Comox Valley Dwellings » Writing

By: Comox Valley Dwellings  09-12-2011
Keywords: Industry Standards

Comox Valley Dwellings » Writing

Posted by bethany on Mar 18, 2010 in


Sometimes I feel a little boxed as I venture out into all things home design.

Anyone artistic probably knows this feeling. It’s the feeling where you’re so exposed to what your industry standards are, that you begin to feel as if you need to adopt them to be taken seriously.

In my opinion, true artistic or creative success comes from a limited pallet. If we possess every tool, every how-to book, and every bit of knowledge – what is left for creativity?

One of my favourite artists, Allan Sapp, developed his creative process with 4 tubes of paint: Brown, Black, Red, White. From this limited pallet, he draws out memories onto canvas.

I think that the Design-Build process is a lot like this. There is a limited pallet. That pallet consists of the Budget, the Needs, the Wants, and the Rules (city bylaws, codes etc).

…and the Artist is responsible for bringing the vision to life using the pallet available.

There are a lot of people out there who can give a customer their dream home using a loaded pallet. However, there are few Artists who can bring a clients vision to life using the pallet available.

Add ethics and sustainability to the pallet - and the Artist mustbecome a master.

Posted by bethany on Jan 27, 2010 in


While planning for a local commercial renovation, we’ve been exploring some alternatives for flooring. For the type of application we’re using it for, it needs to be extremely durable but also professional looking. Marmoleum, as efficient as it is for commercial use, isn’t exactly the most beautiful product available. Tile looks great, but it’s very hard on joints when working on it all day.

Here are two alternative products we’ve considered during the design process. I can imagine these products in a commercial setting, but also in a sleek residential one.

#1. Premier Garage – Floor Coatings

These floors are made from a hybrid polymer. The product has been specially designed to withstand typical wear and tear in a garage. This product has a 10-year warranty against peeling, and a 10-year warranty against staining*. One of the best parts in my opinion, is the fast turn-around in installment – typically it takes only 48 hours finish. It is available in a high-gloss finish or a speckled “granite” look. I’m imagining the high-gloss flooring in a modern setting… stunning!

 #2 StoneCraft

StoneCraft offers another great solution for floor coatings. This product is a cement and plastic combination that can be applied in a variety of ways. It can be applied as a smooth surface, or can be created to have the look and texture of tile. This product is pretty dynamic, and can be applied vertically up a wall  – in fact, StoneCraft has been used on climbing gyms. This product also installs in approximately 48 hours.

As with any new product on the market, make sure to do thorough research before buying. If you are considering purchasing a product like this, perhaps ask the business for a few references from satisfied customers. If using it for commercial applications, it’s a good idea to compare the product’s durability with any heavy-duty cleaners that are used in the building.

Top – Premier Garage
Bottom – StoneCraft

Local Contacts:

*always confirm full details of warranties with the company.

Posted by bethany on Nov 23, 2009 in

It seems I’m on a bit of an “Art Kick” these days…
Let’s continue with the theme, shall we?

Step 1: Fall in love with a great piece of art.

Step 2: Buy the piece of art. (Or in my case, make manageable installment payments every month so I can afford it. An art addicts gotta do what an art addicts gotta do…)

Step 3: Bring it home and HANG IT. But how?

Hanging your art can be most difficult part…
Here are a few ideas:

GROUP your art. Try to aim for symmetry and even spacing between pieces. Also, the centre of the grouping should be about eye level. Centre your artwork on your gaze, not on the wall. 

BIG taste in art? No Big Deal. Artwork does not need to be hung the way it is in large galleries – with lots of vacant space between it and anything else in the room. It’s perfectly fine to allow the piece to become part of the rest of the decor by layering. The picture below is a great example of this:

Here’s an idea for art display that I’ve been keen on lately. Simply placing your art on a shelf and leaning it on the wall creates a casual, less formal look. I love this look because the artwork seems so much more interactive.  Plus, no holes in the walls.

My NUMBER ONE TIP for displaying art is: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate!

Artwork, especially original artwork, is interactive with it’s environment. Colours in your room will alter the colours you see in the painting. Lighting will allow for new layers in the piece to be discovered - even dim lighting can reveal shapes you never noticed before. Therefore, change the location of your art from time to time. WARNING – this could result in the whole room being rearranged – this happens to me all the time!

Any other tips or ideas out there?


Posted by bethany on Nov 17, 2009 in

I first spied Lucy Schappy’s work a couple of years ago at the Atlas Cafe. I kept taking breaks from conversation around the table to walk around so I could gaze at them a little longer.

Whimsical AliveDreamyMagical

I met with Lucy at her home a few weeks ago. She showed me around her studio and we chatted about her work . It was apparent to me that each one of Lucy’s paintings is the building of a relationship – complete with ups and downs, breakthroughs  and disappointments.

These relationships began as humble exploration into oil painting after Lucy attended a local art workshop. At that point, Lucy was a dentist – practicing locally and enjoying a rewarding career. But after a 3 year leave she came to a crossroads where she had to decide between art and dentistry. During a coffee-date with a good friend she came to vivid epiphany -  what she wanted to do, despite of the all the challenges, was paint. Lucy followed her love and left her profession as a dentist behind.

The career of an artist is not an easy one. As an artist, one has to shed stresses and distractions in order to bare their own souls to their creative hands on a daily basis. And with all that soul-deep emotion being poured into each piece, I often wonder how it must feel to let go of the creations when someone purchases it for their own home.

Before I was a family-gal living in the Comox Valley, I worked at a well-known art gallery. I spent 2 years there, helping everyday people make connections with original art. Naturally, most of my interaction was with the customer. It never ceased to amaze me how unique each client/art connection was. I never really had much of a chance to talk one-on-one with the artist, and frankly, I’m not sure I would have had the insight to start a decent conversation anyway. But now that I’ve had time to ponder it all, I find myself increasingly curious about how artists feel when it comes to letting go of their art so that other’s may hang it in their own homes.

What happens to the relationship between the artist and the piece of art when it is purchased?
What kind of relationship forms between the purchaser and their new art?

Lucy and I discussed these questions….

The relationship that an artist builds with a painting isn’t tangible. It is part emotional, part spiritual perhaps - it cannot me measured. The relationship exists without end, even when the product of that relationship (the painting) ventures on to become the property of another. Each painting represents a deep relationship with the artist. Complex and meaningful on so many personal levels, these works of art will start a new relationship when they become part of someones home but will never loose intimacy with the artist.

For the purchaser, the relationship is different. In my experience, there are few people who desire to connect with a new painting on the same level the artist did when creating it.  Art speaks to us all individually. There is no magical equation for understanding art – and there is no requirement to understand the “deeper meaning” before falling in love and making it a part of your home. As I pondered how the new relationship between the purchaser and the painting could be described, the word “JOY” was resounding my my head. This is the appropriate word to use for myself as a collector of original art. I purchase pieces for my home that become a visible emotion.

Original art is a beautiful way to infuse your home with extra energy and emotion. We are so lucky to have many talented artists, such as Lucy Schappy, living and working here in the Comox Valley.

If you want to see more of Lucy’s art visit Magnolia Gallery in Cumberland. Current works are available for viewing and purchasing.

~ b

Keywords: Industry Standards

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