Rubber Wellies, Concrete Tiles & Other Great Finds – November.

Posted by Gillian Gillies | 21 Nov, 2014 | No Comments on Rubber Wellies, Concrete Tiles & Other Great Finds – November.
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As I am drafting this post the snow is falling in heavy, damp globs outside my window. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you not like winter, it soaks my leather boots and trashes any sort of hair styling  attempt that I have made.

It’s a day meant for paperwork and if you have to go out, it’s a day for wellie boots. In all my years of living in Scotland (32 to be precise) I only ever wore rubber boots when I was forced to as a kid – our school was undergoing some sort of renovation / addition that turned the play ground into a mud pit. I had yellow ones with navy blue tops that had a drawstring you could pull so that water / slush / mud couldn’t go down and make your feet wet. I hated them, the boys called me Banana Boots (I was gangly and skinny and these yellow wellies made me look like a cartoon character) and it made me hate rubber boots for the rest of my days. In fact as soon as left primary school I NEVER owned a pair. Then I move (the things your heart gets you to do!) to Canada. Where it seems in Toronto at least, everyone  is rubber wellie obsessed and everyone seems to think its all Brits wear on their feet. We don’t –  its only Kate Moss who wears them and she really only wears them at Glastonbury where it’s very muddy. A girlfriend from home visited a few years ago and couldn’t believe the array and assortment and the amount of people wearing them in the city – even on a non wet / slushy day! But on a day like today you really have no choice but to don a pair and get on with it.

Hunter Wellington's.

This post wasn’t supposed to be a wellie boots but somehow it now is….its my blog so I guess I am allowed to digress if I want too. I think what I am trying to say is that on a day like this I know the weather has me beaten and so I will get my wellies on and join the throng of other black Hunter wearers – most of whom go to my yoga studio. It’s here where the problem really starts – at the end of a tough Flow class I can barely remember my name let alone where I left my boots, and on wet days I feel a little like Goldilocks, trying them all on until I find the pair that is just right or the pair that I have remembered to stuff my socks into. I can’t write my name on the dotted line on the inside of the boot – it reminds me too much of school – so I just hope that no one else shares my trauma and can feel happy at being a grown up who still writes their name on their clothing, so that their boots are differentiated from mine.

My boots almost killed me last year. I have black ones that go a patchy gray colour when not in use and so I purchased the Hunter Boot Buffer spray and it made my boots shine like they were made of patent leather. It also turned my laundry room floor and every other surface that the spray happened to touch (note to self only ever use this spray outside – it’s so fine it gets EVERYWHERE) into a skating rink which is how they almost killed me. It’s just as well I do yoga so that when I am snapped back in half when one of my feet goes from underneath me I have the presence of mind to just go with the flow and not fear the journey – even although the journey almost ended up with me foot first in the dryer….


Although this wasn’t meant to be a footwear piece the weather has taken me in a direction that I didn’t intend but I’m kind of happy it happened. It’s the creative in me. Sometimes you never know where one thing will lead – it can be the same in a design scheme. One stray comment or request from a client can taken you in a direction you hadn’t quite intended. This happened last Friday to me.

I was with client’s discussing their main floor renovation that is scheduled to start mid-January. We were reviewing their kitchen countertop options and they mentioned that they really liked the look of concrete tiles for their backsplash. A visit to Versatile and my head is full of thoughts and options. The tiles are going to be too large for their backsplash – they are 8″ square which will leave us with an awkward gap to fill plus this type of tile needs to be seen more than just 2 tiles high, but I am hoping / thinking we could incorporate them in their entrance foyer and powder room which now has my mind spinning of into lots of gorgeous places, far far away from rubber wellies and nasty boys.

This is the tile that made my heart sing. It was actually Bonnie who spotted it and whispered in a hushed tone – what about that one – there was another designer and her client who were also looking at it, so we had to act cool and nonchalant about it when in fact we were both REALLY excited by it. It’s quite stunning. The black and white combination won’t work in this project but it comes in multiple colours so I am thinking of something softer that will work with the rest of the decor. Its durable and tough and will still look great even on a rubber wellie day!

Versatile, concrete tile.

My heart has also been singing since I met with Cedric from Wet Style on Monday. All my clients know that I am obsessed with the gorgeousness of Wet Style vanities, tubs and storage towers. They are handcrafted 100% in Montreal and they are as good-looking as they are practical and durable. I’ve used their pieces in many homes over the years.


Well the big news is that they have now partnered with a gorgeous Spanish firm who makes the most incredible range of bathroom accessories – think stunning towel bars and paper holders. Honestly when I blog about a simple thing like a paper holder it must be a good thing! When I design a bathroom for a client I design with every single piece in mind and that means every item of hardware. I need to know how the design will accommodate towel storage and robe hooks – where will everything go. Its one thing having a gorgeous space, it’s quite the other having a functional space. The curated range from pomd’or has me smiling from ear to ear. The catalogue is so gorgeous it’s going to be my bedtime reading.

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There is also a sister collection that includes some stunning fittings that can be mounted on glazed shower enclosures. We often install glazed shower enclosures and often incorporate a towel bar as a door handle. Its a handy place to have it! The only downside is that the styling of these pieces tends to be a little on the drab side. They are supplied by the enclosure company and although useful, they can look pretty generic. Well Cosmic (sister company to pomd’or)  have a lovely range of towel bars and hooks that can be mounted on doors and glazed panels. AT LAST!!!! All of these gorgeous things will be available to view at IDS15 in Toronto in January OR you can hire me and see them now!

So that’s been my month so far. I hope you are having a good one.

Best, Gillian

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