Displaying posts labeled "Sponsored"

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? Time for the best and brightest designers from around the world to enter the A’ Design Award and Competition and that means you. Register your design here. The deadline for entries is fast approaching and now is the time to submit your best work. With over 100 categories the A’ Design Award and Competition is the world’s largest design competition. But it is not just an award. It is an indicator of quality and perfection in design, recognized worldwide, bringing your design front and centre before design companies and professionals.

From the Furniture, Homeware and Decor Items Design Award to the Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award. The Lighting Products and Projects Design Award to the Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award. The Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Award to the Landscape Architecture, Planning and Garden Design Award and so many more. (You can find all the design categories here.) With the competition highlighting, advertising & advocating good design, taking part will provide recognition, publicity and international peer review. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members and the benefits to the winners are inspiring. The trophy, of course, an invitation to the gala night, a certificate of quality, inclusion in the prestigious A’ Design Award and Competition exhibition and the yearly ResultBook but even more importantly press including being featured in four esteemed publications; the Design Interviews, Design Legends, Magnificent Designers and Legendary Designers. Then there’s the PR, introduction to industry professionals and companies and international exposure. The fame, the prestige, the recognition and so much more.

Are you inspired? Excited? Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the A’ Design Award and Competition 2023 –2024 now. But you better be quick. The deadline for regular submissions is September 30. Results will be announced to the public on May 1 and you will find full coverage of the results here on Desire to Inspire. Can’t wait to share the winners with you! Maybe we’ll be sharing your work.

In the meantime here are some inspiring winners from last year in the Furniture and Lighting categories…

Eureka Lounge Chair by Beijing Yeak Tech Co. Ltd.

Brace Lounge Chair by Elena Prokhorova

Jaipur Furniture Collection by Sonal Tuli

Wave Armchair by Crystian Freiberger

Spark Sofa by Wang Jun

Water Ripples Chair by Kuo-Hsiang Kuo

Kozo Bookshelf by Jihad Khairallah

Lens Series Furniture by Eva Liu

Honey Drop Lighting by Akira Nakagomi

Reflex Pendant Lamp by Alexey Danilin

Scacco Matto Portable Lamp by Francesco Cappuccio

Barro Lamp by Caterina Moretti

U Table Lamp by Monica Pinto de Almeida

Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the 2023 – 2024 A’ Design Award and Competition here but time is short so get your entries in now.


This post is in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition.

Your Form is My Creation Abhang No 810 by Bhaskar Hande

When it comes to transforming a house into a warm and inviting home, the key lies in the art that adorns its walls. Art has the remarkable power to breathe life and personality into any space, making it an integral part of interior design. If you are on the lookout for exquisite original art to enrich your living space, look no further than Singulart – the premier online art and design gallery that curates a vast collection of extraordinary artworks, setting new standards in the world of art e-commerce. 

Unveiling Singulart – Your Online Art Gallery 

Singulart is a virtual treasure trove of exceptional original paintings and artworks that cater to art enthusiasts, collectors, and homeowners alike. As an esteemed online art gallery, they connect art lovers with an exclusive network of talented artists, granting them unparalleled access to an extensive array of art pieces that are carefully curated for their distinctiveness and creativity. 

Les Lignes Musicales by Hildegarde Handsaeme

Discover the Beauty of Original Art 

At Singulart, the focus is on authentic originality, which sets them apart from other online art platforms. From vivid abstracts that inspire introspection to serene landscapes that transport you to distant realms, Singulart offers a diverse selection of styles and genres, ensuring that every art lover finds something that resonates with their taste. 

Curated Excellence: A Cut Above the Rest 

Singulart’s curation process is meticulous and refined, guaranteeing the highest standard of quality for their customers. Their team of experts scours the art world to handpick original paintings that possess exceptional artistic merit, emotional depth, and technical brilliance. This dedication to curation ensures that every piece featured on Singulart’s platform is not just visually stunning but also imbued with the soul of the artist. 

Pink Pachanoi by Sienna Martz

Art that Speaks to Your Soul 

Choosing the right artwork for your home is an intimate and personal experience. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a first-time art buyer, Singulart makes the journey of discovering the perfect piece a truly delightful one. Browsing through their user-friendly website, you can explore a diverse range of themes, colours, and sizes, allowing you to shop for art that speaks to your soul and complements your living space impeccably. 

Buying Art Online Made Effortless 

Gone are the days of trudging from one art gallery to another in search of that special piece now you can buy art online. With Singulart’s online art gallery, purchasing art has never been easier or more convenient. From the comfort of your home, you can browse through an extensive collection of artworks, read about the artists’ backgrounds, and even visualize the art on your walls using augmented reality features. Embrace the joy of discovering and owning exceptional art without leaving your sanctuary. 

Small Anemone by Kleine Anemone

Incorporating art into your home is a powerful way to express your personality and create an ambience that reflects your taste. Singulart, as a leading online art and design gallery, opens the door to a world of original art, giving you the opportunity to enrich your living spaces with exceptional works of creativity and beauty. Experience the joy of discovering breathtaking art from the comfort of your home and take the first step towards transforming your living space into a haven of artistic inspiration. 

My new grill gazebo by Backyard Discovery

Posted on Tue, 4 Jul 2023 by KiM

My backyard has gone through some changes over the past few years since we started working on it. One of the things we did recently was remove a tree and a badly designed catio in the corner of our yard and we ended up with this rather large area of essentially unused space. We laid some flagstone we bought for $200 on Facebook Marketplace and decided this would become a barbecue area. My husband was going to design and build a gazebo to put over the barbecue (for some reason he hates cooking in the rain LOL) but to my absolute delight, the folks at Backyard Discovery reached out about the recent launch of their new Canadian site, backyarddiscovery.ca, and offered me one of their products to test out. When I learned that among play structures, pergolas and gazebos, they had actual grill gazebos I could not believe my luck! Not that I didn’t think my husband could build one, but I am 150% sure this went WAY smoother and looks better than what he would have come up.

I went with the Saxony grill gazebo, which is perfect for an “average” size barbecue (up to 70″ wide) and really fit the space we had to work with without being too bulky. It comes ready to assemble in pre-stained cedar, with a roof made of steel so it can withstand our Canadian winters and the snow they naturally come with. It requires 2 people to put together so my husband and I tackled it together. He’s got a slew of tools in his workshop so we had everything we needed (and much more) to be able to put it together, but really it just needed the basics (ie. hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, drills etc).

When we unpacked everything I got a little nervous because there were MANY bolts and screws and doodads as per the above photo, and the instructions did say it would take 2 people around 4 hours to put together. Realistically it took a bit longer than that with some sanity breaks thrown in, and went faster as we learned some “tricks” – one important one being that while the holes are pre-drilled, we discovered after stripping a few screws inexplicably that there was a lot of debris from the pre-drilling in the holes so we used a long screw to jam in to all the holes to clear them before drilling.
We started with the basic structure:

Then we added the side sections that included steel balusters and powder coated steel countertops (LOVE this extra space for serving and prepping food and hanging out and enjoying a drink – it’s almost like a little bar!):

Then we tackled the roof. My husband built the frame while I peeled off the very-stuck-on coating on the steel roof panels.

Husband was super excited that this grill gazebo came with the ability to have power, so he happily installed the PowerPort™ onto the back left post that features 3 electrical outlets and 3 USB ports, allowing him to install lights on the roof, a fan, charge his phone while grilling and plugging in one of his handmade bluetooth speakers (we always have one outside with us).

And there you have it, all done! We were sooooo happy with how this grill gazebo turned out. My husband stared out the back door for days in awe. We have a little bit of work still to do around that area but with some potted plants around the new gazebo, it really is looking fabulous already and we have been barbequing non-stop since we put it together. Before I share some photos of it looking cute and ready for some grilling, the kind folks @ Backyard Discovery are offering 15% off with the code DESIRETOINSPIRE15 on the Canadian site valid until July 15th. I could not recommend their products more – this was such a blessing and we honestly could not be more pleased with how it looks and functions.

Maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment is essential for our well-being, and a properly functioning air conditioner plays a crucial role in achieving this.

However, one common issue that can arise with air conditioners – whether you’ve got a split system, ducted system or something else – is the presence of musty odours, which can be unpleasant and even affect the air quality in our homes. If you’ve noticed a musty smell emanating from your aircon, don’t fret.

In this article, we will provide you with practical tips and solutions to effectively deal with these odours and restore freshness to your living space.

By understanding the underlying causes of musty odours, implementing regular maintenance practices, and incorporating do-it-yourself remedies, you can overcome this issue and enjoy clean, refreshing air from your air conditioner once again.

Additionally, we will discuss the importance of seeking professional assistance when needed and provide prevention tips to maintain a fresh-smelling environment. Say goodbye to musty odours and embrace a more pleasant and healthier living space with these valuable tips.

Understanding the Causes of Musty Odours

Unpleasant, musty aromas coming from your air conditioner can be indicative of underlying issues that need attention. By understanding the causes of these odours, you can effectively address the problem.

One common cause is moisture buildup in the air conditioner. When moisture remains stagnant within the system, it creates a breeding ground for mould and mildew growth, resulting in musty smells.

Additionally, accumulated dust and debris can also contribute to the odours, as they can harbour moisture and promote bacterial growth, particularly in ducted heating and cooling systems.

Understanding these causes helps emphasise the importance of regular maintenance and cleaning to prevent the buildup of moisture, mould and debris. By addressing these underlying causes, you can effectively eliminate musty smells and ensure that your air conditioner operates efficiently, providing you with fresh, clean air.

Regular Maintenance to Prevent Musty Odours

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with stale odours from your aircon system. By incorporating regular maintenance practices, you can effectively prevent the occurrence of these unpleasant aromas.

One crucial maintenance task is cleaning or replacing air filters regularly. Dirty filters can trap moisture and promote mould and mildew growth, leading to these musty smells.

Additionally, it is essential to clean the condensate drain lines to ensure proper drainage and prevent moisture buildup. Checking and cleaning the evaporator coils is another important step, as dirty coils can accumulate dust and mould, contributing to the smell.

Lastly, don’t forget to remove any debris from the outdoor unit to maintain optimal airflow.

By implementing these regular maintenance tasks, you can keep your aircon clean to ensure fresh and pleasant air in your living space.

DIY Remedies for Musty Smells

There are several simple do-it-yourself remedies you can try before seeking professional help from a HVAC (heating, cooling and air conditioning) technician.

One effective solution is to use a vinegar and water solution for cleaning. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then spray or wipe down the affected areas, such as the evaporator coils and drip pan, to eliminate mould and mildew and neutralise odours.

Another option is to use baking soda, which acts as a natural odour absorber. Sprinkle baking soda on the air conditioner’s filters and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming or rinsing it off.

Additionally, you can introduce pleasant scents by adding a few drops of essential oils to your air filters or creating a homemade air freshener using essential oils and water. These DIY remedies can help combat unwanted odours and leave your air conditioner smelling fresh and clean.

Professional Help for Persistent Odours

If you’ve tried DIY remedies and are still struggling with persistent musty odours from your air conditioner, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Professional HVAC maintenance can provide comprehensive solutions to tackle the underlying causes of the odours.

Hiring a professional air conditioning technician brings expertise and specialised tools to thoroughly inspect and clean your system. They can perform tasks such as deep cleaning the evaporator coils, sanitising the air ducts and checking for any hidden mould or mildew growth.

Additionally, they can identify and fix any potential issues that may be contributing to the odours, ensuring optimal performance of your air conditioner. Professional assistance is particularly crucial if you or anyone in your family have sensitive allergies or respiratory conditions that can be aggravated by poor air quality.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals to address persistent stale odours and restore fresh and clean air to your home.

Prevention Tips to Maintain Fresh Air

Here are a few handy tips to help you keep the inside of your home smelling fresh and clean:

  • Control humidity levels in your home by using a dehumidifier (possibly in combination with your air conditioner).
  • Ensure proper ventilation and air circulation by opening windows and using fans.
  • Regularly clean and replace air filters to prevent the buildup of dust, mould and odours.
  • Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of debris to maintain optimal airflow.
  • Schedule regular professional HVAC maintenance to ensure the system is clean and functioning properly.
  • Consider installing an air purifier or an air cleaning system to remove pollutants and odours from the air.
  • Avoid smoking or allowing smoking indoors, as it can introduce persistent odours.
  • Clean and vacuum your home regularly to minimise the presence of dust and allergens.
  • Use natural odour absorbers like baking soda or activated charcoal in areas prone to odours, such as closets or near the air conditioner.
  • When cooking or using chemicals, ensure proper ventilation to prevent odours from lingering in the air.

In Conclusion

Dealing with musty odours coming from your air conditioner can be a frustrating experience, but with the right tips and strategies, you can overcome this issue and enjoy fresh, clean air in your home.

By understanding the causes of musty odours, implementing regular maintenance practices and using DIY remedies, you can effectively eliminate the unpleasant aromas and improve the air quality in your living space.

Remember to seek professional help if the stench persists or if you have specific health concerns. Additionally, incorporating prevention tips such as controlling humidity levels, maintaining proper ventilation, and keeping your home clean can help prevent the recurrence of musty smells.

By taking proactive steps and addressing the issue promptly, you can ensure that your air conditioner operates efficiently, providing you with a comfortable and odour-free environment. Embrace these tips and enjoy the refreshing and clean air that your air conditioner can provide.

A few new reads

Posted on Mon, 12 Jun 2023 by KiM

I got my hands on a few new books as of late, which is always an exciting mail day when a book shows up, and this first one, French Blooms, was my favourite. (Author Sandra Sigman Of Les Fleurs, with Victoria A. Riccardi; Photographs by Kindra Clineff; Published by Rizzoli)
As Sandra Sigman learned while living in Paris in her twenties, the French consider each floral arrangement a unique work of art filled with passion, movement, texture, and surprise. In French Blooms, Sigman shares the distinct design principles she learned from her favorite Parisian florist, and offers tutorials, with images and instructions for creating French-inspired arrangements for different areas of the home. With chapters on choosing the right containers—from vintage stoneware crocks to baskets and white ceramic footed vases—and flower care and tools, along with lush photographs, many taken in Paris, Normandy, and Provence, this book is both inspirational and practical. It’s also a love letter to France—from Parisian sophistication to the simple grace of provincial life.
The pairing of gorgeous flower arrangements with the exquisite beauty of scenes from France make this a delightful dose of eye candy.

Next up is a book by someone I’ve admired for many years, since we first began this blog and I started to become familiar with design icons. Creative Interior Solutions by Vicente Wolf and Margaret Russell, published by Rizzoli, is a classic book featuring past and present projects by this master of interiors and was fun to spot spaces I hadn’t seen in years. If you don’t know, he’s the king of mixing whites with modern and antiques.

In this book, celebrated AD100 designer Vicente Wolf shares the expertise he has honed over forty plus successful years in the business. Wolf’s work is characterized by a passion for integrity and simplicity; a sophisticated sense of space, color, and ease; masterful handling of furniture, fabrics, and art; and the use of rare antiques and exceptional handcrafted pieces (many acquired on annual globe-trotting adventures). Organized topically and illustrated with Wolf’s own photographs, the design principles are engaging, absorbing, and above all practical—from coping with the challenges inherent in life transitions to overcoming space and budget limitations to working with art and other collections and remaking outdated spaces.

And lastly I received a book by an architecture firm that admittedly is new to me and whom we have not featured on the blog before. New York based Stelle Lomont Rouhani are responsible for designing some really spectacular modern, clean-lined, homes that look like works of art amidst the landscape. Some of the spreads in their first book, Stelle Lomont Rouhani: Architecture and Interiors (published again by Rizzoli), really took my breath away. A perfect coffee table book.

Modern houses that are timeless, thoughtfully detailed, marked by innovative and environmentally friendly design, and inevitably situated close to nature—by the sea, on the bluff, upon the dunes—are the hallmark of Stelle Lomont Rouhani. With thought to an ultimate experience of comfort, to space and light, to views, and to a way of living beside nature that is considerate of nature, the architects open walls toward the sea and position decks to allow for the enjoyment of morning sunlight and scented breezes redolent of bayberries and pine. Ultimately it is a kind of harmony the architects are after and doing more with less, a Zen-like quality that renews the spirit, offering serenity and repose—and which, in the houses featured here, they so warmly, so quietly find.