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!

We’re Not Just Pretty: Marissa Headley

I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and dancing under the moonlight. Oops – wrong profile. Okay, here we go. Just a bit about me…

I am a Torontonian who loves living in Toronto but also thrives on seeing other parts of the world. I like to travel because it opens my eyes to new things, new ways of thinking and provides a source of inspiration.

In the past, I was interested in fashion design and art, but at the same time showed proficiency in science and math. I’ve fought a lifelong battle between left and right brain thinking.

Most people don’t know that I graduated from Ryerson University with a degree in Commerce and IT. After working in the IT field for three years, I realized that I needed to exercise my creative side and was fortunate enough to transition to marketing and PR.

This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. This industry allowed me to create harmony between my creative and analytical sides, which together can be a very powerful force in the workplace. I now work in the beauty category at Marc Anthony Hair Care as the Manager of Marketing and PR and it is an absolute delight.

Twitter: @MarcAnthonyHC

How long have you been in your current position? 
Six years.

How does your company leverage PR? 
Our biggest point of leverage is our reputation as the go-to salon for celebrity styling. Marc Anthony and his team of stylists are great hair experts for lifestyle stories, beauty features and makeovers. Our high-calibre styling talent, product line and Toronto salons give the media an easy one-stop shop for hair advice, celebrity stories, celebrity, trends and products.

What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?
In addition to outstanding social skills, I never underestimate the ability to be organized, to pay attention to detail (almost to the point of being obsessive) and a willingness to learn.

Who is your mentor or professional in the industry you admire?
My boss, the Senior Director of Global Marketing & PR. She is class all the way. She shows the people who work for her the utmost respect, which goes a long way when it’s crunch time.

What are your feelings about how PR has been positioned in the media in more recent years, on popular TV shows?
These shows have definitely created more awareness about the industry, and I’m sure a lot of young people are becoming more interested in the field. However, as with most TV shows, they are only able to touch on the “glamorous” part of the profession. I doubt we’d ever see Samantha Jones and her team packing up press kits, updating press databases, sourcing materials or negotiating with agencies.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?
Love what you do and do it with passion. The best ideas come from those who are emotionally invested in what they do.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that no day is every the same. I also love the fast pace – the days when you think you won’t get everything complete but somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: style.com, rachelzoe.com
Designer: Michael Kors, Tory Birch.
Store: Winners.
Book: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. 
Snack: Tostitos and hummus.
Season: Spring.
Sexy: Big hair.
Inspiration: All of the women in my family.
Drink: Coffee or anything hot.
Motto in two words: Don’t worry.
Idea of perfect happiness: A million-dollar shopping spree on accessories!
Indulgence: Accessories and anything shiny.
Celebrity crush: Leo.
Favourite tweeter to follow: @miss_marilisa