diy wall art.

04 Sep 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.36.41 PM

Want an EASY, CUSTOMIZABLE piece that fits perfectly into a budget-friendly IKEA frame ($19.99) that you can use for your child’s nursery or bedroom OR as a unique baby gift?

I created this piece for all three of our girls, and just changed the colour of font depending on the colour scheme of each child’s room.

You can download the name wall art and customize to your heart’s content.  Then print it out on 12″x12″ at your local print shop! {print size is 12″x12″ to fit IKEA Ribba frame of 20″x20″}

Leave a comment on how you plan to use this piece, and I’ll email you a place where you can get this printed on heavyweight cardstock for <$5 !


mask-making tutorial

31 Aug 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, but kept chickening out because of the extreme-commitment/mess-factor. This is definitely up there on the high-maintenance-have-lots-of-paper-towel-ready-scale, but SO. WORTH. IT.

Masks are one of those things that are incredibly special. A true keepsake of childhood. A snapshot of their artistic state-of-the-moment. I love these, because no matter what the ability/developmental level, they always turn out beautifully and provide an enriching and memorable experience for everyone involved.

Here’s a break-down of how I laid out this 3-day learning invitation.

materials mask making

Part 1

mask collage


Part 2

When setting up this part of the learning invitation, think about it as though you are setting the table for a dinner party. Present materials in an inviting, colourful and organized way.

Paint the masks first with acrylic paint. I like to set up the paint with warm colours on one side, and cool colours on the opposite side. Give your child a “papa bear” brush, and a “baby bear” brush. Show how to be gentle with the brush (like you’re patting a new baby kitten), and how to rinse the brush each time so the colours in the tray stay bright and beautiful. Once the mask is fully covered in paint, allow to dry.  Finally, add elements like beads, feathers, ribbon, sparkles and anything else that tickles your fancy. I use a hot glue gun, and my child shows me where to add the pieces.

mask part 2

Once the masks are complete, show your child how they can wear their mask to become someone else. Dramatize well-known stories, write your own stories to be acted out, paint pictures of the masks, record yourselves… so many possibilities to extend learning.

Have you tried making masks with your child? What do they remember most about the experience?


what’s in a name?

23 Aug 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time, I was a teacher. I was a good teacher. I understood that children knew more than they could say. That they communicated through a variety of “languages.” I made it my business to teach them these languages: art, dance, drama, music, storytelling. I also made it my business to learn what my students were curious about. After all, we ALL learn through curiosity. And teaching was wonderfully exhilarating. Later in my career, I was introduced to the Italians’ approach to teaching young children – an approach that has its roots in the town of Reggio Emilia, and it resonated perfectly with me. Reggio-educators understand children to be STRONG. CAPABLE. INDEPENDENT. CURIOUS. They believe in the power of a beautiful, thoughtfully designed environment, and its influence on young learners. Brillante is an Italian word meaning “showy + sparkling in style.” This term pays homage to an approach that helped shape who I am as a teacher, mother + designer. I love creating beautiful spaces for little, beautiful people. Spaces that sparkle with delight. Spaces that ignite the imagination. Spaces that honour young learners as investigators, researchers, explorers + theorists. Spaces where your child can be an artist. An actor. A storyteller. A musician. A space where your child can be anything she imagines herself to be.  Your child deserves such a place. Here, your child will thrive.


from colour-phoebe to colour-fiend.

13 Aug 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

I didn’t always love colour. My husband used to tease me that he felt like he was living on a black + white TV set. I wanted to be safe. I stuck to neutrals: greys, blacks, whites. How can one go wrong with those? Monochrome is all the rage, right? Fast forward five years, and I meet Chandra Kremski. Uber-talented local artist and entrepreneur. We commissioned her to paint a huge 8×4 foot canvas  (pictured above) that would impact the rest of the design decisions in our new home.  Her painting was the impetus for my love of colour. After this piece was executed, I looked at life with different eyes. Colour EVERYWHERE.

This is my signature style. White walls, splashes of bold colour, organic textures. The key is to have those in balance so not to overwhelm the senses. Children LOVE colour. (Just think of the last time your kid chose a donut).


Children are FULL of colour. Why not create an environment that speaks to your child: engages her, inspires her, excites her? Through careful + thoughtful selection of materials, books + furnishings, this can be executed on ANY budget. We only live once, why not LIVE OUT LOUD?


Brillante_145 copy (1)

Brillante_074 copy (1)


Brillante_110 copy (1)

ps. here is a bad photo taken of my colour-dotted home office. see what i mean?

FullSizeRender (4)




from concept board to completion.

03 Aug 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

Do you want to create the playroom of your kids’ dreams? From concept to completion, I support you throughout the process – whether a consult looking for ideas, or a full-service installation.

Here’s how it all goes down.

  1. Meet with the client (on-site or via Skype/Facetime/Email).
  2. Set design objectives: style, budget, goals.
  3. Measure, sketch, measure, sketch.
  4. Concept board creation (this is the fun part for me! I get to source furnishings + artifacts to transform the space, keeping in mind budget, style + space requirements).playroom concept board
  5. Client presentation + approval. (Revise as necessary)
  6. Spec sheet presentation: I provide the client with all the necessary information, including website links, detailed prices, applicable discounts… The client chooses whether to shop for items themselves or to contract me.
  7. Shopping time!
  8. Installation: I assist the client in “editing” the current space (paring down toys, books, etc.) Final styling + presentation of space.

playroom inspiration


Does that sound like fun? It is! I love the challenge of working within a budget – finding deals within Winnipeg (and online) is a serious obsession for me.  Where are your favourite places to find deals on home decor + furnishings?



26 Jul 2016, Posted by alanacherneck_0 in Uncategorized

Hello. My name is Alana Chernecki, and I am the principal + founder of a boutique design studio called *Brillante.  I am an interior stylist + curator, specializing in children’s spaces. I was a teacher for over ten years, am a mom-of-three darling girls, and have a love of art + design – in particular, interiors.  *Brillante is an intersection of these three worlds.

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I used to be a colour-phoebe. Now I am a colour-fiend.
  2. I usually write everything in small-caps, and like to right-justify everything. (Except my Master’s Thesis, and other things that have to be “proper.”) It feels odd using proper punctuation.
  3. I mix high + low. I love organic + modern, clean + colourful spaces.
  4. My hairstyle is called:  “I have kids.”
  5. I like walls the way I like my toes. Painted neutral + white.
  6. I have a size 12 shoe. Which makes it very difficult {+ expensive} to find shoes. This has caused a bit of a shoe hoarding problem for me.
  7. I love baskets + jars for storing everything. From our girls’ toys, art supplies, to jewelry + makeup – baskets + containers are beautiful!
  8. I love sleep. But my nights are like an old Family Circus cartoon. Dotted lines leading all over the house, room-to-room, bed-to-bed. This is life with young children. And I am working to embrace it. I have an incredibly supportive husband, who tag-teams with me to share in these nighttime “chasing” duties.
  9. I have been a stay-at-home-mom for over six years now, and am excited to begin my newest chapter as a “work-at-home-mom.” I feel unstoppable, and despite challenges + obstacles I continue to face, feel like I was born to do this: my path has led me right here.
  10. I believe in creating beautiful spaces for children. Not only because they deserve a beautiful environment, but because children thrive there.

xx Alana