Sunday, 29 November 2009

2 West Coast Bedrooms

blog bunkies    eaglerock_cat17_06

Two west coast bedrooms- both with built in beds, taking best advantage of the room layouts. There is a bookshelf behind the mbr headboard, incorporating a post. The bunk room includes niches for books. I like these types of dwgs, because they offer so many finishing choices. The after photos are always an interesting story to me…of how design develops, what the client adds to the mix, and where we are in the process . Design in always in flux.

blog mbr


Interior Design and drawings by Michelle Morelan Interior Design

Photos of Eaglerock by Graeme

Friday, 27 November 2009

Rub a Dub Dub…

miki 1967

My love of the outdoors started early…this is me in 1967!

I spent the first few years of my life in one of those little shacks along the shore in Glace Bay Nova Scotia (my family moved to Vancouver Island in 1969). I was at my moms last week, and took some old photo albums home to scan; it’s been so much fun to look them. I miss my grama and grampa who lived across the street…when I hear that Dion Warwick song “Whenever I See Your Smiling Face” I think of him and feeding the birds that used to nest outside the kitchen window. Life is so strange, tragic and beautiful…

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A Rainy, Stay at Home Kind of Day

On days like these, I like to snuggle, nap, break habits and reconfigure. I spent the whole day in my re-arranged studio/workspace and beside a roaring fire. After prepping my space and thinking about last week’s mixed media class, I did three “Rose, where’d you get that Red?” paintings. When you have everything set up, it’s so easy to take an hour or two to be creative. Hope I haven’t bored you too much with this room, but it sure is changing my life.

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My instructor is pushing me outside of my box, and we are experimenting with the cursive and familiar nature of text married to a powerful colour. They sure have brightened up the studio space! I wish I could take better pictures of my art…I know it’s the lighting…any suggestions?


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“Rose, where’d you get that Red? #2

Acrylic on Canvas, 30x48”, Michelle Morelan, 2009


“Rose, where’d you get that Red? #3

Mixed media on watercolour paper, 20 x 30”, Michelle Morelan, 2009


“Rose, where’d you get that Red? #4

Mixed media on watercolour paper, 20 x 30”, Michelle Morelan, 2009

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Rose, Where’d you get that Red? No.1


Collage, Acrylic and Ink on Watercolour Paper, 20 x 30, Michelle Morelan 2009

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Salvation Army Chairs in Place

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After I made over these chairs…I paired them with a couple of wicker Pier 1 chairs in jute and black…I love the combination of shape and texture. They are now at home in my office overflow space;  the table is next…I’m using nail head trim after I paint it black! I also have a chandelier in mind.

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Brooke’s Brick-maker’s Coffee Table Giveaway


Have you heard the news? Brooke over at Velvet and Linen is extending the voting for the Bricklayer’s table giveaway until Sunday November 29th! So go over and vote! The final three are up to you!

Thanks to Brooke for all her hard work here! And of course to Mark Sage, owner of Bobo Intriguing Objects and Love Train, who is also one of the new designers for Restoration Hardware.

I love this table; it will look totally amazing in three different settings. I hope the winners will post a picture of it in place…some very talented people out there!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

A Salvation Army Chair Makeover


I could spot a beauty in the rough as we drove by the Salvation Army store on Granville. My husband is so sweet…he didn’t say a thing…just waited for me to purchase these for 5 bucks each. I re-upholstered them in an old linen bed cover after a good paint job and cleaning.

Artist Katsumi Kimoto

Tree-On-The-Point_sm kkimotoI had a few minutes before a client meeting on Granville yesterday, so I thought I would take a peek at a couple of paintings that have been catching my eye as I drive through the city. Turns out the artist is from Ucluelet! I knew those silhouettes of cedar snags and surf  must have been influenced by that landscape. Katsumi’s Aunt lives right down the street from my mom; the Kimotos are a very well known Japanese family that settled the area. His Grandmother’s Octopus Salad is famous in it’s own right.

His work is amazing! Someone else has interpreted the area in their own personal way through their own experiences, and I couldn’t help but feel joy and delight.

The work speaks for itself…and he is a sweetie and cutie too! Sorry ladies…girlfriend and dog!

See his work at the Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver.

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Red-and-White_sm Kkimoto

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Blue Sky Architecture

I had the pleasure of touring a home under construction this weekend in Ucluelet which left me in awe. It’s perched over crashing waves, and one of my favourite little coves. I have often said I grew up in an area that is unique, and like nowhere else…mushrooms, ferns, sideways rain, crashing waves loud enough to vibrate your body. Architecture should respond to the site…I know it’s a cliché, but it’s the number one rule of architecture. The area has lots of Whistler looking homes…I was always perplexed by this…we have a unique landscape and climate, and I yearned for structures that made me feel safe from that storm, yet respond to the immediate dynamic landscape.

As an Interior Designer, I was looking for flaws, but found none…the finishes were understated, chosen carefully and applied in a modern way. The view was uncompromised from the bed in the master bedroom, because the TV was on hydraulics and set into the floor when not in use. A cantilevered concrete fireplace is held together by steel and mesh, making it look like three sheets of glass are supporting it’s enormous scale. The rooms are not large, but usable, and the building curves like a crescent to accept the cove below. Stairs to the beach and upper deck are tapered from the middle, and floating, supported by a system of bolted steel in the center. Details delight…like steel L bars that support the glass railings from the beams below. I can see books and original art at home in this house.

Did I say yummmm…

Here are some other examples of Blue Sky’s work.

All photos from Blue Sky Architecture’s website. Photographer not listed.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Two Part Post: Serendipity/Christmas Decorating

I started my day with my Mixed Media Class at Emily Carr with Patricia, and we expected afterwards to visit Heather Ross in House on 4th Ave in Vancouver. We ran into Terry Harrison, an instructor we both had at design school, as we left our class. We all took in a popular all day breakfast at the Omlettery on Granville. Only half a block away, we visited Heather’s open house, where I met another designer friend April Tidey from my last job…and we all knew each other somehow…that’s serendipity for you! The connections go even deeper, but I won’t bore you with the details. I love the way we just ended up in the same place at the same time today…do you ever have those days…where things line up just the way they should?

I bought these at Heather Ross in House…a sea urchin ceramic box, a teak tray with polished stainless steel bottom, and these two adorable plastic reindeer, which I cannot wait to put out!


Part 2?

I’m off to decorate my mom’s house for Christmas while they are in Vegas…a 3 hour ferry, 3 hour drive, and I’m in Ucluelet…please pray for rain, not snow…I hate driving in the snow!

Here’s my to-do list for mom’s! The highlighter are the areas I am working on. I know, it’s a mite bit early to decorate for Christmas, but she has her Christmas party early in December, and I DID see the first tree up today in someone’s living room! I know…sick! It’s greenery inside and out, thick red velvet ribbons, woodpiles and painted sticks…I’ll post picks when I return.

xmas mom

Friday, 13 November 2009

Finishing off a Loft


I’m in the midst of finishing off the schematics for a great loft in Vancouver. A couple of new chairs, a pair of Eames tables, FLOR tiles, new pendants, millwork with a seating area with a fireplace and AV storage. The client has some great art, in dark reds and sepia tones, which have been my inspiration. The millwork will be a high gloss white with vents for the equipment, and scrims to use the remotes. I’m keeping to solid tactile fabrics and I’m giving those FLOR tiles a try…I like what I see of them.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn

Ok, so lots of actors do it, but she sounds pretty good…go Scarlett!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Photography Series: Tim Street-Porter

A month or so ago, I stopped in at Heather Ross here in Vancouver. Heather is an amazing creative talent; stylist, photographer, designer, painter and owner of Heather Ross in House, a retail outlet for her creativity. Most recently she and April Tidey collaborated on an article featuring April’s island getaway for Canadian House and Home.
I introduced myself, as we have mutual friends, but have never formally met. In our conversation, she mentioned how the photographer doesn’t typically get the credit, especially on blogs, where images make their way through several sources before getting to the reader. Margaret Russell was a guest on the Skirted Roundtable, and touched on the same topic; so it got me thinking about giving creative credit. Photographers are artists; and I am going to give due credit, whenever possible, from this point.
For my largest two projects, I worked with a professional photographer, and the creative and technical skills involved were enlightening to me, leaving me in awe of the practice. Thanks to Graeme for his great work! These ended up being the only two projects featured in my portfolio on my website, since my own photos look so pitiful next to his work.
So here is the first in a series of, what I am calling, the Photography Series.
I have chosen who I think is the granddaddy of photographers, Tim Street-Porter for my first in the series. (Next week: Grey Crawford)

Tim Street-Porter is British born, and an internationally recognized photographer. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Connecticut and has published many books. He studied architecture in London and began his career in photography in 1967. The Los Angeles Times referred to Tim Street Porter twice, with the crowned position of "one of LA's coolest people”.

I first took notice of Tim’s work was when he was featured on House Beautiful TV back in the early nineties. They featured the home he shared with his wife, Annie Kelly in an old area of Hollywood. Their book Rooms to Inspire is a staple on all of our bookshelves; it includes Tim’s work in combination with his wife Annie, but also, Kelly Werstler and Jonathan Adler. He is an award winning photographer, practicing commercial, residential, architectural and portraiture photography.
His wealth of experience, and eye for scouting the perfect shot of the subject has given him lasting power. He has appeared in House Beautiful, Elle Decor and Architectural Digest among many. 

Tim Street-Porter and Annie Kelly (from the NYC Social Diary)

If light is the catalyst for the photographer, this first shot must have planned around the cycles of the sun. The subject matter demands it. The texture, triad of colour and composition make me want to crawl right inside of this shot. I can see why it was chosen for the cover in March, 2006.

Working with light and composition once again, this cover on Interior Design magazine is also part of Tim’s portfolio. Photographing multi sheen and textural materials, he makes each one sing; definitely dreamy to me!


This photo of Frank Gehry on the Academy of Achievement website is tops in my books because of the subject matter for Mr. Gehry’s portrait…his iconic cardboard pieces. Tim knows how to marry the concept with the photo, like any good designer. The warehouse feel of the shot is perfect!

Dining room window > interior photos of The Gamble House

This photo of the Gabel House is executed wonderfully. Wood tones and absence of natural light must have made it challenging to photograph. He brings out the textures of the wood without lens flare, and captures the glow of the stained glass, detailing it in a way only he can.

tim street porter
Point Click Home, Design by Douglas Larson, Design by Miles Redd


tim street porter space
Above 5 photos: Tim Street Porter’s website

kaufman tim st porter for nytimes

Richard Neutra’s “Kaufmann House” in Palm Springs shows Mr. Street-Porter’s attention to light and composition. I love the way this photo is cropped, with the undulating garden against the straight planes of the house…and those yard rocks with tall cacti plants at the entry settle the composition as a whole. I’ll have to get Tim’s book LA Modern by Rizzoli. Photo for the NY Times.

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Other books by Tim Street Porter:

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tim street porter annenberg space for photography

The Annenberg Space for Photography
has a great bio of Mr. Street Porter, and features his work.

*All Photos by Tim Street-Porter excluding NYC Social Diary photo by Jeff Hirsch & DPC/NYSD