10 Smart Design Ideas From Our Day of Shopping


When you do as much shopping as we do, you get to see some really unique pieces. Some are beautiful just the way they are and would look great in any home. Other pieces make us stop and take note, not so much for their beauty, but more for the ideas they give us for our bespoke work.

This week we were out and about looking for some special pieces and I have to say, we found some great ideas. Often we order from catalogues or on-line, but nothing beats getting out there and seeing the pieces in person.

Here’s a snapshot of our shopping trip.


Love these Eames Walnut Stools we found at Kit Interior Objects on 11 Ave SW Calgary. They’re stools or tables or plant stands or whatever you want them to be and they’re perfectly beautiful. Designed in 1969 by Ray Eames, they are an iconic piece that never looks dated.


At first glance, I wasn’t sure what to make of this ottoman. It seemed out of place and rather childish. Then I realized that it was out of place. It was in a vignette with very traditional furniture. Imagine if it was in a room with great art, a contemporary sectional loaded with toss cushions and a bohemian area rug.

Wow…it would be a stunner.

Not only that, the possibilities are endless. If you have some artistic talent, you can create a custom design on muslin covered furniture. This idea is definitely being filed away for the future.


We’re always on the lookout for unique chairs. Tuck a piece like this beside a fireplace or in an entry foyer and suddenly it’s sculpture that you can sit in.

The lines on this chair are beautiful and would really make a statement in any of style home. 30129552883_3da4d6f805_k

This chest was another piece that caused me to take a second look. What a great idea if anyone has a piece at home that needs some work. We’ve lacquered furniture before, we’ve faux painted it, but we’ve never painted a scene on a dresser. Interesting…


The right rug can transform a room.

We like the one above because it has character. It’s over-dyed and looks like it has some wear. Great for those clients that like the lived in look.


Vintage pieces add so much to a space. We have our favourite antique and vintage stores that we check out regularly. No need to go to a budget home store to get a fake when you can have the real deal.


With all the grey we’ve seen the last few years, our clients are craving colour. The accent table above provides the perfect pop.

I like the way the orange is repeated in the toss cushion and I really like that it’s not the exact shade of orange. Way more interesting for colours to be a little off.


If you’re getting custom cushions made, they should be different and not the everyday kind you can pick up at a retail store. Subtle details make all the difference. Love the mix of fabrics and the cording on this bespoke cushion.


Martha Sturdy has always been one of my favourite Canadian artists. She plays with scale and all her pieces have a sculptural quality. These resin vases are both organic and elegant. Wrapping the brass around the resin elevates it and adds that unexpected luxury.


We’re lucky in Calgary that we have so many unique stores to shop at. A new one that recently opened and is worth checking out is Wu and McHugh on Horton Road. They carry antique Chinese furniture and guarantee that it will add a funky look to your decor. Watch in the next few weeks for a full blog on this interesting store.

So there you have it, the highlights from our shopping and sourcing this week.

Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.


  1. 1

    Good Morning Karen,
    Loving those Martha Sturdy Resin vases! I went to her website, I’m just wondering if you know the colour and size of those particular vases pictured here in your blog? Any idea of cost?
    Always look forward to my Tuesday morning read,
    hope all is well,

    • 2

      Hi Bobbi,
      Aren’t they just gorgeous? The scale and proportion are perfect. Do you still have her resin bowl with the two balls inside? I have a few of her pieces too. These caught my eye at a store in Calgary. I really wanted them for myself, but they looked perfect in the client’s home. Small 6×8 Medium 6×12 Large 6×17. Let me know if you need more info as I could check locally for you.

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