Tag Archives: decor

rd_fm2020_cover_fi

Small wonder

Latest News


Small wonder

Photography by Donna Griffith

Like the babies who sleep in them, all nurseries grow up eventually. Tamara Robbins Griffith knew it was time for her daughter, Amelia, 4, to have a big-girl room, but it wasn’t as easy as painting some walls and rearranging the furniture. “It’s the smallest room in our house at just 80 square feet,” says Tamara, home decor expert. “The makeover was like playing Tetris. I had to be thoughtful about how to get the most out of the room.” What topped Tamara and her husband, Edward’s, must-have list for Amelia’s room? A multi-functional space that incorporated storage, looked pretty (but not too precious) and included all the things their daughter loved most.

Figure out function

Tamara’s first move was to commission a ceiling-high closet that included dresser drawers and enough vertical space to hang Amelia’s dresses. With that part of the vision complete, she turned her sights to furniture. It was Edward’s idea to explore a loft bed to maximize the tight square footage. The couple fell hard for this sleek, contemporary version made from FSC-certified wood — but it meant managing their budget accordingly. “We splurged on the bed, but saved on all the decorating accessories so we balanced an investment with great deals,” she says. Selling the nursery suite and putting the proceeds toward the new furniture helped, too. Next, Tamara created a mini-desk using a side table, and sourced some toy-storage solutions. “I love soft baskets and hampers because they’re decorative in their own right, and make clean up so easy. Lucky for me, Amelia’s a good tidy-upper!”

Find a fun motif

As the youngest in the family, Amelia (who has a brother, Noah, 8) already lives with a ton of hand-me-downs, so Tamara decided to let her choose the wallpaper for the room’s feature wall. “I gave her six to pick from,” says Tamara. “Some were bold and some were soft, but she really liked these ikat-style polka dots.” The blush-pink tones served as a sweet backdrop for sunny pops of yellow, accents of red and black and a subtle insect motif — proving that little girls’ rooms don’t always have to be full of sugar and spice. “When we were working on the bedroom, it was the summer of bugs,” says Tamara with a laugh. “Dragonflies, snails, cicadas, ladybugs, you name it. We joke that she’s going to become an entomologist.” A bumblebee pillow, beetle artwork and ode to snails above the desk are a cheeky nod to the theme.

“We injected a bit of black into the room to keep it from feeling too childish”

Sprinkle in some magic

The nook under the loft bed is a natural spot for the family to indulge in one of its favourite pastimes: reading. A bookshelf that matches the bed offers both open and closed storage for books, artwork and collectibles. Layered rugs up the comfort factor: “If you’re hanging out on the floor, as kids do, it’s nice to snuggle up on a sheepskin,” says Tamara. The final touch was the addition of some twinkle lights. Tamara and Edward experimented with Christmas lights before settling on a strand of white dragonflies in keeping with the theme. “We really wanted her room to feel a bit magical,” says Tamara. “Amelia just loves it, and now it’s a cosy spot for all of us to curl up.”

SOURCES

RUG, BEDDING, CUSHIONS, OTTOMAN, KIDS CHAIRS, SIDE TABLE (USED AS DESK), TASK LAMP, BEETLE ARTWORK, MIRRORED WALL SHELF, ACCESSORIES: HomeSense LOFT BED, BOOKSHELF: Oeuf WALLPAPER: Studio Bon Fuzz in Blush, Schumacher

Beth Hitchcock writes a weekly design column for the Globe & Mail and is the former Editor-in-Chief of House & Home magazine. She is developing several book projects, including a series with acclaimed designer and TV personality Sarah Richardson to be published by Simon & Schuster this spring.

SHARE  

Featured Products


5_simple_ways_nov22_fi

How to Upgrade Your Home’s Décor in 5 Simple Ways

Latest News


How to Upgrade Your Home’s Décor in 5 Simple Ways

Home decor is one of the best parts of making your house into a place called home. The decor in your home can change the atmosphere of the room and bring attention to your personal style. There are many ways to update your home decor to bring focus to the areas of a room that you want to highlight. Keep reading to find out how to upgrade your home’s decor in 5 simple ways.

1. Going Green

Going green is an extremely easy way to give your decor a quick upgrade. Environmentally friendly decor such as plants and pieces of recycled art can do wonders in a space. Adding a variety of plants helps to create more oxygen in the room and clean the air. One of the best plants to do this is a snake plants, or otherwise known as the mother-in-law’s tongue plant. It is extraordinarily easy to maintain and almost impossible to kill. Plants can add a unique earthy vibe, while creating cleaner air for you and your family to breathe.

Try incorporating VOC free materials in your home decor. Bamboo and recycled glass are excellent choices. Find decor made from these materials and make a statement in your home that you care about the environment.

Light dimmers are an effective way to save on energy bills and are thus considered to be a “green” feature. Light dimmers allow you to upgrade your home’s decor by being able to control lighting in your home. With light dimming features you can control how the decor in your space will look depending on the intensity of the light being used.

2. Countertop Choices

One of the most beloved features of any home, are the countertops. Countertops are a decor piece that adds character to any space whether it be a bathroom or a kitchen. The right countertop choice can make all the difference in a room.

Granite is a highly sought after countertop surface because of its durability. This igneous rock comes in many colors and varieties, some even resembling the look of marble. The cost of granite countertops can start as low as $35 dollars per square foot to over $100 per square foot depending on the variety you select. Exotic granite options will cost more.

With any countertop choice that you go with, the thicker the countertop slab the greater the cost will be. Thicker countertops will go even further in effectively highlighting the beauty of your countertop and the decor in your space. Choosing a high end countertop is a simple way to give your room a fast upgrade.

3. Accents

Adding accent pieces around your home is an instant pick me up for any decor project. Accents help bring a room to life. Try incorporating accents such as throw pillows, blankets, candles, and small artwork around a room. Limit yourself to a few accents per room. If you overdo it, it’ll be harder to focus or highlight a certain area or feature of that space. Simply adding an accented wall with a dark or bright pop of color, or patterned wallpaper can do the trick.

4. Colors

To accentuate your home’s decor and give it a fresh facelift, use lighter and more neutral colors in your home. Now only does this brighten a room and give it the illusion of a larger space, it also allows your decor to be the highlight. Use the opposite rule to start. If the colors of the walls in a space are dark, try adding lighter decor pieces. If the walls of your home are already light, incorporate some darker pieces of decor so they pop.

Neutral colors in a space, allow the room to look and feel like a haven. For lighter rooms try incorporating accents like plants and lighter colored decor to further foster a serene mood in that space. Too many colors in one space or altogether in your home can be distracting and distressing.

5. Marble

Make your space look marvelous with a natural stone countertop from Marble. Marble decor is super easy trend to follow and will give your home a very luxurious look. Marble can be added as an accent feature throughout your home to ramp up the elegance in any space. Marble has been long sought after for ages as a prestigious stone and any homeowner would gladly incorporate it.

It’s simple, just add marble accent pieces around your home. This can be marble trays and cheese boards in the kitchen, marble potholders, marble clocks, picture frames, end tables, and lamp stands. They don’t have to necessarily be genuine marble either, because that’s pricey. Instead, you can opt for faux marble pieces or choose decor pieces that mimic the colors and marbling of traditional marble.

You do You

Whatever you do, make sure you do you. Don’t limit yourself to the rules, instead make sure you’re including your own sense of style into your home decor upgrade. This is what will truly turn your house into a home.

SHARE  

Featured Products


rd_dj20_design_expert_fi

Christmas in every room

Latest News


Christmas in every room

Photography by Gillian Jackson

The family room features another glorious tree. The built-ins and fireplace offer the perfect display area for holiday decor. Even the outside storage building has a wreath on the door!

Most people love to add decorative touches to their home at Christmas, but then there are those who just can’t stop at one room. For my clients, Val Geldart and Dave Dalton, no room remains untouched by holiday decor. Even the bathrooms and laundry room get a festive touch. “My mother is a Christmas nut,” says Geldar, so perhaps it’s genetic.

Sprigs of boxwood or holly, (real or not), linked with mini-lights and a few holly berries is a delicate touch on a stairwell.

East coast spirit

A storybook upbringing in the Maritimes instilled a love for family, community and Christmas — an important holiday where everyone can slow down and spend time together. Geldart remembers big family dinners, Santa parades, the Christmas concert at church, and driving around to admire the Christmas lights. She says friends and family would drop by unannounced (a perfectly acceptable part of life in Atlantic Canada!) and reconnect. It was an important time to celebrate and be thankful.

The dining room tree almost touches the 10’ ceiling. The decorations are all natural tones. The natural gas fireplace adds a soft glow as does the glassed-in wine room.

It happened one Christmas…

Geldart’s mom grew up in the countryside where the Christmas tree was decorated with homemade ornaments and strings of popcorn and cranberries. With her own family, she began a tradition of putting an ornament in her stocking every Christmas. This began a lifetime of collecting.

Beautifully made stockings in lush, earthy tones in a variety of fabric are the perfect complement to the oak mantel.

O Tannenbaum

From Newfoundland to Yellowknife, Geldart collects Christmas ornaments and decor on her travels whenever the opportunity arises. This spring she picked up a snowman during a trip to Iceland. Over the years, the family has had to add trees to accommodate all the ornaments, creating themes for each one.

A real tree is decorated in traditional red and green in basement room. Bright, colourful lights add a modern glow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Every year the family makes sure to pick up one real tree that they decorate in red and green with colourful lights, because that’s what her sons liked when they were little. Geldart confesses the rest of the trees are for her!

“I like to be able to see a tree no matter what room I spend time in. I am now up to four full-size trees and three small ones (one in the hall and one for each of the boys’ rooms). I like to have Christmas all around me!”

The tree in the master bedroom gets a romantic sparkle of light. From the chair and snowflake-motif pillows, to the delicate little tree and candles, which add a sweet holiday air.

So, with a veritable storehouse of trees, where does it all go at the end of the season? One of the most important features in their newly built home is the storage room. It takes a lot of space to store all those trees, not to mention full sets of dishes and towels — all Christmas- themed, of course!

No room is left untouched, which also means every room gets a little bit more love added to it, even the laundry room and bathrooms. So, if it’s about being a Christmas nut, I say we should all be so lucky to spread love and cheer throughout the home at Christmas, and always.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


5_ways_spruce_up_cottage_fi

Five ways to spruce up your cottage on a budget

Latest News


Five ways to spruce up your cottage on a budget

As your cottage is likely your second home, you may be reticent to invest the time and money required for a full interior renovation, complete with brand new furniture. Instead, you may consider revamping your cottage space with some new accent pieces and DIY projects. Even the smallest updates can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your city-escape, breathing new life into it as you sip your Niagara wine and lounge on your Muskoka chairs.

There are plenty of foolproof and inexpensive ways to instantly refresh your space (cottage or otherwise) that you can start implementing today. Here are five budget-friendly tips and tricks to get you started.

5_ways_spruce_up_cottage_1

Vintage vibes

Whether you bought your own cottage, inherited it from family, or renting with friends, it’s likely that the space came with much of its own furniture. While this certainly makes furnishing your home-away-from-home easier, the furniture may not be to your taste. In the spirit of recycling and saving money, you can opt to re-finish some classic, staple pieces such as an old dining table or re-upholster an old sofa. If, however, you’re keen on keeping the vintage vibe, but with new furniture, you can easily purchase home décor pieces made in a similar antique style. While there’s always the option of purchasing these pieces second-hand from charity shops or lawn sales, there are many new pieces on the market made to simulate the past. When shopping for these pieces, look out for antique, rustic and vintage styles that complement your current decor.

With your new array of vintage (or vintage-inspired) pieces, you can decoratively arrange them upon an accent table or cabinet. These pieces can be new purchases, or even simple everyday objects, such as: a collection of pitchers or carafes, glass jars or vases, some candles or candle holders, even a collection of mirrors and photo frames arranged in a gallery-style wall will do the trick.

Under cover

Slipcovers have received a bad rep over the years, but rest assured that these new options aren’t your grandmother’s slipcovers! These handy fabric options have come a long way in fabric and design, and are a great (and inexpensive) way to refresh old sofas, armchairs or dining chairs. There are many options when it comes to slipcovers: you can choose to purchase a new piece complete with its own slipcover; purchase a stand-alone slipcover; or have one custom-made for a piece you already own. They’re washable and durable, and because of this, practical even in light, neutral colours. In fact, light-coloured slipcovers work well if you want to achieve a laid-back, beachy vibe for your space. You may even choose to purchase a few different kinds with different colours or patterns to transition your furniture seasonally, or change up your style every summer.

Slipcovers can also easily be used on outdoor furniture, providing comfortable seating for large parties or solo lounging. Their low maintenance makes them especially suitable for outdoor furniture, as they can easily be thrown in the wash and are durable against the elements.

In addition to slipcovers, accent pillows, throw blankets, decorative rugs and tablecloths are other inexpensive textiles you can purchase (or make yourself) to instantly refresh your space, both indoors and outdoors.

5_ways_spruce_up_cottage_2

Flower power

Flowers and other greenery are great and budget-friendly ways to instantly add style to your indoor space. They also work to bring outdoor elements inside to give your cottage a cozier, more natural feel. You can opt to use flowers and greenery purchased at your local florist, or simply use those picked on your morning walk. Rather than using a traditional vase, opt for a glass jar or other decorative vessel.

In addition to flowers, other natural elements such as: sea shells, foliage, wood and sand can also be incorporated indoors to impart a rustic, relaxed vibe. In the spirit of bringing the outdoors in, you may also decide to incorporate patio furniture, wicker and outdoor lighting into your interiors.

Simplicity is key

Regardless of the theme or aesthetic you’re going for, ensuring to keep the design simple is key to creating a relaxing oasis away from the city. Making use of accent pieces, such as cushions, colours and textures are great ways to evoke a theme or style without being over-the-top. Mismatched pieces, such as chairs, bunk beds, plates, tables or glasses are all part of the charm of a rustic cottage and allow you to re-purpose pieces you may already have. If, however, you decide to buy new furniture, be mindful of choosing neutral tones, clean lines and all-purpose material, especially for your outdoor space.

Double duty

Whether you’re purchasing a new piece of furniture or repurposing an old one, ensuring that it can serve a double purpose is key. Furniture that serves more than one function is a worthwhile investment, especially in small quarters. For example, ottomans that serve as seating and storage are great living room and outdoor patio options. Sofas and pull-out couches are great for lounging and accommodating overnight guests. Tables can serve as decorative benches, coffee tables and even dining tables, if table height can be adjusted. Daybeds are great for turning a room into a spare bedroom, or double as an extra room for lounging, or as a studio or library.

Many of your re-purposed accents can also be used as clever storage spaces: wicker or wire baskets can be placed underneath a desk or table. Old pieces of wood can be installed as shelves, and old cabinets can be sanded, refinished and used as storage devices throughout your space.

Re-decorating your cottage doesn’t have to become an expensive undertaking. There are a number of small, yet worthwhile, investments you can make that will instantly inject new life and style into your space. See a wide selection of affordable furniture and accent pieces, perfect for your cottage.

SHARE  

Featured Products


change_to_house_fi

4 things you can do to change the look of your house

Latest News


4 things you can do to change the look of your house

You may feel the need to renovate your house every once in a while to make it look more beautiful and comfortable. Even some simple changes in the exterior and interior can make your house seem new.

Changes as simple as upgrading moving the furniture around or hanging a new picture on the wall can dramatically change the atmosphere of your place. For a more drastic change, you can consider some structural changes such as changing roof structure and replacing windows.

Here are some creative ideas to give your home a brand new look without spending too much money.

Upgrade the lightning

Brighten up your home with new light arrangements to update your home’s style. Replace your old light fixtures and wall mounts with decorative lighting. Install light switches with dimmers to control the lighting according to requirements. Use stylish metal can up-lights to brighten up the dark corners of your home.

It may be a good idea to choose LEDs as they are a good investment. They last longer than typical lights and also help save energy.

Restyle your bookshelf with a decorative lamp to brighten up your bookcase. Decorate your artwork, pictures with string lights.

You can use a variety of styles that blend well with the overall theme of your house.

Update your front door

If the idea of a new exterior is overwhelming, consider upgrading the front door only. This is the easiest way to freshen up the overall look and feel of your home.

You can replace the door, paint it new, or use a mix of accessories to decorate it. Choose the right option according to your budget and requirements.

Decorate your walls with artworks

You can get creative while decorating your home with your family photos and framed artworks. It can give a nice personal touch to your home and also leave a message. Anyone who visits your home would know you love your family.

If the idea of pictures sounds bland to you, then it’s time to get creative. Choose attractive frames and set up the photos in a creative manner. Plus, you may also show a bit of your creativity by hanging your own artwork.

Other than this, murals from MuraleDesign can also enhance the overall look of your home. You only need to find the right way to use them.

Declutter and rearrange all the existing stuff

Deep clean your house by cleaning the windows, light fixtures and doors. Every corner of your room should appear neat and clean. It will not only make the house look better but more spacious as well.

Also, consider getting rid of items you don’t need. You can hold a garage sale to sell them. This way, you can make a little money that you can use to buy new items for your home.

Follow these tips and enhance the look of your house.

SHARE  

Featured Products


al_ja19_active_home_fi

Summer lovin and the livin’ is easy

Latest News


Summer lovin and the livin’ is easy

Since the beginning of time, humans have been cooking food over an open fire. There’s nothing like the taste of a freshly grilled steak or salmon smoked to perfection. The fire sources that we now congregate around have been tailored to fit in urban living environments, as well as for ease of operation.

Seasonal sensations

And while our seasons may be short, we Canadians know how to make the best of each, and every, one of them. Come summer, we’re not only firing up the grill, but we’re fixing feasts in fully loaded outdoor kitchens, paired with incredible furniture. From impromptu picnics to appetizers on the patio, we’re eking out every possible warm weather moment, which is why outdoor furnishings and appliances are the fastest growing categories in the home improvement industry.

Do it in style

Outdoor kitchens can be as functional, and as impressive, as you want them to be with cocktail prep areas, built-in grills, weather-resistant cabinetry and refrigerators. Gone are the fold-up chairs and the wobbly table. Instead, cosy seating areas are not only comfortable, but well designed for group gatherings and conversation. Add an outdoor carpet and you have an alfresco vignette that may be more appealing than your living room.

Photography, Gillian Jackson

Design details

Similar to planning an indoor kitchen, you’ll want to customize an outdoor one that suits your cooking preferences and entertaining needs. As an extension of your indoor living environment, consider an outdoor layout that will complement your landscaped backyard or a rooftop patio.

Bells and whistles

As part of the outdoor plan, consider where you’ll require running water, gas lines and electrical wiring. Multiple stove top elements and varied grill levels can help to facilitate cooking different food items at once. Cabinetry options are stylish, functional and weather resistant. Counter tops come in natural or man-made materials, and can be designed to include smokers or other specialty appliances. Refrigerator drawers, and separate, temperature controlled bar fridges, eliminate the need to run back and forth into the house.

Photography, (right top and middle) courtesy of Outdoor Kitchens and Cabinetry

European influences

Our mood is boosted when we’re outdoors. As soon as the weather warms up, restaurants set up their patios, and patrons spend leisurely hours soaking up the sunshine. When we envision outdoor dining, we conjure up visions of a long wooden table in Tuscany ladened with fresh food, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. With Italy in mind, consider an outdoor brick oven, complete with chimney, to make handcrafted pizzas.

Let there be fire

In the centre of it all is the fire pit. This, too, has evolved from a circle of rocks to a design feature. No matter how it’s fuelled, people naturally gather around a fire. Its hypnotic dance is comforting and meditative. Intimate conversations and story telling are natural conclusions to a perfect summer evening.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. janelockhart.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


colour_trends_2019_od2019_benjaminmoore_2

10 common misconceptions about paint

Latest News


10 common misconceptions about paint

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint

Homeowners are likely familiar with the many misconceptions about painting such as: trim and ceilings can only be painted white, or dark paint colours make a room look smaller. The truth is, there are many misconceptions about paint and Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, Sharon Grech, explains 10 of the most common misconceptions and why they’re false.

 

1: Ceilings must be white

There’s no need to shy away from using colour for your ceiling, says Grech. “If you’re going with a neutral colour for the walls and trim, a colourful ceiling can really bring a space to life.” For example, adding a light green ceiling such as Benjamin Moore Soft Fern 2144-40 in a high gloss finish to an all-white kitchen can add interest, or opt for a pop of colour in a neutral low light bathroom with a red ceiling in Benjamin Moore Million Dollar Red 2003-10.

 

2: Dark colours make a room feel small

It is a very common belief that dark colours make a room feel smaller, when in reality they add character and create a perception of depth. “Dark wall colours tend to blur the edges of a room, which can make a space appear larger,” says Grech. Of course, how we “feel” in a room has more to do with mood, than size, so consider that a darker colour will generally feel more intimate and cozier while a paler colour more fresh and serene.

 

3: Too much white is uninviting

Contrary to popular belief, white can soften, soothe and even warm up a room. According to Grech, “if you chose the right white for the space, paying attention to its undertones, and complement it with both pattern and texture, a “white” space can feel warm and welcoming or cool and contemporary.” Tried and true whites such as Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65 and Decorator’s White CC-20 maintain just enough warmth that they don’t appear stark or come across as yellow.

 

4: Every wall should be the same colour

Believe it or not, adding more than one colour to a space with the use of an accent wall has many benefits. “An accent wall is an economical design solution that can add character and depth to elevate and accentuate key elements of the home,” says Grech. Just a little colour goes a long way to define a separate zone in a room or act as a divider without adding walls or repositioning furniture. The key to maintaining harmony is repetition and is as simple as repeating the accent colour in small touches throughout adjacent rooms with accessories and artwork.

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint 2

 

5: Any neutral tone will work with a small space

While neutral colours seem like the safest choice, not every neutral paint colour is the right fit for a small space. It’s important to look around your room and determine if your furnishings and textiles have warm or cool undertones. Warm undertones, like yellows and reds, pair best with creamy or sandy neutrals, where furnishings with blue or violet undertones pair best with greyer neutrals. “Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year for 2019, Metropolitan AF-690, is a very balanced neutral grey with the ability to work well with both!” says Grech.

 

6: Trims must be white

Just like ceilings, trims don’t have to be white for colours to work together. This is especially true with door trims, says Grech. “A coloured trim against a neutral wall will showcase a room’s unique architecture. Or consider a graphic outline effect by painting the baseboards and door trim a contrasting colour like black in a white room or hallway.”

 

7: Paint can be applied with any brush or roller

There are several things to consider before painting a new space including the application tools. “If you are using a water-based paint such as acrylic or latex, it is best to use a synthetic hair brush. A natural bristle brush is better for oil-based paints,” says Grech. “Rollers with a higher pile nap such as 15mm are best for lower sheen paints while glossier paints are applied more easily with a low nap roller. It’s best to check with your local Benjamin Moore paint retailer for the correct brush and product pairings.”

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint 3

 

8: White is not appropriate for a kitchen

Although white may not seem like the most practical paint choice for the most stain prone space in the home, painting a kitchen white can instantly brighten and energize the room. White is like a blank canvas that allows homeowners to be more creative and colourful with kitchen appliances, backsplashes and countertops. “I always recommend Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa for kitchens and bathrooms as it is our most durable matte finish paint that stands up to humidity and mess-prone areas like the kitchen,” says Grech.

 

9: Paint and primer are one in the same

Think of primer like a protective adhesive for your paint. “Applying the appropriate primer is crucial to delivering long lasting, exceptional results,” says Grech. Design choices like the finish of a given paint colour can also be affected by preparation with a primer. “High sheen finish will highlight imperfections on a wall, so it’s critical to sand the wall smooth if necessary and prime prior to painting.” Work with your local Benjamin Moore paint retailer to ensure you are selecting the right product and finish.

 

10: Any good quality paint can work in a bathroom

Bathrooms are typically one of the most humid rooms in the home and can cause certain paints to break apart, resulting in surfactant leaching and accelerated mildew growth. So, traditionally, it was recommended to use a high gloss or even oil-based paint in the bathroom. “With Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa, you can now enjoy a smooth, matte finish even in the bathroom. It is ideal for high-humidity environments because it’s mildew resistant and stands up to repeated washing with no colour rub-off,” says Grech.

 

RELATED READING

Benjamin Moore names its Colour of the Year 2019

Benjamin Moore Announces its Colour of the Year 2018

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


rd_fm19_better_living_fi

Exhibiting great taste through online art options for your home

Latest News


Exhibiting great taste through online art options for your home

Incorporating art into decor is easier than it’s ever been. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the house to buy it.

Everything from affordable prints from mass retailers such as Ikea, Urban Barn and Mobilia, to rare fine-art photography from a site like Ffoto, which has some 40,0000 classic and contemporary works, is now available online and can be shipped right to the front door.

Martha Burton
Macro shot of seaweed by Martha Burton

CANADIAN ARTISTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Also made more accessible are the works of art from people like Martha Burton, a Canadian-born photographer who shoots close-up studies of seaweeds, shells, and pebbles on the beaches of Santa Cruz, as well as sweeping landscapes that catch the shifting moods of the ocean.

Better availability of often-ignored Indigenous art is another benefit of web commerce. Sources include Toronto-based, Bay of Spirits Gallery, which specializes in contemporary First Nations art, and the online gift shop of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which sells, for example, beautiful prints starting at under $20.

TV-ART GALLERY

The Samsung Frame has turned the conventional television into a new platform for both accessing and viewing art. When the 4K ultra-high-definition screen is not functioning as a TV, it can be switched to an “art mode” to display a static image.

Samsung Frame
Samsung Frame in art mode.

Samsung commissioned international art curator Elise Van Middelem to select 100 pieces that come free with the frame, and 800 additional multimedia works are available through the Samsung Art Store, home to artwork from museums and galleries such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England and Prado in Madrid, Spain.

Customizable “mattes” can be added, but during a demonstration by Middelem, I found the works without them much more powerful, and thought the matte-less format better suited the medium.

Users can also upload their own art. Unlimited access to the art store costs $8 a month. A permanent download of a piece costs $27. Suggested retail price for a 55-inch Frame is $3,000.

MIXING IT UP

A sideshow can also be placed on a “shuffle” function so that pieces can change at different intervals with a range lasting from 10 minutes to seven days. I can see the benefits of this feature, but still think static art gives the viewer time and space to better connect with it.

Sensors adjust lighting on the screen as light changes in the room throughout the day, so the art is always perfectly lit, and motion sensors can turn the unit off when the room is empty.

The unit comes in a charcoal black frame, but additional magnetic bezel frames in white, walnut, and beige wood can be purchased ($300 for 55-inch model). Sensors adjust lighting as natural and ambient light changes throughout the day, and motion sensors can turn the unit off when the room is empty.

Wilson Kelsey Design
Fine art inspired bath space by Wilson Kelsey Design.

DESIGN & ART IN THE BATHROOM

Great art can also serve as a starting point for design, as it did for Sally Wilson and John Kelsey, who created a glorious bath space for luxury line DXV influenced by art. Co-owners of Boston-based Wilson Kelsey Design, they used Impressionistic landscapes on walls, while the movement’s signature dappled light effect is reflected in a glass-tile mosaic created, amazingly, with design software and assembled robotically.

DXV’s Lowell soaking tub and floor-mounted tub filler echoes the curved lines of the room, while Percy faucets provide strong, sculptural lines that don’t get lost in this visually rich, colour-soaked room. Many of us may not have the means to replicate such an opulent look. But like all great art, its beauty is undeniably inspiring.

SOURCES samsung.ca, ffoto.com, ago.ca, wag.ca, marthaburtonart.com, wilsonkelseydesign.com, yellowkorner.com, bayofspirits.com, urbanbarn, mobilia.ca, dxv.com

Vicky Sanderson
Vicky Sanderson

SHARE  

Featured Products


IDS Porcelanosa

What to see at IDS 2019

Latest News


What to see at IDS 2019

IDS Porcelanosa

The countdown is on! Only days remain till the annual Interior Design Show, Canada’s premier showcase of design taking place Jan. 17 to 20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre but this year, in a new location in the South Building.

The show, now in its 21st year, celebrates the “Power of Design,” and is expanding its  offerings to include IDS Contract, a hyper-curated B2B trade-only exposition.

Here are some things to look forward to seeing at this year’s show, from some of the leading companies in the Canadian design market.

 

Caesarstone

IDS Caesarstone

Luxury quartz brand Caesarstone is collaborating with award-winning Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang for its 2019 Designer Program. This year, Caesarstone dives deep into the thoughtfulness of design, food production and consumption, and how it all translates into human connection – and the first installation will debut at IDS in Toronto!

The 2019 collaboration focuses on the thoughtfulness we should have in our kitchens, whether in meal preparation or conversation shared with guests. This will be represented through the journey of the seed. The installation will take visitors on a sensory experience through memories, human connection, happiness and the environment. The honeycomb-like exhibit will focus on generating stimulation from all sensory receptors as visitors travel their path eliminating external noise and disruption and imagining themselves as a seed and connecting back to the earth.

This collaboration will showcase Caesarstone surfaces through interactive activations and practical kitchen implications immersing visitors in the application of the Caesarstone surface.

 

Blanco

IDS Blanco

Blanco Canada will unveil its bold and interactive concept space designed specifically for IDS to launch its new Silgranit colour.

The latest addition to the Silgranit colour palette is a pure, fresh, soft mid-tone providing effortless design versatility. A clean, balanced colour profile and the right mix of red and blue undertones makes it an easy colour to design with in a variety of spaces with either warm or cool colour schemes.

 

Porcelanosa

IDS Porcelanosa

Luxury lifestyle brand Porcelanosa brings European design styles to the show, with a glimpse of its collection of bath and tile products.  From a wide selection of tiles and mosaics to  modern bathroom and kitchen cabinetry.

Porcelanosa will also be displaying its Icon and Vintage vanities and its Noa Tanzania Wine, from its Seedwood wood-look porcelain tile collection, and Lush White Polished tile from the XLIGHT collection.

 

Cosentino

IDS Cosentino

Cosentino will unveil its latest Silestone natural quartz line colour, Eternal Noir, and will display new colour additions from the ultra-compact Dekton Industrial Collection by renowned designer and architect Daniel Germani. The Dekton line showcases Cosentino’s mastery of the industrial aesthetic, putting rough, unexpected materials such as concrete back at the forefront of design.

Launching for the first time in Canada, the new Silestone Loft Series is a sophisticated range of colours offering a unique take on the industrial and architectural look of concrete. And making its Canadian debut at IDS is the Dekton Slim, an innovative take on the ultra-compact surface with an ultra-thin thickness of just four mm.

 

Jura

IDS Jura

Innovation, precision, quality, reliability, sustainability and service shape the DNA of Jura – the Swiss company that is the only brand in the world to focus solely on premium super-automatic specialty coffee machines. A dedicated team of traditional coffee machine artisans produce both premium domestic and commercial espresso machines, beautifully made with meticulous care and attention to detail.

Among the highlights to see at IDS are the Rocket Espresso – the finest espresso machine in the tradition of “Fatto a Mano,” which translates to “Made by Hand.”

 

ARD Outdoor

IDS ARD Outdoor

ARD Outdoor will introduce the sophisticated designs, and visual force of Vondom at IDS 2019 and open Toronto’s first and only Vondom gallery this spring within the ARD Outdoor showroom at Dufferin & Lawrence.

Designers, architects and discerning homeowners will appreciate the quality and design in a full range tables, chairs, armchairs, modular sofas, stools, bar counters, sun loungers, planters and lamps. ARD Outdoor’s Private Label furniture continues to evolve into new collections using teak, metal and woven materials at various price points to accommodate the unique needs of each project.

 

Beauti-Tone

IDS Beautitone

Beauti-Tone Paint is launching is launching the New Simon Chang Trend Colour Collection 2019-20 and the new Coast to Coast Colour Collection at IDS, with a booth theme of Fresh Colours that will have a feel of a charming farmer’s market, encouraging all to shop local and buy fresh.

Sure to be a stand out at the show, the booth will feature a beautiful stationary bike, custom-painted to the colour of the year, Tropic of Conversation, with white tires and accents. Show visitors can hop on and take a ride, and as they pedal, the scenery changes and music plays by their own manpower.

 

Fleurco

Fleurco will showcase several new items at IDS, highlighted by the Latitude virtual grid door and the Halo medicine cabinets.

IDS Fleurco

The Latitude Virtual Grid door uses a matte black silk screen in lieu of metal bars to make it a breeze to clean. Get the look with zero hassle! It prevents water leakage, is easy to install, is reversible left or right opening and has other practical features.

The new Halo medicine cabinet line features built in, warm white LED lighting, soft close doors and is available in multiple configurations.

Also at IDS, look for Fleurco’s Opus Collection Madrigal freestanding bathtub, which marries a modern and Victorian-inspired design and the Arpeggio freestanding body-hugging design bathtub, guaranteed to wrap you in warmth.

 

Elite Window Fashions

IDS Elite Window Fasions

As a leading Canadian manufacturer of custom window covering products, Elite Window Fashions will feature functional displays of its various blinds and shades. The latest fabrics and hardware systems for Roller Shades and High-Lite Shades will be showcased, including a double roller shade system which accommodates two different kinds of fabrics inside one housing.

The Elite Smart Shades automated window coverings make a dramatic impact in any room. Not only do they add the perfect finishing touch to your decor, they also provide convenient control.

Also look for the company’s Cellular Shades and Sheer Horizontal Shades.

 

Vicostone

Quartz-based engineered stone manufacturer Vicostone is launching seven new colours in 2019 that will be featured in all three collections – the Classic, Natural and Exotic collections. The company will also be offering three new colours in a honed finish – Tartufo, Olympus White and Naxos.

The remaining four colours – Valley White, Grey Savoy, Thunder Blue and Argento, will be available in a polished finish.

Vicostone’s complete collection comprises 64 colours to choose from for endless design possibilities.

And last but not least, pick up your copy of the latest issue of Reno & Decor magazine, Canada’s home idea book at our booth 805 or throughout the show floor.

See you there!

SHARE  

Featured Products


Alcorn_Dec_EyeCandy_fi

Tips for kitchen bliss

Latest News


Tips for kitchen bliss

I recently completed a tough kitchen makeover — maybe the toughest yet as it was my own personal space. Follow my tips below on how to create a space you will truly love.

I chose my appliances first. I knew I wanted something completely different and when I saw the new Fingerprint Resistant Sunset Bronze collection from Whirlpool, I made this my jumping off point. It’s the crème-de-la-crème of this kitchen. With a brushed satin finish and rose gold undertones, this fingerprint resistant suite really sets off this space.

For the walls I decided to stay true to my one true paint love – Jojo whitewash PF17 from Para. I find staying with the same colour in an open concept gives the space a cohesive and continual look.

Next, I worked with DV Kitchen and Bath to find the right cabinets for a clean, streamlined look. I decided on a flat-panel front but in trendy gloss white; the gloss helps to bounce light and creates the illusion of a larger space. Plus these cabinets are super easy to wipe down, keeping that new look and feel.

To keep the cabinets streamlined, I selected Grass soft-close hardware from their Nova Pro Scala collection. Grass is the hidden gem in any cabinet system – my cabinets push closed silently and open with a gentle touch.

For the countertop I wanted a waterfall island. I chose Caesarstone’s Calacatta Nuvo for both the island, counters and backsplash. This countertop is stunning and durable and is the centre of attention in the kitchen. Choosing a primarily white countertop with white cabinets creates the illusion of a much larger space. Don’t be afraid to have your countertops the same colour as your cabinets. And make sure you have them installed properly. I too often find clients skimp on the most important part of the kitchen renovation, which is the installation. I turned to the folks at Renovare Marble and Granite, who installed my counters with complete professionalism and perfection and also create a complete custom backsplash for my space that is a serious showstopper.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: the faucet is the gem in the kitchen. I went with the Delta Trinsic single-handle pulldown in Champagne Bronze. The design is simply smart and elegant, with an integrated pulldown wand. Plus, the colour is a modern take on gold that pairs well with my stainless steel sink and my appliances.

I went a bit trendy with the herringbone style floor, but I used a classic and timeless marble tile to balance the trendiness. The result is amazing and ties the cupboards, countertops, closet and paint all together. This tile came from Creek Side Tile, which has a vast selection.

In my house, the HVAC piping went up through one of the kitchen walls I wanted to remove, making a full open-concept impossible. Originally I was bummed about having to keep the piping there, requiring a closet to hide it in. I now love this closet. It is a fun architectural focal point, where I was able to add display shelves and texture. To create a perfect finish and get a properly sized door for this closet, I used Metrie’s Trude Craft Collection.

Onto the stunning finishing touches. The dishware and stools were found on Wayfair Canada. They have an extensive collection of affordable options and offer free shipping. These stools are elegant, simple and have brass accents that I could not do without.

The blinds are TriLight and offer a unique combination of sheer pleated shade on the top and a honeycomb shade on the bottom. It’s like having three looks in one – all sheer, all privacy or half and half. This design is exclusive to Budget Blinds. In my kitchen I choose to go with Artcraft for lights with brass stems, accents and posts. They fit perfectly with the appliances, faucet and the accent pieces I choose – once again, tying the entire space together.

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home. https://alcornhome.com/

Photography by Jason Hartog

SHARE  

Featured Products