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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




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



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)


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



A fresh, organized start to the new year- all around.

A new year brings new hopes, dreams and promises. It’s a time of reflection and self-awareness. It’s a time for improvement and change. It is not however, a time to set unrealistic goals that are unlikely to be attainable in a calendar year.


Is your goal to have a more organized home?

To finally tackle that home renovation project?

Or to plan your dream wedding without the stress?


An organized home is a matter of using your current space in a better, more efficient way. Below are some clever uses of space that allow for easier access to often used items.


It is always a good idea to sort through drawers and closets several times in a year. It is alright for things to build up over time, but sorting through things more than once a year will keep things from becoming too hectic or overgrown.


Once the excitement and celebration has settled down from the holidays and your life’s ‘to-do list’ comes flooding back into mind- home improvements become a focus again. Research is an important part of any project. If you are looking to save up a bit more money after the expense of the holidays, spend some time now researching and brainstorming. This will be helpful when you begin the project or look to hire a pro. One of the first things a professional will ask you about is your style and functionality preferences. This is where your research will pay off.

Check out these images from one of our most recent project, where used Paris and the client’s warm nature as inspiration for the space.

Another consideration is to take the time to prioritize your home improvements to know which project to tackle first. Not everything can be done at once, regardless if you have the budget to do so. There is a process that occurs with every project and some aspects are contingent upon the completion of other installations. The more prepared you are to begin your project, the smoother it will go.

If you are engaged or newly engaged- firstly- Congratulations! Secondly, we know there are a lot of things to do for your wedding- and we’re here to help. Planning a wedding can be stressful because of the many decisions to make and tasks to complete. To help you get organized, consider the accessory tasks or activities that you need help with, aren’t interested in, or don’t feel that you will have time to do. These can be things like building welcome baskets for your out-of-town guests, maintaining and following up with RSVPs, or planning and organizing your rehearsal dinner. There are plenty of resources available online to help point out the tasks to be completed. For example, The Knot is great free source for wedding inspiration and guidelines. Alex & Lily will help you complete all of these tasks and reduce the stress of planning!


So, creating a fresh, organized new start to the year is all about the small planning steps to do prior the start of your project. Though it may seem daunting in the beginning, take it one step at a time, take care to think about what you want and need before seeking a professional’s advice and have fun with the idea of a satisfying project that you can be proud of!

***To gain a better sense of what a wedding concierge can do to help you and your fiancé with your wedding needs, attend the Swank Wedding Show in Vancouver on February 6th at the Vancouver Art Gallery and visit our booth!

Alex & Lily

Rustic Whistler Style

Whistler Lodge


Whistler has always been a source of influence for both its surroundings and for its design. Growing up on the Pacific Northwest coast, one cannot help but be influenced by nature. The trees, creeks, rivers and mountains are all a source of inspiration filled with an abundance of natural materials.

Whistler Public Library

Raw wood

A ski town at heart, Whistler’s style was originally based around the ski lodge aesthetic and therefore, full of warmth, comfort and beauty. Being embedded in the mountains, Whistler’s design draws from its surroundings and is based on the naturally occurring materials in its environment. The extensive use of natural materials like wood and rock creates such a warm, comforting and sturdy atmosphere. If nature can depend on these materials- why can’t you?! Whistler style is anything but unassuming- it wows with natural, raw materials and grand spaces- all while creating a homey and lounge-worthy atmosphere. This is perhaps one of the best aspects of Whistler style. Whistler is home to many beautiful, expansive, rustic homes that cost a shiny penny, but at the end of the day, the natural elements combine together to create a homey, comfortable space that makes you want to warm up next to the fire and be lazy all day.


Though not everyone can have 15 foot ceilings (similar to the ones above), draped with cedar beams, sitting on a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, you can still implement a piece of Whistler into your home. Try using chunky applications of stone as opposed to silky smooth; big and bulky wood pieces instead of thin and bare; work with natural finishes instead of dark stained pieces (unless, of course, they naturally occur this way). As well, adding wood into your home automatically adds warmth. And even though slate and rock can be seen as a ‘cold’ material, placing it beside neighbouring materials that emulate their natural environment, they are seen as a complete picture. In saying this, it is easy to introduce more modern elements or style into a space because this ‘complete picture’ acts as a neutral backdrop. Therefore, it is possible to incorporate modern furnishings against rough, natural materials. However, I will caution against going too far in the opposite direction with modern furniture to avoid distracting the eye too much. For example, adding clean-lined furniture and fixtures look lovely, whereas ultra-modern, low-rise couches with a black lacquer coffee table will simply look out of place. In these ways, you can bring a bit of the rustic, natural, ski lodge feel into your home.


Due to the plethora of natural elements and materials, location, backdrop and environment, Whistler will continue to be a huge source of influence for Alex & Lily’s personal as well as professional design inspiration.

Let us know how your Whistler style is coming along!

Comment below,

Alex & Lily

Yaletown Apartment


Living in the city, especially one like Vancouver with housing prices getting the best of you, one cannot always afford the space that they desire.  This however, is not an excuse to leave home design by the wayside.  Instead, it is even more important to use the space you have efficiently and effectively to maximize your footprint!

This project is a sweet apartment in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, one of the most sought after downtown neighbourhoods.  The building are tall, the apartments are small, but the vibe is lively! The style of decor in this space is a mix of rustic, homey charm with a transitional flair. There are a lot of natural materials used in this space, like wood, leather and antlers!  There are several personal pieces in the space that add to its homey feel. There are soft materials like wood and leather that are offset by the occasional hard material from a steel leg or metal table.


I really like that this space has personality and even though it is right downtown, it feels unique to its neighbouring apartments. The apartment is full of natural light due to its many floor to ceiling windows, which helps to make the space appear larger. There is also not an overload of furniture in the space which leaves room to walk from one area to another unobstructed. This is very important in a small space- if you add too many pieces or try to cram too much into a space, you limit the room to move around and also make the space look small and cluttered.


There are some great lessons to be learned from this project. If you are looking for a way to create a homey yet sophisticated space, here are a few tips:

  • Mix your materials- use natural (wood, leather) materials with man-made ones (steel, metals). This will create dimension in your space and avoid your space looking too similar throughout.
  • Make big purchases wisely. For large pieces of furniture, chances are you will have them for a long time. So, you want to be deliberate with your choice and make sure that you will love it for a long time, and that it is of good quality that it will last a long time.
  • Add personal touches. Some designs favour the white gallery walls and clean-lined, modern furniture. However, if it’s a homey feel you’re after, adding personal items from travels or DIY art or pieces are a great way to differentiate your space and make it your own.


For more advice on Interior Design and more, contact Alex & Lily Home.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Remodeling and Home Design


Your desk should be a reflection of your personality. Of course, there are the necessary items that make a desk or workspace functional: a computer or laptop, pens and paper, a light source, storage of some nature…But even within these items you can find styles to suit your personal taste and personality. Then there are those extra items that pull everything together. For example: art work (bought or made); notebooks (standard or trendy); stationary (don’t even get me started….); and other supplies like tape dispensers, staplers and the like.


Now, just because you have a desk or home office space, does not mean that you need EVERY SINGLE ITEM THAT COULD POSSIBLE GO ON A DESK. Believe me, I know how very, very tempting it can be at a stationary store NOT to buy everything in site! I myself, am a lover of pens…you will most definitely find me in the pen aisle at Staples, regardless of the fact that I own more than my fair share of pens!


Moving On: Outfitting your desk to your personal taste means that you can display a certain style of desk accessories and supplies. For the Glitzy Girl, you may find hints of gold and soft feminine colours like this. Clear acrylic trays are a great way to gather items and at the same time, not overload the visual space on your desk.

Glitzy accessories Glitzy desk set up


For the Design Lover, there may also be inspiration in the form of art or magazines at hand. As well as one exceptional accessory or sculpture. Or perhaps some unique, colourful and clever desk accessories from Samuel Wilkinson will do the trick!

Samuel Wilkinson


Richard Sweeney

  Richard Sweeney




For the Earthy Girl, your accessory can be a potted plant (if the work space gets any natural light) or terrarium and can have an awesome wood tray to display your plant on. This desk organizer from Karolin Felix is a great way in introduce natural wood and stay super organized at the same time!

West Elm

West Elm

Houzz- Earthy Organizer


And for the True Professional, access to all of your devices in one reach will surely help the professional process. Grovemade does an excellent job of this and the overall look is so sharp, organized and streamlined. The professional can also have space to store and organize their files, in a chic way.



West Elm

West Elm


Regardless of your style, in order to keep your desk looking sharp and stylish, make sure to tidy it weekly and have a place for everything. For more advice and assistance in your stylish desk or home work space, contact Alex & Lily Home.