Reflection is a powerful tool if you allow yourself to take a moment to do so. And it's considerably more impactful when you look back over an entire year. Wasn't it January of 2016 just the other day? Days, weeks, months, years, each one seem to be picking up pace and moving faster and faster. There's hardly time for reflection when one day leads to the next and weeks become blurry. Months go by in a blink of an eye and well, here we are, 2017.
As I sit back and ponder over 2016 I feel so good about what I've learned. As a human being, a mom, a business owner and creative. I'm not leaving any of these in 2016, rather bringing them into the new year with me and standing firm in my new learnings and realizations. Some of them are ah-ha moments, others are things I should have come to realize a long time ago.
I encountered some crazy situations both personally and in my business this year that left me questioning people, their ethics, levels of respect and pure common sense. There were days I could barely breathe. Feeling broken is one of the best ways I can describe it. As the fog started to clear I decided I couldn't let their behaviour affect mine in such a negative way. I lost trust. I lost respect. However what I did gain was an better understanding of what I'm willing to give, to who and when.
There is no doubt it takes a village to raise a family, however I find this true in business as well. The network of people who rally behind a small business owner is paramount in it's success. From my direct family, to extended family to friends, colleagues, other business owners, mentors and the like, I am blessed beyond measure for the people I have in my life. I hold each of you near and dear and am forever grateful for your endless support.
When tough situations arise in life it's always the way people involved handle themselves that is the true testament to who they really are. True colours come through and it was those moments this year I decided to move on from certain relationships or at least distance myself. Honesty and integrity are part of my core values in life and I do expect the same from those I invest in, personally and professionally.
We have found our niche, we know who our clients are and are able to be discerning in who we work with. When clients interview designers it's important to note how differently one works from the next, and that's a good thing. It truly is about finding the best fit and sometimes a client just isn't for us. And that's ok. When we connect with our ideal client, we know we have started a relationship that will last for years to come.
I am a working mother of two girls who are heavily involved in extra curricular activities. There is no shortage of items on my to-do list from groceries and laundry or racing to buy swim goggles at the last critical minute to whipping up a ballet bun. Add running a business into the day and yes, my days are busy. However, this common topic of busy started feeling like a rat race in a negative way. "I'm so BUSY!" felt like I actually wasn't accomplishing anything. I've changed my vocabulary to "my days are FULL". They are full of expectation, full of paperwork, full of experiences, full of creative work, full of great people, full of challenges, full of conversations, full of love...
In 2016 we completed a process and procedure binder outlining the Nyla Free Designs way of doing anything and everything within the business. Compiling all the information for this document took years, literally, so when we finally finished it you can imagine the happy dance that broke out. It is built on our brand and philosophies as a business and encompasses all the ins and outs of our world. Its a great tool for reference and reminders as well as a means of establishing new employees with ease.
There are learnings in every day, let alone each year. I'm excited to see what 2017 will teach me!
From all of us to all of you, Happy New Year!
May 2017 be filled with love, inspiring spaces and the simplest of pleasures.
I'm a huge fan of "year in review" highlights and video montages. I love the reminiscing, remembering the achievements, learnings and celebrating the successes and accomplishments. It's also a time of reflection as we move into a new year. While 2016 had it's challenges, we also had an incredibly successful year and for that we are so, so grateful. Here are some of our Instagram highlights from the year. It's fun to look back and remember what a great year we've had!
We sourced beautiful product and furniture. We started and completed projects. We installed furniture and styled rooms pretty. We travelled to far away places and took time for ourselves. We worked as a team and grew closer together. We researched and learned new things. We created. We designed. We inspired each other. And last but not least, we connected, with each other and with you. Thank you 2016!
We've lost count as to the number of years we've been decorating this long time client's home for Christmas but we figure it's around eight now! It's been an evolution of ornaments however the colour scheme and style has remained the same. The tree is a grand size at roughly 15' tall, and the smell...so good.
This year we decided to capture the decorating experience and share it with you by way of video. We've posted a lot of images from this house over the years, however the personality of the interior, as well as our team, comes a little more alive. Of course, I couldn't resist sharing a few photos as well. Enjoy!
Video production and photographs: Module Creative Agency
We have been busy like elves in the office, creating and packaging gifts for clients. I love this time of year! Inspired by a House & Home moss wreath we saw in the December 2015 issue, we embarked on our own version.
We made the miniature glitter houses and provided those as well as the wire brush trees (purchased from Michaels) to the Canadian Tire pop-up garden centre who made the moss wreaths and attached the house and trees for us. Once complete we adorned with our signature yellow ribbon and voila!
We have one left and we'd love to give it away! What better way to celebrate our Instagram followers than to have a giveaway.
Any one of the following is equal to one entry.
1. Follow us on Instagram! If you're already a follower, thank you!
2. We'd love to see your favourite Christmas and holiday decor! Tag us in an Instagram photo along with the hashtag #nfdiholidaygiveaway to be entered.
3. Share the giveaway with your Instagram followers along with the hashtag #nfdiholidaygiveaway to be entered.
Each share and post on Instagram receives an entry so do so as often as you wish. Don't forget the hashtag and to tag @nylafreedesigns !
Please make sure we can reach you via Instagram. The contest closes at noon on Monday, December 12th and the winner will be announced at 4pm. The wreath will be shipped on December 13th. You will need to provide us with a valid street address (our shipper is unable to ship to a PO Box or RR address).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the sensitive nature of the live wreaths, we are able to ship within CANADA ONLY.
We look forward to connecting with you on Instagram and seeing your beautiful holiday decor!
I love a good craft project, and this one looks a lot harder than it is, which is always the best kind, right?! Trust me! We documented our DIY process in the making of these adorable mini glitter houses. We're also exited to show you what we're doing with the finished product so stay tuned.
Step 1: Gather all necessary supplies. House templates (we found a modern flat roof style as well as a traditional house), 1/8" thick balsa wood, e6000 adhesive, x-acto knife, pencil, metal ruler and a cutting mat. Here is the link for the house templates. You can modify the scale by increasing the percentage to the size you'd like depending on your project.
Note: we planned to hold the houses in place with push pins while the glue dried but the e6000 adhesive was so strong the pins were not necessary.
Step 2-3: Trace the house shapes on to the balsa wood. Use a heavy duty x-acto knife and a metal ruler to cut out the parts of the house.
Step 4: We found it easiest to cut all of the parts first, organize into piles and then begin assembly.
Step 5 - 8: Apply the e6000 adhesive along the sides and connect to the face. Repeat for the back of the house. Apply adhesive to the top edges of the pitches and apply the roof, one side at a time. Attach house to base.
Step 9: Congratulations! You have now completed your house and it's ready for paint.
Step 10: Paint the houses using white craft paint. I applied two coats of paint for full coverage.
Step 11: Add windows and doors to your houses using charcoal craft paint and a very fine paint brush. I outlined the windows and doors in pencil first. Let dry completely before applying glitter.
Step 12: Assemble all supplies to apply glitter to the houses. Snow (the Department 56 brand is one the one we used), clear glue, a flat paint brush, silver glitter, cream/ off-white glitter and spray glue.
Step 13 - 14: Apply the clear glue to the areas you would like glitter. Smooth over with a paint brush so all areas are covered. Using a small spoon, scoop up a small amount of glitter and scatter the glitter over the glue. Gently tap the house to remove any lose glitter.
Step 15: Finish the houses off by adorning the fascia with fresh snow. Apply the clear glue to the edges (fascia). I put a small amount of the snow in the palm of my hand and dabbed the edges of the houses into the snow.
Add a layer of spray glue to hold everything in place.
All done! Now you may be wondering what we're up to with these little gems. You'll have to wait until the next post to see the final product. Until then...here's a teaser :)
Pop up shops are the latest trend in the world of shopping. Businesses large and small are enjoying the opportunity to have a "boutique" setting to show off their wares. The big box retailer Canadian Tire is no exception. With each store independently owned and franchised, there is only one with the creative genius of thinking outside the "big" box and taking a pop up style shop approach to their garden centre offerings of holiday greens and live goods. The Canadian Tire store on Macleod Trail S in Calgary (Southland Drive intersection), not only provides all the fixings for you to create your own outdoor winter scape, but also the opportunity to bring your own container to their in house designer and walk away with a beautiful planter full of winter greens and sure to bring life to your outdoor space.
Christmas shopping starts earlier and earlier it seems and while it's a never ending rush to be "done", it always seems as though there's just one, more, gift to purchase. We compiled some of our favourite items to help ease the list and have you sitting fireside with a glass of wine in no time. Enjoy our Friday finds for all things home decor!
We're not trying to scare you! Halloween is over which means it's November 1st and exactly one month before the start of advent and less than eight weeks before Christmas. If this has you shaking in your boots like it does for me, why not get a head start on the celebrations and counting down to the big day with our selection of advent calendars? From simple to indulgent, there's a style for everyone. Here's to be organized for the Holidays!
Check out our top ten picks below ~
If you follow us on Instagram you may have seen images of our country house project. We're moving into the final stages after embarking on this new build almost two years ago and we've decided it's time to share more insights into this fabulous home.
It's hard to label one particular room as a favourite for us. Each room has a personality of it's own while maintaining a cohesive feel as you move one to the next.
The media room is on the upper level and is considered a space to "hang out" per se. We've taken a retro approach with the finish and material selections embracing hexagon tile, teal cabinetry, a Smeg fridge and buffalo check studio shades to name a few. The Roll and Hill pendant is also a focal point hanging over the craft and games table in the pitched roof space at the back of the room.
The bar area will be installed in the next few weeks, light fixtures have arrived and the sectional is waiting patiently for delivery!