Wickaninnish Inn

28 Jun
carved yellow cedar doors to enter the Wickannish Inn

carved yellow cedar doors to enter the Wickaninnish Inn

Tofino and Ucluelet BC are a little piece of paradise, and I love to visit as often as I am able.  The internationally renowned and award winning Wickaninnish Inn is a worthwhile stop on your visit.

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This large carved sun mask greets you as you approach.  The lite glass is a unique feature on the native carving.

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I loved the lobby – this driftwood table with the glass float caught my eye, and the area rug the echoes the feel of the beach is a perfect backdrop.
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The feature of copper is throughout the property, and my photo does not do justice to the hammered coppered fireplace surround in the lobby.
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This copper screen offers privacy to people in the dining room, but is also beautiful, shaped like seaweed with glass floats incorporated in the design.

photo sue womersley

photo sue womersley

The dining room is made with hand carved beams, and that is another hammered copper fireplace.

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It was my favorite place for a meal, worth stopping here even if you are not staying.

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This carved moon mask in burl wood is a feature over another fireplace.

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Another gorgeous carved mask.

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Another cozy place to sit.

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View to the beach.

for more on the history of The Wickaninnish Inn and Tofino…

http://www.wickinn.com/wickaninnish-history

http://www.tofino-bc.com/

 

Related posts you may also enjoy…

West Coast Classic Tofino

West Coast Contemporary Ucluelet

My name is Sue Womersley and I am an Interior Decorator located in White Rock, BC.

All photos sue womersley – please credit accordingly.

 

Professional decorator = creative + practical

13 Jul S R photo sue womersley

S R photo sue womersley

An interior decorator wears many hats and requires a broad skill set that includes having expertise in many fields including:

  • ergonomics
  • product and material characteristics and application
  • building and construction materials and methods
  • local building code requirements
  • colour and lighting
  • cabinetry construction
  • furniture construction
  • fabric and window covering

…as well as a clear understanding of trades such as electrical, plumbing, tiling, drywalling, painting, gas fitting, flooring.

Practical indeed, but equally creative… to make a space pleasing, cohesive, flow and sing in the eyes of the client. Having the insight and vision as to what a client will love.

Understanding scale, proportions, volume of space, how all of the elements in the mix of a room will combine, where to add details and as important, where to pull back.

Creative. Concepts. Vision. Imagination. Ideas. The intangible, abstract, subjective half.

Practical. Productive. Functional. The tangible, objective half.

+ add a dash of style interpreter, family councillor, budget wizardry and trades whisperer…

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This analysis (or possibly over-analysis) was triggered by an incident with a particular client (well former client – had to fire him!), whom I invested much time and resource and seemingly he was very happy with all of the ideas and recommendations and wished to proceed, but did not wish to pay… huh???!!?? (therefore the aforementioned firing, after some agonizing – hard to do when you are a bit of a pleaser). I purposely keep this blog as a positive place, so I will not expand on the situation, but I know many of you can relate to this, even if decorating is not your profession.

I write this particular post as I feel that there is a general lack of awareness of the interior design profession and even misinformation created by makeover shows and the unrealistic expectations that come from them.

deer run samples photo sue womersley

I feel the biggest challenge clients face is pulling everything together. They have a sense of what they like or want, but not sure how it will all work together in a cohesive and pleasing way. “We need help” is reason I hear most often. A large part of design work is also problem solving …

I have helped clients who have invested large sums of money into updating their home only to be unhappy with the finished result. Wasted time, wasted money and extra stuff in the landfill — all that could be avoided with a professional decorator or designer. Now they LOVE their home, and are my biggest cheerleaders as well as best referrers.

I have also helped clients who intended on selling their home and instead of giving it a little facelift did a full gut renovation due to my suggestions and recommendations as to how better to reconfigure and use the space in their home. Their home is now somewhere they may live in the rest of their lives.

Sometimes, one good idea is all that is required!

decorata sample pix sue womersley

Building or renovating can be an intense and overwhelming experience for clients, as there are hundreds of decisions and so many considerations.

I provide information – I will tell you if you will be on your hands and knees with a toothbrush to clean your grout – then you can make that informed decision. Much too late when you are doing it after the fact because you did not know. Or if you had only known that grout technology has advanced with certain polymers and for a small upgrade, that would never be an issue. I will tell you that certain products will bleach your expensive dark marble counters or that the white marble you love so much will absorb oils and red wines and stain and require maintenance to seal – and as long as you are good with that – you can make that informed decision.

Budgeting is its own artform. I call it a budget dance. Clients often don’t really know how much things cost and the amount of labour. We can work with many budgets, but we need to know what it is to make informed choices for you. It is also how we can get you what is really important to you – like quartz counters – but maybe choosing lesser expensive floor tiles to get within your budget. EVERYONE has a budget, whether it is a suite in an unfinished basement or a $2 million dollar new home. Professional advice for one of your biggest personal investments … something to consider. Hasn’t everyone heard a horror story from a friend of a friend whose project was tens of thousands of dollars over budget?

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Anticipation is another large part, particularly with renovation. While no one has a crystal ball, I always look for potential problems and make clients aware of them. The age of a home can determine things like wiring and plumbing. Subfloors can be an issue even in 10 year old homes, for example. Nothing drives me crazier than these home makeover shows when the designer repeatedly slashes the project because she did not “know” easily anticipated problems, or designs something should be her job to know would not work because the plumbing could not be moved because the joists run the wrong way. Happens all the time on tv! This is why a contingency is set aside.

My profession is service based. The client goes about their day to day life (or we have had clients go on vacation!) and I plan/schedule/source/order/meet/oversee any and all details required from initial concept to completion.

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When you hire me or the builder/contractor that I work closely with, you get our whole team of professional trades people who are licensed and insured. I hear countless stories from other people how hard it is to find good tradespeople, who are timely, tidy and on budget. I save you that time of vetting every worker that enters your personal space and monitoring them. I save you the time of gather quotes, comparing the quotes and not knowing if you are comparing apples to apples, what the quote includes and even what are the right questions to ask. I personally know someone who paid $6000 cash for a driveway, only to have a lien put on her home (OUCH) by the subcontractors after the fact as they were not paid. They had to pay them personally (double OUCH) and never did find the original guys — and the husband works in law enforcement.

There is a reason that the Make it Right shows have been going on for TEN years!

all photos Sue Womersley.

Thank you for reading the longest post I have written. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many fellow Professional Interior Decorators and I dedicate this one to them!!!

home in a converted 1600s barn

2 Jul

Barn66photo sue womersley

I was fortunate see inside a very unique barn space that I am excited to share with you.  This amazing living space is created with a 1640s barn structure from Portsmouth, England.  The owners re-erected it here in Vancouver and built their home around it.  The room is decorated with antiques -beautifully mixing rustic with fine art and warmed up with a pair of large scale sofas and massive silk carpet.  For such a vast space it  is friendly and welcoming.

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Detail

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I love this vignette, with the gallery wall and pottery collection balancing this huge antique table..

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Pairs of these window are on three sides of the room flooding it with natural light and views to the pond and garden. Even on this gray, rainy day the light was lovely inside.  This gorgeous carved mirror is a feature in the room, and again, another vignette beautifully created.

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How fantastic to pair the artwork with this rustic trough of firewood and a brass bucket.  View to the dining room.

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View of the barn structure.

garden photo sue womersley

View of the pond outside the windows shown in photo 3 previous.  The exterior of the home does not indicate the beauty inside.

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The pond was full of happy frogs in the rain sitting on lilypads.

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This 1908 English iron greenhouse on the property was rescued in the 1960s from a nearby estate on Granville Street.

All photos Sue Womersley

Sicilian Aristocratic Villa Garden

14 May

This beautiful Villa and garden have been in the San Guiliano family for over 800 years.

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The estate includes the chapel, below, a South American inspired garden from a stay in Brazil, and groves of citrus and olives.

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I liked this section of blue, great shape and texture.

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Head gardener Rachel Lamb was kind to give us a full tour of the property. She has worked closely with Marchese San Guiliano since 2002.

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Poolside has a great view of Mt. Etna.

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This walled garden s behind the pool and contains a pink grapefruit grove that the estate uses to make marmalade s that sell internationally.

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Several pretty planters dot the back garden such as this one with the San Guiliano coat of arms. Look for the lizard, there were lots of them and frogs about.

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This massive ficus was planted in 1959 in honour of the family’s return to the estate. One of several resident dogs.

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Detail of chapel chairs with family coat of arms.
All photos sue.womersley.

Taormina, Sicily + Mt. Etna

13 May

How thrilling to be standing in a Greek Theater from the third century B.C., overlooking Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea and Taromina.

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Aside from the spectacular views, the Teatro Greco is still used for events to this day, crews were setting up stages around ruins while I was there.

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Taormina is a pretty historic medieval town with roots that include Greek, Roman, Arab and was the Sicilian parliament for a time in 1410.

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There is a public garden next to my hotel, created as a private garden in the late 1800’s by Englishwoman Miss Florence Trevelyan, who later donated it to the town.

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Beautiful vistas, scented plants, tropicals and rare species make up this garden as well as some unusual follies made with basalt (black volcanic rock).

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With only two days, my time here has passed too quickly. We had a walking tour thought the narrow streets, past many Palazzo and Churches. There are many shops, high end, artisan and tourist wares for all of the cruise ships that port here six months a year.

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I found many decorated balconies that caught my eye.

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The view towards the Greek Theater from where I ate lunch.

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Sunset View to Mt. Etna’s base from my private patio at the hotel…

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All photos sue womersley.

two VILLAS in RAVELLO, Amalfi Coast

7 May

Villa Cimbrone in RAVELLO, high on the Amalfi Coast, offers spectacular panoramic views, from the part of the estate appropriately called The Terrace of Infinity…

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The estate dates to the eleventh century, but after years of abandonment, English traveller Ernest William Beckett, Lord Grimthorpe, purchased and began restoration in 1904. Vita Sackville West was a regular guest whom gave her expert guidance. The concepts and influence of other famous English garden designers are recognized in the structure and layout.

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This existing central avenue is from the family who owned it during Renaissance times. Named the Avenue of Immensity, it provides a wonderful sight line and is covered in sweet smelling wisteria which was in full bloom.

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What a lovely garden, a whole day could be spent enjoying what Lord Grimthorpe describes as a magical place and helped him find happiness after the early loss of his much loved wife.

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Villa Rufolo has a varied history since the the 13th century, with influence of Arabic, Sicilian and Norman found in the architecture. Rescued and gardens were added by Scottish industrialist Francis Neville Reid at the beginning of the century.

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More panoramic views to take in

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Villa Rufolo is host to festivals and cultural events.

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Here is my Mum enjoying the Terrace of Infinity.
All photos Sue Womersley.

Ninfa Gardens, Sermoneta Italy

4 May

With over 160 varieties of roses and 1300 ornamental trees, the beautiful Ninfa Gardens have been called both the most romantic and the best in the world. Located two hours southeast of Rome, Ninfa also has a tragic past.

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Papal civil wars in the 14th century lead to Emperor Barborossa ordering the small town and its people destroyed.
A medieval town left in ruins for five centuries, and slowly planned, planted and restored by Gelasio Caetani, his English mother and family from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, and is now maintained by a foundation set up by the historic family of the region.

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Within the ruins are the remains of five churches, the oldest dating to the 10th century.

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At the base of the mountains, the engineering of the water collection and distribution is amazing.

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The gardens are very limited in open times and you must be accompanied by a guide in effort to protect this delicate ecosystem. The garden was declared a natural monument in 2000.

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My favorite spot.
All photos Sue Womersley

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