September 30, 2016

Announcing the 2016 Blu Dot 20% Off Sale

We're very excited to announce that our annual 20% Off Sale is back! Enjoy discount prices on all Blu Dot designs, both online and in-store. The promotion is on from October 6 to October 30. 

Use the code "2020" at checkout.

SHOP ALL BLU DOT DESIGNS HERE

May 14, 2016

Creating a Peaceful Bedroom

Considered living is an ethos that encourages us to reclaim time and thought for what we value most. It is about identifying the things and people we can not live without, and cultivating spaces devoted to whatever brings us meaning. While the considered approach to living is subject to each persons aspirations, it always finds its foundation in our deepest values. 

Whether we live in a studio apartment or a sprawling Ranch House, creating a "considered" home for our well-being isn't always often top of mind. However, for all the time we spend in our homes, it should be! In this post, we'll give you some simple pointers toward making a more considered home. 

If you are laying in bed this morning, with no room-service, no coffee-boy (or girl), in anything less than your dream bedroom it probably could use some TLC. So here are a few tips on creating your own restful get-away.

 

1. COLOUR

We talked about colour in our last post, and if it matters anywhere, it matters in your bedroom. Choose restful colours for the walls such as soft-whites, light blues or dark greys. Avoid yellow (promotes frustration), red (incites energy and excitement), black (emo kids... melancholy), and orange (makes you hungry), dark brown (promotes feelings of restraint and depression). Restful, warm colours create a sense of comfort and connection and help put you at ease before bed.

 

2. LIGHTEN-UP BUTTERCUP

Put your lights on dimmers. This will allow you to adjust light levels to match the occasion: simple night reading, a romantic getaway. Install room-darkening shades or curtains to ensure that light does not get in during your sleeping hours.

 

 

3. AROMATHEARAPY

An often overlooked element to your bedroom is aromatherapy which can promote a more restful environment. The trick is to keep it light! Scent is an important part of your memory, and it can train and trigger calming responses. The following are popular aromatherapy scents: bergamot (reduces anxiety), sandalwood (decongestant, insomnia), jasmine (a natural anti-depressant, confidence), cinnamon (for focus and mental energy), and mint (for clean thinking).

 

4. KEEP IT CLEAN

Get rid of "the stuff". Reducing the visual noise in your space will unquestionably promote a sense of calm. Clear the clutter, and put things where they belong. A clean space makes for better peace of mind. (Not to mention, it cuts down on germs.)

 

 

4. SOFTEN IT UP

This should be fairly obvious, but investing in good linens is a smart move considering how much time you spend between the sheets. Look for breathable fabrics. I have an affinity toward Bamboo Cottons. The fibers are quite long which means that there is less piling of the fabric than in the cheaper varieties of cotton, and if you have allergies or sensitive skin, bamboo cotton is a great choice. Consider adding soft area rugs next to the bed, and keep soft robes close at hand.

 

5. UNPLUG!

If you are really serious about your well-being remove all distracting devices, period. If you can't hide it in a cupboard, dresser, or night-stand then it probably should not be in your sleeping space. Televisions, flashing lights from alarm clocks, computers, and smart phones all have a direct correlation with lighter and more disruptive sleep cycles. You’ll feel more rested if you allow yourself to disconnect, and your well-being is really all this about isn't it?

 

 

May 09, 2016

Considered Living

Considered living is an ethos that encourages us to reclaim time and thought for what we value most. It is about identifying the things and people we can not live without, and cultivating spaces devoted to whatever brings us meaning. While the considered approach to living is subject to each persons aspirations, it always finds its foundation in our deepest values. 

Whether we live in a studio apartment or a sprawling Ranch House, creating a "considered" home for our well-being isn't always often top of mind. However, for all the time we spend in our homes, it should be! In this post, we'll give you some simple pointers toward making a more considered home. We will look at the living spaces think living room, dining room and offer a few simple tips to make them healthier (and happier) places.

1. NATURAL LIGHT

Canada is a country that logs very little sunlight for much of the year. Try maximizing the use of natural lighting, which is key to improving your mood and reducing your stress. If your house is dark use lighting that replicates natural light or utilize mirrors opposite the windows which will reflect the light and also exaggerate the size of your room.

2. THINGS YOU LOVE

Move your prized possessions in the room to a place of prominence. The joy it brings you will fill the room with joy for others. I have placed all of my favourite small items in to the rooms I spend the most time in. Not only do I appreciate them more, the guests in our home fall for them too. 

3. COLOUR CHOICE

Lose the dark beige and brown paint. Move to white or cool shades to alleviate visual weight and stress. You can never go wrong with grey, ivory, or blue. Again, we are surrounded by darkness much of the year. Keeping your space light and airy is key to improving your overall mood and reducing stress.

 

4. BUY ONCE, NOT TWICE

Quality is key. Shop for eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic products that will last. Support the economy you live in. Shop local. Know what you are putting your money into. Your possessions will have so much more personal value if your purchasing decisions are as considered as your home. Be thoughtful about what you allow into your life. 

5. BRING IN THE GREEN

Fill your spaces with life. Bringing in living things into your space will improve your mood and instantly brighten your day. Additionally, consider houseplants that actually purify the air. Check out all these options: aloe, spider plant, gerber daisy, snake plant, golden pothos, chrysanthemums, red-edged dracaena, ficus trees, azaleas, and English ivy. If you have pets, double check with a green-thumb professional before you choose.

 

February 24, 2016

Case Study: Farnsworth House

 

The Farnsworth House, built between 1945 and 1951 for Dr. Edith Farnsworth as a weekend retreat, is a platonic perfection of order gently placed in spontaneous nature in Plano, Illinois. Just right outside of Chicago in a 10-acre secluded wooded site with the Fox River to the south, the glass pavilion takes full advantage of relating to its natural surroundings, achieving Mies' concept of a strong relationship between the house and nature.

Two parallel planes held in suspension between the earth and sky by only eight steel columns—seems simple, but Mies worked through 167 drawings to come to his final, fearless design. Like Einstein’s equation, its simplicity exudes an elegance through a thorough attention to detail. However, Mies did not create the Farnsworth House to be an iconic glass box viewed from afar. Rather, he hoped to create a space through which life unfolds both independently and interdependently with nature.

Edith Farnsworth, a brilliant doctor, first met Mies at a cocktail party in Chicago. Familiar with his work, she asked if he would design a small weekend retreat for her on the banks of the Fox River. Upon visiting the 64-acre site, largely within a flood plain, Mies perceived the true power already present within the natural landscape. Thus began his quest for a transparent structure that would minimize the boundary between man and the natural world. With an open floor plan of only 2400 square feet, he created three distinct spatial interfaces: a transparent house, a covered terrace, and an open deck. His budget was $40,000.

Edith Farnsworth nurtured a sophisticated intellect and daring stance. Though charmed by Mies’ quiet, bold genius, she was certainly aware of his minimal form and bravely gave him freedom to create—a visionary and rare move which allowed Mies’ own vision to grow. For some time, she and Mies enjoyed a deep friendship fused by common interest and parallel intellect, often spending days and evenings together both on and off site. But as time wore on and expenses skyrocketed, Edith’s patience and enthusiasm waned. She sold the house in 1975 to a British Lord after living there periodically for several decades. In 2003, the Landmarks Preservation of Illinois and the National Trust purchased the house for $6.7 million. Edith, who died in 1978, never lived to know her house as one of the most widely acclaimed 20th-century structures.

 

Photo credit, Michelle Chlebek

 

 

 

 

February 10, 2016

Issey Miyaki x Iittala

Two masters of timeless design from two sides of the world, Finland and Japan. One vision of a home with harmony.

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February 10, 2016

Introducing: Form Collection by Normann Copenhagen

Simplicity & Functionality Combined

With cohesive family traits, the Form Chair and Table are versatile and timeless dining room furniture with a contemporary and clean design.

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October 15, 2015

How to choose the right wine glass

Wine glasses for beginners. Featuring Essence by iittala.

Of the questions most often asked about wine glasses, some of the most common are; “Which size should I buy!” or “Is this for white or red?” “Stem or no stem?” "What are the differences?" Quite simply, these are all good questions, and the choice of glass is really up to you!

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October 13, 2015

Cats and Dogs. Furniture for the pet - friendly house

Shopping for a new sofa?

Leather or Fabric? Aniline or Protected? Chenille? Linen? Velvet? 

Of all the choices, your first step should be establishing if you would like fabric or leather, your budget, your cleaning expectations and pet's habits.  Here are some tips to kick start so that you arrive at this battle armed.

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