The Friday Find: Summer Vacation Inspiration

Admittedly this post is a bit of cop out but we EMME Designers are heading out on vacation and we're up to our eyeballs in everything that going away for any extended period of time—with kids in tow—entails. OMG with the packing and planning and organizing and wrapping up of ALL THE THINGS before you can get out the door, sometimes taking a break almost doesn't seem worth it.

And that, my friends, is what I am bringing you for this week's Friday Find... inspiration. Because that's precisely why we are heading out on our respective vacations in the first place. To rediscover the beauty in this world, it's still there, we just know it. To snuggle with family, laugh with friends and reconnect with ourselves. To marvel at nature, the ultimate source of inspiration that underlies everything that we do in our work. 

Enjoy a taste of the sights and magic that we're hoping to marinade in over the next couple of weeks: 

It's entirely feasible that one of us just might spend the next couple of weeks staring at views similar to this one in Umbria, Italy. How's THAT for inspiration? Also, she might decide to never return. 

It's entirely feasible that one of us just might spend the next couple of weeks staring at views similar to this one in Umbria, Italy. How's THAT for inspiration? Also, she might decide to never return. 

A little closer to home, but no less spectacular, one of us will be meditating in a scene that looks a whole lot like this one along the shores of Lake Huron. 

A little closer to home, but no less spectacular, one of us will be meditating in a scene that looks a whole lot like this one along the shores of Lake Huron. 

Feeling inspired yet? I give you Lake Como. 

Feeling inspired yet? I give you Lake Como. 

I've been vacationing on Lake Huron since birth and despite having visited some pretty spectacular beaches around the world, I still consider many of the beaches along this great lake to be among the most beautiful I've ever seen. I would like to decorate an entire house using this very palette upon my return. 

I've been vacationing on Lake Huron since birth and despite having visited some pretty spectacular beaches around the world, I still consider many of the beaches along this great lake to be among the most beautiful I've ever seen. I would like to decorate an entire house using this very palette upon my return. 

No but wine though. WINE. 

No but wine though. WINE. 

There you have it. A few preemptive glimpses into the next two weeks that are lighting a fire under our fannies and driving us to get our shizz together and hit the road. We'll be back in two weeks, refreshed and rejuvenated and sufficiently inspired to get back to work. We'd love to spread a little of our reclaimed creativity in your space! Whether you're looking for a bit of a refresh or a full-blown overhaul, we'd love to hear from you! Contact us today (okay, fine yes, we're still checking email...)

Happy Summering! 

Outdoor Living: 6 Swoon-Worthy City Gardens

There really is no season more swoon-worthy than spring. From the moment those first ambitious and brave little green shoots burst forth from the cold, just-thawed soil, I'm starry-eyed with love for this planet. There really is no greater time in the garden than when the new growth is bright green and fresh, unmarred by pest and not yet wilted by long hot summer days. The delight I feel from those first vibrant spring blooms is completely unparalleled by anything that will flower later in the season—I actually roam the neighbourhoods just to ogle other gardens in bloom and have caught myself more than once sighing out-loud like a teenager in love. 

After many months of being cooped up indoors I cannot wait to get out in the garden and set up twinkly lights and potted ferns and all the fixings required to maximize the fabulous (but fleeting) al fresco living to come. 

Need a little inspiration for decorating your outdoor space? Look no further. Here are six spectacular city gardens you can draw from as you feather your own outdoor nest this year: 

1. A Hammock Never Hurts

You may mistakenly feel that a small city garden is no place for a hammock. I say PSHAW to that. This diminutive garden is made to look larger than it is with the addition of mirrored trellis. No trees? NO problem. Stretch a hammock on a frame, distract the eye with pillows and tassels and twinkly lights. Look how gorgeous! 

2. The More Boho, The Better

Image:  Luv Decor  

Image: Luv Decor 


Don't let a tiny space keep you from laying it on thick. I mean throw pillows, floor pillows, carpets, mismatched planters overflowing with greens. Even if your indoor tastes lean more toward a tailored taste, summer is the time to let go a little and just surround yourself with colour, texture and a riot of life. Treat your small garden, patio or deck as an intimate space, not a limited one. 

3. Go Green

Image:  HGTV

Image: HGTV

Like, literally. Even those of us with a black thumb can grow greenery. Hostas, ferns, vines, grasses and many varieties of green bushes are perennial (so they come back year after year) and practically grow themselves. In pots AND gardens. Flowers are often more finicky, attracting pests and providing feasts for your local squirrels. A lush, green yard is always chic and will never ever go out of style. 

4. Vintage FTW

Here at EMME Design we always love us some vintage. But in the garden? EVEN BETTER. Outdoor furniture can be expensive and bulky and difficult to source, especially for small outdoor spaces, decks and porches. Hit your local garage sales, Kijiji, neighbour's garbage (whatever, we've ALL done it) and scavenge your way to a gorgeous garden. You can fluff with new accessories—though really I can't EVEN with these parasols covered in vintage fabric. Add ample candle light and honestly, your space will feel cosier than it ever would with one of those (gasp) expensive and matchy big box patio sets. 

5. The Tiny Terrace

Image: House & Garden

Image: House & Garden

Be it a tiny terrace, wee enclosed courtyard or bitty balcony—never let size deter you from your mission. Maximize that space and use it to its full advantage during the warm months. Play up the surfaces you've been dealt. The peeling brick wall on the New York City terrace above becomes a thing of beauty when paired with towering ivy topiaries (think tall, grow upwards!) and charming accessories. The large-scale mirror creates the illusion of doubling the space. 

6. Water

Image:  Decor Mag

Image: Decor Mag

If you can, and I know that not all of us can, a water feature is a major mood enhancer in any sized outdoor space. Be it a small burbling fountain or a petite plunge pool (dreams) you will take your space up quite a notch by introducing this element of nature in amidst your air, earth and fire. 

Need a little help creating your own outdoor oasis this season? We'd love to help decorate your space. Give us a call! 

Colourful Inspiration from Gorgeous Mexico

We went temporarily blind from the colours. Image courtesy of hotelamoreira.com

Team EMME Design is feeling fresh and rejuvenated after a quick jaunt down to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, where we were fuelled by sunshine and margaritas for a blissful seven days. Before you hate us, please note that we had all four of our children in tow. This means they outnumbered us by 100 percent. MATH. 

The children were given their choice of any souvenir they wanted. Three year old Everley insisted on one of these. She's so emo.  

But still. It was beyond fabulous and we're feeling inspired. Because even though this winter in Toronto has been undeniably tolerable, it's still winter. In Toronto. Which means a consistent palette of grey, brown and even more grey. Playa, by comparison, is such a riot of colour and texture that when the sun rose on our first day we all went blind for a second. As our eyes adjusted and our brains caught up we are all like, WHOA, REMEMBER COLOURS? 

COLOURS! Image courtesy of folkbyalice.blogspot.ca

Wish I could say we took these photos ourselves but we were too busy eating ceviche and smiling. Instead, we came home, put our tanned noses to the grindstone and hunted down a sliver of the sights we were super inspired by so we could share them with you.

Our fave souvenir and textiles shop on 5th Ave. Elana went in here 3,457 times. Mia is still kicking herself for not coming home with one of those leather and hand embroidered tote bags. Guess we'll have to go back. Image courtesy of souvenirfinder.com

Amazing swim up rooms that we absolutely did not stay in but did walk over to gawk at. Image courtesy of Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen

This other amazing space that we did not stay in. Or even see IRL. BUT THOSE TILES THOUGH. And view. And OMG all of it. Image courtesy of 10stunninghomes.com

One more gratuitous beach shot for the road. Image courtesy of om-tulum.com 

Feel like adding some colour to your home to help chase off the winter doldrums? It can be difficult to know where to start, what colours to choose and how much is too much. Never fear, we've got our colour decks in hand and we are ready to help! 

Contact us today.