Home & Decor

Style Icons

Well known for her style savvy ideas, Michelle Cook shares her favourite “Style Icons” and what they’ve taught us about design.

barbarabarry21BARBARA BARRY

Interior and Furniture Designer, is known for her quiet sophistication in interior spaces. Her graceful, streamlined and understated projects and furniture pieces create a serene environment. Using softer tones of nature and quality of light she brings order to chaos and a refined attention to detail.

Seeing obstacles as advantages to be expanded upon, coupled with her sage belief in buying less, yet buying the highest quality one can afford, distinguishes Ms. Barry as a design leader.

021-karim-rashid-theredlistKARIM RASHID

Industrial Designer and Interior Architect, is one of the most successful, cutting-edge, contemporary designers of his generation. Raised in Canada, he has thousands of products in production and hundreds of awards to his credit. His signature: curvaceous, flowing shapes and bright colours that seek to emotionally engage and invite us to live in the moment with boundless energy.

It feels as though he’s always facing forward, creating ‘sensual minimalism’ on his own terms, completely unencumbered by rules or status quo.

berenice_abott_portrait_of_eileen_grayEILEEN GRAY

Designer and Architect, was a pioneer of the modern movement. As a nonconformist, she designed such iconic classics as the adjustable E1027 table for the home she designed by the same name, the Bibendum chair and the Dragons armchair, which sold at auction for $28.3 million, setting a 20th century record in 2009 for the decorative arts. Also a talented lacquer artist, creating interior panels and furnishing, she brought emotion and feelings with softer, naturalist lines to all her creations.

She is quoted as having said, “A house is not a machine to live in. It is the shell of a man, his extension, his release, his spiritual emanation.” It’s a reminder to design and decorate your home in a way that fills your spirit with the purest joy.

ben-sherman_888-profileBEN SHERMAN

Clothing Designer, loved the challenge of finding new and different things, which seemed unavailable to him. In 1963, he launched his own brand of men’s shirts, influenced by Ivy League yet improving upon the existing. He added the back loop, button on the back collar and introduced high quality Oxford fabrics with pattern and candy stripes in pale shades of pink, blue, green and yellow.

Not immediately popular, he was not dissuaded from the belief he had in his vision and edgy product, later revolutionizing the first individually boxed packaging for his shirts. The relentless passion and soul he poured into his designs and brand has seen his company grow through 5 decades of success and still appeals to youth and stylish men worldwide.

Each of these designers and style leaders started with the intoxicating energy of creating something from nothing or intuitively knowing there’s room for improvement of the existing. Not every idea is a success yet with unstoppable passion for their craft, they have/had a conscious desire to serve the world for the betterment of our lives, not just as consumers but as inspiration for what’s possible and what is yet to springboard.


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Michelle Cook is the owner and Principal Designer at Indesign. Since 2000, her talented team has produced stunning designs in residential, commercial and hospitality projects in Canada and the US. She gained expertise as a Salon and Spa Designer with Wella Canada before joining the Benjamin Moore Corporate Design Team. Michelle helped create countless home makeovers, photo shoots and set designs and partnered with Benjamin Moore Corporate US to produce colour trend research and forecasting. She was honoured to work on the multi-­‐million dollar renovation of the Wellspring Wellness Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital along with 28 top designers. Michelle has also been featured many times on CityTV’s CityLine, Home Day. Her light spirit and confident vision are always on.

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