Ceiling Fan Favorites

During this recent heat wave we've been experiencing in Toronto I've had the cool task of specifying and shipping some ceiling fans to a client project north of the city.  In total I've actually specified about half a dozen ceiling fans in the past couple of months.  Ceiling fans have a bad reputation as being um, not so attractive, but truth is I don't have any issue with them at all (it must be my fascination with all things mechanical) in fact there are some beautiful fans on the market these days.  Aside from how cool they look,,,they are simply a must have in certain spaces in order to achieve proper air circulation.  I personally enjoy rooms that are cooled by fan rather than air conditioning, particularly bedrooms.  No matter how hot or humid the temps may be, I'd chose to sleep in a room with a ceiling fan vs airconditioning any day.

Below are a few of my favorite fans I've recently selected for projects that may inspire you to consider a ceiling fan in your city, country, or outdoor living space.

This is what I consider the quintessential classic modern fan.  The Ball Fan by Modern Fan Co.  I'm having several of these installed on a renovation project in the resort town of Collingwood....  

A snap shot of the new master bedroom addition (taken yesterday) with its cathedral ceiling clad with v-groove boards, the boards will be painted white, the walls the palest silvery grey and I've chosen to go with the the ball fan in the aluminum finish.  Underneath the floor protection is a gorgeous wide plank grey washed, white oak wood floor by Moncer.  I am sooo looking forward to seeing the floors revealed!!!

I'm particularly partial to the Ball Fan in gloss white, especially in white interiors.  This version is being used in a guest bedroom and in the living room below....

The living room has 11' high ceilings and the old fireplace is getting a complete modern update, it will be floor to ceiling, all white except for the hearth and surround.  The electrical on the chimney wall is for an art light, not a TV!  For this room I selected the white ball ceiling fan for a cool relaxed white on white on white space.  The wide plank grey washed Moncer floors are buried (but protected) beneath all that mess too.

From the country to the city, back on my NYC reno project a couple of ceiling fans were necessary because the interior rooms of the apartment don't have windows or convector units so fans are needed to keep both warm and cool air flowing all year round.

I selected this Cirque ceiling fan by Minka Aire for the kid's lounge area.  The design reminds me of a mobile, and the asymmetrical nature of the blades lends itself particularly well to our installation where we couldn't get the ceiling box in the centre of the room.

In the small Den/Guest Bedroom of the need for good air circulation was really important for the comfort of overnight guests.  I selected this elegant looking small scale ceiling fan/light by Moooi with its fan blades concealed by a drum shade.

The Mistral ceiling fan by Moooi.

Another favorite of mine is the Artemis ceiling fan by Minka Aire.  I havn't installed this one on a project just yet but I love its sculptural lines and think it would be a beautiful addition to any space for a cool contemporary vibe.

Keep in mind when selecting a ceiling fan that unless you have ceilings higher than 8', you'll need to go with a low profile, ceiling hugger style fan in lieu of a stem rod.   Code requires that ceiling fan blades be no lower than 7'.   If your ceilings are much less than 8', look for a table top or a floor model fan instead.   If your pre-planning for ceiling fans, be sure to include extra support at the junction box to compensate for the movement/vibration of the fixture and always use the mfg's own wall switches for best performance and longevity.

Upload: Update 2012

A crucial part of my job involves documenting spaces or items on a daily basis, everything from constuction site progress to a great vintage find, I'm rarely without camera phone in hand.  I take hundreds of photos on my Iphone every week, some project related and some are just details or objects or settings that catch my eye.... or just make me happy - like a classic black & white graphic print...on a dress.  Collectively these photos are a snapshot of where I've been, what I'm working on and what's inspiring me.  Initially I started posting a selection of these daily images in an "Upload" post every month then..... it became every other month.  Then the backload of images became so enormous, it was too overwhelming to tackle.  So what better time than the start of a brand new year to get back on track and keep these posts going thru the entire 2012 calendar.

In early November I spent a week in Naples Florida with 5 girlfriends.  It was our first time to see my friends new vacation home there.  She had spent the past few months getting the house furnished and outfitted, while there I helped her decide on some placement of wall art.  I'm pleased to report that 2 months later these glass wall vases I installed are still hanging (it required power tools and gerry-rigging some plugs).  Girl power. : )  My favorite shopping spot in Naples was the Sally Ann - it was a thrifters paradise and set up as well as any furniture showroom would be.  The huge pedestal table in the pic above was from there.  I scooped up a bunch of silver serving pieces and carried them home on my lap.  I don't think the customs officer believed me when the only thing I had to declare was some used silver from the Sally Ann wrapped up in newspaper. : )   But my travel partner had a set of gorgeous blue & white bowls in her Sally Ann bag ($25!!) so we made an odd but convincing pair of shoppers.  Designers!

I loved these modern orange planters outside of the Tommy Bahama store in downtown Naples.

While in Naples I had a meeting with Toronto clients who also needed some help with their Florida home.  But first, this winter I'm working on on a huge gut-reno for their newly purchased summer home a couple hours north of Toronto.  Its a character bungalow that's lost all of its charm, their architect and I will be giving it a complete modern overhaul inside and out, adding on a new master suite and an art studio.  She's a painter and her Florida home is literally a gallery of her work as well as their own collection of other fantastic artists.  

I loved these wooden sculptures she had flanking her garden doors.  An important element of their home in north Toronto will be its modern simplicity so that it can showcase art and antiques.  This is going to be a project that truly resonates with my design philosophy in many ways.  Stay tuned for more details about this project - I've been immersed in the design plans for the past month and I'm excited and challenged at how much this one is pushing me to refine and edit and explore new ideas.

And no worries, I havn't forgotten about Li'l bro's reno.  It moved along at such a fast pace I couldn't keep up with it.  But yes, they are moved in and our entire family was thrilled to celebrate Christmas in their newly completed home (pic above).  Between my recent travels and my brothers travels and the holidays, I just havn't had any time to get over there for some 'after photos' (literally the paint was drying as we were on our way for Christmas dinner  - but I promise an update post is coming soon).

The 70's bungalow is officially complete except for the landscaping (summer 2012).  I'm assisting them with some artwork selections for a couple of key areas and then I'm planning to schedule a photo shoot for March - can't wait to share some afters with you!!!

I had the opportunity to tour the most incredible architect designed modern home in Toronto which was completely furnished with original mid-century modern furniture and art.  This place made my heart race, it truly did,  and I got a little snap happy with my DSLR.  Of course I'll give you a tour right here in the coming weeks.

A fabric swatch that I had carried around in my totebag for almost a year, was the perfect fit as roman shades in a new home office that was recently installed at a clients.  

And when I spotted this tourquoise Ralph Lauren crackle glaze lamp at HomeSense, I knew instantly where it was going... The office has both his and her desks, her's is a large table desk I had custom made to sit in front of the window, the base is painted in a peacock blue and the tourquoise lamp is, well, i think its just perfect for it!  Score.  The rest of the room was outfitted with custom built-ins.  I'm hoping to return soon and help with some office accessories and storage containers - there's lots of shelves to organize.

The glass french doors on the office were original to the cape cod style house but the crystal door knobs aren't working, I sent her to The Door Store to find replace knobs....can't wait to see what she found!

And in the family room/kitchen nook, I'm having some banquet cushions and pillows made for them that will be family friendly for crafts, school projects, game nights, and messy meals.

A kitchen reno in a rustic log cabin north of the city had me on a search for green barn light pendants.  And I lucked out in finding both vintage and new options.  The Door Store had quite a great selection, I absolutely love this historic green, and thinking I need to find a match for this in a paint colour!

For a non vintage option, Home Depot has this slightly darker green version (also available in white and bronze and black).  A steal - great for really tight budgets and tight timelines.   Ultimately the client found some vintage wire cage pendants instead, they do look great but don't bring the impact of colour to the kitchen these would have.

Probably one of my favorite coffee tables of all time, I have a similar style in my own living room, this vintage barcelona table was scooped up for a clients living room just in time for Christmas.  I was crazy for this the moment I saw it, actually several months ago and couldn't believe it was still available.  An authentive vintage piece in 'nearly perfect' condition is my choice over a knock-off any day. It arrived right after my clients new marble slab fireplace surround was installed and right before the Mitchell Gold Hunter sofa was delivered.  A pair of modern lounge chairs on order from Style Garage will complete the grouping.  I think this coffee table deserves some 'after' photos.

It really pained me to leave the store without these vintage cane beauties.  I'll dream about these ones for years to come.

Just days before Christmas I visited the Moncer wood flooring showroom in Jordan, Ontario (wine country!).  I was incredibly impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of the product and the company's philosophy and dedication to great design in every aspect of their business.  I love my wood natural and with loads of character - these products deliver!!  For wide planks and long boards, I've never seen anything as gorgeous as the Moncer line.

Every single detail in their gallery like showroom was thoughtfully and beautifully planned.  Located outside of the city next to a winery, the visit to the showroom truly makes the experience out of the ordinary, just like their wood.  I'm ecstatic to be using these stunning floors in my newest project!!!  I'm sure it won't be the last...

And lastly on my iphone, a project that's now taking up every spare minute of my personal time is our own hunt for a house - its been pretty discouraging thus far.  Nothing but lots of photos of country houses we're quickly crossing off the list, like this one above.  It had some great outbuildings but the house was so teeny tiny it was no bigger than a 1 bedroom condo in the city and ideally, I'm really looking for something that's not brick.  So the search continues.....but the good news is -  I already have the new floors picked out (see above) : )

All Photos:  Carol Reed