santa.

Elliott’s trends for 2005:

Today, instead of cocooning, people are “hiving.” They are doing more at home, they are multi-tasking with entertainment, food, theatre, and work. Cocooning calls for soothing, quiet colors, plush fabrics, and lots of pillows. Hiving means livelier colour, less clutter, multi-functional workspaces, and more opportunity for inter-activity. Hiving also means having more luxury at home by scaling down. Homebuyers will own fewer, but nicer things. Designer ovens. Beautiful refrigerators. Cooking combos, quiet dishwashers. Efficient laundry machines. High-quality coffee makers.

Coco Cran, Coco Cran Interior Designer

Cran sees herself waking to a magical Christmas morning in a secluded cabin, already fully decorated (“by others”). Freshly cut spruce fills the house with the aroma of evergreens, reminiscent of her childhood, while candles and fabulous ornaments recall the “good ancient ‘pagan’ customs very strongly followed in Norway.”
She says this wish would be simple to fulfil in a rustic Foothills hideaway, the kind of place where you put on your skis and snowshoes at the door and wander off in the snow to come back energized and hungry to celebrate. That’s Item 2 for her list — the hideaway. Her third wish is a menorah of artistic quality to honour Jewish members of the family. “Yes, we celebrate Hanukkah. “And we have added the tourtieres to our menu as a new tradition — made by our French-Canadian contingent. Now I am just thinking a guest wing would be welcome!”

Cran’s 2005 predictions:

“People are mellowing,” Cran has noticed. So the trends for 2005 are appropriately, well — laid-back. People are entertaining more at home, so kitchens are larger and well-equipped. The kitchen has been opened up so the chef can visit with the guests while creating. People are moving back to the city centre, preferring a smaller space, but closer to work and to urban activity. Curtains are back — “puddling and triple-full!” Minimal or traditional styles are compatible with this “neo-curtain” phase. Silks, taffetas — would you believe yards and yards of polyester?

Sarah Richardson, host of HGTV’s Room Service and new series, design inc.

Richardson wonders if we’ve been reading her mail. “How did you know I wanted an addition? I’ve been dreaming about a glass-box master-bedroom addition so that I could have the Happy D soaker tub by Duravit. I installed it in a bathroom for a client this year and I have full tub envy. “Right now, I have a tub/shower combo in my home, but nothing takes off the stress of a long shoot day like a great soak — so this would be top of my list.” Next, fresh flowers delivered to her home every week. “Nothing fussy, just a simple and lovely selection of a single variety of flower to add natural beauty and fragrance to my home,” says Richardson. Finally, an Adam Aaronson vase — he’s a supremely talented British glassblower who creates soft, organic artworks touched with silver leaf — I have a couple of small ones — but I’d love a show-stopper.” His work is available at Hollace Cluny.

Richardson’s 2005 trend picks:

Nostalgic florals, document prints, rich textiles — “embroidered silks in pink and orange are my favourite right now. I just made pillows for my very contemporary living room and they made the room come alive. “And wallpaper — “not the stuffy kind that you saw at granny’s house” — but overscaled handprinted papers like those available through Farrow and Ball. “I love that you can use one of these papers in a striking contemporary setting and make it look like a graphic statement as an accent wall.”

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