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Exhibiting great taste through online art options for your home

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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

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Can Modern be Traditional?

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Can Modern be Traditional?

Written by: Shelanne Jennings-Augustine of Dockside Magazine

Taking style concepts to a whole new level

Tranquility, simplicity and elegance: they’re three words that most of us would love to use when describing our homes. But in reality, many of us are struggling to find the right style that can transcend both time and trends.

Streamlining and simplifying your style choice while keeping some character can have a profound impact on our state of mind and ultimate look. And more and more designers are applying that wisdom to the fixtures and furnishings in our homes, rejecting singular design ideals for a more accurate reflection of our hybrid-styled lives.

“We all want to come home to a space that makes us feel at ease,” says Rick Cooke, manager of The Water Closet. “Kitchen and bath suppliers are taking note of that.”

You don’t need to live in a designer’s home to take advantage of this trend: from Delta to American Standard, the best plumbing fixture manufacturers offer modern yet traditional designs that can be used in any home, no matter its style.

Crisp lines

Whether using hard, straight edges or a concept that’s completely curved, transitional designs often rely on striking shapes, rather than patterns and loud colour schemes, to make an impact.

“When you’re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, these blended designs are a great way to go,” says Rick. “They simplify the space without making it boring, while fitting most design styles.”

For those leaning towards the straight-edged, hard-lined look, Rick suggests looking for fixtures like the Ara tub filler by Delta.

“The Ara Line is all about architectural simplicity,” says Rick. “They have very simple handles and open-trough spouts, and can be ordered in a number of finishes.”

For those who prefer rounded silhouettes, Rick suggests freestanding fixtures, like the Florence tub by Produits Neptune, that allow their shape to shine. “The Florence tub features luxurious lines and a lower basin that makes getting in and out an ease, while offering a modern and minimalistic look.”

A new line available at The Water Closet, DXV’s Oak Hill collection, encompasses both sharp edges and rounded silhouettes perfectly and ties in the latest must-have Satin Brass finish.

“This new DXV luxury line really answers all types of design needs with its four distinct design movements — Classical, Golden Era, Modern and Contemporary — that can be used separately or mixed together,” says Nick Nano, showroom representative with The Water Closet. “It really is a fun line that we’re proud to carry.”

Natural elements

If you’re intrigued by the simplicity of modernity but aren’t willing to give up traditional designs completely, consider one of the many modern looks that are accessorized with wooden details.

“Brizo has a beautiful modern line called LITZE that’s available in chrome and teakwood,” says Rick. “It’s an unlikely pairing but the combination of the warm teak with the cold, smooth chrome looks amazing.”

For the texture of wood without the warm tone, Rick suggests looking for products that feature muted, cool wooden tones.

“One of my favourites is the Park Central vanity by Fairmont Designs,” says Rick. It’s a white and chrome structured vanity with muted wooden drawer fronts. “The wood is almost grey, but it adds texture and depth to the unit.”

Simplicity

If you’re not ready to change your already traditional style, but want to add modernity to your master bath, the easiest way is to look at plumbing and bath features that make life easier.

“Take the ActiClean toilet by American Standard,” says Rick. “It has a clean, crisp design, but it also features technology that keeps it clean, so you don’t have to.”

The toilet is equipped with a cleaning cartridge that releases a powerful cleaning liquid into the bowl whenever the toilet’s cleaning system is activated.

“No one likes to clean the toilet,” says Rick. “With the ActiClean, you really don’t have to. Just press a button and it’s done. It’s a whole other level of luxury.”

thewatercloset@desco.ca  www.WaterCloset.ca

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