Monday 31 August 2009

3 New Paintings


Walkabout 2, Acrylic, 36x48 studio canvas, Michelle Morelan

*Walkabout 1 has a great new home in North Vancouver!


Ambrosia, Acrylic, 36x36 canvas, Michelle Morelan


Clearing Skies, 20x24, Acrylic on Board, Michelle Morelan

Friday 28 August 2009

Art Cards – Sketches of Amsterdam


Betty from Oklahoma asked a few weeks ago about purchasing my sketches of Amsterdam for her daughter who is living in the Netherlands, and is a reader of my blog :)

Recently, I had some sketches reproduced into art cards. A set of 6 (with these two designs) including envelopes is 29.00 plus shipping, wrapped in a pretty ribbon, packed and sent your preferred method of mail. I use Pay Pal to make it super easy!!

There are plans in the works for larger reproductions of some of my drawings and sketches, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I like smaller framed prints like these; once matted, I think they are just the perfect size! These cards are about 4x6, the dwg about 3x4”.

Thursday 27 August 2009

We all Start Somewhere…the Barbara Barry Archive 1988

bbarry ctrr_7I’m cleaning my office, and look what I have come across!

The first time I heard the name Barbara Barry was in 1988…she was featured in Remodelling Ideas that winter. I’m surprised by how much her look has changed, but it has been over 20 years (I was 22)…can you believe it?!

I moved back to Ucluelet from Port Alberni, to Key West, back to Victoria and then to Vancouver in that time, so that means I have paid for this article to moved several times! I do love print…the pages are yellowing and they smell musty. This house appealed to me so much at the time, I tore it out and stored it for over 20 years! Who knew she would become the designer rock star that she is today!

Sorry about the picture Barbara…we were all wearing it :) And listening to Pearl Jam. I especially love the bow in the hair…remember those?

Enjoy…and give me your thoughts on the amazing career of this talented designer!

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 Photo by Oberto Gili for Town and Country.

Today Barbara is the Grand Dame of Hollywood Glamour and is one of the most prolific designers. A lifestyle that I find tres chic! A role model for embracing change head on.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Tablescape Thursday- Blackened Salmon and Chicken



One of my favourite recipes is Blacked Salmon (for me and chicken for Jes). I stack it on top of garlic mashed potatoes, fry tortilla strips, dress it with a homemade mango salsa, southwest aoli, sour cream, guacamole and cilantro. It’s allot of work, so I don’t make it very often! Today, I’ve set up at the breakfast bar, since it’s just me and my oldest son for dinner…and because I have the DR set up as a painting studio!!

I purchased these green plates from IKEA a couple of weeks ago, and the art is by me…it’s mixed media- 20 by 30 inches, and is called “Sputnik”. Lemon water and sparkling water go well with the spicy dish. I collect milk glass, and this piece is from a thrift store in Orlando; the water jug and place mats from Pier1. Tea towels from a dollar store and a small salt spoon from a thrift store here in Steveston round things out. It’s simple, but it’s also dinner!





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The glasses and charger plates are Martha Stewart, white plates from IKEA. There is an overlook to my DR behind the canvas. My split level 1977 house has a funky layout.




   Finish the meal of with fried tortillas and cinnamon sugar. Yumm

So, go on over to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to look at some other great tablescapes!!

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Two Small Condos Transformed


A few years ago, I combined two condos into one residence. The penthouse has an amazing view of seaplanes landing, and occupies half of the top floor of 14 floors.

The living room has two distinct sitting areas, and a great dining space- great for a party. There is a seamless wall of storage on the way to the second bedroom, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a powder room in all. The office space is tucked away, and was originally going to be a glass half circle of windows into the living room…yuk…I got there just in time! I used interior clearstory windows to let in some light to that small space. A small breakfast area was a request of the clients, who eat informally in casual armchairs with their paper every morning.

Alder bookshelves along the wall taking you into the master bedroom and a totem pole in the entry, references local design. There is a see through fireplace from LR to FR, and a fireplace over the master bathtub to keep you comfy. There is loads of alder millwork, 8’ doors and 10’ceilings that stretch to 12’ along the LR window bay. The heating/cooling units in the dwg were moved to the roof, for unobstructed views to the harbour.

Sometimes you are involved in just part of a project…I’ve learned that’s ok. The client was very hands on, and once programming and design was taken to this level, she wanted to complete it. I often wonder about them.

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Saturday 22 August 2009

ID Lingo- Part 1

florence mini chandelier with 4 lights quoizel

Florence Mini Chandelier (lumminaire) with 4 lights (lamps)

I asked my assistant to buy lamps the other day…when she called me from Ethan Allan, she asked what style…hummm….I’ve done this before…you say tomato and I say tomato…that was my fault.

What I meant was, what most people refer to as bulbs…I needed the A19 soft white type.

So, I realize many of us are Interior Designers, but I though I would break down a little of the lingo for those who don’t speak ID.

While we are on lighting…the correct term for a decorative system of lighting is lumminaire…not lamp. Of course, chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps can all be specified under those terms, but the broader term for all of them is lumminaire.

If you want to sound like an Interior Designer, use sofa, not couch.

Concrete is the correct term for the wet mix, cement is the powder. There is nothing worse than being the only woman on site, using words like cement. I learned that one the hard way.

Know your nominal sizes for lumber…a 2x4 is 1.5 x 3.5” Also, ask if you don’t know…”is this lumber nominal?” This is super important- especially for millwork! Use the term lumber…not wood.

The proper term for all cabinetry attached to the walls is architectural woodwork, but most use the term millwork. Anything not permanently attached is called furniture.

The finished end panel of a cabinet is called a gable…also if you know your standard dimensions for appliances, counter height and depths of standard upper and lower cabinets, this can help make quick decisions, and make you look good on the job site. While we are on this topic…learn how to use a tape measure properly…it seams easy enough, but that burly contractor will let you know that you are not doing it right!!

Fabric is the preferred term…not material…material(s) is a broader term, we don’t want confused with another spec item.

I found earlier in my career, that if you learn a few BM paint colour names, and you throw them around, a client has confidence in you…it’s weird…I could move a wall 4 inches more than they intended, or mount the vanity mirrors too high, but they are often stuck on a paint colour from the very beginning. Know what you are talking about, but use those colour names…even know it may be the last specification…it’s closer to what they know.

Friday 21 August 2009

Amsterdam 2009?


Amsterdam Bike-  Michelle Morelan, 2005

I’ve been looking at apartments to rent in Amsterdam. I’m getting antsy, because I usually go away to my favourite city in September to join my husband, and this year I have made no plans. I have rented prior years, but the apt. was kind of run down, and the owner was a little too easy going…"I’ll get the cable or internet going for you in a couple of days…” you know, that kind of thing.

I am faced with a bit of a dilemma though- it costs more for one month in a short term rental, than for 3 months in a long term rental. The short term rentals seem more like glorified hotel rooms, and the long term rentals can look kind of cluttered with other people’s stuff. Also, being an Interior Designer, I want something with character and style.

Here are some choices for rentals:

1. This is a house on Diamantstraat- near the skinny bridge (brug)

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2. An apartment just outside of the city centrum…about the same distance to the Dam as Vondelpark. All locations around the city work for me, since the tram service is so reliable.


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3. This is an apartment near Oosterpark, which is a quieter location close to the Albert Cypmarket.

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So, which one should I take? What one would you rent?