Random Desires — our curated collection of local design discoveries

Random Desires — our curated collection of local design discoveries

A close of a card by Priya Guriyani (left); a GOHBA-winning entry by Nathan Kyle of Astro Design Centre (right)

Naked Ambition
Smart and feminine, Priya Gurnani’s line drawings tell a story, taking the viewer on a creative journey. A scientist by day, the artist behind Pri’s Paints & Prints began copying henna designs after a trip to India when she was 10 and has been doodling ever since. She sells her favourite prints online but is also receiving an increasing number of commissions for wedding portraits.

Think Pink
A hint of pink, a glimmer of gold. Astro Design’s Nathan Kyle hit it out of the park with this glamorous two-island kitchen designed with large gatherings in mind. The kitchen, recognized with a trophy at the 2019 Housing Design Awards Gala, is on the cutting edge of 2020 colour trends, where soft pinks and greens are top of mind. astrodesigncentre.com

Art by Amy Thompson is featured in elegant stationary

Write On
The art of the personal letter is being revamped for the next generation. U.S.-based Tiny Prints, purveyors of curated and oh-so-stylish stationery, recently tapped local artist Amy Alice Thompson for a unique line inspired by her art series Monument and Road Trip, both of which have been shown in galleries in Ottawa, as well as in the United States and Europe.

Chaos Theory
Ashley Iszak is a lifestyle blogger whose creativity extends to branding and web design, styling, and even full-scale commercial design projects (she recently completed the design for the 692 Coffee and Bar housed in a 140-year-old building on Manotick’s Main Street). And so Calmly Chaotic seems the ideal name for the website where the busy mom of three blogs about both family life and design. Simultaneously inspirational and aspirational, Iszak’s posts have garnered an avid following among DIY types who appreciate that she includes step-by-step how-to guides with the home projects — including this inexpensive shelf — that she designs and her handy husband executes.  

The powder room in the first project by Art & Stone Group (left); Looma tables are bright, unique, and made locally

Small Wonders
After teaming up on their first custom house, Alex Corriveau and her partner Andrew Decristoforo have officially joined up as Art & Stone Group. Filled with thoughtful details, the house was the subject of a bidding war last spring; the duo are now back at work on a number of new houses around town. This main-floor powder room exemplifies their attention to detail, with perfectly set glass tiles from Ceragres acting as the backdrop for a hand-forged mirror and a series of delicate air-plant holders by local artist Nina Marchewka.  

Table Talk
The name, Looma, is a playful take on light and illumination, a fitting moniker given that the presence of a glass-topped table from Looma Studios immediately brightens any room. For each tabletop, Chelsea-based artist Romy Randev fashions an exact design before cutting the glass and arranging it in his kiln, where it is fired for 24 hours until the pieces fuse. Once cool, the tabletop is cut to size and hand-polished. The wooden bases are handmade by furniture designer Christopher Solar. loomastudios.com

Caitlin O’Reilly makes beautiful — and durable — ceramics out of her Prince Edward County studio (left); a still-life by local designer Melissa Milakovic

Shape Shifter
They’re just our cup of tea. Caitlin O’Reilly is the accomplished ceramics whiz behind Cylinder Studio, working out of her Prince Edward County space to design porcelain and stoneware collections that are both unique and durable. Wheel-thrown, then carved, her line of footed tea bowls and espresso cups is the perfect mash-up — pretty, functional, quirky, and dishwasher safe. The name Cylinder Studio pays homage to the truth that the cylinder is the first shape an artist needs to perfect on the pottery wheel before moving on to more complex forms. “It’s a beginning stage of exciting things to come so seemed an appropriate business name for a new ceramic adventure,” she says.

Set the Scene
Cruising the Instagram feed of Melissa Milakovic is an invitation into the mind and moods of a creatively curious prop stylist. Milakovic mixes reposts of artful scenes she admires with mini sets she crafts in her own home (including this impressive Dutch-inspired still life created using dollar-store wrapping paper as the backdrop, a plate discovered at a neighbourhood garage sale, candles and holders from Value Village, and pretty cutlery from a friend). The self-taught artist and graphic designer, who recently graduated from the interior decorating program at Algonquin College, is contemplating the bright lights of New York City, where she recently worked with a prop stylist and a set designer.