Fashion-able: Andrea Ford transforms baby to big girl

Mila’s big girl room – part one 

This is Andrea Ford’s first visit to the fourth floor. She’s here to share an exciting project: the transformation of a nursery to a stylish ‘big girl’ room for Debra’s daughter Mila. 

 Andrea Ford is the founder and owner of RE:Style Studio in Toronto. The first of its kind in the city, RE:Style Studio is an interior design studio, workshop and event space for décor seminars, one-on-one upholstery classes and DIY parties.

Ford is an interiors stylist and designer whose work has appeared in magazines such as Style at Home, House & Home, Canadian Family and Toronto Life and as the former Home Editor of Chatelaine and as a regular guest designer on CBC’s Steven & Chris. Visit the RE:Style Studio website here and follow her on Twitter here.


I was so excited when Debra asked me to take on creating a big girl room for her daughter, Mila. I’m on a roll with kids’ rooms these days and have been going straight from toddler to teen since November. 
The biggest ask has been for sophistication; none of that animated stuff, which shouldn’t be a surprise, since my clients are all pretty stacked in the style category themselves. We had a blank slate, turning a spare room into the next space for her to grow into. This is what we were working with:
  The room ‘before’. Boring.

My approach to design starts with a checklist. There are so many beautiful things out there in décor and design that the possibilities are endless and can be distracting. So – especially when it comes to kids’ spaces – function has to come first.
The big priority for Mila’s room was attractive storage solutions and a built-in look. Her toys may explode some days, but they need to have a place to hide away too. I found these Ikea units that allowed me to build in a toy box and little mini desk (later, it can become a bench or more storage) for a custom look.

I wanted to create an unpretty aesthetic – this kid is funky and frills just won’t do. Mixed prints and patterns in graphics, and a touch of floral, creates interest without the usual saccharine cutesy-ness. 
Bikes wallpaper by Rollout.

To make the prints work, we’ll minimize stark contrast to keep things calm – warm pinkish-beige to cuddle the walls (‘Pink Pebble‘ by Benjamin Moore), while bold wallpaper (so well-suited to the art throughout the house) accents one wall.
For the walls, we chose Etsy art that’s just a little unexpected, like a pop art monkey monarch and a non-cuckoo clock, will help Mila learn to tell time. Both add that element of playfulness, perfect for a little big girl.

Next time, see our progress as the pieces start to come together!

Fashion-able: Office wear

After we style our hair, but before our morning Americano, we must get dressed. Each season brings amazing options, from the playfully printed to the chicest sportswear. We want to wear it all. And yet, when choosing our trends of choice, we must first consider our settings. 

Not every style fits in with every workplace. Just because you’re working in a corporate environment doesn’t mean you need to be without style, nor does working from home need to mean workout wear and pajamas. Our office-wear guide will help you work looks from the runway to your corner cubicle, open concept or kitchen table with ideas for corporate, creative and home work spaces.

From the fringe frenzy at Dior to the colour blocking schemes at Jil Sander, much of Spring 2011 fashion is bold. Despite the drama, the season also marks a return to fashion simplicity. With a minimalist comeback, fashion girls working in the corporate world need not feel limited.

Inspired by menswear, designers paired black with white for androgynous looks that were starkly simple but clearly current. A.L.C’s Tapered Jersey Pants have the right slouchy-meets-tailored look for any office. Mid-rise jersey with a drawstring waist and front pleating, these cool semi tapered pants have neat draped slit pockets. 

Contrast your black pants, with American Eagle’s Favourite Shirt ($14.95) in white. Made of soft stretchy cotton, this Oxford-style button-up has a chest pocket and double-button cuffs, which make it uber-preppy (in a good way). Complete the look with J. Crew’s Satin Bow Tie ($52). Expertly hand-finished English silk satin, it’s time to get suited up and looking sharp.

Creative Space
Bring on the feathers, rock out in neon and load up on print on print, because in a creative space, almost anything goes. From Prada to Miu Miu and beyond, designers clad their models in layers of fruit prints and polka dots.

Take a cue from the runways, and look spot on with ASOS’s Wilma Draped Pant ($82). The silky pants in black and tan cheetah print have back and hip pockets and a stretchy waist (bonus). Add another print to your outfit with the Black Stallion Blouse ($78) in black and ivory. Mix the horse print top with cheetah print pants, and you’ll be sure to stand out in this wild wear. 

Finally, to sparkle in your printed apparel, clasp on Dannijo’s Lilith necklace ($488). Made by hand with love, the bib necklace has rock chains and Swarovski crystals to balance even the boldest of patterns.

Home Office
Although the line of sweats may come in all the season’s colours, fashion girls working from home must beware of the Free City slump. So toss your hoodies aside for outfits that bring together the best in comfort and style.

Having a major fashion moment, Proenza Schouler offers its wearers not only the latest “it” bag, but also amazing crew neck tees. Available in cream and black narrow bar stripes, the Striped Tee ($375) long sleeve top is a true classic wardrobe staple.

Stay casual-cool wearing your nautical tee with J.Crew’s Minnie Pant ($98) in henna. Deemed the magic pants that look good on everyone, the bi-stretch fabric create a slimming fit that you’ll want to wear day after day. 

And because no casual look could be complete without a touch of denim, layer on Urban Renewal’s Vintage Cut-Off Denim Vest ($58). 

What’s your favourite office-appropriate look? Tweet us @rockitpromo