There are many different factors to consider and decisions to make when planning a wedding.  It can be time consuming, even slightly intimidating.  The key thing that I have learned is to break things down into tangible parts.  There are also many people and relationships who can impact the planning process.  In order to imagine how to prioritize and keep yourself focused, I will use the analogy of a lovely, three-tiered wedding cakeEach layer has its role to keep the cake together and to make your visualization come to life.



I may be one of those rare breeds who turn wedding planning into a fun past time, or procrastination hobby.  But, my strategy to fit in small pieces of wedding planning on a daily basis has completely paid off.  Even if it is just an email or a new board on Pinterest, in the first four months of being engaged, I contributed something every day.  Public transit is a great place to get a couple of emails out on your commute to work; so is taking an extra ten minutes in the morning.

Starting with the base of the cake, this needs to be the sturdiest part.  To solidly begin your planning process, be sure to prioritize the pieces that are most important to you and your partner and start to work on those first.  If there are specific vendors whose work you love and want to be a part of your wedding, chances are, they are popular with other brides too.  So make sure to contact them well in advance.

It is imperative to have a specific notebook, file folder, or Word doc dedicated to wedding planning.  Or, if you are like me, have all three 😊.  Keeping all-things-wedding in an organized system will save you time as you plan and will make follow up a lot easier.  I carry a wedding notebook with me so that I can jot down any new ideas, inspirations or TO DOs wherever I am.  If you are more technology based, having a file on your phone works too.  You can find a helpful wedding guideline here.

Finally, as in your work place, people expect to be treated with respect and to get responses in a reasonable time.  This means that you should always reply to vendors, even if you have chosen someone else.  It also means that you should do your research.  Approach vendors having an idea of who they are and what they do, instead of blanketly asking every photographer in Vancouver to shoot your wedding.  Just as you want to feel special on your wedding day, vendors feel special when people show genuine interest in what they do.


Most of us will field opinions and ‘helpful advice’ from various family members throughout the wedding planning process.  This can often squish you in the middle between two layers: what you and you’re your partner want and what family members ‘would do if it was their wedding’.  At risk of sounding cliché, remember that this is YOUR wedding and at the end of the day, it only matters what you and your partner want.  It is certainly hard to ignore the advice and opinions of family, especially if you have a close relationship with them.  They love and support you and of course want to help in any way they can.  Sometimes, however, family may not realize the position that giving their opinion can put you in.  In my experience, it is important to listen to what your family has to say, and if it can be incorporated into your plans, then great.  If not, do not carry the guilt of having made a decision that best suits you and your partner.

This applies to choosing your wedding date, your bridal party, your venue, ceremony details and various vendors.  These are all very personal decisions and as long as you can come back to a place where you do what is best for you and your partner- while still respecting your loved ones- you are doing just fine.


Why would you have chosen your partner if you cannot lean on them and depend on them to help make decisions?  This is why you should involve your partner in the wedding planning process and ask for their opinion on things that you are unsure of.  It is their day too and your wedding should be a representation of the two of you.

I am lucky to have a partner who listens and supports me, even though my idea of personalized embroidered linen napkins was turned down…. On matters of the family, décor, etiquette or ‘which shade of blue’ we should choose, he is there to support me and give his thoughts.

Keeping the conversation open throughout the process will reduce stress and allow you and your partner to create a one of a kind wedding suited for the two of you.  Let this piece be a focal point like the finished product of the top of the cake.



-Allow yourself time away from wedding planning when the big deadlines have passed (vendors selected, deposits paid).  Take a weekend off, go away for the weekend, get outside!

-Get the little things done ahead of time!  If something can be accomplished three months prior to your wedding date and doesn’t take up a lot of space or energy- GET IT DONE NOW.  There is no sense in adding extra things on to your plate right before your wedding.

-Remember why you are planning a wedding in the first place.  You would not have to think about all these decisions and dream up all of your amazing ideas if it wasn’t for the fact that you found your partner and you both have chosen to spend your lives together.  So, the next time you wonder why you are taking on a ‘second job’ or deciding between chocolate or vanilla (vanilla  😉), enjoy this fun phase that leads you down the aisle to an amazing life together.


Take care and Happy Planning!


Founder, Alex & Lily Home



How is it the middle of April already?!  On the west coast, we are starting to see spurts of spring, but not as many as we are used to this time of year!  We are big fans of the spring season for several reasons, the biggest ones being that spring symbolizes a true awakening and cue to start things off on a fresh foot.  Outdoor patios start to become a common after work hang out again and we enjoy the outdoors with slightly less layers.  If you like to host, then spring also means the use of your balcony or outdoor space.  Of course, just how much you can do will depend on the size of your outdoor space however- some key elements should always be present.  Here are our tips of a fresh and social outdoor patio.



This may seem like an obvious one, but having some greenery embraces nature, adds, colour and can be applied in many ways.  From small pots to planters to trees and hedges- choose your favourite plant that will flourish in your space considering the exposure to sunlight and the level of attentiveness to keeping the plants alive.  If you are low maintenance, look towards the cactus or succulent family, for example.



Not all of us, especially those living in the Vancouver area, have space for a full outdoor dining set.  Fear not- seating can also come in the form of a cushioned bench or a café set table and chairs.  This is where your personal style comes in.  Choose raw, sanded wood for a rustic or country feel; a white painted metal set for a feminine touch; or the simple, tightly woven nylon for the contemporary type.


As with interiors, lighting has a huge impact on how your outdoor space looks and feels.  Thankfully, when the days are longer, natural light guides us through most of the night.  Additional lighting- like string lighting or sconces shed extra ambiance when the sun goes to sleep.  String lighting is readily available through various retailers and sometimes a single string will suffice to add a cozy layer of lighting to your space.

Canvas- Canadian Tire


How could we fail to mention accessories?!  Our favourite piece to any space, accessories finish off your space and showcase your unique style.  Trays with candles, vases of collected items, patterned accent pillows are a few ways to bring in colour, personality and a dose of envy from your neighbours.

As for entertaining sets to enjoy those refreshing beverages in?  We love this set from Pottery Barn.

Mix up a delicious frozen wine slushie, call your friends and enjoy the outdoors!

As always, your questions and comments are welcome!

Alex & Lily



I have written before about the value of registering for your wedding (see Why is a registry important).  So, as I have progressed along with my own wedding plans, I got to experience for myself the joy of registering.  As a shopper, planner, designer and wedding enthusiast, I was so very excited for this stage and I would like to share with you my top five items to register for, that everyone should have on their list.


Firstly, everyone has different needs.  The main factor that should guide your registry is your lifestyle.  Do you love to cook?  Are you a wine connoisseur?  Do you love to eat out?  All of these factors play into the types of things you should be registering for.  If you hate to cook and love home décor, don’t stock your registry with solely kitchen items and zero accent pillows.  For me, I love to cook and entertain and want to be prepared to host all sorts of gatherings.  Seeing that I have already built up a fair amount of entertaining pieces- the focus for my registry was geared towards larger, more formal gatherings.


If the entertaining items I owned were old and needed replacing, then a wedding registry would be a good time to upgrade.  There wouldn’t be much point to having more than two sets of perfectly functional cheese knives though, for example.  Of course, the wedding registry is meant to start the newlyweds off on the right foot, but keep in mind that you should only register for items you need or will use in the future.


So, if you are going to register for your wedding (which I recommend you do), here are my top five items that should be on your list:

#1- Staub or Le Creuset

If you are to have only one kind of cookware in your kitchen- these French inspired pieces should be it.  Not only do both of these brands carry an array of colours to suit your home and your taste- these cast iron stove to oven to tabletop pieces are an effective way to cook a meal and leaves you with much less dishes to clean!  My personal favourite is the Basil coloured Staub cocotte.

#2- Wine glasses

A part of entertaining, wine glasses are an essential thing to have many of.  Chose a brand you like and can get more of (for breakage in the future).  You can either choose to register for a whole line of glassware for each varietal, or simply choose one size in the middle that works nicely across the board.  I love the Riedel Boudreaux glass that works with all varietals.

#3- Towels

Matching, cozy towels are a great way to unify your bathroom.  Towels should be replaced every 5 to ten years or so anyways, so why not get a new set (or two) to fill your newlywed home?!  They say that the rule for towels is as follows: one on the rack, one in the laundry and one on the shelf.  My favourite amazingly cozy towels are from Pottery Barn.  Classic white will last you a lifetime but you can also choose a colour to fit your bathroom scheme.

#4- Knives

Having a good, sharp set of knives is important whether you use them daily or not.  There isn’t anything more frustrating then trying to prepare vegetables with a dull knife.  From experience, even if you don’t use your knives that often, your friends who come over and cook at your home will appreciate a sharp set of knives.  Of course, with this item, there is a huge range of prices so choose a quality knife with a price point you are comfortable with.  A great all around knife brand is J.A. Henckels.

#5- Food Processor or Heavy Duty Blender

It is very common to register for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but the truth is, though it may look pretty on your counter, it’s not for everyone.  This is why I suggest a smaller appliance like a food processor or a multi-functional blender.  Whether your go to is a smoothie, homemade pesto or diced onions, a multi-tasking appliance is a versatile piece to add to your home.  It’s usage will change overtime to suit your needs.  For example, making homemade baby food for your future little ones 😊  I registered for the Kitchen Aid Food Processor.

I could go on and on about what would fill up an amazing registry, but these five building blocks will set you up on a good path to newlywed bliss!

So, if you need anymore tips on registering or how to select items to suit your home- let me know!  Otherwise, happy shopping!


Alex & Lily Home


How does a planner, plan her wedding?

I have decided to share my journey through planning my wedding to help shed light, advice and to potentially inspire those who are also planning their weddings.  Hopefully you enjoy my story as my journey continues.

When I first got engaged I was in disbelief and incredibly happy.  I could not help but look down at my left hand and see that the feelings I was feeling were real.  On a typical pacific northwest day, it was grey and raining and as my fiancé asked me to marry him between the crashing waves on the beach and the determined surfers in the ocean, we both knew that we wouldn’t be going surfing that day.  As soon as we got back to the house, I was on the phone and skyping with family members and friends to share the exciting news.  In between phone calls, I was already starting to plan.  What did I do first?  I asked my sister for her guest list spreadsheet from her wedding that contains all of our family members and their addresses.  It had begun.


As much of a planner that I am, believe it or not, I did not have my ‘dream wedding’ all worked out- much to my cousin’s disbelief.  I knew certain elements I wanted to have and had a faint feeling of how I wanted the atmosphere, but I did not have any of the details yet.  One thing I was aware of was that you can dream about ‘your big day’ for years and long for a particular setting, but you will not know if that setting is realistic until you have a rough idea of your guest count.  So having my sister’s spreadsheet was my first step to figuring out what would be realistic for me.  If you do not have a sibling who recently got married before you, that’s fine.  Start your own guest list and be generous at first.  Don’t worry about being stringent on the first draft- trust me, there will be many editions to come.


Being a planner and having worked in the industry for over five years, I am aware of how many elements are involved in planning a wedding.  So needless to say, I hit the ground running and got to work on vendors, theme and the venue search.  Though it is important to find a venue (and a date) early on, you need to also determine the overall style of the atmosphere you imagine.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted an outdoor, natural element instead of an indoor hotel ballroom feel.  I have a large family and knew that I wanted as many of them to be there as possible.  I also knew that I would be looking to either the Whistler or Okanagan regions as this was something that my fiancé and I discussed previously.  Keeping these elements in mind was crucial to be able to begin our venue search.  We ended up finding a vineyard in the Okanagan with a special meaning to us that will be the perfect mix of nature, style and fantastic views.


I will admit that given the timeline set before myself (nine months from engagement to walking down the aisle), I took on the role of a planner for first three months of my engagement.  I was approaching decisions and vendors from a planner point of view, as opposed to a bride.  I was action-based not emotionally driven.  I think though, that this approach helped me to get ahead of the planning to make sure I could meet the deadline nine months later.  Don’t worry if you’re not as enthusiastic about the planning as I am.  Make sure you do what is best for you and your partner.  If that means that you have a longer engagement or hire a wedding planner to help with things, then do so!  Also- remember that a main reason to hire an expert to help with the planning and executing is to relieve stress from the process so that you can focus on what’s important to you.  It also allows your friends and family to fully enjoy themselves and to not have any responsibilities on your wedding day.


So far, the experience of planning my wedding has been full on, action forward and exciting.  I can visualize the day and how I have planned for it to come together.  As one task after the other is checked off my list (of which I have many), the more room I have to think about the excitement to come!

Another wedding update will come soon, but for now, work on your Pinterest boards or drop me a line.



Alex & Lily Home




Packing.  I feel that everyone either has a love or a hate relationship with it.  For some, it brings on a lot of stress or angst.  For me- I love it!  I mean, REALLY love it.  I am the kind of person who dreams about packing weeks in advance before a trip and will always unpack my bags, even if it is just for a two night stay.  I recognize that not everyone shares this love but, having gone though a move recently myself, I thought I could shed some light on the subject.


First, start early.  There is always, I mean always more to do than you think there is.  I started packing a few boxes a couple months in advance due to my schedule, but I would recommend it.  Think about it like this: ‘What will I NOT need for the next month/couple weeks?”  Pack these items first.  Trust me, you won’t miss the items because you will not be using them before you move.  Starting early also allows you to sort through your closets and cupboards to discard of items that are no longer useful and need to be donated or tossed.  What is that point o f packing, moving and then UNpacking and old sweater or pair of boots just to donate them on the other end?


Second- label all boxes and bins!  Do this simple step to begin with to save yourself some time and frustration on the other end.  Label not only the nature of the contents of the box, but the location where they will be unpacked.  This way you stay organized and anyone assisting you with the move can drop off boxes in their proper places, without having to consult you each time.


Third– pack items with care.  Whether it is a short or a long journey to the new home, take the time to properly cushion and wrap all items.  Everything will be traveling in a moving vehicle and there will always be bumps along the road (literally and figuratively).  Don’t forget to label fragile items specifically to ensure proper loading and unloading.


Fourth– don’t put yourself in a box.  Yes, you are packing up your life, but life still continues as you do this.  Perhaps you will eat out for the last few nights before the move, but what will you eat on?  If you are thirsty, what will you drink from?  A simple tip is to leave aside a few disposable plates, forks, knives and cups so that you can pack up all of your dishware and still have something to eat off of in the days leading up to the move.  This also eliminates last minute dishes to clean or to potentially forget.  Anything that allows the mode of packing to move forward is a positive thing to help keep you on schedule and ready for moving day.


Fifth– be calm and grateful.  This is the one thing that I need to remind myself of more often.  I am a great packer.  I am a great organizer.  I like to be as efficient as I can be.  Sometimes all of these factors fly past gratitude and straight onto ‘go mode’.  Moving is a lot of work and even an ultra-planner like myself will come across things that will not go exactly as planned because that is generally how life works.  However, things could also go better than expected!  Try to remain excited about the new adventure and take the process in stride.  Most importantly, remember to thank those who have helped you in the process.  I was lucky enough to have a great, big team at my side.  And I am so grateful for all of their help.



Set yourself up for success and a less stressful move by preparing yourself and your home for packing, organizing and unpacking your new adventure!

Follow along as my unpacking and re-designing process moves forward this Fall.

As always, contact us for more tips and comment on your recent moving experience below.


Allie Cooper

Alex & Lily Home


home office

A space that is gaining more and more attention in new ways is the home office.  Of course having a space to sit and do ‘the bills’ has been around for a while, but home offices have taken on a different, more modern use as the numbers of ‘mompreneurs’ and those working from home continues to grow.  It is no longer an afterthought that is hardly used and functions as the catch-all space. It can be a space that provides an inspirational, functional and of course, stylish room to work in.  In this blog post we will list the essentials to create your perfectly-styled and well-equipped home office.


First up: THE DESK

The key here is to give yourself enough surface area for the specific activities you will be doing.  Tap into your personal style and what elements will motivate and inspire you to get down to work.  Below is a beautiful glass top desk with shaped lucite legs.  Perfect for a clean lined, modern- yet classic office desk.

Glass top desk

This rustic wood desk reads playful with a pop of colour on the legs to allow it to be placed in either a rustic or more transitional style space.

desk with pink legs

Don’t Forget: THE CHAIR

Will you be sitting at your desk for long periods of time, or only here and there?  Make sure you consider comfort in your chair selection so as to not discourage yourself from getting work done or potentially cause you pain over time.  After considering the comfort of the chair- select a chair that goes nicely with your desk.  Modern, traditional or rustic?  Check out some of our faves below:

colourful chair

cross back chair                   white desk chair



What is an office without: STORAGE

Proper storage is important for your home office.  There is nothing motivating or encouraging about a pile of paper sprawled all over your desk from the day before.  Whether the storage is built into your desk or incorporated with shelving and baskets- it is an essential element of your home office.  We love these Kate Spade magazine holders; and why not add some open shelving to add both storage and style above your desk?!


open shevling 2

If your space allows for it, a bookshelf is a great way to add plenty of additional storage to your home office while also providing ample room to add art, personal items and decor.


How could we forget: ACCESSORIES

The details.  Our favourite part of any space.  There are loads of stationary companies out there to help outfit your desktop and pull together the style of your home office.  Your desktop would not be complete without some form of: pens and colourful markers; notebooks to write down your goals and to create lists; general office supplies like scissors, staplers and a hole punch; and finally- unique elements that personalize your space.  Here are some of our favourites to make your home office complete.

rifle notebook

Kate Spade- cards               poppin stapler

All in all, a well put-together and professional space is not only about aesthetics and design, but about creating an inspirational space to dedicate time and productive thought.  Start yourself off on the right foot and make the most efficient use of your home office by having all of the right elements and-as always- contact Alex & Lily for more details and assistance.


Alex & Lily



Choosing a venue is one the of the most important decisions in planning your wedding: it sets the tone, the atmosphere and the style of your wedding.  It is a determining factor that helps to guide the rest of your decisions and to give you and yours the experience you imagine.

But how does one choose only one venue to tie the knot?? With hundreds of options and new spaces renting themselves out for private events each year, how do you narrow it down?

Alex & Lily are here to help.  Let us give you some inspiration and things to think about to aid in the ever important Venue Decision.  There are some key factors to consider that will impact and inform your choice of venue:


  • How many guests will be attending your wedding?

The guest list is very important in determining what venue you choose because all venues will have a maximum guest limit.  It is not only about being able to ‘fit’ all of your guests into the space, but also, not choosing a space that is too large for your event so that there is an excessive amount of empty space.  Before looking for venues, you and your partner should sit down and draw up a draft guest list to determine the ballpark number of guests you will be inviting.  It is not a good situation to be in if you have your heart set on a venue and you are unable to cut down your guest list.


  • What is your personal style and that of your partner?

This is about what you like, what you like to wear and the level of casual or formal display you prefer.  Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner and so choosing a venue with the style that you can relate to will be more exciting and appealing to you.  Are you a princess who has always dreamed of her wedding a big, fancy ballroom? Take a look at some of Vancouver’s most beautiful hotels, The Rosewood Hotel Georgia or the Four Seasons. Both offer incredible service, legendary beautiful interiors and high end glamour.  Are you more of a trendsetter and like to discover new things?  A new venue making waves in Vancouver is the heritage building at The Permanent.  They are situated in downtown Vancouver east of the business core and have recently opened up their space for public events.  It boasts an amazing stained glass ceiling, heritage bar and guests can roam over three floors throughout the wedding.


  • How you and your partner want to celebrate?

Are you comfortable being the centre of attention?  Or does that scare the living you-know-what out of you?  Or somewhere in between.  Will you be having a religious ceremony or a non-denominational one?  Does it excite you to have a fun filled event, or a chill and intimate gathering?  These are some questions to ask yourselves to determine if you require two locations for example, one of the ceremony and one for the reception.  Think about whether or not all guests are invited to both the ceremony and reception, or just one.  (And we hate to break it to you, but regardless if you are comfortable with it or not, as the bride, you will be the centre of attention all night).


  • How much work are you personally expecting to put into the day? And how much are you hoping to hire others to perform?

Whether it’s due to time, experience or skill set, each couple has an idea of what activities they want to do themselves or feel better to outsource to professionals.  Some venues, like hotels, will automatically have the service, most likely the catering, most furniture, linens and parking already in place.  This is compared to an outdoor venue where all rentals, food and décor would have to be brought in.  Personalizing your venue is easier when it is a blank slate- on the other hand, it means that there are more vendors required and decisions to be made.  There is no right answer.  It depends on your vision, as well as what you can afford.  Most venues that come with staff and furniture, ect will be more expensive, however after adding up all the sectors that you need, you may not find a huge difference in price between an outdoor venue versus a hotel (think- tent rentals…).


Given the fact that choosing a venue determines the stage for your wedding and it is your special day with your partner, you want to be sure that you are comfortable with your decision.  However, sometimes there are barriers to being able to make isolated decisions. Family and friends are excited for your nuptials and so, may lend their opinions on various decisions for your wedding.  Sometimes these comments are rational and appreciated-sometimes they can be overwhelming.  If your parents are paying for your wedding, they have the right to SOME, key word, SOME of the decisions.  This is not to say that they can dictate everything about your wedding, but perhaps there will need to be some compromise.  If you are pushing for an outdoor wedding for example, and your parents want a ballroom setting, a great option in the Vancouver area is Cecil Green.  It offers both outdoor and indoor space, old world feel and class and glamour that this heritage venue naturally provides.  As in all relationships, compromise will need to happen and choosing a venue will likely be only one of the situations where compromise will be necessary.

Some other great venues in the Vancouver area are: the rustic, natural and beautiful North Arm Farm in Pemberton, north of Whistler; your very own gallery display at the Vancouver Art Gallery; and the dimly-lit, romantic and alluring Brix and Mortar in Yaletown.

Whatever venue you choose, try to imagine your day, how you want to feel, the people you want around you and the memories you know you will make!

For more advice on venue selection, or wedding services in general, contact Alex & Lily Home.  We are always here to help.


Alex & Lily



We love celebrating birthdays.  Some people are obsessed with their birthdays, and others could care less.  Here at Alex & Lily, we are in the camp who believe that birthdays should be celebrated and that they should bring together as many people as you can who love and care for the person entering another year.

The ‘new birthday’ simply means celebrating birthdays in a way that is unique or different from birthday celebrations of the past, but not too extreme that you break the bank.  Every birthday should have a theme- whether that theme is overt or subtle.  Themes do not always dictate dressing up as your favourite childhood hero- or any hero for that matter.  Rather we are suggesting a more sophisticated and adult theme that revolves around food, drink or activity.  Something that is classy and fun, and easy for everyone to participate in, not only those who love to dress up.


Theme #1: The New Bartender On The Block

Ask all of your guests to bring their favourite alcohol or liqueur.  Once you have all of the supplies ready, try your hand at mixing up some tasty cocktails with the flavours you have at your disposal.  If you have a friend who is a particularly good bartender, have them start things off.  You can also look up recipes and mix up some of your favourites.  This is also a great time to show off your new bar set you got for Christmas, your wedding, or of birthdays past 😉

Theme #2: Wine O’ Clock

Similar to making your own cocktails, ask each guest to bring a bottle of wine of their choice, along with one food item that pairs nicely with it.  Conversely, you can also put together a nice variety of cheeses and garnishes to suit a wide variety of flavours.  The party essentially turns into a wine tasting party with each guest tasting small amounts of various wines, and appropriately pairing them with some delectable cheese.  Yum!  Again, a great time to show off those cheese knives you have oh-so-carefully stored away in a drawer!


Theme #3: Country Cuisine Cook-off

This theme is based around food- an essential for ANY party.  Choose your favourite cuisine, or country and ask guests to bring a small dish of that cuisine/country.  Add topical music and beverage you have yourself a food-themed bash! Alternatively, you can do all the cooking (or hire someone else to) and sit back and enjoy an indulgent meal with your loved ones.

Theme #4: GAME ON!

We always love adding a little fun into the evening and if you are already entertaining at home, it is easy to bring out a board game or two!  Similar to the previous themes, you can ask guests to bring a board game, or use the ones you have at home.  Try to think of games that involve a lot of players at once, so that everyone has a chance to participate.  You can have two games going at a time if your group is large enough.  Though board games seem to be a nostalgic activity, it is a fun way to get the competitive juices flowing or the chance to make fools of yourselves without a care. (With this theme, don’t forget to supply food and beverage as well).


These ideas are cohesive and flexible while also creating a focus and a central theme to your special day.  They can be as detailed and committed as you like.  Accompanying décor, music and dress can be added, or you can choose to keep it simple.

We hope this has sparked some ideas for your next birthday bash!  And, as always,  Alex & Lily are here to provide more ideas and guidance when you need.


Alex & Lily

(Note: Image 1- Style Me Pretty; Image 2- Etsy; Image 3- Williams Sonoma)



Lessons and inspirations from the Big Apple

It has been quote some time since I last visited New York City – a time where all I saw were huge skyscrapers, busy streets and loads of cabs! But this time around, it was a real treat. Of course, the city is full of food, fashion and fun- but the subtleties are what intrigued me most. The Flatiron District with its amazing old buildings perfectly juxtaposed as modern stores or showrooms; the fact that you are in the birth place of something that is ‘made in New York’; and the inescapable $15 cocktail. All things quintessentially New York City.


Of course, experiencing New York as a designer- my eye was constantly on the move. The enthralling ABC Carpet & Home set in an almost ancient building with furniture, lighting and home décor to make you drool embarrassingly in public- was like a playground filled with inspiration. I am particularly fond of old-meets-new and the ease and comfort of an aged setting amongst the most comfortable and luxurious armchair you have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. There are seven floors to discover, all with different designers, styles and needs for your home. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed and wanted to spend the entire day there!


It seems like everywhere you look there is a little gem- whether very visible or hidden behind the façade of pawn shop in the East Village. This is where I was dazzled by not only the scene, but also the dark, proper yet elegant design of my new favourite dinner spot- Beauty and Essex. As mentioned, the entrance is hidden through a pawn shop that from the outside, looks like a 90s storefront with not much to offer. However, the restaurant is wonderful, and quite the hidden gem if you’re a tourist. Mixed materials, tufted settees and banquettes and the vibrant sconces win you over and make you feel delighted. Thankfully, the food continues this delighted mood and is overall, an impressive experience.


It is no surprise that there are hundreds of places to shop in New York, and there is no shortage of style, taste, colour, cut or price ranges. Whether strolling through SoHo and ogling the fabulous designer clothes; walking along the industrial iron strip in the Meatpacking District to casually flip through some favourites, or having the patience and determination to conquer all seven floors of Macy’s on 34th Street; New York is filled with inspiration everywhere!

Macy’s still has the original escalators that have been in working order for 95 years! They are beautifully vintage and riding on the ash and oak moving stairway gave me goosebumps! New York has a lot of history, but to be that close to a piece of history was such a wonderful feeling. It is great to see a huge department store honouring their history and embracing it through renovations of the modern world.


All in all, New York as an adult designer is impressive. It is stimulating, fun, exciting, sometimes windy, and too large to possibly do in one trip- but a great place to spark some creative juices and I look forward to sharing those with you in the months to come!



Alex & Lily


It’s the time of year where Canadians love to escape the winter (or, in Vancouver’s case- the rain), and travel to a warmer, sunnier destination. Packing and preparing for a trip are a couple of our strong suits. So here, we give you some advice on how to rock your next vacay!


Make sure that your documents are all up to date. Passports especially. It is a good idea to check your passport’s expiry date when you book the trip as it can take a couple weeks to get organized. Checking your family’s documents at the same time will save from the hassle of going to the passport office more then once.

Charge your electronics that you intend to pack. This is something that can be done ahead of time and leave you confident that you will be able to use them during travel. Packing the charging cord for each electronic is wise as you will be using these electronics during your trip as well.

Stock up on your toiletries. Refill shampoo bottles or soaps and make a list of items you still need to purchase. Of course packing travel size toiletries saves space, but don’t worry about sacrificing your perfect hair product for example, if it is not available in a smaller size.

Plan the outfits you want to pack. This way, you can get the most out of the clothing you bring. Having pieces that can be used in a couple of different ways will help reduce the amount of clothing you pack and also allow you to creatively mix and match the items you bring. By thinking about your outfits in advance as well as the activities that you will be doing, you will see if there are any gaps in your wardrobe needed for this trip be able to do any necessary laundry.

Find out if your vacay spot has laundry. This will determine how many undergarments and clothing you will need to bring. If there is laundry, then you can pack a little less and wash items that get dirty. (Of course, you will be on vacation and if laundry + vacation does not sound fun to you, then don’t worry). If you’re travelling with children, this can particularly helpful to know.

All of these things can be done in advance to help prepare you for your trip. We are huge fans of packing a couple days before departing to ensure you have everything you need. And, as always, making a list of the tasks to do is a great way to keep you organized and prepared. Especially if you have a young family to pack for, anything that you can do in advance will help reduce the stress of leaving town and also allow you to feel confident that you are not forgetting anything for your vacation.

Happy traveling!

Alex & Lily