Thursday, July 31, 2008

Linked and Moving

Absolutely Beautiful Things
What I would do to be able to walk into a new apartment with this waiting for me?

Kim over at Desire to Inspire referenced my blog!! (check out her article here) I am pretty low on readership (other than my stead fasts - love you guys!) so I am pretty excited at the possibility of having more people come to Free Form. Now I just have to produce some posts that keep people reading!
Unfortunately today is moving day so I have little time to write. But I promise that tomorrow I will let you know my bedroom decor verdict. Wish me luck with the big move!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

But if there was colour...

Even though I am totally leaning towards Black and White (see yesterday) , I thought I would post some images of what I would like to do for a colour room... in case I make a last minute change to the land of colour.
Design Sponge (Shauna's room - finalist)

Living Etc. Via Desire to Inspire

Elle Decor

Girl meets Glamour

Okay there is still black and white in this one - but I don't like it for that - I love the colours of the prints. (Via desire to inspire)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Black and White Debate Week

I am moving my first long term apartment!! I think it's finally the right time to put some real effort into decorating my bedroom. I tried a black and white theme for the past 1.5 years but haven't been able to create a desired look. Currently it looks little more than a haphazard assemblage of dark furniture with white walls.
So I am faced with the dilemma - do I try and revamp the black and white theme or do I scratch that theme all together and create a new colour pallet? I went and visited the apartment yesterday and noticed that the walls are cream/off white. Can I still pull off black in white?

I did see a print of white flowers on a black background that will be left in the apartment and could serve to a great inspiration piece for a B&W room... So I might be leaning towards black and white, but I'm not sure - are B&W (with green as an accent) too strong for a bedroom? Since I tried to do the theme once and failed, should I just move on? Any suggestions?

Inspiration if my room is Black and White

Home and Gardens

House to Home

Style at Home

Allen Swartz

I saw a black and white display at Pottery Barn this weekend and it made my heartbeat quicken a bit...

Both images from Pottery Barn - Quilts and Shams

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quality vs Quantity

So I was biking with some friends to Deep Cove the other weekend and I had a very bull headed moment. I had biked around there before so I kind of knew were I was going so when my friends turned off my theoretical route, I questioned it quite vigorously (trending towards venomously) the route decision. But then my fellow biker said something that almost literally stopped me in my tracks. “Quality over Quantity, Ashley, we are going for Quality over Quantity.” That was it, that was what this blog is about. It is to remove my deeply ingrained sense of faster, bigger, better into more enjoyable, happier, fulfilled. Now I am no where near getting there but the rest of that bike ride I spent the time really taking in the ride, and enjoying it. Not trying to get there faster. And what a beautiful ride it was. I saw an area I had never seen before and some spectacular views that I didn’t even know existed. If I ever do ride out to Deep Cove again, I will take that route…. As I will also try to always choose Quality of Quantity!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Vancouerism in Vancouver

Surprise Surprise, I am posting about Vancouverism again. There is just so much to show though! Below are some buildings that are part of the Vancouverism show in London right now. There is so many good pieces of architecture in Vancouver!

Marinaside False Creek (Concord Pacific)
The Olympic Oval
The display in London around Canada House (okay! - this one is not in Vancouver - but maybe it was made in Vancouver??)

Surrey Central City

Sunset Community Center

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where is Arthur Erickson?

To follow up on my post yesterday about Vancouverism, I'm posting some of Arthur Erickson's buildings. Maybe you will recognize one when you pass it on the street....

MacMillan Bloedel Building Downtown Vancouver

Museum of Anthropology UBC - UBC campus, north coast

The Waterfall Building - near Granville Island
Law Courts - Smithe and Hornby

Robson Square - Robson street...
He really liked his concrete.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Vancouver is being recognized internationally not only for the Olympics or for one of the top places to live - now it is being recognized for its architecture. London is now displaying our buildings in a show called Vancouverism: Westcoast Architecture and City Building. Part of the exhibition is outside. Bing Thom’s cider wall wraps around Canada House in London… it’s 61 meters long and 8 meters high – hard to miss!
Canada House with Vancouverism Display

So what is Vancouverism? From what I can tell it originated from Author Erickson’s sketch called Project 56 in which he imagined a downtown of soaring, 50 to 70 story, slender towers – and a hyper concentration of buildings and people. From John W MacDonald's Blog - Arthur Erickson
But it is even more than that – as I found out in this great article - it's the way Vancouver, one of North America’s youngest cities has broken all the rules of North American urbanism. For example: no freeways within Vancouver boundaries, the separation of urban planning decisions from elected government officials, and social bonus zoning. Because without these there would be no incentive or need to build tall, high density, urban towers. Vancouver skyline

Vancouverism is not all due to municipal plans, there are many outside factors at play here – one is the geographic boundaries; tucked between ocean and mountains - the space naturally encourages denser living; another is Expo 86 – high rise buildings needed within the site small area to satisfy the event was the real blue print for other high density neighbourhoods; and the 1991-1997 influx of Hong Kongers and Taiwanese who were not afraid to live in high density areas. One of Arthor Erickson's designs

All of these factors actually made Vancouver the most densely populated downtown core in 2005 – superseding Manhattan, which has now taken the title back after some rejuvenation of its own.

So how does the show (which collaborated with two young Architects (Bing Thom and James Cheng) at Erickson’s firm) define Vancouverism? It quotes New York Times’ definition on December 28, 2005: “Vancouverism is characterized by tall but widely separated slender towers interspersed with low-rise buildings, public spaces, small parks and pedestrian friends streetscapes and facades to minimise the impact of high density.” Sounds like the city I live in!!
The Vancouverism show will be in London for the rest of the summer, where it starts its European and North American tour, finshing in Vancouver around the Olympics.... which makes my opening line quite ironic.

Monday, July 21, 2008


So I'm back from vacation (as noted from the lack of posts!). The good news is that I am plum full of post ideas - mainly thanks to the invigorating conversations I have had over the last two weeks. If nothing else this little hiatus has made me so thankful to have amazing, inspiring, and diverse people in my life. Their thoughts on the world contantly push me to view things in a different light. I hope I never become deaf to the wise words of my friends....

Below are a few images to keep my light, airy and carefree vacation feeling alive. All images are from House to Home(UK) I love the way they have placed the vases in front of the fire place. It really summer's up the black box!
Nautical but without the blue and red! I love the muted colours next to the deep dark wood.
Summer reading? Yes please!

Not your normal summer look but the mixture of light sand colours make me think of the beach, and the hint of lime green - so fresh! I will probably refer to this picture when I go to redocorate my bedroom!
Summer entertaining. This looks like it took a little too much work for the summer time, but it does lend an image of long relaxing meals full of discussion and and laughter.

Calm.... that is the only word for it.